Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Can't believe I somehow never wrote a review for the anime. Its a superbly done movie about high school angst wrapped up in an exciting time travel yarn. I absolutely love the kinetic pacing of the movie and Naka Riisa is awesome as Makoto, making her feel less anime and more real character. Must watch anime with so many layers that kids and adults will love it.
WTF decided it was a great idea to spoil the big reveal within the first minute of the dorama?!! That's not actually the dorama's greatest sin. Its greatest sin is turning such a great story into a generic idoru dorama.
Its already got such a great template already with the anime. Maybe its more faithful to the original book but the dorama feels so bland. Avoid. Watch the anime instead. If you've seen the anime before, then watch it again.
The movie is a lot better than the dorama and is a pseudo sequel to the anime with Naka Riisa playing the protagonist role.
Instead of a constantly rewinding time story, the movie has more in common with Back to the Future as Naka Riisa goes back in time to look for someone. With more polish to the script it could have been a real classic but I rather enjoyed it.
Watch the anime, then the movie and avoid the dorama.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Hibana Spark is the second Japanese netflix show after the horrible Underwear. I couldn't even finish the first episode of Underwear because it smelled like a crappy prime time Japanese dorama show. Hibana Spark smells different. Thats because its a philosophical movie about the nature of comedy wrapped up in a story about a struggling manzai duo Sparks.
Also central to the story is Tokunaga's (one half of Sparks) relationship with Kamiya (one half of Ahodora), a senpai who he respects with a skewed sense of humour. Together, they are like monks living a life dedicated to making people laugh while musing about the nature of their occupation. They find in each other the ideal audience for their jokes but the question is whether they can find enough of an audience out there for their acts?
Its surprising Netflix chose Hibana Spark to do because I don't think it plays well to a foreign audience except for the underdog trying to make it in a difficult industry part. I like that its not your usual jdorama but I sort of get what its trying to say but I don't feel it. Hibana Sparks gets a meh from me.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Gnosticism aside, Shizumanu Taiyo is really Fumo Chitai 2.0 and completely blows the movie out of the sky. I had many doubts coming in and everytime I thought the show might drag, the way the story is executed just kept me going.
streaming it from dailymotion here, although one can easily download from dailymotion. The Chinese subs are distracting and I hate it when they cover the Japanese subs when someone is speaking a foreign language. I need a clean no Chinese sub rip and Shizumanu Taiyo deserves to be freaking subbed in English. If you've got basic Japanese, you can watch the movie first and be able to follow the dorama in terms of plot.
Now I need to get to spoiler talk so don't continue reading if you haven't seen it. If you need English subs, write to your senators, petition in d-addicts and raise awareness for Shizumanu Taiyo because it deserves to be watched by as many people as possible instead of stupid Kiritani Mirei romance doramas.
+ OMFG, I need to start of with this. Onchi taking the stand in episode 8 was so fucking cathartic after all that he had been through.
+ The dorama really built up all the trials and difficulties that he encounters so well and I love that the show has time to show all the cultural differences of the three places Onchi is stationed.
+ Onchi taking up hunting is a sort of release and the only way to keep himself sane works really well.
+ The looks his family gives him when they see his house of stuffed animals. As a viewer, you are surprised to see how much his kids have grown but for Onchi's family, they are surprised at how much he has changed and I could really feel that in the acting.
+ There were times during the show I really felt Onchi should quit his freaking job or just promise no more union involvement for his family. The president already lied to him twice and Onchi doesn't need to keep him word anyway.
+ Speaking of the president, what a useless old man who can't even muster the political strength to save one of the few good employees of the company.
= I can't believe all those accidents happened and the airline was so freaking corrupt. I'm assuming everything that happened are based on real incidents.
+ I was so happy for the Samurai Boss cause it was getting tiring watching Onchi get beat down at every turn.
= I missed Gyoten's relationship with the stewardess from the movie though.
= I liked that they series had more time to develop Gyoten and show why he turned but after that he was just a faceless bad guy. In the end its more Onchi's story rather than Onchi and Gyoten.
Two more episodes for season 1 and I have no doubt it will be awesome. The question is the remaining 10 episodes of season 2 about Onchi's investigating the sneering bad guys. Its always better for a dorama to have a stronger second half than a first. However, the first 8 episodes truly made for a memorable viewing experience and nothing that happens later can spoil that. Absolutely, positively must watch jdorama.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
In getting ready to watch WOWOW's Shizumanu Taiyo, I decided to watch the 2009 movie on which the dorama is based on. The 3 hour plus movie starts off with Japan's biggest air disaster and then through flashbacks we see the relationship between Onchi and Gyoten, two leaders of the airline workers union.
Onchi sticks to his guns and his banished to Karachi while Gyoten helps management to set up a new union and works his way up the ranks. Shizumanu Taiyo is the story of two friends that go on two very different paths and is set against the corruption politicians and people in charge of the airline who only want to protect their own interests.
The main character of Onchi reminds me of Goda in WOWOW's Marks no Yama and Lady Joker; the straightforward person who is trying to do the right thing while working in an organisation that is corrupted. Coincidentally, Goda plays Onchi in the dorama version.
However, the movie just feels too uneven and unwieldy. The 3 hour runtime is too short for what the story tried to do and Gyoten and the female characters feel very shortchanged. The movie should have been streamlined even more and the scenes about the air disaster reduced.
stream it here.