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Defendant
2 people found this review helpful
by kez
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I gave an all 10 for everything because this drama is no joke. The moment I started watching this, I was hooked. Watching an airing drama with this kind of genre could make you go crazy thinking and guessing what could've happen and such. But it was FUN, don't get me wrong. The story was actually common but the intensity and the attack they did was very different. There were twists in read more each episode that you wouldn't expect. And each episode will give you a roller coaster ride. Acting wise, you have no problem especially with Ji Sung. He is exceptional. I strongly believe he deserves the Best Actor award in the Drama Awards at the end of the year. Also, the kid who played as Ha Yeon was totally good. A promising child actress! Um Ki Joon too was a great actor. At first I was confused if he really had a twin but no, it was just him who played two roles. You would know the actors did a good job when you're attached already to the point of hating them, loving them, pitying them, etc.

Lastly, the friendship that was built inside the cell was so precious. You'll definitely love them. It reminds me of Miracle in Cell No. 7 all of a sudden. SNSD's Yuri was good too. She proved that she could act but can be better in her future dramas. All in all, it was a 100000/10.
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Defendant
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
THIS DRAMA IS DEFINITELY A MUST WATCH!

The first episodes of this show were addicting, and got me hooked immediately. The plot is amazing and very well executed & distributed throughout the whole show. There was never one time where I felt that the plot was dragging. The ends of the episodes always ended at a note that left the viewer wanting to know what happened asap!

All the actors in this read more are talented, and portrayed their roles well. I was a bit reluctant to watch this because of how Yuri was casted, but she proved to be a better actress than I expected. Uhm Ki Joon and Ji Sung were definitely the MVPs of the drama. Amazing acting from the both of them. Ji Sung's emotions were so raw and realistic, while Uhm Ki Joon perfectly played out his psychopath role.

The OST is so good...not the best in my opinion for a drama, but it always added to the scenes, and intensified the moments when played.

This is one of the only dramas I watched airing that I have not dropped...Each episode is worth the watch. Despite the darkness of this show, there are many hilarious scenes within...the bromance between several of the prison mates is truly heartwarming..

Overall awesome drama, love all the characters (even the antagonists) ..if you love shows full of action and thriller elements, yet also have comedy sprinkled in the middle, watch Defendant.
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Defendant
3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this show was so good. It had the best ending ever. I am sad this show is over. I will definitely watch this show and over. Great cast, actors, story. Overall this show is the best. I hope this show wins awards
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Behind Your Smile
0 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
I really enjoyed most of this drama. I don't normally do revenge / melodramas but I really enjoyed the "badness" of the main male character in the first episode, so I kept watching. His thought process and planning skills kept me intrigued. The main female's character was slightly annoying, but the secondary characters were likable enough to help make everything flow well.

The plot was good and I enjoyed the character development. read more The ending was kind of "vanilla" compared to the rest of the show. Don't get me wrong, it was fine, just a little vanilla.
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Defendant
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
This is the truest example of how a drama should start, develop and end. *Drama writers/directors take note* - this drama was pure BRILLIANT!!! From the story, to the acting, even to the music! *I love you baby* ;) Haha, A very enjoyable drama that never made me loose interest not even for a split second - not even during the days in between waiting for a new episode to air. Every read more week I was anticipating this drama, I couldn't get enough of it, I even wanted to watch every episode over again after I saw it (I had to really hold myself back from doing that - and I've never had that problem before b/c I never desired to watch an episode I had just watched over again right away lol) - you can bet I'm going to marathon this drama once again starting tomorrow from start to finish! Yes, it's simply that good! Hey, it even made it into my top 5!

Story: It's about a man who is sentenced to death for killing his wife and daughter and his desperate attempt to prove himself innocent. When your life takes an turn from a revered prosecutor with a loving family to a death row inmate who murdered his family - you know something big is in store.

