walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Cat Girl)
Five episodes in, and Soredemo Ikite Yuku continues to be the best drama you aren't watching. It is by far one of the best Japanese series I've seen in a while; true human drama at its best.


The drama stars Eita as Hiroki, a 29 year old man, whose still haunted by the murder of his sister. His seven year old sister was killed fifteen years ago - by his good friend. One day Hiroki meets Futaba Toyama, the younger sister of the murderer. Despite everything, the two form a bond form between them.

The drama also deals with the two families, and the way they have/have not dealt with the murder for the last fifteen years.

And it is awesome. . .


So emotional and so real )

To put it mildly, this show is brilliant. The cast is acting their asses off. The writer knows how to write real human relationships; especially when there are real social issues coming up. (The writer has written amazing shows: Mother, Taiyou to Umi no Kyoushitsu, Watashitachi no Kyokasho, and Itoshi Kimi e. The cinematography is gorgeous; it's one of the prettiest shows ever. And, the music - the theme song has this hopeful feeling to it, that stick with you.


Basically: at the start, the show seemed like it would be all about angst. But, there is hope in it. If anything, it has a bittersweet feeling about it. So, if you aren't watching it - why aren't you watching it. Go download or stream it now. You won't regret it.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Roses] Under Our Red Umberella)
I had planned to watch more shows than I'm actually watching; however, this season has been so good and filled with such brilliance that I had to cut some out. And, I'm still behind! I just thought I'd discuss what I'm watching and why I'm watching it.

More shows from Japan )


I know there are more dramas I should be watching (The Princess' Man; the new Hana Kimi; etc), but I'm so full of dramas that they may have to wait.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([YBeautiful] Innocent Love)
Ikemen desu ne is the Japanese remake of the Korean rom-com, You're Beautiful. The story is unusual to say the least - a novice nun impersonates her twin brother for three months in order for him to keep his place in the hottest band in Asia, A.N.JELL. Where is her brother? Why, he's in America, recuperating from a nose job! It makes. . .very little sense, but that hardly matters. The story is really about the band themselves and how their feelings grow for Miko/Mi Nyeo as she impersonates Mio/Mi Nam.

When I first heard about this remake, I wasn't happy; but, I did think it could work. I figured that, if anything the Japanese remake could be a tighter story. Simply because Japanese dramas tend to be 10-12 episodes. And, a huge part of You're Beautiful's problem was that the middle of the drama dragged. There just wasn't enough plot for sixteen episodes.

's first episode is nearly two hours long (it clocks in at 1:46 minutes); and is a much tighter first episode than its Korean counterpart. What the Japanese remake does right is it shows the bond between the twins - something that was woefully missing from the Korean series.It also lowers that OTT crack!vibe/pop culture references that the Hong sisters love so much. It works well here, because it allows the drama to come off as a more serious character piece. Okay, not serious, but more realistic than You're Beautiful.

Thoughts that are somewhat spoilery if you have not seen the original )


Overall, I would say that Ikemen desu ne is a very good drama. I'm not addicted, but it has the potential to make me addicted. In some ways its even doing things better than the drama it is based on. I do miss some of the pop culture references and Jang Geun-Suk, but the drama is still much better than I thought it would be. The writer has taken all the solid plot points and is using them in the best ways possible.

I have to ask - with Jang Geun-Suk being so damn popular in Japan (he has his own store where they sell Jang Geun-Suk stuff, and only his stuff) - could more remakes of his dramas be on the way? Maybe Mary Stayed Out All Night. That's a drama that relied solely on the OTP's chemistry. I'd be interested to see what a sane writer could do with that plot in just 12 episodes.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Ouran HSHC] Busted)
Though I had much misgivings about the live action version of this manga/anime, I decide to give the first episode of the live action series a chance. Before I begin, I just want to say that the only actor I knew going into this was Yusuke Yamamoto (playing Tamaki). I knew him from several dramas: Hana-Kimi, Puzzle, Atashinchi no Danshi, and Taiyou to Umi no Kyoushitsu; I enjoyed him in all the dramas, but I couldn't see him as Tamaki. The rest of the cast are apparently really well loved in the fan communities, but I had no idea who they were.


