23 April 2002 | poikkeus
A comedy classic worth the search
Popularly known as SHOMUMI, this delightful serial that set the standard for elaborately designed set pieces and a cinematic storytelling style. Deep in the bowels of a Japanese corporation, a group of office ladies have been doomed for any number of faults, personal or otherwise. They cover the range of standard office personalities -- a coldly efficient secretary, a psychic, a sexpot, the naive newcomer, and their leader (Makiko Esumi, the actress from MABOROSI and PISTOL OPERA, a statuesque beauty who shouldn't be crossed. Of course, the secretarial pool (the caste above them) hates them and personnel wants to get rid of them, but their amazing ability to slither out of disasters awes some of the smarter senior managers. It doesn't hurt that the serial has a wonderful musical score (which is available) and a lively visual style that delights even if you don't know Japanese. The subtitled version was apparently shown in NY, and may still be available through fansub channels. It's special enough to warrant the search. It's sequel, simply titled OFFICE LADIES, is widely available as an unsubbed VCD set.