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Completed
I Hear Your Voice
33 people found this review helpful
Aug 11, 2013
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
An all 10!! A rating I believe should not be given easily :-)
This show has definitely worked up to the expectations, just by reading the plot and also checking everyone's reviews and ratings of course.
I can see why this show has managed to keep the highest viewer rating among dramas airing at the same time slot.
This Show it A MUST WATCH. It has a Great story, Wonderful directing, Awesome cast, addictive music, everything!
Here's my humble review:

The story:
A VERY VERY WELL written story. Good stories can sometimes fall victim to inconsistent events, over-done plots, lack in details, and even plot holes. Some stories end up with such disadvantages but still be considered great stories, because they manage to attract the viewer and receive his empathy. I Hear Your voice I strongly believe succeeded in escaping from ALL those disadvantages.


It was a very rich story, meaning to say that all the little details concerning all of the main characters' background was given the utmost care so as to bring them out to the viewer believable, convincing and also quite touching.

The characters were all so convincing and well written, so even the villain who at first just seemed as the classic nemesis, in time when you know the full picture of what happened, you start to understand him to a certain point and even sympathize with him somehow.


Directing:
The Story covers the span of 11 years, so there was the need of course for the use of flashbacks, those were always given at exactly the right timing, not too long so as not to distract the viewer.

There is not ONE character which was not given enough airing time, and also not one scene that felt unnecessary. So even scenes that at one look seem as a filler and a bit meaningless, if you look closer you'll find it was the director's method of delivering the viewer with an important information but in an indirect kind of way so as not to force a certain idea or notion on the viewer.

Soo Ha's ability to hear one's thoughts, was used to just the right level, so it wasn't reading minds all time like one would think. And the use of pausing the scenes when Soo Ha was hearing someone's thoughts helped show how such thoughts normally take parts of a second to form inside one's head.

Also I loved the use of flashbacks to show a certain event from a more-detailed different point of view so as to help view the whole picture behind something. Also doing that at just the right timing, so not like other shows where you keep watching the same flashback hundreds of times every time it's believed you should be reminded of it, it was rather showing the flashback multiple times but each time serving a different cause so it never felt boring.


The Cast:
Awesome cast. You will end up warming up to every one, sometimes you feel like you want to penetrate the screen to hug, stroke, poke, shake hands, wipe away tears, and kiss one of them. It's a proof that all the cast delivered a very well acting.
The love triangle was very lovely too, so you end up cheering for everyone, might have a bias to one side but still wish the other all the luck.

Music:
Both the vocal songs (very few I have to admit) and also the instrumentals were addictive, Love all of them.
I have yet to download the OST so am not sure as to exact number of tracks, but though it felt like it was just a few of them used throughout the drama, it never felt the tiniest bit repetitive, at least for me.

I can't think of a single reason why anyone would not watch this show.
It had just exactly the perfect dose of all the following aspects and even more, it formed a beautiful very well balanced formula....The perfect Example of a multi-Genre drama

It had thriller but it was never nerve breaking.
It had fantasy but it was never far fetched.
It had romance but it was never cheesy.
It had comedy but it was never cliched.
It had revenge but it was never too scary.
It had drama but it was never over tragic.
It had humanity but it was never too serious or dramatic.
And above all, it had a very deep and meaningful message to deliver, and sure it succeeded at that but not in the naive to the point corny kind of way.

I found myself clapping my hands when the finale ended, I think I don't need to say more.
Watch it, you sure won't regret it!

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Completed
It's Okay, That's Love
15 people found this review helpful
Sep 14, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10
Now this is a drama that deserves to be listed on people's favorites.
Before I go with my review, I'd like to point out a fact that I agree with the point which many other reviewers both here on MDL and other sites pointed out, this drama dealt with new unexplored lands, and was unique in choosing it's characters (and their interactions), the plot. And for this exact reason, and different from what would be expected, it was not everyone's cup of tea, not implying that people who didn't enjoy it are old fashioned and don't prefer introducing new tools to the drama making, rather I have to admit that like any drama that introduced a new genre or plot, it comes with its flaws, which comes from the fact that it's a land not trod before so most screenwriters however veteran they may be, are mostly not be experienced in. But to me, I loved this show's new-ness above anything, and appreciated how realistic and believable all it's characters felt like while at the same time fresh.

I would like to first go with the pros of the show and what I most liked about.

First, The Story:
As I stated above, the story in this show, introduced some fairly new types, in that it deals with mental illnesses and psychological patients on a high level (to the extent that you get the feeling there's no character in the show free of one), but it doesn't deal with it in the normal way where the character suffering from the ailment fights to come over it and ultimately succeeds, it rather sheds light on the true meaning of a psychosis, not just what a patient feels like and behaves like,but also deals with the taboo-ish heart of the problem ie. the stigma toward such illnesses in most societies. The biased viewing of mental ailments doesn't need to be pointed out, and can be easily proved in that people nowadays find it easier to open up about suffering from cancer or high blood-pressure than it is to admit that they're suffering from schizophrenia or some type of phobia. The show tries to emphasize the idea that psychological diseases should not be treated differently from physical ones.
The show goes the extra mile, and discusses the issue through different human relationships, like parent - son, friend - friend, doctor - patient, boyfriend - girlfriend, girl's parent - boyfriend. Above all, it concentrated on the true commitment and resolution that dating a psychotic patient requires.

Second, the script:
At the start of the show especially the first episode, I couldn't warm up to the script and felt the scenario was either too complicated or fast-paced, and sometimes felt they were trying hard to sound cool and smart with some lines. Later on, when I started to get in the vibe of the show, I on the contrary started appreciating the script a lot, each and every sentence counted well, highly witted and fairly realistic compared to other Korean dramas.

Third, the acting.
TOP NOTCH from the WHOLE cast, especially the two leads Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin. I'm a fan of Gong Hyo Jin and already think highly of her acting skills and her charisma and ability to produce a strong sense of chemistry with any actor she acts with, but this was my first drama for Jo In Sung and I'm positive it won't be the last. The Guy is simply a genius! His acting left me breathless at many times, made me rewind some scenes just to appreciate his expression in certain moments. He played a fairly difficult role in a very believable way. Above all you could sense how he is a professional actor who could analyze the character he's playing thoroughly and bring out all it's sides and dimensions however seemingly contradicting they may be, the character he plays would seem like a conceited, arrogant and materialistic playboy at the beginning who acts like a know-it-all, but bit by bit he starts to reveal that there's more to him than meets the eye, and how that character he assumes is rather his defense mechanism.

