Showing posts from August, 2013

Yasuko Kobayashi's Kamen Rider Trilogy

So here's Yasuko Kobayashi, perhaps one of the best Tokusatsu writers before but tends to burn out sometimes.  So here's what I think about her trilogy.

Yasuko Kobayashi's first head writing job was Kamen Rider Ryuki.  Yup she beats those writers of Dragon Knight by a mile and the fact she had Toshiki Inoue along, allowed much darker stuff.  This was also a season where Shinichiro Shirakura (Toei's golden goose?) was the head producer.  IMO this is where Kobayashi manages to write something pretty different aside from the producer's concepts.  Everything in here felt like a sci-fi J-Drama I'd love to watch, memorable characters and a lot of conflict. However things got wrong when Odin arrived with that time paradox thing which I'd say was Kobayashi's bad point.  It's not surprising either considering she was the head writer of Timeranger herself.  For me the worst thing here was the finale where Kobayashi threw out all character development out of t…

Toshiki Inoue and Yasuko Kobayashi: The Kamen Rider Series They Did Together

So yeah Yasuko Kobayashi and Toshiki Inoue did some work together.  Remember Toshiki Inoue was the secondary writer of Timeranger to the point I even thought he wrote how Time Fire died.  Now moving on...

Toshiki Inoue was the head writer of Kamen Rider Agito while Yasuko Kobayashi was the writer of episode 28.  I dunno what degree of influence that Yasuko Kobayashi had or if she co-wrote some episodes with Inoue but so far, Agito was a really good series that for me even beats Kamen Rider Black.

Yasuko Kobayashi's first headwriting job was with Kamen Rider Ryuki.  Toshiki Inoue wrote episodes 7-10, 15-16, 24-25, 29-30, 41-44 and the Alternate Ending.  For me, this is where a lot of the darker and edgier come together considering this show imo was pretty dark and depressing but with the interesting Rider War story.  Things go from bad to worse then back, of course knowing Kobayashi and Inoue, they seem to love really cruel villains with the likes of Kamen Rider Ouja imo the best e…

A Comparison of Naruhisa Arakawa, Toshiki Inoue and Yasuko Kobayashi as Writers

Well I'd like to compare these three writers whose works I usually like though they had their bad moments too.  Nobody's perfect but let's examine them shall we?  Pictures are credit to Shougo B'Stard of Them's Fightin' Words.  Here's what I thought about these notable writers and their ups and downs with Kamen Rider:

Okay one has to admit he did more Super Sentai than Kamen Rider but he should always be credited and remembered for the guy who brought the well done new era of Kamen Rider writing in Kamen Rider Kuuga.  Yup Kamen Rider Kuuga is a template of how Heisei Riders are... two episode arcs, lots of drama and mysteries but sadly later series seem to ignore the stuff this guy introduced with his writing of Kuuga that made Kuuga a huge success after the long hiatus of Kamen Rider having another TV series (the last was Black RX which I still enjoy but it's not as good to me anymore).  Just made me think this guy should be a J-Drama writer if he'…

Just Started with Kamen Rider Hibiki

Aside from real life busy affairs and other distractions (yup I haven't found a good Chinese kung fu seriest o watch as of late) so I decided to watch Kamen Rider Hibiki.  So this was the era of controversial mid-season change considering Kida was taken over by Inoue and Takatera by Shirakura (who I have this like/dislike relationship).  So here's what I think... the show has a "slow start" but it does get interesting with the Makamou concept and I love that drum ability.  So far, I do love his design and there seems to be just that "aura of peace" this show has to me.  Well I'll just have to sit to see what the midseason changes will bring...

My Thoughts on the Regular Allies of Kamen Rider Agito

Well Arakawa did a good job in presenting the mold for Kamen Rider allies (well I think he had taken Black RX's concept and smoothened it), Inoue managed to turn it to another direction in Agito.  Here's what I think of them...

Makoto Hikawa- As a secondary rider for the Heisei era, I say he is really good.  While I don't like the whole G3 trailer thing since it's quite inconvenient but man he has some very cool weapons.  For me, I thought this guy was a comic relief that didn't become too silly to the point plot is ruined.  So he's clumsy and sometimes that gets on my nerves but I like him. XD

Ryo Ashihara- I felt like he is a tribute to Kamen Rider Amazon which is cool.  But unlike Kamen Rider Amazon, he does tend to get feral and going crazy.  I really feel sorry for this guy and just thinking about him, he is a pretty disturbed person.  But good thing he got better.

