Category: Films & Television

Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Kamenashi Kazuya

Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Very Versatile actor and singer

BioData:

DoB: 23 February 1986 (31)

Dramas & Films:

  • No wo Produce
  • P JK (Policeman & Me) 2017
  • Sapuri
  • Second Love
  • Tokyo Bandwagon

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

Mare poster

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

I am currently watching this drama which is 156 episodes long.  🙁  I know, right?  But it has Yamazaki Kento and Tsuchiya Tao on it.

Each episode lasts for 15 short minutes and the first 3-4 minutes is intro of Tsuchiya as Mare, half-running and half-floating in a white summer dress.  She looks young and carefree.

The drama is like a more modern Little House in the Prairie.  

Mare’s family was forced to move to the countryside away from Tokyo, where they accumulated a mountain of debts.  This was mainly because their father kept investing in quick get rich schemes.

The drama started rather slowly, taking time to introduce the people in the village.

 

 

 

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

Orange poster

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

This is a beautiful film starring two of my favourite Japanese actors:  Kento Yamazaki and Tsuchiya Tao.

I actually previously watched this film and loved it.  But somehow I remember it as a sad suicide film.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Naho Takamiya
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kakeru Naruse
  • Ryo Ryusei as Hiroto Suwa
  • Hirona Yamazaki as Takako Chino
  • Dori Sakurada as Saku Hagita
  • Kurumi Shimizu as Azusa Murasaka
  • Erina Mano as Rio Ueda

I am glad I watched it again because it is not really about taking one’s life.  It is about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s self and grabbing happiness where you can.

This another parallel world story.

The central character to the story is Kakeru, who is a transfer student from Tokyo.  He became friends immediately with a close knit group made up of Naho, Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu.  He’s tall and a handsome boy though at times was rather melancholic.

The kind hearted Naho took him under her wing.  This was where it got supernatural.  The 16 years old Naho was happy to be back the second year in  high school.  She was full of hope and joy under the full blooms of cherry blossom trees.  She then noticed a letter tucked in into the front pocket of her school bag.

With much curiosity, she noticed that the letter was addressed to her and the sender was herself.

As soon as she got to class, she opened the letter which claimed that the letter was sent to her 16-year old from  herself 10 years into the future.

She was becoming more confused as the letter goes on.  Her 26 year old self was telling her to right all the regrets in her past.  There was going to be a boy, a transferee from Tokyo by name of Kakeru Naruse.  At that moment, their new homeroom teacher was introducing a transfer student by the name of  Kakeru Naruse.

Naho was absolutely flabbergasted.  The letter continues on to state not to invite Kakeru into the introduction outing.  Naho can’t really do anything about this as Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu all insisted that Kakeru try the new bread at a bakery with them.  They had fun and Kakeru was laughing.  Naho thought that was ok.

After that Kakeru did not appear at the school for two weeks. Naho was perturbed.  But just like that Kakeru was back at school again.

Kakeru was really a very personable young man (He is Kento Yamazaki 🙂  ).  Naho fell for his charm and so was another Tokyo transferee called Rio Ueda.

It was really unfortunate that Ueda confessed to Kakeru first about liking him.  They started going out together but Kakeru really liked Naho and Naho liked him.

He dumped Ueda, who became rather vengeful and made Naho’s school life miserable but only briefly as Naho had her posse of friends.

She later found out from Kakeru the reason why he was off for two weeks.  His mother died, she committed suicide.  She was bipolar and depressive.  She had her illness since Kakeru was a young boy.  His life with his mother coloured his own outlook in life and built such a huge guilty complex.  He blamed himself for not being with his mother on her time of need, he thought he could have stopped her.  Poor Kakeru was a damaged boy.  He suddenly died at the age of 17 by accident.

10 years into the future, Sawa was now married to Naho and they had a little baby.  They met up with the rest of the group and visited Kakeru grandmother for the 10 year anniversary of his death.  They found out that his death was not an accident but a suicide.  He left a note regarding it.

The friends where inconsolable with grief.  Mourning Kakeru all over again.  Naho was particularly upset.

 

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya, at such a young age, has created an impressive catalogue of films and dramas under her belt.

She stars in some of my favourite Japanese dramas and films.

