Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

Four guys, a girl, and a makeover... wait, scratch that.  It's really four guys, a girl and a beaten to death lesson about inner beauty and true love. I'm quite sure there's also a thing about "learning to love yourself" thrown in there to sweeten the pot.

Note: I  tried to keep the rest of the review spoiler-free but in the end, I couldn't. Whether or not the review even makes enough sense is something that cannot be guaranteed...was in a daze when I wrote this...  I suppose it's a side effect of  watching something that's designed to be "mind-numbingly fun".

You see, I wasn't particularly excited to watch anything from the winter 2010 dorama line-up, so finishing all ten episodes of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge comes as a surprise. It's juvenile and spastic but I saw it anyway. Blame it on the long election weekend. Blame it on a cold that wouldn't go away. Blame it on huge doses of cough medication... and most of all, blame it on New Moon. Yep, when it came right down to watching an insanely popular [but fatuous] vampire movie  OR watching another shōjo manga adaptation, I had to pick the lesser of two evils, so I went with Kame and the boys. After all, how bad can it be?

Turns out that watching this series meant violating an item in my Murtaugh List, specifically the one that  pertains to frying brain cells with indiscriminate viewing. For the last two years, I've been more selective of what I watch-- the objective was to basically avoid anything that was atrociously cute and dumb enough to  raze  massive cell death in my poor noggin. It's the reason why I wouldn't come near dramas such as Mei-chan no Shitsuji and Kaibutsu-kun, having learned my lesson from watching unforgettable gems like Itazura na Kiss and Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. But then again, as you know, there's always an exception. Tokusatsus, for instance are taken out of the equation. You can't really watch something that henshins into a masked fighting machine without being required to suspend a certain amount of disbelief. Same with hard camp dramas like Fuma no Kojiro and Boku to Kanojo XXX or obscure shows that, more often than not, are shown at midnight. But primetime dramas should always be held at a different standard... or so I thought.

I actually got to watch two episodes of this series last January just to check it out. I then decided to drop it after being assaulted by an endless parade of random events and characters but was later prevailed upon to watch it after being given a copy by a friend. So as I willed myself into watching, I suddenly remembered what threw me off the first time around...

It was that disco light-infused, musical number of an OP!

Come on, what the heck was that? Where's the ingenuity? Where's the art? Where's the truckload of cash intended for this part? (Because rhymes are fun.)

The whole thing begins with a shot of Kame in a white suit standing in front of the title of the drama  plastered in red neon and then cuts to a sound stage where all five characters dance to the tune of KAT-TUN's Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki. It's just a weird spectacle as the four actors dance to the same choreography yet interpret it in different ways. Kame is grooving to it like it was the hippest thing in the world, he even does a body wave, just because he can; Tegoshi purses his lips and tries to put in some funk; Uchi looks like he's counting to the beat; and Miyao Shuntaro, the ballet dancer, does alright with the port de bras but totally sucks with the parts where he's required to pop and lock.

With contra tiempo moves that go against the music, the number itself comes with a sortie of jazz hands, sparkly effects and close-up shots. It's without a doubt another example of JE mind control at its finest as viewers are subconsciously fed the messages [above, left to right]: See me, Love me, Want me, Watch me-- as each character repeatedly makes hand gestures and beckons you to tune in every week. YOU MUST RESIST IT,  I TELL YOU! You must resist.  You...must...resist.... DAMNIT! I was all ready to start a crusade until my sister walked in and sang along to the song.  Didn't get to her in time... guess I should count myself lucky that she didn't dance to it (*sigh).

Okay, so back to the program...

The poor thing is so shy, she's always alone and doesn't have any friends.

