The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heaven's Coins 2 / 續。星の金貨 / Zoku Hoshi no Kinka

At this point in the game, I'm a little depressed to discover that there is a Zoku Hoshi - 3.
Sequels rarely capture my interest with as much certainty as the originals do, and this was sadly true for Heaven's Coins sequel.

At least I got to spend several hours staring at Yutaka and Osawa again, though!

And what a disappointment to find out that Osawa hasn't starred in a drama since 2001!
bummer --
He's in a lot of movies, though, so that's good - (i hope?)

Maybe it's my fault again for watching dramas that star hot dudes, and because of them, I tend to dig the story far, more than is necessary.
Maybe I should NOT have liked Heaven's Coins 1 as much as I did, and that way the sequel would not have sparked my interest.
Zoku Hoshi no Kinka 2 was the sappiest piece of DORK I've seen out of Japan since that awful bit of trash about HIV that starred my hunny, Takeshi Kaneshiro.
And yet I watched the 12-episodes and was pleased to see THIS guy enter the picture -

Sawamura Ikki

HE has starred in TONS of dramas, including a few from this year!
I have GOT to watch Gokusen now.

He played a scary-wicked doctor, and I giggled every time a woman said to him that they hated or detested him, and yet they couldn't resist him.

Aside from all the hunk-a-fied goodness going on on screen, the storyline for ZHnK was blah.
Takenouchi is wheelchair bound thanks to Sawamura's evil ways, and Osawa's character is still wandering around aimlessly without his beloved Aya.

At a certain point in the show, Aya kept pausing to gaze at a wedding gown in a window, and then Osawa's Shuichi does the same thing.
I don't know - but to me, this mannequin looked man-ish.

And this girl, the new benefactors daughter, gave me the creeps one minute, and then I was interested in her the next.

She has really cool eyes, but I kept getting a Morticia Addams or her daughter, Wednesday, vibe.

Anyway, about the drama --

The battle continues between brothers over the love of deaf/mute, Aya.
She's more inundated with despair this time around than in the first show, too.
Again, I felt stifled half-way through this thing, so when it ended the way that it did, I groaned in agony.

Lots of things from the first show are revealed in the second part, but in the end, nothing is actually resolved, which frustrates the hell out of me and makes me vow to never again watch another, Asian drama.

For me, the only good thing about Zoku 2 was that all of the original cast returned to make this one.
Otherwise, it was a big disappointment, and since the original cast WON'T be in Zoku Hoshi no Kinka 3, I probably won't watch it -- or, maybe I will?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

NigaHiga on Asian Dramas

I subscribed to NigaHiga because he's just too, damn funny.
he's a kid from Hawaii who likes to make people laugh, and he does a really good job of it, too!
in fact, he's so good that Hollywood came a callin' and now he's got his first motion picture to brag about.
He ends every video with a TEEHEE, which I don't get - but whatever.
I always thought that pwned came about when some idiot hit the p instead of the o (they're right next to each other on the keyboard) and people thought it was funny, so they followed suit.
Thanx, Ryan, for clearing up THAT mystery!
I've yet to find a fast-food chain that sells Mushroom Burgers - but since I'm not a big fan of fast food anyway ***
he seems to like doing the movie-in-minutes video, which are cool, but I prefer the randomness of his what's up with this-video instead.

Anyway, I don't normally fan-vid blog, but after watching this, I figured it belongs here.

And while I disagree with his opinion, you should still check this out ---


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Papa to Musume no Nanokakan

Jul-01, 2007 to Aug-19, 2007
7-episode mini-comedy/drama from Japan.

Kyoichiro (Tachi Hiroshi) and his teenage daughter Koume (Aragaki Yui) live in different worlds mentally.
He's getting older and wondering where all the time went, and she's growing up, wondering how soon she can be free of parental & school issues.

Grandma gets sick, so everyone rushes north, to an old-folks home, only to discover that she is doing just fine.
Daddy & daughter return home on a train, and after eating magic peaches, an earthquake puts them both in the hospital, where they wake up to discover that their bodies (mind, soul, & spirit) have been switched.