Cast/Characters: Ji Sung as Park Jeong Woo - I can't praise his role and acting in this drama enough. He really outdid himself in this and I'm so very proud of him, I can't imagine any other actor in this role - it was simply perfect for him! In my eyes this was his greatest work yet and it showcased his best acting abilities yet! I loved his character and his determination to prove himself innocent. You could see every single emotion flash across his face. Brilliant acting.
Uhm Ki Joon as Cha Min Ho - you can't really get a better actor to play the villain role in a drama, I've seen him play many villain roles and this one is my favorite. A great actor for sure! He and Ji Sung were perfect acting partners - and they had great acting chemistry (heck, the entire cast had great chemistry). I love villains who are pure villain - they make you love to hate them. (if that sounds right - a pure villain with no heart one can only loathe but a villain who does have some heart - makes you hate them but in a way care more about their character - even though you can't wait to see them pay for their crimes). I would love to see these two in another drama together again.
Shin Rin Ah as Ha Yeon (Jeong Woo's daughter) this child is brilliant in her acting - she will make you cry, she's so good. She's a natural.
Kim Min Suk as Seong Kyu one of my favorite supporting characters in this drama, I loved the time we had with him in this.
Jo Jae Yun as Cheol Shik - the best side-kick one could ever wish for! I love this actor in every drama I see him in (however I do much prefer him to be our good guy so I can adore him fully!) He always makes me laugh in the dramas he's in - he's like your comedy relief from all the suspense lol and his bromance with Ji Sung in this is so nice! I sometimes wish he was in every drama I watched lol
All of Jeong Woo's cell mates deserve to be mentioned: Moong Chi (Oh Dae Hwan), Rockfish (Jo Jae Ryong), Bundle (Woo Hyun), & Bang Jang (Yun Yeong Hyun). Attorney Seo Eun Hye was wonderful in her role, as was Seok (Min Ho's henchman) in his role. So many actors and they are all so good! More mentions: Tae Soo (Kang Sung Min), Jun Hyuk (Oh Chang Seok), Prosecutor Go Dong Yoon (Lee Shin Sung), & Prosecutor Choi Tae Hong (Park Ho San) I really liked him - such a good mentor and head prosecutor ^^

Music: "I Love You Baby" will have a whole new meaning to you after watching this drama and you'll always be reminded of Cheol Shik whenever you hear this song ^_^ I love how they incorporated this classic hit song into this drama ^^

Re-watch value: 10/10 - You know I'll re-watch this one and right away too! I can't get enough of it, so I have to see it all over again from start to finish - not missing a single second (there will be Zero skip-watching folks). ;)

I HIGHLY recommend this to EVERYONE! It's the best drama of the year so far! Heck, it's the best drama I've seen in a long time - sure others have been good or even really great to excellent but none of them top this one in terms of enjoyment and brilliant story writing and acting! This is a true GEM - a Masterpiece if I ever saw one!
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Behind Your Smile
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 4.5
Behind your smile is my first Taiwanese drama and I am thankful to the friend who prompted me to watch it. Even without being particularly original or unique, Behind Your Smile was very entertaining and fun to watch having something for everyone without being too cheesy or heavy.

Story
The story is a combination of a romantic comedy with a grain of melodrama accompanied by a revenge subplot to spice things up. read more Tsundere male, seeking revenge for his destroyed family, meets the naïve and gullible female lead who tries to find her impeached mother. The two are intrinsically linked and form an ill-fated relationship that develops into a deep romance – havoc, tears, cheesiness and twists ensued.

The drama, despite its 75-minute-long episodes, was extremely easy to watch, enjoyable, not too basic plot-wise and not too complicated just enough to keep things interesting. Even if it was extended I can’t say it was dragged. The plotline was well-thought out making forward steps either on story or character-development.

My favourite part of the drama was the fact that it had a something for everyone. Mainly a romance-comedy, it was heavy on romance and even if I didn’t see any particular chemistry between the leads they shared some steamy, fan-servicy kisses, they looked great together and had good synergy.
Moreover, the comedy was kinda cheesy but cute and entertaining. While lastly, my favourite part, the backstory was not new but well-written and strong, implicating families, revenge, had twists and some melodrama, good for every taste and thorougly entertaining. I sincerely enjoyed the whole thing.

Continuing, the music was sensuous even if it was regularly repeated. Worth downloading, what I mainly enjoyed was the re-arrangement of the title song to fit many different situations, dramatic scenes, comedy scenes ect.

Character development and the concept of forgiveness and selflessness drives the story and gives significant lessons to viewers.

Acting
The acting wasn’t the drama’s strongest suit but I can’t say it prevented me from enjoying it.

Liu Eugene is probably the weakest link of the chain, maybe it was her character maybe not. It was kind of annoying to watch her being that defenseless at first, also her childlike attitude didn’t help, but it was part of the character, similar characters are usual in dramaland. In some scenes I was enjoying her performances some other times she couldn't convey her feelings properly tending to fall short or overact. Not bad overall, but a bit weak.

