Midnight Diner is Food for the SOUL!

I’ve recently got hooked on a hidden gem of a TV series. It’s a Japanese slice of life drama called ‘Shinya Shokudo’ which translates as Midnight Diner. It started in 2009 and five seasons have been made so far, with Seasons 4 and 5 having a slightly different title: Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. These recent seasons were produced by Netflix and this is where you can find the show. But be careful because it’s easy to start watching from Season 4 and completely miss the first three seasons.

“Master” played by Kaoru Kobayashi

Midnight Diner is about a tiny Japanese restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo that is open from midnight to 7 a.m. It’s run by a man who everyone calls “Master”. He has a very limited menu with only one dish, a kind of pork stew, and three drinks: beer, sake and shochu. But he will prepare any dish the customer requests, so long as he has the ingredients. The customers order the kinds of dishes that you don’t usually get at a typical Japanese restaurant. They are often comfort foods more commonly prepared at home. Each dish has a special meaning to the customer and we usually learn the customer’s story during the episode.

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Red Letter Media’s KENOBI Review

Have you watched any of the YouTube Channel Red Letter Media‘s film or TV reviews? They became famous for their 2009 70-minute video review of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It was released in seven 10-minute parts and Part 1 is still their most-viewed video with over 10 million views. The video review is presented by the character Mr. Plinkett and the criticism is satirical and humorous. It upset a lot of Star Wars Prequel fans because of its tone and approach.

Red Letter Media Re:View KENOBI Ep. 1 to 4

Last weekend I did a Livestream talking about Red Letter Media’s Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Show Review. Their mostly positive reaction and comments about the show were quite surprising, as I’d expected them to rip it apart. Mike and Rich were mainly positive about it with Jay being the most critical. I wasn’t sure if they were being serious or not. They offered comments like “I feel guilty for enjoying it,” “It’s super okay,” and “It looks cheap and the writing isn’t great yet I’m having fun watching it.” Maybe they were going for the “so bad it’s good” approach? Or perhaps they just wanted to get a quick review recorded and uploaded? It’s possible their recent experiences watching the PICARD show have broken them, as they are much more into Star Trek than Star Wars. Their Picard reviews are very funny, by the way. I recommend them if you need a good laugh.

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The Boys Season 3 | Thoughts on the First Four Episodes

Is anyone watching the new season of The Boys? I’m curious because I’m not hearing much “conversation” about it on social media. Has everyone given up on it after the disappointing Season 2? Or is it because it was overshadowed by the release of Stranger Things, Obi Wan Kenobi, and The Orville?

The first three episodes of Season 3 dropped on Amazon Prime on June 3rd. Episode 4 came out last Friday and a new episode will be released weekly until the season ends. I’m watching it and I’m enjoying it a lot more than Season 2. Sure, it’s no Sopranos but at least it’s more entertaining than recent Disney content. I’m looking at you Moon Knight and Kenobi. Watching an episode of The Boys after one of Kenobi really highlights the difference in quality between the two shows, particularly in the writing, directing and performances.

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Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1

I was planning to go see Top Gun Maverick last Friday night but the first seven episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 were released on Netflix. I started watching the first episode and got completely pulled into the story. Trying my best not to binge-watch the whole season that night, I watched the rest of the episodes over the weekend. A new show hasn’t had that effect on me since Cobra Kai. I’m still going to go see Maverick as I keep hearing how good it is.

Are you a fan of Stranger Things? I’ve enjoyed each season to varying degrees. Season 1 is my favourite, but this new season came pretty close to replacing it. Especially the first four episodes of Season 4. Here’s my brief Spoiler-Free review covering some of the things I enjoyed about it.

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Moon Knight TV Series Episodes 1 & 2: See the Bad Moon Rising?

A few years ago, I read the Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood run on Moon Knight (2016). I was already aware of the character who is often referred to as “Marvel’s Batman.” The Lemire run is a really good story by the way and I recommend it. In the comics, the main character is a man called Marc Spector, but we don’t really see him in the first episode. Instead, the focus is on Steven Grant, an alter ego of Marc Spector in the comics. Not forgetting that Moon Knight is also an alter ego of Marc Spector. Or is it the other way round? Yep, alter egos of alter egos. Anyone else confused yet?

