Ando Lloyd “A.I. Knows Love?” Episode 1.

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Let me just start off this post by saying wow. And I don’t mean just wow, I mean wowwwwww. I watched the first Episode of Ando Llloyd(安堂ロイド) last night and I was very, very impressed. It’s a new J-Drama airing on Sunday nights on Japan’s TBS network, starring Takuya Kimura as the lead. It’s a young married couple. The husband’s name is Reiji and he works as a a Professor at a university, the wife’s name is Asahi and she works at an I.T. company. It’s kind of cute because the two of them met…

Playing an online mahjong app together. After getting beaten by Reiji multiple times Asahi tracks him down and meets him in person, suspecting that he is cheating using robotics software. After the two meet they get closer and closer and even though Reiji is not much of a people person they connect on a very deep level and end up getting married. He talks many times about “protecting” Asahi from something but isn’t really specific about what, so it seems like some sort of cheesy couple joke at first but we find out later that’s not. I’m not too sure what the timeline is on this, but the story starts off sometime after they have gotten married. It kind of jumps back and forth so I thought I’d get that part out of the way first.

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What’s the main focus of this drama?

Bare with me, this is going to be a long read – there’s a lot to explain. One day after giving a lesson at the university, Reiji goes back into his office and tells a work colleague(his sister) that he has a theory there is a 100% chance he will be killed on that day within a few hours. He has a list prepared to support his theory, with a bunch of other peoples’ names who were killed on the exact time and dates the list provides. Reiji is, of course, next on the list to be killed. He makes some brief comments about having to protect Asahi and then leaves work, suspiciously without his glasses. At the same time Asahi is getting calls at work from him and while the voice is his she is really weirded out by it. The first call was made on the office’s landline and is the real him, he reports to her that he thinks he is going to be killed within a few hours and hangs up. The second call is made to her cellphone and she knows that this call is fake because he doesn’t even know her cellphone number(like I said he’s bad with people and doesn’t seem to care about that kind of thing).

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Reiji heads to the airport and finds a girl(well actually, an android) there waiting for him. He made sure he wasn’t carrying his passport and he picked the airport specifically because of the number of cameras there. He originally thought that this might be enough to stop him from getting killed but he finds out that he was sorely wrong when the android essentially warps the both of them to some kind of alternative reality that the cameras can’t record and shows him a copy of his passport that she is carrying. I think she kind of gets tired of his antics because she shoots him earlier than his planned time of death. Before he dies he says that he will “definitely beat her” and when she snidely asks him how he says “by fighting over and over again until I do”. She shoots him again a few more times and he dies from these final shots.

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Everything is going to plan and there is fake information on the news saying that Reiji got on a plane to India and that the plane was having some issues. This is how they fake his cause of death to the world. So Reiji dies, like he said that he would. Asahi returns home and spends the night reminiscing about their times together as a married couple, alone. She cries herself to sleep and wakes up the next day looking depressed as hell. She starts making her way to work and is tailed by a detective who also knows about the death list(this is another subplot that looks pretty interesting in itself). After she has left the house Reiji’s computer starts running some programs on its own and it uses what I think is called a “5D printer” to re-create an android copy of Reiji.

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At the train station Asahi is waiting near the tracks and is pushed off the platform by some kind of invisible hand. The detective sees this and quickly runs over to the tracks to try and help her but she is nowhere to be seen. This is because the new, android Reiji saves her right at the last minute. They end up in a room far away from the train station, and they talk for a little. The android looks just like Reiji but personality-wise is nothing like him and Asahi is immediately disappointed about this. The android has been ordered by some kind of “client” to make sure that Asahi is not killed. When she asks if Reiji is dead the android says “No, he isn’t dead. He has been killed“. Robot Reiji gives Asahi his glasses and shows her a movie of the real Reiji being killed.

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After this the android enemy comes to kill Robot Reiji and Asahi. Robot Reiji protects Asahi and runs away with her but they get cornered again along the way and he is way out of his league. He gets his ass handed to him, is punched pretty much miles away and lands in an abandoned house. A nurse android then appears out of nowhere and starts repairing his drives. During this he accidentally acquires some kind of new O.S. called Asura and this boots up just before the bad police android can shoot Asahi. With the new O.S. on he gets serious and absolutely destroys the enemy android. Before he kills her she reveals that she’s from some kind of future police unit and that she isn’t the only android after him, there are 10 others on the case too and they all have higher specs than Robot Reiji. He says it’ll be no problem and that he’ll beat them all and when she asks him now he repeats the “by fighting over and over again until I do” phrase. Anyway, he pretty much sticks his finger into her robot brain and wrecks it – killing her.

