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  • Location: The princess's road
  • Total Edits: 76
  • Birthday: August 14
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  • Join Date: August 19, 2011

BrightestStar

The princess's road

BrightestStar

The princess's road
Completed
Yakou Kanransha
7 people found this review helpful
Aug 24, 2014
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I don't know where to start with this review. This drama is a crime drama, but done from the point of view of the people involved in the crime. The theme of this drama is "this can happen in any family". It's a normal family, with all that comes with it, the good and the bad, the warmth and the pressure, happiness and sadness. Watching each episode can be overwhelming and sometimes I'm not too sure if I'm ready to watch the next episode. But once I started watching it a totally get absorbed.

Drama effectively portrays the complicated relationship between family members. A person trying to show their love to one party can be taken as additional and unwelcomed pressure from the other party, who would feel not good enough for attaining what is expected of them. It's never black and white between family members. Its always love and resentment, co-existing. Sometimes they over do-it, a particular character I felt like beating up half the time, while the other half I felt bad for her.

Even so the drama did manage to keep us in suspense. Half way through the drama, the suspects get narrowed down but another mystery gets revealed, and keeps you wondering what the truth is.

No complaint in the acting department. Actually there are some young talent to look out for. Some actors we usually see in secondary roles are put under the spot light which was nice.

As for the music, I loved the ending theme song, it was upbeat soundtrack added to the last scene of each episode, encouraging you to watch more.

I didn't start watchign this drama for a particular actor so what kept me going and enjoying this is the story, executiong and talent. It has a nice balance in many themes like family, love, friendship, mystery, crime.

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Completed
The World of Kanako
10 people found this review helpful
Apr 15, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
-Craziness....check!
-Wildness beyond imaginations.... check!
-Violence... check!
-Hopelessness...check!
-Spot on comedic scenes...check!
-Amazing performance from the whole cast...check!
-Magnificent use of flashbacks, colours, lighting and music... MAJOR Check!
-Memorable... We'll see about that ;)
-Story... I don't usually watch anything where there is no one to root for, much less enjoy it, but somehow this story was engaging so...check! But it was mostly because of it's characters rather than the story itself.


This is definitely a director piece. What I love about this movie is exactly what I loved about Confession. The not so linear timeline, the constant use of flashbacks, seeing only part of the picture piece by piece until it makes all sense, the effective use of music to indicate the absurdity of the situation, the colours used show the madness in the world. The movie doesn't shy away from anything, and the story is told by one hell of a messed up dirty old ojisan. Under a lesser director, this movie would've been like any other, average, forgettable. Nakashima has a way of mastering the image he's showing. A true artist who manages to connect with the audience through images.

Yakusho Koji's genius was beyond my imagination (currently checking out his movie list ;)) Tsumabuki was adorably delightful. I smile on every scene he's in. Sometimes I burst out laughing. Specially in his last scene in the movies. Hilarious! It just caught me by surprise. Odagiri, oh Odagiri, he may not appeared long in the movie, but it was long enough to captivate me. To the point that I didn't realize I was missing my chance to get some great screencaps of him XD. What a scene that way. Words cannot describe it. It was so effortless on his part. Playing crazy characters for him is like a kid getting his favourite toy on christmas!

That young cast! No fear for the future of the Japanese cinema as long as they're around. It's my first time seeing Komatsu Nana so can't judge much but she has the perfect demonic beauty that she uses effectively here. Hashimoto Ai always knows the best thing to say at the right moment. Hiroya Shimizu was also perfect his the use of his character is interesting.

It wasn't an easy watch but totally worth watching. If you're a fan of Nakashima movies, especially Confessions, you'll definitely like it. If you are a fan of any of the cast, they make such a spectacular job it's worth venturing into this movie!

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Completed
Wakamono Tachi
8 people found this review helpful
Sep 28, 2014
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This dorama already got great reviews that I totally agree with but thought of adding my two cents as well ;) It was the drama that I was most anticipating of the summer, and maybe of the year. As an anniversary drama, it is star studded as expected. It's the first drama for Tsumabuki Satoshi in 5 years ( except he had a guest role in an episode of Higashino Keigo Mysteries in 2012) since the lead a taiga in 2009. He's reunited here with Mitsushima Hikari (Villain) and Eita (Orange Days, Dororo) rounded off with award winning Aoi Yu. With that cast alone, expectations flew through the roof.

