J-Drama-O-Rama

J-Drama-O-Rama: Oh! My Girl!!

Feb 20 // Josh Totman
Oh! My Girl!! Year: 2008 Genre: Family, Drama, Comedy Episodes: 9 Yamashita Kotaro (Hayami Mokomichi) is an aspiring cellphone novelist, working part-time for a publisher to pay the bills. One day his sister, who is not related by blood, stops by his place to pay him a visit. His sister is a big time actress in Japan, but Kotaro can not stand her and throws her out. Thinking it couldn't get any worse, he get a morning surprise: a six year old girl staring at him. After fully waking up, he realizes that it's Sakurai Anne (Yoshida Riko), the famous child actress. Confused at the situation, Anne explains she is there to live with him while mama is away. Who is mama? Mama is Kotaro's sister. Well, Kotaro is having none of this and tries to return her back to the agency from which she came, only to find out there is nothing he can do about it and now has to look after the spoiled little princess. This drama was a fun change of pace from all the other types I had been watching at the time. It was light, funny, and not over the top. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a feel-good drama, but it was pretty darn close. Now this drama by no means would be part of my Top 10 dramas, but if someone were to ask me to recommend one for a whole family to watch, I would put this one way up there. The acting in the show seems very genuine. Everyone plays their part well, especially Yoshida Riko, the little girl. Her performance was very well done for a girl her age. All in all, the characters are solid in the show and are easy to connect with. The music in the show was almost non-existent. I actually had to go back to review some of it just to pinpoint when music was played in the background. Apparently it doesn't get in the way of show and isn't that memorable. The ending theme, on the other hand, is lovely and fits the show beautifully.   There's not a whole lot I can think of to complain about. It pretty much stays on track for the length of the show. I can't even say that the show was too long. Nine episodes seems like the right amount for a show like this. If they tried to push the show further, then it would of dragged. Even after all that, how can I hate a show that has Chairman Kaga in it?
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Welcome back to J-Drama-O-Rama! This time around we are going to look at Oh! My Girl!!, a more light hearted drama then the others that we have watched. I'd have to say that this is like a diet soda of the drama world. It's light, fun, and means well, just like diet soda, but can still rot your teeth. Let's just jump right on in, shall we?

J-Drama-o-rama: My Boss My Hero

Jan 30 // Josh Totman
My Boss My Hero Year: 2006 Genre: Comedy, School, Yakuza Episodes: 10 We follow the story of Sakaki Makio (played by Nagase Tomoya) as he is about to become the new boss of the Sakaki Clan. There is only one problem: he's as dumb as a rock academic-wise. The only thing that he has going for him is that he is really strong. He's never lost a fight. But that is not the only thing that is needs to become the next yakuza boss. You have got to have the brains for the business as well. So his father, the current boss, say that Makio has to go back to school and graduate high school before he can become boss. There is a catch though.  If he is discovered or fails or gives up, he will lose his spot to his younger brother Mikio, who is intelligent but is weak because of an illness. Makio can not let his weaker brother be the head of the family! He accepts and finds out that school is much more then just learning. Tomoya puts in a great performance here. His character is hilarious and lovable. The rest of the cast also puts in a good performance as well, but Tomoya just stands out. To me, he plays the dumb yakuza better then anyone out there. He seems to fit the role all too well. Now that my slight man crush is over, let's continue. I could just sit here and gush all I want about this series. Again, it is one of my favorites that I have watched.  Now who do I think this drama is for? I really do think it's for everyone. There seems to be a little bit of everything in there. Drama, comedy, fighting, slapstick, love, conflict, and more. It seem to have a good general balance in the entire show. Hence why I believe that anyone can get into it. The acting seems solid in it. The directing and cinematography is also well done. The fights, being a little over the top, are enjoyable to watch, even when you can clearly see that he didn't even get close to hitting the guy. When it slowed down, it's even more hilarious! What could they have done better in the show? Not a whole lot that I can really see. The fight scenes could have been better. As funny as they are, you could have done another take to get it a little more accurate. I know that it's not suppose to take itself too serious but some of the parts you could of turned down a little bit back to realistic down to earth physics. You'll understand what I mean in the first episode. If there is a series that I will shove down peoples throats, it's this one, unless you just don't like the style of J-dramas, which I can understand. I have a hard time seeing that if you have watched one J-drama and liked it that you wouldn't like this one. Unless you hate kittens, puppies, babies, your grandmother, or pudding. To you I only have one thing to say... FALCON KICK!!!!
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Welcome back to the bi-weekly, never cheeky, always hokey, J-drama-o-rama! This week we will be jumping off a building into My Boss My Hero. A yakuza story with heart, comedy, and high school? Yup!  How could this play o...

J-Drama-O-rama: Ranma 1/2 SP

Jan 17 // Josh Totman
Ranma 1/2 Year: 2011 Genre: Action, Romance, Comedy Episodes: TV Movie Special We start out with Ranma and father Genma coming to the Tendou household for the first time. Yup, an origin story. We get introduced to some of the major characters in the Ranma world, assuming that you have never seen the series, which can be a good thing to all of you young'ns that have not experienced Ranma before. As for the rest of us that have our fond memories of the series, you will enjoy the flashback inducing slapstick antics. The basic plot premise is there. Ranma wants to find some way to stay a guy forever. Akane and Ranma have lovers spats. The main plot this time is Ranma finds out that the Tendou family have been entrusted in protecting a ancient spring that turns anyone into a man. Well, that's all that Ranma has to hear to go full tilt after it, but there is a problem. Another group wants the spring as well for their own evil schemes. Most of the cast is represented very well in this adaptation. The beef that I have with it is that we are missing a lot of fan favorites. We have basically the bare bones of a cast here. Where is Shampoo, Moose, Ryoga, Ukyo, and the top one of all MASTER HAPPOSAI!! We only get a name mention in here of him. Other then that, since this is an origin story, we have not meet the rest. This is a crying shame but I can understand that they couldn't of crammed that many characters in here without blowing out the story. All I have to say is that if there is a live-action series or another special they better step up their game! The low budget of this special is pretty up front. The fights are not as spectacular with loads of effects. It's mainly nice camera tricks. Meh, no matter, it's still fun. It does seem to stick to the anime pretty well with little hints here and there. It was nice seeing them and smiling fondly remembering the fun of watching the anime. All I have to say is that Panda is a pimp. Overall this is a fun special. It will take you back to those days watching the series. The pacing is good and everything seems to flow. I never found myself bored when watching it. I did see some stuff coming a mile away but that is only because I have watched so much of the show and know the jokes. Some of you that are new to the series and just start watching this might be a little disappointed in it. They do explain most of what is going on but it you don't really get it it can be hard to watch. I can tell you from experience that this is not hard to watch. Yum....
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[Welcome to J-Drama-O-Rama, Josh Totman's new column covering the best in live-action Japanese TV! From drama to dorama to everything in-between, J-Drama-O-Rama's got it! - Josh (Tolentino)] Rumiko Takahashi's beloved series ...


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