Day 30: A Drama You Wished Never Ended and Continued On


Well, here we are at the final entry of this challenge! For me, I’d love it if Nodame Cantabile went on for at least a couple more seasons. Not only will we get to see more of Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri, there’d be lots more music, lots more fun and zany scenes with the rest of the Nodame cast, and still plenty of character growth to mine. The Nodame franchise (live-action) ended at a point where Chiaki and Nodame are ready to embark on the next stage of their musical careers and personal lives, and I’d love to see what happens next. We could also get a peek into what is going on with Kiyora and Mine after her return to Japan, and if the RS Orchestra has hit big time.

I also wouldn’t mind an extra season, or even just SP, of Love Shuffle. I’m curious to see what Kei is up to now that he has taken a giant step ahead in life. And I would have liked some closure to Detective Investigation Files IV, because god knows that cliffhanger left viewers clamouring for a season V for yonks. The fervour has died down now because most of its stars have gone on to other things, but something finite would have been nice.

So there’s the end of this challenge. Thanks everyone for sticking with me and all your nice comments!



Day 29: A Drama You Wished was Real


I think a certain Tamaki Hiroshi would be very happy if the Japanese drama Antique were real. That’s because the drama featured a host of deliciously sinful cakes and sweet treats that are just perfect for Tamaki, who has a sweet tooth. I have plenty of issues with Antique, which is a watered-down adaptation of the manga Antique Bakery by Yoshinaga Fumi, but the chemistry between the four guys is fantastic and there were a lot of rib-tickling scenes, plus all those gorgeous cakes on display, so I’d still recommend it.

Other dramas that would be awesome if they were real include Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi (hey, we need more smart, talking animals), Love Shuffle (want floor-mates like those four!), and Shinya Shokudo (more late-night restaurants needed!).


Day 28: Favourite Quote


I don’t know if it’s my all-time favourite, but this is definitely memorable. Only Chiaki can make a threat of rejection into something totally romantic and beautiful. In episode 11 of Nodame Cantabile, Chiaki goes to Nodame’s hometown and while on the way to find her, she happens to call him and tell him that she’s decided to study abroad in France. She’ll have to take an exam for the music conservatoire there. As she’s telling him about her dreams of them performing together, he runs up and hugs her from behind ❤ Nodame is totally stunned by his sudden appearance as he tells her she must pass the exam.

Chiaki: Let’s go to Europe together. If you reject ore-sama for the second time, I definitely won’t forgive you.
Nodame: Umm… (smiles) Merry Christmas!
Chiaki: Merry Christmas! (tightens hug)

Precisely because Chiaki is so sparing with his affection that this whole scene, complete with the gorgeous sunset and riverside backdrop, is so precious and squee-worthy. Mr Hotshot Conductor knows how to hit the right romantic notes at the right time!


Day 27: Dream cast for a drama


Hm, I already sort of did this back in the Favourite Actor/Actress post, where I listed my super 7 of Japanese male actors and actresses to team up with them for a drama that will rock all of Japan. So maybe I’ll go with characters instead of actors… sounds like it’ll work?

We should have:
– Chiaki Shinichi from Nodame Cantabile, because every drama needs a genius
– Kuryu Kohei from Hero, to cover our asses when we need a lawyer
– Suga Eiichiro from Love Revolution, because we always need THE TRUTH
– Akiyama Shinichi from Liar Game, to get us out of tricky situations
– Master from Shinya Shokudo, for our food needs
– Minakata Jin from JIN, as medical insurance (just don’t cry too much, hon)
– Edawakare from Suteki na Sen Taxi, for a little time-travelling when needed
– Kage from Antique, to keep us all safe with his imposing sunnies

Actually this is just another excuse to put Chiaki’s photo at the top of this post, heh. At least I’m honest!


