Friday, January 30, 2015

Dakara Koya Eps 1+2


Dakara Koya starts of with Suzuki Kyoka playing the perfect housewife who is ignored and abused by her husband and two sons. She gets fed up, drives off in her car and starts encountering some interesting people and situations on the way to Nagasaki.


Dakara Koya is a pretty funny solo housewife road trip movie. There are your typical housewifey stuff like the best friend who chose her career being jealous of each other but the thing I enjoyed the most is Suzuki Kyoka meeting all sorts of people and her reactions to them.


This show has potential to be must watch as long as they can keep things interesting and not fall into the same pattern as all housewife run away from home doramas. Good two episodes so far and Suzuki Kyoka can carry a show. Thanks to antspace for recommending Dakara Koya!



WHERE TO DOWNLOAD JDORAMAS

jdramacity.blogspot.com

The best place to get your mainstream doramas with a good number of seeds as long as they are subbed. No WOWOW shows.

nyaa.se

Has some doramas. Change your category to live action to search.

doramax264.com

Direct download links reencoded to 480p. This is where I get Daraka Koya. I like the smaller encodes cause I'm too lazy to download huge files split into multiple parts. You can even find the not famous jdoramas like Hamon.

japandownload.com

Direct download links. Gonna take a while to download unless you pay for premium.

asiatorrents.me

Private tracker.  Good for getting older stuff with seeds.

jpddl.com

Its got everything!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Date Ep 1


Date is about a 35 year old neet who has never worked a day in his life played by Hasegawa Hiroki and this very rigid civil servant played by Anne who both register at a dating agency and chose each other their own reasons. Both are socially inept and putting both together is comedy gold.


The first episode is about their very awkward first date and then it flashbacks to show their respective backgrounds, how they got together in the first place and why Anne kept doing the duck face. lol


The first thing that jumped at me was how weird and interesting the two characters were. The second and selling point of the movie is the dialogue by Kosawa Ryota (Suzuki Sensei/Gaiji Keisatsu). The rapid fire dialogue is very funny, especially coming from Anne.


I rather enjoyed the first episode. Lots of laugh out loud moments and dialogue. Kuninaka Ryoko is once again relegated supporting character but at least the actress this time does a decent job at the main role. I can't even think of a dorama where Kuninaka Ryoko plays a leading role besides Churasan. At least she's not playing her usual ojousan role.


Pretty funny. Let's see whether Kosawa Ryota can keep this up.

SONO SION'S LOVE & PEACE AND SHINJUKU SWAN


Speaking of Hasegawa Hiroki, Sono Sion has got two movies coming out this year. The synopsis for Love & Peace sounds pretty crazy:


In the summer of 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. Ryoichi dreamed of becoming a punk rocker when he was younger, but became a timid salaryman at a musical instrument parts company. He has feelings for Yuko, but he can't tell her how he feels..

One day, he has a fateful meeting with a turtle on the rooftop of a department store. He names the turtle Pikadon and he adores it, but his co-workers laugh at him. Ryoichi throws Pikadon into the toilet. He regrets what he did. The turtle though goes through sewerage and meets an old man who lives in the underground. Something then happens.


This could be Sono Sion's Zebraman or could it could be just another B grade movie with structural issues like his last movie Tokyo Tribe. I just hope Mano Erina has a substantial role in this. I feel like his work has become crazier like Miike Takashi's and less emphasis on story. Let's hope he gets back on track cause he is one talented directed.


His other movie is Shinjuku Swan with Erika-sama, Ayano Gou, Ushijima-kun and Iseya Yusuke. There is a 2007 midnight dorama which I very much want to watch right now. Anything with Kabukicho, hostesses and red light district stuff is right up my alley. This making of video is interesting cause you can see how perverted he is. lol.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ghost in the Shell : Arise


Ghost in the Shell: Arise is a four part OVA reboot/prequel to the acclaimed series. Unfortunately, it can't even hold a candle to Stand Alone Complex. When you do a prequel, its to explore how characters become what they are or to uncover something hidden in their past.


I am excited about Ryu ga Gotoku 0 because I want to see how Majima goes from serious hitman to the crazy knife wielding, karaoke dancing maniac that fans love. In GITS Arise, we get to see how Kusanagi forms her squad but all the character beats are way too familiar and were done a lot better in SAC. Kusanagi is more humanised but it doesn't lead anywhere interesting.


In addition, a lot of the sci-fi philosophy GITS Arise goes through have been done a lot better in the SAC. It doesn't help that pacing is uneven and they crammed too much into the final episode. Arise made me go back and start rewatching SAC and SAC is so much better. Coincidentally, the writer for Arise is Ubukata Tow, the writer of the horrible second season of Psycho Pass. Its not easy trying to follow greatness but in both Psycho Pass and GITS Arise, both feel like he doesn't have a strong story to tell.


