[nobuta wo produce]

20 05 2008

I just finished watching this awesome dorama and couldn’t wait to post!

[nobuta wo produce] – “producing nobuta” – is the story of kotani nobuko (notice how “nobuko” changes to “no-buta”, “buta” meaning “pig”), a bullied high-school student and her two “producers”: kiritani shuji [kamenashi kazuya] and kusano akira [yamashita tomohisa].

kiritani shuji is the typical popular boy in school, everybody likes him, the guys follow his every move and he’s dating the most popular girl in his year. he is the golden boy – or at least that’s what he pretends to be. the truth is he puts up an act in order to be liked by his schoolmates, whom he really doesn’t care about much. for shuji life is a game to be played, nothing more.

akira on the other side is a pretty weird guy, sometimes even annoying, and as a result of that he doesn’t have many friends – if any, so to speak. still, he is intent on being kiritani‘s bestfriend and acts as so – pissing shuji off entirely… you could describe kusano as someone who doesn’t want anything from life.

however, when new student kotani nobuko [horikita maki] joins their class both boys will take it upon themselves to make kotani popular – I should mention at this point that at the beginning of the series nobuta looks more like sadako from [ringu] than anything else… *scary*. while helping kotani achieve social acceptance at school the three will grow to be very close. when producing is finally over shuji will realise that he has in a way “produced” himself again with the help of nobuta and akira and become a better person. in other words, the poor, shy, bullied girl ends up helping the golden boy. :) [horikita maki]’s interpretation of nobuta is just great!

the series is about friendship and the belief that people can change for the better. apart from the “serious” stuff it is actually great fun – specially akira‘s character and his odd gestures and voices, amazing interpretation on [yamapi’s] part. his expressions linger in your mind all day: “akira shock!”, “kon!”, “nobuta power!”… you just have to see it.

here’s the so-called “nobuta pawaa!” (nobuta power pronounced by a japanese):d

not to miss this scene from ep. 05, “guy communication techniques”:

and “akira’s confession”. soooo cute!

and what everybody was waiting, akira‘s sleep-over at shuji‘s:

the dorama consists of 10 episodes and a special emission with interviews of the actors. you should be able to find them all at [veoh] subbed in english. I recommend watching the special – forwarding the stupid parts if you want to. I was surprised to see that [kamenashi], who plays the cool guy is actually always fooling around during the shooting, while [yamashita] sits in silence studying his character with a deep frown… unbelievable… you also learn that most of akira‘s dialogues were improvised on the spot by [yamapi] – which makes me sort of admire him…

now I feel ashamed that in my previous post of [hanakimi] I couldn’t list any dorama in which [horikita maki] had appeared, since she has starred also in [kurosagi] – upcoming post, *sigh* – again with [yamapi]. you will find [kamenashi] in [tatta hitotsu no koi], a love story between a poor boy and a well-bred upper-class girl. I should probably add for those who don’t know that [kame] is [KAT-TUN]’s leader (jpop group) and that [yamapi] sings in [NEWs] and has just started his solo carrer. last [yamapi] song: [kurosagi] theme [daite senyorita].



8 05 2008

[hanazakari no kimitachi e, ikemen paradaisu] is the incredibly long title of a jdorama that translates as [for you in full bloom, hotties paradise] no less… forgetting this undoubtedly ill choice of a title, the series is actually great. totally absurd humour in an all-boys boarding school, with [horikita maki], [oguri shun] and [ikuta toma] as maincharacters and co-starring [mizushima hiro] and [shirota yu].

ashiya mizuki [horikita maki] is a japanese girl living in the U.S who infiltrates [ohsaka high], an all-boys boarding school, disguised as a boy to meet one of its students, high-jump athlete sano izumi [oguri shun]. sano has given up high-jumping due to an injury and for some initially unknown reason mizuki blames herself and is determined to make her idol jump again. we could say mizuki’s decision is what triggers everything. in each episode we will see mizuki struggle to live among all these teenage boys without being exposed for what she really is. she will gradually get more and more into her role of “boy” to the point where she becomes a little reckless, which is the most fun. meanwhile, her desire to restore sano’s dream will develop into a different feeling altogether, something she doesn’t realise until much later. what she is certain about is the importance of her friendship with nakatsu [ikuta toma], who is himself struggling with his own feelings for what he thinks is a “boy”.

utterly hilarious and a bit childish at times, hanakimi is another romantic comedy worth seeing. the best character is without a doubt nakatsu shuichi [ikuta toma], always talking to himself and gesturing too much for his own good. [oguri’s] character, sano, has also very good moments, specially when he gets drunk and starts kissing everything that moves!

there are 12 episodes to this series and a special coming up this summer in japan. I think it is subbed in english by [sars fansubs]. you can find each episode’s torrent at their site, but I rather recommend that you look them up in veoh for dd.

as you can imagine, there is a manga from which everything stems. if you’re interested in knowing more about it check this post on [hanakimi] from [scrumptious]. since I can’t seem to make the link work i suggest you google “scrumptious animeblog” and you should get to it without much problem.

right there, enjoy!