Thursday, March 31, 2022

Preview of "Shimobee" - Winter 2022

Title: Shimobee しもべえ
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 Jan 2022
Timeslot: Fridays at 10pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Total number of episodes: 8
Original manga by: Murata Hiroyuki
Cast: Yasuda Ken, Shiraishi Sei, Kaneko Daichi, Yahagi Honoka, Naitou Shuuichiro, Ikema Natsumi & Yada Akiko

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

QuickReview #04: Kingyozuma 金魚妻 (Netflix drama)

Title: Kingyozuma 金魚妻

Season: Winter 2022

Broadcast by: Netflix

Rating: 6 / 10

Recommended for: those who like stories about extramarital affairs peppered with lots of explicit intimate scenes

- The visuals - be it the artistic direction of the scenes, the set, the scenery in outdoor scenes or the good-looking cast members - are a sight to behold

- This being based on a R-rated manga, there are bound to be lots of "adult scenes" but to have these scenes being "prolonged" on screen can be a real pain to sit through. I found myself wondering at times just when the scenes would end especially since the time could have been devoted to making the story better. Granted that the physical relationship element is integral to the wives featured in this drama, the level of "detail" was still excessive. I feel especially bad for the actresses here though - did they really have to go to that extent and show that much nudity for these scenes?
- Much as the story tries to "justify" why these wives had to look for comfort in men other than their husbands, not every story was convincing enough. If there was more time for each story, it would have strengthened the argument for these wives rather than leave an ambiguous aftertaste.
- The lead couple's ending is rather illogical - it wasn't as if the wife was going back to her ex-husband so why was there a need for her to part with her younger lover? For the sake of regaining her independence with relying on her lover? Maybe the intention is to show that they could be together again when their circumstances improve after some time but it could have been presented in a more convincing manner.

Preview of "Atai no Elegance" - Spring 2022

Title: Atai no Elegance 私のエレガンス (My Elegance)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 2 Apr 2022
Timeslot: Saturdays at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Total number of episodes: 6
Theme Song: "Open the Door" by First Summer Uika
Cast: First Summer Uika, Kusakari Tamiyo & Yoshizawa Hisashi

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

QuickReview #03: Sekai ichi muzukashii koi 世界一難しい恋 (Spring 2016)

Title: Sekai ichi muzukashii koi 世界一難しい恋

Season: Spring 2016

Broadcast by: NTV

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Recommended for: those who like light office romance comedies where the lead couple is fumbling their way through to love

- The quirky and hilarious journey of how Samejima Reiji (Ohno Satoshi) tries to win the heart of his subordinate while being held back by his clumsiness and awkwardness. 
- Engaging and interesting supporting characters who stand out in their own ways especially Muraoki Maiko (Koike Eiko) - the motherly figure who teaches Reiji how to woo the woman he loves - and Wada Hideo (Kitamura Kazuki) - the rival-turned-mentor for Reiji who can be quite obnoxious at times but knows what he is talking about
- Yokohama. I like the city a lot and to see that the hotel featured as Reiji's hotel was where I stayed at before and to see so many familiar sights of Yokohama in the drama bring back a lot of fond memories.
- And of course, seeing Ohno in a love comedy (his first & only) which coincidentally happened to be his last drama series before going on hiatus.

- Haru is a good actress. However, when it comes to romance stories like this, I always have this feeling that she's emotionally detached from or should I say, not involved in the character. Maybe it's her cool image getting into the way at times but when the lead couple didn't look like they were in love, I found it difficult for me to root for them and get more invested emotionally in this drama.
- The pacing of the drama was generally fine but when it got to the emotional conflict towards the end, I found it too draggy. And the conclusion was...hmm...hard to say that it was bad but it certainly wasn't that impressive either.

Preview of "Meitantei Stay Homes" (Drama SP)

Title: Meitantei Stay Homes 名探偵ステイホームズ (Famous Detective Stay Homes)
Official website: here
O.A. Dates: 3 Apr & 10 Apr 2022 at 10.30pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Cast: Kitamura Takumi, Matsumoto Marika, Morikawa Aoi, Kuroba Mario, Oohara Yuno, Owada Nana, Komiya Arisa, Goto Takenori, Katsuya, Tanihara Shosuke & Suzuki Honami

Monday, March 28, 2022

QuickReview #02: Sakura no you na boku no koibito 桜のような僕の恋人 (Netflix movie)

