Bito Takeshi [ãã¼ãããã] Forget about the expressions oh his face, but there's really something about Beat Takeshi. Some unknown charm and brilliance. He's one of the most respected directors/actors in Japan, and he sure has a lot to prove.
Kashiwabara Shuji [æååå²] So cute, i'm looking forward to seeing him in other series / films, and being the brother of Takashi Kashiwabara (Love Letter), he's become even more interesting.
Kashiwabara Takashi [æåå´] Okay, i know i need to watch more of his films.. but this guy is just too irresistable, I am looking forward in seeing him in other drama series and films.
Moriyama Mirai [æ£®å±±æªä¾] He seems to have that happy-go-lucky type of character that anyone could love, and he sure shows it well on screen. His brilliant performance on WATERBOYS makes him one of my favorite new actors this 2005.
Suzuki Anne [é´æ¨æ] She has proved to be one of the most sought-after actors in Japanese entertainment industry, as well as the world. I am truly delighted to know how hard-working and talented this young lady is, and I am really excited to see her perfomances in the future, be it in theater, movies or TV. She's a sensation indeed!
Ueno Juri [ä¸éæ¨¹é] Juri Ueno. What can I say?
It's very entertaining watching her on screen (haven't seen her much on TV). It's just too bad she didn't have enough lines on Orange Days, but this girl sure can act. She did a brilliant performance in Shinobu Yaguchi's SWING GIRLS (2004). If you still haven't seen it -- well you better do. It's one of the best movies that came out of Japan last 2004.
She seem great on comedy. But it wouldn't surprise me if she does well in a dramatic role. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her on TV or movies. One thing I'd like to see more of -- is her playing the sax (saxophone) yet again. Wooot! GO JURI!!
Ace wo Nerae! [ã¨ã¼ã¹ãããã!] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Very entertaining.. Aya Ueto was both funny and charming in this series. I haven't finished it yet (although i know the ending since there's the anime series), but I'm looking forward to a some good live-action tennis drama.
Love letter Rating: 10/10 (Bought & Watched) One of Shunji Iwai's most captivating films (amazingly his first). Simply beautiful in terms of story and style. I didn't mind watching it for several times, and I still love it until today.
My Little Chef Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) Truly wonderful. The cast was brilliant, the script was superb, and last but not least the food was simply fantastic! (like I tasted 'em).
Stand UP!! Rating: 8/10 (Bought & Watched) So far, so good (cos i'm still yet to finish it). Funny, crazy, and charming, Although it may look a little stupid especially in the beginning, this is a drama with a heart.
Love letter Lovely.. [Rating: 10/10] It seem that it is really rare to see Japanese movies without the gore and horror. Japanese films are known for their bizarre and masterfully horrifying films, such as gThe Ringh and gThe Grudgeh or maybe as disturbing as gAll About Lily Chou-Chouh and gSuicide Clubh or gBattle Royale.h But before Japanese horror fever swept across Asia, in 1995 one certain film should have grabbed the recognition that Japanese horrors have had these days, as it was truly a rare piece of Japanese drama. gLove Letterh is Shunji Iwaifs first feature film, which gave him a massive commercial success. It is an achingly sentimental, and poetic movie about love both lost and found.
Starring Japanfs famous TV drama queen, Miho Nakayama. She stars as Watanabe Hiroko, a young woman who struggles to recover from the death of her fiancé gItsuki Fujiih. When she discovers his old yearbook, hoping it could ease her own pain, she writes a letter to Itsuki and sends it to his former address. She doesnft intend for the letter to reach anyone, but surprisingly, she gets a response -- strangely from a recipient named gItsuki Fujiih -- a young woman who actually has the same name as her fiancé, more so was an old classmate of the late Itsuki Fujii. Hence starts their odd yet interesting relationship, as they share their memories with each other of the young and grown-up gItsuki Fujiih that they know.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of rural Hokkaido, gLove Letterh is one of the very few unforgettably charming Japanese films that I have seen in 3 years. Most of the time movies such as this film here, I could only find in an anime (Japanese animation). The film is truly affecting and overwhelms you with its heartfelt emotions that transpire from its characters.
The flashbacks are one of the most essential parts of the story as they give you a chance to get to know the core and soul behind the string of memories shared by its characters. What makes gLove Letterh even more beautiful is the brilliant storyline and its successful depiction of conjured yet believable sentiments that makes us all human.
As his first feature film, it seem that director Shunji Iwai held this movie near and dear to his heart that he completed it so beautifully. I feel as if he had poured so much time and love on it. gLove Letterh is truly a charmingly wistful piece of work.. a gorgeous masterpiece. Seeing it was indeed quite rewarding.
