Synopsis

Ando Lloyd is a science fiction/romance drama starring SMAP’s Kimura Takyua and actress/singer Kou Shibasaki. It is a 10 episode series that aired on TBS in Japan from October 13 – December 15 2013.

The story is about an eclectic genius physicist Matsushima Reiji (Takuya) and his IT company employee fiance Asahi Ando (Shibasaki) who become entangled in an assassination plot that spans across time and space.

It begins with Reiji’s research in wormhole theories. This research attracts the attention of a mysterious organization who go on a search and destroy mission for those who are aware of his work. Reiji is eventually killed in a plane crash and his killers start coming after his grieving fiance Asahi.

Suddenly a man who looks like Reiji appears on a mission from the year 2113 to protect Asahi from all harm. This man is Lloyd and he is working on the orders from an unknown client. He is an advanced combat android who doesn’t understand human emotion. He is simply around to take out anyone and anything getting in the way of his primary objective.

At first Lloyd is a nuisance in Ando’s life but eventually her feelings towards him start to change as he begins to develop past the parameters of his artificial intelligence.

Review

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I started watching this while I was in Japan last year. I happened to be chilling in my hotel room channel surfing after a long day of walking around Tokyo and I noticed a show that had an actress I recognized.

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That person was the oh so fine Kou Shibasaki. I also noticed Oshima Yuko all geeked up. (and yet still sexy) I asked my peeps on Twitter what this show was and they said Ando Lloyd. I was only able to watch one episode during my 10 days in Japan, but I hoped that I would be able to pick it up once it got subbed.

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So it was with great anticipation I started watching this drama once the full series was released by fan subbers. Given its premise I wasn’t expecting anything mind blowing. Just something watchable and somewhat entertaining.

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If you decide to take a chance on this series you’ll notice that the story takes some heaping doses of Terminator influences. And thankfully it’s the more from the first 2 Terminator movies instead of the farces that were the later entries in the film franchise.

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The first few episodes of this program move kind of slowly building the foundation for what is to come. There’s a lot of theoretical science stuff going on that sounds like smart person mumbo jumbo but as you get deeper into the show it all makes sense.

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The early episodes also suffer from a bit of the “bad guy of the week” formula but that goes away rather quickly once the show starts to focus on the relationship between Lloyd and Asahi and the plot gets some real meat behind it.

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Once that happens things really start to pick and the pace of the show begins to match the urgency of Asahi’s plight. Much of the latter half of Ando Lloyd builds up to a rather overly dramatic climax. The drama gets laid on real thick and the long speeches/debates about humanity start to get really annoying. Almost to the point where you’re hoping someone would just STFU and get on with the action scenes.

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It’s not necessarily as bad as say Dragonball Z posturing that endlessly goes on for episodes, but it is rather close to that given the short episode count. Even with that small problem Ando Lloyd does manage to stay entertaining up to its predictable, yet rather fitting ending.

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As I watched this drama I noticed that some things didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. I often wondered how Asahi could afford to pay the utility bill with an android charging by her bed every night. I mean, that bill must have been huge even with Lloyd shutting down most of the house so he could get some juice. She must have had a hell of a job at her IT company to bankroll that kind of power consumption.

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Also, one would figure an android who barely changed clothes would get kind of ripe. Perhaps robots from 2113 don’t stink up the joint with major B.O. I guess. Just some silly observations that are no way related to the actual enjoyment of the program or its story.

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Anyway, as I stated above this is a rather entertaining series despite its flaws near the end. It manages to blend sci-fi and drama elements without the two worlds colliding or overtaking each other too much. Of course this isn’t going to be considered high class TV compared to maybe more serious dramas but it is worth the watch.

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Ando Lloyd Blu-Ray Box Set

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Ando Lloyd DVD Box Set

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