Hong Angel excelled in being a bad bitch with anger issues, I loved her, her role was a bit limiting, and she also couldn’t cry express any other emotion other than fury to save her life. She was good though as a raging mean girl and that was why she was there.

Yang Esther is probably my favourite out of the female characters, cute, funny and badass with a misunderstood emotional side. Beautiful as well.

I left my personal favourite for last; Chang Marcus wasn’t only the best actor in this but also he is easily the most handsome Asian actor that has graced my laptop screen. Extremely charismatic and charming he had the arrogant, mean bastard with a soft and kind interior act down. I’ll be stalking his next projects.

The full supporting cast did alright but the drama was mainly Eugene and Marcus, even the rest of the main cast didn’t really have a prominent role in this. –also thank god no unnecessary love triangles!

Recommend/Rewatch
As it was already mentioned, behind your smile has something for everyone. Rom-com fans will definitely enjoy this; the backstory makes this good enough for people who like more serious dramas too. It is a light-hearted drama, easy watch but still interesting with a strong plot. Even if there is nothing innovative about this drama, it is cliché done right. I will never rewatch this but I can see how it can hold some rewatching quality for some viewers.
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Flower Boy Next Door
0 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 2.0
Unlike many Korean drama series, what made me love this drama were actually the different characters' personalities.

You have to start of with Enrique, the most cheerful and bubbly drama character you'll ever see. I mean, I sometimes hear his hysterical laugh while dreaming.
Go Dok Mi, who we all can relate to. Personally, I was amazed by the development of her character throughout the series. You could see the different faces read more that she reveals in each new episode, which was quite interesting as well.
I just couldn't leave out the adorable love story of Dong Hoon and the ever so lovable Watanabe-kun! Focussing on their stories a bit as well was kind of a refreshment throughout the series.

With all of that being said, this drama didn't score major points when it came to the whole plot. I'm biased towards series with a plot sequence of "a community life". I'm very fond of these type of stories really, I've watched a lot of anime and series regarding that. But somehow, this story felt very undeveloped and filled with plot-holes most of the time. Would've liked if the creators of the drama left in the "brother", living across Dok Mi, as the main character, I think that aspect would've changed a lot.

Anyway, lovely series for rom-com genre lovers!
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Defendant
15 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.5
Putting this drama into words is not easy. Spending the last few days, I was trying to come up with one word that can describe Defendant, and after some thought I think I got it. The drama is simply captivating and mesmerizing!

Story
Without being particularly original or unique, defendant feels completely one of a kind. Part a legal-crime thriller part melodrama, Defendant is solely a two-man show. On the one hand, read more it centers on a prosecutor –the hero- who finds himself in prison, is accused of murdering his wife and child and dealing with memory lose on top of everything else. On the other hand, it focuses on a wicked man –the villain- who tries desperately to get away with his crimes. The drama develops partly as a mystery and later as an endless manhunt between the two as the one tries to destroy the other.

First half of the drama takes places in prison. I sincerely appreciated the fact that the drama did not spend time with court and other boring legal procedures but rather looked everything from a different personal-dramatic view of the hero delving deep into his troubled thoughts regarding his indictment. The memory loss plot is just a device to drive the story nothing more, so don’t worry about things dragging out a lot. The amnesia plot was handled in a very refreshing way in my opinion.

Second half of the drama is way more engaging, more dramatic, more lively filled with tension, angst and twists. The acting is luscious and you will never get bored of seeing the turning tables and schemes between the 2 lead characters. The drama is melodramatic without being mawkish, but there are also comic scenes and characters to relieve the tension and they succeeded without ridiculing it. There are quite a few characters implicated in all this making the drama that much more thrilling and mysterious.

While the drama really left a very strong impression that could translate into a perfect 10, specific reasons restrict me from it. Firstly the conveniently written base story. Frankly, there is no drama that is not at least partly convenient, that is how they work, and then the drama is just so good you’ll barely mind the convenience here and there.

Moreover, the main drawback I could address is the slow development of the plot especially in the first half of the drama. I remember me thinking that the drama offered its first real plot development, since the first 2 episodes, in episodes 7 and 8. After that the story really picks up pace. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every episode. Even in episodes in which nothing much happened, the drama managed to be fascinating, bewitching and easy to watch.

