Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hyakuman en no Onna tachi episodes 1-5

At first glance Hyakumen en no Onna tachi seems like your typical harem.


Shin is a struggling writer when one day, 5 women turn up at his house.


All five received a mysterious invitation to stay with Shin and to pay him hyakuman en every month for rent.

What are the contents of the mysterious said letters that made these 5 women spend so much money to live together with Shin?

What are the true identities of the women who clearly must be loaded enough to pay hyakuman a month in rent?

Who is the person who sent the letters and what is the purpose of the exercise?

We slowly get glimpse to the women's back story one by one and they turn out to be interesting.

I'm just happy its not the typical anime sob story problem where the main character fixes it by being nice and going Dr. Phil on the problem.

Up until episode 3, Hyakuman en no Onna tachi was ok but as it is bframe's recommended show of the season, I soldiered on.

Then the end of episode 4 happened and now I could start to see the show heading into interesting places. I don't care its got a harem premise as long as it leads me down interesting places.

I downloaded the first episode from nyaa but I can't find it anymore. You can stream the series from 7tv7dorama. I've got a add-on for downloading streaming videos on my Opera browser so I can download the episodes. Very intriguingly watchable and could potentially be very good in my book.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Big anime reviews roundup 18/5/17

BERSERK EP 19

If you look on the internet, you could be forgiven for thinking that Berserk was the worst anime ever with all the complaining and moaning about the stiff CG and animation. While the complaints may have some merits, its still Berserk which means its better than 99% of all anime out there. I love how we finally get to see Guts' new group in action! I look forward to it every week.

ZANKYOU NO TERROR

Nicely paced 11 episode anime about two teenage terrorists and this girl who gets caught up in their plans. I watched this based on a recommendation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mature and beautifully animated, Zankyou no Terror is why I like anime. While watching I kept thinking who was this producer who got this show greenlit with a very good budget cause its not a shallow popular anime. Very watchable but I hope they never turn it into a jdorama.

YOUJO SENKI

Don't let the loli main character full you. She's actually a Japanese salaryman stuck in this alternate reality world war scenario with magic and flying witches. The main appeal of Youjo Senki is that we have a smart, pragmatic main character who knows what he wants and schemes to get there instead of the boring nice characters who luck their way to saving the world. My only complaint is the whole loli thing is so unnecessary but its Japan so whatever. Watchable.

SHINGEKI NO BAHAMUT

Beautiful anime with fantastic character design. Based on a smartphone game, the story is generic and sometimes headscratching but its saved by nice character dynamics and very good pacing. Kept me entertained until the end. Surprisingly watchable fantasy anime. I wish the story and characters were from an old school RPG game instead of smartphone trading card freemium game. Watchable. Did I mention it looks so pretty?

GANGSTA

Gangsta at first glance looks like my kind of anime. Its about two handymen who do all sorts of jobs in this city where lawlessness rules. My big problem with Gangsta is the world building. We've got the four factions and anti-twilights stuff but the world doesn't feel real. The characters explain a lot about the world but don't really see any world building stuff. You can say I feel like the world is lacking in details. I gave up 3/4 of the way. Meh.

SHINGEKI NO KYOUJIN S2

I've kept my expectations low and its been surprisingly watchable and even at times exciting.

EROMANGA SENSEI

This feels like a crappy version of Ore no Imouto mass produced for the otaku masses with no soul. ZZzzzz.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Final Fantasy 14: Daddy of Light Episodes 1-4

My must anticipated jdorama of the season and it does not disappoint. The plot is simple. Son does not have a close relationship with his father, Osugi Ren who just retired but introduces him to Final Fantasy 14 as a means to get close to his father.

My favourite thing in this show is about how problems that Osugi Ren encounters in the game are used to solve real life problems that the son faces. For example, in episode 2, the Osugi Ren declares that he is quitting FF14 and the reason he gives is a hoot but so Japanese and it helps the son solve this problem at work.

Daddy of Light is simple, not preachy because of the runtime and gamers will totally enjoy the Final Fantasy music and real life gaming experiences. Most of all, the characters feel real and relatable compared to stupid shows like Tokyo Tarareba Musume.

Daddy of Light is not available for non-Japanese Netflix at the moment. I've been watching at jplovetv. If you've got basic Japanese, I'd encourage you to give it a go. (Its called Hikari no Otousan) Who knows how long the links will stay up.

On the whole, a very watchable show I would equate to nice, warm chicken soup.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Onna no Naka ni Iru Tanin

Based on a 1966 movie, The Stranger within a Woman is about a wife (Tanuma Yuriko) who finds out her husband has accidentally killed his lover who happens to be the wife of his best friend and instead of leaving him, helps cover up the crime to protect their family.


I was really attracted to the premise of this show. Anything dark and nihilistic is right up my alley. Unfortunately, I did not like the execution very much. Firstly, its very soap opera-ish. Not just the acting but also things like characters doing inner monologues out loud and directing style.

Secondly, the pacing is too slow and 7 episodes is too long for a movie adaptation. They presumably added the subplot about the wife's old best friend but it just distracts from the main story which is the psychological breakdown of the husband and the wife who wants to save her family at all cost.

