Monday, December 29, 2008

TopChart: Top30 Winter PVs


Here’s my top 30 PVs about anything winter (xmas, snow etc.). I based my rank on the PV as well as the actual song.

You can also check out last year’s Winter PV TopChart, it has a completely different set of winter PVs.

Sit back and ENJOY!(^_^)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Review: Last Friends

Alternative Title: ラスト・フレンズ
Genre: Romance
Episodes: 11
Broadcast: Apr. - Jun. 2008

  • Nagasawa Masami as Aida Michiru
  • Ueno Juri as Kishimoto Ruka
  • Eita as Mizushima Takeru
  • Nishikido Ryo as Oikawa Sosuke
Michiru has to deal with many life issues. Her father died when she was young and her mom constantly drinks and invites other men to her home. She is also bullied at her workplace where she is a hairdresser. Michiru decides to live with her boyfriend, Sosuke, a man who works at Child Welfare. Later on, Michiru coincidentally meets Ruka, a childhood friend that Michiru hasn’t seen since high school.


After seeing the cast of Last Friends, I knew I had to give this drama a try. It probably has one of the most all-star casts I’ve ever. All the main characters are played by actors you’ve probably seen in another popular drama. Ueno, Eita and Mizukawa also starred in Nodame no Cantabile. Nagasawa is in just about every romance J-movie out there and Nishikido is from the J-pop group NewS.

Let’s start with the good stuff first. I thought the number one thing this drama did good was the story. First of all, it was fast-paced. Each episode ended with an interesting cliff-hanger and I didn’t feel that much time was wasted. Secondly, the story touches on issues you normally don’t see in other dramas. In other words, there aren’t the usual clichés that you would find in other dramas. Another aspect of the story I liked was how it ended. The last episode didn’t introduce anything too new or introduce another twist in the story. The series just ended exactly the way that I wanted it to end.

Even though, most aspects of the story were very well done, there were some negatives about it as well. Some episodes felt a little repetitive with same thing happening over and over again. Also, I felt that some episodes had a slower story midway through and didn’t continue on the previous episode’s cliff-hanger. The biggest downside for me was Nishikido Ryo (the guy from NewS who plays Sosuke). I know the girls will disagree but Nishikido should not be allowed to act. He is probably my pick as the worst actor ever. He shows absolutely no emotion and always seems to act cool. However, with the exception of Nishikido, the rest of the cast was superb in acting, especially the actresses who played Michiru and Ruka.

  • Fast-paced story (for most episodes)
  • Touches on issues you don’t find in other dramas
  • Ending was perfect
  • Most of the acting was very good
  • Nishikido Ryo’s acting
  • Story was a bit repetitive at times
  • Story was slow midway through some of the episode
If you’re looking for a unique J-drama that deals with sensitive issues then watch Last Friends.

Rating: 8/10

Video Preview
Here’s a short CM for Last Friends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Annoucement: New Holiday Header

I've decided to create a header image for the winter holidays. I hope everyone likes it! (^_^)

From now on, I hope to create different headers during special days...I guess the next time that I'll change the header image is during valentine's stay tuned!



Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: Sword of the Stranger

Alternative Titles: ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚-, Mukoh Hadan
Genre: Action, adventure
Release Date: Sept. 29, 2007

While being attacked by solders from China, a young boy named Kotaru is saved by a samurai named Nanashi. Still unaware of why the Chinese would want Kotaru, Nanashi agrees to protect him.

Ironically, I’ve never watched a historical anime movie even though I’m a huge fan of historical movies. Even by watching the first few minutes of the movie, I knew that Sword of the Stranger was going to be one of the best anime movies I’ve watched. After watching the whole movie, it didn’t disappoint. Sword of the Stranger is action-packed film, so I expected the action sequences to be good. But to my surprise, it was a lot better than I had thought. So much so that I think this movie has the best fight scene animation I’ve ever seem is an anime series or movie. The animation for the action scenes were smooth and crisp, the choreography was unique, and there was a lot of exaggerated gore like spraying blood. In addition, the music was also very well done, especially for the action scenes. The background music added even more excitement to the fight scenes.

Also, you might think the story is pretty basic, but it’s actually pretty good, with plenty of twists to keep it interesting. My summary is very basic because I didn’t want to give away too much of the story.

I didn’t have any major things I disliked, only a few minor things. My first dislike was that I thought some of the action sequences were way too fast, especially in the last scene. I even had to rewind and re-play several scenes to actually figure out what happened. However, I consider this to be minor because I think it adds some excitement to the movie. Another thing I disliked was how some of the characters were killed off too quickly. I really wanted to see them in more action because they seemed like good fighters, but they’re quickly killed at the beginning of a battle.

view larger screens

  • Some of the best animated fight scenes I’ve ever seen
  • Fight scenes were smooth, crisp, unique and exciting
  • Music adds even more excitement to the fight scenes
  • A lot of exaggerated gore
  • Some parts of the fight scenes were way too fast
  • Some characters killed off too quickly
If you’re into action/adventure anime, then this is a must-watch.

Rating: 9/10

Video Preview
Here’s a short teaser showing the beginning of a fight.

Related Reviews (historical/quasi-historical)
Shinobi – Heart Under Blade
Azumi – Death or Love