Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nobunaga Concerto Eps 1+2

I've previously said that its pretty hard to fuck up a time slip story. Well, I'll like to add an addendum to that which is ; except in the case of the main character spending his time preaching idealistic morality in time of war. Add to that, we have a story that tries way too hard to add so many touching moments ala beautiful rain that it seems so contrived.

I have no idea whether the manga is like that or its a matter of the writer wanting to appeal to the broader jdorama fanbase. When a show has too much action and no story, the audience is numb. When a dorama has too many 'beautiful heartfelt speeches' with soaring music and misty eyes, I'm just wondering what sort of audience would fall for it.

Oguri Shun is once again playing a high school kid though its been so many years since a played Noboru in GTO. I'd rather have him playing the main than a johnny though. I actually don't mind Shibasaki Kou as the tsundere wife. Kaho is unfortunately relegated to plot device friend/servant for Shibasaki Kou.

The appeal of Nobunaga Concerto is that Oguri Shun at the end of episode two will know what is going to happen and I want to see whether he can change history. The show also introduces characters who are going to be major players like Yamikin Ushijima-kun.

However, my expectations for the rest of Nobunaga Concerto are really low after Oguri Shun going from 'I'm not going to kill anyone and will anyone think of the families' to 'I'm going to sacrifice my clan in a suicidal attempt to save my father in law'. Hopefully when Ushijima-kun becomes Oguri Shun's adviser, we can finally get to treaty making and backstabbing. Meh jdorama that makes me want to rewatch Jin instead.


Inspired by Jung, I decided to do some googling or in this case yahoo.jping and found out exactly where the shop that inspired the dorama is in Golden Gai! There is also going to be a Shinya Shokudo movie coming out in January!

Edit: Oops. I got it from this link and in my excitement didn't notice the question was actually about a shop that was similar to Shinya Shokudo, not the actual shop. Thanks to Jung for pointing the obvious.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shinya Shokudo Season 3 Episode 1

Can someone please tell me where in Shinjuku I can find this eatery? I am so happy this show is back cause Shinya Shokudo is my favourite comfort food. This show makes me happy and I love the recurring customers cause they feel like old friends. On a related note, weren't there 3 people in the ochazuke sisters? I need to rewatch the first two seasons to refresh my memory.

Yeah, there's a big plot hole in episode 1 with the husband somehow not being to find the record because it is out of print. There are plenty of second hand shops in Japan and even shops that specialise in enka and very classic Japanese records.

However, I find this episode so enjoyable that I didn't really care about the plot hole. I'll accept it for a nice, simple story that can bring a smile to my face and rumbling to my stomach. Aaaaaaah, I want to eat menchi katsu right now! Way too early to say whether it will match the first two seasons but I will go out on a limb and say yes!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gomen ne Seishun! Eps 1+2

Gomen ne Seishun is a very funny show about an old boys school and a catholic girls school that are reluctantly trying to merge. Kudo Kankuro, writer of Manhattan Love Story and Tiger and Dragon has once again written a show that's so funny, I didn't really care about that Nishikido fella.

Millions of Japanese men gasped in shock at this line while I did the dance of joy.

Actually I still get the feeling that if they wanted to cast a johnny, they should have went for Nino. Other than that, I have no complaints about Gomen ne Seishun. Well, except for casting actors that are a lot older than their role but Gomen ne Seishun is a comedy so it doesn't matter anyway.

Its your basic high school boys and girls don't get along awkward comedy but how good it is will depend on whether Kudo Kankuro can make Gomen ne Seishun more than just your typical teenage comedy. I am particularly intrigued by what he will do with the teacher's past though if Haru shows up, I'm going to have a hard time buying her as Mitsushima Hikari's older sister.

My favourite part of Gomen ne Seishun is finally watching Mitsushima Hikari in a non crying role as the uptight and fierce sister. The ceiling for this show is going to be below Suzuki sensei. Acting wise, its not as good but if the story and dialogue can be as provocative and smart, we might be looking at a must watch dorama. I'm not ready to give Gomen ne Seishun a must watch but its off to a great start!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saint Young Man The Movie

Japan is a wonderful country where trains always run on time, vending machines never get vandalised and someone is able to make a manga about two religious figures having a holiday in Japan and not get crucified for it. (That I know of) Yup, Saint Young Man is a slice of life comedy about Jesus and Buddha living in Japan.

The movie is a collection of stories which are I assume, taken from the manga and we follow Jesus and Buddha as they go to a theme park, rush to a supermarket for a time sale, go to a swimming pool and celebrate christmas. The writer has managed to craft surprisingly funny scenes while keeping both characters holy. Well, their 'goodness' becomes a constant source of the humour and the tinkerbell scene had me in stitches.

