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Am back from Melbourne aka fridge and now back in SG (sauna... damn it's hot here!!! T__T). So, before I start to complain about the heat again, I better get back to the reason why I write this in the first place... Yes, I used to dread the long haul flights... until I took Emirates... Why? Simple, because it has J-movies... so, me being greedy sacrifice my sleep just to watch those that I've been itching to watch. Hence, while there're tons of spam out there on Endless Game (me catching up on 1 week of Arashi), allow me to add on something different LOL:

Strawberry Night MovieStrawberry Night Movie ~ I totally sacrificed my sleep for this movie LOL. How to resist when you see it with subs LOL... and I even repeat watching it on the flight back... The story? Off course it's Strawberry Night drama quality with more action aka violence and graphics scenes but this movie adds on some seasoning for us... Kikuta has competition! As much as I love Kikuta.... if the rival is Makita (from drama Jin), whom I totally didn't recognize until I wiki because he's wearing a freaking suit as oppose to yukata and he looks so hot that I couldn't care less if he's a yakuza and just wish him to sweep Himekawa off her feet, I'm on Makita's team (sorry Kikuta). So, with Himekawa's attraction to Makita and Kikuta having his chance slips within his fingers and the face off between Kikuta and Makita (I love this scene btw, Kikuta barged in with confident into Makita's office but unfortunately Makita's confidence is higher, bigger, and much darker and you just have to watch it), yeah, finally, a drama! in a drama!

kyou koi wo hajimemasuKyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu ~ I love the manga, and I still love the manga better after watching this movie. Why? Because manga is longer, more detail and more drama, in which always the case when a manga is converted into a 2 hours movie. But the good thing is that I don't find Takei Emi's voice annoying here. So, the movie is more like the express way of the manga of 15 volume! Plot is compressed, fast, not much details as long as audiences get the point. Acting? I don't see anybody particularly outstanding, and I'd think the main target audience is the manga fans, and suckers for a high school romance movies. Do watch this movie for its light theme and all the cute high school fashions.

PS: I think the guy is too old to be a high shool kid but I like him in Take FIVE as the flirty hate to lose thief!

Ooku EienOoku ~ Eien ~ And I thought this movie is straight continuation of the drama because Sakai Masato is also staring the movie. But I was way wrong. He's depicting different character for the movie as Emonnosuke, not Arikoto. It's true in the manga that Emonnosuke looks like Arikoto, hence the casting, so I don't have any complaints there. Out of all the Ooku franchise so far, I still love the drama better, just because the drama has the part of the manga that I love the most. This movie has the part of the manga that I dread to read the most because I feel so terribly sorry for the shogun, Tsunayoshi. The way Ooku and even his father perceive her as the tool to conceive an heir is just so sad. A proud shogun is reduced to feel like a whore everyday bedding men just so that she can conceive an heir, is just sad and beyond me. I'd need to re-read the manga to check whether the ending is the same as the manga though, but from memory there're some changes in this movie compared to manga. Acting? I love Arikoto's depiction the best, but Sakai's depiction of Emonnosuke is also quite spot on. Both have the same face but as in manga, both character have totally different personality. What I see being omitted in this movie is how Tsunayoshi swooned over Arikoto hence me being confused at the beginning of the movie. Kanno Miho's Tsunayoshi is quite endearing to me. To see the sad character of shogun Tsunayoshi live is heartbreaking yet there's still strength in her, somehow.

tenchi meisatsuTenchi Meisatsu ~ Who would skip Okada's movie? Definitely not me and especially you really need to have subs for this one XD. The story may be boring for people who don't like history drama, samurai drama and especially drama about astronomy and historical calendering system. But if you're suckers for Okada like me, you'll watch this movie. In this movie you'll root for Okada's character (if you don't know the history), as in for him to perfect the calendaring system and overcome aka shut up those imperial court's bastards (they're really bastards in this movie, except one).
Off course for Kanjani8 fans, you'll watch this movie too, though Yoko only have his scenes by minutes duration only.
Overall, it's quite a heavy movie actually, lots of angst, lots of brain work too, so if you're looking for something light, definitely not this movie XD.

And tomorrow... Platina Data, YEAH!
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I decided to make a QUARTERLY review of 2012 drama and be warned that this is going to be a very LONG post to read. Rare, huh? Well, that’s because suddenly there’re just so many things to watch this year and I find it’s getting more and more difficult to remember what I’ve watched and what I’ve haven’t watched. I see the 2009 pattern is repeating again because OMG there’re just so many detective themed dramas this season and more will keep on coming. Not that I’m complaining because I like detective themed drama especially when they’re offering different type of story line, and definitely not just a certain elite is ‘dumped’ to some ‘special unit’ and solving certain unsolved, weird whatever cases. Thankfully so far I don’t see this type of plot, but regardless, I still see some color in this season too. Spring  season is already starting, so I better clear my inventory list (yeah, 2012 list is getting longer, especially on the movie part, they’re just keep coming and it’s getting hard to keep up).

