Monday, April 18, 2011

Jdorama ramblings 18/4/11

School!! eps 8+9

I've already said my piece about why this show is the surprise of last season and deserves to be seen here and here. All that is left is the ending and does the writing deliver for the last episode! It is a succession of climaxes for all the stories built up during the course of the series with of course set backs to the main story; a formula that few doramas do properly. Doramas are all about payoffs for (usually) 10 episode build-ups and the final episode is most satisfying. The only complaint I have is that Eguchi Yosuke's final speech is way too long but it doesn't detract from the fact that the finish of School!! is exciting and well done.

Bravo to Hata Takehiko, the writer of Dragon Zakura. Out of all his doramas that I have seen, this is only his second one that I have liked. I dropped Joshi Deka, Hanayome no Yakudoshi and Unfair really quickly so I might be tempted to try them if I can finish all my movies and games. Definitely check it out.

Kita no Kuni Kara

I'm going to save my thoughts until the subbing of the series has ended with 3 more episodes to gobecause I'm going to run out of superlatives to describe this dorama. However, I am saddened by the fact that not enough people are watching this! The latest subs are sitting at less than 100 downloads which means that people have dropped the series! How can the subs for Lady have 3k downloads and Kita no Kuni Kara less than 100? As d-addicts, we have a responsibility to pimp shows like this to the masses who somehow enjoy watching doramas featuring 'beautiful' people in horrible stories.

853 eps 1+2

Low budget police show featuring renegade cop vs his stick by the rules superior. Like 99% of Japanese cop shows, its got a slight comedic and unrealistic bent but the thing that really gets to me is this police computer system that spits of information as if its an A.I. complete with cute voice. I know that Japanese like their police shows set in an anime world but surely a line must be drawn at realistic information gathering? Low budget means low expectations but some things cannot be overlooked.


Surprisingly, this dorama is being subbed and I did a review of it here. Long story short, its a very fun action dorama that manages to look more than its budget but is ultimately killed by its trying to be too smart twist. I still had fun and its recommended if you're looking for something different.

Marks no Yama ep 2

Its so good that the excruciating wait is pure torture! I am so tempted to watch it raw but I don't want to miss out on the investigation details! Wait for the subbing to finish before watching and you'll have one of the most glorious 5 hours of your life.


nomuramai said...


thanks for your thoughtful reviews, while i do not agree with every review i appreciate your taking the time to write them all. that being said i do agree with your thoughts about kita no kuni kara, and add my similar sentiments in regards to the subbing of asadoras, which in itself is such a massive undertaking, but if no one downloads the subs then what is the point of all that effort? keep it up please...

Akiramike said...

I think Chuks subs for the love of the doramas but its disheartening that not enough fans watch or try to seek out better shows and just go for the mainstream ones.

maiku said...

Wow, School!! really brought back some ugly memories! In the late 90s I was a teaching assistant at two high schools in rural Japan. (Basically the lowest ranked ones in the prefecture.) I remember a few classes were total chaos. Kids walking around, talking, some literally slept through the entire hour. I felt bad for the kids that actually wanted to learn. They just couldn't because the environment was so disruptive.

There was a wide range of teacher reactions. Some would yell and instill fear. Some would yell but just get laughed at or ignored. Others would try to keep a positive attitude, make friends with the kids, and teach whenever possible. After a while I learned everyone had a story. Many of the sleepers had night jobs. One girl that always hung around after class to talk was living in an orphanage.

I never thought of these experiences as drama-like until watching School!!. The Ohashi-sensei storyline in particular really struck a chord.

I thought the show was good overall, but the ending bugged me. I'm glad they didn't milk the farewell scenes, but because they didn't, and because Naruse was so damned upbeat at the end, his departure seemed kind of arbitrary. Still, I'm glad I watched it. As always, thanks for the recommendation!