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge plays like your run-of-the-mill shōjo manga  complete with a generous selection of off-kilter characters, an unlikely premise and an array of not-so-funny gags. It belongs in the company of dramas that have a rocky beginning (due in part to a host of wtf plot devices) and an ill-fitting end. Similar to shows like Ryusei no Kizuna and Atashinchi no Danshii, this is a drama that keeps you wondering where the hell it is going, before belatedly deciding on which course it was gonna take. It has something that would resemble a story, but has nothing of real value to fuss about because as fun and loopy as the anime and manga may be, seeing it in live-action can be a tad disturbing. Trust me, there are so many things in this show that can make you cringe.

Like any teen-oriented drama that has a reverse harem scenario, the story wouldn't be complete without the presence of a certain number of ikemen which, according to experts, could range from a minimum of three boys to as many as having three dormitories' worth of men. In this case, we have four.

With your powers, I want you to make her into a Yamato Nadeshiko.

In an opening sequence that's as outlandish and full of conceit as the introduction of the main characters in dramas like Hana Yori Dango, Hana Kimi and Yukan Club, the four men comprising the harem are capriciously profiled to have attributes so desirable that their mere presence make women weak at the knees. There's Kyouhei Takano (Kamenashi Kazuya), who's loud and brash, quick to anger and yet still the most popular of the four. Next is kind-hearted Yukishijo "Yuki" Toyama (Tegoshi Yuya) whose curly locks and childlike persona bring out the maternal instinct in women. Also present is quiet and reserved Takenaga Oda (Uchi Hiroki), heir to a traditional family skilled in ikebana. Rounding up the group is suave Ranmaru Morii (Miyao Shuntaro), a wealthy playboy who spends every waking moment with a different lady in tow.

They're the F4 of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, otherwise known as the "Freeloader 4". They're four college guys who were offered free room and board in a luxurious mansion on the condition that they turn  the landlady's niece into a yamato nadeshiko or the epitome of the ideal Japanese woman.  Sounds simple, right? How hard could it be for four guys with well-coiffed hair and plucked eyebrows to perform something like a bishonen-eye type of makeover?

If she's not sick, then what is it?

The answer: VERY HARD, especially when the subject of the makeover does not want to cooperate.

Meet Nakahara Sunako (Oomasa Aya), wallflower extraordinaire. She's a hikikomori of the horror girl variety, the type who hides behind super long bangs and one who has a strange fascination for horror movies, skulls and blood. She's insecure and withdrawn, often seen lurking in a black hooded cloak and is unusually comfortable sleeping in a coffin. Content with being shut away from the world with only three anatomical dolls to keep her company, Sunako doesn't see the point of changing her way of life.

To make matters worse, Sunako can't stand to be in the presence of beautiful things and dazzling creatures, making it doubly hard for her housemates to even come close. If forced to look at one of their faces, her nose bleeds and her head hurts. She'd scream "MABUSHEEEE!!!!" as if blinded by intense light, administer a head butt and slink away into the dark.

The quartet try their best to change her but they just don't have the power to hold her down. Why? Because Sunako has superhuman strength and she can invoke the power of GraySkull. Remember She-ra: Princess of Power? Well, she's sort of like that... When enraged, the sky darkens and a cold draft fills the air, and suddenly Sunako has the strength of ten men shortly after becoming a human lightning rod. All anyone has to do to flip on that switch is to yell "BuSunako" at the top of his lungs and/or until a major artery on his neck comes dangerously close to making that fatal pop... and KABAM! Pow! Whack! She's the goth chick with a vengeance. That, more or less, is the drama's S.O.P.

By the time I finished episode 3 it was clearly useless to rate this drama according to a standard criteria. It's one of those shows where you either get with the program or just smartly tune out. To do otherwise would be like pretending to not know that the story itself was based on a shōjo manga.

Episodes 1-5 cover all lengths of crazy as the stories revolve around a stakeout of a host club, magic mushrooms, a rabid fan, a kidnapped doll, a geriatric suitor, a runaway bride, a box of chocolates and a ghost from Rome that resides in the [Lockheart] mansion. To analyze all these things would be to dwell on  insignificant matters  that don't have answers-- like how come the gaijin spectre speaks Nihonggo or why Sunako doesn't get electrocuted... simply put, it's all a waste of time. To consider these things outside of the writer's purpose to bring Sunako and Kyouhei together, I repeat, would just be a waste of time. The best way to watch this show is to check your brain at the door and just go along with the ride.

