Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kekkon Dekinai Otoko ep 12

The first time I watched ep 12, I was a bit underwhelmed by the ending. I couldn't believe it when the show ended and the dvd ad came on. Now, after the subs came out, I'd have to say it a very fitting ending.Well, that's the beauty of this show. Watch it without subs to enjoy the general story and dialogue then watch it with subs to enjoy the nuances of dialogue.

I love the way they just killed off the Michiru storyline. Michiru feeling like a stranger in her apartment as Kuwano and Natsumi do their fufu kenka. You feel sorry for her as she suddenly wakes up to the awful truth. And the look that Natsumi gives Kuwano when the donkan asks her why Michiru was pissed was priceless. The sadness of perhaps 'betraying' her kohai? The realisation that Kuwano may never get it? Actresses who can potray such mixed emotions are rare.

And I believe there's a homage to Natsukawa Yui's past hit; Aoi Tori. After Michiru asks Hayasaka sensei for help, Hayasaka sensei was lying in bed and then a nurse showed up and she sorta checked the bed and did the finger pointing that train conductors do.

Still, I would have loved for them to milk the Michiru storyline. I would like to believe that her crush is not so shallow. That she gave him up for Hayasaka-sensei and that she realised she had not chance in hell. Or maybe she realised that her crush was cause Kuwano resembled Ken-chan, her one true love. Its her relationship with Kuwano that makes her relevant to the story. Now they don't really need her if they do a special or second season.

The best part of the show is the dodgeball - catchball conversation. The dialogue is a work of genius. Hayasaka sensei's metaphor of dodgeball so aptly describes their relationship throughout the series. Well, its always Kuwano hitting Hayasaka and then she'll storm off. And Kuwano couldn't help saying that he'll work within her budget, lol.

Has any kokuhaku scene been more touching? We've seen so many in doramas and movies that it just all seem the same. But the way this show plays with metaphors and double meanings is so refreshing.

And when Kuwano goes to play catch ball, its both so moving and funny. Especially his kekkon dekinai line. Its so in tune with his character and I'm glad he didn't betray his principles so easily. It wouldn't be entertaining if he did so.

Although the final scene denotes a happy ending, everyone knows that the road won't be easy. Most of the series has been about Kuwano espousing the virtues of living alone, the need to be in control and the importance of familiar routines. However, Hayasaka and Kuwano are more alike than they think and if there's anyone who can change the dekinai to dekiru, its her.

Still haven't figured out Kaneda's rolestoryline wise. Maybe I should just make a blog like his and see how many girls I'll get.

Hiroshi Abe's acting is a big part of what's so good about KDO but I have to give props to Natsukawa Yui. (everyone knows he's a fucking brilliant actor from Trick, Dekichatta Kekkon, Dragon Zakura etc) There's a bunch of hot looking 30+ actresses in Jdorama but none can hold a candle to her. She's not really that bijin but her great acting makes Hayasaka sensei the most desireable milf ever. Yes hotter than Kuroki Hitomi and Ishida Yuriko.

Friday, September 22, 2006

KDO reloaded

Imagine the first scene for the KDO special/season 2, Kuwano brings Natsumi to a function by one of his clients. The client compliments Natsumi and asks the inevitable question: how did they meet? And Kuwano answers: 'She gave me an anal probe on my 40th birthday'.

KDO has finished. Don't want to say too much about the last ep cause I'm waiting for the subs. I can understand the gist of the dialogue but the true beauty of this show is the nuances of the dialogue. Like how in ep 12, Hayasaka sensei was asked to give advice as a sempai and she pulled a Kuwano. She made the nurse cry even more. Now this can say either of two things:

1) Kuwano's straighforwardness is rubbing off on her

2) We may think Kuwano is very lacking in social skills but there is a Kuwano in everyone of us.

Or like when Michuru is running to Natsumi for help and the advice that Michiru gives her is basically what Natsumi needs to hear from someone. I can't bloody think of any jdorama where I've analysed dialogue like this. Its like studying literature and writing about duality and metaphors. Before this show, dialogues just needed to be cool or funny. In KDO, the dialogue not only reflect the speaker but the listener as well. This show is truly the most 'intellectual stimulating' of jdoramas.

The first thing I did after watching ep 12 was to rewatch the 1st four episodes. I would have marathoned the whole series if I didn't have to go to work. And I have to say, its like watching the same show with new eyes. There's so much freaking foreshadowing. Like in ep 3 where Eiji, Natsumi and Kuwano were in Michiru apartment and they were talking about how they would fall harder for a guy they thought was bad but turned out to be good.

Speaking of Michiru, some ppl at d-addicts commented that her falling for Kuwano was illogical. Well, watch the series again from the beginning. She went with him to the hospital and he risked life and limb to save her from alcohol poisoning. He's the first neighbour she's been friendly with. He even offered to pay for the corporate fees. And that's only the 1st 4 eps.

