Taking the world less travelled

Posts Tagged "drama"

Nobuta Wo Produce

Posted by on Mar 16, 2007 in Reviews | 2 comments

Nobuta

Kiritani Shuji is the popular guy who gets along with everyone, from the jerks to the nerds to the just plain weird. He’s the one that everyone can count on. However, what they don’t know is that Shuji knows how predictable his classmates are and he plays off their predictability to his advantage. His day-to-day existence as “Shuji-kun” is just a facade he uses to play in the school popularity game. Truth be told, Shuji is bored.

The one person Shuji cannot stand is Kusano Akira. To Shuji, Akira is just plain annoying. He laughs, talks and acts funny. Nobody in class takes Akira seriously. Shuji can’t stand the sight of Akira and it drives him nuts that Akira does whatever he wants despite Shuji’s expressed dislike of him.

Shuji has a daily ritual of touching a certain willow tree for good luck. One day, he is startled to find out that his willow tree was uprooted and in its place, a freaky-looking girl telling him that some people took the tree somewhere else to be spotted. She told him that she was planning to hang herself from that tree. Scared, Shuji runs away.

Things heat up when a new student comes to school. Shuji is shocked to find out that the new student was the freaky girl he saw the day his willow tree disappeared. Her name is Kotani Nobuko, a girl who has no self confidence at all and is content at being made fun of and bullied in school.

Shuji and Akira come to an accord that in order to make use of their “youth” they will “produce” Nobuko as the next popular girl. One of the conditions, however, is that nobody should find out that they are working together as a team to make this concept possible.

Of course, there can be no protagonist without an antagonist. There is a mysterious girl in school jeopardizing the duo’s plan to make Nobuko popular. The mystery continues to unfold.

Unveiled here is the story of true friendship between three unlikely candidates who would not have been friends if not given the special circumstances.

from Drama Wiki

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To be honest I was a bit disappointed with the first episode. I liked that it was a bit quirky, but over all it felt a bit flat. But I knew that a lot of people love it, so I was willing to give it another chance.

And I’m glad I did. It’s a fantastic show about friendship and being yourself. It is also quirky, something I love to see in a show! And sweet.

The characters are not only likeable, but multifaceted. We get to see the face that they show to the world and who they are inside. It’s not as one dimensional as I thought it would be from the first episode. :)
I also like how they influence each other in ways that I find to be very believable. For instance, the way that Akira starts wearing his hair up at night time the way Shuji does. There were other small things in the mise-en-scene that I have noticed that really makes the whole show richer.

(It is also helping me learn the days of the week in Japanese…)

And… so the story lines were pretty unbelievable. But I don’t think that matters. And, what was the point of the bookstore guy? But over all, a fantastic show, one I recommend to all. heart heart heart heart

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Gokusen

Posted by on Feb 23, 2007 in Reviews | 0 comments

gokusen1.jpgGokusen, a quirky little drama, but nothing substantially original in it.

This is the story of Yamaguchi Kumiko, 23 years old and single, who is the new maths teacher at Shirokin High School. Her home room is 3-D, the class full of all the misfits of the school. Kumiko also has a secret. She is a 4th generation heir to the Ooedo Group – think of the Japanese Mafia. If the school finds out about this, she will be fired.

Gokusen, a quirky little drama, but nothing substantially original in it.

This is the story of Yamaguchi Kumiko, 23 years old and single, who is the new maths teacher at Shirokin High School. Her home room is 3-D, the class full of all the misfits of the school. Kumiko also has a secret. She is a 4th generation heir to the Ooedo Group – think of the Japanese Mafia. If the school finds out about this, she will be fired.

gokusen2.jpgThe story itself is, of course, very predictable and every episode is essentially the same; One of the boys in her grade will be in trouble or be accused of something that they didn’t do… Kumiko, or Yamkumi as she is affectionately called by her students, comes to the rescue – beating up the bad guys single handedly, believing in the students without fail. She manages to capture their hearts. *awww*

And of course you know the cues… Every episode you wait for the lines… “Who are you?” “I’m their home room teacher.” And every episode will be the contrived speech about the moral lesson they have learned…

I say all these bad things about it, but it did have it’s positives. Mainly the funny bits. Yamkumi always managed to obviously give away her yakuza heritage. She was a very humorous character… As was the vice-principal. With a hair style like that, who could take him seriously! And the students themselves were… ah, well, what can I say, I was only paying attention to Sawada Shin.

