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Viewing profile :: Isabelle
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Joined:  14 Aug 2012
Total posts:  0
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Country (Nationality):  Hungary
Location:  Hungary
Website:  http://isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
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Isabelle's dramas (9)
Hanayome to Papa [花嫁とパパ]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Jotei [女帝]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Kami no Shizuku [神の雫]
Rating: 3/10 (Watched)
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Meitantei no Okite [名探偵の掟]
Rating: 8/10 (Watched)
Sapuri [サプリ]
Rating: 5/10 (Watched)
Star no Koi [スタアの恋]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Virgin Road [バージンロード]
Rating: 10/10 (Watched)
Yankee-kun to Megane-chan [ヤンキー君とメガネちゃん]
Rating: 7/10 (Watched)

Isabelle's drama reviews (9)
Hanayome to Papa [花嫁とパパ]
Father and Daughter [Rating: 5/10]
At first glance this may seem like a love drama, but it is not. I did root for the other guy, but there really never was a chance of the main character ending up with anyone else. What the story is actually about is the relationship of a man and his daughter and how they deal with her becoming a woman. It is often hard for a single father to let go, but we do see a lot of growth in him. Another aspect of the drama is the difficulties of growing up and separating from the parents from the girl's point of view. The first job and the first love are hard enough to deal with, but she also has an overbearing father on her hands. At times the story is funny in an embarrassing way, but also very heart-warming. The running musical theme of the drama is sung by the father and is titled "Kimi no kaeru basho". It's a lovely song full of the same warmth as the story itself. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Jotei [女帝]
Jotei is an adult drama [Rating: 10/10]
Jotei is an adult drama. It has themes of sex, prostitution, yakuza and political corruption. For the non-Japanese viewer it's especially interesting as it gives us a glimpse of the Japanese way of thinking about sex and virginity. In a way it's a modern geisha story and sometimes made me think of the geisha books I've read. It's a story that can be most understood and appreciated by women. The main reason why I recommend it most for women is because the story is told as narrated by the main protagonist, a woman named Tachibana Ayaka. It is through her eyes that we see the problems she faces on her road to becoming a "Jotei"; an empress. A Jotei is a woman who is very important in the nightlife of Ginza, the main entertainment district of Tokyo. She starts out as a regular girl who looses her mother at 18 and is left alone. She then learns that her father is still alive and left them to become a powerful person. She decides to become powerful herself and have the men who had stood above her bow down to her. She is willing to do anything in order to reach her goal. Upon reading this we might think that she is not a likeable person, but still, her heart is good and we find ourselves cheering her on towards her goal. Kato Rosa plays Ayaka and she is a very good choice for the role. She is a pretty woman, but not too beautiful. This makes her more real and likeable for women as regular women can also identify with her. Through her we can also see that inner beauty can enhance your outer beauty. There are many other characters beside hers that are important, mainly because the story encompasses many years. However, I must make a note of Date Naoto. He is the first man who helps Ayaka on her journey and becomes a very important person in her life. He is the kind of a man who makes us and Ayaka consider just giving up on her goal and settling down in a house to have 2.3 kids with. This ambivalent feeling gives and extra tension to the story. Even more so as he's played brilliantly by Matsuda Shota. He is the kind of actor you just want to see in more dramas as his performances always have a sort of unique elegance. Just what we can expect from someone whose whole family is made up by actors and actresses. This drama is truly wonderful. The story is very complex and like a book it makes you want to just go to the next chapter. Therefore, I recommend watching it over the weekend as once you start, Ayaka's story just sweeps you up and doesn't let you go until the end. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Kami no Shizuku [神の雫]
French wines [Rating: 3/10]
If you don't drink wine or alcohol, I don't recommend watching this drama. This is the kind of story where you learn a lot on a subject, in this case wine, mostly French wines. It does drive you to drink, though do be careful, it's easy to overindulge in wine while watching it. The story itself is interesting as well. Kanzaki Shizuku is the son of a famous wine critique, but he doesn't drink wine for an emotional reason. When his father dies, he has compete with Tomine Issei, who is also a wine critique adopted by his father shortly before he passed away. The competition is made up of seven riddles written by the father that all lead to a wine. The one who gets the most right gains the wine collection worth 2 billion yen. Though Shizuku doesn't want the money, he ends up competing anyway in order to learn more about the father he never understood while alive. Issei is not