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Friday, May 27, 2011

Dance Drill (2006)


Country: Japan
Genre: School, romance, dance, sports
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Eikura Nana, Kato Rosa, Masuda Takahisa, Kokubun Taichi, Kanno Miho, Morita Ayaka, Nishihara Aki,  Yuki Saya
Synopsis: During the last summer vacation of high-school girls, who have found themselves in a point of uncertain future, decide to start cheer-leading. Soon it will be all they live for.
Rating: 2/5
I am not a big fan of those girly things as cheer-leading. As most schools in most places cheer-leaders are those who are pretty, talented and sometimes full of themselves, these are also my memories with cheer-leading. But "Dance Drill" is different as those girls are not the beauty queens nor so talented or smart. They are the so-called lower students who are facing dropping out from high school. But about their dancing skills I must say that good things come only with great practice. Only their last performance of all cheers is worth watching XD Sorry for being so harsh.  But it is great to see them practicing so much to get were they want to be!
Aikawa Kaname, acted by Eikura Nana, is the leading lady who is the worst student.
I did not like Ishibashi Wataru (played by Kokubun Taichi) role, because it looked like the author of drama just tried to make the teacher more interesting. It sure was interesting to see traditional Japanese dance, but it would not mean anything if they would have left it out. All the points I gave were because of Suzuki Carlos Saburota´s (Masuda Takahisa) character and his love towards Aikawa Kaname (Eikura Nana).
 I totally loved Saburota´s character - he was such a sweetheart (even though he was peeker/stalker at some times xD In a good way)! For Masuda´s fans I say that do not cry very much in episode 5. He actually did not get his hand broken - but these are really well-made scenes O.o 
There is one great conversation between Carlos and Kaname. Kaname asks if Carlos does not feel embarrassed by all those confessions, because everyone are laughing, and Carlos answers that he himself is laughing too and otherwise in future he would regret not telling Kaname about his feelings. So if you love someone - then make sure to tell them that! In one moment it might be too late and you will never be able to say it. It is better to try and get hurt than not say it and regret it for all your life. This drama also teaches how important it is to care for your friends. "One for all and all for one" like The Musketeers said!
SPOILER*  it was really cute that finally Kaname showed some feelings too - but sadly it was too late :S  I totally cried in the end when Carlos went back to Brazil and said good-bye to Kaname (When it comes to dramas/movies, I can be a real cry-baby).

