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  • Last Online: 4 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • 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
Sennyuu Sousa Idol Deka Dance
4 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2017
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
This drama is a parody with a heart + all the cheesiness that comes with it.

I gotta say it took me a while to get invested in it and care about the characters, the band members. I enjoyed it on an episodic basis. Something light and funny, to watch after a long hard day without much to think about. However, as I started to see more of the main and recurring characters, I did grew fond of them. And by episode 7-8 I realized there was a solid storyline being built up, and everything becomes clear by episode 10.

The plot is about Tatsuya a rookie detective who gets wrapped up into becoming an idol in a boy band, in order to infiltrate the entertainment industry, and catch a powerful figure there. The band members are all colourful individuals, we've got the creepy, the loser, the dumb one, the cool one, and the hopeless romantic. Honestly the one I had the hardest time with is the creepy stalker, but his character grew best of all, along Tatsuya. It was great seeing each member get influence or swayed by the show-biz and how they learn to deal with it.

First and foremost, this drama is a parody of talk-shows and idol programs, and how ridiculous they can be. It's also about the people in the show-biz industry and how far they're willing to go for popularity. The music used in the show perfectly matched the world they're portraying.

I think what I enjoyed the most is the acting. It's over the top fitting perfectly with the premise. Nakamura Aoi was hilarious and perfect for the role. He says every single cheesy line there, and was the most fun to have on screen. Matching Tatsuya's cheesiness is Aoyama Misato's craziness for the sake of popularity. Morinaga Yuki was also noteworthy as desperate Teru. Kataoka Tsurutaro as the ex-drama star and current public figure was great at mirroring both sides of his contradicting characters. The rest of the cast were on point with their characters. I think it tool a while for the chemistry to get built up between the cast, but once it's there, everything in the show started to feel much more endearing.

One weakness here is that the show takes a long while to get us hooked up. I guess if things had happened a bit faster with the overarching plot, it would engage viewers faster. Another that could be considered a weakness, depending on preferences, but they did go a bit too seriously in the last 2-3 episodes. Episode 10 was especially serious with a whole different tone. It would've been nicer to keep the tone light.

In the end if you're a person who enjoys parody shows, talk shows and game shows, you might find this interesting, and even fun.

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Completed
Too Late to Say I Love You
7 people found this review helpful
Jun 13, 2015
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I put in a lot of thoughts in my ratings, and I felt that I needed to present the analysis behind it. It might be not a popular opinion, but I'd like to provide a different view to this drama. For starters, I don't think I'm the targeted audience of this drama. For a story that is set in a war time, I found that there was too much focus on the romance and not enough focus on the setting. This made it lose any realism it could've had.

I have to say one of the strong points in the drama is that it has a solid plot, and is it fast paced. There is always something happening so I don't ever remember it being draggy, which a very important factor. Nothing can bring the drama down more than the feeling that nothing is happening and the story is going round and round. Thankfully that wasn't the case for this drama. Another point I liked was the costume, decoration, and makeup used throughout different stages of the main characters' life. I like the colours used and the different hairstyles. What was annoying was the dubbing, which would prevent me from evaluating the acting fairly, but I think in the very least, it was decent overall.

If I am to talk about characters however, that is my main issue with the drama. First of all, other than about 6-7 characters, all surounded by the main love story, and all the others were no more than extras. second of all, to put simply, most characters's way of thinking and actions did not make sense to me whatsoever, which totally disconnected my feelings for this drama. I'm saying this mainly about Pei Lin, Jing Wan and Jin Zhi. Their emotions are too reckless and volatile. Sometimes it felt more like lust and possessiveness rather than "love". Even when in love, their priorities were all over the place. It was hard for me to empathize when most of the time I was rolling my eyes.

The process that Jian Zhang went through was actually interesting, but I felt they didn't go deep enough. I think his character would've been portrayed better if they had given more character to his siblings. The Doctor was my favourite but mostly because he was the voice of reason in this drama, telling the characters exactly what's on my mind. Unfortunately none actually listened to him. One character I really liked and cared for was Pei Lin's sister. Unfortunately she was casted on the side.

For all those reasons, the show overall felt uneven. There were great episodes and there were not so great ones. By the time I got to the ending, I had lost any emotion left for the characters, and did not care much for the outcome.

