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    Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

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    Almael
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 12/30/2014, 8:03 am

    Jigoku Sensei Nube [Hell Teacher Nube]





    Type: Live Action
    Genre: mystery sentai
    Year: 2014-Oct-11 to 2014-Dec-13

    Introduction:
    This is a big budget live action based on the manga series Jigoku Sensei Nube by writer Sho Makura & illustrator Takeshi Okano (1993 to 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump).

    Summary:
    Nueno Meisuke aka Nube is a new homeroom teacher of a 2nd grade class-3 at Domori high school. He has a cursed left hand which houses the demon lord Baki-Oh. He secretly solves curse/demon cases and fights desperately to save the students from monsters (yokai). A long the way he gains allies and comrades in arms. But his greatest enemy is closer to him than he prefers.

    Critique:
    Like all sentai shows it features a japanese sentai acting and costume/CG monsters. Although not as much a classic sentai shows but it can't escape the impression. The actions are good, though. The cast is good as well as their performances so it's not that bad. It just downgrades the seriousness and leans toward silliness.
    Maruyama Ryuhei (Nueno Meisuke) as Nube is alright if only there was not this stupdity side of Nube. If he were more like Eikichi Onizuka from GTO (1998) with a better balance between stupidity and funny that would have been perfect. His cool attack is in total contrast to his usual clumsy bakaro appearance. But that's his classic role so I blame the script for not tweaking it better.
    If this show were Final Fantasy 7 then Hayami Mokomichi (Tamamo Kyosuke) would have been the perfect Sephiroth. Here he's the perfect ikemen Tamamo-sensei, a man among men, who catches the hearts of both sexes. He even has his own BGM. Smile Tama-chan is full of cliches but his execution is too good and attractive to leave a bad impression. The only stain on his perfection is his true-form of a Yoko tribesman (Fox mage that looks like a Werewolf).
    Kiritani Mirei's (Takahashi Ritsuko) displayed personality has a stark resemblance of Fuyutsuki from GTO (1998) but she's the prettier model. Nube being head over heels for her and other relationship related reactions are the really funny. Her blog in the show has a S&M apperance! Her beating Nube was not quite convincing, though. She's a chemistry teacher but does a physics experiment...
    Yamamoto Mizuki (Hazuki Izuna) plays the female summoner quite well if only her being a model wouldn't be so distracting, too. As an Itako-girl she has a very cute fox jokai, Koinari. Koinari houses in a bamboo pipe which she decorates like they do with cellphones. Very Happy
    Sano Hinako (Hosokawa Miki), too, in her role can't stop being a model despite her twin-tail disguise. Yes, that's right this show has a handful a of super models if not the majority among the cast. Please try to focus when watching. There's a scene where Mikitty proves her superior 'strength' by employing her otaku fan base. This is another show misusing and showing otaku power. Otakus seem to have become quite accepted these days for TV screening.
    The show follows typical classic character development and relationship schemes, augmented by influences from modern social media tools like twitter, instagram etc. Naturally its weakness lies in annoying classic elements. In every episode there's a discussion between angel (Minako-sensei) and devil (Baki) over troubles like moral and how to deal with it. Despite some serious topics the allegories are sometimes amusing.
    The show appears to try to promote Buddhism and implicitly countering christianity, even getting as far as having the famous Exorcist scene. Overall it's a solid show and better than I expected.

    Verdict: 8.3
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 9
    Script/Directing: 8

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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/1/2015, 7:59 pm

    Gomen ne Seishun ~Regret from my school days~ [Sorry Youth! / I'm sorry youth!]



    Type: drama
    Genre: school comedy
    Year: 2014-Oct-19 to 2014-Dec-21

    Summary:
    Hara Heisuke (31) returns as a teacher to his high school (Tonkou) in Mishima city, Shizuoka prefecture. Three private high schools, the prestigious Sunzu West High School, St. Mishima Girls High School and Komagata University Affiliated Mishima High School (Tonkou) are side by side. 14 years ago a fire has put the St. Mishima on the brink of bankrupcy ever since. Hara Heisuke, with regrets and feeling of guilt, he is stuck to his hometown. It is finally decided to merge Tonkou and St. Mishima to save both schools from low student numbers next year. A joint cultural festival is planned for the merger. Heisuke dedicates to make the cultural festival a success. Meanwhile, he faces his dark past while solving his students' problems.

    Critique:
    This is not quite your ordinary school drama show.
    Nishikido Ryo (Hara Heisuke) skillfully plays the pained and secretive yet kind nature of Heisuke. Sometimes he shows a split second emotional revelation of the protagonist's true feeling which he hides quickly.
    Mitsushima Hikari (Hachiya Risa) plays on one hand the tough guidance counselor yet has a soft side. Due to some circumstances it was difficult and confusing to figure her story out. She and her sister are at the heart of the secrets in this show.
    The rest of the cast's performance is good, too, giving rise to many good and funny scenes. The show also has a healthy rivalry between Buddhism & Christianity with Buddhism prevailing in the end. There are some surprises and twists.

    Verdict: 8.3
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 9
    Script/Directing: 8
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/1/2015, 8:01 pm

    Love Shuffle

    Type: drama
    Genre: romance
    Year: 2009-Jan-16 to 2009-Mar-20

    Summary:
    Four neighbors on the same floor happen to be stuck in the elevator one day. They get to know each other and discover that they all have love troubles.
    They decide to try a new social event to improve their love life. Love Shuffle is a means to get to know new partners or to exchange partners in a trial kind of fashion. What began as an experiment quickly develops dangerously serious...

    Critique:
    The chemistry of the four protagonists is great. They have no trouble to adjust to the other main actors either. The others aren't bad but most of them pale in comparison which practically makes them supporting actors. It's fine, though, as the protagonists are driving the story virtually by themselves.
    The show deals with most love troubles by using the story as well as various discussions. The discussion don't go that deep but cover the basics as well as possible conclusions or outcomes.
    Aside from that there's plenty of dialogues and situations used for comic relief. In the end the final couplings aren't so surprising, thought, yet how each of them ends up is a different story.


