Friday, May 29, 2015

"Ore Monogatari!!" or "My Love Story!!" episode 8

Takeo notices that Suna has been acting strangely lately, but Suna won't fess up to anything. Yamato reveals her birthday is coming up quickly and immediately tells Takeo that all she really wants for her birthday is to spend the day with him. Of course, Takeo is thrilled to hear that and starts to plan the day. He enlists Suna for help, and Suna is actually pretty good at planning out stuff like this. He balks a little when he hears the date of her birthday, but doesn't explain why.
Takeo decides to take a part time job to cover the cost of a birthday present and is hired at what appears to be a gay bar/restaurant but is ignorant of that fact.  Wife beater and cut off jeans what?
Takeo's mom casually mentions she is pregnant and Takeo is about to be a big front of an elevator. It's funny how casual she is and mentions it's no big deal since she has the body of a 22 year old even though she's 40 years old.
Takeo is worried about Suna and tells Yamato. She suggests that maybe he's lonely since Takeo is hanging out so much with Yamato. Suna clears that misunderstanding right away, but still doesn't explain his different behavior.
 Takeo's mom tells Takeo she saw Suna at the hospital which prompts Takeo to run to Suna's place. Turns out Suna has been living alone since his mother and sister are out of the country and his dad is hospitalized and about to have heart surgery. Takeo says he will forego the birthday date, but Suna says that would actually make him feel worse. Later, Takeo assures Suna he will have the best birthday date with Yamato and not to worry about him which Suna says is a relief. What a bro.
This episode had a bit more drama than the last one. Still warm fuzzies all around when watching the show. Suna is almost too good of a guy. I kind of wish Suna showed more weakness. Is lack of weakness a weakness? Hope Suna's father turns out okay and the date with Yamato is big success!

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Ender's Game" the movie

I have a few movies DVR'd from a free HBO weekend, one of which is "Ender's Game" with Harrison Ford and young Asa Butterfield as the titular character.  I read the book a LONG time ago and knew how the movie would end, but was curious as to how the movie would depict the book.  It jumps right away into the thick of it with Ender at starting as his training to be a leader in the fight to defeat the Formic army, ant-like aliens from outer space, which 50 years ago tried to invade the Earth.  It is a little ridiculous watching these teens all serious about boot camp, but that is what the book is about.  In fact, these teens may in fact be older than the kids in the book.  There is not much back story for Ender.  He is plopped into the plot right away as "The One" (think Neo, Luke Skywalker) to save the world.  I had read the book so I remember a bit more about his story, so I think people who hadn't read the book will be missing some to the emotional background to Ender.  But it is a complicated story and the movie does what it can in its restricted time.  While the characterizations, and frankly minimal acting of most of the cast, are shallow or nonexistent, the movie really shines in its training sequences in the Battle Room where the teens battle each other in zero gravity in teams.  The kids fly around shooting each other and bouncing off objects, and actually, it looks very realistic in the way they bounce around, not fake CGI looking at all.  The ending of the movie doesn't make much sense to me, and I seem to recall that part of story in the sequel book which I also read a LONG time ago, but I could be mistaken.  It gets very mystical at the end which is strange, but I recall the sequel "Speaker for the Dead" to be somewhat mystical.  So, as an action flick it's a pretty decent movie.  It kept me interested the whole time.  Asa Butterfield doesn't have much to work with dialogue wise, but he does his best with what he has.  Harrison Ford doesn't have much to work with either, but his is very good with "world-weary" and "grizzzled." If you're in the mood for a different science fiction movie, try this one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"My Love Story!!" or "Ore Monogatari!!" episode 7

This was an almost drama-free episode so far.  Just Takeo and Yamato oohing and ahhing over each other most of the time.  Takeo is recruited to be a ringer for the high school judo club in a match against the rival school.  Of course, for the month he is training, he will be too busy to hang out with his girlfriend.  But he finds strength in their separation through their constant (and cute) emails as he trains for the match, running around with tire tied to his waist (which seems to be a thing for anime high school sports training) and letting his mom use his abs for a ironing board (not a thing).  
Takeo warns her not to wait for him after school at night, and she takes it the wrong way, thinking he doesn't want her around, but actually it's just for her safety.  Suna, the bro that he is, clears up the misunderstanding.  
Another little bit of drama is that at the match, his rival says that the fact Takeo has a girlfriend makes him a weaker opponent.  But Takeo steadfastly denies this and beats him soundly in the match, earning his rival's respect.  Takeo, Suna, and Yamato go home and somehow see each other in the stars above in a cute scene.
The best parts of the show are when Takeo defends Yamato to his judo rival and when Suna clears up the misunderstanding for Yamato. Suna just needs a girlfriend so they can double date and be two cute couples together.

