Saturday, October 10, 2015

Utawarerumono : Itsuwari no Kamen

The first Utawarerumono game was a low budget visual novel/strategy RPG that was memorable because it was about a smart dude who had to lead his village in an uprising and become the leader of the country because there was no other way. The ending sucked but I liked the characters and cool and smart heroes are not as common in Japanese games.

I was excited for the sequel and after 19 hours, nothing really happens in the story. No particular exciting scene in 19 fucking hours. Plenty of stupid slapsticks and yawn inducing fan service. Contrast with the first game when Hakuoro decides to lead the rebellion or when Aruru saves the day. Itsuwari no Kamen is basically fucking slice of life fantasy featuring a weak main character who gets beat up by his harem of boring girls.

WTF. Its like whoever made Itsuwari no Kamen was oblivious to why the first game was exciting. Japanese RPGs are fucked. Its like Fire Emblem IF where the stupid moe gimmicks take priority over story and lets not forget way too much useless dialogue in this game. If I had bought the disc instead of downloading the game digitally, I would have snapped it in half.  There's no way the people who made the original game are involved in this abomination. This is truly kusoge. I want my 6000 yen and 19 hours back! Should have known it would turn out this way after the Tears to Tiara 2 demo.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Shinjuku Swan review

After the mess that was Tokyo Tribe, I wasn't that excited about Sono Sion's Shinjuku Swan. Plus, I never understood why Ayano Go kept getting those roles.

Shinjuku Swan is a movie about scouts in Shinjuku. They approach girls to work in kyabakuras or health centres and get a cut of the money. Basically, they are yakuza without the tattoos.

A penniless and jobless Ayano Go, gets becomes Iseya Yusuke's underling when he gets into a fight in Shinjuku and finds out he has a knack for scouting girls.

Ayano Go's character can take a lot of punishment and is also kind of straightforward stupid. Iseya Yusuke tells him that a lot of women in the water business are happy because they get to eat good food and buy they expensive handbags and Ayano Go believes him and makes it his mission to make all the girls he scout happy.

This is my favourite part of the movie; the guy who doesn't think too hard and sees the world in his own black and white way while working in a murky grey world.

 This is the first time I've already thought that Ayano Go was pulling his weight in the acting department.

The other takeaway I have from Shinjuku Swan is that Sono Sion should have directed the Ryu ga Gotoku movie.

He knows how to shoot guys in suits a lot better than Miike Takashi.

Shinjuku Swan also feels like Sono Sion's most commercial work in a long time, which is a good thing.

When Sono Sion is allowed to do as he pleases, we end up with movies that have no pace and a narrative that is all over the place like Tokyo Tribe.

Unfortunately, Shinjuku Swan has two problems. First of which is that the main story about the two scout companies doesn't lead anywhere interesting and is more like a set up to what comes next.

The other problem is that Yamada Takayuki's character kinda sucks when he turns out to be a 'how can you understand my feelings' villain.

Despite the let down from the main story, I rather enjoyed Shinjuku Swan. Not to mention, it looks pretty good as well.

I like the character and wouldn't mind seeing a sequel.

Watchable movie as long as you don't expect much but if you want something really good about the Japanese water business, watch the first season of Ushijima-kun.

More Mano Erina wouldn't have hurt though since it was shot before she turned completely anorexic.

 Huge sigh of relief from me that Shinjuku Swan did not suck. I'm looking forward to Sono Sion's 3 other movies that came out this year: Real Onigokko, Love & Peace and the Minna! Esper Dayo! movie.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Autumn 2015 jdoramas that should be subbed


The tokusatsu parody is back for a second season! It was one of my favourite shows from last year. My only fear is if they run out of jokes for season 2. The good folks at megabeast empire are subbing the second season. Do watch the first season if you haven't! My body is ready!


Someone please sub this because there is no way I can understand all the financial mumbo jumbo.


Probably going to be your typical pharmaceutical cover up WOWOW show starring the guy from Love and Farm but Renbutsu Misako is in it and that's all the reason I need.


Odagiri Joe + Ono Machiko = must at least try. 


