A LIFE

Greetings again! I apologise for the radio silence, real life came calling and my laptop decided to kaboom on me, so it’s the office computer until I can get a new machine. This also means my drama backlog keeps increasing so I only managed to finish A LIFE, which is Kimura Takuya’s first acting outing since the break-up of SMAP. The premise was nothing new, but it had a strong cast, and the eternal mystery of why Asano Tadanobu played second fiddle to Kimura is something my mind can’t compute at all so I had to watch to find out.

Rookie doctor Okita Kazuaki (Kimura Takuya) was sent overseas thanks to the machinations of his best friend Suzuki Masao (Asano Tadanobu). Leaving his girlfriend Danjo Mifuyu (Takeuchi Yuko) behind, he went to Seattle, where he became an excellent cardiothoracic surgeon. Ten years later, he returns to Danjo Hospital at the request of Mifuyu’s father, who is the hospital director, and is handed a difficult task by Masao, who has since married Mifuyu… Continue reading

Karei naru Ichizoku

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There must be something in the air, because this is the third Kimura Takuya drama I’ve finished this year. This is a bit surreal since I’ve avoided Kimura’s dramas for the better part of a decade, but I suppose it had to happen sometime. And since this year seems to be about giving actors I don’t particularly care for another chance, I gave it a shot.

Set in Kansai during the restructuring of the financial industry in the late 1960s, Karei naru Ichizoku depicts the conflicts and secrets within the Manpyo clan, notably the rivalry between the father Daisuke (Kitaoji Kinya), a powerful banker who heads Hanshin Bank, and his eldest son Teppei (Kimura Takuya), the executive managing director of Hanshin Steelworks. As Teppei works to advance his firm’s ambitions of breaking into the global steel market, he runs into stiff opposition, chief of which is coming from Daisuke, who for some reason dislikes Teppei… Continue reading

Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi

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Thanks to the uninspiring summer 2015 drama line-up, I had another opportunity to work on my backlog of dramas. This time, I dived back in time to the early 2000s, when skinship in J-dramas was as natural as breathing, and J-drama writers and actors were still pretty happy to experiment with anything and everything.

A young female university student is killed and the scene arranged to look like a suicide. A series of clues leads Detective Dojima Kanzo (Akashiya Sanma) to suspect Katase Ryo (Kimura Takuya), an enigmatic chef’s assistant working at a high-end restaurant called Reve. The pair have had run-ins, and each time Kanzo is left feeling unsettled as he uncovers more about Ryo, his obsessive girlfriend Yuki (Shibasaki Kou) and Ryo’s complicated entanglements with various women. But what worries Kanzo most is the developing relationship between Ryo and¬† Kanzo’s younger sister, the beautiful Yuko (Fukatsu Eri)… Continue reading

A date with Spring 2015 dramas

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Considering I barely follow currently-airing dramas, it’s a mini achievement that I completed four Spring 2015 dramas more or less within the season, and this is my lazy way of not doing a big write-up for each of them. The four in question are I’m Home, Kokoro ga Pokitto ne, Fuben na Benriya and 64 (Rokuyon). While none of them really hit it out of the park, they were watchable in their own ways. Continue reading

Day 8: Favourite Drama Couple

Yikes, this calls for some repeating again, haha. I have quite a few couples that I really ship, so here we go. Spoilers included.

1. Chiaki Shinichi & Noda Megumi (Nodame Cantabile)

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Well, I’m sure the reason why I love this couple is obvious. They love music and are just awesome sauce and complement each other in the ways that matter. Besides, Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri look so fantastic together and had such amazing chemistry, it’s a shame they aren’t dating in real life.

2. Suga Eiichiro & Asaoka Kyoko (Love Revolution)

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Whenever he calls her Kyoko-san in that half-teasing, half-flirty manner, it makes her knees and that of the audience go weak. They’re both workaholics and true professionals, but y’know, even hotshot journalists and brainy doctors make time to kiss their way to a sizzling romance.

3. Kuryu Kohei & Amamiya Maiko (Hero)

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Strictly speaking, they were never a couple in the original J-drama (whatever comes after isn’t worth a mention, really). But Kuryu and Amamiya were a powerhouse and wacko legal team, mostly because of his unorthodox methods, and their chemistry was off the charts.

4. Sena Hidetoshi & Hayama Minami (Long Vacation)

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Long Vacation is a classic J-drama everyone should watch, because it’s one of Kimutaku’s best works. Both friends and lovers, Sena and Minami show age difference is no barrier to true love. Bonus: there is classical music!

5. Hirokawa Eiki & Egi Toko (Koori no Sekai)

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This is a couple blighted by her traumatic past, but Eiki is nothing if determined to uncover the truth so Toko can finally get her life back. As they say, true love will overcome everything. Takenouchi Yutaka and Matsushima Nanako had some pretty sizzling chemistry here.

Some honourable mentions (or this will never end):
Takano Seiichi & Amemiya Hotaru (Hotaru no Hikari)
Kuga Tatsuhiko & Kasahara Natsuki (Over Time)
Usami Kei & Aizawa Airu (Love Shuffle)
Kudo Junpei & Tanaka Chiharu (Kekkon Shinai)
Tsui Fei & Quin (Detective Investigation Files IV)
Kang Tae-bong & Oh Dalja (Dalja’s Spring)
Hyun Jin-heon & Kim Sam-soon (My Name is Kim Sam-soon)

junny@11.40pm