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  • Last Online: Jul 11, 2018
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: USA
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  • Join Date: December 28, 2011

DeceptivelyBlonde

USA

DeceptivelyBlonde

USA
Completed
MR. BRAIN
34 people found this review helpful
Apr 19, 2012
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Wow...this is just such an amazing show. I stumbled across it after watching Satoh Takeru in Bloody Monday since I wanted to see him in something else. At first I was disappointed that he was only going to play a small part in the film. However, I was hooked on the show itself from the first 15-20 minutes in. It takes about that long to figure out what the heck is going on (the beginning doesn't seem at all connected to the plotline as given in the notes), but then it takes off from there and never stops. I had seen several of the cast in other shows (besides Takeru), and they have always played some of my favorite roles. The show just has such amazing acting. Bad guys, good guys, side-not-really-all-that-important guys--all of them do an excellent job. The crimes are all deliciously difficult to solve (or at least to prove), and I love the scientific facts that they keep throwing in. Mr. Brain's impact on everyone around him is so wonderfully done. The writer(s) so excellently show him drawing the people around him into his positive look at life and the possibilities of science. And in drawing in the characters around him, Mr. Brain attracts the interest of the show's viewers at the same time. This show is a little more dark/bloody in some areas than most crime dramas that I watch (definitely not for little kids), but they are so well designed. No crime is the same (which often happens in crime shows where there is more than one crime to solve) and neither are they the run of the mill crime (man kills mistress or some other cliche mystery). These are interesting and unique stories that drew my interest anew with each episode. I have already re-watched this show, and I really with a second season had been made. If I have one complaint, it is that the end seems unfinished. It was obviously designed with a sequel in mind and the end is a little bit of a let-down because of it. If they ever finish it, the show would be almost perfect.

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Completed
Hidarime Tantei EYE
16 people found this review helpful
Jan 5, 2012
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This was a slightly weird drama, and only certain people would enjoy watching it. Some of my friends couldn't stand the basic plotline (one brother giving another his cornea-this is in the description so read that first), but once you get past that, the mystery element is excellent. Each story builds on the previous episode. For once, you aren't trying to figure out who the criminal is, you just want to stop him. It is a fascinating twist on the traditional mystery storyline, and throws in more than enough intrigue and excitement to keep you interested the whole way through. Plus, kudos to the authors for coming up with the unique idea:)

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Completed
Pride and Prejudice
14 people found this review helpful
Feb 20, 2015
21 of 21 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
Pretty well done and very, very tragic all at the same time. This show had some of the best casting I've seen in a drama yet, and Dong Chi (Choi Jin Hyuk) and Kang Soo (Lee Tae Hwan) stole it away pretty quickly. The secondary cast was simply amazing in their roles, and they were almost more important than the leads to me. To be honest, I think of the leads, Kang Soo was the best all around actor although Dong Chi certainly did a wonderful job. But considering that Kang Soo is still a little new, he never once failed his role. They kept in character and made you feel that the emotions they displayed were real and honest. I felt like they had great chemistry, bouncing well off of one another and the rest of the cast members. The relationships between Kang Soo-Chang Gi and Dong Chi - Chief Moon were very well developed. The secondary cast also worked wonderfully with each other, and the script successfully used them as both plot developers and stress-relieving comedy at all the right places. Jang Won (Choi Woo Shik) and Gwang Mi (Jeong Hye Song) were dazzling in their roles and played their parts exceptionally. Without them, the story would have been far to dark and depressing, but with them it was the perfect mix of comedy and serious thought-proving storyline.


I didn't actually really care at all for Han Yeol Moo (Baek Jin Hee), and she took away some of the points I would have given the show. I'm not sure if it was bad acting or bad scripts, but her character just didn't really work. I'm used to the female stars being, well stubborn sure, but mostly good-hearted, solid morals, and someone who thinks of others first. But Yeol Moo has little patience for other people, actively and deliberately hurt her mom, and had no respect for the rule of law or her superiors. I mean, I understand that the point is that when bad guys are in control, you may have to work the system. But she actually was willing to sentence another girl to death or to sacrifice up evidence just to get her and her boyfriend out of trouble. Although the show never dealt with it, she was sometimes quoting basically the same thought processes as the bad guys she wanted to stop. It didn't help that her expressions were non-existent or just felt off, I never felt that her feelings (anger or love alike) were actually real.


