Archive for the ‘The Kimura Project’ category

The Little Dorama Girl – 2nd Anniversary Post: Once Upon a Johnny

November 3, 2011

The Terrible Twos

The Little Dorama Girl turned two a few days ago (um, yay), although I know that things have been a little quiet on the bloggy front the past year. To be honest I haven’t had much progress with my drama To-Watch and review To-Write lists due to (what else?) Real Life obligations. But I hope that my 22 regular readers (down 2 from 24, ohnoes!) find themselves in a forgiving mood as they read this. THANK YOU for continuing to patronize my daft fangirly drivel, really I mean it. I don’t know if you notice, but I totally feel yer lurrve each time you drop me a line! Your comments brighten up my day, and that’s a fact. =D (And – dammit lurkers, STOP HIDING IN KAMENASHI’S CLOSET! lol)

Graphics by jicks (sankyou jicks! words are not enough!!! gahahaha xD)

So I hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve cooked up for my Second Anniversary Offering. Then again, maybe you’ll read this and curse the day you chanced upon my site, hahaha. But it’s Johnnies who got me blogging, and by gum, it’s Johnnies who’ll KEEP me going. I owe their skinny, tinsel-clad heinies more than most people give them credit for, so this post is for them – and for you, if you can, uh, keep an open mind while reading. This is something I’ve never tried before, but DAYYUM I HAD FUN WRITING IT SO THERE!!!

xoxo Ender’s Girl

*cue fairytale-y music*

Hello, I’m Ender’s Girl. For centuries, storytellers have spun their tales of magic and enchantment for the young at heart. There’s something about fairy tales that feels so familiar and universal, regardless of culture or clime. Some of these tales are funny, some are scary, and some romantic. But whatever the setting, these classic stories never fail to enthrall and entertain us – whether in their original form, or as modern-day retellings given a feminist  twist, like Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber,” or a satirical spin, like  James Finn Garner’s “Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.”

I’ve taken the liberty of adding my own voice to the growing potpourri of contemporary fairy tale adaptations. So sit back and relax, and enjoy my collection of familiar stories – like you’ve never known them before:

A poor aspiring performer learns that with patience, hard work and a little magic, musical dreams really do come true, in “Jinderella.” A wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy sets out on the journey of his life, in “YamaPinocchio.” And a beautiful kabuki princess fleeing great danger crosses paths with five multi-talented, chain-smoking miners who may just change her life forever, in “Matsu and the Five SMAPs.”

Enter my Never Never Land. After the jump!

Film Review: Space Battleship Yamato (2010)

August 15, 2011

Moviestardom: The Final Frontier

by Ender’s Girl


The Cast:
Kimura Takuya, Kuroki Meisa, Yanagiba Toshiro, Ogata Naoto, Yamazaki Tsutomu

Directed by Yamazaki Takashi / Toho; TBS Films, 2010

In a Nutshell:
A single battleship and its doughty crew are mankind’s last hope against an invading alien race!!!

The Real Nutshell:
Kimura Takuya makes a bid for international moviestardom!!!

(SpoilLert: Well it’s that kind of film, so can there really be anything to spoil?)

It’s 2199 and there’s something straaange in the solar system: Earth is this close to getting nuked out of existence by an invading alien race – SO WHO YA GONNA CALL?????????????


(Did the Ghostbusters theme song start playing in your head just now??? It did, dinnit??? Hahahaha)

The last time a cocky, nonconformist hero saved the world from imminent destruction while a Steven Tyler power ballad blared in the background, the year was 1998 and the movie was Armageddon. It’s 2011 and (a newly relevant) Steven Tyler is still caterwauling the same tune (well, almost), although the crew nationalities have changed from Eeemrrican to Japanese, the Earth faces a different kind of threat (enemy extraterrestrials! instead of giant asteroids!), and the hero (Kimura Takuya in full-on Moviestar Mode) has way more hair than Bruce Willis did in Armageddon (or anything he starred in since 1987, for that matter).

I don’t know if the producers of the 2010 Space Battleship Yamato remake intentionally hired Steven Tyler as a nod to Armageddon – and, by association, that other celestial-body-on-a-collision-course-with-Earth-OHNOES!!! flick from 1998, Deep Impact (whose plotline the Bay/Bruckheimer/Willis mega-production reportedly cribbed off, tsk tsk). Strictly speaking, Yamato isn’t a disaster sci-fi flick like Armageddon or Deep Impact, but it runs on the same basic premise: A motley crew of spacemen sets out on a hail-Mary mission to [insert planetary body], which they must [destroy/steal an alien device from] in order to save the earth. Chances of success or survival seem dire, but the intrepid officers and crewmen are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our planet!!! *cue [insert Steven Tyler song]*

Beam me up, E.G.! MOAR!!! after the jump. (Because… you don’t wanna miss a thing.)

