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Doramas/Live Actions/Japanese Movies I watched to far...

*Favorites. Everybody should watch it. 10 - 9.5 stars

- 1 Liter Of Tears (2005)
- Atashinchi no Danshi (2009)
- Battle Royale: 10/10 (2000)
- Hana Kimi SP (2008)
- JIN (2009)
- JIN 2 (2011)
- Juhan Shuttai (2016)
- Kounodori (2015)
- Kuroshitsuji The Musical II (2010)
- Nodame Cantabile (2006)
- Nodame Cantabile in Europe (Sp. 1 & 2) (2008)
- Nodame Cantabile Final Score (Movie II) (2010)
- Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu (Married as a Job) (2016)
- One Pound Gospel: 10/10 (2008)
- Toei Next Hero 4 "We're a bounty hunter team" (2014)
- TRICK (2000)
- Yuuki (2005)
- Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (2014)


*I loved it. Almost favorites. Highly recommended. 9 - 8.5 stars

- BAKUMAN (2015)
- BECK (2010)
- CROWS ZERO (2007)
- CROWS ZERO II (2009)
- Cyborg Girl (2008)
- Doushitemo Furetakunai (2014)
- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: 9/10 (2007)
- Fathers (Oyaji no Senaka) (2014)
- Joker Game (2015)
- Kekkon Dekinai Otoko (2006)
- Kimi Ni Todoke (2010)
- Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo (2005)
- Kisaragi (2007)
- Legal High (2012, 2013, 2014)
- Mother: 9/10 (2010)
- My SO got Depression (2011)
- Nobuta wo Produce (2005)
- OOKU, The Lady Shogun and her Men (2010)
- Orange (2015)
- Orange Days (2004)
- Ore Monogatari (My Love Story!) (2015)
- Ouran High School Host Club (2011, 2012)
- Pride (2004)
- Soredemo, Ikite Yuku (2011)
- Swing Girls: 9/10 (2004)
- TRICK 2 (2002)
- TRICK 3 (2003)
- TRICK The Movie (2002)
- Umimachi Diary (2015)
- Waterboys (2001) (2001)
- Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge: 9/10 (2007)

*Really good. I enjoyed it very much. 8 - 7.5 stars

- Abacus and Sword (Bushi no Kakeibo) (2010)
- Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) (2012)
- Botchan (2016)
- GTO (1998) (1999)
- Hanzawa Naoki (2013)
- Hotaru no Hikari (2007, 2010, 2012)
- Kuragehime (The Jellyfish Princess) (2014)
- Kuroshitsuji The Musical I (2009)
- Liar Game (2007)
- Love Generation (1997)
- Love Shuffle (2009)
- Paradise Kiss: 8/10
- Ping Pong (2002)
- Please love the useless me (Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai) (2016)
- Sayonara Bokutachi no Youchien (2011)
- Shika Otoko Aoniyoshi (2008)
- Tiger and Dragon (2005)
- Tokyo Bandwagon: 8/10 (2013)
- Vancouver no Asahi: 8/10 (2014)
- Woman (2013)
- WOOD JOB!: 8/10 (2014)
- Yokai Ningen Bem: 8/10 (2011)

*Good. 7 - 6.5 stars

- 13 Assassins (2010)
- Dragon Zakura (2005)
- Gantz: 7/10 (2011)
- Gantz II: 7/10 (2011)
- Galileo (2007)
- Gokusen S. 1 (2002)
- Gokusen S. 2 (2005)
- GS Wonderland (2008)
- Haha to Kuraseba: 7/10 (2015)
- Hana Yori Dango (2005)
- HERO (2001)
- Ichi (2008)
- Itsuka no kimi e (2007)
- Kaito Yamaneko (2016)
- Kimi wa Petto (2003)
- Like Father, like Son: 7/10 (2013)
- Marumo no Okite (2011)
- Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri (2012)
- My boss, my hero (2006)
- Rich Man, Poor Woman (2012)
- Rurouni Kenshin (2012)
- Ryusei no Kizuna (2008)
- Samurai High School (2009)

*OK. Could have been better. 6 - 5.5 stars

- Ataru: 6/10 (2012)
- Bunny Drop: 6/10 (2011)
- Densha Otoko The Movie (2005)
- Key of Life (2012)
- Mr. BRAIN: 6/10 (2009)
- Nobunaga Concerto (2014)
- Ore Ore
- Rescue (2009)
- Tatta Hitotsu no Koi: 5.5/10 (2006)
- Tenno no Ryoriban (The Emperor's Cook) (2015)
- Thermae Romae (2012)
- Wara no Tate (2013)