Korean Dramas usually focus on personal relationships, with the political message in the background. However, Pride and Prejudice definitely pulled its themes forward, with the romance and friendships being largely a secondary plotline. The show questions the theory that "the ends should justify the means" with both good and bad characters trying to argue their point using this premise. Is it okay to do bad things for a good ending? Or what if you only do something wrong because it is the "lesser evil?" The show pulled in themes of Corruption, Pride, Self-Entitlement, Good v. Evil, Bad Leadership, and knowing when to draw the line. I thought one of the most interesting points the show brought up was the question of what to do when you can't defeat the evil. Most shows want to portray the bad guys as defeatable, but that isn't really true. Whenever one bad guy is defeated, another one is probably going to follow shortly. Furthermore, if the bad guy you want is only a middle-man, is it worth your career to stop him when you know the leader will walk away? We want to put everything on the line only when the person we're chasing is the ultimate evil. But what if he isn't? What if there are 50 others worse than him running around waiting to be stopped later? Will you still risk everything to stop the one? I liked this show just because it made me think, and gave us some interesting things to talk about when it was over.

The plotline was somewhat standard KDrama fare, but also threw in a bunch of unique elements. For the first time ever, there wasn't much of a triangle. This wasn't about the romances; the show wanted you to focus more on the philosophical questions of morality and good citizenship instead. The crime itself was actually well set up and had lots of new or unique little twists and elements. It wasn't the simple murder; there were about ten layers to even plot development, with each character having their own side to tell. The bad guys who weren't really bad guys, the good guys who made horrible mistakes, the bad guys who were just bad guys, and the good guys who were so good as to be little earthly good. The show pulled them all in, asking you to look at humans, our ethical systems, and the important question of when can the right go wrong.

There were of course a few plot holes (especially with the ending being so rushed), but overall, I wasn't too disappointed with it. On the one hand, the weak ending was a really, really weak ending. It went too fast, it left a lot of loose ties, it didn't finish things at all. On the other hand, t was well written and well-designed, even if it left me crying and largely unsatisfied at the end. To be honest, I think it needed an unsatisfying ending, because that's the point. The battle is never over, the next generation simply takes over the reigns and pushes on.

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Completed
RH Plus
14 people found this review helpful
Jan 5, 2012
13 of 13 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
While I admit the story line is extremely cheesy in some places, it is just as sweet and touching in others. The relationship between the characters is incredibly well depicted. This is not an indepth story...if you want that go look at Vampire Prosecutor. But neither should you pass it by. Once you get into the story, it's very entertaining and interesting. The characters grow on you with each episode, and you are rooting for their family by the end. Some of the vampire parts are silly, but it was the best for its time. I would actually be as likely to re-watch this as I would be to re-watch Vampire Prosecutor (and in fact I have re-watched this show a couple times). It's short, and is a great just sit back and watch show.

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Completed
Playful Kiss YouTube Edition
14 people found this review helpful
Apr 19, 2012
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
Having watched "Playful Kiss" the original, I was a little uncertain how these shorter clips would pan out. Personally, I liked "It Started With a Kiss" better than PK because of the dynamics between the main characters. I felt like Seung Jo, while an amazing character, failed to get as much out of the relationship as Ha Ni in the original show. ISWK does a much better job at showing him falling in love as much as she did. However, this special edition more than made up for that weakness in the original show. I liked PK, but I loved this special edition. They are short enough that I've actually re-watched them several times when I want to see something sweet and romantic. They give Seung Jo a more loving character and he seems to have matured more than he did in the original show. I think this actually went a long way towards developing his character for me, and I feel much better about re-watching the original now that I have seen these specials. If you are watching or liked PK, I would HIGHLY recommend watching these.