News Nibbly: KimuTaku, TBS Gear Up for Big-Budget Antarctica Drama

January 22, 2011

MUSH!!! (South Pole or Bust!)

by Ender’s Girl

No question about it: with his active, fun-loving, outdoorsy lifestyle, Kimura Takuya is Dog’s best friend. (Unlike sedentary, cat-owning little me…eow.) Word is he keeps two canines, a Labrador and a guide dog of unspecified breed. And the above photo of him with a Golden Retriever (one of my all-time fave Kimura snapshots) says it all: the Dorama King digs dawgs… Dawg. I mean, just look at that Gatsby-Waxed animatronic canine plushie ensconced in his lap (see video below), and tell me they weren’t made for each other, lol. (How something can look like creepy sh*t and be beyond adorable and cool at the same time is lost on me.)

Now picture Kimura with not one, but fifteen dogs — Sakhalin Huskies to be precise, and all of them stranded in the harshest imaginable place on earth. (Clue: it starts with an “A” and ends with an “A” — but it sure as heck ain’t Australia, lol.) It’s Man plus Dog… vs. Wild! Human and canine, battling the elements together! Oh the blizzards! The whiteout! The frostbite and hypothermia! The deadly leopard seals! The Abominable Snowman! (Wrong hemisphere I know! lol) And what could possibly be worse than getting stuck in Planet Earth’s butthole? Why, it’s having to ditch your loyal sled dogs in Planet Earth’s butthole while you get rescued with your fellow humans!!! (Tsk tsk) Would you risk life and (frostbitten) limb to go back for your furry friends, even with no guarantee that they’d still be alive? Would you?

If this scenario sounds like the stuff of Disney movies, it IS in fact the stuff of a Disney movie – specifically the 2006 film Eight Below (starring Paul Walker). But what audiences then probably didn’t know was that Eight Below was inspired by the 1983 Japanese blockbuster Nankyoku Monogatari (South Pole Story). The film was based on the dramatic events of the 1957-58 Japanese Antarctic Expedition, when extreme weather conditions forced the Showa Base research team to evacuate via chopper and leave behind an entire pack of Sakhalin Huskies (or “Karafuto-Ken”) still chained to the base. It was almost a year before Antarctic weather conditions permitted the team to make their way back to Showa Base in the hopes of burying the dogs. But what they didn’t expect to find was that two of the Huskies, Taro and Jiro, had miraculously survived and were awaiting the team’s return. (Cue: *giant sniffle*)

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Drama Review: Engine (Fuji TV, 2005)

November 19, 2010

Bless the (Sexy)Beast and the Children

by Ender’s Girl

The Cast:
Kimura Takuya, Koyuki, Ueno Juri, Toda Erika, Kaho, Ishida Hoshi, Ohira Natsumi, Arioka Daiki, Nakajima Yuto, Kosugi Moichiro, Sato Miku, Hirota Ryohei, Komuro Yuta, Sakai Masato, Harada Yoshio, Matsushita Yuki

In a Nutshell:
Former F3 hotshot Kanzaki Jiro returns to Japan and finds his hands full of an entire foster home of Troubled Children living under the care of his father and sister. While juggling his new (and unwanted) responsibilities as the home’s designated driver, Jiro reconnects with his old coach (and an old flame), hoping to reignite his racing career and get his life back on track.

(SpoilLert: All the way to the finish line! *waves checkered flags*)

[Recommended companion track: “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff]

“‘Ohana’ means family, and family means nobody gets left behind… or forgotten.”
– Lilo

“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”
– Stitch

from Lilo and Stitch (Disney Pictures, 2002)

First, a Meta Moment:

Half the fun of whipping my grossly underpaid elves into cranking out passable reviews for this blog down in their dingy little sweatshop… uh, uh, gomen. Let’s try this again: Half the fun of whipping up reviews for this blog… is thinking up — the title!!! (Yeah I’m shallow, SO WHUTT.) I think the reason I waited so long to write about Engine (and thus complete my Kimura as Tom Cruise “review anthology” yay) was that I wanted an interesting — and inspiring — enough title to get me all fired up to do the rest of the review, haha. None of the possibilities that had left the gummy interstices of my little blue brain to park themselves on the top left corner of my blank Word doc sheet, right above the byline — seemed to work.

