Friday, January 31, 2014

Isharyou Bengoshi eps 1-3

Isharyou Bengoshi is about this lawyer played by Tanaka Naoki (the affair dude from Limit) who specialises in getting compensation in divorce cases. Also starring Akiko Yada as his first case who becomes his assistant.

Coming from a country where divorces are no-fault, watching a show where people have to find excuses to divorce and spend so much effort proving a partner's infidelity is both stupid and amusing at the same time. On one hand it is a very educational show on Japanese divorce law and specifically compensating the other party and it is quite entertaining but I can't help and shake my head at how outdated the laws are. Still, who cares what the laws are as long as they make for great entertainment and tv legal shows are never accurate anyway.

Episode 2 is a particularly funny episode with the wife seeking compensation from the mistress. Lol. Only in Japan. Makes me kind of wish Australia still had their outdated divorce laws and I would say its a must watch episode.

The one bad thing about this show is that the investigator, landlady and and temp worker should have been combined into one character. Absolutely no reason to pay 3 actresses when one would suffice, especially with its limited budget as a midnight dorama.

Isharyou Bengoshi is not as funny nor is it as smart as Dandarin but its still fun and I think its very watchable. If the stuff in Isharyou Bengoshi are true, then having affairs in Japan is one hell of an scarily expensive exercise.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dai Tokyo Toy Box eps 1-4

Imagine a dorama where this 16 year old girl who is always on ADD meds and has no experience whatsoever goes to a law firm and says they should hire her because she's watched all episodes of Law & Order and The Practice and she absolutely loves the law. Yup, this is new main character of Dai Tokyo Toy Box. Yup, Kaname Jun hires her because she's enthusiastic although they need to replace the graphic artist who just left. Someone shoot me now.

I have absolutely no reason to want to watch this hyperactive greenhorn who is completely useless stumble her way. There's some interesting stuff about making games and the industry in episode 3 and especially episode 4 but its buried under so much screen time for the newbie Momo.

I just don't get it. The first series was watchable and Momo's overacting makes Uno Misako's overacting in season 1 bearable. I'm thinking the hyper overacting bit is more the director's fault rather than the actors. I'm so disappointed since the first season was watchable. Stay away.

If you still want to watch Dai Tokyo Toy Box, you can grab it here. Thanks to bakastar74 for telling me where to get it and I will be uploading the Japanese subs to d-addicts after this post.

Friday, January 24, 2014



- I can't believe the number of must-watch jdoramas in 2013. I think this must be the best year in jdoramas I can remember. This is also the hardest time I've ever had trying to decide winners of the prestigious Hamsapsukebe awards.

- I still can't believe Kaho agreed to do all the panchira shots in Minna! Esper Dayo! Still can't get over how Sono Sion failed to do create a strong narrative for the show. How I wanted it to be good.

- I can't believe Oguri Shun wasn't a chikan and Sakamoto Yuji went the boring and safe route for Woman.

- I still can't believe badly acted Hanzawa Naoki got over 40% ratings. Imagine the highest rated show in your own country is about serious issues but treats its characters like a saturday morning cartoon with worse ending. I would be ashamed and not plaster the main character's face at every train station.

- I can't believe a johnny can actually act award goes to Hagishiyama Noriyuki in Nanatsu no Kaigi

- I can't believe the Oscar Promotion duo of Gouriki Ayame and Takei Emi keep getting push after push after push with doramas written for their lack of talent. Does whoever run Oscar Promotion have pictures of tv executives with schoolgirls? (very possible) Do they give the greatest bj in the world at the same time? Do they have some sort of acting talent and screen presence that I am absolutely blind towards?

- I can't believe they screwed up Doctors 2 and went the boring route which jadefrost believed  was a tv station directive.

- I can't believe we got two video game doramas this year that didn't suck. Along with Yuusha Yoshihiko, its a sign that people who grew up as gamers are getting into positions of responsibility in the jdorama world.

- I can't believe Nanatsu no Kaigi and Meoto Zenzai have not been English subbed.

- I can't believe Amachan spent so many episodes building up this countryside and diving girl story so that she can stumble in Tokyo to be an idoru.

- I can't believe Yonekura Ryoko's legs can pull a 20% rating, double Nagasawa Masami's legs.

- I can't believe the students in Limit who fell into a ravine next to a road could not find a way up and instead ventured deeper into the wild.

- I can't believe the writer for Gekiryuu wasn't fired from that show. It has got to be one of the worst written mystery doramas I've ever seen that it makes Triangle look like One Million Stars Falling from the Sky . It was an absolutely trainwreck of a script.



I can't wait for Patlabor!!!!