BioData:

  • 3 February 1995 (23)
  • Height: 1.55 m (5’1″)
  • Career:  Model, singer & Actress

Films & Dramas:

 

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

My Brother Loves Me Too Much poster

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

I have just watched this film, which I have been looking forward to be subbed in English for ages.  This film gives closure to the 5 episodes drama,  Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Setoka Tachibana
  • Ryota Katayose as Haruka Tachibana
  • Yudai Chiba as Takane Serikawa
  • Takuya Kusakawa as Chiaki Mioka
  • Yosuke Sugino as Kunimitsu Serikawa
  • Towa Araki as young Haruka Tachibana
  • Ito Ono as Chiyuku Mioka

The story is about a quasi brother and sister, Haruka and Setoka.

Haruka had found out quite a while ago that Setoka was not his blood sister but he loved her anyway as if she was his real sister as first.  He made it his mission to protect her at all costs, including affairs of the heart.

Unfortunately for Setoka, Haruka went rather overboard with protecting her that he frightened any boy who would come near.

At the age of 17, she had told Iskedes! (I like you!) to 12 boys but each time. they would always run away or told her “No” despite intially showing interest in her.

Actually these 12 aborted romances occurred during the drama, Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.  

She was aggrieved and found solace and comfort with her brother, Haruka, who she later found out had actually scared the 12 boys and backed off.

Towards the end of the drama, her first love, Takane,came back from his studies abroad and now a doctor.  He told her that he likes her, she is his first love.

Suddenly she has become a male magnet as a playboy Chiaki, she met in the park was also interested in her.

There was also her teacher, who loves speaking in English, who is comically full of himself and thought that he was God’s gift to women or rather school girls.

The drama ended with Setoka having to choose from these interested males.

The film follows on from the drama.

Suddenly Haruka is more aggresive with Setoka.  At one point they were on the brink of kissing when Takane arrived at the Tachibana beach house.

Takane, Chiaki and  the rather oily teacher pursued her.

In the end she chose Takane.  But during a date that turned rather amorous, Setoka stopped Takane from going any further.

In his frustration Takane told her that her heart is not 100 per cent his and that she is in love with someone else.

At first Setoka did not understand what Takane was getting at until he said that Haruka was not her real blood sibling.  Apparently Takane knew all along because he remembered a one-year old baby girl coming to live with the Tachibanas about 16 years ago.

Setoka ran all the way home and confronted Haruka for the truth.  She found out the truth from  Haruka, who  said that no matter what she will always be part of his family.

Next day at school, someone said about starting over, which inspired her to fully break up with Takane, who was in confrontation with Haruka.

Setoka overheard Haruka saying that he loves her.  And that is that.

It was cute after getting over the initial discomfort about siblings romantic relationships taboo.  They are not really blood related and Haruka did loved her tenderly and cared and cooked for her.

Haruka said that he will wait for Setoka to feel more comfortable and truly love him before they start dating.  Of course Setoka said that she had loved him for a long time also.  Cute.

I have to mention that the boy who played the young Haruka is so cute.  I can see another Kento Yamazaki in him.  Just give hime 5-8 years.  Kawaii.

There was another thing that niggled me so much while watching the film.  It was the strap of Setoka’s blouse which was undone by Takane in the car.  During a heart to heart talk between Haruka and Setoka, one scene would show the strap undone, the next scene, done up hurriedly, and then undone again and finely neatly tied back in a bow.  Seriously, it was rather off-putting.

Aside from that it is a cute romantic story with lots of laughs.  Good acting all round especially by Tsuchiya Tao.

Shen Yue – Chinese Actress


Shen Yue – Chinese Actress

Awww I love her. She was so adorable in A Love So Beautiful as Chen Xiao Xi.

BioData:

  • DoB: 27 February 1997 (20)
  • Height: 1.58 m (5’2″)

Dramas & Films:

IShen Yue

  • Hu Yi Tian, as Jiang Chen in A Love so Beautiful, is her first kiss ever.
  • She wears contact lenses.
  • She was not allowed to date by her father, who was a history teacher in her high school.

 

 

 

 

My Tomorrow Your Yesterday (Japanese Film Review)

Tomorrow I will Date The Yesterday You film poster

My Tomorrow Your Yesterday (Japanese Film Review)

Cast:

  • Sota Fukushi as Takatoshi Minamiyama
  • Nana Komatsu as Emi Fukuju
  • Masahiro Higashide as Shoichi Ueyama
  • Akira Otaka as Takamori Minamiyama
  • Yoshiko Miyazaki as Keiko Minamiyama

This film is also called Boku wa Asu, Kinō no Kimi to Dēto Suru and Tomorrow I will Date the Yesterday You.

