[rookies]

18 08 2008

another great dorama, in my opinion. I watched it just after finishing with [last friends] and the contrast did me some good… after all the suffering in [LF] it’s nice to laugh a bit for a change :)

the story is not very original maybe… bunch of young good-for-nothing delinquents, former members of  high-school baseball club, meet new enthusiastic teacher who is determined to make them achieve their “dreams”. in a way it follows [gokusen]’s pattern: boys don’t give a fuck about anything, school principal can’t wait to get rid of them, teaching staff is pissed off with them and wishes a random meteorite would wiped them out of the surface of the Earth for good… then idiotically enthusiastic new teacher arrives and gives them thousands of opportunities they shove up their… erhm, they don’t take because they’re *baddies* and stubborn like hell; time passes and masochistic teacher never gives up – after all he is masochistic teacher. either because he’s tiring or because they really feel someone finally believes in them – and poor things, that’s all they needed – they begin to change.

ok, I know this sounds like I’m making fun of it… but that’s pretty much how it goes, everybody knows that story. the differences here, the boys were a baseball team, with some good players that had put their hopes in koshien (national baseball competition, high-school level). since an unfortunate violent incident during a game they have been banned from playing and resorted to fighting, smoking and hanging around game parlours and stuff like that. deep inside though, they still yearn to play again, they just need a little push. the series is funny and enjoyable – or maybe it’s just that I like gang fighting and the sort, not in vain is [crows zero] one of my fave films so far.

the characters are really omoshiroi and the actors too:

kawato kouji [sato ryuta] is the *stupidly enthusiastic* teacher and a pain in the ass for the boys. otherwise he is a great person, genuinely worried about his students (yankumi style, I swear) and 2nd dan in karate! [sato] played master in [kisarazu cat’s eye] (also related to baseball @_@, does this man ever get a break?) and kattori in [bambino], where he was pretty cool, in my humble opinion V_V

aniya keiichi [ichihara hayato], the leader of the gang, he has real skill for baseball and back when they could still play he dreamt about koshien. he’s now a playboy that uses the baseball club quarters to bring girls and… erm, yeah. however, he seems to be very close to yagi touko – they must know each other since they were kids or something, since she calls him kei-chan – and all his coolness shakes when she jokes about having sex with him. [hayato] appeared in iwai shinji’s [all about lili chouchou] some years ago; since then he has starred in [waterboys2] and [niji no megami] with [ueno juri]. this boy is just gorgeous, the aniya look suits him perfectly!

wakana tomochika [takaoka sousuke] the catcher of the team and the “mood maker”, when he is not around things start falling slightly apart. he is as stupid and stubborn as the rest of them and gets easily flared up when challenged, but he has his weak points too. [takaoka] played a similar role in [crows zero] – takashi miike film about gang fighting, based on a very popular manga by takahashi hiroshi. other works include dorama [attention please] and famous [battle royale] (I have to see that one again because I don’t remember him…)

mikoshiba tooru [koide keisuke] is the only one in the band that doesn’t cause any trouble, he just hangs around with them out of former friendship while he keeps harboring hopes of playing baseball with them one more time. nice and kind-hearted as he is, mikoshiba is easily bullied, but if it weren’t for him the baseball club would have never reformed again. you might have seen this actor before in [nodame cantabile] as MASAMI!!! yes, I also had a heart attack when I realised… he looks so kakkoii in the magazines and so cute as mikoshiba… example of how afro-hairstyle and weird chinese-like mustache can ruin your image… V_V*

sekikawa shuta [nakao akiyoshi] may not be the teams ace but he is undeniably the fastest runner the have. second to come around after mikoshiba, his feelings towards the baseball club’s future are as strong as anyones’. [nakao] also appears in [waterboys2] and [dragon zakura].

shinjo kei [shirota yuu] the most violent and dangerous of the boys, he is last to rejoin the club due to his stubborness. despite his apparent detatched attitude he is the one that values friendship the most and would never betray his mates. this actor is actually half spanish, as a consequence there is a substantial difference in hight with the rest of the boys – poor japanese shorties – which makes him look monstrously big, when he is actually normal! just check [hanakimi] where he played kagurazaka, you’ll see he has more or less the same build as [oguri shun].

the other members are: [kawamura yousuke] as hiyama, [onoue hiroyuki] as imaoka, [igarashi shunji] as yufune and [sato takeru] as okada.