Toru Hojo- Well he's what I'd call I'm mixed on him since he is rivals with the …

My Thoughts on the Allies in Kamen Rider Kuuga

Kamen Rider Kuuga- the triumphal return of Kamen Rider after its long hiatus in 1989, after Toei got the rights to Kamen Rider.  So what are my thoughts?  So I'd like to talk about the plot- we have Yuusuke Godai the main character who starts of as just as a "happy go lucky" guy who one day becomes the hero to save the world from the evil of the civilization called the Grongi.  What happens is that he is known as Unidentified Lifeform No. 4 and he was at first, distrusted but along the way aside from learning about his new powers (which took two episodes each for him to learn them, trying the more realistic approach to the what if you had superpowers situation) he also gets help from the police department and his allies...

Kaoru Ichijou- Well he's one professional detective.  Despite not having superpowers, he helps Kuuga in some other way eventually he's managed to kill a few Grongi with new special bullets that were later developed in the series.

Sakurako Sawat…

The Greeed in Kamen Rider OOO

After watching OOO I thought the Greeed were a decent group but had some wasted potential.  Sure they look as cool as the Lords in Agito or the Grongi in Kuuga but they're nowhere cool.  I enjoyed OOO for its gimmicks, but I wish these guys could have done more in unleashing selfish desires to create mayhem.  They were born from the human desire to create life hence these are coin-based homunculi who are made from medals.  So they want to get the Core Medals to acquire power and one one is based on a theme shown by their appearance.  They birth the Yummies (which first appear as zombies) that become monsters for OOO to fight and are fed by desire, while driving the host mad.

Uva is a pretty hot-headed fellow.  While I felt sorry for him once when his own comrades blasted him, however part of me felt he deserved it.  Well he did get regenerated into the last surviving Greeed before Dr. Maki becomes the final villain.

Kazari well he's my kind of villain arrogant and scheming.  …

Some Things I Like About Kamen Rider Faiz

While I'd say that Kamen Rider Faiz was a so-so season imo (I'd rather watch this over Decade), here's what's good about it for me:

The Smart Brain's plot to turn humans extinct and to promote the Orphnoch.  For me the Smart Brain where they despite the fact it turns around in circles, they are somewhat like Gorgom when it comes to giving viewers a scare with nightmare fuel.  In fact, I thought that they really truly represent the darker side of humanity to where Agito and Kuuga wasn't able to cover as much imo.  For me, I'd want to see this kind of plot done again in Kamen Rider while learning from the mistakes in Faiz to make it better.  Although I like Kamen Rider Kiva better than Kamen Rider Faiz, I'd admit these guys can rip off the Fangires.

The Renegade Orphnoch plot- Well we have Yuji, Yuka and Naoya who are proving that not all Orphnoch are bad in contrast to what Masato wants us to think.  I just thought that this side of the plan was one of t…

Series Review: Kamen Rider OOO

So here's another fast of the Naomi Takabe as producer and Yasuko Kobayashi as the writer.  Compared t Gobusters, I felt this was still an enjoyable season despite its flaws.  Hey there's no perfect series, even Kuuga and Agito which are good have their own fair share of flaws.  Now the story of this starts with Eiji Hino who's some kind of naive idiot who is selfless.  At times, he does remind me of Spongebob Squarepants but good thing he doesn't have a best friend like Patrick Star to screw things up in here.  He is met with destiny one way when a disembodied hand known as Ankh of the Greeed appears to give him the three medals that allow him to become Kamen Rider OOO.  The Greeed are some kind of monsters who use the desire of people to produce the Yummy out of them.  The whole series feels like a soap opera in itself, though not as intense as Kamen Rider Ryuki can be.  It's funny, stupid and sometimes I feel like I'm watching an Ilia Salkind type of series…

Wishful Thinking: Who Could Have Played a Better Kaede Doumyoji?

I pretty thought Kaga Mariko wasn't that good for Kaede Doumyoji so here is my choice for a better actress:

Best choice would be Atsuko Takahata.  She's very known for playing bitchy roles in Tokusatsu like Ms. Reiko Ayanokouji in Janperson, the witch in Juspion or Maribaron in Kamen Rider Black RX.  I thought she really knows how to be scary.  Man, her acting as Maribaron and Reiko scared me in my younger years!  She could have been the better choice for Kaede Doumyoji.  Well she's still alive and in good health so she would have made a much stronger Kaede Doumyoji.  She's an awesome actress so no reason why she cannot be a good Kaede Doumyoji considering her years of experience and involvement in J-Drama which she does more than Tokusatsu.  I think she can match up to the acting standards of Zhen Xiu Zhen or Liu Xue Hua in acting as a bitchy woman!  I mean remember this character?

