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Hiroshi66 Profile
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


<EPISODE 4>

Such an exciting Taiga so far! I am hooked after just four episodes. Burning Flower's writers could take a few lessons on pacing and making the story interesting without the use of meaningless filler from the writer of Sanadamaru.

First of all, I want to comment that Sakai Masato is awesome as Genjiro. He doesn't go out of his way to make Genjiro appear to be too much of an adult - after all, Genjiro was only 15-years old in 1582. However, he is good at portraying Genjiro as a young man who is maturing but also wise beyond his years. You can totally tell when Genjiro's wheels are spinning in his head - Sakai Masato has great facial expressions when his character is analyzing something or trying to figure something out.

Genjiro's sharpness takes after his father, Masayuki. Talk about being quick on your toes! Had Masayuki messed up and gotten nervous about his lie regarding the secret pact with the Uesugi family when Tokugawa Ieyasu was interrogating him. Masayuki played it off like nothing was wrong! If anything, he made Ieyasu look like a paranoid fool for even questioning him on it. Thanks to Masayuki's fast thinking, Oda Nobunaga officially recognized the Oda's alliance with the Sanada family. Had Masayuki gotten nervous or acted suspicious when his lie was about to be exposed, Nobunaga might have had Masayuki and Genjiro killed on the spot.

What was more impressive was that Masayuki saw through Ieyasu's lie! Ieyasu claimed that the Uesugi's representative was waiting in the other room, and that he would go ask him whether or not the Uesugi really sent the Sanada a letter asking for an alliance (which they hadn't). However, Ieyasu was lying, because there was no representative waiting. He was just trying to expose Masayuki's lie and make him panic, but the funny part was that Masayuki switched it around on him and made Ieyasu look like a fool.

Like I mentioned last time, Ieyasu's portrayal here is fascinating. He acts like a tough guy in front of enemies like Masayuki, but this is all inspired by jealousy and a major inferiority complex. Behind the scenes, we've seen Ieyasu act like a big baby!

The meeting of Genjiro and Tokugawa Ieyasu - everything about that scene spelled out fateful encounter!

I can't believe the episode ended with Nobunaga's assassination and the Honnoji Incident, where Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed Oda Nobunaga in 1582. Talk about bad timing! If only Masayuki had waited a bit on his alliance with the Oda, and especially on sending his daughter Matsu as a hostage to Azuchi Castle - Nobunaga's headquarters. Now, the Sanada are in danger, since they are an ally of Oda Nobunaga and thus an enemy of Akechi Mitsuhide, Nobunaga's assassin, by default.

The lovey-dovey relationship between Matsu and her husband (who was snuck in as an attendant by Genjiro and his brother) is cute and fun to watch, but I hope this will end well. I have a bad feeling about it...

The scene where Kiku (the farmer's sister), Kiri (the samurai's daughter who has a crush on Genjiro), and Genjiiro's sister Matsu was funny to watch - especially when they were trying to hide Matsu's husband from her brother.

We are already in mid-1582. Nobunaga is now dead, and this leaves the Sanada in an awkward position. Episode 5 airs next time!
3/20/2016, 4:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to Hiroshi66   Send PM to Hiroshi66 AIM
 
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


<EPISODE 5>

OMG, another great episode! I know I am constantly signing the praises of this Taiga, but it really is the first time in a long time that I remember looking forward to a historical drama. It's all thanks to Sakai Masato and also to the writer. It makes sense that this writer also wrote Shinsengumi - this Taiga has the feel of many of the classic Taigas we have gotten used to enjoying over the years.

I found the coverage of the immediate aftermath of Oda Nobunaga's assassination to be fascinating. It is interesting to think about the fact that news about the deaths of important people often took days or weeks to spread across the country - now we find out about it within seconds. Even when people started to hear whispers about Nobunaga's death, nobody knew if it really happened or not. I can thus understand Sanada Masayuki's wishy-washiness when it came to staying with or siding against the Oda.

Genjiro and his father are much more alike than the Sanada family heir, Nobushige. Nobushige seems more conservative in his outlook - which is why he wants to stick with the Oda. Masayuki seems more pragmatic and looks at situations holistically. While Genjiro appears to be a go-getter, Nobushige seems like someone who doesn't leave much of an impact on others and is in the shadow of his father. I wonder if the differences between Nobushige and Genjiro will result in sibling rivalry after Genjiro grows up? It'll be interesting to see the family dynamic, and the boys' relationship with their father.