As for music, it was fine overall, but there was one song that was played when some characters are in agony that felt too modern and out of place.

Overall, if you love dramas all about intense love and romance, you may find exactly what you're looking for here and may find it decent to boot. If you're looking for a more realistic story, with logical characters, about somewhat fitting pracmatic leader, this may not be the drama for you as it wasn't for me.

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Completed
38 Task Force
6 people found this review helpful
Aug 7, 2016
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
I've got mixed feelings about this drama. It had aspects I really liked, and others that just annoyed me. Still I got a very satisfying results in the end.

Let's start with the things I enjoyed. I enjoyed the presentation and development of a number of characters. Mainly, Baek Seong Il and Yang Jeong Do. I can confirm the people we see at the end are not the same as the people meet in the beginning. It was very gradual though, and felt organic how each got influenced by the other. As most, I loved the relationship between the two. It's not the usual bromance, but as real partners (in crime :P).

Other characters I enjoyed are a number of villains. The Maire for one is pretty intriguing. He really doesn't see himself as a bad guy, and you know he does really try, but over time he learns why it's still not good enough. There is one scene in the end between the Maire and Sung Il that is one of the strongest scenes in the drama that explores his character deeply. I've mentioned before that I really hated Ahn, but he makes an interesting villain. It's the way he becomes and villain and the things that motivate him that are interesting. Finally, more than Choi Chul Woo, I find Bang Pil Kyu to be a terrifying villain, in a good way. Everyone else served their purpose in the drama, but didn't have a lot of development happening. Sung Hee had a little change where she becomes more flexible, hence less annoying.

Also another plus, the last con was just BRILLIANT! The music was very fitting.

The acting varied from excellent to average, but all were very fitting in their roles. I think those who played the characters I liked are those that stood out in their acting.

As for the things that annoy me, first is Choi Chul Woo. He's such an uninspiring villain. I guess he was just easy to hate and want to go down, but ultimately I just didn't care enough.

Mostly what I found annoying was all the red herring and have scenes that get revealed later the drama gives us. I mean all I was thinking *come on you're not fooling me at this point, this trick is getting old*. Yeah it was pretty repetitive. Also some story threads were left semi-unfinished. What happened to that person who got beat up? We never find out.

Still it was worth the watch for me. I enjoyed it, totally recommend it for the fun of it.

PS: The drama gives us a very interesting surprise in the end so do keep watching until the last minute.

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Completed
Ice World
6 people found this review helpful
Sep 23, 2014
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
I marathoned this dorama on a rainy weekend and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It had many elements come together in harmony. It is a passionate romantic story (that we don't get anymore in the japanese dorama scene) that you get absorbed into and fascinated by while following a mystery that arouses your curiosity every step of the way.

You watch most of the drama without knowing who's telling the truth and who's truly innocent. Every episode makes other people more suspicious without writing off the first person you were suspecting. Other than Eiki and inspector Ujou, I was suspecting everyone else of being suspicious, even dead characters. In that sense I loved the buildup of the mystery.

The romance department did not disappoint. The more you think that in Eiki's place you'll run away as fast as possible from our main suspect, the more you understand his fascination of her and get taken by it. Their scenes together were electrifying and their clashes and confrontations were exciting. Leads had so much chemistry from their first scenes together you can just feel it right away.

So when I have so much good to say about the drama, why didn't I rate it higher? Well to tell you the truth, up until episode 10, I had decided on a rating no less than 8.5-9 however episode 11 made me think otherwise. I won't spoil anything I'll just say the final reveal was a let down. The ending itself I like, but the revelation left me wanting something more. You can say it felt it took the safe route but as a result I just didn't care.

But all in all, I don't regret marathoning it. I love 90s dorama, they sure had the passion that we seem to lack in today's dramas. Also The buildup of the mystery was nicely done so as a mystery lover, its definitely is an enjoyable watch. Also watching Takenouchi Yutaka and Matsushima Nanako in their younger days is a pleasure itself.

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Completed
Lost and Found
5 people found this review helpful
Nov 30, 2014
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 6.0
Lel me start by saying this movie really put a spell on me. I was absolutely captivated by it I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I can't really put my hands exactly enchanted me but I guess the whole ensemble worked well for me, and created something magical in the atmosphere. It did help that I didn't know anything about it when I started watching it. I went in without knowing what the movie was about and what it was aiming for.

