Summer 2009 JDramas = the worst season of dramas since who knows when

So I failed to write about last season’s dramas, which had some great gems like BOSS and Mr. Brain and also some very entertaining ones The Quiz Show, Majo Saiban, and Atashinchi no Danshi. I’ve been thinking that recently in the past year, the amount of good dramas has gone down significantly. Now that my internship has ended, I’ve been searching for some interesting ones to watch from the current season, but alas, I’ve been so very very disappointed.

I don’t ask much of dramas. All I really want from a drama is the feeling of needing to know what happens next. So far, there’s only one drama that does that. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become pickier (I don’t think so…) or if the quality of dramas has just plummeted. Anyway, onto the mini reviews.

Basically I just want to complain about how practically all the dramas I’ve tried suck. Anyway, onto the mini reviews. Sorry there aren’t any pictures, I’m just too lazy to do it.

Dandy Daddy?
This sounded kind of promising or at least funny and entertaining. Which it kind of was, but 3/4 of the way through, I was wondering when the episode would finally end. Tachi Hiroshi (the dad) is very funny and kind of charming but by the end, very annoying. Sounds funny but a paranoid and overbearing parent is just the opposite.

Saru Lock
I thought this would be kind of interesting or funny but it ended up being stupid and kind of gross. The “dangerous cases” that Ishihara Hayato’s character supposedly helps to solve are nothing more than shallow problems from stupid people. I guess it’s late night for a reason.

Koishite Akuma
I didn’t really want to watch this, but since there were so little dramas worth watching, I thought I should give it a try. I thought it would be pretty good considering it’s to promote the new Johnny’s group, but I got tired of it around half way through the first episode. Plus vampires are getting really overrated now (considering the recent popularity of Twlight, another thing I can’t understand). Pass.

Ninkyo Helper
Another one I thought had promise considering its cast. While it seems to have a few interesting subplots woven in, the whole elderly care + yakuza turns out to be pretty unappealing. This is one that I could probably watch more of to kill time, but I’m in no rush to find out what happens next.

Orthros no Inu
I thought this one would be really interesting and it also stars Mizukawa Asami, who is just great. Unforunately, Nishikido Ryo is playing probably the dumbest guy ever. It has a very interesting premise though, so I think I’ll try and stick with it for at least a couple more episodes, and hopefully it’ll get better so I’m not left groaning at how stupid some people are.

Karei naru Spy
I also had high hopes for this one, especially since spy movies are usually pretty entertaining. But in the end, it was way too over the top and I’m not sure if I will watch future episodes. It seems like there are some other sub plots besides the spy stuff, but they don’t seem to be very interesting.

Otomen
This was another drama I was looking forward to watching. I read some of the manga, and it’s pretty cute. I wasn’t sure how well it would transition into live action, and unfortunately, it turns out to be a little cheesy. Maybe it’s because the manga would be cheesy if it were real people but still it’s a bit of a disappointment

Teioh
This is one drama that I’ve watched more than 2 episodes of. I’ve been kind of enjoying this one, since the episodes are short (25 min) and it’s pretty fast paced. Plus it starts Tsukamoto Takashi, who’s pretty talented.

Buzzer Beat
Last is the best drama by a long shot. I was a little hesitant to watch it, because I actually don’t like Yamapi much. I’ve only watched a few of his dramas before but I thought he was mostly annoying in them (except Code Blue). But I watched it anyway and it is a great drama! Kitagawa Keiko and Kanjiya Shihori are so fun to watch as well as Aibu Saki playing a villian-ish role (the first time I’ve seen her not play a good girl). I always wish I could watch the next episode when I finish one. And like I said, that’s all I really want in a drama.

Am I being to picky about dramas? Or are most of them kind of bad this season? Are there any good ones I should check out?? I guess I’ll just have to try some more later….

August 10, 2009 at 1:52 am 4 comments

Winter 2009 JDrama Awards

Instead of end-of-season reviews, I decided that I’d rather do awards! But they are rather limiting awards because they’ll only be based on dramas that I have watched. But all the same, they should be loads of fun for me!


