aiDorama: An Asian drama & movie fanblog


Japanese Drama Reviews

Absolute Boyfriend

(S) Rating: 7.5

Funny, interesting, sometimes touching, but I never got fully into it. Nighto-kun was serious awesome and built like a robot for sure, Soshi was hot and Riko was annoying in her meanness to her electrical appliance, until she realised how much he rocked. The ending was sad, but I liked the show much better for it.

Favourite scene: The fact that WARNING BIG SPOILER  his love for her overran his programming. Aiiyaiiyaiiii.

Dragon Zakura
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(D) Rating: 9
Inspiring. Focused around hard work, making dreams a reality and, of course, friendship. Had some great moments and lessons, but wasn’t the most exciting thing ever.

Favorite scene: The Yamapi/Masami hug-like scene on the bridge made my heart ache in Yamapi longing. It was the only real romantic bit of the show, so it was well-appreciated.

(S) Pending

Gokusen
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(D) Rating: 7.6
Really funny, sweet theme. All the characters are likeable. I’m generally not a huge fan of the teacher-helping-all-the-students’-problems shows (it’s sad that that can actually be a legitimate theme), but this was a good watch. A little repetitive and childish at times, but it was definitely a heart-warming show.

(S) Pending

Hana Yori Dango (Season 1)
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(D) Rating: 9.8
Although it’s hard to compare, and the other version did have its moments, this definitely owned the Taiwanese version. Really well-made, the entire cast was amazing and I wasn’t bored for a minute.

(S) Rating: 9.9

Wonderful fun. F4 is to die for. Inoue Mao looked really young to me sometimes, but she did good. Yay for Harry Potter theme music.

Favourite scene: The OT4 moments rawked. As did the Domjouji/Rui moments. And, heck, the Domyouji/Makino moments.

Hana Yori Dango (Season 2)
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(D) Rating 9.4
Not as quick-paced as the first and had its share of cheese, but it was great either way. A satisfying ending (but not satisfying enough, I guess, since they’re adding a movie to the series).

(S) Rating: 9.9

More character development in this one; they grew a lot together. Domyouji’s new F4 and Makino’s English in America was hilarious. The ending was unbelievably, perfectly over the top.

Favourite scene: Of course when Domyouji goes after her in the snow.

Hanazakari no Kimitachi E
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(D) Rating: 9.8
Beautifully made. Hilarious. Had the ending that the Taiwanese version lacked. Maki was adorable. Ikuta Toma stole the show. Oguri Shun was hot, as expected. Each episode’s emphasis on the school lessons was really well-done and fun. You had to love it.

(S) Rating: 9

Not as cracktastic as the Taiwanese version, but just as funny; this version portrayed the bonding between the dorms a lot better. Maki is waay too feminine for the role; I also hated her at one point for running out on Toma all the time to chase after Sano.

Favourite scene: Sano/Nakatsu teaming up to protect her, of course.

Honey and Clover
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(D) Rating: 9.5
Funny, but dealt with a lot of intense/contemplative stuff. The ending was hopeful, fit the theme and, all things considered, happy, but still had the artsy J!drama feel, which, I’ll admit, depresses me a little. It’s whole moving-on-with-life and finding one’s dream theme really fit into my life when I watched this, so I was especially satisfied with the watch. That theme kind of fits in anytime during life though, I think, so it’s worth a watch anytime.

Favorite scene: The beach kiss scene; I didn’t appreciate it when I first watched it, because I was too busy rooting for Toma’s character, but it was definitely really cute in hindsight. And a certain rejection scene.

(S) Pending

Hotaru No Hikari
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(D) Rating: 9.6
A little slow at first, but hilarious nevertheless. Fujiki bought my soul with this one. Great Main Couple chemistry; wish there had been some action between the two though. The show makes me smile just thinking about it. Although, I’m surprised they made such a big deal about Hotaru’s lazy appearance; people are naturally like that in America, both in and out of the home. And, this is probably my personal bias, but Fujiki’s character was most definitely gay with that friend he always confided in. The clues were undeniable.

