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RisefromBlackAshes

RisefromBlackAshes

Sep 22, 2016
Overall 8.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I honestly picked up watching this after watching the cast on VS Arashi, and watching a different special on before it. I had to rewatch the first episode since I started on 2 but I knew I was hooked.

The premise is pretty simple, 'average' girl ends up living with three guys in pursuit of her dream as a pastry chief. Of course, shenanigans ensue. It's touching, it's dramatic, and it even got me to tear up a little bit.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between cast members. You could tell from VS Arashi they were all friends after filming, and during their scenes it was really impressive. Kento Yamazaki, and Kirie Mirai have absolutely stunning chemistry between them. And Nomura Shuhei is the perfect balance between serious moments and comic relief (without being a joke himself). Shuhei was even cast in the Taiwanese adaptation! The setting is in Enoshima, not too far away from Tokyo (closer to Yokohama though) which was a refreshing change of pace.

My friends and I agree that Chiaki's character development was rather sad, in comparison to the others. And there is a weird insert character whoose got no purpose or name but causes a lot of grief for the others, that we found rather boring and unneeded.

I've already recommended this drama to friends, and I watched it in Japan and with subs after leaving Japan. Not a top favorite of mine, and I won't be rewatching unless it's with friends/for nostalgia but it's a sweet drama worth watching.

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Destiny-Like Love
9 people found this review helpful
Dec 16, 2016
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Umnei ni, Nita Koi was actually a drama for the first time that portrayed a mature romance incredibly well in my opinion. It's the main focus of the show, not a subplot or add on. In a world of high school/college romance dramas this one really sticks out to me. It shows how two people can be drawn together at a young age, grow apart, and reconnect in a (pardon me) destiny-like love. I was already drawn in, just to get a change of pace. And I wasn't disappointed.

For an 8 episode drama, the series did an amazing job telling a heart-felt story and concluded it well, with no plot holes or empty ending. While I wouldn't label the series too dramatic or too sweet; it's mature and well thought out with a balance of ages that makes it appealing to young and old drama watchers. All the characters good and bad, minor and major get fleshed out fairly well and their relationships with one another are well identified. While some elements of the plot are a little typical, they aren't so glaringly obvious as to ruin watching. I was on my toes through the entire 8 episodes.

While Yuri and Kasumi are the main couple, we also get a taste (just a taste) of young love found in Tsugumi (Kasumi's son) and Kameko. We also see relationships that aren't lovey-dovey with Riri's admiration for Yuri, Yoji's sense of loss for a particular character, and more. The story isn't just a love story, but one of relationships and how they can blossom or rot.

Aside from Saito Takumi, I wasn't familiar with the majority of the cast, but everyone was excellent. There was an amazing chemistry between all the characters. The story played out well. The music was so-so, mood appropriate but nothing much more. I'm not a huge re-watch fan, but this is one I might revisit should I need a breather between highschool aged romance and rom-coms.

I highly recommend this series for those who love a serious romance, or are just tired of rom-coms and highschool aged love. It surely won't disappoint.

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Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
After seeing how excited everyone was for this adaptation I hopped on the bandwagon and started watching as well. I wasn't disappointed per say, but this wasn't the best feature either.

Based off the manga of the same name, I can't honestly judge how accurate of an adaptation this was. Overall, the story was completely and utterly rushed during the second half. Originally slated to be a ten to eleven episode drama, unfortunately got cut into 9 episodes resulting in pretty mixed feeling for most. While all the ends are tied up and most everyone gets a happy ending; as a viewer you won't be satisfied in the slightest since everything is so quickly thrown together. The pacing of the first episodes was pleasent and enjoyable, but around episode 7 you can see the marked change in pace.

Overall, the acting was really well done. No one is over the top dramatic, but you'll still get your juicer moments you crave. For Yamamura Ryuta (Nanaryu)'s first role, he's surpirsingly charming and well rounded. He's a bit of a rock; he doesn't get too emotional, but the rather smooth delivery and consistancy for this drama is key. Nishiuchi Mariya (Asuka) is pleasent and not overwelming, dispite who her character is set up and devotion to her beliefs is very convincing. The side characters, from friends to family to implied romantic partners are all belivable and likeable as a whole. There's no real 'villian' character, much to my surprise but the plot still plays out well. All the characters are fairly well developed, aside from their rushed ending. I'm curious to see where Shono Hayama (Kanade), and Kishii Yukino (Momoko) end up in their next roles.

