Some things are better kept separate20 July, 2010 by Chad
Untouchable is a rather ill-named mystery drama staring the ever popular Nakama Yukie. It features Nakama as a pesky tabloid reporter who in her efforts to uncover the latest scoops, discovers a far greater plot at hand. She infuses her usual quirkiness into the character, made famous by her role in the Trick series.
It is likely that Untouchable hoped to peak interest by coinciding with the announcement of the new Trick movie. Although I’m a big fan of the Trick series, I’ve a hard time picking up any of Nakama’s shows ever since her ridiculous acting in Gokusen. After experiencing Nakama’s strong cameo in Mr. Brain, I decided to give the actress another chance.
Apart from Nakama, Untouchable stars Kaname Jun (Kimi Hannin Janai yo ne?, Ryusei no Kizuna, Atashinchi no Danshi) and Sato Tomohito (Giragira, Voice) among others. Former AKB48 Team B captain, also plays a supporting role as one of Nakama’s colleagues.
The show’s concept is a strange mix of comedy and murder mystery. Fortunately (or not), the humor in the show is limited to the producers confusing comedy with Nakama’s exaggerated actions.
Putting aside the overacting and silly slapstick moments, Untouchable actually starts out pretty strong. The show jumps straight into a series of murder mysteries. Because of the continuous meddling of the secret evil organization in the story, false evidence and distractions introduced through the course of each episode leaves viewers actually guessing up till pretty late.
Surprisingly, Nakama Yukie proves to be a pretty good actress when it comes to serious moments and some might even be fond of her caricature-like expressions. The nature of the character does fit her blend of acting. In fact, she’s probably one of the show’s best actors. Though the supporting cast put up a weaker show, each episode is augmented with a sizable number of guests. But for all its strengths, Untouchable is still a downhill ride from start to finish.
The biggest flaw is the show’s weak pacing. Unlike other such dramas where the main character is able to rely on certain abilities to solve the mystery, Nakama’s sole strength is her relentlessness. Of course, the criminals would simply deny all accusations, resulting in hardly any story progression for more than half of each episode. In the end, revelations are the result of the criminal’s own folly or more often, the interference of the said evil organization. These forced deus ex endings are hardly satisfying.
Nakama’s actions do little to contribute to the advancement of the plot and the end of each episode enforces her helplessness. Thanks to the evil organization, all results are eventually nullified and we find the characters at square one again each week. This situation definitely gets annoying after a while.
In the end, the show falls short. Those expecting an alternative to the Trick series, had best look elsewhere. Fans of Nakama will be disappointed by the morbid mood of the later episodes. Untouchable proves that comedy and murder mysteries are two genres better left separate.