GTO [麻辣教師] If you know about this Drama and you still didn't manage to watch it, go KILL yourself :D
Simply one of the best, if not THE best!
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RedSamurai's dramas (24)
Bengoshi no Kuzu [弁護士のくず] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Without being a masterpiece, it's nevertheless a really good series that has it all. It's in no way one of those plot-centered dramas, it's more of a very light plotted, entertaining but not exaggerated comedy piece.
It's hard to give a general feeling about the cast, since it varies from a top-notch leading role by 'Toyokawa Etsushi' (nothing less from him), to a just so-so supporting role by 'Ito Hideaki' as the newbie motivated assistant, etc.
However, the final package manages for some reason to cast his magic on the viewer... It's at the same time addicting and very pleasing to watch, and you will probably love if the show were to be made a little longer so that one can enjoy watching the filthy yet great Kuzu character (gotta love the kind of father he is :D)
All in all, it's a great refreshing dorama that's worth your time!
Gokusen [ごくせん] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) As much as I loved (and still loves) Nakama Yukie from her earlier performances (Trick, Musashi, etc...) , all this love couldn't get me to appreciate Gokusen! The main (and obvious) thing you'll notice is that it's a direct ripoff of Takashi Sorimachi's GTO!!! I mean at least they should have tried to have a small even a liiiittle bit of fresh ideas... HUnfortunately, it's mostly a Ctrl-C >> Ctrl-V with a female lead actor and some more accent on "comedy" than plot.
Maybe it comes from the fact that I watched GTO beforehand, but it's still not an excuse since ONIZUKA's been out 3 or 4 years before. So even if you see it for the first time, you'll probably find it very entertaining at the first 4 or 5 episodes, to only get "bored" by the redounding formula for each episode! As someone already mentioned it goes like:
1*Students get in some sort of trouble
2*Yankumi barges in to save them beating up all the bad guys (which is very unbelievable! such a poorly built girl beating gangs of several street guys)
3*Yankumi gives a lecture which NEVER FAILS to reform everyone who's listening
4*Yankumi gets advice from her kind-hearted grandfather
It's not that it's a bad drama or anything, it's just that it has a really high bar to reach to before rising it. So, my advice would be: If you have seen GTO and loved it then chances are that you wouldn't be able to enjoy Gokusen without neat picking and comparing each little detail or scene thus spoiling all the enjoyment, however if you haven't seen GTO yet then try watching Gokusen hoping that you'll find the series refreshing enough; and don't forget to watch GTO no matter what!! :D
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Quite good! I just couldn't help but think that it missed that special magic that hooks you in...
However, it's in no mean a loss of time!! Watch it if you get to, but I wouldn't go as far as saying that you better kill yourself if you didn't watch this :)
Jikou Keisatsu [時効警察] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) Quite passable at best... Just can't stand the lack of chemistry between the two leading characters! You could try it for its entertaining cases, but I won't go as far as recommend it.
Keizoku [ケイゾク] Rating: 5/10 (Watched) Putting 'Keizoku' next to 'Trick' would be an insult to the latter! Average...
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) One of the first Dorams I watched, so still has a special spot in my heart. However, to be honest, one of the first doesn't mean one of the best...
Maou [魔王] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Really really grand art we have here! It's almost perfect, and deserves the absolute mark... the reason why I noted it otherwise (actually, I wanted to go for a 9.9, but...) is that no matter how I tried, I just can't stand Jhonny's fella --I'm sure many of you must be readying their anger hammer :)--, it's not that he can't act because he was did his part damn pretty good, it's just that I can't help but feel that he looks much too young for a detective to be taken seriously or at least melt into the group.
Anyway, That's just my opinion. Apart from this little 'thing', you will deal with a very solid and complete package when watching 'Maou'. From the high level acting to the excellent soundtracks, through the masterfully adapted plot, you can only be immersed into an intense story full of suspense and twists for you to enjoy.
N.B: Gotta love the end, I could never have anticipated that! Soo not like an American ending, right? ;)
Odoru Daisousasen [踊る大捜査線] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) To tell the truth, I has very high hopes for this series, it's quite a shame that I couldn't get past the 3rd episode... I like the whole plot direction and the acting is pretty solid overall and kudos to the composer for scoring such a wonderful soundtrack. However, there are some details that made me (and probably might make you) drop the whole thing: it's especially present at comedy (somewhat failed) sequences. It so unrealistic that it made me seek forward past them!
