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Just watched episode 7 of SekaMuzu and hmmm. Most of it was a funny episode but the ending kind of made me go, “Huh?”

Samejima's hesitation is both understandable and annoying - and kind of getting more annoying with each episode. His snapping at Shibayama at the end ("YOU'RE FIRED!") was really exasperating and kind of stupid. Then we have Muraoki rejecting Wada for Samejima. On some level I understand the rejection - they may have chemistry, but Wada is still giving off slightly sleazy vibes; you can't trust him. But what were they implying in the closing conversation between Muraoki and Wada? Does Muraoki love Samejima?! What?? I hope they just meant affection. But then the episode 8 preview made me wonder... Ugh. I don't know if I like that. She mothers him so much that I can't see her as anything but a mother figure, or an older sister, to him.
This being a rom-com, I'm sure Samejima Reiji and Shibayama Misaki will eventually end up together, but I kinda wish (at the moment) that Muraoki could find her happy ending with Wada. It's almost a pity the Muraoki/Wada thing won't work out - for a short while there I thought he honestly liked her, but Kitamura Kazuki plays the bad guy so darn well I find it hard to believe this Wada character wasn't actually just toying with her for a bit...

Favourite parts of episode 7: the men crammed into the car, trying to bribe Ishigami to put in a good word for them with the boss; and Samejima accidentally guessing correctly that Muraoki has feelings for Wada. xD That brief Muraoki/Wada kiss was interesting too :3

I think I’ve also figured out why I’m more interested in the Muraoki/Wada relationship ever since the possibility was introduced in episode 4 or 5: it’s because Koike Eiko and Kitamura Kazuki are probably the best actors in this show and they have a certain level of natural chemistry (not instantaneous, but it kinda works).

Ohno is a good actor but he’s not very... Charismatic? He lacks the on-screen impact that some of his Johnny’s colleagues have (e.g. Matsujun, Okada, Nagase*). He generally suits stoic/severe characters better (which are the kinds of roles he gets anyway). And I don't think he's particularly good at being a romantic lead. It's a good thing his character here is more the stoic and grumpy sort and is clearly supposed to be awful at relationships because I doubt I could take him at all seriously otherwise. In SekaMuzu he has a lot more comedic moments and he does reasonably well, but apart from the scene in the gym in episode 5 where Shibayama Misaki gives him her reply, I felt like the romantic parts lacked a spark. Sure, I felt for him when he got frustrated over being unable to confess his feelings for her, but I didn't get the sense that they could go together well? Perhaps it's also partly lack of chemistry with his co-star, Haru...
Haru doesn't seem to be doing anything for me. She's just... there. She's pretty, and is doing a decent job, but I feel nothing for her. :/

* I think Nagase, Okada and Jun are some of Johnny's most flexible actors. (Toma is great but I tend to not include him in the "idol" class as he seems to now be a full-blown actor albeit under Johnny's. If I had to include him, he'd beat the other three easily.) They can carry serious roles and silly roles and romantic roles very well. Nagase has particularly good comic timing, and Jun may be the best at playing the romantic lead and/or the snob (he was made to play Doumyouji Tsukasa). Okada has... gravitas and possibly the greatest variety? I haven't seen the all their dramas and movies so I could be wrong but my impression at the moment is that Okada has a wider range, although nowadays he gets serious roles more and fewer funny ones. They're all three really good actors with a decent range in any case!

Date: 2016-06-07 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffee99.livejournal.com
That was an interesting read.

I have only seen the 1st episode and tuned out. I was expecting a lot when I heard about Ohno's new drama but somehow it was just bland. The setting, pacing of the drama and acting on Ohno and Haru's part was a disappointment. It's not bad, the premise of the story is quite interesting but as you said, the main lead's chemistry together is almost nonexistent.

I'm probably being a bit more critical on Ohno because I am an Arashi fan and his character portrayal is very similar to his real self.

