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Category Archives: j-dorama

70000 People Detective Nitobe

Finally, another drama that’s funny and interesting. 🙂 Viva fansub!

70000 People Detective Nitobe is a story about a girl taking pictures and blogging every single thing she finds. She has more than 70000 followers on her blog. One day, she’s on a bus and found a murdered man. She starts blogging about it, and while the police thought that she’s the suspect, thanks to her taking pictures of the scene and her 70000 followers commenting on her blog, she not only figured out the true culprit, she even prevented them form running away (apparently the taxi driver that the suspects took is a follower of her blog too, LOL) and revealed the true story behind the crime. Note that this is not a serious drama, it’s more like light comedy/detective drama.

So, we have this, and Sunao ni Narenakute, both portraying the use of social networking on the web (blogging, twitter) as useful and fun tools. This is in contrast of American mainstream media entertainment that seems to only portray social networking as a place for sex offenders/terrorists/criminals, that the internet is “bad.” Thank you J-Dorama. 🙂

Now, where would J-Dorama be without Apple:

There you go, a black Macbook prominently displayed to show Apple’s logo. LOL. Sure, none of the cellphones used are iPhones (as Nitobe has to be able to compose her blog without looking, thus phones with a physical keypad is crucial), but voila, Apple is invading J-Dorama. No Kamen Rider yet though, at least in Episode 1. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2010 in apple, j-dorama

 

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More J-Dorama

Haven’t been posting for a while due to twitter. Twitter feels more convenient than blogging. Oh well, now I feel that I need to do an update. For what? More J-Dorama, of course.

First, Tokyo Dogs.
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Starring Shun Oguri and Mizushima Hiro. It’s another police/detective dorama. It’s kinda funny considering Mizushima Hiro starred in Mr. Brain as a cop too. However, this time he’s more like a cop with Nanba senpai’s personality. LOL. Oguri’s character, on the other hand, is a rigid serious cop from the US. Pretty hilarious combo, especially when Oguri’s mom always calling him in the middle of the action. Of course, the Kamen Rider connection is here, with Hiro being Kamen Rider Kabuto (the real one, not the lame one from Decade).

Second one is Otomen.
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Where to start? First, we see a son that loves playing with girl’s stuff and stuffed animals. Next, the father announced to his son and wife that he wants to be a woman. Then the wife, while being admitted into a hospital due to the shock from what the father said, told her son that he has to be manly. LOL. This is just the start of the dorama. You can tell things is going to be extremely hilarious. So the son, now in high school, tries to become manly by joining the kendo club and acting manly, while actually like sewing and cooking, and still playing with stuffed animals at home (can’t stop laughing seeing his friend’s expression when he saw that). He met a seemingly normal girl, that in the end of the first episode, actually kicks ass and protects him. LOL. This is why I love J-dorama. You wouldn’t see anything (especially about high-school life) with this kind of story in the US. Another reason I love J-Dorama.

The announcement:
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The wife’s reaction:
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Asuka with the stuffed animal he fixed:
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His friend’s reaction, very touched:
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LOL. Oh, of course, too add on the hilarity, Asuka’s antagonist/rival (acting as a bully, but seems to know a lot about flowers… LOL) is Kimura Ryo, the same actor that was all over Nanba senpai in Hanakimi (Nakao), and all over Chiaki senpai in Nodame. This is going to be some seriously hilarious show. But wait, what about the Kamen Rider connection? Of course there’s one. Seto Koji, aka Kamen Rider Kiva, is in the show too, albeit as a supporting role.

Lastly, I can’t wait for the new Nodame Cantabille movie. Hopefully the fansubber group can do their magic.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2009 in j-dorama, nodame cantabile, otomen, tokyo dogs

 

J-Dorama: Hancho

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Yet another detective/mystery dorama. Hancho is like the complete opposite of Boss. The leader (Namikiri from Zettai Kareshi), is a kind and soft-spoken leader, the cases are a bit simpler, and slower pacing. Not as exciting as Boss, but oh well, a nice filler while waiting for other doramas to be fansubbed.

Of course, there’s Kamen Rider connection here too, although they’re just supporting characters. There’s Kamen Rider Hibiki as a patrolman, and in episode 2, Kamen Rider Knight as a guest star (also Kirihara from Keitai Sousakan 7)

Update: LOL. The Kamen Rider connection didn’t stop there. Kamen Rider Agito is actually in here too, as one of the main casts. I truly didn’t recognize him. I mean come on, short black hair? Definitely not a recognizable trait, right? LOL. (He had long colored hair in Agito, like normal Japanese person… LOL). So, Agito, Hibiki, and 1 episode of Knight.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in agito, hancho, hibiki, j-dorama, kamen rider, knight

 

Futatsu no Spica & BOSS

I just finished watching Akai Ito. Need to watch different doramas with lighter theme. By the way, a lot of the problems in many sad/depressing life doramas could’ve been prevented with a condom (referring to the teen pregnancy theme in Akai Ito and Koizora). Geez.

