Tokyo Sentimental

Life has been stressful lately, so I wanted to watch something light and short. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of J-dramas with shorter episodes, and one with a relaxing, charming vibe is always welcome.

Kururi Takuzo (Yoshita Kotaro) is a wagashi-maker who runs a small shop in the shitamachi area of Tokyo, with the help of a sassy part-time assistant, Sudo Akane (Takahata Mitsuki). Takuzo is thrice divorced and is always looking for love. He enjoys walking around the various areas of Tokyo and taking photographs. And Tokyo proves to be just the place for encounters of any kind, no matter one’s age… Continue reading

Warm fuzzies: Shinya Shokudo 4 & 5

It’s been a while since I watched any Shinya Shokudo. Season 3 was a bit blah, so I was glad to take a break and move on to other things. I was a little hesitant upon hearing that Netflix has taken over producing the next two seasons, now with the tag “Tokyo Stories”, but am glad to report that it’s almost like the good old times. I’d initially intended to watch only season 4, but mixed up watching some episodes of season 5 and decided to barrel through both. Continue reading

Shiranakute Ii Koto

There are two sides to a coin. And there is always another perspective to every story we come across. Sometimes, we are so caught up in what we think is the correct version of the “truth” that we neglect to consider what the other party is thinking, or whether there is new information that sheds light on something and makes one reconsider what we think we already know. The good Japanese workplace dramas do that, without judgment as far as possible. Continue reading

Koi wa Tsuzuku yo doko made mo

Greetings again on the second day of spring, and also Sato Takeru’s birthday! Thought I’d whip up this quick post after a while of radio silence. We are living in difficult times, so I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Keep calm and watch more dramas!

Sakura Nanase (Kamishiraishi Mone) met Dr Tendo Kairi (Sato Takeru) during a chance encounter many years ago and fell in love with him. To meet him again, she studied hard to become a nurse. However, the Dr Tendo she enounters again is totally different from the person she imagined him to be. Nicknamed The Devil, Dr Tendo is cold, level-headed and a perfectionist who is hard on the people who work with him. Nevertheless, Sakura seeks to win him over…

Continue reading

Nusumareta Kao

Happy birthday, Tamaki Hiroshi! It’s the big 40 for him, and here’s wishing him many happy returns of the day! And while it’s taken me forever, I finally managed to complete Tamaki’s first WOWOW drama, so here’s a quick write-up.

Shirato Takamasa (Tamaki Hiroshi) is a detective at Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s Criminal Investigation Liaison Division. He is a “recogniser”, someone who memorises the faces of wanted criminals and spots them in the crowds. Along with his two subordinates Ando Kanae (Uchida Rio) and Tani Ryohei (Machida Keita), Shirato works hard to spot the criminals trying to escape detection. One day, he sees the unlikely face of his senior Sunami Toru (Shibukawa Kiyohiko), who died four years ago…

Continue reading

Hanbun, Aoi weeks 1-7

It’s taken me forever, but I finally got round to starting Hanbun, Aoi. I had wanted to wait until the subs were done, but couldn’t resist Sato Takeru’s first asadora, so before I knew it, I had devoured six weeks’ worth of episodes. So much for slowing down!

In a small town in Gifu prefecture, two babies were born on the same day. Nireno Suzume (Nagano Mei) and Hagio Ritsu (Sato Takeru) are best friends who know each other inside out. Suzume is deaf in one ear due to a childhood illness, but that has not put a dent on her sunny personality. As Suzume works towards her dream of becoming a mangaka, Ritsu protects his friend quietly from the sidelines… Continue reading

Anata no Ban desu

Watching a crime drama is one thing. Watching a whodunnit while it is airing and waiting weeks for the conclusion is akin to torture.

Nana (Harada Tomoyo) and Shota (Tanaka Kei) are a newlywed couple and Nana is 15 years older than Shota. Despite the age difference, they are very much in love and both enjoy reading mystery novels. Nana and Shota move into a new apartment, and they soon get embroiled in a spate of murders that take place in the apartment complex…

Continue reading

Intermezzo: Lemon – Yonezu Kenshi

I watched Unnatural earlier in the year and really enjoyed it. Japan has done a number of medical procedurals, but one that focuses on forensic pathology is rare. Unnatural was a very solid drama from start to finish, and is one of the few times where Ishihara Satomi showed she had potential to shine in more serious works (unfortunately she’s gone back to silly stuff like Heaven). What also really stood out was the theme song, Lemon, by Yonezu Kenshi – the lyrics get to me every single time I listen to the song.

junny@5.50pm

Shiroi Kyoto 2019

Hospital politics have never been so intriguing.

Zaizen Goro (Okada Junichi) is a brilliant, ambitious surgeon at Naniwa University Hospital. An associate professor at the department of general surgery, he has his sights set on the professor post and will stop at nothing in his bid to climb up the corporate ladder… Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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