Drama, People

More Fangirling for Sorimachi Takashi

Matapos kong panoorin ang Beach Boys, hindi pa rin ako nakuntento at dali-dali kong sinimulan ang Dream Again kung saan bida muli si Sorimachi Takashi (ng buhay ko ;)). Tungkol ito sa isang “retired” professional baseball player na nais matupad ang kanyang pangarap na makapaglarong muli ng baseball, ngunit bago pa man siya nakagawa ng kahit anong hakbang upang mapalapit muli sa kanyang pangarap ay nabawian siya ng buhay. Kung kaya’t nang siya’y maging ispiritu na lamang, sinabi sa kanya ng “heaven’s guide” na maaari siyang bigyan ng isa pang pagkakataong mabuhay para matupad ang kanyang pangarap, ngunit sa katawan na ng ibang tao, at hindi niya pwedeng sabihin sa kahit sino kung sino siya talaga kasi kung mangyari ‘yun, ay bigla na lang siyang mawawala at ‘di na makakababalik muli.

Mag-E-English na’ko dahil medyo mahirap mag-fangirl ‘pag Tagalog. Hehehe.

Sorimachi Takashi is a little older in this drama (of course, since it was shown only last year) as compared to Beach Boys and GTO, which were shown in the late 90’s. So naturally, Sorimachi Takashi looks slightly different. He doesn’t have that kind of face some actors have where their age doesn’t show. But I think Sorimachi-san pulls the early 30’s off well. He looks just right–too old to be a teen idol, but young enough not to be labelled an old man. Hence, I still like him. 🙂 Anyway, this drama is also a bit different from those I usually watch, which are school dramas (as in dramas set in high school (college, tops)). This one is about people who work in the office, and about, er, sports, which if you know me, you know I’m really not interested in. But it seems that Sorimachi Takashi and sports are an inevitable combination since all his roles involve showing off his physical strength somehow — he was a professional swimmer in Beach Boys and a karate expert in GTO. I guess they’re really banking on his physical skills ‘eh? Why would anyone cast Sorimachi Takashi and not have him do lots and lots of physical activities? That would be a complete waste of talent.

Anyway, I’m getting off-topic again (although since I’m really just spazzing about Sorimachi-san then I can prett much say anything I want). The point is that I realized that I would probably watch just about anything if it has one of my favorite actors in it. I actually attempted to watch The Ring again, just so I could see Matsushima Nanako. (Note: I only saw the first 15 minutes. I got too scared and turned the TV off after that. I guess I’m still not over that movie, after 5 years. Haha!) Although I’m doubting if I can take Fulltime Killer and that other Sorimachi movie that’s set in traditional Japan (like the Tokugawa era or something). I guess we’ll see in the future.

So far, I’m liking Dream Again. 🙂 It’s probably something that a lot of other people will find boring. I’m already on Episode 6 and there are so far no big scandalous memorable scenes, or anything really really funny. There’s nothing all that notable about it and if you’re not a Sorimachi Takashi fan, you probably wouldn’t be all that interested. But I’m not saying that it’s a bad drama. Actually, the conflicts that they thought of are pretty good– how the new person Sorimachi-san becomes is this “evil” company president who his lawyer ex-girlfriend goes up against in a lawsuit, how he suddenly gains an illegitimate daughter, and how he’s suddenly so out of shape to be able to qualify for any pro baseball team. It’s all very interesting and fun to watch, but I guess because it’s a lot more serious than GTO and Beach Boys then it doesn’t really give a lot of chances for me to spaz like a ditzy fangirl. But oh well, I love Sorimachi Takashi anyway.

I love dramas. And I realized recently, that I love different kinds of dramas, too. I used to think that I only liked those that involved love stories, but after watching Beach Boys, which hardly has any romantic arc, I discovered that I could like stories that don’t involve love as well. 🙂 (And that dramas that are only about love stories can get boring after a while, too.) I’m really liking how I’m finding out more and more things as I watch more and more of Sorimachi-san and Kubozuka-san and Tamaki-san and Yamapi-kun (Yes, he’s kun because *sigh* he’s unfortunately younger than me). I’m happy I’m a fangirl. 😀

Drama, Life

Summer’s Over!

Well, it’s been over for at least a month, but according to the Beach Boys, summer ends when you want it to, or when you really feel like it’s over. As for me, I guess it just ended today. The 1st of July. (Technically, it’s July 2 now, but I haven’t slept yet so I’m considering this as July 1st still.)

For one thing, today’s the official start of the fiscal year. I don’t want to explain all the details (I think I’m not allowed to anyway), but that’s sort of a big thing in our office. And I did kind of tell myself that I’d definitely make this fiscal year better than the last. So technically, I should be starting to get better right now.

And next, my Elementary 2 Japanese classes have finished. Just last Saturday in fact, and earlier today a representative from the school called me and asked if I was going to continue studying Elementary 3. I said I was, and she said for me to bring my tuition fee this Saturday, because that’s when the next class will start. I don’t get a break at all! But I guess that’s fine, since it’s a language anyway, and you’re really supposed to be learning things continuously.

