Posted tagged ‘matsu takako’

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!

Drama Review: Hero (Fuji TV, 2001)

October 30, 2009

HERO Worship

by Ender’s Girl

The Cast:
Kimura Takuya, Matsu Takako, Abe Hiroshi, Otsuka Nana, Kadono Takuzo, Katsumura Masanobu, Kohinata Fumiyo, Yashima Norito, Kodama Kiyoshi

In a Nutshell:
Self-taught public prosecutor Kuryu Kohei brings his unconventional crime-busting methods to the Josai district office, much to the consternation of the other prosecutors and law clerks.

(SpoilLert: Moderately spoilerish. No biggies.)


I’m trying to rack my brains for something about this drama that I hated, or disliked — even just a teensy bit. Nothing comes to mind. Even the semi-crummy production values (which would seem more at home in 1987 than in 2001, the year the show aired), “spazzy music” (to quote my cyber-friend, ai*), and odd, quirky editing style — they all just GROW ON YOU. And to think these are just the technical aspects of the drama.

The soundtrack is SO effin’ catchy! By the end of the first episode I was jerking and twitching along to the now-familiar music, a sly throwback to those old-school detective comedies a la The Pink Panther: jazzy and off-beat, with just a hint of sleaze. Brilliant!

At first the directorial style caught me off balance: the actors speak directly into the lens while the camera swoops in for a close-up, and the dialogue ping-pongs from one person to the next at such a frenetic pace. But the style of Hero actually lends itself well to the screwball, sometimes campy atmosphere. I soon realized how much it reminded me of Baz Luhrmann’s Velvet Curtain oeuvre (Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and even Australia), dubbed as such because of his penchant for the theatrical. But you know what? I loved every Luhrmann film to freaking BITS (and wish he were more prolific) and he remains to this day my favorite director ever. So going back to Hero, it’s all good, baby.

The great thing about Hero was that despite the drollery and high dramedy, the actors were so completely into their character. Hero scores the best ensemble acting I’ve seen in a drama, in a loooong time. That easy rapport among the cast was undeniably there, the comfortable system of trust and reliance so apparent in the way they’d riff their lines off each other, scripted or ad-libbed, any which way. It’s also quite obvious how much the actors simply enjoyed being with each other, and what they were doing — otherwise, this renzoku wouldn’t have had that intangible quality that makes an ensemble drama truly… transcendent.

It wasn’t just the acting (which, paradoxically, was so unselfconscious despite the screwball treatment), but also the way each character was written, that I found to be so endearing. It may have taken me a few episodes to warm up to ALL of them (maybe because of the way they all treated Kimura’s character at first, heh — more on that later), but at some point I realized how deeply absorbed I was in each of their own little storylines, the details of their own little interpersonal dramas, filled with their own little hang-ups and insecurities, foibles and follies. Click to read MOAR!!! MOAR!!!