Day 25: Most Cringeworthy Moment


A recent one would be in Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu, where Hanae blurts out she’s willing to take care of Yuto while he pursues grad school. Technically there’s nothing wrong with wanting to support your man’s academic ambitions, but this occurred during a first meeting with her younger boyfriend’s mother, and in circumstances where mother and son were talking about school, not marriage. To have Hanae blurt that out, and then go on to ramble how things will be okay so long as they remain frugal and she accepts the promotion at work so she gets a better salary is bloody embarrassing. It’s even worse when Yuto swiftly denies that marriage is on the cards and all Hanae can do is just laugh it off awkwardly that she got things wrong. I kind of understand what Hanae was thinking, but it just reeks of stupidity and desperation. I was cringing throughout the entire scene, not only for how Yuto’s denial must have hurt her (in addition to other things), but for what she really put herself through by being so blinkered in this half-baked relationship. I almost wanted to say she asked for it… okay, she asked for it.

I’m so glad Yu didn’t end up with Hanae. There, I said it again.


Day 24: Funniest Moment


Basically, anytime Furuta Arata appears in Galcir, especially when he starts adopting Gal-speak. I love Geronimo’s interactions with Shinnosuke, Momo and Ichinose. Now I feel the urge to revisit Galcir, just for Geronimo! Kekkon Dekinai Otoko is also very funny, but it’s a different kind of humour.


Day 23: Saddest Moment


Umm… no idea! There are always sad scenes in dramas, but I tend not to revisit those too much or I’d run out of tears. But I do remember that the ending for JIN 2 was pretty tear-inducing, so I’ll go with that. I won’t give the ending away, suffice it to say that it was how things wrapped for the drama, and the acting, that really hit home and brought on the waterworks. I definitely recommend JIN as it’s a really solid medical drama – Osawa Takao gave a tour-de-force performance as the titular Jin, a brain surgeon who was somehow transported back to Edo and had various interesting experiences during his time there. Ayase Haruka was awesome as Saki, Jin’s medical assistant and friend, while Uchino Masaaki was a hoot as Sakamoto Ryoma – you’ll probably never see Ryoma in the same way again. I prefer the first JIN to its sequel, but both are terrific on many levels and definitely deserve a watch.


Day 22: Moment that Shocked You the Most in Any Drama


Hmm… this might be a little difficult because after watching so many dramas, you tend to be able to guess the direction in which any drama will take and you usually won’t be too off the mark.

I guess I’ll just go with Over Time, a J-drama that I remember pretty much surprised everyone with the turn the story took towards the end. I wouldn’t say I was terribly shocked by how things turned out, but I know of friends who watched the drama expecting one thing and were crying foul by the end of the drama. One even said she wouldn’t have watched it if she knew the drama would end like this, lol. Highlight if you want to be spoiled:

Basically, everyone thought Natsuki and Soichiro were gonna end up together because they were such great friends and had wonderful chemistry. They could talk about anything and confide in each other, and besides, things weren’t going well with Natsuki and Kuga, so it seemed as though Soichiro had a chance to be the end game with Natsuki. But then Kuga came back and once again proposed, and Natsuki eventually agreed to marry him. In the end, Soichiro wished them well and dedicated his photobook to her.

It’s been a while since I re-watched the drama, but back then I probably thought the same as everyone else regarding the ending. However, I wasn’t as shocked because I actually liked how things turned out (not to mention I really liked Shiina Kippei, who played Kuga), so I’m probably in the minority about being pleased with the ending. Also, this is one of Sorimachi Takashi’s most memorable roles (the other being GTO) – Soichiro was wonderfully portrayed and Sorimachi had great chemistry with Esumi Makiko, who played Natsuki. I highly recommend the drama for the story, acting and just general awesomeness.


Day 21: Most Overrated Drama


There are tons of overrated dramas (hello kdramas), so I’ll just name one that I’ve seen recently and felt it didn’t deserve all the praise and hype. That would be Saikou no Rikon. I’d read a lot about how wonderful it was, how it was the best drama of 2013, and how Sakamoto Yuji’s writing was so brilliant and witty. So I went in with certain expectations… and came out of it not exactly liking it or finding it as memorable as, say, Itoshi Kimi e or Top Caster. I detailed my misgivings about the drama in an earlier post, so all I’ll say here is that I think the drama was decent and had solid acting for the most part, but it could definitely have been better. And I really did not like all that posturing during the ending credits.


