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Showing posts from January, 2013

Movie Review: Legend of the Fist- Return of Chen Zhen

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Donnie Yen's portrayal of Chen Zhen was most likely a remake of the Bruce Lee classic which I am yet to see, it is the sequel to Jet Li's Black Mask.  It also is apparently a sequel to Jet Li's Fist of Legend: Black Mask.  So how's it done?  So here, Donnie Yen wears the attire similar to Kato that Bruce Lee wore (note that Bruce Lee is the original Kato).  So the story of Chen Zhen is during the Second Japanese-Sino war during the time of the Empire of Japan, long before Japan eventually modernized and adapted to the world and brought Tokusatsu. Back then, Japan was really a feared enemy!
What we learn is that Chen Zhen had assumed the identity of Qi Tuanyuan who was his deceased comrade.  Because the Empire of Japan has not been defeated, Chen Zhen assumes the role of the Black Mask (not to be confused with Maskman's Black Mask).  He befriends Liu Yitian who owns the nightclub Casablanca where he gets attracted to Kiki (acted by Shu Qi) who unknown to them is ac…

Planned Schedule That I Might Never Meet

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In order to get myself ready for Kyoryuger, well I got to watch Kamen Rider W written by Riku Sanjo.  So what's unique about this rider?  Like Ultraman Ace, the main hero is actually two persons who fuse into a single hero for some weird reason.  Fantasy Leader recommends me this series as well and Mr. Smith wrote a very positive critic to it.  So far, I think despite its weird concept I'll give it a huge shot since his recommendation of Agito didn't disappoint me.  Well I might...


Endure watching Kamen Rider 555 or Faiz before I give it a review.  Maybe I just had a bad taste in my mouth because I watched it during a very depressing season on television.

That is finish it... or...


Kamen Rider Ryuki... the drama of 13 riders, some good and the others evil.  Ryuki must battle his way through the evil riders while siding with the good riders.

Kamen Rider Kiva: The Closing that Cracked Me Up!

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I had all the fun watching Kamen Rider Kiva no matter how messy some people say it is including myself for its comedy and drama.  Now for the messiest finale but thankfully not tragic.  So what was Inoue thinking in parodying himself in Kamen Rider Kiva all throughout?  Now my thoughts on the wedding...


Master is sick and can't go so what are THESE presents for?  I laughed watching this scene!


Megumi is getting married but to who?  We never saw her date anyone!  Oh ha, so we discover that it's gonna be too FUNNY...


So Shima walks Megumi down the isle... so I guess Megumi's dad is already dead too!  So what was Toshiki Inoue thinking with this?  Maybe if I can talk to him, he might say he's also parodying the wedding of Ryu and Kaori.


Nago and Megumi are getting married?  You can see how nervous Nago is.  Compared to Ryu and Kaori's wedding in Jetman, this scene DOES. NOT. MAKE. SENSE.  But still a good comedy. I guess Nago never thought he'd marry his rival.


Y…

Meteor Garden II and Qiong Yao Style

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With how Meteor Garden II was, I pretty thought that the second season was an attempt to do Qiong Yao style and here's the similarities to it...


Dao Ming Si and Shan Tsai's chemistry here pretty much went like a Qiong Yao drama with a LOT of tears in between, the middle really GOT dragging and all with all the tears and drama.  I could really compare the tears of Shan Tsai to the teary eyed characters Liu Xue Hua or Zhen Xiu Zhen played in their past!  And I could really say also that Shan Tsai's heroine attitude has been reduced from somebody who fights back to somebody who becomes meek and submissive, pretty much like the characters Zhen Xiu Zhen (who plays the antagonist) plays in the past.

For a Chinese Version of Princess Sarah, Here's Our Miss Minchin!

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If ever a Chinese version of Princess Sarah is ever made, I would really suggest Liu Xue Hua to play the part of the wicked Miss Minchin. Why would I select her? She's proven she could act all bitchy in her roles in Miracles of Heaven as the wicked empress dowager or in Yun Niang, as the wicked mother-in-law so why not let her act a deranged spinster? To be honest, Liu Xue Hua has those "eyes that talk" in her villainous roles as of recent or in her heroine roles in the past.

Shokojo Seira- A Japanized Version of A Little Princess

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The "A Little Princess" novel was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett an English playwright and author. There have been various adaptations from English and American adaptations, it also inspired the East to do so with a Filipino version of the movie in the 90s based on the Princess Sarah anime. Now here well maybe just for ten episodes, Princess Sarah again comes to life but in the most unexpected way... as a Japanese instead of a British! So that means there's a LOT and I mean a LOT of name changes... so that means you'll have to know who is who based on characterizations. That means she goes to a boarding school in JAPAN from India, to which I can say that this series should actually serve as to how the Princess Sarah Filipino adaptations should have been done- ported to the home country (that is make Sarah a Filipino instead of British or American so it fits!).


