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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Friday, September 14, 2007

Strawberry on the Shortcake Screen Caps

The story is told first person by Irie played by Takizawa Hideaki (Romeo and Juliet, Majo no Jouken),he's a high school student who's standing in a bookstore flipping through a math book, he looks around and begins to slip the book into his book bag, when the owner yelling at another customer startles him, he drops the book and runs. He stops running on a bridge and looks down at the river, suddenly a girl appears, Yui played by Fukada Kyoko (Remote, Kamikaze Girls,Tenshi), she hands him the book he dropped and he says that it's not his. She tells him that he was going to steal it but didn't so she stole it for him. Then she says that she lied and hands him the book and a receipt and invites him to play a game of chicken with the cars rushing by on the bridge.

Irie is at school and is obviously being bullied by a group of boys, Sawamura Haruka played by Uchiyama Rina (Musashi, Seito Shokun) helps him out by giving him bread in the lunch line that he's forced to buy for the bullies. Saeki Tetsuya played by Kubozuka Yosuke (Go, Laundry) is 20 years old and still in school he confides to Irie that he has something wrong with his heart, then says it's love sickness.

This was one of the first Japanese dramas that I've seen and in many ways this series started me down the path to being obsessed with Japanese culture. First off the themes in the first episode cover boredom, school bullying, petty crime, teenage male sexual fantasies, illicit student and teacher affairs, Alcoholic parents and homes split by divorce. Then the cultural differences at school, shoe lockers, all students are in uniform, love notes in the shoe lockers, sailor suits, students up on the roof. More happens in this first episode then happens in an entire season of American television that I had been watching up till then. The soundtrack features the Abba songs Chiquita and S.O.S. and while I've never been a fan they work really well in the drama in fact Senju Akira won the 2001 Japanese Television Academy Awards for Best Music Arrangement, as did Kubozuka Yosuke who won for best Supporting Actor. I highly recommend this, if you like serious school dramas like GTO and Queen's Classroom.

Download the bit torrent batch file for the hard sub release here. It's a short 10 episode series that's being pretty well seeded right now

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