I was certainly looking forward to the reunion of Mitsushima and Eita and seeing Tsumabuki in a drama again after so long sure is a delight. Whether the drama met my expectations or not cannot be answered with a simple Yes or No.

My main reason of watching was for the cast, so in that case I can't say I was disappointed. The characters felt real for me, the relationships authentic, and the chemistry is present. I was invested enough with the family that watching them every episode was bliss. Acting from the main characters was top notch. Asahi's character got many criticism of being over-acted, but I found it was actually well thought out. I think if he were played any other way it would've been too dramatic so I cannot imagine anyone playing it better than Tsumabuki. Other performances varied from great to okay but none felt miscast. Yoshioka Hidetaka didn't really add much to the characters so my shallow self wished it would've been a better looking actor that took the role XD He wasn't miscast but not too great either.

The story overall is heartwarming and sweet, but we had some story lines that were stronger than others, some more relatable than others, hence some episodes stronger than others. The story line revolving around the three older siblings were the most engaging. The story of the 2 youngest siblings was set-aside in the background and needed more attention from the writer. For that reason I found their resolve a bit shallow. Episodes about characters other than the siblings were less interesting. There were also a lot of cheesy dialogs running throughout the drama. It certainly isn't something new to Japanese dramas but dramas without cheesy dialogs have been done and this could've benefitted without as well

The soundtrack was used effectively here and the theme song added this timeless enchantment to the drama.

On the whole, not a perfect drama, but still touching and uplifting, with great performances and memorable roles. I will miss this drama for sure.

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Completed
Assassination Classroom
11 people found this review helpful
Sep 23, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
On the surface, it is ridiculous premise, one we only see coming from Japan and love it for it. However, deep down, it is a typical troubled class high school drama. I'd say it's like mixing Gokusen with Dragon Zakura. As a manga adaptation, I can see how the drama looks and sounds so ridiculous because it's live action. Some events may still appear ridiculous in the manga, but when it's live action, it shows 110%. I think the movie did a great job of taking this point to his consideration, making it a fun watch,

The acting is pretty decent overall, where needs to be. Having Shiina Kippei keeping a straight face within such a ridicule event is hilarious. That guy is hilarious overall, but he can manage cool roles as well. Our protagonist Yamada Ryosuke managed to keep us interested in his character while keepincg himself out of the spotlight. It is weird that sometimes it feels he doesn't have much presence and I think that was the intention with the character to begin with. Conversely Masaki Suda was the one overshadowed everyone just by being on screen. He played a badass character and he played it coolly.

Like most school shows, there was a lot about working together to achieve a certain goal, getting motivated to look for different path and whatnot. It does give important lessons in an interesting way. There are also politics, like school unfairness they have to deal with and having a back plan in life to fall back to so there is always hope to succeed.

Overall enjoyable, not too preachy, decent performance and well casted. If anything I think it'll be entertaining and and fun to watch. I can't wait for the sequel ;)

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Completed
You're All Surrounded
15 people found this review helpful
Aug 12, 2014
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 6.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I'm sure my view of this drama will not be a popular one, but I thought I might still share ;)

You're all surrounded had ingredients to make it a entertaining and memorable kdrama. It was marketed as a comedy, had the right actors casted in the right place, and most characters were endearing and fun. However we start the story with a tragedy, which away from the comedy and it takes much of the drama time to get solved. I didn't like that at first, but accepted it as long as we get an interesting mystery and enjoy the character growth and romances. There was a lot of potential in the beginning. A lot of story threads were opened up in the beginning but left hanging and did not get much of a conclusion, so the conclusion we got was not satisfying. Many characters were set aside while the hero was put in the center, taking in one tragic revelation after another. Also a lot of things happening in the police station you just have to suspend your disbelief. Also, in the end, I'm just not convinced that any of the rookies learned anything, and that they are anywhere NEAR ready to take on the job.