I don't really see the point of this reboot. Its just a much poorer version of a classic anime series. Avoid and rewatch Stand Alone Complex.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ouroboros Ep 1


Ouroboros is our second revenge jdorama of the season. Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma who grew up in an orphanage team up to avenge Hirosue Ryoko's death. Oguri Shun's desire for revenge may have something to do with Hirosue Ryoko assaulting him with her lips when he was a kid.


Oguri Shun joins the yakuza and Toma becomes a cop in order to find the policeman with the golden rolex who covered up the incident. I can't wait for the show to start throwing all the gold rolex wearing red herring cops and for cliffhanger dialogue like, "Does your father wear a golden rolex?". Beware the golden rolex organization!


WHAT I LIKED

+ The main characters actually kill and people actually die. Yeah!

+ The emphasis of the story is revenge and it doesn't get bogged down with peripheral stuff like Mondai no Aru.

+ The episode one story is a reflection of the two main characters' desire for revenge.

+ Ueno Juri! She's not that convincing as a cop but she's still miles better than Ueto Aya.


WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

- They have to stop meeting up in public so often. I get the whole talk with backs to each other bit is suppose to be cool but Oguri Shun is a yakuza boss and is pretty recognisable. Neither of them must have watched Infernal Affairs.


- There was no one in near the alleyway at the end of the episode who heard the multiple gunshots? Why risk your secret alliance so you can stand together and try to look cool for the camera?

- The goddamn boy band theme song that does not fit a revenge dorama. No one has the balls to say maybe a haunting theme song like Odani Misako's Who from Gonzo would work better? The ending at the two characters reaffirming their desire for revenge and there's this teeny bopper happy song playing. WTF?!


SUMMARY

Watchable first episode with better promise than Alice no Toge but I am afraid of the usual jdorama weakness of trying to look cool to the detriment of story may bring this series down. Oguri Shun should be doing Border 2.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mondai no Aru Restaurant Ep 1


The premise of Mondai no Aru Restaurant is that a bunch of women and one okama were treated like dirt by a bunch of chauvinistic guys. Episode 1 is a set up episode where all the ladies gather and we learn their connection to the main character Tanaka played by Maki Yoko. At the end, Maki Yoko invites them all to open a new restaurant right opposite her former employers'.


As a revenge story, Mondai no Aru Restaurant doesn't work for me because there are too many characters. The ones who really deserve revenge are Maki Yoko and her former classmate Satsuki. The show is Maki Yoko assembling a team to avenge Satsuki who has gone back to her hometown but only Maki Yoko and Usuda Asami have a direct connection with Satsuki/ Everyone else is just baggage who are along for the ride. Of course, its pretty obvious all the characters will have some special skill that they can bring to the restaurant like the boss's daughter who can replicate the taste of any dish.


In terms of humour, there is nothing really funny except Usada Asami's character laughing at the dirty inferences every time the okama says something. And yes, Maki Yoko does display a lot more facial expressions as the positive, forward looking Tanaka.


If Mondai no Aru Restaurant were written by anyone else, I would say its a 'do not watch' but I'm willing to give it one or two more episodes to see where Sakamoto Yuji is going. Judging from the episode 2 preview, it looks like its going to be such a conventional show.


I think Sakamoto Yuji should have started of with a few central characters and slowly brought everyone else in one by one instead of throwing a crowd of characters at us and expecting us to care about everyone just because a two of them went through workplace abuse. Hold of watching this but the prospects of this being good very low.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HAMSAPSUKEBE 2014 JDORAMA AWARDS


I CAN'T BELIEVE 2014 AWARDS

- I can't believe Oguri Shun's Border had to balls to go all grey area morality on us. 99% of high concept jdoramas just go all cookie cutter. Speaking of Oguri Shun, I will never get over his character not being a molester in Woman. It could have been one of the best jdoramas in the last 10 years along with Lady Joker if Sakamoto Yuji had gone down that path. Of course, if they screw up the second season it might be even more painful than Woman.

- I can't believe Takei Emi and Gouriki are still getting gorioshied (shoved down the throats of the Japanese public) This is Ueto Aya all over again. I just cannot understand why Japan as a collective society can't rise up and let the tv stations know that they don't want bad acting on their screens. The jdorama world needs more doramas with Matsu Takako, Kaho and Kanjiya Shihori in leading roles instead of those two. But then, this is a country where bad acting by johnnys has been a staple of Japanese television for years.

- I can't believe Mosaic Japan still hasn't been subbed.

- I can't believe Yonekura Ryoko's legs have the highest rated dorama in 2014 with 22.9%. I've never seen Doctor X and it could as smart as the first season of Doctors. (lol)

- I can't believe Ozaki Masaya's Yoshiwara Ura Doshin, Last Doctor and Tokumei Tantei were below my expectations.  Still he had two good shows with Black President and Mama ga Ikita Akashi.

- I can't believe they made a sequel to First Class.

- I can't believe how bad the second season of Yamikin Ushijima-kun was.

