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I am stressing out over RL stuff so I watched episode 1 of Zenkai Girl (全开ガール). Yeah, I tend to watch bad jdrama when I'm stressed. It's nice watching Yui Aragaki breaking out her usual role in this one, maybe. What I like the best is the OP credit of the first episode. The song is by Every Little Thing (ELT) and it's pretty catchy. I find myself listening to it on repeat, again and again. The OP credit sequence has Aragaki's character having a chance meeting (一期一会) with Nishikido's character on the metro. Aragaki was hurrying to her destination upon getting off the metro. Nishikido's character, struck by her beauty, cannot stop looking at  her back while she was running in her red kimono. The scene consists of a series of slow motion stills, but still pics do not do this scene justice. Even though I have a feeling this jdrama is gonna suck, it's such a beautiful scene that I have to blog about it.

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Episode 34 of Atsuhime was gleeee :) Miyazaki Aoi totally held her own in this role, switching from stern to soft-spoken in one speech. OMG. Need to hunt for Atsuhime icons.

I finally finished all 50 episodes of Atsuhime. I have many, many good things to say about this series, and this series made me tear up many times, especially in the beginning. Although it went downhill towards the end in terms of plot, I still think it's a solid series overall, probably one of the best taiga drama in years. Speaking of taiga drama, I haven't watched that many, but this series in particular really made me feel like I was watching history. People in the series act like how they would act during that period and there are things are that are unique to that period only. And the overall atmosphere in certain episodes made me feel like I was flipping through an aged history book. I personally find this lacking in Asian period dramas in general, but I have it in taiga drama.
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OL Nippon has my unreserved recommendation, as a Jdrama. It has that special magic some Jdrama tend to possess despite the cliched storylines, and the ending kind of reminded me of Cat Street - people grow apart, "grow up", and maybe meet again. I especially like how Kanzaki-san made the decision for herself and kept true to herself towards the end. And even the smallest or most unlikable characters are given a chance to shine. Perhaps this can only happen in a Jdrama/animu/manga, because I haven't seen this anywhere else (on television, anyways).
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I'm not too impressed with the first two episodes of Ryoma-den, but the second episode is an improvement, if only for that father-son compromise/reconciliation moment at the end. Which reminds me, one should do what one is good at. I am not good at anything, does that mean that I am screwed? But that mindset won't get me anywhere....

Matsu Takako has official become one of my favorite Japanese actress. She first caught my eye in Yamada Yoji's The Hidden Blade as the understated Kie. I last saw her in Iwai Shunji's April Story, which is a wonderful coming-of-age (?) story (?) that is only 67 minutes long. She is also active in theatre and music and has apparently appeared in some very popular Jdramas  opposite KimuTaku which I do not plan to watch. I can't quite say why I like her. Perhaps one of the reason is that I don't find her beautiful at first sight, but find her more beautiful the more l look at her. In other words, she's very 耐看 (I feel that Aoi Yuu also has this quality).

Because Liar Game 2 turned me into Matsuda Shota fangirl mode, I've been watching some of his works here and there. He's mostly eye-candy until I saw him in A Long Walk. He's only in it for about 30 minutes, but his performance in those 30 minutes is better than anything I've seen by him. Ok, I haven't watched Ikigami, for which he won an award or something. Maybe it has to do with his character in A Long Walk, that it's not some ido-centric character but a Passenger A.
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So news (Baidu) reached me that one of my favorite Japanese actress, Aoi Yuu, will join the cast of the new Taiga drama, Ryoma-den!!! Prolly a small role but I'm looking forward to this even more (speaking of which, did the sub come out yet....)!


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Miu Miu

July 2011

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