Short Takes: Neko Zamurai 2 & Shinya Shokudo 3

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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

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Short takes: Neko Zamurai & Shinya Shokudo 2

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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

Shinya Shokudo season 1

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I’d heard a lot about Shinya Shokudo and finally had the time to sit down and watch the first season. As expected, it’s excellent and heartwarming, and one can easily see why it has expanded to a season 3. It’s like comfort food that warms your insides on a cold snowy day, and the simplicity of it makes everything even more worth savouring. The short episodes (each is about 25-30 minutes) also make this a breeze to watch – you can easily polish off two or three episodes at a go and won’t even feel time passing by. Continue reading