In the comics, the Steven Grant alter ego is a kind of Bruce Wayne figure–a millionaire playboy (remember that trope?) who finances Moon Knight’s missions. In the Marvel TV series he is a simpering, whimpering museum worker who gets bullied and disrespected by pretty much everyone he works with. Oscar Isaac plays him as a kind of screwball comedy bumbling buffoon because I think that’s how he was written. It grated on me after a few minutes, as you can probably tell.


Episode 1

*This was my raw reaction straight after watching Episode 1. Please note that I come to this series as a fan of the comic book character.*

“I have a question. Why have they made Oscar Isaac’s character “Steven Grant” such a bumbling, mumbling idiot? He’s like a silly little soy-boy from start to finish, and displays zero masculinity, surprise surprise. He has a weird accent, too, speaking as a Brit. It’s not terrible, but it’s a bit erratic and the tone of his voice is strange. This episode was too long, too slow, remarkably dull and didn’t really tell us anything about his character. Oh, apart from him being a useless buffoon who pretty much everybody disrespects. There’s some very dodgy CGI and we only get a brief glimpse of the Moon Knight costume right at the end of this 42-minute episode. Disney Marvel strikes again! NOT a recommend.”

My Video Review of Moon Knight Episode 1 (5 min)

To offer some positives, both Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke give solid performances, even if Isaac’s interpretation is whacky and weird–whacky like Wakizashi? Possibly. It’s well-shot with some lovely scenery and there’s a clever use of mirrors and reflections. As a Brit, it was refreshing to see London as a main setting. There’s also a nice use of music and songs in the episode, even if the Wham song during the car chase scene takes away any tension or sense of threat. Can you guess the name of the song? It is just a silly comedy after all. I’d hate to see Disney Marvel take anything seriously.


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The Book of Power Rangers: Episode 3 | Short Reaction

They say Laughter is the Best Medicine. I agree. I felt absolutely brilliant and Genki after watching the hover-bike “chase” scene in episode 3 of The Book of Beta Fett. Please allow me to share my 3-minute video reaction. It might be just what you need? Or maybe not.😉


By the way, I have been enjoying parts of the series. There’s some good things in it but this is NOT Boba Fett. And that “racing” scene was more Spy Kids than Star Wars. Give me a good pod race instead!

-Wakizashi, *just turned 49 today, Friday 14th, and I’m feeling young!*

The Wheel of Time (TV Series) Episode 4 Review

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the books beyond The Eye of the World, so I’m coming to this series as a “newbie” and writing my reaction as a newbie.


Logaine using his power

Episode 4: The Dragon Reborn

Initial Thoughts & Short Review

This episode starts off with an attack on the city of Ghealdan and finishes with a magical battle in the Aes Sedai camp. The action scenes are exciting and well realized, there’s some good character building and more of the WOT world is revealed. The FX used to show the use of magic are excellent with the Power depicted as snaking and spiraling lines of energy. We get to see the Fade in action for the first time in a brief fight scene between one of the eyeless creatures and Gleeman Thom Merrilin. The Fade is impressively scary and hints at its powers as it easily catches the daggers thrown by Thom.

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The Wheel of Time (TV Series) Initial Thoughts on Episodes 1, 2, 3

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the books beyond The Eye of the World, so I’m coming to this series as a “newbie” and writing my reaction as a newbie.


“This power, it’s meant for women, and women alone. And when you touch it, you make it filthy.”

So says a woman dressed in red, part of a group of women on horseback who have chased down a man running for his life. The women are members of the “Aes Sedai,” an all-female order who can channel an elemental force known as the “One Power.” We are told this man is going mad and the woman proceeds to use her powers to kill him. We don’t see him die, we just hear his screams.

Well, quite a shocking opening. It seems that the magic in this world can only be wielded by women; women who have been trained by the Aes Sedai. If men try to use this power, they will lose their minds and “break the world.” This has happened before, and is referred to in a brief prologue in the first episode:

“Many years ago, men who were born with great power believed they could cage darkness itself. When they failed, the seas boiled, mountains were swallowed up, cities burned, and the women of the Aes Sedai were left to pick up the pieces. These women remember one thing above all else: the man who brought the breaking of the world. And him they named Dragon. Now this man has been born again.”

Moiraine, from Episode 1: Leavetaking

And so the journey begins!

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