Juui Dolittle (Japanese Drama 2010)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

jd-5Despite a reputation as a brusque and ill-mannered man, Tottori Kenichi, a.k.a. “Dolittle” is also a brilliant veterinarian with the habit of asserting that “Veterinary practice is a business.” Outwardly, he is quick to excoriate pet owners for their utter lack of understanding and careless treatment of their pets but invariably finds himself rescuing not only the “voiceless animals” whose pain and anguish he deeply understands, but even heals the spiritual afflictions of their owners. The result is a moving drama that brings into bold relief the issues that pet owners and veterinarians face and evoking the sacred importance of life.

Excerpted from: TBS

This drama was unexpectedly good for several reasons which I myself cannot believe when I have finally finished the series.

Back in 2012 I initially chose this drama due to Inoue Mao just because she’s my bias but after watching the first episode, I felt disappointed because I can’t seem to appreciate it for what it is-a typical Renzoku drama that depicts human life and the love for animals. I was not able to enjoy the series for two major reasons: It wasn’t a Rom- com and I had no Pet, adding to this was the fact that I wasn’t really that attached with animals.

Then 2013 came and I happen to be in custody of a cross breed pit bull/american bulldog. That’s when I attempted to watch the drama again and finally changed my opinion about it.

tumblr_mxi7aaPdOz1r4vcndo8_250The thing I liked most about this show was the main characters, Oguri Shun as Dr. Totori was kind of awesome. He may have that rotten-eccentric personality, but he is the best vet in the story and on top of that he has so much insight as a person. Inoue Mao’s character in here was sort of a dumb novice who was too kind and emotional, a trait that Dr. Totori 954374-0-q80disliked. Although her personality was on the weak side, I still admired her naivety to people’s true intentions and compassion to animals. Then there is Hiroki Narimiya as the charismatic vet who could not perform a surgery even if his life depended on it due to a previous trauma. His character adds color to the two main characters. I thought he was the antagonist in the story but I was wrong. There is a good history between his character and Oguri Shun’s.

Music wise it wasn’t really that memorable, but it has that slight nostalgia in me whenever I hear the sound track. It sort of reminds me of peaceful moments or happy beginnings.

I may not re-watch this show again but I am definitely recommending it to animal lovers of all sorts.

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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Ohisama (Japanese Drama 2011)

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Synopsis:

Set in Nagano prefecture, “Ohisama” covers the life of Yoko Sudo (Mao Inoue) through World War II. Yoko Sudo with her smile is able to bring brightness to those other around her & she follows her mother’s motif to laugh through hard times. During the onset of WW II, Yoko Sudo is a high school student and “Ohisama” follows her as she eventually becomes a teacher and then gets married and has a child. Yoko Sudo then opens a soba restaurant with her student.

Excerpted from: Mydramalist

Words from Me:

Ohisama is the very first Asadora I’ve seen. It is also the kind of drama that doesn’t have an appealing factor at first glance, however as the story progresses the relatability of the story is what may capture the audience heart.

At first I was daunted at the fact of watching 156 episodes for a Japanese family drama. However when I found out that each episodes only consists of 15 minutes each, I realized that this is simply like watching 39 episodes of Korean drama without the redundant factors and draggy moments. This is what I love about JDramas, they go straight to the nitty and gritty details instead of mooning over things for at least 10-15 minutes in which the main lead stares and contemplates into the air and the background music only plays over. Heh. Setting that aside, what I enjoyed most about this drama is having my favorite actress Inoue Mao on screen while she starred alongside the good looking actor Kengo Kora. I’ve seen the guy in so many movies and several dramas and he never ceases to make smile as I simply stare at him. He’s such an eye catcher.

Since the setting is around World War II and Japan has been colonizing its neighboring countries, the people who lived in Japan during those times were also in turmoil despite being a powerful country back then. Mao who acted as Yoko, portrayed an average girl living during those days. Her character somehow showed how war can turn a bunch of ordinary people living mundane lives to suddenly struggling to survive during and after the war. The overall feel and transition of the storyline isn’t violent or brutal and it has this sense of hope all throughout the drama. It was light and consistent. Another factor that made this good is the supporting cast, starting with Yoko’s family, then her best friends, the Maruyama Family and finally to her students whom she was able to support and vice versa until she grew old.

The cinematography is fairly simple and was definitely shot in a studio but the fact that they created the place nicely gave it a warm feeling of familiarity. The background music was okay, although not that memorable but it really had a nice ring to it as the OST played softly in the background.

I would love to rewatch this again if I had the chance. For now, I’m recommending this for those looking for a family drama and looking forward to watching something light, heartwarming and inspiring all at the same time.

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My Darling is a Foreigner (Japanese Movie 2010)

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Synopsis:

“My Darling is a Foreigner” tells the quirky story of a Japanese woman and an American man as they enter into a relationship and eventually marry. Saori (Mao Inoue) is a manga artist. She meets language geek Tony (Jonathan Sherr), who has arrived in Japan after falling in love with the language. As the couple become closer, Saori is inundated with strange questions about the language from Tony. Are these weird questions a trait of his foreign background? Or is it because of his linguist preoccupation? More importantly, can their relationship survive? (excerpted from mydramalist.com)

Words From Me:

The movie wasn’t perfect, but overall it was an okay watch and surely not much of a waste of time if you’re looking into the film’s aspect of cultural diversity. Another info about the movie that it is based on the real life of a female manga artist. The story revolves on a foreign man who is trying to really blend in a country which is not his own, as for his reasons… it’s for the woman he loves. Well, noting also that his occupation is also about Japanese linguistics, his falling in love with a Japanese woman was almost bound to happen. That particular woman on another hand is trying to live with the consequences of her choice, loving a foreign man. These two people with different ethnicity and cultural practices are being judged by the people around them and yet they try to live their lives as is.
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Inoue Mao as Saori was a good thing, I couldn’t say she nailed the role but she was good in it. Being that clueless Japanese woman, she was quirky and funny. While Sherr, I seriously loved it when the guy smiles and his Japanese accent was not as slang as I thought it would be, listening to him speak the Japanese language felt nice. Sherr makes me want to have a Caucasian man for myself too! But putting that aside, let’s go back to the movie itself.

The movie was quite a blur for me. There were the cute moments and the not so cute moments. The conflict came in and it was expected, there wasn’t much magic in the whole film as I initially thought it would have. The romance was actually a given since the movie itself was sold as a romantic-comedy film but overall it was a blur. Nothing noteworthy for me to look back on. However, if you’re the kind of person who finds joy in simple movies like this, then with all due respect I highly recommend it to you.

I swear I am a big Inoue Mao fan, that’s why I watched this film but there are just some movies that actors can’t carry by their name. The movie itself was sub-par, the whole story line felt a bit bland and Mao could have done better… that’s how I felt while watching her here. If you compare her acting skills to Sherr though, she’s way-way ahead of his league. The producers tried to make the movie look like it has more to offer than it could, but it really came in short. There wasn’t much of the feels, there was the cute but the not much of the drama side. The sound track on the last part for me was pure joy. I always loved it when Aiko does sound tracks, I’m glad the movie chose her voice to make things better for this film.

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