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Japanese Variety Shows, Dramas, and Pop Music

Archive for the ‘Summer 2012’ Category

GTO 2012 Special Review

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

This GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) 2012 two-hour special aired on October 2nd. If you aren’t caught up with the main 11 episode series, you might want to check those out first, or at least read the reviews I did of them. I held off reviewing it until subtitles were available and, sure enough, paroissien.com came through with them, so thanks to Eric for making the series accessible to English-speakers.

The show begins with Saejima (Yamamoto Yusuke) on a bike chasing down a fellow with a knife while Fuyutsuki (Takimoto Miori) and Kanzaki (Honda Tsubasa) wonder where Onizuka (AKIRA) has gotten to.

Kanzaki makes a light jab at Fuyutsuki’s feelings for Onizuka, then shares her Onizuka scrapbook (which leads to a montage of clips from the main series, reminding us about what Onizuka has done).

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Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan Ep 12 Review

Posted on: October 8th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

And with this, we close the book on the summer drama season of 2012. Can Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団) pull a surprise strong finish, ending the season on a high note, or will it underperform as it has throughout the past few months?

The case continues from the last episode where a twenty year-old student dies, Nana’s mother falls from a balcony, and Shinobu (Tabe Mikako) decides the two cases are related. Mere moments after she makes this connection, the culprit is once again at Nana’s apartment building, and both Teppei (Hamada Tatsuomi) and Nana decide to chase him, getting themselves deep into trouble. As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Shinobu also has to consider Shindou (Koike Teppei)’s proposal to her.

It’s funny, then, that Shinobu looks almost cheerful rather than worried as she drives in pursuit of the vehicle with Teppei, Nana, and the criminal.

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Sprout Ep 12 Review

Posted on: October 7th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

With Sprout’s successor series – Piece – already airing its first episode, I think it’s time for me to give a final review of this drama.

Are we expecting any surprises in this episode? Miku (Morikawa Aoi)’s going to get with Souhei (Chinen Yuri), isn’t she? Well, not for a while, apparently. You see, not only did they move forward a year at the end of the last episode – from the end of one summer to the start of another – but we also have an extra half-hour to spare. On the bright side, at least we’ll get a last dose of excellent screenshots before I have to be critical about this drama.

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We begin with Miku’s voice-over telling us that nothing has happened since Souhei left a year ago (I’ll comment on this lost year later in the review).

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Boys are still trying to win Miyuki (Kojima Fujiko) without luck, leaving Takeru (Tanaka Juri) to think he might still have a chance:

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Sprout Ep 11 Review

Posted on: October 6th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

Now that Miyuki (Kojima Fujiko) has dumped Souhei (Chinen Yuri), he can just go ahead with Miku (Morikawa Aoi), right? Of course not – don’t be silly. In a way, Miyuki has rather soured the prospects for Souhei and Miku, since Souhei won’t be able to hold hands with Miku without feeling a bit guilty about what happened with Miyuki. Miyuki managed to take the high road and get a bit of revenge at the same time. She’d make a good political strategist.

You’ll notice that I didn’t even mention Hayato (Lewis Jesse). That’s because, ever since we switched from Miku’s perspective to Souhei’s, it’s been very clear that Miku is still in pursuit of Souhei. If only Hayato had given Miku a helping hand when she was feeling ill and dazed, he could have won her heart. Honestly . . . .

But at the end of the previous episode, Souhei’s mother threw a wrench in everything, calling Souhei to tell him she wanted him back – wanted him to leave the Ikenouchi boarding house where he is within easy reach of Miku.

Miku is understandably hopeful that he’ll stay and she can win him over. As expected, though, he’s more tentative. As usual, neither makes their feelings clear, hiding everything behind weak smiles.

In this, we start getting Miku’s thoughts again, and it looks like she realizes that it’s crunch time.

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Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan Ep 11 Review

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

This episode of Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団) is the first in the two-part final case for Shinobu (Tabe Mikako) and her cohort of kid detectives. Will the drama end strong or fizzle out?

After a brief scene with Shinobu performing a little Hinamatsuri (雛祭り – Doll Festival) ritual, we plunge right in with this episode’s murder:

There, Shindou (Koike Teppei) seems reluctant to take a call from Shinobu, and when his partner Urushizaki urges him to get on with it, it’s too late and Shinobu has already hung up.

A voice-over from the younger Harada boy (Maeda Oshiro) tells us that it’s graduation season, and everyone is getting ready. Members of Shinobu’s class will be moving on to middle school.

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Sprout Ep 10 Review

Posted on: September 30th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

The previous episode of Sprout (スプラウト) ended with Miyuki (Kojima Fujiko) disappearing, which means that Souhei (Chinen Yuri) has to go search for her . . .

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. . . and get his best buds Arata (Yasui Kentaro) and Takeru (Tanaka Juri) to do so as well – with the viewer knowing that Takeru also has feelings for Miyuki.

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It sounds like she didn’t go far, though.

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Kuro no Onna Kyoushi Ep 10 Review

Posted on: September 28th, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

And so we reach the grand finale of Kuro no Onna Kyoushi (黒の女教師). If you haven’t seen the rest of this series up to this point, and intend to do so, read no further! Answers to questions we’ve asked all season will be revealed.

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