Good thing that the Sanada couldn't side with the Uesugi. At the end of the day, the Uesugi would not guarantee the Sanada's safety, and if they were attacked by remnants of the Oda family, the Uesugi would not lift a finger to help the Sanada out. At the same time, Sanada Masayuki is right - there is no point in them staying with the Oda. After all, with Nobunaga and his son dead, what good were the Oda armies?

I'm curious to see who the Sanada will side with ultimately. The Hojo? Uesugi? Oda? Akechi? Tokugawa? The previews showed Hideyoshi in the next episode, so that'll be something to look forward to. Hideyoshi appeared to be played by "Partner" from The Interrogator. That'll be interesting.

Tokugawa Ieyasu is such a wimp! I cracked up when he finally safely arrived home and into the arms of his wife, practically crying from fear and relief. I never pictured Ieyasu being such a scaredy-cat!

The competition of Kiri (the samurai's daughter) and Ume (the farmer's sister) for Genjiro's heart is interesting. So far, it looks like Kiri has the upper hand, since her father is trying to arrange a marriage between she and Genjiro. Who knows what'll happen. Ume is played by the actress who played the wife in The Emperor's Cook. She is doing a great job! We've seen the Kiri actress quite a bit, as well.

We're still in mid-1582, and the Sanada are still deciding on who to side with. Episode 6 airs next week!
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Re: Death of Oda Nobunaga


 I agree this taiga is more like the real thing. I have been able to download many historical flms and they are all incredibly interesting and exciting. This time I am surprised that there is little mention of Hideyoshi who took over the mantle of Nobunaga. he was a surprise to all I think since no one thought he had a brain or knowledge. He was very bright and knew how to put himself in the right position to take over. I hope they can bring that in to this story. The treatment here is lighter but I wonder if there will be anyone left at the end. Living as the head of a clan was like walking along a tightrope then.
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


Yes, there has been lots of Tokugawa Ieyasu but hardly any mention of Hideyoshi. I think we saw him for the first time on Saturday's episode, for only a short moment. The story seems to be told from the Sanada's perspective, so as minor, newly initiated vassals of the Oda family, they wouldn't have much exposure to Nobunaga's close vassals, like Hideyoshi, at this early stage of the game. With Nobunaga out of the picture and Akechi Mitsuhide being hunted down by Oda loyalists, hopefully Hideyoshi will start to make more appearances in the weeks to come!
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


<EPISODE 6>

Yay, Matsu is safe! emoticon From the way they showed her jumping into Lake Biwa, presumably to her death, I had a feeling that she had somehow managed to survive. Poor Genjiro is blaming himself for everything, and I don't blame him, since at this point, he thinks that Matsu has really died. Naturally Genjiro will feel responsible - he was the one who had promised to protect Matsu during the rescue operation. We saw that Matsu somehow managed to survive and was taken in by some farmers, who have no idea who she is or where she came from.

Does Matsu have amnesia, by chance? She was asked her name and didn't/couldn't give a response. Either she has amnesia caused by her traumatic near-death experience, or she is keeping silent because she doesn't want anybody to know of her connection to the Sanada family. After all, nobody can be trusted! For now, everybody (including Matsu's husband) thinks that she is dead.

I did find it a bit puzzling how everybody wanted to brush Matsu's death under the rug - especially the father, Masayuki, and the brother, Nobuyuki. Perhaps they were doing it to make Genjiro feel better and not blame himself, but at the same time, it was as if they weren't even upset by her death and expected it from the start. Who knows, though. Masayuki is a sly one, and for all we know, I wouldn't be surprised if he had planned for Matsu to fake her death from the start. He has been known to pull out random schemes out of nowhere and not tell anybody about what's going on - including his own children! So, this could have been all planned. Then again, Matsu jumping off a cliff is risky in and of itself, and I don't think it could have been schemed in advance - no matter how smart Masayuki is!

One thing I like about Masayuki is that he is real. He isn't one of those people who pretends to know it all - when he is stumped, he owns up to it! I find those moments (where Masayuki says, I have no idea) refreshing. He knows failure is not an option, but at the same time, he isn't afraid to be human and say that he doesn't have a solution or fix at the moment, either.

Very smart of the Sanada to play the Oda remnants against the Hojo. By sending a letter to the Hojo asking them not to invade, Masayuki won't be considered disloyal by the Oda - since he is declaring to the Hojo that their fief is legally part of the Oda territory. At the same time, though, he passively incites the Hojo to invade. After all, asking a powerful lord like Mr. Hojo to stay off of your property (when everybody knew very well that Hojo could conquer it with a superior military force - especially now that Nobunaga is gone) is pretty much akin to inviting him in.