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After all this happens Asahi is still really depressed and tries to actually kill herself by jumping off train tracks at the same place she almost got murdered. Robot Reiji again just makes it in time to save her and transports her somewhere safe. He is not happy at all about her trying to kill herself and says that if she wants to die so badly, he’ll kill her. The episode then ends with him requesting permission from the server(I guess?) to kill her. He receives it and that’s where Episode 1 finishes.

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Is this drama worth watching?

If you could only watch one drama from this season this is what I would tell you to watch. There are some other good dramas out this season but nothing I have watched so far is on the same level as this. I actually found myself watching parts of it again this morning when I woke up, that is how much I enjoyed it. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. A lot of Japanese people I’ve talked to say that Takuya Kimura’s acting is the same in every drama he’s in but I disagree completely. I think that he’s a great actor, and I liked him a lot in PRICELESS as well. His transition between the warm, loveable Human Reiji and the cold, calculated Robot Reiji was absolutely flawless too. So look, if you want me to put it into star terms this drama gets 5 stars. If you understand Japanese Watch. It. Now. If you don’t there’s word that HaroRangers will be taking on the drama for subbing, but if they don’t produce anything I’ll just do it myself. This drama is way too good to go untranslated. Anyone else seen this yet? Tell me what you thought of it below.

5 thoughts on “Ando Lloyd “A.I. Knows Love?” Episode 1.

  1. I was eager to see this drama cause I absolute love Takuya, and when I read the plot I thought I must wacht this, and when I wachted I was like wooww I liked very much. And I agree with you I think that Takuya’s a great actor and that one I can say for sure cause I’ve watched more than 10 dramas with and I like all of them. the CG was good and the fighting scenes were good too. It’s not a total new plot other Hollywood movies used too, but is different in the dorama world and I think it has a different touch. I Just don’t.like some japanese netizens bash him for his age, first this man doesn’t seem like 40 at all, second Brad Pitt goes killing Zombies and his almost 50 and no one says a thing, age is not really a problem when you have the skill.

  2. This drama is indeed very interesting. The CG and the action is not something you would see in any J-dramas this day. it’s like watching an anime live action 😀 but i think the first 30 minutes is a bit to fast, so many information we get with no further explanation. and many cast at once. i wish they do in 1 episode instead, and explore Reiji more.. *sigh* maybe they intended to do it in later episode, i can’t complained much.. Takuya acting is never disappointing me, but i can;t feel Kou sadness at all in here. anyway, looking forward how the story turn out. ^^

  3. Not often do I find a blog by a foreigner and especially a guy that enjoys Takuya Kimura’s work! Nice write up:)

    Being such a long time fan of this man it is always painful to wait one whole year for him to be on screen. Watched Ep. 1 without subs (I dont understand Japanese at all) & thoroughly enjoyed watching this side of Takuya. The fighting scenes were great, Takuya seriously should do more action dramas or even films, he threw some mean punches!! And the way he collapsed on the floor when his booster shot was completely consumed was incredible! What he could do w/ his legs?!?!

    I agree with you, Takuya acting is excellent & absolutely flawless. No he definitely does not “act the same” in every single drama of his. He brings life & believability to every character he plays, and he also manages to bring out the best acting of his support cast members.. I personally can’t think of another Japanese actor that captivates me like he does w/ his acting..

    Tonight I will finally get to re-watch it again w/ English Subs and will finally understand exactly what’s going on! LOL

    Btw, I don’t think Reiji & Asahi actually got married, weren’t there a stack of wedding invites & magazines on the small table where Asahi cried herself to sleep?

  4. Hallo!

    Would you mind directing me to where I can watch “Ando Lloyd” online? I don’t need subtitles. I’ve been having a hard time tracking down a good copy so I’d greatly appreciate it if you could perhaps post a link to where you are watching this? Thank you kindly! Your recap was a blast to read. You put down in paper all of my own thoughts as well.

  5. Pingback: REVIEW Ando Lloyd (J-Dorama 2013) | Elang Kelana

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