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Viewing profile :: dokaben
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Joined:  19 Jul 2005
Total posts:  0
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dokaben's dramas (109)
Ai kotoba wa yuki [合い言葉は勇気]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Great story and acting, but it dragged on a few episodes too long and got messy towards the end. Still, worth watching, if you're a fan of older dramas.
Aishiteiru to Ittekure [愛していると言ってくれ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
After Orange Days and Long Vacation I started looking for other shows written by Kitagawa Eriko. This one took most of the 1995 TV Drama awards, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. In the end I just didn't get it! The acting felt overdone, the story dragged, the characters didn't grab me. Something just didn't click. In OD and LV I felt the pain that each couple was going through. I saw how the relationship grew and I desperately wanted them to have a future together. In this drama I really didn't care what happened. Part of me wanted to blame the quality on the fact that it was written in 1995, but then LV came just one year later! I'd say it's worth watching for fans interested in an 'early draft' of Orange Days, but I wouldn't expect the same depth.
Akihabara@DEEP [アキハバラ@DEEP]
Ando Natsu [あんどーなつ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
A so-so drama with some redeeming qualities. Shihori Kanjiya is adorable as Natsu. Great chemistry between the chefs. I learned a lot about Japanese sweets and artisans. The show drags at times. There's no real tension or main plotline. Still, if you're into Asakusa and old Tokyo it's worth checking out.
Anego [アネゴ]
Arifureta Kiseki [ありふれた奇跡]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Started strong but it seemed like the writer didn't know where to go with it. As if there was this great premise and an excellent cast but not enough depth to fill 11 episodes.
Around 40 [アラウンド40]
At Home Dad [アットホーム・ダッド]
Atami no Sousakan [熱海の捜査官]
Rating: 7/10
Bara no nai Hanaya [薔薇のない花屋]
Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ]
Blackjack ni Yoroshiku [ブラックジャックによろしく]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Not very good. The actors were all excellent but the script was lacking. The medical side wasn't very believable.
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
An offbeat romance with a few twists that keep things interesting. Towards the end it got a little generic. I felt like it could have been a few episodes shorter. Still, worth watching for Hasegawa Kyoko alone. She's excellent and Surumi's a great character. She comes off as so adorable...you understand why Kyon's willing to do anything to make her smile.
Boku no Aruku Michi [僕の歩く道]
Boku no Ikiru Michi [僕の生きる道]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Boku to Kanojo to Kanojo no Ikiru Michi [僕と彼女と彼女の生きる道]
Bull Doctor [ブルドクター]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Bus stop [バスストップ]
Cat Street [キャットストリート]
Densha Otoko [電車男]
Dr. Koto Shinryojo [Dr.コトー診療所]
Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜]
Egao no Hosoku [笑顔の法則]
Freeter, Ie o Kau. [フリーター、家を買う。]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Intriguing start, but then it became very generic. No real chemistry between the leads or uncertainty about where the plot was heading. Bland.
Galileo [ガリレオ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
A solid, fun mystery. A mix of the X-Files and Numb3rs with humor and without the annoying unanswered questions. Very good acting overall with lots of great guest stars to keep things interesting. My only complaint was the weak ending. It was like they threw away the believable plots and suddenly turned it into a goofy episode of Trick. Still, very much worth watching.
Gokusen [ごくせん]
Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル]
Gonzo - Densetsu no Keiji [ゴンゾウ]
GTO [麻辣教師]
Haikei, Chichiue-sama [拝啓、父上様]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
A very calming, comfortable drama to watch. Great setting and deep, lovable characters. Watching the inevitable fading of old Tokyo is bittersweet, but the ending offers some hope that life and tradition will carry on.
Haken no Hinkaku [ハケンの品格]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Hana Yori Dango [花より男子]
Hana Yori Dango Season 2 [花より男子]
Hanazakari no Kimitachi e [花ざかりの君たちへ]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Fun and watchable, but not a drama I'd put in my top ten. The plot thread involving Mizuki, Sano, and Nakatsu kept me watching, but I found the dorm competitions to be repetitive and unfunny. (I actually started flipping through them after hearing "Baby!" for the 10th time...) Aside from the three leads and Umeda (school nurse) I didn't feel any real attachment to the other characters at the end. I'd say it's worth watching for the leads and the interesting way it touches on ideas of love and gender.
Hataraki Man [働きマン]
Himitsu no Hanazono [ヒミツの花園]
Hitotsu yane no shita 1 [ひとつ屋根の下 1]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Hotaru no Hikari [ホタルノヒカリ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Hotaru no Hikari Season 2 [ホタルノヒカリ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク]
Iryu [医龍 Team Medical Dragon]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Itsumo futari de [いつもふたりで]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
It's not the most memorable or complex love story, but it's quite watchable. Great cast overall. Matsu Takako is excellent (as always). Very satisfying ending. Good pacing, didn't drag at all.