Nishiuchi Mariya lends her voice for the ending theme, and it suits the series well. The music is nothing special, but happily lends itself where it needs to be. My rewatches are always low so no worries.

Overall, this story had the potential to be a really good adaptation. What killed the series was having the content cut from 10/11 episodes down to 9. Not a favorite series of mine, but one I didn't mind passing the time with.

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Dansui!
5 people found this review helpful
Mar 15, 2017
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
"Dansui!" to be honest was my guilty pleasure drama. I have an affinity for the sports genre (beyond the 'yummy yaoi boys'), and this one was an honest mixed bag. It wasn't super great, but it wasn't terrible either.

The story, which is competition between a no-name school and a high ranked school, with some ex-friend, sorta rivals is nothing new to the genre. It's pretty see though with some fun moments exploring relationships AS FRIENDS and RIVALS, growing up, and competition. If you're looking for yaoi, I'd stick with the BL movies since this one has none of that going on. A sports story that actually sticks to the sport, with a surprising amount of technical lingo and improvement.

Acting, most of these guys are stage actors, which is why a lot of people commented about the 'over emoting' or 'over acting'. It's a hard transition but overall most everyone did a good job. I didn't have any really emotional moments, and no one really stood out to me. I fell in love with Taira (Ozawa Ren), since the development of his character was rather rushed but he had some major turn arounds in emotion that were pulled off fairly well. For as much as the main cast was cute and fluffy, they didn't have as much pull for me. Nothing comment-able, aside as much as you think Harumi (Akazawa Tomoru) is going to be the annoying character; he's not that bad.

What a killed this drama for me was the ending. It was not satisfactory AT ALL. We get the competition we've been waiting for, but no closure. You're holding your breath waiting for an ending, and it doesn't come. Although this is being carried over into a stage play, I'm not happy as just a drama watcher.

The music, ending theme is actually sung by a few members of the cast (they come from musical actors after all) is pretty cute. Otherwise, nothing standing out. The rewatch value is low because of the ending, but at the same time it's short enough and cute enough I wouldn't mind spending 4 hours of my time watching again.

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Mar 3, 2017
Overall 2.0
Story 2.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Oh man... I watched this for Kyan, he's my favorite member of Golden Bomber, and that's the only thing that sustained me through this film. It was bad. Bad as in bad, and bad as in parody.

The story is Kiryuuin wanting to fall in love the summer after his third year of high school. his best friend Jun has recently broken up with Kenji. To start off their boy hunting they go to the beach where Kyan works, and things take off from there.

Taking this as a parody; it was actually pretty good. It covers the usual tropes with romance series, and with BL series. No problems there. But the way it was shot... God awful. I can swear to you that some of the scenes were shot on the kind of camera you can pick up at a general store. It's not good quality with zoom in's or stability overall of scenes. I would attribute the poor filming if it were later, but it's 2009... At other times, their mouthes and dialogue didn't match up so I'm 90% sure some of the scenes were dubbed over and it's terribly obvious.

Really everyone couldn't hold this together acting wise; the majority of Golden Bomber sucks at acting. The over-acted scenes are hard to separate from the 'regular' acting scenes. It's not the fun cringey so much as the cringe, cringey but it did have me laughing. Kyan was a surprise gem for me to see in this film, as his line delivery and scenes were the easiest to watch.

Golden Bomber's songs, while I like them overpowered a lot of the dialogue when played. It got annoying and cut into what would be salvageable scenes and completely lost them. While only an hour long, I can't say I'll be watching this film again.

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Crow's Blood
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 8, 2017
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
After seeing this recommended for a good Halloween story, it got shifted to my 'plan to watch' list. Having about 5 hours to spare, I decided to give it a watch and wasn't disappointed.

"Crow's Blood" despite it being a AKB48 production, much like "Sailor Zombie" actually wasn't bad. The plot was well thought out, leaving no plot of holes or gaping unresolved issues aside from the ending. It starts with the mysterious student Togawa Maki comes to school, and a crow crashing into the window signaling a rather mysterious set of events to come. Without giving too much away, it is a bit of a splatter fest if you couldn't tell, but no jump scares surprisingly.

The cast, once again, for AKB48 this was surprisingly good. Miyawaki Sakura (Maki) was EXCELLANT with her expressions, character development and vocalization. If she keeps landing a variety of roles I will be looking out for her in the future. Watanabe Mayu (Kaoru) also does an amazing job playing her roles, without a single flaw in her performance. Miura Takahiro (Sawada) is a great balancing out as a male lead. The supporting cast of characters were also stunning as well. The chemistry between Mai and her mother was truly touching.

