Sunday, March 1, 2015

The making of Takashi Kashiwabara cameo in Itazura Na Kiss - Love InTokyo


Takashi Kashiwabara cameo in episode 15 of Itazura Na Kiss - Love In Toyko


Takashi Kashiwabra 

Itazura Na Kiss - Love In Tokyo production crew were waiting for the arrival of Takashi Kashiwabara. It had been 17 years since the remake of this Japanese idol drama. Aiko Sato had previously made a cameo appearance in episode 10 as nurse Kotoko. 

Finally, Takashi Kashiwabara arrived at the scene. The director introduced him to everyone. He bowed humbly to the crew as he get ready for his cameo appearance. He is Naoki Irie for the day, as the director teased him.


Takashi Kashiwabara Interview:

I remembered during that time after we filmed this drama, we received many support from fans in Japan when it was shown on TV. Especially in Taiwan, the response was great. At the same time, I received many job opportunities in Taiwan. I received a lot of love and was well taken care of.  Therefore, with this feeling of gratefulness, I intent to repay the kindness which I have received. Therefore, I agreed to this cameo upon invitation. 

During that time, Teacher Kaoru Tada often came to visit us at the filming set. She would say to me, "You have the feeling of Naoki Irie." This comment had given me lots of courage.  I am thankful for that encouragement, thus I thought of repaying her. 


Today the scene is about Naoki Irie going to give up his ambition. At the hospital, he crossed path with Takashi Kashiwabara who acted as a doctor.  He appeared to be deep in thoughts and turned around to look at him. 


Naoki Irie 17 years ago 

In the manga, I felt that Naoki is a great character. I felt troubled after reading the manga. Because I have read the whole series of manga, I felt that as far as possible, Naoki cannot treat Kotoko too badly. He has to be cautious about it. 

Kiss NG scene

Kassy:   Oh is there?

Interviewer: Yes there is.

Kassy: Under the circumstances when both people are not very familar with each other, it felt a little bit weird.

During filming, I would discuss with my co-star Miss Aiko Sato regarding the kissing angle. After we settled on that, we will film the scene. When we finish filming, we will look through the scene again.


Yuki Furukawa as Naoki Irie

Before meeting the new Naoki, I was interested to find out about his appearance. After meeting him, I think Yuki Furukawa Kun has a tall build. He possess a charisma just like a character that walk out of a manga. I am extremely happy to meet the 2013 version of Naoki Irie and this drama which i have a cameo appearance will be ending soon. I hope everyone will continue to support the story of Naoki and Kotoko. Thank you very much. 






Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Drama Review: All about my siblings episode 3


Drama Recap: Bitter Secret


Satoru lament that it is difficult for an ex-convict like him to find a job and be accepted back to the society. Asahi felt that he have not tried hard enough. The siblings did not express objection knowing that Satoru is living off the family expenses. They have accepted the fact that Satoru will continue to laze around. 



Conflicts arises when Satoru and Asahi clashed with their moral belief. Satoru accused Asahi for a hiding a bitter secret which caused him to leave the family ten years ago. Asahi told Saturo to leave the house if he felt so terrible, however Satoru declared that the house was left behind by their father and he has the right to live here. 



Asahi looked for Azura at the eatery store during lunch time. It will be Asahi first family visit and he is going to announced Azura pregnancy to her mother. They were feeling nervous about it and tried to rehearse their speech beforehand. Suddenly, Asahi's boss appeared in the store and tried to make small talk with Azura.

On the other hand, Asahi tried to avoid him but was still spotted by the sharp eyes boss. He asked about Satoru and Asahi revealed that his brother knew about their father incident ten years ago and that was the reason why he left home. The boss looked surprised with a tinge of guilt on his face. He offered Asahi to bring Satoru to work at the construction site too.



Satoru continued to kill time while playing arcade games. A mysterious woman sat beside him and it turnout to be Takako. She offered him a job at the field but he declined the offer. He stated that Takako was just trying to make up her for a mistake to her decreased mother. Not about to give up, Takako passed him a name card and tell him to reconsider.