JIN [JIN-仁-]

This will probably appeal to different people for various reasons. I liked the science angle, how modern knowledge meshed with old technology. It's a great medical drama and there are also the romance, history, and time travel themes. Excellent overall.
JIN Season 2
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Didn't enjoy this as much as the first season. It lacked the medical discoveries and technological breakthroughs, offering instead a confusing political/historical plot line. It also felt a few episodes too long. Still, I found the ending to be satisfying. A fun watch for fans of the first season.
Jyoou no Kyoushitsu [女王の教室]
Kekkon Dekinai Otoko [結婚できない男]
Kimi ga oshietekureta koto [君が教えてくれたこと]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Tomosaka Rie is excellent in this. Well written, well acted overall. It raises some interesting ideas about how much people should be expected to conform to "normal" society, and what motivates a person to help others. The story flowed very naturally and didn't have to rely on cliffhanger endings to keep you watching. One downside, as others have mentioned, is that the evil diet member subplot felt out of place. Still, very much worth watching!
Kimi wa Petto [きみはペット]
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ]
Kita no Kuni Kara [北の国から]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Koi ga shitai Koi ga shitai Koi ga shitai [恋がしたい恋がしたい]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ]
Kurosagi [クロサギ]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Kurumi no Heya [胡桃の部屋]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Long vacation [ロングバケーション]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I was always skeptical of early/mid-90s dramas. Most of the ones I tried watching were unfunny, predictable, and poorly written. Long Vacation blew away that stereotype. The writing is natural, smart, and quite funny. The characters are complex and believable. The dynamic between Senna and Minami is so perfect you almost wish they could continue forever as friends without the complexities of romance. So well written and acted you'll even excuse the cheap Ben Folds Five plugs!
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション]
Love Revolution [ラブレボリューション]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
Very mediocre and unmemorable. I didn't connect with the characters or sense any spark between them. As someone else suggested, some of the coincidental encounters that drive the plot just don't feel natural. It felt about 5 episodes too long! On the plus side, the characters were fairly complex.
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王]
Magerarenai Onna [曲げられない女]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Kind of hit or miss, but still watchable. Miho Kanno carries the show. (Miho Kanno carries most shows.)
Manhattan Love Story [マンハッタン ラブストーリー]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
A hilarious, clever romantic drama that spoofs the stereotypical...romantic drama. Great acting, particularly the Tencho. I'm amazed that this one doesn't get mentioned more often.
Medaka [めだか]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Many have compared this to high school dramas like Gokusen and GTO. I found this one to be quite different. Medaka is more down-to-earth, about real people with real problems and goals. The students aren't delinquents. They're there by choice to better themselves. In this case the teacher is too. Mimura carries the show well. Her wide-eyed optimism is over the top but never gets old. The show introduces a side of Japan's education system that doesn't get much attention. Worth watching just for that!
Moteki [モテキ]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
I simply loved everything about this show. As everyone will point out, the soundtrack is excellent. Rather than rehashing one or two songs across the series it throws 4-5 new songs at you in each episode. I found myself looking up every artist. The characters felt very real. Yukiyo's inner monologue is hilarious. The relationships were all messy...in a good way. From ep1 you know this won't be a generic journey of growth. The 30min format kept things moving. I could go on, but you get the idea!
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
I watched this after "Soredemo, Ikite Yuku" because it was by the same writer. Decent, but not as strong or smooth. From the first episode on I couldn't help but think, "This isn't going to end well." Excellent acting, intriguing plot, some deep thoughts on the sacrifice of mothers, but it just didn't grab me. It also seemed to rely on many unbelievable coincidences.
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人]
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ]
My Little Chef
Narita Rikon [成田離婚]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku [夏の恋は虹色に輝く]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
I'll repeat a lot of what the others said. This was a surprisingly good drama! The acting was a little overdone at times, but the writing was strong. Great pacing, no frustrating cliffhanger endings. The relationships were realistically portrayed. Sure, the leads have done better work elsewhere, but everything came together for a very watchable drama.
News no onna [ニュースの女]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Nobuta wo Produce [野ブタ。をプロデュース]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
This continues to be my all-time favorite drama. I admit it's not for everyone. Three high school students become unlikely friends, yet this is far from your typical high school drama. It's quirky, with the sort of characters you'd find in a Wes Anderson movie. It's deep and surreal, with the sort of musings on life that you'd find in an episode of Northern Exposure. If these references mean anything to you, you'll definitely love it.
Nodame Cantabile [のだめ カンタビ−レ]
Ns' Aoi [Ns’ あおい ]
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線]
Ohsama no resutoran [王樣のレストラン]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Omiai kekkon [お見合い結婚]
Orange Days [オレンジデイズ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Ever since being blown away by Long Vacation I've been working my way through dramas written by Kitagawa Eriko. This one has a less comedic feel than LV, but is still incredibly addictive and touching. It was also enlightening, offering much insight into the world of the deaf. Shibasaki Kou does an amazing job as Sae. At times the whole "last days of college" theme felt cheesy and forced, but watching the Sae/Kai story unfold more than made up for it!
