|101 Kaime no Puropozu [101回目のプロポーズ]|
Great music but weak plot [Rating: 7/10]
I had always heard that this drama and Tokyo Love Story were originators japanese doramas. Well, I enjoyed Tokyo Love Story but this is so unrealistic it's insulting. I could never believe the coupling of the main characters. You can never believe that an attractive, cultured, young talented classical musician would have the slightess interest in a short, stocky, uncouth, old guy (approx twice her age) that looked like he had just come off of the front line of a Rugby team match. Short of him being a billionaire, she would never have given him a second thought in real life.
|Africa no yoru [アフリカの夜]|
Ordinary plot hold this down [Rating: 7/10]
This has several big name stars in it, and they give good perfromances. But the plot itself is prettty lame
|Aishiteiru to Ittekure [愛していると言ってくれ]|
First rate [Rating: 9/10]
Both of the leads give extraordinary performances in a cast of lightweights, but I really liked it anyway. The only thing I didn't like was the last couple of episodes where Tokiwa goes for being obsessed with Toyokawa san to flying into a blind idiotic rage because she found the ring, and just destroyed their relationship
|Another Heaven~Eclipse [アナザヘブン]|
Could have been great [Rating: 6/10]
This horror drama had a great plot and the actors did a very good job in their roles. But the quality actual filming is some of the worst I have ever seen. The most horrific this about the drama is the audio. They actually had quite a few hits as part of the soundtrack, but they are almost non-stop. I lot of times you can barely understand the dialogue because of the 'background music' for the scene is deafening. The story is about UFO's causing several apparent murders, and the people doing the crmiminal investigation trying to stop them.
|Aoi Tori [青い鳥]|
I wish I could have given a 10, but will give 9.85 [Rating: 9/10]
First I would like to list the things I really loved about the drama.
MUSIC - The music was great and perfect for the drama
SCENERY - I would have to say I was literally stunned by the beauty of the various scenes. It seemed like the majority of the scenes were directly outside or where you could see outside. I would say this is the best shot outdoor scenes I have ever seen.
ACTING - I think Nagasaku Hiromi did a very good job. Because he is more of a central figure, Toyokawa Etsushi did an excellent job as the other man. But I think little Suzuki An stole the show. She seems to naturally flow thru all the different scenes and different dialogue as if she was and old pro.
PLOT - My only misgiving about this centers on some of the plot deficiences for me at least. Even though it is obvious that Nagasaku character should get away from her husband and household, I don't sympathize with her character or her seducing Toyokawa especially since it is essentially right in front of her 9 year old kid that she supposedly loves so much. Also, the escape on a spur of the moment with no planning to have money or really evaluate the best way to get away. they just leave everything to chance, so obviously they are not going to be to sucessfully. Even something as simple as their 'new identity' is messed up. In japan your name is everything, especially having your seal to use on any kind of document(because her mother and the Toyokawa character didn't even think of this the little girl couldn't go to school for a while). Even when the tragedy occurs the mother is not thinking of the girl only herself. My only sympathy is with her daughters character.
|Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ]|
The Drama [Rating: 10/10]
Every thing about this drama adds up to be the best drama I have ever seen (I have seen about 30 over 10 years time) the actors, the music, the outside shooting venues, everything was thought out and done to the max
|Boku no Ikiru Michi [僕の生きる道]|
Well acted [Rating: 8/10]
I thought this was a very goof acting job by the lead actor. This is a more realistic drama addressing how we might have to deal with some very serious challenges. I liked it because it wasn't a sugar coated teary eyed type of drama
|Dr. Koto Shinryojo [Dr.コトー診療所]|
ALLRIGHT, could have been very godd [Rating: 6/10]
I like the way the set the doctor up on the isolated island having to help people that really didn't trust modern medicine. They had some very good plots for the different episodes, like when the kid got sick and the doctor had to do the surgery. But, the young guy that played the doctor was pretty pathetic. His reaction to every obstacle was to almost threw up. His character in real life would never get a patient anywhere on earth. I would rather do the surgery on myself and take my chances. The nurses in the show had more balls than this guy
|Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル]|
Eccentric people at the alley [Rating: 8/10]
This is not a serious bowling drama. Nor is their much of a relationship between the real stars. But I thought it had a lot of hilarious moments and that is why I gave it an 8. It is kind of like HERO on the alleys
OFFBEAT BUT STILL GOOD [Rating: 8/10]
This drama has an entirely different pace to it. I liked the two leads performances, but I feel overall they had too many characters.