Haru was trying to recruit Kasumi into his threate acting club. Tadashi was initially puzzled about his brother decision to scout for talent in a girl that deceived him. However, he was just as amazed as the other cast members when he saw her audition for the lead actress role. Everyone applauded her effortless performance and delivery of the script.



Asahi paid a visit to Azura's mother house to asked for blessing. As expected, her mother have doubts about their future as a couple. Despite, Asahi reassurance that they will be happy, her mother was still not convinced, stating that the couple will face a tough road ahead of them. 

Hikari is still going out with Masaomi and they were photographed dating together. It was Satoru who took their picture and he showed animosity towards Masaomi. There seem to be another hidden secret between the two of them. Satoru adviced Hikari not to go out with a bad person. 



Satoru continued to idled around and refused to find a proper job. Asahi received a call from the restaurant that his brother had apparently ate the foods without money to pay. Asahi rode the bicycle and rushed down to pay the bill on behalf of his brother. Feeling frustrated, Asahi threw the bicycle at Satoru and told him to settle down for a job. Satoru mentioned about the bitter secret that could not be resolved so easily. 



Asahi decided to reveal about the bitter secret tonight. On the other hand, Hikari faced with a heartbreaking news about a premature baby. Both of the parents do not want the baby to receive treatment anymore. Hikari could not handle this devastating situation and Masaomi stayed by her side to console her. 



All the siblings were present at night, and Asahi divulge the truth behind their father "accident". Actually, their father shouldered the responsibility of a mistake which eventually led to his accident. Their father did not make the mistake that cost his life. The culprit behind their father death was the company that Asahi is currently working at. The boss had then offered Asahi a full-time job at the construction site to compensate the family.

The revelation about the bitter secret did not sit well with his siblings. They blamed him for giving up the fight for justice. Satoru even accused Asahi for being self righteous and pretentious. However, Asahi stated that he had no choice but to compromised due to their helpless situation. He declared that he had not done anything wrong to apologize to them, since all of them grew up pretty well. He did not not expect his siblings to show gratitude to him after all the sacrifices that he had made. Asahi felt that it was his responsibility as the eldest son to provide for the family in the absence of their father.



Asahi felt terrible for getting all the blame from his siblings. He was sitting on the swing alone, while singing his favorite song. A few moments later, Azura gave Asahi a call to cheer him up and he felt energized again. 



Satoru decided that he has no right to blame Asahi as long as he did not work like his brother. Therefore, he is here to interview for a job at the construction site. Asahi said that it does not matter to him if Satoru will be employed, however that does not prove to be the case. 



Asahi was anxious to help his brother to fill up the personal particulars in the employment form. The boss came and take a look at the two brothers. He told them that it is not necessary to fill up the form since he had already decided to employ Saturo. 



Asahi and Satoru awkwardly turned around and tried their best to tolerate the boss unpleasant behavior. They took a few steps towards the door and the boss suddenly jeered Satoru for being an ex-convict. Asahi intended to turn around and confront the boss. In order to avoid trouble, Satoru tripped Asahi over and stated that he is used to people calling him a jailbird. Asahi was furious and pushed Satoru down, stating that this is not something that he should get used to. In a fit of anger, Asahi did a flying kick towards the boss and knocked him onto the floor. He warned the boss not to speak ill of his family members. He revealed that he had being holding a grudge on him since their father's death. Satoru looked on in surprise as he did not expect Asahi to react so strong to stand up for him. 



Asahi was fired from work and he left his workplace together with Satoru. Both of them sat at the playground and have a heart to heart talk. The troubled Asahi mentioned about his problems, as he will be meeting Azura 's mother tonight. He is worried that since he is jobless now, it will be seen as being incapable to take care of Azura. Satoru listened attentively and reprimanded him for being impulsive. 



Satoru is back to his usual carefree self as he turned around and walked away. He suddenly turned back and addressed Asahi as his elder brother. After Satoru left, Asahi realized that he had just called him brother after so many years. 