    Verdict: 9.2
    Cast 9
    Cast performance 9.5
    Script/Directing: 9
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/1/2015, 8:04 pm

    Love Shuffle Episode 1 part 1


    Synopsis:
    It's a bad day for Usami Kei when his fianceé Kagawa Mei suddenly breaks up with him on the day he had the engagement ring finished.
    Aizawa Airu, is a quad-lingual interpreter, whose ex-boyfriend & stalker had affixed cans to her car a la newlywed.
    Kikuta Masato is a psychiatrist who's single.
    Oishi Yukichi is a successful and sought after model photographer but is drifting in life.
    It's a fateful day for these four when a lightning causes a blackout in the area and leaves them stuck in the elevator.
    Even thought they are neighbors on the same top floor, it's the first time they actually met.
    Yukichi scares Airu by saying that Tokyo is known to be not well prepared for catastrophes.
    Airu assumes he must be making heartless pictures. He denies it and shows his erotic picture book which interests Kei.
    Airu gives Kei a look prompting him to return the book. She mentions there was a case where a pervert killed his female neighbor.
    Kei denies being a pervert. Masato suggests they introduce themselves to each other. Masato tends to give them nicknames:
    Usa-tan
    Ahiru-chan = Duck-chan
    Bakeratta, from "Obake no Q-taro" anime
    which none of them likes.
    They tell Masato, the mental doctor, he's actually the weird one among them. Laughing Yukichi mutters maybe he's the pervert.
    Masato says he would be happy to be called Kiku-chan, Kiku-rin, Kiku-nojo but they won't which disappoints him.
    Kei gets thrown down by Airu when suddenly another thunder is heard. Kei tells her she's supposed to hug but she says girls only do that to pretend to be cute.
    They discover his dropped engagement ring case and inquire about it. At first he won't tell but does anyway.
    The others start to speculate about the reasons of the breakup: from being his fault to Mei losing interest etc.
    Yukichi says you never know with woman which offends Airu.
    They start inquiring each other and speculate the reasons why each of them is failing.
    Kei is panicking about telling his parents and other troubles. Masato tries to comfort him and Kei questions his motives. Masato says establishing harmony and sympathy is important for therapy.
    They start to discuss why people lose interest and their opinions clash.  But they don't want to hear Masato's expert opinion. Masato goes on about chemistry anyway. Laughing
    Meanwhile, Ariu has become silent, twists uncomfortably until she goes down into a crouch.
    Masato asks her if she's alright which she confirms but won't tell the reason. The men start to speculate about her from being pregnant ... until Kei figures she needs to pee. She immediately lashes out at him for sexual harassment. Laughing
    Masato explains it very professionally about female psychology. Kei notes that as a doctor he can say it blatantly (without Airu's retaliation).
    Yukichi remembers he has paper cubs and offers them to her. Twisted Evil Airu says she would rather die than do it here.
    The men have become silent which makes her even more conscious & nervous. Kei says he will take a cup since he too can't hold anymore.
    Yukichi says he will, too. They tell Masato to join in but he declines. Kei tells him to do it for harmony.
    The men agree to do it with each one turning to their corner. Airu protests but none would listen. Laughing
    Kei tells her she can't be embarrassed now (with everyone doing it).
    So the men each go to their corner. Kei starts to sing for distraction and the men join in.
    Airu resists a few moments but gives in while asking her mother for forgiveness.
    Just when Airu is about to start the lights come back. Everyone stops in their tracks and looks out as the city lights up again.
    They are relieved and Airu notes the men have all their fliers are open. Surprised
    At work Kei is called in by the director Kagawa Kosuke who asks him about his sister's breakup and her reasons. Kei claims not to known anything.
    Kosuke tells Kei he will be fired on the spot as he only got hired and promoted to department chief because of his sister.
    Kei asks him to at least help him stay with the company. Kosuke tells him he never liked him. Their conversation has been observed by the whole department.
    In the evening, Kei meets up with the others to commemorate their meeting. However, the others already decided to set him up for a Love Shuffle.
    After a bit of coercing discussions Mei arrives and recognizes Airu as a former (famous) classmate. Airu doesn't remember, however, and makes up all kinds of things and excuses...
    Then Yukichi's supermodel Kamijyo Reiko appears. Kei is entranced and gets teased. Masato asks Yukichi if she's a celebrity to which he replies he isn't sure. Reiko sizes the men up. Reiko and Airu immediately clash over their taste (outside vs. inside).
    Airu wonders where her stalker ex-boyfriend is when he reveals himself in the back. He's been here all the time and had reversed the whole restaurant but nobody noticed anyway.
    In the rest room Kei discusses with Yukichi his vexing situation. He didn't know Mei was wealthy before but now he's unsure and wonders whether he's desperate because of Mei or his lifestyle.
    Meanwhile, Airu tries to find out about Mei's reasons but she only tells her about their fateful meeting. One day Mei was stuck alone in a blizzard and was found and rescued by Kei.
    Masato gets a call telling him his date and patient Hayakawa Kairi had committed suicide. Shocked
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/1/2015, 8:25 pm

    I'm not going to do the rest for Love Shuffle. There's just to much going on but I wanted to give you a little peek.

    I have been trying to get my hands on some of the classics listed for a long time but it looks unlikely. Even the "newer" ones like Umechan Sensei with Horikita Maki are a major problem to get hold of not to mention it's 156 episodes(!). Most japanese dramas are 6 to 13 episodes long but there are those that are 150 episodes long and they air within 5 months(!). That's one episode per day if you count the weekends + holidays etc. That means they do film like 3 episodes every two days. That's like the show runs live compared to how long we need over here (1 week/episode).
    Since japanese shows usually feature a lot more models, idols and famous actors than over here I just can't stop looking for new ones.  Embarassed
    I know some streaming sites have Umechan Sensei but I don't want to support them. Umechan Sensei has one(1of2) of the highest average ratings ever (20+%) in it's class. Regular shows have around 10% ratings; GTO (1998) had 30+% (!).
    *sigh*

    フライングゲット Flying Get drama


    or the chinese TV PV version in case you can't see the above
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/2/2015, 9:50 pm

    As expected only the youngest members from back then get to be recasted in MG4.
    Shimazaki Haruka is here the dark Boss completely different from before. Otabe is the only one wearing the old uniform for some reason. Smile
    The enemy is from the rival sister group SKE48/NMB48 and the leader its captain Yamamoto Sayaka.
    Takamine announced her graduation from AKB48 last month but will stay another year for the handoff (general manager of AKB48). So she gets to appear a last time.