Barring all logic and common sense, these episodes can be light and funny, they might even be good enough to strike a chord with its intended audience, which I think are tweens. Obviously, if you're looking for something profound and dramatic, look elsewhere, my friend. If you're not willing to overlook a lot of things and get on with the silly, don't even try it, just walk away.
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge  thrives on equal doses of silly and crazy, [as if you didn't know,] with a lot of grating and annoying elements thrown in between. Some of the comic sketches can be funny but most of the humor surrounding Sunako and her situation fall flat because of bad timing as some [supposedly] comedic sequences happen a beat too late or last for more than a few seconds. A good example of this is that scene where Sunako is seen tapping on the window pane. The surprise factor can only last for a few seconds, if not handled carefully, you're just left with dead air [insert yawn and crickets]. Another reason why it fails to be funny is because some of the things portrayed were simply unsettling, like Sunako's protracted moaning and groaning. It's more funny-weird bordering on creepy than funny-haha-- something that the writer and director failed to distinguish.

What's great about it though is that anyone who watches it has a pretty good idea of what to expect. No one's gonna die or have an unfortunate accident, and Sunako's going to find true love plus a rockin' skull bracelet at the end. No surprises...  unless you count the part wherein all four boys dress in drag with a fully made-up Kame as their undisputed queen.

Assuming you get through all five filler episodes, which can be quite a long slog,  the second half of the series is actually where each of the characters get designated an episode to "flesh out" his story. Conflicts are thrown in to make things interesting but like any show that's lean on content, each problem is resolved rather easily-- the landlady and her son have a heartfelt discussion,  Sunako and Kyouhei would duke it out, and the boys  settle their differences by wrestling around a pool, calling  it "male-bonding". Furthermore, Yuki gets to reaffirm his commitment to his long distance girlfriend (Motokariya Yuika) and Takenaga gets to be the heir and boyfriend to the sickeningly [pa]sweet Noi (Kanbe Ranko).  Even Ranmaru the Casanova gets  an intriguingly short story arc with the appearance of a family-designated, stone-faced fiancee in Tamao Kikunoi (Asami Reina).

Now before you get excited thinking that this show is headed somewhere, let me pull the breaks and remind you not to overthink this. Because that's all you're gonna get. It's best to just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. If at any point you feel like standing up and getting a life, then more power to you.  For those who will stick around to see it through, then get ready because there's a mad scramble of a story ahead of you.

Stupid complexes... you can just blow them off!

Screenwriter Shinozaki Eriko (Cat Street, Kurosagi, Daisuki, Tomorrow) decided to tackle each character's "complexes" in Episodes 6-9.  It's a welcome relief from the chaos and inanity of the previous episodes, however placing all of them together in the latter part of the series came out to be a desperate and poorly conceived move. For one, it assumes that people would stick around long enough to see it; and two, it meant rendering a different treatment on the episodes such that some scenes would have to depart from the  show's overall light and cartoonish mood. And while this style and treatment may have been true and consistent with the manga, where the main story was also told near the end of the series, the writer could have easily endeavored to present a more solid narrative by slowly easing the viewers into the story rather than bombarding them with strange wacky adventures at the show's onset. Only by toning down the crazy antics did the characters had room to grow, but by then the show was already at an impasse, it had nowhere to go. (Again with the rhymes.)