In terms of acting, the 3 you mentioned, excluding Toma is definitely Johnny's best actors. I'd also have to include KimuTaku in there too. He may not be as flexible as Nagase and Jun, but his dramas have all done well and definitely has the charisma.

Date: 2016-06-08 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenniel.livejournal.com
I... I... I'm amazed that someone actually read this and commented?? I thought LJ was pretty dead already ^^;; So thank you for leaving a comment! And I'm glad you thought my rambling was interesting!

The first few episodes were just so-so and I probably just watched them because I wasn't watching weekly - I didn't have time to sit down and watch individual episodes earlier so when I finally got some time the other day I watched 4 in a row and it so happened that in that last episode the possibility of the Muraoki/Wada thing came up and I was immediately intrigued, so I barrelled through episodes 5 to 7 the next evening. If I'd just watched episode 1 and then 2, I might have quit around there and not bothered downloading the rest.

You're right, I think, when you say that Ohno's portrayal of Samejima seems pretty close to his real self. More grumpy than his usual self on TV, but otherwise not too different XD (I'm totally a Jun fan when it comes to Arashi so I'm naturally biased in that direction)

I haven't seen any of KimuTaku's stuff, so I just take everyone's word for it that he's good - or that he does at least have significant on-screen charisma.

Date: 2016-06-08 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffee99.livejournal.com
LJ has definitely quietened down over the last few years but the Arashi fandoms are still going strong, I suppose. My main purpose of having an LJ is to actually follow J Entertainment, especially Arashi. This might be going off-topic, but it makes me wonder why JEnt isn't more popular?

Because of your review on the Muraoki/Wada couple, I ended up searching their scenes in ep 6 or 7 and already I can see those two as the more interesting couple. IMO, I think the other reason this drama isn't working out for me is because I can't imagine Ohno with a girl. xD Not in a bad way, it's just his on-screen variety persona is that of an 'old man' and it's hard to picture him in a romcom.

Ah, Jun is my favourite too, ever since Hanadan. Are you also watching his new law/criminal drama? It's received such high ratings and impressive reviews. Personally, I haven't seen it, probably because I have no interest in law type dramas but I might give it a go later on.

Wow, I'm surprised you haven't seen any Kimutaku stuff. I haven't seen a lot of his works either but you should try Pride. This was my first drama I watched of his and instantly fell in love. It won't disappoint, it is an old drama though so idk if you can still find it online.

Date: 2016-06-09 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenniel.livejournal.com
I guess it's because the Johnnies (I assume you meant Johnny's Ent and not Japanese entertainment in general?) and others in the "idol" category are not particularly the kind of celebrities that people in other countries can easily comprehend? Like, many of them can't sing all that well (I consider V6 to be the best singing group overall, with K8 not too far behind) and it's really their variety shows and stuff that contributes their popularity. Perhaps people see them and think, "What sort of boyband is this that can't actually sing that well??" Just a theory XD

I read someone's summary of the episode 9 preview for SekaMuzu and it gives me a tiny bit of hope for Muraoki/Wada, but I'm not gonna get my hopes up - it might just be another tricky twist.
And yeah, it's difficult to imagine Ohno in this romantic role... He's managing the comedy of "romcom" all right, but not so much the romantic part. I couldn't even understand it in earlier episodes when they kept mentioning all these offers of marriage he was supposedly getting. I wasn't seeing what these other, random daughters of wealthy men found so attractive about him (until they actually met him, that is).

Yes, I'm watchin 99.9% - started on that one before SekaMuzu. But I don't think it's all that great; seems like standard comedy-detective/crime drama fare. I've watched quite a few of this type - perhaps a third of the J-dramas I've seen fall into the detective/crime category? - so I'm not seeing anything outstandingly new in the story. However, episode 8 does look promising in the preview.
Jun is doing okay in it. More of a comedic role; it feels a bit like his NatsuNiji character - amusing but there's a serious side that pops out every episode. And he's certainly pulling off his part here better than Ohno is in SekaMuzu. (He looks very young with that haircut but it doesn't quite suit him somehow...) I do approve of seeing him in a suit every episode though xDD

I somehow never got around to watching a Kimutaku drama (maybe because I have no interest in SMAP?). And yeah, I have my doubts about being able to find any still online now.

