Yurukyan ゆるキャン△ Dorama

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO500
“Yurukyan” Cedar Park, 2019

We’ve been enjoying the live-action version of Yurukyan ゆるキャン△ which is airing now. I’ve read the manga and watched the anime, so it’s fun to see how the live-action version stacks up. It’s pretty much the exact same story, which is a good thing because the manga is so fun. I enjoy seeing all the cool おしゃれ camping gear too!

Legend of Hua Mulan 花木兰传奇 Chinese TV Drama

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/50 sec, ISO800
“Hua Mulan” Cedar Park, 2019

I started watching the 2013 Chinese drama Legend of Hua Mulan 花木兰传奇 in anticipation of the Disney live-action movie, and I am enjoying it so far. There are 48 episodes, so it’s a long-haul of a historical drama, but it’s fun and the costumes are really cool. I don’t think they are historically too accurate (the make-up is very modern) but I think they look great. And I am getting a lot of ideas for sketches too, so that’s a big bonus!

Thai-style Chicken and Natsuzora なつぞら

"Thai-style Chicken" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Thai-style Chicken” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I just wanted to share a photo of another yummy dinner Mariko made for us tonight. It’s a chicken dish with Thai basil and peppers. It didn’t have too much heat but was very flavorful. And then the egg just put it over the top! ❤

In other news, the new asadora has started. Natsuzora なつぞら looks pretty interesting! The main character will eventually become interested in art and animation, so I am looking forward to that part. In fact, the opening title sequence is an old ’70s style animation. Very cool! And I am a fan of Suzu Hirose 広瀬すず who plays the main character Natsu, so that is another plus. 😀 I thought she was great in Anone あのね.

FYI, we subscribe to TV Japan and every morning I turn it on while I make coffee and breakfast. During that time the asadora (morning drama) is shown, so I pretty much see every episode, except during the kids’ Spring Break, when our schedule changes. I don’t understand all the dialog, but as my Japanese study progresses, I find myself understanding more and more, which is really cool!

I hope you had a good day.


Watch List

"Segodon" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Segodon” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This year I’ve started having a lot more “screentime” due to the fact that I have a Moviepass (which is awesome!), but I am also trying to watch more dorama, anime, and other Japanese TV. Actually, almost all the tv I watch is on TV Japan since I am a Japanophile, and I love some of the documentary and travel programs.

Anyways, here’s what on my watch list at the moment:

  • Segodon (Taiga) – Really good historical drama. I like most of the actors in it, plus my celebrity crush Kitagawa Keiko has a part.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Live action) – Silly fun and cute girls (and Kitagawa Keiko as Sailor Mars!)
  • Your Lie in April (Anime) – Liked the movie so why not? I also enjoy watching anime to see how the characters are drawn.
  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Anime) – The story of the MMO junkie from a female point-of-view is interesting and over-the-top. She’s so kawaisou (pitiful) it’s funny.
  • Quartet (Dorama) – This one is by the writer of Anone, but the characters aren’t very interesting to me. A little too slow so far but I’m sure it will get better.

That’s it!

I hope you had a nice Monday. ☺


Anone あのね (2018) – Dorama Review

I just finished up watching the Japanese drama Anone あのね (2018). The 10-episode series was excellent! It’s one of those doramas that I could watch all the way through in one sitting if I had the time. However, I did watch in three sittings, so that was maybe the equivalent of three long movies? I don’t know, but it was so good that I kept wanting more. If only I didn’t have to get up early in the mornings. 😀


Anone is a slow-paced and contemplative story, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot going on. On the contrary, there are plenty of plot twists and revelations. You realize early on that each character has a lot of baggage, but they all have goodness in their hearts, some more open about it than others. And that’s part of what kept me interested. What will we learn next about this character’s past, and how does it affect the decisions that drive the plot?

Speaking of plot, there’s one main thread involving counterfeit money, and while that is interesting, I found myself most wanting to know how characters’ interpersonal relationships would unfold. The relationship between Harika and Hikoboshi-kun was the primary romance and had the highest emotional weight. However, a close second was the relationship between Aoba-san and Mochimoto. I liked this relationship because it involved two middle-aged characters who enter their relationship knowing it will be short-lived. So, it was great to see the two romance plotlines, one involving young adults, and one with older adults, develop in tandem.

But wow, episode 9 was super-emotional. The hospital scene where Harika rejects Hikoboshi was so incredibly sad. Harika lying to Hikoboshi with her voice, while denying her lies by shaking her head was an amazing bit of storytelling. One of my favorites scenes ever.

Also in episode 9, the relationship between Aoba and Mochimoto reaches its resolution in another emotional scene. But this one is handled in a more mature and practical way owing to the fact that the characters have more years and experience behind them. It was special in its own way.

Both scenes were based on self-sacrifice, but whereas the hospital scene was filled with youthful innocence and idealism, the scene with Aoba and Mochimoto was one of practicality. Both were amazing to watch and I am feeling emotional again just thinking about them. 😭

From this review so far, you might think this is a dark and sad tale, but there are a lot of funny scenes as well. I found myself laughing out lot several times. Aoba and Mochimoto’s interactions from the very first scene were clever and silly.

Speaking of that opening scene, I was wondering why it involved characters that I thought (from previews) weren’t going to be important. But they were charming and engaging and I was happy that they stayed an integral part of the show. When their story quickly took a turn towards the criminal, I was disappointed. However, that didn’t last long since you could tell that they were honest people who just got dealt a bad hand.

And so it was with most of the other characters as well. Good hearts put in bad situations, through no fault of their own.

I have to mention the “ghost” element of the story. At first, when the ghost appeared, I was afraid that Anone あのね had “jumped the shark”. Thankfully, that element became plausible, interesting, and added a ton of depth to Aoba’s character. It’s amazing how screenwriter Sakamoto Yuji could add so much color to these characters in only 10 episodes. I feel like even the Asadoras, which last half a year, don’t do that very often.

Of course, such interesting characters can lose their impact if the actors portraying them aren’t believable. I’m happy that Anone’s cast was great. I admit my Nihongo is basic at best, but I felt that there was a high level of realism each actor brought to their characters. Hirose Suzu 広瀬 すず was fun to watch, and she had the most emotional scene as I mentioned before. I’ve only seen the 19-year-old actress in Anone あのね and Umimachi Diary, but she’s really good!

The other veteran actors were solid as expected, especially Kobayashi Satomi 小林 聡美 (Aoba) and Tanaka Yūko 田中 裕子 (Anone). I never once thought that the characters were unbelievable or unrealistic.

Last, but definitely not least, is the soundtrack. It’s wonderful. The theme song is intimate and moody, and reminiscent of the best tunes from the Legend of Zelda. There are a bunch of other great songs from the drama as well, I think it would be a great soundtrack to add to your collection.

🎶 Main Theme • 🎶 Blue Sky Blue

I hope you get a chance to watch Anone あのね. It is one of my favorite doramas. I think you’ll enjoy it too!