Onmyoji (2001) (Japanese Dorama)

Rating: ★★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Cult


a mystical cult movie based on Shinto teachings emphasizing in the ways of Onmyoudo
adapted from manga series with the same title by Yumemakura Baku, who also took part as script writer, and directed by Takita Yojiro

cast:
Nomura Masai as Abe no Seimei
Ito Hideaki as Minamoto no Hiromasa
Sanada Hiroyuki as Doson
Koizumi Kyoko as Aone
Imai Eriko as Mitsumushi
Natsukawa Yui as Fujiwara no Sukehime

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it was during the Heian Period (794 to 1185), an era where human lived side by side with demons and the golden era of Onmyoji priests

even though the palace had Doson as Head of Onmyoji, reputation of the feared Abe no Seimei (Nomura Mansai) exceeded him
by the hands of fate, Seimei then met Minamoto no Hiromasa, the court’s nobleman who was a master in archery and sword, also a highly acknowledged flutist

using a 150-year-old angry spirit from a betrayed prince, Doson (Sanada Hiroyuki) created chaos one by one in order to claim the throne as his own
but Seimei and his ‘sidekick’ Hiromasa, with help from a mysterious woman name Aone (Koizumi Kyoko), stood between him and his wretched dream

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Onmyoudou is a Chinese-influenced traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, mixing natural science and occultism based on two Chinese theories, Five Elements and Yin-Yang Theory
Onmyouji or Onmyoji are Onmyoudou’s professional practitioners

Abe no Seimei

brought up brilliantly by Nomura Masai, a famous kyogen (a branch of Noh, Japanese traditional play) actor, which explains the flexibility he showed during dancing. many claimed him as the most closest and memorable image of Abe no Seimei
rumored to be born from a fox-demon mother and had the abilities to summon demons since child, Seimei was well respected by his mysterious high-level skills, and feared. often portrayed as slender, sharp, elegant and beautiful, Seimei here
also had a mischievous smile and witty, he loves playing pranks to his buddy, the naive Hiromasa. nobody knew his exact age
in the end of the movie, we could see a beautiful dance performed by Nomura as a bonus. graceful and yet powerful. just love it ^__^

Minamoto no Hiromasa

performed by the stunning Ito Hideaki
tall, strong, cheerful, and beautiful, Hiromasa was pictured as a proud archery and sword master. other stories also mentioned him as a genius musician and poet, but here he played a flute. his naive nature was often used by Seimei for his pranks using little magic tricks which kept on amazing Hiromasa
though half of his dialogs consist of ‘oooh’, ‘ah’, and ‘are?’, he’s still cute. too bad his first love turned out to be the Mikado’s (Emperor) concubine……… ^^;

Seimei & Hiromasa

in this movie, both Seimei and Hiromasa was part of a prophecy which called them ‘the guardians of the city’. the two met by an incident inside the palace involving a butterfly which later became Seimei’s servant called Mitsumushi (Imai Eriko). in the beginning, Hiromasa felt very uncomfortable being around Onmyoji, especially Seimei, and both address each other respectively
as their friendship develop, they talked in a much more casual ways. these two gorgeous men also created a bond of trust, they didn’t hesitate relying lives to others. though Seimei always appeared to be cool, he couldn’t help crying when he found his dear friend dying
that event gave Hiromasa a hilarious counter-attack against Seimei’s pranks later on. but Seimei didn’t always played pranks, for he often used difficult words too which he knew exactly that his (probably) younger partner got no idea what the hell it means……………….. ^^;

psssstttt…..
by the way, since i kinda like shounen-ai and yaoi stories, watching this movie about two handsome gorgeous guys being close friends caused my imagination running wild………..
huehehehehehehehehehe *drools*

Nomura Masai

Ito Hideaki

Sakuran (2006)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Drama

a brilliant and brightly colorful movie by photographer Ninagawa Mika
taken from a manga series with the same title by Anno Moyoco, published by Kodansha from 2001-2003 in Evening Comic Magazine
and a list of estrange very-non-geisha-era Broadway style soundtrack by Shiina Ringo

casts:
Anna Tsuchiya as Kiyoha / Higurashi
Ando Masanobu as Seiji
Narimiya Hiroki as Soujiro
Shiina Kippei as Kuranosuke
Kimura Yoshino as Takao
Kanno Miho as Shohi

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oiran was like a goldfish. it will only look pretty in an aquarium

she was brought to the brothel district Yoshiwara as a girl, sold to serve one of the oiran of the house, Shohi, and then named Kiyoha (Anna Tsuchiya). when Shohi (Kanno Miho) left the house upon a marriage proposal, Kiyoha was entrusted under the guidance of the new oiran, Takao (Kimura Yoshino)
unlike other girls, Kiyoha was wild, sharp, and rebellious. in short time, she got used into punishments, yet never she shed a tear. sharp-tongued, ill-mannered, bad-mouthed, and had such a temper, Kiyoha didn’t hesitate at all on beating other girls in a fight. on the other hand, she had perfect qualities as oiran-to-be; heavenly body, an attitude to die for, stubborn, and though with a hell of a pride

due to the death of Takao, Kiyoha did become the new oiran under the name Higurashi. but, still she dreamed of finding true love and getting away from Yoshiwara. and during all those times, she kept one promise made by Seiji
as a girl, Kiyoha once tried to run away before she was brought back by the house’s ‘butler’, Seiji (Ando Masanobu). that night, Seiji promised her that he will take her to see the real sakura one day if the solely almost-dead sakura tree inside Yoshiwara bloomed

and one day, Kiyoha got the lessons of love; first love, unconditional love, and at last, true love
the dazzling Soujiro (Narimiya Hiroki) was one of Kiyoha’s guest. not until long Soujiro turned her head over heels and left her composure as oiran elsewhere, but only to send her crumbling heartbroken
then, came Kuranosuke, a rich samurai who fell in love to her from the first sight at the coronation of her becoming oiran. after learning about the promise Kiyoha held, Kuranosuke presented her loads of sakura and a Cinderella-like marriage proposal, all wrapped in unconditional love
in the very morning she was about to leave as Mrs. Kuranosuke, Kiyoha visited the dying sakura tree of Yoshiwara, finding Seiji was already there. when Seiji pointed the single sakura blooming miraculously from it, Kiyoha finally encountered true love and fled the town with him