Kurosagi


KUROSAGI (2006)
Country: Japan
Genre: action, law, romance
Format: drama 11 episodes
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Horikita Maki, Aikawa Sho, Kato Koji, Yamazaki Tsutomu, Ishikawa Yui, Kishibe Shiro,  guests: Sugita Kaoru, Koyama Keiichiro, Kiritani Kenta, Komatsu Ayaka
Synopsis: Kurosaki´s family gets destroyed by swindlers. In order to pay back for the murder, Kurosaki grows up to be a swindler himself - but he swindles the money back from other swindlers and gives that back to victims. One day he meets with young law student Yoshikawa Tsurara and from that on many things will be changed.
Rating: 4/5
GREAT! I have never been much of an action-fan, but it is really interesting drama, especially look out for Yamashita Tomohisa´s hilarious undercover appearances... but in some way they seem to work well.
Yamashita Tomohisa plays the part of Kurosaki - young man in his twenties who years ago lost all his family after his father lost all family's money to swindlers. Kurosaki has made the point of his life to revenge the person who swindled his family. But as he himself becomes swindler, he is almost as nowadays Robin Hood who takes from "rich" and gives back to "poor". In a way it is really idyllic. He does not use the money he gets as a pay for himself and lives in one-room apartment with his cat. He is really lonely person and never likes to get too close to other people, because he knows that he risks too much with it. Even though he tries to show that he is emotionless and nothing can make an influence on him, he has his moments when the strong walls of his world collapse and he is defenseless. I think Yamashita Tomohisa made really great acting as Kurosaki, because he was able to play out all moments and emotions even when he did not have any lines to say.
Kurosaki's world as swindler gets really messed up after he becomes connected to Yoshikawa Tsurara. Tsurara is young law-student who believes that everything in world can be corrected and made good with following laws. She is a bit naive to believe that all people by nature are good, especially the ones connected to law and police system. She tries to make her opinion clear to Kurosaki too without really knowing his motives. Sadly, her heart is like young girl's and with more time seeing Kurosaki she starts to have feelings for him. Of course I can say that she is not the only one and as innocent as she is, she is even willing to cross friend-code. I do have to say that even when we can see that Kurosaki also becomes not-so-cold toward her, his kind of men with so much tragedy in his life will never leave everything that he believes for a woman like Tsurara. Maybe once Tsurara grows more mature and gets more experience with dark side of the life, she can be a great partner for life.If they had met in different time and situation, then I think that they might have found each other and had a great life, but Kurosaki's life is way messed up.
At this point, I should mention also Yukari who in every way is a bad friend to Tsurara. Because of her envy she creates much sadness and bad to others. She is rather spoiled and goes with an attitude that if she does not get that guy then no-one gets him. When you ask me how many times Ishikawa Yui can play this kind of woman, then my answer is exactly enough times!
I think one of the most important characters is Katsuragi - man who is behind everything. He is really old and his health is already weak, but his power is just as big as it has always been. Katsuragi is  the one who teaches Kurosaki to become great kurosagi. It is difficult to understand his motives behind his actions, but in some moments I felt that they are almost sharing father-son relationship and he is feeling somewhat guilt toward Kurosaki who lost everything at young age. Of course this all can be illusion, because we are talking about a man who is not afraid to make people disappear from this world, but maybe, just maybe, with his age he has started to have different kind of views for life. He is also really eager to make perfect pickled foods, but he never gets it right, so it is just a big smelly and very disgusting mess that he creates. Because of "Kurosagi" and "Ending Planner" Yamazaki Tsutomu has become the "Grandpa of dramas" :)
I definitely was annoyed by the police chief Kashima as he only saw Kurosaki as a bad guy, even when he actually did great things and handed over the bad guys to police. Of course I can understand that it kind of made police look like incompetent to do its job, but come on! The fact taht they did not catch them before Kurosaki means that they were not so good at their job. But Kashima takes it on as a personal revenge to Kurosaki, because he is more or less annoyed by him.
I take a moment to explain some things like the difference between all swindlers - there are akasagi, shirosagi and kurosagi. Akasagi are so-called "love-swindlers". I bet you have seen or heard about them in real life too, when people get married and then end up divorcing so that they get a lot of money and property from their richer husband/wife. Shirosagi are usual con-artists who cheat people and after getting their money, disappear into thin air. Kurosagi is the swindler who most usually takes on shirosagi and cheats money from them and returns the right amount back to people. So without any puns Kurosaki is kurosagi...
Definitely aatch out for "Bang~!" and "Maidoari!", because they will follow you for a long long time if not forever.! They are in every episode, but you never get tired of them! xD It is just a part of the movie that after some episodes you see coming and shout them out. Theme song is great too "Daite daite daite senjorita! Tsuyoku tsuyoku tsuyoku hanasanaide!...." ("Daite Senjorita" by Yamashita Tomohisa) O.o It is really catchy, so be careful.




 KUROSAGI THE MOVIE (2008)

Country: Japan
Genre: action, law, romance
Format: movie
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Horikita Maki, Aikawa Sho, Ichikawa Yui, Yamazaki Tsutomu, Aikawa Sho, Sugita Kaoru
Synopsis: Kurosaki´s story continues as he gets closer to the swindler who caused Kurosaki´s family tragedy.
Rating: 4/5
It really looks like another episode from the drama.
I love when character's emotions take the lead and  he forgets to act rationally. This is exactly what happens to Kurosagi after all this time holding his emotions down.
I just realized that Yamashita Tomohisa got thinner between years 2006 and 2008. If you want to check it then watch the promo pics or just watch the whole drama and movie again XD
I did not like that Horikita Maki had so few scenes, because she is a great actress, but it is considerable due to the fact that she had another movie/drama filming at the same time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gachi baka (2006)