The story is about a terminally ill girl who is set to her lost love. That may sound cheesy, and I myself am not a fan of terminally ill drama but this movie take a refreshing perspective to it. Instead of it being about a woman facing death, it is more about self-discovery and the magic in life. The movie is narrated by the protagonist, as if reading off her diary. Her voice is monotonous which may sound dull but actually works pretty well with the mood of the movie and her character. While meeting both Ted and Mr. Worm, she was more about looking for something she's been missing in her life, and only after trying to make miracles for others that she managed uncover it. A factor worth mentioning is the use of music here. I think it was cleverly used to elevate the movie and set the mood of the story. It is one of the elements that completely absorbed me.

If I am to evaluate acting, I need to first mention the casting. I'm pretty new to Hong Kong movies so my knowledge of their actors is limited compared to say Japanese and Korean, and even Taiwanese. That is to say, I don't know if other actors and actrices would've fit the roles better than the cast of this movie, but I found that the current cast did fit their roles well. If I were to talk about performance, I'd say other than Kaneshiro Takeshi, the acting did not impress. I'm not saying that because of my bias for Kaneshiro Takeshi, but his character was the only one that felt different, otherworldly, a magician as Lam called him and he was a natural at it. The rest of the cast managed to play their characters, more or less, but none added anything that was noticeable.

In the end, we have an ordinary story about ordinary people written smartly, with great music and interesting character all put well together to make such an engaging movie by the director. I guess that is what they mean by the sum is greater than the parts.

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Completed
Lipstick
5 people found this review helpful
Sep 29, 2014
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
Oh those 90s doramas. Let me just say that I have this bias for them. They bring up in me such passion I don't often feel in today's Japanese dramas. This drama had enough passion for all, a well rounded cast and intriguing characters that develop well throughout the drama. One thing I didn't get throughout the drama is the reason of the title though :P

The story is set in a correction facility where teenagers are sent for a month until it's decided if they get released or sent to juveniles prison. We meet many troubled teens and their correction officers and we see how their interactions change one another and affect each other. The main focus is on one teenage girl who's as much full of torment as she is full of passion, and her relationship with her correction officer with tormented past. We also follow the fate of her 4 "cellmate" with their painful stories but somehow innocent outlook on life.

The story and it's character sort of engulfs you without you feeling it. The history and mystery of each character gets revealed eventually through hints and small revelations, keeping viewers on their toes throughout the whole drama not loosing interest even for one moment. I liked that even the officers weren't tossed to the side but were given real personalities, strength and growth to deal with troubled teens. For that reason, the drama and it's stories felt well balanced and none of the stories was left behind or forgotten about. Of the officers, we also visit Ariake's dark and unsettling backstory that is full of mysteries.

The acting is outstanding and compelling characters. Mikami Hiroshi's presence was charismatic, while Hirosue Ryoko was full of charm. Kubozuka Yosuke had an unforgettable appeal and the most unpredictable of the bunch. Everyone else's character's didn't lack any appeal and had a particular presence.

As an engulfing drama that overwhelms you with passion and charisma, with a satisfying romance and mystery, I'd say this drama truly is for all and to go for it!

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Completed
The Good Wife
8 people found this review helpful
Sep 7, 2016
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 3.0
This was undeniably a quality drama, but I just couldn't fully enjoy it like most, I'm not sure why. Actually I know why, I didn't like the romance between those two characters at all, and felt like it was forced. Or not forced but out of place. I might be in the minority here. I just can't help think of other considerations that make me dislike this couple in many ways.

In any case, I couldn't drop this drama because of quiet a few reasons. First of all, as most know I always focus on characters and acting, and this is a forte in this drama. As for acting it varied from appropriate to awesome, and the awesome ones had a great chance at exploring complicated, and unpredictable characters.

My 2 favourite characters are Lee Tae Joon and Seo Myung Hee. He's completely badass, unpredictable and scary, no one can mess with him. She's just an awesome boss.

Kim Hye gyung was interesting for the most part, but I know in real life, I wouldn't want to be friends with her. Her bangs and bitchy cold look rubs me the wrong way. I was jealous of her wardrobe though, and honestly I liked that she's pragmatic about all. I love her relationship with her son. That moment when he wished her to win was so heartfelt.

