When Japan had moneyA reason why I mostly watch Japanese media (anime and J-Drama) from the 80s is thanks to their obscene amount of money at the time meaning they could literally make the most random of projects financially feasible instead of now where they gotta stick to the main pool of genres because those are what makes money (yes I know this is a phenomenon all over the world but idc), semi 4th wall breaking shows that serve no purpose but pure entertainment (with of course some story) like this can be made, what a simple time… But I’m digressing so I’ll shut up haha.
Anyways Mama wa Idol was a good, light hearted show with an obviously unique spin on things; it didn’t have any overarching message it was trying to push besides I guess the difficulty to having kids accept remarriage (though that was practically demoted to a character trait of one character after ~4 episodes) no it was just Nakayama Miho (google her, literally plays herself) becoming a housewife in secret and the comedy that ensued. Some minor development was present but never really directly mentioned like Miho’s cooking becoming better (and other housewife tasks) and Kenichirou getting more used to his new mum (which happened in the background, realistic for a 20 year old). Over the 10 episodes the only 2 reoccurring things I found annoying was that crazy nosy neighbour and Shuichi’s (dad) vein popping annoying inability to firmly turn down women (plus his occasional thoughts on how to parent but I’m 20 with no kids, so I see things like the naïve Miho does meaning I cannot comment) but both of these are easily overlooked and are funny in their own right (at times). Ending was very wholesome too, love that they directly called out the stigmas in the idol industry plus the real live performance Miho gave.
From a technical aspect everything was done at or above J-Drama standards: typically great 80s music, unique acting, etc. no complaints there. Overall a fun and relaxing show highly recommend this to other old J-Drama fanatics, I will be buying this on DVD for sure.
Also I should point out: yes Miho at the time was 17 (I think she was implied to be 19 in the show) but not only was it poked fun at in the show at times (Kenichirou is older than her in the show and real life) no lines were also crossed, it was kept at a convincing distance for any scenes that could have hinted at intimacy. Also Miho and Kunihiko literally play the lead roles in another drama the very next year so they’re obviously comfortable with each other lol.
decent time killer but nothing moreThis was an alright show, nothing special about it besides the one glaringly obvious rarity (a black guy who speaks good Japanese as a main character lol).
Being 10 episodes at 45min each it was on the more average side of length, though typical with these kind of dream, the perceived length varied between episodes; some felt like 20min while others 70+ though thankfully it wasn't an increasing trend and only happened with like 3 random episodes in the show.
The story itself is obviously episodic and usually easily predictable, just thankfully there isnt any unnecessary drama thrown in. the background blot with that lead's girlfriend doesn't really show itself until the end, it was alright but again nothing to write home about.
From a technical standpoint everything was good, lighting did look washed out at times leading me to think they forgot to actually EDIT the raw footage in post ? but it's probably just a (bad) style. Acting is decent, what I'd expect from a drama of this caliber especially from the black guy (the japanese usually suck ass at writing foreigners ive noticed lol) also the dialouge at times was odd sounding, like the japanese was normal (im like around n3 but from what i can tell for sure is that they dont speak casual enough) but holy shit the English, you guys LITERALLY HAD A NATIVE ON SET have him proof the script, that scene in ep9 was WAAYY too hard to watch. Everything else was, you guessed it, average.
Anyways it's an alright timekiller, I watched it with Japanese subs so idk if English ones exist.
An easy watch throughoutStarted watching this at the beginning of this year, GAVE UP, then came back, so my memory of the start of the story is fractured.
Overall it was a good watch, I liked all of the characters (especially Akaji's character idk why lol). story was ok too, the moral of the story was kinda basic (carve your own path in life) with rather simple mini stories but surprisingly none of them were annoying, made it rather relaxing.
Ending was obviously idealistic, almost Deus ex Machina for one, felt bad for that guy getting cucked in the end but o wel, could see it coming. Wholesome nonetheless.
Kind of a letdown but an easy watchNormally if I write a review it's for shows I really enjoy, posted only in a discord of mine, and a lot better written. But because this rare drama has no review, I shall write a very basic one. ( so sorry in advance if it's not up to this website's par haha).
First I'll just say I basically lost interest at ep6, half watched half used my phone (like to write this) afterwards. The story was obviously heading nowhere and none of the main characters showed much change, and I was right, like Shintani just ended up messing around with that woman who he said would make his, Noriko suddenly became attracted to Kisa whom she was completely uninterested in an ep prior, and Aya continued to mess with that married man despite knowing it's a depressing matter, etc.
Also I felt that most of the characters were two dimensional , especially the more side ones like Nagahori but also ones like Kisa and Kana, their characters were too predictable and 'scripted' if that makes sense. Then the Kisa family was straight up one dimensional, they literally existed to be a plot device this entire show.
