A Little Too Good, A Little Underrated : I Don’t Love You Yet

Controversial statements aren’t necessarily the best way to start off a review. However, I think that a fair number of people who consume Japanese dramas can agree that quality romantic-comedies of its kind are certainly few and far between. A huge reason as to why this is so, is mainly due to the fact that many of these dramas are based off of popular manga series. While the original artworks may have been excellent, I have found that many drama adaptations often pale in comparison. Most of them are so focused on imitating the original manga that they’re based upon that the overall delivery of everything ultimately ends up falling flat. This often results in cringe-worthy exaggerations and terrible storytelling.

i don't love you yet jdrama shirasu jin in glasses with adachi rika glasses
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For the cliché lovers – Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Dokomademo

Greetings everybody!

It has officially been a little over two years since I have posted on this site. Many things have unfolded since then, and I swear that I am telling you the truth when I confess that I have tried multiple times to conjure up some sort of review for this site. However, sometimes things just don’t play out, and I am then left with a whole folder of incomplete reviews that I am unfortunately incapable of completing; try as I might.

However, today, as you can clearly gather from the title, I shall be writing a review for the new 2020 Japanese drama—Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Dokomademo (恋はつづくよどこまでも).

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Ao Haru Rideアオハライド [Anime Review]

Hello.

I know. I know.

I haven’t been reviewing many animes recently…and there’s a perfectly good reason behind it.

School and life has just been getting in the way between all this and I haven’t even been able to catch up on any anime goodness, much less review anything.

The good news is Spring Break is coming up soon in a couple of days time and I am free to catch up on everything, which of course includes watching anime because honestly, I am so deprived of it.

Seriously, no joke. While I was doing without anime, I wasn’t able to focus on all the drama in the series and I started focusing more on my life, which made me just over-analyze everything that was going on in my life. It’s made me realise that focusing on the drama in my life is very taxing and now I know why I occupy myself with the make-believe drama that you find in animes. Much less stressful but just as entertaining.

I’m getting off task here, today this post will be focusing on the anime adaption of the manga: Ao Haru Ride [アオハライド]

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This anime is still fairly recent, considering that it only finished airing yesterday (22/09/2014).

I’ve been able to complete over these past 12 weeks. Since they only released one episode every week, it’s been pretty easy to be able to fit it in while studying and such. Also, it was really amazing to finally see the characters ‘come to life’. The voice, the colour…it was beautiful. As a fan of the manga from the very beginning, waiting for the chapters to come out one by one, it was breath-taking and heart-stopping.

There will also be a drama adaption coming out soon too, so look out for that if you’re a fan.

Synopsis

Ao Haru Ride is basically an anime centered around young love.
The main girl, Yoshioka Futaba, a middle-schooler is depicted as the typical young shoujo school girl. Misunderstood by the girls and extremely adored by the boys. She’s cute, pretty and oozing ‘femininity’ from every possible angle! Of course, she attracts all the boys with all her physical looks and feminine personality. As an outcome of this, the girls in the school don’t particularly like her very much, in short, they pretend to be her friend while they trash her behind her back. (Like what most teenage girls without a life do.) However, Yoshioka Futaba does not attract the boys on purpose! She actually does not like boys, in general, at all, maybe even to the point of being slightly scared and repulsed by them…except for one guy. Tanaka Kou (Later known as ‘Mabuchi’)

Kou is different from the other guys, he’s gentle, small and maybe even slightly feminine. (It may be because of the fact that he’s slightly feminine that Futaba doesn’t really mind him.) Kou, much like the other guys, starts developing a little crush (I’m not sure if I could refer to it as ‘little’, let’s just say that he liked her so much to the point that he would write her name all over his notebook and even go back just to circle it over and over again.) on Futaba, just that his ‘like’ for her was much more pure-hearted and innocent.

After a while, after a couple more encounters and some light sniffing action (You’ll understand later..), they both decided that they had a mutual ‘like’ going on between them and Kou asked Futaba out. Thought after some stuff, Kou found out that Futaba ‘hated’ guys so he bailed out on their date and stood her up. Also due to some family issues he left and went to a different middle school.

Fast forward a couple of years later and they’re in high school now.

Both of them have changed slightly, Futaba is now no longer feminine and she acts like a complete slob (I’m not sure if I feel very comfortable referring to her as a slob, since I’m always like that and I certainly do not do it on purpose…or maybe I am a slob..) just so that her ‘friends’ don’t leave her and hate her because she doesn’t attract guys anymore. Kou’s moved back too and they meet once again, now that they’re going to the same high school. However, he’s changed too, he’s no longer ‘nice’ or ‘gentle’ and that slight hint of ‘femininity’ is completely gone, he’s actually quite silent and mean now. So life carries on after that … do they still have feelings for each other, do they even remember each other?

You’ll have to find out for yourselves.

Anyway, watching this manga come to life in an anime has been a dream come true for me, I had always thought that it would make a great anime but much like many great mangas, they never get produced as an anime and it really is such a shame. It was quite surprising learning that it would be turned into an anime. However, though it was not a surprise that they ended the series at 13 episodes, though it is quite a shame, I would’ve loved to see it at least reach 25 or 26 episodes.

