Thursday, July 31, 2014
My other favourite show this season which is surprisingly unsubbed. Petero no Souretsu is the sequel to Namonaki Doku.which was an interesting story about this very nice vanilla character called Sugimura who gets involved in certain incidents and acts more like a detective rather than a publisher. At the end of Namonaki Doku was pushed to the point where he forgot himself, which I guess was what the writer was aiming for.
Suginuma is back in Petero no Souretsu and this time he gets caught up in a bus jacking incident. While he is still Mr. Nice Guy, Suginuma is a nice guy who has been through a lot and is able to think with a clear head in pressure situations.
Episode 1 deals with the tense bus jack where the hijacker's motives are unknown. We have an assortment of various characters in the bus and the hijacker seems to be in full control of the situation and knows what he is doing. The hijacker requests that 3 evil people be brought to him also promises the hostages one million yen in compensation.
The busjack ends in episode 1 but we are left with more questions than answers as the former hostages try to find out the truth and what to do with the money. At the beginning of episode 1, Suginuma says that evil is contagious and the root cause is a crime committed 30 years ago.
As with Namonaki Doku, the pacing in Petero no Souretsu is deliberate but engaging. Its a mystery dorama that knews how to constantly feed the viewer information but without repeating things ad nauseum (Triangle) or has really inane dialogue (Gekiryuu). There are a lot of unknowns such as Hasegawa Kyoko's character or the useless new transfer colleague but I look forward to see how it all comes together.
Ep 4 is interesting as it looks into the Head Editor's past but also links it to the busjack and gives us a nice mini resolution at the end. I really like the 4 episodes so far but I can't give it a must watch until the end. Very good series so far. The retimed Japanese subs are available here.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Yoshiwara Uradoushin is my favourite show this season along with Petro no Souretsu and surprisingly both remain unsubbed. Yoshiwara is the famous red light district from the Edo period that jdoramas fans would have seen in Jin and also in the movie Sakuran. Watching Yoshiwara Uradoshin makes me want to replay Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan! but I've got to finish Ao no Kiseki before Sen no Kiseki II comes out end of September on top of watching all the interesting jdoramas this season.
Koide Keisuke and Kanjiya Shihori play childhood friends Kamimori and Teijo. Teijo's dad got into gambling debt and had to marry her off to an abusive husband. Shades of a Yamada Yoji movie, Kamimori runs off with Teijo and they end up going to Yoshiwara for Teijo's brother. I was getting a strong OMFG it feels like a Yamada Yoji dorama from episode 1! Something happens in Yoshiwara and Kamimori ends up working at there as a doushin or policeman.
Yoshiwara Uradoushin is just right up Ozaki Masaya's alley and plays to his writing strengths. Similar to his Tokumei Kakaricho Tadano Hitoshi and Tokumei Tantei series, its basically short stories about beautiful women living in a harsh world and a hero or in Uradoushin's case a couple who help these women.
Its a bleak world where girls are sold to brothels at a young age to pay their fathers' debts and must work of their contracts with most dying of disease. Its a world where women are used as property and are never to leave Yoshiwara until they pay off their debts or get bought by a rich dude. Uradoushin is not a gritty realistic show though it still portrays things from the Edo period like any suspect is bound to get tortured. Its a feel good show with equal parts comedy and drama that is set against a harsh backdrop and that makes for interesting stories.
I love the casting and how beautifully its shot. The only complaint I have is the fighting which can be pretty bad. We have stupid unnecessary wirework in the first episode and the group fight in episode 5 was poorly choreographed with boring camera angles and people waiting their turn to run at our hero with arms in the air. The swordplay can look very fake at times and I'm not talking about the lack of blood. If only the fighting were more consistent..
Ability to read simple kanji is a must for Uradoushin. Its all in old Japanese and they've got words that I could not even find in my Japanese to English dictionaries like 妻敵討ち (megatakyuchi) which doesn't sound like what the onyomi is suppose to but you can get the idea from the individual kanjis.
I really love watching Yoshiwara Uradoushin. The stories for 5 episodes have been great fun. You can't go wrong with a feel good show about a cop working in a prostitution zone and the various characters that live in it. I love this show more than I should but I'm usually partial to Ozaki Masaya's writing. Plus one cannot have enought Kanjiya Shihori. :)
Hopefully the 2nd half of the show is just as good and the fighting gets better.