She really grew on me throughout the series.







Its a three horse race between Eita, Hagishiyama Noriyuki (Natatsu no Kaigi), Shibata Kyohei (Lady Joker),  and I could not pick a winner. However much of the flawed but endearing Hamasaki is due to Sakamoto Yuji's writing and how much to Eita's performance? Higashiyama Noriyuki and Shibata Kyohei's roles are very similar; salarymen trying to do the right thing by their companies and by themselves. Higashiyama is one johnny's who can act. Honourable mention to Moriyama Mirai (Meoto Zenzai) and Uchino Masaaki (Tonbi).



Honourable mention - Tanaka Yuko (Woman)



From the spiteful cop in Lady Joker to the politician in Nanatsu no Kaigo, this dude can flat out act.

Honourable mention - Furuta Arata (Furueru Ushi), Kobayashi Kaoru (Woman/Furueru Ushi)



The Matsu Takako of this generation. She is so freaking good that it is a crime against humanity she is not one of the top earners in jdoramas today.


For all my problems with Woman, Mitsushima Hikari's acting just continues to blow me away.

Honourable mention - Takeuchi Yuko (Dandarin), Kaho (Minna! Esper Dayo! & Akuryo Byoto)



Sakamoto Yuji is a jdorama god!


Exquisitely brilliant.


Straightforward drama with superb acting. Well done NHK!


Smart, funny and relevant.


One of the best jdoramas ever. WOWOW went for a story with a high degree of difficulty in execution and made knocked it out of the park. I would love to watch the movie and compare the two. If one were to only watch one jdorama from 2013 and 2012, it would be Lady Joker.


- Keibuho Yabe Kenzo 2
- Shotenin Michiru no Mi no Uebanashi
- Tonbi
- Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi
- Woman (for the acting)
- No Con Kid
- Furueru Ushi
- Kagi no Nai Yume wo Miru eps 3+4
- Akuryo Byouto
- Double Tone
- Doctors SP
- Made in Japan

SPECIAL THANKS AWARD TO INCYPE - For subbing Lady Joker cause my Japanese was not good enough to realise how godlike this show was.

Here's hoping 2014 turns into another great year for jdoramas as well!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tokyo Bandwagon eps 1+2

Tokyo Bandwagon is a large family cum mystery dorama. You've got 4 generations of the Hotta family running a used bookstore and cafe  while solving some neighbourhood problem every episode.


Mimura and Tabe Mikako!

Tokyo Bandwagon takes its time with the Tabe Mikako story instead of blowing its wad in the first episode. *cough* Iryu 4 *cough*

Got me thinking about the old Tamaki Koji dorama, Ai no Uta which I started rewatching and enjoying more.


First episode was way too long.

Feels very pedestrian compared to huge family doramas like Aikurushii or the classic Hitotsu Yane no Shita. I think Tokyo Bandwagon tries to do too much with too many characters plus a mystery every episode and it lacks that strong central character for the show to revolve around.

How can Mimura possibly have a daughter that old?


Kame wearing more make-up than Tabe Mikako and Mimura.


I'm had much more fun rewatching the first three episodes of Ai no Uta than Tokyo Bandwagon. A lot of effort went into this but its just so boring. Nothing to see here. Might get better with the Tabe Mikako mystery but its given me no incentive in two episodes to stick around and find out.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tokyo Toy Box eps 3-12

Besides the overacting and the bad guy from Solidus who does not do any game related work besides scheming against G3, Tokyo Toy Box was fun to watch. Afterall, its a simple story of a group of underdogs trying to create something and going up against this big gaming corporation.

The bug that became such a big plot device is a bit of a head scratcher cause they could have easily disabled the right trigger during the credits or even patched the thing post release. If it were a gameplay breaking bug then it would make more sense but I guess they wanted to keep it simple for the audience.

Took me a while to realise that this is Konno Anna who is in Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin which is coming in a month. :)

Tokyo Toy Box is not as polished as No Con Kid though but they managed to keep the story about this pretty watchable. I liked that they used real games including dressing up Way of the Samurai as Samurai Kitchen. There's also some product advertising including Akiba's Trip 2, a game I can't believe didn't improve on the previous horrible battle system.

Tokyo Toy Box is a nice window into the world of making games on time and budget, doing testing and fixing bugs. If only they had cast someone decent as the OL. Or if the director had actually realised that Tokyo Toy Box isn't a laugh out loud comedy. Looks like second season is going to have a new member to the team. Watchable underdog story but only people who like gaming should give this a try.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dokushin Kizoku eps 1-3

Dokushin Kizoku starts of presenting itself as the story of three single people, two movie producer brothers born with silver spoons in their mouths and Kitagawa Keiko who doesn't want to get married to be a housewife. The older brother played by the half asleep Kusanagi Tsuyoshi is against getting married and can easily recite 100 reasons why marriage sucks and the younger brother played by Hideaki Ito is a serial playboy in the process of a divorce.