I don't really care about Kuninaka Shinohara Ryoko but I like everyone else but the most important thing is that the writer is Ozaki Masaya (Black President). Will this end up being a Shiroi Haru or a Last Doctor? Waittaminit, isn't Eguchi Yosuke in Shingari as well? How is he in two jdoramas in the same season? The obvious answer being WOWOW shows are completely shot before airing cause they don't want to let ratings dictate the story.


Black President + Amami Yuki + Writer of Jyoou no Kyoushitsu. Unfortunately, the writer also did Kaseifu no Mita and Maru Maru Tsuma. I will try for the talent but my expectations are very low. Their chemistry might make this watchable.



I love Abe Hiroshi but WOWOW already did the same show years ago (which I need to watch) and I'm pretty sure the WOWOW version of the same story is definitely better than the TBS version.


Is there anyone out there that think Angel Heart is even half as good as City Hunter? To be fair I haven't read it for ages but this might end up being so bad, its actually fun.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Kami wa Saikoro wo Furanai

God does not roll dice is a jdorama a plane that disappears without a trace in 1996. Kobayashi Satomi who's been in a lot of Matsumoto Kana doramas/movies like Pan to Soup and Tokyo Oasis is the employee in charge of dealing with the families. She herself is also a victim because her boyfriend and best friend were also on the flight.

Otsugi Ren plays the crazy scientist who believes that the plane flew into something like a black hole and would reappear 10 years later.

10 years later in 2006, the plane and everyone in it reappears and for them 1996 was just like yesterday. The theme of Kami wa Saikoro wo Furanai is how can people who have experienced change in 10 years reconnect with their loved ones who they have grieved for 10 years?

Its an interesting dorama with a great cast and made me think. Problem is the pacing really drags from the middle and there a few traditional jdorama time wasting tropes.  The other passengers have their own stories which gets built up over the course of the series instead of solving one story each episode but the problem is that the characters are no more than just problems for Kobayashi Satomi to solve and I just wanted them over and done with.

For a show with an interesting and original premise, the execution of it lacked imagination and felt like so many other jdoramas which is a shame. If you like old school jdoramas and the cast and don't mind pacing issues you might enjoy Kami wa Saikoro wo Furanai but it was disappointing for me after starting with so much promise.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

10 Reasons to Watch the Ano Hana jdorama special

1. They got the right actor for Jin-tan.

2. Menma is too kawaii.

3. Menma is too kawaii.

4. Menma is too kawaii.

5. Menma is too kawaii.

6. Menma is too kawaii. (Help! I can't type anything else!)

7. Menma is too kawaii.

8. Menma is too.... wait, is that the Fukada Kyoko stupid look?

9. I could look at Menma all day.

10. Anaru! (No way I could forget her!)

Ano Hana is crying porn but very watchable for me for obvious reasons. I love that they retained the music from the anime. What I didn't like was having separate confession scenes for each character about their Menma guilt which was super repetitive. I can't remember how it went in the anime but the writer should have combined some of the confessions together. Either that or they were padding the time. I think the dorama special lacked more Menma hijinks.

After suffering through the Attack on Titan and Assasination Classroom movies, its nice to see a decent anime translation. Very watchable and bring some tissues.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Assasination Classroom

I've never seen the anime. I only know its quite popular. Its basically GTO with Onizuka being an alien with tentacles and the students are tasked with killing their alien teacher who is threatening to destroy the world. Try not to think to hard about the plot, its basically your unusual teacher teaching life lessons to misunderstood students. On a side note, I think that tentacled aliens should stick to what they do normally do best in anime.

Assassination classroom feels like its trying to cram way too many episodes into one movie and I had problems staying awake as they kept introducing one character after another from a robot girl to Parasyte rip-off hair fighting student. All I kept thinking was, why the hell should I even care about these ever increasing number of characters?

Assassination Classroom is super boring and didn't even make me laugh once. The students are supposed to be underdogs but the movie just lacked pathos for me. Avoid.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ichiban Densha ga Hashitta

Ichiban Densha ga Hashita is a Abe Hiroshi dorama special about the girls who drove the trams or roman densha during WW2 in Hiroshima and the first roman densha to run after the bombing. While it was a brezzy one hour, I wish they had let the old ladies do the talking with images and photos instead of dramatising the story.

I have a feeling that the anime short works better as a story than the dorama special. Watchable but I would not go out of my way.