As a result, episode 6 turned out to be quite weak and forgettable (in no way will Kame's haircut be considered a milestone), while episode 7 had remnants of events already featured in shows like Nobuta wo Produce and Hana Yori Dango. On the other hand, episodes 8-9 appear to be oddities with extended sobfests (Kame, cry me a river...) over Kyouhei's tortured past  that did not blend well with the ludicrous [hello, ghost possession #2] storyline  that ran parallel to it. There was too much drama and a lot of cheese, and since the writer was constrained to make use of earlier plot devices (e.g. unstable villains, restless spirits, the child narrator, cheap lightning and laser beam sfx), episode 10 ended up as a back-to-basics episode  showcasing, of all things, a candid-camera-human-trafficking-fashion-show. Yep, a candid-camera-human-trafficking-fashion-show... you have to see it to believe.

The "you" that you hate...is the "you" that I love.

Of course in the middle of all this is a love story... a love story that happened between an angst-ridden pretty boy sporting a feathered shag and a socially inept ghost girl with a heavy fringe. Believe it or not, it's a match made in heaven-- shōjo manga heaven that is. He's a glutton, she's a superb cook; he doesn't like crowds, she's a shut-in; he hates women who worship his face, she can't stand to look at his face... they even share a superficial sense of self-loathing, albeit manifested in different ways. In each other, they find a sense of comfort and joy, they even manage to confront their personal demons to learn about the greatest love of all (no doubt a valuable lesson which they could have picked up just by listening to any number of songs, say, one by Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera).

Like your typical Byronian hero, Kyouhei has had a big chip on his shoulder ever since his pretty mug deprived him of his mother's love. In a world without restraining orders, sexual harassment suits and rules against illegal assembly, not to mention rational thought and maybe mirrors, his God-given [and/or cosmetically enhanced] good looks began to take a toll on his family and affected his self-esteem. With a psychologically depressed mother  who doesn't want anything to do with him and hordes of women, and the occasional man,  after him, the only thing left to do would be to mutilate his precious face and move to  Gotham City... (Oh the bane, the horror!)... but that thought never occurred to him, so plaid  shirts and glasses it is.  Sunako, on the other hand was just unlucky in love. After being rejected and called ugly, she withdraws from society completely and finds comfort chatting up a storm with dear old Hiroshi. 

So these two lost souls develop a strange affinity because they both suffer self-image issues. It plays off like a classic case study where two people with similar issues are subjected to some form of group psychotherapy; both benefiting from an exercise of psychological projection and transference. Oddly enough, it's a pairing that works, with each holding up a looking glass for the other...  that's about the extent of my hack theory. The relationship was by no means well-written-- a lot of it seemed forced (at least until episode 7 rolled in where Kame lay claim on his woman "Korean style" by grabbing her by the wrist and dragging her away, I guess it looks cooler that way hehe)-- but the fact of the matter is that  no two characters in the drama were as troubled and no two characters could have understood each other more. It's weird, but true.
The acting in this series is of a low caliber but then again one cannot really expect them to perform well given the material they were given. Characters were largely underdeveloped, so the best that most of them could do was to look cute and project into the camera, which is like a license to overact. 1-2-3 Shock!

Having played the role of a cocky yet sensitive guy before, it's no surprise that Kame pulls off Kyouhei with the right amount of angst and swagger. Nothing new there. Uchi comes off as bland as his detached and bookish character while Miyao Shuntaro looked rather ugly with all those tight shots he was getting (too many Ojisan Home Alone >> NOOOOO!!!!!).  As a relative newcomer, his Ranmaru is flamboyant and irritating, was probably told to play things up for comedic effect but was totally found wanting. I think he should stick to dancing; maybe if he lets me throw tomatoes at him doing a  fouetté en tournant,  I  might find the heart to forgive him. Meanwhile, Tegoshi's Yuki did nothing more than wink and pout and act all cutesy-wootsy as if that would last him until he's 30. But the one who had the hardest job was Oomasa Aya, who had to make Sunako funny, weird and endearing--  something which she barely pulls off  concealed by a black cape and a curtain of hair. Sunako came alive only in the latter episodes when you get to see her "real face" and not the one that was made over, a sorry plight for an actress who was given her first breakout role.