I mean, if he looked like a johny bishounen, she would be jumping all over him. Its just that every episode there was always some reason to think badly of him because of his 'weirdness'. Its not weird, it just took Kuwano saving her from the stalker for her to realise how good he was to her. You can say Kuwano has a code of honour to always repay his debts. Kuwano may not like ppl, but recognises good deeds.

Rewatching the beginning, I'm also surprised to see so many hints of Kuwano and ken-chan. Guess I was too busy perving at Kuninaka Ryoko. Maybe I'll wait for the ep 12 subs and rewatch the rest in one shot and then do my final KDO post. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

KDO: Final countdown

The final ep of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko just aired tonight. Hopefully, gryzze will have started seeding when I wake up. If, not I probably will have to rush back home during lunch time. After work, I'll sit down with some kfc + coke and enjoy the final episode.

Now is the time for predictions of what the ending will be. There's a part of me that says, whatever the ending is, as long as its told well like the rest of the show, I'll be happy. But then I remember shows like Love Complex and Hikon Kazoku. Show I was going to enter into my top 10 until I watched the last episode.

But KDO is special. Its a show that's so good not because gimmicks and eye candy but because it has interesting characters. I have said that I don't want this show to end. Now I'm not so sure. Milking it would just diminish Kuwano as a character.

There is villian to be defeated in this show. The story is about the journey that Kuwano takes when he meets Natsumi and Michiru. He has never (willingly) let anyone into his place. The moment he does, (my money's on Natsumi) the journey ends. Of course non-ending would help lengthen the story but is there a story to tell?Lengthening the story for no reason than to milk it only cheapens the storyline and the characters.

Tomorrow night as we non-Japanese fans watch the final episode of KDO, we should be glad that in this season with crap like Sapuri and Dandori there is at least one show out there with no bishounen main character who looks like a pussy. We should be happy that there's a show out there with characters so real that we feel we know them too well to say goodbye.We should be happy that there's a show out there that has smart humour; jokes that require a bit of brain power.

Come to think about it, KDO is probably the first show that I don't want to end because I've grown too attached to the characters. Usually for good doramas, you just want to see what happens in the end. I just want to see Kuwano, Natsumi and Michiru get into all sorts of trouble.

IMO, the only way to do a dorama special would be the Michiru ending. A non ending is just stupid because you can't reset the show back to the status quo in ep 9 like the Scarlett Witch saying 'no more mutants'. The show reached the point of no return with the ep 11 chilffhanger. And we probably need Natsumi's dad and Sawazaki to right the 'wrong'.

Again, the one thing that keeps pointing to a non-ending is Michiru. As long as she doesn't koukuhaku in ep 12, there's a chance to stretch the story. Only problem is it'll be like ur typical harem anime.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The girls of Kaneda

Was planning to write about the shows that I'm not watching. But then whinging about how crap Sapuri is, is not as fun as talking about Kekkon Dekinai Otoko. The discussion thread at d-addicts, while lacking the numbers of say Sapuri are pretty interesting with people trying to dissect the characters and plotlines of this show.

So let's look at the enigmatic Kaneda. Someone said his name can be taken to mean 'to have money'. Kuwano regards him as a rich fella who doesn't work but picks up chicks all day. However, Kuwano isn't exactly poor. The problem for me is I have no idea how Kaneda fits in the scheme of the plot. I can get the idea that he is sort of the opposite of Kuwano.

Hhhm, nice cleavage. Keneda's pretending to look straight ahead...

But he is in no means 'evil'. Sure he may be 'fake', but so what. He is the hero for all guys to emulate. I mean, he manages to hook a different girl every episode. He's not some stuck up, spoilt brat. At least he greets Kuwano each time they meet at the bar. He certainly has much better social skills than Kuwano.

This lady is not worth picking up bowling for...

Sometimes, he functions has Kuwano's other voice. Like ep 9 where Kaneda goes out with a much younger girl and he confidently tells her that the age gap is no problem and he can still keep up. Perhaps Kuwano was thinking that if he had confidently returned her call, he would have had a shot.

I think this was the girl who wanted Kaneda to meet her dad..

Or like Kaneda picking up bowling to pick up a girl. That's the direct opposite of Kuwan's odus operandi. Kuwano does not want to inconvenient himself to satisfy others. He does want to orbit around the lives of others. Even to get jobs, he hates sucking up to ppl.

I actually wanted to write about the story behind the girls in every episode and try to correllate that with the story. But taking the caps just took too long and recapping all the eps and rewatching the Kaneda scenes would take up too much time. Its goddamn 11.30pm on Sun and I haven't done anything this weekend. And I have to get up at 7 tomorrow. Fuck. And I haven't watched ep 11 with subs yet. Sigh, how I long for the days of being a jobless bum...