really interested in the money either, he wants to surpass the old man. Kanzaki Shizuku is played by KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya. Frankly, I'm not very impressed by his acting skills. I have not been in previous dramas I've seen of him and not in this one as well. Often his characters seem to be in kind of a daze, not being very passionate about anything. The character is a rather brooding one in this drama, but I just don't find myself liking him or rooting for him. Who does make you want to root for his side is Shinohara Miyabi played by Naka Riisa. She has all the passion that Shizuku lacks and she is the one who gets him to drink in the first place. She is a sommelier-in-training who first tags along with Shizuku in an effort to learn those things from him about wine that he himself learned from his father, though mostly unknowingly. She then becomes a vital person in his life and his female helper. She offers her own knowledge on wine and draws in more people to help Shizuku. Tomine Issei is the opposition. He is played by Tanabe Seiichi who portrays a calm passion towards wine. He is much older than Shizuku and is a renowned wine critique in his own right. He obviously has more of a chance of winning and he does manage to make the identifications on his own. However, it is sometimes exactly his vast knowledge than hinders him in the game. Issei has his own female helper, Saionji Maki played by Uchida Yuki. Though her role is more of an emotional helper than Miyabi's. She helps Issei by keeping him focused and cheering him on. Though their relationship is based on her being his girlfriend, the two still feel distant at the start of the drama. They are both adults and have their own baggage. This drama is worth watching for the knowledge that you can gain from it. The story does have interesting twists, but doesn't draw you in completely. You may find yourself getting bored without having an interest in wine. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Love Shuffle [ラブシャッフル]
L Shuffle! [Rating: 10/10]
The frame of the story is that eight people, four women and four men, date each other for a week to find out what they want out of their love lives. As is usual for a Japanese drama; it ends up being about more than just love. It discusses our motivations to live and love, what we really look for in a relationship. Sometimes you just need to give people a chance, and find out who they really are. In the beginning you may think you have it all figured out, but the ending will suprise you. Half the fun is trying to predict who will be with whom. This is also a drama about finding friends, and then letting them help in the course of their lives. No one is left untouched by the shuffle. Tanihara Shosuke plays the psychologist Kikuta Masato. He is in a way the main character and motivator in the shuffle. As the oldest member of the team he pulls the strings, and helps the others deal with the hurdles in their lives. I do have to note that Daigo, the singer of BREAKERZ has his only longer-than-one-episode role in this drama as the shy, but wealthy Oishi Yukichi. If you thought his singing voice was unique, his speach voice will surprise you. It does take a bit of getting used to, but he is as cute in his role as he is while singing. His character first seems really boring, but he turns out to be more devious than expected. I'm not going to go through all eight characters. They're all unique and interesting. I'm going to leave it up to the viewers to get to know them. Let me just tell you, that they all have a secret, and all will be revealed by the end. For the women out there, I do also have to note that this has more male nudity in it than usual. And for everyone, this also has more sexual themes than is usual for Japanese dramas. Also, I warn you, you will never think about the word "Panda" in the same way. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Meitantei no Okite [名探偵の掟]
Fun [Rating: 8/10]
http://www.jdramazone.com/jdramas/meitantei-no-okite/ This is one drama that doesn't take itself seriously. Well, except for the last about five minutes. The initial concept is that it takes the clichés you can find in classical detective stories and ridicules them in a style not unlike the "Horror Movie", "Date Movie", etc. method. Except for the little fact that the three main characters actually know that they are in a drama with that goal, but this only increases the hilarity of the situations. The whole thing is actually funny and the episodes provide good entertainment. For non-Japanese viewers I do have to note that the detective story concepts seem strange to us sometimes. This is because it's based on more Japanese detective stories than Western ones. The series I can find the most connection with is actually the anime "Detective Conan". Therefore I do advise watching a few episodes of that before watching this drama in order to understand some of the references. Each episode can be viewed separately, and aside from the characters, they don't have much connection. The main character is played by Matsuda Shota, whom we most know from "Hana Yori Dango". He is a very good actor and performs very well in all his roles. He seems to become one with the character and makes them believable. This drama only made me want to see more of him. Not to mention that he's cute. The role of the female cop is played by Kashii Yu. She is good as well and looking very pretty in all the different styles they put her in. It's interesting to note that she actually had a part in the second live-action movie made from "Detective Conan". She is the most serious character in the drama, and also the required newbie cop. She represents the viewer in the show, and also a refreshing spot of reality in a story that sometimes goes over the top with the crazy. Kimura Yuichi in the role of the 'cop who can't solve cases' - Okawara Banzo - is not very well known for most drama fans as he hasn't appeared in many. He is a comedian and naturally performs well. His character is the cliche detective story character, the cop who can actually arrest the bad guys, but is not very smart. I recommend the drama for people who love detective stories, and are looking for a fun filled time. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Sapuri [サプリ]
Romance and Work [Rating: 5/10]
Suppli mostly takes place at an advertising agency. While part of it is about the actual work, you also get insight into some of its workers' lives. The main character, Fuji-san (Ito Misaki) is a woman of 28. It's a difficult time for women and a lot of the drama centers around that fact. She is faced with the decision of what is more important in life; work or romance. Being unmarried and recently single, she puts all her effort into work. She lives alone, and mostly works alone, at her own pace. That is convenient as she doesn't have to deal with others, but also lonely. Yu-kun is the other main character, who is played by KAT-TUN member Kazuya Kamenashi. He is young and inexperienced, drifting from one job to the other, not really knowing what he wants to do. To him, a beautiful day is wasted in the office. He still has to take the part-time job at Fuji-san's firm and slowly, guided by Fuji-san he realises that advertising is actually something that interests him. Of course, that interest quickly turns towards the teacher as well. I'm generally not very impressed by Kazuya Kamenashi's acting abilities. I have seen him in several dramas, but somehow he just never seems to become as one with the character as I'd like him to be. The questions that this drama raises are love or work? Can an older woman see her future in a younger man? Can you give up your way of life for another? Regarding other characters, you also find wondering about other things. Can a selfish man learn to become a good father? How long can a woman wait for a man, or a man for a woman? When should you let go and have the person you love do what they should? Besides the romances that these people experience you also get a glimpse into the workings of an advertising agency and you will never look at an ad the same way as you did before. While the story of the drama is very good, there is just one flaw. When the two main characters kiss, it just lacks that special something that all the great kisses in the world have had. The fire; the connection. The other romantic scenes work, but kissing just doesn't. It's a bit disappointing, and you begin to doubt the validity of the romance. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Star no Koi [スタアの恋]
Stop! In the name of love [Rating: 10/10]
I started to watch this as my latest Japanese drama because it introduced the story as the Japanese take on Notting Hill. I remembered liking that movie and I wanted to watch something romantic, so I started it. It may resemble the American movie, but it's just so much more. Why do you fall in love with a story? There are some love stories, that you like, or find interesting. Some are cute. But there are still others, that just manage to touch something inside you that others may not. To each its own and no two people are affacted in the same way by a story. This one did manage to touch something inside me. I could never explain why, but I'm glad it did, because it will be a drama I will always cherish. Anyone who knows me may find that strange, as I'm not a romantic type, and generally detest love stories. There was, however, something so pure in this story, that it even broke through my barriers. It's about two people. One a star, a beautiful actress, who constantly has love affairs, but none of them really touch her heart. Then she meets this man, who is not particularly handsome, nor smart, just a regular man working in an office. But for her, he is the one she had always been looking for. The one who changes everything. It's a Japanese story, so they may or may not get together, but all the same, I still managed to cry a lot. Please, let them into your heart. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Virgin Road [バージンロード]
Tadaima [Rating: 10/10]