*Mediocre. 5 - 4.5 stars

- Clover (2014)

*Not good. Kinda boring/bad story 4 - 3.5 stars

- A Ghost of a Chance (2011)
- Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (Sekai no chushin de, ai wo sakebu) (2004)
- High&LOW. The Story of SWORD (2015)
- Meizon do Himiko (2005)
- Udagawachou de matte yo (2015)

*Bad. 3 - 2.5 stars

- Konkatsu! (2009)
- Lovely Complex (2006)

*A big joke. 2 - 1.5 stars

- Kuroshitsuji (2014)
- Mei-chan no Shitsuji (2009)

*Terrible. Waste of time. 1 star

- Kurosagi (2006)

Dropped:

- Arakawa Under The Bridge
- Densha Otoko The Drama


May watch:

- Kaseifu no Mita
- Beautiful Rain
- Rookies
- Waterboys
- Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro
- Soratobu Kouhoushitsu

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The Kodai Family (Kodaike no Hitobito)

Kie Hirano (Haruka Ayase) is an ordinary OL who often daydreams. Mitsumasa Kodai (Takumi Saito) at the same company as Kie Hirano, but he is an elite salaryman. He is the eldest son in the Kodai family and he is also telepathic. Mitsumasa Kodai got his special ability to read other people's mind from his British grandmother.

Mitsumasa becomes attracted to Kie's warm heart and her dreamy temperament. They begin to date and enjoy their days together, but Mitsumasa Kodai's mother calls. (asiawiki-2016)

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I waited so long for the sub of this movie ^_^. I am not a particular fan of the manga (read Vol. 1 only) but I assumed the movie would be fan. And it was, it was enjoyable, but I wouldn't classify this as comedy. Fantasy yes, with specks of humor.

Story: (7/10) The idea of Kie having all these wild thoughts was amusing. A bit childish, but cute and clean. I specially liked the one where the scenario was in USA. And not only because their English (Japanglish) was hilarious but because it is like anyone imagine USA to be: FBI, dangerous situation in a dark alley, the black villain, etc. I think it was a bit awkward that all the 3 siblings could read minds, because there was a scene where there was absolute silence if not for the siblings talking to each other in mind. Or listening to Kie's mind. Taking aside all that, it was awkward because Kie was there, in absolute silence and none of the Koidai siblings talking out loud (until she points out that they MUST be mind-readers). By the end of the movie, there isn't a closure for the other 2 Koidai: Shigeko was going to confess her feelings to this boy (Sakaguchi Kento) even though he had a girlfriend, and Kazumasa confessed his love to their childhood friend Jun, even though she was in love with Mitsumasa, the older brother. The pace was good, not too slow. Eventually, I felt pity for Kie, since she loved this man who could read her mind, so she wasn't really free. It must be hard.

Cast: (9/10) I can't complain about the cast. Haruka did well, since she makes some dumb expressions very well. Still, she can't kiss! She may look the part for a romantic comedy, but if you put her next to an attractive actor and the kiss is terrible there isn't much sense, ugh. Saito Takumi was so dreamy! He always has the worst hairstyles, but he looked really handsome as The Prince. Not a fan of Mizuhara, but her part wasn't that hard. I liked the younger brother, he had a rebel look that was very nice on him. The parents are more or less like their other roles that I've watched previously, they were like I expected them to be: one a bit strict and cold, the other easy-going and kind. I also liked very much the actor who did the grandpa when he was younger, the one who married the English girl (who was ok, nothing outstanding). He talks pretty good in English!

I think that a couple of people wore wigs for this movie: Mizuhara (no doubt about it). Haruka, and the younger brother. Which was a bit distracting.

The cinematography was a bit dark, although the movie isn't that dramatic. The setting were GORGEOUS. Both mansions, the one in England, and the one in Japan, looked like they belong in a Gothic Romance. The Japanese Home of the grandparents was stunning as well. Can't decide which one was more beautiful.

The cat was so pretty! It had some personality as well, so it is worth mentioning it.

***My rating: 7.5/10**

Kiseki no Ringo (Miracle Apples)

Akinori Kimura (Sadao Abe) and his wife Mieko (Miho Kanno) opens an apple orchard in their hometown of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture. Due to Meiko's allergic reaction to pesticides, Akinori Kimura has to grow his apples without the aid of chemicals. Because of this challenge, his family endures hardships and suffers severe financial difficulties. Akinori Kimura even contemplates suicide. A miracle then happens .... (asiawiki-2013)
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Very heartwarming. Abe Sadao plays the unlucky underdog so well, you can't help but root for him. And in this movie, he has a beautiful wife and 3 cutie girls. More reason to root for him! It was heartbreaking to see Year 1, Year 2, Year 7 and nothing changing. Their situation getting worse and not getting any support from his family and from friends and neighbors. Still he tried and tried to grow apples without chemicals. And never once he resented his wife. He only blamed him.

