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Still Trekkin'...


Just came back from seeing the new Star Trek movie, which we took my mother to for Mother's Day.  I've enjoyed most entries into the Trek film franchise and series, and this one made me happy in much the same way as when I sat down to watch the first episodes of the reinvigorated Doctor Who series a few years ago.  It was a totally enjoyable experience, and it creates a stepping off point for new films in this undiscovered Trek universe that I am already anticipating with relish. 

My quibbles with the new film are minor.  Keeping things spoiler free: there's a grand total of one action scene on Delta Vega that seemed slightly unnecessary to me.  It didn't stop me from enjoying the scene, even though I don't think it needed as much creature action as was given.  My only other nitpick was the underdevelopment of the film's villian.  He's certainly motivated for his excessive vengence, but there's nothing to Nero beyond that.  Since he's really just a catalyst for this new incarnation of Star Trek, I'm willing to accept the sacrifice of Nero's character for the time spent on the familiar heroes of the Enterprise crew to be frank.  They are the heart of the film, and it's arguably wise to spend time setting up their relationships and their potential development in future films when the audience will understand Nero without giving him as much complexity. 

One of the best things about the film is the performances of the fledgeling Enterprise crew.  It's not easy to step into the shoes of actors who have created such iconic characters, but the strong performances in the film made me forget all about the new faces.  They simply became the characters up on the big screen, and I can think of no higher compliment for their success in this film.  Chris Pine's Kirk drapes himself across the captain's chair as though it's as natural to him as it is familiar to us.  He's the cocky and flirtatious man one would expect of James Tiberius at 25.  Zachary Quinto is amazing as Spock; he took on the mantle of his character completely and managed a lovely balance between the Vulcan and human aspects of Spock.  Karl Urban steals scenes with his sarcastic, bitter, loyal, and meddlesome Bones.  He may have been my favorite in a cast of wonderful performances.  Simon Pegg is also commendable and hilarious in his portrayal of Scotty, and he stands toe to toe against Dr. McCoy when it comes to having some of the best lines in the film.  (Nothing unusual about that, when you're talking Trek.)  Zoe Sandal's Uhura is confident, talented, and classy.  It's rewarding to see Uhura's character get more development in the story, and her relationships with certain other characters were a welcome revelation that I won't spoil.  Antonin Yelchin made a fine Chekov, earnestly approaching his assignment and surpassing himself with some surprise.  John Cho was a solid Mr. Sulu, balancing the nerves of his first assignment with his talent, intelligence, and very familiar abilities.  Hooray for fencing!  Finally, Leonard Nimoy is perfect.  He brings with him all of our best memories of Mr. Spock, and he blends himself into this new Star Trek continuity seemlessly.  His reactions to seeing a young Jim are heartfelt, and he imparts the best of what Spock has learned to this new generation. 

The film was able to move me from tears to laughter as it formed the crew from their early frustrations into the beloved friends that Trek fans recognize the world over.  I can think of no better ending for this first chapter than the narration by Leonard Nimoy and the grateful memorial to Gene and Majel in the credits.   

Oh My Girl Episodes 1-3

I didn't have much expectation for Oh My Girl.  While I like Mokomichi well enough, I've never been crazy about Kato Rosa's acting.  And the potential for her uptight manager act to annoy me was a definite fear going into this series.  But I gave it a chance, and I'm really glad that I did. 



 

The Elementary School Cliffnotes Version....Collapse )


Is the show perfect?  No, but it's certainly enjoyable and not saccharine like the majority of shows in this genre.  The characters stem from recognizable cliches, but they manage to become something more than those stereotypes while you're watching them.  Kato Rosa  gets a lot better in episode 3, and I hope for more of those touching scenes with her.  I can't understand anyone who thinks Hayami Mokomichi is still acting like the robot from Zettai Kareshi.  He showed more emotions in the first 5 minutes of OMG than in all of ZK.  I think it's just fashionable to say he's robotic, so I'll dare to be out of fashion.  I'm glad that episode 4 is going to revolve around Tomosaka Rie's character (Yasuno Mikako) and her son.  She totally needs to be used in more dramas.  Yoshida Riko has shown the most acting chops on the whole show so far.  Nice to see a child actor who does more than look cute.  Overall, this is one of the shows I'm enjoying most this season.  Massuki has hardsubs for the first two already.  I'll be following both subs and raws.
 