    The story is kind of reminiscent of MG1.
    Sakura, a honor student, transfers to MajiJo and, well, tries for the top. She beats Team Hinabe etc.

    PV


    First episode to be aired
    January 12th on Hulu
    January 19th on Nippon TV
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    Almael
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/3/2015, 10:10 pm

    In the AKB48 special yesterday (recorded) they held a sudden audition for an extra character appearance. Menchi Battle! It was kind of funny.
    Ogasawara Mayu won the role.
    Too bad the original cast that are still left didn't get to participate. I would have liked to see Nezumi (Watanabe Mayu) and Center (Matsui Jurina) again. Well, aside from no longer being that young both would have probably outclassed the others. -_-; There's no one Jurina couldn't beat in anything other than Mayu's beauty/cuteness. She was (is?) known as the pie-less queen for never having lost, hence, never got a pie smashed onto her. Even after about 100 shows and 10vs1 battle she remained untouched.





    Last edited by Almael on 1/4/2015, 9:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/3/2015, 10:16 pm

    Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo [The Japanese Don't Know Japanese]

    Type: drama
    Genre: social school comedy
    Year: 2010-Jul-15 to 2010-Sep-30

    Summary:
    Kano Haruko (Naka Riisa) is a charismatic shop assistant who has been featured in fashion magazines. In pursuit of her dream of becoming high school teacher, she agrees to teach Japanese to foreigners for her former teacher (now director) on the understanding that she would introduce her for a high school's Japanese language teaching position. However, she is challenged on her commitment and responsibility. In her excitement she accepts it with her dream and the students' graduation on the line...

    Critique:
    This is an underdog show about foreign students and their troubles, about Japanese as a language and its finer things locals themselves don't know or are ignorant thereof. That's actually true for any country and their people. Usually foreigners (students) know (not necessarily everything) the local language better than the locals themselves this includes even ordinary simple words. I happen to have plenty of travel experience here. I happen to have met people/students from about a hundred countries, and seen films/shows from any country that ever had such an industry.
    It may not have lots of actions and appealling as such a show but it's great for what it's meant to be. Saying anything less is an understatement.

    Verdict: 9.7
    Cast 10
    Cast performance 10
    Script/Directing: 9



    Some real world insights on Japan:
    Japan struggles to make immigrants feel at home
    Japan's population growth falls short for 8th straight year
    Black companies getting worse
    impoverished foreign students fall into life of crime
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/4/2015, 5:57 pm

    Nagareboshi [Shooting Star]



    Type: drama
    Genre: romance, family
    Year: 2010-Oct-18 to 2010-Dec-20

    Summary:
    Okada Kengo is an employee at the Shinenoshima aquarium, whose sister Maria only has a year to live unless she gets a liver transplantation. His fianceé Aizawa Minako breaks up with him over the issue. Makihara Risa works in the sex industry to pay off her good for nothing lowlife of a brother Shuichi. Shuichi makes her life miserable whenever he can. Risa commits suicide but gets rescued by Kengo who contracts her into a marriage. They go through various troubles including betrayal but in the end they finally find to each other.

    Critique:
    The cast consists of mostly famed actors(ses). Takenouchi Yutaka (Okada Kengo) with his mostly serious poker face is kind of downgrading the role. I'm also not quite happy with the under-performance of some others. I know they can do a lot better. Inagaki Goro as Makihara Shuichi is so hateful he must be doing a good job.
    This drama is somewhat fickle with surprises yet the story is also predictable. It's also slow at times. The show has potential to be a lot better. With its flaws I have to rate it less despite liking it a lot. If Ueto Aya (Makihara Risa) doesn't convince you to watch it then I don't know what will.

    Verdict: 7.3
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 7
    Script/Directing: 7
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/4/2015, 6:00 pm

    Toubousha


    The "nice" policeman

    Type: drama
    Genre: crime, detective
    Year: 2004-07-18 to 2004-09-26

    Summary:
    Nagai Tetsuo is a probation officer who's married to Junko, a doctor, and has a son. One day, his wife is murdered and his son is injured in an attack.
    Nagai comes home late and fails to hold the attacker. Nagai takes his son to the hospital run by his father-in-law, but his son is attacked again and left in a coma.
    Nagai is being suspected by the police. He becomes a fugitive, and tries to prove his innocence. What he finds is a shocking revelation.

    Critique:
    The cast consists of mostly famed actors(actresses). Some show themselves at their best. I have no complains here.
    Even though, it starts out as a seemingly ordinary family drama the tension gets build up very quickly while turning into a crime show. It's not your typical of the mill japanese crime/police show, though. It's a bit more like a thriller as a show than as a movie. It looks like a movie than a Japanese TV show.
    It's somewhat more complex in terms of people and relationships than your typical straight forward detective show. All in all it's a great show.

    Verdict: 8.3
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 8
    Script/Directing: 9
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/5/2015, 9:51 pm

    Great Teacher Onizuka / GTO (1998)



    Type: live action
    Genre: school, society, comedy
    Year: 1998-Jul-07 to 1998-Sep-22

    Introduction:
    The live action is based on the manga of the same name by Fujisawa Tohru. The story is a sequel of Shounan Jun'ai-gumi and precedes "GTO Shonan 14 Days". An anime was made a year later.

    Summary:
    Onizuka Eikichi, an ex-leader of a motorcycle gang, whose lifelong dream is to become a teacher finally gets a chance to be hired by the lady director Sakurai Akira. [Her first name is really Akira.] Onizuka is assigned to a class of troublemakers. While facing a lot of opposition from the students and teachers alike, his passion for teaching and helping his students outside school matters, eventually win everyone over.

