May 14th, 2017
Every once in a while, I stumble across an older J-drama that looks interesting, so I pick it up and check it out. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, but it’s always an interesting experience.
This time, I take a look at Houkago wa Mystery Totomo ni, roughly translated as “Along With After School Mysteries”. It’s a 9-episode half-hour series from 2012, based on the book of the same name by Tokuya Higashigawa, published in 2011.
March 14th, 2017
This 10-episode series comes from a novel called Himura Hideo Series by Arisu Arisugawa, first published in March, 1992 by Kodansha. Clearly, it’s self-referential because the writer of the novel is also part of the series. But lots of J-dramas come from books and manga and they don’t always translate well to screen, so let’s see how Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa fared.
March 11th, 2017
Wow, this one was a long time coming, wasn’t it? We have had it sitting in our “to be watched” pile for a very long time, although certainly not since 1999, and finally got around to sitting down to see it. Keizoku is seen as a “groundbreaking” police drama in Japan and for good reason. But how does it measure up to some of my favorite shows of the past? Let’s find out.
January 29th, 2017
It was time to dive into my very deep pile of J-dramas that I’ve had sitting around forever, with no time to actually watch them. Higanbana, or Whispers From a Crime Scene, is a 2016 series which ran 10 episodes on NTV. It’s another one of those quirky cop dramas that seem to show up on Japanese television all the time, so what the heck, let’s give this one a shot?
So did Higanbana turn out to be any good? You’re not going to find out unless you click below!
January 15th, 2017
My first reaction to this series was “Dead Like Me with giant pink rabbits” and that pretty much describes what it is. It falls outside of our normal fare but it looked interesting and hey, it was summer, there wasn’t much on TV, so what the heck?
That said though, I could tell right off the bat that I’d enjoy it and, spoiler alert, I did. So what is it that made this 9-episode 2016 supernatural comedy fun? Read on to find out.
December 27th, 2016
I have a massive pile of J-drama that I need to get time to watch. At least as TV slows down over Christmas, I might be able to get through the stack and see and review a couple of series. But last night, having some time, I dug through the pile and came up with Corpse Party, a 2015 movie, directed by Masafumi Yamada and starring Ikoma Rina, Ikeoka Ryōsuke and Maeda Nozomi. It’s based on a series of horror video games in Japan and has also received the anime and live action TV treatment. So the format was right, but is the movie actually any good?
June 7th, 2016
Oh look, another weird-ass detective story, what a surprise! This time I take a look at the 2016 supernatural murder mystery Stranger that aired on TV Asahi on March 27. Even though I’m not a fan of the supernatural, it looked interesting enough to t ake a gander so let’s see how it turned out.
May 31st, 2016
Sometimes something about a movie just appeals to you for some reason and other times, you know exactly why you’re watching. In this case, it is the latter and we wanted to see this movie specifically because it starred Hiroshi Abe, probably my favorite male Japanese actor. I’d watch this guy gargle. So we have a detective film, based on a book by Keigo Higashino, whose books also gave rise to things like Galileo and Shinzanmono, which this movie is related to, how could we possibly go wrong? Therefore, let’s take a look at The Wings of the Kirin.
May 19th, 2016
The Japanese really have a thing for locked room mysteries that I just don’t understand. Sure, they’re a staple of murder mysteries, but this borders on obsession. So here we have another mystery series that is entirely made up of locked room mysteries.
Or is it? Let’s see what we can make of The Perfect Insider.
May 5th, 2016
Known in Japanese as “Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso”, the description of this show was really not at all what it turned out to be. It sounded very similar to Psych, one of my favorite American shows, but in the end, it wasn’t that at all. It was something better.