Country: Japan
Genre: School life, friendship,
Format: drama 10 episodes
Cast: Takahashi Katsunori, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya, Kurokawa Tomoka, Inoue Waka, Watanabe Natsuna, Sawamura Ikki, KABA-chan, Sakai Ayana (Quests:Yuki Saya, Inoo Kei, Hojo Takahiro)
Synopsis: Gondo Tetta (Takahashi Katsunori) is a former boxer, who starts as a teacher. He gets to be a homeroom teacher for 3E class - students who are failing in studying and sport. Tetta starts his mission of showing students that school is not a place just for studying, but it also teaches to live.
Rating: 4/5
Drama has many many highlights that make you addicted to it. Of course some of the stars came from that we can see Masuda Takahisa and Tegoshi Yuya in fighting, crying and love scenes! A lot to watch in one drama! "Gachi baka" shows that teachers job is not just to make clear specific subject, but they must help students make right choices in life. It reminds me one of my teachers, who at many times is a big pain in the ***, but actually all she does helps students in future! (Don´t say, I am just looking the positive way! xD) I seriously hate teachers who do their job just because of money, reputation and 3-month-vacation in
summer. Especially homeroom teacher should be someone who is at least aware of student problems and he/she should stand for student. There are many students who do not get help from their families and then it is really important to have at least school´s backup. I was kind of annoyed by Tetta character, but I understand that only his persistent attitude helped students. and I did not like the fact that he beat Utsugi Minoru (played by Tegoshi Yuya), but that is another matter and Minoru really needed those punches.Tetta's biggest problem is that he is too friendly with students, which for me sometimes crossed the line. "This" and "that" have a really big difference. Other than it, he has a wide range of friends, which comes in hand many times. Other teachers/workers in that school only think about school's reputation and their best students. They are the reason why I was unable to add the final star to the drama, because they were toooo annoying. They were too stuck in those old school rules and always blame 3-E class in problems. Their moto was something like this "Expel the problematic student - no student, no problem!" They would rather destroy students lives and dreams than do something to help them. The problems which are handled in drama are really accurate and realistic and I really like the way they have solved them.  
As for students, there are three main-students with who and whose friends things happen. Minoru is
the class' introvert. He is more like a bad-ass who is not interested in anything and does not give a single f*** about what happens around him. But that is all just his outside. Inside, he is actually really caring and he always says some annoying truth to people with the attitude of "I'm so cool, but I could not care less about your problems". With each episode you can see how he starts to open up again and be more sociable. His story shows the pain of having your dreams crushed and no body cares about it. The same problem almost happens to another character too, but it is slightly different. Everytime I watch it, I remember the moments were my dreams had to be postponed (of course at that moment I felt that it was the end of my dreams, but I am really persevering person) .
 I must say that in "Gachi baka" Inoue Kouta role is one of the best roles Masuda Takahisa has ever
played. I have seen almost all roles he has played  and that´s the best in my eyes. He played out Kouta´s appearance and attitude. Kouta & CO consists of 4 guys - Kouta, Miki, Hiro and Masashi, who show the meaning of true friendship where things like family background and money do not matter. Later they drag Minoru into their group too. Kouta is totally different from Minoru - he never shows out his problems and always hides them behind a smile. Even though, he is really goofy and "baka-character", he is really sweet, there is so much more in him and also he is willing to do everything for Kana.
Kana suffers from really serious trauma, which makes her a real bitch at times. She is considered the most beautiful, smartest and elegant girl in the class. The only one she really trusts is Hanako, but she
can be the worst friend ever. At the same time, I cannot really hate her - maybe due to the fact that Kouta has serious feelings for her, which leads us to the fact that she, Kouta and Minoru form a love-triangle. The saddest thing about it is that I cannot have the favorite pairing as I understand everyone's feelings and actions. Minoru and Kana are neighbors and have known each other forever, but due to things that happened they have awkward moments and intense silence between them, which is made even weirder by the fact that Minoru has (almost) girlfriend Saya and everybody are aware of Kouta's feelings, but about that more in SPOILER-review.
It is a really nice school-drama, which makes you laugh and cry. For no special reason I ended up crying in every episode when I re-watched it. For ending, it is another drama where running is the fastest way to get from point A to point B.


SPOILER-review: I only want to tell out my feelings about Kouta-Kana-Minoru relationship. You can feel from the start that there is or has been something between Kana and Minoru. But Kouta is the one who was able to make Kana smile again. But you also can see the how Kana tries to like Kouta as much as he does about her, but there is a song called "first cut is the deepest" which is really accurate for Kana. I seriously heard how Kouta's heart broke when he truly understood that she and Minoru have actually mutual feelings for each other. ... .. and I start to cry again.. he is on the position 4 in the "TOP 5 Guys whose heartbreak broke my heart".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Proposal Daisakusen (2007-2008)


