The recipe for success of a Japanese TV drama – Abe Hiroshi

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It appears that the quality of Japanese TV dramas has gone downhill over the recent years. The plot or production values aren’t necessarily at fault here, but rather the level of acting. These shows have always been kind of peculiar; if you were compare them to Western television, or even Korean series. But the weirdness usually was carried by strong performances from great actors – Kimura Takuya, Nagase Tomoya, Okada Junichi, Nishida Toshiyuki, Nakama Yukie, Ueno Juri, Kuninaka Ryoko, Haruna Ayase and the list goes on. Some of those guys perform in music groups as well, but to be honest they’re better off acting. In a leading role, any of the names mentioned usually guarantees a good drama. However, Abe Hiroshi is the one person who makes any drama he dabs in excellent. Continue reading →

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4Minute Act. 7 – it may be Hate but I'm loving it

4Minute feature

Jiyoon, Gayoon, Jihyun, Sohyun and Hyuna are back with some new music. 4Minute’s previous single, 2015’s Crazy, turned out to be a breath of fresh air in the Korean pop, which usually either takes ’sexy and feminine’ or ‘cute and playful’ route. The girls did an EDM-y party number and I certainly didn’t initially expect to like it so much.
The new single, Act. 7, seems to be a true follow-up to Crazy, with its bold and ‘tough girl’ concept and EDM influences. Once again 4Minute has taken everyone by surprise. Continue reading →

Boku dake ga Inai Machi and time travel

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I used to watch anime almost religiously for a very long time. Eventually, my enthusiasm began to wane and I focused on Japanese and Korean dramas and other non-animated TV series instead. Was it because I got older? No way.

At some moment you simply realize that each new anime season brings you mostly the same rehashed stories and characters, over and over again. Every single high school rom-com with a sarcastic smarty-pants male lead and a bunch of girls fawning over him had its charm after the 10th or even 20th watch, but there comes a point when the dullness and predictability become unbearable.

Make no mistake, I may no longer dig through 10+ series per season, but every now and then I find a few titles worth attention that I thoroughly enjoy. The great majority is utter crap though. So when the anime like Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED, ‘The Town Where Only I am Missing’) popped up, my faith got restored. Continue reading →

You are the vulgarian, you fuck. – A Fish Called Wanda

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Get a Python to write a script for a film and you end up with a box office smash hit. A Fish Called Wanda is an exhilarating comedy which involves a jewelry heist done by a sketchy bunch of criminals. What follows is a series of betrayals and double-crossing as each party concerned attempts to get the whole lot and leave the others with nothing. Monty Python’s John Cleese and Michael Palin, together with Jamie Lee-Curtis and Kevin Kline star in what just might be one of the funniest movies of the 80s. Continue reading →

The best 7 Korean dramas of 2015

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Time goes by very quickly, especially if you’re always watching dramas. There are already plenty new shows running and others are on the horizon, but I’d like to take a moment and look at my favorite titles from last year. I always find it odd that each drama cycle brings two or three shows of similar theme or main motif – so in 2015 we had the abundance of studying moms, chaebol identity disorders, vampires and ducklings-turn-princesses. Continue reading →