... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Nov 15, 2010

8Uppers, Monologue and Ryo-chan

Remember the crazy beldam I mentioned in my first ever post? Yeah, Nao, that's the one; the crazy fangirl who introduced me to awesome and diverse addicting Japanese dorama and, in the process, converted me into a crazy fangirl, too. 

And while I'm ranting about this, I might as well add that she is responsible for the corruption of my cousins too, because despite the fact that I'm the one who passed along the J fever to them, it all comes back to Nao. *nods  very seriously*

Anyway, the aforementioned beldam is not satisfied simply with addicting me to the doramas alone, oh no. No, she also experiences the deepest desire to bring me up to be as big a flailboat fangirl as she is. Thus, she takes it upon herself to sit me down in front of her computer and keep my poor, helpless eyes fixed on the screen (let us ignore the fact that I go to her corruption sessions more than willingly) while she fills my brain with doramas, interviews, variety shows and music promotional videos of popular J-pop boy bands, the members of which, amusingly enough, turn out to be the main leading actors starring in 99% of the previously mentioned doramas.

My cousins and I have an inside joke about all the hawt heroes of doramas being in one boy band or the other. (It wouldn't be a lie to say that every leading actress turns out to be a model, too :P)

Now, with that introduction out of the way, let's FINALLY move on to the point of this post. In our latest corruption session, Nao showed me the music feature film, 8Uppers, starring members of the insanely outrageous popular band, Kanjani8. 
(Yokoyama You, Okura Tadayoshi, Nishikido Ryo, Maruyama Ryuhei, Shibutani Subaru, Yasuda Shota and Murakami Shingo)

The movie was about, as DramaCrazy puts it:
Seven men with different tactics for killing are bound together by their brotherhood and similar background, but their way of life is about to take a plunge towards the surreal when a woman abandons her baby near their van, leaving the group with a new kind of job. The quirky musician group Kanjani8 interpret a hardened group of patchers (clean-up hitmen) performing mercenary work focused on assassination as well as, "getting rid of" the most bothersome of top officials and company CEOs whilst now balancing "motherhood." Can a group of hardened killers really take on the weight of raising a baby? A light story examining the cold facets behind life, death, and family fuelled by a Eito-heavy soundtrack.

My view on the movie is that it is certainly worth your time. I was amazed by the beautiful cinematography, wonderful editting, great soundtrack and top-notch direction. The director and producers damn well knew what they wanted to do and how to do it. 

The story itself was pretty good. I was at a slight disadvantage on account of the lack of English subtitles, but Nao and her amazing Japanese-to-English translation skills helped me out there. While the plotline is not the most original story ever conceived, it was entertaining and credible enough to keep me absorbed to the very end. The dialogue was great (if Nao's translations are anything to go by :P), especially considering how the characters were mostly just exaggerated personalities of their real-life counterparts according to Nao ha ha.

Speaking of which, the acting was definitely note-worthy. The characters were diverse and the actors portrayed them wonderfully. I was amused by the motherhen/womanizer Okura, milk-obsessed/martial artist Maru, dead-fish/gun-wielding Subaru, bespectacled/video-game-geek Yasu, baby-loving/brotherly Hina, level-headed/cool-leader Yoko and chain-smoking/gangsta Ryo. The chemistry and interactions between them meshed together so well that they really brought out the essence of their "brotherhood" and friendship.
Special kudos to the baby, who not only was ADORABLE, but made the other actors look even more adorable than should be allowed. xD

Moving on, the one thing that really stuck with me after watching 8Uppers is Ryo's single for the soundtrack, "Monologue".

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a humongous Ryo fangirl. For one thing, I find him very attractive (no, not on an omg-so-handsome-and-sexy level, but rather a there's-just-some-charismatic-thing-about-him-that-makes-him-extremely-appealing level). It's also noteworthy that he's the only guy I've ever seen that makes smoking and throwing back drinks look downright S-E-X-Y. Like Nao said, with this film, Ryo just shattered decades worth of anti-smoking campaigns LOLZ.

For another thing, I highly admire him as an actor. Not only did this movie prove that point, but 1 Litre of Tears, anyone? In that drama, I practically fell in love with his character. Not many actors can make me do that. 'Nuff said, I think.

But with "Monologue", I've also come to recognise him as a brilliant singer, songwriter and composer. The music simply refuses to leave my mind and the lyrics are deep, sad and meaningful. The song speaks to me like few songs ever had. It's beautiful and haunting.

Nishikido Ryo image borrowed from shinie165
Monologue's English translation stolen from Nao xD


It will all turn into ash someday, cigarettes, me, and that town
Beginnings are always from a single tiny ember
Reflected on the rectangular screen, is a boy lamenting at the sky
If you press the next button, stars falling from the night sky; a kiss scene... kiss scene

Conventional everyday comes and greets me every morning
Trade in polite words with an appropriate attitude
A yearning for someday remains eternally as a yearning
If I write today’s events on paper, it seems it can be settled in around 2 lines

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I crash into the shoulder and spit out

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting
If it’s pain, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the man in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

What are you searching for? A place where you can feel at ease?
What are you seeking? Is it somebody’s approval?
What are the things you’ve achieved? A second of supremacy?
What have you lost? While on your quest for answers

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I grab the hand and steal a kiss

With gentle words, I’m embracing
If it’s power, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the woman in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting

With gentle words, I’m embracing


  1. Daaarin, I should warn you to stop before my head inflates too much, seriously. *pops up non-existent collar* XD

    I've been completely and totally ignoring my plan to review 8UPPERS on IAPA so far, but this is amazing. (Amusing too. XD ~<3) Couldn't have put it better myself~!

    Oh, and if you want to check it out, I've translated the album (longer) version of monologue on my blog. ^_^

  2. I haven't praised you ENOUGH, I think :P

  3. is there any place i can get ahold of the movie with eng subs...the link on dramacrazy does not work anymore...:(

    1. Here you go, anon. Eng subs, too :)
      (But you need to be a member of that LJ comm to access the download links)