Favorite scene: When they find her at the construction workers’ basement and hugs her. Very cute. And the part when she comes to work in her home clothes to visit Fujiki, and her boyfriend sees them acting retarded together.

(S) Pending

Itazura Na Kiss
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(D) Rating: 8
If you keep in mind that this is an oldie (actually, it’s not all that hard to keep in mind while you watch it), it’s pretty good. The Main Girl’s voice is a little annoying, but you can, at least, understand when people make fun of her appearance more so than Ariel in the Taiwanese version. I watched this before They Kiss Again, so especially approved of the ending.

Favorite scene: The ending scene. Also, I thought the way the Main Girl said “I’ll be backhhhh” was unbearably cheesy at the time (the Terminator reference also was a sign of the show’s oldness), and still do, really, but that line, exactly the way she said it, has been stuck in my head ever since. Every time I leave a room, I can hear her saying “I’ll be backhhhh.” And so I’ve gotten a little fond of it.

(S) Pending

Kimi wa Petto
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(D) Rating: 7.6
Not your typical drama; interesting topic. Jun’s acting and character in general was great. The Main Girl was pretty annoying for most of this; I liked her awkwardness and shy nature, but she was really unfair to both of the guys, and that rather bothered me.

Favorite scene: The post-argument making out scene by the vending machine was really cute.

(S) Rating: 8

MatsuJun can fit into a cardboard box. Adorable, until the last few episodes where you start to wish for something more. Their really rather unique relationship needed to be resolved at the end, left me rather unsatisfied.

Favourite scene: Oh yes, the vending machine. And MatsuJun seeing her with the Other Guy on the grass around the same scene.

Kurosagi
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(D) Rating: 9.6
My first J!drama ever. Really interesting plot, great character dept in Kurosagi and amazing Yamapi/Maki chemistry. Yamapi, in general, owned at life in this. The theme song is, though overplayed, extra-catchy. The plot gets a little bit repetitive in the middle, but is still interesting at all times, adding to main story really well. One of my personal favorites.

Favorite scene: The firework scene, hands down. Amazing Main Couple chemistry there.

(S) Rating: 9.6

Yamapi, Yamapi, Yamapi. Tremendous fun seeing Kurosaki dork out, even in the middle of all his unresolved issues. And yes, Yamaki have special chemistry. A bit repetitive, fabulous ending. Katsuragi is hot. Waiting for the movie to be subbed!

Favourite scene: The firework scene, of course. And a mention to Kurosaki’s sneaky unhug.

Liar Game
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(D) Rating: 9
Really addictive; suspenseful, fascinating plot. Matsuda Shota is brilliant. Erika’s character is naïve, but actually not annoyingly so; she’s believably sweet. The 3 hour special last episode was too repetitive though, but if you can fast-forward the recaps, you’re set. It does bring the mysteries together rather well though.

Favorite scene: Well, it’s not really my favorite, but the creepiness of the beginning, when she first receives the game is suitably creepy.

(S) Rating: 9

So. Freakin’. Smart, Akiyama-san. Fascinating, addictive, suspenseful. Oh, the randomness of having 35 minute episodes, and a 3 hour final. You could basically watch the whole thing through the final’s recapping; it needed something different to the other episodes. Kanzaki Nao being everybody’s messiah at the end was a little… hard to swallow.

Favourite scene: Mushroom Head/Little Mushroom Head thinking they’ve outsmarted Akiyama, and how surprised they look when he pwns them again.

Nobuta Wo Produce
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(D) Rating: 8
Kind of strange for me, but had amazingly memorable moments. Yamapi’s character was so hilarious and just awesome that I really can’t explain it in words. I watched this in not-so-decent quality, so maybe I’ll like it more on a rewatch.

Favorite Scene: 1) Kame and Yamapi in Kame’s “home” hairstyle. Absolutely classic. 2) Yamapi finally realizing his love, after running away from the Truth Man. It was brilliance. 3) Anything involving Kon Kon… I need not say more.

(S) Rating: 9

The friendship theme is refreshing and inspirational, Yamapi is hilarious, and Shuji/Akira being the ultimate OTP = AMAZING.

