Dorama Reviews

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Dekichatta Kekkon(Shotgun Marriage)


Rate: 9.0
Duration: 11 episodes
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV July-Sep 2001
Scriptwriter: Noriko Yoshida
Themesong: Is It You by HITOMI

Synopsis: Ryoko Hirosue stars as Chiyo, 20, a department store clerk, whose first encounter with Ryunosuke (Yutaka Takenouchi), 30, a carefree bachelor friend of her sister's, leads to a pregnancy. Although of different worlds, they fell in love but Chiyo's father doesn't want these youngsters to get married. After eight months of struggles and growing up, they finally accepted each other as partner.

Acting performances:

Yutaka Takenouchi as Ryunosuke
One of the BEST thing in this drama!! Takenouchi as Ryunosuke!! Perhaps the BEST role he ever got! Oh, gee...I LUV HIM SO MUCH here!! I mean, he's able to create his own style of the character which is different from his other roles I've ever seen!! I don't, is it Ryunosuke which I like...or Takenouchi's acting??^_^ This is the drama that made him to be one of my most favorite actor!!

Ryoko Hirosue as Chiyo
Her acting skill really improved in this, although still below Takenouchi of course =P And, she matured, too, here! I like her better in the beginning of the drama, though...hard to explain why...

Yuriko Ishida as Aki(Chiyo's onee-chan)
She is one great actress! I think she's a TOP actress in the early 90s along with Miho Nakayama, Honami Suzuki, Yuko Asano, etc. I like her performance as the big sister. However, I've seen two of her dramas before(Anything For You & Love Fraud), which on both dramas her character always shows melancholic expressions, of course those two dramas are serious and sad dramas. In the beginning of the drama, she's indeed funny and I feel, "At last! She's doing a funny character!" but later towards the ending, she put on more of those melancholic expressions again >_< I wonder why...but, asides of that she IS a great actress!

Hiroshi Abe as Eitaro
A middle-aged actor which always take comedic roles in all dramas I've seen with him in it^^ I like him! I thought he's only capable in doing funny scenes...turns out he's pretty good in romantic scenes, too. I finally feel the on-screen chemistry between him and Yuriko(Aki) when he hug him near the ocean scene.

First sight: As soon as I know Takenouchi paired with Hirosue in this dorama, I remotely got interested in this drama! Coz, they're my favorite actor and actress!! Not to mention their big difference of age...I find this drama very interesting. So, as soon as I see it on the video store, I grabbed it without second thought! Turns out...I have a pretty potential strong 'feeling', eh?? =P

Comments: Another one of the BEST dorama and on my TOP THREE favorite dorama list, too!!!^O^ Left me a deep impression! A perfect mixture of ridiculous comedy and heart-touching drama!!^_^ Everything is just so simple! It's not about those two persons in different worlds fall in love, but this is about ordinary and common 2 persons, which we normally find in our life, not in love, facing problems, which eventually led them gradually to be in love^^ I mean, Ryunosuke is such a simple guy and Chiyo is also a simple girl, then they encounter these problems, which looks pretty simple to solve, but everything becomes so complicated in the end...because...well, that's life!!
I looooove Takenouchi so much here! And the themesongs! Oh, my gosh! Just by hearing it, made me reeeallly want to buy the OST CD! You have to watch this!! But, oh...becareful, because of it's simplicity, there will be 2 types of comments: either you like it VERY VERY hate it and you felt it's boring. So, which one you are?? If u want to know, then watch it!!^_^ I really recommended this to all Takenouchi and Hirosue's fans!!

Watched: 4-5 times(all episodes), bought the VCD boxset

Likes: Takenouchi as Ryunosuke!! The fresh, unique and enjoyable kind of background musics! The themesongs!! The comedy scenes! The touching and impressive scenes!!

Dislikes: ....mmh.....none?

