Tag Archives: jdrama

Dramas lookout – Jun13

24 Jun

If you can’t already tell from my lack of drama updates, I have somehow managed to be not interested in any airing dramas and that’s saying a lot considering I have so many drama sources. But no worries, I should be able to get back into the swing of things soon with the following list of potential hits.

Dream Makers  [Sg drama]

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29 May

I don’t follow Jdrama news much these days so I didn’t know Karasawa Toshiaki and Matsuyuki Yasuko had teamed up for ‘TAKE FIVE’ till I read a magazine column on how Jdramas are now banking on veteran artistes to pull audiences in and used it as an example. Just throwing the names at me was enough to make me wanna check it out immediately ‘cos hello, Karasawa Toshiaki, my first ever drama prince charming ? And then there’s Matsuyuki Yasuko, whose mmm, distinct acting style stops me from calling her a fantastic actress (though she is by no means a bad one) but I love her character in ‘Emergency Room 24 Hours II’ so much that I will forever like her as an actress.


The story is an interesting one: Take Five is a legendary band of thieves who only stole from bad rich people and had never hurt anyone, that is until a security guard ended up dead after an art heist went awry. The group split up after the incident and no more was heard of them. Fast foward 20 years later, Homura Masayoshi (Karasawa) a former member of Take Five is now a respected university professor and thought his thieving days to be over, only to be lured back into the trade by a mysterious old woman.

Ep1 was decent in setting up the stage and stuff but it felt like I was only given a few corner pieces of a puzzle, ya know the parts with the sky or grass which really doesn’t tell you what sort of picture you’ll get eventually and I wasn’t curious enough to want to check out the next few pieces till today. Ep2 though, tied the loose plot threads and characters together and now I’m ready to roll with the new Take Five.

Stuff I enjoyed so far (spoilers ahead): Continue reading

Let’s talk about drama romances!

24 Feb

In my previous post on ‘Manee Dan Suaan’, I talked about how I couldn’t care for the main couple because I didn’t understand how they came to supposedly love each other. That got me wondering, what makes in you tick in a drama romance? Some people go for fairytales complete with rainbows and stardust while others prefer watching the trails and tribulations of star-crossed lovers and then there are those who like unwinding to a light-hearted romcom. I enjoy all those stated above but I prefer those where characters overcome issues/problems within themselves and become better/more complete persons because of the relationship, in contrast to ones who keep the OTP apart with circumstances. A good makjang drama complete with manipulative exes, domineering parents, unfortunately coincidental accidents and terminal illness for good measure is tons of fun too but it takes a rare one (like 2001 Kdrama Beautiful Days) for the romance to stick after the drama finishes its run.

A couple of my personal ‘classic’ drama romances:

Aishiteiru to Ittekure (Say You Love Me) 1995
This Jdorama taught me what heartbreak was at the tender age of 12. At my first watch, I cried for poor Koji who got his heart trampled by Hiroko and couldn’t understand her betrayal. It was only with subsequent re-watches when I got older that I appreciated this drama for its realistic portrayal of the older man/younger woman and handicap/healthy person relationship. Young and vivacious, Hiroko brought vitality into the silent world of Koji but at the same time, her immaturity worked against their relationship and ultimately led to her impulsive betrayal of the man she so loved. Koji also had his share of emotional baggage from the rejections he suffered from those dearest to him when he was younger due to his deafness and that exacerbated Hiroko’s insecurities. I guess it’s not 100% realistic since I have yet to run into anyone resembling Toyokawa Etsushi drawing and being contemplative at the park in front of my house damn but it’s close. If anyone is thinking of checking this out, it does end on a positive note.

Sood Sanaeha (Recipe of Love) 2009
I wouldn’t say lakorns are the place to go to for realism and there are exaggerated comedic elements in SSH but despite the larger than life set up, the romance is most wonderfully grounded. As romcoms go, the main couple starts off on the wrong foot but the initial conflict isn’t drawn out and they are given a believable reason for sticking with each other. It annoys me to no end when romcoms have the couple bicker from start to end then have them fall into each others arms for no apparent reason in the finale. Din and Alin learn about each other’s strengths and flaws through friendship first and later when they grew fond of each other, they were ‘kept apart’ believably by Alin’s blind pursuit of the perfect husband and Din’s own insecurities. My favourite part of SSH is watching Alin learn that you don’t love someone because he/she is perfect. The person is perfect to you because you love him/her.

What are your favourite drama romance tropes and what on-screen romances do you still remember years later?