Date: 2016-06-09 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffee99.livejournal.com
Well Johnny's and Japanese entertainment in general can be applied. I do agree with your theory though, Johnny's groups don't particularly have outstanding singing and dancing qualities but through their shows, their personalities shine. I guess, that also influences how I think of their music? IMO, Arashi are given the best songs, I generally like most of their work. I can't say much for the other groups but K8 definitely are good singers. Honestly, that came as a surprise to me because they're known to be the 'funny' and mischievous group so I didn't think too much of their singing, until on an episode of one of their shows, they had to sing their senior's songs. "They can sing!" V6 and Tokio (Nagase) too. I can't say much for SMAP though...xD.

Always the plot twists. I'm glad to know at least he's holding up with the comedic side well.

I guess the high ratings are because of his popularity then. That's still amazing. I was planning on starting it but I guess I'll put it on hold. He does look younger! It's a cute hairstyle but agreed, it doesn't suit him that well. I prefer him with his hair just a bit longer.

P.S. I love the pic of Jun and Mao you used! Super cute. I wish those marriage rumours were true.
Edited Date: 2016-06-09 11:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-06-10 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenniel.livejournal.com
I think I liked Arashi's songs from the 2005-2008 era the best. (Though I must admit that of recent years I haven't really been keeping up with their music.) K8 is my favourite Johnny's group at the moment - and have been the past few years - so I'm more familiar with their stuff right now. And yes! Finding out they could actually sing was a shock because of their jokey image (except for Yoko and Hina... Yoko is my absolute favourite but he's no singer. ^^;;; ).

Yeah, 99.9% is probably doing well due to Jun's popularity. I can't see that it's doing well due to an innovative storyline or something. His co-star, Kagawa Teruyuki, has the more interesting character part. And I guess the overall humour of the series helps audience interest? Also, there are apparently a tonne of in-jokes and references to other stuff in the show (as the amnosxmatsujun subs show) so perhaps for Japanese viewers there's far more to enjoy. I really hope they don't try to shoehorn some romance in because it wouldn't fit...

Ah, the Jun/Mao marriage rumours! I wish they were true too. They look so cute together~ But alas, doesn't look like that's true. haha

Date: 2016-06-10 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffee99.livejournal.com
I haven't followed any Arashi songs since 2012 until now with their recent releases for their dramas. They probably have the most popular songs. K8 has some really good songs too but they're usually not the promoted ones. I've been really into K8 lately because of their show, 'Kanjani Chronicle'. Full of hilarious moments.

I've read a post somewhere about the drama making a lot of pop culture references etc., which is always awesome if you understand it. I've never seen any of Kagawa Teruyuki's work but I've heard he's a great actor. Eikura Nana on the other hand, I've seen her butler drama years ago and I'm not too sure of her acting. It might have improved since then, so I'll leave my judgement for later, haha.

I know they have kept in touch after the drama series and have even hung out in private too. So fingers crossed (Delusional fan right here xD). Jokes, most likely it's not true.

Date: 2016-06-12 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenniel.livejournal.com
K8 does suffer a little from less promotion than Arashi. But as a K8 fan, I'm happy they're as popular as they are now (which is to say, much more popular than they were nine years ago when I started being a fan of K8. haha) ^_^

Kagawa *is* good. Quite versatile, I think, although the few times I've seen him act he tends to be the villain (except in 99.9%). Eikura Nana is okay. I haven't seen many of her dramas/movies but she seemed okay to me in Mei-chan... though less convincing in Toshokan Sensou.

We can only dream of a Jun/Mao relationship xD


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