If there's one thing of note in this production, it's the drama's use of light. It seemed that director-producer Ishii Yasuharu (Hana Yori Dango, Smile, Ryusei no Kizuna, Byakuyako) used all his previous [lighting] experience in order to shoot Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge in keeping with Sunako's point of view.  Because all four boys were always bathed in light-- sometimes it was unfiltered, at times it was harsh, at other times washed out and a few times warm. It was like one giant lighting experiment, where scenes, especially at the beginning, were either shot too bright or with hardly any light at all (which goes to say that some scenes appeared to be dark and stuffy). What's interesting about it is that as the series progressed, the sharp, glaring backlight was slowly replaced by a soft incandescent glow. The way the scenes were lit changed dramatically, just as Sunako changed and eventually became comfortable enough to be herself around her newfound friends. That's about the only thing that really stood out for me in this series.

In conclusion, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge is much like that new ride in the amusement park that you didn't want to take (because it was too flashy, it looked lame, and kids were in line for it, oh and  maybe you caught sight of a grown-up barfing after getting off it....) but your friends talked you into anyway. So when you're already strapped in, what's the use of complaining? Just enjoy/endure it for the duration of it's run, then try to walk straight like your head isn't spinning.  Would I take another ride on it? HELL NO. And with that, I close this show.    


  1. I'm so happy you reviewed this!!! XDDDD (You had me at "four guys, a girl, and a makeover"... although TBH, this drama really had me at "kamenashi" so I would've watched it anyway lulz)

    Your post looks nice and long and meaty -- just how I like 'em! -- and I'll def. come back to read this in full when I've watched the drama. (I'd be done by now, hadn't some kid with the initials M.H. gotten in the way, haha)

  2. Hahaha. M.H. has this power to move women to drop everything in order to stare at his pretty face. That's how Bloody Monday got a season 2. ^^''

    The only reason I probably got through YNSH was because Kame was in it; can't help but give the boy a break. My friend actually gave me a copy of YNSH along with Code Blue 2 so it was a toss between Kame and Pi, but choosing Pi meant going back to see Code Blue 1, so I ended up passing on it.

    The post kinda ran long, don't know though if it would qualify as meaty. I tried to restrain myself from totally dissing it so I ended up going light on the review. :D

  3. Hey dissing is (cathartically) good, too! hihihi XD

    "That's how Bloody Monday got a season 2. ^^''" >> LMAO so true!!! XD

    Oh gorr, I have CB2 too but never got past Ep. 1. Don't know if I'd go back to CB1 to jog my memory, though. (Besides, I mostly ffwded that one, so it's not like I was invested at all.) But YNSH over CB2,3,4,538492347378, yeah why not?

    You know, it's funny 'coz I never thought you to be a Kame fan. I'd always assumed your J-tastes to be: "JE (except Kimura & Arashi)? yuckerz". I don't even know what gave me that benighted notion, haha. But knowing you find Kame watchable at the very least, gives me a measure of comfort, lolz.

    Btw I never got to ask about your fave J-actors. +D

  4. You know, it's funny 'coz I never thought you to be a Kame fan. I'd always assumed your J-tastes to be: "JE (except Kimura & Arashi)? yuckerz" >>> Don't worry, I get that a lot. Maybe because I'm not really a fan in the "fangirl" sense... I even get asked whether I'm a guy or a girl. >.> I enjoy watching jdoramas and movies regardless of who's in it because let's face it, those JE boys are here to stay. As for fave J-actors can't really say I have one but you know, as long as an actor has done at least one drama/movie that I find acceptable, that little measure of goodwill really goes a long way.

