Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

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Welcome Aboard, MyDramaList.com!

April 8, 2011

Now, I heard about this due to an announcement that DarkUmagon had made on DramaCrazy.

His friend has launched a site, MyDramaList.com, a while ago. Users are able to have a list of all dramas and movies ranging from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Now as the title of the site hints, you can create lists for dramas and movies. There are 5 lists that you can put each drama or movie in: currently watching, completed, plan to watch, on-hold, and dropped. I admit, I actually do this on my Microsoft Word, but now, there’s no need for it now!

Wait, the site doesn’t end there. You can also write your reviews for these dramas and movies. The reviews can be in-depth, but must not include any spoilers, and even provides categories to rate the movie and/or drama: story (overall plot), acting/cast, music, rewatchable value, and overall. The scale ranges from 1 – 10, 1 being the lowest rating and 10 the highest. Before submitting your review, you must tell how many episodes you have watched for each drama. Finally, the users can choose if the review was helpful or not. Here is an example, I submitted for the fantastic Orange Days (click for better view):

Adding actors, actresses, movies, and dramas is created by users who are registered on the site. It goes through administration after it’s submitted. So far, I added a page for Kanno Miho and have just submitted one of my favorite Japanese movies, Swing Girls. There is also a feature that I love, a recommendation list for dramas or movies which is also added by users.

There is a forum section as well to discuss with other users, you can add users as friends, and visit their profiles to see their drama and movie stats. You can see the movies and dramas you both are watching or have watched. Let’s not forget, you can leave comments on each other pages.

MyDramaList is a fantastic way to interact with other Asian drama and movie lovers! I hope it grows as time goes by because this site has great potential! So check out the site and spread the word!

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It’s the Good Life

April 6, 2011

Asssshhh! This promotion picture is tugging at my heartstrings! It’s simplistic and poignant. Sorimachi Takahashi, famous for his lead role in Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO, which I STILL haven’t watched! Gah!) and the boy add to the emotion of the picture as well. The picture is used for the upcoming drama called Good Life ~Arigato, Papa. Sayonara~ which will premiere on April 19.

The basis for the drama is the novel “Kashikogi” by author Cho Chang-in, which has sold 2 million copies in Korea since its publication in 2000. It has already been adapted as a television drama and a stage play in that country. On February 4, Shogakukan is publishing the book in Japan under the title “Good Life.” Sorimachi plays the part of Daichi Sawamoto, a newspaper reporter who has always prioritized his work over his family. When his wife suddenly leaves him, he finally notices the love he has been receiving from his son. Just as he decides to answer back, it is discovered that his son has leukemia. Igawa plays Sawamoto’s wife, Eikura plays a pediatrics specialist, and Ihara plays a doctor. – Tokyograph

Gee! This drama is calling for me and yes I will watch you, show! No fansub group(s) have offered to provide subtitles for the show yet, but I mean, it’s Sorimachi Takahashi for goodness’s sakes! And comin’, look at that picture!

{ SOURCE: Good Life Official Site }

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Artist Discovery: Rie fu (リエ フゥ)

February 19, 2011

Well, I am featuring this gem of talent as my current header. Some may know her because her songs have been used for anime series such as Bleach, Gundam SEED DESTINY, and Darker Than Black -Kuro no Keiyaki-. I first heard of Rie fu when I heard “Life Is Like A Boat” from Bleach. I became an instant fan after hearing that song, though I haven’t been listening to her past albums. I’ve only taken a listen to Tobira Album and URBAN ROMANTIC.

In Tokyo, Japan Rie fu was born on January 11, 1985. Her stage name is actually abbreviated from her full name Rie Funakoshi From 1992 to 1995, Rie Fu lived in Maryland, United States with her family. In Maryland, she began playing the piano and gaining her music inspiration from artist such as Sheryl Crow and The Carpenters.

She learned how to play the guitar while in high school and began writing and recording songs. She later sent a demo tape to the record company Sony and they signed her to their Palm Beach label. Rie released her first single on March 21, 2004 titled Rie who!? while she was attending a university in London. Later that year, her song “Life Is Like A Boat” was chosen as the first ending theme for Bleach, garnering her widespread recognition. Rie fu graduated from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design of the University of the Arts London in fine art. She often designs her own album and single booklets and even features her artwork.