The music was eh. I didn't notice it much beyond it was appropriate for the mood. My rewatch values are always low; I don't revisit series often. But this one might be a good one to revisit once Halloween is upon us again.

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Evergreen Love
7 people found this review helpful
Jan 7, 2017
Overall 5.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I was so upset when this was released in Japan, and I didn't have the chance to go see it. I'm a huge idol fan and Iwata Takenori is one of my favorites. After seeing him in "HiGH&LOW"; I wanted to see him take on a different role.

This movie story was alright. I'm not going to sugar-coat it and just 'cause Iwata Takenori is in it does not mean it's do all end all. The plot is pretty 'meh', rather typical of most shoujo stories with the side plot of plants and identifying them thrown in to mark it different. My friends remarked on how absolutely ridiculous the basic premise is. If you're looking for realistic, this story is not it. If you're looking for easy watching/not complicated this is for you.

However, it is light hearted and funny at times. Iwata Takenori (Itsuki) is 100% quality eye candy and his character is a perfect match. Takahata Mitsuki (Sayaka) is relatable, and honest, with plenty of faults and positives to make her well balanced. It's unfortunate you don't get to see either character really develop just based on the pacing of story, and the type of acting. The side characters don't see much screen time or development, but they're a solid background foundation rather then a hinderance.

The music overall is okay. Nothing spectacular about it, and at times the timing seems a little off/inappropriate for the mood. Not to the point of being unwatchable, but noticeable.

Again, I love Iwata Takanori. I love Takhata Mitsuki, so for me this movie was a no-brainer to watch. It's not complicated, but it's not boring. If you're looking for something light-hearted to watch without getting teary-eyed this is it. I'd rewatch just to see the eye-smile prince smile again, but it won't be frequently.

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Koe Koi
2 people found this review helpful
Oct 4, 2016
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Koe Koi, honestly I started watching mostly as a joke. I couldn't take the premise of one of the main love interests having a paperbag on his head, but the idea is unique and intriguing so I gave it a shot. I was really surprised that the drama was a 1/2 style over an hour long, but a refreshing change of pace.

What started as a joke had me marathoning episodes 1-11 in two days. It was addicting since the premise was rather predictable, but still watchable. Although I think the main actress was rather inexperienced compared with the others, she was still enjoyable and believable. I really appreciated the mini side stories sprinkled into the series in a non-obtrusive way. The music aside from the opening song (too cringey for me), was well chosen and mood appropriate in my opinion.

I've already recommended this drama to friends; she's a fan of Sakurai Dori anyway, so hopefully she'll be watching soon. Personally, for me I don't re-watch dramas overall so the rewatch value is fairly low.

I do recommend if every are looking for a shorter, easy to watch series, to watch Koe Koi. :)

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Ubai Ai, Fuyu
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 6, 2017
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Oh man, where to even begin with this drama.... It's a very over the top, no-way-that-would-happen-in-real-life, but oddly compelling storyline spun out and wrapped up all in seven episodes. So if you're more of a fan of realistic dramas, this one is not for you unfortunately.

The story piles on a lot of small time concerns; meeting an ex-lover at work, recovering from such a meeting, questioning your current lover, confrontation of other partners, a lot of rather typical things that do actually happen in relationships. Pile on a cast of characters that are either rooting your relationship on, or prepared to take you apart, there is no room for middle ground. While you would think there's no way a plot like this could surprise you; every episode twisted away from what I thought was going to happen, and brought it in a new direction. This drama had me on my toes the entire time, rooting for some people, cursing others, and it was rather quick how I was to turn around who I was cheering for. The best question is who snatched whose love away in the end? (Btw, the title translated roughly to 'stolen love in winter'.

Acting; oh boy. This is where it gets good. The whole cast is golden. A little concerned about execution of such an over dramatic plot? Have no fear, the whole cast is here. Misuno Miki (Ran) absolutely STEALS the spotlight with her over the top but oddly relatable reactions. You'll be despising her character as much as you sort of sympathize with her at the end. A perfect villain or the perfect victim? You'll have to chose. Kurashina Kana (Hikaru) is the perfect opposite. More or less you will be rooting for this girl the entire time, and rightfully so. And while she appears much less dangerous a character then Ran; her development will give her the backbone to surprise you. Otani Ryohei (Shin) is the perfect match for and against Miura Shohei (Kota). Both lead males are so handsome, and believe me, incredibly romantic in the series like Hikaru you'll have a hard time choosing. Although I will have to admit, Shohei is experimenting with his acting style and it's got mixed reactions from me. Sometimes seeming too dramatic, sometimes not dramatic enough, it's fitting for this series though.