and [kiritani kenta] as hiratchi – this was my second heart attack. I thought “kiritani, kiritani… where did I hear that name before?” and then I find a post in a blog saying that he had appeared in [crows zero]!! “OMG! now I remember! he’s my GOD from [crows zero]!” this can’t be true! they have depicted him as the idiot of the group and with that horrible hair style and mustache he loses all his sex-appeal… T_T  please take a look of the “before” and “after”:

the rest of the cast includes [murakawa eri] (yagi touko) from [sexy voice and robo] and [fukiishi kazue] (mayumi rie). you can also see her in [bambino] playing matsujun’s girlfriend, eri, and in [yamada tarou monogatari], again as a teacher.

since it finished airing pretty recently only the first nine episodes are subbed in english  – all thanks to [skeweds] and [TimeLesSubs] :)   torrents this way —>

ep#1 :: ep#2 :: ep#3 :: ep#4 :: ep#5 :: ep#6 :: ep#7 :: ep#8 :: ep#9

if you don’t care about the subs because you just want to enjoy watching the boys, go ahead and download the RAW episodes! (note: 1280×720 divx6.xx)

ep#10 :: ep#11

if you like the ending song, [kiseki] from GReeeeN, I left an MF link in a previous post. :)

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[ラスト・フレンズ]

11 08 2008

I’ve been watching some new dorama lately (apart from 魔王) – among them [lastFRIENDS], a dorama I had sort of overlooked and discarded because of the title (never rely on japanese titles).

strong points of this series: different story (no more high-school, uni stories or weird, far-fetched plots), mature approach to a range of different topics and focus on character development and introspection rather than in the action. also, great cast: [ueno juri] (nodame), [eita] (mine), [mizukawa asami] (kiyora) – all from [nodame cantabile] -, [nagasawa masami] (proposal daisakusen) and NEWs’ [nishikido ryo].

michiru (nagasawa) is a very nice but fragile person; searching for the emotional stability that she lacks at home, she meets sousuke (nishikido) and they start an ideal relationship. however, as soon as they move in together sousuke becomes extremely possessive and violent with michiru, who feels helpless and just puts up with her new situation.

meanwhile, ruka (ueno), a former high-school friend of michiru, is finally realising her dream of becoming a motocross pro racer. but her life changes when she meets michiru again after 4 years of forced separation. her love for her friend drives her to protect michiru as soon as she realises that something is wrong and she takes her to the shared house where she lives. but ruka has been living a lie all her life, pretending to be someone she is not – michiru’s sudden appearance will trigger bitter thoughts.

takeru (eita) also has a secret he hasn’t told anyone. in the shared house he will play a supportive role, always taking care of the others in the most subtle way, but he would never let them know that he needs as much help as they do.

eri (mizukawa) seems the most outgoing and carefree person in the house. she falls in love every now and again and has had a lot of relationships. always making fun of love and talking carelessly she is indeed craving for true ever-lasting love herself. if only men realised that she is not as strong as she looks…

and I’m not telling anything more!!! you just watch it!!!

there are 11 episodes and a SP that you can find subbed in english by [kioku] here (torrent)

meanwhile, I’ll leave the opening, so you can enjoy utada hikaru’s [prisoner of love]:3





[gyao&Ldime]

12 07 2008

as I’ve already mentioned before I don’t have a working scan, so I wasn’t planing on posting any magazine issues because taking photographs of the pages just sucks. but after the [maou] post yesterday I wanted to upload photos of [ikuta toma] with his new look and failed to find any good ones in the web. then I said to myself, *what the hell! I’ve got some good pics in the magazines!*. and that’s what did it. sorry for the poor quality, though…

the first ones are from [gyao]’s july issue. the last ones come evidently from [Ldime].





[魔王andコードブルー]

11 07 2008

I’d been looking forward to this for over a week and finally I managed to see [コードブルー] and [maou]. the first one is on  on thursdays at 10pm on fujiTV. [maou] is broadcasted by TBS and is on friday nights at the same hour as [コードブルー].

after seeing both my conclusion is… that  is kinda boring actually. I don't know, maybe not understanding a thing has something to do with my being bored to death. imagine watching [grey's anatomy] in japanese, ok? if medical technical words are hard to understand in english, where you can at least rely on them having a latin root, there's no way I would get the meaning in japanese! also, yamapi plays cool-blankfaced-hotty again and I hate it when they give him such roles - even though I have to admit that he looks great with the new hairstyle. I don't think I'm staying up late again - not even to see yamapi... but I leave you the ending here to watch - it's better than the opening and the song is [hanabi] from [mr.children]. next is a news advance of the series. you can already download the first episode here - still no english subs, sorry. if you find it anywhere, please tell me. :)

on the other hand, [maou] is much more promising. even though I understood about 20% of what they were actually saying it is much easier to get the general idea. [maou] is a suspense and detective dorama featuring [oono satoshi] and [ikuta toma]. I gather it's more or less the asian version of [sweeney todd, the demon barber of fleet street]; only this time the barber is a lawyer who suffered a family tragedy in the past - from what I understood having missed the first episode, his baby brother was murdered and his mother died soon after from the pain of loosing her younger son - so he becomes a double-faced demon searching for revenge on his relatives' deaths. on the other end we find this young detective with an obscure past - don't know what he did exactly, as I said I've missed the first ep - who chases after this mysterious serial killer and his enigmatic messages in the form of tarot cards.