|Hitori gurashi [ひとり暮らし]|
Simple but good [Rating: 7/10]
I bought this really only to add to my Tokiwa collection. With the title of 'Living Single' I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out to be better than I thought. This is not for anyone with a short attention span because it takes a while for the plot to develop. It starts with the simple premise of Tokiwa being pushed out of the nest, and her getting an apartment on her own. But it develops into a coming of age story including her first real romance and the series of betrayals she suffers trying pursue her dreams. It also touches on the burden of befriending someone who is obviously mentally ill and having to be mature enough to overlook that persons back-stabbing to meet the responbilities of being an adult.
lighter fare but still enjoyable [Rating: 8/10]
I am more of a fan of MIKI MIZUNO. The drama tries to touch on some of the problems women have working in the news environment. I had just finished SHIROI KAGE which is pretty serious so I enjoyed this being not so serious.
Could have been better [Rating: 8/10]
I think the performances by Tokiwa, Fukatsu and Jinnai were very good for there characters. But, the drama had so many sub-plots that would be introduced for 1 episode and then dropped, that it started to look like a spoof of a drama. It would have been a lot better with 2 or 3 main sub-plots. That would have allowed them to add more substance to their perfromances.
|Kamisama mou sukoshi dake [神様、もう少しだけ]|
Stunning [Rating: 9/10]
The supporting cast gave very good performances. The leads gave great performances especially Fukada san (especially for an actress as young as she is) It really exposed the risk of this dating club mentality Japan has with older men taking advantage of the real young girls. I would have given it a 10 but by the last 3 or 4 episodes , every scene was a crying scene, and it got to be very irritating
|Kimi ga oshietekureta koto [君が教えてくれたこと]|
Stunning performance for TOMOSAKA [Rating: 9/10]
I would rate it at 9.50. I had wathed her and Miki Mizuno in JOSHIANA about a month ago. JOSHIANA erally starred MIZUNO, and TOMOSAKA character in that was the 3rd level character. After the first couple of episodes I was stunned by the level of her acting in this drama compared to what she did in JOSHIANA. Her performance is so stunning that you instantly feel that she really has the emotional/physical problems. This is close to the level of performance as a handicapped person as was done by Takako Tokiwa in BEAUTIFUL LIFE, She plays a troubled young lady who mostly stays in her house that she shares with her family(father, mother and brother). Occasionally she goes outside taking temperature and wind measurements for what I thought was a delusion of having a chance to work for a INTERNET weather forcasting company. Thru the help of KISHIWAWA and the guy playing her brother, she gets the oppurtunity to maintain the companies INTERNET Website. This brings her to the attention of the world and exposes her to real life situations that she had been protected from before. Her new daily experiences really draw you to her.
|Kizudarake no Love Song [傷だらけのラブソング]|
Extraordinary [Rating: 10/10]
I don't know if AI KATOH was really singing, but whoever the voice of the prodigy had a magnificent voice, and made the whole premise for this drama believable for me. Every scenes musical background was perfectly set up. Every actor from the stars to trivial gave great performances. I love Takako Tokiwa and her BEAUTIFUL LIFE is the only other drama I have ever given a ten. But this gets the same rating for most of the same reason. This drama is little more dark but it is necessary for this plot. The whole drama has a urban street energy and strength to it like I have never seen before. The show is about striving to escape a dirty environment forced on the main 2 characters, and how they bond to help each other escape oblivion.
|Koi no Chikara [恋ノチカラ]|
Another great ensemble performance [Rating: 9/10]
Everyone gave very good performances in this one. It sounded pretty light weight and lame when I saw the title before buying. But, it turned out to be a comedy for a mature audience that pleasantly surprised me.
|Koori no sekai [冰の世界]|
ULTRA COOL [Rating: 9/10]
I really would give a 9.25. Everything about the drama has a well thought out ultra cool presentation (the soundtrack, the characters and locales as far as the bar scenes and even vacation trips). I would strongly recommend it for anyone wanting to escape from the usual saccharine sweet dramas.
|Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji Season 2 [救命病棟２４時 ２]|
For me a 6.5 at best [Rating: 6/10]
This tries to follow in the same vain as some really great other dramas with a lot better cast and for me it doesn't even come close to being interesting or authentic. For me SHIROI KAGE and SAGOA no KOI with Tokiwa san are light years better than this crap as just two examples. IN the US there are a lot of real life medical shows on every day like 'PARAMEDIC' 'TRAUMA' and several other shows on the DISCOVERY channels so I have a great idea what really happens in a real emergency ward, and its not this idiotic BS.
|Long Love Letter [ロング・ラブレター〜漂流教室]|
Pretty bad [Rating: 6/10]
I bought this because I am a big fan of Tokiwa. But other that her part, the rest is horrible dull. Even her part, she is like goijng thru the motions. Unless you are a big fan of the ladies in this don't waste your money
|Love complex [ラブコンプレックス]|
ONE OF THE WORST [Rating: 5/10]
This has to be worst drama I have ever seen. Other than the theme music, it is total garbage.
|Love generation [ラブジェネレーション]|
A good "copy" of the original [Rating: 8/10]
After watching this, it is obviously blatant rip-off of TOKYO LOVE STORY. Yes, the actors are slightly more attractive. The music has a more modern edge, and may be considered a little more enjoyable. But, it has very little originallity. I can count in the dozens scenes, actions, reactions, breakups and people swapping on the rebound that are almost direct ripoffs of the oringinal. Sure they changed the location of where TEPPEI works instead of KANJIs workplace, but the main couples interaction between the two dramas are the same. The Matsu charateristics are identical to the lady in Tokyo Love Story. The other girl that is the ex high school girlfriend in both dramas has the same looks and personality. SHe comes across as a doting airhead that is obsessed with her man, whoever that is for the moment. They went thru so many of the same scenarios, point for point, that I got to be where I could guess where the next jealous outburst would come from, or when someone would be caught on the rebound, the trip to the "baths", and I was almost alwys right. They changed the two male leads to be actually brothers instead Tokyo that had the two leads that were close enough friends at the beginning that they looked like brothers. In both dramas the lady who gets "kicked to the curb" is the always super positive and more attractive one.
|Love Revolution [ラブレボリューション]|
Esumi can operate on me anytime she wants [Rating: 9/10]
I really thought Esumi was the glue that kept my interest in the show. I thought she did a great playing the surgeon. For me the first half of the drama is the best. The second half just breaks down with her bouncing back and for between the two men leads more than a ping pong ball.
|Mahiru no tsuki [真晝の月]|
Another great Tokiwa performance [Rating: 8/10]
As usual Tokiwa san carries a cast of lightweights in this drama. I have seen several of her dramas and she has incredible range as an actress of protraying all different types of characters almost effortlessly. Obviously, it is a very sad subject of being a rape victim in their society. But she gives an eye opening performance.
|Manatsu no Merry Christmas [真夏のメリークリスマス]|
Too 'light' [Rating: 7/10]
I would give it a 7.5 The plot is pretty thin. its about 3 orphans being reunited years after other 2 left the island and went to Tokyo. The one that stayed on the island is protrayed as a simple but good hearted girl that almost gets eaten alive in the 'big city'. I am not trying to be cruel but the actors are second tier performers at best and its reflected in the drama.
|Meguri ai [めぐり逢い]|
I would rate it 7.5 [Rating: 7/10]
I am a fan of Tokiwa san, so I bought this to add to my collection. She gives a good performance as the woman obsessed with the male lead, but it gets old pretty fast. No matter how hostile a relationship they have we are so to believe that they can't live without each other. The guys character is just not that interesting. I have known couples that have this same type of abrasive relationship that might even marry but it enevitably ends bad. Obsessed or not anyone with ounce of sense, in real life would kick this guy to curb and go on. Unless you are a super Tokiwa fan you probably want to skip this.
