Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Our House Episodes 1+2

Nojima Shinji reunites with Yamamoto Koji (Hitotsu Yane no Shita) in yet another family dorama with this one being a Ashida Mana vehicle.

THE GOOD

+ Lots of funny and witty Nojima Shinji dialogue. How I miss his writing. However, he hasn't done anything good since Love Shuffle, hasn't he?

+ Love the side characters.


THE BAD

- I never liked Ashida Mana except for in Mother. Her characters are always way too smart and it fits her character in this show but she's like an adult in a kid's body. When she does her crying scenes its just gratuitous and I get flashbacks to Beautiful Rain. I don't think I can ever enjoy her acting until she grows up.

- Can't really blame Nojima Shinji but Charlotte's character uses English in the weirdest of places and she knows some really difficult words and sentences. Same problem with Massan, shouldn't Charlotte and Koji be speaking a lot more English?

- I wish it wasn't doing the usual turn one person into Charlotte's ally per episode formula.

- Zero chemistry between Charlotte and Koji.


THE UGLY

- Taking a taxi from Narita? No idea where they live but the taxi went pass Tokyo Tower. The taxi bill would be crazy.

SUMMARY 

I just can't stand Ashida Mana. She's been monopolising the little girl roles for too long. Too bad the girl from Shiroi Haru retired. Surely there must be other talented young actresses out in Japan? Its hard to enjoy a show when you like the dialogue but don't like the main actor in the show. If you like her, you'll probably enjoy this. If not, it won't make you like her and you're better off watching Hitotsu Yane no Shita. Meh.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Juhan Shuttai! Episodes 1+2

If you want a great show about making anime, I highly recommend Shirobako. If you want a show about making doujinshi, watch Genshiken. A great dorama about manga, watch the excellent Yami no Bansosha. Now we have Juhan Shuttai!, a dorama about manga publishing.

There is a scene in the beginning of Juhan Shuttai! where the cleaner observes that this young man is going into an interview with a fake posture and smile. That is exactly what the main character is.

As Buck said, she is a one dimensional asadora character who comes from the Tomoya Nagase school of overacting. Juhan Shuttai is already a brightly lit and cheerful show but somehow Kuroki Haru just overdoes it even more.

If you can tolerate or ignore her, there's some interesting stuff here especially episode two about the relationship between marketing and staff at bookstores. I love going to bookstores and gaming stores in Japan and to see the behind the scenes stuff about the staff promoting books and creating displays was fun.

The first episode was kind of meh cause Kentarou Miura takes breaks everytime a new Idolmaster game comes out.

I am going to keep watching for the manga stuff and hopefully someone sneaks some valium into Kuroki Haru's drink. Only watch if you are interested in manga publishing stuff and don't expect anything else good.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

Edit: Forgot to include these awesome world building videos:





The airport scene is as good as the reviews say. Pure comicbook joy. I couldn't stop grinning ear to ear. I love how the trailer doesn't spoil the money shots. So weird seeing Spidey interacting with everyone. The only minus is that Vision, being such a powerful character is surprisingly absent for a lot of that fight.

I'm glad we got more Cap and Winter Soldier Jason Bourne action. The fight down the stairs was fun. The thing that left the biggest impression is hot Aunt May played by Marisa Tomei who doesn't look close to 51. You know why Downey is going to be in Spiderman and we all know Tony Stark likes to upgrade.

Also, Cap's mom is not called Martha. Very fun, satisfying almost must watch. The Russo Bros did a good job cramming in so many characters but keeping it a Cap film.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monsterz

Monsterz came out last year and I read bad things about it. Saw it on a public tracker and thought why the hell not, at least its by Nakata Hideo who made Ring and Dark Water. Turns out Monsterz is pretty much a waste of time.

The premise is interesting, its basically evil Professor X with his mind control powers vs Bruce Willis from Unbreakable who is the only person who is immune from his mind control powers. I would say Monsterz suffers from the same sickness that most Japanese action movies do, trying to make things look cool without thinking about why.

Like Fujiwara Tatsuya constantly freezing a whole bunch of people without worrying about passer-bys noticing. This is freaking Tokyo FFS not some small town. Someone just thought wouldn't it be cool to have 50 extras freeze in their steps?

To illustrate how stupid the script is, let's look at one stupid scene at the end where this police dude has a gun to Fujiwara's head. Anyone mind controlled by Fujiwara doesn't remember what they did but he has left a trail of people who killed themselves by twisting their own head since he was a kid. He gets some to take money from a bank and give it to him directly outside said bank and we can assume he's done this many times. I wonder what are the chances there would be security cameras not just in but outside the bank?

So this cop who knows the extent of Fujiwara's powers wastes time to ask him how come the stupid police don't know about his crimes? FFS its not like Fujiwara's character is some smart person who just pulls strings from the shadows to give himself a great life. The whole purpose of that stupid cop scene was to shoehorn this X-Men evolution of species crap speech which no one watching this movie cares about.