Yes, it's been done to death, but (surprise, surprise!) Japan did it best.

Tachi Hiroshi is a terrific actor!
He must have teenage daughters at home, or else he spent MONTHS researching their every move in order to do as fine a job as he did playing his daughter in this drama.
His facial expressions, body language, even the way that he reacted to situations - it was perfect.
He's a mild-mannered man with typical, fatherly concerns about his only daughter, and with job worries as well, yet he is unable to show those emotions, which frustrates him.

He reminds me somewhat of Kwon Hae-hyo.

His daughter is the typical, prune-face and self-absorbed teen running at full-speed, with a host of minor issues eating away at her soul.
After the switch, her biggest concern is that her father never, ever see her naked, or else she will DIE.
She makes him sleep in a bra, and he has to wear a blindfold in the tub.

The story centers around their two, biggest issues in life:
his job at a popular cosmetics firm has relegated him and a few, minor employees to a back room, where they are supposed to come up with a concept to sell perfume to a teen audience even knowing that it won't fly.
and, her budding romance with a senior soccer star named Osugi Kenta (Kato Shigeaki).

that guy from NewS

It's a nice, short drama with an interesting twist on an over-used story concept, so I gave it 3 out of 5 smilies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hotaru no Hikari / ホタルノヒカリ

10-episode, Manga-turned-Anime-turned-romantic comedy / drama from Japan that aired July 11 to September 12 back in 2007.

A friend from Korea recommended this one, and I'm really grateful to her for it, too!

This was the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time, and it left me with that warm & fuzzy feeling on the inside.

The chemistry between the two leads: Ayase Haruka as Amemiya Hotaru, and Fujiki Naohito as Takano Seiichi was spectacular!

It's the story of a young woman who works as an assistant at an up & coming design firm.

She's very pretty, but painfully shy & woefully unskilled at human interaction.

She rented a charming house and spends her nights there on the porch in sweats, drinking beer from a can, and neglecting her housework.

She's also prone to talking to herself or the critters that wander onto the property.

Her manager,Takano Seiichi, is in the midst of a marriage break-up, so he decides to return to his father's house, and he is shocked at the filthy mess, but more so when he finds Amemiya lying asleep on the porch under some newspapers.

The odd-couple thing ensues since both refuse to leave the house.
Seiichi is fastidious and uptight while Amemiya is laid-back & reckless.

It's a predictable story, but not in a way that would make anyone want to tune out.

Shortly after Seiichi and Amemiya start living together (with a host of rules made up by Seiichi that are pretty funny), Amemiya meets and falls deeply in love (for the first time) with her Prince Charming, who kisses her on a whim when he sees her asleep in a wicker chair that he designed.

This is supposed to give the impression that Amemiya has been asleep for too long and needs to awaken to reality.

The guy she's crazy about is Teshima Makoto (Kato Kazuki), and he's just as unsure about his love-side as Amemiya.

They both fall in love at first sight, and since it is the summertime, then why not pursue?

The way that Amemiya backs away from difficult and/or uncomfortable situations is hilarious, but according to Makoto, it's what endears him to her all the more.

When he finds out that she wears sweats and drinks beer from a can, he shrugs it off by admitting to his worried colleagues that he has two, older sisters who do the same thing.

Amemiya at first doesn't feel worthy of a guy as fine as Makoto, and besides that, a co-worker with appearance, brains, and charm also has her sights set on the guy, so it seems hopeless --

She consults Seiichi nightly for advice, and he is quite helpful, but in a sarcastic, authoritative way that helps to lend itself to their on-fire enchantment.

Seiichi refers to her as a Himono-onna (dried up woman).
He insists that there isn't a man alive who would take an interest in her since she's slovenly and has embarrassing traits.

At one point in the drama, while she's lying on the porch in agony over what to do about Makoto, Seiichi catches her scratching her ass, and the look on his face is priceless.

Still, he continues to help her at every turn while also having to deal with his own issues as well as to try desperately to keep their living arrangement from becoming public knowledge at the office.

Amemiya and Makoto get together eventually ~~

but to say anything more would be to ruin it for those who have yet to watch the drama.

