Thursday, October 19, 2017

Border Shoudou

Haru's character was the weakest part of Border. Her young age relative to how much experience on would need to be a coroner and her see through  protective clothing  did not mix with the gritty realism that inhibited Border. Not to mention it felt very much like a talento mandated push rather than casting someone age appropriate for the role. (See any jdorama where they cast a 20 year old as a police detective or doctor.

Shoudou is the attempt to try to fix Haru's character or at least explain her character. First, Shoudou does it by making a story about how Haru managed to become special coroner at such a young age. Secondly to create more empathy for her by giving her this arsehole of a boss who is hopeless at his job. They made him so slimy that even a cynical bastard like me would want to see him get his comeuppance.

I must say, it did reduce my utter dislike for her character and I would say I don't mind her now. However, the story in Border Shoudou is not very exciting and feels so pedestrian. On the whole, it was a meh two parter and not necessary viewing for the Border movie in 19 days, unless a certain someone from Shoudou shows up in the special! I can't wait!

I've slowly restarted my rewatching of Border. Its still so good and one of the best jdorama cop shows ever. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fireworks / Uchiage hanabi, Shita kara miru ka? Yoko kara miru ka? review


I went into Fireworks with completely zero knowledge and expectations and the movie did not even meet any standards of competency for me. Here's five reasons why you should not watch Fireworks:

1. NO PATHOS

The story did not give me any reason at all to care for the characters. We are given a basic introduction into the characters, the main girl is dragged kicking and screaming by her mother who is remarrying because she doesn't want to relocate and then the main character starts the time travel cycle.

First off, when we normally get a groundhog day like story, you either need some dangerous event that needs changing, a relationship that needs saving or you just want to see someone do interesting things. Fireworks does none of these. The anime tells us that they two characters like each other but they don't even have a relationship prior to the time travelling.

2. VERY INCONSISTENT ART

For a freaking movie, I have no idea why many times the art looks completely awful.

3. EVERYTHING FEELS SO GENERIC

From the high school setting to the jokes, Fireworks feels like a poor copy of a copy of Koe no Katachi and Kimi no na wa. I've seen this so many times before and done so much better.

4. DOES NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TIME TRAVEL ELEMENT

Self explanatory.

5. NONSENSICAL AND NO ENDING

The movie keeps asking the audience whether a fireworks are round or flat and then proceeds to give us this weird musical scene and starts to get psychedelic for no reason while I was struggling to keep awake waiting for the story to do something interesting with the time travel stuff.

Finally, there's an artsy fartsy no freaking ending to the story. It probably makes sense to the writer and fans of Shaft, the crappy animators but they failed to make me care about the story to even try.

SUMMARY

I can't remember the last time I've seen such a poorly produced and executed anime movie that failed on every single front for me. Do not watch.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kahogo no Kahoko

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Kahogo no Kahoko is about a child-like university student who we never see study, who was raised by an overprotective mother played by Kuroki Hitomi and she basically spends the whole movie pulling cute faces.

I'VE ALREADY SEEN OKAASAN, MUSUME WO YAMETE II DESU KA SO WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS?

First off this Kahogo no Kahoko is a comedy and its more of a shoujo anime style boy meets girl story mixed in with a family dorama.

STILL DOESN'T SOUND APPEALING

Probably my favourite part of Kahogo no Kahoko is how idiosyncratic all the characters are. For example, Kuroki Hitomi completely changes into a different person when she leaves the kindom's border and you've a sloth grandfather who keeps saying he'll do something tomorrow. What saves Kahogo no Kahoko is the chemistry between the two leads which is pretty good and the main guy starts off not as a boring nice guy but as someone who takes advantage of Kahoko's naivety. Plus I like how he always turns up doing some dodgy part time work.

WHAT ARE THE SHOW'S WEAKNESSES?

Kahoko, who is basically like an anime child never really learns what hardship is as the show turns into a family drama in the second half. The family stuff can get a bit draggy.

