Monday, April 30, 2012

Kodoku no Gurume



Since the comments for Suitei Yuzai turned into a Kodoku no Gurume discussion and the comments do say what I wanted to say about this show, I might as well do some copy and paste.

Anonymous said: So far in 2012 only Kodoko no Gurume (if Shinya Shokudo is softcore food porn, this is hardcore) and Unmei no Hito have been satisfying.

Jung said: Kodoku no Gurume hahaha... that show is all food, and no plot!!! It's a borderline variety show. Everything looked so good though... I loved the korean solo bbq episode... omg

Anonymous said: The food is the plot! Like, dramatic percussion... tracking shot of some insanely tasty-looking dish, our protagonist goes all over it, and then we get variations on the "this is great" tune. Never missed an episode.

My stomach cannot handle looking at this.

Kodoku no Gurume is food torture porn, unless you live in Japan. I won't find good Japanese food in Melbourne. Even something simple like katsudon can never be as crispy as the ones in Japan. Its now 12 am and my stomach is going nuts. Should have bought some food before writing this.

Hitori yakiniku!!!! Didn't occur to me that since Japan has hitori karaoke, it would have hitori yakiniku! Must find places like this for my next trip!

This is very close to a variety show. There's always some story with our main character going about his job and interacting with clients/residents of the area he is visiting but half the episodes don't even qualify as stories. Not to mention that the last 5 minutes is the mangaka visiting the shop that the main character went to.

I've only eaten okonomiyaki only once in 3 trips to Japan. :(

Might as well do your typical food variety show with your gravure actress visiting various eateries. It is fun listening to Goro's inner monologue. Reminds me of being in Japan, looking for ramen shops, looking at the menu at the wall and what other people are eating. 

Katsudon for 540 yen????? Ebifrydon for 580 yen? Actually, have to look at the portion though. Tokyo Chikara Meshi had like katsu and karubi for like 900 yen though the katsu wasn't good.

As a drama, Kodoku no Gurume fails because there's hardly any story. They waste time going to the same shop twice. Its more food variety show disguised as a dorama rather than the other way around.


WTF am I going to find some decent takeaway now 12am in the morning???? I can't go to sleep on a growling stomach!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Suitei Yuzai ep 2


- The smarmy politician doing the sneaky photo with Yoshio's daughter Miho. More sneaky underhanded mass media manipulation please.

- Pairing up Nakamura Toru with Mimura

- Lack of close of shots Jinnai Takanori so his unblinking beady eyes are not obvious

- Yoshio when going after finding out his daughter has been outed.

- The judge saying that he made the right decision with the information available to him at that time. (see last point on what I hate) Does the concept of beyond reasonable doubt apply in Japanese criminal law? Was the DNA test the only proof? Is the presence of a DNA trace enough to warrant a conviction?


- The whole Miho (Motokariya Yuika) breaking off her engagement bit. Shouldn't other people be a lot more sympathetic? She had to change her name because her father was convicted of murder and now he has been exonerated. There better be some good reason for her not wanting to see her father.


- The whole oh everyone gets hurt sentimental bullshit. They tried to pull off the victim's family blaming themselves bit from Soredemo Ikite Yuku but it comes off half-assed. I think Suitei Yuzai is suffering an identity crisis, does it want to be a Soredemo wannabe or a story about media, information manipulation and public perception?

- The judge making a damn good point and then Seiji showing the mental capacity of a 12 year old asking the judge again what he felt about the decision as a person. Hello? Are you deaf? As noted in my point before, Suitei Yuzai is trying to manipulate the audience's emotions but problem is the facts of the murder trial have not been presented to us. Get the facts of the case straight before you want us to care.


Hopefully no more woe is me crap. Suitei Yuzai needs to be more of a thriller and we need more facts about the case.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Avengers: Joss Whedon is god!

Was planning to write about the first 3 episodes of Saka no ue no Kumo which I watched yesterday but can't shake Avengers from my mind. I'm planning the go watch it again tomorrow which I've never done cause a bloody movie ticket in Australia costs like aud $25 which is like USD $26. Normally for movies I loved like Fight CLub, Watchmen or Unbreakable it was just wait for DVD to see it again but Avengers is epic.