Himono-Onna describes me entirely.

When I'm at work, I'm dressed nice, have make-up on, and make damn sure my hair is fly.

When I get home, it's another thing entirely.

Sweats are the norm, my hair up in a ponytail is a must, and though I'm allergic to beer, I go through bottle after bottle of water, or diet coke from the fountain.
And yes, I even talk to myself on occasion as well.
When I had a cat, I talked to him, too!

Unlike Amemiya, I don't work for a spectacular company under the loving guidance of a super-fine boss like Seiichi, and I've yet to hear in my head the sage advice of a gifted screen writer, telling me what to do or say at any, given moment.

I never had any friends like her, either

Incredibly gorgeous men had always rendered me speechless, dumbfounded, and retarded.

Fujiki Nahohito as Seiichi

and even the ones I'm not, entirely sure about when it comes to looks, they still managed to rob me of my ability to be myself

Kato Kazuki as Teshima Makoto

Like Amemiya, I never felt like I was 'worthy' enough for a guy like Fujiki, and it probably showed, which was why they never, bothered to get to know me any better.

I had a few, serious crushes on some totally hot guys, and not even my best friend knew about them!

I was pretty, but weird.
I was likable, but too hard to approach.
I was always invited to parties & such, but eventually it stopped when it became apparent that I would likely chicken out at the last second and stay home instead.

Now that it's too late to matter, and because I never had what Amemiya had, I can only look back with deep regret.

All I can do now is encourage the shy kids in my class to get over themselves much sooner than I could, and to find the courage to go out on a limb once in awhile, just because.

Now for The Kawaii Aspect of Hotaru no Hikari

I so adored the opening credits video to this drama!

I can't find it anywhere, and I don't know how to record off my PC.

The animation, the color, ... it's really pretty, and so is the song: Yokogao by Aiko

I have no idea what this is, but I so want one!

pretty wind chime

The scenery was nothing spectacular, but the interiors captivated me enough to want to show them off here.

cool bar background

very pretty fish tank at another bar

awesome overhead decorations at yet, another bar

close-up view

I want to live here!

~~ and here's a Youtube video for your enjoyment ~~

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hoshi no Kinka / 星の金貨 / Heaven's Coins

This was a lot of fun to watch.

An April through July, 1995, 12-episode broadcast from Japan that starred Osawa Takao as Shuichi, an uber-handsome doctor, and Yutaka Takenouchi as his equally gorgeous but not quite as mature half-brother, Takumi.

Again, this was something I picked out at because of Takenouchi, though he received little, if any, credit.
Since it was from 1995, I suppose this makes sense.
Maybe it was his first appearance or something, but I thought he was quite memorable in Hoshi no Kinka!

-- especially THIS scene, and I'm sorry it's so blurry --

it looks like he naked!

This pic, though nice, sums up Takumi start to finish in Hoshi no Kinka.
But, the guys in the background (it was too hard to capture either of them onscreen), are his buddies, and the guy with the ponytail wasn't half bad!

See, the story is about a young man (Shuichi) who resents his doctor father for caring more about $$ than his patients.
So, he leaves Tokyo and ends up in a small town in Hokkaido, where he meets a deaf/mute with no parents.
The local doctor took her in and raised her, so she's good around the office, where Shuichi ends up working for two years.

The drama starts off with the deaf/mute, Aya (Sakai Noriko), (who is apparently a huge pop star in Japan) throwing a temper tantrum and knocking things about inside the tiny clinic.
She's pissed off because she thinks that Dr. Shuichi has been fooling around with a girl with huge tits.
Trust me, it's funnier than I can make it out to be.

Anyway, the doctor who raised her is dying, and Dr. Shuichi has been offered a position at Tokyo Uni for whatever reason.
The old Doc tells Aya to leave Shuichi alone, that he's out of her league and has his whole life ahead of him.
He also tells Shuichi to stop thinking that he's in love with Aya and go out, into the world to make a name for himself.

the doctor then dies

I thought this scene was pretty

Shuichi heads for the airport and Aya runs after him, begging him to take her with him.
He says no, but he promises to return in a few days to marry her.