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first, oiran are NOT geisha
geisha are entertainers; they wear elaborate kimono, dance, sing, and accompany you to drink and talk
oiran are prostitutes; they also wear elaborate kimono, dance, sing, and drink with you, but as a bonus, they also accompany you to bed

i should say, this movie kinda surprised me. i never thought a geisha era movie could be as colorful and as musical as Sakuran
comments received too varied from beautiful to absurd
all i know is, this movie is about one’s journey of finding a place to fit in. one’s journey of finding true love. and the journey was written and painted extravagantly stunning
well, actually, it’s complicated. you gotta watch it yourself to know it

Anna Tsuchiya undoubtedly fit her role as the wild Kiyoha 100%. not too far from her past role in “Kamikaze Girls” as female yakuza biker, Shirayuri Ichigo, though. still, i like her acting as the bad-ass bitch ^__^
Ando Masanobu with sexy butt (unfortunately all covered this time) as the timid Seiji. son from one of the house’s girls, he dedicated almost all of his life to the house, but then spend most time on the side of Kiyoha. he was always there during her lowest times, then in the end he realized he had fall for the wild girl

by the way, Oguri Shun made an appearance as a 1-minute-cameo, the flower boy who sheepishly gave Kiyoha a red carnation (i think). but when Kiyoha showed off the flower to Seiji, Seiji left her dumbfounded (one hilarious scene. hahahahahaha)

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e ~Ikemen Paradise~ (2007) (Japanese Dorama)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Comedy

originally taken from a comic series by Nakajo Hisaya with the same title
i’ve read the first series of the book, before departing to Japan, and waited with high anticipation upon the dorama ^__^
the comic series ended at volume 23, published by Hakusensha from 1996 to 2004
you can find the Indonesian version published under Level Comics with the title “For You in Full Blossom” (a little help here, please, Wils)

the dorama will be running for 12 episodes in Fuji TV every Tuesday 9PM, started from Jul 3, 2007. final episode will be aired on September 18, 2007 (can’t wait!!!!!)

Opening Theme: “Ikenai Taiyou” by Orange Range
Closing Theme: “Peach/Heart” by Otsuka Ai

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even though Ashiya Mizuki (Horikita Maki) was a girl, she flew from America back to her homeland Japan to join the all-boys dorm school only to be with her idol Sano Izumi (Oguri Shun), a young high jumper
Sano was injured while protecting Ashiya during a visit to America few years ago and had not been able to jump since. thinking it was her fault, Ashiya decided to accompany Sano until he jump again

there she also befriended the loud Nakatsu Shunichi (Ikuta Toma), her school’s gay doctor Dr. Umeda Hokuto (Kamikawa Takaya), and the rest of her energetic dorm mates
little did Ashiya knew that Sano found out her secret of being a girl quite early. but Sano kept it for himself, developing overprotective attitudes towards Ashiya, and later, love (so sweet…….) can’t wait to watch how Sano have to suppress his own feelings later on! *devil grin*
Nakatsu too increasingly find interest in her, fully realizing she’s a ‘boy’. therefore he desperately tried to fight his urge into Ashiya, not wanting to turn gay like their seductive school doctor. as result, he often imagine Ashiya in feminine images, giving him several nosebleeds………… huahahahahahahahahahaha
while for Dr. Umeda…… since he’s gay, he knew Ashiya was not boy right from the beginning. but seeing how content Ashiya was in sending Sano flying again, Umeda discreetly supported her. well, in his own ways……. ^^;

will Sano finally be able to jump again?
will Ashiya’s secret be safe until the end?

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in the beginning, i thought Horikita Maki was too cute as Ashiya. but as the story goes, she looked boyish enough to convince me she’s a ‘boy’ from the way she talk or move ^^;
and i haven’t approve Oguri Shun as Sano even until the 8th episode i watched last night. i know, Sano in the comic was extremely cool. but Oguri portrayed Sano as an annoying cool, which i find a bit exaggerating. but i gotta admit, seeing Oguri’s expression while Sano was being overprotective towards Ashiya was hilariously fun
best cast of all had to be Ikuta as the impulsive Nakatsu. i laughed at almost everything he did! it was a real fun watching him ^__^
then, the cheerful days in an all-boys dorm shown in such colorful and fun ways, supported by a long list of cute boys as Ashiya-Sano-Nakatsu’s dorm mates, plus several girls from neighboring all-girls school
i believe Ashiya had the time of her life there!!! ^__^

well, so the storyline went waaaaaaaaay far from the original story in the comic. but i had a lot of fun watching it. so, why bother??? hehehehe

Official site (Japanese): http://wwwz.fujitv.co.jp/hanakimi/index.html
Dorama info (Wiki, English): http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Hanazakari_no_Kimitachi_e
Comic info (Wiki, English): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hana-Kimi
Others: http://niko-niko.net/hanakimi/

My Boss, My Hero (2006) (Japanese Dorama)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Comedy

i know, i know. i’m late. waaaaaaaay late =p
well, i accidentally watched this serial based on curiosity after seeing the trailers on TV. it’s on re-run now on Nihon Terebi channel, every Monday to Friday, 16.55 PM
but i watched it all on crunchyroll. hehehehe