I used to buy lots of comic books since I was a teenager, mostly X-men though but but I was a huge fan of Mark Millar's Ultimates which was the grittier version of the Avengers and Ultimates 2 was the last American comic I bought. So many years of reading Marvel comics have taught me that there is no long term pay off for reading them. Its all about creative teams playing in the Marvel sandbox and any brave direction a series takes is always undone. This is not a rant against the fulfillment of reading superhero comics but rather that I am a fan. I think my introduction to the Avengers was playing the crappy Date East Megadrive game at my neighbour's house.

I am however, a huge fan of Joss Whedon on the strength of the first 4 seasons of Buffy and the whole Angel run. Angel getting cancelled was such a sad thing for me, especially with season 5 being so good. Made me stop watching tv after that. Whedon is like a geek god, having written Astonishing X-Men and being the second director beside Kevin Smith to have written a critical acclaimed comic series.

The first Iron man hinted at what the future may bring. The movies following that were good but they weren't satisfying it was all about setting up the Avengers. Marvel made sure they didn't suck but they had to serve a greater purpose. The first X-Men movie was good. The second was even better and one could see an epic third one coming until Fox decided to rush it.

Avengers is what X-Men 3 could have been. Huge payoff after a long set up. Cap and Thor would have been better if they had a bigger budget so they can do more actions and Marvel have been saving the money so they can blow it up in the Avengers. This is what Transformers could have been if Michael Bay cared more about characters than blowing things up and inserting childish jokes. Everything happens in this movie and there a lot of references for comic fans to pick up.

Avengers could possibly be the funniest movie of the year. Funny action movie that manages to be cool? Can't remember the last time I saw something like that. Whedon manages to balance 9 characters in a 2 hour 20 minute movie, give them all their own character arc and time to shine. He's been doing it on tv for a long time, just over the course of a season. Its just unbelievable what a amazing job he has done. Whedon needs to be signed up for a 3 picture deal and be given the freedom to take the Avengers where ever he wants to take them. I want to see Whedon's smaller, more personal Avengers movie that he has mentioned in an interview.

Marvel has finally gotten its 5 star superhero movie. I can't go back and watch Cap and Thor anymore because they seem to crappy in comparison. Screw the individual movies except for Cap 2 cause Cap adjusting to the modern world should be interesting. I want Avengers 2 next year. All hail Whedon. Hope he gets the freedom and money to do whatever projects he wants to do.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Suitei Yuuzai ep 1

Looks like Vulcan300 fansubs is becoming the go to fansub for WOWOW doramas. This time we have Suutei Yuuzai, which means presumed guilty. Shinozuka Yoshio has convicted and imprisoned for 12 years for murdering a little girl. The case against him was based on Yoshio's confession and a positive DNA test. His lawyer Ishihara Yoko (Kuroki Hitomi) managed to prove his innocence with another DNA test.

Nakamura Tooru plays Kayama Seiji, the journalist who wrote an article condemning Yoshio. I remember him most from playing Akamatsu in Soratobu Taiya. He is absolutely perfect for playing those righteous good guys without making his character seem like an idiot and getting audience sympathy. Seiji did his own investigation and was convinced that Yoshio was the killer.

You've got Motokariya Yuika as Yoshio's daughter, Miho. She's changed her last name but still doesn't want to see her father so there's something going on there. Mimura is the sister of the murdered girl and she has something against Yoshio. Perhaps she knows something about his newly declared innocence?

I have a feeling the music is by the guy who did Iryu and Triangle but I could be wrong. Listen doing the awesome scene when Yoshio walks out a free man and the ending scene. A bit too early to declare the movie a must watch cause the first episode is pure set up but you can see that Suitei Yuuzai is more than just whether Yoshio is actually guilty.

Forgot to look for Kazoku Hotei in Japan. But then even second hand dorama series are very expensive there.

You've got politicians using Yoshio to enhance their popularity. You got Yoshio declaring revenge on the mass media, police and judiciary that condemned him. You've a lawyer who apparently has a less than reputable name who probably has her own agenda. Terajima Susumu, the useless father from Gold is Katsuragi, someone who may know something about the murder incident. He is also known to Asada Kunio, the policeman who got the confession out of Yoshio 12 years ago.

