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

BrightestStar

The princess's road

BrightestStar

The princess's road
Completed
Goblin
71 people found this review helpful
Jan 27, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 5.0
I was going to give it a 7 but there were too many things that bothered me, too many plot holes.

I enjoyed watching this drama more times than not. It was relaxing to look at, with the great cinematography and breathtaking sceneries. Music was great and very fitting. The actors were more or less very fitting in their roles and felt natural. The chemistry between the male cast was flawless.

I guess my main and only issue here is the writing. There are two types of supernatural dramas: the one that explores human emotions through the supernatural; and the ones that use it to tell your usual story. I think Goblin was somewhere in between.

I still appreciate some points of the writing. What I dislike is the plot as a whole. I liked the overall idea but not the execution. I like the idea of supernatural and powerful beings, like ghosts, goblins, grim reapers and gods, are living normally among humans without being noticed. I liked the story of the little boy we meet early in the drama to see his fate and effect on the Goblin (and vice versa). I loved the heartfelt story of Eun Tak's ghost friend, and enjoyed the company of the group of Ahjuma ghosts.

What I greatly disliked is the way the main story arc was handled. At first it felt overly dramatic, but later it felt so underwhelming that it removes and intensity felt before. When it ended the way it did, I felt there was no point to the whole story. Essentially were back to point zero.

I think the writer has some original ideas, but no guts to go deeper. As a result interesting topics were touched lightly, but never went beyond, hence felt shallow. I wish more time was spend in exploring the world, getting more concrete information on how demons are created and how to deal with them. Instead you just follow the characters' daily life of not doing much, and supernatural elements were just used as a convenience.

When it comes to romance, I didn't care much about the age difference due to the supernatural part of it, but I just didn't enjoy it, I didn't feel it. I don't know when it happened. Also Goblin was beyond childish. He was too moody and unbearable at times. While I was more invested into the secondary couple, I still felt the same, as in a missing episode of them going out and truly falling in love with each other was missing. I didn't like the way both couples went.

The non-romance relationships were great. The bromance, there was more than plenty. It was perfect. The focus and the growing relationship felt authentic and real. I also loved the relationship between Grim Reaper and Eun Tak. I did enjoy Deok Hwa's presence, but man was he so underused!

Other things that bothered me but not necessarily cause any deduction to the rating is over the top product placement. At one point it looked like subway was about to save the world, one sandwich at a time. And the wardrobe of poor little female lead, I just wonder how she manages to fit all those clothes in such little luggages and how she can afford them. I love how they presented Quebec at first, but I got mad that they didn't try to be accurate as to how the city looked at this time of the year. Worst of all is the episode length. It was needlessly long.

I don't regret watching this drama. I still had a great time watching. Although the last three episodes felt too draggy and less enjoyable, but it still had some good moments. Well all moments with GR for me are great lol. Enjoy! And don't hate me too much for the rating :P

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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
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
Shinsengumi!
3 people found this review helpful
Dec 28, 2016
49 of 49 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 6.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
Finally done! So relieved! It wasn't bad, just inconsistent. Some characters I liked throughout, some just annoyed me. In order to follow the tradition of making the hero infallible, to me, said hero seemed ineffective as a leader. I just don't like the way he's portrayed. I only liked his portrayal in the last episode. I don't mind how they showed other characters but it also really annoyed me how Kaishu Katsu was portrayed.

The music theme, the less we talk about it, the better.

Costume designs looked so cheap! The production was really bad. Action and fight scenes also weren't well choreographed. It would've been okay for another story, but this is the Shinsengumi!

In the end, the main problem is the focus. So much time was wasted on stuff I didn't care about. Is it really that important to see every step of how Kondo gets himself a 2nd wife? And why spend so much time on a character like Sutesuke that not only didn't matter for us the Viewers, but also nobody else gave him any importance, all the way to the end. He was just used (in very stupid ways) to get some things to happen.

Anyways I don't regret watching it but I don't recommend it. If you want to know more about the Shinsengumi, watch samurai movies like Until the Last Sword is Drawn or Twilight Samurai.