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Sakaki Makio (the super expressive Nagase Tomoya of TOKIO), 27 year old, nicknamed “Tornado”, tough leader-to-be of the fiercely Kantou Sharp Fang yakuza gang. his favorites were alcohol, fighting, women, and pudding (!!!!! XD) said to possess the power of a monster, along with the intelligence of a first grader (huahahahahaha)
after he blew a 27 million yen deal, his enraged father gave him one absolute order; to return to high school and get his diploma or his brother Mikio will take over the title as heir

Makio then found out, posing as a 17-year-old high schooler were not as simple as he thought. and much to his surprise, his classmates bullied him! they took his money, beat him up, and called him stupid openly (he can’t even write his own name in kanji and had math abilities equal to a 2nd grader!!)
wuakakakakakakak

but as days goes by and despite all the turbulences, Makio who was then nicknamed ‘Makky’ discovered new things at school such as the amazing part of knowledge, friendship, and even monkey love (how sweeeeeettt ^^)
he also grew attached to his teacher and estranged classmates. Makky volunteered as class rep, got involved in a pudding race (one very hilarious part), and attended special class during summer holidays with his homeroom teacher. he tried hard uniting the scattered class together starting with his 5-person no-good basketball team, the pudding race, and performing a band in Culture Festival

until the fun Makky experienced ended in a ironic way just few days before his graduation. his opponent gang came finding him at school, attacking his friends
not wanting his friends and teachers getting hurt, Makky finally blew his cover, revealing his true identity as a yakuza in front of the people he wanted to protect
and behind bars, Makky realized how his days at school were far more important than he thought

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i laughed all the way long from episode 1 to 9 (crap, this dorama IS hilarious! ^__^)
but how i was caught by surprise in the middle of the final episode. starting from how Makky faced his opponents alone under the rain and ripping his shirt to reveal his yakuza tattoo, to Makky crying in front of his homeroom teacher and wailing behind bars holding his classmates’ photo (Nagase was DAMN cute with his tears running)

basically, i’m quite satisfied. the whole story was damn intriguing. Nagase with his funny expressions as Makky was such a perfect choice. and the other casts were as interesting as Nagase himself
Tegoshi Yuuya as Sakurakouji ‘Sakura-nantoka’ Jun, the cute Aragaki Yui as Makky’s love interest Umemura Hikari, and Tanaka Koki as Makky’s faithful comical underling Manabe ‘Kazu’ Kazuya (he was such a character)

so, everybody wacthed it already? ^__^

Tada, Kimi o Aishiteru / Heavenly Forest (2006)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Romance

dunno why, i just can’t stop myself crying on movies lately
some on weird scenes
well, maybe i should blame my sense of romance which was proven so lame
huehehehehe

this romantic flick was adapted from a novel by Ichikawa Takuji, author of “Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu” which has been taken on screen in 2004 by the title “Be With You”
main soundtrack brought by Otsuka Ai, “Ren’ai Shashin”

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

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Segawa Makoto (Tamaki Hiroshi) was an awkward and clumsy freshmen in a university majoring in English. but his true passion was into photography. he carried his camera anywhere he go and always went alone. he had a secret, preventing himself from making any contact to others: a scar so itchy and stinks, which came with an adequately stinky medical lotion
Satonaka Shizuru (Miyazaki Aoi) was a free-willed freshmen in the same university, majoring in French. a bit odd with childish appearance and attitude, always emphasizing Makoto she’ll grew up to a stunning lady for him one day. she studied about photography from Makoto

the two outcasts met and became friends. they shared a forbidden yet beautiful forest nearby their campus as their only secret hideaway. both Makoto and Shizuru spent a lot of times there for photo hunting
but Shizuru never expect Makoto someday brought the girl he had a crush on, Toyama Miyuki (Kuroki Meisa), to their sacred sanctuary. since then, Shizuru befriended Miyuki too

after the death of her brother, Shizuru had a fight with her father and ran away from home. she was prepared to stay in any empty rooms available inside campus when Makoto absentmindedly offered his house for Shizuru to stay
so for several months, they both lived in Makoto’s house

on Miyuki’s birthday, the astonished Makoto fulfilled her dream of having a photo of herself wearing a wedding gown and Makoto in a wedding suit
before changing, Makoto who decided not to apply his lotion, started to get itchy. he scrambled to the men’s room, finding his lotion inside his suit’s jacket. he then realized, Shizuru must’ve sneaked it in
the new feeling emerging ruined the rest of his date with Miyuki for his thought went somewhere else. and Miyuki finally told him to go home, since he looked so distracted and so eager to go home

while Shizuru also had her own birthday wish; a photo of her kissing with Makoto
in their secret forest, the two kissed, longer than they ever thought
after school, Makoto went shopping and head straight home. but there he only found a not by Shizuru saying, “Sayonara. Ima made arigatou” (Good bye. Thank’s for everything)

Makoto frantically searched for her, finally making up his mind, all he wanted was Shizuru. unfortunately, Shizuru was nowhere to be found
Makoto ended up with a severe fever and was rushed to the hospital by his friends. still, Shizuru vanished

two years later
Makoto did became a photographer. and during his wandering with his camera, all he could think about was Shizuru
and a letter from Shizuru arrived. she’s having her first photos exhibition in New York, where she has been living for the past two years

excitedly Makoto went to New York. only to see the one greeting him was Miyuki
Miyuki explained, she had been Shizuru’s roommate for 6 months and at the time being, Shizuru who turned into a photographer too, was working in Los Angeles
Makoto was filled with questions and really looked forward to see the new Shizuru, as Miyuki said. until he heard a message from Shizuru’s father to Miyuki, telling Shizuru’s ashes has finally been laid to rest
Makoto was shocked. he then heard the whole story from Miyuki

