Saturday, September 30, 2006

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (24 Sep 2006)

1) Il Mare

2) X-MEN: Final Decision

3) Wild Speed x3 TOKYO DRIFT

4) Hula Girl

5) Ultraman Mavis & Ultra Kyoudai

6) Deguchi no nai Umi

7) Sugar & Spice

8) Gedo Senki

9) Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest

10) UDON

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Top 10 Kakkoii Husbands

The following is a list of Top 10 kakkoii husbands selected by respondents in an Oricon Monitor Research survey:

1) Kimura Takuya

2) Eguchi Yosuke

3) Nakamura Tooru

4) Karasawa Toshiaki / Sorimachi Takashi

6) Tadokoro George

7) Nakamura Masatoshi

8) Iwashiro Koichi

9) Kinashi Takenori

10) Yanagiba Toshiro

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The unchanging Top 10 beauties

The following is a list from Oricon Monitor Research of Top 10 female celebrities who are deemed to remain beautiful despite their ages:

1) Kuroki Hitomi

2) Yoshinaga Sayuri

3) Mori Mitsuko

4) Momoi Kaori

5) Yachigusa Kaoru / Natsuki Mari

8) Iwashita Shima

9) Nogiwa Yoko

10) Yumi Kaoru

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Top 10 Admired Cinderellas

The following is from Oricon Monitor Research where female celebrities are chosen for being "Cinderellas" in reality as a result of their marriages to high-profile rich men:

1) Yamaguchi Moe

2) Kudo Shizuka

3) Dewi Sukarno

4) Sugita Kaoru (already divorced from her husband but selected because she was once married to a rich businessman)

5) Okina Megumi (selected for the same reason as above)

6) Kimijima Towako

7) Gotou Kumiko

8) Mizuno Maki / Suzuki Hiroko

10) Chino Shima

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Juuyonsai no Haha" promotional trailer

There's a promotional trailer of "Juuyonsai no Haha" starring Shida Mirai which lasts for about 15 secs. In the clip, Shida is lying on a bed in this black-and-white setting and the posture seems to be in reference to that of a baby residing in his/her mother's womb. Since the drama is about teen pregnancy, this could be why Shida was arranged to appear in such a manner for the CM.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Nodame Cantabile-related clips

Here are some links to clips on YouTube where you may find out more information on the upcoming Nodame Cantabile drama and anime which are showing in Oct 06 and Jan 07 respectively. Apparently, the anime is supposed to continue from where the drama ends so I believe it is a strategy by FujiTV to ensure that viewers tune in to both adaptations.

The first clip has a brief introduction on the storyline, the two leads i.e. Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi as well as a short interview with Ueno.

Next up is a news clip of the Nodame Cantabile ending theme recording session which Ueno and Tamaki appeared at. I had posted the news article of this earlier so you may refer to my earlier post for more details.

Last but not least, here's a 30-sec trailer of the drama. Basically, what transpired between Nodame (Ueno) and Chiaki (Tamaki) was that she tried to confess her love to him and he told her to stay away because she didn't have a shower for days. In the manga, Nodame has a habit of bathing only once a day and washing her hair every 3 days so Chiaki had to be the shampoo guy for a number of times as he couldn't stand the stench from Nodame.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nodame Cantabile drama's ending theme

Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi appeared on 19 Sep at the live recording of the ending theme, "Rhapsody in Blue" for the drama version of "Nodame Cantabile" which will be showing via FujiTV from 16 Oct. The piece was performed by a 130-strong orchestra formed specially for the filming of this drama and there are plans for the orchestra to release its album. Ueno plays Noda Megumi while Tamaki plays Chiaki Shinichi. As part of the preparation for her role as a student majoring in piano, Ueno bought an electronic keyboard to practise at home.

