A LIFE ep5 [review]

You can get subtitles here.

Every major and minor character has an episode dedicated for them and now we’re left with Nanao for next week. This week, Hamura gets a chance to shine amidst the (slowly but surely) developing main plot between our two leads.

Let’s talk about Hamura first. Previously, I thought he’s the lesser evil of Masao but for some odd reason, I felt sorry for him here. Of course, covering up his former teacher’s mistake isn’t ethical for any doctor, but at the very least, he sincerely respects Yamamoto and would like to try in any way possible to not destroy a talented surgeon who can still save many patients in the future. Sometimes, this kind of issue is tricky.

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A LIFE ep2-3 [review]

You can get subtitles here.

The cast is a powerhouse, quite an ensemble. Every single one of them is doing great thus far, so performance-wise, I’ve nothing to complain. I really love this cast. If there’s one thing I’m not fully convinced about yet for this show is the plot. I’m enjoying it just fine but the ‘reviewer mode’ in me subconsciously looks for anything that’s lacking. But I’ll talk about that at the end of this post.

The characters are mostly appealing. Besides Masao, I find most of them likeable. Firstly, Kazuaki, instant favorite, a talented surgeon (heart and brain) who doesn’t give a damn about hospital politics when it comes to saving patients. Once he sets his mind about something, he makes sure to get it done, even if it means quitting the hospital (ep3) if he can operate on the patient elsewhere.

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Quartet ep3 [review]

You can get subtitles here.

I’m compelled to dedicate a post just to discuss this episode because Mitsushima Hikari is a force to be reckoned with and one of the best actresses out there. If by any rare chance you don’t know her, then you’re missing a lot and probably have no idea of the standard she has set in Japan. I suggest watching Love Exposure and all of her collaboration with Sakamoto Yuji – Soredemo, Ikite Yuku, Woman, Wakamonotachi (my bad, this wasn’t by him ^^;;) and the currently airing Quartet. She has many works under her belt which I can’t possibly mention here but do check them out. Personally, I believe Sakamoto Yuji always brings the best out of her and she shines without fail in his works. I’m secretly wishing for a reunion with Eita.

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More after the break!

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First Impressions – Winter 2017 Dramas

HAPPY belated NEW YEAR!!!

I didn’t whip up a Best of 2016 partly because I’m lazy (if you’ve read my Best of 2015, you’d know how much time I spent on that lmao) and also cos I don’t think I’ve watched enough to really judge or be thorough. So I’ll leave that behind and since it’s New Year, it means Winter 2017 drama season has started. There are still a few not aired yet, so I’ll just keep this brief for what I’ve watched so far.

Not in particular ranking/order:

Rakuen
(WOWOW – Nakama Yukie, Kobayashi Kaoru, Kaho)

One of the earliest dramas to air this season and also one of the best so far. I’ve only watched 1st episode to be honest but I’m sold by the end of the pilot. I thought the buildup is a bit slow but just stay with it because the end will definitely make you drop your jaw (or at least I did for a bit). I wouldn’t expect any less from WOWOW anyway and this already looks like a MUST WATCH of the season.

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First impression: Grim, grim, grim. It’s bleak and dark with a tinge of supernatural. It also has a strong cast and I especially like seeing Nakama Yukie, Kobayashi Kaoru and Kaho. Even the brief scene with Ito Sairi is great. Good news is it’s already being subbed. Give it a shot if you like mystery suspense!

Grab the subtitle here and thanks to natka!

More first impressions after the break!

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Suna no Tou ep9-10 finale [review]

**Subtitles are available here.

Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t finished the drama, do not read.

The show kicks off with a strong pilot featuring two prominent actresses, one of whom we haven’t seen for a while, that constantly reminds us what it means to be a good mother and a children kidnapping in the background. Midpoint, the show gets a little shaky with the lead constantly making wrong choices and the rich housewives side story doesn’t help either. It isn’t until 2/3 of the show that some plot twists appear and shed some light on the supposed ‘villain’, complete with a backstory and finally, the revelation of the kidnapper/kidnappers. So is the finale able to deliver and wrap things up nicely? In many ways, it does but at the same time, it’s less compelling than I had wanted it to be.

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Suishou no Kodou ep5 finale [review]

**Subtitles are available here.

NON-SPOILER REVIEW

That was a solid finale, even better than the one in first series.

Let’s get the bad stuffs out of the way first. I’m not going to lie, I had mixed feelings in ep2-3, especially the way Kisaragi Toko is written. If you’ve read my previous posts, you would know what I’m not satisfied with. Mostly regarding her actions that make us question her maturity after one year in the supposedly esteemed First Division. The inconsistencies of her going back and forth between being composed and easily distressed can be slightly frustrating. It’s also kind of crossing that thin line of making female characters weak in male-dominated environment.  The drama’s not perfect either, there are some loopholes here and there. Fortunately, the protagonist starts redeeming herself in ep4 and her biggest accomplishment is none other than the finale’s climax.

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All things considered, there are good points making it still very watchable. If you like crime suspense, well-crafted cinematography, great OST, flawed protagonist with good character development, teamwork and police procedural, you might want to give this a chance. Also, if you’re tired of terrestrial cop shows and want something with different vibe, say…more atmospheric. The only way to know is to watch and decide whether this kind of drama is your cup of tea or not (not exactly the best advice lol)

IMPORTANT TIP

One thing for sure though, if you’re planning to try this, START by watching the first series, Ishi no Mayu. Since the finale brings back a major character, Kisaragi’s nemesis, it would deliver a greater punch if you understand their history and their conversation would make a lot more sense.

(Spoiler review after the break)

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Suna no Tou ep6-8 [review]

** Subtitles are available here.

Warning: There will be spoilers so if you haven’t watched ep8, I’d advise not to continue reading this post. A major plot twist is revealed in these episodes.

The earlier episodes left me unsatisfied due to the overuse of bitchy one-dimensional rich housewives and relegating Miho to a typical damsel in distress role. Then they landed a major twist in ep7, which I think is quite clever and probably can save all the disastrous choices in the screenplay before (except ep3, that episode alone is unsalvageable). I’m trying hard to enjoy this show for Nanako and Miho so I’m hanging on to see how it unfolds, crossing my fingers for a better second half.

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