Lol, 1st ep where Kuwano tries to take the picture of Kaneda's girl.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kekkon Dekinai Otoko 11

Another fucking brilliant episode. This show is so good, I don't feel like watching anything else. It seems like someone besides me is stalking Michiru-chan and Natsumi volunteers Kuwano for the job as Michiru's protector. How cool would it be if Kuwano was actually the 'stalker'.

What follows is your typical but funny misunderstanding by Eiji and Kuwano's family and ends with the cliffhanger we all want to see. They sorta revealed it in the previews but goddammit, a good cliffhanger is still a good cliffhanger.

Hello nurse!

Can't believe there's only 1 more episode to go. I know 12 is the max no of eps but ffs, someone please extend this show to 15 eps. Milk this goddamn show dry. Do a side story about Kaneda. I don't care. I don't want it to end.

Speaking of Kaneda, I've figured his role in this show. Usually the protagonist and antagonist are both sides of the same coin. Since this show has no main villian Kaneda is like what Kuwano may/could have been. I guess the brother in law represents the life that Kuwano doesn't want. Still, storyline wise, I don't see a purpose for Kaneda's existence.

If I have one complaint, its that Kuwano has lots too much of his stubborness and idiosyncrasies. Or perhaps its more that recently he has not been put in situations where he can be an arsehole to others. Its interesting how Michiru and Natsumi have grown close throughout the series might possibly become enemies. I don't care how ep 12 ends as long as its not a non-ending.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kekkon Dekinai Otoko 10

After Mitsuya Yoko's appearance in ep 9, ep 10 was going to be a bit flat. If ep 9 is a visual feast, ep 10 is a combination of entres and desert. Basically ep 10 is about Sawazaki's role in Kuwano's life. Everyone knows what is going to happen at the end of the episode. The fun is getting there.

Michiru feeling the evilness of Kuwano's mom.

First, we have Kuwano's mom going on the attack and just she was setting her sights on Michiru, she quickly coughed up Sawazaki's name. At this moment I start to realise that this is sorta like a harem manga, except its for older people. There's no fan service, no ecchi situations with sexual connotations but goddammit, Kuwano now has 3 good looking women in his life.

3 hot ladies in black. Maybe I should start crashing Japanese funerals....

The fun doesn't really start until Michiru confesses to Sawazaki that she sold her out. You can see the subtle changes in Hayasaka-sensei's face when Michiru talks about Kuwano's mom and her match-making efforts. And Sawazaki seems to notice it too.

One of the most deceiving screencaps ever, lol.

The one issue that I can't really decide is whether Sawazaki has a thing for Kuwano or did she say that line about being with Kuwano to provoke Hayasaka, just like Hayasaka told her to lie to Kuwano about changing jobs. Its hard to say cause Sawazaki's been with Kuwano so long that you can't tell whether its friendship or something else.

And funniest scene goes to Michiru 'finding out' about Kuwano and Ken-chan. Its like the wife finding out the husband sleeping with the dog or something like that, lol. And Kuwano telling Ken-chan to go after Michiru, pure comedy gold.

Michiru pissed off that everyone's abandoned her. Don't worry, you can always be my roommate!

Sadly there's only two more episodes to go and that line that Michiru says in the preview of ep 11; who is she talking about? Eiji or Kuwano? Its can't be Eiji, can it? I mean, he's a pure non-developed supporting character. It has to be Kuwano? Dare I hope? Were my ears deceiving me? Why is the kombini girl not in ep 11? What the fuck am I going to do with my life after ep 12?

Big thanks to incyphe for releasing the subs so quickly.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I need a medic!

Been sick the past three days. Had to take yesterday off and I only feel slightly better. Usually 1 day of sleeping and lots of water can cure anything but I've been hit by the super combo of sickness.

Was planning to take a sickie either on a Friday or Mon but I guess that plan's out of the window. So the moral of the day is to stay away from all your sick friends unless u've got a medic.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mitsuya Yoko

Thanks to Kaji-shonen and turtleae86, I've got the name of the actress playing Nagasawa Yuki in ep 9 of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko; Mitsuya Yoko. According to http://www.horiagency.co.jp/web_data/talentfiles/mitsuya_1.html she's been in quite a few shows including something called 69.....

She's got a blog here: http://ameblo.jp/yoko355. Anyways, it was really fun rewatching ep 9 with subs. 1st I've gotta say thought I wouldn't classify her looks as goddess level (mostly cause of ehr lazy eyes), she certainly as that innocent + playful look which really suited her appearance in this ep. Its fun just watching Kuwano having fun for once and seeing the others squirm.

And the preview for ep 10, is just too exciting. I haven't been so crazy about a dorama since densha. I'm glad that a good show like this is getting good ratings without having a bishounen as the main actor. Mitsuya Yoko pics are stolen from scanlover.