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Completed
Long Vacation
4 people found this review helpful
Dec 4, 2016
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 6.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
It's a really good watch for someone wanting a good authentic 90s-type Japanese drama. Characters are shown much more down-to-earth and natural. I've said it before I'm no fan of Kimura Takuya, but I really liked him here. In his post 2k dramas he always gives me this "I'm so great feeling" which annoys me. It's different here, much more humble, and totally suits the role. Scene stealer though, was Takenouchi Yutaka !

The characters themselves were annoying most of the time. Minami never ceased to be annoying but at least she toned it down a bit after about a third into the drama. Sena is wishy washy for about 10 episodes of the drama. Ryoko is too childish and never grows, Momoko is just a convenience when the writer wants to get the characters from one place to another, never had a real depth. I liked Ru-chan but again she was ignored by the writer and most of the characters, except sometimes Sena. Even Shinji was hard to read as to what he wanted. I thought around episode 9-10 there was an interesting exploration of the character's relationship but then it got somehow dropped :S

So yea I felt the writing was lacking. I loved the choice of music but many times the editing was weird in the way it cuts the sound/music. It wasn't the typical effective way to show a change of mood or some shocking event, it felt just random.

I didn't really care much about the coupling I enjoyed watching the character interactions and I got plenty of that. The weirdest is the Shiji-Sena relationship, but I loved that the most. They're awkward and can't be real friends but they each have deep respect for the other (and probably envy) for different reasons.

Despite my criticism I enjoyed it, I felt genuine and relatable. It would've been a masterpiece if only the characters were given more depth, and the lead girl was less pushy and over intrusive :P

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Completed
Gassoh
10 people found this review helpful
Nov 19, 2016
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I loved this movie! I understand it won't appeal for everyone though. This isn't some sort of heroic story, nor doomed romance, nor about revolution. These themes are explored, but it's mainly and mostly about the state, the condition of the country at that point in time. It's about youth distortion and chaos.

The film opens with a peculiar scene. Masanosuke (Seto Koji) gets home and realizes his shoes are wet. He accidently stepped into something disgusting with an off-putting smell. The next morning, he doesn't notice anything, however in the evening he can smell it again. He realizes something is rotten deep inside the house he was passing by. He can't clearly identify it.

We then follow three young men. One is driven by the old ways of thinking. He can't accept the upcoming change, and dreams of this heroic life probably similar to samurai stories he grew up listening to. He believes in his own grandeur and nothing else will move him. The second is all about revolution, change and movements. His mind and words are big, yet fails to capture anyone's attention. Finally there's the one indifferent to the cause, just following the tied, until he finds himself in something he can't comprehend, and with not enough resolve to follow through.

When the country is going through a state of uncertainty and distrust, those three representing different ends of the spectrum of the people in those times. So while it does represent Japan at this important time in history, but the story definitely transcends beyond its setting.

The acting doesn't disappoint, to say the least. Of course Yuuya Yagira dominates the screen in his strong presence, but the others came through when needed. Really enjoyed Okayama Amane's acting here. I'm not too familiar with Seto Koji, but he was perfect for the character he plays here. Odagiri Joe plays a supporting role but his presence was notable (& beautiful). Finally Kadowaki Mugi with her minimal presence manages to distinguish herself.

I also loved the direction and camera work. The colours used in the scenes, mostly dim, at times disturbing red, or the desolating blue, were effective in representing the mood and feeling of the characters and events. The shots were poingnant and gives us a perfect idea of the place of the characters in the whole picture. It's more symbolic than anything. In any case, the combination results in this painting full of hope and anguish. It's relentlessly beautiful.

There is so much I appreciate about this movie, but it definitely isn't one easy to recommend. I'd say if you are interested in, not that period of Japanese history, but the mental state it was in, you'll definitely enjoy it. If you're looking for a movie about extravagant heroism, this isn’t the movie for you. If you are a fan of any of the main cast, chances are you'll enjoy the movie for the acting at least, just set your expectations right. Happy Watching :D

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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
Drinking Solo
19 people found this review helpful
Oct 27, 2016
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Overall entertaining, and gave me great laughs.

I went in for the theme. The idea of having time for your own, to do things alone and enjoy that time fully. It is something that is important to me, and here they exploit it perfectly. The way prof Jin enjoyed his *drinking solo* felt like he was my kindred spirit.

