Was in the mood for some Sato Takeru recently, and finally decided to watch Oku Otoko. Two of my favourite Japanese actors in one movie? Bring it on.
Kazuo (Sato Takeru) is down on his luck, working two jobs to pay off his brother’s debt so he can live with his wife Masako (Kuroki Haru) and their daughter again. One day, he strikes lottery to the tune of 300 million yen, and goes to his friend Tsukumo (Takahashi Issei) for advice on how best to use the sudden windfall. After a wild party to celebrate, both Tsukumo and the money disappear… Continue reading
It’s back to regular programming on this blog with two feel-good dramas. While there’s always a fear that sequels are unnecessary and don’t live up to successful earlier seasons, fortunately both Neko Zamurai 2 and Shinya Shokudo 3 still know how to keep a good thing going. The magic is knowing when to stop. For this round, kitty edges it, which makes me think a certain poet turned policeman needs to feature in a cat-related drama soon. Besides, how apt is that tagline on the poster of Neko Zamurai 2? It’s totally my motto in life! Continue reading
Concise storytelling is one of the hallmarks of Japanese dramas, and the good ones make sure scenes contribute to plot, characterisation and the overall big picture. This is even more evident when it comes to dramas whose episodes are at most 25 mins each – you need to tell a story in that period of time and not leave the viewer feeling shortchanged. Fortunately, when Japan does something like this, it tends to do it well, as both Neko Zamurai and Shinya Shokudo will attest. The two dramas are slightly different in the sense that Neko Zamurai is one whole story divided into 12 episodes of 20 minutes each, while Shinya Shokudo is more episodic with loose connections between stories. But they both leave you wanting more. Continue reading