Densetsu no Kyoushi(The Legendary Teacher)


Rate: 8.0
Duration: 11 episodes
Broadcasted in Japan: NTV April-June 2000
Themesong: Seishun by The High Lows

Synopsis: A school drama about two form teachers, Jiro Namba(Hitoshi Matsumoto) who is not so concerned about his work as a teacher and Daisuke Kazama(Masahiro Nakai) who is concerned. The two hate each other at first, but they both work together to figure out the problems occuring at their school.

Acting performances:

Masahiro Nakai as Daisuke Kazama
Nakai looks so good and charming here!! Coz, he always wears black suits. His hair is black-coloured too, something I seldom see!^_^
Kazama is a form teacher for class 2D in an elite school. In every episode, he has a new girlfriend^^ He sometimes looks so cool, but he can be hillarious too!! Love his hillarious moments, sugoi funny!

Hitoshi Matsumoto as Jiro Namba
Casually, you would see him as a crazy old man who never take things seriously. But, he's actually the person who can solve the student's problems, most of the time. He's always being aftered by a debt collector that looks so mysterious.
Matsumoto is very very funny!!! Of course...he's a comedian!! I laughed hard whenever he put on those ridiculous expressions!!

First sight: Just have the desire to watch Nakai's dorama, and stuck with choices between Brothers(I once watched this on tv, never watch it complete), Densetsu and Shiroi Kage. But, as soon as I know Kimura is guest-starring in the finale episode, I choose this dorama immediately!!! Hehe...=P

Comments: I ended up enjoying this dorama very much!!!^O^ This is definitely NOT a copycat of GTO! B'coz some of the cases are not only about problem students, but sometimes there's mystery/puzzle behind or hidden facts(which usually revealed successfully by Namba in the end of the episode). This one also has 2 teachers paired to handle one class too, imagine the havoc when these 2 try to compromise on how to handle the students with 2 opposite ways of thinking!!!
Although they hate each other, but they got friendly eventually. Their bickering scenes are soooo funny! I always laugh watching these two craziness!!! A unique thing is, sometimes their dialogue is out of context and not following the script anymore, so they're doing impromptu dialogues. You'll KNOW when they do this...coz, it's obvious when they're doing a casual chat, and sometimes they can't control their laughter, esp. Nakai!!^_~ Some impromptu chat goes not really funny, but some are hillarious, I laughed so hard!!!^_^ Hmm...why do the producer decided to do this, I wonder...because both Nakai and Matsumoto(a permanent MC in a show called Downtown) are well-known MCs?!

My most favorite episodes are 8th and 9th! In ep. 8, since that debt collector destroy Namba's house, Namba goes straight to Kazama's luxurious apartment & ask him to permit him to stay there for several weeks, when Kazama is about to have a date!!! Imagine Kazama's reaction to this!!! I burst out laughing at this scene! Namba just burst in to the apartment, while Kazama's girlfriend arrived. He tried his best to explain to that girl, however Namba is smoking and holding the flower bouquet Kazama intended to give to that girl, Kazama is furious(in a very, very funny way!!!^_^)!! Next thing you know, that girl have already dissapeared...haha, poor Kazama. Another hillarious moment, is when Kazama got home and he can hardly recognize his apartment anymore, coz Namba re-decorate it in an old fashioned way!!!*LOL* Kazama is furious again! Also, in this episode, they decided to do a Manzai duet(an impromptu comedy by 2 comedians, one acted as the dumb one, and one as the smart one) for school festival. Ep. 9 is really tenseful, and I got quite shocked to see Kazama got stabbed here!!

Aa..sou, Takuya Kimura's appearance in the finale episode is also quite funny!!^_^ See...Kazama and Namba got fired, in the corridor, someone pass by and tells them that he's the new form teacher for class 2D(acted by Masatoshi Hamada, Matsumoto's partner in Downtown^^). Looking at his irritating manner, Namba got into a fight with him(the fight is very funny!!). Kazama tried to stop the fight, then suddenly someone bumped him from behind and Kazama falls down, he yells, "Hey! Watch where you goin'!!", when the guy turns's Kimura!!!^_~ Kimura is holding a class absency book and tells them in a cool and irritating way that he's the new form teacher for class 2D. To see their replacement are irritating and annoying guys, Kazama & Namba decided to get their job back!!! Haha!