Shizuru had genetic disease, causing her growing process to hasten, which explained Shizuru’s childish posture though she was 18. when she fell in love to Makoto, she led herself into maturity just to impress the man she loved. and as the consequence, the disease matured too and started to took over her own body. she lost the battle a month ago, right when her first letter came in the hands of Makoto
Shizuru wrote 10 letters for Makoto during her last days. even knowing she’s not going to make it, she looked like enjoying every second in writing those letters. Miyuki was to send those to Makoto periodically

the next day, Miyuki took Makoto to Shizuru’s photos exhibition. from the beginning, Makoto was always impressed by Shizuru’s keen eyes in capturing human expressions
and in the last corridor, Makoto came face to face with a life-sized photo of Shizuru, with long hair, slender body, and her innocent face
that was not all. Makoto turned around to the other side of the corridor. there was dozens of photos of himself
Makoto holding a camera. Makoto sleeping. Makoto yawning. Makoto smiling. Makoto walking. Makoto this, Makoto that, and so on
Makoto broke into tears
then he laid eyes onto another photo across the room, hanging alone in the middle of the wall. Makoto staggered closer
it was the photo when he and Shizuru kissed in the forest. beside it, Shizuru wrote a message, “It was the only kiss, the love have I ever known”

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in the beginning, this movie offered a love story so sweet, innocent, and cute
and since i know how Japanese like tragically-happy-endings, i never thought it was going to be like this
not depressing. more to shocking and disbelieve
i kinda know how Makoto felt in that gallery

beautiful scenes chosen carefully, so sweet love story, and satisfying casts
Tamaki was Makoto, not the narcissist Chiaki from “Nodame Cantabile” nor the loud Sato from “Water Boys”. just clumsy Makoto
Miyazaki was cute as ever. plus her childish acting, even i can’t help on falling for her……. ^^;
and chemistry between the two, just unbearable T__T

Karei Naru Ichizoku (2007) (Japanese Dorama)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Drama

a.k.a. The Grand Tribe

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

this 10 episodes dorama aired by TBS Channel every Sunday 9PM from January 14 to March 18, 2007 was originally taken from a novel by Yamazaki Toyoko. there was a movie made based on it in 1974 (so oldies. hohoho)

the main character was Manpyou Teppei, oldest son from the crippled Manpyou Family who played a big influence in Japan’s financial late 1960s
for the background, this dorama was filmed in Shanghai, where buildings from the 60s still stands, causing the cast and crew to fly back and forth from Tokyo to Shanghai

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Manpyou Teppei wasn’t only forced to face troubles in his steel factory business, but he also had to dealt with some major family issues

lack of capital to lack of labor, Teppei’s factory had been through it all. and all was caused by his father, Manpyou Daisuke, who some how had a deep grudge against Teppei. unwilling to see his son succeed, Daisuke made anything possible to bring Teppei and his business down, even conducting evil schemes for it

and at home, Daisuke never showed a bit love towards Teppei. instead, Daisuke considered his second son, Ginpei, as his heir. because of that, Teppei had lost respect to his father

but that wasn’t only Teppei’s concern. Daisuke favored his concubine, Takasugi Aiko who was the children’s ex-private tutor, rather than his own wife, Yasuko
after 19 years living under the same roof with the Manpyous, Aiko had too much control to the house; household matters, the children’s arranged marriage, and the worst, Daisuke himself. not one from the Manpyou children liked her nor agreed their father’s action of letting Aiko inside the house. only Yasuko seemed to be more considerate

one day, the factory Teppei was running exploded. several died and many injured. Teppei was devastated. but when he seek for moral and financial backup to his father, Daisuke still rejected him. Teppei burst in anger, asking why does his father never showed any affection towards him

soon after receiving a shocking hint from an old friend, Teppei again confronted Daisuke, now in front of the whole family. answer he got was like thunder in midday. Teppei wasn’t his flesh and blood
Daisuke’s father which was also Teppei’s grandfather, Keisuke, raped Yasuko years ago. not long after, Yasuko got pregnant and Teppei was born. watching how much resemblance Teppei shared to his grandfather, in and out, Daisuke’s suspicions grew stronger. he was sure Teppei was Keisuke’s son and also his half-brother
but even far before the event, Daisuke has developed a grunge against his own father, claiming Keisuke wanted to destroy him. that was why Daisuke could never managed to love Teppei

regarding to the explosion, Daisuke was brought to trial. but despite every single effort Teppei made, Daisuke walked away without any charges and Teppei’s factory would be left unbuilt

Teppei slipped into depression. he left home, also his son and wife, secluding himself in a cabin on top of a snowy mountain. there he wrote his last letter to his wife. the next day, Teppei shot himseld to death

the Manpyous were surprised. when Teppei’s death report came in hand to Daisuke, he then realize that Teppei was indeed his own son, not Keisuke’s
Yasuko burst in tears, screaming how sorry she was over Teppei’s cold body, while Daisuke was drifted in guilt and remorse

after the death of Teppei, changes finally happened in the Manpyous
Daisuke made an excuse to threw Aiko out from his house and away from his family, for good. Makiko, wife of Ginpei, came back to her husband’s side as support during upcoming rough times. and the biggest change were, Daisuke decided to re-open Teppei’s factory as a remembrance to his son

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i never thought i’m gonna cry watching the last episode, but i did. a lot, in fact. during the scene when Daisuke and Yasuko learnt about Teppei’s blood type, confirming he was indeed their son. Yasuko got histerical upon Teppei’s coffin before the other Manpyou ladies brought her away. then Daisuke bent over his dead son, devastated for what he has done to Teppei, and he whispered his words of regrets

actually, because the plot was quite complicated, plus economic and banking terms were thrown all around, while my Japanese wasn’t that good yet, i didn’t understand half of it! hahahaha…..