Asahi went for his house visit after he mustered all his courage. He confessed to the Azura's mother that he is jobless now. However, he promised to try his best to provide for the family. Azura and her mother were calm and composed after hearing the news, and Asahi was puzzled. 



Asahi gave a formal bow and accidentally knocked his forehead on the table. The mother and daughter laughed at him, stating that Asahi resembles his brother Satoru, especially the way they bow. 



It turned out that Satoru had visited the family eariler to explain about the incident. He said that they are proud of Asahi as their eldest brother. They owe their achievements to Asahi who had took up the duty to raise his younger siblings up.



Asahi was touched by his brother's gratitude and cried. Actually, his siblings appreciate him very much but they do not express their thoughts to him. Asahi cried and Azura's mother offered him a handkerchief. 



The next morning, Asahi was lying on the floor after having a drink too much. He woke up to the alarm of the TV programme, only to realized moments later that he was already dismissed from work. He decided to cheer himself on and the noise that he made, disturbed Hikari. She walked out of her room with messy hair and instructed her brother to keep quiet as she is sleeping now. 

On the other hand, Satoru decided to accept the job offer at the field, Kasumi  joined Haru acting club as the leading actress, while Tadashi carried a touch on her. At the hospital, a photograph of Hiraki and Masaomi was sent to him by an anonymous person. Who is that mysterious person?

My thoughts 



I can spend my whole time watching Satoshi , Hikari and Eita acting together in a drama. They were simply the focus of the story and their performance were outstanding as usual. The conflicts between the siblings and how they resolved the issue was interesting. Towards the end of the episode, I was so touched by the strong bonding between Aashi and his siblings. 

The bitter secret is actually a burden to Asahi. I can sympathize with him, and it is good that he decided to shared this secret with all his siblings. It will take some time for his siblings to soak in the truth and understand his position. Eventually, they will appreciate him for the sacrifice. I respect Asahi character and his strong determination. Even Satoru could not bring himself to work for the enemy. Asahi placed his priority on his  family welfare and thought of them before himself. 

The next episode should be focusing more on Hiraki and Masaomi love affair. Satoru also have some issue with Masaomi, I am quite curious about this hidden secret too. On the other hand, Tadashi and Haru have a crush on Kasumi. What will happen to the love triangle? I am also interested in the ambiguous relationship between Satoru and Takako. Lastly, will Asahi and Azura baby be delivered smoothly? It has been a pleasure for me to watch this Jdorama. Hopefully, the rest of the episodes will be engaging too.

































Friday, February 20, 2015

Drama Review: Two Weeks


Cast: Lee Joon-gi, Kim So-Yeon, Ryu Soo-young, Park Ha-Sun


Plot 

Jang Tae-san is a small-time gangster who has learned to survive with his fist and wits. He meets and falls in love with a college student, Seo In-hye, who sees a good heart and wounded soul underneath his tough exterior. When In-hye gets pregnant, Tae-san prepares to leave the gangster organization to start a life with her. But he is blackmailed by the gang boss, Moon Il-seok, who wants Tae-san to be his fall guy for an assault charge and go to prison in his place; Il-seok threatens to kill In-hye if Tae-san refuses. So Tae-san tells In-hye to get an abortion and cruelly breaks up with her, then goes off to prison for several years.

Eight years later, Tae-san is running a small pawnshop. One day, In-hye unexpectedly pays him a visit and tells him that she cut ties with her disapproving family and had the baby after all. But her daughter Soo-jin has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Since she isn't a match, that leaves Tae-san. Reeling from the discovery that he's a father and wanting to do something good for once in his meaningless life, Tae-san agrees to the undergo the surgery, which is scheduled to take place in two weeks. But he becomes embroiled in political intrigue when Il-seok conspires with a corrupt politician Jo Seo-hee to frame Tae-san for the murder of an undercover agent, who had infiltrated the gang under the orders of prosecutor Park Jae-kyung. Tae-san is arrested by detective Im Seung-woo, who happens to be In-hye's current fiance. While being transported, the police car he's in gets into an accident and Tae-san escapes. Now a fugitive, he is hunted by both the police and an assassin, and what ensues is two weeks of his desperate struggle to save his life and his daughter's. - Taken from Wikipedia 

My thoughts 

Lee Joon-gi delivered one of his best performance to date in this drama. I still remembered him as a feminine man in the movie - King and the clown. Time passes by so fast, this man had grown up to be a handsome and matured man. His delicate facial features are still there but he is no longer just a pretty boy anymore.

