Hotaru no Hikari II

ホタルノヒカリ 2 / Glow of Fireflies 2


  • Ayase Haruka as Amemiya Hotaru
  • Fujiki Naohito as Takano Seiichi
  • Mukai Osamu as Seno Kazuma

Year: 2010

Episodes: 11

Ratings: 13.6 (Kanto)

Theme Song: “Kimi ga iru” by Ikimono-gakari


Amemiya Hotaru came back from Hong Kong three years later. She first went there because of a big project she was appointed. Now that she’s back, she openly goes back to Takano Seiichi‘s house and live with him, only to find out that there’s a mysterious woman always at the sides of her Buchou. They are now at their first state, as boss and employee. Yamada and Futatsugi Shoji, their sempais, watch and whisper to each other about their relationship. Depressed Hotaru then goes drinking with Seno, a coworker who works only during fixed hours and who seems playboy. They end up drunk and pass a night together … ?!

StrawBan’s Review:


So at first, I was really looking forward it because after I’ve seen the first one, this one sounded really cool! And especially when the GIRL (for once) was the one leaving, and not just for a few days, not for a few months, but THREE YEARS. That was quite a shock! But then again, it’s Ahomiya x]. So the story sounded pretty normal, but then again, Japanese dramas don’t like to give away so much stuff, so all summaries are super thin and brief. Well, okay, the whole drama isn’t that long after all … OKAY I’M OFF TOPIC.

So actor wise, I was quite satisfied. I think everyone did a great job on acting! Hotaru was really well portrayed by the talented Ayase Haruka. However, at some points, I really felt like punching her … because she was being waaaaay too random and not smart. I wouldn’t go for “stupid”, but it was quite annoying. You’ll see if you watch this. Takano … as usual! It was awesome acting. And … ! Supporting male character … SHO~! He’s sooooooo cute! At a lot of moments, I really wished she would end up with him! Seriously, they’re like soulmates. No kidding. And he’s so nice to her and even though you can’t really tell by his words (because I must say, sometimes, his words are quite harsh), he’s so caring! And he’s hilarious, and always makes her laugh. Hotaru, that is. Okay, now the supporting female character. I don’t really know how I should see her as. I didn’t read the manga, so I don’t exactly know what kind of person she’s supposed to be portrayed as, but I think she did a fantastic job too! You can really feel that she’s there to make the main characters’ relationship grow stronger. She’s so kind and thoughtful! Even if she likes the main character, she knows the place beside him is Hotaru’s. And unlike Korean dramas, you definitely don’t HATE HER or want to stab her. No, really. I get that feeling quite often during K-dramas xD. But yeah! I love her character.

The main characters are so cute together! I remember when Takano used to be sooo darn cold. Okay, not SO cold, but like … super perfectionist and all. Now, he’s like being childish with Hotaru. They just seem so light hearted together, compared to their busy work. Oh and I love their jobs! Oh one minus thing is that, towards the middle-end’ish, a LOT of random issues appeared … and it was kind of annoying to see them arguing and actually be mad at each other.

The story was so so. I mean, it didn’t really matter much, because it was more about relationships with each other. Okay, maybe that WAS the plot, but I mean, if you’re expecting to see a Jackie Chan Rush Hour 3 type of stuff, this is NOT the thing for you, obviously! But Hotaru is so funny that it sort of makes up for the lack of action. I love her cuteness and randomness! And rolling on the floor … aww! But really, the randomnest (Spell check just told me this was not an actual word … but I can’t be bothered. Sorry all of you who are grammar freaks.) stuff ever happens to her. AND ONLY TO HER. For some reason. All planned? Of course, this is a drama …

Music wise, I didn’t really listen for it o_o I’m sorry I can’t critic on this part! But I like the ending song! Because every time I hear it at the end of the episode, it’s like a link to the next episode and it’s super happy x] I like happy songs! There should be more happy songs than all those sad and quiet songs. Oh and she always does something stupid at the end xD It’s super funny! I liked this show, although at some point, I drifted out of the series … I forgot why though, my bad.

Well anyways, summing this up, you should watch it! But you should start by watching the first one, if you accidentally fell on this page, because THEN, it’ll make much more sense to you than if you start in the middle of the story. Because I consider this the same story as the first one.


Kimi ga iru

Gokusen III

ごくせん  3


  • Nakama Yukie as Yamaguchi Kumiko (Yankumi / Ojou / Kumicho) (Math Teacher/Class 3D adviser)
  • Takaki Yuya as Ogata Yamato
  • Miura Haruma as Kazama Ren
  • Waki Tomohiro as “Kuma” / Kumai Teruo (Former student of Yankumi)

Year: 2008

Episodes: 11 (45 minutes)

Ratings: 22.5 (Kanto)

Theme Song: “Niji” by Aqua Timez

Insert Song: “Oretachi no Seishun” by Takaki Yuya


Sawatari Goro is now the Vice President of Akado High School. However, the head director insists that he takes care of the 3D class. He goes to the southern area in order to find Yankumi, because the students are too much for him to handle. She comes back, and finds herself surrounded, again, by a class full of rebellious kids. How is she going to deal with them this time?

**Sequel of: Gokusen and Gokusen II

StrawBan’s Review:    Continue reading

At Dolphin Bay

海豚湾恋人 / Hai Tun Wan Lian Ren


  • Angela Zhang as Yi Tian Bian
  • Ambrose Hsu as Xu Ze Ya
  • Wallace Huo as Zhong Xiao Gang

Year: 2003

Episodes: 28 (45 minutes)

Ratings: 56.7%

Opening: “I Don’t Want to Know” by Chen Wei

Ending: “Yi Shi De Mei Hao” (遺失的美好) by Angela Zhang


Two children Zeya and Xiao Pin Gai met at an orphanage. Seeing the latter was often bullied by the other kids, Zeya rose to the occasion to become her gallant protector. Alas, the young couple parted ways when the director of a big company Xu Ruogu arrived to bring his ‘grandson’ home. Zeya promised to come back for Xiao Pin Gai, but when he finally makes good his promise 20 years later, his childhood friend is nowhere to be found. Where the orphanage once stood is now a cluster of skyscrapers.

