Monday, March 18, 2019

Jmovie review: Destiny Kamakura Monogatari

Its been a while since I've reviewed a jmovie with so many jdoramas to watch. Destiny Kamakura Monogatari has been on my radar since I saw the poster of it in Kamakura more than a year ago. I've been putting off watching it because I was expecting the worst but Destiny is surprisingly decent.

Destiny is a family friendly love story set in a magical Kamakura where there are spirits and monsters with Sakai Masato playing an writer and Takahata Mitsuki playing his wife. The first half feels like a whole bunch of short stories strung together that would have been better served as a jdorama. I did not buy the need for Kamakura police to have this writer has an adviser.

The second half of the movie is where the story gets going and if you like youkai and spirits like me, its a fun ride. I really enjoyed the mix of CG and costumes.


Its not the best but I can feel the effort and detail put into this movie compared to something like the Attack on Titan movies. Great directing work by Yamazaki Takahashi who did the Always San Chome and Parasyte movies.

The main problem with Destiny is the lack of chemistry between the two main actors. Sakai Masato is too much of an eccentric ojisan and Takahata Mitsuki is just too childish for him. Their relationship which is presented in a platonic family friendly way doesn't help either.


If you like Japanese fantasy stuff like in Spirited Away, you'll have fun with Destiny as long as you don't expect too much. Watchable.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

3 nen A gumi Episodes 6 - 10

WHAT I LIKED

1) I certainly did not see the face of the true enemy coming! It is a very bold and pertinent idea for an enemy, especially in this day and age. I like that the story acknowledges that his plan is pretty futile but he has to do it anyway.

2) I didn't hate any of the students. Happy to see Tomita Miu, the main girl from Switched in this.


3) So many things in this show don't make sense. The police are completely useless, the students do not look like they've been living in a classroom for 10 days and why did Hiiragi know something would happen at the end of episode 10 because if it did not, it would have had the opposite consequence. However its all in service to the crazy ending because I can't even begin to imagine how to write a better 10 episode plot to arrive at the same conclusion.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

1) If I hear that stupid phrase 'chanto mukiau' or any other variation with that mukiau word again, I'm going to go nuts. Its the most cliched jdorama/anime plotline dialogue bullshit ever. We get it! Japanese people don't like dealing with people directly and telling people what they actually think but why is this in every single freaking generic jdorama and anime?!

2) Hiiragi's constant preaching and super long freaking speeches full of abstract terms while the students try really hard to look moved. It feels like he is trying to use the Stockholm syndrome to brainwash his students.


SUMMARY

Surprisingly watchable show with interesting plot that has more leaks than the White House. I couldn't help thinking about Suzuki sensei while watching 3 nen A gumi because its the best jdorama on student teacher problems.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pierre Taki arrested for cocaine

So the big news in Japan today is Pierre Taki (pictured on the right) getting caught for cocaine. He's been in a few jdoramas but I mostly know him from movies like Kyouaku. He's also recently been in the Kimutaku Game Judge Eyes.

Why I chose the picture above is that the actor on the left, Hirofumi Arai was charged for sexual assault and as a result, the release of his movie was cancelled.

What has happened is that Sega has immediately cancelled physical and digital sales of the game and this is driving up the price of the game. I am regretting getting the digital version of Judge Eyes instead of physical because who knows if I will be able to redownload the game.

The interesting question is whether sales of the game will officially be cancelled forever? Did Pierre Taki kill any chance of a sequel? Will Sega replace Pierre Taki in the game with a generic actor like they did with Narimiya Hiroki who was also caught in cocaine allegations. If they released an amended version of Judge Eyes, would it even sell? I doubt so unless the get a big name for it and the price of the original game will continue to go up.

Why I chose the picture above is that the actor on the left, Hirofumi Arai was charged for sexual assault and as a result, the release of his movie was cancelled.

I guess what I really want to talk about is should an actor's work be wiped out of existence because they committed a crime? Will Japan stop showing the Attack on Titan or Parasyte movies on tv because Pierre Taki is in them? Or worse, just cut his scenes so the movies don't make sense. Do you stop showing all movies and jdoramas with Hirofumi Arai in them because he has been in a lot of shows?

I don't know. I just find it a waste of so many people's hard work. I guess it depends on whether one can separate performance from a crime.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Black Scandal : So bad I could not take my eyes off it.

Black Scandal is tale of revenge.

5 years ago, actress Fujisaki Sara was framed and falsely accused of having an affair. As a result, her mother committed suicide and her career was finished.