Age wise, I'd argue Yoon Kye Sang to be completely miscast. In the role of Seo Jung Won he was awesome, but it's too obvious he's younger than those he's involved with. He's not that much younger but he looks it. I enjoyed the most his relationship with his sister. I can totally relate to the older sister/younger brother. A younger sibling is always a younger siblings, no matter how much he gets older :P

I have to mention music was AWESOME! The camera work felt like watching a movie.

Plot wise is where I had some trouble. The cases were interesting, but I didn't like how they go about solving them. Kim Dan was too convenient as a character. Basically if you needed any character that is good in any sort of thing, she would be it. She felt like a plot device used to get the story go, and a lazy one at it.

In any case I'm glad I got to watch this drama, even though I had to push myself to watch at times :P

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Completed
Seijo
8 people found this review helpful
Oct 14, 2014
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 4.0
You might be wondering why the overall rating is less than all the other criteria (except rewatch since it's rare that I rewatch to fairly value it), well the reason is because of additional criteria. I like the overall story, the concept, the cast and I love Love LOVE that ending song. My problem is with some of the directing, the way Hiji Motoko's character is written, Hirosue Ryoko's portrayal of some scenes, and finally the underwhelming last episode (or the 2nd half of the last episode).

I think this is one dorama who's concept may have been better executed if it was done in the 90s. I feel the actors being very restricted in the way they express themselves and act the characters, the pattern used in the dialog and so one. I think it's a similar to the dorama to "Ice World" but missing the "it" factor that we used to see in 90s dramas. That "it" factor is, for me it's passion expressed freely by the actors. I don't mean romantic scenes, not at all. I mean let the actors freely and passionately embody the characters so all interaction seems more instinctively, and enable chemistry to grow naturally.

It is my first drama with Nagayama Kento and I don't feel able to judge his talent based in this role. I couldn't help remember Eita every time I start watching an episode. They do have a strong resemblance and even their voices are similar. Nagayama Kento may be a bit better lookin' but I like Eita more ;). This drama also shines the light at who I think is underrated Renbutsu Misako. She was amazing in the movie "Murder of Snow White" and here though the role is less challenging giving her the spot light is nice. Lastly Hirosue Ryoko I had a lot of mixed feelings about her here. Her dramatic scenes are flawless, from crying to acting delusional. I had issued when she was acting surprised and supposedly having a poker face. Her surprise face was similar to that of a rookie actrice, as if someone telling her "now open your eyes wildly and feep them open". The standout in the cast could be the wife of one of the victims at the hospital. The rest of the cast was standard.

As for the ending, I just want to say I just didn't like it. I was okay with the final outcome but it could have been better. I just felt the ending being underwhelming.

All in all though it's a sweet short watch with a nice story.

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Completed
Bitter Blood
11 people found this review helpful
Jun 28, 2014
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
Story wise this dorama doesn't reinvent anything. As a procedural it isn't done well. It tries to surprise us as times but doesn't work all the time. However, since it Never takes itself seriously, all this doesn't bother you and you feel its all done on purpose. Some episodes, specially early on, weren't that great, while others were pretty thrilling.

The main premise was our father-&-son duo who haven't been in contact for a while. The son does have some parents issue but doesn't let it control his life and, when he gets the chance, expresses himself clearly. His personality is extremely cute. You just believe in his shyness & awkwardness. The dad might appear as a bully, but you can see his affection for his son. You can feel some hidden pain that he avoids with his silliness. He's a weird mixture of pettiness and cool, making his character most fun.

The other characters aren't too important but add a nice touch to the mixture. Some of the episodes concerning their characters were well made. The girl in the group was alright. She didn't bother me throughout (except her acting stupidly in that 1 episode). The crush the dorama was hinting on the part of Sahara-kun was cute too. It just welcome spice to the mixture. The villain of the story is 1 dimensional and just here to make the main characters' life harder. He's still creepy enough to keep you on your toes.

I liked the music and the action scenes here as well, though not a fan of our leads' signature move, they make it work ;)

Overall entertaining, easy to watch on stressful days, fun to watch on depressing days.