Anyway, here’s a new one, Futatsu no Spica. Apparently it’s from a manga/anime.
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Another dorama, another story. This one is about students studying to become astronauts. Doesn’t seem like a fun storyline, does it. Well, how about this:
Nakagawa Sara decided to leave her old life & memories (she lost her memories anyway in Akai Ito) and pursue her dream becoming an astronaut. At the National Tokyo Aerospace School, she met Kamen Rider Zeronos who shares the same dream. With their other classmates, they have to face tough challenges provided by Tomine Issei (the wine critic from Kami no Shizuku), a seemingly mean instructor. Oh, then there’s the 3rd son from Atashinchi no Danshi playing water rockets (I don’t know the story about him yet, still on the 1st episode).

LOL, yeah, after a while, it seems that I’m seeing the same actors/actresses again and again in dorama. Oh, and it seems every dorama now has a Kamen Rider connection.

Speaking of recurring actors, A-kun (from Akai Ito) decided to leave Mei-chan and joined a detective team in BOSS.
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A funny mystery dorama. The main lady detective is a profiler, but due to the discrimination against police women, she is given a team of people with questionable qualities. However, they always managed to solve the mysteries. Very fun dorama.

 

God Hand Teru, 1st Episode Impression

First episode of God Hand Teru has been subbed by TimeLesSub (Fansub FTW!). Apparently, this dorama is based form a manga of the same name. Teru is a young new doctor/surgeon in a top hospital. His dad is a brilliant surgeon, that people call him of having the God Hand. The first episode started just like any dorama. I thought this is going to be a J-dorama version of ER. Well, the realism is completely shattered on Teru’s first surgery. Here, take a look: (make sure you watch in HQ)

First of all, there are a lot of pauses of silence and self thoughts during the surgery. In real life, the patient would’ve been dead from the get go. You don’t see doctors pausing and having deep thoughts during surgery in ER. But okay, this is a dorama after all.
And then, bam, Teru’s superpower is shown. I swear I saw him saying “Henshin!” Now, that is just too much. I mean come on. In the J-dorama Voice, Daiki, the main character, has an anime-like deductive power, but the CG effect is very minimal and within the context of the situation. God Hand Teru’s surgery scene is just way too overblown, contrasting the rest of the dorama. Reminded me of the Nintendo DS game Trauma Center. Oh well, hopefully they don’t recycle that lengthy fanservice “Henshin” scene too often.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2009 in clips, god hand teru, henshin, j-dorama, youtube

 

Yet another J-dorama, Voice

Still in J-dorama addiction mode. Another one I found to be really great is Voice.
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It’s a story about 5 med students, studying forensic medicine. You would think CSI, but this is still dorama (although one of the students is a fan of CSI, having posters and DVD boxsets at his place). The premise of the show is that forensic science can convey the last word, the “voice,” of the dead, hence the title “Voice.” Aside from Daiki’s anime-like power of deduction, it is actually a pretty touching drama. Each forensic case has very emotional meaning and touching story. Episode 3 even made me cry. LOL. Yeah, forensic is not about solving a fancy murder case, but it’s about finding closure for the family members of the dead.

But hey, why am I watching this? Yup, of course there’s a Kamen Rider connection here. One of the students, Hanei Akira, is played by Sato Tomohito, which is also Kagami Arata, aka Kamen Rider Gattack in Kamen Rider Kabuto. (he’s also in Hotelier, as son of the hotel owner).
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Another great J-dorama. Very touching stories. Another reason that J-dorama is very addictive.

 

Love Shuffle

More addictive J-dorama. Love Shuffle, starring Tamaki Hiroshi, aka Chiaki senpai, now as Usa-tan… LOL
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Storywise, basically they’re rotating their partners. This diagram from dramawiki explains it better.

So, why does it interest me? Tamaki is hilarious. The screenshots below speak for themselves.
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Yeah, LOL. Thank God for fansub! Usa-tan, がんばって.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2009 in j-dorama, love shuffle, Tamaki Hiroshi

 

Bloody Monday

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Currently I’m watching Bloody Monday, a J-dorama. It’s actually based on a manga by the same name, about a young hacker, Fujimaru Takagi, being involved into a terrorist plot, and all the suspense, twists, and turns. It’s so addictive because every single episode leaves you with yet another cliffhanger, just after a major confrontation/plot resolved, leaving you in suspense and thirst for more. Luckily the fansub are complete, so I can enjoy it at my pace without having to anxiously waiting for the next episode (like Gundam 00).
First thing first, I got interested on this dorama because one of the actor is the same one playing Kamen Rider Den-O, Takeru Sato. LOL.
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He’s playing as Otoya, Fujimaru’s friend. Here’s him in Kamen Rider Den-O, and also Mei-chan no Shitsuji (as Kento, Rihito’s brother).
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Oh, and he’s also in Princess Princess D, as one of the Princesses. Man, he’s like all over the place. Kids, teenage girls, and adults all ages will probably recognize this guy now. The cool part is that his characters are all different. Ryotaro Nogami (Kamen Rider Den-O) is a clumsy person that actually doesn’t really know how to fight, while Kento (Mei-chan no Shitsuji) is a very outspoken character, while Otoya (Blody Monday) is a cool yet caring friend.