The setting was gorgeous. Beautiful orchards, the greenery was so pretty.

I feel sad for the father-in-law... the only one who supported Akinori...

Kanno Miho is so pretty. Her tears moved me... She talked funny in the movie but I understand is the accent of that city.

My only complain would be the length of the movie. More than 2 hours. Not that it was dragging (all scenes were necessary), but it still felt long.

This is a slice of life, a touching one, and very easy to watch. The older daughter was very good. Just what her poor father needed :(


***My rating: 8/10**

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Family's Form (Kazoku no Katachi)

Daisuke Nagasato (Shingo Katori) is 39-years-old, single and works at a stationary maker. He enjoys his single life. One the day he moves to his new apartment, he meets his neighbour Hanako Kumagai (Juri Ueno) for the first time due to an unpleasant situation. Hanako is 32-years-old and single. She is also an OL and a divorcee.

Daisuke's single life faces a crisis. His father Yozo (Toshiyuki Nishida) and younger step-brother begin to live at his apartment. (asiawiki-2016)

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A dorama like many others I watched before, since it is mostly about marriage and family. But could be precisely because of that that it was a pleasure to watch it. It is heartwarming, it is fresh, it has a lot of heart. Isn't that one of the reasons we like to watch J-doramas?

Story: (8/10) Like I said before, this dorama is about family, marriage, friendship, comradeship. It is like every "Romance" J-dorama I see it addresses the reluctance of the MC to get married, and people around them pressure them to get married. I know that Japan has a low rate of marriage/low-birth, but sometimes this kind of stories can get a little preachy. Like in Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, this is the story of a mature guy, Daisuke, who is pleased to live alone and doesn't want to get married at all. He is completely happy living in his own "castle" (as he likes to call his apartment, who looks gorgeous, btw) and drink his beer. Alone. That changes once his father comes with Kota, Daisuke's new younger brother, and imposes his presence in his "castle". Also, around the same time, Daisuke befriends his neighbor, Hanako.

Daisuke is not as anti-social nor awkward as Kuwano, but he is grumpy. It is not hard to sympathize with him. I would also be grumpy if my precious space was invaded by people. But those people are all kind, with a good heart, although there are also some that can be a bit bothersome (like all-happy-girl Tanaka-san).

Hanako deals with her own problems, her mother also comes and invades her personal space. And her ex-husband wants to get back together. Like many other J-dramas (a thing I absolutely love) is that the ex-husband is a good man, not evil nor bothersome. Same with Daisuke's ex-girlfriend.

All characters that become a friend sort of, thanks to Daisuke's dad, was likeable. Specially Sasaki-san (I adore this chubby actor, he is so funny!). This dorama is mostly about that, how Daisuke's dad comes back to his son's life and changes everyone that is around Daisuke.

The only trope I don't like is the "has been sick all this time, dies at the end". Nevertheless, the funeral was both funny and moving. And I like that Daisuke doesn't change 100% at the end. Is there a wedding? We don't know. We can assume there is. I wouldn't call this a romance, I prefer to call it a deep bond, a true friendship, a camaraderie.


Cast: (8/10) Ueno Juri was excellent, I was moved by her tears. Not a moment I thought "oh, this is Nodame". Too bad her hair was so awful, but she is so pretty I could ignore it sometimes. Same with Shingo. I didn't see Shingo, but Daisuke. They were both excellent. And of course, Sasaki-san was also terrific. Many people praise Daisuke's dad but I am not a fan of this actor. I think he has many mannerisms that annoyed me. He is always saying: "ano sa", "ano ne". Mizuhara Kiko was terrible as Tanaka'san, she pouts so much it is annoying. Kota, the younger brother, was pitiful, but I dislike when pitiful characters don't talk and go there with their head down. That is my main complain. I think that he looked like a Japanese Harry Potter. And also a bit like Yuriko Yoshitaka.

We have 4 mini-reunions in this show: Ouran High School Host Club (Haruhi and Honeysempai, and coincidence! he was called "Haru"); Tiger and Dragon (Shishou and Jumptei Jump); Soredemo, Ikite Yuku (mother of the killer, brother of the killed one), and Shingo and Arisa.