I have other grievances with this show but they're all too small to speak about individually so to summarise them: every side plot was just added in an effort to bring more depth to the show but all ended up just being random side events.
Being honest, the only reason I finished this and got a 7 is because of Yamaguchi's (Noriko) performance, me having a significant interest in 80-90s entertainment (music included), the occasional comedic scenes, and the fact that I downloaded it (would be a waste otherwise haha). I'll probably end up rewatching this in the future and when I do I'll be sure to rewrite this or at the very least edit this to say my opinion has remained unchanged.
Also this is a nitpick but why is it called My 29th Christmas when it hardly mentions or shows it until the final few minutes
(シ_ _)シ (not counting the music)
Everyone has their reasons, but everyone has a reason.
In our world, every single human being, whether they be a newborn or someone in hospice, has their own story and reasons as to why they are in that position. But one thing is certain: all of us will find our purpose somewhere along our journey through life.
This drama, although rather short, tells us viewers the entire story of Masaharu's rather unfortunate-seeming life, along with the evolving lives of his extended family living with him. Without spoiling much, we see Masaharu go from a complete recluse to a functioning member of society who finally feels like he has meaning in life after he is exposed to and forced to deal with situations concerning his past, others' futures, or others. And although he is the main character, we do see similar developments in some of the other leads (again, I don't want to spoil much, so I won't say).
I find this style of storytelling amazing: a realistic plot with realistic characters and situations. Nothing is blown out of proportion for "drama," and no obvious plot devices are used—not even the addition of music to induce emotion is used often. All they relied on was the camerawork, acting, and story itself, which is absolutely beautiful.
From a more technical aspect, I can say that literally everything was perfect: cinematography, lighting, sound, etc. They even managed to include the rather unique element of a cross-sectional house set into the story without it feeling out of place or useless.
This J-Drama is rather peculiar to me because I'm neither used to this genre nor this level of production quality with J-Drama. Honestly, I think this surpassed many of the K-Dramas I've seen too!
Anyway, you already know I have to give this a 10/10. It's also now #2 on my list of favorite dramas—both incredible feats.
I highly recommend this to absolutely everyone.
Was an alright drama.Prefacing this with the fact that I watched this without subs as apart of my Japanese immersion, plus for reasons I imply later I lost most interest around episode 8 so my thoughts may be flawed.
This was a pretty decent drama, I found all the characters enjoyable, the setting believable, and the story decently relaxing/fun, overall good. considering this literally only came onto the internet this month (meaning it's very obscure) makes me wonder how many other good "lost" J-Dramas are out there (lost in brackets because a DVD will always exist haha) but alas I do not have money to BURN by going around and buying random 20,000¥ blu-rays weekly (university student lol) I will not think much about it, but I digress.
If you're familiar with 90s J-Drama then you seeing a 7.5 (average rating when I publish this) will indicate that it's your average developments, and you're not wrong haha. Same old same old developments with past lovers and whatnot, climaxing with something completely random happening to the side characters, etc. etc. Even the ending was predictable. Just thankfully it never felt depressing, though it did get boring around episode 8 with the relationship drama growing to a head, then just never dying down for the rest of the show. Despite me saying this all though, I still recommend it if you understand Japanese, it is funny at times and like I said before it is relaxing most of the time, a good time killer.
Acting is standard for 90s K-Drama, Asaka's in particular carried but everyone else did a great job too. Music is an easy 10/10, the opening really reminds me of early 2000s anime (which reminds me of a rather peaceful time in my life) plus 90s jpop is just good haha. Everything else is average for 90s J-Drama, lighting felt a bit better but still nothing to write home about.
Overall a good drama, I recommend it.
Alright drama, nothing more, nothing lessFirst I'd like to note that the subs were out of sync 95% of the time (different sources so too much time needed to resync) and the other 5% I didn't look at them lol. so some details might be slightly mixed in my head.
It was an alright drama, been about 2 months since I've watched a proper J-Drama but from memory, this plot is pretty average. You could say it flows similarly to 29th Christmas with the kind of plot developments, but no where NEAR as annoying and melodrama filled. Nothing that good stands out with the story, because it's so average, but the bad pacing does stand out.
I really disliked the fact that Chigusa and Taketo (along with the secondary couple too) kept on having trust issues and breaking up then getting back together basically every episode until the very end. I'm surprised though how they managed to not make it overly dramatic with this kind of story lmao.
Acting and all that was good, Yoshino's (Chigusa) acting felt well above par while everyone else had the standard Japanese drama acting. Masaharu's (Taketo) acting bothered me mainly because he seemed to slur words together like every other sentence, same with his dad but I'm just gonna write this off as being an element of the Kyushu dialect (which I've never heard prior)
Etcetera etcetera standard production quality of 90s J-Drama, good music, etcetera etcetera.
