Friday, August 12, 2011

the season so far...

Yes, we're halfway through the season, well, almost half anyway. Most of the dramas have already reached 5th episode. Some at 4th. So, what do I think of the season so far? Phenomenal. Yes, that's the word I'd give. I can't remember a season that gives so much good stuffs in a period of time for sooo long. 

But before I go on rambling about this season, let's look back at last season where they offered dramas like JIN 2, Marumo no Okite, Rebound, BOSS 2 etc...And out of all the dramas they showed last season, I can say that I only truly truly enjoyed JIN 2 and BOSS 2. Both of which, were my favorites since their Season 1. The comeback was good, except for JIN 2 which almost lost me halfway through the show, because of all the melodramatic political thing with Ryoma, don't get me wrong, he was my favorite character back in Season 1, but somehow I wasn't as attracted as before. They dragged it a bit too long, but nevertheless, it was a good final. I think I'll rank it this way for last season:

1. JIN 2  - hands down, great soundtrack and all around acting, need I say anymore?
2. BOSS 2 - the comedy is good and Yutaka's in it.
3. Marumo no Okite - no one should doubt this little kid's talent in acting
4. Inu to Kau to Iu Koto  
5. Hagane no Onna
6. Rebound - the whole rebound thing couldn't get anymore ridiculous than this, but I have to say, for once, Aibu Saki didn't make me turn away from the screen when she's on. This role fit her.
7. Umareru - I lost interest halfway through, didn't even finish this. Maki-chan, unfortunately wasn't enough to make me stay till the end, despite how much I like her dramas/movies before this.

However, ranking aside, the only ones that I actually enjoyed and anticipate EACH episode every single week were only JIN 2 and BOSS 2. So, compared to this season, I really think there are more offerings this time around. If I were to rank them so far, it'd go like this:


1. Soredemo Ikite Yuku - from my posts, you should already know just how much I LOVE this drama. The writers, if not mistaken were the ones who wrote Mother (another drama not to be missed). So far, all I can say is, WATCH IT NOW and you SHALL NOT REGRET. Eita was the one who got me into it initially, but down the line, the story is not only appealing, but amazingly written and the casts, they are more than perfect. The acting that surprised me the most though is by Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure, Moteki, Akunin, Sawako Decides, etc). I'm putting my bet on her to win Best Actress in the upcoming TV Dramas Awards. Don't be fooled by the ratings you see because they're far from the truth. Yes, most of the episodes aren't even over 10% but like I said, this drama's really really underrated that I'm beginning to think that something's very wrong with the Japanese viewers. It's been such a long time since I truly feel for a Japanese drama.


2. IS~ Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei
My god, I can ramble the whole post about this alone, but I'd better not. My posts for each episode has been long enough I'm beginning to think I should write less xD. So, I'll try to make this short. Initially, this show is on my 3rd ranking, below Zenkai Girl. I'll tell you why later when I come to Zenkai Girl. To make it simple, the heart of this show is the theme itself. The topic at hand is something not often discussed, though briefly, if  you've watched Taisetsu na Koto, Takei Emi's character was said to be an IS who depended on medicine in order to maintain as a girl. But that wasn't discussed much at all, in fact, just on the surface in that drama. So, right now, this show is solely on that topic, and based on a wonderful manga, it managed to capture my heart with the details, the troubles, the pain these individuals go through. Fukuda Saki and Gouriki Ayame are both perfect in their roles. My initial doubt on Fukuda's casting disappeared almost immediately after ep2. If you've noticed, there have been quite a lot of J-dramas lately that have girls acting as boys, like HanaKimi, and this season alone, there are Ikemen Desu Ne and HanaKimi 2 remake. We have had Ueno Juri in Last Friends before who suffered from Gender Identity Disorder, needless to say, she did really well for her character. Shows like Ikemen Desu Ne and HanaKimi, fall short when it comes to girls acting as a boy, when compared to LF and IS. It might be a little bit unfair to compare them since they're of different themes but all I'm saying is the performance part. How convincing are the actresses in playing their parts? I'll have to go for Juri-chan and Fukuda's performance, all the way. Both of them have great body languages to show us they're guys. Fukuda may not win Best Actress (but if she did, then good for her!) but her performance should not be ignored in IS. After her win in LIFE as the antagonist for Best Supporting Actress, this show could be her comeback. Sorry, I wasn't supposed to rant long...I tend to do that when I'm really into something I like. So, in conclusion, this is one of those that I anticipate every week.

3. Don Quixote 
This wasn't really on my list, at least not this high up in the initial ranking, but after ep2, Matsuda Shota really won me over by his portrayal as the yakuza leader trapped in a social worker's body. He truly SHINES in this show. I can't help but always be amused by his antics and the supporting actor is a delight to watch too. Don Quixote, wins 3rd spot on top of Zenkai Girl.


4. Zenkai Girl
Without further ado, here it is on 4th spot. It was initially, 2nd spot on my list! The comedy was superb, until it got a bit too predictable on the last few episodes. Aragaki Yui is pretty good in her role, but something about her character kinda annoys me lately, not her fault though, I'd blame the writing. Ryo Nikishido is still enjoyable to watch though. This drama receives slightly higher ratings than the rest of the shows so far, that I was dumbfounded by the fact that it is higher than Soredemo Ikite Yuku. I'm thinking this has to do with the legion of fans hungry for Ryo Nikishido. Having a Johnny boy in a drama can really help in the ratings. Not to say this drama is overrated, it's really not. Because I still laugh at the comedy and feel mellow when it tones down. I hope the writers give us more surprises though in the upcoming episodes. Because it seems as if it is reaching a plateau in its plot.

The rest are almost the same to me - Zettai Reido 2, Hanawake no Yonshimai, Team Batista 3 and Bull Doctor. I don't know if I'll drop any of this soon, but so far, I'm still watching. That said, this season so far is good. I find myself catching almost every show this season, a total of 8 shows! Not including those that I'm just starting like Jiu and Hi wa Mata Noboru.

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