I also finished the “summer edition” of my office’s unofficial newsletter. For those of you who don’t know, I actually “run” a blog that reports the events of our team (and another department who we’re friends with) in our office. It’s unofficial, and it’s mostly about our birthdays or trips to the beach or wherever, but it’s fun nonetheless. And there are some funny articles about life, and whatnot. Not all of them are written by me of course. We get contributions from the other members. I actually mainly am just the one to post them on the internet, and I take care of the horoscopes, but anyway, the point is that whenever I finish an issue, I do feel a bit proud of myself, for having been able to organize all the information. And this latest issue was particularly difficult for me, because so much has happened in the past month (make that 2 months), that I didn’t know how to consolidate everything into just one issue. Although it’s technically supposed to be a weekly newsletter, but alas, work got in the way, and some personal matters (which mostly refers to my laziness), so I was only able to finish it now. But I think my officemates are pretty happy about it. Maybe you’d like to give it a look, too. It’s in here.

I guess the second half of the year has begun, so everyday we’ll be a little bit closer to 2009. Gah. 2009. It’s such a big number ‘eh? I’m not really fond of this “transition period” in the year, because it also means that it’s nearing my birthday (which is in September), meaning I’ll be a year older again, and that always sucks, since I have a Peter Pan complex and I don’t care how many people older than me tell me that I’m still young. I’m way too old in my opinion. Way too old for my state of mind. I still feel, think, and act like I’m 13. Can’t you tell?

Actually the reason I wrote this entry (and titled it this way) is because I just finished watching Episodes 1 to 12 of Beach Boys (1997), the drama which starred Sorimachi Takashi (Yes, the GTO guy), before he became GTO. It also stars Takenouchi Yutaka, who happens to be the actor who’s got a picure on Fuyutsuki’s wall. (Fuyutsuki is the love interest for GTO, by the way.) So now, I totally get why that poster’s such a big deal in the GTO drama. It’s like an inside joke of sorts, which you probably would’ve gotten if you were Japanese, and you watched the dramas during that era.

I really want to write a review on Beach Boys, but somehow the words to describe it escapes me. Why is it so difficult to talk about beautiful things? I was complaining before on how the summaries for Beach Boys in the drama websites and forums are all so vague. But I know now why they are. It’s because it’s really hard to explain. I think, it falls under that category “everyday drama”. You know, the kind of show where you think nothing’s happening because everything seems so normal, but when you stop to think about it, you’ll feel like you’re learning life’s secrets? Japan has a lot of those things. Not just in TV dramas, but in their books and movies as well. And in manga and anime. I think that’s why I like Japanese shows so much. But I won’t talk about that right now. I won’t be able to stop.

So, Beach Boys is a summer drama (I mean, it’s about summer), and I’m quite happy that I watched it when I did–during the transition period from summer to rainy season. 🙂 Oh, and I’m happy it won Best Casting during the time it was famous. Because as I watched it, I really felt that the casting was great. The chemistry between the actors (and not just those in the lead roles) was absolutely perfect. You would totally know them, and feel like their friend. Not many dramas can do that. But this one really did.

Anyway, sorry if this entry feels disorganized, the ideas disjointed. I always have a hard time writing, or talking, when I finish watching something really really good. Add to that my love-hate relationship with the 2nd half of the year, my anxiousness on starting a new lesson in Japanese, and all the worry about the things I should’ve done but didn’t because I just watched Beach Boys instead, and well, yeah, this kind of entry is what you get. So I’ll end this now before I embarrass myself more.

Happy 2nd half of the year everyone. If the first half sucked for you, then here’s your chance to make 2008 a great year still. 🙂 Good luck to all of us.

Also, just a tidbit of news: I just found out that the artists Jon Zamar and Syeri Baet tied the knot (as in got married) last Saturday!! 😀

So, I’m not really close friends with them, but I’ve seen them around in conventions and have had a conversation or two with them. I think Syeri still recognizes me but she’s probably forgotten my name, which is okay really, since I don’t see her that much anyway and the last time we had a conversation that was more than two sentences long was way way back; 5 years ago at least.

That’s actually why I’m happy to hear they’re married, because when I was introduced to them, they weren’t even a couple yet. Just two artists in the same circle, and I was one of the first witnesses to their budding relationship, was even one of the people who teased them (well, I teased Syeri. Jon and I aren’t close at all. I don’t think he knows me.) about it. And now, some years later, I find out they’re married! It’s so cute, right?! 😀 I wish happy endings for everyone!! 😀

(This is just a rumor, I think he proposed to her in last year’s Komikon. Or was it the year before? Or was it the day before last year’s Komikon? Ah, whatever. It was around that time.) 🙂


Long Love Letter

This’ll be a quick post/review as I’m technically supposed to be studying. 😐 But I couldn’t resist watching the last episode of Long Love Letter, since the ending of the 2nd to the last episode was such a cliffhanger! (Although I totally saw it coming 😉 hehehe.) Or maybe I just want to be nitpicky again because I’m not liking people’s reaction to this drama. Well, sure, it’s something not everyone will like, but some people are just downright mean when they say it’s stupid or that they want 11 hours of their lives back. I honestly think this show deserves more love than that.