However, slice of life stuff work better in parts rather than a 1 1/2 hour movie and there were a few slow bits for me. I feel there is so much chance for religious commentary but obviously the writer would probably be offending some easily offended people. Overall, not bad but nothing memorable. Watch it if you want something relaxing and light-hearted. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

55-sai Kara no Hello Life

Thanks to Rootabega for reminding me about 55-sai Kara no Hello Life. Its not been uploaded to d-addicts but direct download links can easily be found through google. 55-sai is a collection of five short stories running at about 55 minutes each about 5 people who are 55 years old as they deal with retirement and their next stage in life. I'm guessing the title is also a play on Hello Work, the famous employment agency we see in jdoramas all the time.

The first story is about Lily Franky buying a camper van to travel around Japan, the second story is about a housewife and her dog and the third about a divorcee looking for her next marriage partners. I found the first two episodes not bad but nothing to shout about. The third one felt a bit long and wasn't as funny as it should have been.

Kobayashi Kaoru aka Namakemono from Woman aka Mr Shinya Shokudo steals the show in episode 4 as the lonely truck driver who buys 100 yen books. Its such a funny and moving story and Kobayashi Kaoru really shows his acting chops in this one. Let's just say I didn't even think he was serious when he gave the advice to the young dude.

The last one is about a guy with a bad back who runs into someone from his past. I really enjoyed this episode as well as its an uncompromising look at reality for older people who have to keep working and have been discarded by society. The other thing I liked is that each character makes a small cameo in the next story but Kobayashi Kaoru's is the best.

The Japanese is pretty straight forward and I'm going to upload the Japanese subs to d-addicts after this. While I consider the last two episodes as very good, I can't give it a must watch as a whole. Very watchable, especially the last two episodes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Which Fall 2014 jdoramas should be subbed?



The scarred master is back! I love the first two seasons. I wish Kodoku no Gurume were more like this instead of a food show. Hopefully they can keep it up for one more time. Do not watch on empty stomach!


I was on the fence about this one but I can't bet against Oguri Shun after the incredible Border and its from the writer of Maou which I think I liked. Its pretty hard to stuff up time slip stories so if it sucks, its the writer's fault.


WTF is this show featuring a 'multi award winning' johnny who can't act doing in my must sub section? Its not just because Mitsushima Hikari is in it, Kudo Kankuro is writing it. Plus I want to see a Mitsushima Hikari show where she's not crying all the time. Looking at that poster just pisses me off but I believe in Kudo Kankuro.



This looks so cheap and bad it might be good.


When the synopsis says 'This drama draw the true friendship and real intentions of women in their 40s' I think of 'realistic' doramas like Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu...... but Okada Yoshikazu (Watashi to Iu Unmei ni Tsuite) is writing this and I like the cast.


Could be funny and interesting or it could be lame and oversentimental.



There's a 99% chance this is yet another boring, generic, kid friendly investigation show.


The power of Oscar Agency to push whatever 'talent' they like who can't act is scary.


If I had a gun with one bullet and Gouriki, Takei Emi and Fukada Kyoko in front of me.....


Wtf? There is a season 2? For the love of all that is holy, no one sub this show that prefers to tell the audience in boring detail what the characters are thinking instead of showing.


OMG, I used to read this manga and by read I mean look for the panty shots. Its probably gonna suck since its not a midnight dorama.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The rest of the summer 2014 jdoramas roundup

Good news is my favourite show of the summer, Petero no Souretsu is being subbed by subie06. Highly recommended and better than Namonaki Doku. The only show I want to try out that I haven't is Zainin no Uso.


This was supposed to be the summer of Ozaki Masaya and Yoshiwara got off to a good start, giving me Yamada Yoji vibes bu it had warning signs and ultimately became a mediocre show. Part of the problem is that its way too kid friendly so it can't all be on Ozaki Masaya's shoulders.


WTF did it take until episode 4 for the audience to finally get details of the alleged crimes? The answer is the writer is less concerned with making this an exciting legal dorama and more concerned with setting things up to create false suspense trying to keep the audience in the dark about the true nature of Hirosue Ryoko's character. The writing just doesn't work for me.


Ueto Aya is married to a loser and somehow the audience is supposed to feel sorry for her. Kichise Michiko is living many women's dream life and has fun in the afternoon. I really like Kichise Michiko's philandering housewife who starts to corrupt her innocent friend. Hirugao is at its best when its playful, not when it succumbs to angst and karmic guilt cause the characters and the acting never feel genuine.