Rie fu is known for her soft pop and bilingual songs, as she is fluent in English and Japanese, such as “Until I Say” and “Life Is Like A Boat”. Though, most of her songs are sung in Japanese with some verses in English. She also has some songs entirely in English and has made given some of her Japanese songs a few English versions.

Rie fu has launched a new era on February 16, 2011 with her newest single, For You. Rie hasn’t released any new material since her last album at Rie sessions back in March of 2010. Check out “For You” PV below:

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EOWO [5]: Busy Week

February 6, 2011

It looks like I won’t be watching much dramas for a while. I’ve been busy with school and probably won’t be updating for a week or so. I’ll try to get my Navi’s Hello review and that recap in by the end of the month! Also, a possible review for the Japanese drama JIN. I am almost done with JIN just another two episodes to go and I get to watch the second season during the spring quarter of this year! Yay!~

TOP SONGS OF THE WEEK (1/30 – 2/06)

1. MAA – Hangover Payback
2. Shota Shimizu – YOU & I
3. Casker – 꼭 이만큼만
4. Tomofumi Tanizawa – Kimi Ni Todoke
5. Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts

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Perfume’s “Hyouketsu” in a Kirin CM

February 2, 2011

Perfume‘s new song, “Hyouketsu” (Freezing), started airing yesterday JST (Feb. 2). The song is currently used as the new CM song for Kirin Beer.

{ Source: AnOldBear, Tokyohive }

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EOWO [4]: Distraction is a Gift

January 30, 2011

My rampage for JIN has taken a halt due to school (darn it)! I did manage to finish episode 8 Friday and start on episode 9. I only have three more episodes to go. All I have to do is wait for season 2 which begins in spring. I know some of you may realize I am doing the exact same thing I did with Hotaru no Hikari, but I swear that I didn’t know JIN had a bad ending until I read the reviews. On Friday, I also tried watching Fuyu no Sakura. I am still interested it’s just… I was multitasking on the first impression for SCHOOL!! and I ended up getting engulfed in that. I’m not even half way through on Fuyu no Sakura, but I am liking it so far. The promotion picture looks a bit depressing yet exquisite. Sigh, there’s sure to be plenty of heartbreak and reading the summary doubles the possibility:

“Fuyu no Sakura” is described as a pure love story with similarities to the popular Korean drama “Winter Sonata” (titled “Fuyu no Sonata” in Japan). Kusanagi plays a gentle glass craftsman in Yamagata who has no experience in love. Imai plays an older housewife with a husband and daughter who goes on a trip alone to Yamagata, hoping to see sakura trees blooming in winter. She gets into an accident, but is saved by Kusanagi. He ends up tending to her, and the two are soon drawn to each other.

I tried watching Utsukushii Rinjin, but it went at such a slow pace and started to drag for me. I managed to watch longer than I thought and that was because I wanted to see Nakama Yukie. I only watched Utsukushii Rinjin because I Saijo no Meii and Deka Wanko are not subbed yet.

On project news, I began a recap for Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta. I typed in Taisetsu na Koto on Google (and I will refer to the show as this title). I happened to stumble upon this video. A Bleach musical:

I nearly died of laughter yesterday. It was pretty late and I tend to think the simplest of things are hilarious. I’ve also never knew that musicals were made for animes. Anyway, back to topic. Recap for Taisetsu na Koto sometime this weekend or the next. I want to stay caught up with recapping so I can feel accomplished! Yay!~

On my Forthcoming Project, Navi’s Hello album is still up. I know I was supposed to do it this weekend, but I have to push it back to next week. I have been listening to MAA’s “Ballerina brain system” since my newest friend and affiliate, Pedro (ANTENNA POP), posted about her. I’ve also been listening to Japanese singer Miu Sakamoto and Korean indie band Casker since he did post on them. Thanks Pedro! I am in love with Shota Shimizu’s newest single, YOU & I, and the Japanese instrumental group, sonodaband. They have two – or maybe three – albums available on US iTunes and I am certainly buying their recent album, Renaissance, today. I’ve been discovering new artist left and right this week. I’ll introduce some more next week since there is a lot more on my list of discovery.

