Details

  • Last Online: 1 hour ago
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Italy
  • Contribution Points: 278 LV3
  • Roles:
  • Join Date: April 19, 2020
Completed
Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai
25 people found this review helpful
by pash
Apr 21, 2020
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
O fellow j-dramas fan, thou shalt not be fooled: under the guise of a light comedy, what we actually have here is a little gem of dorama that manages to address some very deep matters (more specifically, the NEET problem; more generally, what makes us happy and what is this good old thing called "family"). Brilliantly written and very aptly acted by the whole cast. Pretty nice music as well! It reminded me a bit (in that they both have some great, witty dialogues, and in that they both portray a funny family) "Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi".
Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Hotarugusa
12 people found this review helpful
by pash
Aug 4, 2020
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Such a perfect, oh-so-Japanese, traditional tale of honor and revenge!

Amidst the recent, ever-surging wave of "westernized" j-dramas, filled to the brim with all sort of depravity, decadence, obscenity and utterly despicable characters, it does one's heart a whole lot of good to find a small gem like this "Hotarugusa"! Such a perfect, oh-so-Japanese, traditional tale of honor and revenge, with endearing, ethical, righteous characters one can't help but wholeheartedly root for, complete with a healthy dose of "mono no aware" (the eponimous flower being itself a symbol of this fleeting yet so strong feeling) and topped with a few moments of comic relief which are ideal to avoid making things too gloomy.
An astonishing performance by Kiyohara Kaya, as well as by the rest of the cast (with honorable mentions for Machida Keita, Hamada Mari and Ukaji Takashi - oh, and the kids are just *adorbs* - there, I never thought I would've used that word, LOL). Some extremely nice music completes the package. Perfect 10 all the way!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
You're Not Normal, Either!
10 people found this review helpful
by pash
Sep 15, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Lovely rom-com with a deep message

Leveling with y'all, I have to confess that, these days, I often get the feeling that being "normal" means either transforming into one of those ruthless wolves who roam our society looking for prey (as the old saying goes, "the scum that comes on top") or else becoming one of those decerebrated "pod people" who constitute the aforementioned wolves' elective prey. The alternative is simply not being "normal" and choosing instead to be yourself, using your own brain and moral values to find your own place in life, regardless of what the wolves and the flock think of us.
And that's, in a nutshell, the surprisingly deep message conveyed by this light, lovely rom-com.
The funny leads take the whole movie to realize how much they're done for each other, being the true, free individuals that they both are, instead of chasing, respectively, the cold-blooded, manipulative wolf (the toymaking CEO) and the wolf's prey - who chose to be his victim (the CEO's bethroted).
The discussions between the leads are the real gem of this movie, thanks to the great script and to the equally great performances delivered by Kiyohara Kaya and Narita Ryo - and if those exchanges happen to reminisce you of such great rom-coms as "The African Queen" (Bogart & K. Hepburn) or, to stay in Japan, "Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi" (Nakai & Koizumi), well, that's simply 'cause nothing really new happens in cinema, it's just a matter of how the old ingredients are assembled...and this time, the "kitchen" did a very good job indeed! 10/10 ^___-

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Kakafukaka Special
10 people found this review helpful
by pash
Jul 2, 2020
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 2.0
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 1.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

Twenty minutes of sheer nothingness

It's honestly terrible, as expected. Twenty minutes of sheer nothingness. During the very last minute, though, there's an actually funny (inside) joke referencing another dorama with Moririn, i.e. "Kakegurui". Hence the enhanced grade: 1/10 to the series, 2/10 to the SP. (If they keep them coming, in a few years they might end up showing us something deserving of the passing grade, LOL!) My advice is: watch it only if you're a desperate fan of Morikawa Aoi or Nakamura Risa, otherwise avoid wasting twenty whole minutes of your life on this.
Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Natsuko no Sake
9 people found this review helpful
by pash
Apr 25, 2020
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
Do you know that idiom, used to describe something incredibly boring, which goes "it's like watching grass grow"? Well, it couldn't be farther from the truth, in the case of this splendid dorama! For around 2/3 of it, in fact, what we viewers do is basically watch rice grow....and it's not boring at all! Indeed, just the opposite! I've been watching doramas for over 10 years, and you can imagine I've seen my fair share of characters struggling to achieve something: rarely have I been so captured by those "ganbaru" as I've been here! Thanks to a beautiful script, of course, but also - if not mostly - thanks to Wakui Emi! She managed to get my eyes wet over the imaginary taste of an imaginary sake! I'm afraid I'm running out of praising words for her amazing talent and beauty...I'll just say this: arigatou! :)

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Somewhere Only We Know
10 people found this review helpful
by pash
Sep 1, 2021
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 4.0
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Give me back those 24+ hours I've spent watching this!!! >____<

