Posted in jdrama

Love You as the World Ends Season 01 Review

For the first time, I will be writing a review of a J-drama that I am currently watching. If you enjoyed watching zombie movies (Alive, Train to Busan, Peninsula) or series (Kingdom). This show is for you.

Synopsis

Hibiki Mamiya and Kurumi Ogasawara – The lead characters for the series

Hibiki Mamiya (Portrayed by Ryoma Takeuchi) is a car mechanic and lives with her girlfriend Kurumi Ogasawara (Portrayed by Ayami Nakajo). They have dated since they were high school. Hibiki plans to propose to her girlfriend but on the day of the proposal, he slides off a tunnel and becomes trapped. 4 days later he was able to escape but he faces a different world. No people outside, traffic systems are destroyed and bloodstains are everywhere on the streets. He later finds out that the town is filled with zombies (called as golems on the show). Unable to return home, he found refuge with a group of people who has able to survive the first wave of the golem attacks. Separated by the tragic events, Will Hibiki be able to reunite with Kurumi as they face the struggles of survival on a golem filled nation.

Series Thoughts

The first time I watched the series, it actually had that “Walking Dead” feel into it. It introduced us to different groups of people who wanted to survive on their own. What’s different on this series is that it was revealed that a certain doctor created the virus that turns humans into golems and the shocking revelation was that Hibiki’s mom (who died years ago before the events of the series) was the first golem to be created by the doctor. At the end of the series the evil doctor succumbed to death after being shot by Hibiki after transforming to a golem.

Hiro Todoroki (Portrayed by Show Kasamatsu), Hibiki’s long time friend and rival to Kurumi
Kanae Hiiragi (Portrayed by Marie Iitoyo) and Yohei Komoto (Portrayed by Makita Sports), comrades of Hibiki Mamiya
Doctor Koki Shuto (Portrayed by Kenichi Takito), the antagonist of Season 1. The creator of the golem virus

The supporting cast were also critical on how the series went out, unfortunately the series didn’t provide a quick backstory to the characters throughout the series.

There were a lot of casualties on this series so expect that some characters will not be appearing on season 2

Final Thoughts

The concept might not be new as we have seen a lot of shows that has the same concept but the love story that looms within the series is different compared to other shows that we have seen so far. This show does not shy away from violence as this was streamed through Hulu. What I liked on the series is how the story progresses and how the interaction of the characters evolve on the series. Are we expecting a new set of antagonists for season 2 —– yes. Are we expecting to see more deaths and new characters —– probably, I just hope that season 2 does not stray away from the original story.

Score8/10: The series has a lot of potential gearing towards season 2. I will write a separate review for Season 2 once it is completed.

Posted in jdrama

This Guy is the Biggest Mistake in My Life (2020)

Profile:
Drama: This Guy is the Biggest Mistake in My Life (この男は人生最大の過ちです)
Network: TV Asahi, ABC
Episodes: 10
Release Date: January 18 – March 21, 2020 (TV Asahi) / January 19 – March 22, 2020 (ABC)
Runtime: Saturday 26:30 (TV Asahi) / Sunday 23:35 (ABC)
Country: Japan

Plot:
Sato was mourning the loss of her dog Chocolate when a guy hit on her in a bar. She gets angry and scolds him. He was shocked and immediately fell in love with her. The next day, he turns out to be his boss and calls him into her office. He tells her to treat her like her slave and follows her everywhere.

Main Cast
Mokomichi Hayami – Kyoichi Amagi
Airi Matsui – Yui Sato
Michiko Tanaka – Sae Mishima
Jingi Irie – So Natori
Yuta Hiraoka – Koshiro Aida

Review:
I really liked the first 5 episodes (or up until their trip to the ryokan.) The drama was laugh out loud funny and light. But the second half felt different, with the addition of Sae and Aida and got a little boring.

This is a manga adaptation so i threw all logic and real life out of the window. The guy is creepy and stalkerish but he sounds sincere and seems to really like Sato. He just needed to tone down his obsessive ways or learn to control himself and listen to Sato. Moco was so good at portraying Amagi. He never got angry or raised his voice. He loved her for who she was, gave her everything she wanted and more. I think if he actually stopped stalking her and treated her properly, Sato would have fallen head over heels for him too. I know it’s wrong, but I laughed every time Amagi holds on to and smells her ankles. And that episode where he brought a whole feast to her office so she can have dinner. The food spelled out her name and the dessert was a cake with her face. ROTFL!!!