    Critique:
    Aside from the cast's great acting the chemistry is pretty much perfect. Many of the actors and students from the show became famous later on e.g. Oguri Shun (Hana Yori Dango, Hana-Kimi, Gokusen). Sorimachi Takashi (Onizuka Eikichi), his acting and style sets the whole atmosphere of the GTO show.
    As far as the GTO story is concerned the show is the closes version to the manga despite some difference. However, the impression and appearance of Onizuka is different from the manga and anime. He's less intimidating and more sympathetic and social. The atmosphere and relationship is more toward that of lifelong friendship than just respect and appreciation as in the manga.
    The show did more or less sets off a revolution in how Japanese school dramas are made. The only complain I have is that the truck scene isn't realistic, but that's rather unimportant.
    Despite the years the show has remained a top favorite of mine as it does for many others. It's not doubt a must see show.

    Verdict: 9.7
    Cast 9
    Cast performance 10
    Script/Directing: 10
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/5/2015, 10:04 pm

    Great Teacher Onizuka / GTO (2012)



    Type: live action
    Genre: school, society, comedy
    Year: 2012-Jul-03 to 2012-Sep-11

    Introduction:
    The live action is a remake of GTO (1998) based on the manga of the same name by Fujisawa Tohru. The story is a sequel of Shounan Jun'ai-gumi and precedes "GTO Shonan 14 Days".

    Summary:
    Same as GTO (1998) with different story details and other minor changes.

    Critique:
    There are some improvement as well as decline regarding the cast. The girls are all prettier and more in line with the manga. There's only one returning actress. And due to previous fame this show has a very huge guest cast. Imho all these faces are overkill and distracting. The old GTO didn't have any guests yet, imho, the old cast is better in terms of impression and chemistry. The cast here mostly pale in comparison.
    Shirota Yu (Danma Ryuji)(e.g. from Hana-Kimi, Subete ga F ni Naru) seems to have been added as an extra since originally it's a delinquent pair not a triplet. AKIRA (Onizuka Eikichi) is the perfect image of Onizuka from the manga. He's intimidating, a delinquent at heart, seems careless and harsh yet does help his students in the end.
    The stories and events are essentially the same but completely different in details. There are parts that are new and better as well as worse. All in all this show comes closes to the manga in terms of Onizuka's character and atmosphere.
    Having seen GTO (1998) I can't come to like this version. I've struggled with rating it, weighting the good and bad, and for me the bad outweigh the good. None-the-less, in its own right it's a solid show and probably good for anyone who hasn't seen the original.

    Verdict: 7
    Cast 7
    Cast performance 7
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/5/2015, 10:07 pm

    Great Teacher Onizuka / GTO (2014)

    Type: live action
    Genre: school, society, comedy
    Year: 2014-Jul-08 to 2014-Sep-16

    Introduction:
     It's the only 2nd season show of GTO.

    Summary:
    Onizuka Eikichi returns to his hometown of Shonan and his alma mater Tsujido High School. Onizuka is working on a temporary basis. The problems he faces this time aren't those of ordinary students. And to his discomfort he meets old acquaintances who know about his past. His image is in danger!

    Critique:
    Like the manga the stories are about more social critical topics, cruel, and shocking. Needless to say things have been toned down and changed for the TV screen.
    The topics alone and Onizuka's past makes this show the more interesting show of the new GTO. I'm a bit disappointed about the setup, though. In the manga it's a boarding school but here it's an ordinary large school. Of course the atmosphere and relationship aren't the same. The stories are roughly similar but different, leaning more toward different.
    The cast's performance is definitely better than last time and with better chemistry, too. There's another large guest cast, too, if only to show their faces. All in all imho it is more reminiscent of the original GTO than the last one.

    Verdict: 8.3
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 8.5
    Script/Directing: 8.5
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/13/2015, 2:31 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Cast

    Majisuka JoGakuen

    Name: Miyawaki Sakura
    alias: Sakura
    note: transferee from Kagoshima



    Rappappa

    Name: Shimazaki Haruka
    rank: Boss
    alias: Salt
    note: previously in MG2 as Docchi from Team Fondue

    Yokoyama Yui
    rank: Shitennou (Heavenly Queen)
    alias: Otabe
    note: dumbed down Otabe from MG2

    Kawaei Rina
    rank: Shitennou (Heavenly Queen)
    alias: Bakamono

    Iriyama Anna
    rank: Shitennou (Heavenly Queen)
    alias: Yoga

    Kizaki Yuria
    rank: Shitennou (Heavenly Queen)
    alias: Magic



    3rd year

    Name: Sashihara Rino
    alias: Scandal
    note: Wota from Team Hormone; suspended for 2 years



    2nd years

    Team Hinabe [Team fire-pot]
    Takahashi Juri
    alias: Uonome [fish eyes]

    Kato Rena
    alias: Dodobusu [wordplay of very+pretty => extreme ugly]

    Oshima Ryoka
    alias: Kusogaki [fucking brat]

    Mukaichi Mion
    alias: Jisedai

    Uchiyama Natsuki
    alias: Kenpou [cites constitution]



    1st years strongest combo
    Kojima Mako
    alias: Kamisori [Razor]

    Owada Nana
    alias: Zombie





    Gekioko High School Nursing School
    3rd years
    Yamamoto Sayaka
    alias: Antonio
    note: school crusher/school sign hunter

    Watanabe Miyuki
    alias: Kobii [milky => coby=unkind]



    2nd years
    Suda Akari
    alias: Tsurishi [fisher]

    Tani Marika
    alias: KY [Kyuuki Yomenai=can't read the atmosphere]

    Matsumura Kaori
    alias: Zako-boss [Boss of weaklings]





    Others

    Name: Takahashi Minami
    alias: Minami
    note: MajiJo graduate, adviser to Sakura; owner of restaurant/café “Asobina”

    Name: Kojima Haruna
    alias: Kojiharu
    note: MajiJo graduate; Torigoya from MG1&2; she has risen to fame & wealth in the ero-business




    Last edited by Almael on 1/20/2015, 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/13/2015, 2:47 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 1



    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/735848


    Kojiharu & Scandal


    Sakura: "Soon, it will be the season of Sakura!"