Otousan [おとうさん]
Oyaji~ [オヤジぃ]
Pride [プライド]
Proposal Daisakusen [プロポーズ大作戦]
Remote [リモート]
Ruri no shima [瑠璃の島]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
Sailor Fuku to Kikanju [セーラー服と機関銃]
Salaryman Kintaro (TV Asahi) [サラリーマン金太郎]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Salaryman Kintaro Season 2 (TV Asahi) [サラリーマン金太郎 2]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Sapuri [サプリ]
Sarariman Kintaro 1 (TBS) [サラリーマン金太郎]
Sarariman Kintaro Season 2 (TBS) [サラリーマン金太郎2]
sekushii boisu ando robo [セクシーボイスアンドロボ]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Incredibly underrated! A surprisingly thought-provoking drama about life and growing-up that just happens to revolve around an otaku and a junior high school girl. Excellent acting and lots of subtle humor. Not every episode hits the mark, but it's nice to see something different for a change. If you liked the quirkiness and sensitivity of Nobuta wo Produce (same writer), you'll enjoy it.
Sh15uya [シブヤフィフティーン]
Shiawase ni Naritai [幸せになりたい]
Rating: 6/10
Shigatsu no monogatari [四月の物語]
Rating: 9/10
Simple, understated, yet incredibly deep. The images stay with you for a while. It has this timeless, universal appeal that Shunji Iwai always manages to pull off.
Shinya Shokudo [深夜食堂]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Little slices of Tokyo life. Very minimal, no emphasis on the big picture or lengthy plotlines. Fascinating characters and great dialogue.
Shota no sushi [将太の寿司]
Slow Dance [スローダンス]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Soredemo, Ikite Yuku [それでも、生きてゆく]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
The best writing and acting I've seen in a drama so far. The subject matter is quite somber and heavy, but the characters are so complex and determined to persevere that it remains watchable. No fancy sets or pretty idols...just raw emotion and intensity throughout. Amazing.
SP [エスピー]
Rating: 6/10 (Watched)
I only recall a scene where Okada dives into a full bathtub and stays under to escape a gas leak explosion. It was cool for the sake of being cool but didn't make much sense in context. Yeah, I think that pretty much sums up the series.
Star no Koi [スタアの恋]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)
The first few episodes were warm, funny, perfect. Then things started to get weird. Hikariko turned ditsy, a few ill-fitting subplots took over, and the humor weakened. It started to recover towards the climax, but I just didn't feel a strong love between the couple. Still, worth watching if you focus on the first few episodes. Excellent cast overall. And Tsuyoshi's always awesome.
Suika [すいか]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Everyone should watch this! Very underrated. Excellent ensemble cast, brilliant writing.
The Quiz Show [ザ・クイズショウ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー&ドラゴン]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Trick [トリック]
Tsuki no Koibito [月の恋人]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Promising start, but it never took off for me. Seemed like a waste of budget and big name actors. The acting was decent but I never felt any connection with the characters. Also, there didn't feel like much build-up to the ending. Ren could've ended up with any of the girls and it wouldn't have made a huge difference.
Wonderful Life [ワンダフルライフ]
Rating: 9/10 (Watched)
Pretty standard feel-good, redemption drama that stands out simply because it's incredibly well done. The cast is great. I loved how understated and subtle the relationship between Mizuki and Kirishima was portrayed at the end. Great writing.
Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間]

dokaben's drama reviews (2)
Sailor Fuku to Kikanju [セーラー服と機関銃]
Horrible [Rating: 2/10]
This is the worst drama I've ever seen. As someone mentioned, the only redeeming quality is the fact that it's 7 episodes long. It's shocking how many big names are in this. The actors do their best but the script is just too poor. I'm still not sure why they felt a need to kill off so many characters. It's the sort of show that's so bad you want to watch something else immediately afterward to clear your head.
Sarariman Kintaro Season 3 (TBS) [サラリーマン金太郎]
Dark [Rating: 8/10]
This was probably the darkest, most serious of the first 3 Kintaro series so far (I'm about to start SK4). It reminds me of the difference between Mission Impossible 1 and John Woo's MI-2. The lightheartedness of the first series gives way to more evil enemies performing more violent acts and an outspoke commentary on Japanese business corruption. At times, many of the characters seem to behave in ways that are quite uncharacteristic when compared to SK1 and SK2. (Maeda, Tanaka, and even Kintaro come to mind here.) The ending is a little random and confusing, but overall the series doesn't drag a bit and is quite watchable. Recommended for Kintaro fans, but not for everyone.


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