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From Me To You
Just call on me and I'll write it along
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13th-Nov-2015 12:58 pm - [sticky post] Disclaimer/ Foreword
takuyamimura

If you're not ready to open your mind yet, better not proceed on reading this. This blog won't be as fun as the others. It deals with some constructive criticism and not sugarcoating. So now, please stop if you're not prepared. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

From Me To You
is a LiveJournal account that has been up since 2008. Its administrator has first set up her LJ account during that time, as she was already a Beatle fangirl since she was 11 years old. Before she have gone in the Arashi fandom, half of her collectibles are all Beatles-related. As such, she has named this blog with one of the songs of the most successful boy band in history.

Since 2008, its contents have been mostly about random stuff about the author's life. Some of her poetries and random thoughts have been published, including of course, about The Fab Four. Contents about the group were mostly about quizzes and fan fictions. However, there are also anime related posts in here.

But in 2015, From Me To You's administrator started posting Arashi-related writings, mostly about series and movie reviews, something she had always dreamed of, but never had thought of starting because of the busy time.

Unfortunately, some of her critiques were not received well by some people.  As such, she advises those who are not open-minded not to read further. She respects the comments of other people about the negative reviews, being a fangirl herself. But she wishes to make this blog a personal blog to hone her skills in writing, not some medium to start debates and rebuttals with. "This is not a money-making machine anyway," she says and laughs.

However, she assures that all the shows that she will watch, be in Arashi-related or not, will have reviews. It might just take some time before she puts this up. Those who appreciate her views are always welcome to post comments and suggestions.

"This blog is meant to open the mind of fangirls out there, that their beloved boys also have their flaws. But despite not being perfect, we still get to love them anyway. This doesn't make them much lesser of a person, more so, of being less or greater with other Arashi members." She says she wishes to eradicate the immaturity of this fandom.

And for this, she thanks everyone for reading and having the time to visit this little hideaway. ありがとう!

Leaving the visitors of this blog with a dance from the beloved MC Kamiyama (Credit goes to the owner and to the producers and makers of The Quiz Show 2)




Also, please note that all images concerning Arashi and other JE idols belong to Johnny's Entertainment, and not to me. To those people who drop by and see that I am using their GIFs or scans, feel free to comment or message me so I can give you the proper credits. Images from The Beatles here are owned by Apple records and the magazines that published them.

All entries here are adhering strictly to the Copyright law's Fair Use Policy. I am still giving the credit to the rightful owners of all the shows, pictures, lines, quotes and  others stated in this blog. This blog is merely for leisure and fun of the writer and her limited readers.

Layout from valuxofxpain

19th-Jun-2016 01:48 am - They say it's your birthday
The moment I became an Arashian and found out Kazunari-kun's birthday, there was a very easy reference. I can never forget June 18, 1942 when Paul McCartney, my favorite Beatle and my first love was born. From that moment, I know can easily remember Kazunari-kun's birthday.


So from both my Arashi fandom and Beatles community, happy birthday to both of you. I will post my Kazunari Ninomiya tribute tomorrow while I have my Paul McCartney fan fiction here, where in the setting was 1960s during the Beatles tour in Manila and he reportedly went outside Manila Hotel and toured around the Makati area and got a little bit lost there.

And of course, the official birthday song of every Beatle fan, Birthday, which was from the ever-popular and rare White Album of the Fab Four. In the original, Pattie Boyd-Harrison and Yoko Ono sang in the back-up.

I'm sure Nino-kun would appreciate. The song is filled with guitar chord calesthenics, something a musician would greatly appreciate. Video is below:


Once again, happy birthday! :D
18th-Jun-2016 07:22 pm - Fanmade Arashi goods for sale!

FANMADE ARASHI GUTS BOOKMARKS

Just noticed that I had another set of Arashi cutouts that I can make as bookmarks. :D Lots of followers from my Tumblr liked these goodies, some reblogged them, so I decided to sell the third set.




