Archive for the ‘ Japanese (TV) Drama Review ’ Category

J-Drama: The Best of 2000-2009 (In My Opinion), #1-5

Japanese dramas (TV).  The addiction of housewives, young girls, learners of Japanese, and fans of beautiful people.  Often knocked for their low-level of cinematography, acting, and general filming woes, J-Dramas nonetheless attract countless numbers of native Japanese as well as people around the world who thrive off of custom subtitling groups and free distribution sites via Livejournal, other blogs, or the popular Daddicts.  What’s the draw?  Well, it depends on who you ask.  Most watch J-Dramas for their favorite actors/actresses, some watch them for their dramatic, effective, slowly-unfolding stories, others watch them to improve their Japanese or just to kill time.  There’s a certain emotional weight to some J-Dramas that draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the series finishes. Continue reading

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JDramas of ’09

*originally posted March 27, 2010*

I didn’t watch a whole lot of Japanese dramas last year, as I found most uninteresting. To me, 2009 was not a good year for Japanese TV. Here are three that I enjoyed.

Akai Ito (赤い糸)

Before starting this drama, I was a bit skeptical. I wondered if I could still enjoy content that dealt with junior high/high school drama. I have to say that I was immediately drawn by Akai Ito’s cinematography. This drama is beautifully filmed, which was surprising as I was constantly reminding myself that this is a drama, not a film (there is a film with the same cast and production crew!). The music is beautiful and the main theme is fitting and gives a feeling of nostalgia. Actually, the whole drama gave me the feeling of nostalgia throughout. Acting is sub-par at best, which was disappointing. Both of the main actors played their parts well, but most of the time they were flat. I guess their flatness could be attributed to the characters personalities themselves, but to me it was very noticeable that they are amateur actors.

The story of Akai Ito is very depressing, dealing with suicide, drug addiction, death, and general teen drama. The romance is sweet, but frustrating. These kids seem to have so many problems to deal with; you’re supposed to cry for them, but sometimes I was at the point where I thought to myself how ridiculous everything was…their lives suck! Side point: I’ve heard that the book is even more depressing, dealing with many more mature problems. But besides an ambiguous ending, I thought the drama was well done and had a certain draw to it. If you don’t want to watch the drama, but are interested, check out the movie. It is basically the drama condensed into movie size. Continue reading