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Completed
Marry Me, or Not?
4 people found this review helpful
Jun 26, 2016
15 of 15 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This drama had a lot of good going for it, but some dragginess and some nonsensical plot development prevents me from giving it a higher rating.

If you're a fan of Roy Qiu or Alice Ke, and even Joanne Tseng, I'd encourage you to go for it. They brought life into their characters and had great chemistry with each other.

I love Roy's character Justine. He's the only character that stayed constant throughout the drama, and his development and views regarding love and relationships felt both authentic and refreshing. As for Huan Zhen, I really liked her, Alice was so different from her character in Office Girls. She was confident, sexy and strong. The last couple of episodes the character kinda stopped making any sense writing wise, but Alice was constant in her acting. As much as Sheng Nan showed much stupidity for a good portion of the drama, it made sense that some girls are like that, and how bit by bit she managed to see things clearly as they really are.

Another great point of the drama is the parents here. I specially appreciate the way Justine and Sheng Nan's parents are written. Those are couples very present in every society, and I love how it shows how it has an effect on their children's confidence and their views of the world. Huan Zhen's parents might've been too perfect, but they were too adorable and refreshing to have on screen.

Jiang Qian Yue made no sense to me at all, and the guy playing the character was just plain, incapable of showing any emotions. He just looks shady, and I think he gets that look naturally :P I just wish they had a better written character and another actor to play it.

Nothing much happens in the last two episodes. I found even the deep and thoughtful character issues found in our leads weren't well addressed, and the solution was shallow.

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Completed
Gou - Himetachi no Sengoku
4 people found this review helpful
Apr 2, 2016
46 of 46 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
Generally a great ride, though it took me until episode 15-16 to really get hooked to this drama. This drama had a lot of flaws, but at the same time it did some things so well, better than other taigas I've seen, so I can't give it less than this rating (or more).

The major flaw is having 20 something year old actors playing kids 7 to 10 year old. That... let's try to forget about it. Also Gou was definitely overstated in the events in the first, say 13-15 episodes of the drama, which is weird since, once adult, she didn't appear to me as not submissive to everything that happened to her. That is not to say that is a weakness of the drama.

This drama is about the hardships women of that era go through, their pain and suffering, and their inability to do much. They try the best they can but once war breaks, all they can do is pray for their loved ones. I think this drama succeeded in portraying that to me. The weird thing about it though, which made feel a bit uneven, is how the beginning has quite some whitewashing of certain historical figures and events, and how in the 2nd half of the drama, they were pretty much frank about the harshness of their realities. In general, this drama started succeeding in my eyes the moment it stopped taking liberties in history and started presenting us things are they are, as much as possible.

Ueno Juri was amazing in that role, and so was Osamu Mukai. One highlight is Miyazawa Rie as Chacha, the transformation of her character was marvelous. I was afraid Mizukawa Asami would ruin the drama for me but she didn't. I think as a character I liked her most, but the actress was a bit lacking in some emotional scenes. Still overall I think I can come to term with that actress. I think my favourite though was Kitaoji Kinya as Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was perfect in portraying such a cunning man, though at times hateful but overall a great leader. He managed to make me understand such a historical figure and why he did the things he did. I also loved Suzuki Honami as their mother, and her voice as the Narrator.

I gotta say, I love the choice of music used here in the drama. It's nothing too noticeable, just perfect in the background, either emphasizing on the feelings of the characters, or bringing us from one point to another.

As flawed as the drama is, it is still a splendid and enriching ride. Do give it a try if you are curious of the state of women in the warring are. The Azai sisters and their mother are the perfect example to represent the generation, but we see the hardship and strength to live of many of the women around them as well.

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Completed
Jikou Keisatsu
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 20, 2015
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
That show was a pleasant surprise. Since I'm an Odagiri Joe fan, I admit I should've watched this long ago. The reason I didn't is, I just can't bring it into myself to watch criminals get away with what they done. This is pretty much what this show is about, but there are so many elements that make it so endearing plain fun!

This dorama is about Kiriyama Shuichiro, who works at a Statute of Limitation Management Department. He was searching for a hobby and found that he's interested in solving the cases that have passed the statute of limitation. Assisted by Shizuka Mikazuki, a traffic ticket officer that does NOT have a crush on Kiriyama and dreams of marrying him, they solve one mystery at a time. The gang at Kiriyama's department is always there to "support" him, and his colleagues seem too busy to see what Kiriyama is up to, to actually be doing their job, you know, going out there catching criminals before the time limit is up.