Fourth The direction:
It's my first drama for this PD, who's most famous for This Winter. Although at first I was a bit distracted and sometimes even frustrated at how CLOSE his face closeups were, like you could count the skin pores on their faces! But putting this point aside which you gradually get used to, the direction and camerawork and also the shooting sites choice was excellent. I loved how they paid attention to the tiniest details in every room to fit the character.

The Music:
I loved the OST in this drama, both the Korean and foreign tracks. I liked how all the vocal songs had lyrics that fitted so much the context. Though I have to admit that there were certain scenes though few they were, in which the BGM didn't quite fit and felt a bit distracting especially at the beginning of the show . But all in all, the music was one of the positive points to the show for me.

Now I move to the few gripes I had towards the show, but I would first like to point out that such gripes never posed as such a problem that would prevent me from enjoying the show.
First, the pace in certain parts of the show was off, meaning that they took their time to show some developments or to cover a certain side story, but when it came for the crucial development it sometimes felt kind of rushed. I won't be explaining in details less I spoil anything, but for instance there were whole scenes wasted for certain characters that later (before even the first half of the show was over) simply disappeared, but compared to that certain developments took time so that when we could finally deal with it was a bit later in show that I personally felt I would have preferred the show was longer just so we could savor them properly.
As for the technical parts, I guess many people who watched this show had their objections regarding some of the technicalities either in the legal or psychological fields, but since I'm neither knowledgeable in this nor that, and also don't really believe one should seek accurate information from dramas, but I still felt like some psychological cases where cured so easily they felt like they've been making it up or exaggerating. I won't go further than that.
There's one character whom I couldn't fathom or understand the idea behind, it's Oh So Nyeo. She was a big question mark for me! I couldn't understand right till the end the necessity of making her a high-schooler, it rather made me a bit wary from Soo Kwang for loving her,....despite how I mostly enjoyed his character other than that point. If someone understands this girl please enlighten me :D

To sum up my super-long review, this show is unique, fun, cool, heart-warming, full of hope and messages....but for me rather than all of these nice aspects, the PERFECT acting delivered here was more than enough for me to fall in love and add it as an all time favorite. I would like to point that especially the few final episodes had the most epic performances I had seen in a long while, maybe even in any other Kdrama I had seen before, I was bewildered and awed at everyone's acting I was soooo glad I had watched the show till the end, those last few episodes starting episodes 12~13 is just too awesome it will definitely redeem for any flaw the show might have exhibited. The final few episodes were so well done I personally felt the story was worthy of being turned into a cinematic movie. All thanks to the actors performance and the well-written story by veteran screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung *hats off*

I really enjoyed watching It's Okay, It's Love, not saying that there were no times when I was frustrated with either a part of the plot or a certain character, but overall this drama was a very fun ride that I would definitely recommend to any Korean drama fan, whether ones who prefer feel-good-dramas or light romcoms or heavy melodramas, who concentrate on the reality factor and originality.

ENJOY!

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Completed
Mother
16 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I've just finished watching the Finale moments ago and decided to write a review right away.
I know this drama's already got a high rating, still at first I was hesitant to watch it.
At times it was because I was in no mood for family dramas, at times I was in no mood for melodramas and preferred comedies, but I'm so glad I decided to watch it.

I rarely Give a drama a perfect 10, but this one SURE deserves it.

The Story: A very well written story and script, that not only moves you greatly but also makes one think and reconsider the meaning of a lot of things that may seem obvious, it makes wonder what you would have done if you were in each and every character's shoes (which is by the way one of the greatest proofs of a great story) and wonder whether what the character actually done was the right thing or not.
It's a story about maternity and what it really means, what makes a woman turn into a mother and what makes a girl into a daughter, the unconditional love that both share, "love free of charges" as the main character call it.

The Cast: The acting in this one leaves you utterly speechless. If I say it's PERFECT it definitely won't be an exaggeration. Above all Ashida Mana was spectacular, an acting prodigy for sure. Matsuyuki Yasuko also proved just how great an actress she was, she was really very convincing with her facial expressions saying a hundred things without needing any lines. All the other characters however big or small, they all delivered a very good acting especially all three mothers (Takahata Atsuko, Ono Machiko & Tanaka Yuko)

The Music: I loved the OST in particular and found it really fitted the drama's atmosphere a lot. The theme song was however the best part, the moment it played was always the moment you found your tears flowing without you even noticing.

Rewatch Value: This is a drama I will SURE rewatch, I believe it deserves rewatching it with a family member!!

I totally recommend this drama to everyone, even drama fans who don't really fancy Family dramas and believe them too melodramatic for their tastes, give this one a try and I assure you WON'T REGRET IT!!

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Completed
Rich Man, Poor Woman in New York
16 people found this review helpful
Apr 26, 2013
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I'm a fan of the series so I genuinely enjoyed this one. At first it felt like it was going to turn into a meaningless special just to make use of a high rating Getsu-ku, especially with all the "In New York" thingie which made it sound made up. But this one turned to be over-expectations.

I liked that not only the development of the relationship between the protagonists was focused upon, they also gave time to view the latest development in Next Innovation and the Personal File project though of course with the big stress on the romantic line.

This special felt more real to me, meaning to say it expressed points in human relationships (especially between couples) that many can relate to. that those two's characters are so different you don't find any trouble imagining them having clashes if they are to live together.
It felt nice to make sure that love is not all about being lovey-dovey and happy all the time, there are times when difference in character and ways of thinking causes trouble in relationships. In a sense this special episode gave more meaning and depth to the drama's ending, I'm so glad they produced it.

I just have one tiny gripe against this episode.
I'll explain this just to be sure everyone knows this piece of information (which btw I didn't know before watching the special), This special covers events which took place during the 1 year & 9 months period which gets fast forwarded in the final scenes of the drama's finale, to be more precise after the scene where he sends her off at the airport.
So supposedly the finale's final scene where she comes back to japan and pays a visit to the company out of the blue takes place after the special's story. While the picture of the newly weds' on the wall that they showed in the finale nicely connects the dots, they still made one big mistake (at least imo), the Brazilian flag she has on her cheeks!! she's supposed to have been in Boston you know!!

Still, that mistake can be over looked since we know they didn't intend to make the special at that stage yet. But you know, why the need to make it in the US in the first place, why didn't they stick with Brazil and just made a Brazilian company buy the one where she was working at, but then that would need to make him go to Brazil for work instead which wouldn't make sense right?

