Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク] Hilariously irreverant & violent. So cutting edge, it's hard to believe it's 7 years old. Definitely a time capsule dorama, like something that was created in the future.
ichiban_noodles's artiste votes (6)
Fuse Eri [ふせえり] Enjoyed her comedic touches in both the Onsen and Jikou Keisatsu series. Plus, she's the youngest looking 70 year old woman in the world. ;)
Mikami Hiroshi [三上博史] Old school (melo)dorama actor known for his seriously heavy roles, but it was a pleasant surpise to see pop up recently in a very upbeat light role as the "genie" in Proposal Daisakusen.
Toyohara Kosuke [豊原功補] Fine actor, but he's been playing a consecutive string of roles as the loony, intense, self-involved guy. He definitely has that comedic scene-stealing thing down pat. Just hope he isn't typecast now as a wacky fringe character, because he's shown more of a range before.
Tsushima Keiko [津島恵子] 48 years before playing Sakura's grandmother, Tsushima Keiko was Shino, the farmer's daughter, in Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai). That deserves a vote.
Erai Tokoro ni Totsuide Shimatta! [エラいところに嫁いでしまった!] JDorama from hell [Rating: 2/10] The "mother-in-law, spouse, roommate, etc from hell" storyline has been done to death, and at best, I was expecting a recycling of that idea with Yukie's face & humor to liven it up, but this is a stinkeroo bomb. The writing is subpar and the actors basically have nowhere to go. They're spinning in the same mediocre circle, episode after episode. There's no one to hate, no one to cheer on, no one to be sympathetic with, no one to laugh at, nothing. Just run of the mill people put in dumb situations, being annoying, and the supposed endearing thing of all this is the family shows their love because they feel sorry for each other. They should feel sorry for the viewer.
Itsumo futari de [いつもふたりで] Kashiwabara replaced? [Rating: 6/10] Anybody know why Kashiwabara was suddenly replaced by a different actor in the 3rd or 4th episode? They made a little joke about it. One character saying something to the effect of "He's like a totally different person!"
Drama overall was a little above average. It was predictable, but a light, fun watch.
Jikou Keisatsu [時効警察] Funny & Entertaining [Rating: 7/10] I see the word "boring" thrown about in describing this dorama, and it makes me wonder if we were watching the same thing. If you feel the same way after a couple episodes, stick with it. The crime solving aspect is admittedly very pedestrian with little mystery to hang on, but that really takes a backseat to the fact that this is a very effective quirky comedy. As for crime solvers, the laugh-out-loud moments in each episode rival that of the beloved "Trick" series, while the pace beats the pants off a more hyped (but seriously dull, slow-motion) star vehicle like "Hero."
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男] Terrific [Rating: 9/10] Extremely well written, acted and directed. A bunch of quirky people who are somehow not annoying in the least. A storyline that seems to repeat itself more than advance in any tangible way from episode to episode, yet it remains fresh and even addictive. Abe's finest performance. The dorama as a whole is perfectly imperfect in a strange way, and the ending is fine as is, but selfishly thinking, I hope there's a sequel or at a least a special in the works. This kind of magical writing and cast/character chemistry surely has more to share with us.
Last Christmas [ラストクリスマス] Updated Tokyo Love Story [Rating: 9/10] I wonder if Yuji Oda is feeling his age? Akiko was only 10 years old when he did Tokyo Love Story in the early 90's. Anyway, this is a bit of an updated version of that classic. Instead of Kanji/Kanchi we now have Kenji. He still works at Heart Sports, though, this time dealing more with ski equipment instead of tennis rackets and sneakers. :)
Very slick production. Solid cast. Story flows nicely. Even the Wham! song remakes are more than tolerable, LOL. Good for laughs, tears and everything in between. All in all, a very good dorama and highly recommended.
Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室] Not your typical jdorama [Rating: 8/10] Boy meets girl. Things happen. Nine or ten episodes later, boy gets girl. Throw in a time travelling post-apocalyptic backdrop (though not like Terminator or Twelve Monkeys stuff), then think Lost meets The Martian Chronicles meets The Planet of the Apes meets The Day After. Or something like that. Definitely not for everyone, but entertaining for me, with a sci-fi eerieness and suspense to keep me gladly hanging on for more.
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件] Just too taboo and disturbing [Rating: 1/10] While I love Nanako as much as the next guy, and can understand a student falling for her, the drama's whole premise is just too criminal to overlook as just another sappy sympathetic love story. Here in the US, this is flat-out statutory rape. Makes no difference if the underage student is a boy or girl, how physically and mentally mature the student is, and how willful the student's participation. I'm certainly not a puritanical prude, but seriously, isn't this patently distasteful and wrong? The Japanese shows and culture fascinate me to no end, but the fact that the country has made an accepted cottage industry in underage prostitution and porn is sickening.
I'm not calling this drama porn, and I do know Hideki Takizawa is an adult in real life. Strip it of its awful premise and this could be mistaken as any other tale of lovers battling the odds to be together. But how can one really turn a blind eye to such a criminal and dangerous premise in the first place? I don't know if I'm more disturbed by the fact of the drama's premise or by the glowing reviews here not even finding the slightest fault in such an irresponsible tale.
Mayonaka no Ame [真夜中の雨] Wet & dark, but eventually rewarding [Rating: 7/10] It's not clear how much of a good guy or not Yuji Oda is in this dorama. Certainly not at first. He comes off as brooding and detached, with a strong case of brilliant surgeon god-complex. His intentions and motivations are mysterious. The same goes for the other characters.
The pervasive rainstorms and water adds to the overhanging dark mood. There are no "light" moments here. For awhile, I found myself more attracted to the brief moments of the interaction of the hospital President's family life. Though highly dysfunctional, the middle son and youngest daughter seemed to be the most clear cases of "pure of heart" people. Everyone else were just gloomy shadows in an enigmatic, dark mystery.
As the storyline unfolds, the characters start emerging from the hazy shadows and it'll definitely draw you in. I can't say this is "grab you by the throat" kind of suspense. Things develop at a measured pace with things revealed like the occasional lightning bolt. Then you get more rain. Make sure you have an umbrella, raincoat and flashlight. Stick with it and you'll end up thinking, "yeah, that was all right."
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ] That's entertainment! [Rating: 10/10] Showcase performance by "stubborn dad" Tamura Masakazu keeps the laughs and tears going in this sentimental family sitcom. Great job by the entire cast. Lots of funny moments, touching moments, but most of all, lots of love in this family.
Star no Koi [スタアの恋] Fast paced and quirky [Rating: 8/10] Very enjoyable take on the "mismatched love" theme we've all seen before. A good dose of romance and humor to satisfy both the gals and guys.
Tengoku e no Kaidan Intricate but meandering [Rating: 3/10] The plot is darkly complex enough to hook you after viewing the first few episodes. Unfortunately, it seems to bog down and drag along laboriously. Worst of all, none of the characters are sympathetic or engaging. By the end, I was wanting a hole to open up and swallow them all to end this misery.