Shida Mirai is kinda cute...


There's your Miss Minchin renamed as Chieko Mimura played by Higuchi …

My Rurouni Kenshin Review

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So I'm not the first one, Orends Range had gone ahead of me but I'll now share my expanded thoughts on the movie.  First, since it's an adaptation and NOT from the original source, don't expect a frame-by-frame adaptation but all I can say is, despite that fact the movie was executed pretty well.  I'm a fan of Kenshin, yes I am and he's my favorite in the whole show so I went to watch this movie though I'm not really similar to him in personality.  Behind the scenes, I'd like to thank Nobohiru Watsuki for supporting the film and to Keishi Otomo for the job well done.  And of course, to Takeru Sato for going from henshin to Kenshin.


Everything starts where Kenshin as Battousai.  After his bloody history, he pretty much gives up his title as Battousai the slasher after killing many people even to the point of making the absurd reverse-edged sword.  As a teenager, I always got WTFed at the philosophy of the reverse edged sword, so no reason that Takeru Sh…

In TV Drama, These Eyes That Talked- Liu Xue Hua and Vicki Zhao!

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I was thinking of the time I would compare Liu Xue Hua's performance as Lu Yi Ping.  So a closer look, I had my thought that while Liu Xue Hua had communicated to us her feelings and everything, Vicki Zhao was able to render her rendition of Lu Yi Ping with even bigger eyes that talked.  So just a thought of Yan Yu Meng Meng and the remake Qing Shen Shen Yun Meng Meng- Vicki Zhao managed to carry the portrayal of Liu Xue Hua's type of suffering character rather well, pretty much a performance.  Looks like these two ladies deserve a 9.5/10 for their acting.  They have good chemistry regardless who they were paired with, Liu Xue Hua with Qin Han and Vicki Zhao with Leo Ku.


Liu Xue Hua despite an aging actress, shows how flexible she is with her roles as she plays both protagonistic and antagonistic roles.  In due fairness, I had wished that she played as Jerry Yan's mother in Meteor Garden!  While she has played a couple of good mother roles, she's also played some real…

In Drama Writing, Darker Isn't Always Better, Lighter Isn't Always Lesser...

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I was reading through Fantasy Leader's blog Valsag Fantasy to discover his gem of knowledge that lighter isn't always lesser, darker isn't always better.  So I would like to use this in reviews of TV Drama, Tokusatsu, etc. but I am writing it here and here are my thoughts...

Example #1- Meteor Garden I vs. Meteor Garden II


I remembered seeing both Meteor Garden I and II.  The first season was lighter and softer, the second season was really darker and edgier.  While Meteor Garden I had a moderate pacing, it pretty much was enjoyable (except for the arrival of Dao Ming Feng who sadly didn't have as much screen time as her Manga counterpart Doumyoji Kaede).  However when Meteor Garden II arrived, the pacing was SO SLOW, everything was SO GLOOMY, you're being kept to a thrill... and of course too many heartbreaks in one season.  Maybe I should mention there's a lot of USELESS scenes in Meteor Garden II like Papa and Mama get too much screen time, Yesha and Lei who…

Apparently the Contemporary "Qiong Yao" Love Teams...

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Here are the love teams I think would probably cut it for some...


Vic Zhou x Janine Zhang in the drama "Home".  Apparently he's become Qin Han's long awaited replacement... now only if we can get Qin Han to act as his father!


Wallace Huo and Yang Zi (have to research on Yang Zi, Wallace LOOKS like Kenny Bee... sort of... in here!)

Kamen Rider Agito Review

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Finally the Agito review before I get pretty busy to write another extensive review.  Here's Toshiki Inoue's top masterpiece- good start, good ending compared to Jetman's bittersweet ending.  I'll say aesthetics, story and everything it's better than Kamen Rider Kiva.  It prettymuch follows a unique formula that works PRETTY WELL especially compared to most Kamen Riders- the main hero Shouichi Tsugami (actually his real name is Tetsuya Sawaki) is already revealed to have his Agito powers but he DOES NOT remember why he had the Agito powers, neither do we know how he got the Agito powers.  So pretty much different, we're kept sitting down and we just left guessing to how it really works or where he got his powers.  And there's another mysterious rider known as Ryo Ashihara who became Kamen Rider Gills, who is a feral version of Kamen Rider Amazon.  He too is a great mystery.  And of course this is Fantasy Leader's favorite Kamen Rider. =)

Shouichi/Tetsu…

Series Review: Kamen Rider Kiva

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Well it's time for another Heisei Kamen Rider review.  So I hope I get better with my critic styles.  Before I jump into Agito, I'd really like to talk about Kamen Rider Kiva.  While Faiz for me was terrible (but I'll rewatch it before I write a real review because I dropped it), Toshiki Inoue managed to recover in this series though it's not really that good as his work in Agito, which I will tackle later.  Compared to his previous works like Chojin Sentai Jetman, Kamen Rider Agito and Kamen Rider Faiz (which I saw, in Faiz's case I dropped it!) and I am yet to see Changerion, Kiva is pretty light, may have been pretty messy but for me, messy in a good way.

