[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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[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!