He is a stupid ass, petulant child using his powers willy nilly and the movie expects us to believe the cops have no idea. Speaking of the cops, their stupidity knows no bounds. I could go on and on but there are too many stupid things in Monsterz. One or two jumps in logic, here and there, I can go with the flow of the story. When alarm bells go off all over the movie, its just tragic. Avoid unless you enjoy watching bad movies and find how stupid they are amusing.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Kakko no Tamago Dare no Mono Episodes 1-4

Kakko No Tamago Dare no Mono is a Higashino Keigo story about genetics. Tsuchiya Tao is a promising skier like her father and is found to possess the genes for it. Mano Erina resents Tsuchiya Tao's success because of her genetics and the company that sponsors Tsuchiya Tao is is using her as research to find a way to identify this atheletes. For a story about genetics, you can pretty much guess what the twist is going to be but its been quiet entertaining with episodes 3 and 4.

However, I was tempted to stop after episode 1 because I had a few problems with the show. I can accept the story about the special genetic pattern for particular sports thing, but what I didn't like was the casting because non of the actors looked like freaking athletes. What kept me watching is that there doesn't seem to be any new subbed doramas worth watching and everything I have on my to watch list is WOWOW stuff.

I don't know anything about skiing but I'm pretty sure its not a sport like baseball where out of shape people can be pros. It becomes obvious during the stunt shots where you can see the legs of the real skiers versus the skinny actors.

Yeah, Hitsushima Hikari didn't look like a boxer for Oyaji no Senaka but that was more a character story while Kakko no Tamago is more about the twist and mystery. And I hate the guy with the air guitar. He's got an interesting story arc but the constant air guitaring just makes him pretentious.


Once, the mystery got going Kakko no Tamago got more interesting and its not as simple as I thought it would be, which is a good thing. After all its a Higashi Keigo story. I just wish the characters were written better.

At best, Kakko no Tamago Dare no Mono is an ok mystery dorama with bad casting and at worst I will spend 6 episodes looking at super skinny Mano Erina and Tsuchiya Tao. You can find the raws by googling Kakkou EP01 720p HDTV x265-ER. Episode 4 is only watchable by stream only.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Anime) spoilers



I just watched the movie last month and I enjoyed most of it except for the second half which just felt rushed. I wanted to see whether the anime would fix the ending and I found myself being impressed by how much the of the anime of movie managed to cram into its runtime.

SPOILERS

In the movie, Fujinuma gets thrown of the bridge and he somehow survives ending up in the present, running into the killer on a rooftop (not the school, I think it was the bad guy's office or something), getting stabbed and dying. It was very unsatisfying. Not the dying part, just the way there was no build up.

In the movie, he drowns in a car and ends up in a coma for 15 years and wakes up as a kid in an adults body which was the opposite for most of the story. Good thing the memory loss thing didn't last long but they could have done some interesting things with it.


The anime moves very fast to a resolution where the Yashiro is entrap for attempted murder but it was done in a way that doesn't make sense cause Fujinuma wheeled himself off in the first place. How do you prove that in a court of law? Yashiro could have said Fujinuma tried to commit suicide and he tried to save him. It just seems like a cop out ending.

The anime also has this added point about how the Yashiro has not commited any crimes since Fujinuma was in a coma because he needed him to provide motivation. Gee, he never killed any kids before Fujinuma caught his scent? Maybe I'm confusing the anime with the movie because in the movie he had committed similar crimes before. Its just a lame attempt at the Batman and Joker I made you and you made me thing.


The ending should be all the friends who are now adults and who have been buying their time, doing a 20th Century Boys mission to expose this powerful politician with maybe some heavy costs. This story needs that Kenji gathering all this friends to save the world feel.

I had a quick look at Volume 7 of the manga. Looks like the anime and movie had the problems with creating an ending for a manga that had not yet ended and both went the quick, easy and not so satisfying route. In a sense, it can't be helped and they should have waited for the manga to finish first but I'm pretty sure we're going to get an animated movie with the true ending down the line.

Oh yeah, I didn't like how super stereotypical cooldere Kayo was. She felt way too adult compared to the movie.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kumamoto Earthquake

Woke up on Saturday to find out that Kumamoto had been struck by a second earthquake measuring 7.3. Kumamoto is my favourite city in Kyushu because its a lot cheaper than Fukuoka and the drinking places open until morning.

I contacted Asami who runs her own bar in Kumamoto yesterday and she had spend the whole morning with her employees at a park after. Shinkansen are not running and the airport and highway are closed so there's no way out. It got me thinking I could have been stuck in Kyushu for a week or two since I go there so often. (Just enter Kumamoto into the search bar for plenty of pictures)


There's suppose to be another aftershock sometime next week so she may close shop for a whole week, not to mention the place is already a mess. No point cleaning up now if everything is just going to fall over again.

Hopefully the aftershock is a mild one and there are no more casualties. Ganbatte Kumamoto! 頑張って熊本!