Title: Juui Dolittle
Also known as: Veterinarian Dolittle
Broadcast dates: 10/17/10 – 12/19/10
Number of episodes: 9
Cast: Oguri Shun, Inoue Mao, Narimiya Hiroki, Kunimura Jun, Ishizaka Koji
Plot: Tottori Kenichi (Shun) is a extremely talented veterinarian, which has earned him the nickname “Dolittle.” Unfortunately, he is quite rude to the humans that accompany his animal patients. His friend, Hanabishi Masaru (Narimiya), is a famous “Charisma Vet” who is afraid of operating on animals. Together, with nurse Tajima Asuka (Inoue), they try to save as many animals as they can.
What is good: Oguri tackles another new character type! Yay!
What is bad: It can be difficult to like the characters.
Letter rating: C+
I was definitely excited when I heard that Shun, Mao, and Hiroki were doing a drama together. They are so awesome. Considering it had the “Dolittle” title, I expected some sort of animal talking thing. There wasn’t any. It’s simply a nickname because Tottori is good with animals and his name kinda sounds like Dolittle. Ah, well. Onto the review:
I have to admit that, for the most part, I enjoyed the series. It took me a long time to warm up to Tottori but, if you pay close attention, you can see that he’s an ass because he cares for the animals so much. He thinks that their human caretakers are idiots and, most of the time, he’s right. In one episode, a girl allowed her ferret to run free in the house. The ferret chewed on her slippers, swallowed some rubber and almost died. Yet the girl refused to take responsibility for it and when the ferret was well enough to go home…..yup, she let him run free again and the ferret got sick again. It wasn’t until the ferret almost died a second time that she realized her selfishness. So, yeah, I felt that he had every right to be an ass to her.
On the other side, you have Hanabishi. He is very popular and works well with people. Yet he can’t overcome a past trauma, stopping him from being able to operate. He does get along with Tottori so I’m not sure why the two of them didn’t form a partnership. Hanabishi could diagnose the problem and deal with the customer, while Tottori operated and cared for the animals. I think that if they joined forces, they could have been way more successful than they would be separately. Instead, Hanabishi keeps shipping animals off secretly to Tottori’s clinic to be operated on. The whole thing kinda makes me want to bang my head on the table.
Tajima is right in the middle of this. In the first episode, Tottori heals her prized horse. She can’t afford his fee so, after failing to get hired for any of the jobs she applied for, she goes to work for him to pay off the debt. During her tenure at the clinic, she finds her purpose in life. Of all of the characters, she is the one that grows the most throughout the series. To be honest, without her, the show wouldn’t have been nearly as good. There is a hint of romance between her and Tottori but not enough to overwhelm the series. At the end, I was glad that she realized that she wanted to go to school to become an animal nurse.
As a whole, the show is a little slow. There are a variety of animal patients so it was nice to see them work on more than just dogs and cats. However, there is a ton of politicking going on. That part annoyed me. Everyone was all “Let’s help the animals!” but then would stop something because it was against an agenda. Granted, that is how things can be in real life. But this is a television show. It’s not supposed to be too real!
Anyway, if you can look past Tottori’s arrogance and Hanabishi’s want to please everyone, it’s a decent series. It’s more about conservation and helping animals than it is about the humans. The best part is that it’s different from most of the other shows I’ve watched lately. It was refreshing.