For those who are interested in watching the news clip of this event shown via Mezamashi Terebi on 20 Sep, please access it below:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (17 Sep 2006)

1) X-MEN: Final Edition

2) World Speed x 3 TOKYO DRIFT

3) Ultraman Mavis & Ultra Kyoudai

4) Deguchi no nai Umi

5) Gedo Senki

6) Sugar & Spice

7) Pirates of The Carribean - Dead Man's Chest


9) Miami Vice

10) Superman Returns

Friday, September 22, 2006

Top 10 Female Celebrities With The Most Beautiful Legs

Results from Oricon Monitor Research:

1) Ito Misaki

2) Kanda Uno

3) Mizuki Arisa

4) Yonekura Ryoko

5) Oshikiri Moe

6) Ebihara Yuri

7) Yamada Yu

8) Rika

9) Fujiwara Norika

10) Sakashita Chiriko

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Nihon Chinbotsu Promotional Clips

Here are some clips from YouTube containing footage of Nihon Chinbotsu which is said to be this summer's blockbuster disaster film. However, it doesn't seem to be creating a storm on the box office charts despite high expectations, considering the budget and stellar lineup. Seems like the main issue about this remake were people who found it not as good as the previous movie made in the 70s especially with regards to the relationship between the lead characters played by Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Shibasaki Kou. Too little romance? Other than that, the CG disaster scenes received a lot of praise though.

The above clip lasts for more than 6 minutes. What distinguishes this from those available for viewing via the official website is the inclusion of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. As many of you would have been aware, images of Johnny's artistes are not allowed on the web so for movie or drama trailers, they would usually be edited to omit the JE guys. For those who are fans of Kusanagi, you've got to watch this clip and see how Kusanagi performs as a submarine pilot. Another thing to look out for is Shibasaki Kou with her hair going beyond her waist which is something you won't see in the near future since she has snipped her trademark locks to a short bob since spring this year.

The above is the PV of the theme song, "Keep Holding U" sung by Korean newcomer SunMin and Kubota Toshinobu. The first time when I heard the song, I didn't really have a deep impression of it but once you hear it while watching the footage of the movie, it blends in pretty well with the plot.

Last but not least, the three clips above are from Shin Doumoto Kyoudai on 9 July where SunMin and Kubota made appearances and sang the theme song live in the final segment.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Autumn 2006 Drama Selection

With the summer season coming to an end soon, it's time to decide which autumn dramas I'm going to watch. Frankly speaking, there are some which gets me very hyped up while there are others which do not interest me at all. Here's a list of those which I'm going to watch and those which I'll shun.

*Note that those with titles in blue are what I would watch and those in red are those which I do not have any interest to cover at all. Those in green are under KIV status which means that it's likely that they may be dropped before the season ends. Not in order of preference:

1) Kazoku ~ Tsuma no Fuzai Oto no Sonzai (Family ~ The Absence of the Wife, The Presence of the Husband)
TV Asahi, starting on 20 Oct 2006, Fridays 9pm
Cast: Takenouchi Yutaka, Ishida Yuriko, Kimura Tae, Sakura and Watari Tetsuya
The combination of Takenouchi Yutaka and Watari Tetsuya looks very appealing. There are rumours that Kimura Takuya and Watari were scheduled to act in a TBS drama next season but the plan went nowhere since Kimura has promotions for his movie at the end of the year. However, I'm glad to see Takenouchi and Watari together with a pretty strong co-cast consisting of Ishida Yuriko, Kimura Tae and Gekidan Hitori which suggests that good acting can be expected. In addition, seeing Takenouchi in his first role as a husband whose wife walks out on him and dumps their son on him to take care of is a refreshing change from his usual roles.

2) Juuyonsai no Haha (A 14-year-old mother)
NTV, starting on 11 Oct 2006, Wednesdays 10pm
Cast: Shida Mirai, Tanaka Misako, Namase Katsuhisa, Yamaguchi Sayaka, Miura Kazuma, Tanimura Mizuki, Kaitou Ken, Kaneko Sayaka, Kitamura Kazuki and Muroi Shigeru
Stories about unwed mothers are plenty but what makes this drama so special is the fact that we are talking about a 14-year-old girl played by talented child actor Shida Mirai who is left to fend for herself and her unborn child when her boyfriend shirks his responsibility. This drama looks set to repeat the wave of controversy associated with Joou no Kyoushitsu which did very well in terms of critical reviews and ratings because the ending of whether the girl gives birth to her baby will definitely attract brickbats from either camp of viewers who oppose the outcome. I doubt there will be an ambiguous ending though but it will be very interesting to see how the story is crafted and how Shida scales new heights in her career. Other than Fukuda Mayuko, she's another upcoming star to look out for. Tanaka Misako is back again in a drama and I do hope she will do better here than in Brother Beat which restricted her performance to a large extent.

