Tuesday, December 27, 2016
+ One of the funniest comedies of the year. ( at least for the first 7 episodes)
+ The pacing for 7 episodes was incredible. It was a constant avalanche of escalating jokes and revelations.
+ Incredible cast of females. Not one gorioshi talento in sight. I was squealing with delight as each of the mistresses was revealed.
+Narumi Riko from Ruri no Shima has turned into quite an actress.
+ Mizuno Miki's character. She's so good at acting a character who is bad at acting who thinks she is so good at acting but is actually bad.
+ The very formidable last boss.
+ Each of the women are interesting with their own distinct voice.
+ Bakarythm talking about jdorama ratings and what happens when ratings are low.
+ Bakarythm revealing that directors in Jdoramas may have more influence over scripts than I had thought.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
- Kaze is the most unconvincing lover of 10 women. There was no kissing, groping or undressing.
- Pacing slowed to a crawl by episode 8.
- The least three episodes could have easily been combined into 2. The conspiracy scene was way too long and could have been done as a series of flashbacks and the final scene should have been the restaurant scene where the tables got turned.
- They kept showing the Kaze on the ground ending which tells me, "Hey, if you're getting bored, there's this ending to look forward to."Ultimately his character is irrelevant and its more about the women getting too full of themselves and Kaze's comeuppance was unnecessary.
- All that wasted food and drinks. :(
Kuroi 10-nin no Onna could have been not just a top 5 must watch jdorama of the year but a classic comedy jdorama if not for the pacing issues at the end. I get that sometimes you need to calm things down before the flurry at the end but I was looking at my phone wishing things would go faster at the end.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Chef has a cast good enough to make a must watch jdorama: Amami Yuki, Endo Kenichi, Toyohara Kosuke aka Mr Lan Evo and the reunion of Koizumi Kotaro and Kawaguchi Haruna from Juken no Cinderella.
Unfortunately, episode 1 gave me this very tired been here done that feeling about a 3 star chef who ends up working at a primary school cafeteria. No matter how many times they play some rousing music, I good not get excited about this show. As per usual Fuji TV shows, the indoor scenes have this super bright fuzzy lighting where no shadows exist.
Maybe it gets better in later episodes but all signs point to generic Fuji TV show. What a waste of talent. Meh. Only for food dorama maniacs who like kids.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Hippocrates no Chikai is a thriller about an intern who gets sent to the hospital morgue to learn about autopsies and slowly discovers to her horror that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
The interesting part about this show is looking at Japanese attitudes towards autopsies. That cutting up of dead bodies is desecration.
Instead of going on the story's journey with her character, I find myself looking at the story from the autopsy mad Mitsuzaki's viewpoint and wondering if Mitsuzaki is wondering why Kitagawa is not picking up on the clues. It doesn't help that it took way to long for Kitagawa's character to begin suspecting the hospital.
I really loved the choice that Kitagawa Keiko's character makes at the end though. I remember thinking when she made the choice that if her character were a bit smarter and they had cast a better actress, this would have been a very good thriller.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Finally finished Ryu ga Gotoku 6 and I'm still gathering my thoughts. With The Last Guardian and RGG6 being released two days apart, this has been a week of gaming heaven for me.
THINGS I LIKED
+The new bunch of characters are very enjoyable and I really liked them a lot. I thought I would hate it since Akiyama, Majima and Saejima play very minor roles here but the personalities of the characters shone through.
+ The acting is great. Special mention to Miyasako Hiroyuki who plays Nagumo. he plays the classic hot headed guy who comes to call Kiryu aniki and provides plenty of comic relief as well as cool moments and he does it well.
+ Shout out to Oguri Shun, the kid who got bullied in GTO who gets to stand toe to toe with Kiryu.
+ New engine with seamless transitions from inside buildings to outside.
+ Fully voiced all the way! (If only the kyabakura missions in RGG 0 were fully voiced)
+ Regular enemies actually block and do decent damage, at least on hard.
+ No more three battle styles like in the previous games which I didn't like. I actually like the ultimate heat mode which makes it 1 and a half battle styles. Kiryu spends all his heat and has limited time in this mode which gives him access to new heat moves including the very important knee bash.
+ Its very easy to get experience points to get all the moves unlike previous games.
+ Its the shortest and most efficient Ryu ga Gotoku game ever clocking at only 50+ hours. I totally approve because they usually take over 100 hours. However, I did abandon the kyabakura and clan creator.
+ The snack missions are very, very fun and its the new kyabakura. Its a combination of regular side stories with customers, getting friendly with the mama and being able to karaoke and darts at the same venue. They should have added the girls to the snacks and gotten rid of kyabakura altogether. I have spent a lot of time at snacks and getting along with the regulars is as important as the women.
+ Kiryu being a super sukebe on the internet chat. Its repetitive though but the funniest part is actually not Kiryu's reactions or his ojisan typing but rather sometimes other people in the chat say some very funny lines. My favourite being which do you like more, dogs, cats or me?
+ While the main secret was very meh for me, they managed to tie the storylines together thematically.
+ As per usual, a lot of memorable sub stories that make fun of plenty of things that are relevant in today's Japanese society from mascots to auto cleaning machines to kids being raised to speak English.
+ Virtua Fighter 5 Final Tuned!!!!!!
+ Ability to take selfies. I hate selfies in real life but its fun in game. :)
= Game runs at 30fps with occasional slowdown. Personally I would keep the old 60fps engine.
= Kiryu needed a couple of extra heat moves.
= Bad guys being more evil than powerful which is why I love RGG2. They could have taken advantage of the fact that Kiryu is way past his prime.
= Unable to turn off auto save.
= Maki Yoko is not a good voice actor cause the game was unable to get her minute facial expressions in. It doesn't help that her character is underwritten but she needed to be slightly more expressive in her voice.