all characters in this dorama were incredibly strong, either the acting or the role itself, but didn’t overwhelmed each other, keeping Teppei as center of attention
the main soundtrack by Hattori Takayuki was beautiful and grandeur, while the song by The Eagles described how Teppei’s feelings perfectly

i would love to watch it once more, with subtitles to be precise….. ^__^

Cast:
Manpyou Daisuke, Teppei’s father -> Kitaooji Kinya
Manpyou Yasuko, Teppei’s mother -> Harada Mieko
Takasugi Aiko, Daisuke’s concubine -> Suzuki Kyoka
Manpyou Teppei, Manpyous’ first son -> Kimura Takuya (a.k.a. KimuTaku!! ^^)
Manpyou Sanae, Teppei’s wife -> Hasegawa Kyoko
Manpyou Ginpei, Manpyous’ second son -> Yamamoto Koji
Manpyou Makiko, Ginpei’s wife -> Yamada Yu
Mima Ichiko, Manpyous’ third child and first daughter -> Fukuishi Kazue
Mima Wataru, Ichiko’s husband -> Nakamura Tohru
Manpyou Tsugiko, Manpyous’ last child and second daughter-> Aibu Saki
Ichinose Yoshihiko, Tsugiko’s boyfriend and a friend of Teppei -> Narimiya Hiroki
Zenigata, Teppei’s business partner -> Nishimura Masahiko
Mikumo Shoichi, Teppei’s main capital source -> Yanagiba Toshiro

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (2005)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Other

i can’t decide which genre this movie was, so here goes

a fantastic action-fantasy-romance movie with breath-taking sceneries, excellent cinematography techniques, super cool action scenes, extravagant CG, and touching story

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

Director: Ten Shimoyama

Cast:

– Iga Clan of Tsubagakure:
Nakama Yukie as Oboro
Sawajiri Erika as Hotarubi
Shiina Kippei as Yakushiji Tenzen
Sakaguchi Tak as Yashamaru
Ito Shun as Mino Nenki

– Koga Clan of Manjidani
Odagiri Joe as Gennosuke
Kurotani Tomoka as Kagero
Koga Mitsuki as Chikuma Koshiro
Masu Takeshi as Muroga Hyouma
Kinoshita Houka as Kisaragi Saemon

duration: 107 minutes -> too short!!!!! =(

in a time between the Tokugawa Era, there were two ninja clans living hidden deep in the mountains. each clans owning extraordinary skills, were used before as tools of war, they opposed each other in any ways and meetings between the two were prohibited
but since Tokugawa Ieyasu ruled the land and all has been living in peace for some time, the two clans’ terrifying techniques grew to as a threat to the shogun. so, the shogun arranged a scheme, to make Iga and Koga choose their five strongest fighter and kill each other in a so-called battle

in the forest, Oboro came out to meet Gennosuke. they were lovers, although knowing it was forbidden. as Oboro said, they will only be united in their dreams
Oboro mentioned about the orders received. instead of backing away, Gennosuke asked Oboro to marry him and he handed a hair decoration owned by his late mother

back to their villages, a meeting was summoned and five warriors was chosen. Oboro and Gennosuke included, for they were heir of each clan’s leader
Oboro’s grandmother, told her after her excuse from the summon, that her heart was too gentle as a leader to-be. she had had to own a heart of lion, having mastering the deadliest techniques of Iga Clan. while Gennosuke sparked in anger as disagreement to his father’s decision. but they realized, growing up as shinobi, they were born to fight
the couple had a change of mind when Oboro’s grandmother and Gennosuke’s father died in a duel, but with one aim. they wanted to question Tokugawa’s intention of the battle

two groups went off from Iga and Koga villages. each time they bumped in course, blood was shattered. one by one members of each groups was killed
after leaving only four of them, Yakushiji sent Gennosuke a message to meet in an abandoned temple. accompanied left by Kagero, Gennosuke accepted the invitation
there Yakushiji revealed the true intentions of the shogun; destroying both Iga and Koga into extinction. as they speak, the shogun’s army was on their way to bombardier their villages at dawn
Gennosuke stared in shock, staggered away, trying to catch up with Oboro. while Yakushiji killed Kagero, then killed himself by kissing the dying poisonous lady. before going too far, Gennosuke was surrounded by ninjas bearing Tokugawa’s symbols. without hesitations, he killed them all and rush to Oboro

at dawn, on the sandy beach, Gennosuke finally met Oboro. trying hard not to cry, Oboro launched her attack against him. Gennosuke didn’t moved, letting himself pierced by Oboro’s short katana. in his dying breath, he said this was the only way, for only one person allowed to the shogun’s presence. and he wanted Oboro to take care of their villages
in Iga and Koga, villagers scattered in panic as they were attacked heavily without warning annd without leaders

Oboro at last arrived to Tokugawa’s palace. she was presented in front of the shogun. after reporting the lost of both sides, she pleaded the shogun to let Iga and Koga in peace. Tokugawa declined, saying both Iga and Koga possessed fearsome killing techniques, making them not normal human beings
to all astonishment, Oboro blinded herself as her answer, then announced now both Iga and Koga has no techniques to inherit, for Koga’s heir died and Iga’s heir blinded
Tokugawa sent an order to his army to retreat and leave both clans in peace

last scene
Oboro alone in her memorable spot with Gennosuke, wearing white costumes, blind, and smiling to the peaceful future

well, gotta admit the scene where Oboro had to kill Gennosuke and blinded herself in front of Tokugawa was touching
too bad this beautiful movie was too short. though the main conflict was quite explored, the relationship between Oboro and Gennosuke wasn’t exploited enough. luckily, chemistry between Nakama Yukie and Odagiri Joe was satisfying

conclusion, i like this movie ^__^

Nodame Cantabile (Japanese Dorama)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Comedy