Finally, although more of a nagging stretch from my part, i felt that the drama somehow mistreated its flawless ensemble cast by focusing too much on the 2 leads. It's not that the characters felt unreal, it is exactly that they were so well written that they deserved some kind of story of their own, namely Kwon Yuri's character. All that being said this focus on the main leads just gave Ji Sung more time to be flawless on my screen i shouldn't nag! I hereby reassure you none of these minor shortcomings were enough to reduce, even by little, the awesomeness of this drama!

Acting
Despite the great and thrilling plot, best part of the drama for me was the acting. The cast is actually quite large, with almost every character having a significant role to play. I cannot argue that the acting was an overall 10, but as I mentioned already this is a two-man show and these 2 men simply outdid themselves!

I can safely say we all agree that Kill Me Heal Me was Ji Sung’s best work; he demonstrated perfectly his unrealistically good acting skills. Ladies and Gents, I present you, the drama in which Ji Sung managed to outdo himself(!). His acting as a tainted inmate fighting with himself over his charges trying to solve the puzzle was magnificent and astounding. I doubt there is another male actor who can break down crying, act like a lunatic like that and come off as firm but also desperate and emotional as Ji Sung did. He sent chills down my spine, goosebumps. Either acting as a disoriented inmate or a strong and driven prosecutor or an aching father and husband he was immaculate. He knows exactly how much soul and emotion to pour into his performance in every scene. Excquisite! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again best actor in dramaland.

The duo is formed with Uhm Ki Joon. I’ve seen him before but never like this. He portrays the antagonist but somehow he had such great syngery with Ji Sung, something I’ve never seen before. His portrayal of twin siblings was firstly impeccable; secondly his performance of a despicable criminal was spotless and shivering. A corrupted unstable person who still felt human and somehow mistreated and misunderstood. Undoubtedly, i never saw me having these feelings about such a villain. Heavenly acting by Uhm Ki Joon! A character you’ll love to hate. The two men managed to really make the drama shine 10x brighter than it would have on its own and they complemented each other completely.

The ensemble cast had a few really good actors. Yuri generally gets a lot of shit for her acting, she is considered the female lead, but considering the significance of her character she barely appeared. She served a purpose, and imo she held her own next to acting beasts despite being rather forgettable. I especially liked Uhm Hyeon Kyeong, not a big role, but also a significant and poetic one.

Oh Chang Seok and Kang Sung Min played similar characters that developed in the exactly opposite way, amazing writing here, they were great. All the cellmates were immaculate and adorable too, the drama generally featured some of the best and more likeable side characters I’ve ever seen.

Lastly, my personal favourites, Kim Min Suk who was sentimental and touching, loved him and my endless love and appreciation for Shin Rin Ah, the ridiculously talented young girl who never cease to amaze.

Even if the acting wasn’t perfect overall, it deserves a 10 for the perfect casting and synergy.

Recommend/Rewatch.
Despite your preferred drama genre, defendant is a drama that cannot be easily put to words, it should be watched. Therefore, I recommend it to everyone. It is emotional, exciting, thrilling, mysterious and intriguing. It does not have romance but believe me you won’t even care! I can see myself rewatching it in the future.
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  • Overall 4.0
  • Story 2.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
I'd like to preface this review by saying that I don't enjoy giving bad reviews like this. Asian dramas themselves are underdogs in the Hollywood-biased world where I'm from, and giving them a poor rating feels wrong. But this drama...I had to.

TL/DR? This might be better received among watchers that frequent lakorns with slap/kiss themes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with and/or disinterested in that concept, The Handsome Cowboy read more isn't for you. Trust me.

Story:
The broken story was my biggest issue with the drama. I realize that with an eight-episode romcom my expectations shouldn't be THAT high to begin with, but still...It didn't deliver.

To me, the success or failure of a story is determined by the writer convincing the audience that, despite a character's flaws, he or she is still worth rooting for. To me, Sibtit isn't. Not by a long shot. The drama writer created Sibtit as an extremely realistic bad boy. At first, I loved that. Realistic and flawed characters that aren't plucked right out of fantasyland? Heck yeah. Sibtit pushed buttons just as he should have, and I loved the first few episodes.