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Completed
They Kiss Again
9 people found this review helpful
Apr 19, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
I rarely watch dramas longer than 16 episodes by myself. Although I have watched several longer dramas, this is usually with friends who help keep me interested and engaged. However, I watched all 30 episodes of ISWAK and 20 episodes of They Kiss Again on my own, and have since re-watched them several times. I really only have one favorite drama in the different drama genres, and this show (both season) is my absolutely favorite sweet romance. Having watched Playful Kiss first, I was curious to see how this version told the story. I immediately fell in love with the characters in the first season, but I was still worried that the second season would not live up to my expectations. All too often, second seasons falter behind the amazing quality of their predecessors and I am frequently left disappointed. However, I was delighted to discover that this was not true with They Kiss Again. If anything, this story was actually better than the first. It Started With a Kiss gets the main characters together, but They Kiss Again shows them developing their relationship. This isn't the normal story where everyone is more or less perfect and the amazing guy marries that perfectly sweet girl who finally got prince charming. The charm of They Kiss Again is the fact that Zhi Shu and Xiang Qin are more than half of their own problems. Zhi Shu is emotionally stunted, and has to learn that there is beauty in Xiang Qin's simplicity. On the other hand, Xiang Qin has to learn to stand on her own two feet. They learn that they both have weaknesses and that marriage is about learning to love and accept those weaknesses. I have rarely seen such excellent story and character development, particularly in a second season for a show. This is beautifully written, and I freely admit that I still go back to my favorite parts (which I have bookmarked) whenever I need a pick-me-up. This is sweet, charming, intelligent, and well worth the time to watch. It's romance, but it is thoughtful romance. I truly love this show and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first season

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Completed
Bloody Monday 2
13 people found this review helpful
Jan 5, 2012
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
Amazing! I don't usually enjoy 2nd or 3rd seasons to shows, because they never quite meet up to the awesomeness of the first season. However, I was happily surprised by the extremely well-done Bloody Monday 2. My first recommendation: You definitely must watch Bloody Monday 1 before this one. While this isn't exactly a continuation of Bloody Monday 1, it is impossible to catch all the nuances without having seen BM1 first. Furthermore, I would recommend not waiting too long in between them. The storyline was naturally not quite as good as BM1, but it was still extremely well-written. The writers threw in enough plausible red herrings and diverging plotlines to keep you satisfactorily confused until the very end once again. The story successfully clears up any remaining issues from the first season, and is much better for having the same cast as the first show. The cast once again play their roles perfectly and believably. It's amazing how well they all work together. This is another definite MUST WATCH, and I almost wish there would be a season 3. Three cheers for one of the few shows where I've willingly seen the second season more than 1ce thru :-)

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Completed
Missing Noir M
8 people found this review helpful
Jun 15, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I'm going with mixed emotions on this one (but mostly good!). . .

Uniqueness & Plot Depth ~ On the one hand, I LOVED the first 8 or so episodes! Original, intriguing, exceptional story-lines that kept me guessing and fixed to Lawrence the Laptop's screen in suspense. I'd probably give them a 5 star for uniqueness of plot and definitely good theme depth. The sheer amazingness of the first crime really carried the rest of the show for me - I kept watching just in case another glimpse of that kind of creativity would appear.

There is no romance to this drama, in fact not much of a personal touch at all until the end. The three stars are randomly brought together to resolve the first crime as Gil is summoned by the criminal, Jo Bo-Ah joins for her talents, and Oh Dae Young as a watch dog for the potentially uncontrollable Gil. They walk step-by-step though each crime, trailing the lost's footprints from the beginning to the end. I loved the little touches each character contributed to the process, they really had great chemistry for a tv team and worked well off of one another!

I particularly appreciated the fact that sometimes the ending was good, sometimes it was bad. That really did seem to be the guiding theme throughout this drama -- sometimes justice saves the day, more often it doesn't. But still we fight. It was a lesson Gil and Oh especially had to learn as they try to answer the age old questions of justice-fighters everywhere. When is it okay to shoot to kill? When do you have to let people face the consequences of their actions. How long will you continue to defend the guilty against vengeful revenge-seekers? Who exactly deserves our protection?

The drama was extremely thought-provoking in both theme and detail; the complexity of the mysteries, the easy manipulation of evidence within the plotline, the constant return to the issue of why not just let the evil die? All of it pulled me in and I just couldn't stop.

Wow. Just, Wow.

Then, boom. We hit the conclusion. I'm highly recommending you watch it anyway, because it is still a marvelous show. But, in comparison to the beginning, it felt like a bit of a let-down. I knew the moment they introduced the missing victims where they were going with this. Plus, it was a little bit harder to follow. I watched it twice, and I'm still feeling like I missed something.

Still, I wasn't expecting the exact ending and it was very well done -- I've never seen a drama end this way, and it's left me a bit stunned and grasping for straws. It was extraordinary!