{Edit: there is a guy who played the personal trainer of Hanako at the gym. For days I was "who was that guy?". He isn't in any of the cast lists. Then I remembered. He was one of the butlers of Mei-chan no Shitsuji.}

Music: (9/10) I like the music "Unpredictable Story". There are 2 versions, one slow and one faster. I think I prefer the slow one but even so, I like them both. Currently in my playlist.

Rewatch value: (9/10) this is one of those dramas that can be recommended to anyone. I don't think there would be a person, male or female, who wouldn't like this. It is easy to watch, it is charming, it is not slow, it is real.

**My rating: 8.5/10**

Rich Man, Poor Woman

29-year-old Toru Hyuga (Shun Oguri) is a wealthy man. He first started to run an internet website from his small room and his hobby began to make Toru Hyuga a lot of money. He dropped out of high school and formed software company Next Innovation with his friend Kosuke Asahina (Arata Iura). The company became very successful. Today, Next Innovation is the top tech company where young people want to work the most. However, Toru has trouble recognizing the faces of people and he is looking for Chihiro Sawak, who is his mother. His mother left Toru Hyuga when he was very young. One day, Toru finds a woman named Chihiro Sawak.

Makoto Natsui (Satomi Ishihara) is in the 4th year at prestigious Tokyo University, but she still has trouble in finding a job. As time goes by, she gets more nervous. One day, Makoto sees a magazine featuring an interview with Toru Hyuga. She goes back to her apartment and does research on his company Next Innovation.

Makoto then attends a presentation for new recruits at Next Innovation. Toru walks up to the platform and gives a speech to the potential new hirees. While giving his speech, Toru humiliates Makoto in front of the others. She is embarrassed, but stands in front of him and talks back to him. Toru asks her for her name. She tells him her name is Chihiro Sawak. As soon as Toru hears the name, he becomes confused. (asiawiki-2012)

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I may not be made for silly rom-com. Cute rom-com, yes. And unfortunately, due many things, this drama, although it is realistic in some aspects, it is also very silly in the romance section. I have always looked at this drama with reserve yet with curiosity, and after the lovely "We Married as a Job", I wanted to watch another cute rom-com.

Story: (5.5/10) on paper, everything looked good. The company was interesting, the fact that the hero is a genious who started from nothing and became this rich, intelligent, powerful president of the company was interesting. I didn't feel the "bromance" of Tohru and Asahina till the very last episode. It is understandable that Asahina was green with envy; too bad he reacted the way he did, but I liked that Tohru forgave him very quickly, and was only hurt in like, 2 episodes. The story of Makoto, on the other hand... that she gave that fake identity (his mother's name) was low but luckily, that was resolved quickly and also, Tohru forgave her pretty quickly. That is the best quality of Tohru, he wasn't a resentful person.

On the other hand, the romance... First of all, i hate love triangles, which there are (2) in this drama. Tohru and Makoto like each other, but Asahina sister likes Tohru and Asahina brother likes Makoto. Fortunately, Asahina sister (Yoko) is not an evil bitch, she is actually mature, nice and likes Makoto. Unfortunately, she kisses him twice, while Makoto gets one kiss only in the entire drama. WHAT.

Asahina brother (Kosuke) isn't really in love with Makoto, thank Heavens. He just likes her, and I think he kind of wants her only because he sees Tohru is interested in her.

About Tohru and Makoto... omg, terrible romance. The same kind that happens in HYD, only that Makoto is not strong nor has any personality as Makino has. Tohru is such a jerk with her! Treats her like an inferior, mocks her constantly, belittles her career, her ability in other stuffs. Thinks of her as "idiot" only because she can't find any job and because she is not the genius he is. Still, she likes him since Day 1. Why? I can't see any redeemable quality about him except maybe for the last episodes. There is one scene (Episode 8 I think) where both Asahina and Tohru yell at her in the meeting room, telling her that she is worthless and won't work with them anyway starting next week. And she just stays there, weeping and not saying anything. Ugh! Made me furious. I almost quit after that.

Seriously, it is HER that does most of the work, trying to get closer to him. And what does he do? Push her aside, most of the times. Laugh AT her, most of the times. Only when he is left in ruin, after Asahina's treason, he sees her value. Bastard!

The last 3 episodes are the best, since Tohru acts more like a human instead of a monster. Same with Asahina. But nevertheless, Tohru still got on my nerves... why the hell he looks for her after she says goodbye to the company and disappears? He goes to her natal town, he runs from here to there looking for her, finally finds her, and what, does he tells her he loves her? Heck no, again to square one. What an idiot.