    Synopsis:
    It's about 2.5 years after MG2. (4 years in the real world)
    Iwata Karen & Nakanishi Chiyori are being beaten by some students from another school when a limousine stops by. Kojiharu asks the girls for direction and gets called a hag. She promptly disembarks and beats them up. She tells the MajiJo students not to lose when wearing the emblem. Kojiharu feels a new wind blowing when Sakura walks by.
    Team Hinabe discusses food and chats about Rappappa with Scandal. Scandal has recently returned from her 2 year long suspended from school. Team Hinabe tells her Rappappa isn't unified anymore but individually each member is as strong as ever. They tell her that Salt has no interest at all but is leading Rappappa because she doesn't want to obey anyone. Scandal is amused about everyone being just flies to Salt.
    Meanwhile, Bakamono fails to identify a game card again which causes a round of ridicule by the others. As Otabe doesn't seem to be any better Bakamono touches on her repeating years issue. Otabe sticks her fingers up Bakamono's nose :: and tells her "it's a matter of timing". Salt suddenly appears from the backroom and hits Bakamono for making a ruckus before going back to rest. Salt suddenly opens her eyes when she felt a disturbance.
    Sakura, oblivious to the violence around her, walks up to her class and enters. She's questioned about her intrusion. Okada Nana is about to punch her for her insolence but stops short seeing Sakura's eyes. Team Hinabe riducules Nana but Scandal tells them that Sakura's eyes are like Meada Atsuko's. She's someone who holds back at the last because she can overpower anyone.
    On the way, Team Hinabe meets a gang from Gekioko Koko who immediately pick a fight with them. The Gekioko students returned beaten and are questioned by the Gekioko upper echelon. Antonio is upset they picked a fight with MajiJo without permission. KY says it's fine as Antonio would eventually addMajiJo to her collection of defeated school's signs&flags anyway. As it has come to this Antonio plans to raise an army to overpower MajiJo.
    Meanwhile, Sakura is having lunch at the restaurant café Asobina. Minami asks Sakura if she came for the top of MajiJo but Sakura tells her she came for the better view from the mountain. Minami warns her about Rappappa.
    At school Sakura asks Team Hinabe about Rappappa's location which prompts them to laugh it off as a ridiculus idea.
    However, Sakura is serious and walks off after getting the information. Everyone immediately quiets down at the realization. Team Hinabe runs after her for being passed over by this transferee but Sakura ignores them.
    They pushed her into a room and the fight starts. Sakura is fast and agile but seems to lack experience and gets caught and hit a few times. Sakura quickly dispatches Kusogaki, Jisedai and Kenpou. Dodobusu grabs and pushes Sakura against the wall but is defeat at the same time by a Kenpo move (see Atsuko vs. Gakuran). Uonome's kick boxing seems to be superior but she is driven against the wall... the shock from the realization of doom is hanging over the room for a few moment. Then it's over when Sakura stops her last punch.
    Uonome runs after Sakura, telling her the order to defeat Rappappa, and tells her she can still run away. Sakura just walks off muttering she won't run away ever....a flashback showing her (5) year old self being left behind by her father.


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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/20/2015, 12:12 am

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 2

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/738771
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9RoSju7stYya19VSUtqc0kwaTg/view



    Sakura licking blood

    Synopsis:
    The news of the transferee beating Team Hinabe is making the rounds.
    After confirming Sakura's intentions Team Hinabe decides to help her. They explain the hierachy to her.
    Just when Sakura is about to go up the stairs she's intercepted by Salt. Salt tells her to do her best and leaves. Twisted Evil
    Meanwhile, while having a food fight Team Hinabe is being made fun off by the Kamisori-Zombie pair.
    Team Hinabe doesn't like their food lifestyle being ridiculed and tries to beat them but gets beaten instead.
    And since Team Hinabe mention Sakura the Kamisori-Zombie pair sets their eyes on her.
    Otabe inquires Salt about her situation but Salt's bored and just says "nothings going on". [Salt's expression! Shocked ] Salt goes off to beat some students from Gekioko Koko. It's a massacre and she's still bored.
    While eating lunch again at Asobina Sakura piques Minami's interest as she's still fine. Mimani gives Sakura some food to take home. Sakura notices the Kamisori-Zombie pair waiting for her. After a bit of praising Kamisori attacks but only manages to cut some of her hair.
    [It's good fight!] Sakura gets cornered and falls leaving her food strewn on the ground. The pair make fun of it and step on it. Uh-oh!
    Sakura's pissed! Don't waste food! Sakura is seriously out for blood. pale  Kamisori quickly goes down, but Zombie resists her. Kamisori recovers and another intense fight breaks out. The pair go down again and again but won't give up. Sakura preaches to them and then leaves with her food. (Two admirers are born.) Salt watches from a far as Sakura leaves.
    Gekioko Koko's top brass have another meeting about the latest fight but Antonio is against taking rash actions. The Heavenly Queens discuss the situation and Yoga decides to take action. [notice the "solt" signs got replaced by "salt" signs on the door to Salt's sanctuary. So much for engrish.]


    Last edited by Almael on 1/20/2015, 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/20/2015, 1:00 am

    This time the fight was exceptionally good comparable to the best in MG2 & MG3. The two main actresses are very dark this time, too. Looks like MG4 will be better, but also a bit more cliche and perhaps simpler.

    Nogizaka46: Tsuki no Ookisa = Naruto OP14

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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/22/2015, 4:21 pm

    Suteki na Sen TAXI



    Type: drama
    Genre: human, slice of life (sci)fiction
    Year: 2014-Oct-14 to 2014-Dec-16

    Summary:
    Edawakare (Takenouchi Yutaka) is the driver of a Sentaxi model 6 which can take a passenger back to his or her "life's turning point".


