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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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Itazura na Kiss Screen Shots

Episode 1 The Kiss that Changed Their Lives
Two years ago as Kotoko played by Sato Aiko (Atsu-hime) is rushing through the school hallway, she accidently runs into Irie Naoki played by Kashiwabara Takashi (Hachimitsu to Clover, Orange Days) their lips meet and Kotoko has her first kiss while falls in love, with the boy that is top of the school, number one in marks, the highest IQ to ever attend their school and also the tops in sports. Two years later on her 18th birthday Kotoko writes a love letter confessing her love, she finds Irie and tries to present her feelings to him. While her two friends standby with cameras ready to photograph his acceptance. However Irie refuses the letter, saying that Kotoko is annoying and when she pursues he coldly states “I don’t read letters from stupid people.” Her friends try to console her, but she agrees with Irie. Later that night she discovers that her house has burnt to the ground, rejected and homeless it hasn’t been a great birthday.

Kashiwabara Takashi character Irie is so cold, emotionally distant and annoying that this drama would have been terrible if it wasn’t offset by the unbelievable Kotoko. She may not be very smart and she is definitely clumsy but she never gives up in her quest to win over Irie. She is also quite funny and almost all of the humour in the show is derived from either her physical humour or from her facial expressions, like her dreamy expression after the first kiss with the blood on her teeth. A seventeen year old Nakama Yukie (Gokusen, Musashi) has a small role in her second drama as Yada Sonoko. This 1996 drama is based on the 23 volume 1990 Itazura na Kiss manga by Tada Kaoru, the manga was never completed because the mangka passed away. The second season of the Taiwanese Drama adaptation It Started With A Kiss is currently airing. I haven’t seen this version but I’d highly recommend Itazura na Kiss to fans of romantic comedies like Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, Hana Yori Dango or Nodame Cantabile. I really found Kotoko to be as endearing as Nodame.

DoReMii fansubs released the final episode of the English fansub on November 27 but I didn’t have time to watch it until this weekend however all the episodes are currently being seeded so download this soon if you want a chance to see this funny drama from eleven years ago. Download the bittorent files for all nine episodes here. Video quality improves dramatically after the first episode.

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Crest of the Stars Screen Caps

Jinto’s father sold out his home planet to a group of genetically engineered alien invaders named the Abh, making himself governor of the planet and his son Jinto automatically becomes Abh nobility. The anime begins when Jinto is accompanied by an Abh princess and pilot named Lafiel to begin training aboard an Abh warship, just as the galaxy is on the brink of war. Jinto and Lafiel are ordered to abandon the warship as it is attacked by overwhelming forces, Lafiel protests the order but the captain makes it clear that it is Lafiel’s duty to protect Jinto an Abh civilian and to warn the Empire of the sneak attack and the probable enemy invasion.

One of the primary reasons I started watching anime is for science fiction stories. I’ve always loved SF and after the first Matrix movie when I learned that much of the film was inspired by Ghost in the Shell I had my first taste of Japanese SF and really loved it. One of my favourite SF subgenre is space opera, and this show is the best space opera anime that I’ve seen so far. I would highly recommend this to fans of Star Trek or Star Wars or any fans of classic space opera like the Asimov Foundation series or Heinlein’s Starship Troppers also fans of the original Gundam will probably enjoy this story as well it is character driven plot as was Gundam. This is the first of four anime series based on the series of novels. The Second part is titled Banner of the Stars another 12 episode series and the third is Banner of the Stars II a ten episode series,and concluding the anime is the two episode Banner of the Stars III. You can rent the Crest of the Stars and Banner of the Stars II from Netflix but for some strange reason they don’t have Banner of the Stars or Banner of the Stars III so if you want to see the entire series which I recommend you’ll need to purchase Banner or find it for rent somewhere else.

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