Friday, March 31, 2017

Samurai Gourmet Netflix Mini-series Pilot Review

Samurai Gourmet (2017-)
Season 1 - 12 episodes (2017) 
Watch Samurai Gourmet on Netflix
Created by: Masayuki Qusumi (original manga)
Starring:  Honami Suzuki , Naoto Takenaka , Tetsuji Tamayama
Rated: R

This live action Japanese language series is based on the mange of the same title. Takeshi Kasumi, now retired, realizes he can eat and drink what he wants when he wants. This awakens the persona of a samurai living in the age of Japan's civil wars. He begins wandering Japan searching for food to satisfy his inner samurai soul.

This will not be for everyone. While it's an interesting concept, it's more concept than series. The episodes are only twenty minutes long, and while they are easy to watch they feel a bit like a short in style and production values. Each episode provides Kasumi enough time to consume a meal, debate in his head how strange yet freeing retirement is, and then imagining how a samurai would behave in the same situation. I like the concept, but after two episodes, there just isn't much there.
Skip it.

I watched the first two episodes. This starts off kind of cheesy. Kasumi is newly retired, and forgets. He begins to dress for the office before realizing, he's no longer a corporate man. He now has the chance to go anywhere and eat anything. No longer is he restricted from having a beer in the middle of the day.
One day for lunch he finds a new diner. He never had time to wander before. He debates what to have, before deciding to have a beer. This show is very much in his head with a voice over of his thoughts. Kasumi begins an internal role play, imagining how a samurai would behave, nonchalantly taking a beer and demanding more.
Now that he's retired Kasumi will visit various diners, experiencing new food and imagining what his samurai persona would do. I didn't like the second episode as much. Kasumi debates on what he should say to his waitress or isn't providing the best of service. Then he imagines what a samurai would do.
It looks like this series will have Kasumi become more honest, adventurous, and assertive as he adopts his samurai persona.

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