Boku no Ikiru Michi [僕の生きる道] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) since first watching kusanagi years back in i cannot remember the name of the drama, i had a sneaking suspicion he had a talent for acting. well, i wasn't looking for anything special last night on cable when boku no came on, not especially after a particularly long day and just wanting to chill out and have a good sleep, but that first episode of boku no wouldn't let me go to bed. it was very good. its quite close to what life is like. i wanted to know why nakamura behaves the way he does, denying himself, holding himself aloof to what's happening around him, living but not touching life as it were. and the reasons begin to come to light on his discovery that he has only a year to live. his real self begins to surface as the unfairness of it all begins to sink in ... it made me think if i had a year to live ... but then i would know exactly what to do cos there's like an end point u can plan towards. but what happens when u know u have a debilitating illness u have to live with for the rest of your life? does this drama continue to be so good?
jun 30th: episode 6 now. this drama is a gem! when nakamura asks gently of god to be spared in the face of his love for midori ... how can anyone not feel for the 2 young lovers? strangely, though midori has walked out, i believe she will return to this love and to be with nakamura till his death (am pretty sure he dies *tears*). yada akiko is not merely a charming actress but a very good one as well. i remember her moving performance in yamato nadeshiko. because she was so good in her role, and because tsutsumi san is also an excellent actor, their parts added much depth to the drama.
jul 6: another episode today, can't wait to watch it! just a note on kohinata san's role. excellently played. the doctor who becomes more than just nakamura's physician, with his gentle advice and pearls of wisdom. from doctor to confidante, the good acting is striking. the doctor's ever smiling face, a beacon of light and hope, guiding nakamura in his final quest to live his life to the fullest. note the doctor always presents positively to nakamura, and when he speaks to midori, that is when we see the guide emerging. i'd love it if i had on my final journey such a sure hand.
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) outstanding: kimura's hairstyle, suits him to a T. and brings out the good looks he is known for. aside from this, there's only 3 other great things going for this drama, hitomi kuroki, co-stars, and kimura's chemistry with co-star shibasaki kou. some really unbelievable scripting makes the tsutsumi shinichi character spout nonsense and come across as excessive and idiotic. this kouda captain character brings back memories of sawatari toru, which much as i liked, nakahara osuke of yamato was for me still the best of the lot. its got a pretty neat cast, only wish the content was more substantial. and oh yes, they could most definitely do away with the "u have"s. mldesu
Kaidan Hyaku Shosetsu [怪談百物語] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) episodes are pretty predictable after a while, mostly no bite, a pity as they have some good actors. a surprising turn from nakamura toru. can never decide if this guy is a good actor or not. for eg. he is quite effective here as the loving but lonely husband whose dead wife haunts him to comedic effect. then there's him in 2001's unloved, stiff and wooden as a washboard. u just know he hasn't a clue what the character's about. very reminiscent of his early acting in 1988's memories of you. but back then, u think perhaps its a case of being still new and young to acting. so good or bad actor? don't know, maybe just not a natural one.
Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji Season 3 [救命病棟２４時 3] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) this storyline has potential, unfortunately, the scripting and focus was disappointing. too much melodrama and histrionics and along the way, eguchi yosuke got turned into a god-like mr know it all figure. don't get me wrong, i like this actor a great deal. i still remember his long hair and goofy carefree boyishness in 101 proposals. that young man has morphed into this person with a commanding stature in this drama. guess if any actor can pull it off without being totally dislikable, yosuke san has done it here. time is the measure of man.
Pride [プライド] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) i didn't like this at first mainly after watching the scene where haru hits the puck at aki in a fit of anger and it bounces off the plastic wall. i hate violence against women. but talk about chemistry and the way kimura san continues to develop his image. yamada yoji san on meeting kimura for his next film was nothing short of ecstatic. can very well imagine that given his performance in pride.
for myself, this role of kimura's outdoes his other great roles in sora kara and hero mainly because of characterisation. here in pride, kimura conveys so well the mixture of haru's sheer self confidence, arrogance, vitality, inspiration and vulnerability. the character is utterly believeable. professionally he excels at work. personally, he bears the stigma of a lost mother and is unable to trust or give himself easily. yet that does not diminish him and haru is a great friend, someone who values and treasures his friends, a person with great intergrity and sense of honour ("pride"). when he finally meets the woman for him, his soul mate, they fall deeply in love and haru opens himself up to this great love, loving aki with a passion and tenderness equal only to his love for his game.
i don't think any other actress could have played the part of aki. and ichikawa somegoro's interesting character, too bad no time to really develop it. as makoto says of tomonori: i am now looking at you differently ... after the pep talk by tomonori to the team in the absence of haru and hirozaku. wa, charismatic. and good music used to great effect. overall the drama could have done with an additional episode.
Shiroi Kyoto [白い巨塔] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) wow, karasawa toshiaki surprisingly good in his role !
hope it stays that way. simply great at epi 4. the entire cast is superb right down to the son of the patient who dies, where on seeing his mother's grief, changes from an uncaring and seemingly irresponsible cad to his mother's pillar of support. at epi 9 the nail biting professor election results are out. as this is a 21-episoder, almost twice as long as the usual drama, epi 9 marks a turning point of sorts. does it remain as good? the first 9 episodes alone are worth their weight in drama gold. this drama shows what good dramas are capable of delivering at their best. what a range of superb performances! definitely not your conventional japanese drama serving up idealistic notions of goodness begets goodness. here even the good guys have their shortcomings. satomi sensei for eg. who for all the world is a great doctor with his patients' interests always first and who steers clear of the office politics, is a neglectful and absentee husband and father, even if he loves his family very much. azuma saeko, devoted and filial daughter, with high ideals and expectations of the man she will fall in love with, falls hopelessly for satomi sensei, her friend's husband, and cannot stop herself from making a pass at him. epi 10: read a review last night which explained why the hymn amazing grace was used as the theme song. when the balance is evened at the end of the drama, man's capacity for greatness and for nastiness and evil stand side by side, for such is the human condition. under the "right" circumstances, each of us has the capacity to do great good or great evil (with perhaps some more than others). even the moralistic self-righteous prof azuma on his last work day says in response to his wife's request to put zaizen in his place, that he will shake zaizen's hand warmly for after all zaizen had been his student for 8 years. epi 13 or is it 14 now? amazing, not only did the production go all the way to europe to film, the drama incorporated history, world history in a japanese drama!, and the history of auzwitch and its atrocities no less. for me this is a huge first for japanese drama. wow!! and to have sasaki yohei die as zaizen walked the death tracks at auzwitch, the irony is rich. zaizen in his blind arrogance, utterly selfish and shockingly careless attitude in the treatment of sasaki yohei, how different is he from the butchers of auzwitch? but there may yet be redemption for zaizen ... in his few brief moments of self doubt and his reflection on the role of a doctor and his part in the death of sasaki yohei, there may yet be hope and an amazing grace which saves all.
Style! [スタイル!] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) masaki motohiro lifts this otherwise regular good drama to the next level. he's absolutely delicious in the role, both serious, handsome and charming, and oh so wacky :)
Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) my all time favourite. something about the music, the very good acting, the good script, and a wonderfully warm and blur nakahara osuke with his heart always ALWAYS in the right place, all coming together to create a kind of ambience piece ... for eg. u think of the music and wow! the images just come floating back ...