Posted tagged ‘ayase haruka’

Vid Clip: The Orenji Story (credit: tinysunbl @ YouTube)

July 15, 2010

And lo, the Orenji Saga continues…

(For my dear readers who are probably sick to their eyeballs of my Orenji-centric gushing, or don’t even know WHO OR WHAT THE HEY an Orenji is (lol), gomen ne? Bear with me and I’ll be regurgitating my Kame Dorama Roundup in a little while… Oh what’s that you say? You don’t know what a “Kame” is, either? Then what the dingbats are you doing in my blog? Sheeeeeesh. Lol)

It’s my great pleasure to host on The Little Dorama Girl a fanvid by tinysunbl, which she recently debuted on YouTube. When I checked the comments section of my previous post, I was thrilled to find that she wished to share her newest video with the regular readers of this blog. (Numbering about… nine now, “thag you very buch!” — Er, that was to quote Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit,” and how apt since I currently have a cold!)

I’m honored that tinysunbl would single out my recent posts on Tatta Hitotsu no Koi as among her inspirations for this video, but at the same time I’d much rather give the credit back to the entire fandom of THnK, from the subbing teams (without whom the rest of us rabble would never be able to enjoy, much less UNDERSTAND J-dramas); to the seeders and uploaders, may their DSL and hard drives never give out; to the bloggers and recappers who have helped spread the luuurve across (and beyond!) cyberspace; to the graphics wizards who have unstintingly shared their wallies and screencaps for us to squee over enjoy; to the fanfic writers (and yes, even you, slashies, lol) who show us that any drama’s cosmos is as deep, rich and boundless as our own imaginations permit; to the forum mods who encourage responsible discussions and exchanges, no matter how erudite — or slushy-gushy (because ALL fans are created equal! *pounds gavel* [hear, hear!]); to the fangirls and fanboys who keep the Doramaverse running high on their encouraging words and comments; and even to the silent drama lovers, who will ONE DAY de-lurk on some blog or fansite, and RISE UP like the dawn to take the Doramaverse by storm (by storm I say!!! and by the way, thanks for sending the rest of us your positive energy vibes! they do help tide us over!); and last but not the least, to the makers of fanvids, whose bite-sized movies of our favorite dramas let us fall in love with the characters and their stories — all over again. And again, and again…

Click to read MOAR!! MOAR!!!


Drama Review: Tatta Hitotsu no Koi / Just One Love (NTV, 2006)

June 13, 2010

Ever After?

by Ender’s Girl


The Cast:
Kamenashi Kazuya, Ayase Haruka, Toda Erika, Tanaka Koki, Hiraoka Yuta, Kaname Jun, Saito Ryusei, Zaitsu Kazuo, Yo Kimiko

In a Nutshell:
He’s dirt poor, she’s filthy rich; he’s the family breadwinner, she’s the crown princess of a jeweler chain; he has a sick younger brother and a boozy hostess of a mom, she was raised in a happy, loving home; he’s world-weary and cynical, she’s fresh and innocent; he has his whole life ahead of him, she’s battling a life-threatening disease. Both are twenty, and they fall in love.

(SpoilLert: Nothing major, so you’re in luck!!! No way I’m mucking this up for first-time viewers. I’m saving all the spoilers for another post, heh heh.)

[Recommended companion tracks: “Bokura no Machi de” by KAT-TUN; “Cool Whispers” by Ike Yoshihiro]

“I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill…

And both were young, and one was beautiful”

– Lord Byron, “The Dream” Stanza II


Does it matter if a story has already been told a thousand times, in a thousand different ways and in a thousand different settings? Does it truly make a difference if the conflicts and situations are all but variations on the same refrain, all shifting permutations of the same formula? The answer is easy to come by: no, it doesn’t matter, not really. Because we are all suckers for a good yarn, whether that yarn has been spun over and over again in a myriad of patterns, regardless of cultural milieu or historical context. The faces and places may change, but the narrative blueprint is immortal: Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Adversity threatens to drive them apart, whether it’s society, their own families, or some form of tragedy. Boy and girl strive to overcome the odds stacked against them. But — will their love be enough to keep them together??? Well, WILL IT????

Such stories are timeless, their universal appeal reverberating through the ages. But the key to retaining their luster and relevance is the treatment they are given: the best versions out there — “Romeo and Juliet!” Ian McEwan’s “Atonement!” anything by Nicholas Sparks! (lol, scratch that) — limn this well-worn template with freshness and creativity, so that the characters and circumstances feel like you’re knowing them for the very first time. But placed in lesser hands or with a limited vision, the same archetype can readily regress into soap-opera hell and taste as stale as a week-old wasabi burger (yum!).