This drama is about criminals who got away with it. We meet all kinds of culprit through all kinds of cases. The drama isn't trying to find an excuse for what they have done. The fact most of the cases are crimes where the culprit gained from it, in some ways, is unnerving. However it didn't take out from my enjoyment of watching this show, at least not as much as I thought it would. All characters, including those appearing in one episode only, and those that turn out criminal, have a quirky side to them that makes them entertaining to watch. That doesn't mean I find it in any way forgivable. I really hate the idea of statute of limitation, and 15 years is way too short! Thankfully the law in Japan has changed since 2010. In a way the drama is reflective to how indifferent the police are to their work, even when they are being paid by the government to make sure the city is safe. They have no problem handing the case over to Kiriyama once the time has passed.

Kiriyama never judges anyone for their crime. He's just there to figure out the truth out of curiosity. Catching criminals simply isn't his job. However if he could assist anyone in catching a criminal before it's too late, he'll do his best to help out. The show follows a format, but sometimes the type of mystery gets twisted. The result is never the surprise, the main mystery is the know-how.

The main attraction of this drama, which makes it so much fun to watch, is the characters and comedy, and that is thanks to the acting. All the characters are well in sync, and have chemistry. They each have their distinct way of being hilarious. Seeing them together is like seeing a crazy family having one of their usual evenings, suddenly dancing, then fighting, then laughing but something together while the target of their laugh (usually Mikazuki but sometimes Jumonji ) has no clue what is going on. None of the actors are above making weird and crazy faces, which is what I love about Japanese actors and Japanese comedy in general. The drama didn't stop though Odagiri Joe from looking as handsome as ever! I have always loved him, but this drama made him love even more. I have seen Aso Kumiko before, but she is absolutely adorable here! The whole cast is endearing in general!

So if you love Japanese Comedy, a fan of mystery, or a fan of any of the actors in this drama, it's worth every moment of your time!

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Golden Empire
4 people found this review helpful
Sep 19, 2015
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Whoa! What a ride it was. This drama is one of a kind! It's not perfect, and had its ups and downs, but is different from anything I have seen in asian dramas, specially from Korean dramas. I can see the disappointment for some viewers, as it was marketed really differently from what it really was. This drama has its audience, but certainly isn't one with a mass appeal. The main reason: there is no romance or action. It is a corporate political story. It can be considered a present day corporate dynasty. I was listening to a podcast recently about about the world wars and European conquer, all betting on what the other will do, and making their decisions based on it. That is exactly how Empire of Gold is, but on a smaller scale. The writing is the star here, it's the GOLD, with the most thought provoking dialogs, the characters nuanced, complicated.

This is a story of greed. The story starts about four characters, four sides, playing each other off, until only one is self on top of the empire. A man coming from the ghetto, who will do anything he can to get on top of the world, on top of those who step on him, not out of revenge, but of envy. A man always there next to that empire, but can never enter it. So close yet too far, he will stop at nothing to take it from those who deny it to him. A woman alone on top of the empire, who always wanted to escape it, but finds herself being the only one part of that empire capable of preserving it. Finally a woman who's own self-victimization keeping her from realizing her truth, greedy and selfish. Most of the drama is spent sitting, either having a meal or drinking tea. During those events, allies happen, betrayals, power switched from one hand to another, lives change, some go to prison, other to castles. It is a hell of a life.

As for the acting, it really got me hooked! I think it's my first time watching Go Soo, and oh boy he swept me off my feet. He's flawless, with a beautiful face that he sure isn't afraid to uglify it to suit the mood and state of the character he plays Tae Joo. Tae Joo sure is an inspiring character. Despite being a greedy jerk, what made him capable of turning his fortune he is what I would call a great leader. He manages to move people to his side, have them loyal to him, all in this together, taking the same path. As one of the characters say, he manages to both fill his stomach and his heart. That is where Seo Yoon fails, and will never fill anyone's heart. Her attitude of always telling people *stay put, behave, and I will take care of everything for you* is overbearing. She is very loyal to the family, but her way of showing it, in short, sucks. I'm not a fan of Lee Yo Won, but she plays her character magnificently. Son Hyun Joo is AMAZING! He can do the most devilish thing, but the moment he does this sad look in his eyes, he just gets to me! He was the one I was rooting for, for the most run of the drama. The chemistry that got me hooked was the one between Go Soo and Son Hyun Joo. When they are fighiting, when they are allies, and they face each other off, there's this excitement when they share the screen together.