Music, realizing the ending theme is 'Magic' by AAA sold it for me. The use of repetitive songs kinda gets boring though to be honest. You can read a lot of the action and the direction it does by just the music cueing up. At least the opening theme and opening in general is short to focus more on the story. I'm not a rewatcher, but I'm curious when the subtitles come out (I did raws for this and mostly understood all the dialogues) how I'll feel about the series then.

Overall, if you're a fan of any of the main cast I highly recommend this series. If you want something so over the top, and somewhat of a guilty pleasure please watch!

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Lady Snowblood
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 5, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I might be among the few, but I really dig older Japanese cinema. A lot. "Lady Snowblood" being no exception to this.

For those familiar with the Kamimura Kazuo manga, this is the film adaptation that was given her blessing. You could even say it's among the very first manga into film adaptations that Japan has ever done! Which makes this film a treat.

Lady Snowblood is the story of revenge passed from mother to daughter, and artfully done. While it deviates from the original story from the manga, it still captures the main essence of the story and maintains all critical characters. Their are some minor adjustments made to everyone but Sensei, Mother, and Yuki (Lady Snowblood), but all are done in good taste to adjust to technology of times and time constraints. Be warned this is a SPLATTER FEST, with implied rape scenes. It wasn't for everyone then, it isn't for everyone now.

The music pulls from the original timeline of the manga, as well as current trends in music at the times. A little loud at times, but doesn't detract from the story or dialogue.

I adored the manga, and I adore this film. If you're looking for classic cinema from Japan, or are a fan of 'Kill Bill' please give Lady Snowblood a shot!

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Falling Flowers
1 people found this review helpful
Feb 28, 2017
Overall 7.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 4.5
If you're not familiar with Xiao Hong's life story, and her writings (The Feild of Life and Death, or Death of Mistress Wang) this story is going to go over you head. This is a film where you should have some background knowledge before watching, although if you give it a shot without it's a whirlwind of a drama once you get past the pacing.

The story is the true life story of Xiao Hong the writer, and for as unbelievable as the her life seems; it's 100% true. The chronological order is accurate, as well as names and locations for where critical moments take place. While the pacing is slow, it helps respect the duration of Xiao Hong's life, which was a very brief 35 years of life.

Acting, was honestly a mixed bag in my opinion. A lot of the scenes were well done, if not a little too bland where it seemed where I looking at people on the street verses actors or actresses. The intimacy scenes, sexual and non-sexual are very dramatically rendered, some of them too much so. If you have historical background in China, you'll understand why. Of course, there were a few scenes where I did tear up. More towards the end after you start to care for the characters, but touching where I did cry despite not being a crier.

The music was unnoticeable, at least to me. And I doubt I'll be rewatching this since I had to watch it for class and a bit longer then my current tastes.

If you're a fan of Xiao Hong, you should give this movie a shot. Even if you're not a fan of her, this movie while slow is worth the build up.

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Oct 26, 2016
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
To be honest, I started watching this because of my mini-obession (at the time) with Kiko Mizuhara. And I was both satisfied and not satisfied with the series.

Seeing Haruta's character, and his set up was pretty interesting. It's very rare that Japanese dramas try to cover such territory without belittling such characters or overdramatizing them. This had none of that as Shin seems pretty cheerful and accepting of most anyone and anything. Honestly, I would've liked it more without the romance elements.

In comes Haruta's ex-wife, and Miyako (Kiko Mizuhara) to churn up feelings on all ends, and where we get the most interesting character interactions. They were sweet, they were hurtful, and it really exemplified true human emotions. Of course, with over the top, weird side plots and minor characters that were quirky but rather laughable. The conclusion was solid, but rather expected and kinda creepy when you think about ages of the characters.

I did like both the ending and opening themes; they balanced a lot of the elements of the show well. Of course, the music throughout the series was appropriate but unmemorable.

My major problem is that this show pretty much pigeon-holed Kiko as a typical troupe. Get to about episode 6 of this series, look up her character in 'Shitsuren Chocolatier' and you'll see what I mean.

My second problem in Shin. He shows very minimal character development, even though he's one of the main characters. It's kinda amazing how truly of an air head he remains for the majority of the series.