Interesting decision by the Sanada at the end not to side with anyone. Don't think neither the Oda nor the Hojo will take kindly to that, but with them fighting against each other, the time is ripe for the Sanada to "declare independence" and let their two enemies destroy each other.

Hideyoshi is played by "Partner" from The Interrogator. Interesting casting choice! Looking forward to seeing how this actor plays it off. He is great and so I think he'll do a fantastic job.

Genjiro is growing closer and closer to Ume, the sister of the farmer. Meanwhile, Kiku (Ume's main rival for Genjiro's heart) has been sent away with Genjiro's grandmother as a hostage, so her chances are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Great drama - so much to discuss.

We're still in 1582, which is the same year where we started the drama. Episode 7 airs next week!
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


Partner as Hideyoshi! How interesting. It was surprising to see him and I didn't really recognize him until there was a close-up of his eyes—which are unmistakable.

How refreshing to see Fumiyo Kohinata in this role! Except for his height, his physical appearance is different from the Hideyoshis we've seen in the past, such as "Horseshoe Eyebrows" or even my favorite Hideyoshi, Naoto Takenaka. I'm looking forward to how Fumiyo Kohinata develops his version of Hideyoshi. (I wonder how long he will be appearing? If I would have blinked my eyes, I might have missed Oda N.!}

Image
Fumiyo Kohinata

It's also a kick to see Masato Sakai acting like and being treated like a youngster. The pat on the head last night definitely required that I put on my artistic license glasses and just go on. A minor bump, though, as Masato Sakai can play any role, even if he is of a differing age group.

Here's an article from the The Japan Times on NHK and their Taigas, particularly Sanadamaru .

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Re: nchristi post above.


Dear nchristi.
I really enjoyed reading the Japan Times article. they pull no punches do they.
I agree that the last taiga was feeble. So much information from not too log ago and they wasted time on things that became monotonous and boring in the end.
This present taiga is becoming more involved and interesting as ti goes along. I am also glad to see that Matsu is apparently safe somwhere.
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


Nchristi,thank you for posting that article! Wow, I guess we were not the only ones who thought Burning Flower was lackluster. It is just as they said. The writers spent so much time on boring filler plots (spending 15 episodes leading up to the rather anti-climactic conclusion of Inosuke and Fumi confessing their love for each other) instead of focusing on what could have been a suspenseful narrative of the tumultuous times Japan faced on her journey to becoming a world power in the late 1800s and early 1900s. That time period was ignored completely. I'm glad Sanadamaru is off to a much better start, and I think the powers that be realized that they need to change the formula up a bit (or make the Taigas more similar to the great productions they were) for different results.

Giving the lead role to Sakai Masato was a good decision! He will save the day. emoticon

Yes, it is hard to believe sometimes that Sakai Masato is playing a 15-year old, but he tries his best. I've noticed that his facial expressions during certain scenes (such as when he is spying on an enemy or witnessing something controversial) are very similar to the wide-eyed interest of a teenager. It's difficult to portray a character much younger than you, but Masato pulls it off well.

I think Hideyoshi impacted the Sanada family more than Nobunaga did, so hopefully we will see more of him as the episodes go on. This Taiga is trying to put their own spin on characters who are portrayed in stereotypical fashion. So far, Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu all look and act much differently than how they have been played in other Taigas. For instance, Ieyasu is made out to be a wimp (LOL) and Nobunaga seemed to play the shadowy figure who left governance to his son and vassals - much different than what we have always thought Nobunaga to be.

What mark will Partner leave on the history of Hideyoshi portrayals in Taigas? Looking forward to it!
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


The article comments about Sakai Masato personally as an actor were interesting, too. The thought that he might be somewhat difficult in real life never occurred to me. But it's no big surprise, as many highly gifted people seem to have varying degrees of "weirdness." After all, how could they be heads and shoulders above the rest of us if we were all the same?

I knew he had finally married but didn't know he now has a child. Wonderful!

Learned a new word today: seiyū
Definition: Voice Actor, narrator, voice over

This Taiga got off to a slow start for me, but happy to say it's finally picking up and drawing me into the story.
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Re: J-Drama: 真田丸 (Sanadamaru)


Yes, I've always perceived Sakai Masato to be very secretive about his private life, so it's very interesting to hear about what goes on "behind the scenes." I can imagine that he holds other actors to a very high standard and if he feels that he isn't 'mixing' with then, he might take it right to the top. It might be good for the viewers, since we end up getting a higher quality production that way. It's why I have high hopes about Sanadamaru.

I hope the Taiga proves to be a success for NHK. That way, they can apply this same philosophy to future Taigas, too.

P.S - Seiyu have a huge following among anime fans! Fans have their own favorite seiyu.
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