But as I got further into the drama, he continued to push them, even after a series of giant mistakes, where I expected him to head down the path of redemption. And it didn't stop. They egged his character on to the point where he became unforgivable, and there wasn't NEARLY enough time to redeem him. Does that kind of stuff work in full-length dramas? Sure! In eight-episode romcoms? NO. What am I supposed to take away from the story? That dating violence is okay because the OTP got their (undeserved, imo) happily ever after? I was supposed to be laughing and fangirl swooning, but it just made me sick.

On top of all of that (as if that wasn't enough), there's Prikkang. Her blinding faith in Sibtit - how she was so often a victim to his force or neglect and STILL forgave him - it was sickening to me. I understand the appeal of her character in a general sense. I get it. But this was too much when paired with Sibtit. She got the guy in the end, but at what cost? Was it worth it? Is relationship happiness more important than your value as a person? Was your sacrifice really that noble?

UGH. I just...can't anymore with this.

Acting/Cast:
Despite all of his character's faults and the drama's poor execution, I can't rob Push the respect of playing a realistic character well. He brought out every single emotion he should have in such a role. I hated him, and I still struggle with seeing him outside of Sibtit. I thought Esther had a good chemistry with him, too, and she convinced me of her character's gullible and sweet demeanor, no matter what I thought of the story. The rest of the cast fell into recycled archetypes - the GBF, the heinous second female lead, the nice second male lead, etc. Nothing memorable, but nothing particularly bad, either.

Music:
The OST and score to this were unmemorable. I believe it suited the length and style of the drama fine enough, but I don't recall any of it now, and I doubt that I would recognize it if I heard it in passing.

Rewatch Value:
I won't ever rewatch this unless I'm in a hateful mood and need something to yell at (anybody else have those moods?). There's no good takeaway value in the story, and, frankly, the characters make me want to vomit.
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Behind Your Smile
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
The first three quarters of this drama were brilliant. Sure it was little rough around the edges, which could have been fixed with more depth in the story, growth in characterization but regardless it kept me hooked for 14 episodes. I can't deny for 14 weeks I loved it and was thoroughly entertained.

It was let down by the ending. I deliberated giving it 9.5 because it really was so good for read more a great majority of it's run but then it set itself up for high standards and expectations which alas it could not meet. Still I would recommend it, even if the end fizzles by comparison of what came before.

Marcus Chang is awesome and I'll definitely be checking out more of his dramas, the rest were good with Sean Lee & Esther Yang being stand outs. The story really did start off so well - great mystery, and good chemistry between the cast. I'm now beginning to think that the 'incorrect/fake' synopsis which hinted at supernatural elements might have even been a marketing ploy just to add 'suspense' to the drama which in the end didn't or couldn't reveal anything less than hackneyed mediocrity in story telling. However there are some brilliant scenes, excellent dialogue and when it's good it's amazing and highly enjoyable. Such a shame because this was well on to becoming a favourite of mine. Having said that I'd watch it again - just skip the ending and would recommend it with a disclaimer - don't hold too many expectations and just enjoy the goodness while it lasts.
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Introverted Boss
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 6.5
  • Story 5.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
This is a drama that I’ve had my eyes on for a while, when I first heard of it, I thought it would be something like Lucky romance, and in a way, it is. I was really surprised by the first scene in this drama though.

When I started this drama, I was expecting it to be a light romantic-comedy, but the first thing that happens in this drama, I think I read more can say this, is that someone kills themselves. I understood it after I kept watching it but I did not expect that.

As the story goes on I noticed myself finding it harder to watch, by the end of the drama I felt like I was forcing my way through it. I had already seen 14 episodes so I thought that there was no point in dropping the drama now with only 2 episodes left, but I’m dropping t halfway through episode 15, I just can’t seem to get through the last two episode. I don’t know if I started watching it with to high expectations or if it’s just not that good. One thing is for sure though. If someone asked me whether they should watch “Lucky romance” or “Introverted boss” I would 100% for sure say “Lucky romance”.

All in all, an okey drama, it's not bad but it wouldn't be the first drama i'd reccomend if someone asked me to reccomend a rom-com.
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Behind Your Smile
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
3 days ago
3 days ago
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Just a little note, This is my first attempt at a review so please bare with me as I try my best to break down my thoughts of Behind Your Smile.
***

First of all... I Loved it!

I know I'm enjoying something when I find myself watching each and every scene without skipping a single moment. It's been a solid two years, if not more, that i've last checked out a read more Taiwanese drama but after watching this, I feel like I have a strong sudden renewed interest in them again.