Essbee’s Opinion: Continue reading

Itazura na Kiss

イタズラなKiss / Teasing Kiss / Naughty Kiss


  • Sato Aiko as Aihara Kotoko
  • Kashiwabara Takashi as Irie Naoki
  • Ozawa Maju as Matsumoto Reiko
  • Naitou Takashi as Aihara Shigeo
  • Asada Miyoko as Irie Machiko
  • Tokui Yuu as Irie Masaki

Year: 1996

Episodes: 9 (45 minutes)

Theme Song: “Steady” by SPEED


Because of a fire at her house, Aihara Kotoko and her dad had to move to a friend’s house. It just happened to be the same guy she kissed on the first day of school, Irie Naoki. It’s only normal that Naoki and his younger brother hate her, not only because of that kiss, but also because of her naturally loud voice and her nagging. His mother, however, loves her very much. Kotoko, on the other side, kept idolizing him for his brain and talents in sport. She eventually found herself in love with him. Gradually, that love came to break the icy cold heart of Naoki.

Based on the manga “Itazura na Kiss” by Tada Kaoru and adapted to a Taiwanese Drama, It Started With A Kiss and Korean Drama, Mischievous Kiss.

StrawBan’s Review:    Continue reading

Hotaru no Hikari

ホタルノヒカリ / Glow of Fireflies


  • Ayase Haruka as Amemiya Hotaru
  • Fujiki Naohito as Takano Seiichi
  • Kuninaka Ryoko as Saegusa Yuuka
  • Kato Kazuki as Teshima Makoto

Year: 2007

Episodes: 10 (45 minutes)

Ratings: 13.6 (Kanto)

Theme Song: “Yokogao” by aiko


After a fight with his wife, Takano Seiichi moves back to his parents’ old house only to discover that another person is already living in the house, Amemiya Hotaru, a junior at his company. As opposed to her very professional side shown at work, Amemiya‘s real personality is revealed at home, per example drinking beer on the porch after a hard day of work. She also goes around the house wearing teared up jerseys and dirty t-shirts. When a designer who just came back from London joins her team, Teshima Makoto, she suddenly falls in love with him after being kissed by him one day, out of the blue. However, because she hasn’t been in love for so long, she doesn’t know how to express her feelings. Her manager, Takano, decides to help her be more confident about her love while trying to save his marriage.

StrawBan’s Review   Continue reading

Summer X Summer

热情仲夏 / Re Qing Zhong Xia


  • Joe Cheng as Ouyang Lei
  • Cai Yi Zhen as Xia Ya
  • Zhang Yu Chen as Ouyang Yu Yan
  • Ethan Ruan as Zhou Qiao Shan
  • Huang Hong Sheng as Chen Lang Zhu
  • Danson Tang as Tian Guang Zhen

Year: 2007

Episodes: 12 (70 minutes)

Ratings: 1.18

Opening: “Ni Yao Shen Me Jiu Shuo” (你要什麼就說) by Xiao Yu

Ending: “Lei Le” (累了) by Shin

Insert song: “Qin Xia Tian Yi Xia” (親夏天一下) by Joe Cheng and Cai Yi Zhen


Because of one dollar, Xia Ya befallen many unfortunate events. When she feels like all hope has lost, an angel comes and gives her one dollar which saves her life. She falls in love with that angel, who is a model dressed in an angel outfit. But he is no angel – he is the devil in disguise, Ouyang Lei, the younger brother of her best friend, Ouyang Yu Yan.

Being the youngest of the family as well as a famous model, Lei is very spoiled and everyone let him have his way, until Xia Ya came along. Xia Ya did what nobody else would do, and Lei starts to develop an interest in her, but he seems very devilish in his ways. What will become of them^

Essbee’s Opinion:


It’s been a long time I’ve watched this drama, but I remember that I was deceived by it. I had just finished watching It Started With A Kiss, and Joe Cheng impressed me, so I thought… why not another drama where he acts… But the plot was very boring. Joe Cheng’s character was soo childish that it scared me. The music aren’t that good neither, bur I liked the duet by Joe Cheng & Cai Yi Zhen (Wu Xiong)

Nodame Cantabile



Year: 2006

Episodes: 11 (45 minutes)

Ratings: 18.79

Opening: “Symphony No. 7 in A major” by Beethoven, arranged by Hattori Takayuki

Ending: “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, arranged by Hattori Takayuki

OST infos here.


An elite meticulous musical genius and a messy out-of-control pianist. This unlike pair somehow matches up and together with a group of colorful young classical musicians and an eccentric world-famous conductor, they start to create the most unique wonderful world of music. They are all against the conventional orders and rules, and try to make the most of their lives with humor and passion for music. Each character has a special (or weird) story to tell and they confront with each other hard and unite strongly

***2 Special episodes of 2 Hours each.

Year: 2008

Ratings: 18.9 (1st), 21.0 (2nd)

Opening & Ending: same as drama


This 2 night special takes off during their graduation, where Chiaki-senpai & Nodame left for Europe. The first special centered on Chiaki’s story, the story tells about Chiaki’s dream to be a conductor. Nodame on the other hand attended the conservatory to attain her dream to one-day play the piano for Chiaki. After her hard work, Nodame was given a chance to have a mini recital. During the recital, Chiaki saw her worth and realized that he cannot go on with out her.

Essbee’s Opinion: Continue reading