You know, it’s been a while since I featured a Japanese drama for our Friday Night Drama so I decided this would be the perfect week to do just that because, why not? So, without further ado, I present to you A Clinic on the Sea for this week’s featured drama.
Originally airing on Fuiji TV from October – December, 2013, A Clinic on the Sea is a unique medical romantic comedy set on a medical ship that sails around the Seto Inland Sea, stopping at all of the little islands along the way to offer medical services to those unable to get to a doctor on the mainland. The story centers around Doctor Sezaki Kota (Matsuda Shota), a brilliant yet unusual doctor who has a very bad habit of falling instantly in love with beautiful women, the moment he lays eyes on them. As Dr. Kota and the rest of the crew of the clinic boat sail around the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, each island presents a new set of medical emergencies as well as a new woman for Dr. Kota to fall in love with. While the rest of the crew just kind of laughs Dr. Kota’s craziness off, Togami Mak0 (Takei Emi), one of the nurses on the ship, doesn’t tolerate Dr. Kota’s habit of falling for women very well. As one would expect from a Japanese romantic comedy, the banter between Dr. Kota and Nurse Mako is quick, witty and pretty darn hilarious which is good because it provides a bit of interest in an otherwise painfully formulaic script.
Now I realize that my last sentence probably has some of you ready to write this drama off as not worth your time but just hear me out. Yes, this drama is very predictable in that every time the clinic ship lands on an island, Dr. Kota finds a new woman to fall in love with but that doesn’t mean that this drama isn’t entertaining to watch. On the contrary, Dr. Kota is such a quirky character it’s nearly impossible to keep yourself for falling for him. He has an undeniable innocence about him and yet he’s also an incredibly intelligent and talented doctor, which makes him a rather goofy, yet lovable, hero. While the good doctor is instantly lovable, Mako takes a little time getting used to, not because she’s boring but because she possesses all of the rationality and common sense that Dr. Kota is missing. Of course once you learn Mako’s story, you find that she’s just as interesting of a character as anyone else aboard the medical ship and it becomes just as impossible to not love her as it is to not love Dr. Kota. The remaining members of the ship’s medical team and crew all have their own quirks and it’s fun to watch them all interact with each other but the most entertaining members to watch, by far, are Dr. Kota and Mako. Seriously, these two are just so adorable together, you find yourself shipping them right away.
With only eleven episodes, A Clinic on the Sea doesn’t have a much time for plot and character development as other dramas but I think the writers did a good job with the time they had. The characters were lovable, the plot was interesting enough (even if the “fall in love with a new girl each week” thing did get a little old) and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. (I found myself wishing I could move to quite a few of those little islands as they were just gorgeous.) I did think the ending was a bit rushed but it could just be that I was expecting a bit more than we were given. Still, I enjoyed this drama and if you’re a fan of lighthearted, rather silly romantic comedies, then I think you will too.
So, for those of you who’ve already watched A Clinic on the Sea or for those of you who’ve taken the time to watch it and have now come back, I want to know what you think. Did you enjoy this drama or not so much? Were there things you would have liked to have seen done differently? If so, what are they? In short, I want to know it all so be sure to leave me a comment below!