Monday, May 18, 2015

J-drama: "Antiquarian Bookshop Biblia's Case Files" or Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou"

I just finished watching the whole series over 2 to 3 days on Crunchyroll.  I didn't know anything about the series when I first started watching it.  I figured if it was about a book store I'd be down with that.  Turns out it's a Nero Wolfe-like mystery series where the proprietor Shinokawa Shioriko (played by Gouriki Ayame) solves literary-bent mysteries surrounding antique books and their past and current owners.  Goura Daisuke (played by AKIRA from "GTO") is her newly hired assistant and Shida Hajime (Takahashi Katsumi) is her housemate/old book buyer.  She deduces things using her vast knowledge of the history of Japanese publishing and Japanese and world literature.  Each episode revolves around one piece of literature.  It sounds like a snoozefest, but it's actually very entertaining and tugs at heartstrings several times.  My only complaint is the same techno song, that while catchy, is overused in each episode.  But that is a small complaint.  The characters are all extremely likeable and the show is earnest in its premise that books really do connect people together.  Now that I've watched this, I want to find another J-drama to watch.  Still looking... any advice out there?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"My Love Story!!" or "Ore Monogatari!!" episode 6

Turns out what I suspected was true... Yamato doesn't want to be put on a pedestal, she wants to hold hands...and stuff.  Ai confronts Yamato with Suna.  It's hilarious while Yamato starts talking about how sexy Takeo is and Ai is wholeheartedly saying "amen that, sister," Suna is figuratively and literally slowly backing away from the conversation.
We also find out why Ai started to like Takeo.  She was a little cougar in the sixth grade when third grader Takeo innocently complemented her.  
Ai and Suna convince Yamato to talk to Takeo about her feelings.  I don't think any boyfriend would back off if his girlfriend wanted to hold hands, and Takeo is no exception.  His awkward first attempt is funny.
Ai leaves town heartbroken but happy for Takeo.  Suna has his own problems when Takeo turns up in his practice kissing.  Poor Suna.  A LOL moment to end the show.
Oh, and the heroic thing Takeo does this episode is rescue a kitty from a tree.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"My Love Story!!" or "Ore Monogatari!!" episode 5

What could go wrong with the cute couple this episode?  It's still a mystery... but first...  Takeo saves a life, literally, again, this time a little boy who almost drowns.  Suna gets the thank you again, but Suna tries to set the record straight.  It makes no difference though.  
We also met Suna's beautiful older sister, Ai, who unexpectedly, has a crush on her little bro's best friend, Takeo.  She does not take the news that Takeo has a girlfriend very well.
She "accidentally" meets Takeo, Suna, and Yamato at the park (she stalks Suna by GPS) in order to inspect Yamato.  Yamato says how beautiful Ai is, and Takeo says how kind Ai is as we see her wipe Takeo's nose as a child in a flashback.
In a cute scene, we see Yamato offer up her latest cooking creation of cookies.  Turns out she mistook the salt for sugar and they are terrible.  But Takeo doesn't bat an eyelash.  It's all good as long as Yamato made it.  Aw.  As Ai observes Yamato, she notices she is hiding something.  In fact, the main "problem" of the show is that Yamato is hiding something from Takeo.  Takeo finally notices it himself and tries to figure it out by reading a teen magazine.
Ai runs into him (in a real coincidence this time) and stops him from this embarrassing behavior by promising to help him find out what Yamato is keeping secret.  
It seems like Yamato is troubled every time Takeo says how "pure" she is or states that he won't lay a hand on her until she is an adult.  Maybe Yamato wouldn't mind at least holding hands or something...

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Mamiya Sakura is high school girl who sees spirits.  They bother her, but she doesn't let anyone know she sees them.  One day at school she meets her classmate Rokudou Rinne who is sometimes invisible to everyone else except her.  Turns out he's a shinigami that makes regretful spirits to go into the "Rinne no Wa" ("Ring of Reincarnation" that looks like a big red wheel in the sky) to be reborn.  Sakura can see spirits because she was led into the spirit realm as a young child by a shinigami who coincidentally is Rokudou's grandmother.  Due to circumstances, Rokudou has to do shinigami work while being extremely poor and relies on offerings and donations to survive.  It reminds me of "Noragami."  Sakura gets caught up in Rokudou's busy life.  It's a very funny show and has a very nice retro-shojo art style.  Only four episodes have aired, but I have a feeling it I will enjoy this show quite a bit this season.

"My Love Story!!" or "Ore Monogatari!!" episode 4

Another touching episode from "My Love Story!!"  This time it's about having Takeo meet Yamato's friends during a group blind date or goukon.  It's funny how many male fan/friends he has at school.  He has no problems finding guys for the goukon to meet Yamato's friends.  At first things are going swimmingly, but a couple of friends let it slip out how disappointed they are at finding out how Takeo looks after hearing how cool he is from Yamato.  But they are proven wrong in a fantastical way when he saves their lives by rescuing those same friends from the burning building where they are holding the goukon.  The best part I think is when Yamato is crying about her friends hurting Takeo's feelings, but Takeo says he's not hurt at all in his mature way.  He is actually happy she was complimenting him to her friends so much.  Suna is important in this episode too.  When it looks like Takeo is about to give up  and croak in the burning building, Suna calls Takeo on his cell phone saying himself and Yamato would be sad if he were gone and Takeo suddenly gets that superhuman strength again and bursts out of he burning building.  Everyone realizes Takeo is actually a great, cool guy.  It's a pity he has to be a hero before some people realize it.