Also known as: Operation Love
Country: Japan
Genre: Romance, Friendship
Format: drama 11 episodes + Special
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nagasawa Masami, Eikura Nana, Hiraoka Yuta, Hamada Gaku, Fujiki Naohito, Mikami Hiroshi
Synopsis: Iwase Ken (played by Yamashita Tomohisa) and Yoshida Rei (Nagasawa Masami) have been friends since elementary school. Kenzo (Ken´s nickname) has always been in love with Rei, but he never confessed to her, thinking that they still will stay together forever. But then Masami is getting married.. to another man. During the wedding ceremony Kenzo realises what he has lost and wants to change the past. A fairy appears and gives Kenzo second change to win Rei´s heart by sending him back to past.
Rating: 5/5
Great love story,  it is not some sappy thing. Even my older brother watched it!  It has many funny moments and some really sad moments. It is the drama which I have seen the most - I cannot tell you exact number of times, but I think about 4-5 times from the beginning to the end (It has 11 episodes + Special). I will never get tired of it. The drama teaches to live once and leave no regrets behind.
I like the story line in it. Kenzo and Rei always misunderstand each other and that makes their friendship so difficult. I feel like everyone thought they were going to marry in future - it really was just the matter of fact, until Rei met Tada-san.. 
Kenzo should have been honest with himself sooner. It is sad if people understand too late that the person who they really love, is in other man's arms. In some way, it is funny how pitiful Kenzo is, but it is amazing how much he fights for Rei. I like that the changes do not happen fast - it even seems like there are no changes at all! You can really feel his pain in it. One highlights of the drama is that Yamashita Tomohisa is running in EVERY episode - now I could recognize his running everywhere! If Kenzo is wearing some T-shirt with text, then read these! =P I love when they catch little things and add them to drama. 
I think that Rei is mostly the one who did not understand anything, but at the same time I understand her reasons too. Waiting too long after someone makes you want to move on. I do not think that accepting Tada-san proposal was the right thing to do, when she did not even love him. Maybe it is just me, but getting married should be just because of love, not because of gratitude, respect or stable feeling. She should have listen to Kenzo more. (Ignore the kissing scenes - Masami is not a great kissing-actress....) 
I actually like Tada-san. He is so damn annoying, because he is always faster than Kenzo and he is sooo hesitating about almost everything. But in the end, as a man he is great. I believe that with him Rei would have most normal house-wife future.. yeah, not attempting.
The storyline of Tsuru and Eri was cute also. Even though I hardly believe that this kind of thing would be possible in real life. Tsuru, played by always cute Hamada Gaku, is was the laughing point of their circle as Kenzo and Mikio were always teasing him. "Chibi" became almost his nick-name!
Mikio has the older brother image. He is the smartest one as he is the first and the only one to understand Kenzo. I´d say he is the perfect best-friend one can have. While he knew everything about others he did all of his things quietly and without talking about it to anyone else. Opposite to Tsuru´s childness he is all grown-up and future-orientated.
The fairy.... is the high-light as he comes and goes with light xD His catch-phrase is sooo annoying "Ask and it shall be given to you'!" -.- Not amazed..  But I liked the sentences about man and woman love. Oscar Wilde " Men always want to be woman's first love, woman want to be man's last romance" and by J.S.Bass "Men cannot let go of their first love. Women, on the other hand, cannot let go of their final love".  
 I just saw a new thing!!! It is seen in episode 5 that in Kenzou apartment are signs like "Aiming for the stars", "Best friend", "Boom boom boom" -  Who does not know, then NEWS (The band where Yamashita Tomohisa was) has songs like "Hoshi wo mezashite" (which means "Aiming for the stars") and "Best friend" and a song called "Boom boom Power" -  I wonder why I haven´t seen those signs before? All those songs are from "Hoshi wo Mezashite" single, which was released in March 2007. And ting-tong! "Proposal Daisakusen" aired from April to June 2007. :P A little hidden promo, ne?
-.- After making the review, I want to watch it AGAIN! xD



Proposal Daisakusen SP
SPOILER Synopsis:  One year after Kenzo´s confession, but Kenzo´s and Rei´s relationship has been in a dead-point since it. Tsuru and Eri are going to marry in Hawaii, but on the wedding day Eri flies back to Japan. WHY? WHY? Once again fairy appears in front of Kenzo to let him help his friends.
 Rating: 5/5
I like that they made SP for it. It shows that after Kenzo´s confession - they did not have "Happily-ever-after" - and how they had to deal it consequences. In some way Tsuru´s and Eri´s love story did not affect me so much, even though it was cute and all their reasons were tacit.