So, let’s start :) :) )
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Farewell 2011 and welcome 2012! In doramaland, we're celebrating the start of 2012 Winter Season. Off course, I've been sidetracked a lot by the amount of variety SPs that's been airing and each one of them took 2-3 hours of my time (you know which ones I watched LOL). Well, I didn't plan to watch Strawberry Night at the beginning as I have no idea what this drama is about besides it's Takeuchi Yuko's, yes, I love her but her roles that I've watched are all the feminine type of ladies so I can't imagine her being a firm law enforcer. But doramaland apparently didn't like my attitude for this drama, hence I coincidentally stumbled upon the Strawberry Night SP posting on our-hour and the phrase saying to watch this SP first before the drama starts intrigues me.Don't ask me why I got curious over such a common sentence because I also don't know the answer until now. But I know I will surely follow the drama after this SP :D for various reason.

This drama is about a case where a dead body was found on the side of the lake tidily roped in blue sheet and the body is has cuts on the neck and stomach as well glasses all over the chest. Could this be a serial killer case? Himekawa Reiko's team was assigned to this case and later on, along with another team led by her arc enemy, Iron Gun, worked hard to find the mastermind. During the investigation a website called Strawberry Night (hence the drama title) came to a limelight. What this website was about and what's the connection to this case? As more bodies were popping around the corner, the police were pressed to solve this case quickly. Himekawa herself, though now standing tall as the only female section chief in the Tenth Homicide Section of the Metropolitan Police’s First Investigative Division, had gone through a tough journey to get to where she was and still struggling sometimes with her traumatic past.

For those who like to think and ponder while watching anything, you probably can figure out the culprit before the last few scenes. But I watched this drama without any thoughts or even read any synopsis or review (to be honest, I ended up watching this drama just because of Takeuchi Yuko), just follow the flow of the drama itself. And I was caught by surprise as to who's the culprit of this whole case. This is one of the mystery drama that your questions get answered almost immediately after it pops in your mind. How the drama convey that answers? To me, I found them from Himekawa's way of thinking out loud. She's muttering keywords by keywords and try to link them together, and somehow you'll get it within split second, as in 'oooo soudesuka' or 'masaka!!' before the next scene appears. I find that to be quite interesting and that's why 2 hours feels quite fast.

Acting wise? There are lots of veteran actors here, including the beloved Kinpachi Sensei, so you won't feel any disappointment in this department. But how about the heroine's which is my concern at the beginning. Well, I'm quite satisfied because to the very least I now can see that Takeuchi Yuko can pull off a kakkoii look as well, though still cannot beat BOSS's Amami Yuki (the coolest character, ever), but Takeuchi has her own charm. Maybe this is due to Himekawa's past, but I find that Himekawa is very humane especially when dealing with her staffs. She treats her subordinates with enough discipline that they all scared of her but at the same time respect her big time to the point working harder so that their boss not to be sad. I particularly like the scene where Himekawa's mom is trying to reason with her why she missed her omiai and Himekawa's exploding in anger/frustration/sadness that she's trying very hard to forget, working very hard to live and she's succeeding but her mom keeps on reminding her what she's worked so hard to forget (try my best not to spoil the drama), and after she left, the mom's sobbing quietly. I can feel both side's emotion and even feel like crying with the mom because it must be heartbreaking and frustrating for a mother not being able do anything and only can just watch her daughter breaking down and fighting by herself to live. And as for Himekawa herself, we've seen these over and over in drama, but Takeuchi's interpretation in expressing Himekawa's emotion gets me. Another angst for Himekawa is when she was told that one of her staff is dead (not going any further, I spill enough, but can't help it, it's my fave scene, so deal with it :p). Her grieve, regret towards her staff and her anger for the culprit mix together yes, it's normal to act like that, we're only human and humans react strongly to the stuff that they care about. The ones that I find to be weird are those who yelled at Himekawa to pull herself together. Is the drama try to show that men are cool, always on rational state while women are emotional? Hmm, interesting ne...

So, Strawberry Night is no way a comedy drama, but judging from the SP? I'll be sure to watch! Am pretty sure Iron Gun will be extra sneaky and annoying as hell in the drama (we still love you Kinpachi Sensei though), and I'll cheer Himekawa, ganbatte! Am looking forward to this more than Lucky Seven actually (gomen ne Jun, but I'll definitely watch your drama, promise) haha....


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