|Mona Lisa no hohoemi [モナリザの微笑]|
A not so good forgery of a drama [Rating: 6/10]
This is about a auction house and the staff that work there. It has a pretty good idea for a plot of giving us an inside look at the security and other concerns involved with running this business. But like one of the first episodes this is just a forgery of a drama. Except for a couple of decent episodes, the whole cast (including some big names) just sleep walk thru their performances. I would only suggest you watch this if you have problems falling asleep.
|Naguru Onna [殴る女]|
Like a japanese ROCKY [Rating: 7/10]
I bought this because I am a big Wakui fan. It showed a lot of the obstacles that boxers face. It also shows the single minded dedication you have to have to be even relatively sucessful. It has a lot of funny incidents surrounding Wakui being a trainer to Tuko san (did great job of the guy who gave up everythig to be a boxer, and he is not really that good)
|Nemureru mori [眠れる森]|
great tale [Rating: 9/10]
The leads gave great performances (especially Miho, this was the first time I had seen her in a drama) that really allowed you to animate a nightmarish crime that a small child found so traumatizing that she had to be forced to forget. They great job of displaying the early characters roles in each lives, and how they are brought back together 15 years later as she is about to get married.
|News no onna [ニュースの女]|
TRAGIC PERFORMANCE [Rating: 7/10]
I am a big fan of Suzuki san. It pains me to have to rip this drama when I expected her usual great perfomances, but for me this was a sleeping pill. Everyone just looked like they were just acting on auto pilot and not really gving any kind of real inspired acting. Every aspect of the subject of this drama has been done already and a lot better. Even the aspect of her being a female reporter wasn't that interesting for me after seing JOSHIANA. Miki Mizuno is a good actress and ordinarily would never surpass Suzukis performance,but her performance in JOSHIANA was better than this crap.
|Out ~ tsumatachi no hanzai [OUT ~妻たちの犯罪~]|
Chiller Thriller [Rating: 8/10]
Its a suspenseful show. It concentrates on the relationships of 4 apparently plain housewives. They go from being protective of each other at work, to participating in the coverup of a murder done by one of them. They have grow in the show, because all have family pressures, there are people trying to blackmail them thinking correctly that the women did away with the guy. In the end they have to physically protect themselves from a copycat killer. It is a lot different than the normal drama.
Powerful performance by Wakui Emi [Rating: 10/10]
I would rate this at 9.75. I originally saw this when it aired years ago. I just bought a copy and viewed it again. I think all the major players give great performances, but WAKUI is just extraordinary as YUKA. Her character is child like on an intelligence level, but a gifted artist as a sculptor. PURE is the physical approach presence she has with whatever she encounters during her day. Some of the characters think its fake and hate her but most are drawn to her and wish they could live their lives more like hers. Tsutsumi meets her as he is doing a story on her work and is pretty cool to her initially, but warms to her as the story progesses.
|Risou no kekkon [理想の結婚]|
Very funny [Rating: 8/10]
I would agree with the previous reviews. The first episode is pretty lame that they meet and instantly decide to get married but beyond that its very enjoyable with a lot of funny scenes. I bought it to go with my TOKIWA collection but I must say everyone really did a very good job as their characters.
|Saigo no koi [最後の恋]|
Another beautiful TOKIWA performance [Rating: 8/10]
She once again shows how great an actress she really is. She always gives such captivating performances, she never looks as if she is playing a part. Her role is so genuine you almost feel like you are spying on someones real life. She gives a great performance as the young woman forced to sell herself to try and help her brothers plight. She shows how far she was willing to degrade herself to make money for the operation. SHe also shows how high price she pays, in losing respect for herself.
Eerie [Rating: 8/10]
I think actors did a great job showing the dangers if someone irresponsibly treats someone or sadistically takes advantage of people. They are some positive uses of hypnosis in treating people with irrational fears, but the villains here truly are repugnant and dark. I still had to finish it
|Seigi wa katsu [正義は必勝つ]|
Suprisingly good [Rating: 8/10]
I would rate this at 7.5. Both Oda and Tsuruta give very convincing performances as legal counsel at 2 different size firms. Oda works at a very large expensive firam and Tsuruta works at a very small firm that was a originally run by his father who died years earlier under unsavory circumstances. They both have to work together to prevent Oda character from suffering the same fate.
|Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Natsu [世界で一番熱い夏]|
ONE HOT DRAMA [Rating: 10/10]
I would rate it at 9.90. Everyone gave stellar performances, especially the 2 leads Kishitani and Wakui. When you read the description above you think it is going to be some lightheaded piece of fluff, but nothing could be further from the truth.This drama has the taut complex feel of Ice World and as dramatic a presentation. The drama centers on Kishitani character being betrayed by his supposed friend and boss and sacrificed for political ends. He has to become fugitive, losing everything including temporarily his family and job he loved. He has to learn survival skills in an urban jungle he never realized existed. It is mesmerizing and hard to stop watching once you start watching it.
|Shiroi kage [白い影]|
Great drama [Rating: 9/10]
I would give it a 9.25. I think the 2 leads gave great performances. The musice was perfect for the drama. The drama is really focused on the relationship between the patients and physicians as they go thru different health related tragedies (this is what leads the main two actors working together in the hospital).
|Star no Koi [スタアの恋]|
I have been 'Struck' for the better [Rating: 9/10]
When I saw the reviews of this being a light romantic comedy I thought it would translate into tedious boring comedy for me. But I was greatly surprised by the whole flow, plot and performances of the cast. They were people in the cast from HERO, and this plot has that same kind quirky direction to it, but I liked this a lot more than HERO
It was alright [Rating: 7/10]
The cast as a whole give a good performance of what it is to be on this little newspaper, but there is no real connection between any of the cast
|Tokyo Love Story [東京ラブストーリー]|
CLASSIC [Rating: 9/10]
I had always heard this was considered to be of the origin of the big time japanese dorama, and I believe it. I thought it was a great, original plot, great theme music, classic. I liked the Rika and Kanji characters (I think went thru a lot of the problems any modern day couple would go thru). Obviously, she was acting out of insecurity in trying to manipulate everything they were doing as a couple. If the Kanji had any maturity he would have set some kind of guidelines for there working relationship to try work out there problems. But, instead drops the vivacious , personable lady for a woman that had the personality of a goldfish. But I still would strongly recommend it even though its an older production.
|Utsukushii hito [美しい人]|
Incredible miscast [Rating: 7/10]
Both Tokiwa san and Osawa san give great performances as their characters (of the victim and the cop). But whoever cast Tamura san as the doctor should be shot. An effete 50 something is not what I would think of being a love interest for a beautiful woman half his age. This guy couldn't protect a puppy from a pigeon. His idea of emotion connection with the lady is a stupid eye movement that he must have done a thousand times.
|Virgin Road [バージンロード]|
VERY GOOD [Rating: 8/10]
The only downside to my review of this drama is the initial meeting of Wakui and Sorimachi on the plane where she ask him to pretend to be her husband on the airplane and he agrees. Once you get past this 'speed bump' the rest of the drama is a classic on the dynamice of a relationship especially with the pressures of becoming parents very early. Unlike his normal hyper thug characters Sorimachi is pretty calmed down in this and gives a more down to earth performance as the guy who agrees to marry and raise someone else's kid. I think Wakui gives another great job as the expectant mother who goes thru 4 or 5 traumatic events trying to please everyone and not really knowing what she should do. I love Wakui and think she has some of the most expressive eyes I have ever seen on any actress. But the greatest performance in this has to be from Takeda (someone who I thought was the absolute worst choice as the lead in 101 proposals). He gives a masterful performance as the would be doting father who turns bitter when he finds out his angel is an unwed mother, and it gets even worse when he finds out who the real father of the child is. I would highly recommend this drama. It is another one that is a little dark, but it ends on a bright note.
|Yellow card [イエローカード]|
Very good [Rating: 9/10]
Was one of the first J Doramas I ever watched. Everyone especially Jinai and the kid gave very good performances. The story is about his son and father having to start from scratch at a very late time. Jinnai is involved in soccer I think and not at home to be in his sons life. The only reason he returns to his old 'hood' is because his wife has died. He comes back thinking he can take advantage of the kid, his sister-in-law and father-in-law and get away with it. But, they have to time for his BS kick him to the curb. they make him work for his money at there restaurant to get money. being around the kid forcing them both to mature and humble themselves