Finished products:


Those interested, please PM me in this account or email me at katzm_909 (at) yahoo (dot) com. I will do my best to answer your queries at once. :D

16th-May-2016 08:38 pm - New Layout!
fmtou


Here's my newest layout featuring my top two greatest life influences and crushes: Paul McCartney and Sho Sakurai. The origin of this layout is from this website

I give my credit to you, since I only modified a bit of your layout. Thank you very much.
fmtou



It fills me with melancholy to know that Keiko Kitagawa is married with Daigo, because after watching Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato, I can
almost give up my love for Sho Sakurai and let him go to be with her because they have such a great chemistry.

I must say that I regretted that I did not watch the series before because it has really a good story and substance. The story tells of Reiko Hosho (Kitagawa), the only heiress to a Japanese business conglomerate, but who also works as a police officer during the day. Unable to solve some of the crimes herself, she turns to her tactfully sadistic butler, Kageyama (Sakurai) who helps her solve the mysteries after the sophisticated ojou-sama finishes her night meal.

The fun begins after Reiko finishes narrating the case and the leads she and Detective Kazamatsuri (Kippei Shiina) gathered during the fact-finding process when Kageyama becomes politely but brutally frank to his oujo-sama before solving the case.

Ultimate OTP
If there’s one decisive driving force that made me watch NazoDi to the very end, it has to be the wonderful chemistry of Sho and Keiko. Keiko is really the ultimate paragon of class and sophistication, and it is on par with Sakurai’s affluent background. They are on the same frequency, and yet they are still able to complement each other because of the character differences in the dorama.

Having grown somewhat older and more mature, I hardly appreciate romantic comedies, after Hana Yori Dango and Hana Kimi, which, I must say, are the two best romantic comedies I have ever watched. NazoDi made me relive my teenage years as I gush like an adolescent with all those scenes involving Kageayama and Reiko subtly expressing their love for each other.
On the other hand, I also enjoyed the funny antics by Kazamatsuri, the young heir who has the hots for Reiko whenever she is not in police uniform. He indirectly becomes Kageyama’s rival for Reiko’s love. Indirectly, meaning to say that Kageyama had never proposed his love for Reiko, although more often than not, it is quite obvious.

Kageyama's character, despite being the smart butler of Reiko, is also an enigma. Once you watch the series, you get to see him getting a props from the local TV studio, reading manga, playing baseball, wearing bunny ears while drinking tea, and many more. Such a weird but good-looking guy, he is. In the last episode, a big twist happens, and I'll leave it hanging here so that you can get curious as to what it is.

Only disappointments

Being a fan of crime and mystery novels, I have always looked for much interesting plots ever since I watched Detective Conan and Death Note. My only concern about NazoDi is that it did not quite lived up to the detective series that I have always longed for, maybe because it focused on Reiko and Kagayama as a love team, and not the hardcore crime and mystery plots.

Considering that the target audience of NazoDi are the giggly Arashi teenagers, the toned-down crime plot is justified. There was a certain spark between Sakurai and Kitagawa that can never be erased easily, even now that Keiko is already married. The mysteries, although toned down for the sake of the adolescent audience, are somewhat unrealistic.

For one, Kageyama, despite being a street smart and a genius, can be highly unlikely beca
use he does not gather the evidences first hand. He relies solely on Reiko’s stories, which cannot possibly happen in real life.

It’s quite understandable that NazoDi is fiction, but to some young viewers, they might take this as an absolute truth and believe that one can really be able to solve a mystery that easily. Thus, great caution is needed upon explaining the plot to the young viewers.

All in all, I would give this dorama a 4/5 stars. Though I do understand that this is for the teenage audience, it would be better if they made Kageyama work closely but still stealthily with Kazamatsuri and Reiko to gather the evidences first hand so it would be more realistic.
18th-Apr-2016 05:48 pm - My (closed) letter to MatsuJun
fmtou

Author's note: DON'T READ IF YOUR MIND IS NOT OPEN.  Because indoctrinated people will not understand, and can never understand. This better be closed rather than open.

Dear MatsuJun,

You were my first favorite Arashi, even before I get to know the group itself. In fact, I was so into you, I didn't pay attention to your group back then. I never opened myself to other possiblities.

