Thursday, July 31, 2008

Most Anticipated Young Actresses 2008

The following is a selection of Top 10 most anticipated young actresses as selected by Oricon style users:

1) Kitagawa Keiko

2) Kitano Kii

3) Minami

4) Kaho

5) Eikura Nana

6) Minami Akina

7) Oogo Suzuka

8) Tanaka Miho

9) Suzuki Emi

10) Tabe Mikako

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Top 10 movies ranking (27 July 2008)

1) Kake no ue no Ponyo

2) Gekijouban Pocket Monster Diamond & Pearl Giratina to Sora no Hanabata Sheimi

3) Happening

4) Hana Yori Dango Final

5) Kungfu Panda

6) Dragon Kingdom

7) Indiana Jones - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

8) Gegege no Kitaro

9) Climber's High

10) The Magic Hour

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer 2008 Drama Expectation Ranking (before OA)

The following is the summer 2008 drama expectation ranking from Oricon before the start of the season where respondents choose the drama which they are most looking forward to:

1) Code Blue ~ Doctor Heli Kinkyuu Kyumei (FujiTV)

2) Maou (TBS)

3) 33-pun Tantei (FujiTV)

4) Monster Parent (FujiTV)

5) Taiyo to Umi no Kyoshitsu (FujiTV)

6) Shibatora (FujiTV)

7) Tomorrow (TBS)

8) Yasuko to Kenji (NTV)

9) Lotto 6 de 3-oku 2-sen manen ateta otoko (TV Asahi)

10) Seigi no Mikata (NTV)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Information about Maou's Korean version

The following are some information regarding the original Korean version of Maou:

Title: 마왕 / Mawang
English title: The Devil
Episodes: 20
Broadcast network: KBS2
Official website: here
Broadcast period: 21 March 2007 - 24 May 2007
Timeslot: Wednesdays and Thursdays 9.55pm

When Homicide Detective Kang Oh Soo hit a dead end in his investigation of two seemly unrelated murders, except for the Tarot cards left behind at both crime scenes, he sought help from Seo Hae In, a woman with psychometry ability. She revealed that the killers were different in each murder, but the victims were chosen for their connection to a death of a high school boy. Later, the cases proved to have one more thing in common: the suspects have the same defense attorney, Oh Seung Ha.

Seung Ha's defense for his clients severely shaken Oh Soo’s conviction to catch the Tarot Card mastermind. Oh Soo was reminded that years ago he had killed a high school classmate in a fight. He was acquitted of all charges and began his life anew. Now, someone has came back to revenge the boy’s wrongful death by killing those who got him off.

The above information is from DramaWiki.

Joo Ji Hoon as Oh Seung Ha / Jung Tae Seung
Shin Min Ah as Seo Hae In
Uhm Tae Woong as Kang Oh Soo

The Japanese-release DVD set comes in two parts and can be found here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Maou's novelised version

The novel version of Maou translated from its Korean original is released now! Includes an explanation of key Tarot cards and Faust (the theatrical play) featured in the story.

Title: Maou (Part 1 and 2)
Author: Kim Ji-u
Price: 648 yen each
Release date: 17 July 2008
Released by: Futaba Publishing

Part 1
ISBN: 457551215X
Pages: 348

Part 2
ISBN: 4575512168
Pages: 348

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zutto Issho sa - Yamashita Tatsuro (Theme song of Bara no nai Hanaya)

Title: Zutto issho sa
Artist: Yamashita Tatsuro
Lyrics and Melody: Yamashita Tatsuro

shijima no naka de
anata no koe wo kikasete

kobiri tsuku
namida wo tokashite
fuyu wa mou sugu owaru yo

ikutsu mono kanashimi wo
kuguri nuketa sono ato de
tsunaida te no atatakasa ga
subete wo shiteiru

anata to futari de
ikite ikitai
sore dake de nani mo iranai
hiru mo yoru mo yume no naka made
zutto zutto issho sa

kokoro no kakera wo
hitotsu nokorazu hirotte

ai to iu
fushigi na jigusou
tsunagu piisu wo sagasu yo

hontou no tsuyosa wa
hitori janai tte ieru koto

kaze no naka de yori sou
hana no you ni
hime yaka ni

anata to futari de
ikite iketara
nando demo umare kawareru
tadori tsuita bokura no bassho de
zutto zutto issho sa

anata to futari de
ikite ikitai
sore dake de nani mo iranai
toki no umi ni mirai wo ukabe
zutto zutto
zutto issho sa
zutto zutto issho sa
zutto issho sa...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top 10 movies ranking (20 July 2008)

