Wednesday, May 29, 2019

5 reasons to watch Mukai no Bazuru Kazoku Episodes 1+2


Mukai no Bazuru Kazoku is about the daughter of a family Akari who goes viral with a video of her apologising to an angry customer and her finds out that internet fame is not necessarily a good thing.

1) This is the right jdorama to capture this SNS era of youtubers, followers determining one's worth, internet bashing and people trying to present a perfect image to outsiders.

2) The script by Magi is very, very good. The characters and situations feel real and there is a feeling of confidence that the writer knows where the story is going.

3) I can't believe this is a midnight jdorama (according to asianwiki) because the production values is just excellent. Really great acting by everyone involved.

4) The musical number in episode 2. Its not one of those let's try to get some retweets cute dance number. This is a real write a song for the show and shoot it like a real music video. Worth the price of admission.

5) This is the show I've been waiting for because it feels like half the news today is from SNS and I think Mukai no Bazuru Kazoku will really explore it. Although I live in the world today, because I'm not into snapchat, famous internet people etc it kind of feels like I am unable to understand this world that everyone else lives in and want Mukai no Bazuru Kazoku to be this window for me.


Must watch. I thought this season was going to suck but Mukai no Bazuru Kazoku and Anata no Ban desu has retained my faith in jdoramas.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Anata no Ban Desu Episodes 1-7

I went into Anata no Ban Desu with no information and no expectations. At first I was thinking not another couple move into a suburban apartment where everyone is suspicious and hiding a secret. These shows tend to be very formulaic with the mommy cliques, person who likes to go to trash etc etc although once in a while we get a gem like Genkai Danchi that took things to the extreme.

It did not take long for Anata no Ban Desu to get interesting when the wife goes to resident's meeting and participates in a game where everyone writes the name of the person they want killed on a piece of paper and then the names are put into a box and drawn at random.

Whoever gets their wish granted will have to reciprocate and commit a murder for someone else. The theory is there is usual a motive for murder but if murder is done as part of an exchange, then it is much harder to draw a connection and prove motive. The person who's kill request is granted gets a note that says Anata no Ban Desu ie Its your turn to kill.

So what follows are 7 very exciting episodes where people are getting taken out one by one while everyone falls under suspicion. I must say, I can't remember the last time 7 episodes passed so fast.

The problem with mystery shows like Anata no Ban is that it comes down to the ending. A story can spin as many red herrings as it wants but sooner or later the truth has to be revealed so it either going to be awesome or they've gone too many twists to make sense.

On the whole, very exciting and watchable 7 episodes and I recommend you watch them. Anata no Ban Desu has been subbed until episode 5 by buttzilla at d-addicts and the raws are up at nyaa.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Shiroi Kyoto 2019 Episode 1

Once upon a time, there was a jdorama called Shiroi Kyoto starring Karasawa Toshiaki and Eguchi Yosuke and it was good. If you asked me what are the two must watch medical jdoramas, they would be Shiroi Kyoto and Iryu.... and the first season of Doctors.

Now 16 years later, Fuji TV are remaking the series again, this time with Okada Junichi and Matsuyama Kenichi. Typing that 16 years later really makes me feel old. Happy to see Mimura is in it but it seems like a very small role as a nurse. :(

Anyway, I have vague recollections of the 2003 version of Shiroi Kyoto. Of course I remember Zaizen sensei and his father in law who in the new version is being played by Kobayashi Kaoru. I really loved Nishida Toshiyuki's performance in the original and if anyone can bring depth and enjoyment to the role of the maternity clinic owner, it would be Kobayashi Kaoru.

I am happy that Zaizen's wife is being played by Koho but not too sure about Sawajiri Erika playing the mistress because I have a feeling her role is going to overshadow Koho's. To be fair, I do not remember whether Kuroki Hitomi or Wakamura Mayumi had the bigger role in the 2003 version but Wakamura's performance as the wife had a bigger impression on me.

So far for episode 1, I don't think its deviated from the 2003 version much. Zaizen and his father in law are still in pursuit of the professorship while navigating the political landmines of the hospital.

Way too early to judge but I enjoyed the first episode plus as long as they stick with the story and the friendship between Zaizen and Satomi, it should be fine. Plus the cast is absolutely freaking loaded. I don't think anyone is subbing Shiroi Kyoto but it definitely needs to be subbed.

If you've never seen the 2003 version, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Kabukicho Bengonin Rinka Episodes 1-5

I am a simple man; when I see Kabukicho in the title of a dorama, I click.  Kabukicho Bengonin Rika is a midnight dorama in the vein of the Tadano Hitoshi series, straightforward defender of justice style stories with a pinch of fanservice except in this case, the main character is Asakura Aki playing a lawyer.

 Asakura Aki works in a big law firm in Roppongi. Her father who has his law firm in Kabukicho disappears and asks her to take over which she has no interest in. In the course of helping a stalking victim in episode 1, Asakura Aki has to choose between the right thing and her job and ends up working at her father's firm.