Where do I start?  It starts with the story of this dude known as Wataru Taiga who we don't know for some reason could become Kamen Rider Kiva.  So how did he become Kiva to start with?  Just watch.  So there's 1986 events and 2006 events, 22 years apart.  In 1986 we have the late Otoya Kurenai's e…

Kamen Rider Kuuga Review

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So you might way WTF Sean Akizuki why are you in the world reviewing Kamen Rider Kuuga in your drama blog?  So first, I really felt Kamen Rider has transformed into a fantasy TV drama while staying true to Toku (compared to how Zaido is SO not good) so DO NOT make comments for me to write on the Showa riders like my favorite Kamen Rider Black or whatever has to come.  Moving on, I'll talk about Naruhisa Arakawa's writing- I may not think this is his top masterpiece but this is STILL a masterpiece worth watching.  So where do I begin?  Okay, I'll probably try to my own version of Nostalgia Critic but I'm a critic on Tokusatsu and TV Drama and hoping this TV Drama blog will go on forward like my Super Sentai blog.  Hmmm what will my fellow Toku critics like Fantasy Leader, Mr. Smith, Chris X and That Chick think of this move? =P  If I get funny comments, I'll post them for all to see. =)  Moving on, let's HENSHIN!!!!

The story is pretty much a mix of Toku and po…

The Love Scar Mini-Series Starring Jerry Yan, Karen Mok and Jacky Cheung

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While I had a shock of a lifetime to learn that Love Scar was an adult Manga, however I couldn't help but want to give my thoughts on Jerry Yan, Jacky Cheung and Karen Mok in the entangled mess that was Love Scar.  Jerry Yan acted as Xi Lin and Jacky Cheung as his older brother Xi Lian, Karen Mok played as the common love interest between brothers named Gensha.

The plot starts with Xi Lin who fell for a girl five years his senior (in real life, Karen Mok is seven years older than Jerry Yan) named Gensha.  I do find it awkward they immediately had a one night stand which was pretty corny, eventually the relationship had to die out thanks to Xi Lin's mother's obsession.  However what happens next is even more absurd as Gensha later fell for Xi Lian who she later discovers is Xi Lin's brother.  Xi Lin is forced between the loyalties of his brother Xi Lian or the girl he loves Gensha and later ends up tangled in a scandalous adultery between Gensha and her brother-in-law …

Journey to the West 2013...

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Stephen Chow's going to star in Journey to the West 2013 while on the other hand, I am pretty saddened at the fact he's still a bachelor.  On other side of the stars, Shu Qi is in her late 30s but still looks HOT, but I do hope she gets married soon.  It looks like I'll be a lot more excited watching this film than I will be for Kyoryuger or Power Rangers Megaforce, no offense but I just think Super Sentai needs a break and so does Power Rangers.  Well, I guess I'll figure out how this goes...

Types of TV Drama For Those Who Don't Like TV Drama...

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So I really had a thought while some people basically dislike slice of life stories yet if they like fantasy stories (I'm looking at you Fantasy Leader), it seems there are some TV drama type shows that will click with them...


The Heisei Kamen Rider era... you can bash me for writing this =P.  At first, I thought I would not like them due to me overly relying on fellow critics of Tokusatsu than my own critical analysis of things.  So yeah, Kamen Rider does feel J-Dramaish to me but it does click as a TV drama to people who don't like slice of life stories.  I'll probably comment that Kamen Rider in the Heisei era seems to have racism as the common themes of villains like the Grongi attacking us normal people because we're not Grongi for the Lords want to kill the humans with Agito believing humanity to be inferior to accept the Agito power and Kiva explored racism's boundaries like how the racist Maya ends up falling for a human named Otoya.


For those who dislike …

Hana Yori Dango's Messy Love Dodecahedron

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Although Hana Yori Dango's central love polygon is between Tsukasa, Rui and Tsukushi (Dao Ming Si, Hua Tze Lei and Shan Tsai) however we do have more polygonal entries in this one...

