Butterfly Sleep

Kim Jae-wook speaking Japanese is love. Can he please start doing only Japanese films from now on?

Matsumura Ryoko (Nakayama Miho) is a popular novelist in her 50s who knows she has Alzheimer’s. One day, she meets So Chan-hae (Kim Jae-wook), a young Korean man in his 20s who is working and studying in Japan. Slowly, they become attracted to each other…

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Her Private Life

Kim Jae-wook is a work of art, and Her Private Life paid tribute to that.

Sung Deok-mi (Park Min-young) is a talented curator at Cheum Museum of Art, professional and devoted to her work. However, Deok-mi leads a double life as a dedicated fangirl of the singer Cha Shi-an. Deok-mi is happy to keep her work and personal lives separate, but everything changes when Ryan Gold (Kim Jae-wook), a famous painter and the museum’s new director, saunters into her life… Continue reading

Ossan’s Love

Nothing pleases me more than to see an underrated actor get the recognition he deserves, and finally, it is the turn of Tanaka Kei.

Haruta Soichi (Tanaka Kei) is a bachelor who works in the sales department of a real estate company. He is good-hearted and wants to get married, but is rather hapless and unpopular with women. Haruta takes in a roommate, Maki Ryota (Hayashi Kento), a new colleague who is good at household chores. One day, Haruta’s boss Kurosawa Musashi (Yoshida Kotaro) suddenly confesses his feelings for him. Haruta is further caught off guard when Maki says he has feelings for him too…

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Haru no Yuki

Greetings on the first day of spring! Real life has been really busy lately, so this post is much delayed. Still, I thought this post might be appropriate in the light of the changing seasons, the beauty and impermanence of it all. Some spoilers after the jump.

In the early years of the Taisho era, the closeted world of the aristocracy is having to deal with a new kind of social elite – rich provincial families who have come into money and power. Among them the Matsugae family, whose only son Kiyoaki (Tsumabuki Satoshi) has to grapple with the old and new, and his confused feelings for his childhood friend, the spirited and beautiful Satoko (Takeuchi Yuko). However, Satoko is engaged to be married to a royal prince… Continue reading

Alter-egos: Nanimono & Aku to Kamen no Ruru

Greetings for the new year! Here’s wishing everyone a plentiful year in terms of dramas and films, and whatever your heart desires. It is fitting therefore to begin the year with a post on films by two actors I like and who are always lovely to watch on screen. The two films are very different in content, but there are some surprising similarities to be found.

Also, happy birthday to Tamaki Hiroshi! 💖💖💖 He turns 39 this year, and after the big year he had in 2018 – getting married, starring in three films, and being picked for a WOWOW drama, among other achievements – here’s hoping 2019 will bring more success for him! Continue reading

River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha

If you know your J-dramas, you’ll know they’re game for anything weird and wacky. And it’s a great feeling when you sign up for something on a whim and are taken on a surreal ride.

Nestled in one of the multi-tenanted and commercial buildings on the banks of the Sumida River in Asakusa is Ookawabata Tanteisha, a nondescript, humble private detective agency. It is run by three people – the Director (Ishibashi Renji), the licensed detective Muraki (Odagiri Joe), and the bubbly receptionist Megumi (Koizumi Maya). Their customers come from all walks of life, and bring with them plenty of strange requests… Continue reading

Tabineko Ripoto

So it was that, good cat slave that I am, I made a beeline for Japan’s latest offering of feline adorableness as soon as I could. Because, of course, shelling out money to watch a film about cats counts as worshipping my feline overlord.

Nana (voiced by Takahata Mitsuki) is a smart and sassy cat adored by his owner Satoru (Fukushi Sota). However, for reasons unknown, Satoru now cannot keep his cat, so he and Nana go on a journey across Japan to find a new home for the feline. As Nana and Satoru meet old friends and new, they uncover secrets and eventually Satoru’s past… Continue reading

Good Doctor

I had not expected to watch another Yamazaki Kento drama so soon after Todome no Kiss, but who can say no to Fujiki Naohito and Ueno Juri in the cast? Certainly not me.

Shindo Minato (Yamazaki Kento) is autistic with savant syndrome. When he was seven years old, his brother died in an accident while Minato was saved by the kindly Dr Shiga Akira (Emoto Akira). Minato grew up determined to be a paediatric surgeon so he could help other children become adults. Despite all odds, he passes the national examination for medical practitioners. At the invitation of Dr Shiga, Minato enters Togo Memorial Hospital to begin his journey as a paediatrician… Continue reading

Hanzai Shokogun

I never thought there’d be a day when I could (remotely) root for a character played by Tanihara Shosuke, but the heavens must have been listening and there finally is a drama that allows me to do just that.

Muto Takashi (Tamayama Tetsuji) quit the police force a year ago after he lost his sister Sayuri to a crime committed by a juvenile offender. He now works at a detective agency investigating infidelity cases. One day, he is asked by Tamaki Keigo (Watabe Atsuro) of the MPD to take on a special case that he cannot refuse… Continue reading

Rich Man Poor Woman

I try not to watch dramas because of hype, since I’d be disappointed inevitably if they don’t live up to my expectations. There are times, however, when I give in just to see what the fuss is all about. Usually the fuss is much ado about nothing.

Hyuga Toru (Oguri Shun) is an IT whizkid whose company, Next Innovation, is the next big thing in the technology world. Hyuga is rich and successful, and his company is where young, creative people want to be at. Natsui Makoto (Ishihara Satomi) is a luckless young woman who has trouble finding a job. She attends a presentation for new recruits at Next Innovation, but when Hyuga humiliates her in front of the other applicants, she stands up for herself. Hyuga asks for her name and gets told it is Sawaki Chihiro, which stuns him… Continue reading

Fate Twisters: Todome no Kiss & Final Cut

Sometimes I try to be less picky about what to watch, but taking a chance on the unknown is risky business and I’m not always lucky enough to hit jackpot. So since I thought it’s about time I learn to broaden my drama-watching tastes, I decided I’d give two dramas, whose lead actors I don’t give a fig about, the chance to impress me. Continue reading

Tamaki Hiroshi, Kinami Haruka tie the knot

Look who’s getting married today!

Tamaki Hiroshi dropped the bombshell last week that he and actress Kinami Haruka would marry on June 26, news that stunned fans as there was no rumour whatsoever that they were in a relationship. Tamaki and Kinami have been friends for eight years, and started getting close after working together in the 2017 drama SP Onna no Kunshou starring Matsushima Nanako. In that SP, Tamaki played an ambitious, manipulative man who toyed with women to get what he wanted, and Kinami’s character was one of his victims.

I’m delighted for Tamaki that he has found his other half! There’s always something sweet about a friends turned lovers story, and even better that it has resulted in marriage! I vaguely remember seeing Kinami in what I skimmed of Onna no Kunshou and Yuusha Yoshihiko, but don’t recall seeing her in anything else yet. Nevertheless, she seems like a very sweet lady and a solid actress from what I’ve read, so I’m happy for her and Tamaki. No baby is on the way as yet, and the couple plan to continue working after marriage.

Tamaki was recently in the drama Anata ni wa kaeru ie ga aru and the film Laplace’s Witch, while Kinami was in Hana nochi Hare. Coincidentally, both dramas featured in the 2018 spring season.

Congratulations to Tamaki and Kinami! Wishing them bliss and happiness!

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