It looks like the ratings for this season have already stabilized, with Galileo 2 the runaway leader and, aside from the Taiga drama, 35-sai no Koukousei will probably come in second. Doubles, Kazoku Game, Iryu Sosa 3, TAKE FIVE, and Kasuka na Kanojo are all so tight – within 1.5% of each other on average – that even with only minor fluctuations there could be a lot of movement in the rankings.

I finally watched the first episodes of 35-sai no Koukousei and Doubles, and I’ll give my thoughts below the cut (I think this might be a consistent feature of these ratings articles going forward to cover the shows that I don’t have time to review). I’ve been looking out for subs for Machigawarechatta Otoko, but haven’t seen them. I haven’t had the chance to get to any episode twos because my entertainment time has been divided lately (thanks to Kerbal Space Program).

The ratings below are from much more complete articles on TokyoHive – the latest one of which is available here.

Prime Time Shows

Galileo 2 – (01) 22.6%, (02) 20.5%, (03) 21.1%

35-sai no Koukousei – (01) 14.7%, (02) 12.9%, (03) 15.1%, (04) 14.7%

Doubles – (01) 15.8%, (02) 11.6%, (03) 10.4%

Kazoku Game – (01) 12.0%, (02) 13.7%, (03) 11.1%

Iryu Sosa 3 – (01) 14.6%, (02) 9.8%, (03) 10.8%

TAKE FIVE – (01) 12.3%, (02) 10.5%, (03) 10.5%

Kasuka na Kanojo – (01) 11.8%, (02) 10.2%, (03) 10.7%, (04) 11.6%

Otenki Oneesan – (01) 11.9%, (02) 10.1%, (03) 9.5%, (04) 9.3%

Kakusho – (01) 10.9%, (02) 9.5%, (03) 9.5%

Machigawarechatta Otoko – (01) 8.8%, (02) 6.0%, (03) 5.3%, (04) 5.6%

Late Night Shows

Bad Boys J – (01) 2.5%, (02) 2.2%, (03) 3.1%, (04) 2.5%, (05) 2.0%

After seeing the first episode of 35-sai no Koukousei, I have to admit I was a bit unfair to it. While subdued, it was certainly engaging, and Yonekura Ryoko-san did a far better job than I could have expected. I thought this was much better than the first episode of Doctor-X, especially in terms of putting forward a compelling story right away. There are some problems, though. For the most part, the series takes an extremely series tone about the issues it presents. For the most part. The problem is the supporting cast – especially the character played by Masu Takeshi. Masu-san’s character seems to be in the wrong series, acting like he’s in Great Teacher Onizuka, and the absurdity of this character is totally jarring in every scene he’s in. He’s not the only one, though, as the teaching staff in general seems to have been ported in from a different drama.

I’ll probably give a few more episodes a try, but it’s way too serious for casual entertainment. It’s a lot like Shinryochu, and even while reviewing Shinryochu I mentioned that I would have trouble sitting through an hour of it. Well, that’s what 35-sai no Koukousei is. So, I’ll have to be in just the right mood to watch it – not too good a mood, because then the drama would kill it, and not too bad a mood, because then I’ll be too depressed to do anything for the rest of the day.

Doubles proved to be a solid cop drama with two very dull main characters. The acting was uniformly good and so was the pacing, but neither the characters nor the case really kept my interest. Actually, the case started out good and had some poignant moments, but the characters played it way too cool and detached. The way the case ended also had me shaking my head. So, despite good acting, it feels like the writing and directing is going to let this series’ potential down.