So yeah, the romance is terrible. If I were Makoto I would have stopped crying since Episode 1 (she does cry a lot) and avoid this guy. But well, no wonder I am still single **shrugs** Also, I hate that, after struggling to get a proper job for a long time, she quits it all to be with him. By doing what? Copies. WTH, she has a degree on lab analysis or whatever her career is, and she wastes a couple of oportunities just to be with an asshole who doesn't treat her like she deserves (until the very end). On the other hand, there are no boring, dragging moments. It is easy to watch (except maybe for the occasions where you want to punch the guy and shake the girl)


Cast: (9/10) the cast is good. The match between Oguri Shun and Ishihara Satomi is nice. I like that both of them are black-haired, and that he is so much taller than her (she is no midget). Everybody was good, I can't complain. My favorite maybe me Aibu Saki (Yoko) but that's only because her character was nice, and likeable while being the rival. (I've read bad comments about her only because she was the rival and kissed Tohru twice... like WTH? She likes him too, he likes her, he is single, why can't she try? And once she realizes she doesn't stand a chance, she steps aside... Is she a whore because of that? Ugh)

Oh, and criminal-face Ayano Go has a small role. He is a stupid bastard in this one, no wonder XD Not evil, but a bitch. Suits him so well, once again. I am impressed by this guy, truly.


Music: (6/10) There is only one, and it is repeated over and over and over again, till you can't listen to it anymore. Still, it suits the drama, giving it a fun, girly, anime-ish feeling.

Cinematography: (9/10) the office is so spacious and vibrant, we get to see also the beautiful streets of Tokyo. The colors are nice, catchy, and clothes are pretty (Makoto's style is specially beautiful, very Japanese-like with the neat blouse and big skirts).

**My rating: 7/10**

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Tenno no Ryoriban (The Emperor's Cook)

Tokuzo Akiyama (Takeru Satoh) is a young man living in a rural area. One day, he eats cutlet. That experience leads him to become a cook for western style food. He first goes to Tokyo and then Paris, France to learn about the culinary arts. Fighting against discrimination and prejudice, he becomes a chef at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, France. At the age of 26, he becomes the chef for the Emperor of Japan. (asiawiki-2015)
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Amazing how well received this dorama was, both in Japan and in the rest of the world (for people who watch doramas). In my case, unfortunately, it was a case of "everybody loves it except me". To be honest, I wasn't that interested in it, but I decided to watch it because of the wonderful reviews, and of all the awards it took that year. And I also love historical fiction, especially Japanese historical fiction, so why not.

Story: it is basically about Akiyama Tokuzo, a short-tempered boy, who after many years, becomes the Emperor's cook. He married young, but he immediately took off to Tokyo to learn how to cook, leaving his wife. Of course his parents + his in-laws were angry at him, and eventually, the in-laws make his daughter divorced from him, but he didn't care, he just wanted to be a cook. Then he goes to France, meets a french girl, falls in love. Years later, he gets the invitation to be the Emperor's Cook, decides to come back to Japan but his french girlfriend wants to stay in France, so he comes back alone. In short time, he meets his ex-wife again, marries her, have children, all while he cooks for the Emperor. Then comes the war, he has some difficulties and the story ends with him retiring after 50 and some years later.

Yeah, yeah, all very good. I see that the dorama has a lot of heart, which I absolutely love. There is a lot of friendship (Akiyama with his older brother, RIP; Akiyama and Shintaro, Akiyama and his former rival Yamagami, Akiyama and his former lover, Akiyama and his mentor...), and that is precisaly why I couldn't like the story. This is supposed to be about fighting for your dreams (which he did) but in the process, he hurts Toshiko, his wife. He makes his family suffer, his poor parents, his poor brother... Akiyama doesn't struggle so much, since everything is served to him. His brother gets him his first job, his mentor helps him to become the Cook, he gets help from people around him... Honestly, he got all too easy.

I hated how much Toshiko suffered, only because she has to go and fall for this immature brat. And then, because fate say so, they remarry. I hate that the 3 people that root so much for him, and suffered so much because of him, die at the end.

All his "adventures" to become a cook were kinda boring. I think I only liked all the scenes that involved Toshiko. Episode 11 specially made me a bit teary-eyed. The final episode was not good. I hate all the American scenes, all the bully and discrimination, and the blond bully was so bad at acting! Cringe-worthy.