3) Nodame Cantabile
FujiTV, starting on 16 Oct 2006, Mondays 9pm
Cast: Ueno Juri, Tamaki Hiroshi, Eita, Koide Keisuke, Mizukawa Asami, Uehara Misa, Iwasa Mayuko, Saeko, Hatano Hiroko, NAOTO, Ibu Masato, Toyohara Kosuke, Nishimura Masahiko, Takenaka Naoto
Being a fan of the manga, this is the main reason why I'm going to watch this despite my complaints about the leads. I can anticipate myself criticising and grumbling about Ueno and Tamaki spoiling my image of Nodame and Chiaki-sama but I'm willing to stay till the end if the drama adheres closely to the original. What baffles me is the fact that the strong supporting cast are very similar to the original characters in terms of image or appearance but the leads are not...

4) Yakushadamashi (Actor's Soul)
FujiTV, starting on 17 Oct 2006, Tuesdays 9pm
Cast: Matsu Takako, Moriyama Mirai, Kato Rosa, Kagawa Teruyuki, Hamada Mari, Maekawa Yasuyuki, Fujita Makoto
Matsu Takako's return to TV ever since "Itsumo, Futari de" plus some of my favourite names Moriyama Mirai, Kato Rosa, Kagawa Teruyuki and Hamada Mari makes this something worth checking out. The only issue I have is with the male lead Fujita Makoto who is acting in a regular season for the first time although he is a veteran in period dramas. Not many people know who Fujita is so I wonder if this will somehow affect the ratings.

5) Kiraware Matsuko no Issho (The Life of Disliked Matsuko)
TBS, starting on 12 Oct 2006, Thursdays 10pm
Cast: Uchiyama Rina, Kaname Jun, Koike Eiko, Suzuki Emi, Yazawa Shin, Hongo Kanata, Hagiwara Masato, Tanihara Shosuke, Suzuki Ranran, Seto Saki, Fukikoshi Mitsuru and Kitamura Kazuki
The movie version starring Nakatani Miki seems very interesting so I have a certain level of expectation for this drama. My only worry is whether Uchiyama can ditch her goody-two-shoes image completely to cope with the turbulent life of Matsuko depicted in the story. A half-baked effort would certainly ruin her chances of climbing into the A-list actresses rank.

6) Walkers
NHK, starting on 11 Nov 2006, Saturdays 9pm
Cast: Eguchi Yosuke, Toda Naho, Becky, Segawa Ryo, Morimoto Leo, Miura Tomokazu, Fubuki Jun, Washio Machiko, Kato Noriko, Harada Yoshio
The thing about NHK Saturday dramas is that they are not widely publicised and yet they turn out to be the hidden gems which are not discovered. Anyway, the cast looks very appealing and the story seems good so I'll be tuning in if I manage to find it online.

7) Boku no Aruku Michi (The Way I Walk)
FujiTV, starting on 10 Oct, Tuesdays 10pm
Cast: Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, Karina, Sasaki Kuranosuke, Motokariya Yuka, Kato Koji, MEGUMI, Suga Kenta, Asano Kazuyuki, Katsurayama Shingo, Moriguchi Yoko, Kohinata Fumio, Oosugi Ren and Nagayama Aiko
This is the concluding instalment for the "Boku" series which consisted of "Boku no Ikiru Michi", "Boku to Kanojou to Kanojou no Ikiru Michi". Frankly speaking, if not for Kusanagi, I don't really care for this drama. The female lead lineup gets weaker with each instalment from Yada Akiko to Koyuki and now Karina. This feels like a one-man show of Kusanagi. And the fact that there are familiar faces in the same series may turn out to be good or bad for the ratings...

In KIV status:

1) Sailorfuku to Kikanjuu (Sailor Uniform and Machine Gun)
Cast: Nagasawa Masami, Koizumi Kyoko, Nakao Akiyoshi, Taguchi Hiromasa, Ogata Ken, Tsutsumi Shinichi
This feels kind of silly to me but I'll watch the first episode just for the sake of Tsutsumi and Koizumi.