Anyways, with all that being said, I really recommend this drama and special of course to any J-Drama fan out there.

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Completed
Alchemy of Souls Season 2: Light and Shadow
23 people found this review helpful
Jan 9, 2023
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 4.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

A shorter oddly more draggy sequel, that traded epicness for romance

A deeply flawed yet highly entertaining ride this drama has been.
☆DISCLAIMER☆
This review is only to those who have watched season 1 and season 2.
I will be discussing each aspect of my rating separately.

Story and writing:
The story, in terms of the fantasy and lore, unfortunately suffered a lot this season.
Season 2 hits off with a flash forward 3 years after the end of S1, we are shown quite a lot of clumsily put-together flashbacks to explain to, or rather mystify, the viewer as to what exactly took place after the death of the FL in S1's finale, and even after we manage to satisfy ourselves with the explanation given to us, we are still dealt some comically mystifying and convenienty mashed up rules to the magic involved in order to satisfy the needs of the plot and make it move forward.
To elaborate further;
Much of the rules, if they were ever properly explained didn't make much sense and left one *rolling eyes* mumbling okeeeeey!. We also come accross a couple of contradicting aspects and sudden power shifts like healing powers etc, that in hindsight leaves one wondering why they were never utilized prior. Also seeminly highly wise and powerful characters would constantly be changing their explanation of how the magic behind soul shifting works, and even worse things just ultimately transpire in a totally different manner. other times powerful side characters (park jin, seo yul, master lee) would mysteriously vanish at the most critical moments only to suddenly reappear after sh*t had already hit the fan to stand around and discuss it. A lot of these minor frustrations add up to make one feel like the writers were giving themselves enough viable cards and options to wriggle their way out of any tight spots that come up, all thanks to the highly sophisticated and complicated world that they themselves created in the first place.

Among the other smaller gripes that I had with the story writing, was how everything was built in a way that ensured our main leads were brought together, and despite that being a common trope of many a rom-com plot in K-dramaland, it still felt forced and too convenient, I guess one just has to accept the "they are destined to be together" card and simply roll with it.
But what I hated above all was creating emotional dying scenes and even holding a funeral, just for it all to turn out to be fake, only for the sake of creating a cheap cliffhanger. It made me just wish they were actually dead. I don't mind the suspense with a grievously wounded lead like Seo Yul, but to fake deaths, that was such a sick move by the writers. Also in my humble opinion, you can create an epic saga about good fighting evil with the good prevailing, while still showing sacrifices and deaths on the good side, not every single character has to survive physically to be considered a happy ending. Just saying.

The pacing was not one of the best apsects about S1, but still overall it was highly enjoyable. But season2 easily outdid its predecessor in bumpy pacing, with 2/3 of the drama wasted running in circles of ( missed hints>confusions>angst>break up>making up>and back to more missed hints ). Although watching the two re-fall in love from scratch honestly felt fun to watch, the romance plot line just took comparatively too much run time for its own good, it reached a point where it felt clichéd and dragging I just wanted the big reveal to happen already (and when it finally did oh boy was it lackluster), and it also took away much needed time from the core issues at hand that needed to be addressed to insure a proper closure, those issues were only given less than a third of the running time, leaving us with 2 last episodes that are too rushed, one almost feels like gasping for air watching them, and with sudden shifts between scenes feeling like whiplashes. We are promised a grand and epic battle, only for it to end in mere minutes with every one watching at the sides in a safe environment and Jang Uk doing all the work. Honestly, nothing made much sense with that fire bird plot, evil plotting wise or how it was handled (if it is destined to hatch then let us hatch it earlier duh!)

the characters:
Our all so mighty ML who is supposedly feared by even the greatest of mages thanks to the power of the ice stone, was somehow rendered into a middle schooler both in emotions and inconsistency. Still his journey climbing up from the dark pit he had thrown himself into at the beginning, and how the FL helped warm and light up his world was endearing and heartfelt.
The bigger problem though was our FL, who was, even by her own words, foolish and weak especially during the first half of the drama. She had the face of Naksu (for reasons that made not much sense to begin with) so I would assume that most viewers were like me in hoping that she would regain her powers and we would finally be graced with more scenes of our bad-ass FL for a change , a prospect that was dangled in front of our eyes since the character was introduced S1ep01, but alas, we only ever witness a shrivel of Naksu in character, and even Jin Bu Yeon's powers are only ever displayed briefly. There were a couple of instances where I thought there had been an ample opportunity for the writers to choose to show her stand up and defend herself, to be deserving of the powerful souls that lies within her, like when after regaining her memories she decided to face Jin Mu, the man behind her madness and death in S1, and chose to dive into a treacherous place for the sake of beating him. I thought surely then she will somehow survive and come out on her own (after all we know that among the remaining powers left within her is the ability to cast away evil writhes and spirits), but God forbid no! they still chose to create an unbelievable sequence (involving coming up with the idea that she is the reincarnation of an old powerful mage) just in order to make the ML be the hero of the day and save the damsel in distress. Even in the final scenes of the finale, they totally had the chance to show that Naksu, whose soul had been spared the owner of the body, was working on regaining her long lost prowess. But no! The exact opposite, She adamantly expresses her absolute wish NOT to train, and to stay completely dependent on the ML. That was just disappointing tbh.

As for much of the side characters, they were mostly just that, side kicks stored on a shelf only picked up and utilized for conveniency's sake or to provide some elements of humor and immediately shelved back thereafter.
while I really liked how the crown prince was portrayed here and was somewhat satisfied that his character was thankfully one of the ones that witnessed a redemption, I can not still get over the fact that he left Jin Mu to become gwanju after all his evil deeds in S1.
Seo yul, felt bland as ever for the most part, but on a positive note his brooding sad expression here perfectly matched his lone wolf life in this season more than the previous one. The only instance were I felt emotionally connected to him was in the plot concering So I , which I honestly was moved and brought to tears by.
Jin Mu this season was too comical of a villain, he was powerless and totally dependent on his minions and other higher ups to realize his evil master plan (which was utterly stupid to begin with)

The acting
Superb on the most part.
A lot of people were turned off and disappointed by the FL casting. story-wise aside, I have to say I found her acting to be very good, especially in the second half when she had started to regain parts of her memory as Naksu. I also strangely felt more romantic chemistry in this season than season 1 (which made me feel kind of torn up), maybe owing to more physical intimacy and kiss scenes, dunno.
Seo yul was a nice cool dude but I have to admit I found the actor's portrayal to be a bit lacking, and how the character was written this season didn't help either.