Drama status: a mixed bag

17 Feb


~ On Call 36 Hours [25][HK drama]
It doesn’t bring anything new to the plate as far as plot points are concerned – if you’re a tvb regular you’d have seen them one time or another – but’On Call’ brings it all together seamlessly with the briskness and humour I have come to expect of hk dramas. It also has lots of heart and I was moved to tears at quite a few scenes from the beautiful relationships between family members, friends, lovers.
Unlike previous hk police procedurals which hurt my brain with some less than logical cases, this one’s a medical one and I gladly bought into all the foreign medical jargon and cases thrown at me. Plus there were many meaningful lessons taught through the life and death situations encountered by the doctors at the hospital and gives the viewers food for thought on life and hope. The slow burning romance between Yat Kin Tau and Yu Zai was also the highlight of the drama and I love how their relationship is based on their mutual admiration and understanding of each other’s strengths and flaws. Once I start writing on ‘On Call’, I feel like there’s so many things I want to say about the individual characters but I’ll leave that for another post. For now, I highly recommend everyone check it out here with english subs
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Looking back on 2012

20 Dec

My first thought when getting ready to write this post was ‘meh, what a lackluster drama year’ and it certainly feels so with me stuck in this drama slump with no apparent end in sight. However when I skimmed through my lj entries as well as my written journal, I realised that while dramas didn’t consistently deliver through 2012, there were quite a few entertainment highlights that got me merrily obsessed. There will be a separate post on lakorns which should be coming this weekend.

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To Watch: Jdrama

19 May

Oh Japan, when will you ever give me back those glorious love dramas which accompanied through my younger days and are forever etched in my heart and mind? When I scroll through what’s on air these days, it’s 50% mystery dramas based on mystery novels (70% of which seemed to be written by Higashino Keigo. Now, I like reading his novels too but really, this is getting a bit much. I wonder how long it will take before tv stations run out of Higashino novels to adapt.), 30% procedurals, 10% period and the rest comedies. I appreciate how Jdramas deal with a wide range of topics including the less than savoury ones but I want my love dramas back! Perhaps that why I enjoyed ‘My 99 Days with a Star’ so much despite the thin plot, I just needed a dose of Jdrama style romance. If you have any old school romance Jdrama to recommend, please leave a comment!

Anyhow, I still picked out some recent Jdramas to check out.

W no Higeki (The Tragedy of W): Rich girl/poor girl who look alike switch identities and changes their destiny.

Papadol: Nishikido Ryo playing Nishikido Ryo getting hitched to an older divorcee with kids. Ah, the fun that comes with being a Johnny’s idol. This should be interesting in light of the whole Jin marriage debacle.

Legal High: The story sounds so-so and I’m allergic to Aragaki Yui but it has Sakai Masato (!!) playing a sharp-tongue lawyer who has never lost a case. Hmm, this is giving me the Hayami vibes which means I at least need to watch one episode just to watch him speak. XD

Hanchou 5: Sasaki Kuranosuke might be my top oji-san crush (tied with Nishijima Hidetoshi) but he didn’t help me get into the previous Hanchou series. This time though Azumi gets transferred from the precinct to Tokyo and it might be interesting to see him adjust to the new environment. Having Fukushi Seiji on the cast definitely helps too. Yes, I have my standards.

Suitei Yuuzai (Assumption is Guilty): Heavy duty kinda drama which I’m not inclined to watch but like Legal High, the cast of Nakamura Toru + Kuroki Hitomi is giving me cause for consideration.

How did I leave out Kagi no Kakatta Heya (The Locked Room)? I’ve missed you Toda Erika! Speaking of which, I really need to remember to get started on SPEC which everyone seems to love.

Drama status

12 Apr

Rak Ok Arkad [ep watched 2/total ep 14][lakorn]: This sounds like a reverse ‘Poo Yai Lee Gab Nang Mah’ which I enjoyed tremendously and I wanted to like this for Cherry but the laughs were too slapstick and Om’s acting too stiff for me to carry on.

Forensic Heroes III [6/30][HK drama]: This one went for the CSI route but didn’t match up and it didn’t pull me in on the character front either so bye bye it was. Random observation: Age is really catching up with Maggie Cheung Ho-yee!

