Anime Review: Tokyo Ghoul

Last weekend I watched two full seasons of an anime called Tokyo Ghoul.

It’s based on a homonyms manga series (which I’m reading now) written and illustrated by Ishida Sui and adapted by Pierrot Studios. I simply couldn’t stop watching it till the end of season two.

Main character Ken Kaneki in almost Kakuja form (gotta watch/read to know what a kakuja is)

Main character Ken Kaneki in almost Kakuja form (gotta watch/read to know what a kakuja is)

In a parallel world where humans live along flesh eater creatures called “ghouls” (whom are basically a mix between a zombie and a vampire) a shy young man called Ken Kaneki has his life completely changed after he suffers an accident and have some of his organs transplanted, becoming half human and half ghoul.
The ghouls also have an organized hierarchical society and are hunted down by a human organization called CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul). Since the ghouls usually have human identities they usually wear masks under “ghoul form” so they won’t be recognized by CCG members.

The Ghuol Rize Kamishiro

The Ghoul Rize Kamishiro

Although there are the ghouls side and the humans side, the concepts of good and evil are not so explicit – each side has its own reasons, goals, heroes and villains.

The plot may sound a bit cliché at first but it has deeply emotional moments and as the story and characters develop it becomes really breathtaking!

Tokyo Ghoul Anime first season scene

Tokyo Ghoul Anime first season scene

The opening theme “unravell” composed by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure is that kind of song that sticks to your head (but you like it), its lyrics are amazing and I could relate a lot with it (as I also related a lot with Ken Kaniki issues). You should definitely add Tokyo Ghoul to your “to watch/read” list.

A brazilian fandub group named The Kira Justice has made an English version of the “Unravel” song that is very close to the original Japanese lyrics. You can watch it here:

And here are the lyrics adapted by The Kira Justice:
Oh please just tell me
what’s really going on
Just who’s inside of me
Cause i don’t really know
 I feel so broken feel so broken
and lost inside this world
And all you do is laugh without seeing a thing

I’m feeling so damaged and deceived
I hold my breath and then
I can’t untie, can’t untie myself
As I watch everything

FREEZE!

I’m breakable, unbreakable
I’m shakeable, unshakable

But finding you, just struck me down
Inside this dirty and twisted world I’m fading
Growing transparent and disappearing
Don’t look for me, don’t even look at me anymore

Inside this world I can’t let myself hurt you
But there is just one thing that I ask you to
Please, don’t forget me, remember who I am
And who I used to be

And loneliness it comes to stay
It’s widening along the way
And memories that made me smile
They now come back and make me cry

Now I can’t move, I can’t get loose
Now I can’t move, I can’t get loose
Now I can’t move, I can’t get loose
Oh, Unravel Ghoul!

Although I have been changed
I know I can’t be saved
As two become one,
Also two are now just gone

I’m breakable, unbreakable
I’m shakeable, unshakable
Please don’t let me contaminate

Inside this dirty and twisted world I’m fading
Growing transparent and disappearing
Don’t look for me, don’t even look at me anymore

Inside this trap I can’t let none hurt you
So run away and let me tell you this too
Please, don’t forget me, remember who I am
And who I used to be

Please don’t forget me
Please don’t forget me
Please don’t forget me
Please don’t forget me

As I see how I’ve changed I stop paralyzed
I find out I’m so far from my paradise
Please, don’t forget me, remember who I am…

Oh please just tell me
Oh please just tell me
Just who’s inside of me
Cause i don’t really know

WARNING: As you can probably guess by the images, it has lot of blood involved.

10 Japanese Doramas You Must Watch

I’m totally a Japanese Dorama freak! Not that I dislike Korean Doramas, it’s just that since I can’t speak a single word in Korean and I can speak a bit of Japanese I kinda feel better watching the Japanese ones.

I’m always watching some Dorama series (way more than anime or other TV shows) and I made a list of the ones I found more interesting on the past few monthes that you certainly won’t regret seeing. Here it goes:

1 – Switch Girl and Switch Girl 2: Probably one of the cutest doramas I’ve ever watched and very loyal to the manga version. It’s about a girl with ON and OFF modes that can be switched according to the situation. With the amazing Mariya Nishiuchi, who is one of my favourite japanese actresses and co-starring Renn Kiriyama as her romantic partner Arata.

Mariya Nishiuchi as Tamya Nika from Switch Girl

Mariya Nishiuchi as Tamiya Nika from Switch Girl

2 – Detarame Hero: Meaning something like “random Hero”. It’s Funny and yet touching story about the transformation of a slob guy into a real hero after being putted in charge of his 8-year-old nephew and the acquisition of some “strange pills” that provide super powers to those who eat them. Starring Ryuta Sato as the protagonist Kenta.