The acting for most of the cast was superd. It was stunning at best (Cha Seung-Won) and serviceable at worst (Ahn Jae-Hyeon) with the exception of 1 actor (Jeong Dong-Hwan) who really was taking the drama down. He practically has 2 face expression, and both are too over the top to suit any of his scenes. One actress I don't remember seeing much before is Seo Yi-Sook, and I think her character was the most interesting, and her acting elevated it. My complaint here is just that we see so much potential for growth in the 1st half of the drama, but most characters were pushed to the background, and their character and relationship wasn't explored further. Mainly Seo Pan-Seok and Kim Sa-Kyung, and even Park Tae-Il's backstory was given like 10 minutes of revelations and thats it. All Eo Soo-Sun did on the second half is be a support to Eun Dae Gu, and that couldn't be helped since they put him from one horrible situation to another. Their romance was growing at a slow but sweet pace and I liked that, but one seen forced it to accelarate. I got nothing against how it went after but that scene itself was too forced in my opinion.

The final reveal of the mystery was well thought out in my opinion, even if most thought to be a little too far fetched, I don't because I know humans do worst for their greed. but by then all were left with is the boring annoying 2 dimensional villains.

Generally the music wasn't too outstanding, except for that one sweet guitar soundtrack, usually on when scenes involve Seo Pan-Seok and Cho Young Chul that I really loved. It added bittersweetness to the scene and made it beautiful.

All in all, I was disappointed in the beginning for the lack of comedy and overdose tragedy, but started liking the story and the growing potential set in the first half. Like most kdramas, the second half lost track of most story threads, and didn't know how to handle it. But still, I don't regret watching it, I enjoyed the acting and the characters were very likeable.

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Completed
Totto TV
6 people found this review helpful
Aug 12, 2016
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Fun short watch!

What made this drama great and different is the directing. It's a great combination of behind-the-scene documentary, stage-play and an inspirational story. The last two minutes always include some great hit from the past and some stage-dancing. We got introduced to many stars of the past and hits that made them famous. It also teaches you about the history of television in Japan and how that affected the lives of the people.

And WOW dramas were LIVE!!! Everything was live. I think in those times, more than talent, it was nerves and endurance was required to succeed. When the industry was still small, it was always the same people working together, which created life-long bonds and that was very heartwarming. It was all about the group effort to make it work. Even as the industry grew, the bonds stayed as they were.

I don't know where to start with the acting. Mutsushima Hikari is fascinating as the young aspiring
Kuroyanagi Tetsuko, trying to find her place in this world. Even as she grew older, she was great at portraying her maturity as she keeps her playfulness. Mimura as the quiet and attentive Mukoda was effortless. Nakamura Shido as Atsumi Kiyoshi was awesome as someone who kept his country way of thinking and protectiveness as he grows into the industry. Yoshida Kotaro as Morishige with that special character and charm, Matsushige Yutaka as their long time viewer as he follows their careers throughout their lives, Hamada Gaku as everyone's director, all did a great job. Also great guest roles and from famous actors. If you don't look attentively enough, you might miss them.

My only complaint is something I'm been complaining often in many dramas, seeing totto into her 60s-70s still looking like a 30 year old. The way she dresses changed. In a way I understand why they didn't bother in here, felt somehow appropriate in the surrealness of the show, but I have issues XD

Other than that, I wish we had seen Totto's relationship with different people simultaneously, but it could be the way it was portrayed more appropriate.

And of course having the actual Tetsuko in the drama was a delight. She really was an Omoshiroi Obasan!

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Completed
Shinya Shokudo
6 people found this review helpful
May 25, 2016
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
Shinya Shokudo sure is a special place. It's a place where you can find gangsters, strippers, gay bar owners, aspiring artists, famous artists, office ladies, manual labour workers, wanderers, students, and even sometimes children, all hanging out in harmony, and all treated the same way, with care, by our Mastà (Master).