    But you're right, I do tend to prefer actors out of JE (Satoshi Tsumabuki, Yamada Takayuki, etc). That's because they generally come off more natural on screen as opposed to JE actors who usually come with affectations. That doesn't mean though that I've ruled them out completely. For starters, I think Kame ain't that bad because he's proven himself to be quite entertaining given the variety of dramas he's done. I don't hold the same hope for Pi or Jin but hey, I'll be curious enough to at least check out what they're doing... (yeah right) LOL X) From SMAP, Katori Shingo can be quite effective and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi can always be counted to play the normal everyday guy. From those above 40, I can be expected to watch people like Tsutsumi Shinichi, Fukuyama Masaharu, Osawa Takao and Abe Hiroshi. So yeah, it's kinda hard to zone in on a favorite.

  5. Thanks for reviewing this. YNSH is on my list of things to watch, albeit hovering around the Code Blue II region. I've been avoiding it in fear of many of the not-so-positives you mentioned in your review.

    But I did enjoy reading your insights! Like E.G., your opening paragraph had me cracking up already, almost laughing harder than the glittery OP dance sequence of this show lol xD

    I'm not Kame's number one fan but I do like him & think he is quite comfortable to watch onscreen. I think he is v. capable of evoking emotion, given the right circumstances where everything (the writing, his co-stars etc) falls into place but unfortunately, he has been picking up some (dodgy) roles of late that don't haven't really worked for his look & demeanour.

  6. Haha, it really is pretty hard to top that OP. The only thing I can think of that would top it would be if I started learning the choreography... argh, perish the thought! But I do hope you get around to seeing it (by that, I mean YNSH and not my would-be-freaky-lame dance version should I decide to imitate the OP *sheepish grin*). Like they say, "the more (victims), the merrier." LOL

    My only beef with YNSH was that I couldn't stand to see back-to-back episodes of it. The upside is that Kame was quite good in it-- he was normal as can be granting you ignore the Farah Fawcett 'do. :D

  7. Hey thanks for obliging me with your fave J-actors! I would've replied sooner but was on holiday (and I left the J-fangirl part of me back home, locked in a giant plastic bin with all my preciousss DVDs, haha).

    Yeah, Tsumabuki Satoshi & Yamada Takayuki also top my "Non-JE Actors of Good Good Quality!" list together with Eita and Shun. (I tend to compartmentalize my J-fandom. Makes things simpler, lol) And I agree, those dudes are more versatile and loads more talented than your garden-variety Johnny... BUT on other hand, can they sing/dance/fan-wank/wear cheesygheyboi outfits the way our JE critters can? Can they can they? Oh nononono!!! Lulz

    (Sidebar: Tsumabuki Satoshi was the reason I bought a DVD of Fast&theFurious:TokyoDrift. Stupid stiupid. He had one scene 3.64 nanoseconds in length. He's the guy who stands between the two cars at the starting line in one of the racing scenes and says: "GO!" Not worth seeing the rest of this clunker, blerg.)

    I haven't seen Shingo do straight drama, but Tsuyopon I def. would consider A REAL AKTORR, to the extent that he's actually broken through the JE sound barrier. Now that's supersonic acting for you! Hahaha

    As for your Elder Statesmen Actors, yeah I def. have nothin' but respekt for those men. What about Motoki Masahiro? I only saw him in Departures and was aghast to find out that he used to be a Johnny. Well, I guess this just means that... there's Hope for the Flowerboys, hahaha XD

  8. "BUT on other hand, can they sing/dance/fan-wank/wear cheesygheyboi outfits the way our JE critters can? Can they can they? Oh nononono!!! Lulz" >> Solid argument as to why the world needs them. Haha! Oh, but some of the non-JE actors also put out albums/singles with emo-tastic-I'm-an-artiste covers (blech). Nice to know you compartmentalize your J-fandom. I also happen to follow an out of sight-out of mind policy.

    I also like Eita and Shun but I prefer them being part of an ensemble cast than having the lead role per se. I think they excel as supporting characters... (*dodges shoe thrown by Eita/Shun fan) Also forgot to mention Narimiya Hiroki-- that guy's been doing outstanding work for while and Ishihara Hayato who did a fantastic job in All About Lily Chou Chou, but I hate how he looks now.