In this drama, Lee Joon-gi is convincing as a man who struggled to live. All the professional methods that he used to escape were interesting and unthinkable. From a crowardly small-time gangster to a brave and loving father, the transition was smooth and touching. He impressed me with his acting skills in every episode. Gradually, my only motivation to finish watching this drama is mainly because of him rather than the storyline.

In my opinion, there are only a handful of actors that were able to cry convincingly well without looking ugly. Lee Joon-gi belongs to this category of actors. There were many emotional scenes where he challenged himself to do well each time. The best part of the show was his interaction with his adorable daughter who was terminally ill. Those emotions that was presented onscreen were so raw and real. I would like to specially mention Lee Chae-min who acted as his daughter that suffers from leukemia. She is so cute and innocent here.

The romance on the other hand were downplayed. Park Ha-Sun does not have great chemistry with Lee Joon-gi. Neither does she have any chemistry with Ryu Soo-young. As an actor, Ryu Soo-young did not leave much of an impression other than being a good guy.

I do not like Kim So-Yeon performance in this drama. She does not have poor acting skills, it is just that there is something wrong with her character. She seem to be trying too hard to protray a Procecutor that was tormented by her own past and experiences. Most of the time, she was frustrated throughout the drama, especially when she failed in her mission.

While it is understandable that she wanted revenge, she did not show her intelligence in many situations. Her only motivation is to nail the criminals behind her father's murder and she has been trying so hard all these years. As a Procecutor, she is not calm and rational enough to lead a team of detectives to catch the criminals. As a result, she tends to make bad decision and judgement.

The villains were predictable and nothing smart came out from the script. The action scenes and all the scheming behind every move build up to nothing fantastic. Yes, certain parts were draggy and falls flat whenever they tried to built some suspense. 
As usual, the rich and the powerful politician who were greedy and manipulative, eventually falls into our hero Jang Tae-San trap. The cast were moderately good, however the storyline seem to be a little letdown to me. Half way through the cat and mouse chasing game, I have already lost half of my interest in the show. The suspense and thrill were not that engaging afterall. I shall not mention any spoilers, just in case you have not watch this drama.

In conclusion, Two weeks is a heartwarming action thriller that is worth to watch. Especially if you are a fan of Lee Joon-gi. Just be prepared for some impractical plots and some noticeable flaws in the drama. Most of the time, Lee Joon-gi is on the run from the police and the assassin that was sent to take his life. If you are willing to overlook some of these loopholes in the storyline, then you would enjoy this drama. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Takashi Kashiwabara Weibo Update: Chinese New Year Greetings




分享图片 皆さまお久しぶりです。 柏原です。 日本は寒い日が続いてますが、中国の気候はいかがでしょうか? 風邪などひいてませんか?

翻译: 大家好! 好久不见。我是柏原。 最近日本连续持续着寒冷的天气,中国是否也是持续着寒冷的天气呢? 大家要注意感冒啊!!

Translation: Hello everyone! It has been a long time. I am Takashi. Recently, Japan weather has been very cold, is it the same in China? Please be careful not to catch a cold!!