Overall, I really enjoyed this dorama!!!!

Watched: once(all episodes), 3 times(episode 8^^), borrowed the videotape

Likes: Kazama and Namba as partners, the hillarious scenes, several interesting cases

Dislikes: some of their impromptu dialogues which goes unfunny =P



Rate: 6.5
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV Oct-Dec 1996
Duration: 10 episodes
Themesong: Pride by Miki Imai

Synopsis: Yuki(Narumi Yasuda) is an unsatisfied OL who is trying to find herself. She goes off to Vietnam to meet a friend and just relax. While trying to cross a busy street, Doku(a kid who drives bike taxis) grabs her hand and helps her across the street. That's when Yuki and Doku meet for the first time. Yuki gives him some money as a tip. While vacationing in Vietnam, Yuki realizes that her real job in this life is to teach Japanese to foreign nationals living in Japan. She goes back, studies for her teaching exam, and passes it. Her family and several of her friends are against Yuki's decision to teach Japanese. Her parents are worried that Yuki will never get married. Her good friend Amamiya(Shinna) is totally against her decision. He plays baseball for a company team. He loves Yuki but doesn't have the courage to tell her. Doku arrives in Japan as an exchange student. He plans to enter Waseda University after completing his Japanese lessons at a Japanese Language school. Turns out, Doku's Japanese class' new teacher is Yuki...

Acting performances:

Narumi Yasuda as Yuki
I dont like her! Reminds me of Michi(Majo no Jouken). She's actually the cheerful type, but when she got confused or dont know what to do, or what she wants to do...all she can do is crying...-_- I don't know much bout the actress herself...

Shingo Katori as Doku
Doku is very, very sweeeet. He looks soooo kakkooooi when he saved Yuki on the street and help her walk across the street!! Very kakkoi!^^ He dont talk much, but he's just very, very, very sweeeet and kind-hearted!!! Amazed with his acting here, coz Shingo himself is the talkative type and very loud!! =P

Miho Kanno as Mei
Very cute!! She acted as a chinese girl learning japanese in the same class with Doku, in fact she sit right beside him and obviously had a crush on Doku^^ I just wish Doku pay attention to her more, rather than that weepy teacher >_<

First sight: All Shingo's dramas are A-MUST for me!!! =P

Comments: Reminds me of Majo no Jouken....a teacher-student relationship. Yuki is even 10 years older than Doku!O_o I dont like the, nothing much to say...yeah, its quite slow. But what I enjoyed here, is of course, Shingo's performance...heehee... And his scenes with Mei!! It really touched me, that Doku is falling in love with Yuki, yet he is veryyyy niiice to Mei!!^^ When Mei got a fever, its Doku who take care of her...coz she has nobody in Japan. Doku take care of her very gently....sooo sweet^^

Watched: twice, collected the vcd

Likes: Shingo as Doku

Dislikes: the slow-paced plot, I dont even mind the unhappy ending....xP

Food Fight   

Rate: 9.0
Broadcasted in Japan: NTV July-Sep 2000
Duration: 11 episodes + 2 specials
Scriptwriter: Shinji Nojima
Themesong: Lion Heart by SMAP

