Friday, July 31, 2009

Review: Zettai Kareshi Special

Warning: This review contains spoilers for those who haven’t watched the Zettai Kareshi drama series.

Alternative Title: Absolute Boyfriend, 絶対彼氏。
Genre: romance
Broadcast: Mar. 2009
  • Hayami Mokomichi as Tenjo Night
  • Mizushima Hiro as Asamoto Soshi
  • Aibu Saki as Izawa Riiko
It’s been 3 years since the events of the last episode of the drama. Riiko has returned from Paris, successfully completing her patissier training. She is hired by Asamoto’s business to create a new pastry and Night is mysteriously revived by a Kronos Heaven employee.


Acting remains somewhat solid: Just like in the drama, I thought Hayami Mokomichi does a good job playing a robot and Aibu Saki is pretty good as well.

Continues the Zettai Kareshi “saga”: This isn’t really a “pro”. It just that there isn’t really nothing that I enjoyed in this special, but at least they made a continuation of the drama series, which ended abruptly.


More like a retelling of the original series: My biggest dislike for this special is the story. There are several things that I thought were done poorly (which I described below). But my biggest upset was how the story is very similar to that of the drama. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll just say that you’ll get a lot of déjà vu when you watch this special.

No scenes showing Riiko’s patissier (pastry chef) training: As you might have remembered, at the end of the series, Riiko went to Paris to train to be a patissier. I thought the special would show how Riiko goes through her training. The whole patissier thing was pretty important in the drama series, but in the special, it’s very insignificant. The special just fast forwards 3 years when Riiko returns from her training.

Ending was unsatisfying: The ending left a lot to be desired. It doesn’t quite finish up the storylines that were introduced in the drama and in this special. For example, the special doesn’t explain if Soshi’s pastry business goes well. Plus, there’s a bunch of other things that go unfinished.

That American company was a huge gimmick: The makers obviously wanted this special to be more attractive by randomly adding this top secret US organization to the story. In the end, it actually made the overall story even worse. It seemed like it was supposed to be a main part of the story, but the organization is quickly introduced and eliminated. In addition, the story doesn’t do a good job of explaining this secret organization, leaving you with a plot hole.

Bad special effects: Not a significant dislike for me since there wasn’t too much special effects. But the special effects were absolutely terrible, just like in the drama series.

Recommendation: I only recommend this special to those who watched the series and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I think you’ll be disappointed.

Rating: 5/10

Video Preview
Here’s the first 5 min. of the special.

Related Reviews
Zettai Kareshi

Friday, July 24, 2009

Announcement: All TopCharts updated

I've been hard at work for the last 2 weeks trying to convert all TopCharts into video playlists and replace broken videos. I was originally going to convert all my charts into the playlist but I decided that the charts with fewer than 10 PVs will be kept in their original format.

I also had to remove my first TopChart since one of the PVs mysteriously disappeared (I think it has something to do w/ imeem closing down its video service).

Anyhow, here's a list of all my TopCharts for your enjoyment (starting from the oldest ones).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Annoucement: TopCharts now in playlist form


Over the past few days, I've been hard at work converting my TopChart posts into very slick video playlists, using a website called Embedr. I doing this so that it's easier to view the TopCharts.

The video playlist allows you to easily view TopCharts without having to load every single embed on the page (which can take a while for slow internet connections).

I'll make another announcement once I'm done all TopCharts. So far, I've converted my Slo-mo PVs and Winter PVs into video playlists.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review: The Handsome Suit

Alternative Title: ハンサム★スーツ, Hansamu sutsu
Genre: romance, comedy
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2008

  • Muga Tsukaji as Takuro Ohki
  • Keiko Kitagawa as Hiroko Hoshino
  • Shosuke Tanihara as Annin Hikariyama
Takuro has never had a girlfriend. After his mother dies, he takes over ownership of her diner. Everyone likes his food but his face and body aren’t so great. He falls in love with a girl who comes in the diner looking for a job. However, she is not attracted to him. When finding a tux for a friend’s wedding, Takuro ends up with the Handsome Suit, a suit that transforms the wearer into a good-looking guy.


Unique story: The number one thing I liked about this movie is it’s story. Only after learning about the story had I decided to watch it. There were some silly and far-fetched things in the story, but at least it’s unique compared to other romance J-movies I’ve watched. I’m getting pretty tried of the classic J-movie romance story about a boy and girl, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl, separated-somehow, girl-gets-deadly-disease, and love-isn’t-found storyline. The story in this movie is more like a blend of Zettai Kareshi and Densha Otoko.