2) Teppan Shoujou Akane!! (The Teppan Girl Akane)
Cast: Horikita Maki, Tsukamoto Takashi, Katase Nana, Ootomo Minami, Jinnai Takanori
Same as the above but I'll see how silly this can get. No particular member in the cast attracts me to a large extent.

And these are those which I won't watch:

1) Damenzu Walker
Cast: Fujiwara Norika, Yamada Yu, Miyasago Hiroyuki, Miura Rieko, Shimatani Hitomi, Aoki Sayaka, Tanabe Seiichi
Other than Yamada, Miyasago and Aoki, the rest doesn't interest me. The story isn't that appealing either.

2) Dr. Kotou Shinryojou 2006
Cast: Yoshioka Hidetaka, Shibasaki Kou, Tokito Saburo, Ootsuka Nene, Aoi Yu, Izumiya Shigeru, Sakai Masato, Kakei Toshio, Kobayashi Kaoru
Do you think I'll watch the sequel when I've not even watched the original? Although I'm quite interested to see Shibasaki, Tokito, Ootsuka and Aoi...I don't think I'll watch this after all.

3) Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (The Only Love)
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Ayase Haruka, Hiraoka Yuta, Tanaka Koki, Toda Erika, Kaname Jun, Tanaka Yoshiko, Zaitsu Kazuo, Yo Kimiko
Tatta hitotsu kirai no wa kore shika nai. (This is the only one which I dislike.) And yes, I totally detest Mr KK and the fact that the story is so boring i.e. a poor guy and a rich girl falls in love increases the amount of dislike for this story. You can be sure that I won't touch this at all.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Top 10 Beautiful Mums Ranking

Here are the top 10 beautiful celebrity mums as featured on Oricon:

1) Matsushima Nanako

2) Kuroki Hitomi

3) Hirosue Ryoko

4) Amuro Namie

5) Takeuchi Yuko

6) Kudo Shizuka

7) Matsuda Seiko

8) Mifune Mika

9) Tsuchiya Anna

10) Hori Chiemi

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (10 Sep 2006)

1) X-MEN: Final Decision

2) Gedo Senki

3) Pirates Of The Carribean - Dead Man's Chest


5) Miami Vice

6) Nihon Chinbotsu

7) Superman Returns

8) Back Dancers!


10) Guemuru Hangan no Kaibutsu

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Taiyou no Uta Ep 1

Right from the start, I did not have high expectations of this drama. Here are the reasons why I had reservations about this:

- Based on the tag that this is the finale in the "jun-ai" series, the selection of the leads who can hardly match the theme due to their badly-hurt reputations of having private lives far from their screen persona is simply hard to ignore. No doubt they are relatively promising actors, this is something which will bother the viewers no matter how well they will perform. This affects how convincing they can make their characters appear to be and should never be brushed aside easily.

It really baffles me as to why TBS would want to invite trouble by getting the two to appear together at such a sensitive timing.

- Talking about timing, another thing which disturbs me is to see the drama so soon after the movie's screening. Considering the fact that the film starring Tsukamoto Takashi and YUI was only shown in June, the drama's OA in July comes across as a bad move to me. Of course, comparisons are inevitable because they are essentially based on the same story but the timing is too close for comfort. Just when people have yet to forget the movie's presentation, they will be tempted to compare it to the drama which would have stretched the 2-hour story beyond 10 episodes.

After more than 45 minutes of sitting through the first episode, I must say that it's quite a waste of time so I won't continue to watch this.

I've not watched the movie so I can't do any comparisons so my boredom has nothing to do with the film. The main issue I have here is the pace which gets so slow and everything flows along like plain water without any particular development which would entice me to continue watching. Everything is so jumbled up that I don't see any sense of direction in the plot.