Well, my poor rose garden was neglected last summer, so I've been really active in it this year with weeding, arranging new bedding, fertilizing, propagating, and preparing to replace a couple of roses that didn't make it through our Massachusetts winter.  Some years back I planted a Hybrid Tea named Saint Patrick was supposed to give yellow/green flowers, but I was never all that enamoured of its performance.  Actually, it was my only Hybrid Tea as I really prefer Old Garden Roses for their strong fragrances and beautiful flowers.  After Saint Patrick failed to make it through the winter, however a new "mysterious" rose bush has appeared in it's place.  What happened is that the rootstock survived, and now I have a new plant from that.  Most likely this is a Dr. Huey--as that is the most common rootstock used for roses, and the bush fits that description.  



So this is the mystery rose in question.  I'll know for sure if this is a Dr. Huey once the flower opens tomorrow.  As it stands, I'm about 99% sure already though.  Sadly it's only got a slight fragrance, but the flowers I've seen pictured are lovely.  It's more than welcome to take Saint Patrick's place. 

Kita Yoshio's Tomorrow: The 11 Day Miracle of the World's Unluckiest Man

A cast capable of twisty goodness! Left to Right: Kaname Jun, Kuriyama Chiaki, Matsuda Ryuhei, Kohinata Fumiyo, Konishi Manami, Namase Katsuhisa

Of the bazillion dramas I followed this winter (something like 11, which is quite a lot!) this was easily my favorite of that season. And there were a couple of truly good shows this winter. Sadly, it received the second lowest ratings of the season... though viewer satisfaction at D-addicts was pretty high and Matsuda Ryuhei won an award at the 56th Television Drama Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Yashiro Heita. (Kohinata Fumiyo deserved one as well, because he was amazing!)

Ashita no Kita Yoshio is a hard drama to peg... it's a twisty psychological drama, a mystery, a comedy, a human drama, a bit of a romance, and above all a soul satisfying story.



L to R: Shinobu (Sato Yuuichi), Shun (Suzuki Hiroki), Kazuya(Izawa Yuuki), and Mitsuru (Miura Riki)

Okay, I'm a longtime fangirl for the manga by Nasu Yukie and the anime OVA. While going through the summer fansub map, I nearly fell out of my chair when I ran across this. The No-brand Heroes are getting the live action treatment on Tokyo MX, and the series is set to premiere in July! DoReMii has already picked this up to sub. So now you know exactly which title I'm most looking forward to this coming season. (Sorry, Ohno and Toma! I 'll be watching Maou too, though. hehe... I've got about 8 titles already on my summer watch list... ^.^;)

I think this series could really do well as a live action adaptation, and something about it just seems perfect for a summer comedy. Maybe there is a natural affinity between ikemen and the summer season. 

Summary:

After his brother and only living relative marries Kazuya's first love, he decides to move into the dorms of the prestigious Ryokuto Academy to preserve his sanity. He's assigned to live in Greenwood, an ex-asylum full of the weirdest students at Ryokuto. The story revolves around four students, their families, and their friendships. Follow the quirky exploits of Kazuya, who if he didn't have bad luck would have no luck at all. Shun, who looks and acts exactly like a girl. Mitsuru, the ladies man who has no luck with the ladies. And Shinobu, the cool and manipulative Student Council leader... who might have the strangest family of them all. With a little luck, Kazuya will not just survive the insanity of Greenwood but also discover a second chance at love.