SPOILER ALERT!!! ^____^

this time, i’m writing about a japanese dorama taken from a manga series. Nodame Cantabile, taken from the same titled manga series written by Tomoko Ninomiya, published by Kodansha
the dorama series are still running in NHK channel every monday 9PM, recently episode 7, on-aired this week
the manga series are still running too here in Japan, recently volume 16, released last October
while the recent Indonesian version is volume 15 (i think. nina, a little help here, please? hihihi)

the main characters are a goofy couple Momogaoka Music College who are absolutely different to each other; Chiaki Shinichi, 22yo, is a top senior genius pianist and violinist who had the ambition to be a conductor, a damn good cook, narcissist, perfectionist, and a hygiene-freak; while Noda Megumi (called as Nodame), 21yo, is a talented pianist sophomore who basically plays music by her keen instinct for she can’t read notes (hyahaha) and always depends on her hearing abilities, also cares less about her own hygiene and often steals others’ meal because she can’t cook at all!
while Nodame is crazy about him, Chiaki thinks she’ driving him crazy! kikikikikik….

it all begins after Chiaki being dumped by his ex because of his flying phobia restraining his dream becoming a conductor out than japan. he dropped drunk in front of Nodame’s door and Nodame thinks its fate for her ‘collecting’ Chiaki there (gyahahaha) XD
since then, Chiaki’s life quite changed effected by the girl he despise most Nodame who had keen instinct in music never plays the piano seriously because she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and that reality bothers Chiaki’s perfectionist nature. Nodame’s affections towards him also annoys him a lot, especially how Nodame always considers herself special to Chiaki (wakakakakak)
but from Nodame too Chiaki recalled the fun of playing music and the importance of enjoying it

the arrival of a unique (or should i say, wierd? hihihi) superstar conductor from Germany, Stresemann, to their college made this two crazy young people had a turn of course in life
Chiaki starts to think more seriously on pursuing his dream becoming an international conductor. because of that, Nodame realized if she keeps on taking piano lessons unseriously, she would never be able to stay on Chiaki’s side

little does Chiaki knows he will be drawn closer by his interest towards Nodame and soon fall for her as well ^__^
Chiaki whose quite introvert, slowly begins to open up to others and starts showing lots of expressions because of Nodame. there are even some expression i could never imagine Chiaki is able to besides than when he’s around Nodame XD
funny how in the beginning Chiaki despise Nodame so much, but in the end he cares a lot more than he think. he knows exactly Nodame’s piano style, he can even notice from a distant. he worries about Nodame having food to eat or got stranded on the street starving, then ended up cooking for her everyday. he cleans Nodame’s room and Nodame herself. he’s also concern about Nodame’s piano lessons, so concerned he gave tips to Nodame’s teacher about how to lure her into studying! wuakakakakak
the bottom line is, the perfectionist and super Chiaki became a normal young man around her

the last time i read, Nodame continues studying piano in Paris along with Chiaki, while Chiaki who won a concour (spell check, please =p), starts a world tour as Stresemann’s disciple conductor
and the love scene between these two knuckleheads develops in slow but sure paths. at last, Chiaki realized he’s not only interested on Nodame’ talent alone…… hihihihi….. he even made the first moves! kikikikikik…..

to tell the truth, i won’t categorize the mangaka’s drawing style as beautiful, but because it differs from others, i think the style is quite interesting ^^

while for the dorama…..
Tamaki Hiroshi as Chiaki Shunichi. perfect cast, i think! he can represent the arrogance of Chiaki perfectly!! also several of Chiaki’s wierd faces! gyahahahaha
Ueno Juri as Nodame. some say she’s too cute or too pretty to be Nodame. but i think she’s good too! if Nodame’s cast is too ugly, she won’t match to Tamaki at all!! ^^; Ueno can also describe the filthy yet the energy of Nodame. hihihihi……
Takenaka Naoto as Stresemann….. i despise also admired him!! wakakakak……
chemistry between Tamaki and Ueno is quite cute, too…… ^^

one other reason i like this dorama is, they didn’t completely deleted the comical signatures from the original manga; such as Nodame’s screamings ‘gyabooo’ and ‘mukyaaa’, or Chiaki’s funny expression (gyahahahaha), or the way Chiaki hits Nodame and threw her away (wuakakakakakak)
maybe it may looks a bit slapstick, but i love it!!! XD

H2 (dorama Jepang)

Rating: ★★★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Sports

Posted in dramajepangindo@yahoogroups.com, November 10, 2005

hueeeeeeeeeeeeeee
gw dapet H2 dari temen Willys dan gw SUKAAAAAAAAAAAA banget dorama ini!!! ^____^
nah, gw mo nge-review dgn 2 sudut pandang; dorama dan manga. review versi gw. kekekekekek….