Spoilers behind cut )

All that said, the show is like a live action anime. And, despite some "anime acting", everyone does well in their roles, especially Haruna Kawaguchi, Yusuke Yamamoto, and Shunsuke Daito as Haruhi, Tamaki, and Kyoya. It's fast and fun and bright. And, it's a nice watch.


Ouran airs on Fridays.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Liar's Game] For You)
Soredemo, Ikite Yuku is a Japanese drama. Hiroki Fukami (Eita) is a man haunted by the death of his younger sister. Futaba Toyama (Hikari Mitsushima) is the younger sister of the man that murdered Hiroki's little sister fifteen years ago. The two should never meet, but they do - fifteen years after the murder. The drama is unique in that it shows both sides of the aftermath - the victim's family and their struggle to move on and the murder's family and their struggle to find a place in society. Hiroki and Futaba shouldn't have a relationship, but they meet and are drawn together.

Every character has something going on and there are these twists that just make you catch your breathe and feel. That's this series strongest point: you feel for these people. They are broken, socially awkward, and even a little shady at times. But, it all feels very real and true.
This is a quiet human drama that grabs you from the get go and doesn't let go.

Episodes 1-2 have aired; both episodes are subbed.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Ouran HSHC] Busted)
The trailer for the live action Ouran High School Host Club came out today. The trailer is more of a teaser, lasting only sixteen seconds. It's more of a quick character introduction with a voice over telling us, the viewer, what "types" of boys are in the club.


From the very little I saw the trailer looks cheap. There have been several other dramas that take place in huge luxury schools - Yukan Club and Mei-chan's Butler are two that come to mind. But, those schools looked more realistic. This looks like the host club is located in someone's living room. But then, maybe, as a fan of the manga and anime, I'm being too harsh.

Check out the trailer for yourselves, and let me know what you think.




The show starts on July 22nd and will air at 24:20 (or 12:20 a.m.) on TBS.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([My Lucky Star] First Date)
What am I thinking of watching this summer? Well, aside from my guilty pleasure, True Blood, I'm watching several Asian dramas. . .

This summer season is all about cross dressers and crazy family situations )

This list isl tentative and will depend on if the shows are subtitled and if they are available for download. I'll probably watch the first and second episode of each show (again, if there are subs), but since this list is long, I'll drop anything that doesn't grab me from the go. Though, I may re-pick up the ones that don't grab me, after they finish airing.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Rainbow Romance] Kiss the Girl)
I've now seen the first episode (or more) of most of the dramas I wanted to see. I thought I'd share some thoughts on each drama. So far I have to say that the drama season is going well.


Romantic and cliched dramas )


So - so far I'm really enjoying this drama season!
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Hide Out)
Though I may not talk about all of them here, these are the dramas that I plan on watch or am currently watching. Let me know, if there is anything else you think I'd enjoy!


Western Stuff

The Borgias, Season 1 - I've watched all four episodes and am enjoying the show. And, I'm wrong shipping siblings! Oh, that won't end well.
Game of Thorns, Season 1 - Have first episode, need to watch.
Doctor Who, Series 6 - I was rather underwhelmed with the first episode. But, ever since Moffat took over as show runner, I haven't liked his episodes. And, to be honest, I don't love him as a writer in general.


Taiwanese/Chinese Stuff

Rainbow Sweetheart - Okay, so it airs in December. But, I'm still watching all the subbed previews that are coming out this summer.

The Vigilantes In Masks - The first six episodes are subbed! I'll be watching them soon.

(Now. . . if only they'd sub The Myth)


Korean Stuff (the season of romantic comedies!)

49 Days - I skim bits and pieces.

All That Glitters - A switched at birth story! I'm not loving it, but I like certain characters, so I fast forward to their scenes.

Can You Hear My Heart - I am in love with this drama after six episodes.


Ripley - Maybe. The real life story is interesting. But, I'm scared that they'll water it down, to make someone who did something horrible, into a poor misjudged saint. propelled by her greedy desires that stem from an unfortunate childhood. always makes me nervous. I'd hate for it to be another Bad Guy.


You've Fallen For Me - I'm a bit nervous, because Jung Yong Hwa basically played himself in You're Beautiful and Park Shin Hye really only works for me in dramas. But, I like them, so. . .I'll give it a try. Plus - Song Chang Ui!