I still finished Onna no Naka ni iru Tanin. I haven't watched a jdorama with Japanese subs in a while its great for Japanese study. Thanks to keiko1981 for timing the subs. The show can be downloaded from the private tracker AOX. Other than watching a show with Japanese subs, I would not go out of my way to watch it. I just feel WOWOW would have done a much better job with this adaptation. Meh.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Nyaa is dead! Long Live Nyaa!


As everyone on the internet knows by now, the biggest free anime tracker nyaa is gone because a Dutch court ruled that fansubbing is illegal. While nyaa was mostly known as an anime tracker, it was also a great source for jdoramas, jmovies and raw manga.

I had a whole bunch of jdoramas and movies that I was procrastinating on downloading before nyaa got taken down. Where else can I download raws for 100man en no onna tachi?

While this is ruling is for the Netherlands, who knows whether other countries will follow suit? There are so many questions to be answered. If a fansub was created outside the Netherlands but hosted on a server in the country, would the host be liable? What if three different people were involved in the creation of a subtitle; the translator, timer and editor and the timer lived in the Netherlands?

Fansubs are such a grey area of the law that I don't think most courts would want to make a ruling on it. The best way for rights holders to get their money is not going after fans but by making their product cheaper and easier to get. (I'm looking at you amazon.jp and your digital mangas)

Goodbye nyaa. Now that you are gone, I miss you so much. :(

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Where to download jdoramas now?

Once upon a time, a jdorama addict could get all the shows from the d-addicts tracker. Unfortunately one day it had to close and we had to download our shows from multiple places:

1) jdramacity - Only 'popular' shows were uploaded and only those which someone was subbing. Looks like its not active for this season.

2) doramax265 - My favourite place because it had a lot of movies as well and I liked the smaller file sizes. Unfortunately inactive since a few months ago.

3) doramax264 - Too many ads attacking you left and right. Tried once, never again.

4) nyaa - Currently the main one. Doesn't have everything and uploads are a bit slow.

5) avistaz - Better for movies and only has mainstream jdoramas.

6) aox.to - The new private tracker that is currently open for registration this weekend only! Make sure to get in! Only place to get Onna no Naka Iru Tannin!

7) Chinese streaming sites like 7tv7dorama.blog - Only place to watch shows like Daddy of Light. I have to physically block the Chinese subs on the screen with a piece of paper as its annoying.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How Crisis Episode 1 completely lost me with its first action scene.

Crisis starts off with terrorists wanting to kill a minister on a shinkansen. First off, I like that they've gone with a more Jason Bourne fighting style instead of the usual tokusatsu style where bad guys just throw themselves on the ground left and right.

Very happy to see an armbar and someone's arm getting snapped.

So bad guy still has the bomb set to a timer that is going to blow. Oguri Shun presses the emergency stop button on the Shinkansen and open the door overlooking a river.

He takes the terrorist and bag with bomb and jumps into the river TOGETHER!!!!

There's a freaking explosion followed by stirring music.....

.... and Oguri Shun is alive!!!!! WTF????? Do they not learn physics in Japan or have any common sense? No freaking human being can survive a blast next to a bomb underwater! The freaking shockwave should have destroy all four of their the lungs. Seriously, Oguri Shun should have just thrown the bomb out.

But no. Action jdoramas priorities trying to look cool at all costs to the point of stupidity. I couldn't even be bothered continuing. I just cannot effing stand this! I feel like rewatching Gaiji Keisatsu to wash off this stupidity.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What jdoramas should I watch next? (Spring 2017)

FINAL FANTASY XIV: DADDY OF LIGHT

I'm going to pay for one month of Netflix to watch this. Osugi Ren plays MMO with son without knowing its his son. As someone once told me, its better to keep your expectations low so you won't be disappointed but as long as its not too cheesy, Osugi Ren can carry this show.

CRISIS

Oguri Shun and Nishijima Hidetoshi by the writer of the incredible jdorama Border. Unfortunately, he also wrote the very boring SP. I'm not expecting Border level must watch quality but as long as its not SP level try to hard to be cool, I'll be happy.

REVERSE

FujiTatsu and Toda Erika with FujiTatsu playing a character who might be a murderer. How much you want to bet every character in this show has something to hide? Worth giving a try I guess.

HANZAI SHOKUGUN

Could this be the must watch show of the season?


KONO YO NI TAYASUI SHIGOTO GA NAI

ManoEri's first starring role. She doesn't have it but as a fan of her odoru days, I'll give it a shot.

CHIISANA KYOJIN

Yet another cop show about how ineffective the police organisation is and I'm guessing Hasegawa Hiroki's character is disliked by everyone. I would normally avoid it but I'll give it a go just for the cast. I have completely no expectations for this show.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jdorama ramblings 14/4/2017

OKAASAN, MUSUME WO YAMETE II DESU KA? Eps 7+8

Surprisingly watchable series that I saw through the end and I didn't even mind Haru who was not miscast unlike in Border. Ho-hum ending but I did not skip any scenes. Good show for watching with Japanese subs.