Overall, if you're looking for a not so typical rom-com for some easy watching; 'Kokoro ga Pokitto ne' is your series.

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Lies
0 people found this review helpful
Jul 5, 2017
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 5.5
"Lies" is a short film (15 minutes) that tells the story of a designer, and who you are lead to believe is his interpreter and translator. As the interview continues, you learn this is not exactly the case and why it's so powerful.

Bessho, and (I believe) Ozaki Ai, are completely complementary to one another. Bessho plays the part of an eclectic if not semi-violent in inspiration designer. The tone of his voice, against Ozaki's shows a stark contrast between man and women, but their two viewpoints as well. Ozaki has slow build up in her delivery of translation/interpretation, and the cut scenes elaborating her role will leave you wanting more.

Musically, not much going on therefore the low score. The rewatch value is high since it's so short and well delivered. Overall, if you're looking for something to just have a good 'oh' moment without watching a plot drag on forever; "Lies" is it.

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The Fairy Fox
0 people found this review helpful
Jul 3, 2017
Overall 2.5
Story 2.5
Acting/Cast 2.5
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 2.5
I've never been so disappointed in drama in like... ever. I was looking forward to this drama for 6+ months (it was suppose to come out in 2016), waited for the whole series (minus episode 21 for some reason) to get subbed and binged the whole series and three days... Not worth the time or effort.

Story: There is some thinly veiled, fairy foxes enter the human world pretending to be college students and bad stuff happens 'cause humans and fairy foxes don't mix. It was boring, with romance, supposed BL (Boy's Love), and fantasy thrown together with newbie actors, a shitty plot, and lots of eye candy. It wasn't a good mix if you're looking for quality. I only completed it since I was looking for the supposed BL to find none aside from two incidents in episode 1 and 2. That's it. If you're looking for BL this isn't it. There is no satisfaction in the ending either since it's abrupt and terribly scripted.

Acting: As everyone in the cast's first roles, as expected; it was bad. Xiao Mo is a hopeless protagonist, and he never develops at all. There's nothing there for you to want to support him with aside from "he's a cute lost puppy!", and that gets boring after episode 3. Rongrong was annoying, unsupportive and treats everyone like dirt. And she's suppose to be the protagonist's sister.

Side characters Chen Ruyue (Xia Wei Yu), and Gu han (Zhou Heng Yuan) and Shen Yan (Wang Yan Bin) actually develop more as people then the protagonist and his sister. Ruyue for how annoying she acts due to Rongrong being a shitty friend, actually sticks to her guns and is stable. Gu Han, for as much as you'll hate him by default, develops well as his character suggests, and you might even feel sorry for him in the end. Shen Yan doesn't do much but serve as eye-candy and friend but his acting was solid enough.

Now Lu Bai and Lu Yin (Kong Qi Li) acting; these two were the saving grace for acting and I am looking forward to their future's. Due to their roles as protagonists, they actually develop and flesh out as characters in a (mostly) relatable way. You see marked development in character, even though the physical interactions are somewhat awkward. Lu Bai's awkward smile is endearing, even though awkward. Lu Yin's character doesn't allow for too much bromance, but his voice and concern express it well.

There's annoying long intro and exit scenes (4 minutes of credits with no next episode preiews?!), and the music was unremarkable.I rarely re-watch dramas, but I wouldn't touch this one again with a 10-foot pole. A combo of inexperienced actors, a terrible script, mis-marketing for BL lovers, and no plot; not a drama I recommend. There's loads of other Fairy Fox dramas out their, spend your time on those not this.

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Pensees
1 people found this review helpful
Jun 23, 2017
Overall 6.0
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
The stroy is pretty simple a trio of three friends have long since admired a Western style house. When the house is put on the market for 3 million yen, they team up and decide to buy it. It comes with one condition that they take care of Rikimaru, who thye believe is the Chow-chow from their childhood that would bark at them. When the former housekeeper comes in though, they realize that it's not quite that simple.

Overall, for such a short special, two 25 minutes episodes, it's okay. It's not long enough to really develop a solid plot with conflict and character development. It is short and sweet and worth spending an hour of your time watching. While the roles were not difficult characters, the ladies of Perfume prove the do have some capabilities in acting. (I say this as a fan of Perfume, but also someone who knows difficult roles verses easy ones.)

The music wasn't there aside from the ending theme, and even that was so-so. Overall, a solid 6 from me. Not something I'll be skipping other dramas to re-watch, but I wouldn't mind doing so with a friend who hasn't seen it.

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