Kimi Wa Petto – 2003 (きみはペット)
Cast: Koyuki, Matsumoto Jun, Tanabe Seiichi
Plot: Smart, successful and good-looking Iwaya Sumire works for a big newspaper. However, her boss asks her to leave for being too “perfect” a woman. Feeling angry and dejected Iwaya returns home depressed, and most of all lonely. However, when she finds an unconscious young man lying in a box out the front of her home and takes him in. He looks like a dog she used to own called Momo. She dubs him Momo and decides to “keep him as a pet.” It’s the start of an unexpected life together as they overcome obstacles and become quite attached to one another. But can love like this exist? (DramaWiki)
After watching yet another older drama (from before 2005) I wonder why I was not interested in the before. I managed to watch it within a day it was so good ! It starts funny and weird but also concept is very original. The story is totally different and unique and have a bit of more emotional moments between those funny ones. I can actually find it realistic.
I really liked how characters were changing in the drama. it seemed like it has exactly right amount of episodes and didn’t have any not needed moments which made it very easy to watch. It was one of those drama’s I was actually looking forward to watch next episode. There was great chemistry between actors – from playful domination side to fun, easy going. I could see how the feelings were developing between them. Lead actors did not disappoint me at all. I think this time Matsumoto Jun portrayed his character much better than in Gokusen as his emotions was easier to read and seemed more natural. Female lead – great, nothing add, nothing take.
I would recommend it for all people who like a bit of funny story with nice ending (a bit cliche but still nice). After this one I guess I will try Korean version as in past few different drama’s I found Japanese version more emotional and better.
Nobuta Wo Produce – 2005 (野ブタ。をプロデュース)
Genre: School/ Frienship
Cast: Kazuya Kamenashi, Tomohisa Yamashita, Maki Horikita
Plot: Shuji Kiritani (Kazuya Kamenashi) is a very popular high school boy who is close to Mariko Uehara (Erika Toda), the most popular girl in school, but whom he does not actually love. Akira Kusano (Tomohisa Yamashita), his classmate, does not really have any friends – something that is attributed to the fact that he cannot read the atmosphere well, or rather, he chooses to ignore the atmosphere. One day, a very shy girl, Nobuko Kotani (Maki Horikita) transfers to their school and is instantly picked on by a group of girls for her shyness. As a testimony to their youth, Shuji and Akira team up and decide to “produce” her, to make her popular. They nickname her “Nobuta”. (Wikipedia)
One of those dramas I watched within one day. As usual Japanese emotional masterpiece showing deeper meaning that ordinary dramas. It’s a must see for people who like deep meaning of friendship type dramas. The tempo in drama was just right and it gave possibility to get to know each of them and see how they change. At the beginning I thought it will be typical makeover from unpopular to popular drama but I was gladly surprised. This drama shows what meaning have people in our life. It takes the viewer for a ride through bullying, pain of being lonely to discovery of true friendship. Characters has been portrayed fantastically. I must admit first few episodes where strange but since about third one I couldn’t stop watching. Big Bravo for cast, as they have been perfect. It seemed a bit strange to people three characters representing different groups in society: Shugi – the popular guy who in reality is more lonely than anyone and lie as he is scared of people hating him; Nobuko – girl who was bullied and misunderstood all her life; Akira – seem happy go lucky, weird unpopular guy with big heart. Putting all those together and see them growing up through drama made me reflect about myself. It put me to position of thinking about reality and what we believe in as well as importance of friendship above anything. Ending was unexpected and deeply emotional. I probably would wish different ending but I guess then it will ruin the drama.
I wouldn’t however recommend this drama for people who looking for romance as it doesn’t have it at all.
Gokusen 2 – 2005
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Anan Kenji
Half a year has passed and Shirokin Gakuen has closed down. Yamaguchi Kumiko (Nakama Yukie) finds herself a teacher of a few young kids who don’t really benefit much from her style of teaching. Through some twist of fate, she is offered a job as a teacher in Kurogin Gakuen.
She becomes the teacher of a delinquent 3D class which make her previous students look like angels. In order to protect her job, she must again hide her true identity — the fact that she is the 4th generation of the Oedo Family, a prominent yakuza group. (DramaWiki)
I am not sure what I was expecting really. I thought the plot will be a bit different than Gokusen from 2002 but I was disappointed on that part. It was still good and nice to watch but I could not compare it to first one. Especially that drama as whole was a copy of Gokusen 1 just with different actors and few minor changes. It starts the same, most situations are very similar and even ends in similar way. Even the guy with fancy hair styles seemed to be a smaller copy of O. Shun and somehow I found him a bit annoying.