SHIKAOTOKO AONIYOSHI

This show has been on my rewatch list for a long time and I finally rewatched the whole thing. I wanted to see whether it would stand the test of time and I stand by my review back in 2008! I enjoyed watching Shikaotoko a second time because I still remembered the ending and I could pick up on all the clues. If you have not seen this show, its a must watch and worth putting up with the slow pace of the first half.

YUUSHA YOSHIHIKO TO MICHIBIKARESHI SHICHININ Ep 6.

Zzzzzzzz. I give up. It just feels so repetitive and I don't even give a crap about the Lupin parody.


SUPER SALARYMAN SANAE-SHI Ep 5 

I give up as well and its by the same writer as Yuusha Yoshihiko. His brand of humour is very hit and miss for me. If you want to watch a truly fun salaryman comedy, watch Salaryman Kintaro.

THRILL! AKA AND KURO NO SHO Eps 3

Give up. Its got none of the charm of Trick and I lasted so far just for Mano Erina. Speaking of Mano Erina, she got to no.1 on the LINE blog rankings or something and now she's just spamming way too many updates on her LINE account. I am so close to deleting her.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Silent Voice / Koe no Katachi jmovie review

I first heard about Koe no Katachi last year because it won a whole bunch of manga awards. Intrigued, I read through the whole manga a deaf girl Shoko and her tormentor in primary school Shoya. I wasn't impressed with the manga because it felt like a typical teen angst, everyone has a secret burden style typical story.

However, the movie is a different animal because it does one important thing to the manga's story; it had to distill the 7 volume movie into 2 hours and cut out all the fat and concentrated the story on Shoko and Shoya instead of everyone's sob story. A Silent Voice is one of those rare times when an adaptation has truly improved on the original source material.

With all the unnecessary stuff trimmed out, I found myself having a greater appreciation of the two main characters. Shoko who wants so hard to be accepted that she blames herself for everything and Shoya who is burdened by his sins and cannot face the world.


Its easy to compare A Silent Voice to Your Name / Kimi no na wa with both being high school movies about a boy and a girl and both being released close to each other but A Silent Voice is a lot heavier and more psychological.

An interesting note about the sound design, during the movie I was thinking about how the music throughout the movie seemed muted and how it would have benefited from a more jpop soundtrack but when the last scene came, I understood that the muted music was intentional and it was a brave sacrifice in order to tell the story better.

Bravo to the people who did the adaptation and they've certainly turned an ok manga into a must watch movie. A Silent Voice is now showing in Australian cinemas.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Ubai Ai, Fuyu Episodes 1+2

Ubai Ai, Fuyu is the trashy 'adult' show of the season and man is it trashy. The acting is horrible, there is no chemistry between the leads whatsoever and the dialogue is cringeworthy.

I think I might be developing a megane fetish.

Mizuno Miki's protrayal of the evil, crippled woman who entrapped Kurashina Kana's ex in a marriage is so over the top its almost comedic.

I love yaeba!

There are basically no redeeming qualities to this show unless you want to watch something so bad its almost comical. Ubai Ai Fuyu is a soap opera so soapy you'll feel like taking a bath after watching it. Avoid.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quartet Episodes 9+10

1) Matsu Takako has basically guaranteed herself the best actress award from 2017 The only way she would lose is if Mitsushima Hikari or Ando Sakura played the lead role in another Sakamoto Yuji dorama this year.

2) Its nice to see Sakamoto Yuji return to form after that oversentimental Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite kitto Naite Shimau. While we're on that subject, can some Japanese politician please pass a law restricting the number words possible in a jdorama title?

3) While Quartet is a masterpiece, its still not in the rarified stratosphere of instant classic titles like Soredemo Ikite Yuku or KDO.

4) I would rank Quartet among Sakamoto Yuji's best works below Soredemo Ikite Yuku and Mosaic Japan and above everything else including Last Christmas, Woman, Mother, Chase, Itoshi Kimi E, Saikou no Rikon and Tokyo Love Story. That is a crazy good body of work that any writer would kill to have. Maybe I should give Mondai no Aru restaurant another go? Nah.

5) I love how Suzume shrugs her shoulders after getting a hug from Arisu as if to nulify it.

6) The humour in Quartet is perfect. Its not dumb anime humour but rather smart wordplay jokes that reveal so much about the characters and I love how the jokes always come full circle. Takahashi Issei's deadpan expressions are gold.

7) I love how the ending doesn't give closure to the romantic storylines because Quartet is ultimately about friendship.

8) I do not want a second season or a stupid dorama special. Please! Don't ruin is prefect jdorama!

9) I will never look at karaage with lemon and parsley the same way again.

10) How I hate that backstabbing, thieving Arisu who works at the restaurant. I can't believe the ending that Sakamoto Yuji gave her!

11) 10 episodes is just the magic number of episodes to spend time with these 4 wonderful people.

11) Quartet is a magical show about people trying to find their place in the world and do something meaningful and their friendship as they help and accept each other for who they are. If you are not watching Quartet, you don't deserve to be watching jdoramas.