In Which Isilie Defends: Kimi wa Pet / Tramps Like Us

sunbladestumblrkwp2Other than the fact that I seem to re-read this manga every few months, I felt the need to address this drama/manga again because of some old reviews I read. They were very short reviews and I only found a few, but one of the frequent comments was that people were uncomfortable seeing MatsuJun “treated like that” ie, treated like a pet. It made me laugh until my obsessive-analyzing switch went off and I started thinking too much about that. Then there was the assumption of so many potential manga readers that the title and cover-art referred to some kind of “trashy” relationship.

The relationship between Sumire and Takeshi, our two main characters in the manga and the drama version of Kimi wa Pet, is hard for an outsider to comprehend. It’s even harder to put across in live-action because it’s easy to write everything off: Sumire is mean, Takeshi is a weakling, etc. One of the J-drama confession pictures about this show objected that love couldn’t begin from a relationship where one person is treated like a pet.

Let me take this opportunity to explain why it does and why you should read the manga (even if you’ve already seen the j-drama).

PS: Thank you, various people on tumblr, for the gifs/pics! None of them are mine. Also – there might be a spoiler or two, but barely.

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In Which Isilie’s Digitalian Post is too Long.

thumb-d12a378caa620bc888f371af3c7df202-qgxgzl8svaqI think it’s time for a little album squee. I’ve discovered that when I try to gather my thoughts about Arashi, it’s very hard. I mean to narrow down what I want to say without rambling. It’s hard to be concise.

I wanted this to be a simple album review, but I found it impossible. I loved their last effort, Love, an album that sounded remarkably mature but also wonderfully nostalgic. This time around they decided to go with a theme again, to try something a bit new.

I think I am one of the few people around who still really love digital-electro-pop, or whatever it is that people call this. Maybe people were afraid they’d sound like K-pop, which just isn’t really ‘Arashi’. I’d probably love it anyway, but I am happy to report that while this is certainly a lot more, ahem, ‘digital’ than their last album, it’s still very much Arashi-like and it’s wonderful. Continue reading “In Which Isilie’s Digitalian Post is too Long.”

Oshimaaaaaaaa!

Say it ain’t so!

tumblr_m0ie43iqs01qzk928o1_500I used this picture because the year I discovered I wanted to marry Yuko, Bro sketched her for me using this image. That sketch is sitting on my shelf and I look at it every day.

I remember playing the AKB-dating-sims and just always ending up with Yuko because I couldn’t bring myself to hurt her and because she was just so…perfect!

I remember falling for her in MajiSuka also, and then whenever I saw her in a pv, or on a variety show I’d yell, “It’s OshiMAAAAAA!”  and proceed to fangurl, which lucky for me made Bro laugh and NOT tell me shut up. I’m really not as into AKB as I’m into H!P, but Yuko was always special.

And now she’s graduating.

And I’m oddly not surprised. I don’t think many people are. I think the shock is more to do with how and where she announced it: 64th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen. It could be argued that she kinda hijacked that celebratory moment and made it all about her, but I feel like she just couldn’t wait anymore. Why not take the opportunity on a program that is broadcast nation-wide? Were people offended by this?

Honestly, I feel like it was a long time coming.

Continue reading “Oshimaaaaaaaa!”

P-A-R-A-D-O-X is stuck in my heaaaad

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I thought this song was going to be Face Down all over again. That song took away all my dignity and turned me into the drooling fan-gurl that I so rarely become. I mean, all that neck and hand porn…and OHNO!!!

…Anyway:

Paradox is intense, but feels too short and for all the hype about dancing in New York with a famous choreographer, they don’t actually show a whole lot of dancing. I think I might be the only idol fan in the world who isn’t that fond of ‘close-up’ shots in PVs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy looking at Arashi (on the contrary!), but, like I said, why promise me a dance pv and give me mostly close-ups?

This is why Music Station is so essential. Instead of being Face Down, this is Endless Game all over again.

