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Japanese Variety Shows, Dramas, and Pop Music

Posts Tagged ‘Okamoto Azusa’

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo Ep 04 Review

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 by tylerraiz 1 Comment

This episode continues the case introduced in episode three of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo (金田一少年の事件簿N). We last left the main characters on an island with a bunch of medical interns, and it didn’t take long for murders to start happening. First, an intern named Morimura was hung in a room that was reputedly haunted. Then, another aspiring medical student – Shiina Makio – was found hanging from a high crossbeam at a chapel.

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Some of the interns feel guilty about the fate of Ebisawa Kuniaki, who attempted suicide and remains in a coma at their hospital. Meanwhile, one of them – Shiraishi – hints to Kindaichi (Yamada Ryosuke) that she knows who moved the ladder (and thus would have been able to reach the locations to commit the murders), but she’s unwilling to say who.

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Kato was so distraught about the thought of Ebisawa’s revenge that he tried to swim away from the island, but Kindaichi managed to save him from a likely death. That’s some serious guilt Kato’s got, though.


Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo Ep 03 Review

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo (金田一少年の事件簿N) begins this time with what seems to be a clear suicide – we actually see the person with the rope and the suicide note. Doesn’t seem like it would be something for Kindaichi (Yamada Ryosuke) to investigate, so there’s more than meets the eye.

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The young detective is at the hospital for a stomach exam and his friend Miyuki (Kawaguchi Haruna) is there to keep him company, and is also interested in the possibility of a part-time job. There’s a flyer for a summer training camp for medical interns where the part-timers will help out and have to stay overnight.

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The whole summer camp thing sounds a bit familiar, though obviously this one has a medical spin on it and presumably most of the participants won’t get killed this time (the series has so far done a good job of keeping an adequate number of suspects).

The thought of spending a night on an island with Miyuki apparently gets Kindaichi’s interest, so he’s in.

Then, out of nowhere, police detective Kenmochi (Yamaguchi Tomomitsu) shows up, having much the same panicked reaction to medical exams that Kindaichi did, except that he seems to have real reason to worry. It’s all played up for laughs, though.


Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo Ep 02 Review

Posted on: September 4th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

The main characters seem to be having fun in the beginning of this episode of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo (金田一少年の事件簿N), as we first see Kindaichi Hajime (Yamada Ryosuke) and his ever-present friends Miyuki (Kawaguchi Haruna) and Ryuji (Arioka Daiki) on a rollercoaster and then in a 3-D zombie movie.

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They were also accompanied by the film club members they met in the previous episode – well, those alive and not incarcerated, anyway.

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Oddly, it’s Ryuji who explains how 3-D works to the film club members rather than the other way around. Ryuji continues to be the fountain of exposition of this series – explaining things that he probably shouldn’t be the one explaining.

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Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo Ep 01 Review

Posted on: August 17th, 2014 by tylerraiz 2 Comments

The first episode of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo (金田一少年の事件簿N), the newest iteration of the dramas about young detective Kindaichi Hajime, matches the length of the two specials that first introduced Yamada Ryosuke-kun in this role. Yamada-kun is following in the footsteps of his agency seniors Domoto Tsuyoshi-san, Matsumoto Jun-kun, and Kamenashi Kazuya-kun in playing this part, and I will try my very best not to compare him to any of them. That shouldn’t be a problem, since with mysteries I’m mostly interested in the structure of the mystery (the plot!) and how it compares to classic stories in this genre.

Particular to Kindaichi as a character is the way he is always introduced as a bit goofy and immature until something serious happens, at which point he snaps into detective mode. Before we get to that, there’s an intro from Miyuki (Kawaguchi Haruna), one of Kindaichi’s sidekicks, but sure enough the standard silliness soon ensures. Kindaichi’s biology teacher catches him looking at photos of girls and rating them. When I say rating them . . . well, you’ll have to see for yourself.

Miyuki gets angry with Kindaichi because she saw her photo drew a rating of “disappointing” from him, and just as she’s busy burning all of his photos (because no one trusts him to do it), she is met by a student who waxes poetic and calls her beautiful.

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We don’t know the name of that student yet, but the actor is Yamada-kun’s fellow Tantei Gakuen Q pal Kamiki Ryunosuke-kun. Kindaichi’s other sidekick Ryuji (Arioka Daiki) informs him that Kamiki-kun is playing Kurasawa Hikaru, the president of the Film Studies Club. Kurasawa . . .  Film Studies Club . . . a bit too obvious, isn’t it? Actually, Ryuji tells us that Hikaru is the grandson of the great Kurasawa Akira, so they make it even more blatant. The actual famous director’s name was, of course, Kurosawa Akira, and they’re dodging a lawsuit from his estate by changing the ‘o’ to an ‘a’. Still a bit dodgy and lacking in imagination.