I was expecting Dokushin Kizoku to be a half clever look at single life but just like Renai Dekinai Riyuu, Dokushin Kizoku quickly reveals its colours as a reverse harem cinderalla story. Kitagawa Keiko is playing your average female character because she wears glasses and regular clothes but still looks hotter than every girl on the show not named Renbutsu Misako.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi is seriously miscast here. They want to make him a boring character compared to his brother but he comes across as absolutely boring. Kusanagi's quiet, sleepy act only works with underdog characters, not a character who inherited a fortune based on his father's hard work and genius and while is referred to as talented, never produced anything good and is living off his father's past glories.

I used to think Kusanagi was a decent actor especially with the Boku series but now I'm wondering whether it was because of the writing, directing and that the stories were tailored to his half asleep look which is perfectly suited for playing underdogs.

Of course its up to Kitagawa Keiko to save the two brothers and change them. Notice how shoujo stories are about girls 'fixing' the guys while shounen stories are guys finding out what makes the girl tick. There is certainly some interesting story possibilities here in regards to the movie business but I don't think the target audience wants a dorama about the intricate struggles of getting a movie of the ground.

Anyone looking for witty dialogue and interesting characters, just rewatch KDO or Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi. For those who think One Litre of Tears is the greatest jdorama ever, this show is for you.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tokyo Toy Box eps 1+2


- Story about struggling mobile game maker. Not something you see everyday and we've got stories about making deadlines, sales expectations and coming up with a design document.

- Legend of Galactic Heroes (one of my favourite anime series ever) references in episode 2. I was squealing like a schoolgirl with ever LoGH reference. If only such a bar existed. It truly made my day.


- Misako Uno comes from the school of Nagase Tomoya school of needless excessive overacting.


- Misako Uno facial expressions. Seriously, did the director think this was supposed to be funny?


- Two gaming related doramas in one season? Too early to tell but I can't stand Mukodono 2 level extreme overacting. No one's retimed the Japanese subs and the Japanese subs from last season at jsubbers has disappeared. Kinda watchable first two eps.

Has it been that long since Shimokita Glory Days?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

No Con Kid eps 5-7, 10-12

Episode 5 - Tetris/Columns

I like how the episode starts with people playing Tetris at the university and Kid looking at windows imagining they were Tetris blocks. Reiji falls head over hells over his future wife Akari but is intimidated by her ex basketball playing boyfriend so he challenges him to a game of Columns, Sega's answer to Tetris.

I love the scene where Reiji is walking down a corridor with Akari and they keep running into all her exes and we see column bricks continually dropping. Reiji runs away in horror, runs into Takano Fumi with another her boyfriend and the final column brick drops and the game over screen appears. On of the best examples of No Con Kid using games to make a simple story so much more entertaining.

Episode 6 - Mario

The Megadrive doesn't make an appearance in this series but at gets a token mention with Strider while Fumi plays Super Mario World on the SFC. Fumi wants to combine fashion with gaming by playing Super Mario World during the fashion show but the SFC gets stolen.

Reiji dresses up like Mario and runs with his SFC to the fashion show while Fumi makes do with playing Super Mario Bros on the FC.  Stupidly cheesy episode but sometimes you got to bend the stories to fit the game.

Episode 7 - Fantasy Zone

The basis of the episode is Reiji finally deciding to take over the game center from his dad. The game for the episode is Sega's Fantasy Zone which works really well storyline-wise because the final boss of the game is the main character's father. I've never played Fantasy Zone before apparently its the precursor to cute shooters like Twinbee.

Episodes 8+9 - Virtua Fighter 2

Already wrote about it here.

Episode 10 - True Love Story 

Ahh, the Reiji discoveres dating sim episode. Hillarious and works very well with the story of Reiji and Fumi.Love this episode.

Episode 11+12 - Xevious

Well, back to the game that started it all. Standard ending but I'm just happy it doesn't suck.


I adore No Con Kid. One of the most fun doramas for me in recent memory but that's cause I'm an old school gamer. I would love to rewatch it again and look up the Japanese wiki to find all the references that I missed. Not sure how non-gamers will find No Con Kid but at the very least I think everyone will find a simple story of friendship with a lot of love and effort gone into making it.

Gah, recent comments widget seems to be broken. Are there any alternatives for blogger?