The line at 5'00" into the 24th and last episode is imho *absolutely perfect* to sum up this drama:

"SCRIPTWRITERS THESE DAYS AREN'T RELIABLE AT ALL"

They had a great cast (all did a great job; honorable mentions to Li Ting Ting and Deng Yu Li), some wonderful photography, a lovely OST...they could've come up with a masterpiece, seriously...but the writers screwed up the whole thing royally! >____<

I'm always a bit wary when I see a drama written by so many people, 'cause whenever that happens, inconsistency is just around the corner...but I was drawn in by Li Ting Ting (whom I had recently appreciated in "Don't Leave After School") and by the Russian element (BTW, congrats to the production for not messing up that part: only one minor Russian mistake in the 24 episodes, not bad).

Well, that should teach me to think twice the next time, or at least to check the endings before watching anything this long, URGH! >_____<...'cause upon finishing it, the only thing I can think of is: gimme back those 24+ hours of my life! T________T
Seriously, I can't believe how inconsistent and terrible the last third/fourth of this drama is...and most of all, I really, really, really can't believe how the hell they could even consider making the FL make the worst ever decision in the end: to marry an alcoholic! O___o
I just hope they won't have kids, so at least she'll be the only victim of that poor decision.../.___.\

No way I'm gonna watch the SPs...I couldn't care less, given how dissatisfied I am with the drama's ending.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Oi Handsome!
9 people found this review helpful
by pash
Jun 28, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

M-A-S-T-E-R-P-I-E-C-E !!! ^________^

Every now and then, the J-dramas scene comes out with what can only be described as "a total masterpiece", and this is precisely one of those instances! ^_________^
This "Oi, Handsome!" is, in my humble opinion, up there in the same (Champions') league as previous masterpieces like "Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai", "Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi" or, to name also some movies, "Our Little Sister" and the fantastic "Kazoku wa Tsurai Yo!" Trilogy. All marvelous examples of the Himalayan heights that can be reached by the best of the best of the "family / slice-of-life" genre!
Seriously, I've finished watching this series twenty minutes ago, and I still have goosebumps thinking about it, so good it was! Wow, guys. Just wow. *Every single scene* is, imho, *simply perfect*. Perfectly scripted, acted, directed. The music commentary is perfect. The message is perfect.
Standing ovation.
Thanks for such gems, Japan! Arigatou!!!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Wonderful Fate
9 people found this review helpful
by pash
May 20, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 4.0
This review may contain spoilers

Makes for a pleasant watch, but could have been better

OK, first things first, what I liked:

- the cast did a pretty decent job, imho;
- I liked both leads, which is something that doesn't happen all the time;
- it had one of the funniest characters *ever*, imho (the crazily hilarious Chef Xue!)
- the music was also nice, particularly the opening credits song;
- the very last message about reading the Classics was a very nice touch.

As a matter of fact, after the first half or so I thought I was gonna give this a much higher grade, but then the second half unfortunately had several things that weren't my cup of tea, namely:

- in what had been, until then, a light, silly comedy, the sudden bouts of violence and tragedy felt totally misplaced; not poorly written nor acted, mind it...they worked very well *per se*, but they just felt horribly out of place (I don't want to spoil too much, but try to imagine going to the movies and, to your utter surprise, being shown something whose 1st half reminds a John Belushi comedy - what with all those toilet jokes, LOL - while the 2nd half has much more in common, say, with Hamlet's 5th Act...weird, huh? >__<);
- when you build up such despicable villains that kill, lie, bully and generally make everybody elses's lives hell all the time, then as a writer you just *have to* give them what they deserve at the end (one of the many things I like about Chinese culture: in their traditional crime stories, at the end there's an entire chapter depicting the culprits' punishment - sometimes including very gruesome details!); letting the afore-mentioned villains get away with some jail time or even a quick, painless death isn't sufficient to appease the viewers' natural need to see them crushed!
- being the history buff I am, seeing the writers sending out the message that the past was hell and the present times basically heaven on earth, well, as unsurprising as that was, still deeply annoyed me.

So, all in all, kind of a missed opportunity.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Kaidan Botan Doro: Beauty & Fear
9 people found this review helpful
by pash
May 22, 2020
4 of 4 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Allow me for once to start from...the end; namely, the ending credits: that eerily beautiful waltz, the sheer atmosphere conveyed by that fog and by the eponimous peony lantern, the creepily slow movements...and those absolutely fascinating, kimono-clad "bijin" who, with one feeble gesture, suggest we follow them - something that I suspect most of us would do, even knowing that it might not be a good idea...well, all this could serve as a perfect metaphor of the impact this dorama had on me.
Despite all the caution I might have wanted to exercise (I must confess I was quite worried that this might end up being another victim of the "westernization" of the Jdrama scene [*]), still I got drawn in right away by the perfect photography, by the very good acting, by the lovely music,
and last but not least by the sheer beauty of the afore-mentioned "bijin" gracing the ending credits - Kamishiraishi Mone and Toda Naho (BTW, the latter must have a portrait, hidden somewhere in her attic, which ages in her place; no, seriously, she's basically as attractive now as she was in "Shomuni", two whole decades earlier! I'm impressed - and hopelessly charmed, of course). Perfect 10!