dorama ini berkisah ttg 4 anak yg baru lulus dr smp seinan: hiro kunimi yg ace pitcher, hikari amamiya, hideo tachibana yg batter berbakat, n atsushi noda yg jd cather satu2nya yg bisa nangkep bola hiro dgn bener. hideo nerusin ke sma meiwa ichi yg tim baseball-nya kuat. pacarnya, hikari, jg msk meiwa. smntr hiro n akkun (panggilan sayang utk atsushi dr yayangnya. kekekekek ^^) msk sma senkawa yg gak ada tim baseball krn mrk menghindari baseball stlh didiagnosa bakal cacat permanen kalo terus main. di senkawa, hiro yg awalnya join klub sepakbola, ketemu ama haruka koga yg jd manajer klub baseball gak resmi. krn jengkel ama klub bola, akhirnya hiro n akkun hijrah msk tim baseball n lsg di-puja2 ama temen2 tim krn mrk semua sebenernya dodol! >_<

hiro terkesan banget ama kegigihan haruka memperjuangkan spy klub mrk jd resmi sampe ngurusin, nyemangatin, n ngikut ke mana mrk pegi tanding. tanpa dia sadar, sebenernya hiro udah dr pertama hatinya dicuri ama haruka. tp hiro tetep aja matanya nyangkut ke hikari, temen masa kecilnya jg hatsukoi-nya (hatsukoi: first love ^^). ada skdt penyesalan dlm hiro krn ngenalin hideo ke hikari wkt mrk kls 1 smp.
stlh perjuangan panjang-lebar slm 2 thn, akhirnya tim senkawa berhasil menuhin mimpi mrk berlaga di koshien (lapangan baseball paling bersejarah di jepang. dewanya lapangan baseball sejepang. huehehehehe) dan berhadapan sama meiwa; hiro sbg pitcher n hideo sbg clear hitter (batter ke-4 yg mukul homerun n nyetak max 4 angka)

spt yg gw blg tadi, sebenernya hiro udah dr pertama hatinya dicuri ama haruka. hiro perhatian banget ama cewek dodol ini, bikin sirik kine yg ngincer haruka. kekekekekek…. pokoknya, kejadian2 kecil ant hiro n haruka sebetulnya romantis banget (at least, mnrt gw…. ^^)
haruka ambruk krn demam wkt kencan perdana ama hiro n akhirnya digendong plg ama hiro. haruka anter-jemput hiro utk check up wkt kakinya cedera. hiro ngerelain diri jd ‘pelatih spesial’ haruka utk pitching. haruka ttp blg ‘gambare. makeruna!’ walau dia bakal rugi kalo hiro menang.
masalahnya, hiro-nya bebal… (kadang pengen jg gw gampar kepalanya =p)

gw ngikutin manga-nya dan H2 yg jd lsh 1 masterpiece Adachi-sensei (Adachi Mitsuru, pengarang H2). emang kueren abiez!!! X)
first, tolong dicatat. manganya bergenre komedi, doramanya lebih kental dramanya. jadi, buat temen2 yg udah baca n blm nonton, ato udah nonton n blm baca, kerasa banget deh perbedaan atmosfirnya.
tp hebatnya, doramanya tetep kental feel adachi-sensei…. ^^; banyak adegan2 mungkin yg agak gak lazim n tergolong agak sepi dialog ato dialog pendek2. emang di situ istimewa n ciri khas adachi-sensei… m(-_-)m hiro ama haruka latihan throw n catch diambil dr jauh, jd mrk cuma keliatan siluetnya dgn background langit sore oranye yg berawan. ato pemandangan langit biru dgn awan2 trus ada suara semi (serangga musim panas yg bunyinya khas, tonggeret) ato ada suara bola dipukul. ck ck ck… salut juga nih buat sutradaranya. pokoknya adachi-sensei banget deh…..
spt lazimnya manga yg diangkat jd dorama, ada perubahan2 di jalur cerita. di H2 jg ada. tp gak ganggu. benang merah yg digores adachi-sensei masi tebel banget. sbg penggemar adachi-sensei, gw gak nyesel nonton doramanya. ^^
ada 1 lg catatan yg agak menggelikan. ada bbrp adegan yg menyorot dua org; 1 pake baju ijo/biru dgn huruf A gede di tengah & org pake baju setelan. bola homerun pertama akkun yg nyasar kena kepala org, di warung okonomiyaki tmpt hiro mn haruka mkn, ruang mkn wkt akkun ama yayang hmpr ciuman… kayaknya, org pertama itu ceritanya si adachi-sensei n org yg sering dia pukulin itu mungkin ceritanya asistennya. di manga juga ada cameo kayak gitu. wakakakakakak…. X)