Isn't he gorgeous?

I kept getting a Toru Nakamura vibe, which is a good thing, and it didn't take long at all to grow accustomed to this guy's incredible face.

I don't know that I've ever heard of him before, or even watched him in any, other dramas, but I intend to watch Heaven's Coins 2 next, and THANKFULLY, all of the original cast are in the sequel.

So, Shuichi returns to Tokyo, and this totally irritating betch knocks him down on an escalator on purpose (she even admits as much later in the show), rendering our poor hero unconscious and an amnesiac.

Meanwhile Aya decides after a week of waiting that she should just go to Tokyo and find Shuichi.

He doesn't remember anything about the last, two years of his life, or even that he was a doctor.

Eventually, he gets his doctor powers back, but still no luck with his two-years-with-Aya recall.

Meanwhile, we get a good idea about Takumi at this point.

He's a doctor, too, and a drunk with no guts.

But, he's still gorgeous --

At the beginning, he has a lot of sex, drinks to excess, and hangs out at a ritzy bar with his buddies.
At the hospital, the nurses keep talking smack behind his back, calling him a loser and saying that they wish his brother, Shuichi, would return.

It's not really revealed until later on that poor, sweet Takumi knows what's being said about him, and that even his own father seems not to care for him.

Takumi's mother is a gold-digger, anxious to see her son become the director of his father's hospital.
She has affairs to get her way, and Takumi thinks she cares more about diamonds & pearls than about her only son.

She's shagging the guy in the background, and he's quite a piece of work, let me tell you.

He's trying everything he can to take over the director position himself; lying, cheating, stealing, and hosing in the process, which in an Asian drama can only lead up to one thing, yes?

In the end, Takumi's mother runs to him, and he's packed up to leave after getting caught being a bad guy.
It's so, totally awesome what she does to him after he tells her that she has everything a man could want except for just, one thing ~ youth ~

Aya meets Takumi first, and she doesn't like him one bit, either.
She gets a job at the hospital, and she makes friends with a nurse who is secretly in love with Takumi.

On and on it goes, but it's not a boring drama, believe me!

I'll just do a photo blog from here, and leave you with a youtube clip of the title song to the drama.

A patient with a brain tumor attempts suicide by jumping off the hospital roof, and our Takumi saves the day by scaring the hell out of everyone looking on.
At one point, he even rips open one of the nurses shirts to reveal her huge breasts, asking the kid if he's even seen any yet.

good stuff ... good stuff ... good stuff ... good stuff ... good stuff

I don't know much about Hollywood or other movies out there, but one thing I always notice with Asian actors is their protruding Adam's apple.
Is it just me?

In this scene, Takumi has left the hospital and is now a construction worker.
He's down to his last, five bucks when he enters a flower shop, and this is what he returns to the apartment with -- for Aya, whom he's kidnapped.

Poor Aya had to write down everything, and in this scene, she's talking with Sonoko, the wack-job who put Shuichi in the hospital and ultimately destroys a few lives.

Shuichi eventually gets back his entire memory, and he again promises to marry Aya, only Sonoko intervenes once more!

Aya goes to the Tokyo Tower to meet with Shuichi

but, Sonoko slits her wrist in an attempt to stop him

then Sonoko drops a bomb on poor Shuichi

and her mother, who didn't marry the guy she loved either, sticks her nose in. Like this makes any sense!

and ... this is the way it ends?

~ hmm ...
Poor, sympathetic and nice-guy Shuichi!

I suppose there are girls like this in the world, and I'm glad I'm not one of them.
What idiot would want anything to do with a man who doesn't love her?
She orchestrated the whole thing, and then she's got the nerve to expect anyone to feel sorry for her?

The scene at the airport was probably meant to be touching & romantic, but I was groaning and saying 'puleeez'
The ending-ending, though, was entirely feasible and exciting!
Can't WAIT to watch the sequel!

and now for the ~

haha .. funny .. haha .. funny .. haha .. funny .. haha .. funny .. haha .. funny

dig the pants?

Now, for more, hot pics of the hot guys --

and the youtube clip I promised earlier ~