[hanakimi]

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!

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[kimi wa petto]

8 05 2008

hey! this is my first post about jdorama (japanese dramas) and I have chosen this series because even if it’s genuinely japanese – who else would entitle a series “you are my pet” – it is more than just the typical boy-girl love story.

iwaya sumire [koyuki] is a professionally successful woman, intelligent, beautiful and tall. yet all her virtues, far from being a source of joy to her, have just managed to ruin her life: her co-workers either envy her viciously or are afraid of her, her last boyfriend cheated on her and left her because he felt inferior by her side and she has just been transferred from the elite international issues department of her newspaper, to mediocre social issues dept. moreover, she is unable to express her feelings and is constantly referred to as a [noh character] and a [kokeshi] – a porcelain inexpressive japanese doll.

one day after work she bumps into a big cardboard box in front of her house. inside the box there’s an unconscious young man [matsumoto jun], apparently badly beaten. in her eyes he looks just like a stray puppy, so she takes him in and tends to his wounds – I guess this is the lamest point of the story. the following day, she arrives home to find this stranger still roaming in her apartment. she tries to kick him out now that he feels fine, but he refuses stubbornly claiming he has nowhere to go. half joking she makes him an odd proposition: he can stay as her pet, but he would have no human rights. much to her surprise, the young man accepts.

here starts a weird and endearing story between two people who need each other desperately and don’t realise it. as sumire begins to gradually change the course of her stiff life and, you discover little by little who her new companion really is when he is not her pet [momo].

I think I liked this series from the start because of iwaya-san. she is the prototype of strong independent woman who’s really proud of beong so, even if she sometimes regrets not being able to play dumb and cute like so many girls around her. I think the series portrays in a way the impact of the incorporation of women into an only men’s territory such as the japanese business world. in the end you realise that even those women you thought petty and lame are only taking the role that allows them best to survive in that men’s world and achieve their own objectives. of course watching [matsu jun] practising “submission pose” had somehow got me biased… it is probably the cutest part matsumoto jun has ever played on TV, that of a puppy. all in all both actors are fantastic in their respective roles – the best moments when she washes him in the bathtub ;P.

you can find all the technical details in dramawiki. I downloaded the 10 episodes subbed by [yume no fansub] in spanish, you can find them in [torrentz]. I ignore if there is an english version though.

hope you like it!!!!