Bloody Monday is a 96-chapter manga written by Tadashi Agi and illustrated by Megumi Koji. I’m thankful that I didn’t read this before I watched this series. If I did, then I probably would’ve hated the live-action.(Oh well, not exactly. Who am I kidding. I can’t possibly hate a series that’s got both Miura Haruma and Sato Takeru in it!) So let’s just say, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the live-action as much as I did.
Though there were several eye-rolling what-the-f***, facepalm moments, Bloody Monday is still worth watching. However, my thoughts have completely changed after reading the manga.
I wish Bloody Monday would have a do-over with the same leads but with a much better script. It’s a waste that they’ve chosen young good looking and healthy male leads who can live up to the dramatic and action challenges their roles require, but Haruma and Sato’s abilities weren’t utilized to the fullest since the characters were a bit … bleargh.
MIURA HARUMA plays Takagi Fujimaru…
Hacker prodigy, son of Third-I’s Vice Director, He was tasked to put an end to the terrorists’ plan of erasing Japan by unraveling the true meaning of ‘Bloody Monday’.
He was so kakkoii from the moment that hoodie fell off…
…when he exposed the pervy professor…
…everytime the camera zooms into his intense concentration when hacking …
til the moment he says…
Fujimaru is the kind of character you’d root for and Miura is the kind of actor you’d easily fall in love with.
What I loved about Fujimaru in the manga is the fact that he’s more in control.Literally!
He’s different in the live-action series. I just can’t help but feel sorry for his character. He seemed like a victim all throughout what with both the terrorists and the Third-I division who kept dragging him here and there asking him to hack this and that. ⊙︿⊙
The script should have also emphasized Fujimaru’s huge crush on his hot sensei and the disappointment upon learning about her connections with the terrorists. That way, people can see the difference between his normal red-blooded teenage self and his serious cyber genius alter-ego.
SATO TAKERU plays Kujo Otoya…
..President of the Newspaper Club and grandson of the Minister of Justice.
In complementary to Haruma’s handsome boy next door looks, Takeru has this certain androgynous sex appeal that totally made him the perfect actor for the role but for some reason, this strong and snarky super cool President Kujo Otoya…
…completely disappeared into a meh-Falcon-sidekick.
His powerful instincts, great fighting ability, and political influence have greatly contributed to the success of their battle against the cult.
Aside from his own intuition, Otoya doesn’t trust anyone except Fujimaru. So, he isn’t exactly the type of guy who easily gets kidnapped. He and his bow and arrow are almost inseparable. There is a scene that shows Takeru practicing with it but I they made him use his arrows in actual battles just as Otoya did so many times in the manga.
Agile Takeru could’ve easily managed to pull off all the darn action scenes, if only he had been given more exposure. Had the live action series been able to highlight the awesomeness of Otoya’s character, Sato Takeru would’ve been so popular even before he became Himura Kenshin.
MINA FUJII as Asada Aoi..
2nd year, Vice-president of the Newspaper Club.
I’ve always loved a strong female character but Aoi in the live-action series appeared as the stereotypical pretty childhood friend with a hidden crush on our hero. She was once taken as a hostage by Houshou the Third-I spy. She got kidnapped again and eventually killed by a new set of villains in the second season when in fact, her character should’ve had the ability to kick some freakin’ big time terrorist ass.
The youngest female karate champion was reduced to the usual damsel-in-distress so I wasn’t surprised that I had lukewarm feelings towards her character in the series, that I didn’t even care about what happened to her in the totally-unrelated-to-the-manga-Season2.
The only reason why I shed a tear on her death scene is because When Haruma cries..the world cries with him!
These three could’ve emulated the same formula that made the Harry Potter series so successful, but instead of an action-packed sequence like this:
We got this one where the two just kept gazing in awe at Falcon’s hacking skills. *sigh*
MASAHIRO HISANO as Tachikawa Hide, the clumsy, least intelligent member of the Newspaper Club..
He was the unfortunate one to get killed by the Bloody X virus.
I usually cry when someone close to the lead character is injured or worse, killed. I didn’t sympathize with Hide because his character was a total wimp. I just felt sorry for Fujimaru who did everything that he could but still failed to save his friend.
Hide in the manga had a little more depth. He may have been a bit hesitant to get involved but he tried to be as courageous as he can be. He held on to his family who were dear to him and continued to help Fujimaru until his final breath.
ERI TOKUNAGA as Anzai Mako
The biggest twist in every story is when the character you’d never suspect turns out to be the biggest baddie. Problem is, I never really gave a damn about this character until that part when they finally revealed that she’s actually K and I was like…“Whaaaaat??!!” ヽ(。_°)ノ
I would’ve liked it better if, just like the manga, they’ve revealed halfway that Anzai is K. This way, we would be able to see how she’d switch her personality from being the young naive and helpless friend to the cold and selfish religious terrorist freak.
UMIKA KAWASHIMA plays Takagi Haruka
Her character is probably the most consistent in both manga and live action in terms of getting kidnapped. The difference is that the romantic angle between Haruka and Otoya being insinuated in the manga was totally left out in the live action series.
Otoya and Fujimaru seemed more likely to have some kind of BL going on. (I wish!) Kidding aside, I sure love the bromance.
As much as I want to see Fujimaru flying a helicopter or Otoya shooting an arrow from inside a moving vehicle, I know it’s hard to do all the death defying high budget-requiring scenes but…
…strong characterization is one of the main keys for an effective storytelling. I wouldn’t mind the cliches and ridiculous plot holes as long as the characters have been introduced,developed and portrayed perfectly.
Take for example, Narimiya Hiroki’s role as the quirky yet dangerous J and Kichise Michiko as femme fatale Orihara Maya – both characters were perfectly played.
It’s not good when the audience ends up rooting for the antagonists.
After reading the manga, I realized that instead of Bloody Monday being a heroic story of gifted young students who saved the world, the live-action quite ended up as a story of a young hacker whose talents were exploited by the incompetent Japanese government officials who forced him to save the world.