Friday, September 29, 2017

Papakatsu review


Papakatsu stands for papa katsudou (lifestyle). Its basically the new compensation dating. Rich old men paying university going women money to spend time with down. Iitoyo Marie plays a university student who gets into papakatsu after being kicked out of her home and runs into Watabe Atsuro who turns out to be her university lecturer.


Nojima Shinji is one of the greatest jdorama writers ever but lately, he's output has been disappointing especially Our House. From episode one of Papakatsu, I could feel the difference in his writing. The conversations between Iitoyo Marie and her three friends were funny and could deliver the necessary information I needed while feeling very natural. And when he is on, no one writes monologues like Nojima Shinji. Suffice to say, I was paying attention to every freaking word and its been a while since I can say that dialogue in a jdorama feels like singing to me.

Everything else about Papakatsu is good. The acting, the directing and the music. Its a low budget jdorama that looks so much better than many high budget shows.




Yes, if you've got the Japanese for it or can read Chinese. Being a Nojima Shinji show the vocabulary is a bit more difficult than usual. You can get it from nyaa here although its missing episode 2 or stream from jplovetv here. While I can't give it a must watch, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Very watchable and definitely deserves to be English subbed.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ashita tatte, Himitsu wa Aru Episodes 1-3

The story about a son and mother who killed their abusive dad 8 years ago sounded interesting to me so I decided to check out the dorama. However, the more I watched the show about this who is this mystery person who knows about the crime, the more uneasy I felt.

That's because the mystery antagonist's actions start to become more and more prosposterous such as being able to dig out the body from the garden in the middle of the night without the main character or his mother noticing.

The final straw for me was when the the fiance's boss shared client information with the main character despite the fact that he was not even an employee of the firm.  Is there not such thing as client privacy in Japan?

It seems like the writer is making things happen for the sake of the everyone is a suspect mystery and everything feels like its going to collapse under the weight of logic. Maybe everything gets explained well in the end but I could not ignore my jdorama sense tingling. Dropping it straight away. Meh.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Border 2 Shokuzai is coming!!!!

After a lot of waiting and wondering why Oguri Shun would do crappy doramas and movies instead of doing the continuation of one of the best shows of 2014, Border 2 is finally coming end of this year!

I know I should keep my expectations low but I'm so excited! Not so excited about Haru. Its coming as a special dorama so I'm guessing its going to be tv movie? Get hyped! Need to find time to rewatch season 1. :)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dragon Quest XI : Sugisarishi toki wo motome PS4 review

I love old school turn based RPGs. Its such a niche genre nowadays because Japanese companies have mostly gone into making gatcha smartphone games that you mostly get low budget ones that rely on gimmicks to sell and when somone makes a good one with a proper story like I am Setsuna, it doesn't sell.

Now, I've never been a Dragon Quest fan. The only one I played was DQ8 on the 3DS and I really tried to like it and finish I but it bored the hell out of me. I was thinking of skipping DQ11 but in the end, I thought its the only big budget old school RPG I can play so I had no choice but to support the genre.


GRAPHICS - JRPGS used to be in the forefront of graphics and looking at pretty pictures and movies was part of the charm and FF11 is a sight to behold. There were some places where I would just stand still and pan the camera around enjoying the beautiful world before my eyes thinking if only SquareEnix would  lend the engine and give GameArts to do a Grandia remake on this.

OLD SCHOOL TURN BASED - DQ11 has the 'modern' auto attack system but you can switch to old school manual.

NOT EVERYONE IS A FIGHTER-HEALER-MAGE - Every character has their own tech tree upgrade path similar to the FF10 board system and bonus points for being able to reset your points. I love that every character is different with their own strengths and weaknesses because their own personal character class is what helps give each character their own personality.

REALLY FUN AND LIKABLE CHARACTERS - While the characters in DQ8 bored me, I really liked the personalities of the characters in DQ11 from the thief Kamyu to the twin sisters.

RIDING MONSTERS IS GOOD - I thought the ability to ride monsters would be too gimmicky but it brought a nice puzzle solving element to exploring levels to the flambouyant Sylvia.

THE BITTERSWEET STORIES OF THE FIRST ENDING - The emotional punch of the events leading up to the first ending was great.