Favourite scene: Akira following Shuji, fo’ sho’.

Nodame Cantabile (including the special)

(S) Rating: 10
One of my favourites. Wonderful main OTP; crazy, silly, funny, yet with so much meaning behind it all. Tamaki Hiroshi is gorgeous, Ueno Juri has the world’s most perfect skin, and together they make for so much dysfunction, yet together they are so right. Great supporting cast, too. The classical music is used very well; one of those dramas you can’t take your eyes off of. Since the manga isn’t finished, I hope there’s more to come.

Favourite scene: In the New Year’s special, when Nodame cries when she’s fighting with Chiaki senpai, because she feels both him and music are getting away from her.

(D) Rating: 9.7
Sooo much fun to watch. Slightly childish style; redid manga/anime-like moments in live-action rather well. Hilarious, sweet and beautifully abnormal. Love the characters and character development most. Inspirational without being heavy.

Favorite scene: Chiaki’s expressions when he has his airplane/ship trauma flashbacks.

One Pound Gospel
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(D) Rating: 9.7
Hilarious and inspiring. Kame completely owned the show with his acting. Made me want to learn boxing. Sealed with a sweet ending.

Favorite Scene: Every time Kame jump-hugged the punching bag. And the Kame and Okeda fight… for very perverse reasons.

(S) Pending

Pride
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(D) Rating: 9.6
Appears a bit older than it is, but truly great. Realistic, intense, thought-provoking, inspiring… and still manages a good ending. The romantic aspect is really satisfying. And Kimura Takuya is definitely worth a special mention, for reasons I need not explain.

(S) Pending

Proposal Daisakusen (including the special)
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(D) Rating: 8
The show was a little slow, and Masami’s character was pretty annoying during most of it (and basically existed to make Pi’s life miserable for most of it)… but Yamapi and the supporting cast were really great. The special definitely pulled the show way up with a more satisfying ending, and the Main Couple cuteness (along with great development for the supporting characters). The friendship theme was definitely a highlight of the show.

Favorite scene: The random kiss when Yamapi’s wearing that green shirt… although Masami’s character quickly ruined that pretty quick. Everything in the special was good though. I also loved when they visit their childhood school; that whole scene was pretty sweet.

(S) Rating: 7.5

It goes without saying that Yamapi is love, but the fact that neither of them just out and said it was often very frustrating. Also, “You never understood anything” – does anybody have any idea what he didn’t understand? Because he’s not alone in that.

Favourite scene: I loved what her grandfather said: Human beings are strong, by telling someone they love them they won’t break. I wish they’d listened to him. Oh, and love for Don’t Knock New York.

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Comments

  1. * Margaret says:

    can’t wait for the hana yori dango final movie to come out. but season 2 seemed to have ended it pretty well =T
    i agree maki was too feminine in hana kimi. but ikuta toma as nakatsu made the series worth watching 😀
    i couldn’t stand the first episode of nobuta wo produce, but the theme song is love<33
    keep the reviews coming~

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Destiny says:

    Margaret,

    -HYD’s season 1 ended well too, but then season 2 topped that… so let’s hope the movie ends even better. =]
    -I wish Ikuta legitimately got a girl in the Japanese HK though.
    -Yeah, Nobuta’s one of those strange shows that’re hard to get into at first.

    Thanks! A Zettai Kareshi review may be coming up in a little while…
    ~Destiny

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  3. * Vanessa says:

    u should try watching brother beat. hehe so cute!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  4. * Xengdynasty says:

    I am also so excited for Hana Yori Dango three, or the movie, but I heard something happens. I don’t know if it is true though…supposely someone dies.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  5. * Destiny says:

    Oh no! Not spoilers already! I DOUBT someone dies, just because it doesn’t fit the whole HYD theme. Although they could do it just to surprise us.

    Gee, I wonder who it is though……………. but please don’t tell me. I’m just going to think about all the potential horrible situations now.

    -Destiny<3

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  6. * svelte says:

    Thanks for the reviews. I haven’t seen much Japanese dramas or movies, but with your reviews I know which ones are going to be good to watch.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago


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