Stand UP!! STAND UP and Do Something! [Rating: 7/10] Right. To tell you frankly I am not a fan of sex comedies that I didnft even watch American Pie 1, 2 or 3. I saw some bits and I thought they werenft even funny at all. Hmm if they come up with another one, geeezz I donft know.
Unfortunately for me, gStand Up!!h here is what you could refer to as a teen sex comedy (uh oh). Funny coz I am forced to see this series because of the glamorous ensemble this show has to offer. It has like eight (8) recognizable and promising young actors from the Japanese entertainment industry. Most of them are those I am very fond of watching (that includes Suzuki and Tsukamoto).
The story revolves around four teenage boys and their uproaring obsessions with sex. When they find out that they are one of the last few virgins in school, after being humiliated by a bunch of kinky young school girls, they started their confusing fraternity of which they call gthe purity grouph -- they want to uphold purity and yet they wish so much to have their gfirst time.h Okay itfs understandable.
During the summer holidays, a girl whom they have known since childhood 11 years ago has come back to their neighborhood. Remembering their childhood attraction towards her, they realized she has become merely a shadow of the gprincessh they all have known her to be. Now in their seventeen (17) years, in the height of the summer holidays -- all-grown up yet with so much to learn. These five (5) good friends discover all over again the beauty of friendship, and the bright and hopeful future they have together.
Lead actor Ninomiya Kazunari, he plays Shohei -- babyish and a little insecure about himself, but he respects and loves his friends like no other. He falls for his schoolteacher who apparently admits that she would date anyone younger than her age. Anne Suzuki, she plays Chie. She is sensitive and optimistic, a lovely girl behind thick glasses and a rowdy appearance. She comes back to see his old friends for some secretive reasons. Then therefs Yamashita Tomohisa, he plays Ken-Ken, an honest and sensitive young man who has a weird fascination with railway transports. Despite coming from a broken family and the burdens of having a problematic mother -- he seem to be the most decent and mature of the four (4) boys. Kozi played by Oguri Shun, is the silent but sporty type. When it comes to girls, he canft seem to say things right to his dismay. He is the team captain of the local youth football club. Although he is a popular player who can pretty much attract any girl, his naivety towards the opposite sex makes him almost gullible and boring. Then therefs Narimiya Hiroki who plays the music-loving guy named Hayato, is the groupfs funny and outrageous character. He is obsessed with peeking at girlsf underwear, and he seems to be the most perverted of them all.
I am pleased to say that this isnft just like most cheap teen flicks I keep on seeing these days. It may seem very silly at times -- thanks to the boys doing some really ridiculous stuff in their quests to have their first experiences. But as the show progresses you start to get used to their silly ways and you begin to acknowledge their immaturity and flaws.
Story-wise, itfs a little different where they throw in all the jokes and silly stuff in the beginning and up towards the end; and unexpectedly the story turns upside down before it finishes. There is a sudden change of atmosphere as the story ends with a somber incident that could have a huge effect on the viewer. I believe the character development was quite good that regardless of how the ending turns up to be like, the audience is still pretty much involved with the characters. But I really think therefs something missing in the plot with regards to one significant incident in the storyfs latter part. Apparently it wasnft resolved properly. I believe they could have had a better and happier ending for it if they included something to fill up that hole.
But anyways, Ifm really happy I took the time to watch this. It isnft just seeing all these young actors in one drama series that makes it interesting; But it was a big bonus to see Anne Suzukifs acting prowess yet again. She truly is becoming one of the industryfs most brilliant young stars. Itfs amazing how well she handled such a complex and almost difficult role. Ninomiya Kazunari, after seeing him in his serious role in gThe Blue Lighth of which both him and Suzuki starred as brother and sister, it was a quite surprising to see how funny and infectious he can be in a comedic role.
To summarize, I think gStand Up!!h was quite a good series, not the best though, but it was able to tackle a sensitive subject without being too intimidating or insensitive. There are enough positive messages we could all get from this drama. Teenagers could misinterpret the message of the story, thatfs why it was given a rating for adults. However I think young teens should see this provided that they would be wise enough to understand the situations in the story, or better yet be accompanied by someone older.
gStand Up!!h celebrates the values of family, love, and friendship. Sex isnft the foundation of a relationship if youfre still clueless enough to understand. Love is wonderful and sacred, and it blesses anyone who values the true reason for it. gStand Uph for what is right, and youfd be thankful you did so.