Too Late to Say I Love You [15/36][Cdrama]: Wallace Chung as Murong Feng charmed my socks in this one and I also loved the strong-willed heroine Jing Wan but after skimming through the novel on which the drama is based on, I couldn’t bear to watch the betrayal that I knew Jing Wan was going to suffer later. I did catch the last two episodes and the drama version white-washed Murong Feng to give him and Jing Wan a happy ending when in the novel, Murong Feng engineered an accident to kill Jing Wan's husband and daughter and to revenge him, Jing Wan carried her dead daughter to Murong Feng and lied that she was his biological daughter, then proceeded to kill herself with the gun that Murong Feng gave her years ago. How fun. I might finish this one day when I’m in the mood for angst.
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Stepfather Step – Chapter 4

17 Mar

Translating the novel made me want to give the drama another shot so I did but this time I’m dropping it for sure. Having read the novel (and quite a few times at that), I can’t help but compare the two and the characters are so fundamentally different. Ironically, the only episode I’ve enjoyed so far was the one focused on an original character Nao. There are occasional funny moments but the mawkishness of the plot in general makes me roll my eyes so it’s sayonara ~~~

Chapter 4


7 Mar

I just finished the movie version of ‘General Rouge no Gaisen’ and I was once again bowled over by Hayami’s charisma.



I should be getting over my obsession with Hayami soon, so what drama shall I start on next?

Hayami x Hanabusa post

3 Mar

The shippy portion got a little too long so I’m putting it in a separate post.


There are no obvious indications in the show that Hayami and Hanabusa are romantically involved but the little things point to the strong bond they share and it’s enough to get me shipping.

– In episode 1 Izumi snapped at Hanabusa to stop acting like Hayami’s wife and initially I too thought Hanabusa was being a little too presumptuous.

– Hanabusa was the only one Hayami let in on his dealings with Medical Assort and though he wanted her to step away after disposing of the evidence, she stuck by him.

– Izumi’s letter mentioned both Hayami and Hanabusa but when he used the contents of that letter to out his acceptance of bribes from Medical Assort, he left out Hanabusa’s name in order not to implicate her.

– But Hanabusa didn’t hesitate to admit her own involvement in order to protect Hayami. Turned out she had been secretly keeping records of how the bribes were spent in order to prove that Hayami did not use them for his own benefit.

– When Hayami suspected something was wrong with his health, Hanabusa was also the only one whom he told and she helped him get tested in secret.

– Finally, like I mentioned in my previous post, they would go as far as covering up for each other when they both thought the other was a murderer. I was especially struck by Hayami in the scene where he confessed to the murder. He was struggling to recall the events that happened and when it clicked in his mind that it was Hanabusa’s voice he heard, you could see the subtle shift in his expression from confusion to determination, then the confession came without any hesitation.


After the truth came to light. Shiratori: Which means, both of you lied to cover up for someone who didn’t need it.

Hanabusa: We are such fools aren’t we?

Sensei, please don’t die.

– It was revealed at the end that Hayami’s nickname ‘General Rouge’ came about not because his doctor’s coat was covered in patients’ blood during the Joto Mall fire disaster but because he used lipstick to cover his lips which had turned pale in fear. At that time when the young Hayami was strickened by fear and doubt, Hanabusa stepped in with her lipstick and words of encouragement to spur him into action. (Personally I thought the lipstick just made him look silly but I suppose that’s how it was written in the novel?)

– It came full circle in the end when Izumi acknowledged that she couldn’t ‘win’ Hanabusa with all the history that she shared with Hayami.

Too bad that’s all we have on them. I wish we at least got a scene of them in private before Hayami leaves but oh well, the focus of this drama isn’t on romance to begin with. I believe Hanabusa will continue to protect Team General at Tojo Hospital while awaiting Hayami’s return.

ETA: It appears my instincts on Hayami/Hanabusa were right! After looking through some Japanese blogs, I’m happy to report that I’m not the only one shipping them. :p
Apparently in the novel, they hug (!!!) and Hayami tells Hanabusa ‘I’ve kept you waiting for a long time’ and she did follow him to the hospital in Hokkaido. Why oh why wasn’t all these shown in the drama? Even the movie version had them holding hands even though the dialogue was changed. D: Right, now I need to get my hands on the novel.(my Japanese is pretty shitty so let me know if I misunderstood anything)

ETA 2: more links
http://sakiko12ai.blog77.fc2.com/ -> this blog has recaps on the entire drama. It’s in Japanese but you can still enjoy the screen caps.
http://nisiland.blog137.fc2.com/blog-entry-172.html -> Generous caps of the scene where Hayami changes his shirt. teeheehee.
http://onlydorama.blog126.fc2.com/blog-entry-956.html -> 之速水医生怎么看怎么帅
http://i.mtime.com/903869/blog /http://blog.tianya.cn/blogger/blog_main.asp?BlogID=213155 -> 番外篇/访问/同人文翻译