= Haruka doesn't sound grown up. I still see her as the little girl I meat in the first Ryu ga Gotoku. sniff. sniff.
= Haruka's lack of chemistry with the dad.
= Repetitiveness of internet chatting.
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE
- The way Beat Takeshi just murmurs his lines. Luckily we have subtitles but I just can't stand how he doesn't enunciate properly.
- The secret of Hiroshima turned out to be very outrageous and the exposition for the bloody secret was way too long which bored me. It must have taken at least 15 minutes. All the while I was praying that they would not do a stupid ending like in RGG Ishin which spoiled the whole game for me.
- But the bicycle is the ultimate overpowered mob clearing weapon with super armour and a huge hitbox.
- The only thing I don't like about the ultimate head mode is that it auto picks up weapons.
- RGG6 has the worst kyabakura system in the whole series. Its like the writers got bored and made it a card drawing question game. This is the first RGG game where I did not finish all the kyabakura missions.The girls are horribly boring and the dialogue put me to sleep.
- Clan mission is a waste of time dumbed down RTS mini game that doesn't make sense in terms of story and I think they created DLC for the stupid thing.
Not the best Ryu ga Gotoku game but it certainly a reasonably satisfying conclusion to the Kiryu saga. You could say I'm more happy they didn't stuff it up. I look forward to the remake of RGG2 with the new engine and if they can get it running on the PS4 Pro with 60fps, I would certainly upgrade.
Monday, December 12, 2016
The best episode so far. Part of it is that the episode felt very Japanese instead of just being stories transplanted in Japan and part of it is the ending which I could not bear to watch. You don't often find stories about race in Jdoramas.
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Once upon a time, this dude named Ueda Fumito made this not famous PS2 game called Ico, a puzzle game about a boy rescuing a girl and it is one of the greatest games ever. I replayed two years ago and it still stood the test of time. He followed it up with another critically acclaimed game, Shadow of the Colossus. Unfortunately, Shadow of the Colossus was marred with a camera that caused me a lot headaches and I could not finish it.
The Last Guardian was announced at the beginning of PS3's lifespan 7 years ago and finally the Japanese version was released yesterday and I managed to complete it in one day.
The Last Guardian otherwise known as 'The Man eating giant eagle Toriko' in Japan is a game about a boy and his oversized dog eagle thing. You control the boy and have no control over Trico. All you can do is point, yell, stamp your feet, praise Trico but Trico has a mind of his own.
Sometimes Trico is so damn smart and will point you to obvious clues and sometimes he won't jump towards the hole in the wall you are pointing at no matter how many times you gesticulate. Trying to get Trico to do things can be maddening but it is part of the magic of feeling like you are adventuring with a real animal.
And real magic happens when the boy or try work to save each other. The bond that these two characters form is just so real and you'll laugh and cheer and maybe shed a tear when these two characters risk their lives for each other. After having my life saved by Trico plenty of times, I could not get angry at him for not listening to my commands and running to the otherside to wade in some water.
Now, there are two negatives. First is the camera. Luckily its bad like Shadow of the Colossus's snapback camera with a mind of its own but I do appreciate how hard it is to have a camera system work for two characters, one of which is huge and plenty of small spaces. Its not gamebreaking but it can get irritating.
The second is frame rate. There are some scenes where the frame rate dips below 20, especially outdoors. I don't know why they couldn't get it optimised but I blame Trico's beautiful feathers. Many times I found myself just watching Trico doing whatever because he's just a magnificent creature.
Other than that, The Last Guardian is basically Ico 2 with a big pet. No one makes big budget games like this anymore. I hope The Last Guardian will sell a bazillion units so Ueda Fumito can create more works of art.
I preordered the Australian special edition which cames with the statue (yes I double dipped so I could play the game one day early) and the game comes out tomorrow so I will update this post with pictures of it tomorrow.
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Speaking of Kiseki no Hito, I just realised the theme song, Hone (Bones) is available on the net for download! Just google for 銀杏BOYZ骨mp3 and its the first link!! Too bad the song is not available on DAM or Joysound. :( That was a fun show to watch.
What's next? A jdorama about an ex-yakuza who runs into the daughter of his childhood friend and he must protect her from the bad people? One can hope.
Mamagoto is a big deal not just because its got Ando Sakura who is one of Japan's best actresses along with Matsushima Hikari but because the director is Nakata Hideo, director of Ringu and Dark Water.
Visually so far, Mamagoto has not been special. Its got a raw sort of quality to the visuals but nothing impressive but you can tell it doesn't have the budget.
I like that the kid is not your usual trying to be cute and actually acting like an adult kid. However, there is something about the kid's acting that bugs me. I'm no expert about 5 year old kids but sometimes his acting seems very fake. Ando Sakura is good as the demon old lady with a sad past whose heart gets melted by the kid.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Homonji has a army of supporting characters:
1) Kung fu butler Kensei
2) Yet another actress who is too young to play a police officer in Tsuchiya Tao doing the Imaizumi role.
3) A pair of police detectives who don't do any investigating including one the irritating one who says random English words all the time,
4) Aristocratic sister
5) Nakatani Miki as the criminally underutilised coroner who is smitten with Homonji's IQ.
Nothing wrong with a huge supporting cast except they all get a lot of screen time and IQ246 feels very crowded to the point that the mystery feels like an afterthought.
Oh yes, the mysteries. Like Furuhata Ninzaburo, we get to see how the crimes are committed and its about how Homonji solves the case. The list of high profile guest stars is certainly impressive and I'm tempted to watch episode 4 for Kuninaka Ryoko but the first three episodes seem to be about the mystery serving the various supporting characters rather than the other way around and it made for a tiring viewing.