note: I'm editing it now (Feb 8, 2014) with my updated comments (it's been more than a year since I've finished these things though, but I'll do my best to make a conclusion on the things I've said since I wrote this before finishing the series)
first up - Koukou Nyushi. honestly I don't really like anything that has Nagasawa Masami in it unless the story's really interesting (proposal daisakusen) or the cast works (last friends). I couldn't get past the first episode of the last drama she starred in (the one where she was this superstitious detective). Ugh! Couldn't take her character there. I'm trying this one out for the sole reason that Dane (of Prince of Tennis fame) - meaning Mitsuyoshi Shinoda - has a role in this as another teacher. Couldn't pass this one up! I just hope the story doesn't continue to bore me to tears and that Dane's screentime increases - or Oh so help me I'm gonna drop this like a hot potato.
the drama where she played a superstitious detective was Toshi Densetsu no Onna, and surprise! It got another season last year (2013). Was I the only one who couldn't bear to watch it? Anyway, Koukou Nyushi proved to be more watchable for me than Toshi. I was able to finish it, yay me! Not that it really gripped me but it got interesting enough for me to find out the conclusion.
2.5 out of 5
next is - Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo - to be honest I got this because the stuff I was waiting for are not online yet so I took this while waiting for the other dramas to be up. I used to be indifferent to Takei Emi (wondering why she's so famous and why she was chosen as Kaouru blah blah), but I never really saw her in anything so I had no basis to hate her. But I saw her as a plus one guest in VS Arashi (i forgot which ep, but it was her first guesting stint), and there, she won me over. She was genuinely enjoying herself and well... she kinda looks like a younger version of Kitagawa Keiko (with whom I'm sort of partial to - girl crush!), so I finally took to her too. She's not so bad in this series. She even managed to make me laugh in some parts plus the cast are also pretty interesting - been a while since my last drama with Tsukamoto Takashi, and (Miura Shohei) playing the first guy she met (the one in the bus) is funny and cute. So there. I'm declaring that so far, I'm liking this one. Plus, the scenes with her Father at home kinda reminds me how it is with my Father now whenever I go home. There's a different dynamic between us recently since my mother died. Their weird, sometimes awkward, sometimes endearing way of communicating kinda echoes how it is with my Father now. So yeah, I'm kinda looking forward to the next episodes (I'm currently on ep 3).
Finished it, loved it, made me cry in some parts, and it was really an enjoyable series to watch. Enough to make me watch Emi's next series: Otenki Oneesan. This ended well. I just wished she wasn't so Do-S to Miura's character, hahaha!
Also, as I've mentioned, her dynamics with her father is part of what drew me to this. As for me, it was good that I was also able to spend time with my own Father, just before he died last year. Bitter-sweet stuff. :(
3.5 out of 5
Tokyo Airport - a job drama. you know how it goes. it tackles the protagonist's challenges or adjustments to his/her new/unique job. Difficult situations, strict supervisors, conflicts with co-workers - everything's here (but everything's also so predictable in that sense so I'm pretty much still on the fence with this one). I'm on my first ep and I can't help but be reminded of that other drama that has to do with planes (kimura takuya's "Good Luck!!") and this pales so much in comparison. A bit early to judge from the first ep but really, all I can remember is how I think how kyoko fukada's prettier with less makeup and a more serious character (hated her in massugu na otoko where she was as ditzy as they come). With that said, I'm not giving this one up yet... with the hopes that it gets more interesting.
gave it up. i just felt it wasn't worth the hassle of downloading the copy :( I guess the story didn't grip me enough to stay.
Kekkon Shinai - aah! one of those "can't marry" series, How many of those have I watched? Let me see; Kekkon Dekinai Otoko (still looking for the last few eps), Around Forty (also with Amami Yuki), and Karina's drama (Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu) was the last one I saw. I have sort of a morbid enjoyment in watching these type of series. Probably because I identify too much with the theme hahaha! Currently on episode 2 and so far I'm liking it. Amami's always reliable, Kanno Miho's versatile enough and can be endearing, and it's been far too long since I've watched Chiaki Senpai (Tamaki Hiroshi) as a lead. This one's a sure go since both cast and plot get a thumbs up from me.
This interested me enough that sometimes I wrote my thoughts out after watching. Of course it was the story and the questions that each episode presents that compelled me. Updating now, the conclusions to the relationships in the series are a bit hazy to me now, I don't remember much anymore but I remembered that I was satisfied with whatever conclusions it had.
3.5 out of 5
Ooku ~Tanjou - Combination of Sakai Masato and Tabe Mikako in their respective roles had me at hello, plus it's a story based on a manga PLUS it's a period series, so really, I'm all in. Haven't read the manga though, but I was able to watch Nino's movie (Ooku Danjo Gyakuten. The perspective is so different. The series made me curious about the manga. For the movie, I was satisfied with it by itself, but the series had me hooked. I think they have a much better chance at expanding characterization since they had the luxury of time because it's a series. Sakai Masato shines in this (as always ... *sigh* *dreamy eyed*), a-hem, a-hem. The role fits him since he's the sort of guy who just fits well in period films (well he's pretty flexible in tackling different roles to begin with) but I think period films really suits him best. The first ep made me cry in one scene and the second one also (in relation to the scene in the first ep). Tabe Mikako is a surprise in this one. She has grown up from that really awkward girl I first saw in Yamada Tarou. The last one I enjoyed watching her in is Deka Wanko (brilliant in that! and it's one of those rare live action adapations where it was better than the manga version), and I think she's also going to be in complete character in this one. This girl just needs a great story-line and character and she'll take the series to whole new heights.
As you might have guessed, I finished this series, and cried at almost every ep. I usually never go for series that twists and wrenches my heart into throes of agonies but I made an exception for Ooku. There are really no complaints on this one except that I wish it had continued, well, they did continue it in a movie, so, even that complaint is nullified. Made me look forward to the future projects of both Tabe-san and Sakai-san.
4.5 out of 5