1) Kake no ue no Ponyo

2) Gekijouban Pocket Monster Diamond & Pearl Giradina to Sora no Hanabata Sheimi

3) Hana Yori Dango Finale

4) Indiana Jones

5) Gegege no Kitaro

6) Climber's high

7) The Magic Hour

8) Sore Ike! Anpanman Yosei Rinrin no Himitsu

9) Speed Racer

10) Hyakuen to Nigamushionna

Monday, July 21, 2008

Prisoner of Love - Utada Hikaru (Theme song of Last Friends)

Title: Prisoner of Love
Artist: Utada Hikaru
Lyrics and Melody: Utada Hikaru

heiki na kao de uso wo tsuite
waratte iyage ga sashite
raku bakari shiyou to shite ita

nai mono nedari buruusu
minna yasuragi wo motometeiru
michi tariteru no ni ubai au
ai no kage wo otteiru

taikutsu na mainichi ga kyuu ni kagayaki dashita
anata ga arawareta ano hi kara
kodoku demo tsuraku demo heiki dato omoeta
I'm just a prisoner of love
Just a prisoner of love

iyameru toki mo odayaka naru toki mo
arashi no hi mo hare no hi mo tomo ni ayumou

I'm gonna tell you the truth
hito shirezu tsurai michi wo erabu
watashi wo ouen shite kureru
anata dake wo tomo to yobu

tsuyogari ga yokubari ga muimi ni narimashita
anata ni aisareta ano hi kara
jiyuu demo yoyuu demo hitori ja munashii wa
I'm just a prisoner of love
Just a prisoner of love

Oh mou sukoshi da yo
Don't you give up
Oh misutenai zettai ni

zankoku na genjitsu ga futari ga hiki sakeba
yori issou tsuyoku hikare au
ikura demo ikura demo ganbareru kigashita
I'm just a prisoner of love
Just a prisoner of love

arifureta nichijou ga kyuu ni kagayaki dashita
kokoro wo ubawareta ano hi kara
kodoku demo tsuraku demo heiki dato omoeta
I'm just a prisoner of love
Just a prisoner of love

Stay with me, stay with me
My baby say you love me
Stay with me, stay with me
hitori ni sasenai

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tomorrow - Summer 2008 Drama Preview

Title: Tomorrow
Broadcaster: TBS
Showing: Sundays, 9pm

Moriyama Kouhei - Takenouchi Yutaka
Tanaka Aiko - Kanno Miho
Endo Saya - Ogawa Tamaki
Tanaka Nanami - Kurokawa Tomoka
Harada Kazuko - Edo Harumi
Hasumi Youji - Jinnai Takanori
Sendou Ikuo - Kishibe Kazutoku

Points of interest:

1)Takenouchi Yutaka and Kanno Miho
Both of them are my favourites and this combination is quite refreshing. Especially for Takenouchi who has not been in a full-length drama for some time, it is extremely exciting to see him back in action. Based on what I've seen from the first two episodes, their acting seems to have improved significantly and I look forward to more sparks between them as the story progresses.

2) The storyline
I like stories which reflect reality. Although there have been many medical-themed dramas, you can have various perspectives to the same topic. In this case, instead of seeing a heroic-type of doctor like what we've seen in Iryuu, this drama focuses on the harsh reality of maintaining the financial feasibility of the medical institution vs. the idealistic approach of providing medical care to all who need it. On one hand, we have Kanno's character, Aiko fighting to keep the bankrupt town hospital accessible to the locals but Endo (Ogawa Tamaki) wants to transform it into a celebrity hospital where medical care is only offered to those who can afford it. Takenouchi's character, Moriyama has a hidden past and is caught between his beliefs and what reality requires.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Maou 魔王 - Summer 2008 Drama Preview

I will be posting previews of new dramas only for those which I'm interested in so you won't be seeing introductions for all offerings within each season. To start off, here's a feature of Maou from TBS!

Title: Maou 魔王 (Demon King)
Broadcaster: TBS
Theme song: Truth by Arashi

Naruse Ryo - Ohno Satoshi
Serizawa Naoto - Ikuta Toma
Sakita Shiori - Kobayashi Ryoko
Kasai Jun - Tanaka Kei
Souda Michiru - Oshinari Shugo
Ishimoto Yosuke - Waki Tomohiro  
Takazuka Kaoru - Uehara Misa
Nishina Eri - Shinohara Mai
Yamano Keita - Shimizu Yu 
Serizawa Mari - Yoshize Michiko
Serizawa Noriyoshi - Gekidan Hitori
Nakanishi Hiromichi - Miyake Yuji
Serizawa Eisaku - Ishizaka Koji

Points of interest:

1) Ohno Satoshi's first leading role in a drama
All along, Ohno has been known as the underrated actor in Arashi who's been praised for his acting in stage plays. However, he has never acted in a drama before. This is the first time he's acting in a drama and to top it off, it's a leading role! His character, Naruse Ryo is an angel on the surface but a devil deep within. As such, this will be a test of his acting skills and may determine whether he can secure more drama appearances in future.

