Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review: Dororo

Alternative Title: どろろ
Genre: Action, adventure
Release Date: Jan. 27, 2007

  • Shibasaki Kou as Dororo
  • Tsumabuki Satoshi as Hyakkimaru
After losing a battle, a desperate feudal lord makes a pact with demons, offering his son’s body in exchange for the ability to rule the world. When the son is born, being an immortal and barely human, he is abandoned by his parents. Many years later, that same son, now named Hyakki-maru, is on a mission to kill the demons that took away his human body. After fighting one of the demons, he meets a thief named Dororo.


As some of you may have guessed, I’m a hug fan of historical/quasi-historical J-movies. I’ve seen several of them so far, but none of them disappointed me greatly. All of the historical J-movies I’ve reviewed so far had something I liked. But that was before I watched Dororo. I had high expectations after watching the awesome trailer, but it turned out to be the worst historical J-movie I’ve ever watched.

This is the first J-movie that I’ve watched with a lead male role played by women. I thought it would be interesting to see actress Shibasaki Kou play a boy, but it wasn’t. I thought Shibasaki tries way too hard to act like a boy. She forces her voice lower, slants her eyebrows and always tries to look tough throughout the entire movie. The result is a extremely annoying character that makes the movie almost unwatchable. Another huge miss is the CGI used to create the monsters. Saying that the CGI was terrible would be an understatement. They were sooo terrible even the first Starwars movie had better CGI and it was made more than 30 years ago. CGI was unrealistic (some even looked 2-D) and some of the monster movements were choppy.

It wasn’t only the CGI that was bad, all the special affect were terrible. In one scene, they even used someone dressed in a monster costume and it looked like one of those monsters from Power Rangers. This scene probably had the worst special effects of the whole movie, since they tried to make the monster seem gigantic but it was obviously just the size of a human.

The only major thing that I liked about Dororo was how it remained gritty and dark throughout the whole movie. The colours are very dark and some effects were used to add to the dark feel. I noticed that for one scene they made the picture look a bit grainy which fitted well with what was going on in the scene. However, this didn’t do much to make the overall movie more enjoyable.

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  • Maintains a dark/gritty look throughout the whole movie
  • Last fight scene was decent
  • Shibasaki tires too hard to act like a boy, making her character very annoying
  • Special effects were TERRIBLE!
  • Every other fight scene was mediocre
  • Minor characters get too much attention
  • Story was unoriginal
  • Music was annoying at times
Stay away from this one at all costs!!!(>_<)


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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Review: Zettai Kareshi

Alternative Titles: 絶対彼氏。, Absolute Boyfriend
Genre: Romance, comedy
Episodes: 11
Broadcast: Apr. - Jun. 2008

  • Hayami Mokomichi as Tenjo Night
  • Mizushima Hiro as Asamoto Soshi
  • Aibu Saki as Izawa Riiko
Kronos Heaven, a robot maker, develops “Tenjo Night”, a robot programmed to be the perfect boyfriend. The company finds a temp office worker named Izawa Riiko and realizes that she’s the perfect person to test the new robot on. Kronos Heaven gives her a free 5-day trail, but Riiko only sees Night as an appliance.

Interesting Fact
Zettai Kareshi is based on the manga of the same name, but the two are very different. For example, in the manga, Riiko is a school girl and Soshi is her childhood friend. In the drama, Riiko is an adult working at a pastry company and Soshi is her boss.

I expected that this was going to be a good drama. I’ve read a couple of Yuu Watase mangas before, but I’ve never read Zettai Kareshi. Nevertheless, I thought this going to be a fun drama to watch. After finishing the series, it was actually a bit better than I first thought.

The number one thing I liked about this drama was the story. I thought it was very original, but more importantly, it was well-paced. Nearly every episode ended with a cliff-hanger to keep you tuned and I didn’t feel like there were any downright boring scenes. In other words, every episode had something to offer to keep your attention. I also thought the character development was done very well done. The series does a great job showing how Riiko grows closer to Night. In addition, the acting was good. Aibu Saki is perfect for the role. As for Hayami Mokomichi, I think he did an alright job portraying a robot, though its hard to critique someone who’s playing a robot since robots aren’t suppose to have emotions.

I had only had two major annoyances. The first episode introduced a co-worker at Riiko’s workplace who Riiko had a crush on. However, at the end of the episode, he just disappears from the series and he’s never seen again in any other episode. This left the story kind of unfinished at the end of episode one. Also, the last episode was a bit weaker than I thought. The main conflict with Night was resolved very early on, so most of the episode was more like an epilogue and it was slow-placed compared to the other episodes. But anyhow, the ending was good.

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  • Story was well-paced
  • Cliff-hangers keep you watching
  • Character development was excellent
  • Acting was good
  • Story in first episode was a bit unfinished
  • Last episode was weaker than I thought
  • Special effects were terrible
Most J-drama fans will get plenty of enjoyment from this drama. I recommend you to watch at least three episodes before deciding whether you want to continue.

Rating: 8.7/10

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Announcement: All TopCharts Fixed

As some of you have noticed, a couple of videos in my TopChart posts are “broken”. They were removed by the user or by the video hosting site.

I’m now happy to announce that I’ve replaced all “broken” videos with new ones. You can now fully enjoy every TopChart!

Here’s a complete list of all the TopCharts I’ve posted (starting from the oldest):