Haven't seen her since Gonzo.Hope she becomes a WOWOW regular.

Lots of material for a very explosive dorama. I expect a lot of people trying to manipulate each other and crazy shit to happen when plans go awry. Screw it, I'm going to declare it must watch despite the casting of Jinnai Takanori because ep 1 had me on the edge of my seat and I am so tempted right now to watch the rest of it raw.

I was watching this scene waiting for when the Bug-eyes' eyes would be biggest when I noticed something. Jinnai Takanori never blinked! I have no idea whether he does this in real life or is it just his acting. I've been told that I don't blink when I play SF. Does Bug-eyes acting require so much concentration that he is unable to blink? Will watch his performance in the later episodes for signs of blinking but I think its a big reason why his acting is so unnatural.

Love the above scene when Yoshio visits his wife's grave and the mass media just barges in, especially this reporter with a smile on her face while doing something very rude.

She's also among the reporters waiting for him outside the prison gates. Love the continuity. Its a small thing but it makes things more real.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Moteki movie: Moriyama Mirai is one lucky bastard.

Bframe5 talked this movie up a bit so was looking forward to it. The movie starts with a short recap of the dorama series. I was like 'how could they abandon the 4 characters so easily?'. Then its like Yukio is still the same dude at the start of the series, except he's no longer fat. Is this movie going to retread the same stuff again where lots of things happen but nothing really happens because Yukio never progresses?

Then Masami shows up and I am reminded why the dorama series was so enjoyable in the first place. Moteki is quirky, wacky, has great music and its a harem story that doesn't feel generic. Lots of Tenga product placement in this movie. Yukio's internal monologues are not as funny anymore because you can guess what he's gonna say from watching the dorama.

I wonder how many takes did they do for this scene? I kind of forgot about how disappointed I was with Masami's acting in Bunshin. There is one scene near the end where Yukio comes to her room soaked from the rain and there's not enough 'pain' in Masami's crying. Other than that, she did a great job.

The movie gets rid of the pacing problem from the series but the new problem is that there is not enough time for all four girls. Its a problem I'd rather have. Moteki the movie has all the good things from the dorama except for the time travel. Lots of funny scenes, great music and a much better ending.

Must watch movie. It is not necessary to watch the dorama. Some characters from the dorama make an appearance but it is not necessary to know Yukio's history with them.

One thought that occured to be while watching was what if you replace Yukio with Suzuki sensei? What would Suzuki sensei say/do?

I thought I saw something white.

And it turned out to be shorts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi eps 5-11

Its been a while since I saw this. I watched the final episode on my 5th day in Japan at bframe5's place. It was recorded from tv so it had ads/cms and I was like OMG its got ads! Watching downloaded doramas ads are always cut and when one is left in its like an exciting thing lol.

First half of Saigo Kara was immaculate. Somewhere down the line, its started unraveling. Main thing is that it stopped being funny save for Wahei and Chiaki fighting, a well that IMO, the writer drew too many times from. The Wahei mother and daughter story fizzled out. It had the potential to be very funny but it never went anywhere.

Chiaki and Asada Ryutaro's story was never going anywhere. It was boring after Asada's secret was revealed and so Uchida Yuki stepped into the brother's role. It was boring and her best role in the series was locking herself in so Chiaki could do the funny scene where she talks about her own troubles. Its like they gave Uchida Yuki more stuff to do because she's Uchida Yuki and the Chiaki needed someone else to play off before the end but it was just a waste of time. Ijima Naoko's internet dating story wasn't interesting, probably cause the show did not give me any reason to care for her character.

The first half of the show had a lot of the usual mid life crisis stuff to say and it did it with great humour. The only thing the second half had to say was that people who actually like each other should be able to fight all the time and not be super nice to each other all the time. Probably the worst mistake was not getting Asada and Tomomi fighting a lot earlier. Their relationship feels so tacked on like the usual 'let's put the two supporting characters who have done their part together'.

So it was a long wait for Wahei and Chiaki to get together and even then it was a sudden, anti-climatic finish. The one dorama I compare this to is KDO which had a great build up with a nice quiet ending that fit the show perfectly. Saigo Kara's finish is like more like a slow trek and by the time it got to the finish line, I didn't care about the race anymore.