Day 20: Most Underrated Drama


These two dramas are more of “what the fuck did I just watch”, but I think it’s precisely because of that factor that people dismiss them and/or just think they’re too weird and don’t continue watching, so in that sense they are underrated. First up is Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi, which I wrote about here. I just think it’s so brilliant on all counts that it’s a shame if people miss it just because it’s about a talking deer and unlucky schoolteacher who try to save Japan from impending disaster. Besides, it has Tamaki Hiroshi and Ayase Haruka in a much more satisfying and logical pairing (take that, Kaisha!)

The other one is Galcir (or Gal Circle), about a Japanese cowboy from America called Shinnosuke (Fujiki Naohito) who arrives in Shibuya to look for a mysterious girl named Imoko. He befriends a group of “fashionable” malnourished girls who end up helping him in his search for Imoko after he helps them work through their various problems. I watched it for Fujiki, who was awesome, but the real star was probably Furuta Arata’s Geronimo, he was an absolute hoot. And this was my introduction to Toda Erika, who as Saki was the only “gal” I actually liked. The drama is pretty wacky and quirky, and that’s part of its charm.


Day 19: Least Favourite Character


Plenty to choose from. Hanae from Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu and Sakura from Last Cinderella, to start things off. The former is stupid, the latter is disgusting. Also, any character played by Hirosue Ryoko; all the hysterical mothers (and in-laws) whose sole purpose in life is to make people miserable; Mei from Love Shuffle; Ha Woo-jin from k-Liar Game (you’ll never be Akiyama!), the entire cast of Trainwreck Cantabile, and so on and so forth.


Day 18: The Worst J-drama that you’ve watched until the end


This was supposed to be “Favourite Live Action version of an Anime/Manga”, but since I don’t really watch anime or read manga, I hunted around for other questions in these sorts of challenges and found a replacement from this site. Since it’s day 18, I just took the equivalent from that challenge.

I tend to be more selective with the J-dramas I watch, and as far as possible try not to drop them unless they’re really shitty. I had decent expectations for MOZU because I liked Nishijima Hidetoshi in Strawberry Night, and he made a great team with Kagawa Teruyuki in Double Face. Besides, MOZU had a pretty star-studded cast and the plot seemed decent. However, for a cop procedural, MOZU was surprisingly tedious and annoying. It’s certainly not the worst J-drama out there, but it’s pretty bad among the ones I have watched. The acting couldn’t save it because the writing just seemed so bad – I couldn’t relate to Nishijima’s character Kuraki, which means I couldn’t get behind his cause of uncovering the “conspiracy” that led to his wife’s death. The Dharma plot was stupid and had it been removed, things would have tightened up considerably. As it was, the story dragged on and was pretty much a snoozefest. Pacing was almost non-existent and the story spawned more questions than it could answer, which was bad for a cop procedural. Almost nobody in the drama was likeable and I don’t know how I made it to the end of it. Suffice it to say that I did not bother with Season 2.


Day 17: Least Favourite Drama


Eh, too many to name. Pick any of the overrated dramas like My Girl, Full House etc and you’ll probably hit something right. I’ll just go with Bu Bu Jing Xin, a Chinese drama that I had the misfortune to finish and find it completely mediocre. Till this day, I still do not understand the hype surrounding it and the fanbase and sequel it spawned, because at the end of the day, it’s just a glorified fanfic with a pretty silly female lead and a ton of lame princes who are supposed to be in love with her. Liu Shishi was average as the time traveller who didn’t know her history and got caught up in the succession fight in 18th century Qing dynasty. Nicky Wu, who played Yinzhen (who would eventually become Emperor Yongzheng) was stiff and dull as heck, I pretty much laughed every time he appeared on screen – besides, his dubbed voice was so awful. Kevin Cheng still can’t act. I watched the drama because I wanted to understand what the fuss was all about, and while I appreciate being able to watch a drama without having to wait for subtitles, I think Yongzheng would have turned in his grave many times over if he knew he was being portrayed in such a sappy, lovesick-fool way.