Cast: the cast is top-notch. My favorite was Kuroki Haru, no need to mention. She was so good, she makes a perfect docile Japanese girl. She made me teary-eyed many times. Her life was so unfair :( Usami-san was also good, this kind of acting I like best (quiet, kind) and there is also the doctor from JIN who is so good at being nice and quiet too. Kiritani Kenta will always be excellent for me, he plays a laid-back guy here, happy and a bit silly (he is so good at this kind of roles). And of course, Suzuki Ryohei, the sick older brother. Poor Shutaro! It was so sad to see him thinner and thinner in every episode. If that isn't commitment, I don't know what it.

Regarding Sato Takeru... all those reviews praising him, but also, most of those reviews say "I am a big fan of him". Well, I am not, and I can see this more objectively. To me, he was the worst in the cast. Not that he was BAD, but he wasn't good. He can cry, I give you that. But I hated how he changed his voice... why make it deeper? It felt unnatural. Because he was a short-tempered guy, the actor overreacted in most of his actions, it was like watching an anime. I love overreacting in comedies but it was unnecessary in this dorama, which was so real.

There were a few others who were so bad, but who weren't important to the story. Like Araki-san, the bully at Akiyama's first job... GAWD, all that shouting. The French girl was just "too happy" and the American people were so bad it is not worth mentioning again.

Music: the OST was nice but the ED was MEH. On the other hand, the OP was so cute! I loved the little drawings (so Japanese, but in France!) and the song was well-suited. Also, the cinematography was really nice, beautiful colors and the settings were clean, clear and fresh. I almost wanted to live there.

Maybe if Akiyama were more sympathetic I would have loved this more, because the cinematography, the clothes, the period time, the food, the settings, the actors, were all excellent.

**My rating: 5.5/10**

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"I thought I might be using a lifetime's happiness in a moment. I was that happy and she was that beautiful." A young boy stands on the red earth of Australia under its blue sky. It is 17-year-old Sakutaro Matsumoto. His time with the girl comes back to him. The colored sand runs through his hands and a tear appears on his cheek. He wakes up. It's 2004 and he is 34 years old and in Japan. He thinks "I have been in a world without her for 17 years." Returning home to see his old high school for the last time before it is demolished, Saku confronts anew the loss of the love of his life, Aki, to leukemia 17 years ago. Now a medical researcher at graduate school, he has been living as if half of him died with her since then. Based on the bestselling novel that sold over 3 million copies, the past and present come together in this love story that is both pure and sad. (asiawiki-2004)

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Usually, I just avoid this kind of (melo)drama. The one where there is a cute, young couple who love each other very much and then one dies. But I gave a chance to 1 Liter of Tears and thank God I did, because I loved it. So I decided to give this one a chance, especially since the reviews were good and most of them were "I cried as much as/much more than I did with 1 Liter of Tears". And even more because the couple were Ayase Haruka and Yamada Takayuki, two good actors.

Alas, I did not like this dorama. I should have seen the movie instead (which has two amazing actors, the ones that portrayed the older couple). I think that Haruka's smile felt too fake, like she tried too hard to look cute and innocent and happy to make the audience sad once she got sick. To me, she wasn't very likable. I doubt of her feelings all the times when she was healthy. What were her true thoughts? I think that, although Takayuki can certainly cry, this was not his best role. Sometimes it was like watching Kame act. And I am not saying Kame is a bad actor (quite the opposite) but Takayuki is on a different level, so this felt a bit amateurish for me. I didn't feel the romantic chemistry between them, it was almost like a sister and her younger brother to me :( and when they kissed... OMG, Haruka really needs some help in that area... she needs to react, not stay there like a statue without even pouting her lips! Terrible :S

The story dragged for too long. This was certainly made to be a movie only, not a drama. I wasn't engaged in their love story, so for me, the end did not feel sad at all. And I think that Saku stretched his sorrow for just so many years, he truly needed help if he couldn't move on 17 YEARS after her death.

Many scenes were just too melodramatic (Aki trying to commit suicide, the accident of the new woman, the older Saku's tears) and some were eye-rolling (the many, many times Aki says "Saku-chan"; Saku planning their wedding when they were in the island).

On the other hand, I like his friends and her friend. One of his friends looks like he is Tanaka Kei's brother; and her friend Tomoyo looked so much like Horikita Maki (so pretty). I liked that the whole atmosphere felt nostalgic, because it happened in a time where cassettes and walkman were popular. I liked that they communicated thru cassettes, and I liked the little town where they lived. I liked the OST that accompany the episode, but not the ED.

I can't believe people compare this dorama to "1 Liter of Tears". It is an insult. I mostly skimmed the last episode... I just wanted it to end :(

**My rating: 3.5/10**

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High & Low The Story of S.W.O.R.D.