2) Ohno and Ikuta Toma acting together
In the drama, Ohno and Ikuta's roles are rivals while in real life, they are buddies who have known each other for years. It will be interesting to see how they face off through acting.

3) The suspense
I've always like suspense thrillers so this seems to be an enjoyable drama to sit through. Although we are presented with the reason why Ryo wants to take revenge against Naoto right in the first episode, the thrilling part is how Ryo manages to execute his plan without dirtying his hands and breaking the law. Thus, the issue here is not finding who's the culprit behind all these events but rather guessing what will happen next and how it will end.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spring 2008 Drama Ratings Ranking

With the final broadcast of CHANGE last night, this concludes the spring 2008 season. As such, here's the ratings ranking of the season in terms of average rating throughout these 3 months:

*Note that Hachi-one Diver will be showing its last episode this Saturday thus was excluded in this ranking.

The number 1 spot belongs to Gokusen from NTV which has an average rating of 22.81%. Out of its 11 episodes, only the 9th and 10th episode went below the 20% mark thus propelling it to top spot ahead of CHANGE which scored 3.8% higher for its finale last night.

I had no interest in this drama at all thus didn't even watch a single episode. I guess the novelty of the series had already worn off by the time I finished the first series and that I'm rather sick of such nekketsu-kyoshi type of stories by now. Besides, the so-called ikemen in this latest instalment fail to interest me...maybe it's age which has changed my tastes. And I've never liked yanki-type of guys. ^__^

At No.2 is CHANGE which got an average of 22.08%. Well, it only lost to Gokusen by a mere 0.73% despite the fact that it had 4 out of 10 episodes going below 20%. The drama lost to Gokusen for its first O.A. but managed to deal a retalliating blow through the finale.

Well, this was one of the two dramas which I finished in full for this season. I'm neither a fan of Kimutaku nor very impressed with the story but the novelty of seeing how the political system works in Japan kept me staying on. The strong supporting cast made the drama more bearable than becoming a mere Kimutaku personal show. Niracchi saikou!

More on the drama when I watch the finale in full. I was watching the live broadcast last night but that extremely long solo speech by Kimutaku just made me switch off. I have no idea what exactly happened in the end so I will comment on the drama later.

No.3 belongs to Last Friends which did relatively well in terms of critical reviews and ratings. It scored an average rating of 17.73% which was more than 3% ahead of the No.4 drama. And this is one drama which I finished from beginning to the end.

Nagasawa Masami fails to impress me AGAIN while Ueno Juri and Nishikido Ryo were exceptionally outstanding in this drama. Regardless of whether you are a fan of the cast, the story itself is compelling enough to keep you glued to the screen. I think the ending could have been handled better but then, nothing is perfect so I can't ask for too much. These days, a lot of dramas have sloppy endings so I've grown used to it. Anyway, the special episode had too much flashbacks so I was quite irritated to be taken for a ride instead of seeing what happens after the last episode.

And here's the rest of the ranking:

4th: Around 40 (TBS) 14.72%
5th: ROOKIES (TBS) 14.31%
6th: Zettai Kareshi (FujiTV) 13.15%
7th: Shichinin no Onna Bengoshi (TV Asahi) 10.94%
8th: Puzzle (TV Asahi) 10.13%
9th: Osen (NTV) 9.15% ~ I finished the first episode but had no motivation to progress further. Uchi Hiroki's character is a terrible eyesore and Aoi Yu was disappointing.
10th: Kimi Hannin ja nai yo ne (TV Asahi) 8.87%
11th: Ryokiteki na Kanojo (TBS) 8.31% ~ Much as I like Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, the drama was boring. Gave up after 15 minutes.
12th: Hokaben (NTV) 8.21%
13th: Muri na Renai (FujiTV) 7.51%

Monday, July 14, 2008

Top 10 movies weekly ranking (13 July 08)

1) Hana Yori Dango Final

2) Indiana Jones

3) Gegege no Kitaro

4) Climber's High

5) The Magic Hour

6) Sore Ike! Anpanman Yosei Rinrin no Himitsu

7) Speed Racer

8) Kiseki no Symphony

9) The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

10) Nishi no Majou ga Shinda