The storyline is what first intrigued me. As a lover of more darker and revenged filled love stories and as a fan of the Korean Drama Secret, this was just my kind of drama.
I thought the acting from the main cast was great and I really cared about the characters and how their stories would unravel. You liked the characters you're supposed to like and you hated the ones you're supposed to hate.

The writing for the most part was great but It did have a few messy moments.
I feel like this was most apparent with the writing of the main female. Sometimes her character can come across as too whinny and naive to the point she could frustrate you but she really grows into her own as the drama progresses and I did like her character. The chemistry she had with the lead male was amazing. I just couldn't get enough of seeing them together.
The supporting cast were just as interesting. The friends and family were really likable and I enjoyed their scenes a lot.

But the standout performance by far was definitely Zhao Yi Ting. Chang Marcus really did carry this drama by himself and I'm so happy to have discovered him. I'm now such a big fan of his. The way he portrayed the tormented, angry and vulnerable Zhao Yi Ting was perfect. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing him. He frustrated you but at the same time you just wanted to give him a hug. You understood why he was the way he was. You could see his inner struggle through his facial expressions alone and he was always captivating to watch.

As for the music. It was great. I really enjoyed listening to the different renditions. Especially, Shi Shi's, He's Unworthy.

Overall, I found It was definitely worth watching and I have no hesitation in recommending this to others.
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Yowamushi Pedal
1 people found this review helpful
by Luly
Other reviews by this user
4 days ago
4 days ago
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
For a live action adaptation, one which mostly uses the stage musical actors, aired in BS SKY PerfecTV and which isn't intending to have the budget of super productions like Rurouni Kenshin or Shingeki No Kyojin (not that it did much for that one), this was surprisingly good. Considering past experiences with the same characteristics and the lacking results (the Prince of Tennis live action movie being a prominent example), I know read more this could have gone very wrong. Yet, it didn't, and I'm glad.

The drama follows the story closely and, in its short run of 7 episodes, covers from the very first chapter/episode to the preamble to the InterHigh tournament. If you haven't seen the anime, read the manga or watched the stage shows, you'll grasp the story fine, but you're gonna be left with a pretty considerable cliffhanger in the last episode. I wonder if their intention was for viewers to get interested in YowaPeda in general or if they're interested in makeing another season. All in all, it's a good way to get into a very good story, if you're unfamiliar with it, a shorter way than the anime, and if you're a fan, you'll enjoy how closely it depicts it. I personally felt some scenes were stronger in live action form, so watching them again offered perspective, whereas it was questionable in other aspects and posed some limitations.

Even though the cast is mostly compromised of actors of the stage play reprising their roles, the aesthetic is less theatrical and meets the characterization half-way between realistic and a close depiction. There's a few obvious wigs but, for the most part, it's considerably toned down, if you've seen the stage characterizations. Some performers do look older for their roles, especially Gomoto Naoya reprising his classic role as Kinjou, but we've got Ogoe Yuuki as Onoda, thankfully, and Baba Ryoma as Makishima, so there's that.

The performances are surprisingly very good. Fukazawa Taiga as Naruko and Kimura Tatsunari as Imaizumi were really good, but you have to be open-minded with some of the cheesiness that results from a sports anime/manga live action. This is not aiming for realism, that's not what you'll find here, but the performances are heart-felt and, towards the end, very emotional. I'm not sure if the actual racing translates as well into live action realism as one would want (considering on stage is mostly choreography, not aiming for realism at all), but we haven't really reached InterHigh, where all the techniques and individual traits shine the most, so I can't really judge as harshly for what I've seen. The effects are kind of cheesy, but again, I wasn't expecting that much from this, so for what it is, it's good enough.

I don't know if people who aren't into anime/manga or who have never seen a live action of this kind (low budget-y, related to the stage shows, not aiming for big distributions, etc.) will be as thrilled with it as a fan would be, because I understand most of my good reaction comes from low expectations from past experiences. Still, I do think it does good in showcasing the great story this anime/manga has, it respects its characters and plot and you can see how the actors have experience playing these people and do it well. So maybe it could catch someone's interest in continuing to explore the world of YowaPeda, if they're open-minded enough. For fans, I think it does a pretty good job.

