Tuesday, January 31, 2017
11. The third and number one thing I don't like about Salaryman Sanae-shi is that I bloody hate his useless wife and kids. Sure, the joke is that Sanae is so afraid of everything including responsibilities and his wife but they haven't shown any redeemable qualities. Yes, even Kyon Kyon's wife character.
Monday, January 30, 2017
9. Forgot to mention I love the ending song Otona no Okite. Its got Shiina Ringo's fingerprints all over it!
The characters are so well written I will watch it til the end. Whether or not it will be a must watch will be up to the twists and turns of the main story. For now, Quartet is off to a flying start!
Friday, January 27, 2017
MOST BEAUTIFUL JDORAMA
KENJA NO AI
TV is a visual medium and unfortunately not much emphasis is given to the visuals, colours or the camera placement. A lot of it is due to the fact that there is not much time and money so its about shooting 10 episodes as efficiently as possible. That's why so many jdoramas feel like someone built three sets, lit everything up with the force of a thousand suns and used the same three camera placements all throughout the shoot. Plus most of the people who watch jdoramas don't really care whether a show used too much fuzzy lighting or knows how to use shadows to accentuate the foreground. They just want to look at beautiful people instead of beautiful images.
So when a jdorama strives to achieve excellence in its visuals, it must be praised and Kenja no Ai has achieved something even most movies cannot match. The sumptuous visuals serve to dress up the great acting to provide and absolute feast for your eyes.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (TIED)
YAMAGUCHI SAYAKA - UNMEI NI, NITA KOI
TAKAOKA SAKI - KENJA NO AI
Very, very close race between Yamaguchi Sayaka and Takaoka Saki from Kenja no Ai. Both giving great performances as the jealous antagonist. I was bouncing back and forth between both, slept on it and then skimmed though both shows. Debated making it a tie and changed my mind a few times. You know what, these two gave the best performances of 2016 and both of them deserved to be recognised.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
SANTAMARIA YUSUKE - COLD CASE
A much version of his character from Hi no Ko. I know he's more guest star than supporting act but the two episodes he is in are so good and basically saved the show. Its incredible how he can excel in both comedies and serious stuff.
If you told me Aso Kumiko deserves this I won't argue with you.
MINETA KAZUNOBU - KISEKI NO HITO
I was going to give it to Kamikawa Takaya for Shizumanu Taiyo but then there's something to be said about playing a simpleton and the balancing act of making him likeable and not letting the audience dislike his straightforwardness. I can't think of anyone else who could have done Mineta Kazunobu's job as well.
ALMOST MUST WATCH JDORAMA AWARD
I've never given this out but this year had a huge lot of shows that were very good, but just stopped short of being must watch in my book but I need to give these shows some love.
KISEKI NO HITO
JUKEN NO CINDERELLA
KIBOUGAOKA NO HITOBITO
KUROI 10-NIN NO ONNA
ARECHI NO KOI
BEST 5 JDORAMAS OF 2016
UNMEI NI NITA KOI
Actually, fuck it. I'm retroactively awarding it a must watch cause of Yamaguchi Sayaka. Its not like they had negative chemistry anyway.
MIDNIGHT DINER TOKYO STORIES
KENJA NO AI
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
SUISHOU NO KODOU
The sequel to Ishi no Mayu. I gave up on Ishi no Mayu half way because of its clumsy execution and decided to give the sequel Suishou no Kodou a go because its WOWOW. I may have problems with it but its still better than any idoru cop show.
I skimmed season 1, gave season 2 a go and the awkwardness still remains for me. I don't know how to explain it. It feels like the cops or the storyline keeps avoiding answering the very important questions that need to be asked. Sort of like how Ishi no Mayu should be about psychological profiling and cat and mouse games but never went there.
Mystery shows are about the audience watching along as the main character answers questions. In Ishi no Mayu and Suishou no Kodou I find myself shouting at the characters for not asking the obvious questions. Whoever wrote these two shows should never touch another police procedural/mystery show again. Or should be forced to watch Gaiji Keisatsu and Gonzo again and again.
That said, Suishou no Kodou does have some redeeming features. I really liked the main character being traumatised by the events of the first season and her use of her father's watch as her wet blanket. That was a nice piece of psychology to make her more real. Better than average but lacking WOWOW's usual polish.
I can't help comparing Natsume Souseki to Meoto Zenzai (also made by NHK). Its about an ojousan who marries this teacher Natsume Souseki who is going to be Japan's greatest writer. I didn't find the comedy funny and the chemistry wasn't there and I struggled to finish the first episode. I just don't get what this show is trying to be. Might revisit the series later.
WTF is this crap? Is there any other reason for this show to exist besides to promote some Johnnys? Do people actually find this shit funny? Not even Sawamura Ikki can save this show!
Me love Kaho, but not so much in fluffy show about wife who is obsessed with throwing things away. If Shinya Shokudo is chicken soup that warms your soul, Wtashi no Uchi ni wa Nani mo nai is an appetizer that doesn't have much taste. Avoid.
The only reason Yamada Takayuki does so many Ushijima-kuns is that he is hardly ever in them. Once again its about stupid people getting doing stupid things and Ushijima-kun comes in at the end. Admittedly, I watched the whole thing because I'll watch anything with Japanese scams and I thought the 3P scenes were going to be great.
I don't care about any of the characters nor do I hate anyone. I guess I was hoping it could capture some of the greatness of the first season. Its a show that just exists for no reason and I will not be watching the two movies. Do watch the first season if you haven't and then avoid the rest.
KYABUSUKA EPS 1+2
The first Majisuka was fun in the they're trying hard and its got no budget kind of way. Then they kept making more of the same and now they're using the same characters for a kyabakura show. They should have dumped the Majisuka connection and cut down the number of characters and posing by half. It doesn't help that the much more entertaining OL Desu Ga, Kyabajou Hajimemashita also came out this year. Avoid.
ASA GA KURU
Kawashima Umika as this person who appears before this couple claiming that she is the mother of their child who the couple adopted. OK show though the couple are a bit too annoyingly nice. Only watch if you are Kawashima Umika fan.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Two standout performances in Tokyo Family 2013 are Hashizume Isao as the grandfather and Aoi Yu. If those two did not get nominated for acting awards in 2013, there is no justice in this world. On the other hand, I remember looking at some jdorama and jmovie acting award lists recently and there are a lot of bullshit awards. Suffice to say a lot of mainstream stuff.
Can't really say much besides its a standard family movie but the performances are so good. Can't and should not be missed. Absolutely must watch!