Drama grab-bag – the jdrama edition

I’m rewatching Gift. 😉 Been wanting to for ages and today a quick trip down memory lane just prompted me to pick it up again. I’d almost forgotten how much fun it was. I’ve watched eps 1-2 now and there were times I was litterally howling with laughter. Ah, and the theme song… ‘Tokyo Joe’ by Bryan Ferry. I love the insert sequency with the errant package. LOL! It’s SO strange. Like parts of the drama, though it’s nowhere near Keizoku level of strange, ha. The vid quality is crap but that’s to be expected of a drama made in 1997. Gift has a very young and very pretty KimuTaku. I don’t think he’s ever been this lumniously pretty since. I swear, the guy is almost ethereal in some scenes. XD He is actyally pretty darned good in this one! His comic timing is almost perfect but he manages to be very convoncing in the more serious bits too. Yup, there was a time KimuTaku actually made dramas that were worth watching and mostly good. Some are even very good indeed.
I’m thinking about dropping Ouroboros. I never had any expectations as I don’t know the manga it’s based on but I did hope it’d be more…. well, more interesting? Unconventional? But, I’m not really feeling it. So, not another Border. Which, by the way is very good. One of the best I’ve seen in a while. I hated the ending but that was honestly the only way it could end. LOL! I’m still finding it hard to believe they dared to go there. Really! I knew pretty much early on where we were heading. The drama is called ‘Border’ after all; not just the border of the living and the dead but one between right and wrong. Hope there’ll be S2.

So, with nothing current on my plate I decided to pick up one from my jdrama backlog. One that I’d already started watching but forgot when something more shiny came along. I wouldn’t say Starman is ‘the best thing evah’ but I quite enjoyed it. It’s ever so slightly off-kilter in that special jdrama way that just can’t be re-produced or copied. Which I love. It’s heart warming, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny and gave me the warm fuzzies. And it makes no effort to hide that this is exactly what it’s supposed to do. It aims to make you care. Of course it’s nowhere near as good as those wonderful feel-good dramas of yonder years it tries to emulate. Close but no cigar.

In the past few years I’ve actually watched several somewhat similar dramas in tone. Tonbi, Tokyo Bandwagon, Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de, Shima no Sensei, Arifureta Kiseki, Nemureru Mori no Jukujo and even an older one from 2002; Yume no California. What I like about them is that there are no truly evil people, just erring humans who sometimes do bad stuff. They are also thankfully devoid of the makjangy elements most kdramas are pickled in. The characters are more relateble and truer to life. There is often a tightknit community, loving families, circles of good friends. People truly wanting the best for others. But presented in that peculiarly engaging, quirky jdrama way. 🙂 Naive? Yes, but a welcome relief from all the backstabbing and betrayal that goes on e.g. in kdramas. It’s a pity jdramas have stagnated to the never ending stream of crime procedurals and idol infested youth dramas. Most of which don’t amount to much. There used to be more variety.

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