Saturday, February 27, 2016

Haburashi Onna Tomodachi Episodes 1-3

Haburashi Onna Tomodachi is a weird, uneasy show about a script writer (Uchida Yuki) who just can't say no to her ex classmate (Ikewaki Chizuru) who turns up at her doorstep all of a sudden with her son asking to stay the night.

The suspense part of the show is whether Ikewaki Chizuru is just a pitiful single mom or a manipulative woman. I have a feeling that all of Uchida Yuki's suspicions are going to end up being unfounded and they are both going to help each other with their problems at the end.

My problem with the three episodes so far is Uchida Yuki not kicking out her ex-classmate with whom she was never really close with anyway. Uchida Yuki doesn't trust Ikewaki Chizuru and moves all her valuables to her workplace. She should just tell her to piss off with the all purpose Japanese word of meiwaku.

Of course if Uchida Yuki did that, there wouldn't be a story to tell. In 3 episodes, there has been no interesting development to keep me watching. There are flashbacks to their high school days and arguing about luck in life but the three episodes were pretty boring. Maybe there's a nice twist somewhere near the end but I can't be stuffed. Dropped.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Naomi to Kanako Episode 1

Naomi to Kanako starts off with the scene of best Hirosue Ryoko helping her best friend Uchida Yuki to kill Uchida Yuki's husband. I didn't like Naomi to Kanako starting off with the matricide money scene because it spoils the build up. There's one jdorama last year (which I won't spoil) that did it very well last year.

Unless of course, Naomi to Kanako is about what happens after the murder. At the end of the episode, the murder still hasn't happened but it sets up the characters and Hirosue Ryoko's plan to get away with murder and the husband's annoying sister.

The one thing I enjoyed while wanting Naomi to Kanako to get on with it is Takahata Atsuko's hammy portrayal of the Chinese business lady who takes a liking to Naomi. I enjoyed the part with the Chinese tourists because I've seen some stores in Tokyo that were changed in the past year to accommodate the tourists instead of local residents.

So it looks like Naomi to Kanako is going to be two friends trying to get away with murder show by replacing the husband with a lookalike. I'm not particularly enthused because I can see a karmic story coming but maybe there will be some interesting twists and turns. I'm hoping to give it a couple more episodes because of Hirosue Ryoko and Uchida Yuki but no one has uploaded it to nyaa yet. Best case scenario is that it turns out to be a watchable thriller about a crime cover up that slowly unravels and worst case scenario is that its a straightforward karmic story.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Watashi wo Hanasanaide Eps 1-3

Watashi wo Hanasanaide is about a bunch of kids who are brainwashed into being organ donors. Each episode is bookended by scenes involving Ayase Haruka and Mizukawa Asami who have grown up to be carers and donors.

The directing is just not grim and atmospheric enough to keep my interest because after three episodes, there is no exciting revelation besides the organ donor part. Watashi wo Hanasanaide is in real need of some Kurosawa Kiyoshi Shokuzai type level of directing to keep my interest.

Its a dark story but there is this lack of mood and eeriness. Ayase Haruk and Mizukawa Asami's character are sort of soulless but there is just this complete lack of tension between them.

There's this love triangle thing but the story hasn't given me any reason to care about the characters. The only interesting character is Ayumi Ito's teacher. I can see an alternate WOWOW/NHK show from the teacher's point of view about her slow descent into madness.

I know its based on some famous book but three episodes in I don't have any single reason to continue. This show needs to be cut down to 5 episodes and they should have spent money on a very good director. Its not complete crap but there's no reason to watch it. I should rewatch Shokuzai and see if its as good as I remember it.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau Episodes 1-4

Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau is the first dorama of the season on my check it out list because its got the great Sakamoto Yuji, current 'it' girl Arimura Kasumi (Biri Gyaru) and of course Kora Kengo.

This must be the first Kora Kengo dorama where is not playing a serial killer but there's still plenty of episodes left to fix that.

The gist of the dorama is Arimura Kasumi is the poor Cinderalla, adopted after mother passed away and being forced to marry Mano Erina's dad from Minna! Esper Dayo!

Kora Kengo is the knight in a shining truck who comes to her rescue but unfortunately they are separated at the end of episode one and have no way to contact each other.

Kora Kengo's character is a simpleton who is popular with the ladies, though not as popular as his best friend.

Yu from Love Exposure is in it as the rich kid who becomes Arimura Kasumi's colleague. He is the character I care the least about and I kept expecting him to start taking upskirt pictures.

The girl from Enka Gold Rush is Kora Kengo's current girlfriend and every character keeps saying how he doesn't really love her which confirms this is the Arimura Kasumi show.