To tick off a few: Daze of Thunder? Promising, and it was a riff on that Tom Cruise racing movie, but… who exactly was in a daze? Me? Kimura? Had not the faintest, so… pass. Dude, Where’s Your Car? Boarrring. And too strong a reference to Ashton Kutcher and that doofus from American PieKimuTaku: Cruise Control, then? I would’ve settled for this had my inspiration completely dried up, but the images that the term “cruise control” always triggers are from that ’90s movie where the unbelievably dhuh-hulllll Jason Patric tries to stop the sluh-howwwest moving cruise ship known to man from pluh-howwing into some unsuspecting seaside village. (And if you’re too young to remember Speed 2: Cruise Control, then too bad, ‘coz that would mean you’re also too young to remember a young ‘n’ hawt Keanu Reeves in Speed, ahahaha.) So, “Cruise Control” = no go.

Then I realized that I was barking at the wrong dog — er, tree, I was barking up the wrong tree. (Lol, these silly Eeenglish eeedioms!!! *shakes fist*) Why was I stubbornly trying to milk the racing/car stuff from Engine when that wasn’t even my favorite part? After all, it was those kids at the Kaze no Oka foster home who OWNED the show — and my heart. Not the actual “Engine-y” stuff. And even if an old Carpenters single entitled “Bless the Beasts and Children” (actually an anti-war protest song, lol) happened to be the only pop culture reference that perfectly encapsulated how I felt about the drama, then so be it. (And YES BABY YES, the “Beast” in question WAS definitely sexy! Vrrrrooom vrrroooom! See Stanza 4 of my “2009: A Kimura Odyssey” hahaha)

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Kimura Takuya – 38th Birthday Post

November 15, 2010


by Ender’s Girl

Yes I know, I’m putting this out two days late. That’s what happens when you spend Nov. 13th in bed, nursing a bad cold and finishing your Love Generation marathon. (Why LoveGen? After reviewing the abomination that was Tsuki no Koibito, I was in desperate need of some Kimu+Matsu Teppei+Riko Therapy, ASAP. Ggngngngng. *gnaws on glass apple*)

So, here’s my crudely Photoshopped commemoration of the Dorama King’s 38th year. (Ehh? What’s that you say, KimuTaku??? You want “another birthday poem” you say??? Sorry buddy, but no more silly rhymes until you get your act together! No silly rhymes for you this year!!! *pounds gavel*)

And yes I know, I totally pilfered the idea from Lance Armstrong’s controversial June 2010 Outside Magazine cover. But it was too good a chance to pass up, so… whatevs. Besides, Photoshopped or not, the text on the shirt suits the whole attitude that Kimura has going, they way he’s looking straight at the lens and not giving a sh*t over the “aging pop star” tag he’s been getting a lot lately from detractors — sometimes even from me. I know I love to carp on how Kimura hasn’t been aging well, blahblah, so I guess the shirt’s message is for me, too. Haha.

Otanjoubi omedetou, Captain.

Domo arigatou to sylssim for posting the AnAn scans (04.01.2010) on her LiveJournal. Much appreciated!

I’m publishing this post using an HP laptop, and ohmygoodness I had no idea how completely cack-handed my Photoshopping looks. A first-grader could PWN this. No —  first he’d kick me in the shin and laugh at me, and then PWN this. When I did the graphics earlier using a MacBook, my brush marks didn’t seem *that* heinously clumsy after I tried to erase the original text on the magazine cover, and I *swear* I thought I had done a passable job, but now — eeep! *wears the Cone of Shame* Oh well. *shrugs* B.F.D. Hah hah hah.

Drama Review (Part 2): Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers (Fuji TV, 2010)

October 27, 2010

Despicable He

by Ender’s Girl

[Read Part One of review]

In continuation of court case 11-13-1972: The People vs. Hazuki Rensuke

7.3 Rensuke vs. Maemi

Que horror, 8,834 words in Part 1 and nothing on Ninomiya Maemi (Shinohara Ryoko) beyond a few cursory mentions. But if my rant review has placed inordinate emphasis on the Rensuke-Xiu Mei arc so far, it’s only because THE DRAMA DID IT FIRST. (Drat you Asano Taeko!!! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!!!) Well dang it, OF COURSE I was Team Maemi since Day 1… no, make that Day -936. Weren’t most viewers? The only people I can think of who’d ship Rensuke and XiuMei are… the Taiwanese (lol), while the Rensuke+Yuzuki backers can only be high-maintenance teenage girls with weird father complexes (haha). So I think it’s safe to assume that TsukiKoi viewers in general were madly rooting for Maemi. I mean, duuuude… it’s Shinohara Ryoko.

