Known in Japanese as “Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso”, the description of this show was really not at all what it turned out to be. It sounded very similar to Psych, one of my favorite American shows, but in the end, it wasn’t that at all. It was something better.
Former host Shomei Abeno opens a fortune telling shop called Onmyo, pretending to be the descendant of a famous mentalist. However, he’s not pretending, he’s actually come to the shopping district of Oji, a town in the Kita-ward, Tokyo, for a secret purpose. Along the way, he recruits a high schooler named Shunta to serve as his assistant and helps anyone who will pay him to tell their futures, but Shunta holds a mysterious secret that may change all of Oji.
My original expectation was of a lazy, money-grubbing scam artist, probably with a heart of gold, that’s pretty much what Psych started out as, but this really never had that feeling. Shomei, while he seemed to be interested the money, he also honestly cared about the people he dealt with. In fact, money never seemed to be his primary motivator. It changed as the series went on and I was never sure exactly what he wanted. That was a little problematic. Was he in town to make money? To seek out a werefox? To find someone? To hide from his former life? Who knows?
But when it came down to the wire, his aims were relatively noble and he’d changed from a money-oriented shyster to someone who truly cared about the community. One thing I’m really happy with, they didn’t try to shoehorn a romance between Shomei and Michiko into the story, they didn’t even try. I was a bit worried that they would and the two really had no chemistry between them.
Nishikido Ryo plays Shomei, our mysterious fortune teller. He hasn’t been in much that I’ve seen, other than JOKER Yurusarezaru Sosakan. Then there’s Chinen Yuri as Shunta. Because he’s a young actor, he’s been primarily in school dramas, so again, I come up dry. Then there’s Kurashina Kana who plays Shunta’s teacher Michiko. She’s showed up in Jigoku Shoujo. Finally, Suruga Taro plays Shomei’s childhood best friend Hideyuki. He was in Sakura, which I’ve previously reviewed.
While I’m a little disappointed that it wasn’t what I thought it would be, what it turned out to be was a really fun show with great characters, albeit a bit of a confusing narrative. It felt like they kept shifting the goalposts around, is the fortune telling real? Are the myths real? Yes? No? We really don’t know until the end and there are a lot of red herrings along the way. It’s the characters that make the show though and all of them have heart in their own ways and that makes sitting down to watch worthwhile.