Just a bunch of dorama mini-reviews put together in no particular order…
Hanazakari no Kimitache e (HanaKimi)
Sound bite: IKEMEN Boogiehttps://sites.google.com/site/mshaydownhost/music/01-IKEMENBoogie.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
Large cast of young, inexperienced (back then) actors derived mostly from tokusatsu mercilessly flung into the world of cheesy romance drama. To say that they are overacting is an understatement but when compounded with the whimsical directing, ever-evolving “plot” and creative comedy, HanaKimi certainly shines. Of note is that it does not suffer from extreme episodia syndrome.
Standout artistes: Horikita Maki (Ashiya Mizuki), Ikuta Toma (Shuichi Nakatsu)
OST: Concise and to the point. Does it’s job well and varied enough not to be tiresome but definitely no standalone listening.
Best moment: “HOW CAN SHIT BE BURNING?!”
Akai Ito (Red Thread)
Sound Bite: 赤い糸-メインテーマhttps://sites.google.com/site/mshaydownhost/music/01%E8%B5%A4%E3%81%84%E7%B3%B8-%E3%83%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%86%E3%83%BC%E3%83%9E-%28iHoneyJoo.com%29.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
Very good plot progression and pacing, interesting side stories and a stellar performance by the lead actress. However, there is just way too much cheese which wasn’t balanced with comedy and the massive plot hole (or twist, depends on how you see it) is inexcusable. Overall a reasonable watching experience if you are willing to forgive its shortcomings.
Standout actress: Minamisawa Nao (Takemiya Mei)
OST: A good effort and reasonable attempt at an epic orchestral score. There are gems in this soundtrack but execution is not quite there.
Best moment: The advertisement where the lead actress sings the first 10 secs of the theme song.
Yankee kun to Megane chan (YanMega)
Sound Bite: Loose Leafhttps://sites.google.com/site/mshaydownhost/music/LooseLeaf.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
Silly episodic school drama with impossibly ridiculous characters. Lead male is far too old to be cast as a schoolboy now and it shows (but then deliquents tend to look like they are 30. Harry McKenzie anyone?). The “action” is jawdroppingly badly overdone so ignore it together with the poorly cast supporting characters. However this drama does have its moments of comedy gold and occasionally some very convincing imagery which make for a pretty entertaining show in the end.
Standout actress: Naka Riisa (Adachi Hana) – this young but extremely capable actress is probably the only one that can pull off a performance of the absurd character that is Adachi Hana, and she does this with amazing finesse.
OST: Not really worth mentioning other than the theme song which is strangely fitting.
Best moment: Naka Riisa in her horror house costumes
My Boss, My Hero (Mai ★ Bosu Mai ★ Hīrō)
Sound Bite: Theme of Herohttps://sites.google.com/site/mshaydownhost/music/19_ThemeOfHero.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1
What happens when you mix school drama, Yakuza intimidation, cheese, legendary pudding, lots of screaming and intense comedy? You get a tremendous amount of fun. The show doesn’t even bother to pretend to take itself seriously and neither does its cast or director, making for many many laugh out loud moments. Try not to marathon this or you’ll get a headache from the screaming which you’ll still hear even though your ears are stuffed with mafia cheese.
Standout artistes: Nagase Tomoya (Sakaki Makio), Aragaki Yui (Umemura Hikari)
OST: It tries to be a mafia show’s soundtrack with a school drama twist but very few tracks actually work well. The two or three good tracks are overplayed and you’ll get sick of the theme song after a while.
Best moment: That bit in the screenshot up there.