Here a drama, there a drama: part 2

A continuation of this post, only this one focuses on J-dramas.

After the jump:

– Nagareboshi
– Boss 2
– Soredemo Ikite Yuku
– Nankyoku Tairiku
– That awful butler drama Kitagawa Keiko is in

NANKYOKU TAIRIKU

So against my better judgment I watched the first episode of this. And it’s good. Grumble grumble.

I haven’t proceeded to watch the two new subbed episodes yet, but I will eventually. This story is just not one that you feel that super urge to watch because the narrative is slow, it’s also symbolic in a lot of ways, and is not really…drama-y almost. I look at it mostly like a socio-historical analysis of Japan post-war and I mean, when has anyone ever said, “YES! Japan’s adventure to reclaim themselves after WWII. MUST. WATCH. NEXT. EPISODE!”? Thought so.

Aside from that, it’s well-made of course. The story is compelling, but I feel this drama will appeal to a very particular audience on an international level because you really have to care about, or at least have a sustained interest in Japan’s history and plight to want to watch this shit, because it is b-o-r-i-n-g at times.

Kimutaku is good, and that’s a given, and I’m liking Yamamoto Yusuke a lot. I’ve been wanting to check out more of Yamamoto Yusukue’s work but the projects he picks are so…not the things I would watch. I used to think he was FREAKISH looking, but his professional photos make him look much more severe than he actually looks, and I watched him and the cast of Paradise Kiss on an episode of VS Arashi and he was such a cutie patootie that I had to rescind my fear. He was sort of a non-entity in Paradise Kiss so I’m hoping he gets more meat in Nankyoku alongside Kimutaku.

As usual, I like Ayase Haruka but I feel she’s sort of out of her league with Kimutaku. I’ve watched half of MR. BRAIN and while I wouldn’t say they sucked…they had very little actual romantic chemistry, which seems to be what they’re going for in Nankyoku. We’ll see, we’ll see.

THAT AWFUL BUTLER DRAMA KITAGAWA KEIKO IS IN

Is so awful I couldn’t even make it past the first 10 minutes. I’m doing this new thing there I try to keep up with J-dramas as the new seasons roll in, and my picks for the season were Nankyoku and tentatively, this one because I like Keiko. But it’s b-b-b-bad. Maybe I’ll try Kame’s whack Yokai Ningen Bem next.

BOSS 2

Nothing much to say about this one except that after finishing this, I’m never watching another Japanese detective/crime drama again. I think watching three (Boss, Boss 2, Mr. Brain) is enough to last me an entire lifetime. Procedural dramas in Japan are so damn boring. There’s no life or warmth in them at all.

NAGAREBOSHI

Not sure why I picked this one up, but I was recommended it for Takenouchi Yutaka and it was…eh. Forgettable. The entire drama was so stiff. Every lead cast member, save for Kitano Kii, were cardboard cutouts of real people. I felt like the supporting characters had more in them than the leads. Ueto Aya and Takenouchi had just about as much chemistry with each other as two grasshoppers do. There were moments where I was convinced of the characters’ attraction to each other, but they so often fell flat due to bad writing and general lack of chemistry between the two. They’re individually not bad actors, but together, they’re so weak. And I hate to say this, but if Nagareboshi were a Korean drama, I know that the emotional value of the story would not have left me so cold. But this did, and at the end of the day, this was an entirely forgettable drama.

SOREDEMO IKITE YUKU

If we’ll ever finish getting subs for this drama, I’ll pick it up again. I believe I stopped 3-4 episodes in and decided it was SO heavy for me that I needed to take it in doses. This drama is heavy in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever encountered in other dramas. I don’t particularly feel for any of the characters yet, nor do I relate to theirs plight like I would in other (tragic) dramas, say, Scent of a Woman, but the themes in this drama are so disturbing and the feelings from all the characters are so intense that it just knocks the wind out of you as you’re watching. I had to take breaks out of emotional exhaustion from watching the story progress and at this point in the drama, I feel like I can adequately say I haven’t even seen the half of it yet.

  • f.

    Subs for Soredemo, Ikite Yuku are complete! I just finished it a couple days ago….. UGHHHHHHH MY HEART

  • http://twitter.com/lina468 Lina L.

    Darn. I’m sad to hear that Keiko’s drama is bad. Was really looking forward to seeing her onscreen with Sho.

  • BTHN

    I am just dying dying dying for you to watch Byakuyakou and write a review of it. I don’t wanna hype it up because if you’re anything like me, I automatically hate anything that happens to. But damn.. I feel like all the stars aligned for that one.