However, in order to get revenge on the people who wronged her, Sara had plastic surgery turning into Yamaguchi Sayaka and managed to get into her former agency Florite as a manager.

Black Scandal is really bad. The acting is bad and there are way too many plot holes. However, it is also unabashedly trashy. I've always wanted a trashy jdorama about all the horrible things that happen in the Japanese entertainment industry.

I don't know why and how I watched all 10 episodes of Black Scandal without skipping.

Maybe I just enjoyed watching Yamaguchi Sayaka going all out in this show cause her character goes through the whole gamut of emotions in this.

I just could not quit Black Scandal the same way I ended watching the whole series of Black Revenge.

Its such a trainwreck of a show that I could not stop staring. Please avoid lest you be sucked in like me only to regret it in the end.

Monday, March 11, 2019

10 reasons to watch Tokusatsu Gagaga Episodes 1-5

1) Tokusatsu Gagaga is about being an otaku as an adult. While we have seen shows about anime and gaming otaku, I've not seen a show where the character is a female tokusatsu otaku.

2) Koshiba Fuka and Kurashina Kana meeting at the hero show and both having different reactions to their conversation.

3) The show is pretty funny and the characters endearing.


4) Tokusatsu Gagaga is a show for people who grew up being told by their parents what to like to dislike or that they are too old to like something.


5) The karaoke scene at the end of episode 4 is gold.

6) The story makes use of tokusatsu tropes against real life situations to great comedic effect..

7) And also plenty of fourth wall breaking jokes.

8) Did I mentioned Kurashina Kana is in it?

9) Tokusatsu Gagaga is just fun...

10).. and a labour of love and you can feel it coming through every scene.

SUMMARY

Very very watchable show and I heartily recommend it to fans of shows like Kanpai Senshi After V. Thanks to antspace for recommending it because I would not have noticed it otherwise. You can the series on nyaa. Big thanks to Big Nova and Lovegen Subs for subbing this series!

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Zettai Seigi Episodes 1+2

I like jdoramas that take an everyday concept and push it to the extreme like what Genkai Danchi did with loving your apartment complex. Zettai Seigi is a show about this person who takes the concept of justice to its extremes. That means even the smallest of rules and without distinguishing between friend nor foe. Can an inflexible justice even be considered justice?


WHAT I LIKED

+ The casting of Yamaguchi Sayaka as the scary main character Noriko and Mimura and Katase Nana as her friends.

+ Love the black humour of the girls relying on Noriko to solve their problems yet at the same time so very afraid of her justice.

+ Zettai Seigi shows that rules are not about justice but making society function because rules when applied without discretion just make life miserable for everyone.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

- The above scene in episode one where the camera was spinning way to fast for no freaking reason. Whoever directed the scene should be fired.

- The ladies need to start talking back to Noriko instead of clamming up everytime she asks whether she was wrong.


SUMMARY

Not really feeling the show yet. Let's see where it will go. So far watchable. If you like black humour shows, give it a try. I forgot to watch Yamaguchi Sakura's Black Scandal from last year so I might give that a go next.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Scandal Senmon Bengoshi Episode 1

At last, I finally found a jdorama that I have no desire to continue past episode 1 and that is Scandal Senmon Bengoshi! With this recent rush of watchable shows, I find I am spending more time on Jdoramas than I want to so Scandal is a breath of stale air for me.

The beginning of the first episode has this one shot moving camera scene where are lawyers have infiltrated a party and each of them are causing enough ruckus so Takeuchi Yuko can approach a politician and blackmail him about his son's sexual harassment case.

The one shot camera is really trying to be cool and I can see that they've spent a crazy deal of time and effort on the shot but all I could think of during the scene was whether all this was necessary. Could they not have ambushed him somewhere and say the words musuko and sekuhara? This smells like like a jdorama trying way to hard to be cool.

Scandal is about a group of lawyers who are in crisis management. Problem is, the show in episode 1 did not show us why they had to be lawyers in the first place and instead of crisis management, Scandal is more about uncovering the truth behind the crisis instead of taking measures to avert it.

Episode 1 was about a threat to an idoru's life and the studio did not hire a specialist security group and instead went for a bunch of lawyers. I don't recall seeing them giving legal advice or going to court. I just completely do not understand the concept of the show just because of the name of the show.

I would have kept watching if it were called Scandal Crisis Management and had no mention of them being lawyers.

The humour wasn't funny and Scandal hasn't given me any reason to care about the characters unlike say The Good Wife. There's a cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 but I don't care. I like Takeuchi Yuko and Mizukawa Asami but the writing for Scandal Senmon Bengoshi is very bad. Avoid.