Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu [愛なんていらねえよ、夏] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Absolutely loved. I think this dorama is desperately under-appreciated. The entire cast was excellent, I finally understand now why Fujiwara Tatsuya has such a huge fan base, he's an excellent, excellent, A-Class actor.
Anego [アネゴ] Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) Wonderfully brilliant! May Shinohara live long and produce more great dramas!
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ] Rating: 5/10 5.5. Maybe because I'm just not a fan of either leads, but this drama really didn't appeal to me. I kept fast-forwarding thru each episode hoping something interesting would happen. Everyone did a great job, but as a whole, the drama was a miss.
Bokura no yuuki ~miman toushi~ [ぼくらの勇氣 ~未滿都市~] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Brilliant drama. Very high cheese factor, but the ending kept the storyline sane. Brilliant chemistry between Koichi and Tsuyoshi, it's so hard to believe they were only teens when they did this. Brilliant watch.
D&D (dangerous angel x death hunter) Rating: 7/10 (Watched) 7.5. Crazy and full of fun, it was a pleasure to watch! Brilliant cast, loved every last character. The last crisis was heaps of fun and wrapped up all the loose ends. My only complaint is Yukie's double appearance. Tsk. Tsk. And you were ready to marry her the first time round too, Satoru! >.<
Densha Otoko [電車男] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) I know a lot of people loved this series, but I didn't find it very interesting. Otoko's character really pissed me off. Hermes looked absolutely beautiful though. Misuzu was by far my favourite character!
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) 7.5. Rather good. The ending was predictable, but they weren't going for big surprises so it's okay. Abe Hiroshi charmed my socks off, but that's nothing new. ^-^ Nakao Akiyoshi gets my vote for being the cutest in this!
G@me Rating: 6/10 (Watched) If it had been a different ending, I would have given it a 7. Or even an 8. Really clever movie and I thoroughly enjoyed everything up to the last 5 minutes of it. But honestly, the last twist was really unnecessary.
Ginrou kaiki file [銀狼怪奇ファイル] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Incredibly cheesy, appalling acting, but still, I LOVED IT! The cases were all genuinely intriguing and the "answers" undeniably charming. Got a big shock seeing such a young Yamaguchi Sayaka. I can see how Ginrou was good practice for Koichi for Remote. And lastly, but not least: "Ken! My darling boy, you!"
Gokusen 2 [ごくせん２] Rating: 7/10 (Bought) Would be most unfair to compare, considering what a legend the first Gokusen has become. Even though Gokusen 2 doesn't even come close to rivalling its predecessor, it does its best and holds its own and deserves some respect and applause.
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Not a bad dorama, and a great performance from the entire cast, but at times, the plot became a bit predictable. An enjoyable watch.
H2~Kimi to itahibi [２〜君といた日々] Rating: 8/10 Excellent drama. Yamada is so damn cute like a giant koala, you just can't help yourself but go "awww" whenever he appears on screen.
Haken no Hinkaku [ハケンの品格] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Lovely watch. Amazing script. Don't expect a lot to happen in terms of plot, but the snarky, quick-witted dialogue will make you laugh out loud.
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子] Rating: 8/10 Wonderful drama. My favourite of the season so far. I just want to say to all those people who have been complaining about how it's nothing like the manga - I have news for you. This ISN'T the manga, so get over it. It's based on the manga, yes, but to expect all 36 volumes to be perfectly reproduced in 9 episodes is silly. So, if you simply cannot accept anything other than the manga, please, save yourself the trouble and don't watch this. Otherwise, please just enjoy this for what it is, a brilliant drama.
Hana Yori Dango 2 [花より男子] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) There is a reason why most great dramas don't have sequels. The first season was great, but this second one was horrible. I guess everyone just got tired of playing their characters. The acting was sloppy and the storyline was sloppier. All hype, no substance.
Hanayome wa Yakudoshi! [花嫁は厄年ッ！] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) There is something magical about Shinohara Ryoko. The plot was silly, the supporting actors horrible, but she kept me watching. I'd say this is for fans only.
Harmonia ~ kono ai no gai de ~ [ハルモニア] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) The storyline was fresh and innovative, the whole cast did a great job, but for some particular reason, the story (or Koichi's hair) just didn't appeal to me. Maybe because sci-fi has just never been my thing.
Hero Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Absolutely loved it! The cases were sophisticated and the actors superb. Kimura was a stud in here, and Matsu Takako brilliant! Abe Hiroshi is still my favourite ossan! Wonderful! Wonderful!