Romance Town - Once known as Maids, it's the story of a woman who is forced to follow in the family tradition of being a maid after her father puts the family in debt. A story we've seen before (poor girl works for cold, rich man and they fall in love), but I adore Sung Yu Ri.

Lie to Me - Yoon Eun Hye is a government worker who lies that she's married to a rich man played by Kang Ji Hwan, because she's annoyed with people asking her when she'll finally get married. I adore Kang Ji Hwan and think Yoon Eun Hye works best in rom-coms, so. . .I'll be checking this out.

The Greatest Love - The Hong sisters take on K-variety shows and the culture of celebs and Idols being given fake personalities to win the public over. Plus, the cast is awesome.


Japanese Stuff

Shiawase ni Narou yo - I'm not sure. I hear it is a very cliched love story, with grown ups acting like they've never been in a romantic relationship before.

Good Life~Arigato, Papa. Sayonara - I want to, because I love the cast. But, do I need a teary drama about a child dying? If its well written, I do.

Asuko March! - A cliched school drama, to be sure. But, I'll check it for Takei Emi.

Umareru - I really adore most of the main cast. But, the first reviews are saying its a heavy handed family drama, that comes off as preachy. True? Not true? And just what is that family secret?

Rebound - The story of a woman who loses weight, then begins dating a patissier. It sounds very silly, but it stars Aibu Saki, whom I'm very fond of; Hayami Mokomichi, who isn't a great actor, but whom I like; and,Kuriyama Chiaki, whom I also like. Plus, it is written by Yukawa Kazuhiko, who brought me Magerarenai Onna, Koi ga Shitai x3, Dare Yori mo Mama wo Aisu, Jyoou no Kyoushitsu, Gakko ja Oshierarenai!. In short, Yukawa Kazuhiko has a way of writing off-beat characters that I love and strong women.



So, that's it. What I am watching or what I plan to check out. Let me know if I've left something off or if you've seen one of these dramas and already have an option.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Beautiful Girl)
Two more dramas watched: Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku and Hotaru no Hikari 2, both are considered romances; Hotaru no Hikari 2 is considered to be more of a romantic comedy while Natsu no Koi is described as more of a romantic comedy/human drama - though, honestly I think Natsu no Koi is more romantic comedy than anything else.


I've watched the first two episodes of Natsu no Koi and the first episode of Hotaru no Hikari 2, and have some thoughts on both.


Tiny Umi judges you )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Ponder Deep Thoughts)
Two more dramas watched. This time they were very different, so I really cannot compare them to one another. I can say they brought very different emotions out of me. First was JOKER Yurusarezaru Sosakan, crime drama with a twist. Second was Unubore Deka, a pure comedy that plays off all the suspenseful crime dramas from the 1980s and 1990s.


Marriage or Jail? Jail )



Four dramas left: Moyashimon, GOLD, Hotaru no Hikari 2, and Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku. I'm waiting for subs on the first three. Subs for Natsu are out, but I have to wait.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([PPrincess] Hater Please)
I contiune my Japanese season viewing with two new shows: Gakeppuchi no Eri and Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo. Both are comedies about young women making their way in the world and finding their dream. Of course, both are very different in terms of overall feel and tone. Gakeppuchi no Eri is based on an essay by a famous manga author and Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo is based on an educational manga. [Side note: Is it just me or are 90% of dramas these days based on mangas or novels? Weird.]


A bit more info on the shows )



I also watched the second episodes of Hammer Session! - already very 'save the student of the week'. It could become very boring. Mioka's second episode seemed to go by very fast. But, it was rather sweet and sad. Oh, and Mari - she's kind of bitchy.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Mei-chan] Naughty Things Come Later)
The Japanese summer season is shaping up to be one of the best in a long while. There seems to be a little something for everyone: romantic comedies, suspense dramas, school dramas, human dramas, etc. I've decided to give most of the dramas, that are being subbed, a chance by watching the first episode of the shows. So far I've watched three: Mioka, Hammer Sessions!, and Tobo Bengoshi.


Follow for slightly spoilery review )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Heavenly Forest] Last Letter)
Now that Japan’s summer season is coming to an end and Japan, Korea, and America’s fall season is starting, I thought I’d write a few reviews on what I watched (and liked) and what I’m looking forward to. Because I’m pretending I have that kind of time.

WARNING: SPOILERS!

Here is Part One: my review of the Japanese summer dramas I watched. )

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