She's played extremely bitchy characters like Reiko (in Janperson) and Maribaron (…

Comparing "Love in the Rain" with Its Remake "Romance in the Rain"

Here's a comparison of the two Qiong Yao adaptations.  Yup the novel is a tragedy but I'd like to comment on both series content-wise.

The original series starred Liu Xue Hua and Qin Han.  I don't know much about the rest since I knew Liu Xue Hua and Qin Han through modern series.  I would agree that Qin Han's age was too old to play as Shu Huan but he doesn't look that old so it passed.  This version is a sadder, weepier version that my mom may not bother to watch.  I remembered my late paternal grandmother watched this before.  For me, this series was always a source of tears and frustration.  In fact, having Ruping commit suicide and that tragedy hitting the Lus, I know Ruping is stupid but don't make her any more stupid.  Now moving on...

The remake called "Romance in the Rain" has its lighter atmosphere but not without the trademark buckets of tears per episode.  So yeah, Vicki Zhao is pretty fresh and dynamic like as if she were a sufficient rep…

Too Much Unfair Hatred for Lu Ruping in Romance in the Rain

Well I'm talking about the Ruping portrayed by Ruby Lin and I see some comments on Youtube that tend to bash her too much.  Sure I find her dumb and everything but we fail to see her positive traits.  For one, I tend to get irritated with her stupidity or that she got manipulative because of her love for Shuhuan, but let's face these facts.  She's NOT entirely selfish as you'd like to portray her to be.  Beneath her flaws, Ruping is not selfish.  I mean, one has to consider that compared to her mother Xue Chin, she actually cared about even for her half-sister Yiping and her father's previous wife Wenpei.  I woudl like to credit that also, she does NOT force Shuhuan to love her.  You might also consider that despite the fact she stupidly called Wei Guangxiong so he can free her mother (who she still loved deeply), she still loves her mother.  You could consider also the fact that she wanted to end her life but she instead joined the battlefield as a nurse.  She di…

Drama Review: Romance in the Rain

After reviewing The Last Night of Madame Chin, if you thought that was too much of a tearjerker, this one does present itself with more tears but with a few surprises.  So yeah, pretty much "Romance in the Rain" takes the rain theme with all the crying and rainy scenes.  Compared to Liu Xue Hua's and Qin Han's version which was in Taipei, the open door China allowed this one to be placed in Shanghai with the addition of the character Du Fei (who has a few comic relief moments but done in a day to day type of comedy than forced humor), this one does present the Republican era of China with some common stereotypes like men who are desperate lovers and women who may undergo psychological suffering for the sake of a man.  This is 49 episodes but it spans a very rich story that kept me more hooked than Last Night of Madame Chin with the story of love, compassion and forgiveness set as well as letting go of revenge.  For one, Vicki Zhao for me pretty much steals the spotl…

Watching More of Romance in the Rain

Well I'm now watching Romance in the Rain (which Indonesians who like Chinese drama will fondly remember as Kabut Cinta) and here's my thoughts.  I watched this before on TV but real life problems like school work and later real work cut down the schedule.  That's why I really don't care about broadcasts.  So far here are my thoughts on some of the characters and I would say this story is far more engaging than the Qiong Yao-like series "Last Night of Madame Chin":

Lu Yiping is hard and stubborn, pretty much vindictive for some time quite the opposite of her gentle mother.  So her backstory is that her mother became the 8th ex-wife of a philandering general albeit by force.  Eventually her dad divorced her mother for the opera singer Xu Qin.  The actiress Vicki Zhao could really play as the stubborn Yiping who learns to soften up.  Yup she and Liu Xue Hua are somewhat at par in acting.

Lu Ruping is the anti-thesis of her wicked mother Xu Qin proving people c…

Drama Review: Last Night of Madame Chin

Based on the novel by Pai Hsuen Yang, I really thought this may have also been partly written with help of Qiong Yao seeing that this is literally a drama that cries BUCKETS and I mean BUCKETS of tears. In fact, it's set in the Republican era, a very sad drama. So we have Vic Zhou play as the main guy Yue Ru who like Qiong Yao's male protagonists are portrayed weaker willed plus Fan Bing Bing's role as Jin Zhao Li is vastly seen as a woman who undergoes severe psychological suffering just for the sake of love. Of course, I found this quite disgusting since Yue Ru a rich guy falls for a dancing girl. I mean if he could fall for a lower class woman, fine, but a dancing girl? It's hard to take sides on anyone especially Yue Ru's father who is a cold ruthless guy. Really I can't side with anyone and also beneath Zhao Li's dancing girl guise, she does have a sense of honor which Yue Ru's father doesn't have.

So really I feel like this Republican era dr…