Favorite Drama: Tie between Voice and Triangle
Voice was not was I was expecting, but I still really liked it. It’s actually not mysteries but more of a human drama with each episode focusing on a different guest. Although a lot of dramas with a different guest star per episode can have trouble with character development, Voice didn’t suffer from that problem at all, since the stories managed to weave into their personal lives as well. Plus Eita, Ishihara Satomi, Ikuta Toma, Endo Yuya, and Sato Tomohito were great as the five seminar students, starting out from a group of random students into their own little circle of close friends.

Triangle was definitely a treat for any mystery fan. There are plenty of twists and turns but not ones that come from nowhere and just the right amount of conspiracy, and the cast is filled with veterans, really drawing you into their world. It seems like there aren’t many long-running mystery series, most of them Yare one-episodes mysteries, like for every 10 Kiina/Yon Shimai tantei Dan/Galileo/etc-type mysteries, there’s only 1 Triangle / Unfair -type mystery series. But if they’re all like Triangle, it would be worth the wait. Eguchi Yosuke really impressed me; he’s quite amazing.

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April 11, 2009 at 3:22 am 1 comment

OLIVIA is Sailing Free

After 2.5 years (and 7 months since her latest mini-album), OLIVIA will be releasing her 11th single, titled “Sailing Free.”

I wouldn’t be too surprised if it was suddenly postponed, only to turn into a mini-album, but since the release date is looming at only a couple of weeks away (April 15, 2009) I’d say the we have a true single on our hands! And there’s even some promotion as the insert song for a video game called Devil Kings (Sengoku Basara).

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March 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Thank you my teens

Today I turned 20! In the words of YUI:

I though I didn’t want to become an adult
But I am turning 20
Thank you my teens

Goodbye my teens….but still is 19 really any different than 20? Well who care? This will be the only day in my life where I can listen to Thank you my teens and have it actually apply! I must enjoy it =)

Besides that, I have to say I’m pretty sad that YUI went on a break, but the good news is that she’s going to be collaborating with stereopony! When I found out, I didn’t know who Stereopony was, but all the same I’m excited to see what kind of song YUI will compose for another group! Apparently they met unexpectedly in a recording studio in Okinawa and decided to it then (hm…no pun intended?). and of course I had to look up stereopony and let me say, I am pleasantly surprised.


X

= ???
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March 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm 1 comment

AZN invasion (of American music of course)

If there’s any J-pop fan out there who still doesn’t know that Utada Hikaru (or just Utada) and BoA are preparing for their English-language album release, I have to ask – why have you been?!

vs.

But that’s not really the important part – what’s really important here is how will they fare? Or how will they fare against each other? With one release being March 14 and the other March 17, are they asking for a competition? Seriously, why are the release dates so close together?

I think these three are what it essentially break down into:
1. Promotion
2. Production / Content
3. Existing fanbase

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March 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm 4 comments

Ai Otsuka – LOVE LETTER

Tracklist:
1. LOVE LETTER
2. Rocket Sneaker
3. Bye Bye
4. Kurage, Nagareboshi
5. Ningyou
6. Kimi Fechi
7. Creamy & Spicy
8. Do☆Positive
9. 360°
10. Shachihata
11. One×Time
12. Pocket
13. Ai

Ai Otsuka’s fifth album, LOVE LETTER, is definitely her most mature album to date. Usually, her album includes one crazy, out there song, but LOVE LETTER doesn’t have it. And she even included a title track! This was an album of many firsts, and unfortunately it her also her first to chart for only 4 weeks and sell less than 200,000 copies (some her singles sold more than this album!). But despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed LOVE LETTER.

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February 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

Yuna Ito – Koi wa Groovyx2

Tracklist
1. Koi wa groovyx2
2. Mafuyu no Seiza
3. miss you – Hawaiian Breeze Remix –
4. Koi was groovyx2 -Instrumental-

Yuna Ito’s 12th single, Koi wa groovyx2, uses a big band brass for a fun and upbeat track. Yuna’s vocals are really great, but that’s probably the best thing about it. I mean, it’s certainly fun to listen to a couple of times, but I tire of it quickly. The chorus is not bad, the high notes are quite good but generally, it gets annoying after awhile. The cover is gorgeous, though.

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February 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm Leave a comment

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