Synopsis: "Food Fight" stars Kusanagi Tsuyoshi who plays the character of Ihara Mitsuru. A drama about a man who enters "all you can eat" contests to support the orphanage that he grew up. He volunteers in an orphanage along with Fukada Kyoko. A girl that Mitsuru is attracted to. Anyway, Mitsuru works for a large food manufacturer and wears a suit which leads you to believe he has succeeded in life as a hardworking businessman but the truth is that Mitsuru is actually a custodian for the company. The main premise of this drama is how Japanese society can be very judgmental on people who have parents and those who don't. This drama also stars Miyazawa Rie who plays the wife of the president. The president has combined gourmet eating and gambling and runs these "all you can eat" contests in the building's basement. Mitsuru is the reigning champion. He wins millions but always turns it over to the orphanage. Also, part of the storyline is the relationship of Mitsuru and 8-year old Yuta. A child whose mother is dead and his father is in prison. Yuta is very much like how Mitsuru used to be and Mitsuru tries to help the young child. As for the ability to eat a lot, Mitsuru's life sheds a clue that since he was deprived of love, he has an appetite that will never be satisfied. One day Yuta is caught for shoplifting and is slapped in the mouth by a police officer. Mitsuru comes to the boy's defense and the police officer tells Mitsuru that the boy is like the way he is because he doesn't have any parents.

Acting performances:

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi as Mitsuru Ihara
This is the first time I ever seen Tsuyoshi in a kakkoi and extrovert role!!! Very different from the roles he ever played! Loooooove Mitsuru's character!! He's very playful, like to tease people and just being funny!! Sugoi! Tsuyoshi acted it very well too!!! This is my most favorite character Tsuyoshi ever played!!^_^

Kyoko Fukada as Manami Tamura
I dont like her, but she is less-irritating in this drama =P

First sight: This is such a controversial dorama, 50% viewers said this one is very good, yet 50% said it sucks! After I know who the writer is, I believe I wouldn't like this one(coz he used to write dark stories). Never have the intention to watch this at all. BUT! Since Lion Heart is my 2nd ultimate favorite Smap song, I want to see the ending sequence of this drama, so I borrowed from my friend. haha! Turns out, I cannot stop watching this ever since the start!!! Sugoi!!! x)

Comments: This has to be one my MOST FAVORITE drama!!! Its sooooo enjoyable!! Really didnt expect it! The scenes are so comical and watching this one like watching an anime...the characters are also like anime characters!!^_^ Sugoooi!! Love it, love it, love it!!! The only part I dont like, perhaps, when the contest starts...make me sick, looking at those contestant eating so much x)
Takuya Kimura being the voice actor of Kyutaro, The Bird...Mitsuru's pet, also adds interesting scenes!!!^^ Coz its almost like a Kimura and Tsuyoshi's conversation to me =P Also very interesting, the fact that Kyutaro is a big fan of Morning Musume(esp. Yuko Nakazawa)!! Haha!
I soooo love the BGMs too!!! Reminds me of Indiana Jones and Batman BGMs!!! Haha! Very, very interesting! I'm sooo happy my friend found the soundtrack cd for me ^_^ And dont get me started with the themesong...coz, I absolutely LOOOOOVE it!!!^_~ Lion Heart is such a lovely, lovely song!
The specials are also very gooood!!!!! If you buy the series, be sure you buy the specials too, coz those are the continuations! The 1st special tells about Mitsuru going to Hongkong to a food fight contest there. And he also meets a Manami-look alike HK girl named Mei(of course, acted by Fukada too^^). The 2nd special is when Mitsuru and the orphanage kids are on vacation, and when they are going back by train, someone called Mitsuru and challenge him a food fight contest. He has to face 7 opponents, if he lose just once, there's a bomb ready to explode. The 2nd special ended with a cliffhanger too! Someone knows Mitsuru's younger sister whereabouts....the ending scenes shows a girl having a food fight contest, she wins, but we dont get to see her face...that's Mitsuru's sister. Gosh!! We have to wait for this year's special!