It is a very tender, if rather a bittersweet, love story between two beings from different worlds, literally.

I have to admit that I had a lump in my throat and had a few tears during the course of the film, especially towards the end.  Having said that, don’t let this put you off from watching the film.  There are a lot of cute and tender scenes as an onset to being in love.  It is a very intelligent film.

Nana Komatsu is an excellent actress.   She has that stillness about her that somehow give credence to any role she undertakes.  (I have seen a few movies and dramas she did before and I love them).  She project vulnerability  so well and yet at the same time a maturity and strength..

Her portrayal of Emi Fukuju is very sympathetic and wholesome.

Sota Fukushi, well he is a total eye candy.  He is turning into a fine actor as well.  His deadly weapon, of course, is his winning smile  reflected by the glint in his eyes. 🙂

***Spoiler Alert***

Please do not read on if you wanted to be surprised.

Anyway the story is about Emi and Takatoshi.  Duh! 🙂

They first ‘met’ on a train.  Takatoshi was on his way to university; he was studying visual arts or something as he wanted to become a cartoonist.  As he looked around the crowded train, he spotted a girl, who seemed to be shining.  He fell in love with her at  first sight.

He was normally a shy guy but this time he took a chance and followed the girl, Emi.

He asked for her email address or any contact details, but Emi said she doesn’t have any.

Thinking that he had been rebuffed, he did not persist.

But Emi said that she doesn’t really have an email address.

He immediately confessed to her that he had fallen in love with her at first sight. 🙂

Emi started crying and promised to see him the next day.

A cute romance developed between them helped by his friend Ueyama.

There were scenes that were particularly enlightening regarding Japanese culture.  They started calling each other by their surname Minamiyami and Fukuju.  After more days had passed, when they were slightly more familiar which each other, it became Takotoshi-chan and Emi-san.  On their 15 days of being together they’ve agreed to be more familiar yet and dropped the san and the chan altogether.  It was sweetly amusing watching them almost incandescent with delight with the progression in how they call each other, which shows how they are getting closer to each other.

Honorifics in Japan is rigorously observed.

(Now I understand fully why Nao was jealous and upset with Uehara in the drama Good Morning Call Season Two.  Euhara calls his lady boss by her given name, Saeko and therefore he was too familiar with her.)

As days went by, Takatoshi noticed that Emi was acting strange.  She seems to know what happens before it happens.

He then found a little notebook, Emi accidentally left at his apartment, detailing events that had already happened and those that yet to happen in their relationship, like meeting the parents. 🙂

Takatoshi asked Emi what was going on.  The poor girl had to confess the truth. She came from another world, a parallel world, where it runs opposite of the timeline of our Earth.  It means she had already experience what was about to happen in Takatoshi’s timeline. She knows the future but no idea of the his past, even of what just occurred of his ‘yesterday’ past.

But the crux of the matter was that his world and her world ‘collide’ or overlap every five years and within a duration of 30 days each time only.

At this  point in time, they were both 20 years old.  This was ‘IT’ for both of them as lovers.  Any other time that they meet again, being together is impossible (& certainly against morality and the law) 🙂

They first really met when she was a cute five years old and he was 35.  He saved her from a fire during a festival. And then again when he was 5 and she was 25  She saved him from drowning.  When he was 10 they briefly met and she gave him a locked box that she made him promised to look after.  What was inside the box was the evidence that they will be together at some point.

It was a sad ending because they will never meet again as 20 year old lovers but at least they made full use of the 30 days and love each other so tenderly and passionately.

Love the story.  It is perfect weepy for Valentine’s day.  🙂

Sung Joon – South Korean Actor

Sung Joon by Yankey

Sung Joon – South Korean Actor

Another favourite.  I love his slim tall frame.  And he has a wicked smile with glint in his eyes.

BioData:

  • Given Name: Bang Sung Joon
  • DoB: 10 July 1990 (27)
  • Career: Model & Actor
  • Height: 1.87 m (just over 6’1″)

Films & Dramas:

  • Lie To Me (2011)
  • Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012)
  • Can We Get Married (2012)
  • I Need Romance 3 (2014)
  • Discovery of Love (2014)
  • High Society (2015)
  • Ms Perfect (2017)

 

Kiseki: Sobito of That Day (Japanese Film Review)

Kiseki: Sobito of That Day movie poster

Kiseki: Sobito of That Day (Japanese Film Review)

Cast:

  • Tôri Matsuzaka as Jin
  • Masaki Suda as Hide
  • Ryûsei Yokohama as Navi
  • Ryo Narita as 92
  • Yôsuke Sugino – Soh
  • Kaoru Kobayashi , the dad
  • Yumi Asô, the mom

This is another Tori Matsuzaka‘s film.