Although Sawajiri Erika had mentioned that she was very confident about her singing, I don't feel that strongly for it though. I think it's partly due to the fact that the story is still in its early stage and the song doesn't really relate to the plot as at this point in time. On the other hand, her vocals are just OK in my opinion. As such, I really cannot comprehend why her single CD has created so much hype that it's storming up the Oricon charts. Anyway, I won't stay around to find out the reason too. ^__^

The brightest spot in this drama was hearing Shibasaki Kou's new song, "invitation" which is quite suitable as a summer song and a refreshing change from her usual heart-wrenching renditions of sentimental numbers. The opening credits show Sawajiri Erika out in the sunlight which is a contrast from the circumstances of her character in the drama. Frankly speaking, I think Sawajiri looks quite pretty in this drama but as the drama progresses, it's likely that she will start to look pale and haggard just like Aya in "Ichi Litre No Namida". On the other hand, Yamada Takayuki looks so similar in his recent dramas that there's no distinguishing trait to differentiate between his roles. And that sideburn, hairy legs and armpits do get on my nerves!

Although I don't really have a good impression of the drama, I'm looking forward to watching the movie instead. YUI may not be an accomplished actress but her youthful appearance, strong vocals and refreshing look on screen catch my eye. And I definitely like Tsukamoto Takashi more than Yamada especially after what the latter's bombshell earlier this year.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (3 Sep 2006)

1) Gedo Senki

2) Miami Vice

3) Pirates of The Carribean Dead Man's Chest


5) Superman Returns

6) Nihon Chinbotsu

7) Guemuru Hangan no Kaibutsu


9) Hanada Shonenshi Yuurei to Himitsu no Tunnel

10) Gekijouban Pocket Monster Advance Generation

Monday, September 04, 2006

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (27 Aug 2006)

1) Gedo Senki

2) Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest


4) Superman Returns

5) Nihon Chinbotsu

6) Rough

7) Hanada Shonenshi Yuurei to Himitsu no Channel

8) Gekijouban Pocket Monster Advance Generation

9) Gekijouban Rider Kabuto GOD SPEED LOVE

10) United 93

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The 49th Dorama Academy Award Results (Spring 06)

Here are the results of the 49th Dorama Academy Award for the spring 06 season as decided by readers of the magazine, "The Television", judges and drama reporters:

Best Drama: Iryuu - Team Medical Dragon
It's a clear choice for me in this category because there aren't any dramas which impressed me as much as Iryuu. Bengoshi no Kuzu comes as a distant second for me in terms of overall quality.

Best Leading Actor: Toyokawa Etsushi (Bengoshi no Kuzu)
He deserves this award because of his willingness to ditch his past image and ability to look convincing as a lecherous and frivolous lawyer. Sakaguchi Kenji has also performed relatively well in this season but compared to the radical change of Toyokawa, I guess that's where he lost out. Anyway, the leading actors weren't too impressive on the whole so I can only think of Toyokawa and Sakaguchi as deserving candidates to fight in this category.

Best Leading Actress: Amami Yuki (Top Caster)
I'm at a loss for words. I think Amami Yuki is a good actress but surely Top Caster didn't bring out the best in her? I would have thought that Murakami Tomoko's performance in Busu no Hitomi ni Koishiteru was much better. Another name worth mentioning would be Esumi Makiko in Machiben.

Best Supporting Actor: Ito Hideaki (Bengoshi no Kuzu)
I can think of at least three other names who deserves this award i.e. Koike Teppei, Kitamura Kazuki and Abe Sadao in Iryuu. That's not to say that Ito Hideaki doesn't deserve the award. It's just that the depth in his acting doesn't show unless he's with Toyokawa but there was some significant improvement in their chemistry as the drama progressed. On the other hand, the Iryuu trio I named above were very eye-catching from the beginning to the end especially Koike who convinced me that he has the potential to act well.

Best Supporting Actress: Horikita Maki (Kurosagi)
This is kind of ridiculous. Horikita's performance as Tsurara was plain especially if you have seen her better works like ALWAYS - Sanchome no Yuhi and Nobuta wo Produce. I would have thought that Takashima Reiko in Bengoshi no Kuzu, Inamori Izumi and Mizukawa Asami in Iryuu should have gotten this.

Best Newcomer: Murakami Tomoko (Busu no Hitomi Koishiteru)

Best BGM: Iryuu

Best Director: Iryuu

Best Script: Machiben

Best Titleback: Attention Please

Did anyone notice the absence of a best theme song award for this season? ^__^