|Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室]|
Cheesy sci-fi, excellent characterization [Rating: 8/10]
As a science fiction story, I'd say this story is mostly a failure. The time elements are arbitrary and seem to exist only for plot convenience, the nature of the future inhabitants is trite and unsurprising. The only sci-fi aspect that worked for me was the multi-world stuff at the very end. I don't mind the cheesy effects at all. I'm a fan of Blake's 7 and Dr. Who, so I'm used to ignoring poor effects.
I love this drama to pieces. Objectively, I give it an 8, but subjectively it's a 10. I really love the interpersonal dynamics. Kubozuka and Tokiwa act rings around their teenaged companions, but for once the teenagers are doing a pretty good job too. The jumps between past and present help build the tension over whether the school's inhabitants will ever make it home. I thought the ending was very satisfying.
|Strawberry on the shortcake [ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ]|
Campy goodness! [Rating: 8/10]
My favorite ridiculous melodrama. This drama is so very silly. I really enjoy it. The actors are excellent in their parts. Fukada is so extremely irritating and manipulative, that Takizawa's character seems mentally ill rather than simply spineless. Their relationship seems intense and pure but the dynamics are incredibly destructive. I genuinely like the secondary relationship. The gradual build from suspicion to friendship to more worked really well.