English Translation:

China is going to welcome Spring festival. Do you have any wish or goals? Health, fortune, interpersonal relationship and so forth, everyone have different goals and things to look forward to. I felt that if you have already plan something in your mind, that is the first step towards your goal. Subsequently, slowly follow by second step, third step.... Until your dreams come true. Most importantly is the determination to work towards your dream, face all the difficulties with a smile. Wish everyone a happy new year, hope all of you will be more blissful. Happy spring festival!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Drama Review: All about my siblings episode 2

Drama Recap: Second son is back


Satoru came back to to leech off his family after three years of imprisonment for swindling 30,000 yen.  Asahi asked Satoru to apologize to the victim family but was rejected. He retaliate and sneered the simple minded Satoru for being ignorant of the evilness in this world. The television program serve as an alarm clock for Asahi to go to work. Satoru managed to trick Asahi to reveal the household money. While his brother was away, he stole the money. 


Asahi went to visit the victim family on his brother behalf. It was the death anniversary of the victim, Asahi went to pay his respect. On the other hand, Kazumi told Tadashi that she is pregnant while holding the pregnant test kit which showed positive. Not knowing what to do, he confined in his elder brother Haru.  He confidently told Tadashi that he will help to solve this problem. 


Azusa came for family visit at Asahi house. Asahi was shocked to see her at the doorstep, while his siblings were curious to see their future sister-in-law. Asahi showed his family photo to Azura and talked about Satoru who just came back after serving his time in prison. 


Azusa blended into the family and everyone treated her like one of them. Hikari came back with a weary look on her face. She walked into the house and looked on nochalantly as her elder brothers were half naked because of a childish game that they played. Asahi blamed Satoru for spending all his savings on alcohol. Azusa smiled happily at the siblings quarreling with each other. She revealed to Hikari that she envy all the fighting within the family. Since she is the only child of the family, therefore she could not experience living with other siblings. She pointed out that Asahi love his siblings very much. Hikari was deep in thoughts after hearing that.


Hikari went to Asahi room with a heavy heart. She knows that she had disappointed her eldest brother for getting involved with a married man. Asahi told Hikari to think about her problems and settle it herself. He stated that he will be here whenever Hikari needed him. Hikari was moved to tears at her brother earnest words. 


On the other hand, Haru accompanied Tadashi to meet Kazumi. When Kazumi demanded money for abortion, Haru requested Kazumi to test for pregnancy using the Test kit that he had just brought. Haru exposed Kazumi tricks and called her a good actress. He dropped her a name card before he left. Tadashi was angry that he was deceived by Kazumi. 


Hikari continued to face many challenges in her work. She was emotionally drained and Shinjo consoled her. Suddenly, Hikari questioned him about his family outing and Shinjo was taken aback and quietly walked back to his desk.  


Satoru was back home but he is not finding a job and he spend his time at the arcade instead. Asahi looked for Satoru and asked for the reason why Satoru do not want to apologize to the victim family. Satoru passed him a letter which the granny wrote to him before he was send to the prison. The letter stated that the granny family did not care about her and only wanted to lay their hand on the inheritance. 


Asahi visited the victim family and Takako Yashiro (Masami Nagasawa) the youngest daughter, led him into the  room. He saw the last letter that the granny wrote and the video recorder among the things that the granny left behind. 


Asahi went back home and demand Satoru to apologize to the granny. Satoru retaliate and pointed out that the victim family were in the wrong and he is not going to be sincere in his apologies. In the end, Asahi and Satoru decided to have a brawl and the loser have to listen to the winner. Eventually, Asahi won the fight and Satoru have to apologize to the victim. 


Asahi accompanied Satoru to the victim house. Her children were hostile when they saw Satoru. In exchange for a chance to pay respect for the granny on her death anniversary, Asahi offered the house title deed as a compensation.


Satoru was left in the room to mourned quietly. He watched the video record of the time spend with the granny. His tears dropped when the granny said,"working is the proof of existence. " That was the motto of the granny who cheerfully worked in the field for so many years. 


At the granny deathbed, she recorded a video and stated that she knew Satoru got close to her is because he wants to con her money and she would eventually exposed him one day. However, she knows that the money he cheated is for somebody. At the end of the day, she had lost the game and really treated him like her son. Satoru cried uncontrollably when he thought of the time he spend with the granny and apologized to her sincerely. At the other room, Takako was also mourning for her mother death. Satoru finally found peace in his heart and felt forgiven by the granny. However, he is not going to forgive Asahi that easily. What could be the hidden secret that created conflict between the brothers?