Underlying message:
Another plus side for me was that the movie had an underlying message for viewers that love should be for what’s in the inside. It’s cliché, but the movie brings out the message well.

Good mix of romance and comedy: Being my first romantic comedy J-movie, The Handsome Suit has a good mix of both genres. There were some hilarious scenes, but that didn’t deter me from enjoying the romance part of the story. Overall, the teary-eye scenes and the funny scenes were done pretty well.

All-star cast: Most people wouldn’t consider this drama to have an all-star cast, but I do. This is partly due to the fact that the two main characters from Mop Girl (one of my J-drama favs) play leading roles in The Handsome Suit. There also a bunch of other actors that fans might remember from popular J-dramas Hana Kimi, Hana Yori Dango and Densha Otoko.


Story is a bit predictable: About a third way’s through the movie, you’ll probably get a very good idea as to how the story will turn out. I don’t think the story is entirely predictable, since there is a twist in the story that I didn’t see coming.

Some wackiness: Although not a huge annoyance for me, I have to admit that sometimes, the movie tries too hard to be funny. It just ends up being really dry and wacky, no humour at all.

Recommendation: I know a lot of people will hate this movie, but if you’re looking for a more unique romance J-movie then watch The Handsome Suit. I would also recommend this movie to those who enjoyed Densha Otoko or Zettai Kareshi.

Rating: 8/10

Video Preview
Note that this trailer does contain some minor spoilers. If you want to avoid them, just watch the first minute of this trailer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Annoucement: twitter!

I've decided to finally join twitter so that you can follow The Keizou Journal via twitter. You can find my twitter page at

What's twitter? If you don't know, see this quick video.

Why follow The Keizou Journal on twitter?
Because you'll get...
  • very short versions of my reviews (for those really lazy people)
  • a heads-ups on upcoming reviews and other posts
  • short reviews on non-Japanese movies (J-movies aren't the only movies I watch)
  • updates on what J-music song that I'm currently addicted to
This is my first time ever using twitter so I'm not sure how it'll turn out. If things go well, I'll probably use twitter for even more things, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Cat Street

Alternative Title: キャットストリート
Genre: Romance, drama
Episodes: 6
Broadcast: Aug. - Oct. 2008
  • Tanimura Mitsuki as Aoyama Keito
  • Katsuji Ryo as Mine Koichi
Aoyama Keito was once a popular child actress, but following a traumatic incident involving her best friend, she distanced herself away from society and her acting career. She is now 17 years old and accidentally enrols in a school for dropouts.


Background music: I’m guessing most J-drama fans don’t pay too much attention to the music in a drama, but it’s something that is important to me and Cat Street does it well. The background music didn’t play too often but when it does, there’s some very nice orchestral music to be heard. Furthermore, the insert song was actually integrated into the story which I thought was very unique and interesting (you’ll see what I mean by this when you watch ep.3).


Acting: You’d expect good acting from the main character since she’s an actress playing an actress, but not so. She does the teary scenes alright, but most of the time she shows no emotion. Also, I noticed that she always stands still, there no emotion in her movements either. Of all the other actors, there’s no one that stood out to me. All of them were you’re average drama actors. Some of the sad scenes were acted out very poorer and I felt like a lot of the actors were melodramatic in alot of the scenes.

Too many diversion from main plot: I expected (and hoped) that the drama would focus on the main plot about Keiko’s acting career. I thought it was a very original story that very few dramas have touched on. In addition, I thought it would be interesting seeing how Keiko progresses through her acting career. However, after watching the drama, it was the complete opposite of what I expected. Most of drama was not about Keiko’s acting career. There were many diversions from it including an episode focusing on a minor character’s love life. There were only two scenes that actually showed people filming and there was only one time we got to see Keiko act in a scene.

Slow pace: Cat Street is only six episodes and I expected the story to move quickly, but overall, this drama had a dreadfully slow pace. I usually find in good dramas that the story is a bit slow at times, but cliffhangers and unexpected twist make up for the slowness. I can’t say the say the same about Cat Street, it was pretty much slow from start to end. Cat Street is filled a lot of scenes where you feel like nothing’s happening to progress the story. Just to give you an ideal of how slow this drama is, Keiko doesn’t go back to her acting career until more than halfway through the drama (!)

I had high expectation from a drama based on a manga by the same manga-ka as HYD. It had very high potential but in the end, it was a huge disappointment. Even if you’re a fan of Kamio Yoko, I wouldn’t recommend this to you.

Rating: 5/10

Video Preview
Here’s the first 5 min. of episode 1.

Related Reviews
HYD season 1
HYD season 2
HYD movie