[ikuta toma] is gorgeous in this dorama; the styling, the characterization... everything suits him perfectly. and finally they have left his hair-colour untouched! no more ridiculous dyes for him! hurray! (sorry nakatsu)

oochan looks great too - it's strange to see him play evil gone-nuts serial killer, but it's nice for a change. he has always been the nice, quiet type, never drawing attention to himself in 嵐 and now that he is given his first major role in a dorama he is the main character - and what a main character! all in all what I liked most is that they finally look like the adults they are - [toma] must be 23 now and [oono] is 28; I never saw the point of forcing them to play high-school kids way past their 20's.

so friday night is [maou] night for me from now on! the opening song is 嵐's [truth], from the new album due next year and it's not their style at all - which means I like it even better. here's the opening and a CM.

first episode's unsubbed torrent to be found here. the thing I regret most about having missed that ep is that the special guest was [nino]...





[stand UP!!]

22 06 2008

a bit late, but better than nothing… by now kat XDDD already finished watching it and my intention was to introduce it to her this way… zannen ne?

I was a bit apprehensive when I first read the synopsis: “four 17-year-old boys find themselves the last virgins at school”.  I thought “there you go… can’t japanese stay away from stereotypes? WTF!”

so I was really surprised to discover a very intimate and moving series – a tale of daily life in an outskirts’ neighborhood (togoshi, in shinagawa district), four boys discovering sex with the clumsiness that characterizes teenager boys. extremely funny and touching, the characters are all enthralling – parents and children alike. all in all, you spend a very good time watching the 11 episodes – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

characters

asai shouhei [shou-chan]

the protagonist and narrator all-through the dorama, he is the sort of nice-sweet person that everybody takes advantage of and no girl sees like a man. he is perfectly aware of this and says so himself when introducing the rest. he has a secret crush on his teacher – who is very much oblivious to this at first. of course, shou-chan is himself pretty thick when it comes to the person who has a crush on him – even if she is very close to him. played by aRaShI’s [ninomiya kazunari], he is just lovable!

iwasaki kengo [kenken]

[yamapi] at the tender age of, what, 18? – he’s soooo skinny… anyway, kenken is the cute, attractive type. he even has a girlfriend, who is obsessed with her entrance exams and the topic of trains… since she is very strict and he is a little stupid, kenken remains so far a virgin.

udagawa hayato [udayan]

a real pervert as a kid udayan kept asking the girls to show him their underwear until the girls grew up and started kicking his ass… a scaredy-cat now, he sweats and cowers at the sight of those girls, but doesn’t miss an opportunity to see their panties. only [narimiya hiroki] could have acted this out! – you can also see him in [gokusen] and the dorama version of [honey and clover] as morita-san. I read somewhere that you can always recognise him for his unique mile and it’s true, no matter how much he changes over the years his smile remains the same. :3

enami kouji [kou-kun]

the soccer team captain, it is a mystery why he remains a virgin. well, maybe not such a big mystery after all… kou-kun’s problem with girls is he can’t help acting like a downright show-off in front of them and he always fucks things up. also, he sleeps with his eyes open – very cute scene in last episode! – but otherwise he should be a heart-breaker. played by [oguri shun] – the only regrettable thing is his dyed hair…

oowada chie [chie-chan]

a childhood friend of our golden quartet, chie comes back for the summer to visit her old mates. the problem is, they haven’t seen each other in ten years and the princess they all remember hasn’t grown up to be the woman they expected. engrossed in their own problems, they will barely notice her at first, but she is intent in making up for the lost time. [suzuki an] acts as chie-chan.

here Ieave some funny scenes:

this one is “making out lessons”, kou-kun instructs udayan and kenken in the ways of touching women… LOL

this is a great mv I stumbled upon accidentally. all credits to titou_cpilb who edited it. warning, slight spoilers at the end!

download the whole dorama @ [d-addicts]. you can find it subbed both in english and spanish. :)





[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].





[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!