I love that most characters are recurring characters in the drama, and don't just disappear after their episode-centric ends. Well some of them do, but most return.

Kobayashi Kaoru is effortless in this role. There's something about him that imposes all to behave in his restaurant. He's pretty much fearless. While he does get entangled with people's lives, it's always from a certain, comforting distance, which makes it easy for people to open up to him.

Odagiri Joe's role is the most intriguing addition. He feels like he comes from another time yet fits perfectly in this midnight restaurant with the rest of the loyal customers. His presence adds some sort of mysticism to the whole drama.

Oh and that opening sequence with the lullaby-like song, and its music shapes the drama to make it the most special and endearing to watch.

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Completed
Akumu-Chan Special
6 people found this review helpful
Jun 11, 2014
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
Before writing anything I have to clear something up. I have a bias towards Akumu-chan. It won me over when I watched the dorama and the same elements are what brought me back here, and didn't let me down.

The special concept itself was a great idea, all about discovering oneself and having a dream, specially the age we're dealing with. I find the grade schooler story having much more effect on me, and much deeper meaning. I gotta say wasn't too crazy about the teenage sob story, and didn't like the whole "all is forgiven" attitude (that I've seen in so many j-doramas). There was also a certain surprise wasn't much of a surprise, and I didn't like how it came to be revealed.

What I love the most is the relationship between Ayami & Yuiko, Ayami's evil tendencies, the school nurse brings a welcomed comedy and the whole dream interpretation. I love Keike's interpretation of Ayami's character, specially now that her character doesn't hide her feelings. I like the confidence she exude as a teacher as well. I also like the actrice playing the nurse although I hated her in her previous dorama (her acting was actually really good but I just hated the character she played :P) but she shows a whole different personality that wou can never mistake the 2 ;)

Overall an enjoyable watch, so I sure can't wait for the movie!!

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Completed
Soshite, Dare mo Inaku Natta
7 people found this review helpful
Nov 13, 2016
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 6.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
So this drama does have quite a number of points going for it. The way everything it spun really keeps you on your toes most of the time. They do a great job at making you doubt every character, without it being forceful, and minimal use of red herring. I think that was impressive. So impressive that it worked against it when it came to the ending and big reveal. The big reveal felt too underwhelming, and especially too cheesy.

To get it out of the way, the overall music was used appropriately, nothing to memorable, but I couldn't stand the main theme song. Or more like I couldn't stand it's beginning, it kinda destroys any climate built up until then.

One of my main issues in the drama is the character *Todo Shinichi*. I understand him being naive and trusting in the beginning. However, despite all that happens, and despite being a so called genius and elite, he never puts 2 & 2 together. At one point I just couldn't understand why he aimed at doing what he was doing. I thought he might've had some plan, but no, his motive were just too contradicting. Hence no real development happens to his character.

It's the same in the drama with some character that never develop, yet we get forced emotions down our throat when we couldn't care less, while others felt so genuine, their motives clear enough, and the psych make sense. It's a complete mix. I find the story of Todo's friends from University well developed, while the new friends he makes in during the drama just didn't make sense to me at all. Characters like the mom and Osanai were intriguing, but Sanae was completely underused. The detectives (public safety) were pretty constant, but the lawyer was completely puzzling. I still enjoyed his character, but he could've been used much more effectively.

Of course when talking about characters, we need to mention the acting. I think Eiji's character would've been much more engaging if played by a more capable actor. Satoshi Jinbo and Shingo Tsurumi, playing detective and lawyer, respectively, became interesting to have on screen thanks to their performance, but Hinako Sakurai and Jun Shison felt like filling space. Mantaro Koichi was entertaining enough but I never understood the point of his character. Mimura, just by looking at her face and expressions, you could understand her thoughts and intentions. Though most intriguing of all was Tamayama Tetsuji. He's so great at being shady, but he also knows how to make you forget his shadiness. Tatsuya Fujiwara had some annoying overacting moments, but overall he was fine.

As a result I feel the characters weren't well thought out, so it depended entirely on the actors who play them. I think if Eiji was played by an actor like Kamiki, we would've had a totally different drama.