Let me explain.

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Isilie’s Guilty Pleasure J-Dramas: Zettai Kareshi

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Zettai Kareshi, from 2008, stars the adorable duck-faced Aibu Saki and Hayami Mokomichi, who is tall…very tall. Aibu plays Riiko, a girl who is too “serious” about love and Hayami plays Tenjo Night/01…a robot, built only for love.

Yep. That kind of love.

And, of course, the most beautiful man in the world (yes, the WORLD) Mizushima Hiro is there too. Being unconscionably gorgeous. He plays the unlucky guy who falls for Riiko, Asamoto Soshi. It is a very silly drama centered around pastry chefs, cream-puffs, inappropriately grandiose love confessions and the absolute worst on-screen “kiss”es I’ve ever seen.

Why do I love this nonsense?

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Sakurai Drama Review: Kazoku Game

Kazoku_Game Or “Family Game”, based on a novel, made into a movie, and now remade thirty years later.

No, I haven’t seen the movie or any other version. I don’t know if I really want to after this.

And that is not because this drama is bad. Quite the contrary.

It’s just uncomfortable.
From the beginning to the very end, this drama makes you very, very uncomfortable. I believe that is the point. That being said, I can’t imagine how much more uncomfortable the movie must be.

Basic summary: The Numata family hires Yoshimoto Kouya (Sakurai Sho) to tutor their “problem son”, who refuses to go to school. He says he can definitely do this, but the family must never interfere with his methods. So his father signs a contract – and all hell breaks loose.

Kazoku Game might have its problems, but you should watch it. Don’t let the presence of an idol chase you away.

(EDITED 14/09/13: I wasn’t happy with how my original edit worked out. Due to tiredness or carelessness on my part there were parts I forgot to include, muddled thoughts and typos. I’ve tried to fix those as best I can and I apologize to those of you who read the original in that state.)

(Some spoilers ahead.)

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Aiba Drama Review: Last Hope

439px-LasthopeI think among all of Arashi, Aiba has the worst luck with dramas.

What always seems to happen is he gets something that sounds really interesting on paper, but in execution just falls flat. Half the time it has nothing to do with whether or not he can act.

Last Hope is about a band of specialist doctors (with tragic/confusing PASTS!) who work together at a center that specializes in cases other doctors have rejected. They are the patients’ ‘last hope’, something they never fail to mention (I’m talking every single episode, to the point that it’s lampshaded by the characters).  To solve these cases they use “cutting edge medical technology”. They deal with the aforementioned pasts and “help each other”. They also wrestle with heavy questions about Japan’s medical system, about life and death and ethics etc.

It sounds good, right? Having a tragic past is a bit of cliche, but it can work well, if it’s done properly, right? In fact, the reveal of one of these “pasts” left me completely floored.

Then why, WHY is it so boring?

(SPOILER ALERT!!! This review contains major plot spoilers – basically I’m spoiling Aiba’s ending – as in every detail. Also, this review focuses mainly on Aiba’s story arc more than the others.)

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Some Wisdom from Mr Ohno

03I was thinking about this the other day…

Ohno Satoshi doesn’t seem to be very good at expressing himself. Ironic, considering his career choice. But it makes sense because he seems to be the kind of person who just gets pulled along and is able to succeed, even when he’s thinking, “what the hell am I doing?” He doesn’t speak that often, or waste his words, so when he does choose to say something, it takes me awhile some times to get what he means.

I was watching an interview segment with Arashi on some news show that went behind the scenes of Shiyagare (one of their regular shows on which this man was a guest). Really it was just a short interview in which he asked Ohno to rate everyone according to how cheap they are. After that, he mentions that when he asked everyone, “what does Arashi mean to you” they gave answers like “family” or “friends” but Ohno didn’t.

In fact, he said that they weren’t any of these.

Continue reading “Some Wisdom from Mr Ohno”