I think the best thing about this drama is that screen presence was evened out among the cast. It isn't just the main love story and those that surrounds it. We have a setting, and we explore the different lives and experiences of those involved there. The setting is an institution that gives classes for people who want to pass the civil exam and be employed by the government. The drama tells us two different stories in that setting, that of the teachers there (pretty similar to typical romcoms) and that of the students and the things they do cause by the pressure.

I won't rehash what everyone is saying, but I agree the trio were hilarious. First time I watch Key in a drama, but really he was effortlessly the heart of it. My favourite was Kim Dong Yeong, I could relate to him the most. He felt the most realistic person there, naturally down to earth, and a total sweetheart. I gotta add I totally enjoyed all the scenes of the impersonator, he was pure fun. As for the other teacher, she wasn't bad, but too petty for an extended period of time. The director was hilarious as well. I actually wished for him to divorce since he seems so miserable with his current life.

For me it lost points on

-Inefficiency: Not only were the episodes long, but there were many dragged out scenes or events that are there to fill the time with no purpose of advancing the story. I think the drama would've benefitted being cut to 12 episodes

-The last 2 episodes: I do hate Noble Idiocy, but the was it was done here was the most nonsensical, to the point I didn't want the couple back together. And I actually was very forgiving of the lead, and maybe one of the few that found him cute while dating. Also the secondary couple were left out too last minutes. In the end they were cute, but it would've been better to explore the relationship better.

Despite my remarks on the pacing and the ending, I'd say it's still worth checking out for the laughs, as well as the heartfelt moments here.

p.s. I do wonder though is it normal for women to be this irresponsible when drinking outside this often?

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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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Completed
ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Todo Hinako
10 people found this review helpful
Sep 15, 2016
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
Drama might not appeal to all but definitely did to me. The synopsis is pretty accurate in the description. Our Heroine Todo became a detective because she wants to discovery the boundary that turns some people into criminals. This whole exploration of the dark side of humanity is the main appeal for me, and the continuing conversations about this subject throughout the drama is what made me enjoy the drama.
Granted it didn't go as deep as I'd wanted to, and one of the best villains here felt like a copy of the villain in Siren, it was interesting nonetheless. As far as storytelling goes though, don't expect all to make sense, but just works out in the universe of the drama.

Todo is a pretty intriguing characters. I liked following her trail of thoughts as she makes the (obvious) connection between cases and follow her investigations on her own. What I enjoyed most is her personality. She's definitely one enjoyable to have around since she's agreeable for the most part, but there definitely is this invisible wall around her. Once through that wall, you may find something completely different than the impression she gives at first. Another intriguing character would be Nakajima. I enjoyed most the conversations people have with him. I thought it was only his conversations with Todo that interest me, but even around others like Shoji, he never ceases to be interesting.
Honestly though other than Todo, Nakajima, and sometimes the Queen of death, none of the other characters were remotely interesting, and were there to fill space and add on the usual tropes.

If more depth and screentime was given to all the characters, and whole police were not made so dumb, it would've been one of the greatest dramas. I mean how could you call yourself a detective when you're incapable of making such simple connection. Also the way Shoji does his investigation is just such a sloppy way to portray! Everyone else was useless. Well the forensic department also had its moment.

As for the cast, casting Hayashi Kento was the BEST thing they did. He really carried the drama for me. I didn't like Haru much but I warmed up to her here. I always enjoy Watabe Atsuro on my screen but felt underused. Still he had quirky personality traits. Harada Mieko was a welcome addition to the team and her scenes her fun. First time watching Yokoyama Yu and OH MAN HE WAS ANNOYING! A total grumpy ojisan! And it doesn't help that he looks SO MUCH younger than his age. The rest of the cast aren't worth mentioning. Except the guest role actors, like Mamiya Shotaro, left an impression as well.

Quality wise, I'd give it 6-6.5 rating. However when factoring in my enjoyment I had of it I had to boost it up.

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Completed
Gochisousan
12 people found this review helpful
Sep 10, 2016
150 of 150 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
*To crave for food is to have the will to live; the stronger the craving the greater the will*

Said by yet another awesome Asadora Obaachan, this summarizes perfectly what this drama is really about. This is my second Asadora, so I'm definitely new to this platform of drama. Still it was yet another enjoyable ride. You might think the overall rating doesn't average out, and that's because my enjoyment has also been taken into consideration despite a bit of criticism here and there.

