24 December 2013

海の上の診療所 Umi no Ue no Shinryōjo

Title: 海の上の診療所 Umi no Ue no Shinryōjo
English Title: A Clinic on the Sea
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 11
  • 松田翔太 Matsuda Shota
  • 武井咲 Takei Emi
  • 福士蒼汰 Fukushi Sota
  • 荒川良々 Arakawa Yoshiyoshi
  • 寺島進 Terajima Susumu
  • 藤原紀香 Fujiwara Norika
  • 植野行雄 Ueno Yukio
  • 土屋裕一 Tsuchiya Yuichi
  • 戸田恵梨香 Toda Erika
  • 麻生祐未 Aso Yumi
  • 倉科岳文 Kurashina Takefumi

Sezaki Kota is a strange guy who always seeks out women to flirt with. He falls in love quite easily with women and he usually misreads the situation, interpreting these women's actions and words differently than what these women intended.

He is a doctor who just signed up to work on a clinic ship that goes around the islands. He claims that people who work on the clinic ship, like him, are doing it just to help people in need.

Kota finally arrives to his new workplace, the Kaishin Maru clinic ship, after a couple of mishaps. Nurse Togami Mako is suspicious of Kota's strange behavior and beats him up because she thought he is a pervert.

When Kota regains consciousness, he meets his new colleagues: purser Hiuchi Akira who is in charge of the clinic ship, physician Uchimura Aoi who is also married to Akira, nurse Misaki Noboru who has a crush on Mako, ship captain Kaido Takeshi who also works as the chef, navigator Yamanaka Carlos Yohei, and  chief engineer Maejima Kunihiro.

Umi no Ue no Shinryōjo is an interesting drama because it is set on a clinic ship that goes around different islands in Japan. It's a very different setting from the usual medical dramas set in hospitals because there are less characters, and these characters work together and live together. I suppose they are not strictly just work colleagues in a way, but they are not really family as they are not really related and they are not really friends as they didn't choose to spend non-working hours together. They just happen to spend almost twenty-four hours daily together because of their work situation.

I really like Sezaki Kota as a character because he's a flirt but he's very upfront about it, announcing to every woman that he's attracted to that he's single and he's a doctor. He falls in love with women easily but it's endearing that he's so quick to decide to change his plans and his life for these women.

I think what makes this drama particularly entertaining is Kota's tendency to jump into conclusions, thinking these women that he falls in love with also feel the same way about him. It's quite funny to see him interpret the situation to his favor, when it is quite obvious to the other characters (and the viewers) that he is just misreading the situation.

I initially thought that Kota falls in love with all women, particularly the unattached and unmarried ones. It is generally a strange concept but I think it is definitely more acceptable than he falls in love only with beautiful women, although the latter concept is possibly more realistic.

I didn't really like the episode that featured two former delinquents, one who is beautiful and thin, and one who is average-looking and overweight. Kota was fine with the beautiful and thin former delinquent to fall in love with him and he's willing to change his life for her, but he was disappointed when he finds out that the one who has feelings for him is the average-looking and overweight one.

The situation was really brought up to to be played for laughs and I admit it was funny, but I'm also quite concerned about the message it relays about love and beauty, as well as acceptable societal norms and standards.

Anyway, I did wonder what happened with Kota and nurse Togami Mako though. He was attracted to her when he first saw her but he didn't pursue her the same way he pursued other women he was attracted to. Kota was also attracted to physician Uchimura Aoi but he did not pursue her because he found out right away that Aoi is married to the purser Hiuchi Akira.

I think it was to establish that Mako is different and special. She's the only one who can beat him up and tell him to act properly or to do things properly. It's nice that they actually spent most of the drama as good colleagues who eventually developed romantic feelings for each other.

海の上の診療所 Umi no Ue no Shinryōjo