Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quick Jdorama reviews 31/7/16


I enjoyed the twins  storyline for this story arc but once again everyone dies at the end and in episode 5 we go back to the start again and this time concentrating on another girl. Someone recommended the anime to me but why should I care about the characters when non of them remember what happened? Maybe this will make sense when all four girls' storylines are explored but 4 episodes in there's no mystery that has me excited. Avoid.


Shoujou dorama set in an aquarium with clumsy ganbatte girl always getting scolded by love interest. So pedestrian its not worth watching unless you really like to see behind the scenes stuff at an aquarium. If you want a shoujou dorama, watch KoeKoi instead.


I actually finished this one because I wanted to see how it would end and the ending was not bad. I love the twists and turns that Yabai Tsuma goes through as everyone makes alliances or set up people up. Kimura Yoshino owns this role as the enigmatic housewife.

What pulls this show down is the directing and tone of the movie. Its too bright and there's too much overacting. Somethings feels off about the visual tone of this thriller. Put this show on NHK or WOWOW, get the Iryu guy to do the music and Yabai Tsuma could have been a must watch. Surprisingly watchable.


The very definition of generic waste of time medical show. The sad thing is this show about this team of people going undercover in hospitals to investigate malpractices has a very good cast which is why I struggled through 3 episodes hoping for some bright spot.

Its a crime that Fujii Mina does not get to do anything in this show. If Doctor Chousahan were a generic cop show instead and Fujii Mina had stuff to do, I would have at least watched it till the end. Do not waste your time.


Did someone get  a hangover and accidentally go overboard with photoshop. I watched this streaming and this is exactly the super bright, overacting dorama that's not a comedy that I hate. An absolute waste of Ono Machiko and Eguchi Yosuke. I'd rather they cast some crappy idorus who cannot act instead of these two. If somehow the super dazzling poster peaks your fancy, this show is for you. The rest of us should avoid this like a Gouriki dorama.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Juken no Cinderella Episodes 1 -3


Juken no Cinderella is basically Dragon Zakura + Medaka + Biri Gal. In other words, its a jdorama about getting into Todai with the main character being a high school student who studies at night school and is poor. Koizumi Kotaro is the tuition teacher who specialises in getting students into Todai with a 90% passing rate.


+ Great cast all around including Tomita Yasuko (Suzuki Sensei) as Kawaguchi Haruna's mom and Yamaguchi Sayaka.

+ I enjoyed watching Koizumi Kotaro play against his usual type as an arrogant teacher with a hot temper.

+ Who doesn't like an underdog story? How can anyone not support a poor girl trying to get into the most famous university in Japan?

+ Its also a tale of redemption.

+ About two characters who need each other at the lowest point in their lives.

+ Its an NHK BS show so the directing is better than average and they do really seem to specialise in making feel good shows.


- Theme songs sucks. Great music would have pushed Juken no Cinderella towards a must watch show. I don't think I would have rated Medaka must watch without Spitz's Masayume.

- I can't believe so many subbers chose to sub crappy shows over Juken no Cinderella.

- Found out that there is an old movie starring Mr Lan Evo Toyohara Kosuke but it's not available from my usual places.


I really enjoyed the first three episodes. Can't wait for episode 4. My guess is its going to end up like a lot of NHK BS shows like Coffee-ya no Hitobito and Kiseki no Hito being feel good shows that are just below the border of must watch. You can get the first two episodes from nyaa and episode 3 is up at jplovetv.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

OL Desu ga, Kyabajou Hajimemashita Episode 1

Kuramochi Asuka stars in a idoru filled show about being a hostess.

She plays a 25 year old OL working in advertising agency called Nanako. Her specialties are eating, sleeping and running.

This is Nanako's boss who's specialty is banning all sorts of things. In this scene, he is banning Nanako from talking to herself.

Nanako is in dire need of money.  Her electricity has been cut off and she applies to be a kyabajou but finds out that the starting salary is not as high as she thought.

Her boss tells her how to properly sit with a poor guy to rip off I mean customer and maintain a distance as well as deal with unwanted touching.

Then we are introduced to the club's 7 goddesses.

No. 1 being Ishikawa Rika from Momusu!!!!! Me so happy me doing dance of joy!! WTF is Yossie?

Let's skip no 2 and go straight to no 3 Mari who apparently has the biggest boobs.

No 4 Kyouka who I'm 100% is an idoru.

No 5 Megumi.

Let's skip no 6 and go straight for no. 7 Kazumi.

So Nanako is a complete newbie so the show has to explain what shimei (nominate) is and what a help's job is.

No. 4 Kyouka is asked by this customer what colour underwear she was wearing.

Kyouka skillfully asks him what his favourite colour is and promises to wear that colour next time he nominates her.