Acting: by and large, the acting was pretty good. Kang-Woo is gorgeous, and plays dark and mysterious pretty well - I'd watch him again any old day even if a couple scenes did come across seeming forced. But Hee-Soon was awesome, he held it together until the very end; had me sobbing for his loss right along with him. (And can I just say, I adored this marriage!?!) Jo Ba-Ah was also really good for her part - I admit I focused on the guys in their roles more, but she didn't annoy me with her character, I felt she was realistic pretty much, and I genuinely liked her as a person. That always makes a drama better in my eyes :)

Trust me, I'll be checking out season 2! Hope you join me!

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Completed
Shinigami-kun
7 people found this review helpful
Jan 1, 2016
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Not quite what I was expecting. The description I read gave me the impression that Shinigami-Kun somehow saved his charges or rescued the good guys. But that isn't really his job here. Instead he helps them accomplish their final wishes, protect or prepare their loved ones for the future, and generally set things to right. He is kind of like a gentle companion, walking them through the difficult moments and easing the stress of death. I must admit, the thought that someone is there with you at your final moments is comforting.

This show is partly a tear-jerker (people die obviously) and partly humor (poor Shinigami-Kun's confusion about human habits makes for some amusing situations). It helps that there are a couple nods to Soul Eater in the special effects and set design. The music and Shinigami-kun's bow tie also lend a perky, peppy touch to the storyline. Personally, I think they find a great balance between enjoying the funny parts of life and the strangeness of humans versus the solemnity deserved by its topic.

Sweet story. Unique in plot, excellent theme, and well done altogether. It did sometimes randomly drop off a plot point (or character), but we had fun making up stories to explain away the answers, so I can forgive it that sin. There is also the question of why the Shinigami does or does not know the things he knows ~ he understands human behavior, but not what "piss you off" means. He knows the concept of death, but not crabs for dinner. It's a little strange, but mostly just funny.


The star (and his immediate supervisor) were amazing, and I loved the akuma (devil) character (particularly his outfit). Although the speed with which the characters were willing to sell off their souls to a known akuma (devil) requires some suspension of disbelief. But, as Shinigami-Kun says, "He's a surprisingly nice guy!:"

The supernatural elements were surprisingly, well not realistic, but very well-staged overall. I was very impressed. They've come a long way from the early dramas. The supernatural-earth scenes flowed really well, better than I see in most Japanese shows. The guards chasing after the flying suitcase ~ AWESOME! Perhaps not the most suave, sophisticated, or smooth show, but that doesn't detract. It is based on a teenager's manga, and this is reflected in the show's audience. Great for young adults!

BTW--the two guys are HOT! :)

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Completed
Bloody Monday
6 people found this review helpful
Jan 5, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
This is absolutely my all time favorite drama...I've already seen it and the sequel through four times, and introduced several friends to the show. The plotline is fabulously written, and surprisingly believable considering the genre. Some of the scenes are a little forced, but not nearly as many as usually appear in this type of show. The bad guys are not entirely stupid and incapable of winning, which makes the struggle between the heroes and the villains that much more attention-grabbing. The characters fit their parts perfectly, and each one keeps the story moving along until the end. The philosophy that was behind this show is probably what caught my attention the most. It actually raised several concepts that my friends and I spent a great deal of time discussing. It was both entertaining and interesting. Furthermore, this is one of the first mysteries I've seen in ages where I actually didn't know who the bad guys were or what was going to happen until the very end. Bloody Monday is suspenseful, fast-paced, well-thought-out, and wonderfully acted from beginning to end. I watched them all in 2 days and instantly got the second season (which is just as good as the first). Definitely a must watch!

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Dropped 22/22
Love Forward
10 people found this review helpful
Apr 26, 2012
22 of 22 episodes seen
Dropped 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This is one of the most in-depth slightly cheesy romance dramas I have seen, and I have to admit that I am loving it. If you are just looking for the normal elements of drama (hot men, cheesy romance, undying love, fights, jealousy, love triangles and squares), this has is all. It just presents it in a way that for once is not entirely brainless or cliche.
The characters at first come across as superficial, and perhaps unappealing in their stupidity at times. But by the end of the second episode, they have significantly developed. This story embodies that tactic that Asian dramas do so well--just when you think you abhor a character you find out that they had good reasons for being so annoying and your whole outlook changes. There are no truly good or bad people, just normal, everyday characters learning to live with the very real problems in life.
Ultimately this is a story about what makes healthy love and relationships. The best friends who have little in common but undying devotion to one another. Those people who relate to one another because they love the same things. The enemies that you just love to fight with, and who ultimately you are far closer to than you ever expected. The love of parents, as it should be and as it shouldn't be. The boyfriend and girlfriend who love like teenage girls dream of but who find that this type of love is too Romeo/Julietesque for their own good. It deals with destructive love and destructive relationships. This is a look at humanity and how they interact, and the writers have done a fabulous job at making their characters multifaceted. I highly recommend this show because of its unique approach to these much loved themes.