I wasn’t really sure how Sato really felt which was disappointing because the show kept emphasizing that people need to be honest with their own feelings. Half of the time, it felt like Sato liked him back but just got creeped out of his behavior, sometimes it felt like she was pitying him, then she would burst and slam him to the floor. “Stop following me!” But she kept joining him for dinner, talking to him, cared for him. When Sato though Amagi died, she laid out her honest feelings to Amagi but when he woke up, she denied it and beat him up again. Between the two, I actually felt bad for Amagi and wished he wises up and leave Sato to find another nicer woman.

Good thing this drama was short. 10 episodes at 20 mins (or less) per episode. So this was a breezy watch. There’s not much character growth though and nothing really happened story-wise. The guy just kept pursuing Sato. Sato will feel bad, think that maybe she likes him, then will beat up Amagi And stalk off. Amagi gets turned on and continue to pursue her. Repeat 10x.

I didn’t like Sae. I thought she was an unnecessary nuisance to the story – meant to make Sato feel jealous. And she didn’t. or so I think. It felt like she was jealous or is it more like being possessive because Amagi’s affections are not centered on her?? (But she still won’t accept his feelings).

A part of me thinks she should have just chosen Aida then Amagi will stop chasing her. (But Aida is also a little bit weird).

I didn’t expect the ending (is that it???). I thought the time alone would have made Sato realize that she likes Amagi but when Amagi showed up and gave her the curative medicine, she just got angry again and beat him up. I saw the medicine and thought “Awwww. he really likes her!!” It was the sweetest proposal I’ve seen. Can’t she appreciate his efforts even if she turns down his affections?

Another laugh out loud moment was the realization that Amagi was in every picture of her trip. It was so dang hilarious!!!

Do I want a season 2? Not really.

Rating: 7/10

Posted in jdrama

Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu (2017)

Profile
Drama: Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu / Everyone’s Getting Married (突然ですが、明日結婚します)
Network: Fuji TV
Episodes: 9
Release Date: January 23 – March 20, 2017
Runtime: Monday 21:00-21:54
Country: Japan

Plot:
A girl who wants to get married falls in love with a guy who doesn’t want to get married. And another guy comes in and proposes a loveless marriage but fulfills all the requirements of the girl. Who do you choose?

Main Cast
Mariya Nishiuchi – Asuka Takanashi
Ryuta Namamura – Ryu Nanami
Ikusaburo Yamazaki – Akihito Kamiya
Anne Nakamura – Rio Kiriyama
Yukino Kishii – Momoko Makise
Kanro Morita – Hiroki Ono

Review:
Once in a while i break away from watching kdramas to watch a Japanese drama. I love how realistic most Jdramas are especially on stories dealing with single lives, relationships and marriage. And the episodes are short, it’s easy to binge watch the entire day 🙂

I like how the story tackled different views on marriage. There’s no right or wrong answer. You decide what makes you happy. Be it married or single. You never know, you or your partner might change your mind.

Another critical question that the drama raised, do you continue to be in a relationship knowing you may not end up in marriage? Is it better to stop now before you waste more time? Is it right to hope that the other one changes his mind or will you regret or blame him if he never did?

Asuka wants to get married and be a professional housewife. Until then she works hard in her career so that when she gets married, she has achieved her career goals and can be happy staying at home. When she falls in love with Ryu Nanami and found out his anti-marriage stance, instead of backing away, she held on, convinced that one day he will change his mind. I think in real life, this can really go either way: the guy or girl falls in love so much and will have a change of heart and wants to get married OR the guy or girl will never change his/her mind and the one who has been waiting will get tired, disappointed and angry. There’s no easy answer here, except to trust your heart and love each other well so that there are no regrets in case you break up. And be ready in case you really break up.

On the other hand, Kamiya thinks one doesn’t have to be in love to get married but a win-win situation. We both like each other, Asuka fulfills his requirements of a smart and sensible housewife, and in turn, he will give her dream of becoming housewife. they work well as a team in the office, so why not at home? I think marriage of convenience, arranged marriage or marriage done not out of love is also not bad. I think as long as you have good communication or at least like each other as friends or colleagues is a logical beginning. At least you don’t get easily burdened my emotional issues. And I think once you start living with someone and being with that person 24/7, you will end up loving that person. Or at least get used to him/her and you will be close. So this can also work. Then again, it can also go the opposite way where you end up hating each other and break up. And as you can see, Kamiya ended up with Asaka’s friend, who wanted a cute husband and was okay with the loveless marriage arrangement. and their marriage is working well.

The third couple is the reverse of Nanami and Asaka. The guy pursues the girl through his good efforts and eventually wins over the girl even though at the start she only saw him as a friend. He was even able to convince her to move in with him even if the girl opposed marriage. And they were also happy. So it really depends on what works for the couple.