Watched: once, borrowed the VCD from a friend

Likes: the story, the themesong(A LOT), Tsuyoshi as Mitsuru, the BGMs, the atmosphere, the funny scenes

Dislikes: Cant really find one, for the moment =P


Rate: 7.5
Broadcasted in Japan: TBS February 2002
Duration: 2 chapters(episodes)@ + 120 mins
Themesong: One by Lee So Jung

Synopsis: The drama, a typical love story, revolves around a young Japanese woman, Tomoko, who meets and falls in love with a South Korean student, Jihoon, when she visits Hong Kong on holiday. South Korean actor Wonbin, who is very popular not only in his own country but also in Taiwan and Singapore, plays the student, who dreams of becoming a film director. Tomoko, who works at a department store, seems like a trendy, carefree girl, but is actually very good-hearted. Designed to reflect the contemporary situation in South Korea, the drama touches on such issues as military conscription, conservative families and the exaggerated expectations parents have for their eldest sons, all of which become obstacles to the protagonists' love for each other.

Acting performances:

Won Bin as Kim Jihoon
I've never seen him before, although I realized he's quite familiar. It turns out, I've watched a few scenes of his blockbuster Korean drama, Endless Love (as Tae Sooh) on TV. I just have to say this...Won Bin is sooooooooo kakkoiiiii!!!!^_^ Really cute, cool and handsome! And, I just love it whenever he smiles!! Kakkoi!^^
I'm impressed with his acting ability, too. I think he played Kim Jihoon very well!

Kyoko Fukada as Tomoko Asai
Well...this is the first time I ever watched her drama. The second, if you count News no Onna to be one of her drama. She's cute, alright.....but I cannot help but to notice her fake, fake acting! Sometimes she exagerrated her expressions and all! Her smile is fake, moreover her weepy act! Ok...this is not actually, my first impression of her. She's just so-so to me when I watched her for the first time in this drama, althou I have already noticed a bit on her fake acting. It was To Heart, the 2nd time I watched her drama, what made me realized on her fake act!>.<
However, I have to say, that I'm impressed with her spirit in learning Korean language. Although, I think....her Korean is bad...but, at least she tried hard... I wonder why Won Bin did not try to learn much Japanese??
Anyway, she tried very hard to speak the Korean dialogues right, but there's just still something missing. Intonations are very important to show one character's feeling. Fukada didn't really get the Korean intonations or way of speak right... so no matter how much she tries to express her feelings with her facial expressions, there still no feelings from her voice, and it felt she's just memorizing the script. Moreover, what can u expect from those fake facial expressions?? x)

On the other hand.....I don't know whether her chemistry with Japanese actors, Hideaki Takizawa or Takeshi Kaneshiro are good enough, but I must say her on-screen chemistry with Won Bin is pretty good. You can really feel they love each other. I think it's pretty amazing, cause in "The Making Of", WonBin and Fukada didn't really look like that close, because of the language barrier, they rarely have a chat together. So, Fukada don't really know Won Bin that well. But, they can act as a couple very well!

First sight: Of course, I'm attracted by this one! It's a Japanese-Korean collaboration...what is not interesting about that??^^

Comments: Watched it for the first time, it really left me a very good impression!! It's soooo funny watching the scenes where Tomoko use Japanese while Jihoon use Korean, and try to move their hands or point at something to make the other understand what their saying^^
There also lots and lots of sweet, cute, romantic scenes! I love it! Although there are a lot of chasing around scenes, back and forth between Tokyo-Seoul, but it can really make your eyes watery, coz some scenes are just so touching ^_^
However, after I watched it for the second time, it left me a less good impression, because that's where I realized the boring scenes and felt like skipping it^^ The boring scenes are whenever Tomoko just talk with his friends and family in Tokyo and Jihoon talk with his friends and family in Seoul. It's boring because it's actually draggy and there are no exciting scenes.
That's why, my favorite scenes in this drama is whenever, Jihoon and Tomoko meet and get together.
This drama was actually directed by two directors, a Japanese and a Korean. But, throughout the story, I can't really tell the difference between scenes directed by the Japanese and the ones by the Korean ^____^ That means, they both did a great job! In "The Making Of", it feels there's a lot of tensions between the crews from Japan and Korea, especially because of the difficulty in language and their dark history in the past. There are translators, but they only work for the actors and directors, not for the other crews. I think it has create a lot of confusions.
But, it's amazing how they got through all those difficulties and success in producing a great drama. Just one thing, really bothers me...are these two nations too proud with their own languages 'til they don't have the time to learn ENGLISH?!O_O I mean things could've been easier if they just use English to communicate. Oh, well....
Ooh...Kelly Chen also appear as a guest star in the first chapter when they shoot in Hongkong!!^^ I heard, Fukada asked the producer to include Kelly as a guest-star if they will have a shoot in Hongkong. I think she's pretty close with Kelly...they once starred a J-drama together, right?? I forgot the title, though >_<
Overall, this is a good drama!! Really worth to watch! But, take my advice, don't watch it don't want it to leave a less good impression on you, right???^_^