Why did the last three episodes have to be the most run of the mill ones of the series? Ok, the Mitani Koki one is not exactly run of the mill but I didn't find it amusing in the least. Is it more of a case I had already watched 7 father stories that I was bound to get tired of it in the end? If I had seen the shows in reverse order would I saying how great the Yoshikazu Okada and Sakamoto Yuji episodes were? I think so. It was great to see Natsukawa Yui and Uchino Masaaki on the screen together. I had forgotten how good her acting was.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia on the surface looks like just another generic mecha anime. 'Farmboy' destined to pilot super mecha and save the world which in this case is a giant ship carrying earth's survivors? Check. Surrounded by his own harem including a hermaphrodite/boy who looks like a girl? Check. (Gotta satisfy your fujoshis) Jealous rival who is royalty? Yup. Every pilot is a teenager. Yup. Hive mind baddies with a weak core? Check.

As I kept watching, I realised something. Knights of Sidonia didn't feel like a teenager's unreal fantasy anime. The world of Knights of Sidonia felt real and had weight and I'm not saying this because lots of people die. Ok, its part of the reason cause no one dies in kids anime. Knights of Sidonia is sending kids to die in war.

This anime deals with a lot of issues like anti-war protests, sacrificing the few for the many without idealistic characters giving nonsensical speeches and magical things happening to prove them right. Its like why are the pilots all teenagers? Cause the life expectancy of a pilot is low. That I can buy. Plus the mechas aren't design to sell toys.

There's no time to mourn the dead in Knights of Sidonia. Sidonia has to be protected no matter the cost and this anime is not afraid to show it in gory detail. The one thing I don't like is that the faces all look the same and I had trouble distinguishing who was who.

Knights of Sidonia is proof Japan can take all the anime cliches but if they ground it and make it gritty, they can make me care. Not must watch but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to season 2. Very watchable for me. If anyone is after another interesting sci-fi anime, I recommend Planates.

On an unrelated note, The Snow White Murder Case has been English subbed so I highly recommend everyone check it out.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The End of Summer / Natsu no Owari

A year ago, I had to chose between The Apology King and Natsu no Owari during the Japanese Film Festival and I regretted choosing The Apology King. After a long wait, I finally got to watch this Mitsushima Hikari and Kobayashi Kaoru movie.

Mitsushima Hikari plays the mistress of a writer played by Kobayashi Kaoru. Ayano Go is her ex-lover and that's pretty much the plot of the movie cause there is not plot. Its basically a very, very slow movie that indulges in the misery of the characters and their dissatisfaction with their situations.

To be honest, I got pretty restless after the halfway mark. I can see the mistress is not happy but can't leave. Ayano Go's character playing the lover to the mistress is even more miserable but its nothing I've never seen before.

I kept watching in the faint hope that there is some sort of revelation that will turn this story around and make it work. Alas, Natsu no Owari is a study of a mistress trying to free herself from a life that bores her and unfortunately I was dragged into that boredom as well.

The acting was good, movie looks great but I think Mitsushima Hikari was terribly miscast as she looks way too young for the role. I won't call it crap but its not watchable either. The way I would recommend this movie is if you have trouble falling asleep. If you want a great movie about misery, watch The Ravine of Goodbye.


Finally got it today. It arrived in Australia on Thursday and I was supposed to get it on Friday but Australia Post did the fake 'attempted delivery' on Friday. I hate it when they bullshit fake delivery. I'd rather see a 'we're too busy to deliver today but you'll get it tomorrow' when tracking a parcel. I did not pay $20 for delivery to take a week. At least I got to finish Ryu ga Gotoku 1 HD over the weekend I guess.

Surprise, surprise, it came with an instruction manual, albeit a thin one! I hate opening a game case only to find it empty except for the game. The best way to combat piracy is to give people incentive to buy originals, not rip fans off with overpriced special editions. I miss the old thick, instruction manuals with lots of information and artwork.

Its time to kill that bloody traitor but knowing Falcom and anime RPGs in general, there's gonna be a lot of stupid arguments.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Nakuna Hara-chan

Nakuna Hara-chan is an interesting dorama by Okada Yoshikazu (Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi). Echizen-san (Aso Kumiko) draws manga as a hobby and one day Hara-chan, one of the characters in her manga manages to enter the real world in pursuit of God/Echizen-san.


+ Its basically a reverse Video Girl Ai/Chobits/Name any regular dude summon magical girl anime without the harem.
+ A lot of effort went into this dorama.
+ Nagase Tomoya's brand of overacting suits this type of story, or rather he is not exposed too much...
+ Similar to Haruhi, I love the god interacting with her creations bit of it. A lot of parallels with religion to explore not to mention falling in love with (literally) 2D characters.


- I grew very tired of the over overacting by the middle of the show.
- I felt Nakuna Hara-chan could have gone to darker and more interesting places. For eg, Echizen-san should have 'erased' the fake boss after his resurrection because he was making the manga unbalanced.
- I really didn't care about any of the characters and basically skimmed the last few episodes.


Watchable dorama with a rare premise that doesn't fulfill its potential but doesn't stuff it up either. Watch it for something different but keep your expectations low.