    Critique:
    STARTo
    The show is a bit weird. Each episode shows a common life story situation that somehow goes wrong or ends up undesired.
    RETRY, CHOICE - B
    [The show is good!] Each episode shows various outcomes based on how a person changes their choices each time.
    RETRY, CHOICE - B - B
    Sometimes, the person gets defeated by their own choice, though.
    RETRY, CHOICE - B - B - B
    Sometimes, the person is too adamant which turns negative.
    RETRY, CHOICE - C
    [The show is great!] Despite the predictable choices a person makes in trying to fix his or her situation there are unexpected turns and twists.
    RETRY, CHOICE - C - B
    Sometimes, an equally important outside problem appears, though.
    RETRY, CHOICE - D
    [The show is superb!] Some of the turns and twists are even GAME OVERs!
    Sometimes, an antagonist is revealed to be a super antagonist, too, connecting stories and time lines.
    CHOICE - ALPHA
    [The show is fantastic!] Sometimes, it's not up to the protagonist's choices at all!
    CHOICE - A
    Sometimes, the end is a slightly different beginning. Sometimes, the end is a dead end.
    CHOICE - E
    Sometimes, the least desirable choice is the right one.
    CHOICE - Z
    Sometimes, it's a ghost!
    The best stories usually feature the best actors, too, which makes them quite enjoyable. Not all stories reach the same level of goodness, though, beware of your own high expectations.
    The not so good stories are not bad per se. They all take up half the episode's time to introduce, hence, their actual play time is less than the better episodes. Therefore, their lesser number of choices, turns and twists is perceived as not so good as they finish in a simpler & faster manner.
    Aside from the main story of each episode, there are little connecting side stories involving Edawakare. They are short but very amusing at times. And sometimes the main story's final ending gets revealed together with life's wisdom.


    Verdict: 8.7
    Cast 8
    Cast performance 8
    Script/Directing: 10
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 1/27/2015, 10:55 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 3

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/741794



    Synopsis:
    Team Hinabe notes that the Kamisori-Zombie pair haven't shown themselves since their loss and wonder about how Sakura will take the top.
    Salt is impatient (while waiting for Sakura to reach her and give her a good fight, saving her from her boredom). She gives Bakamono permission to deal with Sakura which she happily does. Otabe critizes Salt's move as Yoga has been waiting for her turn. Yoga would do anything for Salt.
    Bakamono runs into Sakura but since she asks for the whereabouts of "Ten Kousei" (=Transfer Studen) (like a person's name) nobody could help her. Laughing
    Meanwhile, Yoga visits the class, but since Sakura isn't present she beats Team Hinabe to invite Sakura to meet her.
    Otabe tells Salt about Yoga's move. Otabe suspects Salt's longing for Sakura and inquires her about her motive to no avail.
    At Gekioko Koko, Antonio is happy about the news. Antonio can't wait for Sakura to clear to away the obstacles (Queens) for her. Kobii isn't happy about the strategy as she prefers confrontation.
    Having heard this the Kamisori-Zombie pair arrive first to challenge Yoga. Sakura arrives to find them beaten. The Kamisori-Zombie pair offer their allegiance to Sakura. They propose to take on the Heaven Queens themselves while Sakura takes on Salt. Sakura refuses saying she wants to do it properly by beating them all one by one. Outside Uonome criticizes Sakura about doing it all by herself. But Sakura goes off without listening.
    At Asobina, Minami shows her an allegory about the power of an individual verses many. Sakura simply smashes it...(she believes in her overwhelming power)
    Sakura faces off Yoga. Yoga leads her to the storage room of the gym where nobody could interfere. As Yoga is very flexible and always counters Sakura is unable to touch her at first. Sakura goes down and gets beaten. However, Yoga is actually really weak. Sakura easily takes her punches and recovers. Sakura tells Yoga her fists are "hot" and that Yoga can't beat her (with emotions). Yoga is cornered and goes down after a few hard punches. On the ground Yoga still tries to hold Sakura but loses consciousness.
    Outside, the Kamisori-Zombie pair have come to help Sakura but she still refuses for some reason. Salt smirks satisfied at the sight.
    The news is making the rounds and friends and foes alike gets excited. Magic, upset, tries to beat Yoga but is stopped by Otabe. Yoga apologizes to Salt. Salt tells her not to worry as nobody expected anything from her. Yoga breaks down. Poor Yoga!  Bakamono, still hasn't found "Ten Kousei", returns and is told by Salt that the name is Sakura but she still doesn't get it.
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 2/2/2015, 8:57 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 4

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/745057

    Synopsis:
    The day after the Kamisori-Zombie pair start to follow Sakura around. Sakura just ignores them. While Team Hinabe discusses things including naming the new group Team Sakura they accidentally eat badly mixed food  Twisted Evil  Bakamono arrives to their surprise and hands them a letter of challenge for Sakura. Everyone's shocked.
    Her writing is just like her....she never said where to meet so nobody can figure it out either. Sakura goes off for lunch.
    She's being stalked by KY who creates a non-descriptive drawing (e.g. kindergarten level) of Sakura for her comrades. Naturally, Antonio dismisses it. Antonio's strategy leaves her underlings doubting her and Kobii furthers it. (Will she start a rebellion?)
    Meanwhile, Bakamono still awaits for Sakura to come at the shrine while night has fallen. She's found in the morning sleeping in Sakura's class. She tells the students to have Sakura meet her in the back of the school.
    It's a fight of strength with both exchanging blows. After having fallen down, Bakamono powers up and beats Sakura up badly. But when everybody thought she's gone Sakura rises again. Having adjusted to Bakamono's power and speed Sakura withstands her punches and beats her.
    Salt suddenly shows up. She's happy about Sakura's progress but still impatience. She tells Sakura she's waiting and that Sakura should to hurry up.
    Team Hinabe and the Kamisori-Zombie pair have become friends and start eating together.
    On her way Sakura notices a picture of her lying on the ground. Before she could pick it up it spontaneously ignites. It's Magic's declaration of war.
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 2/9/2015, 10:42 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 5

