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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ikebukuro West Gate Park / 池袋ウエストゲートパーク

2000 TBS drama that starred a boat-load of hot, fine actors in their prime, including Nagase Tomoya as Makoto Majima, a slacker living with his widowed mother above their fruit shop.

I'm curious to find out why 'baka' was translated as 'bitch' only when he spoke to his weirded-out mother.

Perhaps the translator has an okaasan complex?

Anyway, dude was haaaawt!

Johnny Depp vibe

Here he is again with no shirt on (giggle):

and again for the hell of it:

The synopsis at scared me away from this one for the longest time - making me think it's nothing but gangland violence start to finish.

Then I re-read the comments made by folks who already watched it, and I became more curious.

Funny, you say?

The original draw was Sakaguchi Kenji,

and then I caught the name Yamashita Tomohisa, and I went 'huh?'

2000 - Yamapi - what, was he ten or something at the time?

Watanabe Ken (plays the totally hot police sergeant determined to crush both gangs),

Sato Ryusa (Masa) is Makoto's best friend,

Oguri Shun had a bit-part in act 2, Tsumabuki Satoshi is Saitou Fujio, Kubozuka Yosuke as King Takashi, leader of the G-boys (glad he didn't succeed in killing himself, cause I think he's awesome), and Nishijima Kazuhiro (he plays an evil ballet dancer - kekeke - who creates a rival gang called Black Angels).

Ok, so the drama starts out rather dark and sinister when a chick gets strangled in the shower at a 'love' hotel.
Turns out she's dating Makoto - a guy who refuses to join the G-boys but who is determined to keep his beloved Ikebukuro alive, thriving, and as normal as normal can get under a myriad of extenuating circumstances that all converge to attempt destroying the area, break up friendships, and drive Makoto to the brink of madness.

That was it for the dark & gloomy, though.

Suddenly, and like everyone on the board attested to - the show made a sharp turn to the left and became light, comedic, and entirely interesting.

Funny as hell, too.

Makoto turns out to be a sleuth of sorts who notices things everyone else can't, so in every episode, he helps to solve mysteries and whodunnit's while the police always give the impression of being incompetent assholes in need of ritalin.

He's an ace bowler with a deadpan expression all the time, and oh yea - he's impotent for some, strange reason.

The story culminates in a massive battle between the G-boys and the Black Angels, but Takashi won't let the fighting begin until Makoto shows up.

I highly recommend this one, though the stream at is unreliable for an odd reason: especially during the credits about ten minutes into each episode when it buffers or cuts out altogether (and then you have to go back and watch from the start again since rewinding is a massive no-no on streaming sights).

Speaking of the opening credits, this is funny:

...unless that's a real Japanese word?

nah - just their way of saying rhapsody.


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