Retimed Japanese subs are available here.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I usually avoid the fatal disease dorama specials except Mama ga Ikita Akashi doesn't have any jyannies or overpushed idols in it. Its got Abe Sadao, Kanjiya Shihori, Tsutsui Michitaka aka Sakuma from Gonzo and Mano Erina. Not to mention the writer is Ozaki Masaya.
The title pretty much gives away the story. Kanjiya Shihori is pregnant and discovers that she has stage 4 breast cancer. The show then deals with the question of whether to abort the baby. The doctor tells them of this new drug that is more effective but might effect the fetus.
Mama ga Ikita Akashi becomes a do you want to reduce your rate of survival for the baby show. Of course for the husband Abe Sadao, the wife's life is more important than the unborn baby and the final decision is obvious from the title.
Its a typical sob story but I enjoyed the cast. Too bad Mano Erina has so little to do. Watchable.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Carnation is the second asadora I've attempted, the first being Amachan.So far, the story about a girl who loved sewing and making western clothes has been fun to watch. One of the funny things about Japan for me is how even today, 'youfuku' or western clothes is used to refer to what we wear everday now and its interesting to see a time in history where western clothing and influences were seeping into Japanese culture. As long as the main character of Carnation Itoko does not embark on a different quest and become an idol, I think Carnation is a watchable show.
While I've somehow gone though 48 episodes which is not that long considering each episode is only 15 minutes and when you take away the intro song and recaps, you're left with only 10 its hard for me to continue watching with the prospect of another 100 episodes.
I like everything about Carnation. Ono Machiko absolutely kills it as Itoko and Kobayashi Kaoru is fun to watch as the stubborn dad who inflicts domestic violence on his family but is quickly forgiven. 151 episodes to tell this story is just way too long for me or rather I can't continue marathoning this show.
Asadoras should be watched one episode a day and I really can't see myself trying out another one. I think girls would absolutely love this show with all the dressmaking and I enjoyed watching Itoko overcome her challenges but the pacing does not make for continuous watching. No more asadoras for me.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Fourth girl: What is 3P?
Riichi: Doing it with two male actors.
Fourth girl: Yes.
Fourth girl: Gansha?
Momoko: I'm playing a secret investigator who is captured although its not really a secret here. (she pulls down the zip at the back.
Chinese partner: If you understand then please bring me a bottle of Jack Daniels and water.
Stewardess nodes and leaves: Sumimasen.
Chinese partner: President, let's scout that girl. She's got a nice ass.
Momoko: Of course! You can to do it, didn't you. I'll get ready.
Riichi: Please don't do it.
Momoko: I don't but juice but at the very least I can offer fellatio...
Riichi: Its all right.
Momoko: Mr President is where but I can't do anything.
Riichi: Are you stupid?
Riichi: I'm asking if you are stupid?
Momoko: Sumimasen, I'm not smart.
Riichi: Why don't you value yourself more highly?
Riichi: You do not belong at the place where you are now. You're being dirtied. Although I have to dirty myself, I will save you. Do you understand?
Momoko: Excuse me, what do you mean by save?
Riichi: I want to take care of you. Do you understand? I think of you..
Momoko: People who are smart..
Momoko: When people who are smart see people who are not smart, they think this person is stupid but when people who are not smart see people who are smart, they also think they are stupid.
Momoko: I understand what you are saying but what Tsunematsu-san (d-addicts wiki has his name as Tsunezue) is saying in the end is that you want to do it, don't you. Anyhow you put it, you want to do it, don't you? Uumm, you are saying you don't want me having sex in AV but I also don't want to have sex with Tsunematsu-san.
Riichi: Eh? Ah.... Eh?!!
Momoko: Tsunematsu-san, do you know the difference between a woman who is feeling it and a woman who is crying? Do you know the difference between the voice of a woman who is feeling pleasure or who is enduring the pain? I can't get wet. Even if I'm touched (don't there) or not touched, I can't get wet. It's painful. I can't do it without using lotion. Even if I do it with Tsunematsu-san, it will be painful. Is that ok. Although I've gotten a lot of sympathy from you, is that ok with you?
Momoko: Sorry for being impertinent.
Riichi: Eh. You've not even gotten wet once?
Momoko: Yes I have. Only with President Kui.
Riichi: Eh. (Pained look on his face and he starts to leave)
Momoko: I'll prepare juice for when you drop in next. What drink do you want?
Riichi: Ah, then bayari (?)
If WOWOW had Japanese subs, I would sub this show. Its not a must watch series but I love this episode, especially the dynamic between Riichi and Momoko. This episode has got the right balance between humour, ecchi and character dialogue. The more I do the recaps, the more I like the series.