It's gotta be me, so I would recommend you to try and watch a couple of episodes an grab a feel about it. Cause apart from that, this series has all the potential to be a "Classic Drama"
SP [エスピー] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) This drama is very "special"... It's one of the few action jdramas out there (which is absolutely great since it completely succeeded in that extent). As everyone has been saying, there almost NO ROMANCE involved (another good thing that should be considered once in while), but also unfortunately not much character development: apart from Okada's and Tsutsumi's characters, the rest of the cast is pretty much just a filler! Interestingly, the package -as a whole- doesn't suffer much from it! Thanks to an amazing performance by Okada Junichi and Tsutsumi Shinichi (for which Okada deserved and did win the 56th TDAA's Best Actor), combined with an excellent directing (awarded as well) and finally featuring a remarkable soundtrack, it's definitely a great drama worth your time and attention (no wonder it was awarded 56th TDAA Best Drama and 1st TDA Best Non-Genre Drama).
N.B: Don't worry about the 'very' open end (which does make the first episodes indeed kind of a wasted opportunity of plot development), and don't rely on the special to give you any answers since it won't serve more than an event-sorting review. However, this is definitely great since it most probably means that an 'SP season 2' down the road...
Toubousha [逃亡者] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Toubousha is the kind of dramas that has it all to be 'the drama of the year': first-class leads (abe hiroshi, eiguchi yosuke), deep plot, great directing, etc. So it is deplorable to see it end up as a so-so drama after all.
As usual, hiroshi abe's performance is top notch and shows again his talent and versatility as the anti-hero cop Mineshima Ryuji. A little less engaging performance from eiguchi yosuke mainly due to the average scripting of the character he's playing (Nagai Tetsuo). And finally you have the (completely useless imho) uber-super-motivated Kanagawa police detective played by mizuno miki that was running through almost all of her scenes :)
AND you gotta wonder how such a gentle peaceful police forces maintains security in the country with this much tolerance towards suspects/criminals ;)
The plot is very interesting indeed, there are many characters involved and unexpected twists are very frequent (maybe too frequent) and will keep you wondering who's the bad guy until the end (and I mean the very end).
Long story shot, it's a drama that's not the best out there but not a complete waste of time either...
Trick [トリック] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) If you haven't watched Trick yet, you sir are leading a miserable life till you do.
Trick Season 2 [トリック2] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) If you haven't watched Trick yet, you sir are leading a miserable life till you do.
Trick Season 3 [トリック3] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) If you haven't watched Trick yet, you sir are leading a miserable life till you do.
RedSamurai's drama reviews (2)
GTO [麻辣教師] Could I give it an 11? [Rating: 10/10] If I could, I surely would!!
Just WATCH it and you'll know why everybody thinks so high of this unique Dorama!!!!!
Tiger & Dragon [タイガー＆ドラゴン] Kono Dorama wo mite yokatta naaaaa!! [Rating: 10/10] Having finished watching 'My Boss, My Hero' , I was really amazed by Nagase's performance so I wanted to see more of him!
I was quite disappointed that Nagase character in this drama was almost the same as the one in 'My Boss, My Hero' : The untreatable, cold and scary yakuza o.O I could understand that it fits him really well, but I still have preferred to have a completely different setting.
All this said, you will EAAAAAAASILY forget about and start to fuse with the very rich plot that this drama has to offer!
In order to get right in the middle of the thing, especially if you start watching from episode 1 directly, some basic knowledge of Rakugo would be more than welcome. If you can't/don't want to, you could still watch 'the special' which sets up for the events in the 1st episode... let's say that it's episode 0 :D
Basically, each episode features a different tale that's "masterpiecely" presented and mixed in a clever manner with the real events! The result is so successful that you gotta watch it by yourself to grab a good feel about it!!
One last, but not least, thing to mention is the rock solid performance of Okada which was simply amazing, and was equal, if not slightly above, Nagase's... At least that's the feeling I got.
There's a looot of stuff that could be added, but I think the best is that you experience it yourself, ne? All in all, This Dorama is a one of a kind that DOES deserve your full attention. Watch it and you won't regret it ;)