Tsukasa gets tangled with Sakurakura (Lee Chen) and later his fiance Shigeru by a forced engagement (Xiao Tze).  He basically has every girl after him but he likes Tsukushi for her being her since despite the fact he's a jerk, he's a jerk with a heart of gold.  With Shigeru she does eventually give up on Tsukasa because he could never love her thus ending another side of the polygon.

Rui was initially in love with Shizuka (Jing) but due to her supposed proposal by a French guy, he fell for Tsukushi. In the Japanese versions, Rui and Shizuka ended up together.  In the Taiwanese version, they eventually split up in Meteor Garden II (maybe Winnie Qian had some other projects...) and he later gets admired by A-Mei, another Taiwanese exclusive.

In the case of Tsukushi aside from Rui, she's als…

Thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin

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As a fan of Rurouni Kenshin (but not really) I had some small expectations from this film such as Tori Matsuzaka as Kenshin, Hiroki Aiba as Sanosuke, Emi Takei as Kaoru and well maybe Mitsuru Karahashi as Jin'e who could be Juzo's inspiration in Shinkenger but alas none.  But however there's LOTS of good stuff like even if I'm not very familiar with the rest of the cast but they did good.  And maybe I should talk about the portrayal of the main characters...


Takeru Sato as Kenshin.  Last time I knew, he was acting as Kamen Rider Den-O which is a radical departure here.  So it's kinda pun intended that the actor's name is Takeru and Takeru is also the name of Shinken Red.  Moving on, his acting is really quite good.  He could really display Kenshin's emotions.  I may not like him as much as Tori Matsuzaka but his acting DOES compensate for that overly trivial disappointment I had.  And for Emi Takei, she may still be struggling but I'm glad she is able …

Romance in the Rain: The Happier Ending Than the Novel...

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While the original novel by Qiong Yao had a sad ending and it was throughout, watching through either Liu Xue Hua's version or Vicki Zhao's version is very rewarding as the two characters Lu Yi Ping and He Shu Shuan had their "earn your happy ending" rather than the tragic ending of the novel.  I would say though the remake is better though Liu Xue Hua is a better actress than Vicki Zhao for me.

Wishful Thinking: Qin Han and Liu Xue Hua "Young Again"

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So I had my thoughts on after I had my wish for Qin Han and Jerry Yan to play father and son as well as Liu Xue Hua and Liu Yi Fei to play mother and daughter due to certain resemblances, I think the two can be a couple on-screen- Jerry Yan x Liu Yi Fei.  Jerry Yan barely looks 35 (just like the age of Qin Han when he was paired with Liu Xue Hua but he looked SO YOUNG for Yan Yu Meng Meng, Leo Ku was a WAY better choice to play his character in the remake) and Liu Yi Fei, well she's 25 a ten years difference can't hurt wouldn't it between them.  Not as if he's old enough to be her father unlike in my drama idea where a man dates a woman old enough to be his mother.  So what's my idea for them?  Either a Qiong Yao remake of my wishes would be Seagull's Home or Courtyard.

Well I think the two will have the chemistry like Qin Han and Liu Xue Hua did...

I Don't Want to Admit It But Kamen Rider These Days is Very J-Drama-ish

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So okay I had a hiatus from Kamen Rider while watching Japanese drama, Chinese drama, Super Sentai and Power Rangers (that was I eventually hanged over with Disney when it came to Kalish seasons).  My liking for Tokusatsu I'll admit isn't as great as me liking those "slice of life" stories or in another angle, I do like those that had fantasy elements like the live adaptation of the Condor trilogy (Love of Condor Heroes, Return of Condor Heroes and, Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber)... and now I'll say this that Kamen Rider in the Heisei era had radically departed from stereotypical Tokusatsu writing into a J-Drama x Kamen Rider type of show..Quite a radical departure from my imaginary friend, Kotaro Minami. =)  Now let's move on...


Kamen Rider Kuuga was a return for Kamen Rider after the end of Kamen Rider in the 80s.  There were no new Kamen Rider seasons after the Kotaro saga (Black to Black RX).  Now in 2000 after the entrance of Timeranger came Kamen Rider …

Wishful Thinking: Mother and Daughter, Father and Son Tandem...

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I just had noticed that somehow, Liu Yi Fei and Liu Xue Hua kinda look like mother and daughter in the sense, Liu Yi Fei DOES look somewhat like a younger version of Liu Xue Hua.  And well here's another one...


Jerry Yan in his older hairstyle would have made him look like Qin Han/Sun Xiang Zhong.  Qin Han is still in show business acting as a father or even as an emperor.  Kinda makes me want to do a Jerry Yan/Liu Yi Fei pairing.


A more current comparison to Jerry Yan and Qin Han... would make a good father/son team.