Beautiful life [ビューティフルライフ] Rating: 6/10 (Bought & Watched) Why such a low score? Interesting questions. OK Kimura is fabulous in this. He looks pretty bad I must say and I'm not a huge fan of the whole "stylish" character but he is extremely genuine, honest, sincere and kind in this jdorama. Completely convincing - you just have to love Shuji because he's such a great guy. It's to Kimura's credit that even though he doesn't look his best in this (looks tired, skin is bad - looks very luckluster) that you just love Shuji anyway.
I think the problem is, while I did like Kyoko as a character - there was very little chemistry between Kyoko and Shuji. Partly because 常盤貴子 persists in playing Kyoko with an almost witless wide-eyed-ness which is a bit weird..... that being said, there are some wonderful moments - moving the wheelchair with the feet, Shuji's declarations... discussions with the brother etc.
The drama is very uneven. There are moments which it really drags, and then other moments when it's very interesting. Towards the end, it is (as you know) extremely sad) and Kimura is excellent. The famous final scene is just as wonderful and reassuring as I was led to believe and the feeling of healing and love you receive is extremely wonderful. I still watch bits of this drama again, I just wish the chemistry was better and that 常盤貴子 didn't always play Kyoko in such a spoilt / bratty fashion ..... Yes yes, I know her life was difficult, but Shuji was sooooooo loving and understanding .... sometimes Kyoko was just so annoying to him :)
Chuushingura 1/47 [忠臣蔵 １／４７] Rating: 8/10 (Bought & Watched) Admittedly I struggled a lot with this one as I had to decipher Chinese subtitles on a fairly low quality VCD but the acting is good and Kimura is surprisingly convincing (and cute!) in historical garb. Weird anachronistic use of a song at the end but what the hey......
Golden Bowl [ゴールデンボウル] Rating: 7/10 (Bought & Watched) OK I never though I'd like a show about bowling, but Takeshi Kaneshiro can make even something this daggy look good. Very cute and light-hearted - my first jdorama!
Good Luck !! [グッドラック！！] Rating: 10/10 (Bought & Watched) What can I say, I have watched this drama about a squillion times! Put a website upon in its honour: http://www.gel.com.au/koala/goodluck/intro.htm and obsessed about it for hours. This is the jdorama that made me like Takuya Kimura and I think it's a wonderful ensemble performance with humour, drama and just the right touch of chemistry and romance. Although of course I love Long Vacation and Love Generation, but it's quite nice to have a drama where love is not the main theme but is a wonderful wide story. I also love having a drama where all of the actors and cast members are fabulous.......
Hero Rating: 8/10 (Bought & Watched) Loved it. Very different from what I expected and I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed by the lack of realised romance between the leads but this was a legal drama and a character piece, not a throbbing romance so in the end, I think I'm fine with that. There are enough suggestions as to what will happen with K & A :)
Long vacation [ロングバケーション] Rating: 9/10 (Bought & Watched) Very touching. The first time I watched it, I was disappointed. This could have been due to the hype or it could have been due to the fact that I started 9pm on a Friday night and finished watching approx 6am or so on the Sat morning after turning down invites from friends...... perhaps too tired to enjoy. On a second watch, I loved it. I loved the acting, the piano, Minami, Sena .... it was all just so sweet and touching.
Love generation [ラブジェネレーション] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) A friend said I wouldn't like this as the on again off again romance is very tedious, but to be honest, Riko and Teppei are such a sweet and lovable couple, that you can't get mad at them for having so many difficulties. I particularly felt for Riko - after having seen the actress in LV and Hero, I really hadn't expected that she could be so touchingly vulnerable and heart-on-sleevish in her acting. She was really wonderful and there are some very touching moments in this jdorama. The only bad things are - big big thumbs down to Teppei's Annoyingly Tedious Ex Girlfriend. I KNOW every single jdorama (except the fabulous Good Luck ;) seems to need to have a Previous Love for which One of the Main Characters has not recovered, but this girl was particularly tedious. Why didn't she just move in with Teppei instead of parking herself outside his apartment everytime she had a problem - which was all the time :) Anyway, great jdorama - highly recommended.
Pride [プライド] Rating: 5/10 (Bought & Watched) Gah, better read my thoughts here:
Kimura's good, the hockey is good, it's a good-looking drama but what a hollow shell.....