Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jdorama review: She

She is a surprisingly decent high school angst cum mystery show.

One day girl with seemingy perfect life disappears and her friends have to figure out the reason for her disappearance.

Of course, everyone has secrets and everyone's true face/intentions come to the surface while they try to figure out their missing friend's.

First off, I love how easy it is to watch. Just 5 episodes at 20 minutes each. I'm finding the usual 10 episode doramas generally too long and a lot of shows can't avoid repetition or wasting time.

The story moves at a brisk pace and there is a kind of energy to it that makes it easy to watch.

The mystery is surprisingly decent with plenty of twists and turns and a satisfying ending and generally I have no complaints. Watchable.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Gonin no Junko

I completely forgot about Gonin no Junko. Thanks to Cyberwave for reminding me about it.

As the name suggests, its a show about 5 women named Junko: Serial killer Junko, personal assistant Junko, call centre Junko, deceased Junko and housewife Junko.

This made for confusing watching at times because I had to stop to make sure which Junko someone was talking about.

My one problem was that the twist could be seen coming from the very beginning.

That's not really the problem but rather I didn't really care about two of the five Junkos: the deceased mother and the apartment housewife.

The show is about how the various Junkos effected each other but I was more concerned with the Matsuyuki Yasuko, Mimura and Koike Eiko story.

I like the idea behind Matsuyuki Yasuko's (playing the assistant of the writer) ending but it reminded me too much of the Suspect X ending.

The personal assistant Junko is the most interesting Junko of the bunch because her motivation is implied throughout the series and we finally see the lengths that she would go for in the end.

As for the super foreseeable twist, we get a twist on that after the credits but it doesn't really have any impact on the story for me.

Gonin no Junko just didn't work for me. In the beginning, Matsuyuki Yasuko says a line about the butterfly effect but I just didn't feel the any of the effects were particularly interesting.

Gonin no Junko is an OK show where I just feel indifferent about the characters but I could stare into Kobayashi Ryoko's eyes all day.

Thursday, February 04, 2016



WTF is Oguri Shun doing the Nobunaga Concerto movie and Ouroboros instead of the sequel Border?

WTF is Densha in so many shows. Is he becoming the new Kita Yoshio?

WTF does Risk no Kamisama have nothing to do with risk assessment/prevention?

WTF can't jdoramas do action scenes properly without insulting intelligence. I'm looking at you Siren/Angel Heart/Ouroboros.

WTF did anyone think that Death Note needed remaking?

WTF do season 3 of Doctors just to rehash the same thing?

WTF hasn't anyone uploaded Panic In?

The one show I want to watch in Shingari but the lack of Japanese subs makes its very difficult to follow all the bloody business terms.



I don't normally watch dorama specials because most of them are idol pushing someone has fatal disease stories but I can't imagine anything more entertaining than this.



Honourable mention to Kikuchi Rinko and Kaho in Yume o Ataeru.



Shout out to Takito Kenichi for Zainin no Uso, the first time I've never seen him overact.



I normally don't think of Aibu Saki as a good actress (though I really like her in Angel Heart) but this was the role of her career and she absolutely owned the character.

Honourable mentions to Kimura Tae for Boku no Tsuma to Kekkon shite kudasai and Suzuki Kyoka for Dakara Koya.



Yami no Bansosha wouldn't have been as fun without him.

Honourable mention to Ito Hideaki for Zainin no Uso.



Best slow, feel good show of the year. The ending to episode 9 is so heartwrenchingly good.


I love how every episode ends in a cliffhanger with great music. WOWOW are the masters of suspense doramas.


Inconsistent acting does not prevent Tenshi no Knife from being a must watch show cause the script and Kurashina Kana are so good.


Ito Hideaki's best work.



2015 was truly the year of WOWOW shows and they have shown that tightly scripted 5-6 episode doramas are better unless the material actually requires 10 episodes. WOWOW has truly stepped up their game and they are so much better than everyone else. If only Japanese subs for their shows were available.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Real Onigokko / Tag

Real Onigokko is Sono Sion's fourth movie of 2015 after Tokyo Tribe, Shinjuku Swan and Love & Peace and is surprisingly his best of the lot.

Its a low budget one and a half hour chase sequence starring Triendl Reina, Shinoda Mariko and Mano Erina as the same character.

Real Onigokko feels like Sono Sion at his best after he seemed to have lost his way with Tokyo Tribe and trying to be family family friendly with Love & Peace.

And I'm not saying that just because upskirts are back.

Real Onigokko is a chase movie where a lot of weird stuff happens and it never slowed down for me to think too much.

Triendl Reina does a decent job of looking scared and screaming throughout the movie.

If there's one flaw for Real Onigokko, its the artistic ending.

Watching this whole chase sequence of a movie, at the back of my mind I was thinking that all these clues will lead to some mind blowing ending.

It was more like a WTF is the purpose of this movie ending.

But after a while, I started thinking about Real Onigokko metaphorically/symbolically it started to make sense. Hint: Last boss represents patriarchal society.

Once I started from there, everything in the movie fell into place including some of the really weird wtf stuff.

You might be looking at the picture thinking this doesn't look like a chase movie! I assure you, its a pretty exciting chase movie.

One of Sono Sion's better works IMO. I don't think there is anyone who will not like most of the movie but I don't think everyone will get the ending and what the movie is about.

Highly recommended but its not for everyone. The raw is available at nyaa and English subbed version at avista under the English title Tag.

Forgot to mention the music is really good. Best Sono Sion soundtrack since Love Exposure.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sono Sion's Love & Peace

I can't believe Sono Sion made a movie without an upskirt shot. I'm pretty sure he spliced in a frame or two into the movie ala Tyler Durden but this is the first time I've seen him do a family friendly movie.

In Love & Peace, Hasegawa Hiroki plays an socially awkward salaryman who becomes this rock star called Wild Ryo thanks to his pet turtle.

Running alongside the Wild Ryo part is a story about an old man living in the sewers with abandoned toys and animals.

The two stories don't mesh for me because Wild Ryo is about someone who makes it but is afraid and ashamed of who he was and the old man in sewer story is about toys and animals wanting to be wanted.

The toy story is necessary for somethings to happen in the Wild Ryo story but Sono Sion should have cut it down for more Aso Kumiko who is criminally underused in this movie.

Despite my complaints, Love & Peace is a fun, entertaining movie with two very memorable songs. I just wish it didn't feel like two different movies in one for me. Watchable but only for Sono Sion fans.