I can't say I didn't enjoy this drama both seasons, but to be honest, I am of the belief that if there had been less filler plots in both seasons, both could have then been made to fit nicely into a 20 episodes format drama. Then I think with such high-end CGI and great casting, this could have easily been one of a kind classic.

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Completed
The Master's Sun
14 people found this review helpful
Oct 4, 2013
17 of 17 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
SO, I've finally finished Master's sun and feel like writing a review.
I used the term "finally" but it doesn't mean it was boring, it's just this one was my first Korean drama to watch while it was still airing so it was a bit of a tough ride (having to wait each week for the next installment with all the cliffhangers)

Right into the review then.


Story (9):
Stories about ghosts and the ability to see them seem to be the trend in Korean dramas the current seasons, but it's safe to say Master's Sun was the first among them (as far as I know).
It was publicized when they first announced the drama that it was a brand new genre "Comedy/Romance/Horror" and it certainly felt NEW.
The story was quite fresh and entertaining, not free of flaws of course but still very enjoyable overall.

The Story mainly concentrated on the couple and Tae Yang's abbility, but there was that second plot that was going on at the background (the mystery behind the incident in the male lead's past that left a trauma), and while it was very interesting and intriguing at the beginning it started to drag just a tiny bit later, but thank God it was cleanly settled early not in the final episodes.
As for the extra episode, it might have caused the last few episodes' story to become a bit stale, but thankfully didn't destroy the drama, on the bright side you can say it gave the viewer more time to enjoy the main plot free of that one side plot.

As for the characters, I personally loved the character development in this one loads.
It's not the usual over-used pattern, where a spoilt chaebol with issues gets attracted to the perfect hard working poor woman and that love makes him change into a more mature person, rather it's a story about a couple who both had their own issues to deal with and their love each other gives them courage to face them and deal with them eventually making them grow into more strong characters that know just well what they want to do and decide on their own how to realize that.

I also want to admit how I was afraid at first that there would be resemblances in the characters with Greatest Love (might be because Gong Hyo Jin was common actress and how So Ji Sub's acting and hand gestures seemed a wee bit similar to Cha Seung Wons' Dok Ko Jin) but was I totally mistaken. There were very few scenes where you're reminded of Dok Ko jin but Joung Won's definitely a different character.

I especially liked how both characters were fast on realizing their own feelings not the "what is this feeling?" kind of idiocy that's elaborated in many Korean Rom-Coms but rather they were smart enough to acknowledge how they were attracted to each other and went right away to dealing with that (in a bit of an eccentric manner but any how)
ADORED nearly all the side characters in this one especially Secretary Kim and Joung Won's Aunt and uncle Not much the light-mouth security guy and didn't particularly enjoy his relationship with Gong sil's sister.

Acting (10)
PERFECT!!! I don't want to say it this way but Gong Hyo Jin stole all the lights in this one, imo. She was soooo convincing, lovable & cute at times and scaring clingy at others, witty and playful at times and heart-wrenching lonely and sad at others. I have to congratulate the producer on his choice, no other actress could have delivered Tae Yang any better.
So Ji Sub on the other hand, it's my first drama of his and well I can say I was satisfied with his acting. I know it's got nothing to do with acting but on a side note I hated most of his outfits in this one save for a few casual ones near the end. How can a CEO of a large department store have such a terrible fashion taste!!! But he was still attractive to be honest :D

Script (7)
Here comes my problem with this drama. I'm not saying I didn't like it and also I've always considered myself a Hong Sister's fan, but to be honest that witty and heavy on the metaphors script that's considered their forte or signature can be a bit boring, especially if one's watched several of their dramas. In funny moments it's fun, but using too much metaphors in even serious scenes besides aaall the characters feel like they share the same conversation skills it feels a bit unrealistic at times. It might be just me though.

Directing (8)
It was over all fine, nice camerawork as well. though sometimes it felt distracting with all the close ups on hands and off the topic stuff (clothes and such) and there were some mistakes with sequence in some of the scenes (clothes changing all of a sudden) but those were all small things that definitely don't waste a drama.

Music (10)
I wanted to reduce some points coz some of the vocal songs kept playing at always the same type of scenes that it felt a bit
repetitive, but I just couldn't bring myself to. The OST in this one is just MARVELOUS TAEBAK! I love all the instrumentals and also the vocals, and wish all Korean dramas' OST cover all the songs played in the drama this way(I know it has to do with he production budget but it's just so frustrating to find the long-awaited OST missing your favorite BGMs like in IHYV)


By all means, please do give Master's Sun a chance, especially if you're a rom-com lover. If you're not much of a rom-com fan,....then there's a high possibility you've never watched a hong sister's drama, then I think you should watch this one all the more. It will definitely feel fresh.

Thanks for reading my extra-long review!

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Completed
Thank You
11 people found this review helpful
Aug 26, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 10
I just finished the finale and thought I'd share my thoughts about this blissful drama.
First, the thing that attracted me to this drama (other than GHJ being the lead) was simply the story.
It is kind of rare in Asian media to deal with HIV and AIDS as a plot line, especially like in this drama were the one affected is a little child.
This drama, above anything is a family drama, about the bonds that people build, about trust, about love, about devotion, about sacrifice, about the will to survive...and ultimately about the most important human virtue, which is being thankful and honestly expressing it. Saying ”thank you" for each and every blessing you receive, is the door to find goodness in this world.

Other than teaching about such virtues, this drama shed light on a very important issue, which is of course HIV. It is a relatively new drama so one would expect that most people in the community have enough information regarding HIV and it's nature, and transmission. But, the drama's story revolves in a rural town on an island, were people are so simple and to an extent uncultured. One then would mistakenly think that the misunderstanding the villagers had concerning the disease was the main reason behind the suffering and hardship that our brave single mother faced, and that if she had lived in a big town with more cultured persons she wouldn't have suffered as much. But on second thought, you find yourself realizing that the issue is not merely about "knowing" or "not knowing" and that even people who have acquired enough knowledge about such ailments, can still be unable to act normally around people infected with it., especially if we're dealing with sending our children around another infected child. So although while watching this drama, I was infuriated at how everyone was mistreating them, later on after giving it some thought, you find you can not 100% blame them.