A town once dominated by Mugen has been split into 5 districts dominated by the gangs Sannoh Rengokai, White Rascals, Oya Kohkoh, Rude Boys and Daruma Ikka. Mugen's grip on the town ended after the legendary Amamiya Brothers refused to submit to their will. The 5 gangs that comprise S.W.O.R.D. fight for their pride and glory, but the mysterious Mighty Warriors appear. (asiawiki-2015)
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I am still unsure how do I feel about yanki movies (delinquent gang style) but I loved the CROWS movies, and I've read several reviews claiming that this dorama was similar to CROWS, and since each episode is only 25 minutes long, I decided to give it a try.

Similar to CROWS? Err, there is a guy with dreadlocks, just like in CROWS. One of the leaders of a gang has a clean-looking, nice sidekick, just like Segizawa and Tokio. The only school we see is a mess just like in CROWS. Ehh, and that's it.

Everything looked really cool. The guys and their outfits, some fights, the motorcycles, the guys themselves... Supposedly the Johnnys are the pretty boys in the J-pop world... I disagree entirely. EXILE guys (and I mean, GUYS... even the prepubescent boy who played Chiharu looked like a young guy, not like a boy) are very good looking, some of them are VERY attractive, like the one who played Yamato. And TAKAHIRO. And Cobra. And even the dreadlocks guy. The cinematography looked really nice, the dark colors, the skin! of the guys! I liked that, for example, the White Rascals wear all-white outfits, or the green coat of Smokey (looked like the same one Sekai no Owari wears?), or how crazy Kento Hayashi looked. I mean, I can't say that all guys were handsome, but people like Hayashi Kento or Kubota Masataka looked good. They at least have interesting faces.

So yes, if I were a shallow girl, I would have been all "omg, this was so cool!". Which was. But to me, it was all looks and zero heart. The plot was all over the place, there are hundreds of characters, which doesn't give much time for development. And the supposed friendship/team-work or whatever was so lacking... there is supposed to be a super-tight friendship between Cobra (who is there acting all "cool" 95% of the time, but was more annoying than anything to me) and Yamato (who is this guy? looks like a Main Character, a Romance Hero) and Noboru, and I've sensed NONE of that. I didn't buy their "bond", I didn't feel it, not at the beginning with their lame photograph, not in the middle with their lame flashbacks, not at the end with the whole "welcome home, Noboru". And I won't even mention the supposed shounen-ai between Yamato and Chiharu (which was none-existent).

As mentioned before, only SOME of the fights looked good, because SOME others looked so staged and not real at all. There were times where it was SOO slow (I know that sometimes it is filmed slow, but with edition, it looks better. Seemed like they forgot to edit some scenes).

The role of the girls... OMG, so lame. Much better than Kuroki's in CROWS, but still cringeworthy. At least the role of the WOMEN (YOU's and Kyoko's) were good.

Acting-wise was OK, nothing bad, since it didn't require much anyway. Just looking cool and good, which they did. But when it was about crying... so bad. They can't cry :S

This was not for me. Most of the 25-minute long seemed like 50 :(

**My rating: 4/10**

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Mikuri Moriyama (Yui Aragaki) is 25 years old. She doesn't have a boyfriend and doesn't have a job even though she holds a graduate degree. Everyday, Mikuri Moriyama has a feeling that she is not needed. Her father, unable to see her suffering anymore, arranges for her to work as a housekeeper. Her employer is 36 year old Hiramasa Tsuzaki. He is single and works for a company. A series of events leads them to marry as a working condition. (asiawiki-2016)

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I'll always look at this dorama with nostalgia. It was broadcasted when I visited Japan in October, and pictures of the show + Hoshino Gen's album were everywhere ^_^

This was such a nice, heartwarming dorama. I am not sure it is one of my favorites, but I honestly cannot say anything bad about it. 11 episodes just flew by.

Cast. I loved Hiramasa-san, he is the epitome of what I consider Japanese men to be. Quiet, well educated, cold-looking, awkward, hardworking, no interest in woman or having a relationship. Main interest is living a quiet, comfortable life. All of these changes once he makes a marriage contract with Mikuri-san. I like how their relationship evolved. We may not have seen much skinship and lovey-dovey things between them, but that was precisely the charm. Mikuri has to do all the work but with patience. A man like Hiramasa-san would be scared off otherwise, ha! I like how she came up with little things (like Tuesday's hugs) to be closer to each other. And just when you thought this Hiramasa was just too slow and wouldn't do anything to take things further, he surprises us with a kiss! (ok, I was not surprised since I was spoiled on Tumblr... and because when that kiss happened, the kiss in YOI also happened. Ha!)