There are many other intriguing characters. The list is too long, but just a couple of highlights: Uhm Hyo Seop as Won Jae, the older brother that is too simple for that hell of a world; Jang Shin Young as Seol Hee, who find a way out of her greed always has an interesting story to tell; Ryu Seung Soo as the awkward gangster with a sense of humour; Kim Mi Sook as Sung Jae's Mom's was terrific.

Other than those points, another terrific point is the soundtrack. It was overall a good soundtrack but there was this dramatic music that played out every time a new turn of fortune happen, and had this way of adding of drama and excitement to the scene. I got really addicted to it.

As I said the drama is not perfect. One of the main issue it may not have many people complete it, and the reason it took me so LONG to finish it myself is that it drains my energy, specially when you have someone rooting AGAINST. Every time I finish an episode, it just becomes too hard to start a new one, but once I start the episode, I couldn't take my eyes off it, as much as it drained me.

Another issue is one I have with many kdramas, there is no sense of time passing. We meet the characters from the time they are in there mid to late 20s (or older), and over 15 years pass, but they are as beautiful as ever, no sense of aging at all. It takes out from the sense of realism, especially when so much emphasize is put on the time those battles took from our protagonists' lives. There was also not much care put to show the different eras the story goes through, from the 90s to the 2Ks. Finally, as the episodes go by, the amount of flashbacks kept increasing, and while I was watching this drama very slowly, I didn't need THIS MANY reminders of what this person said or did.

So to summarize it all, it is an amazing, unique drama,that is for a specific audience. It's not perfect by any means, but it excels in its good points. If you like an intelligent drama about people's greed, playing each other off, and corporate politics that mirror real life politics, then that is the drama for you. However, it is NOT a drama about the romance between a self-made man and a heiress. Sometimes I wonder how the drama would've turned out if it followed the synopsis, but I realize it'd probably just be like another kdrama. Then again with such genius writing who knows.

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Once in a Blue Moon
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 14, 2014
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This sure was an unusual courtroom drama movie. It's star studded full of quirky characters.

Needless to saw the acting was stunning at best, like Abe Hiroshi, Nishida Toshiyuki and Takeuchi Yuko, and spot on at worst like Fukada Kyoko. The story could've been standard if it wasn't for the acting. The chemistry between characters was palpable and the twist in the end was nicely done.

I didn't like the idea of the choice of the last witness used. It made it just too easy and cheapened the result. Another complaint, is the length, which I think could've done better without the extra 20 minutes added.

Overall worth the watch Once In A Blue Moon :P

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King Of Apology
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 2, 2014
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.5
This is one hell of a hilarious movie. As the other reviewer Shaz22 said, this movie teaches you an important lesson. However the way it's done is what distinguishes it. Being a fan of mystery, this movie sets up the story and its mysteries perfectly in such an entertaining and unpredictable way that makes it total fun watch that you don't feel the time. Some hints given you can catch on pretty early while others totally gets you off guard.

The movie tells the story of a number of individuals that get involved with our hero, the king of apology, Ryoro Kurojima, in different timelines through different point of views which makes the whole movie into puzzle pieces that all goes into place by the end of it.

Of course this movie wouldn't have been the same if it wasn't for it's cast. Abe Sadao sure was brilliantly casted but we also have the lovely Inoue Mao in a yet totally different character that we're used to, Takenouchi Yutaka, Takahashi Katsumi, Matsuyuki Yasuko, Okada Masaki as well as others and each one has his own distinct way of being hilarious.

And when you thought it couldn't get any more hilarious, the ending is beats that expectation. It's funny that throughout the movie they give you the hint, you just never catch on until the director decides to let you catch on.

I totally recomment that movie for anyone, but specially for those you appreciate Japanese comedy. As I mentioned earlier, for whats worth, I found the movie also had a nice message to transmit that isn't even done subtly but somehow doesn't feel preachy.

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