Category Archives: Television

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The Pregnancy of Kentaro Hiyama Goes from Manga to Netflix with He’s Expecting

The Pregnancy of Kentaro Hiyama

The Netflix Original Series He’s Expecting, a series produced and planned in collaboration with TV Tokyo, will be released globally in 2022, only on Netflix.

Based on the manga The Pregnancy of Kentaro Hiyama by Eri Sakai (published by BE LOVE KC/Kodansha), the show humorously reverses the lifestyles of men and women and explores the differences between them, centered around the question, “What if a man became pregnant?” The protagonist is faced with various issues ingrained in society that had been invisible to him until his pregnancy. This is a story of growth as both the people around him and he himself gradually change while he battles these issues. When an elite ad man gets pregnant, he’s suddenly subjected to prejudices against pregnant men, forcing him to rethink everything he knew.

The story takes place in a world where—in rare cases—men can conceive and give birth. Kentaro Hiyama, an elite ad man, suddenly finds out one day that he is pregnant. His partner, Aki Seto, never thought she would become a parent, so the two are at first confused by this unexpected event. As a pregnant man, Kentaro will face the scrutiny of the company and society, and will shed light on the hardships experienced by pregnant women. Challenged by many problems associated with modern pregnancy and childbirth, the two will have to face reality and make the ultimate decision: to have a baby or not. 

The series will be directed by Yuko Hakoda and Takeo Kikuchi. Hakoda is an up-and-coming director who began her career working on commercials. She won the Best Director Award in the Asian Newcomer Category at the Shanghai International Film Festival for her debut feature film “Blue Hour” (2019). Kikuchi is a talented director who made his feature debut with “Dear Deer” (2015), and has continued to release feature films since then, winning the Best New Director Award at the 9th TAMA Film Awards and the New Director Award at the Osaka Cinema Festival 2018 for both “Hello Goodbye” and “Bokyo” released in 2017.  The screenplay is written by Yoshitatsu Yamada, known for “The Naked Director” series (2019, 2021), as well as Yukiko Sode (”Aristocrats” (2021), etc.) and Chihiro Amano (“Mrs. Noisy” (2020), etc.).

The Jupiter’s Legacy Trailer is Here

No legacy lives forever. The first generation of superheroes have kept the world safe for nearly a century. Now their children must continue their legendary ideals. Jupiter’s Legacy is streaming only on Netflix on May 7th, 2021.

The show is based on the comic book series from Mark Millar and Frank Quitely.

Jupiter’s Legacy, the comic, was published by Image and debuted in 2013. The series is about the conflict between generations of superheroes. A group of aging superheroes known as the Union used the powers they gained in 1932 to better mankind. Their children must deal with living up to their parent’s legacy. The series ran for 10 issues.

TV Review: Kung Fu S1E1 Pilot

Kung Fu The CW

Kung Fu “Pilot”

Director: Hanelle M. Culpepper
Writers: Christina M. Kim
Starring: Olivia Liang, Tzi Ma, Valencia Budijanto, Yvonne Chapman, Vincent Chang, Kheng Hua Tan, Tony Chung, Shannon Dang, Vanessa Kai, Sunghee Lapell, Link Baker, Eddie Liu, Rebecca Olson, Debbie Podowski, Nitin Prasad, Jon Prasida, Gavin Stenhouse

Summary

A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen, to drop out of college. She goes on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. When she returns, she finds her hometown overrun with crime and corruption. Nicky uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice. All the while she searches for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

Positives

Kung Fu “Pilotintroduces us to a very likable protagonist, Nicky. The development that is present concerning the complexity of the character, proves Christina M. Kim’s storytelling abilities are superior to most. Within the first episode, she gets sent to China so that she can meet a husband. It gives us a new angle on the arranged marriage trope that only endears to her from the get-go. It adds layers to what some may view as an anachronistic cultural pillar.

The character of Pei-ling, played by the immensely talented Vanessa Kai, makes me wonder why she has not more juicy roles like this. The role showcases her talents. The show has two of my favorite actors. Tzi Ma, who coincidentally played Mulan’s father in the live-action remake, and Kheng Hua Tan, who played Constance Wu’s mother, in Crazy Rich Asians. Both of these actors are not only prolific but have long-deserved roles like these which have shown their range.

The family dynamics within the show have a unique voice. The main character’s relationship with her parents and her siblings is where the show really shines. The mythology that is introduced is probably the other thing I most liked about this show. It certainly makes the original show feel pedestrian. The sensitivity and research devoted to the world-building, makes this show already stand heads and shoulders above the rest of the shows at the CW. This show has so many people in the cast that are Asian. Much like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, it acknowledges the fact but doesn’t dwell on it. It envelops the audience into what eventually is a well-told story.

Negatives

Kung Fu is what the world needs now. The only things I can really gripe about is some of the story choices. The first being that her love interest is not really interesting, but only time will tell if he is fully rounded as a character. The second is the similarities to the story of Mulan, which I understand is a zeitgeist touchpoint for most viewers, but this story is gripping enough without evoking it.

Verdict

Kung Fu “Pilotis an excellent introductory episode that only shares a name with the original show.  This is a relevant show which infuses family dynamics and martial arts, something I have been missing since Into The Badlands.

My Little Pony: Pony Life Season 2 Debuts On Discovery Family Channel April 10

My Little Pony: Pony Life

Mark your calendars, every pony! My Little Pony: Pony Life is back for a second season of friendship, magic, and laughs with the Mane 6 starting April 10 at 11:30/10:30c on Discovery Family. The eOne produced series will also stream live and on-demand on Discovery Family GO, the network’s TV Everywhere app.

Season 2 of My Little Pony: Pony Life continues to feature the Mane 6 galloping through Sugarcube Corner. Together, they discover mysterious objects, uncover puzzling scenarios and experience binding moments. The second season of My Little Pony: Pony Life challenges the Mane 6 with tough decisions that test their strength, such as Rarity having to choose between her friends or the opportunity of a lifetime she’s presented with. MY LITTLE PONY fans should look forward to endless adventures with unexpected twists and turns in every episode.

Each 11-minute bite-sized episode of season 2 of My Little Pony: Pony Life features stories accompanied with humor and sparks of magic. In the series premiere episodes titled “Cute Impact & The Crystal Capturing Contraption,” Twilight Sparkle makes a startling discovery but instead of telling her friends, she decides this is one problem she must solve alone. Meanwhile, in hopes of becoming Equestria’s newest pony news reporter, Fluttershy interviews the rest of the Mane 6 about the coming Cotton Candy Comet, but Pinkie Pie is too distracted to help.

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