3 – No Dropping Out: The story of a 35-year-old woman with a mysterious past that returns to finish high school and ends up changing the life of many people, including herself. Starring Ryoko Yonekura as the 35-years-old Baba Ayako.

4 – Death Note: It starts really bad but gets really awesome. It’s not very loyal to the manga or the anime story but it keeps it interesting. The fans opinions about it are very controversal, some of them love it and some of them hate it. So it’s the kinda of thing you really must watch to draw your own conclusions. Starring Kubota Masataka as Raito Yagami (his “Kira face” is pretty awesome), Kento Yamazaki as L and Hinako Sano as Misa Amane. I also wrote 2 reviews about it here and here if you want to learn more.

Raito Yagami and Ryukuu from Death Note

Raito Yagami (Masataka) and Ryukuu from Death Note

5 – Yamada-kun and the seven witches: Also based on a manga/anime, somewhat loyal to the original story. With Yusuke Yamamoto as Yamada Ryu and also starring Mariya Nishiuchi as the first witch Urara Shiraishi. As expect from the doramas she works, with lots of funny moments.

6 – Rebound: It criticizes japanese over skinny standards through the very funny story of a young woman who struggles with her weight to keep her job at a fashion magazine. Things got messy when she falls in love with a Pâtisserie chef. Starring Aibu Saki as Oba Nobuko.

7 – Wild Mom (Abarenbou Mama): Very touching but also very fun Dorama. It’s about a young woman who suddenly becomes her husband’s son “new mommy”. Starring Aya Ueto as Ayu.

8 – Itazura na Kiss (Misschievous kiss) – Love in Tokyo and Itazura na Kiss 2 – Love in Okinawa: It’s a very good adaptation of a manga series and probably one of the funniest dorama series I’ve watched lately.  It’s about a plain girl who falls in love with the most handsome and intelligent boy of her class (kind cliché, I know – but certainly worths watching). It’s nice to see how their relationship develops from nothing (or despise, maybe?) into real love. Starring Yuki Furukawa (I also adore him) as Irie Naoki and the cute Honoka Miki as Kotoko.

Honoka Miki as Kotoko from Itazura na Kiss

Honoka Miki as Kotoko from Itazura na Kiss

9 – Last Cinderella: About a middle age woman who lives a lonely life when suddenly a beard thread appears on her face. Her friends say it’s because she’s too manly. It kinda criticizes japanese patriarchal society as well. I really like one of its theme songs called “Last Love” by Rihwa.

Starring Ryoko Shinohara, co-starring Naohito Fujiki as Rintaro Tachibana and the ubberly cute Miura Haruma! ❤

Ryoko Shinohara as Toyama Tomoya from Last Cinderella

Ryoko Shinohara as Sakura Toyama from Last Cinderella

10 – Kokoro ga Pokitto ne: And at last but not least you definitely must watch Kokoro ga Pokitto ne. It’s a very emotional story about 4 very different people whose lives got completely entwined. With an amazing cast like:

Abe Sadao as Kojima Haruta (I didn’t know this actor before but he totally won my heart with this role)
Mizuhara Kiko as Hayama Miyako
Fujiki Naohito as Otake Shin (He also appears in Last Cinderella)
Yamaguchi Tomoko as Kamoda Shizuka
Tokunaga Eri as Itoyama Fumi
Yamashita Rio as Makino Eriko
Nagase Tasuku as Tomita Ryo
Ikezu Shoko as Shoji Kayoko

You should probably prepare your tissues, tears may come out :~


Most of these Doramas can be legally watched through Crunchyroll 😉

 

Review: Magnífica 70

Magnífica 70 is a brazilian TV series produced by HBO Latin America and directed by Claudio Torres. The first season has 13 episodes with 52 min duration each and (as expected from any HBO series) it’s visually amazing! Remarkable work of the cast aside – Costumes, scenarios, every single detail fits perfectly into São Paulo at the 70’s, where the story takes place. Although the plot may sound a bit plain at first, as the story goes on it really catches the interest of the viewer, not to mention all characters are deeply well-developed.

Magnífica 70 promo poster (source: Internet Archives)

Magnífica 70 promo poster (source: Internet Archives) – All rights reserved to HBO and associates

During military regime, Vicente (Marcos Winter) is a censorship agent with a boring life and a failed marriage. But everything changes when he censures a movie that leads him to meet Manolo (Adriano Garib) and Dora (Simone Spoladore) – a producer and an actress that work on that movie. As they try to convince Vicente to release their film, they introduce him to a world of magic and glory called cinema. And the censorship agent falls inexorably in love, initiating the old conflict between what’s desired and what’s forbidden.

