One thing I love about the new asadora ひよっこ is the opening sequence. Along with the 60’s-style pop song, there are really cool miniature toys and scenery with the feeling of the era. But the really neat thing is, the scenery is made up of everyday objects from the 60’s. For instance, the people watching the olympic torch sit on typewriters instead of bleachers, there is a person fishing over a waterfall that is actually a washing machine, and so on. When I first saw the opening, I thought that it reminded me of one of my favorite Instagrammers, Tanaka Tatsuya… I wondered, did NHK get the idea from him? Well, according to his Instagram page, Tanaka is the creator of the opening sequence! How cool is that?!
こんばんは。Ugh… Mondays! I woke up feeling not-so-great and decided to work from home, which was great because I could keep the room dark (easy on my eyes) and the temperature warm (the office is always so cold). And I got a ton of work done! By the end of the day, I was feeling a lot better, and I’ll get some good rest tonight and hopefully be 100% tomorrow. I’m planning on sleeping as soundly as the cat in the photo above. 🐱
This evening I finally finished the final two episodes of Tokyo Tarareba Musume (東京タラレバ娘). I was pretty disappointed with how the story went, or rather I should say that the story seemed to just go around in circles. People breaking up, getting back together, breaking up… over and over. It seemed like it would never end! I really enjoyed the first few episodes, but man, it went downhill in the last few episodes. 😞
In other dorama news, the new asadora Hiyokko (ひよっこ) is in its second or third week, and I just finished watching week 1. It seems like it will be pretty good! I like all the actors in it so far, and the setting of the story is really interesting: Tokyo in the 1960s. Actually, it is split (so far) between the Japanese countryside in Ibaraki prefecture and the capital, but that time period is really fun. I think the fashion of the time was pretty cool. We’ll see how the story progresses, but as you might know, asadoras last for half a year, so it’s a long haul. 😅
Okay, it’s now time to sleep. Have a good Tuesday. (I am planning on having a great one!)
It’s been a while since Yoshitaka Yuriko has been on tv, but finally she’s back starring as Rinko Kamata in Tokyo Tareraba Musume (東京タラレバ娘). It’s a fun romantic comedy about three 30-year-old unmarried women and their relationship adventures. The story is just so-so, nothing new (so far), but the acting is good and there are some really funny scenes, where the character’s emotions are visualized with CGI effects, such as lightning coming down from the sky to vaporize the person who pissed Rinko off, or Rinko being shot with an arrow when she gets back-stabbed by a co-worker. The timing is great, and Yoshitaka Yuriko’s expressions are perfect.
As of episode 4, it’s a must-watch for me, but of course I tend to like these not-too-deep doramas. I love Japan so much, and I especially enjoy the scenes of the city. The izakaya that many of the scenes takes place in looks so great. My favorite type of restaurant/bar!
Please take a look at the teaser for the show below:
And lastly, I love the ending theme song by Perfume. It’s great! Enjoy:
First off, I enjoyed it quite a bit! It’s got a sort of “underdog guy gets the pretty girl” thing going on like Densha Otoko, but it’s a little more nuanced in that the woman, Mikuri, played by Aragaki Yui, has her own flaws. The plot is basically that the two main characters enter into a contract marriage out of convenience, but over time they develop feelings for each other. It’s a predictable story, with the inevitable break-up and reuniting, but it’s fun nonetheless.
There were some really funny off-the-wall parts, with parodies and references to other shows and celebrities. My favorite was when the couple were traveling by train to a ryokan and she does a mini-parody of a JR ad. It was pretty clever. Also, the supporting characters are funny and do a good job keeping the plot interesting. I think the final few episodes dragged on a little too much, but still, it wasn’t too long.
Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu also had a really popular theme song, sung by Hoshino Gen, who played one of the main characters. At the end of each episode, the cast dances to the song, and it became a mini-sensation in itself. Even the US Embassy in Tokyo did their own version! If you watched the 2016 Uta Gassen, you saw Hoshino Gen performing the song.
If you have the chance to watch Nigeru was Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu, I recommend it! Aragaki Yui and Hoshino Gen are great in it. It probably won’t win any awards, but it’s a fun show!
My second dorama to watch this year is Cold Case (コールドケース) which is the Japanese version of the US crime/detective show. It’s a 10-part series, centered around a group of detectives who take up unsolved cases from years ago. I enjoyed each episode because the plots were so varied, and there’s a ton of nostalgia too because some of the episodes flash back to the 80’s and 90’s and occasionally play pop songs from the era. なつかしい！. But, there’s also an episode in which the crime happened in the 50’s, and then an overarching story which takes place in the present. So there’s a ton of opportunity for the stories to go in many directions.
One of the things I really liked about コールドケース was the casting. Yoshida Yo (吉田羊) in the starring role did a great job, and the other detectives were strong and believable, each with their own mysterious pasts. None of them were explored deeply except for Yoshida’s character, but I’m hoping for another season so we can find out more!
If you like serious crime/detective shows, I highly recommend コールドケース. There’s no comedy or lighthearted moments, so if you are looking for hijinks you will be disappointed. But if you want good acting, believable characters, and a clever plot, give it a watch!
Lastly, check out the Instagram feed for the show to see photos of the cast which includes many guest actors. It’s fun to see them enjoying behind-the-scenes moments which is a huge contrast to the serious plots!