Gochisousan is about the hardships faced by our spoiled and outspoken heroine, as she gets married and gets accustomed to her in-laws and the city where she's about to start her new life. The hardships doesn't only come from the cultural differences, but also the different baggages the people who surround Meiko carry, including her husband. In that sense, we get to explore many deep human agony and darkness. The main constant theme is how having a meal together makes any agony seem small compared to the joy of eating. In that sense, food is definitely overstated in the drama, but there definitely is truth to this message.

The story follows Meiko through the different stages in her life, as she lives through challenges during a stable era to as she goes through the chaotic era, as she insists on savouring every moment in life, and sharing her bliss. The childhood portion was too adorable, to the point I kept thinking of it throughout the drama. By the time we meet older Meiko, the thought "So soon! I haven't had enough of little Meiko" it felt depressing really. However a couple of minutes of seeing more of teenage Meiko (Anne), and I'm sold that this is the same person as the child I watched earlier. Her Story with Yutaro (Higashide Masahiro - Anne's future husband) was a sweet, albeit typical romcom style one. The setting though, and the pace makes it a pleasant story to watch. Then she moves to Osaka with her husband, and that's when the real challenges begin, with an extremely difficult sister-in-law and unstable family life, Meiko cannot accept defeat. I have to say there are times that the in-laws get on my nerves, but Meiko's hard work eventually pays off.

There are two things that makes Gochisousan a great watch. First is all the colourful characters, from her family, to the people at the market, her in-laws, and eventually her children. The life-long friendships and the quirkiness of the characters really had an everlasting impression in me. Early on I loved every scene of Meiko's father. He was stubborn, but always put his loved ones first, which makes her a great father. The most noteworthy is, of course, Noriko, Yutaro's younger sister. Honestly the drama was as much about her relationship with Meiko. As she retains her thoughtful spirit and delicate character, her growth was evolutionary. Other characters to look out for are Genchan, Sakurako, Muroi, and the greatest Takemoto Yuzo. Later on we have Meiko's children, as each get into the spotlight and forever make a place in our hearts for them. Fuku was inspirational, Katsuo was joy, and Taisuke was everything good on this planet.

Second is the depiction of the the gradual hardship during the war, from the different ingredients that kept on disappearing to the scattering of families, and even the corruption of powerful people making life even harder. And also the realization of what the country has become after the war. As light as a morning drama can be, the portrayal was still unnerving, and at times, shocking. I was also impressed how food was successfully used to convey the characters' feelings and the message of the drama overall. It remained a constant theme that symbolizes the legacy she inherited from her family, and how she changed it, the relationship between her and Yutaro, and eventually all the people that become an important part of her life. The bad thing here is that you will constantly feel hungry while watching this drama.

There were many Laugh Out Loud moments in this drama. Even problems that get to our nerves at one point, become a great topic to laugh about later on. Don't we all have moments like those? It made me change my mind about what an **ideal relationship** is and accept that it doesn't have to be ideal in order to be PERFECT.

As I said earlier, I do have some criticism of this drama. Yes food is overstated. If you're not a foody you might have a problem with that. However if you look passed it you'll come to appreciate the messages there. Another is really how the post-war was shown through rose tinted glass, and of course the Americans dialog were too cheesy. Nonetheless there was a beautiful and truthful message successfully relayed here. Finally, and that was the same issue I had with my previous Asadora, which is not bothering to age the actors to suit the characters. I've come to a realization it's all about keeping them pretty enough for a morning drama. This shallow reason really ruins the art of story telling.

Honestly acting wise, I was mostly impressed with Anne, Takahata Mitsuki, Muro Tsuyoshi, Wada Masato, Yamanaka Takashi, Kimura Midoriko knew how to make herself hated, and Suda Masaki. The rest varied but well fitting for the role. Higashide Masahiro has yet to convince me that he deserves all the leading roles he's been getting. I mean I totally loved him here, but mostly because it suited his characters. And looking so great at it too. I get the appeal, I just don't see him that great as an actor.

Honestly this was a fun ride. There were times that were difficult to watch but was well packaged to make it overall inspirational and joyful to watch. The episodes went by so fast it even felt short. I left it wanting more, which, in my opinion, is a sign of success.

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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
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
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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