So far, its been pretty good. The thing is, this is all killing time until Kora Kengo and Arimura Kasumi get together so Sakamoto Yuji better have something up his sleeve to make it exciting or else I will be severely tempted to fast forward the next episodes.

As with any anime/dorama with very long titles, its guaranteed to have some sad ending, as if the title wasn't explicit enough.

Anyway, I believe in Sakamoto Yuji because the gentleman knows how to write and IMO, he's got the highest strike rate among jdorama writers.

If there is anyone who can work within the confines of a 'lets try to keep the couple apart from each other as much as we can until the sob ending' jdorama and make it good, its him. Watchable so far and Arimura Kasumi has one of the best smiles in jdoramaland, but not as good as Kurashina Kana's.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jdorama review: She

She is a surprisingly decent high school angst cum mystery show.

One day girl with seemingy perfect life disappears and her friends have to figure out the reason for her disappearance.

Of course, everyone has secrets and everyone's true face/intentions come to the surface while they try to figure out their missing friend's.

First off, I love how easy it is to watch. Just 5 episodes at 20 minutes each. I'm finding the usual 10 episode doramas generally too long and a lot of shows can't avoid repetition or wasting time.

The story moves at a brisk pace and there is a kind of energy to it that makes it easy to watch.

The mystery is surprisingly decent with plenty of twists and turns and a satisfying ending and generally I have no complaints. Watchable.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Gonin no Junko

I completely forgot about Gonin no Junko. Thanks to Cyberwave for reminding me about it.

As the name suggests, its a show about 5 women named Junko: Serial killer Junko, personal assistant Junko, call centre Junko, deceased Junko and housewife Junko.

This made for confusing watching at times because I had to stop to make sure which Junko someone was talking about.

My one problem was that the twist could be seen coming from the very beginning.

That's not really the problem but rather I didn't really care about two of the five Junkos: the deceased mother and the apartment housewife.

The show is about how the various Junkos effected each other but I was more concerned with the Matsuyuki Yasuko, Mimura and Koike Eiko story.

I like the idea behind Matsuyuki Yasuko's (playing the assistant of the writer) ending but it reminded me too much of the Suspect X ending.

The personal assistant Junko is the most interesting Junko of the bunch because her motivation is implied throughout the series and we finally see the lengths that she would go for in the end.

As for the super foreseeable twist, we get a twist on that after the credits but it doesn't really have any impact on the story for me.

Gonin no Junko just didn't work for me. In the beginning, Matsuyuki Yasuko says a line about the butterfly effect but I just didn't feel the any of the effects were particularly interesting.

Gonin no Junko is an OK show where I just feel indifferent about the characters but I could stare into Kobayashi Ryoko's eyes all day.

Thursday, February 04, 2016



WTF is Oguri Shun doing the Nobunaga Concerto movie and Ouroboros instead of the sequel Border?

WTF is Densha in so many shows. Is he becoming the new Kita Yoshio?

WTF does Risk no Kamisama have nothing to do with risk assessment/prevention?

WTF can't jdoramas do action scenes properly without insulting intelligence. I'm looking at you Siren/Angel Heart/Ouroboros.

WTF did anyone think that Death Note needed remaking?

WTF do season 3 of Doctors just to rehash the same thing?

WTF hasn't anyone uploaded Panic In?

The one show I want to watch in Shingari but the lack of Japanese subs makes its very difficult to follow all the bloody business terms.



I don't normally watch dorama specials because most of them are idol pushing someone has fatal disease stories but I can't imagine anything more entertaining than this.



Honourable mention to Kikuchi Rinko and Kaho in Yume o Ataeru.



Shout out to Takito Kenichi for Zainin no Uso, the first time I've never seen him overact.



I normally don't think of Aibu Saki as a good actress (though I really like her in Angel Heart) but this was the role of her career and she absolutely owned the character.

Honourable mentions to Kimura Tae for Boku no Tsuma to Kekkon shite kudasai and Suzuki Kyoka for Dakara Koya.



Yami no Bansosha wouldn't have been as fun without him.

Honourable mention to Ito Hideaki for Zainin no Uso.



Best slow, feel good show of the year. The ending to episode 9 is so heartwrenchingly good.


I love how every episode ends in a cliffhanger with great music. WOWOW are the masters of suspense doramas.


Inconsistent acting does not prevent Tenshi no Knife from being a must watch show cause the script and Kurashina Kana are so good.


Ito Hideaki's best work.



2015 was truly the year of WOWOW shows and they have shown that tightly scripted 5-6 episode doramas are better unless the material actually requires 10 episodes. WOWOW has truly stepped up their game and they are so much better than everyone else. If only Japanese subs for their shows were available.