It is based on the story of a Japanese pop/rock/hip hop band called GReeeeN (with 4Es 🙂  )  To this day, the four members have remained anonymous.

Jin and Hide are brothers with a very controlling father, who is a doctor.  He wanted his two sons to inherit his profession and become medical doctors themselves.

But it was never going to happen as both sons were into music.  Jin was often beaten by the father to change his ways and leave his metal rock band, Pay Money to My Pain.

But Jin had other ideas as chose to leave the house.  After a lukewarm reception to their music, no one really buys record of metal rock sound,  the band decided to break up.

His brother, Hide, did not get  high enough grades despite repeating the year.  He decided to study dentistry instead and he was serious about it ,though he still like music.

He has three friends and all studying dentistry, just like him, They are into music and singing in a big way. They were Navi, 92 and Soh (BTW the actor who played Soh is Natsume of Good Morning Call Season 2).

Hide and his three friends created a rudimentary recording of their song and asked Jin to arrange it.

As Jin had really nothing to do after his band disbanded :), he worked on the song and was quite surprised that it has a charm to it.

To cut a long story short, he became their producers and created the logo of GReeeeN with the 4Es, which made to look like teeth representing the four members of the band.

They also decided that they should remain anonymous because Hide is rather filial and did not want to upset their father any further.  And also they wanted decorum for their profession as budding dentists.

Their record became a big hit.  Kiseki became number 1. It has a feel good message to it which is inspiring everyone, young and old.

The young actors, who played the GReeeeN were kawaii.  And of course Tori is gorgeous with his brooding sex appeal.

There are at least a couple of girls in the film but, to be honest, they roles are really redundant.  They could have been cut off and you would not really miss them.

I recommend this film highly.

Did you know?

A dentist invented the electric chair.  What was going through his mind, I wonder?  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Below is the real Greeeen band in concert.

Maestro! (Japanese Film Review)

Maestro! (live-action) Japanese Movie 2015

Maestro! (Japanese Film Review)

I have just finished watching this film and it is now 2;15 Saturday early morning.

I really enjoyed this film for so many reasons.  The music was sublime.  The acting by all the cast is really good, the story, which is apparently based on the manga is well told.

I think watching this at night is the best time.  It is quiet and the music is all embracing.

Tori Matsuzaka is a very able actor.  He easily breathe life to his character.  You can see gamut of emotion in his face and I must say that he is gorgeous.  The way he walks in his skinny jeans is entrancing.

Miwa, who played the lead girl, Amane, is not the typical kawaii Japanese heroine.  She is actually rather plain and yet she is adorable.  She brought out vulnerability to her role.  I heard she is a fine musician in real life. Miwa is actually the singer responsible for one my favourite songs Hikare E  ost for the very enjoyable Satomi Ishiraha and Shun Oguri’s Rich Man, Poor Woman.

Tendo or Tenth is an eccentric conductor, the maestro.  He was played by a great actor, Toshiyuki Nishida.

The story is that there was once a popular orchestra in Japan but due to recession, it was disbanded.  The most able musicians were recruited by musical companies around the world.  Some have also retired and some lost interest.

One day the remaining members received a call from a young girl informing them that the band was to reform.  They met up in an abandoned factory.

To their horror their conductor was an unkempt old guy who looked more like a vagrant.  But even during their first rehearsal they noted that he was quite good.

They were also surprised to find an amateur in their group.  It was a young girl who plays the flute and quite skillful and talented but still only an amateur.  This was another cause for concern.

The story tells about the egos, the bickering, the jealousies, the rumour mongering within the group and how they overcome their differences and create good sublime music.

A delightful film.  I love that the music was played lengthily rather than a little except.

I totally recommend this film as one to watch.

Did you know?

Brass instruments such as the trombone, trumpet, oboe, etc should always be played because if left alone for a long period of time, the atoms in them will start to crystallize resulting in reduced amplification. 🙂  You learn something everyday! 🙂

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