Mini J-drama puffs: 2022 half-time round-up

Greetings after a long while of silence. Hope everyone’s been doing well and watching dramas! In the past few months, I’ve watched a number of Japanese dramas but just haven’t had the energy to dedicate specific posts to each of them. So here’s a wrap of what I’ve put my eyeballs on so far.

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Oku Otoko

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

Quartet

Sometimes when I’m iffy about a particular writer’s work, the strength of the cast is usually a decisive factor in my giving a drama a shot. Sakamoto Yuji’s dramas are hit or miss for me, but the opportunity to watch some of the best acting talents in the business share a screen for 10 weeks was not to be missed.

Four people cross paths unexpectedly in a karaoke place and decide to form a string quartet. The members – first violin Maki Maki (Matsu Takako), cellist Sebuki Suzume (Mitsushima Hikari), second violin Beppu Tsukasa (Matsuda Ryuhei) and violist Iemori Yutaka (Takahashi Issei) – retreat to Beppu’s family villa in Karuizawa during the winter and begin to take on gigs, performing as Quartet Doughnuts Hole. However, they have secrets they are hiding from one another… Continue reading

Nobunaga Concerto

nobunaga

There will always be some historical characters who, whether by virtue of their achievements or notoriety, get more attention in any medium, and this is same for Oda Nobunaga, one of the most famous and pivotal figures in Japanese history. A good chunk of jidaigeki tend to feature Nobunaga in some form and last year’s offering, Nobunaga Concerto, was quite a hit, enough that a movie sequel is apparently in the works.

Saburo (Oguri Shun) is a high-school student who somehow manages to travel back in time to the Sengoku period of 1549. He bumps into Oda Nobunaga (also Oguri Shun), who is the son of a warlord and magistrate of the lower Owari Province. Nobunaga looks and sounds just like Saburo, but is physically weak and wants Saburo to take his place in this turbulent time. Saburo initially thinks it’s for a lark, but as he gets used to living in the Sengoku era, Saburo as Nobunaga sets out to unify Japan… Continue reading