You are a superb actor, and has always been. You are a passionate man who only wants to give his best shot in everything that he does. Until now, my utmost respect for you has not changed. I respected you more when I found out that you were a Beatle fan.

But despite my high respect for you, I couldn't see you now as my boyfriend or my husband. Is it a good thing? Is is a bad thing? Will I get criticisms for this just like a male homosexual who came out of his shell? I don't know. I realized now that we are the same poles of different magnets, unable to stick together.

I realized that during my younger years, I was just frenzied with the idea of romance, and you were a perfect embodiment because you treat women like queens.

But this image soon faded when I got to know myself better. We are so similar in so many ways, and I think that we might just clash in the end. Letting you go became harder when I reaized I liked you because of one of one of your fanboys in my peer.

But after he rejected me, I came to realize that my image of you as a perfect guy is not real, and that the infatuation with this person aggravated my emotions.

I only realized that I was in love with an image, which is the reason why despite having lots of time to write about you then, you never had a spot in this LiveJournal.

Had I found out you were a Beatle fan before I got to know Sakurai-san, maybe I can start from scratch and get to know the real Jun Matsumoto. But it didn't happen. I guess some things are not meant to be.

Once more, I found myself in another situation that can made me lose my good perception of you when one of your diehard fans argued with me for giving your dorama a low rating, despite of comparing you to a Beatle, which I suppose, is your favorite one. While I understand her predicament, it's not like I berated you or anything more; this might be the only dorama which you will have a low rating. Your other doramas like Smile, Kimi wa Petto, which I watched like 13 times, Gokusen, and of course, Hana Yori Dango, I will undoubtfully give you a 5/5. Is one dorama with a low rating out of the so many quality doramas would mean I have sinned against anyone?

And of course, knowing a perfectionist like you, even if the storyline is bad, you will do your best to make it good. You would do your best to deliver. And you successfully carried it out. You were a great actor, and the reason why I finished the entire series despite of me losing interest on its story.

Today, I have learned that your new dorama, 99.9 is specifically written for you. I expect nothing more than perfection, especially that I have been longing to see you as a lawyer since your Gokusen days as Shin Sawada, who ended up as a yakuza lawyer in the manga version. Also, political stories excite me the most. I know you would be able to do more than well.

I know you are not to blame for this mess, so I'm giving you the rightful tribute now. I would like to apologize for being so rude, if calling you a "prince" and an "eye candy," in my past review is such a bad idea after all. I did my best to be tactful, but I had some of your fans all angry. Guess my writing style was not good enough. I failed to communicate what was more essential.

I now realized that it's better to look and respect you from afar, and feel grateful for your presence in my life. Without you, I couldn't find the real me. I wouldn't have met Sakurai-san and be happy like this. I would like to sincerely thank you for that.

Despite everything that has been said and done, I don't want to see you in a bad light and blame you for your fans' faults, just because some of them cannot understand my predicament, and continue to label me as your "basher." How I wish they know how dreadful the meaning of that deragatory term, and they will never use that word again.

No, I will never be a basher to the person who introduced me to Arashi. I will be forever grateful to the man who has taught me a lot and told me the positive meaning of the word "storm."

Now, it feels like this is a post break-up letter. But I'd like to call it a "best friend's secret correspondence." I see you more now than a best friend and a critic, not a romantic partner. Will I be criticized for this emotion again? Perhaps. But it's not like saying you're lesser or greater than the others. it is just how I feel.

After this, some people will not still be able to understand. But hopefully, you will. :)
fmtou


For so many months, I’m trying to avoid watching Tokujo Kabachi, because I’m one of those people who do not see Sho Sakurai and Maki Horikita a good couple onscreen. Finally, I was able to finally watch the series a month ago, and found it to be interesting. Surprisingly, I was able to finish it in one week, despite my work deadline.

What made me react so enthusiastically about the dorama is its good storyline, as it segues from one episode to the next. The story is as follows:  Tamura Katsuhiro (Sakurai Sho) is an assistant scrivener who hopes to become a lawyer someday.  A studious student, he lives separately from his mother, and rents a room from a landlady who always asks his help for legal matters.