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/747996


    Synopsis:
    Team Hinabe discusses happily about the recent events while a bunch of students look on from the outside. (waiting in line for their downfall Laughing ) It kinds of make them a bit nervous, though.
    Bakomono trains thinking she lost due to lack of power. Of course none of the others think so. After Salt retreats, Magic criticizes her behavior and gets lectured by an upset Otabe.
    Meanwhile the Kamisori-Zombie pair try to appease Sakura with servitude and offings for lunch. While Sakura walks off Magic makes her announcement to Sakura over the school's loudspeakers. It's a little psychological warfare for her magic performance. Some students siding with magic out loud get quickly punished by the Kamisori-Zombie pair.
    Walking down the hallway Sakura meets Salt and both exchange punches. But both stop just inches from each others faces. Then Sakura cycles quickly trough a defense and counter attack (grabbing Salt's offensive arm while punching). Naturally, Salt's defensive move is faster and easily stops Sakura's punch with her other hand. Salt tells her to improve quickly otherwise it won't do any good. Upon returning to the club Salts meets a worried Otabe, As Salt is rather carefree Otabe's worries won't leave.
    While Sakura has lunch at Asobina and has her usual non-progressing talk with Minami the Kamisori-Zombie pair are freezing outside. (It's winter and they wear summer clothing).
    Upon returning to school Magic stops Sakura by trowing a card (queen of diamonds) which gets stuck into the concrete wall. She lures Sakura into a dark storage room. All prepared for her magic. Magic isn't bad at first but it doesn't take long for her to start using her tricks. Sakura gets handcuffed to a shelf. While Magic beats the helpless Sakura up the Kamisori-Zombie pair arrive to save her. They are no match for Magic and go down quickly. Upset and using sheer brute force Sakura breaks lose the handcuff... Shocked  Magic admits her loss by crushing her own card.
    The Gekioko students are overjoyed by the news. Antonio prepares to make her move. Meanwhile Kobii also makes her move by recruiting her own soldiers (Shirogiku-Kurobara).
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 2/17/2015, 11:42 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 6

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/751547


    Shirogiku and Kurobara


    Synopsis:
    The Kamisori-Zombie pair tells Team Hinabe what happened including their heroic exploit of the situation. They perform a self-admirer-asking & narrating session. Laughing (Note Sakura's achievements on the board) As to why they do it: They declare themselves to be proud Sakura underlings. Then they hurry to greet Sakura in front of the school.
    They thank her for yesterday and trail off in their own relationship world again...calling the group Team Sakura and how their (standing/posing/walking) formation should be. Sakura tells them there's no such team and leaves. Although, the realization sets in (they will ignore it anyway).
    Magic apologizes for losing and harming Rappappa's honor but Salt tells her she doesn't care about that. Salt's only interested in facts. Salt leaves for her room while glancing at Otabe... Otabe picks up the cue and makes her move
    At Gekioko the students are in high spirit over the losses of the "weak" Heavenly Queens. They side with Konii's option of attacking MajiJo and criticize Antonio. Antonio puts them in place. When inquired by Tsurishi Antonio tells her it's her duty to care about her underlings. She expressively tells Tsurishi she isn't like a careless Boss.
    At Asobina, Sakura, looking at her injured hand, stops for a moment. Minami wonders how long she can keep up being alone by herself to which Sakura of course replies she will go as far as she wants. However, Minami hints at her she would be stronger if she fights for someone.
    Meanwhile, the Shirogiku-Kurobara pair show up at MajiJo. Kobii has recruited them to get rid of Sakura in order start a proper full scale war with MajiJo (instead of an easy win according to Antonio's strategy).
    The Kamisori-Zombie pair are thinking on how to make Sakura accept them when Daruma shows up(!) She tells them "you don't want to become underlings" "you become underlings". She meant them to force themselves on Sakura (and not getting forced). She tells them to have faith and keep doing it and they will eventually get accepted. Daruma gives them her chicken wings along with some advise about eating making them stronger and leaves. Despite their doubt about Daruma they take courage from her speech. [Note: In her talk Daruma mentions Takeshi's time will come, the guy Kojiharu was with in episode one.] On their way the Kamisori-Zombie pair are stopped by the Shirogiku-Kurobara pair and a fight ensures...
    On her way back, Sakura stops for a moment having missed the Kamisori-Zombie pair in their formation positions. Then she overhears students talking about the Kamisori-Zombie pair getting beaten.
    Masamune and Katabutsu have been "nicely" asked by the Shirogiku-Kurobara pair to give Sakura their "invitation picture." Together with Team Hinabe they discuss what to do and how evil the kidnappers are. They decide not to give it to Sakura but Sakura has already arrived and snatched it. They tell her it's trap and she shouldn't go but Sakura runs off regardless.
    The Shirogiku-Kurobara pair are having their "fun" when Sakura arrives. She gets clubbed right away but breaks club by second time. Sakura is surprised by their simple reason for having fun and all. She tells them they are not her underlings but she won't forgive people (around her) getting hurt. The Shirogiku-Kurobara pair start to cite their nickname related signature speech before rushing at Sakura. Sakura barely holds her own against their strong combos. When Sakura appears to win Kurobara uses a pepper spray to blind her. Sakura gets beaten and goes down while being confused. The Kamisori-Zombie pair gives Sakura hints on the Shirogiku-Kurobara pair's positions. Combined with her senses Sakura beats them. Sakura tells them she had better things to do then dealing with them.
    When they leave Team Hinabe comes running. When asked by the Kamisori-Zombie pair Team Hinabe denies wanting to save them which causes Sakura to grin a bit as it reminds of herself.
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 3/4/2015, 10:24 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 7