One permutation in particular strikes a deep and vibrant chord in all of us. The recipe for it is really quite simple: You take the classic theme of Young Love and crossbreed it with another romance paradigm, that of Forbidden Love — with its generous sprinkling of meddling relations, class tensions and social incompatibility — and crown it all with the great blood-red cherry of Life-threatening Illness. And voilà! — a sumptuous, intoxicating brew of Tragic Young Love, this mad swirl of romantic devotion simmering under the pall of immeasurable loss, a heady concoction as effervescent as youth and as darkly potent as death. Ah, Tragic Young Love, is there anything like you in the whole world? The tragedy makes the love more urgent and desperate; the love makes the tragedy more meaningful and poignant.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Drama Review: JIN (TBS, 2009)

April 28, 2010

The Doctor Is (J)IN!

or, Love in the Time of Korori and Syphilis (and Penicillin, too!)

by Ender’s Girl


The Cast:
Osawa Takao, Ayase Haruka, Nakatani Miki, Uchino Masaaki, Takeda Tetsuya, Koide Keisuke, Aso Yumi, Kiritani Kenta, Kohinata Fumiyo

In a Nutshell:
A run-in with a mysterious patient leads to a freak accident that zaps Tokyo neurosurgeon Minakata Jin back through time and into 19th-century Edo, where he finds himself in the turbulent last days of the Tokugawa shogunate. Bent on finding a way to return to the present, Jin must meanwhile learn to survive in this strange world of samurai and courtesans, assassins and revolutionaries, cholera outbreaks and syphilis, and periodic city fires. But as the Edoites come to rely more and more on his “futuristic” medical expertise, Jin sees a new moral dilemma arising: should he continue saving lives with technology from his time, knowing full well his actions may alter the course of History forever?

(SpoilLert: Very spoilery!)

“Marvin, you gotta play. See that’s where they [Marty’s parents] kiss for the first time on the dance floor. And if there’s no music, they can’t dance. If they can’t dance, they can’t kiss. If they can’t kiss they can’t fall in love, and I’m history.”
– Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985)

Ohohoho, time travel (or more accurately, space-time travel) — so we meet again! It’s the Ultimate!Cosmic!Conundrum! that every astrophysicist has grappled with but failed to fully explain (let alone prove). This concept — whether or not even possible in our universe — remains popular in fiction either as the central theme of a story, or just as a plot device. In my Proposal Daisakusen review I touched on the paradoxical loopholes and inherent inadequacies of time pretzels — although one will find a whole suite of theories to justify these loopholes, such as the many-worlds interpretation, or the Novikov self-consistency principle, to name a few. And although the attainability of time travel remains in dispute, its entertainment value cannot be gainsaid — especially when this motif is handled responsibly: i.e. when there is a real effort to explore its manifold repercussions, as well as open up new ethical predicaments for the protagonist/s to contend with.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!

Drama Review: Byakuyakou / Journey Under a Midnight Sun (TBS, 2006)

November 30, 2009

Road to Perdition

by Ender’s Girl


The Cast:
Yamada Takayuki, Ayase Haruka, Takeda Tetsuya, Watabe Atsuro, Yo Kimiko, Yachigusa Kaoru, Kashiwabara Takashi, Izumisawa Yuki, Fukuda Mayuko

In a Nutshell:
Two children commit the unthinkable but manage to deceive the police — except for one homicide detective who stays doggedly on their trail. But old sins cast long shadows, and their original crime inevitably leads to the next, and to the next, and to the next…

(SpoilLert: Spoilers right off the bat! Tread carefully.)

[Recommended companion tracks: “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden; “Eclipse” by Pink Floyd]


“Long is the way
And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light;”

– John Milton, “Paradise Lost”


These two kids, how they break my heart.

What makes a murderer? Does it really boil down to personal choice? Or is it when circumstances beyond one’s control present both the means and the opportunity to make that choice in the first place? And when a person takes the life of another, what does it do to them? What if this person were just a child?

When a grownup commits murder, it seems almost ordinary by society’s standards, and perhaps the more sensational ones (like crimes of passion) will merit a passing mention in the local news. But when a child commits murder, why do we feel so shaken right down to our very core? We often overlook the fact that children are capable of doing a lot more than we give them credit for. They can fight, they can hurt each other, they can defend themselves or those whom they love, they can think and feel and react, they can lie and steal — they can make moral choices. It is modern society that blithely looks away from this reality, choosing instead to view children with rosy-tinted innocence while denying them any smidgen of personal accountability.


When an eleven-year-old boy sticks a knife in his own father’s chest, when a girl of the same age plots to gas her own mother to death — what does this do to them? And what does this do to us, as viewers? How do these young killers live with the implications of their crimes? What do they do to survive, and how do they deal with potential obstacles to their freedom?

Byakuyakou is the journey that these two children, Kirihara Ryouji and Nishimoto Yukiho, undertake together as they carry their burden of guilt and fear and shame through uncharted territory, hacking out their own road in this wilderness while leaving a trail of blood and lies and tears. For the story of Byakuyakou is also a journey deep into the human heart, this no man’s land of hidden valleys and dark, endless tunnels. There are more secrets to bury, more crimes to cover up before the statute of limitations expires — and beyond this, freedom.

Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!