People shouldn’t judge other people just because you have different views. I loved their friends and family for being supportive and listening to their problems and offering different words of wisdom. Feels like there are so many people who love and care for them.

Something I didn’t like about the show is too much noble idiocy from Nanami Ryu although i understand his hesitation to get married and his reasons for breaking up with Asuka. I appreciated that he really thought about his decision but i hated that he decided on his own thinking he knows what’s good for Asuka.

“There are two types of stubbornness. The cool ones and the lousy ones. Lousy stubbornness is the action of those who are self righteous. Which one are you?” – Mama Kama

“You dont break up with the girl you love by hurting them!” – Yuko

Rating: 8/10

Posted in jdrama

Second Love (2015)

Second_Love-p1.jpg

Profile
Drama: Second Love (セカンド・ラブ)
Network: TV Asahi
Episodes: 7
Release Date: February 6 – March 20, 2015
Runtime: Friday 23:15 – 24:15
Country: Japan

Plot
Kei is a 28 year old contemporary dancer, who used to win awards and worked in a foreign dance company, but is now struggling to to pass auditions. He is currently working as a loader in a fishing company. One day he failed another audition and wanted to die, but he sees Yui Nishihara in the middle of a bridge, stretching her arms to the sun like a goddess and was captivated by her.

Meanwhile, Yui is in her 30’s and a teacher at prestigious female high school. She is having an affair with an older colleague who has a wife and a child. She also lives and supports her mother. She is not happy with her current situation. Kei goes to the school where Yui works and hands her his name and number. Yui took courage and met up with Kei. What happens next will change both of their lives.

Cast
Kazuya Kamenashi – Kei Taira
Kyoko Fukada – Yui Nishihara

Review
Yay! I actually tried watching different Korean/taiwanese dramas but couldn’t find the drama that will get me hooked. I tried watching Marriage Not Dating – the lead girl was annoying and Hotel King – Lee Dong Wook is gorgeous but i heard the story is bad, so I didn’t continue. I also tried watching 2 other taiwanese dramas but they were too cheesy.
So I ended up watching Second Love. I saw one reviewer totally trash this drama but i actually liked this drama a lot. I have expected japanese dramas to be more fast paced than the korean dramas so while i was suprrised that they were already sleeping together by the end of episode one and moving in together by end of episode 2 (or 3), it was okay for me since i know this show also has 7 episodes.
I think despite the relationship that seems fast forwarded, it was still able to tell the complete story. Boy meets girl, fall in love, move in together, boy becomes busy, girl feels bad, they fight and break up, years later they meet up and got back together.

the story was realistic. the guy is younger and girl is older – obviously they are at different points of their lives. The guy is still trying to jumpstart his career while the girl is settled and wants a family. of course they will clash. I dont blame Kei – he has worked so hard to redeem himself as a dancer and be respected and earn money that if i were his girlfriend, i would have encouraged him too and supported him coz i also want him to succeed. But i also understand Yui – she wants to settle down and Kei can still earn money and dance in Japan, why does he have to go overseas to work and leave her? But i love that both of them were mature and sensible. Even though it was painful, they knew they had to let each other go, especially for Yui, since she wasn’t selfish to Kei and at the same time, she didn’t break like her mother.

As for Kei, sometimes i wanted to shout at him. I dont know if it’s just bad acting but Kazuya had the same expression in almost every scene, i dont know what he is feeling or thinking most of the time. Kei loves Yui and yet ignored her when he became busy. and he kept insisting that he loves her and without Yui he wouldn’t be here right now (is it really love or he is just thankful)? it should not have come as a surprise to him when Yui broke up with him and refused to go with him. When the actor cried, that’s the only time i saw that Kei actually loved Yui too. But alas, i thought it wasn’t the right time for them.
A year later Kei comes back and realizes that work he did was great but it wasn’t meaningful because Yui was not beside him. he found her and begged her to take him back and i’m glad Yui resisted. kei can’t just come back as if nothing happened. Yui has her own life now, one that she is actually happy with and it doesn’t make sense for her to drop it and follow kei. (she didn’t do it before so why should she do it now?) this happened in episode 6 so i was actually scared that they will not end up together. They said their last goodbyes and went their separate ways for the second time. Super happy that by episode 7 they were finally together. at the right time. at the right place. at the right mindset.

There were several side characters that were both interesting and frustrating.

First is Yui’s mother. I hated her for being so dependent on Yui and being so selfish, not wanting Yui to have her own life. but it was nice to see that in the end, when Yui was sad and broken hearted, it was her mother who helped pick up the pieces and protected her.