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/758171


    Synopsis:
    While talking with Team Hinabe the Kamisori-Zombie pair are all over in love with Sakura. They get into a little fight over how same year student are above underlings, Laughing
    The Queens are aware of Gekioko's intentions and hope Otabe will put Sakura in her place and end it all. The have strong confident in Otabe as she's been a real Heavenly Queen from the beginning (before them).
    Otabe tells Sakura to meet her the next day. Sakura replies she can do it now but Otabe tells her off by saying there's a time and place for everything.
    Otabe tells Salt she's grateful to Sakura for making her do her job of protecting MajiJo. Salt says she's not interested in carrying anything while fighting but Otabe tells her she already does.
    At Gekioko, Antonio is puzzled by the Shirogiku-Kurobara pair's action against Sakura. When Kobii expresses her doubts, too, she gets a suspicious look from Antonio. When news arrive that Otabe and Sakura will fight the next day Antonio tells her underlings to prepare for battle. Everyone is ecstatic except Kobii.
    Team Hinabe and the Kamisori-Zombie pair are having lunch at Asobina. (Why?) They discuss the fight tomorrow. Since the Kamisori-Zombie pair didn't know they get teased.
    Meanwhile, Sakura is anxious and hits a tree making its leaves fall. The next day, the group offers Sakura a special hinabe meal. It's a mix of literally everything. Ugh. Sakura hesitates but is urged to eat up. And she does.
    Before Otabe leaves the Queens give her tips on Sakura's abilities. They tell her they will be waiting for her victory. When asked if they doubt her they tell her they want her to win.
    Bakamono can't stand waiting and leaves but is stopped by the others. Bakamono tells the others they got to go watch her fight as she's fighting for them. They leave together.
    Otabe and Sakura are locked in an intense fight. They exchange strong blows but Otabe easily punches through Sakura's defenses. None intends to give up, Otabe is more experience and pays her back with the moves Sakura defeated each of the other Queens. Lastly she gives Sakura a headbutt.
    When told to go back Sakura remembers her trauma and gets up again.
    Sakura intercepts all of Otabe's previous moves and beats her up. She pays back every hit. Otabe tries to continue but her body wouldn't move. When she does Sakura stops her with Salt's move. Sakura tells her she won't forget her and leaves.
    Salts arrives to see Otabe still on the ground and mumbling about continuing. Salt tells her it's fine. Salt tells her she has taken up her seriousness and will take responsibility.
    Outside, the girls have been waiting for Sakura. They get happy when hearing that she won. For the first time Sakura thanked them which surprised everyone. The Kamisori-Zombie pair go off in their own happy Sakura-underling world again.

    Next time: the Secret Strategy! Kobii's move!
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 3/9/2015, 10:02 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 8

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/758539




    Synopsis:
    [note: lots of subtle & suggestive english scribbles in the background]
    Sakura goes up the stairs where the queens are already waiting. Sakura and Salt agree to fight tomorrow.
    While the girls are having a chat they are spied on by a KY. [her dressing's of Docchi(=Salt/Paruru) from Team Fondue]
    Antonia fires up her followers for the battle but Kobii is strangely silent and unhappy.
    Meanwhile, Kobii has recruited local female gangs and intercepts Salt on her way to the fight. Kobii courtly introduces herself... but they are no match for Salt which upsets Kobii, Kobii takes it matters in her own hands but can't do much either. Even after firing up Kobii loses to Salt's chained combos. Konii falls under a rack of pipes damaging the rack. When she tried to stand up the metal pipes start to fall down. Salt pushes her aside but gets completely buried under the pipes... The gang members witness it and no longer want to follow Kobii and run off.
    While waiting Sakura and the queens hear sirens. Magic's cards fall and she picks up the death card. Sakura rushes to just see Salt being moved into the ambulance and driven off.

    Next time: It's war and Jurina shows up!
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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

    Post by Almael on 3/16/2015, 9:38 pm

    Majisuka Gakuen 4 Episode 9

    http://www.hulu.jp/watch/764760


    Your are too weak!

    Synopsis:
    Salt's in ER while Sakura waits outside. The Heavenly Queens question her and criticise how she would not know what happened. Kobii listen in on them from the shadows before leaving.
    The whole school of MajiJo is depressed and eerily silent which worries the girls.
    Antonio is outraged and then Kobii's involvement gets revealed by KY...
    Salt wakes up and tells the Queens about Kobii. She wants to go for her fight but is stopped by them.
    Meanwhile, Minami meets the depressed Sakura outside. Sakura is shocked by the events but it's part of being the top.
    The Heavenly Queens decide to go to Gekioko for revenge. Hearing about that Team Hinabe decides to join them. Reluctantly the Kamisori-Zombie pair join, too.
    Meanwhile, Sakura visits Salt to find her trying to leave. But she's too injured to actually stand up. Salt is distressed and depressed to find herself unable to act when she finally realize her responsibility.
    Naturally, Sakura steps in for her and rushes off. Center appears and complains to Salt about being a bad patient. Very Happy
    Meanwhile, Kobii is being summoned by Antonio. Antonio is mad but Kobii has no excuses.
    The Heavenly Queens arrive and easily dispatch the guards. KY stops them and informs them about Kobii just before they get surrounded by the rest of the students.
    But Antonio arrives in time to stop the fight. She goes on her knees and begs them for forgivesness and for the debt they now owe MajiJo. She still offers them to fight.
    Sakura arrives in time and with Otabe's approval takes on Antonio as MajiJo's representative. Antonio is on a different level. She easily avoids or counters Sakura while delivering her own punches.
    To top it off she does her double (Teakwondo) kick. [She's a Korea music fan and is fluent in Korean] Akura is down for the count or so everybody thought.
    Sakura still manages to get up and gets serious! She surprises Antonio with a powerful punch. Sakura mimics Antonio's moves and the fight gets rough and intense.
    Still, Sakura is no match and ends up on the ground again. Antonio makes a jump for a punch down hit but gets kneed by Sakura. It's down to an endurance and power contest which Sakura wins barely. Although having lost, Antonio is satisfied and has forgiven Kobii. The Heavenly Queens approve of her victory. The Kamisori-Zombie pair get to carry their beloved boss.

    Next time: The return of the Mouseketeer!

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    Re: Live Actions & JDorama Review & discussion

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