My thoughts 

Eita in the house! What can I say about this guy except that he has a huge scene presence? Everywhere he goes, every expressions that he made grabs my attention. I was touched by his tears when he viewed the video clip. The time he spend with the granny was real and genuine, although his intention was wrong.

Back to the story, Satoru refused to face the victim is because of guilt. Therefore, he tried to escape from this problem. Asahi knows that Satoru need to find a closure in his heart, in order for him to move on and start afresh. Although Satoru had paid for his sin by serving time in jail, he need to seek forgiveness from the victim. However, he used the granny family wrong doing as an excuse to justify his crime. Deep in his vulnerable heart, he felt sorry for what he had done but refused to admit. This is the same situation as Kumiko who refused to apologize for her action. 

Haru proved to be the smartest among his siblings to be able to see through Kumiko tricks. I like the way Haru protected his younger brother. I think Kumiko will join Haru acting club and her presence will create conflict between these two brothers.

It is a pity that the scriptwriter did not follow through Azusa story and we do not know if she quit her job at the nightclub. We also did not see much of her struggle. However, I am not complaining since we get to see more of Eita in this episode. There are still questions to be answered, such as why Hiraki falls for a married man? What will happen to Azusa baby? What is the conflict between Asahi and Satoru?

This drama has an old school feeling to it. Perhaps, it was a remade of the 1966 drama, that it why there is no modern feel to this drama despite being filmed in 2014. In conclusion, the cat and the theme song probably sum up this drama - A simple and predictable story that somehow manage to find its way into your heart. I am sure we will see more of this cat! Meow!















Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Healing Camp: Kim Jong Kook featuring Turbo Kim Jung-Num


Thanks to KJKGlobal subbing the video clip, I can fully understand the content of the talk show. After watching Healing camp, I was touched by their brotherhood. The reason why Turbo was disbanded was revealed during the talk show. His then company had not treated them well and make the both of them work very hard. They did not earn much despite their popularity.

Kim Jong Kook talked about the difficulties he faced during the interview. Kim Jung-Min also appeared in the talk show and shared about his life after he left turbo. Initially, he earned a lot of money at the nightclub. However, his popularity dropped as time goes by. Subsequently, he became jobless and had made some failed investment in business. 

During the interview, Kim Jung-Min shared that he felt bad for abandoning his "baby" Kim Jong Kook when he is earning money. Gradually, he had depression while Kim Jong Kook is dong well in the Entertainment industry. 

I can feel the bonding between the two brothers. Although Kim Jung-Nam has a lot of pride, he still made the decision to call Kim Jong Kook. Some people said that Kim Jung-Num only remember Kim Jong Kook when he has problems with his livelihoods. I supposed, he also felt embarrassed to contact Kim Jong Kook after such a long time.

Anyway, all that had past has been forgiven. Kim Jong Kook revealed that he accepted the invitation to appear in Infinity Challenge because of Kim Jung-Min. The way Kim Jung-Nam described his reunion with Kim Jong Kook was very funny. Kim Jong Kook opened his arms wide and Kim Jung-Num just went into his arm was so cute! The conversation about Kim Jong Kook eating his chicken breast meat while chatting with Kim Jung-Min at the restaurant was very interesting. Although, Kim Jung-Min said that he did not shed tears at that time, I supposed he is very grateful to Kim Jong Kook. He even showed the text exchange between them in the mobile phone. 


Kim Jong Kook stated that he want to help the people around him within his ability. That was really good of him to think about his friends when he is already a Hallyu star. The host jokingly said that Kim Jong Kook is the rich son that takes care of his father (Kim Jung-Min) and younger brother (Mikey who is living abroad). During the talk show, they made a long distance call to Mikey. Talking about Turbo reunion!

Kim Jong Kook appeared in Inkigayo 90's idols special with Mikey. Bravo!! After watching the healing camp, I am very touched by Kim Jong Kook loyalty, kindness and generosity. 

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