Yamato Nadeshiko [やまとなでしこ【大和撫子】] "Love conquers all." One of my favorite dramas of all time! A stellar cast, likeable characters, fantastic acting and excellent writing. A modern day fairy tale!
tsuyoshi7nhwi's artiste votes (5)
Dohmoto Tsuyoshi [堂本剛] I like him 'cause he's human. He's dorky, funny, strange and just a nice guy. I can imagine hanging out with him. He's not out to be kakkoii, just himself. I liked him in "To Heart," "Kindaichi," "Summer Snow" and "Roshinante."
Fukuyama Masaharu [福山雅治] Singer/songwriter/actor. As a guy, I'm voting for his talent. Take into account his music: "Niji," "Heart," "Message," "Squall," and "Sakurazaka," which he wrote, sang, and even played guitar on ("Niji"). Then take a look at his acting record: "Meguriai," "Bijo ka Yaju," and "Perfect Love." You won't find a more talented person out there. Oda Yuji? Sure he's a better actor, but he can't sing. Kawamura Ryuichi or Gackt? Sure, they're talented singers/songwriters, but they can't act. Closest call? Fujii Fumiya, but his acting and singing career has gone downhill lately. But maybe I'm biased 'cause I sang and played his songs on my guitar and got my girlfriend!
Nakama Yukie [仲間由紀恵] She didn't start off as my ideal beauty, but after watching her in "Trick" 1 & 2, "Kao" and "Ashita ga Arusa," I fell in love. She's quirky, funny and charming (and not too hard on the eyes, if ya know what I mean!). I'm in love!
Oda Yuji [織田裕二] Watch "Odoru Daisousasen THE MOVIE" and its sequel, then watch the movie "WHITEOUT." But he's not just an action star, check out his drama "Mahiru no Tsuki," with Tokiwa Takako, and you'll see that he's a great actor. Oh, but don't listen to him sing...ouch... (even though I like "Love Somebody," he's beaten it dead).
Yonekura Ryoko [米倉涼子] She's beautiful, but can also be a bit of a goofball, which makes her more real. Plus, she's a great actress! Check out "Seikei Bijin," "Musashi" and "Pretty Girls."
tsuyoshi7nhwi's dramas (12)
Bijo ka Yajuu [美女か野獣] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Can anyone play "bitchy but beautiful" better than Matsushima Nanako? I don't think so. A phenomenal cast, superb acting and excellent writing. Stereotypical J-Drama (read "predictable"), though, which is why I only gave it an "8." Favorite scene--the ending of the Valentine's Day episode. Darned lucky Masha!
Dekichatta Kekkon [できちゃった結婚] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A great drama about a guy (Takenouchi Yutaka) and girl (Hirosue Ryoko) who have to get married after she gets pregnant (hence the title). Funny, touching and fairly true-to-life, this is a great drama. Oh, and Chiba Shinichi (Sonny Chiba) is perfect as the over-protective, samurai-sword wielding, wild-eyed, former policeman father.
Kindaichi shonen no jikenbo 1 [金田一少年の事件簿 1] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Sorry, I'm biased--I LOVED the Kindaichi manga, so, naturally, I loved the show. I think this series, with Doumoto Tsuyoshi of KinKi Kids, is way better than the version with the guy from Arashi. Sorry, no one can play goofy and cool quite as well as Tsuyoshi! Plus, the mysteries were right out of the manga, so I could relate to them (unfortunately, knowing the story beforehand also ruined some of the endings).
Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Wonderful story and phenomenal cast! I tell you, Fukatsu Eri does not get enough respect! A must-see romantic-comedy! Basically, Fukatsu Eri's character is mistakenly scouted by Sakaguchi Kenji's character (he gets her name mixed up with another girl's) to work at a an advertising agency. Though her new boss (Tsutsumi Shinichi) is an arrogant jerk at times, it's only because of his passion for his work, and she falls in love with him. Not much verbal humor, but Fukatsu & Tsutsumi's facial expressions are priceless!
Mahiru no tsuki [真晝の月] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Very touching story about a rape victim, and the man who loved her before and after the traumatic event. Splendidly acting by Oda Yuji and Tokiwa Takako.
