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Sakura
13 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Jun 10, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

A not-so-beautiful story about a family

This movie starts with happy memories from the point of view of the middle child, Kaoru. He reminisces about the memories he had with his family, which includes his father, mother, older brother Hajime, little sister Miki, and family dog Sakura. But don’t be fooled, because there is not a perfect family. I think their family shows common problems that are faced by most families.

The main problem is how Miki, being the only daughter, was spoiled by everyone in the family. I even noticed how no one reprimands her every time she does something wrong. That’s why she’s self-centered and almost disturbed. I love Komatsu Nana but I hated her so much here. Some of her acting roles are weird, I have a trauma lol.

Another problem is expectations and roles. Usually, parents expect their firstborn to be a role model to his/her siblings, in-charge when they are not around, and the ones to blame when something bad happens to his/her sibling/s. Too much expectation could be harmful for the child. In the movie, it’s problematic how they think that Hajime is invincible, that’s why when he wasn’t given enough support when he needed.

Of course, there are many things I love about this movie. I’m impressed that the mother is very open when it comes to sensitive topics that most parents would avoid to explain, which made them closer to each other. They are a strong and loving family that has the capability to move on and forgive one another.

It reminds me of how my pets would wag my tail and give me happiness after a long day. This is a heartwarming movie that highlights Sakura’s ability to stay joyful no matter what problems their family might face. Thus it gives us the positive attitude that Sakura has and inspires us to carry on no matter what happens. Life is full of surprises, so never lose your smile !

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Completed
Rikokatsu
9 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Jun 23, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Indecisive but cute couple you would root for

When I’ve read the synopsis of Rikokatsu, it immediately captured my attention because divorce could be a sensitive topic but still we must accept that it’s common nowadays. Kudos to the writer/s because they did a good job presenting different perspectives on divorce. They also made Rikokatsu lighthearted, which good because it could inform a lot more people, or those who are affected by the same problems could still be comforted and inspired.

Many newlywed couples struggled like Koichi and Saki, two completely different proud people who are still getting to know each other and still not prepared for the changes they have to make after their marriage. With so much pressure, and it’s easier for them to just give up and just divorce. But they still cling to their relationship because of their love. They’re story shows the pain of hasty divorce, and how couples could still fix their marriage by good communication and effort from both sides.

Both Koichi and Saki’s mothers have a different reason for demanding to divorce their husbands, which is self-love. Some women like them, and even men, endure bad marriage for years in fear of losing their family. It’s empowering how they fought for their rights because people like them deserves to be free, and they showed that making this important decision is never too late.

Saki’s sister is quick on taking the risk when she divorced her mama’s boy husband. We can see that although her daughter is upset, single parents like her always does their best for their children. As someone who grew up with the same setup, it reminded me of the sacrifices my parents did for me.

The cast did a very good job on portraying these characters. I’m happy to encounter Nagayama Eita again after Orange Days. His character is so serious and stiff but he played it so well. Kitagawa Keiko is perfect and pretty as always. Tanabe Momoko who played as Keiko’s love rival is very effective in annoying me haha. She’s so genuine in delivering her lines, and hopefully she’ll have more projects.

Hitmaker Yonezu Kenshi’s Pale Blue suits Rikokatsu so well, and sets a longing mood for this drama. I must say zutto zutto zutto~ is definitely catchy! How could he repeat a word thrice and make me feel emotional lol. Good job Kenshi ^^

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Completed
Kekkon Dekinai ni wa Wake ga Aru
6 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Jun 29, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Watch for instant serotonin boost

Kekkon Dekinai ni wa Wake ga Aru is an adaptation of a josei-comedy webcomic. Josei, being my favorite genre, I've seen other dramas/manga with the same plot, in which the heroine at her thirties is struggling to find a marriage partner for some reasons, that's why I was hesitant to watch this drama. But Japanese writers never fail to to come up with an idea to give their own unique touch to the story.

Mariko have very high standards in men, and she found herself idealizing her company's handsome and hardworking chief, Mitsuo. And it turns out he's not that perfect as she thought he is, and in actuality, he is also struggling to enter into a relationship because of his strange hobby, more of an obsession with his doll, Michuko. I found it fresh how the girl is actually the normal one and the boy is not afraid to show his clumsy side, 'cause normally it's the other way around. Hayami Mokomichi is really funny on this one, and Wakatsuku Yumi is very charming as a female lead.

The opening song, Saikyo by She9, is really on point. Bpm, also by She9, was also used as OST. Rock really suits this energetic drama a lot! I also liked how there's a countdown on how more many days Mariko has before turns 30 years old at the end of the episode, it just adds comedy haha.

Kekkon Dekinai ni wa Wake ga Aru is indeed funny all throughout, it also teaches great lessons. Mitsuo's character teaches us the importance of having a hobby or two to cope up with the demands of life, I appreciate how Mariko accepts Mitsuo's antics open-mindedly which defines genuine love.