Title: Sakura no you na boku no koibito 桜のような僕の恋人

Broadcast by: Netflix

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Recommended for
- Those who like bittersweet love stories and don't mind the cliched plot of a lover having a terminal illness and leaves/breaks up for the sake of not burdening his/her other half
- Fans of Nakajima Kento & Matsumoto Honoka 

- The beautiful scenery featured as the seasons changed in the story
- The better-than-expected good acting - it was especially refreshing to see Nakajima Kento play a shy and awkward but earnest guy as compared to his usual "Sexy Thank you" act-cool style and Matsumoto Honoka shine in a cute role brimming with youth and positivity before the twist in the middle. However, I must say that Nagayama Kento and Sakurai Yuki were the ones who really stood out so much despite being the second leads.
- Not showing the heroine's physical changes to the viewers until the end - it was a smart move to accentuate the impact and shock felt by the male lead since he wasn't able to see the heroine after quite some time later.

- The storyline is cliched and predictable - you need to be really patient to sit through 2 hours of something when you can already foresee the developments and ending
- Waste of talent - there were quite a few notable names in the supporting cast lineup but their fleeting appearances hardly left an impact since there was nothing much for them to do anyway.

Preview of "Shizu-chan to Papa" - Winter 2022

Title: Shizu-chan to Papa しずかちゃんとパパ (Shizu-chan and Papa)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 Mar 2022
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Ending theme song: "You are so beautiful" by Ueda Masaki
Cast: Yoshioka Riho, Nakajima Yuuto, Inaba Yu, Fujii Mina, Hagio Midori, Toda Keiko, Kimura Tae & Shofukutei Tsurube

Sunday, March 27, 2022

QuickReview #01: Buchou to shachiku no koi wa modokashii 部長と社畜の恋はもどかしい (Winter 2022)

Title: Buchou to shachiku no koi wa modokashii 部長と社畜の恋はもどかしい

Season: Winter 2022

Broadcast by: TV Tokyo

Rating: 6 / 10

Recommended for: those who like office romance stories with a unconventional beginning

- The first two episodes - the lead couple got off to a sizzling start right from the first episode and the second episode's intimate scene was as good, if not better than the one in the first episode.
- Each episode is only 30 minutes so it's easy to get through the story.

- True to its title, the modokashii element (annoying, irritated, impatient) element dominated the rest of the story which was a huge contrast to its speedy start. If not for the fact that each episode was only 30 minutes, I would not have been able to sit through this.
- The chemistry between the leads was also somewhat lacking - this was especially obvious when the story started to show more of the emotional development in their relationship.

Introducing QuickReviews - a speedier way to share reviews of Japanese dramas and movies

One problem I constantly encounter when I want to write reviews for Japanese dramas and movies is the time factor or rather, the lack of it. Often, I try to go into great detail (sometimes too much) so this means that I have to write and rewrite the review multiple times to the extent that there have been too many occasions when I end up with half-done reviews.

As such, to overcome this problem and to avoid having to write long reviews for dramas/movies which I may not have so much to comment about, I've decided to start doing QuickReviews.

Essentially, what this means is that a QuickReview will have 4 key sections only and in relatively short sentences:

- Rating based on a scale of 10
- Recommended for i.e. the target audience or who might like this drama/movie
- Liked i.e. what I liked about this
- Disliked i.e. what I disliked about this

It doesn't mean that doing a QuickReview for a drama/movie is due to me not liking the title as much. The main purpose of doing this is that I want to get the review out as soon as possible and may not want to go into great detail for a particular title. However, if you have any questions or want me to elaborate on what I wrote in such a QuickReview, you can always leave a comment on the blog post or reply to the thread on the Twitter or Facebook post. 

This also does not mean that I will stop writing the detailed reviews - just that I will be able to focus more on a select few and can afford to spend more time on them.

And perhaps the most important point is, reviews are subjective by nature so please do not get upset if it turns out that our views differ.

So without ado, I will be posting the first QuickReview soon. Do keep a lookout for it and let me know what you think!