Overall it was alright, good time killer if anything, but nothing unique like Koukou Kyoshi. Could have easily been 8 episodes
Decent time killer and nothing more.I almost never watch movies and to my knowledge never a Japanese one plus I ended up only half watching cuz of how boring it was, so bear with me in my ramblings.
It was 1am and wanted to watch either an episode of K-Drama or a short movie, so I chose the movie (for other reasons too like Asano Atsuko), was it good? No lol. It wasn't the worst thing I've seen before it just didn't have a clear plot, too many leads and to quick of an introduction for a 100 minute film (like the 2 male romance interests seconds into the movie ALREADY get the ball moving then practically disappear like what) even though they seemed to only focus on one for the last 50 minutes. Instead of focusing on all 4 sisters and somewhat fleshing out their backstory (not really) it would have been much better if they focused on one sister for the entire film.
I can't really comment on the technical side of the movie because 1) I hardly watch movies and 2) the few movies I've seen from the era are James Bond blockbusters so its unfair, though I will say lighting is about average for 80s jdrama and same for the cinematography, sound had some oddities (Blu-ray seems to have been mastered with an audio delay lol) but not bad.
For the life of me I couldn't figure out what decade this took place in, I'd like to say the 70s-80s but idk cuz of the dated fashion seen and everything else screamed 60s. Also couldn't figure out what on earth the whole meaning of this movie was but I guess that's just because I'm trying to grade it like it's Interstellar.
Overall it's an ok time killer, if you know Japanese then just throw it on in the background while doing something else, it's ironically a more interesting watch that way.
Irritating start, great rest of storyJust wanna say that I am probably more emotionless than most people who’ve watched (or plan to watch) this but I’ll just say that if you’ve watched other tragedy drama from the time (ex. Koukou Kyoushi 1993) then you probably won’t find it all that sad like what currently every other commend and review is hyping it up to be, still depressing don’t get me wrong, but it’s not crying gut wrenching sad, or to me at least, probably because of things I will discuss but I digress.
This was a very good watch, definitely in the current top 5 most tragic dramas I’ve watched (currently I haven’t seen many but if I include anime then still in the top 10 at least). Pretty much every single episode had some tragic happening whether that be as small as someone failing at regaining their footing in life or as big as someone dying, this drama had it all, but the way it originally set things up for the main couple (Maria and Shiro) was kinda forced in my opinion, like what person on earth would purposely take the unnecessarily hard route to leaving his old life behind instead of the simple option? I guess Shiro would. But after that arc (which was the first two episodes if memory serves me right) the happenings regarding their relationship more or less feel believable including the more irrational decisions taken by the two (don’t want to spoil it so I used a very vague word). The story had me rather invested the entire time, something that I certainly wasn’t expecting to happen in the first two episodes plus the fact that it’s very dramatic (a theme I ironically don’t enjoy much). The reason why this gets only an 8.0 though is partially related to the first two episode problem and partially related to that last point: It at times felt dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. Every last character in the story managed to at one point or another get the short end of the stick, and literally only two characters after 12 episodes managed to seem happy (Jun and Nana, will speak more later) this was a trope I identified pretty much in the first episode, so it did kinda take the joy out of watching some of the scenes because I just expected that to happen, I knew it wouldn’t turn out well.
Between the two main relationships in the show, Maria-Shido and Nana-Jun, the latter of the two I found a lot more enjoyable to watch; Nana being blind and Jun having his own legal and mental troubles somehow made their side relationship a lot more engaging than Maria-Shido’s but knowing me. This almost certainly stems from the fact that I could sense a happier ending with them but it is also probably because Nana was a lot brighter of a character (because of her disability) who never really dwelled on issues of the past and Jun just wanted happiness for her, so you could see it would be either a satisfying or happy ending. Not saying Maria-Shido’s was bad no, just it was obviously made out to be more depressing and also used more plot devices to achieve that goal (the last episode).
Technical things in the show were at the standard of 90s J-Drama: terrible lighting, decent cinematography, great music (the main theme song is up there with “Bokutachi no Shippai”), good acting and effects, etc. Only complaint isn’t related to the official production but the subs; they’re from a group that I’ve seen before, they are very lazy when it comes to timing lines and tend to drop words that they should have kept, but it didn’t really take away from the story.
Overall a good watch, I recommend this to any J-Drama enjoyer
Lightweight series to pass timeThis miniseries is based off of a manga by the same name and also has an anime by the same name, I've read/seen neither so I won't compare them. I watched this miniseries because I myself do carpentry and a bunch of other things thanks to the gift from God, YouTube. Because of this though I did spot several odd choices but that's beyond the scope of this review and most are nitpicks anyways.