During one case, Tamura encounters a solicitor named Misuzu Sumiyoshi (Horikita Maki), a cunning and feisty solicitor who becomes a his competitor on the next case that he will handle. Eventually, Sumiyoshi joins Tamura’s law firm, and they have been working and arguing since then. But gradually, Sumiyoshi starts to soften up to Tamura as she sees his good side, and Tamura does become the same for his senior.
Bright side
What made me fell in love with Tokujo Kabachi is, primarily, its story. As an avid fan of political stories, the series grabbed my attention. The fact that this mas mixed with the romantic comedy genre makes it even more exciting.

Aside from this, the romantic innuendo was just subtle in the entire show, and was just shown at the end. Tamura’s character was developed so well: he was a bit childish and naïve at first, but when he was faced with a dilemma, he was able to solve the problem without having to sacrifice his principles.

While watching the scene where Tamura had to strike a balance with his principles and his current problem, I was also able to learn that not all the people can be as notorious as they are perceived at first, while the victims also have their own mistakes.

Through the help of Sumiyoshi, Tamura was able to discern that all people are just fighting not only for their rights, but for the rights of the people whom they have taken responsibility, not because someone is just plainly evil or is making things worse just for the sake of basking in delight with the suffering of others.

Viewers could not also deny the fact that Tamura’s co-stars are funny, like Isamu Ohno (Nakamura Masatoshi), Tamura’s boss and Kyoko Kebisawa (Yuko Asano), Sumiyoshi’s would-have-been boss. Calling his elder colleague Shigemori Kanji (Endo Kenichi) with a ridiculous nickname “Punch Gorilla” is also something to look forward to, considering the body pain Tamura has undergone with when he created that alias in his mind.

Minor problems
I honestly have fallen in love with Maki Horikita in Hana Kimi as Mizuki Ashiya. Her acting in the said dorama is unparalled. But when I watched this dorama, I was a bit disappointed because her delivery of the lines dealing with the legal proceedings were not up to snuff. There’s something lacking with her acting style, which I cannot put my finger on because it is too abstract.

The snobbishness and cunning attitude is there, but the intellectual side is a bit lacking. As a viewer, I cannot feel that what she is saying about the law is something that she really knows as a person, and not just as some words written in the script. Maybe I would feel more of the intellectual vibe if she delivered the lines with conviction because she really knows the laws in real life. Despite that, this does not make Maki Horikita a lesser actress because she has my respect for her craft.

Some critics also say that Tokujo Kabachi has gone a bit off because the solicitors are not supposed to fix legal problems like lawyers. There is a Japanese law called Hiben Katsudo that prohibits solicitors from practicing the activities done by lawyers. The Osaka Bar Association has once written a letter to TBS, the broadcasting network of the dorama, asking to stop the broadcast at once when the dorama was airing.

While I am a Sakurai Sho fan and found this to be rather an interesting dorama, I understand the predicament of the Osaka Bar Assocation. I surprisingly found myself to be siding with them. On their part, they just want to make sure that the viewers would not take the dorama as it actually is in real life. Some people are finding it hard to separate fantasy and real life. The group of lawyers are just concerned with this kind of occurrence, that’s why they have done that unpopular move.

On the defense of Tokujo Kabachi, one of the antagonist lawyers did say that the legal professionals in Tamura’s firm did violate this law. It is just a matter on how good at watching the dorama and seeing this tiny detail. But the member lawyers of the bar association knew that most of its viewers are giggly teenagers who just want to see Sakurai-san in TV. They would skip the details and fix their eyes on the Arashi member.

It might be easy to say that Tokujo Kabachi viewers should be able to distinguish it, but not in all cases. To prevent such criticisms, mature viewers should explain to those who are not that they must not all take things in TV as what they are, so that they might not be disappointed with the real life.  Over all, my verdict for this drama is 3.5. Falling in love with the story is an easy, but rationally, there are several rooms from improvement.

