Category Archive: J-Drama Reviews

Feb 20 2018

Fullmetal Alchemist (Film Review)

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Fullmetal Alchemist Film Review by David Cirone The feature film adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist has just dropped on Netflix. It packs some cool visuals, brings an impressive list of Japanese actors to project, and carries a knockout theme song by J-Pop songstress Misia. But for a story with the central theme of uniting a soul …

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Feb 09 2018

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Series Review)

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Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories Series Review by David Cirone Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, based on the popular manga Shinya Shokudo, stands out as arguably the best original Japanese-language series Netflix has produced yet. Excellent writing, superb acting, and subtle direction combine in the 10-part anthology where the lives of Tokyo’s late-night citizens intersect at a …

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Jan 25 2018

Tokyo Idols (Film Review)

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Tokyo Idols Film Review by David Cirone Tokyo Idols has an agenda, and that’s no spoiler. Starting with its slanted description on Netflix, filmmaker Kyoko Miyake uses the documentary platform to selectively focus on fringe, negative aspects of idol fandom. For the millions of Japanese and international fans who have actually seen or participated in …

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Jan 09 2018

35-sai no Koukousei (Series Review)

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35-sai no Koukousei Series Review by David Cirone No Dropping Out -Back to School at 35- (35-sai no Koukousei) aims for shock value and social relevance, framing the struggles of modern high school students inside an outrageous premise — what if a beautiful, smart, world-experienced 35-year-old woman put on a school uniform and came to …

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Jan 31 2017

Terrace House – Season 1 (Series Review)

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Terrace House – Boys and Girls in the City Season 1 – Part 1 Review by David Cirone Terrace House, now streaming in the U.S. on Netflix, is the Japanese “Real World”-style reality show watered-down to be as polite and PG as possible. Absent are the sensational, over-the-top, media-career-minded personalities we’re accustomed to on U.S. …

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Nov 12 2016

Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 4 (Review)

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Hanzawa Naoki Episode 4 Review by David Cirone After his temporary victory at the surprise on-site inspection, Hanzawa (Masato Sakai) finds himself on borrowed time as bank manager Asano (Kanji Ishimaru) moves forward with his plan to get Hanzawa transferred out of the bank as punishment for the bank’s losses.

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Oct 09 2016

Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 3 (Review)

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Hanzawa Naoki Episode 3 Review by David Cirone Even though Hanzawa failed to grab Higashida’s property, the determined banker is causing too much trouble for his scheming superiors, and they order a surprise three-day inspection to keep him off balance and prevent any more surprise moves. Led by Tokyo Chuo Bank’s Deputy Manager Ogiso (still …

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Oct 07 2016

Kasha (Review)

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Kasha Review by David Cirone Kasha, based on the mystery novel by Miyuki Miyabe, is a disappointingly flat adaptation, packed with thematic missteps and lacking both the heart and intrigue of the original story. Set in the early 90s, Kasha (superbly translated by Alfred Birnbaum in the U.S book version as All She Was Worth) …

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