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Completed
Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu
3 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Nov 4, 2021
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Facing Hardships in Communication and forming Healthy Friendships

This is my newest favorite drama, I recommend it if you want to watch something wholesome mixed with slice of life. I love the characters interaction and how they explored the different types of "communication disease" or miscommunications that even us can experience. I'd like to talk about each of the characters and the lessons I learned from them.

Komi is the most popular girl in school but she is very shy around people and she rarely talks. Because of this, she was misunderstood as someone who is cold and unapproachable. But she improved little by little with the help of her friends. I also talk less haha, so I can relate to her and having the same experience makes me appreciate my friends for boosting my confidence and helping me grow as a person.
Tadano also has social anxiety and chose to be "average" in order to avoid trouble. He's the MVP of this drama, he showed a good example of a type of friend that doesn't need much words to understand your feelings and concerns. I love his interaction with Katai (expect some bromance lol).
Manbagi is a cheerful girl who also wants to have friends. I always thought that having a bright personality would mean having more friends but it's not always the case. I love her character the most, and her story shows that we could still befriend someone who is the exact opposite of our personality.
Najimi has a lot of friends, he is my role model haha. But his story showed that in choosing friends, we should not judge solely from our first impression of them. Katai is also one of my favorite, he's tough outside but softy inside UwU I learned from his story to never judge a person's character based on his appearance. Ase and Isagi's enduring friendship was also heartwarming. It showed that should we cherish our friends and be proud of them. Naruse on the other hand, learned that having someone to call "friend" is very gives greater joy than being alone!

Being with our friends is uplifting and fun, and this drama successfully expressed the heartwarming feeling of being at home with friends while staying close to reality. I also saw some episodes of the anime and both are funny but the characters are different, for example Yamai (a yandere girl) is not in this drama. I also liked the ending song, Atashitachi by Aiko, she is my new favorite Jsinger and I just realized she has sang a lot of Jdrama OST. Acting-wise, I think the actors are great! I watched this because of Ikeda Elaiza who is my favorite. Tbh I was kinda disappointed after knowing that her character doesn't speak that much but she delivered Komi so well with her nuance and body language. It's one of my favorite works from her! Masuda Takahisa is also awesome, it's my first time seeing him and I think he looks so young and adorable ^^ I love all of the actors, Mizobata Junpei, Yoshikawa Ai, and the rest, I love seeing them together. Wishing for season 2! xD

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Completed
Ano Toki Kiss Shite Okeba
5 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Jun 20, 2021
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Selfless soul-switching characters

Ano Toki Kiss shite Okeba literally means "Should've Kissed at that Time" evokes Momochi's regret because of how he rejected Tomoe's kiss. Why though would he reject Tomoe, whom he admires the most? Well, it's only because Momochi is such a pure guy who loves manga, he honestly needs to be protected. Meanwhile, Tomoe is a strong-willed woman and the type of person that would speak up her mind without a second thought. Although they have different personalities, Tomoe started to rely to Momochi not only as an errand boy but also as a reliable companion while experiencing the hardships of her fame as a mangaka. Just when they both agreed to go to a trip together, and Momochi could finally redeem his chance to kiss Tomoe again, their plane crashes. Although Tomoe is reported dead, Masao, claiming he is Tomoe in an old guy's body, asks for Momochi's help. Could this mean there is still a chance for their love? Would Momochi love Tomoe as a guy? But what about Masao's identity? Why Tomoe is in Masao's body?

I think Tomoe couldn't really die just yet because of her strong will to finish all her responsibilities. She helped not only Momochi and people dear to her but also Masao and the readers of her manga. Although death is the saddest feeling, hers is fulfilling and inspiring. Her character shows that anything could happen in a blink of the eye, so we should seize the day.

Soul-switching is one of the overly used plots that we still love no matter what because it could be a difficult conflict to overcome but still would surely involve comedic elements. All of the actors did a good job, especially Iura Arata, playing both Tomoe and Masao. It's my first time seeing his drama so I have a strong image of him acting girly and it surprised me seeing his normal self lol.

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Completed
Shiroi Dakuryu
3 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Oct 15, 2021
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0

Science, Drama, Business, Moral Ambiguity, and Friendship in One Drama

I’ve started this drama because of the actor, Kiriyama Renn, who has two consecutive romcom dramas I’ve enjoyed. But this time, Shiroi Dakuryu is a dramatic business series with a more serious tone. This is my first time encountering the lead actor, Ito Atsushi, who is charismatic all throughout the series. He delivered the emotions of the struggling researcher so well, he is definitely the star of this show.

Kazuki is an sincere and a humble researcher who is working with his close friend, Kashiwagi, who is also his rival both as a researcher and in romance with their journalist friend, Kawahara Tomoko. This series explored the dark side of big companies and how could they possibly exploit their intelligent researcher by taking all the credit and profit of their hard work. I believe anomalies like this could happen in real life, and it’s a good depiction of what’s happening in our society.