Anyways, if you ask me whether it's worth the watch, I'd say still totally worth it. I'd recommend it (reluctantly maybe... well first go watch Boku no Yabai Tsuma :P). Still I can't gloss over its flaws and give it a higher rating.

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Completed
The Three Musketeers
7 people found this review helpful
Nov 5, 2014
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
The rating here is really on a personal level to me. I do acknowledge it has some flaws, some questionable actions, some acting issues and some of the actions taken. I do understand some viewers' frustrations with the drama but I enjoyed it to the fullest. I was always a fan of the original novel - Les Trois Mousquetaire - and most of its franchises. I love how it was transposed here in Korean historical setting and throughout the whole drama I felt the spirit of the original story was there. At the same time I have to admit I lack a lot of knowledge about the history of that setting and its era but it did peak my interest to read up on it.

The drama starts with the narration of Dal Hyang as we follow him to the big city, a country bumpkin with big dreams and a sense of justice, and he meets our titular characters. I loved their introduction in the first episode, and kept being amused by So Hyeon's character as he makes fun of Dal Hyang's innocence. The choice of making one of the musketeers the prince is a curious one, and I do wonder how the drama would've turned out if they had chosen to make them all into royal guards. I do have a complaint that the two other musketeers, Seung Po and Min Seo, were always used as companions so we don't get much development from their characters. On the upside we get plenty of growth from both Dal Hyang and the prince. Other characters that I appreciated are the two female leads here. They are presented differently here as in not much of first and second lead, but more one that represents the light and the other the shadow. Whats most curious is how each envies the other for what she longs but they recognize each other's pain. I love what they did to Mi Ryeong's character she is filled with Milady's viciousness. I also loved Yong Gol Dae's character and wished to see his bromancery with our leads but time didn't permit much.

I did also enjoy many of the dramas dialogs. I loved the confrontations between Prince So Hyeon and Yoon Seo. Many complain about her being weak but I never saw her this way. We have to acknowledge women status at that time but even with that, she did exude enough courage to keep So Hyeon from taking her lightly. Other dialogs I enjoyed is those involving King Injo. That and Kim Myung Soo's acting were perfect in displaying King Injo's inner struggles and fears resulting in his indecisiveness.

On the acting side, Lee Jin Wook was perfect for the role, as if it was tailored to him. Yang Dong Geun was a joy to have on screen at all time. Jung Hae In as Min Seo did not blow me away but neither did it bother me. Jung Yong Hwa, who everyone had doubt about him did not disappoint. At the introduction, it wasn't a role hard to play but as the story went on and we start seeing changes in his character, you finally get to feel Yong Hwa comfortable playing it and even enjoying it. The most shining light here though was Yoo In Young. Her presence on screen amazes me and her eyes convey all the right emotions. I cannot imagine any other actress doing a better job, and her beauty does Milady justice when usually described.

I did say more than I expected but I just had to mention that some of the songs used were spot on here. I especially loved the one used as theme for So Hyeon and Yoon Seo's relationship. The one used when the three musketeers were in action, though not my type of music, but matches the fun and action happening.

Overall, I cannot say if you're an avid history fan if you'll enjoy this drama, but I assure you as a fan of the original novel and a fan of Alexandre Dumas, I wasn't disappointed at all.

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Completed
Kiseki no Hito
8 people found this review helpful
Sep 27, 2016
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Overall a sweet drama, and definitely enriching watch. The story is about a man who is looking to become useful for someone, when he meets Hana, who's daughter Umi is blind and deaf, leading her to becoming mute as well. Yes like Helen Keller. He starts working at night and looking after her during the day, in shift switch with Hana. As he spends more time with Umi he insists on teaching her new things about the world despite the hardship. He gets help from his flatmates and landlord. As he gets closer to mother and daughter, the estranged father shows up to cause Ittaku additional hardship.