Himitsu no Hanazono [ヒミツの花園] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Excellent drama! Started off silly, but it was just hiding something much more sinister. All the actors did an amazing job. Osamu was undoubtedly my favourite character.
Kindaichi shonen no Jikenbo (2005) [金田一少年の事件簿] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Call me biased, but I'm very particular about how my Kindaichi's are portrayed; and while I don't think Kame acted badly, I do think he was a bad choice for the role. Miyuki and the detective were also questionable. But the case was very intriguing, and Kindaichi fans should all give this a watch.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo 1 [金田一少年の事件簿 1] Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) Wah! Excellent! Tsu-chan looked so kawaii, I'm beginning to understand why he has so many fans. Each case was fresh and suspenseful, the twists and turns a bundle of surprise. Tsu was very convincing as the young Hajime, I don't think anyone could dispute that he was absolutely perfect for the role: I guess that means Jun has a lot to live up to in Kindaichi2 ne?! Hehe~ no worries, I'm still looking forward to watching Jun's sequel.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo 2 [金田一少年の事件簿 2] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Very good! We see more violent, more mature cases here, obviously the director has up-ed the tomato sauce meter! ^^ Loved the two-second Koichi appearance!
Very random. Lots of eye candy, but no real love for the characters.
Kuitan [喰いタン] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Extremely silly, but enjoyable.
Kurosagi [クロサギ] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Maybe a 6.5. Wasn't bad. Just wasn't terribly impressive either. Felt like a very amateur drama... the actors were amateur, the storyline was amateur... loved the old man though.
Crazy, but so damn entertaining. Hearts Takashi as a man-girl! =)
Moto Kare [元カレ] Rating: 10/10 (Bought & Watched) Excellent! Worth every cent.
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) A 6, 6.5, maybe?! Very melodramatic and a tad predictable. A light-hearted watch for big Nagase fans. Must note that Aiba was very adorable in this dorama! Especially in the pink rabbit suit! ^^
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Silliest drama ever, but I can see why Nagase had to overact in order to compensate for some people's lack of acting.
Never Land Rating: 8/10 (Watched) It's incredible how deep into the dark and dismal Japanese dramas are willing to go, and it is because of this boldness that make them such a joy to watch - this one especially. Joy. Pure joy. Ken was just a mesmerising watch.
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース] Rating: 8/10 Brilliantly silly. Yamapi is absolutely delightful as Akira, I don't care much for the other characters, but Akira and his hilarious antics is enough to keep me coming back for more each week. A wonderful full-of-nonsense drama to wind down the week with.
Otousan [おとうさん] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) A nice family show but sometimes a little too melodramatic. Loved the hilarious Makoto and Hide subplot, but Kei's self-conceit really got on my nerves. Is it just me, or did FukaKyo's make-up seem very weird when she worked at the nightclub? Her eyebrows looked funny.
Slow Dance [スローダンス] Rating: 10/10 (Bought & Watched) This has got to be my favourite dorama of this season. The cast is terribly pretty, and the storyline, although cliche, is pulling all the right strings at all the right times. Very anxiously awaiting the next episode!
Stand UP!! Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Sugoi perfromances from everyone! A very heart-warming watch.
Star no Koi [スタアの恋] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Tashikani, this is the Japanese version of Notting Hill. Take away the map store, replace it with a ham company and you have yourself Koi no Star. Funny, light-hearted, a relaxing non-serious watch. Enjoyed it.
Summer snow Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) A powerful ending if anything else. One of those dramas that will leave you in complete shock after the last chapter so you have to go back and watch the series all over again to revive your memory. ^^ Excellent performances.
Tenshi ga kieta machi [天使が消えた街] Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) I don't think I've ever felt so lonely after a dorama before. Unlike all the other reputed "sad" doramas, this one really leaves you feeling like you've lost a bit of yourself. And Koichi's final line... you can't help but believe it yourself too. So tragic, yet so mesmerising. Good job to the entire cast. One of my favourites.
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー＆ドラゴン] Rating: 7/10 Still watching, but absolutely hilarious. Nagase is being his normal charming, comedic self. Okada's much better in here than he was in Kisarazu. Lovely to wind down with at night.
Top Caster [トップキャスタ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Absolutely loved the show. One of those rare dramas where all the characters were likeable.
