Sunday, August 10, 2008

Review: Koizora

Alternative Titles: Sky of Love
Genre: Romance
Release Date: Nov. 3, 2007

  • Aragaki Yui as Mika
  • Miura Haruma as Hiro
Mika is freshman at a high school. One day she loses her cell phone. A classmate at her school named Hiro finds her cell phone and tells her where it is. Hiro calls Mika to have conversations even though Mika doesn’t know who’s calling. At first, Mika is annoyed by the stranger that keeps calling her, but after a while, Mika starts to fall in love with him.

I haven’t had a good experience with romance J-movies. The only romance J-movie that I gave a very good rating to was Heavenly Forest. I find most of them to be very slow-paced with an unoriginal story. Koizora was no different. It has the most cliché storylines packed into a single J-movie. Judging from my summary, it might seem like the story is original, but I just describe the first 30 or so minutes of the movie. After that, the movie is filled with things we’ve seen a million times in Japanese dramas and movies. In addition, the story is incredibly slow-paced which makes it boring at times. There are many scenes were there’s complete silence without any background music or dialogue. In addition, like many other romance J-movies, the ending is a bit controversial. You’ll probably wish that the ending was slightly different.

On the positive side, Aragaki Yui brought some enjoyment to the otherwise boring movie. She’s a perfect fit as a schoolgirl. Aragaki has actually starred in several school dramas before and she has great acting in all of them. Aragaki isn’t as good as popular actresses like Horikito Maki and Toda Erika, but she’s pretty close. However, I wasn’t too pleased with the acting of Miura Haruma. He didn’t act out some the scenes as good as I would’ve liked, especially in the very tense scenes.

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  • Aragaki Yui fits perfectly in a school girl role
  • Most cliché storylines packed into one J-movie
  • Very slow-paced
  • Some might not like the ending
  • Didn’t like acting from Miura Haruma
Some people might get some enjoyment because of Aragaki Yui, but if you’re not a fan then you should stay away from Koizora.

Rating: 5/10

Video Preview
Warning: The second half of this trailer contains spoilers.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Review: Attention Please Special

Alternative Title: アテンションプリーズ
Genre: Romance, comedy
Broadcast: Jan. 2007
Ueto Aya as Misaki Yoko
Nishikido Ryo as Nakahara Shota

Now that Misaki Yoko has passed her basic flight attendant training, she begins her training for international flights. As part of her training, she is assigned to a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.

I wasn’t pleased with the original series, so I wasn’t expecting a lot from the special. But to my surprise, the special was a lot worse than I imagined. The number one thing that ruined the special was definitely the story. It was the most lame, cheesy and downright boring mix of story elements I’ve ever seen in any drama or drama special. The first 45 minutes had absolutely no story, just a bunch of training sessions and Yoko serving people on the plane. It’s not until an hour into the special that a story starts to develop, but it’s just a very lame and predictable romance story involving some hula dancer. The conflict of the story is quickly resolved in 30 minutes and then you realize that you’ve wasted 1.5 hours of your time.

The series was supposed to be a comedy, but it really wasn’t. Same with the special, it tries really hard to be funny, but there was nothing that made me laugh (other than how lame the romance story was). In addition, I hoped that the special would finish off the romance subplot from the original series involving Misaki Yoko, but in my opinion, it didn’t. Overall, like the series, the special doesn’t focus on one genre. It tries to be many different genres and doesn’t excel at any of them.

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  • [Can’t think of anything]
  • Lame and predictable romance subplot which doesn’t last long
  • More scenes showing flight attendant training
  • First 45 min. had absolutely no story
  • Other subplots are boring
  • Labelled as comedy, but wasn’t funny
The worst drama (series or special) that I’ve ever watched.

Rating: 2/10

Related Review
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