To close this week’s overview, take a listen to sonodaband’s song, “Soul River”:

TOP SONGS OF THE WEEK (1/23 – 1/30)

1. MAA – Ballerina brain system
2. MAA – Hangover payback
3. sonodaband – Soul River
4. MiChi – JUMP ON IT (Yes, I am still lovin’ this jam!)
5. Tomofumi Tanizawa – タイムトラベラー

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First Impression: SCHOOL!!

January 29, 2011

I’m glad that someone decided to pick up this drama and provide English subtitles. The first episode was such a good watch and that I wanted to watch more! Sadly, the English subtitles was only given to the first episode. I’ll have to wait. Look at those kids above, they’re too cute, especially the girl who’s face is cut off on the right. She was adorable at the end of episode 1. SCHOOL!! is a drama that revolves around a public elementary school that gets a new principle who tries to save it before it closes. The show started on January 16, 2011 and is currently airing on Fuji TV, new episodes are premiered every Sundays at 9:00 – 9:45PM.

Naruse Seiichiro (Eguichi Yosuke, left), the passionate protagonist, has worked as a manager of civil engineering sites for a medium size company for 20 years. He had made a promise to his former teacher, Takeichi Mikihiro (Kishibe Ittoku). After his company is shut down, Naruse immediately becomes a principle at his old elementary school, which he must save from closing down. The school runs from first to sixth grade, one class per grade level. They are some familiar faces such as Kitano Kii (LIFE, Nagareboshi), Tsukamoto Takashi (Kisarazu Cat’s Eye, Tokyo DOGS), Ichikawa Miwako (Mother), and Miura Shohei (Gokusen 3, Tumbling).

I saw the promotion picture from above and I was immediately drawn in to SCHOOL!! Ah, school dramas and I always seem to get along. One thing I like about the show is how it doesn’t (well, at least so far…) focus on one specific classroom and its teacher. It goes broader than the dramas I’ve seen since the main character is the principle. I like the approach of the story, it’s simple and straightforward. We are almost immediately introduced to the teachers and the problem that is the center of episode 1. It was able to capture my attention fast; I was surprised since the first episodes seem to go at a slow pace.

I like Naruse so far. He’s blunt and a happy-go-lucky person. I really enjoy Eguichi Yosuke as Naruse he pulls him off great! However, the teachers find his ideas in conflict with theirs. Eguichi has a lot of dramas under his belt, and I have not seen a single one. Though, I do recognize his name from reading a summary of Triangle back in 2009. Eguichi plays the role of a character similar to Yankumi, passionate and dedicated. However, Naruse is a leader who is blunt and, surprisingly, a good cook. His bluntness does create some laughably moments.

Now, this show is not just drama. It does have humor in the atmosphere. It’s nice to know that I won’t be shedding too much tears, I get serious eye damage. The aftermath of 1 Litre of Tears was a complete disaster.

I can’t wait for some clashing with Kirahara Iori (Nishijuma Hidetoshi), the form teacher for 6th grade and curriculum coordinator. All the teachers seem to follow him. Kirahara is quiet, calm, and someone you just really don’t want to mess with. He’s somewhat intimidating since he appears so monotone and emotionless. The kids seem to listen to his orders too which adds even more intimidating points! Two people trying to help the students, but have different ways of achieving the same goal.

Hit, miss, or somewhere in between: I enjoyed SCHOOL!! a bit more than I expected. The main character, Naruse, has a fun personality even if it may be unconventional to his coworkers. I’m hoping we get more insight on Kirahara since he is the leader of the band of the teachers. I’m crossing my fingers Kirahara doesn’t turn out to be a flat character since he seems to appear emotionless throughout this episode. I like the actors playing the teachers, each one appears not to be just in the background left unknown to the viewers. This episode we got a tiny peek of Ohashi Hitoshi‘s (Tsukamoto Takahashi) vulnerability as he was lingering outside of his 5th grade class. As if he didn’t want to be teaching. This is a definitely a drama I wish to continue watching, just have to wait patiently for the subtitles. Those who like school dramas or is a fan of Eguichi Yosuke should give it a shot. I don’t want to speak too soon for the rest of the cast, only time will tell.

For those looking for subs, they are provided by Mikilove13 though it seems SCHOOL!! is a side project as Keizoku 2: SPEC seems to be her focus at the moment. Don’t forget to thank her if you do happen to get any of her subtitles in the future!~