Ok, 2nd part, continuing from where I left off (forgot to mention Sh15uya in 2005, but i’ve already mentioned it here albeit very briefly, lol, I give it 7/10)…
Kabei – Our Mother:
WW2 film set in Japan. The story revolves around a family whose father gets arrested for “thought crimes” (aka: suspected of being a communist, or anyone in general against the war), and how the family’s mother holds everything together. It’s a nice story, but as I mentioned on my twitter it doesn’t really go anywhere. It does however feature the wonderfully talented Shida Mirai though.
Verdict: Nice story, kinda doesn’t go anywhere. 6/10
The crimson woman; famous throughout urban legends as someone who stays around to haunt people after dying from being set fire to. Except… she’s not a ghost, and nor is she dead, during the day she’s just an incredibly shy and reserved school teacher. A funny drama showcasing her night time escapades in dispensing justice and trying to keep her true identity a secret. ^_^ First watched it while out in Japan randomly flicking through channels… ended up buying the DVD box set, and seeking out other drama Takabe Ai‘s been in, lol.
Verdict: Funny stuff. 7.5/10
Coin Locker Monogatari:
Starring Kojima Haruna of AKB48 fame. This 4 part drama focuses on the story of a girl abandoned in a train station coin locker when she was a baby, and her comedy encounters with a coin locker attendant. Kinda amusing, but really only of interest to AKB/Haru-nyan fans.
Verdict: Watch if bored, or an AKB48 fan. 5/10
Kimi Hannin Janai yo ne?:
A pretty standard comedy detective show. There’s the detective who thinks he knows how to solve everything, and gets it wrong every week, and his non-detective female sidekick that he doesn’t really like that ends up solving it all for him.
Verdict: Funny, easy to watch, no great complex plot. 7/10
Seigi no Mikata:
Ok, this deserves lots of pictures. Click for fullsize etc.
…and that was all from the first episode, lol. This was truly a funny show, a girl has a really popular older sister who is basically an evil bully, but no-one else can see this, all they see is the beautiful popular intelligent older sister, while the younger sister… the one doing all the older sister’s dirty work is simply pushed to the side. The first show I saw with Shida Mirai in, and i’ve gotta say her facial expressions and acting throughout the entire series are just great. All of her serious drama does lack all of these comedy faces she’s so good at doing. Easily the best drama i’ve watched that’s aired the past 2 years.
Verdict: Very funny, so so want a 2nd season (or at least comedy version Mirai in something else, lol). 9/10
Shibatora is a cop that looks far too young to be a cop, and has a unique power to be able to see when people are going to die. Police drama with a bit of comedy thrown in. Generic overarching plot with a big bad guy at the end etc.
Verdict: Amusing if kinda generic comedy cop drama. 6/10
Gakko ja Oshierarenai!:
An all girls school is about to accept a small number of guys for the first time. The higher ups are mostly against it, as are the rest of the students, the boys are outcasts. Their teacher (who is incidentally played by mrs loli fashion lover from Kamikaze Girls) ends up forcing them to join a casual dance club with a group of girls that are also somewhat social outcasts themselves… all the while trying to hook them up with each other. Each episode generally follows the relationship between one of the guys and one of the girls.
Verdict: Funny throughout with a nice happy ending. 7/10
Yasuko to Kenji:
Story about a guy bringing up his younger sister alone. Except it’s not so simple, he’s an ex-biker gang member, and he’s now working as a female manga artist (using a pen name) with his un-intelligent ex-gang members as his assistants. His sister is now at that age where she’s fallen in love, but he won’t allow it. Cue much hilarity.
Verdict: Table throwing, pipe slamming hilarity throughout, oh and love~ 7.5/10
And another AKB48 drama (and people wonder why they’re more popular than Hello!Project these days, lol). Three girls audition to become idols and fail. Somehow they end up getting chased by a gang of criminals, which results in them dressing up as men and somehow getting recruited into a band. So throughout the show they have keep their identities a secret and evade capture from the criminals. In-between all of the shots of Haru-nyan, Mii-chan, and Takamina in various states of undress (or getting spanked) it was actually very funny. Especially the running joke of the guy that ended up falling in love with one of them in man form. ^_^ Also the ending theme is probably the last AKB48 single I liked a lot (Oogoe Diamond).
