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the borderlands


the borderlands
Imawa no Kuni no Alice
13 people found this review helpful
Dec 14, 2020
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

I've been waiting for this as a manga reader and it did not disappoint

This drama is a live action adaptation of the manga imawa no kuni no Alice . I read it some years ago and it's been one of my favorites ever since , so I was very excited when I saw it was going to have an adaptation and I'm so happy it's finally here . I knew Sato Shinsuke delivered some well claimed works before and this one did not disappoint either . The story is about 3 high school friends Chota, Karube, and Ryouhei hanging out late one night when they see fireworks. After one blindingly bright explosion, they find themselves waking up in a different world , called the "Borderlands" , there , people are forced to participate in potentially deadly games . Each game is different so you never know what might happen and never get bored , each type of game focuses on different strengths , there are some that test your physical strength , others that drain you psychologically , games that force you to use your mind or even ones where you have to rely and collaborates with others in order to win . There were a few differences from the manga but it stays a pretty faithful adaptation , and personally I liked the new games presented in it or the different approach to them , it was refreshing and felt like a totally new experience for someone like me who've reread the manga many times . I binge watched the series in a day and I already can't wait for the next season , which was hinted for in the last episode .

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The Good Bad Mother
25 people found this review helpful
Jun 11, 2023
14 of 14 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.0
Story 3.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
If you had nothing to do during your weekends , you might have been catching up to the two episodes of this show being aired every week , most likely you would have been doing something else with your time , but if you were me , trying to find some Korean dramas to watch on netflix after the usual months long breaks from them , you could have stumbled upon this show .
The good bad mother is your typical romantic comedy korean drama with a revenge plot , which can be entertaining and enjoyable if done correctly , but even with two episodes less than your typical kdrama this still manages to feel lengthy and repetitive , I'm not sure I would have been able to finish it if I wasn't watching it on release , and/or had something better to do with my time . Not to make a completely negative review , but I did have some hopes for this series that were utterly crushed in barely a few episodes and made me come vent out my frustration in this review .

The start was okay , and I was genuinely shocked with the way the son treated his mom , as unsurprising as it was yet unexpected from this kind of series , it made me curious to watch more , and so I stuck through all the episodes that felt like an amateur repetitive slife of life comedy .
In just a few episodes in you can already accurately guess how this was going to end , and I felt like a fool for thinking there would have been a better done "redemption" for the mom and that they would have show a gradual improvement in their relationship , but no , of course not , this series spends the first episodes depicting the mom as nothing but a stubborn “bad” mother and spends the rest of it as a sympathy party for her and that actually even her son didn’t really hate her anyway . Where is the conflict in this? I wanted to see some genuine anger and conflict resolution and actual dialogue between them that felt human, but what’s the point if he “actually did all of that to focus on his masterful revenge plan” . Their relationship which was the main focus and you would have expected to have been explored gradually was eventually really underwhelming . And of course she is sick , to make the last viewers who hadn’t changed their minds after the endless pitying done on her finally see her as a likable character . It’s done really poorly and is an obvious manipulation of your emotions as a viewer which every tacky sad movie can do with the right audience .
The relationship with the rest of the cast is not that interesting either , we’re shown how they all want to betray her but of course they change their minds last minute , what was even the point of that? It doesn’t seem to be consistent , one day the characters all don’t like each other and the other they actually have always been best friends , I would expect better from something that’s trying to be a character focused slife of life .

Talking about inconsistencies , apparently the protagonist knew that his drink was probably spiked , then why on earth would he go and drink that? He was smart enough to get there on his own and knew the kind of men he surrounded himself with , he was careful enough to leave clues to his mom but was so stupid to risk fucking up everything and for what ? What was the reason exactly ? Because of course this kdrama wouldn’t exist without it and the screenwriter couldn’t think of anything better to move the plot . In writing , the characters should be the ones pushing the plot and not the other way around, because when it happens , you will end up with your own characters acting out of character , which is exactly what happens here . It just comes off as lazy writing just for the sake of making a drama that would sell .