[*] of course I should've known better than to fear anything like that from NHK, which instead managed to deliver a modern but at the same time loyal rendition of this traditional tale.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Sensuikan Cappellini go no Boken
7 people found this review helpful
by pash
Feb 6, 2022
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
As an Italian, I'm rather used to being (let's not mince our words) often despised in most Western countries; I'm sorry to have to say this, but I've lost count of the people who, upon hearing I was Italian, felt the need to cry out stuff like "Mafia! Bunga-Bunga!" and so on, all while laughing out loud as if it were such a funny joke - seriously, guys...it ain't. Like, Not. In. The. Least. /.___.\
(Oh, and since I sincerely doubt that they'd shout "Apartheid! Bantustans!" to a South-African, or "Hiroshima! Guantanamo!" to an American, that double standard ends up being doubly offensive and simply adding insult to injury).
It therefore feels even more so like total Heaven, to notice how appreciated we are in other places, and particularly in South America, Russia and Japan.
But while the South Americans' (general) appreciation of Italy and Italians is quite logical, given how the Italian immigration down there mostly thrived and ended up becoming, as they say, a pillar of the community, it's on the other hand definitely harder to understand why Russians and Japanese should love us, considering how we invaded the former (without any sound motive, as they hadn't done anything to us! >__<) and backstabbed the latter by switching sides midway through WWII...as correctly depicted in the very first minute of this SP.
And yet, even though Japanese (and Russians) should have every reason to, if not outright hate us, at least resent us, they always shower us with an unconditional love, something which never fails to amaze me - and at the same time, to give my heart such a warm feeling and move me to tears.
Just like when, towards the end of this SP, a kid suddenly says "When I grow up, I want to become an Italian".
Believe me or not, I started crying as if there was no tomorrow, and just couldn't stop it.
And that's why I'm giving this "Sensuikan Cappellini go no Boken" such a high grade, despite the fact that it's honestly far from perfect: the production, let's face it, feels pretty cheap; in all honesty, the script is ok but nothing to call home about; last but not least, the Italian cast (a bunch of total unknowns, I'll admit) aren't gonna win a best actor award any time soon, I'm afraid.
But still, the premise (based on real events) is tremendously interesting, the Japanese cast performed very well (particularly Ninomiya Kazunari, whom I must confess never having been a big fan of...but he was absolutely superb here!)...and the whole thing feels like such a huge declaration of love for Italy and Italians (despite all our faults, because yeah, love is blind, indeed)!
How could I not reward all that with a high grade? ^__^;
Arigatou, Nihon!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Umi ni Furu
7 people found this review helpful
by pash
Aug 10, 2021
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers
I must confess that my not-so-high grade depends highly on the fact that I had expected something completely different, and was therefore a little bit (heck, a whole lot, actually ^__^) taken aback. In fact, judging from the synopsis and the "mystery" tag, I was expecting something more similar to the manga "6000", but I soon realized how wrong I was.
In this short dorama, the mystery part is rather a pretext to portray, in an original setting, a very Japanese (and per se quite beautiful) story of a good daughter trying hard to realize her late father's dream (for those of you familiar with East Asian / Confucian values, that's one of their cornerstones of course: filial piety!).
All that might have been wasted on some, who even went so far as to throw around some deeply insulting accusations - I noticed in fact a comment actually accusing this dorama of sexism (!) - needless to say, I couldn't disagree more, that's a totally preposterous accusation (tantamount to accusing all Asian dramas of racism because they don't have black actors! >___<). Sorry to sound so harsh, but the only explanation I can find as to how such a baseless accusation was formulated is a total lack of understanding of Japanese culture in particular, and more generally, of East Asian values and traditions.
The character portrayed by Arimura Kasumi is on the contrary a very strong young woman (the fact that she doesn't behave like a man doesn't mean she's weak in the least!), who overcomes many difficulties and even some mistakes (not depending on the fact that she's a woman, but rather on her young age and inexperience!) so as to grow stronger. And she does so brilliantly, improving herself deeply, and in the end having a profound impact on the people around her and ultimately on the whole story. A beautifully scripted character indeed!
Endo Kenichi's character is also nicely scripted, imho, whereas the rest are a bit "meh", unfortunately...
The lovely music accompanying the whole series is a nice touch too, imho!
Too bad the mystery part is quite dull, honestly...in Italian there's an idiom, "la montagna che partorì un sassolino" ("the mountain that gave birth to a pebble"), that can be used for a situation like this where the buildup makes you expect something big, only to be revealed as...a big letdown in the end...and that's the reason why I didn't give this a higher grade. Still, it's a pleasant watch! ^___-

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Detective Chinatown 3
7 people found this review helpful
by pash
May 3, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10

The best chapter so far!