The Story:
A very good one, with depth in each and every character. Loved how each characters background and history was revealed naturally without too many flash backs and monologues and reminiscence scenes like many KDramas tend to do. Rather, we were given the most necessary points regarding each and every main character, just at the right time, just in the right proportion. Also each and every character development, came with a logical progression, not all of a sudden, so you feel you can totally understand how they feel or must be feeling.
On a side note, this might be my first KDrama to take place entirely in rural Korean village. The landscapes were always so genuine and real, they showed us what an island village looked like, felt like, even smelled like. You feel as if you have been there living among them and experiencing it. This could be considered a proof of good direction.

Acting:
As usual I loved Gong Hyo Jin to pieces in this one too. She's simply awesome, never overdoing it and just delivering the right amount of expressions, whether facial or vocal.
As for Jang Hyuk, I was expecting to feel awkward at his usual over-the-top expression acting, but he was surprisingly so good in this one. He delivered Ahjusshi just the way he should be *thumbs up*
All the other actors delivered very convincing acting, and above all I would like to salute the actor who played Haraboji (grand pa a.k.a Mr. Lee) on an awesome performance!!!

Music: Don't know if it's because it's a 2007 drama, but the background music was mostly not my taste. the main ballad song was nice and the lyrics was perfect for the premises of the drama. But I'm afraid I have to admit I didn't particularly prefer the instrumental tracks in this one. Still it doesn't prevent you from enjoying the drama.

Rewatch value: This is a drama I profoundly enjoyed, and though it was bit slow paced at certain parts, over all it was a really nice watch I think I might be re-watching it sometime later when I feel like watching a slice of life drama.

This is a worthy watch, I recommend.

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Completed
Cruel City
18 people found this review helpful
Oct 14, 2013
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers
The best word to describe this drama is; “Unique”.
The Noir genre this drama boldly chose is one that is mostly only seen in K-Movies, and it’s fair to say this drama is the FIRST All-Noir Korean Drama.
While I’m pretty sure that owing to the huge popularity this drama gained (contrary to the super-low viewer ratings it received), that there’ll be other dramas with a similar genre coming up soon in its wake, but this one definitely deserves to be up-and-most the first and I hope not the best.

This drama so honestly depicts Korea’s dark and shady crime world –with its both sides; criminals and crime-fighters- the power struggles and the constant betrayals within, drawing a big and dark canvas of a “Heartless City” (btw I very like this title and am very glad they made the title change from “undercover” which would have been a major spoiler)

The drama shows the Good vs. Bad fight but not in the normal manner where both sides are distinctly shown and you have the “all-Good” hero to cheer and the “all-bad” enemy to curse, rather it shows how both (good and bad) are two sides of one coin; how not all people who believe themselves fighting for the “Good” cause could be considered Good by the society, and how the seemingly “Bad” is not all there is. The good working for the good cause if absorbed by the “end justifies means” concept can very well turn bad.
And while it’s believed that anyone always has the choice whether to be/stay Good or Bad, it still shows how such a choice is anything but easy and that regardless to the choice made, the result is not always what one would wish for.

Drug dealing was used as the crime type here, with drug dealers at one side and crime fighters (police and DA) at the other. The war that ensues is not simply the fight between both sides, but there are also numerous wars taking place on both sides, like a big survival game where the “survival of the fittest” is the only rule, and everyone only works for one’s benefit, no loyalty or pure trust anywhere to be found.

It’s a very dark drama, with a very interesting and unique story, intriguing characters each with their own agenda and cause and beliefs, characters so special only such a dark noire crime drama could be able to bring out so beautifully. The story was very addictive always keeping you at your seat at all times, so I guarantee a rough and enjoyable ride with this one. There is not only crime and drugs to it, there’s also melodrama, romance, and bromance all so beautifully mixed up in just the right portions, so thankfully the romance served its part without being too dense in a way that distracts you from the main plot or worse ruin up a good noire drama. The main story is kept in focus at all times, that’s another positive thing about this drama.

But…(here comes the but)
Why I gave the story an (8): The story itself is AMAZING down to its tiniest details, it’s so enjoyable to watch the characters’ interactions and each one’s character development, to sum it up it’s a story with potential, but the execution of all that was unfortunately anything but flawless.
I won’t go into details less I spoil anything, but with all the constant sides shifting and power struggle going on in this show, came quite a bunch of power-ranks inconstancies, unexplainable decisions made, crime-fighter with crazy methods that feel CHILDISH, and the ‘supposedly’ EVIL that comes out pure STUPID. You’ll need to watch to understand what I’m talking about, but the execution (and sometimes script) fell short on some levels, you end up watching with a “What the?!” that develops into a “OKEEEY!!” finally into “I-don’t-really-care-anymore” kind of thing, your eyes go ?_? But to be honest you still can’t resist watching; so even though it might have fell short on being convincing and relatable sometimes, it still manages to attract and suck you in its darkness and mysteriousness.

The Acting and the direction were definitely the best part about this drama. While not all the cast was that good, Jung Kyung Ho single-handedly carried this drama to an all new level with his epic portrayal of Shi Hyun, that even if all the cast were crap (which they were not) I would still give the acting a 10! It’s my first drama of his, but I’m sure now it won’t be my last

The Direction and camerawork were SUPER, especially in moving car and fight scenes, and while at first the scenes felt too dark, the more you watch the more you get used and start to appreciate it since it suits the plot so well.
Re-watch value; there was too much going on with this drama, too much fighting scenes for my taste, too much complicated relationships, too much to re-watch at least any time soon.

If you’re into crime/noir movies, this drama will definitely suit you, if you’re into detective and police dramas this one’ll give a good dose of it but let me worn you don’t pay attention to the little details coz the police sucks in this drama so badly. If you’re into romance and vengeance this is just the one for you, though you have to dig a bit deeper coz such aspects come next to the survival-game and the undercover missions.
ENJOY!

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Completed
Galileo Season 2
14 people found this review helpful
Sep 5, 2014
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Just finished watching Galileo 2 a while ago. I'm a big fan of the first season, but as I believe you can guess from the numbers I gave, I am definitely not a fan of this season.
I'll start with the conclusion: This sequel was one big pack of WRONG CHOICES.

