Quote It: Kashiwagi Shuji

17 03 2012

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“Human beings are creatures of regret.”

Kashiwagi Shuji ( Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta, episode 1. )

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I for sure as heck didn’t regret watching Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta, not because it was a great series because it really wasn’t, but because that Haruma boy was just so gosh-darn-perfect in it… well, to look at, at least. The ending theme alone with all the crisp white and sunshine goodness is enough to warrant anybody’s ticket fare.

The series kicks off with a half naked Miura Haruma frolicking around with his vibrating… alarm clock~~ xDD That’s always a good start to any series. He plays a popular high school biology teacher (er, sensei, you can unzip my genes anyday *rapid eyebrow twitch* lololol, Kashiwagi Shuji who is pretty much set on marrying fellow teacher, Uemura Natsumi (played by Toda Erika.) Both are widely loved at their school and hey, can you really blame the students?

Anyways, it’s obvious that Kashiwagi sensei is running late for work, however for the love of Fog Bars and kawaii little toyboys, that will become the least of his concerns. Within moments, he discovers there is an equally naked female body in his bed, and mother of crap, it turns out to be one of his students. Chotto matte. Haru chan, we have a problem.

And this was where the series lost me— why the bjesus would anyone cheat on Toda Erika?

Miura‘s shows us in Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta that his acting is steadily improving but I did feel that the role was a tad premature for him. To be fair, yes, he is a young adult but come on, he was merely 3 or 4 years older (if that) than half the actors and actresses who played his students. It doesn’t matter how well someone grasps a role on a technicality basis, if you don’t look the part, it’s going to be difficult convincing the audience.

Not only that, the whole adultery / deceiving-the-whole-world-about-it stigma in the beginning didn’t complement his demeanour at all. And the fact that his character exuded so much care for Saeki (the female student who Kashiwagi sensei *air quote open* slept with *air quote close*… watch and you will understand the air quotes) was borderline creepy. Baby, she is YOUR STUDENT! STOOOOODEEENNT !!! People can go to jail for this kinda thing!!! Like how some of us are gonna be shackled away forever for breaking into your changeroom! I’m guessing you must’ve taken inspiration from your (our??) beloved Yamaguchi sensei, but boy, when you look like that, you need to be extra careful about the way you behave around members of the opposite sex. Only Yankumi can pull off that kinda shiz. Double standards, yes, but when an older male gets a little closer than the norm to a younger female, we just don’t take it quite as well.

Buuuut, saving grace, the last couple of episodes, from the moment Shuji realises Natsumi is the one for him is the moment we realise that Miura baby can most definitely take on a head-of-the-household, romantic leading role— and do it freaking well. It was Project Redemption watching the boy gaze so lovingly at Toda Erika and their own little genetic protégé (btw, this child is gonna be a total gene pool success ( ̄□ ̄;)…hmm, I’ve talked alot about genes today…~~) Let’s just hope next time they minus out the extramarital affairs and all the other shady beeswax.

Give us Miura Haruma, the boy you want your daughter to bring home.

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Quote It: Kanzaki Nao

23 11 2011

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I’d rather be betrayed than suspect people.

-Kanzaki Nao, LIAR GAME: The Final Stage

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Aaaaahhh the eternally innocent, naive-til-no-end, Nao chan. Fair enough. Come to think of it, it would be nice to live in a world where there was no plotting against one another. A world with no hidden agendas. A world where bandmates didn’t talk smack behind one another’s backs and stayed together forever (*puts on Andre 3000 voice* Furrevah-evah?)

It’s hard to play a character as unbendingly honest as Kanzaki Nao and not get on anybody’s nerves buuuuut (confession101!)— I’ve always been a bit of  fan of Toda Erika. To be honest, she isn’t necessarily mindblowingly outstanding but I do think she is a capable actress. The unconditional faith Nao chan has in the herd of swindlers she has found herself entangled with is borderline eyeball-rolling-inducing but I do think Toda Erika made it work— I dunno, there’s just a certain spunk about her. And I like it.

Um, and I also like Matsuda Shota. Alot. But let’s talk about the series a bit more first, shall we?

So about one year after I watched both the two LIAR GAME seasons— which I enjoyed tremendously (I will elaborate slightly in a jiffy)— I finally found my way to its aftermath, the “Let’s milk what we can from the success of the drama series!” film of the same title,  LIAR GAME: The Final Stage.

Although it wasn’t as much of a pointless affair as the Hana Yori Dango Final movie, I do think the franchise would’ve done fine without the film, given that nothing presented to us in The Final Stage was really that out of the ordinary. Most of what we saw in the film we had seen before— heck, most of what we had seen in season 2 we had seen before. To director Matsuyama Hiroaki‘s credit though, he did maintain all the visual elements that made the first two seasons an absolute feast for the eyes (a smouldering Matsuda Shota notwithstanding~~)— the characters looked like they walked straight off an anime storyboard, the set was gloriously grand, the colours were fun, super saturated and lush, and the camera angles made many moments very manga-esque… it all translated onto the big screen very, very well. And the soundtrack banged out high levels of energy that pulled you into their crazy world even more. But the story of the film was, well, again, you wouldn’t find any of it all that fresh or stimulating if you’d seen the drama series before. On top of that, I feel like the super trippy pace that made the two series seasons so fantabulously easy to digest was missing from the film. And don’t even think about any more character development because you ain’t gonna get it (kind of a shame really since I definitely would have liked to learn more about our genius swindler, Akiyama Shinichi san… xDD)

[ BEGIN SPOILER ]

My biggest moment of pleasure came during that extra scene that popped up during the closing credits. Fulfilled every bit of my AkiyamaNao chan fangirly dreams. Loved the simplicity of their conversation.

Oh, I also liked the bit when Akiyama had to leave the game after he sacrificed himself for Nao chan and he went to embrace and reassure her that she’ll do fine without him by gently resting her head on his shoulders :)

AAAND I also enjoyed the part early on in the film where Akiyama leaned right into Nao chan‘s face, softly touching her lips with his fingertips and… asked for some Chapstick, lol.

[ END SPOILER ]

So, okay, I had three moments of pleasure. And yes, they all involved a certain former F4 member. Honestly, for me, the appeal of the whole LIAR GAME franchise has alot to do with Matsuda Shota as The Official Kanzaki Nao Saver. He makes being a jackass look so friggin… beautiful. Don’t believe me? Well, here is some solid proof (stolen from heartwinkle’s tumblr ^^):

  

Yep.

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In unrelated news, I totally finished Soredemo, Ikite Yuku. *insert one thousand trillion love hearts*

Oh. My. Crap. I am still feeling the pain. More on what I thought of the series laterz.