Archive for the 'jdrama' Category

Not Even Phonetic

Horrible!  I cringe, sensibilities offended, every time I hear Andou Yuuko’s rendition of Aloha ‘Oe.  I have no idea what went wrong, but she’s pronouncing it “aloha o-wee” instead of “aloha oy“.  It’s not like the “oy” sound doesn’t exist in Nihongo (“oi”), and I hope it’s not like she never heard the song performed in its native ‘olelo Hawai’i previous to doing her recording.  I could almost imagine the producer or whoever did the lyric translation saying, “sing it o-wee… why? Because I said so,” like how native English speakers who do bit parts on Japanese movies have to read the script verbatim no matter how gramatically wrong the lines are.  We can’t really blame her though, until Americans learn to say “Tokyo” with less than three syllables.  I think this is a theme song for a current movie or drama…


2013 63rd Annual NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen

Here we go for another music extravaganza from Japan.  With the declining economy, the presentation has been getting progressively sparser, but hopefully the talent will shine and carry the day.  We’re doing this live, so bear with the typos and frequent updates!  Ikimassho! Continue reading ‘2013 63rd Annual NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen’

Karate Girl – Yes the head minion is gaijin

Ugh, Crunchy Roll just started streaming this movie featuring karate cutie Rina Takeda. I’ve seen two other films featuring her, the recently reviewed Dead Sushi, and the one that brought her to attention, High Kick Girl. High Kick Girl suffered from many problems, the worst of which was the gratuitous monstrous overuse of slo-mo playbacks. Karate Girl suffers from as many problems, the only one not is overusing slo-mo. The worst offense is the story is plodding, totally unimaginative, played out. All the characters are shallow and uninteresting. Continue reading ‘Karate Girl – Yes the head minion is gaijin’

Dead Sushi

Went to go watch the HIFF screening of this latest from director Noboru Iguchi. Here on our shores, he’s probably best known for Machine Girl which got fairly wide exposure, in addition to the usual film festival screenings it also got a US DVD release. His other works that I’ve seen are Mutant Girl Squad, Sukeban Boy, and he directed some of the eps of the Dogou Girl series. If none of these ring a bell, then you probably are not part of the demographic of those who enjoy these types of films. Were talking B (is it even that high?) grade Japanese gratutious splatter, nudity, prothstetic makeup, low budget effects, violence movies. Continue reading ‘Dead Sushi’


Fighting schoolgirl in uniform, how can you go wrong? You figure with the decades that Japan has been producing them they’d have it down pat. Well, I’m sad to say that what is being titled as Mutant Girls Squad and screened at HIFF, it is not true. I thought the original Japanese title, roughly literally translated “Girl Warrior, Legend of the Bloody Iron Mask” was more cool, but perhaps this English title matches this movie better. It had the elements, not one, but three cute fighting girls, blood spatter fountains and guts, weapons sprouting from all manner of body parts, cheesy effects, and yet it didn’t come together. I found it very uneven, jerky pacing, abrupt editing which was intentional, humor often feeling too forced. Perhaps it having three directors had something to do with this. The movie makes obvious reference to others, the iron mask bit and line of dialogue lifted straight from Sukeban Deka, and other pop culture references, some which I got, which gets a chuckle when you get it, but not much more. Continue reading ‘Mutant’

Cutey/ie Honey The Live

Through the wonders of the Net, I’ve been able to watch the first episode of the live action TV series just days after it aired in Japan. I’m not quite sure what to think yet. I don’t think Hideaki Anno had anything to do with this incarnation, I believe its directed by a dude responsible for a bunch of current modern tokusatsu Kamen Rider shows. Perhaps its best going in not knowing anything and entering with an open, blank mind. But with how many versions its been through and originating from the mind of Go Nagai, how can an J-pop culture otaku not. Continue reading ‘Cutey/ie Honey The Live’

Dokuritsu Shoujo Gurentai

Just watched the DVD of the movie Dokuritsu Shoujo Gurentai (lit. Independence Girl-gang) 2004, retitled for the USDM as “Samurai Chicks” (Tokyo Shock, 2006).  I really wish US releasers wouldn’t go messing with the titles, not only because it is both f#@king unnecessary and is culturally insulting and ignorant, but because it makes it really difficult to identify the movie by the title.  When I first saw the title listing, I thought it was Samurai Gal 21 with Koike Eiko and Satou Eriko.  I was elated until I found out that this was a different movie… after which I remained elated, but for different reasons.  Viz was one of the first “insipid title” offenders by retitling the USDM release of Shimotsuma Monogatari as “Kamikaze Girls”.  WTF?! Continue reading ‘Dokuritsu Shoujo Gurentai’