Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quartet Episodes 9+10

1) Matsu Takako has basically guaranteed herself the best actress award from 2017 The only way she would lose is if Mitsushima Hikari or Ando Sakura played the lead role in another Sakamoto Yuji dorama this year.

2) Its nice to see Sakamoto Yuji return to form after that oversentimental Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite kitto Naite Shimau. While we're on that subject, can some Japanese politician please pass a law restricting the number words possible in a jdorama title?

3) While Quartet is a masterpiece, its still not in the rarified stratosphere of instant classic titles like Soredemo Ikite Yuku or KDO.

4) I would rank Quartet among Sakamoto Yuji's best works below Soredemo Ikite Yuku and Mosaic Japan and above everything else including Last Christmas, Woman, Mother, Chase, Itoshi Kimi E, Saikou no Rikon and Tokyo Love Story. That is a crazy good body of work that any writer would kill to have. Maybe I should give Mondai no Aru restaurant another go? Nah.

5) I love how Suzume shrugs her shoulders after getting a hug from Arisu as if to nulify it.

6) The humour in Quartet is perfect. Its not dumb anime humour but rather smart wordplay jokes that reveal so much about the characters and I love how the jokes always come full circle. Takahashi Issei's deadpan expressions are gold.

7) I love how the ending doesn't give closure to the romantic storylines because Quartet is ultimately about friendship.

8) I do not want a second season or a stupid dorama special. Please! Don't ruin is prefect jdorama!

9) I will never look at karaage with lemon and parsley the same way again.

10) How I hate that backstabbing, thieving Arisu who works at the restaurant. I can't believe the ending that Sakamoto Yuji gave her!

11) 10 episodes is just the magic number of episodes to spend time with these 4 wonderful people.

11) Quartet is a magical show about people trying to find their place in the world and do something meaningful and their friendship as they help and accept each other for who they are. If you are not watching Quartet, you don't deserve to be watching jdoramas.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gantz : 0

I have been waiting for this for a long time and its finally here! As a Gantz manga fan, this CG movie scratches the Gantz itch for ordinary people being placed in crazy situations and doing extraordinary things. I was grinning ear to ear watching this movie based on the Osaka arc of the manga.

The important question is of course, can someone who has not read Gantz enjoy this movie? The answer is maybe as there are certain things which might be off putting to some people such as the portrayal of women in the movie. On the other hand, isn't it nice to have a movie where people don't just suddenly know how to fight just because they have super powers?

Newbies might find the characters a tad on the shallow side but for fans like me, I know the characters so well from the manga and its so good to see them in action. A lot of the characters' backstories are hinted at and its up to the uninitiated audience to pick up on it.

For fans like me, Gantz: 0 is a must watch. I enjoyed the movies but it did not have the dubget to bring to life all the crazy stuff we read in the manga. For the uninitiated, keep your expectations really low and hopefully you'll enjoy it enough to seek the manga. If you're not into beautiful women in tight leather outfits and crazy violent action, Gantz : 0 is not for you. Please excuse lack of screenshots as I often get in trouble with google copyright with anime stuff.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Thrill!! Aka no Sho and Kuro no Sho Eps 1+2


Thrill!! feels like the spiritual successor to Trick with its dry humour and similar characters. First, we have Komatsu Nana (Yume wo Ataereru) in the Nakama Yukie role an OL who works in the general department for the police. She's the smart character of the show and was raised by a swindler father so she is skilled in picking pockets and stuff like that.

Koide Keisuke is the Abe Hiroshi of the show as the not so smart but not so dumb cop who teams up with Komatsu Nana to solve the crimes. There chemistry is not really there for the four episodes so far but they are the central characters for the aka or red episodes.

In the Yabe Kenzo role is Yamamoto Koji as struggling lawyer with no scruples who is not that smart but knows how to run away. He is the highlight of the show for me because he is constantly being used by bad guys to commit crimes and in the end gets rejected by said bad guys when he offers to defend them.

The four episodes so far have been watchable but I'm not feeling the show because it needs more humour and chemistry between the two mains. I don't really remember the mysteries that got solved in Trick but I certainly remember all the bickering that Abe Hiroshi did with Nakama Yukie. I kind of feel the pacing is a bit slow and the episodes could have been trimmed by 5 minutes.

