Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.


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Location: Akihabara@DEEP, NY, Christmas Island

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Ikebukuro West Gate Park Screen Caps

Ikebukuro West Gate Park’s (IWGP) final episode was released last Thursday by SARS-Fansubs. I had avoided watching the show until the release was completed and I’m glad that I did. I watched the entire 11 episodes over the weekend and the continuing nature of the storyline makes it a good show to marathon.

I wanted to see this show because it is based on work by the Ishida Ira the same author who wrote the Akihabara@Deep novel. IWGP was originally broadcast on TBS in the spring 2000 and it contains many of the elements which would be used to good effect in @Deep which was broadcast last summer again on TBS. The story is set in a Tokyo neighbourhood, and a small group of friends try to protect that neighbourhood. The leader of the group is Makoto an ex-juvenile delinquent who leads a group of friends on various cases many of which are linked to an overall story. At a couple of points in the drama he is identified as a trouble-shooter.

Like @Deep, a group of trouble-shooters, Makoto’s group are individuals with diverse interests. There is “Anime Freak” who can draw very well, “Radioboy” a convenience store clerk who specializes in wire tapping and covert surveillance. Another character is a hikimori with computer hacking skills and an Arab immigrant without a visa in a reoccurring comedic relief role. The maids of @Deep are replaced by sex club employees.

Violence and tragedy are much more prevalent in IWGP where a major storyline centers on two rival gangs involved in a turf war, but the comedy remains. The first episode begins with the main character sitting on the toilet.

IWGP has an unbelievably good cast with three male leads, Nagase Tomoya (My Boss My Hero, Mukodono!), Kubozuka Yosuke (Go, Laundry, Strawberry on the Shortcake) and Watanabe Ken (Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geshia). The supporting cast are also very strong with Koyuki and Yusef Lotfi being my favourites.

I would highly recommend this drama to all fans of @Deep who don’t mind a more violent storyline and to anyone who likes mysteries.

You can download the bit torrent files for the hard subbed episodes here. SARS did a great job with this release, including karaoke effects, a nice large easy to read font and high quality video encodes. Please be sure to thank them for their hard work if you enjoy the series.

Screen caps below of the first episode and the major characters, no real spoilers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...I watched the entire 11 episodes over the weekend..."

Wow, did you experience IWGP withdrawal afterward? I downloaded the whole series as well but have not had a chance to watch it. It sounds interesting from what you wrote. I might consider...to do the same this weekend :) GiGi

11/15/2007 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

The special was just released by SARS as an English hard sub, I grabbbed it but haven't had time to watch the 2 1/2 hour show yet. You can grab it now it's well seeded.

IWGP Special

11/16/2007 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger M Kami said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/09/2015 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger M Kami said...

I know this is an old post but I just recently watched this series and I gotta say it was so good! Tomoya Nagase is one of my favorite actors ever since watching Unebore Deka. I wish this series was longer, with season 2! Can't believe it was done in the year 2000! Y2K anyone? xD I remember back thing everyone had a 90s faze of gangs and joining groups and having rival battles. I also researched upon Japanese gangs and Mafias, which was super interesting! Btw great post! I am sort of on that series depression where it ends and I get all gloomy until I find another great series and then I get gloomy again xD By the way, I recommend checking out "Mother" for anyone who hasn't watched it, it's a tear jerker but its super good! ^_^

7/09/2015 06:39:00 PM  

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