Daito Shunsuke

Kamo, Kyoto e Iku Eps 1-6


In a season saturated with cop procedurals (my least favourite J-drama genre ever), Kamo, Kyoto e Iku has, much to my surprise, emerged as my shining ray of crack.

I use the word “surprise” because when I skimmed through its synopsis, I thought it was going to be Gokusen set in a ryokan, with genius lady boss winning over her hostile employees one by one with her pluck and unconventional ideas (though after Rich Man Poor Woman, I now take the Todai credentials of J-drama heroines with a huge pinch of salt.) I also wasn’t sure what to expect from Matsushita Nao as I had never seen her in anything before and couldn’t glean much from her appearance on the April 4 VS Arashi special. If anything, she was so low-key there that I wasn’t sure she’d be able to carry this drama on her own. All in all, I didn’t have high hopes for it but decided to check out the first episode anyway to satisfy my inner perv fangirl.

It’s a good thing I’m so shallow because I wouldn’t have known how wrong I was about Kamo, Kyoto e Iku otherwise. Nor would I have found out that Matsushita’s character is really a heroine after my own heart.  (more…)

Love, Looove, Loooooove: Smart Motery Man

I am about to collapse from jet lag and exhaustion after spending the whole day navigating Tokyo’s metro but before I do that, I want to post this first.

So today I watched Daito’s stage play, Smart Motery Man, and if it were possible, I’d buy another ticket and watch it again — yes, it is that fabulous. (I thought I was being early by buying my ticket more than a month in advance. Obviously, that wasn’t enough. All the seats on the ground floor were already gone by the time I started looking for tickets.)

Hand on heart, I could not recognise Daito at all when I first saw him on stage. The way he looked, moved and sounded was so different that for about 15 minutes, I was wondering when he was going to show up…until it dawned on me that the guy with the weird perm and funny accent was actually him.


Initially, I thought his character was going to be your average salaryman with zero game — that was the impression I got from all the promo materials — but him playing a loser yankii is obviously 10,000 times better. Oh god, and wait till you hear him rap. That definitely woke me up from my jet lag…XDD  (more…)

High School Kagekidan ~ Otokogumi (2012)

Okay, let’s be honest here. High School Kagekidan ~ Otokogumi (HSKO) isn’t going to win any prizes for ambitious story-telling. The writer behind this is Egashira Michiru i.e. the same person behind Gokusen and Tumbling, so if you’ve watched either one of those dramas, you’ll recognise a lot of the tropes in this one.

That said, to the embarrassment of my inner critic/snob, I enjoyed this SP a lot (if you must know, I actually dialed my expectations down a few more notches after watching the trailer.) I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and muttering something about my lack of taste. Judge me if you must: I am weak to bromantic shenanigans and the three leads in this SP are adorable. Also, I would rather watch the most jejune of seishun dramas than the saccharine letdown that was RMPW any day of the week. *spoilers ahead* (more…)

Dramas on My Mind: Fall 2012 Edition

Now that the Olympics are over, who’s excited for the next season of dramas? I don’t know about you but nothing really made me swoon this past summer (though this might change once I start watching Answer Me 1997 and Arang proper.) However the fall season is looking really promising (for J-dramas, at least.) Question is: Will they live up to their potential?

This season, I am looking forward to:

The last time I did one of these things, all my predictions backfired on me and I ended up being underwhelmed by the dramas I thought I’d love and loving those I thought I’d find stupid as hell. (I’m not sure I want to know what this says about me -.-;) Hopefully reality won’t be too cruel to my expectations this time round. (more…)

He’s a Woman, She’s a Man…

Boys cross-dressing as girls is nothing new in the world of J-drama entertainment but I never thought the day would come when even Daito would get on board the gender-bending wagon. He’s always sported a very masculine image, one that’s been reinforced in part by the testosterone-charged roles he tends to play, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that he’ll be wearing falsies in his upcoming Fall drama special.

Oh Daito, if not for this picture, I’d never have imagined you’d look so cute in a blond wig and pink dress XDDDDD


Brain, meet Gutter

Daito-kun, I can think of a few ways we can put that tie to good use...

Daito’s latest pictorial opus doesn’t score any marks for subtlety — and thank god for that. You know when Britney Spears sang ‘I’m not a girl, not yet a woman’? Well, you could say that this is Atlantis’s way of announcing that their latest signing is no longer a boy but a smoking hot and VIRILE young man. Daito’s always had a very masculine image and while his earlier photo books presented him as a fresh-faced man-child, this one is all about flaunting his sex appeal.

And to that I can only say AMEN.

This way to the SMEX. Please have some tissues on hand. (more…)

2011 Roundup Part 1: To All the Boys I’ve Loved This Year

So it’s that time of the year again to cast a retrospective eye on the events of the last 12 months. Kicking off the whole year-in-review process here at Midnight Express is my little tribute to the boys who contributed to many late nights and, uh, lost hours. Yeah, let’s just leave it as that.

But before we begin, a little song:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved This Year

To all the boys I’ve loved this year
Whose vids now clog my computer
Naked Shirtless hunks and high school hosts
I dedicate this post
To all the boys I’ve loved this year

To all the boys I stalked like mad
On Tumblr and the Internet
God, where did my time go?
I need a life I know
I swear I was never this shallow.

The year is coming to an end
‘tis now time to say goodbye
‘Cos other pretty boys are coming round the bend
And I’ve only 24 hours in a day…

To all the boys who shared my life
Who now are someone else’s vice
I’m glad you came along
It saddens me to say so long
To all the boys I’ve loved this year

(Adapted from To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson)

This was written in a hormonally charged fog so if you’re hoping to glean some intelligent insight into the dramas of the past year, I’m afraid I’ll have to refer you to Dramabeans. Otherwise, welcome! *mild spoilers here and there*