Meguri ai [めぐり逢い] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) I probably would give it a "10" if I remembered it better. It was so long ago! A roller-coaster romance, bringing you up and down each episode, all the while screaming, "Just tell her you love her!!!" Plus, a totally awesome soundtrack, courtesy of Fukuyama Masaharu.
Otousan [おとうさん] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Probably the most star-studded cast I've ever seen: Tamura Masakazu, Iijima Naoko, Nakatani Miki, Hirosue Ryoko AND Fukada Kyoko. Whew! A heart-warming story about a widower (Tamura) and his four, very different daughters. All I can say is, watching this made me want to thank my parents and let them know I love them. Oh, and the song, "Clover," by Cune is AWESOME.
Pu-Pu-Pu jump Rating: 9/10 (Watched) A show every young person can relate to. I know I was going through the same thing when I watched this--I didn't know what to do with my life and I just wanted my parents to understand. Watching this made me feel like I wasn't so alone.
Satorare [サトラレ] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) One of the best romantic-comedies I've ever seen. Odagiri Jo was wonderful as the innocent, awkward Satorare, and Tsuruta Mayu was just HOT. I liked how, at first, you're made to feel pity for someone to be cursed with that "power," but in the end, you realize it's a gift. A great feel-good drama!
Trick [トリック] Rating: 9/10 (Watched) Mix Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo with a big vat of funny, and you get "Trick." Hilarious!
Trick 2 [トリック2] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Not as interesting as the original series, but still darned entertaining!
Water Boys [ウォーターボーイズ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) I had my doubts about this show--it seemed more than a little gay. But after watching it, YES, it IS gay, but it knows that and, rather than try to play it serious, it uses the gay undertones and turns it into laughs! A great story about friendship and knowing that life isn't always about test scores, but about character. Oh, and there are lots of pretty girls in bikinis, too (to offset the guys in Speedos)--especially Miyaji Mao (hated her in "Manten," but she's hot in here!)!
tsuyoshi7nhwi's drama reviews (4)
Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ] Sorry! [Rating: 9/10] I wrote "Miyamoto Toko" twice. Tsutsumi Shinichi's character was looking for "Miyamoto Toko," but got "Motomiya Toko." Gomen, ne!
Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ] Ignore the synopsis! [Rating: 9/10] Why? It's only half correct and only about the first episode!
Fukatsu Eri plays Toko, a young (relatively) career woman, who is on the verge of 30, with no signs of marriage or advancement in her job at an advertising agency. The only hope she had at marriage was years ago, but she turned down the proposal and now all she has to show for it is her roommate (Yada Akiko), her ex's younger sister and daughter of a company president. To make matters worse, she's smitten with a co-worker (Tsutsumi Shinichi) who, because of his status as "hitmaker," would never
date her. So, she dreams...
Then one day, after a problem at the company, Tsutsumi Shinichi quits the ad agency, taking with him, his talent and his friend, played by Sakaguchi Kenji. Basically, it's his way of saying, "See how well you do without your star." Upon leaving, he instructs his friend to also recruit another person from their former company to join their new agency.
So, Toko is asked, and, after much contemplation, she accepts the offer. She figures that 1). her life's not headed anywhere anyway, and 2). the guy she's been dreaming about notices her, so she should give it a shot.
Much to her dismay, though, she learns that "Miyamoto Toko" was the woman Kotaro wanted, not "Miyamoto Toko," and he, in no way, makes that unclear. She also learns that the man she dreamed of is really just in her dreams. In reality, Kotaro is immature, arrogant and rude--particularly to her! So, now unemployed and disillusioned, Toko decides to stick it out with the new company.
But Toko isn't not the only one who wakes up to a harsh reality. Kotaro learns that it's not just his brilliance that brought success, but the connections from the company. He is humbled as former friends now turn their back on him, and he can't get a contract for his work.
While the story sounds formulaic, what made this drama so wonderful was the actors. Words weren't necessary for laughs as Fukatsu Eri and Tsutsumi Shinichi made faces at one another. Their love-hate chemistry was perfect, even if they didn't match as a couple. Yada Akiko and Sakaguchi Kenji were perfect in their supporting roles, and I just loved the theme song, "Kira Kira," by Oda Kazumasa.
Ultimately, though, what makes this story so special? The power of love!
Trick [トリック] Hilarious! [Rating: 9/10] Okay, I'm a sucker for detective stuff, so I kind of liked figuring out the tricks behind each episode. But above the interesting tricks used in each story, I loved the chemistry between Abe Hiroshi and Nakama Yukie.