Verdict: Funny, no need to be an ABK48 fan to enjoy it. 7/10
Terrorists are about to release a deadly virus across Tokyo, somebody must stop them. This is where the government organization THIRD-i come in… except one of their number ends up on the run suspected of murder and involvement with the terrorist plot. It’s now up to his genius hacker son to figure out what’s going on and save the day. Several places i’ve seen have called this “Japan’s 24″, it was an action packed thrill ride all the way to the end.
Verdict: Terrorists, a deadly virus, a genius hacker, what more could you want? (a second season perhaps… well that starts in a few days too!) 8/10
Mei-chan no Shitsuji:
Mei’s parents die in a freak house explosion (you know, happens all the time). Turns out her grandfather is the incredibly rich head of a huge corporation, he takes custody of her and sends her to an expensive girls school where every girl has her own butler, and she is supposed to learn how to become a lady suitable for taking over the company. However at the school she ends up assigned to the most popular butler there, which creates a few enemies for her. Comedy throughout, plus a pointless love story between her and her butler.
Verdict: Funny, but the love story with her butler was the wrong choice, she should have gone for her childhood friend instead. 6/10
Starring Ai-chan from Morning Musume (did they finally catch on?). Another generic comedy detective story. A new guy transfers to Ai’s school, he’s a genius at maths got moved up a few years, and studied in America in the past, but he’s a bit of a loner (and frankly irritating to be honest), but he and Ai end up becoming friends. Onto the detective part… Ai’s dad is a detective, but somehow Ai and the kid end up solving everything each week, go figure.
Verdict: Another generic comedy detective show. Watch if you like that sort of thing, or you’re an Ai fan. 6/10
Uta no Oniisan:
Starring one of the guy’s from Arashi along with the girl from GIRL NEXT DOOR. The basic plot is that the guy gets kicked out of his own band, so is forced to go out looking for a new job, ends up going to the wrong interview and somehow gets accepted for a singing TV presenter on a kids show. Only problem is he’s not the most cheerful of guys, lol. The kids show itself has it’s own problems, falling ratings and the two current hosts have ego’s as big as a planet. It’s really quite a funny show, with a nice happy ending too. Oh, and they were showing this at Ayacon last year too… what made me laugh was the description one of the Ayacon staff had written in the conbook for it, something along the lines of “the sort of children’s show that could only appear in a drama”………. yeah…. whoever wrote that clearly hasn’t seen much Japanese children’s TV as this is more what every single kids show is like, lol. ♪Minna de utao! Pa Pi Pu Pe Pon♪
Verdict: Very funny show, great characters, easily best drama i’d watched in 2009. 8.5/10
Atashinchi no Danshi:
Girl is running away from debt collectors after her father racked up some huge debt. To the rescue comes an excentric old rich guy that runs a toy company who pays off her debt and makes her his wife… except he only has 1 month to live. She ends up signing some stuff that means after he dies she has to look after his adopted sons (who all hate each other) in a crazy house full of puzzles and hidden rooms, and try and get everyone to like each other. Once she’s completed all of the challenges she can then become a free woman. Also, had a really great theme song… Infinity by GIRL NEXT DOOR.
Verdict: Funny oddball show with lots of crazy inventions. 7/10
Futatsu no Spica:
Bunch of guys and girls go to astronaut school with dreams of going to space. Set in alternate world modern day Japan years after a Japanese space shuttle disaster involving one of the girl’s that attends the school’s parents. Relatively interesting story ignoring the major plotholes. Kinda sad too.
Verdict: You don’t get a drama about an astronaut school very often. Nice if kinda sad story. 7/10
And there we go, i’m done, lol. What was originally supposed to be a review of drama from the first half of 2009 turned into a brief look through pretty much everything i’ve seen, lol. Top three drama, easily Winter Sonata in first, followed by Densha Otoko, and Seigi no Mikata in third (with Uta no Oniisan having an honourable mention). Stuff i’m currently watching (or planning to watch):
14 sai no Haha
Daremo Mamotte Kurenai
Bloody Monday 2 (when it starts)
Hmm, i’ll be impressed if anyone actually read all of that (I know I wouldn’t). Lets see, if anyone did, then add up all the scores I gave to stuff and tell me the number in person at some point and then you can claim a free drink, lol.