After watching one disappointing jdorama after another this month, I'm so happy I finally found a decent one to watch. Kabukicho Bengonin Rinka knows exactly what it is and there is no fat it in. The stories have a familiar beat to them and I wanted to see the bad guys get their comeuppance. The 20 minute episodes fly by real fast and I always look forward to the next episode.

Asakura Aki is great. She's got the charisma and ability to carry the main role. I've seen her in plenty of shows before but I think this is the first time she's the main lead. I enjoyed the Ryu ga Gotoku style stories about hostesses, sexual harassment and murders.

I wonder how she would do as the lead of a Sakamoto Yuki dorama and perhaps one day we'll see it. Watchable. The raw can be gotten from nyaa but I don't think anyone is subbing this.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dying Eye

One would think that WOWOW X Higashino Keigo would be a great combination. Usually its true but this time we have a dud.

Dying Eye is about a bartender who is attacked and loses his memory, especially about this car accident that he was previously involved with. Everyone around the bartender is very suspicious and and a mysterious woman appears at his bar who looks suspiciously like the victim of the accident but somehow the bartender doesn't even realise it.

I only watched the whole 6 episode series because it came with Japanese subtitles. I was bored with every small revelation and the dialogue just felt stilted. It just felt weird how the stupid bartender was not asking the obvious questions, especially in connection with the mystery woman. They sort of explained it away with some supernatural elements of the story which I was not a fan of.

Dying Eye just felt like a 2 hour whoddunit movie that was stretched into 6 episodes. Don't watch it

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sekai wa Kyou kara Kimi no Mono- Her Sketchbook jmovie review

I think I came around to watching this movie because one day I happened to be looking up Ozaki Masaya list of works and saw that he had directed this movie starring Konuma Masami.

Her Sketchbook is the story of this former hikikomori girl played by Konuma Masami who at the beginning of the movie is working at a factory but because of an accident ends up working at a video game company as a debugger.

Slowly, Konuma Masami's art gets noticed and she is given a chance to move from debugger to freelance illustrator. However, things are not so easy for her.

I am very underwhelmed by this movie. The director is very bleh and amateurish and the story just feels like a run of a mill girl slowly coming out of her shell story. As much as I like Ozaki Masaya as a writer, I am unable to see what he is going for with Her Sketchbook. Maybe he's just wanting to give hope to someone or hikikomori's in general.

The most fun I had with Her Sketchbook was trying not to laugh every time Makita Sports appears. Its hard to take him seriously after his role as the Tenga Tencho in Minna Esper Dayo.

Doesn't suck but is very forgettable. If you're still interested, you can get it from nyaa but you're better off watching a better Hikikomori story like Welcome to NHK.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Kyou, Kaerimasu SP

Densha is a salaryman who comes home one day to find his wife Kinami Haruka and child have left him. They've gone to live with his wife's parents in the countryside and he goes to visit them once a month while continuing to live and work in Tokyo.

Wife wants Densha to live in country but Densha wants his wife to move back to Tokyo. Densha gets involved with an eccentric client played by Kito Sensei from Iryu and she challenges him to turn his life around.

I would describe Kyou, Kaerimasu as a Koreeda Hirokazu wannabe movie without his deft touch. I like the message of the SP but the dialogue and characters just don't feel... natural. I don't know how to put it into words. I'm not saying its ham-fisted but it feels like I'm watching a 1hr 15 minute show designed only to impart a moral lesson.

On the whole, I give Kyou, Kaerimasu a meh. You'd be better off watching any Koreeda movie.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Keiji Zero Episodes 1-8

Keiji Zero is yet another run of the mill police jdorama. The only reason I gave it a shot was that Sawamura Ikki was the main character and it had the interesting premise of Sawamura Ikki having lost his memory of the past 20 years and having to solve cases as essentially a rookie.

Sawamura luckily has a partner Saso-san who is a fan of the policeman he used to be and Saso-san acts as a reference book for his past memories.

The only positives I can say about Keiji Zero are that its set in Kyoto so that's different and I did not have any episodes until episode 8 where they really went too far in trying to make it a touching episode.

The reason why I dislike your generic police/investigation shows is that they try too much to make the stories touching. Someone always has some stupid freaking sentimental secret and after episode 8 I do not care anymore because it is so stupid. Avoid because it is just so mediocre. One final thing, I can't believe that Keiji Zero has a rating of 11%. Are people so desperate for such a run of a mill police show?

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Haken no Kyabajou - Ayaka Episodes 1-8

I did not know this show existed until a friend asked me to identify Natsuna from the website of the show.

Kyabakura shows have been a staple of late night jdoramas for a long time because they are cheap to shoot and you've got glammed up idorus to pull some viewers in.

I think that is Mikami Yua.

Natsuna is this super kyabakura Queen who gets called to solve problems which she does usually by playing some stupid game with the bad guy.

In terms of late nite Kyabakura shows, its not as entertaining as the so bad its good shows like Jyouou Virgin or as fun as OL Desu Ga.

At least its still better than Kyabasuka which is no praise at all since Kyabasuka is the worst of the worst.

(Un)fortunately, I can only find the raws up to episode 8.

The stories keep getting more annoying.

Avoid. If you are interested, you can easily find the first 8 episodes at dramafever except for episode 2 which I had to get from nyaa.