- I can't believe there are so many great performances in Oyaji no Senaka but I can't really give anyone an award cause everyone only appears in one episode so I decided to do a special award.

- I can't believe Wakamonotachi 2014 turned out to be such an overly sentimental and manipulative show with no tact at all.

- I can't believe they made an Iryu 4. I'll pretend it never happened just like TDKR.

- I can't believe Mozu turned out to be a piece of crap writing wise and apparently it's pretty popular in Japan. It's so popular that they're going to turn it into a movie. Its like the stupider a script and the more overacting it has, the more popular a jdorama becomes. If I ran a Japanese dorama producer, non of my shows would ever surpass 3% rating.

- I can't believe d-addicts is gone. :(


BEST FATHER DAUGHTER IN OYAJI NO SENAKA

YAKUSHO KOJI AND MITSUSHIMA HIKARI (EP 2)

Despite Mitsushima Hikari being the most unconvincing boxer ever, every scene with these two great actors is gold. It doesn't hurt that Sakamoto Yuji wrote the lines.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

TAKAHASHI ISSEI - MOSAIC JAPAN

Yup. The guy who always looked like he wanted to cry from Gonzo playing the dodgy President of the porn company. Pictured above is the epic dildo fight scene from Mosaic Japan. :) Not to mention I enjoyed his character from Petero no Soretsu as well.

Honourable mention:

Saiki Shigeru - Kanpai Senshi after V. A performance so bad, its good. :)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

KUNINAKA RYOKO - PETERO NO SORETSU

Kuninaka Ryoko's been in 3 good shows this season, Petero no Soretsu, Black President and Umomeru. If only she was the lecturer in Black President. I love the climax of Petero no Soretsu.


BEST ACTOR

OGURI SHUN - BORDER


Oguri Shun's one performance that made me think he can really act. Ok, he was pretty good in Kisaragi but this was one show where he had to carry the story with a complex character burderned by his powers. Unfortunately, he had to go make boring fluff like Nobunaga Concerto.

Honourable mention

Nagayama Kento - Mosaic Japan. Eita's brother is a pretty good actor.

Takenouchi Yutaka - Suteki na Sen Taxi. After so many crappy doramas playing bland characters, this is the first show where Takenouchi Yutaka really showed he could act.

Koizumi Kotaro - Petero no Soretsu


BEST ACTRESS

HAMAKAWA FUMIE - MOSAIC JAPAN

A huge part of her role of Momoko being one of the most well rounded and real female characters I've ever seen is thanks to Sakamoto Yuji's writing but goddamn she pulled it off magnificently.

Honourable mention:

Matsuyuki Yasuko - Kazoku Gari

Nagasaku Hiromi - Watashi to Iu Unmei ni Tsuite


TOP 5 BEST JDORAMAS OF 2015

KAZOKUGARI

Surprisingly excellent dark jdorama despite Densha's acting that didn't get the ratings it deserved.

PETERO NO SOURETSU

Smartly written, slow burn mystery dorama.

BORDER

Bring on season 2. That was one hell of a cliffhanger.

BLACK PRESIDENT

The spiritual sequal to KDO and Ozaki Masaya's best work of 2014.

MOSAIC JAPAN

My favourite jdorama of 2014. Such a brilliant comedy/satire on the Japanese porn industry. Sakamoto Yuji is a genius. If you've got basic Japanese, you can watch with my recap of the first three episodes.

Honourable mentions:

Coffee-ya no Hitobito

The Long Goodbye

River's Edge

Watashi to Iu Unemi ni Tsuite

Umoreru

Suteki no Sen Taxi

55-sai Kara no Hello Life

Oyaji no Senaka

Kanpai Senshi after V

Neko Zamurai

SUMMARY

2014 was a pretty good year for jdoramas. Looking at this list, there were a lot of very watchable jdoramas. Hopefully the jdorama gods will provide us with lots of good shows in 2015.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Psycho Pass 2


If you enjoyed the first season of Psycho Pass I suggest you avoid season 2. The following are reasons I didn't like season 2 of Psycho Pass:

1) Starts off pretty much a rehash of the first seasons with a villain with slight variation in power from Makishima from season 1 once again setting up an elaborate plan against Sybil.

2) The first season felt like an interesting exploration of ideas from the premise of Sybil while the second season felt like the writer who was not Urobuchi Gen trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with the omnipotence paradox.

3) It seems way too easy to raise someone crime coefficient all the way up in season 2. I thought it had more to do with people propensity to commit crime than just being stressed out and running away.

4) I can buy the premise of the series but not the source of the villain's powers or rather his multiple personalities. The writer should have done a lot more to sell me that stuff.

5) No real character arcs in season 2 except for Mika who no one cares about.

5) A huh? open ended finish that made me indifferent.

The best thing to do is pretend that season 2 never happened and hopefully the movie which just opened in Japan is written by Urobuchi Gen gets the series back on track.