Anyway, Kurasawa decides that Miyuki will be the heroine in his new film.

Hmm, you know what, I think I’d better call him Hikaru instead of Kurasawa because right after that another student approaches him, angry that he’s dropped someone named Kurokawa from the lead role in the film, and on the off chance that this Kurokawa becomes important, I’m going to have a heck of a time not mangling the two names.

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Anyway, angry student (Izumiya Shigeki played by Okayama Amane, who also appeared in the first episode of Kinkyori Renai) is the screenplay writer for the film, and he wrote it with Kurokawa in mind, but director Hikaru wants to cast Miyuki. Izumiya says he quits, but what leverage does he have now that he’s written the script? Well, he whispers something in Hikaru’s ear about confessing to the police so . . . yeah, that kind of leverage.

The very next thing that happens was impossible – Kindaichi asks Ryuji who Kurokawa is, and Ryuji tells him that Kurokawa is the super-beautiful start of the Film Studies Club. Now, wait a minute – how is it that Kindaichi, who spends all his time rating the girls at school and ogling them, doesn’t know who such a beautiful girl on campus is but his kouhai (who hasn’t been at the school as long) does? Doesn’t make any sense. The writers are using Ryuji to deliver exposition in a ham-handed way.

Kindaichi intervenes to tell Hikaru that Miyuki could not possibly be an actress because she has no charm, and I’m surprised Miyuki resisted punching him – she only gave his a slap on the cheek.


VS Arashi 2013.04.04 Review

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by tylerraiz 3 Comments

The first VS Arashi (VS 嵐) of the new season was a three-hour special with three different segments. First, Arashi faced a team of comedians (the Rola team) and a team of actors (representing the drama Kamo, Kyoto e Iku) in the regular format of VS Arashi. Then, they faced their seniors in TOKIO in a match of Kicking Sniper. As a grand finale, the five Arashi members faced each other in a series of Bet de Arashi challenges. The order of events couldn’t be better, as they clearly saved the best for last.

That’s not to say the first battle should be skipped – it contains some memorable moments of its own. For instance, how about right at the start when Aiba-kun put up four fingers when everyone else put up three (to signal a 3-hour special), everyone laughed at him, and then he explained that he was going with the airdate (04-04)? Nice little comeback for Aiba-kun.

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The Kamo, Kyoto e Iku (鴨、京都へ行く。) team included Matsushita Nao, Shiina Kippei, Daito Shunsuke, Koyanagi Yu, Okamoto Azusa, and Sasano Takashi.

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The Rola Gundam team was made up of Rola, Tsuchida Teruyuki (土田 晃之), the comedy duo Ogiyahagi, Koumoto Junichi (河本準一), Kojima Kazuya (児嶋一哉), and Kojima Yoshio (小島 よしお).


Beginners! Ep 10 Review

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

Well, this is it – the last episode of Beginners! (ビギナーズ! ). Doesn’t seem like it should be, does it? I mean, they haven’t developed the promising storyline of Shimura’s father’s disgrace at all. Shimura (Fujigaya Taisuke) could have spent two or three episodes getting to the bottom of what happened all those years ago, doing some investigative work and using his S-class team to bust those really responsible. Don’t tell me they’re going to pack that all into one episode?!

At the end of the last episode, the academy chief (Kaga Takeshi) found a way to sideline Shimura – making him part of the Police Athletic League instead of an active-duty police officer. If Shimura wins a marathon, he’ll be in the league.

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Shimura lamely accepted this fate in an extremely uncharacteristic turn for him. Again, I wonder what happened to the fiery fellow we met at the beginning of the series, and can’t really call it character development, since he’s definitely gone downhill. Yes, he’s more serious, but in a bad way.

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The rest of the class is distraught at his choice, as are Sakuraba (Sugimoto Tetta) and Ryuzaki (Ishida Hikari).


Beginners! Ep 09 Review

Posted on: September 22nd, 2012 by tylerraiz No Comments

At the end of episode 8, Shimura (Fujigaya Taisuke) learned what viewers already knew – that his father had not been responsible for the shooting that destroyed his career as a police officer. After years of having a low opinion of his father, Shimura is now full of doubts and questions – especially about who was really to blame.

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Hiro (Gouriki Ayame) learned something completely different. Chiaki (Okamoto Azusa) told her that Shimura had turned her down, saying that he had someone else he liked. Of course, that someone else is Hiro.

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Training continues, but when Ryuzaki (Ishida Hikari) tries to call them all in, Shimura continues to run. Apparently, he’s burning off some steam, and instructor Sakuraba (Sugimoto Tetta) lets him, understanding the source of the frustration.