|Title:||FLESH & BLOOD 3|
|Original work by:||Matsuoka Natsuki (Novel)|
|Cast:||Suwabe Junichi x Fukuyama Jun (諏訪部順一×福山潤)|
|Related drama(s):||FLESH & BLOOD Series|
|Genres:||Action, Adventure, History|
|Synopsis:||Kaito’s first naval battle experience at La Rochelle wasn’t going to be his last, as ship Gloria continues on its mission to bring victory to England.|
Although Gloria didn’t land anywhere, it can’t escape from the violence which never strays too far from pirates. This installation of F&B might seem deceivingly uneventful on a whole, but it actually laid the foundations for what follows after.
Story & Plot
The drama opens to the scene of Kaito learning how to fight with swords. Judging from how things sounded, I imagined him to be having the practice session on the deck and with an audience of everyone else. It must have been not easy and rather pressurising, but Kaito had his hands full with just fending off of Nigel’s attacks. Nigel was quite the strict tutor and he ignored Kaito’s complaints of being tired, requesting for his student to continue until his arms were “broken off”. Although I probably wouldn’t appreciate being treated that way either, somehow it made sense to see this happening in an action story. Kaito snapped finally yelled at Nigel, a show of temper which could have earned his the harshest punishment if he was known to be of age. Fortunately, with Geoffrey’s skillful intervention, Kaito earned himself a lighter punishment which ended the moment they sighted a ship worth plundering.
A naval battle later, the crew of Gloria looted a precious load of cochineal and gained a new ship, as well as the captain, Cachaça who became a wealth of information for Geoffrey with some coaxing. Through an exchange with Cachaça, Kaito also made a shocking discover – that the happenings of this world didn’t go according to what he learned during history lessons. He concluded that this might be one of the parallel universes Kazuya mentioned. Although this wouldn’t affect any other time-traveller as much, it meant a great deal to Kaito who’s depending on his ability of ”divination” to survive in 16 century England. He was very shaken at first, but realises that he had to use all his knowledge to bring Drake and Geoffrey as much benefits as he could.
They then met up with Drake to discuss their next course of action. With Kaito’s help, they drew up a plan to set the port of Cádiz on fire. Fearing for Drake’s life and knowing that there will be landed reinforcements arriving at dawn in Cádiz, Kaito warned Drake that he had to leave the port before dawn. Unfortunately, Drake’s ship was attacked by snipers way before dawn and that only further proved to Kaito that things don’t exactly have to happen according to history. A very shaken Kaito met up with Drake and was reassured of the latter’s well-being. It was pure luck that the sniper missed his target, hitting the person standing next to Drake instead. Convinced of Kaito’s sincere concern for his life, Drake decided to give Kaito a kitten which later became Kaito’s dear companion.
It’s a well-known fact aboard Gloria that Nigel hates cats, but at the sight of Kaito’s delighted face, Geoffrey couldn’t bear separating him from his kitten and Nigel was forced to put up with his sneezing fits whenever he was near the feline. Geoffrey’s growing feelings for Kaito just became glaringly obvious after that.
While guarding one side of the Tagus river and keeping a watchout for the Spanish Armada, they met up with Vicente again. Unlike their fight with the merchant ship earlier on, this fight won’t be as easy. Kaito was “forced” into the bilge, the bottom of the ship where waste water is being stored while Nigel meets Vicente in the ship’s hold and started fighting with the Spaniard. While Vicente is very skilled at swordsmanship, Nigel isn’t any worse off and both were equally matched until Vicente’s subordinate came with news that Drake himself has arrived in aid of Geoffrey. Vicente had no choice but to flee after leaving a message for Kaito. Even though the battle is over, Nigel was injured by Vicente and, knowing how common wound infections are during that era, Kaito was very worried. He might have overreacted, because Nigel was nowhere near dying. But that made one thing clear, that Kaito is starting to care more for Nigel – enough to lose his calm when he thinks he might lose Nigel.
It’s become increasing since the previous instalment that Geoffrey is starting to harbour more feelings for Kaito; from wanting to hide his crueller side from Kaito, to letting Kaito keep the cat despite Nigel’s protests, to getting jealous when Kaito gets closer to Nigel. Although I did wonder if it’s just some sort of possessiveness/selfishness where Geoffrey wants this youth with unusual appearances and “powers” to belong only to him, I guess it’s hard to not fall in love with such a spunky teen who’s genuinely concerned about everyone else’s well-being. While being able to hear Suwabe Junichi in dramas used to be the occasional treat I had to seek, F&B really spoiled me because I’m just hearing so much of his voice these days! It hasn’t lost its special effect on me though, and hearing him speak about Kaito always makes me go awwww. It’s a given that he can do sexy, but who knew he’d be so good at doing the gentle and loving part too?
Kaito was just the usual snarky-mouthed youth who’s got a naïve and caring side to him, but after this instalment I’m starting to find him rather spoiled as well. The whole scene where he’s just more worried about Blackie (his cat) and complaining about going into the bilge got me rather annoyed. He’s treating the “go to the bilge” as a punishment when it’s obviously just a plan for his safety? I’m not sure if that’s how a 17-year-old (?) should be thinking. He can stay in the ship’s hold for all I care, but he’ll probably just get abducted by Vicente which is probably something he doesn’t want either. Anyway, Kaito has become more aware of his own feelings for Geoffrey too and it’s clear that he wants to stay with Geoffrey because he likes the latter, not purely because Geoffrey is someone who’s capable of protecting him. In contrast to Suwabe, Fukuyama Jun is the treat which can be found everywhere, one that I never tire of too. It’s really amazing how well he can play such diverse roles every single time but he’s signature role has got to be Kaito’s sort of character. So you can never go wrong when he’s casted as an outspoken pure-hearted youth.
We’re just starting to see more sides of Nigel and he’s far from the hostile man he was in the previous dramas. If anything, he seems to have a soft spot for Kaito and in Geoffrey’s words, he’s falling for Kaito. There’s nothing bad about it, because we get to hear a gentle Konishi Katsuyuki and there’s nothing more soul-calming than that. While Suwabe’s is an alluring sort of gentle, Konishi’s is pure harmless gentleness which can sound brotherly, fatherly, or just pure loving. Besides seeing the more caring side of Nigel, we also learned about his past and how he got his right eye blinded. That story added another dimension to his character, and as can be expected, Nigel is the sort who will let sentiments get in the way of ruthlessness.
It’s obvious that this drama is just a tiny instalment of something huge, because of the pace it’s going at. In view that there are 18 (and more?) dramas, I can’t really see myself complaining about the slow development or anything. I’m sitting back and enjoying the story for now, because it’s very rare to see such a massive drama focusing on just one long story (you know, not those multi-couple massive dramas with each drama focusing on one couple). F&B is one of a kind and it deserves to be savoured.