The third and (at least for now) last installment of the "Detective Chinatown" franchise is, as far as I'm concerned, by far the best. The script this time is spotless: the mystery part is at the same time extremely well done and really gripping; the comedy part is funny without being too silly like in the previous chapter; last but not least, the action scenes are very entertaining (just as I expected, the Tokyo setting helped a lot there). The cast did a marvelous job and also benefited from the presence of some very good actors from Japan (whereas the American supporting cast seen in the previous movie had been mostly sub par, imho). Last but certainly not least, the production value is as high as they come. Can't wait for the next chapter (if there'll be one as the final scenes might suggest)! Oh, talking about the ending - what a beautiful message! It's not often that I feel like giving a perfect 10 to an action movie, but this one deserves it! ^___^

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Joshi Kousei no Mudazukai
7 people found this review helpful
by pash
Apr 9, 2021
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

What a hidden gem! ^____^

This "Joshi Kosei no Mudazukai" aka "Wasteful Days of High School Girls" is a lovely and tremendously hilarious dorama. Filled with pretty weird but at the same time delightfully endearing characters (the not-so-bright tomboy who nevertheless surprises us time and again with such witty questions as "Why animals always survive by running away, but we humans are told that we shouldn't do that?", the aspiring mangaka, the occult buff, the adorable nutjob lost in her fantasy world, the emotionless genius with her sharp and witty replies, etc. etc.), all portrayed marvelously by the commendable cast (seriously, they were all perfect imho, with a particular praise for Okada Yui and her great histrionic skills!), the drama shines also thanks to the wonderful script (jokes, puns, cultural references, a meta-fake-asadora masterfully mocking all the clichés of that genre...all these - and yet some! - keep smoothly and hilariously flowing one after the other), the pretty high value of the directing/photography/editing etc. (consider all the work behind those elaborate "What an interesting/amazing woman!" mini-scenes!), and last but not least to the nice and catchy music commentary. What a hidden gem, seriously! ^_____^

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Arimura Kasumi no Satsukyu
7 people found this review helpful
by pash
Jun 27, 2020
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
What a nice lil' gem of dorama! Soothing, relaxing, ideal as a break (pun intended) in-between some heavier series, or anyway when one wants to watch something that calms down. But don't take me wrongly, this is not to say that it's boring or shallow or anything like that. On the contrary, I think the best feature of this "Arimura Kasumi no Satsukyu" is that, while giving the superficial impression that nothing's really going on in the different episodes, still they manage to touch (or should I say "caress", considering the gentle, non-intrusive approach) some deeper issues regarding family, friendship, love, work, etc.
A very convincing performance by the lead, as well as by the supporting cast. To top it all, some nice music throughout the whole series and in particular a lovely, funky ending credits song by Takeuchi Anna!
The only reason I don't give this a perfect 10 is that alongside little masterpieces like episodes 4 and 8, there were also some much weaker ones, namely eps. 5 and 6 (all imho of course).
Still, it's a well-deserved 9 in my book! ^__-

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Yuru Camp△
8 people found this review helpful
by pash
Jul 19, 2020
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

As expected, a very light, relaxing, soothing dorama

Very often, as (re)viewers, we may end up being taken aback by this or that dorama: some surprise us positively (and we'll reward them with extra points), some really let us down (and then we accordingly put them down). But sometimes it also happens that what we get is *exactly* what we expected, and that's very pleasant and comforting in its own way.
Now, I expected this little dorama to be a very light, relaxing, soothing one...and that's exactly what it is! Although the basically non-existent plot makes it a bit hard to call this a masterpiece, nonetheless the characters are endearing, the acting good (I particularly appreciated Fukuhara Haruka's portrayal of that quirky, lone wolf camping fanatic, Ohara Yuno's rendition of that energetic airhead with the contagious laugh, and Tanabe Momoko's crazy-but-funny outdoor club president), the music is nice (I really liked the ending credits song BTW) and last but not least, the scenery is wonderful. Oh, and it's also a perfect watch for these scorching summer nights, as seeing those girls camping out in winter is enough to send some shivers down your spine, LOL.
p.s.
In case - by some mysterious and unforeseeable circumstance - this review ends up being read by someone working for a Japanese car producer: why don't you guys export here in the West such lovely "Kei SUVs" like the one shown in this dorama? I think many Westerners like me would really love to get one of those and go "yurucamping" with it! ^__^;

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?