The Story can sound pretty inspiring, and it sure is many ways. My only issue here, which cause a big plot-hole in the story, is that Japan is a first world country. Surely when a case such as Umi occured you'd have a professional help you out, at least inform you of the different ways to communicate with Umi. Many of the things Ittaku attempts to teach Umi should've been attempted first by Hana. It didn't seem like Hana ever thought of Umi as an actual human being. The senses which usually help kids absorb knowledge have been cut out from her, but it's not like she has brain Damage. In that sense she's just a normal girl with a thirst to understand this dark world she lives him.

Other than that though, everything else is perfect. The way the story progresses, the growth in both Hana and Ittaku, and especially the exploration of Hana's ex. In Hindsight he sure is a jerk, and a loser. However it's as if he's running away from this truth and will only be at peace if he accepts it. Two of the other tenants started off pretty annoying. It's funny how each would call on the other's annoying part, but it didn't help there case, that is until they change. Their character is like the reverse characters of a typical high school romcom story.

What made the story great is the obachans. Ittaku's who pushed him to have a meaning in his life, Umi's with her tendered heart, but mostly the landlord. She was too convenient, yes, but she's too lovely for me to be bothered about that point. She calls out on any bullshit, with a devious yet sweet smile, that you can't help but accept her comment and smile back. The Ojisan tenant was a nice highlight. Oh and Ittaku's best friend Baba is great!

Most and foremost amazing character is Umi, and the way she was portrayed was just perfect. She made me appreciate the small yet amazing things in life, like the breezy wind, the touch of sand, dipping the feet in the sea. The way she eats, though messy, is too adorable. It expresses her joy of eating something delicious. When she manages to learn something the pride in herself is priceless.

Acting is good overall. Other than Sumida Moeno who's the most impressive, I enjoyed the acting of Aso Kumiko who has yet to disappoint me. First time seeing Mineta Kazunobu but he was pretty convincing here. Yamauchi Takaya is the type that no matter what he does you can't really hate him. The rest of the cast suit their characters to say the least.

Anyways sweet short watch about simple people in a complicated situation trying their best to do well in life. Worth your time to check out.

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Jan 22, 2017
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I don't have much to say about it since I've already written a review for the first season. I don't want to repeat myself so I'll keep it short. This continues along the same lines as its predecessor, a low budget parody drama set in a video game. Acting is as excellent as ever, dialog couldn't get any more hilarious, and guest stars great as always.

The reason I decided to write a review here is to encourage everyone to watch this season, even if you haven't tried the previous seasons. Generally each season (three in total) can more or less stand on its own, but enjoyment for me differed with each. This one by far was the most enjoyable for me (season 2 is the most skippable).

While season 1 was enjoyable, I had a hard time appreciating it due to my lack of knowledge in video games. Season 2 was alright but too repetitive of the previous season that it felt tiring pretty quickly. Therefore I had my reservations when I heard of a third season, but once it started airing I got in the mood of watching some good Japanese comedy. And to my surprise the series was completely revamped while its core was left intact.

We start with the usual, Yoshihiko and his companions or on their way to defeat the evil demon, however I felt the missions given to them to achieve their goal was more solid. It was unoriginal but the perfect setup for all kinds to parodies. And this brings me to the reason why I loved this season so much. It makes fun of everything and everyone. It's a parody of Japanese television itself. There are parodies of video games, anime, musicals, boy bands, TV channels, high school movies, Japanese talk show, and so on and so forth. With comedy approaching so many sides of the entertainment industry in Japan, it was easier for me to understand the reference and truly appreciate everything this drama is about.

And we can't for get about Hotoke (Sato Jiro). If you think you've seen everything up his sleeves concerning this character then think again, even he managed to up his game (when you think that's impossible.

And the ending... pretty twisty, shocking and... I'll leave it for you guys to discover ;)

Great comedy drama! If you love Japanese comedies and parodies, I'd tell you to start from the first season and enjoy all three seasons. If you had to choose one of them, then I'd tell you to just watch this one!

-Also just a side note but I always feel it's odd that this drama utilizes an arabic song as one of its soundtracks (this applies to all three seasons), and sometimes when a magical event happens there are arabic letters used in the effect :S

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Completed
Ikiru
6 people found this review helpful
Jan 19, 2017
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
A bit long, but very attention grabbing. This reflective movie is full of excellent dialog and symbolism you can't miss. The movie has two themes being explored hand-in-hand, the meaning of life, and criticism of bureaucracy and bureaucrats.