Not long ago I was asked why I love Japanese dramas so much. I answered that it's because they're different from what I'm used to. The American dramas always have complex stories and a lot of sex, everyone ending up in bed together. Latin-American soaps have confusion over parenthood, a lot of shouting and passion. All are predictable and after a while boring. What I failed to say was that I always learned something from Japanese dramas. So, the question is, what did I learn from "Virgin Road"? I have learned many things from this drama. First of all, I learned what it means to be a father. I always knew from experience that being a father not only meant donating a sperm, but careing. Kissing bruised knees. A father is someone who loves his daughter unconditionally. Someone who stands beside her no matter what. The same goes for a family. A family is a group of people who love each other unconditionally, blood not being an issue. I also learned that mothers are the strongest people in the world. I have a great love for mine and I always knew that she was strong, but this drama pointed out for me that if I am to become one myself, I have to be strong. Becoming a mother is a solitary journey in a way. You become one in yourself, apart from others. They can help you, but eventually, it is your own path. Furthermore, I learned about the true meaning of two Japanese phrases. When they come home, they say "tadaima" and the other, who are already there, say "okaerinasai" in return. When translating, they mean "I'm back/home" and "welcome back/home". However, the most basic rule of any translation is that when we just look at the words, the true meaning behind them may disappear. So the difficult part is giving their true meaning back. "Tadaima" "I'm home", "okaerinasai" "welcome home". This drama points out the home aspect of these phrases and that someone actually says it. Having a home where there are people waiting for you to come back, that is what these phrases are truly about. Having people; your family to go back to. People who want you to come back is a wonderful thing that you really only appreciate if no one can say "okaerinasai" to you anymore, or if no one ever said it to you. If you are not one of these people, then this drama makes you realise just how lucky you really are. For those people, who have no one to hear "Okaerinasai" from, you learn that some day you may unexpectedly find people who will want you to come home. That you will find a home with people who love you. Once I heard a sappy English song in a cartoon that still rings true in my heart and this drama made me think of. It went like "A house full of love is a home". Home is in the heart. It's not and address. This all being said, what is this drama really about? There is a woman, Kazumi, who becomes pregnant. She's determined to have her child, but is afraid that once her father learns that the father is not around, he will make her abort it. That is not something she wants, so she enlists the help of Kaoru, a man she meets on the plane home, to play the role of the father. It is quite obvious that they will fall for each other. Is it obvious that they can be together? No, it is not. Will they end up together? Only the last episode will tell. In the process they teach us and each other many lessons, grow up a lot and learn some secrets. Through it all, the clock is ticking, the baby is growing in Kazumi. The drama itself keeps you on the edge about who will lead Kazumi down the 'virgin road' in the end. This may be an old drama, made in 1997, and in somewhat a poor condition. The hairs look funny and the clothes baggy, but what it says is timeless and after a while, you no longer notice the not perfect quality of the picture, but you just want to know how it ends. So ignore that if you may be put off in the beginning, because the drama is well-worth watching. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com
Yankee-kun to Megane-chan [ヤンキー君とメガネちゃん]
High-school drama [Rating: 7/10]
This drama is a high-school drama. It has all the usual characteristics of dramas that are about teenagers. You have some fighting, studying and the troubles of growing up and figuring out your own path in life. Watching this drama you will probably not come across anything that is new on this subject, since it has been done many times before. However, this story is still worth watching just for the fun of it. It doesn't want to take itself seriously. The way the story is told makes you seriously consider that it's more like a parody of the genre, rather than an actual take on it. It doesn't lack a story and likeable characters. The main protagonist is a boy names Daichi, who is the son of a doctor who has a small general clinic. He is played by the very cute Narimiya Hiroki, who has a memorable smile. He is the "Yankee". In Japan a "Yankee" is a sort of a juvenile delinquent. He skips school a lot, gets into fights and is generally bad news. As can be predicted, he will not stay the same till the end of the drama, though he will not completely change either. The main female character is Adachi Hana, who is the "good girl" in the school. We can see Naka Riisa in this role who pulls it off very well. Striving to be the perfect normal high school student, it becomes obvious she is trying a bit too hard. It's not an easy role for Naka Riisa as such a character can easily become too much for the audience, but she remains loveable through the whole story. I also have to note that as I've seen her in several dramas, she is an excellent actress, and always plays her characters in a believable fashion. The story is the usual "good girl reforms bad boy", but with a twist. Both of them are changed by the experiences they have and grow up a lot, not just the bad boy. They are two extremes that try to define themselves based on the labels they adapted, but humans can't be defined by labels. As they get to know each other better, they both have to come to realise that they are both just humans. I do recommend watching the drama, but it may not be suitable for people who are well beyond their own high-school drama. For more reviews go to: isabelle-reviews.blogspot.com

   

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