Trick [トリック] Rating: 6/10 (Bought & Watched) A great cast, Yukie and Abe were perfect for the roles and I esp. endeared to Abe's character, the wacky assistant prof. Ueda! I couldn't stop laughing when he fainted after seeing that floating vision of Okaasama. Seeing him sprawled on the the floor in that fashion, who could help but laugh? I think the one problem with this drama is that there are too many cultural jokes in the plot, which is fine if you understand, but for non-Japanese people like me, you will be left feeling very very confused. But overall, a nicely written drama, a must see for Nakama and Abe fans.
Unfair [アンフェア] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Love. What a brilliant brilliant drama to start the year with! Kept me guessing until the very last episode. Just a splendid watch, and I couldn't have asked for a better cast. I'm so glad Shinohara's talent is finally being recognised. Eita is one up-and-coming new actor that everyone should definitely keep an eye out for. Kato Masaya - what can I say?! The man is gorgeous! As far as cop dramas go, "Unfair" is top of its game.
Wakaba no koro [若葉のころ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Should really give it a 7.5. A very thoughtful drama and putting my KK idolatry aside, I was truly impressed by the acting in this. Tsuyoshi's performance was electric. So young, and already so full of talent. Koichi did an amazing job bringing out the awkwardness and self-doubt in his character. Plot-wise, I thought the story was mediocre. And the "twist" towards the end? Saw it coming from a mile away. Still, worth a watch for all KK fans.
Yonimo kimyou na monogatari Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Some of the stories are good, but it's not something that you would watch a second time. The main theme spooked me out more than the spookier stories.
Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu [愛なんていらねえよ、夏] Excellent. [Rating: 10/10] It it such a shame that this drama is not more widely recognised. Yes, it has a predictable storyline, but that isn't an issue here because whoever the casting director was - he/she did an excellent job. The real shine of this drama has to be the intimate relationship that the audience shares with each and every one of the characters. You care that Ako is blind and this fake Reiji is trying to con her of her fortune. You care that Reiji is really the most entrapped man alive, and that Naru is... is... simply indescribable. (I must say, Naru is perhaps the most alluringly beautiful character I have ever come across - I love him and consequently have developed an admiration for Fujiwara Tetsuya.) You really care - and that's exactly what great dramas aim to do - make you care.
Gokusen [ごくせん] Excellent. [Rating: 8/10] This is Japanese comedy at its best. Perfectly timed, nothing is wasted, brilliant casting.
Gokusen 2 [ごくせん２] Good start. [Rating: 8/10] Decided to watch this drama because of the conflicting reviews people were giving and see for myself just how good or bad it is. Have only watched the first episode and am halfway thru the second and so far - it's not too bad. Obviously, being a "sequel", there's bound to be comparison with the first Gokusen, but I don't think it's quite fair to put this drama down just because it doesn't live up to your expectation of being "just like the first one - only more". This drama deserves to be reviewed on it's own, so stop sulking over the fact that Jin or Kame isn't the next Sawada Shin, and take notice of just how well they are playing their own characters. Remember, this is Gokusen 2, albeit a few familiar faces, this has nothing to do with Gokusen 1.
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット] It will surprise you. [Rating: 10/10] When I first heard of the drama, I thought it must have been the most hentai dorama plot ever. I STILL think it's the silliest thing I have ever watched, but I now love it to bits! I must say, the drama really grows on you, although I have never been a fan of Koyuki, her character, Sumire, will leave a big impact on you.
Kimi wa Petto is a story of how a woman learns that one must allow herself to exhibit her true self before love can find them. It is inspirational and moving, and even though I didn't cry thru this like other carthartic doramas, it always kept me on the verge of tears.
The casting is excellent. Koyuki was charming, and I must say, she is indeed an excellent actress. Jun was very winning as Momo, he really did look like a dog so much when he was lying on the floor and wagging his limbs in the air! He is just too adorable! I challenge everyone to watch this and not fall in love with Matsumoto Jun! Quite a lot of people commented on his dancing, but frankly, I don't think I saw enough of it to convince me he was truely passionate about his dancing.
And the CHEMISTRY! Wah, you'll find yourself pining for the moment when Sumire and Momo get together for the whole length of the drama! Yes! It really gets you THAT involved! So those of you who are thinking you're going to give this drama a pass because it sounds so stupid. DON'T! It is truly an excellent drama, and I assure you, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Moto Kare [元カレ] Definately a must-watch. [Rating: 10/10] I don't understand, if one can get so worked up over a drama, then it must have been pretty damn engaging, ne? So to the person who gave this drama a 1: are you really reflecting upon the quality of this drama or are you being biased by your dissatisfaction of the ending? I do believe that if you hadn't enjoyed the drama one little bit, you would not have bothered to write a long long essay review for it.
