NAGAREBOSHI ep 3-8
The tale of the aquarium worker Kengo who, after his fiancee declined to the donor for decides that its time to kill to birds with one stone: save his sister and in the process get married to a young wife. He finds a prostitute Risa and pays her money for her to marry him and be his sister's donor. Kengo relies on the fact that Risa will feel sorry for his family's plight and pretends to be a nice guy by not bedding her. Any guy who pays a prostitute to be his wife would at least take the opportunity to sample her professional skills.
However, Kengo is smart because girls like having a relationship with guys who do not look at them without thinking about sex. I know it doesn't make sense but whoever said women did? Kengo's ingenious plan worked and finally at the end of ep 8, they hugged. Aaawwww. Along the way we have such exciting subplots such as Kengo's sister refusing the surgery because it would make the brother a criminal for deceiving the system and her crush in the same hospital who eventually dies. Doesn't it warm your heart? Throw in Risa's boring brother who keeps being a thorn in the side of our protagonists and we have an afternoon soap opera.
Sigh. I thought the synopsis said Kengo had a secret that that he would sacrifice everything to protect. I've been fast forwarding certain scenes in Nagareboshi but there is no way I could have missed a revelation so big. This is the first Ueto Aya role I like in ages but the whole dorama just gets bogged down in predictable over-sentimentality. I am so happy the sick boy died so that storyline is over. Strangely, I feel compelled to finish the show despite its flaws.
I couldn't bear even finishing the first episode. Its got Renbutsu Misako who I haven't seen since Nanase Futatabi but I'm better off rewatching Air Doll or Chobits if I feel a need for a generic guy meets robot girl story.
FACE MAKER ep 1-3
Face Maker is basically short stories about what happens when people change their face for one reason or another. In 3 episodes, its all about normal looking women changing their face to look like idorus. Its sort of fun to watch but I didn't like how much time they spent on the mysterious doctor with his posturing and cryptic talk. Having Hinata Chiho as the nurse helps but the doctor is just a mcguffin and the less time spent on the mcguffin the better.
FUYU NO SAKURA ep 1
Housewife goes to rural area, loses memory and ends up staying with nice country dude who lives with his sick mom. Housewife is afraid of regaining memories because she is afraid of something in her past and we need no greater hint than a bird in a cage in her flashbacks. Most likely evil husband and loveless marriage. End of first episode, we find housewife is going to die. Yawn. Fuyu no Sakura screams by the numbers housewife fantasy. If you want housewife in countryside fantasy, you're better off watching Aoi Tori. This is Imai Miki's first dorama since Brand, which was 10 years ago.
CONTROL ep 1+2
Matsushita Nao as the annoying(uzai) iron lady detective Segawa Rio, a fact that the series keeps telling the audience in a ham fisted way during the course of the first episode that makes me wonder whether the writer knows the meaning of the word subtlety. Fujiki Naohito is the very straightforward uni psychologist Nagumo Jun. Control is trying to the Trick formula of having two flawed characters who complement each other skill wise as protagonists but the chemistry isn't there because its Control is too.... unrefined. Its just a generic cop show with the usual Japanese cliche I hate of the other cops being incompetent loud mouths who take credit for the protagonists' work. I can never understand the stupid need for inept colleagues in cop shows to serve as antagonists when the crime and criminal(s) is enough. If its for comedy reasons I understand but most Japanese cop doramas straddle the world between ineffective comedy and pretentious seriousness with in adequate realism. Control is a watchable generic police dorama but I'd rather spend my time watching older doramas that I missed out on.
LADY ~ SAIGO NO HANZAI PROFILE ep 1
That over the top 'profiling simulation' scene in the beginning of episode 1 was so bad I don't where to start. I wonder how many years of profiling experience Kitagawa Keiko's character has had? Out of interest, I did a little research and this is what I found:
In order to get into the FBI Academy, one must be at least 23, a U.S. citizen or a citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands, four year degree, three years professional work experience, valid driver's license, available for assignment anywhere the FBI has jurisdiction. Must qualify in one of the following - Accounting, Law, Language, Computer Science/IT, Diversified.
Assuming Kitagawa Keiko got in through some US-Japan exchange program, how old must she be in order to have the qualifications to be sent to the US, representing japan to be trained in profiling? How old is Kitagawa Keiko again? It wasn't that long ago when I first saw her in Sailor Moon. This is the fucking Ueto Aya syndrome of miscasting a young actress in a role that should go to someone in their 30s. Would the audience care that Lady is saying Japan would send a fresh graduate with no experience for profiling training so that she can be one of the founding members of this profiling group? This whole trained by FBI thing in jdoramas is as cliched as Steven Seagle's cook/policeman who used to be in the navy seals/marines/power rangers storylines. If I were Prime Minister of Japan, the first bill I would pass would be to ban all tv stations except for Wowow to produce any more police shows.
GOLD ep 4
The subbing may be slow but Nojima Shinji's writing and Amami Yuki's acting makes it worth watching no matter how flawed the concept and in episode 4, we get a huge revelation which will threaten to tear the walls of the Saotome family down. Nojima Shinji is a writing god. Funny enough, his lists of credits in his dramawiki has Koinu no Waltz but the page has someone else as the writer.