I enjoyed the music, although Koi no Hime Hime Pettanko was changed (I guess copyright might have something to do with it), I loved the opening and ending, I'm pretty sure the ending is performed by the cast, and I'm really glad for that.

All in all, I really enjoyed it as a fan of YowaPeda, all things considering, it was good (we learned things from that Prince of Tennis movie, I see), and if you haven't seen anything YowaPeda and have an open mind for some cheesiness and theatrical characterizations, maybe this can be your incentive to give the Sohoku team a chance.
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Eternal Love
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
4 days ago
4 days ago
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
This show is not bad. I dont think it is should have higher rating than Scarlet Heart which is a masterpiece. Eternal Love is probably the first Wuxia Fantasy I skipped watched all the way to the end. I cried heartily at their separation for over 2 episodes.

Love the costumes!!!! Love the hair styles and the makeup. Sceneries are not perfect but pretty good.

These immortals lived hundred thousand years but read more some of their antics are a little lame. Wish for a little bit more new interesting ideas in Wuxia world. Oh well, maybe in another decade. But also what can you expect from a "plagiarized" book.

Little disappointed that Yang Mi character who lived over 70,000+ years still wasn't stronger. She cried too too much at the end. I know that this gut wrenching love but still.... she is a queen with magical powers whose family let her get away with everything and yet... her life wasn't very much interesting. Other than those beautiful gowns....

Ye Hua is too hot. Yang Mi is so beautiful, love her acting. I cant get enough of her.
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Fantastic
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
4 days ago
4 days ago
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Fantastic is a lovely slice of life drama that encompasses many genres: there is romance, comedy, melo, bromance and female friendship. Like many I was worried about the cancer story line but this is not Scent of a Woman (solid drama by the way). I noticed a few viewers seemed to see this as a watered down version but this is an entirely different style drama with a totally different vibe though read more the message is perhaps the same. Kim Hyun Joo plays a very successful writer having to deal with this diagnosis and the return of "foot" actor ex-boyfriend possibly playing the lead in her next drama. If you don't think that sounds like SOAW you'd be right. I consider Fantastic to be one of the overlooked dramas of 2016 so here goes:

Cons: No cancer patient getting treatment ever looks this good and truthfully this is how it is in most tv shows regardless of origin. I know expecting reality in this regard is a bit much but it did bug me a little.

Wow, that's really it.

Pros:

All the actors are solid and a shout out to Joo Sang Wook for playing a bad actor so well. Some of the scenes with the acting coach are so funny. It's not easy to be that bad. Also Kim Tae Hoon as the doc was so good. He is one of those character actors that can do anything: bad guy in Angry Mom, discouraged husband in One More Happy Ending and great as the amazing friend and doc in Fantastic. Really the entire cast is excellent.

Pacing: There are a lot of different stories going on and this drama keeps the pace and flow very well. I especially appreciate this because Ji Soo had a serious surgery situation pop up so, if you watch, that is why he is kind of missing in action as the writers no doubt had to trim down the scope of his story.

Bromance: There's a lot of talk about the bromance in Goblin, but I have to say the story between the two main guys in Fantastic resonated with me so much and was truly amazing. It actually is one of my favorite aspects to this drama.

Story: It went in directions I didn't expect. I can't say too much without spoilers but I thought I'd be watching a bickering couple, k-drama style. Not so much. I thought it will go standard love triangle route...not so much. These characters are adults and they act that way (most of the time); they're not perfect and they make mistakes. I so much appreciated at a certain point when some serious issue happens, they sit down and talk about it. In so many dramas, it's five episodes of angst when a simple discussion could have dealt with it. I also felt this story really shows the power of female friendship, especially with the friend who had kind of fallen away. Who has this not happened to, but it is so true how you can pick those friendships back up again as if no time has passed. One other aspect I liked was the insight into the entertainment industry in regards to management companies and ways they keep their talent in line. I've heard stories out of Korea about this, and the show shines a light on that activity.

Besides the comparisons to Scent of A Woman, the only other issue that I saw some viewers had was with the main male lead....people seemed to think because of the tone of voice JSW uses and the way the character sometimes acts that the guy doesn't have emotional depth. I would just say the longer the drama goes on, the more we see what kind of man he is. I recommend this gem of a drama with one caveat and that is if you or a loved one is dealing with or has dealt with cancer, you might or might not be inclined to watch. This is not a standard melodrama with 16 episodes of angst but still....

Otherwise I'd give it a go.
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