YOU CAN NEVER GET LOST IN THE GAME - There is always a summary of the story when loading your save game, the options screen tells you what your next objective is and places you have to go are marked on your world map.



PACING, PADDING AND REPETITIVENESS - It took me 150 hours to finish the game. The story is divided into three parts, similar to Nier Automata and for each part you need to travel through the whole world again. Problem is a lot of it is unnecessary like the stupid trials before the true final boss.
 MUSIC - So generic and boring. Every world should have had their own individual music instead of using a generic score everytime you visit a castle or has something to do with royalty etc. JRPGs are about visiting exotic and memorable locations but the generic music makes everything blend in instead of giving each location a memorable tune. The less said about the boring running around the field music the better.

NO VOICE ACTING - Voice acting would have made the game 30% better.

THE FIRST ENDING WAS BETTER - The first ending after going through the world the second time and getting the first credits is so much better than the real ending. It was bittersweet, had pacing and I cared about revenge. The real ending is way too happy for me and just destroys the emotions of the first ending. Imagine if the real ending of Nier Automata was about sunflowers and rainbows. Ugh.


Dragon Quest XI could have joined the pantheon of all time great JRPGS like Grandia, FF6 and FF9 but the third part of the game ruined it for me. Great effort and must play for old school JRPG fans and I can't fault the effort. Fun game with faults.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Akira to Akira spoiler review

Akira to Akira is a show about two stupid Akiras. The first Akira, a poor son of a bankrupt is so stupid that it takes him forever to ask Tanaka Rena out when any idiot can see that she clearly wants to besides telling it to him directly.

I know that delaying the romance is part of building up the drama but when one of your main characters looks like an idiot, it just makes me not interested.

The second Akira is stupid because he lets his stupid brother and idiotic and creepy uncles nearly run his grandfather's company to the ground. The dialogue keeps saying how Akira's younger brother is good at management but makes hasty decisions.

Well, I did not see Akira's brother make any good management decisions. I did not even see him do any rational decisions befitting the president of a large corporation. Which stupid president would sign a loan guarantee on behalf of a large corporation without first running it through the in house lawyer?

Making decisions that turn out bad is not stupid but making decisions without first doing one's homework is completely wreckless, irresponsible and I had to watch that idiot and two uncles screw everything up before Akira salvages everything.

Now, I understand what Akira to Akira is going for. Its the Namonaki Doku guy who tries to do right, has to overcome large obstacle and finally breaks down in the end. However, what Akira did was more akin to burying one's head in the sand and his complete dealing of his brother with kid's gloves is shocking and its what got the company in trouble in the first place.

Akira to Akira would have worked better as a flashback dorama because the last two episodes about Akira trying to save his company was more exciting. Meh.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ito-kun A to E Episodes 1-3


Kimura Fumino is a one hit wonder screenwriter who on day giving a talk about relationships notices that 4 women in the audience are involved with the same person, Ito-kun and decides to listen to their troubles and use it to write her next script.


+ More of a movie look than your typical jdoramas.
+ Kimura Fumino is not playing a boring naive, idealistic character for once.
+ Kaho is in it!


- The two girls so far have not been interesting.
- The only 'catch' of the show is the identity of this Ito-kun but frankly I don't care.


I'm still waiting for the episode that'll make me go 'I can't wait to see what happens next!' Meh, but I'll keep watching for Kaho and its been a while since I've watched with Japanese subs.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Cecile no Mokuromi episodes 1+2


Ugly duckling housewife played by Maki Yoko enters world of housewife fashion magazine discovers all the frivolous things that Japanese women care about and then finds out that the models are not as real as they think they are.


Maki Yoko and Ito Ayumi! I would be jumping for joy about both of them being the leads if it were any other dorama.


After two episodes, there is nothing to hook me. Not Maki Yoko's exaggerated housewife nor Ito Ayumi's desperate freelancer writer character. Not the Kichise Michiko being a victim of domestic abuse angle. I just find the tone or angle really boring. There needs to be more of a competition angle to this like talking about the extreme ways the models do their fake instagram pictures in order to get followers and likes.


Cecile no Mokuromi feels very safe and boring instead of taking advantage of the subject matter and really showing the warts and all of the fashion model industry. Instead it plays more like your typical housewife everyone has a secret dorama. Meh. Might give it one more episode but the first two nearly put me to sleep.