I am not really a super fan of Gakki, but she had a wonderful character in this dorama. It was impossible not to cheer for her, not to root for her. It was lovely how she falls for this little guy (this is not a lie... Hoshino Gen is truly little!). I love her imagination and how the dorama shows us how her mind works! The little scenes of her imagination were always funny to watch.

The other characters were all likeable. In the past, I used to be not a fan of relationship between a much older woman and a much younger man. But in this case, it wasn't possible to not root for Yuri-san and the Ikemen-guy. Yuri-san is such a beautiful woman! I couldn't believe she was 49 years old, so I had to look it up. I am surprised to say that she is 47! She looks like 40 or less, even if you can see her wrinkles, which makes her even more pretty, because she is all natural! The age gap is not that much in real life (it is 11 instead of 17 years), and Kazami was a lucky guy to have her at the end. I love her point of view regarding marriage and being single, and I teared up a little bit the time she cried.


Story. As mentioned before, I was very interested in this story because Hiramasa-san represents male youth nowadays. But it is not only that, the dorama also focuses on work and being a housewife, and being a new-mother who has a husband who has an affair (and prefers divorce instead of accepting said affair... as far as I know, because of what I have read, Japanese women prefer to ignore the affairs of their husbands), and there is also romantic relationship between an older woman with a younger man, and a bit about homosexuality and the pressure of a Japanese person to come back to Japan after having lived outside for so long. I mean, although this was a romantic comedy (more comedy than romantic, and to emphasize this, I have to say I laughed out loud in almost every episode), there were also many serious and contemporary issues. The main issue may be entirely Japanese (main male character is an herbivorous guy) but the other issues are worldwide. The only, let's say "twist", that wasn't too much of my liking was the one at the end with Numata-san. And that's because he is like 60 years old and the boy is like 20. Ew.


Music. The OST was top-notch. So fine, the OP isn't "OMG, I LOVE IT!", but it is cute and with a nice mood and fits the dorama perfectly. The soundtrack that goes along the dorama was soo good. Like Italian-like, and it was almost in every laid-back scene. And of course, the ED "KOI" is so catchy! I thought I wouldn't be part of the fandom, but I was wrong! The dance is cute, Hoshino Gen certainly can sing on live, and it will always be part of the best months of the year of me. One, because I visited Japan, and two, because YOI was also broadcasted at the same time. So from now on, every time I listen to this song it will be a natsukasshii! feeling for me XD

For me, story was 10/10. Cast 10/10. Music 10/10. I would totally rewatch this, no doubt. And would I recommend it? Heck yes! This may not -yet- be one of my favorite dorama (I can't say WHY exactly), but I can say that anyone who wants to watch a light but realistic dorama, to give this a try. There are no silly misunderstandings, no overreacting, no stupid tears, so soap-opera-ish scenes... totally recommended.

**My rating: 10/10**

Udagawachou de matte yo

In bustling Shibya, Momose (Mario Kuroba) sees his high school classmate Yashiro (Ryugi Yokota). Yashiro is dressed as a girl. Momose continues to observe Yashiro and becomes attracted to him. Meanwhile, Yashiro becomes embarrassed that Momose knows that he dresses up like a girl. (asiawiki-2015)

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No idea why I am still giving yaoi movies a chance... they are mostly bad (like the Takumi ones) but well, I like to read them and I am still hoping to find good ones ("Not touching at all" is an example of "good one").

Anyway, I can say that this movie has: lovely cinematography (J-movies have beautiful cinematography lately). This one wasn't dark and most places look nice. Shibuya in particular looked so nice **sobs** I am constantly dreaming of Japan...

The actors were good. Not only they look good (nice hairstyle for both of them, a huge and nice surprise because pretty J-boys have almost always the most terrible hairdos), both of them were pretty and were a nice-looking couple, but they actually had chemistry! Whaaaat. Amazing. Their kisses looked cute. Usually when I am watching yaoi movies and the guys have to kiss and touch I can't help but thinking if they felt awkward filming it. But with this movie, I didn't think about it at all. And that is because they had a natural chemistry.

What makes this movie MEH, unfortunately, since it had all the good elements, was the story. I disliked the manga, and I disliked the movie. I think Momose was too pushy (and a criminal, trying to force poor Yashiro); I don't think that only because Yashiro liked to cross-dress meant he was gay. This wasn't a love story.

**My rating: 4/10**