Thursday, June 26, 2008

TopChart: Top15 Summer PVs


To celebrate the start of summer, here’s the top16 PVs about summer!

My comments continue the following phrase: Summer’s all about…

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Year Anniversary


Today’s the day. The Keizou Journal has now been in operation for one year! As part of the anniversary, I’ve already made two major changes. One is the change to the Featured Artists posts and the other was the introduction of Anime movie reviews.

Be sure to stay tuned! In the coming I plan on making some major changes. One of them is so significant, that I’ve been working on it for a few weeks (you can try to guess what it is).

UPDATE: New Layout and Design, codename: Graphite
- June 19, 2008

Well, here’s the big surprise: a revamp of the layout and design of The Keizou Journal. I’ve been tirelessly working on it for a few weeks and I FINALLY completed it today, after overcoming a couple of issues. I had to temporarily cut off access to The Keizou Journal so that I was able to implement the changes.

I wanted the new template to make TheKJ more readable. Therefore, I decided to make a template with dark backgrounds and light text so that reading the blog is easier on the eyes. I also tried to make navigating the site a bit easier.

Even though the design is finalize, I’ll still be making some minor changes over the next few days.

Anyways, I hope everyone enjoys this new design. It would be much appreciated if you vote in the poll and post any comments/suggestions you might have. Thanks! (^_^)

Also, I thought it would be nice to give my templates codenames, so this new one is called Graphite and the previous is known as Rounds.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review: Heavenly Forest

Alternative Titles: Tada, kimi wo aishiteru
Genre: Romance
Release Date: Oct. 27, 2006

  • Miyazaki Aoi as Satonaka Shizuru
  • Tamaki Hiroshi as Segawa Makoto
Makoto is a shy person who has no friends. After he attends his university entrance ceremony, he meets Shizuru. Unlike others, Makoto becomes more comfortable around Shizuru. They develop a close friendship and Makoto tells her about his hobby, photography. Makoto also shows her a secret forest where he gets most of his photos from. Their bond grows closer, but they face obstacles that could ruin everything.

Heavenly Forest was a big surprise for me. It turned out to be more entertaining than I first thought, most likely because of the characters. The two main characters aren’t the usual ones you see often in a romance J-movie. Makoto is a sky freshman at his university and Shizuru, also a first year student, is someone who doesn’t have growth hormones, has no friends, and is sensitive to other people. Throughout the movie, it’s interesting to see how an unlikely couple develop a relationship. As for the story, it was okay. I thought it had some originality, but most of it was a slice-of-life story. With that in mind, I thought some parts would be very boring, but there weren’t any scenes that were too boring that it ruined the movie.

Another thing I thought was well done was these two scenes that were extremely beautiful. I don’t want to reveal too much because the two scenes contain major spoilers. One scene takes place in the forest, about three quarters through the movie. It can also be argued that this scene was the climax to the movie. The other scene took place about 10 minutes before the end of the movie. Also, I thought the whole ending was very good, using flashbacks and photos to elegantly end the movie. The last major aspect of the movie that I enjoyed was the acting by Miyazaki Aoi. The other actors were alright, but the charming Miyazaki fits the role perfectly.

The only beef I had with Heavenly Forest was that it vaguely explains Shizuru’s side of the story in the last quarter of the movie. I thought it would have been better if it explained Miyazaki’s character is more depth and what happened to her towards the end of the movie instead of focusing all the attention on Makoto.

view larger screens

  • Story isn’t as boring as first thought
  • Two scenes were extremely well-done
  • Miyazaki Aoi and Tamaki Hiroshi have great chemistry
  • Vaguely explains Shizuru’s side of the story during last quarter
  • Ending might be a bit disappointing for some
Heavenly Forest is my favourite live-action romance J-movie so far. Not a must-watch, but it’s worth a try for most fans of romance J-movies.

Rating: 8.5

Video Preview
Note: I think this trailer reveals way too much about the movie. It even shows a scene from the last few scenes of the movie! Only watch the first 50 seconds of this trailer if you want to avoid the spoilers.

Related Reviews (Romance J-movies)
Nada Sousou
Nana 1 & Nana 2

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Review: Hanayome to Papa

Alternative Title: 花嫁とパパ
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 12
Broadcast: Apr. - Jun. 2007

  • Ishihara Satomi as Uzaki Aiko
  • Tokito Saburo as Uzaki Kentaro
  • Taguchi Junnosuke as Miura Seiji
Uzaki Aiko just got hired at a clothing design company, but her father still treats her like a child and places house rules that she has to follow. One of the rules is no soliciting with the opposite sex. Nevertheless, Aiko falls in love with a co-worker at her workplace and begins a mission to convince her father to accept her boyfriend and remove the house rules.

I really didn’t expect much from Hanayome to Papa before watching it. The only reason why I choose to watch it was because I never watched a drama starring Ishihara Satomi. Considering her popularity, I thought I’d at least watch one of their dramas. After sitting through the entire series, it turned out to be a mixed bag, with some episodes being better than others. More specifically, I thought the second half of the series was much better than the first half. The second half had more twists, making the story more interesting and entertaining. It also had a more serious tone, allowing for a better showcase of Ishihara’s acting abilities. There was also a fair amount of tense moments that were well acted by the main characters.

There were two main things I disliked about Hanayome to Papa. One obviously being the first half, which I thought was a drag to watch. It was basically about Aiko trying to convince her father to allow her marriage. My other dislike was the chemistry between Ishihara Satomi and Taguchi Junnosuke. Throughout the entire series, they seemed like good friends rather than I couple. They always appear to be nervous when they were around each other. They should have showed how their relationship developed throughout the series, instead of making it seem like they were friends for the entire show.

view larger screens

  • Second half had a more interesting story, better acting
  • Some scenes had terrific acting
  • The most family-friendly romance drama I’ve seen
  • First half was boring
  • Chemistry between Ishihara and Taguchi wasn’t so great
This drama would be a waste of time for most fans. I would only watch the whole series if you were a fan of Ishihara or Taguchi (from J-pop group KAT-TUN). If you’re looking for a better Father-Daughter drama, I recommend Papa to Musume.