IS KAHOGO NO KAHOKO GOOD?

As a shoujo manga style jdorama about a kawaii girl who never grows up with a lot of family drama elements, Yukawa Kazuhiko (GTO, Koi ga Shitai, Oyaji) does a pretty good job. He's an expert at the family drama stuff with the classic Oyaji. So if you accept the parameters or limitations of the genre, he did a pretty good job and I managed to get right to the end and the bus stop scene was moving. Surprisingly watchable.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Gukoroku Traces of Sin review

Trace of Sin is a murder mystery movie that's more about hierarchy in today's society featuring an all star cast of Mitsushima Hikari, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Usuda Asami and Ichikawa Yui.

Mitsushima Hikari is in prison for child neglect and her brother Tsumabuki Satoshi starts looking into the murder of a family that happened one year ago.

The more Tsumabuki Satoshi finds out about the murdered parents, the more we discover this cruel world that makes up Japanese society.

This is Jmovies at its best; dark, uncomprimising and unafraid to make the viewer feel very uncomfortable.

I was gripped by every word, enjoyed every frame and performance. I would say Traces of Sin is 2017's The Snow White Murder Case.

The less I say about Trace of Sin the better. I got the raw from nyaa here and the subs from Avistaz. Must watch

Friday, September 29, 2017

Papakatsu review

WHAT IS PAPAKATSU ABOUT?

Papakatsu stands for papa katsudou (lifestyle). Its basically the new compensation dating. Rich old men paying university going women money to spend time with down. Iitoyo Marie plays a university student who gets into papakatsu after being kicked out of her home and runs into Watabe Atsuro who turns out to be her university lecturer.

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT PAPAKATSU?

Nojima Shinji is one of the greatest jdorama writers ever but lately, he's output has been disappointing especially Our House. From episode one of Papakatsu, I could feel the difference in his writing. The conversations between Iitoyo Marie and her three friends were funny and could deliver the necessary information I needed while feeling very natural. And when he is on, no one writes monologues like Nojima Shinji. Suffice to say, I was paying attention to every freaking word and its been a while since I can say that dialogue in a jdorama feels like singing to me.

Everything else about Papakatsu is good. The acting, the directing and the music. Its a low budget jdorama that looks so much better than many high budget shows.

WHAT'S BAD ABOUT PAPAKATSU?

Nothing.

SHOULD I WATCH IT?

Yes, if you've got the Japanese for it or can read Chinese. Being a Nojima Shinji show the vocabulary is a bit more difficult than usual. You can get it from nyaa here although its missing episode 2 or stream from jplovetv here. While I can't give it a must watch, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Very watchable and definitely deserves to be English subbed.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ashita tatte, Himitsu wa Aru Episodes 1-3

The story about a son and mother who killed their abusive dad 8 years ago sounded interesting to me so I decided to check out the dorama. However, the more I watched the show about this who is this mystery person who knows about the crime, the more uneasy I felt.

That's because the mystery antagonist's actions start to become more and more prosposterous such as being able to dig out the body from the garden in the middle of the night without the main character or his mother noticing.

The final straw for me was when the the fiance's boss shared client information with the main character despite the fact that he was not even an employee of the firm.  Is there not such thing as client privacy in Japan?


It seems like the writer is making things happen for the sake of the everyone is a suspect mystery and everything feels like its going to collapse under the weight of logic. Maybe everything gets explained well in the end but I could not ignore my jdorama sense tingling. Dropping it straight away. Meh.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Border 2 Shokuzai is coming!!!!

After a lot of waiting and wondering why Oguri Shun would do crappy doramas and movies instead of doing the continuation of one of the best shows of 2014, Border 2 is finally coming end of this year!

I know I should keep my expectations low but I'm so excited! Not so excited about Haru. Its coming as a special dorama so I'm guessing its going to be tv movie? Get hyped! Need to find time to rewatch season 1. :)