It's starts with the description of the protagonist's life - He's killing time, he's never actually lived - and a joke - Someone never taking a day off from work so no one realizes how unimportant his job really it - where themes get beautifully tied at the end of the movie. Then we have the journey of those women through all those bureaucrats trying to find a solution to their complaint, only to be sent to go in circles. I thought it was great but came to appreciate it even more by the end of the movie.

The first half of the movie follows the journey of a typical bureaucrat discovers he doesn't have long to live, only to realize he hasn't been alive much these past 20 years. He hasn't formed any warm relationship to go back to and get support, he hasn't done anything enjoyable and fun, and finally he hasn't done anything that'll make him appreciated and remembered. He was in daze trying to figure out the meaning of life and how to live properly.

The second half is a study of bureaucrats, and of humanity. It's about how human become desensitized to life when they can't see the bigger picture. Work in the government is like a war zone, and each wants to protect their turf, without caring about the functions and duties of the government as a whole. This causes a lot of senseless paperwork and no work actually being done. What was interesting here is how all bureaucrats reacted to our protagonist as he becomes this anomaly in the organization.

The story moves smoothly, the themes intact, and no scene was there to kill time. Also this type of movie one should pay attention to everything going on, on the screen. Like the reaction of the protagonist of losing his old had, or the people in the background preparing for a birthday, only to sing happy birthday once our hero found a meaning to his life. Definitely one can be reborn at any time, and it deserves a celebration.

The cast and director are of the most popular so there's no need to just repeat how awesome they are, but I just want to say I include myself now with those amazed with them.

2h23 minutes well spent. I will leave with my favourite quotes:

"You were a slave of your own life. Now you will become its master"

"It's our duty to enjoy life. Wasting it is desecrating God's gift"

"We have to be greedy for life"

"Greed is a virtue, especially the greed for enjoying life"

"People strangle themselves in their daily life"

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Completed
Sway
6 people found this review helpful
Jun 30, 2014
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This movie didn't get me into an emotional state right away like say Odagiri's Tokyo Tower, or the fuzzy feeling of another of Odagiri movie Adrift in Tokyo (yup big time fan of the guy :P). However it did stay in my mind for a few days, so I can figure out how I felt about it and how I can understand the ending.

Sway is about 2 very different brothers who never came into terms with how they feel about each other. Even though the events of the show are very intense and we can even say extreme, but this type of feeling between siblings can exist in any type of family (talking from personal experience here :P). The older one (Minoru) who carry the burden to stay in his hometown and not let his father down. He's the peace maker of the family. The younger brother (Takeru) was the one that wanted to get out of his family's control and change his fate. I think he just didn't want to end up like his brother, and wanted an individualistic, materialistic lifestyle (offered by today's capitalism). In the middle was the hometown girl. From what I gather, she was a girl that lived comfortably until she was laid off. She was afraid of change so she had refused to leave town for the big city. When she lost her job, her sole living family moved on in life, she found herself alone.

Here where it all comes into play. Minoru begrudges his existence, thinks that lil bro is only in it for himself and nothing more. He has low self esteem to the point of never confessing to the woman he loves. Takeru hates everything his hometown represents, which makes him disdain what his older brother represents. He just couldn't get over the fact that he ex might end up with his older brother, so he ended up pursuing her without any intend for a long term relationship. He feels hollow and never satisfied with anything. She, at this point in her life, had similar fears to Takeru. She just wants out, and doesn't want to become another Minoru, and she looked at Takeru as her ticket out. I found all 3 were profound characters, very selfish and very human.

An accident happen that changes their fates forever and makes them face all their decisions they made up to now and what went wrong with them. I think each one of us has a bit of Minoru, or a bit of Takeru, or even a bit of both.