Watchable but I was doing other stuff while watching at the same time.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why Quartet episodes 6 and 7 are must watch

1) Sakamoto Yuji might be the greatest jdorama writer ever. He bloody gets character.How the hell did he managed to think of these four quirky characters put them together and make them so fun.

2) Episode 6 with the story of Maki's marriage is just so beautiful and sad and completely fits her character.

3) Episode 7 dinner table scene. Very, very few people can create those excruciating scenes like in Soredemo Ikite Yuku and Woman where you are holding your breath, feeling tension emanating from the screen except this time, its a melancholic climax where the only thing that happens is acceptance and it is beautiful.

4) Matsu Takako is almost a shoo in for the Hamsapsukebe best actress award. I would love to see someone beat her though.


5) Everyone ignoring Beppu's pun at the end of episode 7.


6) Matsu Takako imitating Mitsushima Hikari.

If you're not watching Quartet, something is wrong with you!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Okaasan, Musume wo Yamete ii desu ka? Episodes 1-6

I was going to ignore 'Mom, May I quit being your daughter' because of Haru. I hated her casting in Border as she was way too young to be playing a coroner. I just hate the way jdoramas always age down their characters to the point of unbelievability and it told me that Haru is just another overpushed actress. Bframe told me that Musume wo yamete was not bad and I gave it a shot.

WHAT I LIKED

+ Its a psychological show about a mom and daughter who are too relient on each other. Daughter lives to please mother and looks at her mom's face before making decisions while mom encourages such behaviour and treats her like a doll.

+ Its an analogy of Japanese society in that its about trying to hard to please other people and putting up with things to the point of putting on too much stress on oneself.

+ The father's company wants to get rid of him and puts him in a room with other colleagues doing menial jobs, trying to get them to quit out of boredom. I've read about such things in the news but its the first time I've seen it in jdoramas that I can remember.

+ The parallel between Haru's story and her student's.
.
+ The acting is not bad. Nothing to complain about.

+ Get to see how Japanese actually learn English in class and it explains a lot of things. lol

Can't believe Japanese students are learning what Australia Day is for (question 3). I'm pretty sure most Aussies don't even know.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

- This 'wall' appears in episode 6 and I did not buy the build up.

- Not confident in the ending despite liking the characters.

THE UGLY

= They managed to make the Smurfs Lullaby into such an ominous song. :)


VERDICT

Surprisingly watchable. Let's see where the last two episodes go.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

You should only watch Tokyo Tarareba Musume if.....

1) You can believe that Yoshitaka Yuriko, Eikura Nana and Oshima Yuko are 30 something girls. (All 3 are not even 30 and non of them look older than 25.)

2) You can believe your average Japanese guy would choose generic looking girls in their early 20s over them.

3) You find watching 30 year old women in love with love drinking getting neurotic together a funny thing.

4) You find adult women acting like schoolgirls in front of ikemen with entertaining.

5) You are a diehard Yoshitaka Yuriko fan. (I like her but even I got my limits, which is 2 episodes)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rakuen


One day an old couple's house is burned down and the father confesses to the police that 16 years ago, he killed his teenage daughter and buried her under the floor. The statute of limitations on the murder had expired but why tell the police?

At the same time, Nakama Yukie who is a journalist is visited by a mother who claims that her son can into other people's minds and had drawn about the house that was burnt down. Of course the two incidents somehow have a link and we follow Nakama Yukie as she tries to piece the clues together.

I 'm surprised I had not written something about Rakuen earlier. Its my other show that I was excited for besides Quartet. How good the show is rests on how good the final reveal is and I liked it and it brought everything full circle. I was actually very worried that the story would go for an elaborate twist from the left field but its good the reveal is the one that makes the most sense and it wonderfully answered my nagging concern about a certain character throughout the series.

I really liked Kobayashi Kaoru as the father and Kaho as the daughter. If I have a complaint about Rakuen, its that Nakama Yukie is in it too much. Well done WOWOW. You really know how to make good thrillers. Very watchable and thanks to natka for subbing this show!