*Source: http://afspot.net/forum/topic/718187-criticism-towards-tokujo-kabachi/
4th-Mar-2016 01:56 am - Precious Jewel
beatlebf
(Note: This poetry was something I made up some time ago, and was purposedly made for me to recite at a spoken poetry hub. But I didn't do so. *laughs*)

There's a tune that tone deafs can hum,
there's a way to slake the thirst
under the El Nino Sun.
"Miracles are real," our forefathers preach.
"So keep your sight up, and to Him, beseech."

Is miracle a by-product of faith?
If so, let's see atheists rekindle
divine ties in haste:
Let me hear them say,
"Praise God! We will love you all the way!"

What made me embark in this road
is no job, no money involved
A miracle is something that can't be bought

A precious gem that influences the uncontrolled.

From this way, what I want to obtain
Is that gem itself, and use it to no vain

Make earth in heaven and heaven on earth,
With that angel, and I, standing on dirt.

But first, break the inhibiting glass of perfection
Open the eyes, see its core without hesitation.
And yet, see the shattered pieces
splay in excellence;
Cut your skin, it might, but still
see beauty in fright

Turn water into wine, and blood into smile,
Only a gem can do it in such a style,
Morphing grudge into daze.

Nothing is absolute, not even my will or yours

The choices each make, today does not know;
You choose the greater good, or
feed your ego,
Only He who is omniscient
discerns the flow.

So I implore, before this life ends,
let me see one miracle:
Love conquers, as seen in most oracles.

I will go ahead and continue this expedition
With a bit of hope that tomorrow bears an auspicious resolution,
I believe there's a light at the tunnel's dent
And you'll wait for me at that church aisle's end.
cc
As a summary, The Quiz Show’s Season 1 was breathless and exquisitely dark. Since I had the background of the plot when I watched the most recent version, I think this will just be a run-down of stories. But no. It was surprising and alarming at the same time.

The Quiz Show 1 is the origin of the plot of Sakurai Sho’s The Quiz Show 2. The story is much more or less the same, with the same background music for Dream Chance, rules of the game and contestant aids (ougi), but it has different elements and darker objectives compared to the second season, and this might be its edge to its new season.

What I personally liked about The Quiz Show 1 is that it brings forth the same exhilarating breakneck pace its second season brought. The same mystery and mind-boggling element were present in the entire story.

Each of the contestants in the show is representing one of the seven deadly sins, and that’s what makes unique, having these forms of allegories or representations. It seems The Quiz Show 1’s (very hot) producer, Yamanobe Kengo (Totsugi Shigeyuki) has more evil thoughts than his contemporary counterpart, Honma Toshio (You Yokoyama). His countenance and maniacal laugh alone is what tells the difference. On one episode, viewers can see that he has gone totally naked (Sorry, but no. Only his behind was shown) as he faces the wide glass window of his office, as if connoting something. And indeed, it has a profound connotation relevant to the story.

On the other hand, I have enjoyed MC Tazaki/Takazi Toru (Katagiri Jin)’s wit. Upon researching, Katagiri was comedian by profession, and having to switch from a more serious genre is really challenging. As such, he got my admiration in an instant for taking this kind of role.

To be honest, I really was glued to the screen as the bespectacled host was talking to all the contestants with a dash of nonchalance and sarcasm, having remembered how Sakurai-san did it in his own interpretation. There was one incident on the show when Tazaki was slapped by a female contestant, and his glasses fell down from his eyes. Then he picked it up in a cool and casual sense, and proceeded back to his seat as if nothing happened.

There’s one thing that I just noticed when Katagiri-san was portraying his character: He’s not as cunning and scary as MC Kamiyama is when he talks with his contestants. The entertaining factor and the charisma is actively present in his aura, but he lacks the creepy side Sakurai-san gives when he threatens the contestants as he says, “I know everything about you.” At most, I saw this sly side of Katagiri-san when he was dealing with the contestant named Smiley Kitajima (Sato Jiro).