Biggest of which was by far changing the lead female detective from Shibasaki to Yoshitaka. It's not just about comparing the two actresses (I will tread the acting skills point later) but Kishitani which they chose as a new original character was simply outrageously ridiculous and unbelievably annoying. She's supposed to be a bit of an intelligent person or something and that's why she's soooo full of herself and always soooo domineering, but she only seemed to me as an empty-headed haughty ignorant extremely RUDE B**CH. Now, Shibasaki's character"Utsumi Kaoru" was soooo well received and well made, that it was introduced as a character in the novels, isn't that enough proof that even by the writer's standards it's a very successful character, believable, and bearing all the dimensions needed to make the deliverance of the story more and more enjoyable. Why give up such a character to this nuisance!!!
Not just Yoshitaka's character was the worst, that more than half of the time I felt like wanting to hit her with something or slapping her, and the other half I was either wanting to reprimand her on her rudeness, or simply not giving a damn to her, There was not even one time when I was able to relate to her. Even when she was drunk and honest, or depressed and crying. On the other hand Utsumi's character I was always on line with her even when she was acting childish or nosy or even lying. she was a lovable character and above all she was the perfect match for Yukawa, you could sense him being attracted to her bit by bit (also add to that the perfect chemistry between the two actors, which was ZERO in Fukuyama X Yoshitaka's case)
As for acting skills, this is my second drama for Yoshitaka Yuriko after Tokyo Dogs, and I'm sorry to say she really needs more practicing. Not just her acting feels lacking, she also recites her lines sooo badly...she's supposed to be a professional actress, how can her pronunciation be so bad!!

Second major problem I had with this drama, was the story.
Now I know that all of this season's stories are based off the original novels, but I'm quite sure that there has been many major changes done, either that or I'd have to say that Higashino Keigo's out of ideas and not making much sense. Around 75% of the cases had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with physics, or even anything near science in general. Now, Yukawa of course always ended up cooperating, putting it that he was too curious to know the explanation behind the tricks....which most of the time felt a little to made-up and not at all the expected from him.
So Instead of being the genius the police turn to in time of need, he felt like a normal geek just so full of curiosity (& maybe some dreams of becoming a detective one day?!) meddling with criminal cases he has got nothing to do with, and above all not the least busy as he's pretending to be.
The first season's stories might not all have been that good too, and some might not have had a relation to physics, but still there was a perfect balance between the two categories, the stories were far more fun and intriguing, and also the circumstances with which Yukawa ended up being involved was always more believable.
Plus, I couldn't help feeling that Kishitani was simply too over relying on Yukawa, like the crime happens and she runs to him right away for advice, without even doing any effort at investigation.

Third reason I couldn't enjoy this drama overall was: Yukawa Manabu himself.
Now I don't know if it's because of a long time having passed since the last time he played Galileo in the movie, but Fukuyama Masaharu was definitely not in shape for Galileo....it's like he totally forgot the character, or forgot how he got the grip of it the first time. He was trying his best to bring us the same Galileo, but THAT was the problem. In other words, he didn't manage to BE Galileo, rather felt like a quite similar spin off character of Galileo. It's kind of ironic to watch an actor trying to imitate his past self and failing. This season's Galileo didn't give the same feeling or depth.
The galileo we know and loved was an eccentric and unique character. A scientist always weighing everything with logic & science, and claiming to don't care the least about things which science can not explain, like human feelings or children (who act illogically he says). But despite him claiming to not understand or care about human feelings, he many times shows a soft part about him, being empathetic and understanding to others, and despite claiming to be allergic to children, showing respect and understanding to them. His character had its dimensions and sophistication. A character that kept you constantly curious to know more & more about; his past, his family and how he grew up etc....
This season, the only time Yukawa acted out of empathy, he advised a police officer and criminal to lie in order to get a lesser punishment!!!

One of the best parts about the first season, was the manner in which Yukawa would rationalize everything even the most obvious of facts and bicker back and forth about the most trivial things with Utsumi, that quibble was just priceless, you could really understand why he was nicknamed Henjin Galileo. This season was certainly packed with enough quibble, but not one that makes you feel like he's a henjin at all, rather merely a normal reasonable person who happens to be extra smart and good at physics. Maybe that owes to the fact that he had an even more sociably henjin person as a partner, their conversations never gave the same feeling Yukawa X Utsumi's gave, most of the time it was more like an ignorant rude child being reprimanded by a smart and reasonable grownup....No more No less!!!

I have still to watch Episode XX which I hear very good previews of. As for the second movie, since it's Yoshitaka as the lead, I won't be keeping my expectations high.

You can read the Japanese viewer's comments and wishes that if there's ever another installment that the the producers bring back shibasaki/Utsumi instead of Yoshitaka/Kishitani, I'm crossing fingers those voices reach them.

Galileo fans out there, if you haven't watched this season I would not really recommend. But I still believe you'd still not be able to resist watching if you're a hard-core fan like me.

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Dropped 16/16
One More Happy Ending
8 people found this review helpful
Apr 1, 2016
16 of 16 episodes seen
Dropped 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
(The review below is my own personal point of view, if you disagree please do not be offended

this is one drama I would have loved to say I liked, and while I enjoyed some parts of it and found it overall entertaining, I still dreaded a lot of other things about it.
I went into this drama because I am a bit of a Jung Kyung Ho fan myself, and also because I felt like watching a light romcom after my long hiatus from Kdrama watching.
well, I am not necessarily disappointed and definitely can't say it was a waste of time, but this drama failed to thrill me, or make me enthusiastic watching it.

# First and foremost, the story
It is a very common old-school romance comedy with a touch of angst, and by old-school I mean....well I'll get to the point; cilched.
It had the childhood friends which were separated and reunited as adults, and the one-sided love from the hero reigniting towards the pure and kind-hearted heroin.
We also have the love triangle, and as angsty as it can get with the two males being best friends.
The only new twist about the story might be in the fact that all of the sides of the love triangle (well, most of the characters in the drama!) are divorced (thereby the title of the drama), and the hero has a kid which he brought up himself. Oh, and also maybe that the heroine is an ex-idol.
So overall, there's nothing super special or unexpected going about in the story, you're kind of watching waiting for the next expected step to happen while enjoying some fun interactions between the leads. Also towards the end the drama felt so dragging with not much going on for any of the characters. It made me always eager to find out how they will fill up or the remaining episodes, and why don't they just cut the thing shorter.

# The characterization
This drama has a huge amount of characters, main characters, side characters and in-between them a bunch of filler characters. We have the main 4 ex-idols/old-time BFFs (hereinafter "the quartet"), we also have our main lead and his best friend (and also the third angle in the love triangle, hereinafter referred to as"3rd angle" ) and his ex-wife.