Anyhow Greenwood's a very quirky romantic comedy, and it's so slice of life most of the time that the creators have both lots to draw on and lots of leeway with the plot. I think having real people in the roles might help ground the characters and story for those who found the manga/anime a bit too over the top, but it should be fun and funny all the way through.  It looks like the characters are going to be pretty accurate from their casting and photos so far, and with Greenwood that's biggest part of the equation right there. After that the love story and family stories should be a pretty natural fit even with whatever changes it takes to bring Greenwood to life.  

Went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this afternoon with my family. We loved it! So that now makes an unbroken family tradition to have seen all 4 movies in the theater together. Not too bad for a series that started in 1981!

I'll keep this spoiler free. It's a bit different from the old movies, since they are referencing B movies of the 50s now instead of the 30s, but in most ways it's still the same too. Campy comedy, some touching scenes, some great action. I'm already looking forward to seeing it again.

Speaking of all things Indy, I found this the other day and had to share. So what about the sidekick that we didn't see this time? With much love to Shorty!

Short Round and the Quiet Call of Desperation



Short Round and the Sting of Obselesence



LMAO My entire family has been quoting the final line in that second one since last night. I think I need to celebrate with an Indy related mood set...



You just can't love everything.  So I've come to my first series drop of the spring season--a show I really wanted to like.  Zettai Kareshi:  Absolute Boyfriend.  

I'm only a casual fan of the manga, so I was not only expecting changes but also felt there was actually room for improvement.  With the characters aged up into their twenties, there seemed to be a good opportunity for the show to actually do a decent job at bringing the story to life without whitewashing the entire plot to target young teen viewers.  Yeah, right.  


Yasha original airdate: Spring 2000 opening theme: Desert Rose by Sting


Is there seriously anything better than hot twin geniuses?

Yeah... hot twin geniuses, a hint of shounen-ai, some good scifi, and plenty of awesome story and action! Before I ever enjoyed the mindgames between Light and L, I was already a fangirl for Yasha!
 

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Happy 29th Birthday Tsuyoshi Domoto!!!!

What better way to celebrate than to honor some of his wonderful work? Since Kinki Kids have the Guinness world record for number one debuts, it's not a challenge to find good Tsuyoshi pieces. It's more of a challenge limiting it to 5. LOL

"Kurikaesu Haru" His latest release under 244 Endli-x. Love this song. I seem to sing it a lot, and his voice sounds lovely as always.




A good ol' Kinki Kids song! I just love Tsuyo-chan's hair like that.... and the deflowering metaphors give me a grin too. "Jounetsu"



Ah... the purple suit. The JE crack lyrics. The butt wiggling. The crazy codpiece. It can only be, "The Rainbow Star".



Beautiful singing, and the appearance of the white dragon. "Sora ga Naku kara"




My favorite version of my favorite Kinki Kids song. "Anniversary" from Font de Anniversary.



And to further fulfill your Tsuyoshi Domoto needs, there are some great fansubs for some of his dramas around.

Eternal Fansubs has 9 out of the 10 episodes of Bokura no Yuuki ~ Miman Toshi available. (Really looking forward to their Kimi To Ita Mirai No Tameni
~I'll be Back~ subs!) The tenth softsub for Miman City should be available soon:

link

For hardsub fans, Makoto Sincerity have also begun work on the series and have the first two episodes available for direct download at their LJ as well as their subbed Kinki Kids story PVs.
link

And last but certainly not least, 39 (sankyuu) Fansubs released two subbed Tsuyoshi PVs today. These guys are dedicated to subbing Kinki Kids into English, and have some great old clips as well as a growing list of videos. Be sure to be on the lookout for their Kindaichi season 1 subs in the future.

link

School Rumble San Gakki

Free Image Hosting

I was just on Wannabe Fansubs forum, and what I had begun to believe was impossible has finally been announced. (Yeah, I know I'm slow.) There is animation in the works for more School Rumble. Looks like we're going to be getting at least another OVA, though I'm seriously hoping for more.

Harima Kenji! More Harima!

Seems we're getting school trip and some good Eri X Harima parts of the story. *waves my Flag* Hmmmm... I'm gonna have to celebrate this somehow in true fangirl fashion....

*Begins nefarious plotting*