Preview of "Ending Cut" (Drama SP)

Title: Ending Cut エンディングカット
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 19 Mar 2022 at 9pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Original novel by: Arai Masami
Cast: Ashida Mana, Sato Ryuta, Hirosue Ryoko, Maiko, Ikezu Shoko, Tabata Shima, Tamaoki Reo, Suzuki Soutaro & Tsurumi Shingo

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Preview of "Shukatsu Time Capsule" (Drama SP)

Title: Shukatsu Time Capsule 就活タイムカプセル 
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 27 March 2022 at 2pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Cast: Sano Hayato, Tanabe Momoko, Takatsuki Sara, Ijima Ku, Izumi Tomochika & Kawai Aoba

Friday, March 25, 2022

Preview of "Damasenai Otoko" (Drama SP)

Title: Damasenai Otoko ダマせない男 (The man who can't deceive)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 26 Mar 2022 at 9pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Cast: Sakai Masato, Kadowaki Mugi, Murakawa Eri, Minagawa Sarutoki, Kote Shinya, Okabe Takashi, Tooyama Toshiya, Mitsuishi Ken, Hirosue Ryoko & Namase Katsuhisa

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Preview of "Kaze yo arashi yo" (Drama SP)

Title: Kaze yo arashi yo 風よあらしよ
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 31 Mar 2022 at 7pm
Broadcast by: NHK (BS8K)
Original novel by: Murayama Yuka
Cast: Yoshitaka Yuriko, Nagayama Eita, Matsushita Nao, Minami, Tamaoki Reo, Asaka Mayumi, Yamashita Yorie, Yamada Maho, Kurita Momoko, Otoo Takuma, Ishibashi Renji & Inagaki Goro

Preview of "Yukiguni" (Drama SP)

Title: Yukiguni 雪国 (Snow Country)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 28 Mar 2022 at 10pm (BS4K) and 16 Apr 2022 at 9pm (BS Premium)
Broadcast by: NHK
Original novel by: Kawabata Yasunari
Cast: Takahashi Issei, Nao, Morita Misato, Koura Kengo & Yuki Saori

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Preview of "Aono-kun ni sawaritai kara shinitai" - Winter 2022

Title: Aono-kun ni sawaritai kara shinitai / 青野くんに触りたいから死にたい (I Want to Hold Aono-kun so Badly I Could Die)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 Mar 2022
Timeslot: Fridays 11.30pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 10
Original manga by: Shiina Umi
Cast: Sato Shouri, Takahashi Hikaru, Kamio Fuuju & Ririka

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Preview of "Matsuo Suzuki to 30-pun no joyuu 2" - Winter 2022

Title: Matsuo Suzuki to 30-pun no joyuu 2 松尾スズキと30分の女優2 (Matsuo Suzuki and 30-minute actresses 2)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 Mar 2022
Timeslot: Sundays 11pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 4
Cast: Matsuo Suzuki, Ikuta Erika, Matsumoto Honoka, Matsuyuki Yasuko & Amami Yuki

Friday, March 11, 2022

Preview of "Shoutai" - Winter 2022

Title: Shoutai 正体 (True identity)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 Mar 2022
Timeslot: Saturdays at 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 4
Original novel by: Somei Tamehito
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Kuroki Hitomi, Ichihara Hayato, Kanjiya Shihori, Hotta Mayu, Kamikawa Takaya, Hamada Takahiro, Otoo Takuma, Wakamura Mayumi, Takahata Atsuko, Okunuki Kaoru, Fujiyoshi Kumiko, Nomaguchi Tooru & Nukumizu Yoichi

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Preview of "Hiru" - Winter 2022

Title: Hiru ヒル
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 4 Mar 2022
Timeslot: Fridays 11pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 12
Original manga by: Imai Daisuke
Cast: Akaso Eiji, Yoshikawa Ai, Iitoyo Marie, Yanagi Shuntaro, Itagaki Mizuki, Sakuma Yui, Tanaka Kotaro, Matsuzawa Takumi, Iwanaga Hiroaki, Kusano Ini, Wakabayashi Jiei, Shuhama Harumi, Miura Masaki, Rijuu Go, Ohnishi Takeshi, Itao Itsuji, Konishi Manami & Sakaguchi Kentaro

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Preview of "Jashin no tenbin Kouan bunsekihan" - Winter 2022

Title: Jashin no tenbin Kouan bunsekihan 邪神の天秤 公安分析班 (The scales of the evil god Public Security Analysis Section)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 February 2022
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 10
Original novel by: Asami Kazushi
Cast: Aoki Munetaka, Matsuyuki Yasuko, Tokushige Satoshi, Koichi Mantaro, Fukuyama Shota, Tsutsui Michitaka, Watanabe Ikkei & Danta Yasunori

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Preview of "Ame no hi" (Drama SP)

Title: Ame no hi 雨の日 (Rainy Day)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 9 Mar 2022 at 1.59am
Broadcast by: NHK
Cast: KOM_I, Kudo Haruka, Muroi Shigeru, Mashima Hidekazu, Narumi Riko, Goto Takenori & Yokozawa Natsuko