However I did like it. It would be good to watch for people who never saw first part really. I must say I liked characters in this Gokusen a bit more. Main male leads were much better than original Shin, even so I loved him. Its just both of them showed more emotions, you could actually sense change in them and their facial expressions where more adequate to the situations. I like the fact that they used actor from first story, it created a little connection between them. Also I thought some moments were more intense and emotional, like for example ending. It was a bit better than expected I must say.
In all I like it but would recommend for those who didn’t see first part. I think it was a bit better season and at least I didn’t feel that sexual tension between student and the teacher. It was more clear for me.
Gokusen – 2002 (ごくせん)
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Matsumoto Jun, Namase Katsuhisa, Oguri Shun
The story of a young, idealistic teacher who enters Shirokin Gakuen with hopes of making a difference in the students’ lives. However, Yamaguchi Kumiko (Nakama Yukie) is in for a rude awakening when she finds that she will be the homeroom teacher of 3-D, the hardest class to maintain in the school. The students have multi-colored hair, sloppy uniforms, and show absolutely no respect to her. The leader of the class, Sawada Shin is lazy but bright and shows some interest in Yamaguchi when he notices that she is very different from other teachers. The students try to bully her to make her quit, but their attempts don’t get them very far.
What the class and the rest of the school does not know is that Yamaguchi Kumiko is actually the 4th generation heir to the Ooedo Group, a notorious yakuza clan. Even though her family would like her to take the title of Ojou when her grandfather dies, they have accepted the fact that Yamaguchi would rather be a teacher.
Eventually, the students learn to respect their quirky teacher because of her devotion to them, and even give her a nickname: Yankumi. (DramaWiki)
It took me ages to watch one drama till the end. For past few weeks I started and dropped after 2-3 episodes at least 5 dramas. Then I found on one website Gokusen and as it seem like classic I wanted to try it. To be honest till this day I didn’t know that drama is from 2002! I normally wouldn’t go under 2005 at all as I felt like they are to old. I am glad however I didn’t drop it. It maybe wasn’t the best ever drama but it managed to keep me watching till the end. It was funny and easy to watch. I like the way drama teaches how to deal with problems and about importance of friendship. Apart of the obvious overdone funny parts that appears in so many Japanese dramas there was that emotional and touching part I have seen in many Japanese productions too. It’s like they mixed both of it together. It kind of remind me of American movie Dangerous Minds too. I liked female lead however her crush on the police man annoyed. I didn’t see it was really needed in the drama. Also that Yakuza family seem pretty nice really? Our main bad boy character – eye candy, mysterious and cheeky. He seemed like a totally relaxed person however at some moments his face didn’t change emotions at all even so the event really needed it. It was like he was stuck in the same modeling position. But I still enjoyed watching him. Character I liked the most? The one played by Oguri Shun. This guy can play funny, emotional person. I am just not sure why he was shouting all the time , but then all of them shouted all the time.
There was one think that bugged me during whole drama. It might be just me being a bit strange but I felt so strong connection between Yankumi and Sawada that I wanted them to be together. As funny as it sounds I thought they would be perfect for each other. I know the drama would be a bit controversial then but I think this was the spark that I was missing.
Ending was obvious but emotional enyway. It made me sad to say goodbye to the students and crazy teacher therefore I might check out Gokusen 2.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal – 2010 (성균관 스캔들)
Cast: Park Min Young, Par Yuchun, Yoo Ah In, Song Joong Ki
Plot:“Set during an era when society does not allow females to be educated nor employed, Kim Yoon-hee (Park Min-young) disguises herself as her brother, Kim Yoon-shik, in order to make ends meet for her family. She goes through a series of odd jobs, mainly at a local bookstore, before she gets offered a chance to increase her earnings by becoming a substitute test-taker (an illegal act) for the upcoming entrance examination in the prestigious Sungkyunkwan. She gets caught by the upright Lee Sun-joon (Park Yoochun), who later acknowledges Yoon-hee’s talents, and even encourages her to enroll in the university. There, she must bear with the endless mischief of upperclassman Gu Yong-ha (Song Joong-ki), put up with the constant mood swings of roommate Moon Jae-shin (Yoo Ah-in), avoid getting in trouble with the strict, student body president Ha In-soo (Jun Tae-soo), keep her secret from being discovered, all the while trying to hold her growing feelings for Lee Sun-joon at bay.”(Wikipedia)
I haven’t been so happy with drama I thin since watching School 2013. I loved it from beginning till the end. I was totally absorb in the story and considering apart of Gu Family Book I started watching recently I have never watched a historical drama, I would totally recommend it as must watch! One of the best acted drama’s. Actors chosen to portray the characters were great. I liked the fact that the drama was sometimes serious, sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes funny. The characters were acting naturally without overplaying facial emotions as in most dramas. I guess , regarding acting skills actors chosen I would say were so good as in School 2013. It was so good to watch finally a story where one person can change hearts and influence people in natural way. Also I did not get bored even for a second as the drama has just the right tempo. I originally wanted to watch it for Song Joong Ki who mastered his role in Warewolf Boy (Must see were main character say one line through whole movie!). He did not disappoint me this time neither but let me discovered other great talents. Female lead – could not imagine better one. Even so it was still to pretty girl like for someone pretending to be a boy I totally ignored it after first episode that moved me in historical time. And also very important fact was that the love story didn’t cover the other messages like equality, freedom and fighting for what is right. Ending was perfect – I was relived to like the ending as normally after awesome drama they managing somehow to ruin ending but in this one it was just right, not to weak and not to strong.