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Completed
Suicide Circle
5 people found this review helpful
Jan 1, 2016
Completed 1
Overall 8.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
Which should I go with? - Mind-Destroying, Heart-Crushing, or Thought-Provoking? I'm so mixed on this one. I would love to recommend it for the brilliance of the plot, but hate to recommend it because of the brutality of the effects.

I'm sorry folks, I almost couldn't watch this one. To be honest, I'm not all that impressed with myself that I could. What does that say about me? I still skipped past a couple of the more gruesome moments. Just couldn't watch. Thank God, I think if I hadn't been so disgusted I would have lost faith in myself somehow. If you can watch this without feeling horror (and no not the scary kind), then you need to take a good long look at yourself.

ACTING:
Mixed reviews on the acting. It's truly possible that some of the bad acting was intentional -- it actually fit the scenes in some strange way. In most of the movie, the acting was actually pretty good--so I'm a little divided on what to say there.

TECHNICAL EFFECTS:
For the time when the film was made, the gore was pretty gory and the blood and guts appropriately freaky. In modern film-making it would probably be considered cheesy, but it successfully wigged me out. I dunno, I'm a little sensitive to this and am easy wigged. All together, I'd say well-made for its era, if perhaps a bit behind the times now.

RE-WATCH VALUE:
No. I'm can maybe accept watching it once for the plot, but desiring to watch it a second time is probably a sign of sadistic tendencies.

STORY/MUSIC (They were too intertwined to discuss separately): This will be a little long because the topic is personal to me.

There are only two types of people I can see enjoying this film (please don't actually enjoy it--seriously). 1) People who get a perverse kick out of watching people/animals die in gruesome ways and 2) People willing to suffer through the revolting scenes for the sake of a good philosophical discussion. And this was a brilliant film from a thematical point of view.

See, the main topic of this film is Suicide, and the various people effected or involved.

It analyzes the victims and the many reasons driving people to this traumatic point of no return--lack of self-confidence, sense of pointlessness, peer pressure, relationship issues, murders disguised as suicide, etc. Even those who seemingly go for no apparent reason whatsoever.

At the same time, intermingled within the plot are the bystanders, families, police responders, and general members of society. The film captures so perfectly the modern sense of unconnectedness; many people feel watching tragic things happen to other people. People are watching the events unfold show a range of responses from cultish enthusiasm, total disinterest, dispassioned interest, and a passionate desire to become one of the club. The characters demonstrate both social unconcern about the deaths that are happening and the utter fascination many have with the topic of death and the afterlife. People are concerned about everything except the actual loss that has occurred. Although the Genesis scene (you'll see) comes across as mad and rather weird, it is truly a brilliant work of psychological art. It horrifically depicts the psychotic mindset of those people who become so caught up in the beauty and dream-like view of death's supernaturalism that they have already lost any living humanity.

The movie leaps between extremely realistic and graphic to slightly fantastical and almost in-sensitive. But that simply adds to the theme and the power of its message! For example, the use of cheery, thoughtless, innocent, teenage pop music as the background for many of the more graphic scenes. And the use of children to pose some of the more difficult questions. Suicide is a dark, horrible, destructive event. It is a thing of horror and it is very, very real. But so often we approach the topic or view such events in a distant, unconcerned viewpoint. Oh How Tragic, as we move on. It's like we are watching a movie that has no impact on our lives and does not affect our own innocence at all. People don't realize the magnitude of what each life lost really means to this world. This film seeks to warn against such hypocrisy. Which is why it pulls in important messages later in the film.