Nakama Yukie plays "Yamada Naoko," a magician with a distaste for fraudulent spritualists and magicians. Her mother is a calligraphy teacher and her late father was a famous magician who also exposed many false mediums and spiritualists. Abe Hiroshi's character, "Ueda Jiro," is an assistant physics professor at Nihon Ka-Gi-Dai (Nihon Kagaku Gijutsu Daigaku). He meets Naoko when he puts out a call for real spiritualists or mediums (I won't say why). He, like Naoko, doesn't believe in spiritual mediums and the sorts, but because of his book smarts, he fails to see outside of the box, and often gets fooled.
Also starring Namase Katsuhisa as "Detective Yabe," and "Nogiwa Yoko as Naoko's mother, "Satomi."
I think their similarities--they're both anti-social, immature and strange--makes for the perfect love-hate relationship that so many great male-female comedy duos have. You wind up caring about them, and that, ultimately, is what makes this show so great! Hence, the two sequels, the movie, the books, the manga...you get the idea.
What to look for? The ad-libbed humor, which was right-on and their perfect comedic timing! For the most part, the stories were in two parts, to create drama, I suppose. Only episode 8, I think, was the only stand-alone episode.
Trick 2 [トリック2] It's baaaaaaaaack! [Rating: 8/10] Okay, I watched "Trick," and once I found out we were getting "Trick 2," I was, like, "Wahooooo!"
But, while "Trick 2" is a great series, there were two things that kept me from giving it the same rating as the original:
1). The chemistry between Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi wasn't nearly as strong. While in the first series, you were hoping they'd get together, the second series doesn't have the same semi-romantic overtones (what little there was).
2). "Trick 2" had a slow start. The first episode (which lasted an almost excruciating two and a half episodes), which was about a curse placed upon a village by fallen samurai warriors, was interesting, but didn't have the same spark as all the stories in the first series. Don't worry, though, from the second story on, things get better.
I think if you were confused by "Trick," "Trick 2" will leave you dumbfounded. There's a lot of cultural and language jokes that I think will go over a lot of people's heads. For example, one of my favorite jokes was in the first story.
The set-up: the worker at the inn, uses a lot of honorifics, such as "o" and "go," calling Yamada "O-Yamada." While this is key to the story, it makes for a good joke when Ueda tells Yamada, who wants to leave the onsen, that there is only ONE train to the station. Of course, Yamada, who spoke to the clerk, tells Ueda to stop lying, and that there are five buses to the train station.
The punchline: Upon review of the train schedule, Yamada says "Go-oufuku?!"
You get it? If not, a lot of the other jokes will stump you, too, leaving the show as confusing, rather than hilarious (which is what I think it is). Translation just does not capture the humor, as things like that can't be translated in just a few words (I helped translate this and the original "Trick" for airing in CA).
There are also other things, like in the beginning of the story about the ghost cab, the guy in the beginning of the show was Seki-chan, from Fuji TV's wildly popular reality show, "Ainori." In "Ainori," four guys and three girls travel around the world, searching for love (with each other, of course). Seki-chan was one of the most popular people from that show, and when he tells the girl in the car, "I've been living abroad, so I don't know that one," and he starts pulling out a cardboard sign, that's FUNNY! Why? People get picked up on "Ainori" by holding a cardboard sign that reads "Ainori," and the fact that he used his stint on "Ainori" as reason for his ignorance on modern urban myths was clever. But again, those are things people won't pick up on.
It's sad that this show has been getting poor ratings on this site. It really is a clever show. It's well made, has a stellar cast, great stories and has become somewhat of a cultural icon in Japan--it really is that big there. Heck, the book in "Trick 2," "Donto Koi Chojo Gensho"? You can BUY it. A REAL, HARDCOVER BOOK--exactly like you see on TV! I kid you not! I was going to buy one!
So, watch this show with an open mind, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I may be able to help explain some things. And I apologize for the occassional poor translations if you're living in CA watching this show--our lead translator is terrible, and I wind up trying to fix all her mistakes (most of the time, I wind up having to re-do most of the show on two days notice!). But with time constraints and jokes that don't translate, perfection is not always possible. But still, keep and open mind and enjoy!