    Can't help but laugh at your Tokyo Drift DVD story. That's the movie where Satoshi got credited as the "exceedingly handsome guy" when all he did was point to his left (girl says, "ready"), point to his right (another girl says "setto"), smile and say "GO!" Hmmm, saw that on a vcd rental... bad, bad movie.

    As for Shingo in a straight drama, I suggest you check out "Bara no Nai Hanaya". That drama kinda went off track in the middle but the first 4-5 episodes... damn, that show made me want to go out and find me a florist.

    And yes, I believe there's always life after being a Johnny. They won't be able to wear those funky rainbow-colored suits forever and bust out an awkward move in the middle of singing a kindergarten song... I bet most of them won't even grow old gracefully but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  9. I SO enjoyed this post! Had more fun reading it than watching the whole bluddy drama (which I just finished at 3 in the morning, haha). Loved your opposites-but-not-really-opposites analysis of the romance, too. XD I watched mainly for the few (and far between) Kyouhei+Sunako moments, but the rest of this drama actually made the facile craziness of Hana Kimi seem so... highbrow, and to think I HATED that show, lol.

  10. Thanks! Glad to hear that you finally managed to finish YNSH even though it took you till 3 in the morning. For some reason, this show always made me want to stand up and attend to something important after every ep. Like it always reminded me that I had something better to do. LOL.

    You know the more I think about Kyouhei & Sunako's romance, the more I find it disturbing. There's this guy who wants love from his mother who can't stand to look at him... so what does he do? He finds a suitable stand-in thru a girl who will love him even though she can't stand to look at him. Sick! Paging Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil...

  11. Having read part of the manga (which I had to stop reading as it got way too ridiculous) I really wanted to know how they were going to play out a such a spoofy, silly plot line. I watched it, enjoyed it, hated it, and was screaming at the horribly done up ending. But, hey this drama got me through a semester of beating my head against a chalkboard because of my insanely crazy students, so I guess that's a good thing.

    After trying to get people to understand fractions and basic math, something mind-numbing is definitely good and of Kame's recent drama roles, it was better than that wine drama and 1 Pound Gospel, both of which I tried to give a chance just because of his acting in Nobuta.

  12. @wolforion20 - Like they say, different strokes. I'm happy that you got YNSH to get you through all that...beat head on chalkboard bit...ach...ouch... that must've hurt. LOL.

    Kame never really sold me on that "Awaken, Bacchus" bit but it was pretty amusing to see him try. I guess for Kame fans, YNSH is a bit more acceptable since they get to see him back as the cool dude who happens to wear his heart on his sleeve. Still, not his best work to date.

    @E.G. - Ach, if you're thoroughly impressed with Tsuyopon over Ninkyo Helper, then I suggest you stay away from his duds like Ryokiteki na Kanojo, Food Fight and Star no Koi. The man does have nice shows on him but there's also the occasional miss.

  13. @ zooey - "Sick! Paging Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil..." << Now that you mentioned it... OH YUCK!!! So warped-o, warped-o! (This reminds me of the time I read somewhere -- maybe Robert Bly's Iron John, can't remember -- that the reason men wear beards is that the facial hair symbolizes mummy's... um, nether hair. lol)

    Oh, and thanks for the Tsuyopon heads-up. XD I actually only meant to watch Koi ni Ochitara and then take it from there. I'll stay away from those titles you mentioned. I guess I'm not so much a Tsuyoshi completist as a... connoisseur, in which case I'll be content to watch only The Good Stuff. XD (I hope his upcoming WW2 period drama with Nakama Yukie delivers, though... *crosses fingers*)

  14. So warped-o, warped-o! (This reminds me of the time I read somewhere -- maybe Robert Bly's Iron John, can't remember -- that the reason men wear beards is that the facial hair symbolizes mummy's... um, nether hair. lol) >>> Eewwwww! EEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! There's not much I can add to that. ROFL ^^