For example, the question - "What is your connection to you?" It's true. Suicide will only stop when people start to find the value of themselves from within. This movie asks you to stop looking outside of yourself for completion, mercy, validation, forgiveness, support, and a future. The world may give it to you or the world may not. Fate (and the human race) can be a b****. If you are relying on your answers to life to come from outside, it may never come. I love the part where the person says: "If you die, your connection with your wife will remain. So will your connection with your children. But if you die, you will lose the connection with yourself." That is very, very true. The memories will remain amongst those left alive. They will always remember how important you were and how you changed their lives. But suicide happens when a person loses that connection with themselves--when they forget how important they and the people in their lives are. Find your value from within and never let it go.

There is also the fact that we, the viewers watched it. In a way depicting precisely one of the main problems the movie is talking about. Many people have an unhealthy fascination with suicide, almost sadistically intrigued in the topic. Others simply view it with passing notice, as something not affecting themselves and thus unimportant. When there is a murder, we are concerned because of the danger it poses to ourselves. But with suicide the assailant is gone. So we move on, going about our lives as though nothing happened. But, as the kid asks "Why couldn't you feel the pain of others the way you feel your own? . . . You are the true criminal." What if it was your son or high school daughter or wife or husband? Would you feel the same way then? If the answer is yes, then something is wrong. If the answer is no, then now is the time to change.

This film was intended to address a growing problem in the world today. It is no coincidence that it begins with the death of so many young people jumping in front of a train. That is a very, very real threat in Japan. I remember taking the train once in Yokohama, when it stopped. The announcement was that we were being re-directed due to issues with the track. The woman next to me said it was probably "another suicide, whenever we have one, they have to change to another route" Seriously, this happens often enough, there is a standard operating procedure that residents are familiar with? I've seen and felt the effect of suicide myself through the loss of my father. It's a very real issue and I think this film does a great way of capturing all the flaws in the current way we treat this problem.

Is the film bloody? Yes. Is it gruesome? Yes. Is it entertaining? No. Is it something we should enjoy watching? No. But does it offer a good message, one that more people should take a moment and hear? YES.

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Completed
Mulan
5 people found this review helpful
Apr 19, 2012
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
The film is absolutely superbly done. The acting is excellent--from the major characters to the minor supporting soldiers; everyone does an excellent job. I cannot really say I would watch it again, but that is just because the film is so emotionally draining. This does not reflect the quality of the film. The story's beauty is that there are so many stories wound up in this one woman's life. It isn't just Mulan tale--although that is gorgeously told in an of itself. This is also the story of Tiger and Wen Tai and all the soldiers who follow and believe in her. It is the story of a father and his daughter. A story of several kinds of leaders and the strength of the loyalty which they inspire. Underneath it all, it is a story of love--between many different kinds of people in many different ways. It may sound silly, but at the same time that I watched this film, I was studying Confucius's works in school. We were taught that Confucius spoke of five relationships--parents/children, ruler/subjects, husband/wife, elder/younger siblings, and between friends. In a way the story in this film is an embodiment of those relationships. I watched it with a friend and we spent hours talking about the philosophy and ideas behind this story. This film is worth watching for many, many reasons. I watched it because I love historical films, and this tale has always interested me. But I loved it because it was so well written. This is a fascinating and very well-designed film. I highly recommend it (but have a tissue handy)

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Fallen Angel
5 people found this review helpful
Dec 6, 2014
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 10
0_0 Love, Love, Love, Love, Love.

Similaresque to RH+, this is primarily a bromance drama, centered entirely on boys. In fact, the only women in the story at all are their mother and two spooky twin girls who come bearing deadly jellybeans (yes, you heard that right). While I love a good romance, bromances have always had a special place in my heart and they are shockingly hard to come by. This one is perfect, beautiful, sweet, and with all the touching "group hug"/"protective!older brother scenes a girl could hope for. Seriously, this is maybe even better than RH+ for brotherly scenes, and I thought RH+ was awesome.

The basic plot itself is a bit trite, carrying on the overdone theme of bad guys think Japan is overrun with worthless losers. Consequently they have decided that the world should be remade in their image. The story throws in a neat little twist though with how the bad guys decide to RESOLVE their little problem. Instead of killing off the losers, they are killing off the ones they want to save. Let's just say you'll have to see it to get the idea -- telling any more would blow the story. There are a few plot holes left unresolved at the end (such as who the two little girls were and how Yuuki was chosen for the program), but it more or less was finished at the end. I would have watched a lot more had they chosen to develop it, but I wasn't left feeling completely unsatisfied.

