Jan 18 2010
Ok, this is going to be a long post, but bear with me, it might almost be worth reading (that’ll be a first, lol). Basically this post started out as a draft from back in June where I was going to write a review of the drama shows from the first half of 2009. Reached the end of the year at which point it turned into a review of drama shows from all of 2009. But then I realised there’s loads of drama i’ve watched that i’ve never mentioned at all, so her we are, a review of everything I can remember watching up to the end of 2009.
Note: The list currently stands at 27 things, so this is likely to be a *very* long post. List also includes a few movies. It’s going to be ordered by release/air date, which bears absolutely no relation to the order in which I watched them. Enjoy.
A kinda surreal horror movie with one of the most memorable opening scenes I can remember. I’ll admit I only bought it because it feature’s Momoi’s “Mail Me” throughout (as performed by Dessart). It doesn’t make a whole heap of sense from what I remember, but I guess if you’re into Japanese horror then you’re used to that.
Verdict: Only redeeming feature was the use of Mail Me. 4/10
I’m sure most people have seen this, but anyway, it’s a nice story about a girl who likes loli fashion that ends up becoming best friends with a girl biker gang member. Comedy ensues, but it’s ultimately a touching story in the end.
Verdict: Nice fun film with a touching ending. 8/10
World War 2 Japan in an alternative world, the story revolves around a revolutionary new submarine that is tasked with protecting Tokyo from an A-Bomb. But what is the source behind this submarine’s mysterious power? Seemed like a very high budget movie for Japan, quite good, not very deep or thought provoking though. Likely only done as well as it did in Japan purely for it’s high budget special effects (which aren’t actually all that good really, lol).
Verdict: Interesting film if you’ve got some time to kill, not likely to leave any lasting impression though. 6/10
Ok, now *everyone* has seen this, lol (talking about the TV series and not the film). If you are any sort of anime fan and you haven’t, well what on earth have you been doing with yourself??? Hilarious comedy based on the true story of an anime otaku posting on 2ch about his encounters with a woman he saved on the train one day (the “true” part being that the posts did actually get posted on 2ch, but whether or not the poster was making the whole thing up is another matter).
Verdict: Hilarious throughout. 9.5/10
Short drama (6 episodes) about a bar girl that goes to work in a maid cafe to escape the yakuza. I can’t remember a great deal about it (which probably says something about it’s longevity), but I do remember that it was mildly amusing.
Verdict: Mildly amusing, probably of interest if you like maid cafe’s, lol. 5/10
Modern re-make of the classic “Monkey” based on the Journey to the West novel, featuring Atsushi Ito of Densha Otoko fame, and one of the guys from SMAP playing the lead role. It was relatively funny, staying true to the original, though the ending did take on a more serious note. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it on here at the time… ah yes, here: http://www.pori.co.uk/?p=182. It also had a great soundtrack, and that most memorable ending theme… Around The World by Monkey Majik (I do believe they done a cover version of Monkey Magic at some point too, lol).
Verdict: A great re-make. True to it’s origins, funny throughout. 8/10
A group of various otaku get together in Akihabara to start a problem solving group for anyone to come to them with their problems. Hilarity ensues each episode etc. And it seems I already reviewed it here: http://www.pori.co.uk/?p=423.
Verdict: Funny show. You will leave it with a craving for umaibo and a realisation that fujoshi are hot. 7/10
Biographical 2 part drama about Halko Momoi. From her origins as a fan of female idols, and someone who was teased at school, all the way up to her ascent to idolhood herself.
Verdict: A must for any Momoi fan. 8/10
Starring Acchan of AKB48 fame. A story of two girls discovering well… themselves. The story starts with one girl admiring the other for being the popular girl in class, wishing she could have friends like her. That doesn’t last long however as she soon loses popularity and finds herself the target of the bullies. The two never actually speak to each other until their graduation ceremony. Story skips ahead to high school, the girl being bullied has moved to another town, and the other girl wants to become an author… she starts anonymously text messaging the bullied girl her story about a popular girl, and the bullied girl begins to adopt this imaginary character’s personality. Lots of things happen, they both wonder who the real “me” is etc. etc.
Verdict: A touching film about growing up and what it is to be “me”. So good I watched it 3 times on the aeroplane to/from Japan. 9/10
A group of children training to become detectives at a school in Akihabara (seemingly in a cupboard above Mai:lish, lol). Pretty standard formula for a Japanese detective show, random mystery solved each week, culminating in an overall plot with a big bad organization at the end.
Verdict: Somewhat amusing, and features the truly wonderful Shida Mirai (would have got a lower score if she weren’t present). 6.5/10
It’s basically Outbreak (great film), but on an areoplane! I only watched it because it had Takabe Ai in it (just after i’d finished watching Guren Onna… more on that later), and boy did it take ages to find. But yes, it pretty much does what it says on the tin. There’s an outbreak of an infectious disease on an aeroplane, I think everyone can imagine what that entails.
Verdict: I like disaster movies. 7.5/10
Starring AKB48, it’s a pretty naff horror (/comedy) movie about a song that causes people to commit suicide (…so a standard horror movie plot in Japan then). I’m really not much of a fan of Japanese “horror”, because most of the time it just seems to border on the farcical side of things with some gratuitous gore thrown in for the sake of it. But hey, this has it’s redeeming features… it’s full of AKB48.
Verdict: Watch only if you’re some sort of J-Horror otaku, or an AKB48 fan (or if you enjoy seeing AKB48 girls setting fire to themselves). 4/10
Ok, and i’m done for now, decided to split this out into more than one post, tired and want to sleep now, lol. The above is generally mostly stuff I watched before I really started watching much drama.