I don't need to mention about the acting here, we have an all talented cast carefully casted. Some goes for the directing with all its subtlety. I think whats amazing about this movie is that we begin to appreciated, at least in my case, not while watching it or as soon as its done, but after a long while, when you realize that its still there in the back of your mind.

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Completed
Gegege no Nyobo
7 people found this review helpful
May 22, 2016
156 of 156 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
*You can't see it, but it's there*

That motif gets introduced in the beginning by Fumie's grandmother, and gets revisited often throughout the drama. It perfectly fits the world she shares with Shigeru.

This story is based on the life of Mura Nunoe, the wife of the manga author Mizuki Shigeru, most famously knows for the manga Gegege no Kitaro. The story starts during the late 1930s, all the way to the mid-80s. Most of the drama though, is set during the 60s, which represents the first couple of years of marriage between the protagonists, Iida Fumie and Miura Shigeru, their struggle with their differences, and with poverty. As the drama goes on, we get to know them as they get to know each other. We see their weaknesses, unlikeable traits that aren't easily changeable, but we also see their strength that makes their relationship so beautiful, and how each makes the other a better human.

The drama isn't just about the couple, it is also about life during this era, the expectations, belief, and how to deal with the constantly changing world. It is about dealing with the pains of the past, the nightmares we might've gone through, and believing things will get better. No matter how many times the world turns on you, there is a silver lining. In the case of Fumie and Shigeru I find it's the golden friendships built with people they met, all wholeheartedly wanting them to succeed.

Overall I really enjoyed the cast. Matsushita Nao was perfect as Fumie, expressing her insecurities and passivity, yet displaying her strengths in being clear minded when needed. Osamu Mukai took a little while to get in shape with the character, but eventually got there. I have to say Osamu was just a wrong casting when I compare the Real Mizuki Shegeru's age, who at the start of the drama was in his late 30s, to Osamu, 28 at the time. Despite that though I thought he was great at showing Shigeru's gruffness, yet tender heart and wild imagination, and specially his way of being positive no matter the situation.

The drama is rich with diverse characters and the cast does justice to it, to say the least. It is too wide of a cast to mention all, but I'd like to highlight my delight with the actors playing Shigeru's parents, Takeshita Keiko and Kazama Morio. They were fantastic as an old bickering couple. Honestly I did not understand why their sons didn't want them around too often I really loved them. The father Shuhei was just a delight to have around, and the mother, most famously know as Ikaru, was a woman of principals. Yes you might find it tiring at times to deal with her, but she always had a fair point in her argument, and is the type that is out to make things right, no matter the opposition. For me, that is the making of a true heroine. Finally I'd also like to mention Osugi Ren as Iida Genbei, Fumie's father. I have to say I've seen that actor in a lot of roles, but this is by far my favourite role he plays. He's the typical patriarch father, who makes his decisions without consulting anyone in the family, yet he was capable of being someone who had a sight for the long run, and all his decisions were based on that. It can be frustrating at times, even making me angry at him, but you can't deny that he has the wellbeing of his family in mind first and foremost. He can easily become someone you can trust and rely on, and he isn't above admitting defeat, you just have to show him what you're made of before he can back down.

I had one pet peeve in this drama, is the fact they don't age the characters properly. It doesn't really get in the way of good acting and good story telling, but it did bother me a lot, because it removes from the authenticity of what we're watching. For some it might not be a big deal but for me it was. I do notice this is an issue with many asian dramas though, but I can't accept it.

Most of all, this drama was a biggest reminder of how I should look at the glass half full, how I can be very ungrateful, how I should have faith that things will be better. Fumie had many times where, like me, she saw the world moving while she was still at the same spot, not able to catch up. When things first started to change, it wasn't this sudden amazing thing that happens. She just took things one at a time, and made the best of it, for it to turn into something amazing later on. It made me think that a lot of times we endure a lot and just want this one magical solution. This drama was splendid at bringing the point home, that things will not magically turn good, but the magic is here in the little things we do, and little do we know, some time later, it becomes what he originally were looking for.

This is my first Asadora, but will definitely not be the last. It will however always have a special place in my heart. As someone who used to have a fear of long dramas, this one flew by quickly.

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