The acting is pretty good, and certainly on the medium to good end of Japanese stories. This surprised me a bit because I thought the story was probably low-budget. Not because of its quality but because these kinds of stories aren't usually the movie-of-the-year ones. But they managed to pull off pretty good technical settings and hired semi-good actors. In fact, the main characters were excellent, it was just the 2ndary people that sometimes dropped the ball. All in all, I was happy with the casting and filming.

Definitely a re-watch (I've already done so twice with my favorite parts). It's a little more thought-provoking than RH+, but still a pretty fast watch. All together the show is only about 4.5 hours, and that moves pretty quickly. Honestly, it ends at horrible cliff hangers usually, which kept me coming back for more so I watched it straight through. This isn't light and fluffy, but it has it's moments. Kind of a show for a dark rainy night when you are by yourself and just want something a little scary and a little warm and snuggly all at the same time.

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Completed
Rakshasa Street
3 people found this review helpful
Feb 16, 2018
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 10
OVERVIEW:
If you're looking for something good to sink your teeth into, this isn't it. Go watch a longer more drawn out drama. But if you're looking for something fun with not a ton of angst and the fantasy / adventure part of it all, this is a great drama.  Excellent watch for mixed crowds because it has just a touch of romance without it being overdone. It's cute, it's fun, I'd definitely watch a second season :)

SPECIFICS:
So I am a pretty serious fan of Chinese fantasy dramas (Mystic 9, Eternal Love, Peach Tree Blossoms, Novoland . . . . . ) -- I've seen a lot of them.  And as a student of mythology and legend, the incorporation of traditional supernatural elements, ghosts, magical creatures, and the heavenly realms is definitely going to catch my eye.  I saw the trailer for this drama a while back and was really excited to see it.
Before I start, please note I have not actually seen the anime or read the manga. I might in the future (since I really liked the drama), but I'm analyzing the drama as a stand-alone.  
This drama was really super cool and a totally fun watch. I'll be honest, I finished it in two days since it's only 24 episodes and most of them are pretty short. By the time you get past flashbacks, the intro, the credit song, the preview for the next episode, and the "blooper reels" the episodes were all really short for a Chinese drama (I was a bit surprised).   Not that this is a detriment . . . although I think some parts could have been more thoroughly fleshed out . . . on the whole, they did a great job in the time they used.
I can't say this in on "Ten Miles of Peach Tree Blossoms" or "Mystic 9" level of fantasy drama, but it wasn't really that kind of drama anyway. The technical elements were not quite as good as some things I've seen in Chinese dramas, and scenes seemed to cut and skip around somewhat. I got the feeling that it was a low budget film that was actually really well made for its budget.  Maybe like the feel of the drama "Go Princess Go."  I don't expect it to win any awards, but I loved it as a cute evening watch on the holiday.  It was good!
It was bordering on comedy / drama with a fairly serious bent towards comedy and a lot of slapstick-style comedy to boot. Every episode had little moments of humor thrown in with a smooth transition between angst to funny and back to angst. It's mostly funny with only minor upsets as you go.  There are some plot lines that are meant to be pretty dramatic, but you always have the feeling that the good guys will win in the end and it's mostly "bad guys - good guys" angst, not relationship drama.  The action and adventure was by far the main focus of the film.  There is a small "relationship" bent towards it, but that is VERY minor in the film.  It was really refreshing and fun.  
The actors seemed to be enjoying what they were doing and were caught up in the drama. I never really had a hard time placing people into their roles.  There was some stiffness occasionally or over-done roles with the 2ndary cast, but the main leads did really well and the kids were excellent!  The two girls did a great job and the younger brother of Cai is WONDERFUL.  I love that he was a Naruto cos-player kid.  I liked most of the good guys and usually liked the girl (although her unreasonableness annoyed me a couple times).   You definitely get the anime feel from this drama, with people nose-bleeding over hot girls and the naruto / ninja tones to it.  A lot of it made me think of a live-action film of an anime.  I always like that though.
Now, my one pet peeve . . . . confusion.  I was just really confused a couple of times.  Like with the guy and woman from Heaven. . . why were they even in this drama. What was their significance here?  What happened to the brother in the end?  Is the dad just like "oh well, no need for that little girl anymore. She's safe with that dude I haven't met and only heard of. It's all good."  It was probably partly the subtitles (VIKI did finally update 100% subs for the last episode!) and partly the slightly cheap plot. But I felt bewildered several times with who people were and what was going on.  There are some things I'm still rather confused about.


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