Not to say that Saigo Kara sucks. First half is a blast and I just marveled at the writing and how well all the elements are put together. Second half was Wahei and Chiaki don't really have anything going for them when they are not together. Its a watchable dorama, just a shame it couldn't be what the first half promised to be. If you're after a really good Koizumi Kyoko dorama, watch Manhattan Love Story.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Japan 2012 loot


I know you're probably thinking where's New Love Plus? The game was recalled after it was found to be very, very buggy. How the four 'reviewers' at Famitsu ever finished the game without encountering bugs, I don't know.

The game I played the most was Labyrinth no Kanata at around 10 hours. Its Ico meets Might and Magic with a colour based battle system that I don't really like. Project Mirai only has 1 really good song and I still prefer the Project Diva gameplay. Oh yes, you can watch 3D idoling!! clips though I have yet to get the wifi working on my router.

I just had to buy this game. Great for practicing my kanji.

This baby took a huge chunk of my cash. My big reason for buying wasn't for any game but because of the UMD passport and its got a bigger screen than the PSP. My PSP is my most played system if you don't count Street Fighter and I've got a lot of unfinished games on it.

What I didn't realise was that very few games have the UMD passport and a lot of games are still not on the PSN store. Was hoping to use the passport for my Project Diva and Idolmaster UMDs. Downloaded Project Diva Extend onto the Vita and the timing feels way off. Dunno if its the larger screen, smaller buttons or if there's lag with PSP emulation. Switched to my PSP and I can combo so much easier.

Hate the right analog stick which gets in my way. So I think I'll be sticking to my PSP for PSP games. Oh yeah, Sony hasn't got PS1 emulation running on the Vita. WTF. Was hoping to continue playing it on the Vita since the PSP screen is kind of small for a 4:3 screen ratio game. Looking forward to the new Miku Vita game though.

Uncharted feels like playing on a PS3. Haven't tried Gravity Daze yet. Played the demo in stores and it was interesting.

My annual 20000 yen on psn points. So many great PSP games to get from PSN store and no time to play.


Wasn't planning to get so many figures. My initial plan was to buy lots of manga for reading but figures are more tempting.

Was running around Akiba on my last day last trip looking for this. Had a hard time finding this and found it at a figure shop off an alley.

Really wanted this figure because its got nice clock parts behind Makise Kurisu. Should probably have taken pictures of the figures unboxed by all the pics were taken in Japan and its nearly 3am now and I have to get to sleep soon.

When I saw this, I knew I had to have it. 8000 yen for a polystone figure is an awesome price.

Menma nendroid!!!!! Regretting not getting the regular Menma and Anaru figures.

I bought this figure for 1200 yen. Yes, that is not a typo. No idea why such an awesome figure is selling for so cheap but I think it was a UFO prize. Really big and looks really good.

Got it from Mandrake Akiba for like 4500 yen cause the leg is broken but nothing that super glue can't fix. Took whole afternoon deciding whether to get this or the Good Smile figures and running around trying to get the best price. Leaving the shopping for last 2 days is very exhausting.

Homura has a nice machine gun.

Voice Kyubei!

The biggest find of my trip. Iori figure for only 3000 yen!!!!! Got it from thee FiguaR shop.  Didn't have a box but is in mint condition. This must be so rare.


Masakazu Katsura artbook. I reread I's every year.

Mano Erina photobook. Just realised that I have yet to visit a HP! shop, if they are still around.

Zone reunion book. Need Mizuho!!!!!!

VF5FS book. I played a bit at the arcades. A lot has changed since VF5 ver C.

The SF book for AE 2012. I believe I've bought the guide book for every upgrade which is a lot of money.

Yuri moe book.


Hanshin Tigers shirt, not that I like baseball.

No nice Ano Hana shirts. I only bought this cause it was 1600 yen. Standard price for anime shirts is 3000 yen.

XL Steins Gate shirt which feels like an L. Should have bought the other design.

Macross shirt. Shirt wise, my favourite has to be the Scandal vs Budokan shirt. I already covered all the Scandal merchandise here.

Lastly, Soredemo Ikite Yuku poster. Easy to find posters of doramas I hate but not doramas I love.