Just on the side : There was a line when someone said: “isn’t it right Let Minister”. It made me laugh ^^
Kingyo Club – 2011 (金魚倶楽部)
Cast: Jingi Irie, Yuiko Kariya
Plot: “Third year high school student Haru Hiiragi (Jingi Irie) is popular with his peers, but isn’t interested in his studies or love. Koto Harukawa (Yuiko Kariya) is first year high school student who is the target of bullying. One day, Haru sees Koto getting bullied and comes to her defense. Haru and Koto become friends and start their own “Kingyo Club” (Goldfish Club) as their safe haven. Problems from the outside still threatens their relationship.” (AsianWiki)
I am somehow always impressed with Japanese deepness of drama. Behind every story there’s another one hidden inside. In this case main story is friendship that grows into strong feeling between third grader and first grader of school. He – cold and uninterested in life with mother that cares to much. She – bullied by students and unwanted by mother. They meet by chance one day and somehow connect. What I like about the story is the fact that teenage love is only a frame for a main picture which is teenage problems like abuse, bullying, loneliness. I wasn’t sure at the beginning but Japanese drama’s have that cuteness in them that even so the action is not fast, you kind of getting to watch them anyway. This is one of those dramas when there is two people who struggle against world and at the end have only each other. It kind of made me appreciate how happy childhood I had really. Drama is not done in high definition of pictures which often happens in Japanese production but story for example is totally worth it. I would recommend it to people who looking for something more than a fluffy love story.
When Love Walked In – 2012(爱情闯进门)
Cast: Victoria Song, Calvin Chen, Zhou Mi
Plot: “Young, talented, and handsome Qin Yu Jiang (Calvin Chen) receives orders to look for Chairman Yuan’s long lost granddaughter, Shen Ya Yin (Victoria/Song Qian). Because her grandfather tried every means to track her down to search for her and to separate her from her father, she and her father often moved houses and hid away from her grandfather when she was young. Eventually, her father fell ill and died. Since then, Ya Yin dislikes her grandfather because she feels that he has ruined her childhood happiness and was part of the cause contributing to her father’s death. Ya Yin’s guardian plotted a plan for her own daughter, Yu Ru (Ya Yin’s cousin) to impose as Ya Yin to dupe Chairman Yuan into thinking that she is actually his long lost grand daughter. Yu Jiang gradually enters Ya Yin’s heart but refuses to admit his love for her because she’s Chairman Yuan’s granddaughter. Ya Yin’s evil cousin became an obstacle between Ya Yin and Yu Jiang.” (Wikipedia)
So It took me a while to update. The reason is simple and I will explain in in this writing. The drama starts awesome. Its funny, bubbly and has good looking eyes that creating great chemistry between characters. There is not only romance but bromance going on too. Story is interesting and I laughed a lot with characters. Main leads Calvin and Victoria look great together even so their kiss at the end of series looked like she disliked him really >.< Supporting characters are perfect! I mean the two male and a female one. They are fun, charismatic, different from each other and keep the drama complete. I am not sure how I feel about grandfather as he seem like a control freak to me.
First twenty episodes took me one and a half day to watch it was so great and then i got annoyed and bored. I was waiting twenty episodes already to get main couple together and withing one episodes they got apart because of one antagonistic female that wasn’t really needed in the first place. I felt there that they tried to make drama longer for no reason. Ending was good, better than many I watched before, all the confusion got explained etc. Even so there have been flows at the end I still strongly recommend this drama for these first twenty funny episodes.