The main male lead was by far my favorite character, maybe thanks to Jung Kyung Ho (heheheh) or simply because he was very well-written realistic character which Jung Kyung Ho helped to bring it to live as a relatable and lovable single-father. The main female character is also nicely written and brought to life by the hands of the ever cute baby-faced beauty Jang Na Ra. She's a woman who has been through many tough challenges in her life making her a strong and independent person. The two's chemistry and the zing you felt in the way they talked and looked to each other was so lovable and irresistible, you can not help but cheer for them.

The story being the kind of simple one that it is, it was only normal that the writers felt obliged to create a story-line for each character or a couple of them. In doing that they had to stretch all these story-lines in order for each to develop parallel to the main story. The problem is not in the large variety of characters and their consequent story-lines, but rather in the fact that out of all the characters only one or two felt believable and their stories ones that you could relate to and care about, with the rest of the characters being either odd-balls that downright drove you mad, mediocre with uninteresting stories, filling the drama with scenes that were meh making you feel the urge to fast foreword.

As for the other 4 side characters; the 3 ex-idols and the 3rd angle, only one of them made me care about her and that was Da Joeng and the rest of them were just there to add either a spice of comedy or angst but were never quite convincing . Regarding the quartet, I have to add that I couldn't help feeling that not only was Dong Mi and Ae Ran's characters lacking and mediocre and there scenes sometimes boring, but I also felt that the actresses were ill-chosen, both not really fitting their respective characters...one didn't give that ajumma or lacking-on-the-looks-side feel that she was supposed to give, and the other was the other way around, never feeling that hot or sexy like she was supposed to be, but rather looking older than everyone else around her.

As for the remaining character of the quartet, Dajoeng, as I previously mentioned her story was the only one I found interesting, with an idea I believe has not been introduced many times before in Kdramas. I have to sadly admit that at a certain point when the main lead's story was relatively settled with not many developments, I was more curious to find out how her story will progress even more than their's ( I also believe I read in several other reviews people saying they were watching eager to know how her story ends), it might be a good thing,but I also believe we have to admit it should be considered as a flaw in the writing.

I don't want to go into details not to make this any longer, but I hated a certain character so badly I could barely hold myself from throwing something at my PC screen, and that is the 3rd angle aka. Dr. Goo Hae Jun. I couldn't quite understand what the writers were trying to tell through his strange admiration towards the main female lead, but if they were trying to sell it as love or even attraction they failed, at least for me. To me it only felt as a strange obsession and a wish to relive his sad past differently on other people's cost. He always gave that bad-loser aura, a guy which doesn't know when to stop and simply give up....AND I HATE THAT KIND OF CHARACTERS. There were many moments in which I sincerely wished he would act in a certain way and salvage his horrible character putting an end to all the meaningless angst he was causing, but no NEVER...he always disappointed me right until the end...there was no salvation to this guy.

# Directing
The editing between the scenes was sometimes odd. I know there are many side stories going on, but you don't have to show me someone receiving an urgent call telling them to rush over because something bad has happened, and the next thng a totally unncessary and boring scene of two people chatting over a cup of coffee, that could wait believe me.

# Music
Overall a fine OST, liked some vocal tracks that started playing towards the end when the angst arch was at its peak.

I'm gonna try to sum things up:
If you're looking for a fun & light rom-com + you're either a Jung Kyung Ho or a Jang Na Ra fan, you can go ahead and give this drama a try, it's a fun watch.
But if you're looking for a rom-com with a bit of a new touch, that would make you thrilled and on the edge of your seat waiting for the next episode, then I would advise you to look elsewhere.

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Completed
The Queen's Classroom
9 people found this review helpful
Jul 24, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I thought of writing this review because I thought there might be pther people out there doing the same mistake I did having kept this drama on hold for so long.
The reason why I decided to give it another try was a Japanese article I read about the news that Kaseifu no Mita might be made into a Korean drama soon, discussing why lately highly popular J-Doramas with exceptionally strong female characters have been getting adaptations into Korean dramas (haken no hinkaku & Queen of the classroom). I have watched none of the latter two but since I have enjoyed the former one a lot I thought I should be giving the other two a try as well.

I'll go right to the point:

The Story:
This at first look (reading the synopsis & such) might seem like a usual Japanese School drama. well, Japanese have successful created of famous School dramas like GTO & Gokusen. But I find that Other than the point that the teacher involved is an eccentric one, Queen of the Classroom's by no means similar to these dramas.
The story was quite entertaining and thought-provoking, shading light on some of Education issues in Japan, or sometimes even problems with the way how the Japanese society works like how people are evaluated and categorized and eventually discriminated. The story revolved mainly around 4~5 of the students but it also covered the whole class in an un-forced way. It never did it in the "One-student-per-each-episode" manner that other Japanese school dramas that I mentioned previously uses, it rather does it in a more natural and easy-to-relate to manner where the viewer finally realizes at the end of the episode which character was being dealt with. Also the drama successfully discussed the difficult ratio or balance between the role of School & family in a child's upbringing.
This drama provokes the viewer constantly to wonder and think; how far is a teacher allowed to go with his/her disciplines? What is the best and most effective way to teach them about what it really means to go into society and just how hard a thing it is. To educate them on how they should view and plan for their future and goals, to discipline them in a way that would make them always take responsibility for their own actions and lives. Though it's hard to reach a satisfying answer, it's still a very interesting topic to ponder about.


The Acting:
Outstanding job that Amami Yuki did in this drama!! I've watched other dramas of hers and already recognize her acting skills and charisma, but she definitely outdid herself in this one. Some may find that she hardly ever changed her expressions through most of the drama but I thing otherwise. She always managed to keep control over even the slightest of changes in her facial expressions throughout the drama and especially in the second half.
To talk about the cast one MUST mention Shida Mirai. I was highly pleased with her acting skills in this drama though I have to admit The first few episodes I found her acting to be a bit unstable and sometimes even irritating, but that's only normal especially at her age. Even veteran actors sometimes show wavering acting at the beginning of dramas before perfectly grasping the character they are playing.
The other cast (students & teachers) all did a fairly good job expressing their characters.

Music:
The music was one of the positive points in this drama, with a very unique background music that leaves a very strong impression and plays just at the right moments. The music composer is Ike Yoshihiro who also created other famous drama's OSTs like Nobuta Wo Produce & Tatta Hitotsu no Koi. Of course I can't talk about the music without mentioning one of my favorite pieces; Exile's EXIT. I'm the type that fast forwards openings and closings after watching 1/3 of a show, but the ending in this one is so addictive I hardly ever did.