So maybe Ryoko isn’t as young and smokin’ hawt in TsukiKoi as she was in — say, Anego (and understandably so; Anego was a corporate babe while rugged ol’ Maemi built cabinets for a living, duh). But even with the plaid shirts and distressed jeans, sturdy boots and funky jewelry, tossing back her disheveled hair and twirling that ubiquitous hammer, Shinohara Ryoko RAWKED the part. And I’m sure she’d be loath to admit it, but she’s kind of the… female Kimura (when he isn’t playing these horrid lust-filled men, that is): they’ve got the same casually sexy, “look-how-SO-NOT-uptight-I’m-being” flair about them, the same blow-your-socks-off charisma and screen presence. So yeah, Shinohara Ryoko and KimuTaku are probably more alike than they’d care to admit. But could these aforementioned qualities be what limit both Kimura and Ryoko as actors? Their mannerisms in speech and movement are so marked and readily recognizable that admittedly, not all character templates suit them to a convincing degree.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Drama Review (Part 1): Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers (Fuji TV, 2010)

October 17, 2010

The People vs. Hazuki Rensuke

by Ender’s Girl

The Cast:
Kimura Takuya, Shinohara Ryoko, Lin Chi Ling, Matsuda Shota, Kitagawa Keiko

In a Nutshell:
Follow the triumphs and travails of Hazuki Rensuke, Furniture Maker Extraordinaire, and the three gorgeous women hopelessly in love with him: Maemi his longtime BFF and colleague, Xiu Mei the ingenuous factory worker from Shanghai, and Yuzuki the bratty daughter of Rensuke’s biggest industry rival. Completing the love, um, pentagon is Rensuke’s calculating deputy Kazami, who may or may not have a few underhanded schemes of his own. But oh, oh — let’s NOT forget the REAL stars of the show!!! Brother Moon! — who watches over Rensuke from above! Sister Water Strider! — who alone can bring True Happiness! And the Four Little Coins of Kokoro! — who may look tinny and paltry, but when arranged in a cryptic geometric pattern, will unlock the secret to Life itself!!! All one needs is to — solve! the! riddle!!! What riddle? The riddle!!! Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the MOON!!! The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon!!! Ahahahahahahahahaa

(SpoilLert: Eybreeting!)

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait… Really KimuTaku Really?

When it was announced in early 2010 that KimuTaku was all but set for a Spring renzoku ren’ai, his entire fandom collectively peed in their – our – pants. An overreaction perhaps? Far from it. For it truly was a cause for celebration, as we were fully, painfully aware that Kimura‘s choice of TV projects over the past several years showed a disturbing trend away from straight ren’ai. Pride was his last one in 2004, and since then his dramas have had love angles that were extraneous to the plot — if not altogether absent: a sports+kiddie dramedy with little romance (Engine, 2005); a serious ensemble drama with little romance (Karei naru Ichizoku, 2007); a hero-of-the-day dramedy with – you guessed it – little romance (Change, 2008); and a police procedural with zero – NO, make that NEGATIVE – romance (Mr. Brain, 2009).

It had been six long years since KimuTaku – or at least, a variant of his persona, lol – last gave his heart and soul to a woman, six long years since he fell hard and deep for someone, six long years since he kissed — and… er, did that other stuff as well — with a passion that consumed his soul. (Rargh.) The fans were feeling restless – they had been for quite some time. Cauliflower-haired schoolteachers turned prime ministers were NOT exactly the stuff of female fantasy; and most definitely neither were forensic nutjobs who skipped their way through crime scenes while munching on bananas. Go back to the basics, Captain, the fans implored while tinkering morosely with their dilapidated pianofortes and drawing dusty circles on their glass love apples. Go back to your ren’ai roots, make us fall in love with you all over again. Please do a straightforward romantic drama this time, you’ve tried everything else anyway.

And perhaps the television gods took pity on their — our — miserable romance-starved selves, because Fuji TV finally dispelled all the hearsay and conjecture being bandied about – like the rumor that Kimura’s next project would be an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” or yet another one that predicted a Hero Season 2 (AS IF!!!). So it was announced that Kimura’s newest Getsu-9 drama for the Spring 2010 slate would be a renzoku ren’ai entitled Tsuki no Koibito / Moon Lovers. A ren’ai. A REN’AI, the fans exulted. Halleloooyah chance! The KimuTaku Love Train was finally back on track, finally up and running since its unceremonious derailment years ago. This was gonna be special, a return to form for the Dorama King himself. If anyone knows how to do his renzoku ren’ai with both eyes closed, it’s this guy. The drought was over, let the Love Rain fall upon the land once more.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!