As the title implies, Kazuki soon got swept by his seemingly pure intention to change the dirty business system. This reveals Kazuki’s dynamic character and kept my interest towards his journey. His decisions are not always the best and it made my head hurt tbh haha. But I could tell that he retained his sincerity and that’s why his friends and family never gave up on him. This is what I’ve loved in this drama - the trust between these group of friends. It inspires me to always consider my loved ones, not just my own aspirations, because they are not there to criticize me but to help me correct my direction.

I also love the OST of this drama, it sets the mysterious vibe and it’s also kinda melancholic but exciting at the same time. I personally like the OST played at the opening title, which kinda mimics the sound of the stream, and the sad vocalization OST. I need to listen to it again because it’s good, I’ve rated it 10 xD

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Completed
Screaming Class
3 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Sep 27, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

A Hidden Gem with great young actresses of same age

I’ve watched this movie without subs, but it’s fine because it’s easy to understand (from the perspective of someone who did not formally study Japanese). I wanted to watch this mainly because I love the cast, but was hesitant because it’s genre is horror. But I told myself that I can’t miss to see my favorite actresses working together.

Unexpectedly, I find the story relatable. But it is definitely not for everybody, TRIGGER WARNING for bullying and sexual assault. The main character, Kana (Kawaguchi Haruna), is an average high school girl who quietly dreams to be like the most popular girl in school, Rio (Hirose Alice). I’ve also admired the cool kids at school, and I think this is normal and shows realistic depiction of a teenage girl. Kana also have a best friend, Erika (Matsuoka Mayu), who is almost inseparable with her. This made me remember how I stick with a close friend almost everyday, never getting tired of each other (hopefully they didn’t lol), we would look for each other soon as we arrive school, and it’s automatic to be partners at group works xD I’ve also had some ups and downs with my friends, and I could see my immature self to some of these characters.

Now onto the frustrating part, bullies does unbelievable things to their targets. I didn’t understood what made Rio so twisted and evil, maybe something abt her upbringing. There’s also a side story abt the ghost, Yomi (Yamamoto Mizuki), and her friend, who is now a teacher (Haru), who also encountered bullies. It’s a sad and heartbreaking story, which only shows the haunting effect of bullying. I also think that the ending is perfect for a horror movie, and also gives an important lesson abt bullying, standing up for others, and loyalty, esp to younger people.

The acting is great as expected. I also like how the leads are of same age, Haruna, Mayu, Alice, and Ikeda Elaiza are probably 18-19 here. It’s fun to review their early works, given that they have already established their names in the industry in the present. Mizuki and Haru are of same age too, so I appreciate if the casting team. The OST also did a great job for giving me creeps, and yeah, there’s some screaming. But this movie is watchable for me who hates horror. I also don’t think it would made me scared at night, it’s just right so I would recommend it if you’re a fan of these actresses but hates horror. It’s honestly a hidden gem, and I would like to see more of collab from these actresses.

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Completed
Nemesis
2 people found this review helpful
by Kez
Jun 22, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Genius female detective

The story revolves around the cases surrounding Nemesis detective agency, with its talented assistant Anna, the brain behind the detective puppet, Kazama. The key elements of detective drama, like cool protagonist vs. another cool antagonist, handy detective gadgets, scientists, recurring characters as support, and the “best buddies” could be easily found, which made the main mystery predictable but still interesting. The cases on the earlier episodes are also good, if I would to choose, my favorite is the first.

Each characters are also mysterious and it’s fun to predict their real role in the story. I’m expecting that Kazama would be useless as a detective without Anna, but he’s so much more than a comedic character, although he is truly funny haha. Hirose Suzu is also fun to watch, and she’s so cute on curly hair. Her nemesis, which I’m not going to reveal, performed so well. I’ve seen them a lot with similar role, and I have to say they really have niche on being a dark broken character.

When it comes to detective drama, good OST is a must! And yes, Nemesis passed this criteria. The opening theme is stuck on my head even now, and while watching drama the music did a good job on setting the mood to whenever what is happening. Plus, they have an episode involving rap music, so you’ll see Suzu and Sakurai Sho rap! The producers really know how to satisfy their audience, cause I’m so hyped by that single scene. If you understand basic Japanese, you’ll know they made the lyrics so catchy and well rhymed. That legendary scene is something I’d rewatch at 3 am lol.

The thing is with detective drama, it involves crimes which could have a bitter aftertaste so if you’re not used to Japanese detective shows in particular, I’d recommend watching another genre you’re more comfortable with. But if you’re family watch shows together, I’d recommend you to watch Nemesis them. Yes, it’s family-friendly and I’d like to say it’s a great show for father’s month!

My first ever jdrama is a detective show and it’s been a long while since I’ve watched an airing one, and I’m hyped because we have very few female detective like Anna. I think Nemesis met my expectations, but I felt that the characters deserves a second season because 10 episodes is too short for their deep backstory.

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