nah, ada bbrp alasan gw suka banget ama H2 dorama:
1. ceritanya ttg baseball (obsesi terpendam nih. pengen jadi pemain baseball tp apa daya gw cewek… T__T). adachi-sensei emang paling jago deh bikin manga ttg baseball. m(-_-)m
2. cast-nya lucu2….. apalagi yg 4 tokoh utamanya…. ^_____^
a. takayuki yamada cute banget!!! ^^ selama ini, gw gak prnh tertarik ama aktor muda, baik lokal, asia, ato barat. biasanya gw suka yg tua2 kayak andy lau, hiroshi abe, bruce willis (kata ade gw, gw penggemar om2 =p). minimal yg sebaya, macem F4 gitu. tp yamada hebat banget mengintepretasikan hiro! hiro kunimi yg dia bawain itu agak mungil, cuek, tukang ngelamun, pecicilan, suka liat cewek2 pake baju vulgar (hiro sering ngerampokin gambar cewek pake bikini dr majalah2 yg dijual keluarga amamiya! wakakakakakak) tp agak gak pede begitu dideketin n diajak ngomong ama cewek, dan kueren buanget waktu nge-pitch…. hueh…. setiap nge-pitch, aitsu hoooooonto ni sexy to omotte!! napas gw ampe berenti! belum lagi senyum malu2 ala hiro yg mnrt gw lady killer abis! hueeeeeeeee *nanatmatimenggelepar*
b. satomi ishihara yg cantik ini mukanya bulet dan badannya agak gempal dgn kaki khas cewek jepang yg O. bibir tebelnya kecil, bikin makin lucu kalo lg ekspresi bego ato ngambek. dia main sbg haruka koga yg dodol, super ceroboh, lola (loading-nya lama alias telmi), suka ngoceh panjang-lebar gak jelas juntrungannya, dan punya keseimbangan tubuh yg kelaut ajah (sering jatoh ato nabrak tanpa sebab, makin parah kalo lg grogi), tp selalu full semangat n full senyum. dan dia telaten buanget ngeladenin hiro (hiro jg kudu tabah banget punya cewek tkg gedubrak gitu. huehuehuehue). salut gw kalo ada cewek serajib itu… ^^; well, emang seagresif haruka di manga sih, tp ngewakilin haruka banget akting nih cewek! >_<
c. yui ichikawa pegang peran jd hikari amamiya. badannya cungkring. cantiknya beda ama ishihara (haruka). hikari ama haruka bueda buanget 180 derajat!! haruka ceroboh, selalu me-ledak2, n cengengesan. hikari dewasa, tenang, n matang, hikari pacaran ama hideo santai2 banget, haruka seakan selalu ngejar ekornya hiro. hikari sabar n ngerti banget siapa hiro (sebenernya haruka juga bisa ngertiin hiro, tp dlm cara yg beda banget ama hikari). hikari cuek ama apa kata org, haruka selalu mikirin perasaan org lain. hikari susah utk terus-terang, haruka blak2an banget. gw terkesan banget deh ama cewek satu ini…. walau gw lbh suka sama ishihara 😉
d. koutaro tanaka bawain hideo tachibana. di manga, hideo badannya penuh berotot, mukanya agak kereng (agak keras, getuh), n agak mahal senyum krn orgnya serius banget n lurus banget. tp gak papa. gw puas banget liat ekspresi jail hideo wkt dia manas2in kine (ryutaro kine -> yuma ishigaki). wakakakakak X)
e. akiyoshi nakao yg jadi atsushi noda alias akkun. akkun dorama kurus-ceking, smntr di manga gendut buanget. sama2 pake kacamata n sok paling ganteng-paling seksi sejagat. wakakakakak!! di manga, porsi tampilnya lumayan banyak krn dia di-sbt2 sbg istrinya hiro dlm baseball. katanya di manga, kalo hiro sang suami yg pitcher lg gak bisa cari nafkah, akkun sang istri yg nyari lewat pukulan2 homerun-nya…. kueren juga lho….. dia selalu setia nemenin hiro selama di senkawa. dia juga yg selalu ngingetin hiro kalo hikari itu udah punya orang… kadang2 hiro suka lupa kalo hikari dah ada yg punya… ^^; dia juga yg mukul hiro keras2 stlh hiro keukeuh gak mau minta maap ke haruka (mukulnya kayaknya enak banget, main ‘pakk’ gitu. *geleng2kepala*) tp di dorama dia kurang ditonjolin… gak kecewa sih, cuma sayang aja….

naaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh…. demikianlah review pertamaku….. fuuuhh….. >_<
mudahan bisa ngeracunin temen2 yg blm nonton utk nonton juga ngeracunin temen2 yg dah nonton ato belum utk baca manga-nya…. beda point of view gitu deh. kalo di manga dr sdt pandang adachi-sensei, di dorama dr sdt pandang haruka.
seru deh! gak nyesel!
disaranin sih nyari yg sub inggris sih, krn di sub inggris, ada keterangan2 ttg terms baseball……. ^______^

btw, h2 udah gw tonton 5 kali dlm periode 10 hr. dr hr senin, dah 2 kali. bela2in tidur subuh pdhl paginya kudu kerja…. =p
trus, skrg gw lg nonton yasha. br ampe eps 5. ntar kalo dah kelar nontonnya, gw baca manga-nya lagi dulu, br kalo bole gw bikin review perbandingan dgn manga kayak H2 ini. ^______^

ja, neeee!!!

SPOILER!!!
cara hiro nembak haruka lucu banget!! cute n khas hiro! kira2 adegan, dialog, n terjemahahannya gini nih:

haruka: mau hikari ato cewek lain yg kunimi sukain, perasaanku gak berubah, perasaan sukaku sama kunimi
[hening. lumayan lama]
hiro: onaji (sama)
haruka: eh?
[hiro nelen ludah grogi]
hiro: ore mo (aku juga)
[hening lagi]
haruka: ore mo??
[hiro makin salting]
hiro: koga no koto…… (ttg koga)
[hening lagi]
hiro: suki da yo (aku suka)
then, mrk bedua liat2an tnp ngomong. hiro gandeng tangannya haruka, trus mrk pegi.

duh……. mati deh gw….. (maafkan selera romantismeku yg mnrt org lain ngaco ini….. >_<)

dan gw jg suka banget adegan penutupnya. clue-nya:
– hiro pengen main di major league tp takut mo naik pesawat krn dia fobia tinggi
– haruka punya cita2 jd FA atawa flight attendant alias pramugari spy bisa nyari pemain baseball pro n jd istrinya (cita2nya emang dodol banget)

[ada cowok lg duduk dlm pesawat. cuma keliatan siluetnya krn dia ddk deket jendela. bangku sblhnya kosong. kayaknya tidur n dia lepas sepatu. tiba2 krn ada turbulence, pesawat tergoncang lmyn keras sekali. cowok ini lsg terlonjak kaget dan pengangan ke bangkunya erat2. datang di FA-nya smbl bawa gelas isi air dgn es batu. dia taro gelasnya dlm tangan cowok itu, trus ditepuk lembut 2 kali. sekilas dikasi liat name tag-nya: h. koga.]
FA: tuan mau ke mana?
[si cowok senyum, udah tenang]
cowok: mau ke major league

uehhhhhhh…… lutunaaaaaaaaa….. ^________^