Okay, putting that aside, I find Bloody Monday to be very captivating. It constantly put you in suspense, and like I said, after a conflict resolved, by the end of the episode, you are presented with yet another cliffhanger. Betrayal and death are the common theme here. The good people are turning bad one by one, and then characters are dying one by one too. When you think things are getting better, don’t worry, it’s J-dorama, so things will turn back for worse. LOL. Really. I can’t believe that terrorist group managed to convince so many people to join them, despite them killing their own members for a punishment of failure.

Even better, the hacking part of the dorama is actually pretty realistic compared to most American TV series and Hollywood movies. Falcon, Fujimaru’s hacker nickname, actually brings a Linux bootable flash drive with him all the time. Everytime he wants to do some hacking, he booted from the USB drive, into a Linux command line. And he’s not running a fancy graphical program either, all the hacking are done via terminal, with Falcon typing command lines. Sure, not as exciting as some Hollywood movies with “hacking programs” magically built-in into the computers with a big “Hack” button, but it’s more realistic. Also, when Falcon is hacking into a system, they show him making a VNC connection via terminal command line, a real protocol to remotely connect to another PC. Falcon also managed to hack into a system running Vista using his Linux bootable flash drive. Very geeky stuff!

Alas, there are still some silly things that a real hacker won’t do. Falcon put a file into Windows’ Recycle Bin to “delete” it and removed his trace. This is the last thing anybody would do in real life to “remove” their trace since files in Recycle Bin in Windows are not actually deleted and can be recovered easily. Also, some of the command lines that Falcon uses when he’s “hacking” are actually simple DOS commands. Sure, today most people won’t recognize DOS, but I just chuckled when I saw those. Lastly, Falcon is always taking his pretty large HP laptop with him, and for whatever reason never runs out of battery, even when he’s hacking wirelessly. In some cases, he doesn’t even have time to turn off his laptop, so presumably the laptop is running all the time. HP must have given him some fancy super battery there. LOL. Oh yeah, all the computers are HP, even the ones in the internet cafes. Oh, and Sandisk also participate in the dorama by supplying SD cards. Yeah, brand recognition man. It would’ve been cooler if Falcon is using the tiny Sony Vaio TT or the tiny Vaio P. Oh, and I don’t see Apple. Usually the good guys use Apple stuff, like L in Death Note.

A very exciting dorama full of suspense! It also brings a point that regardless of policies, tools, technology, and whatnot, humans have emotions, and one can manipulate others by playing with their emotion. Example is one of the jail guards, convinced to kill his own co-worker, and this all because his wife cheated on him with another man. Oh, and don’t forget the constant betrayal of people that you think would never turn bad, and they all have their reasons. Very thought provoking!

 

Kamen Rider Kiva Ep46 & 47

2 episodes before the finale of Kamen Rider Kiva are no longer funny. No more funny scenes nor slapstick jokes.

After Mio died, the body count continues. Otoya died, then Maya died. Even more depressing, Nago is blind. In episode 47, Taiga becomes Dark Kiva, and in the end of the episode Wataru becomes King. What’s going to happen on the last episode, and how things will turn in just 1 episode?

Let’s step back and think. This show is marketed towards kindergarten kids in Japan. I guess it’s a training wheel when the kids grow up and start watching J-Dorama. LOL.

 

Zettai Kareshi

Finished watching the last episode of Zettai Kareshi dorama. Thanks to SARS-fansub for subbing the drama.

As a drama, Zetai Kareshi is so so. The first couple episodes don’t really hook you in. Plus, if you already read the manga, you are going to be disappointed by the changes in characters, especially Soshi’s. Half-way through, the drama turned out to be okay, providing the typical comedy and emotions. As usual, there is no “happily ever after” in J-dorama, giving the usual tears here and there. So, it’s an ok drama.

However, if we look Zettai Kareshi as a sci-fi, it’s awesome. Despite being a drama, there are plenty of science fiction in this. Do robots have emotion? Free will? Can a robot fall in love? Is it right to scrap a robot that have a free will? These are all hard core sci-fi material. You gotta hand it to the Japanese to handle anything robot related properly. This is an awesome sci-fi experience, especially the last episode, disguised as a dorama based on a shoujo manga.

Disappointed with the mess of Will Smith’s “I, Robot” movie? If you can get over the dorama factor, Zettai Kareshi is probably closer to the idea and spirit of Asimov’s “I, Robot” than Will Smith’s movie. Unfortunately, the chance of a western sci-fi fan watching a Japanese dorama is pretty slim (I’m the exception).