Anyway, it’s all about this group of people who were coincidentally in a school, during winter break. They experience an earthquake which inexplicably transports the entire school, including everyone who was in it at the time, several years into the future. Or, at least a version of the future, where the Earth is nothing but a desert, and there are dangerous chemicals in the air, and humans have mutated into some sort of creepy species.

I don’t know why people are confused with how the drama went. It totally made sense to me. Okay, some parts admittedly were confusing, but that’s what happens when you tackle time travel and parallel worlds. What you have to remember is that it’s all fiction anyway, so even if you can’t wrap your mind around a certain concept (let’s say that it’s blatantly scientifically impossible), you just have to think that it’s just a story, and for the universe the story is in, breaking scientific laws is possible. If you’re able to accept that, then you’ll probably enjoy this drama, and really get its messages.

The most obvious one being “Live for the moment”, because you never know when you will lose the people or the things you have around you, as was shown by the characters in the show who lost everything they had in an instant. And then there’s also all that stuff about saving the environment. I think this is mostly the reason why I like this show, because I like it when people remind other people to be careful with the Earth’s resources as they’re not unlimited. The last one, which I think is the most important would be to “never lose hope“.

Okay, okay, that’s a little cliche (or cheesy), but I think what this drama did really well is to tie all those messages together. It’s like saying that you should live for the moment, enjoy your life, and do what you can while protecting the Earth from destruction. But if all your effort fails, and you still end up in a world with no rain and hazardous chemicals mixed in the wind, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seize the moment anymore, and still try to save what you can of the Earth, even if you’re armed with absolutely nothing.

And regarding the ending…

[Spoilers galore ahead. If you don’t like spoilers, just watch the drama!]

I totally got it. I don’t know why people say it’s stupid, or that it just opened up another can of worms, without answering the questions that the first episode asked.

The entire story began with Asami (Kubozuka Yosuke) having his cellphone stolen, causing him to lose contact with a girl he met, Misaki (Tokiwa Takako). Now, we know that what happened next was that he finished college, became a teacher, and didn’t see Misaki again until after a few years, when Misaki went to his school to deliver some flowers. And when they meet in school, we know that before they parted ways, the earthquake happened, causing all of them to be transported into the future.

Now, in the last episode, because fragments of the “time capsule” they sent from the future made it to the point in time where Asami was about to lose his cellphone, the effect was that he didn’t lose his cellphone, and so he didn’t lose contact with Misaki, hence, the future where they only meet again in school when Asami’s already a teacher, no longer happens. Hence, even if the earthquake occurs in 2002 and affect the school, the circumstances wouldn’t be the same, because it wouldn’t have been the first time Asami and Misaki meet again. And so you can conclude from that, that the bleak future where the characters fought for their survival amidst a barren desert, doesn’t happen anymore.

Get it?

Hmm… maybe I’m not good at explaining stuff. But seriously, the bits and pieces of paper falling from the sky into Asami’s lap as he sits in that bench, really wraps up the story.

It’s consistent with the Chaos theory/Butterfly effect that says something like:

“It is possible that a very small occurence can produce unpredictable and sometimes drastic results by triggering a series of increasingly significant events.”

Ah… Just watch the show and you’ll see what I mean. Although it’s not the best J-drama I’ve seen, it’s most definitely not a bad one. 🙂

Drama, Life

The Teacher Who Saved My Life

Of course, it’s not as dramatic as how he saves the lives of the students in his story, but I think GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) came to me at just the right time. 🙂

You may or may not have noticed it, but I’ve been feeling down the past couple of days (weeks, months, year…). But now, I’m feeling a lot happier, and it’s all because of Eikichi. Or, Onizuka-sensei, I should say. Not because he’s my sensei, but because I also learned some things from him. Is it weird to feel like just one of his students, despite my being no longer in high school, and not actually having the problems that his students have? Well, even if it is weird, I still feel happy about it now, that even if I just saw him on a TV show, even if he’s fictitious, he still had an impact on me. It’s not just real people who can influence you after all.

Sorimachi Takashi as Onizuka Eikichi is ❤ ❤ ❤ . I cannot say it enough. Maybe I’m giving the show too much credit and it’s childish to say I learned a lot from it, but I’m honestly grateful for this series, because although it’s nothing profound, it was able to help me cope up with things going on in my life, that I have very much difficulty dealing with. I’m not saying it solved all my problems, but you know what I mean, right? Surely there have been TV shows and movies and songs and other works of art that, although aren’t all that great, or deep, were able to speak to you still, and make you think, even make you act a certain way.

I’m glad I only saw this now, and not when it was at its peak (when it was shown in the late 90’s). I don’t think I would’ve appreciated it this much if I’d seen it then. Maybe it’s fate? Or maybe, for the first time, time is cooperating with me. Maybe fate enlisted its help. (Because I’m fate’s best friend. If you know me personally, you’ll understand this statement. If not, er, maybe you can just ask me next time because it’s too long a story to put here.)

Point being, I really just want to say