As for whether there will be a second season, it doesn’t look like it’ll be very promising, which makes sense since they’re probably much more focused on producing the drama version of this series than continuing the anime version right now.
I highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a manga from the shoujo genre but you’re tired of all the cliche storylines. I’m not going to falsely imply that this series is the best and that it’s completely out-of-this-world so much so that it would knock your socks off. I am going to say, however, that it doesn’t really follow to the normal ones in the sense that it jumps from the past to the present and it shows how much people can change over time. It also shows the true meaning of friendship and how incredible it is when people can work so hard for another person just out of pure love.

I thoroughly enjoyed the anime version and I just hope that the manga releases more chapters soon.

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Mei-chan No Shitsuji [ メイちゃんの執事 ] Drama/ Manga Review

I know, it’s been quite some time but I’ve just not found the time to watch any new animes recently.

However, since it’s the start of my Autumn break, I’ve been spending the last couple of days with my eyes glued to dramas and mangas. I’ve never done a post about a drama before so I thought it’d be good if I could do that. It just so happens that one of the dramas I’ve just completed was ‘Mei-chan no Shitsuji’ it’s quite a good drama and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so to the point that I completed it within a span of one day.

SYNOPSIS:‘Mei-chan no Shitsuji’ the drama is based on the manga titled: Mei-chan no Shitsuji. (No surprise really) The main storyline of it all is centered around a girl named: Mei, who is the daughter of the parents who own and run an udon store in the out fields. However, due to a certain incident, both of her parents ended up passing away. She is then informed that she’s actually the next inheritor of the Hongo company (?) Anyway, you only need to acknowledge the fact that it’s a big deal. After that she is assigned a butler, Shibata Rihito, and sent to the Saint Lucia Academy. It is an academy for rich young ladies (more like brats might I say), where each of the young ladies gets a a super good-looking butler who practically does everything for them, which is a total invasion of privacy might I add. But hey, they’re super hot. Anyway, things get crazy and you should just watch it or read it to find out more.


 

Even though it had that same quirky/weird feel to it that practically all JDramas share, it kinda just added to the whole feel of it.

I did think that this drama was a little extreme compared to the other ones that I’ve watched so far. Even though it did have that humour/comedy factor to it, it was a lot more violent than usual. THEY WERE FIGHTING EACH OTHER WITH SWORDS! AND THEY BLED! It’s not like I’m not used to it or anything like that… just that it’s quite alarming when it’s coming from a JDrama.

I did really like most of the characters though, aside from the evil ones because they really were absolutely crazy and insane!

However, taking Shibata Rihito as an example, I really loved him in the drama, mostly due to the fact that it was Hiro Mizushima that was playing him, aside from the fact that Rihito was pretty charismatic. I mean he’s a friggin’ butler for crying out loud!

Mei was also pretty good in the drama. I liked her because she was actually convincing when she was playing the poor, nerdy girl. (Which I found myself connecting with since I’m exactly like that, not going to lie here) Unlike other girls who try to pull of the role, they just aren’t as convincing because honestly underneath even with all the the glasses and such, they’re face it still so nice with make-up and such, plus they look way too cute, each and every one of them.

Kudos, to Mei’s childhood friend as well, man, I really pity him, getting the girl he likes stolen from him by his very own brother. Man, I feel for you. I really liked his character though, he was so honest and he really truly, honestly loved Mei.

I would talk about Lucia, but she’s just so…. words just can’t describe how awful she is. Please just watch it and find out how disturbing she is for yourself.

Now, about Shinobu, Shinobu is Lucia’s crazy obsessive butler who Lucia clearly doesn’t appreciate. First of all, I think the white wig was a bit too much. How terrible do you want him to look, I don’t care if this is just a live-action created directly based from the manga, that was just ridiculous and completely ruined the seriousness of all his crucial scenes. Plus, if you guys were already set to go with the white wig thing, couldn’t you guys just invested in some white eyeshadow powder or a pencil? Just to make sure that his eyebrows matched his same ridiculous hair?!

Anyway, let’s just move onto the manga.

Now after watching the drama, I was pretty crazy about the whole thing so I just thought that I should try out the manga as well.

Now let me just say, the manga is so much more explicit in so many ways!

First of all, what is with all the sexual references?! And the violence! (Please, that picture above, doesn’t even begin to describe to explicitness of it all)

My gosh, the drama seems so much more normal now.

The Mei in the anime was so much more different, for one, she was not even a ‘nerd- girl’ she was just one of those cliche, annoying , practically- good-for-nothing girls that was probably only liked for her looks.

Rihito however was way hotter in the manga and he was a lot stronger. Mameshiba just looked like a girl, Lucia was even more crazy, what is with Rose’s insanely big chests and why is Shinobu even more crazy as well??!!

 

Now, I really don’t want to ruin it for you so I won’t say anymore.

[Yes…please do…]

Honestly though, at first I thought that this drama was about a girl and sheeps because ‘shitsuji’ means sheep. And now you know why there were so many random sheeps flying around throughout the drama and why there’s so many curls in the title.