Rewatch value:
My most favorite two genres in J-Doramas are detective & school dramas, and this was a very edifying and entertaining drama I think I might be watching again.

If you're a "Romance or comedy only" type, then it's better not to watch this, since it has nearly none of both aspects.
If you're the type that enjoys school dramas but is feeling hesitant to watch this because you prefer shows with teenagers not young primary school kids, then don't! Give this one a try and you won't regret it!

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Completed
The Grand Heist
9 people found this review helpful
Feb 14, 2013
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This movie was on my "To watch" list for so long since I read it was among the highest grossing movies in south Korean Cinema history .
It was a highly enjoyable watch. The story was the least expected, with a bunch of laughs and at some moments tears. Thrilling parts were also very well done.
Most of the characters were very interesting, but I especially enjoyed the two male leads duo a lot.
Goes without saying, Song Joong Ki's cameo at the final scene simply ROCKED!!!
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Completed
Galileo XX
8 people found this review helpful
Sep 11, 2014
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
As a Galileo fan, I've been quite disappointed with the second season (reasons explained in my review over there) but I'm so glad I read Japanese reviews praising this special episode and decided to watch it.

First, the story for this episode is so well written, and the surprising thing is that it's the drama's original story ie. it's not based on Higashino Keigo's novel like other ones! Hats off to the screenwriter on a marvelous story & great characterization.

Above all, watching this episode helped me reconfirm that Shibasaki is not just a pretty face, but is truly a talented actress. Also helped me understand all the more why she's the best match for this drama, and that however Yoshitaka Yuriko might try to do her best playing Kishitani, she will NEVER come anywhere near the quality of Ustumi Kaoru.

best part about the story in this special is not the case itself, because to be honest it can feel like a very common case especially to detective drama fans like myself. The best part was how this episode shaded light on detective Ustumi's struggle to prove herself as a female detective in a society where gender equality is considered impossible; Police department. Above all, showing how Ustumi is not the normal detective Japanese dramas always show who only cares about making an accomplishment and getting recognized for, rather she's an honest and unyielding detective that never gives up before uncovering the whole truth until there's no unclear questions unanswered. This special certainly succeeded in giving Utsumi's character more dimensions and depth than any of the other episodes of the first season.

On a side note The directing and camerawork in this one was given the utmost care it came out worthy of a theater release.

I would definitely recommend this episode to any Galileo fan out there, despite Yukawa sensei not having much role in here.

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Completed
From Me to You
8 people found this review helpful
May 4, 2013
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I haven't watched the animation nor read the manga so I only knew the outline of the story through reading the movie's synopsis.
This is a very cute romantic movie, that will make your heart flutter sometimes and feel painful at other times. Also for people who enjoy school dramas with friendship and bullying stories this one's got lots of that too.
The story itself is a very good one, simple yes but nice.
The movie can be a little slow paced sometimes, certain segments of the story puts too much focus on only one story line that you can almost forget the rest, so the overall balance might have been a bit off but this can be looked over considering the point it's a Manga adaptation with lots of parallel stories and sophisticated characters and relations.
The story seems to have to a certain extent kept the main story of the manga unchanged, but I read on the Japanese Wikipedia that the details of her father's job (and I guess the story of the day she was born and him running off his orchestra concert to see his newborn child) is the movie's original. I really liked that they made small but really significant details to show how Sawayako is loved and cherished by her family, which makes one convinced how a person being feared and treated so distantly from all of her classmates can still acquire such selfless and people loving traits.
The cast was very well chosen, both Miura and Tabe suited their respective roles and did a fair job expressing them, also her two friends Yoshida and Yano's actresses really did a great job.
The Music is really unnoticeable throughout the movie, but I gave it a 7 for Flumpool's theme song "Kimi ni Todoke"
I gave it a 7 points rewatch value cause I tend to feel like watching Asian movies that I liked again with my sis ;-)

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Completed
Kazoku Game
12 people found this review helpful
Jun 21, 2013
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
I've just finished watching the final episode and am greatly moved so I will make use of the moment to write a review while the impression is still strong.

Kazoku Game (Family Game) as the title suggests is a family drama.
It's a genre I believe Japan is very good at, even more than Korean dramas, well at least in my own opinion.
Japanese dramas depicting family matters, are of course fiction, but you can say at the same time they are non-fiction. Meaning to say they express real social issues and problems that only the Japanese family suffers from, and at that it does it with absolutely no refrains. The Japanese society is one that has many major issues more than the quick eye can see, issues the real size of which can be so big even family dramas that discuss them can not accurately express.

Back to our drama, Kazoku Game:
Story: I find most dramas and movies that are based on popular novels/comics to have a comparatively firm story than other ones with original stories, it's a not a rule though and there are exceptions. In case of Kazoku Game, and owing to the fact that it's not the first drama adaptation of the famous bestseller, this drama had a lot to show to appeal to viewers who have previously watched the previous adaptations or read the novel. The story is a very interesting and juicy one, full of question marks that make you constantly go through the circle of guessing >> doubting what you guessed >> finally reaching what at first you'd think is the truth only to create doubt inside of you once more.

The Acting: the Actors did a very good job expressing their roles, and let me tell you how most of the characters in this story can be considered psychologically unstable, with warped personalities and unbalanced thinking, so it's not by any means an easy job. I found Sakurai Sho particularly to have done a marvelous job in this one, especially if compared to his previous roles, we can say he has definitely matured as an actor. In a drama with long scenes with no or almost no lines, the facial expressions were they key, and I found all of the cast to have done a fairly good job at that field, especially the mother.

The Music: the BGM was definitely impressive, you can't help but notice it, it played a role in putting the viewer in a certain emotional state where mixed feelings of doubt, vexation, despair, grief all with the help of the direction of the scenes and montage accumulated inside of you, especially the abrupt cutting of the scenes, and the long segments of silence, the silent quick scenes of flashbacks...The directing in a whole made me feel like I MYSELF was starting to become emotionally unstable like the characters :D

Review value: I gave it a ten because while I was watching I constantly felt like rewatching it, but owing to the fact it is a story with a mystery and many questions that are only revealed near the end, watching it a second time definitely won't have the same glamour like that of the first watch.

This a drama, that I can recommend to anyone, especially Japanese drama fans, who want to watch a serious drama for a change, won't recommend to fans who only prefer romance/comedy dramas since this one has nearly none of both aspects.
If you enjoyed dramas like "Kaseifu no Mita" or "Freeter Ie wo Kau", please do give this one a try, you will definitely love it!

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