Second is Naginagi, the older guy Yui had an affair with. First off, what the heck did Yui see in him? He’s not even good looking! Second, while he was nice enough to “hand” Yui over to Kei, i could understand when he got terrifying at Yui. His wife and kids left him and now that he’s free to be with Yui, Yui doesn’t want him anymore. And he sees Yui looking so sad. If i were Nagi, i would probably feel angry too. and i realized he must have really loved Yui that much. I’m glad they became friends in the end.

Now, on the other hand, Kei’s ex girlfriend is an annoying know it all meddling b*tch. I can’t believe the gall of her, talking to Yui like that. and I wish Kei was able to talk to Ayako and tell her to back off. He should know Ayako is ruining his relationship. Though i know Ayako means well, she still does not have the right to break Yui like that.

Fourth, the older lady teacher with the younger boyfriend. I thought she was cool! i’m glad Yui had someone she can talk to. I would also love a cool “sister” like her.

Lastly, the school girl who likes Yui. I honestly think she was unnecessary to the whole story. Like who cares about her?

Oh and i also found out that the two leads are actually dating in real life! That must be why there were sleeping scenes in every episode. Either i have not watched a lot of Jdramas lately or this was an exception.

Overall, this was a simple fast paced story – dont think too much about it and just enjoy the story and romance.

Posted in jdrama

Kahogo no Kahoko eps. 9-10 (end)

I have mixed feelings about the last two episodes.

First, is sadness because Baaba died. I believe she was the strength that tied thr whole family together. She was wise and cheerfuland i will so miss her. I feel that she deserved a better family though because her children keeps fighting, are jealous of each other and selfish. It was only when she died that they kind of acknowledge and remembered the old times when they were kids and enjoyed each others company.

I also feel sad for Jiiji. He seems so lost without Baaba. Throughout the series they portrayed him as this hot tempered funny Jiiji so it was nice to see another side of him.

I feel frustration for Tamaki and Mamoru. So we find out they were both weak people and got married to support each other. But things got hard and they bailed and got divorced. What?!? They could have just separated first without divorcing. Why did they rush it only to make up in the end? But i think the purpose of the whole break up was for them to realize and reset. They got married because they thought they needed each other. But now they realize that they cnat live each other and they are getting married again. This time with better intentions.

I didnt like how they resolved Ito’s storyline. Upto the last few scenese she was this big rebelling brat who didnt care for her family. Then she had that showdown with Kahoko preventing her from selling her cello and her parents dragging her off the van. A few scenese later she make this one big apology and everythings fine. I dont think so. She hurt a lot of people because she was hurting herself. But that did not excuse her behavior. She shouldnt have been given a free pass. In a way i actually liked that she was veering away from music. I thought it was just pressure for her but i guess she really loved it in the end.

Izumi didnt really change much. She was still sulky when things dont go her way. What i have come to appreciate is no matter how strict or mean she looks she only has best intentions and she will come and rescue everyone from disaster like a supermom. I loved how she handled Baaba’s passing and Kahoko’s near disastrous wedding. As for the dad, he is speaking up more and i hope he continous to be the sane one in the family.

Biggest dismay of thr show is Hajime and Kahoko’s wedding. I feel it didnt makr sense that they will go and get married so soon aftet they met, and so soon after Baaba’s death. It feels like they were rushing to be together whrn they have a whole lifetime to do it. And i disagree with what Hajimr said when he was trying to convince Kahoko to continue the wedding. He said something like it is the right time to get married so there will be joy in the family. That’s BS. If this was real life i will say Hajime is smooth talking Kahoko. So no, i object to the wedding and didnt feel family that it happened.

I felt happiness however that Kahoko finally found her true calling, which is to take care of other people as much as the love she has received from her fmaily over the years. Seems correct that The overprotected is now the one protecting. She seemed to like kids so its nice to see her interacting with them

I did feel that it was unfair for Baaba to pass on the burden of continuing to take care of family in Kahoko’s hands. She is too young and still too naive. Also surprising that Baaba didnt leave it to Izumi. I think its because Kahoko has more heart than her mom even though she still makes mistakes her earnestness makes up for it. And it was correct that Kahoko and Hajime moved to the big house to take care of Jiiji seeing that she became the new Baaba. So nice to see her doing the housework a year later. For a second i thought she would be pregnant lol.

Overall it was a happy ever after for everyone. I wouldnt say i was 100% satisfied with the ending but it was still a good way to end the show. Im looking forwardto see more of the lead actress shows in the future. I hope she plays a different character than Kahoko.