まほろ駅前番外地 (Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi)

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It’s never too late to post about a 2013 drama if it’s as good as this one and just in time for the upcoming release of its 2014 movie Mahoro Ekimae Kyousoukyoku.

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi.I just wanted to see how my favorite actor Eita would transform into a different character again.

Of course, he was awesome as the constantly uptight Tada but Ryuhei Matsuda’s eccentric Gyoten stole the spotlight. I loved the look on their faces while tuning in to  Mahoro FM’s narration of the unpaid benriya who lives with his boss though he is afraid that he’d sexually assault him. This is my kind of humor, I thought. And before I knew it, I was hooked.

Mahoro Eki Mae Bangaichi is based on Shion Miura’s 2009 novel of the same name. The series is a continuation of the 2011 film Mahoro Ekimae Tada Benriken directed by Tatsushi Omori.

Directed by Hitoshi One, Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi is an episodic series focusing on two divorced men, Tada Keisuke (Eita) and Gyoten Haruhiko (Ryuhei Matsuda), who have known each other for a long time and just somehow ended up living together in a fictional town called Mahoro. Tada runs a benriya located near the train station. Gyoten complains about working without being paid but Tada insists he never hired him in the first place. To earn money for their basic needs, they accept any kind of job requests from their clients. Well, it’s not really “any”. According to Tada, it’s more like, “as much as possible”. Thus, their humdrum lives become more exciting as they encounter different people with some pretty absurd and at times even dangerous demands that are too much for a handyman. They go around in their beat-up truck doing simple tasks like walking a dog to physically strenuous ones like becoming a pro-wrestler, the disposal of an oddly positioned life size female wax figure, some shady deals like getting rid of a handgun, and hiding a teenage fugitive. Some of their customers are more interesting than others and some episodes could be a bit predictable for me but I like the way the show tries to send a message or prove a point without going all too cheesy and preachy. I love the coolness,the subtlety.

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And they get to realize that being a benriya (handyman) can somehow make a change in other people’s lives.

But the highlight of the show is definitely the bromance between Tada and Gyoten. Two ikemen actors in scruffy,ordinary-looking,quirky yet totally charming but extremely opposite of characters.

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(Even with your unshaven face,unkempt hair and shabby jumpsuit, Eita, you can’t deny the truth.)

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And the funniest part of the bromance is whenever Gyoten insists that he’s gay in such a deadpan tone, you might actually believe him.

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