Personally, I thought that this drama was excellent. The acting exhibited by Tsu, Ryo and Rina was all A-class standard. I do agree that in Ryo's character in Motokare is a big leap from the "sweetie girl-next-door" stereotypes that she normally plays, but as always, Ryo's superb performance pulls her thru and she is utterly convincing as the independent and work-orientated Makoto.
I don't think anyone could have played the part of Toji better than Tsu. Toji's indecisiveness and hesitancy seems to come so naturally to him. Even tho, at times (esp the scene where Makoto sacrificed her self-respect and ran to ask Toji if he still liked her a 2nd time), Toji aggravated me to the point when I felt like reaching into the TV slapping him awake it made the ending all the more enjoyable for me when he finally decided to voice his true feelings.
I must admit that at the beginning, I did feel sorry for Nao having Makoto deliberately trying to get between her and Toji, but as the dorama progressed, Rina's character lost all her independance and began to cling onto Toji like he was tje only thing that existed in her world. The line "Perhaps one day you will learn to love me" was the last push I needed to completely detach my sympathy for Nao. I could not help but hoped that Nao could have saved herself some self-respect and walked away sooner from the man that no longer loved her with a little more dignity.
The plot is not complicated. Makoto and Toji dated for 6 months in Uni but broke up suddenly and lost all contact until 2 years later when Makoto is hired by Toji's company to be the publicity agent. Toji and Makoto meet again but Toji already has a new girlfriend, Nao. Makoto's appearance causes huge commotions to Toji and Nao's relationship which leads Toji to question himself whether he is really over Makoto or not. Nao, after finding out that Toji's heart lies with another girl is extremely upset and Toji feels that since he is responsible for Nao's discontent, he is now obliged to be with her. On the other hand, Makoto has experienced some setbacks in work and her only choice is to move away from Tokyo and seek work elsewhere. Resigned to the fact that Toji is now Nao's, Makoto forces herself to suppress her feelings and forget about Toji.... Will this be another re-enactment of 2 years ago?
A rollercoaster ride of emotions, this drama was a pleasure to watch.
Remote [リモート] Ichiban yo! [Rating: 9/10] This drama is definately a must see! Koichi was brilliant as the stoney Himuro-keji. Not being a big fan of Kinki Kids or FukaKyon, initially, I had my doubts about this drama. But my friend was persistent and kept insisting that it was an A-list drama, so I decided to give it a go. Once I slipped the tape into the VCR, I was hooked. The first mystery was a winner. The storyline was fresh and pierro costumes were so scary! Wah, I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw those white sheets move behind Fukada!
The rest of the cases were just as intellectual and I thoroughly enjoyed each one! As I kept watching, I found myself being very drawn by Koichi's character, Himuro. (Koichi looks very good in tan doesn't he?! Hehe~) Perhaps the only complaint I have about this drama was how Fukada wouldn't stop nagging throughout the whole drama about how she didn't want to die and how she was getting married soon. Argh! Get a grip! But as the drama progressed, either Kurumi got braver, or I got used to her ranting.
Over all, this was definately one of the most enjoyable and interesting dramas I have seen; up there with my favourites like Long Vacation. Anyone up for a mild, light-hearted police drama?! "Remooto" is the one to pick!
Stand UP!! Nice! [Rating: 9/10] I am stunned by Suzuki An's performance - to be able to see her bring out the character of Chie phase by phase made this dorama well worthwhile. I must say, not being a Yamapi fan much, I really did love the character of KenKen very much. Narimiya and Oguri made me crack up so many times and Nino's funny faces were too adorable! But sometimes, in the close-ups... whoa, some of these expressions were pretty scary!
Some one had previously commented that the drama was very "American Pie"-ish and I guess it is to a certain degree, but undercutting the apparent plot of 4 good friends working very hard to lose their virginity by the end of summer and meeting with a lot of bad luck, there is a theme of friendship and growth in this drama. You will see the boys transform in men, is not physically, then emotionally and mentally - which they find out is much more important.There are some quite suggestive scenes in this drama and if you are bothered by nudity and sexual references, then, I guess it would be better if you stayed away from this drama. But if you can handle it, then I must recommend "Stand UP!!" to you! And excellent plot with a very positive message, it will make you feel all fuzzy and warm-hearted. ^^