Watched: twice, rent the VCD

Likes: Won Bin as Jihoon, -Jihoon & Tomoko communicating in 2 languages- scenes, the background musics, the themesong

Dislikes: Whenever Jihoon is in Seoul & Tomoko is in Tokyo, and they're not together^^

Furuhata Ninsaburo vs Smap(special)


Rate: 8.5
Broadcasted in Japan: FujiTV January 3rd, 1999
Duration: 1 episode special(+ 150 mins)
Scriptwriter: Koki Mitani

Synopsis: Tsuyoshi has been bullied by Togashi, one of the staff in SMAP for a long time. Nakai, Kimura, Goro and Shingo, members of SMAP, all knew about the bully and planned to kill Togashi the first day of the concert with their clever plan. Could Liutenant Furuhata[Tamura Masakazu] solved the case?

Acting performances:

Tamura Masakazu as Furuhata Ninsaburo
Hmm...he's a veteran actor, so I dunno what to say. But, he definitely suceed in making me laugh coz of his funny attitudes, but also irritates me coz of the way he talks, both at the same time!!^^

Smap as Smap
Again...don't have much to say. Coz, all SMAP members here acted as themselves. Actually, I think everyone suceed in acting as themselves, except Nakai. I just don't see the usual cheerful & talkative Nakai like in SMAP shows, he's much more serious here. Except, if that's the way he actually is^^
I have to say, Kimura & Goro, looks the best here!! Kakkoi! And, how I love Kimura's hat! It's the same hat he usually wear in Sleeping Forest^^ He looks sooo kakkoi with that hat!!^_^ Shingo looks so cute and young. While, Tsuyoshi and Nakai don't look too good here.
Kimura said while filming this special, "it is much harder to act as yourself than as another character". I think that's true!^_~

First sight: I'm really fond of SMAP lately, so I just have to see this one!^^

Comments: Wahhh!! Didn't expect it to be this gooood!! Definitely such a great detective story!!^O^ I love how SMAP acted as this Mission Impossible team-alike, when they're doing the murder plan, with those kakkoi black suits and all!!^^ And here, SMAP described as such clever murderers! They can almost cover all proofs! And made the almost perfect alibi-s! Sugoi! Even Furuhata got confused most of the time investigating this case^^
There's this interesting character, a male police which is a big fan of SMAP, that brings the comedy atmosphere, and definitely made me burst out laughing coz of his funny attitude everytime he face any of the SMAP members ^____^ And he sure took lots of pictures together with them! Haha!
Another scene I like, is where Shingo and Kimura got into a fight!! Actually, that is part of the murder plan, so they're just 'acting' like they're in a fight! They push and almost punch each other, Shingo even tear Kimura's costumes! fun to watch this scene!
Overall, it's a very very fun special dorama to watch!! Believe me! And, to get five well-known actors act together in one dorama is definitely -once in a blue moon- thing!^^ So, I recommend this to everyone!!!

Watched: 3 times, collected the video tape

Likes: SMAP as the clever murderers, some funny scenes, the whole story, the detective-type musics

Dislikes: Furuhata actually irritates me a bit!>_<

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