Kyouka has to leave and horny dude turns his attention to the newbie Nanako promising to nominate her if she gives her a kiss.

Rika skillfully comes in to save the day.

OL Desu ga, Kyabajou Hajimemashita basically functions as a hostess instruction video done in an entertaining fashion. The raws for the first three episodes can be found on nyaa. Its not so bad its good like Giragira but its fun. There needs to be a jdorama about the skills to not get ripped off by kyabakura.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Toki wo kakeru Shoujo (1983)

The 1983 movie for The Girl who Leapt Through Time is the story about the aunt character in the anime starring 80s idoru Harada Tomoyo.

Being an idol movie, its got a catchy 80s theme song.

The anime was a more fun time travelling story but the 1983 is more of a sad story about a love that can never be.

The most fun for me was watching a young Noguchi sensei from Iryuu as the teacher cum comedy relief. Too bad his role was very limited.

I get why it was popular and why the heartrending ending would work in the 1930s but the lack of chemistry between the two leads was a problem for me. The song at the nursery was nice though.

Nothing says 80s Japan like buruma. :)

Its an ok movie which I would rate behind the anime and the 2010 movie and fans of 80s Japan will get more of a kick from this movie.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo : anime vs jdorama vs jmovie

ANIME (2006)

Can't believe I somehow never wrote a review for the anime. Its a superbly done movie about high school angst wrapped up in an exciting time travel yarn. I absolutely love the kinetic pacing of the movie and Naka Riisa is awesome as Makoto, making her feel less anime and more real character. Must watch anime with so many layers that kids and adults will love it.

JDORAMA (2016)

WTF decided it was a great idea to spoil the big reveal within the first minute of the dorama?!! That's not actually the dorama's greatest sin. Its greatest sin is turning such a great story into a generic idoru dorama.

Its already got such a great template already with the anime. Maybe its more faithful to the original book but the dorama feels so bland. Avoid. Watch the anime instead. If you've seen the anime before, then watch it again.

JMOVIE (2010)

The movie is a lot better than the dorama and is a pseudo sequel to the anime with Naka Riisa playing the protagonist role.

Instead of a constantly rewinding time story, the movie has more in common with Back to the Future as Naka Riisa goes back in time to look for someone. With more polish to the script it could have been a real classic but I rather enjoyed it.


Watch the anime, then the movie and avoid the dorama.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Koekoi Eps 1+2

There are only 3 things I ask from Shoujo doramas. First, they have to be funny like Ore Monogatari, secondly eye candy for me and thirdly some sort of twist on the typical shoujo formula.

The surprising show of the new season so far, Koekoi ticks all three boxes for me and the twist is that the main dude Matsubara wears a paper bag on his head.

Not only is the idea of the paper bag guy with a good voice (apparently) funny, it can represent a lot of things and can be used to represent a character with any sort of quirk/physical difference. Speaking of voice, Matsubara's voice reminds me of the boss of this famous tsukemen place in Shinjuku called Fuunji.

He sort of uses a similar put on voice which is suppose to be yasashii for lack of an appropriate English term. Anyone who's been to Japan might notice that employees at eating places might use a softer/higher tone when speaking to customers to show servitude.

Anyway, its been a pretty funny two episodes. I hope they never ever explain Matsubara's reason for having the paper bag on his head and never show his face, though it seems unlikely. I recommend Koekoi and hope it can keep it up! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hibana Spark

Hibana Spark is the second Japanese netflix show after the horrible Underwear. I couldn't even finish the first episode of Underwear because it smelled like a crappy prime time Japanese dorama show. Hibana Spark smells different. Thats because its a philosophical movie about the nature of comedy wrapped up in a story about  a struggling manzai duo Sparks.

Also central to the story is Tokunaga's (one half of Sparks) relationship with Kamiya (one half of Ahodora), a senpai who he respects with a skewed sense of humour. Together, they are like monks living a life dedicated to making people laugh while musing about the nature of their occupation. They find in each other the ideal audience for their jokes but the question is whether they can find enough of an audience out there for their acts?

I have however, one problem with Hibana Spark and that is I didn't find it funny. Not the manzai jokes about curry or nabe or even the dry humour like the scene where Sparks are watching their appearance on tv and Tokunaga's partner Masato asks his girlfriend if she recorded the thing. I know why its suppose to be funny but it just didn't work for me.

I think people who enjoy manzai would like Hibana Spark but I found it too dry and didn't really enjoy watching any of the characters. Actually, the character I was most interested in was kamiya's girlfriend, Maki because I was interested to know what she though of all this.

Its surprising Netflix chose Hibana Spark to do because I don't think it plays well to a foreign audience except for the underdog trying to make it in a difficult industry part. I like that its not your usual jdorama but I sort of get what its trying to say but I don't feel it. Hibana Sparks gets a meh from me.