Story was extremely easy to follow, so for an idiot like me that's very welcomed; no ridiculous drama, complex relationships, deep lore, etc. just a group of girls that enjoy making things themselves (a dying passion in the modern world I find). Each character was obviously written around a central trope but considering the simplicity of the show it's acceptable, just wish some of them didn't try and act like anime characters lmao.
The technical aspects of the show is apparently average for J-Drama of today: poor colour grading (ex. skin tone is the same colour as the wall in some scenes, orange tint, an obscene amount of bloom, etc.) Good music, good camera work, enthusiastic acting, and more; it balances out to be good by my standards.
Anyways I recommend this to other DIYers or those who enjoy 0 drama series. This is certainly a show I'll rewatch a few times
ML's actor ruined itThe premise was interesting, but as soon as I saw the ML's real age, I knew literally nothing substantial would come of this show.
If you're reading this review, you've probably read the synopsis, so I won't repeat it. Nekokare is, I suppose, what you could call a guilty pleasure, or at least in premise. In execution, it's just boring puppy love because everything is being legally limited by one factor: the ML's real age. (He was born in 2007, so he was 16 during filming.)
Now, I won't delve into the political/ethical issues this story presents. If you can learn to separate reality from fiction, you can get a pretty good story out of it. Look at Chūgakusei Nikki. for example. The main tween that and this show, though, is that the ML in that show WAS of age during filming, while this one isn't. Considering it's a ROMANCE drama with a 30-year-old year old FL, it closes practically every single door of opportunity. So, all we the viewers are left with is an attractive face and a very awkward viewing experience. literally should have just picked an actor from like 2005. and I bet you it would have been a much better romance.
Anyway, besides that KILLING the show, the story itself was actually kinda bad bad, haha. These kinds of large age gap dramas usually only when both characters (mainly the older one) are troubled people, We see this in Kōkō Kyōshi and Chūgakusei Nikki. But here, the FL has NOTHING WRONG with her life. Even the ML's problems are extremely minor, so for them to actually develop mutual feelings doesn't feel right.
The acting was alright, no one stood out as great, though the ML was particularly annoying. Maybe it's because he's still rather new in the industry, or maybe it's just how they wrote his character. But I swear he had the same annoyed/depressed demeanor the ENTIRE SHOW. I don't want to get canceled, so all I'll just say is that he looks and acts like a pushover, kinda of annoying.
From a technical standpoint, everything was up to mrn J-Drama standards: really strange colour grading, generally good lighting, good cinematography, decent music, etc.
Overall, it's not worth it. I would only recommend this show if you want to learn Japanese.
This sucksThis is possibly the only TV show in general that I've ever written and published a review for before finishing it but this show is just so hard to watch that I gotta take a break from watching (Not dropping, just it will take a while to finish, I will update the review when I do) but I need to get my words out there before I completely forget.
No need to summarise this show, read the synopsis and you'll understand (I'm probably stupid but I thought it was based off a real account, it isn't lol). Going into this I knew it would annoy me to some extent, but I figured Kazuma (ML) would get revenge, have development, or just something good would happen to him, but no, out of the 5 episodes I've seen Kazuma literally has zero wins, no development, and his "wife" is just getting worse and worse, like not ONCE has he stood up for himself, and his attempts at adultery (it's implied several times) never even comes close to fruition. As a western man I probably am missing some characteristics particular to Japanese families, but as a man with self pride it hurts me to see him being bullied so badly by his wife and despite all of his neighbours knowing, doing nothing to help him, and I really hate that one p***k that seemingly idolizes Sanae. I also do most certainly not like Sanae (FL) is raising their daughter, I don't think I need to explain why.
Like what someone said in the comments, it's not that funny that they wrote this drama about a very serious yet socially sensitive topic in a comedic way throughout the entire run. If you know me then you'd know I enjoy comedy as much as the next even in serious shows, but then they have to at the very least show development with said problem, in ~4 hours of TV, they've managed to not show any of that, not even accidentally.
Anyways, nothing is good about any part of this show but ironically the ONE thing most J-Drama from this period do wrong: the lighting.
The main 2 characters are bad for reasons above, everyone else is too minor to have real opinions on, though that Ryousuke guy seems to ALWAYS be the root of everyone failing their plans.
Don't watch this show, or at the very least don't binge it.
P.S. to dispel any of these comments:
1) I'm not suggesting for Kazuma to be overpowering and abusive and whatnot in return, I just want him to be more assertive and hold his ground like a man should. Marriage is a give and take relationship, not one or the other.
2) I although may be implying adultery is acceptable to do, i don't actually believe so. Just the other woman in Kazuma's life would be a lot more bearable for him than his current wife. The other 2 guys committing adultery is unacceptable considering their wives are what I'd say are common ideals in Japan.