I could also applaud the remarkable contestants and supporting roles on the show, including The Quiz Show inviter (Nakamura Yasuhi), with a bizarre yet cherubic face that leaves the viewers mystified on how to perceive the character.  I could also never forget the unemployed man— the guy who represents the sin sloth in the series—Noboru Manaka (Okada Yoshinori, who was also with Sakurai-san in Kizaru Cat’s Eye) who seems to play his part so well. I kept laughing in the series when Tazaki addresses him “Noboru-chan” as if they were already beyond acquaintances.

Noboru-chan also has a good-looking younger brother played by Mamoru Miyano. To be honest, I was surprised when he appeared on the series. My most recent memory of him was when he voiced Light Yagami in Death Note. I mentioned this because the opening billboard of The Quiz Show 1 is a reminiscent of that anime, with a theme song similar to the anime's soundtrack and an allegorical Light Yagami as the producer and L Lawliet as the host. There's also Murase Ryuichiro, a rock star who plays as the first contestant oon the game show. For those who do not know, Murase is portrayed by Koji Yamamoto, Maki Horikita's husband. A special mention in this portion where Murase became the contestant is a question about The Beatles.  (Well, it really caught my attention because I'm a fan.)

It also made me cry to see the plastic surgery beauty Kiyomi Uchida and the mangaka dreamer Nitta Hitomi after a series of plot twists which I won’t reveal in this review. But the greatest twist of all was that of the confrontation between the producer and the host, which, like the second season, also made me cry buckets of tears.Their confrontation is a bit similar to the second season, but the motives behind the show and the sins were much darker. Sometimes, it makes me think that the season two was intended for the Millennials, while the season one could wait a couple of years before the young viewers get to watch it. This is highly recommended for our parent's generation, should they ask for dark genres of movies.

As much as I loved The Quiz Show 1, there are some elements that the contemporary version has that it doesn’t have. Two of the most apparent reasons are: First, there is more exposure to the production staff and they were dynamic throughout the entire show. Second, Yamanobe has not exerted as much effort as Honma has in preventing the contestants from walking away in the show. The story was not as elaborate and active as the second season.

But all in all, I think both seasons are worth watching, as both of them have a different story to tell. Both stories will make you realize various things, although their plots are more or less following the same outline. Thus, I shall give The Quiz Show 1 the same 4.5 stars out of 5.
cc

*sighs* Too bad Lelouch Lamperouge of Code Geass is a Britannian. But if he were a Japanese, Sakurai Sho will fit his character perfectly.

For Arashians who do not know, Code Geass is an anime about how a prince from an aristocratic family hailing from the fictional country called Britannia, was given the power called geass, an ability manipulate other people’s thoughts.

This prince named Lelouch vi Britannia has one thing in mind: To know who killed his mother and to take revenge for it.

For Code Geass fans, Sakurai Sho is a member of Arashi. Also a well known rapper-newscaster-songwriter who have portrayed a number of psycho roles in Kazoku Game and The Quiz Show 2.

1. Both disobeyed their parents at a young age to follow what they think is right. Lelouch thought his father is doing something wrong, that’s why he joined the Japanese. Sho, on the other hand disobeyed his parents because he wants to follow his passion.

2. Both are athletically challenged. Just see how Lelouch runs and gets tired easily. As for Sho, we can just watch some VS Arashi shows to see what this means.

3. Both are intellectuals. They are good with analytical skills even if they do not try so hard.

4. Both are good with words. Lelouch seems to have a way to entice his followers to follow him. Sho has that same charisma as a host.

5. Both seems have the class and sophistication. Lelouch was born to a family of aristocrats. Sho, on the other hand, was born to an affluent family.

6. And we could not forget, Lelouch as the leader of the rebellion force to wipe out the Britannians from the Japanese territory, bears the code name “Zero.”Sakurai Sho, on the other hand, is one of the newscasters of NEWS ZERO. It’s a bit odd, but I was amazed on that simple connection.

7. Sho can just pull the maniacal laugh of Lelouch so easily. Just imagine how he can do it like this:







It reminds me of the good ‘ol laugh of Yoshimoto Kouya in Kazoku Game.






This is just a thought though. I know this won’t come true since it’s hard to make a good live action adaptation for Code Geass when most of the characters are not Japanese.

(Image credits: Tumblr)

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