Ah, watch it just for the funny bits. Watch it once, don’t expect too much, and just enjoy it for what it is. :) The story itself is, of course, very predictable and every episode is essentially the same; One of the boys in her grade will be in trouble or be accused of something that they didn’t do… Kumiko, or Yamkumi as she is affectionately called by her students, comes to the rescue – beating up the bad guys single handedly, believing in the students without fail. She manages to capture their hearts. *awww*

And of course you know the cues… Every episode you wait for the lines… “Who are you?” “I’m their home room teacher.” And every episode will be the contrived speech about the moral lesson they have learned…

I say all these bad things about it, but it did have it’s positives. Mainly the funny bits. Yamkumi always managed to obviously give away her yakuza heritage. She was a very humorous character… As was the vice-principal. With a hair style like that, who could take him seriously! And the students themselves were… ah, well, what can I say, I was only paying attention to Sawada Shin.

Ah, watch it just for the funny bits. Watch it once, don’t expect too much, and just enjoy it for what it is.

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Kimi wa Pet

Posted by on Feb 16, 2007 in Reviews | 0 comments

Kimi wa Petto (You’re my pet). It isn’t a heart wrenching “omg I can totally relate to the characters” show, but it is a lot of fun and interesting. It’s about a really tall, successful woman who bottles up all her emotions and no one respects her because she is a successful woman. After a particularly bad day (she punched her boss – one of the many misogynists she has to work with) she comes home to find a badly beaten up boy in a box. She takes him in and cleans up all his cuts. He practically begs her to stay, and she is like “no way”, and he’s all “please” and so she’s all like “Only if you become my pet with no rights.” and he’s like “deal”.

So yes, the story line is… he is her pet. Of course, she gets a boyfriend who is ideal for her (a taller man, a man with a higher income than she, and he’s a sweetie and loves her) and so she has to juggle her pet and her boyfriend. Oh, and she has a psychiatrist who has a dog which he carries everywhere (I feel sorry for the dog) and the name of the dog changes every episode.

Some memorable parts:-
* The end of the second episode, Sumire is trying hard to keep her boyfriend out of her house, but he manages to come in, and after they have shared a kiss (where they just stand with their lips pressed for 20 seconds, no movement), Momo, the pet, comes around the corner and starts barking.

*Samire has a friend over and they are talking about Sumire’s feelings with her boyfriend. Momo comes out wearing a shower cap on his head yelling enthusiastically “Sumire-chan, Sumire-chan, I’ve finished cleaning the toilet” (or something like this). Sumire tells him to go clean the bathroom. She continues talking to her friend – her friend says that she needs to act more like the real her around her boyfriend. A few minutes later Momo comes out again, just like before. “Sumire-chan, Sumire-chan, do you want me to put your pads in order from heaviest to lightest?” Sumire yells “Momo, no!” and chases him back into the bathroom. Friend comments to self, “not too much of the real you”.

Overall it is very sweet and very predictable, but I like it. It was very amusing and made me laugh.    

(images removed 2007年11月1日 as per request of TBS) 

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Densha Otoko

Posted by on Jan 15, 2007 in Reviews | 1 comment

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This is the first J-Dorama that I have watched in full, and man, I loved it!!! Daisuki desu! (and here I am refering to the TV series of Densha Otoko, I haven’t seen the movie (yet).)

This is your average story about the geeky nerd (is that redundant?!?) who falls in love with a beautiful rich girl. Except this is based (loosely, I’m sure) on a true story!!

Otaku is a anime/game nerd in Japanese. And Tsuyoshi is an Otaku for sure! Traveling home on the train (densha in Japanese) one night, there is a drunk old man harrassing all the female passengers. When he gets to Saori, the girl across from where Tsuyoshi is sitting (and who is quite beautiful), he stands up to the man long enough for him to be taken by the police. Saori thanks him and gets his address to send him a thank you gift.

Tsuyoshi goes home and asks on a message board for help in getting this girl! Basically the whole story is Tsuyoshi finding confidence to date Saori with the help of members on a “Singles” message board.

The story is, as I said, nothing ground breaking. And Tsuyoshi is sooo over the top. Does he have to cry every time he talks to Saori?? By contrast, Saori seems so shy she doesn’t show any emotion. Just a slight smile here or there, or a single tear. She is a woman of few words.

denshaotoko.jpg But even though we are not crossing fresh ground here, the story did hold itself together. It was very entertaining to watch. It was sickly sweet a lot of the time, of course. But I think the thing that won me over for this was the comedy. It was laugh out loud funny. It was outrageous. The characters on the message board were charactures and I loved them! The whole show was so funny, I can’t recommend it enough!

My favourite character, without a doubt, was Misuzu Jinkama. She was somehow sweet yet scary. :)
If you are going to watch them, don’t forget to watch the specials. I have only seen the first special, I am going to watch the deluxe one tomorrow. But the first special, why, I think it was (perhaps!) better than the show! It was a riot! Lol. It was sort of a “behind the scenes” thing – what was happening to our other characters as the drama between Tsuyoshi and Saori was happening.

Much recommended  

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