Manolo, Dora and Vicente (Source: Internet Archives)

Manolo, Dora and Vicente (Source: Internet Archives) – All rights reserved to HBO and associates

Since Brazilian movies during the 70’s were mostly headed by a genre called “pornochanchada“, a mix between comedy and soft “adult content”, in order to make a faithful recriation of that time and place expect to see a considerable amount of graphic material. So I wouldn’t recommend this series for the ones who are under 18 (as mostly HBO series though). Nevertheless, Magnífica 70 is a series that’s going to get you amazed. Definitely worths watching!


PS: Season Two was already confirmed!

 

Dorama Review: Death Note (2015) – Part II

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review about the recently released Death Note Japanese “dorama” series and at that time I didn’t have many good things to say about it. But I gotta redeem myself and hand to it, it’s getting really exciting now.

They’re still “trying to transform Light Yagami into a fallen hero” (as I said on the last review) but the way they are developing his character is working pretty good. Plus, who doesn’t like disturbed, tragic, fallen heroes? Anakin Skywalker is out there to prove it!

They changed many things on the original story but that just gave it a whole new sparkle, making it interesting for anyone, old and new fans. The actors are doing a wonderful job and the only thing that remains below average compared to the original anime is the soundtrack (it’s not really that bad, but it’s not good either).

I’m glad I decided to give it a second shot and if you stopped at the first episode I strongly recommend you to watch a few more of them, I’m certain there’s a great possibility you’ll fall in love too (and again). It’s being simultaneously broadcasted by Crunchyroll and I’m already anticipating this week’s episode. 😀

IMG_0536

Light Yagami’s (Masataka Kubota) psychotic “Kira’s face”

Brazilian addictions (I don’t have): “Novelas”

The greatest audience on brazilian non-paid TV surely belongs to the “Telenovelas” (or simply “novelas“). The “novelas” are something between an american TV series (expensive productions) and a mexican telenovela (daily aired but with a little less drama), usually presenting contemporary themes on brazilian quotidian life.

Some of the most popular brazilian “novelas” across the time. All rights belong to their respective owners.

Although they are more often enjoyed among lower social classes, they can get really popular even among the extremely rich people. However, that’s one of the (many) brazilian addictions I will probably never be into. It’s not that the production themselves are bad, sometimes the TV channels expend a huge amount of money on them by using distant locations, renown authors and famous actors. It’s just that for some reason I don’t seem to be able to relate to the characters nor the stories. And I don’t know why! 😦

Maybe I’m too much of an alien in my own country but I feel usually bored whenever I try to watch them. And since most people here either watch the current novelas or at least know a lot about what’s going on them, it can be really difficult to be like this. Not knowing a popular character or plot automatically puts you on the “weird people group”. Sometimes it can even be hard to sustain a conversation with others for more than a few seconds if you’re not familiar to the current “novelas” being aired. They dictate fashion, they are opinion formers and they generate many polemic and controversial topics (like a certain “gay kiss” showed on one of them) in Brazil.

Well, I did watched a few of them when I was younger: One called “O Clone” (The Clone), about a scientist who cloned some guy without his permit or knowledge and the love story between this guy, his clone and a muslim girl. Another one was “O Rei do Gado” (The King of Catle), about two rival italian families of farmers and “Renascer” (Reborn), about a poor guy who became a millionaire by becoming a Cocoa producer in Bahia. But all of those are from a time before cable TV. Maybe that’s the reason why I enjoyed them or maybe they were indeed very good stories.

You see, I’m really a “TV series person”. I’m a HBO series fan, I grew up with Buffy – The vampire slayer and I even watch Japanese dramas frequently. What’s the big difference between those series and the brazilian ones, then? Honestly I have no idea. All I know is that nowadays I simply can’t relate to brazilian “novelas” anymore. I could say maybe there’s a lack of good plots, but “good or bad plot” is totally a matter of point of view. Maybe the characters stopped being interesting (but then again, that’s a matter of point of view too) or maybe I’m just too different from common brazilian lifestyles. Got figure :/

“O Clone”, one of the few novelas I actually watched. It was a very good one though…

If you are planning to come to Brazil be prepared to hear a lot about the “novelas” and if you want to pose as a great Brazil aficionado make a good research about them (like the most popular channels are Rede Globo, SBT and Rede Record). That alone will certainly guarantee you long conversations with most brazilian people. 😀


EDIT: My sister (who’s a former English teacher) said “novelas” in English are soap operas. But I read about them and (although there are some similarities) they are not quite the same thing. Apparently brazilian “novelas” really are things that only exist here :~