The romance part is severely underwhelming , it seems like Lee do hyun can't make it work with just any older female costar , although I can't say it's really their fault , they didn't have enough to make with , and from their other works I believe they could have done a better job with a better story .

This review is getting lengthy , and although there could be more to discuss , I’ve said most of what made this unenjoyable for me , and I hope in the future to see a better work from the director of beyond evil . To not leave this completely negative , I really liked the introduction talking about pigs and the music was good .

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Strangers from Hell
5 people found this review helpful
Dec 16, 2020
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
I saw a lot of people mention the book the metamorphosis , and I think those theories are great , but I haven't seen anyone mention "hell is other people" which is another title from jean Paul Sartre . In the play, three people are trapped in Hell — which is a single room — and ultimately while confessing their sins to one another, end up falling into a bizarre love triangle.

" Hell is other people has always been misunderstood. It has been thought that what I meant by that was that our relations with other people are always poisoned, that they are invariably hellish relations. But what I really mean is something totally different. I mean that if relations with someone else are twisted, vitiated, then that other person can only be hell. Why? Because … when we think about ourselves, when we try to know ourselves … we use the knowledge of us which other people already have. We judge ourselves with the means other people have and have given us for judging ourselves. "

The hell here would be the studio , as he is trapped in there he starts to go crazy and by "confessing their sin" we can maybe think it's about how the dentist forces him to bring out the "psychopathic" nature in him and his killing urge .
"We judge ourselves with the means other people have and have given us for judging ourselves." The people around him make him think he's overreacting and imagining things , that the people there are okay and he's just paranoid , so we literally see him become more and more paranoid during each episode , as he starts to believe what other people (especially his girlfriend) are telling him . We can also interpret that , since the dentist keeps telling the protagonist he's just like him , that's why he starts to believe that . His coworker says he only pretends to be a nice person on the outside , so Jong Woo acts as according to those prejudices , smashes his keyboard and beats him up sending hum to the hospital. If we take the metamorphosis in question , as the protagonist begins his transformation and becomes a bug , he completely forgets what he used to be like and starts to become what the people around him think he is , paranoid , crazy , rude , a murderer .
This is just my theory based on what I heard about these books , I'm going to try reading Sartre and Kafka and completing the webtoon and see if I can correct it or come up with something more .

This drama is really amazing , I watched it in one day . The actors did a really great job , especially Lee-Dong Wook , it's not easy for an actor with an already established image as a sweet and nice character to break form that and play a completely different role as a psychopathic killer , but he managed to do that and played out his character really well . This is my first time watching Im Shi Wan and he did great as Jong Woo .

If I have any complaints about this drama , it would be that the last episode is a bit rushed , but that's the case for many dramas so I'm not going to hold it against it , overall this was a thrilling and exciting watch , definitely worth a rewatch someday .

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Ongoing 7/10
2 people found this review helpful
Nov 5, 2023
7 of 10 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
Another crime thriller by Shin Hakyun ? Of course I had to check this out as soon as I learned about it and Jesus was I hooked .

The premise , the plot , the characters , the storytelling , none of it disappoints . It seems like kdramas are finally taking a step out of their comfort zone and delivering morally ambiguous antiheros and I sure as hell am here for it .

Although the main villains are too stereotypically villainy ( seriously I can see them twisting their mustache and snickering each time they appear on the screen ) , I can ignore that because Shin Hakyun alone completely more than makes up for it with his amazing portrayal of Han Dongsoo , an incredibly smart lawyer who decided to live most of his life complying by the rules , which had cost him , a lot . And we watch as he's inevitably driven into a corner and forced to make a choice . Fight fairly and undoubtedly lose , or accept a bloodied hand , the only salvation that reached him in the most desperate moment of his life . When his family is on the line , he has no choice but to accept Seo Doyoungs help . And even though each time he convinces himself that he will put an end to it before he's too far down to climb back up , we the audience understand and anticipate that that's not going to happen , that something or someone will force his hand , because of course , that's what this whole show is all about and I absolutely love it, watching someone this smart finally let loose and go out for blood , how can I not be excited !

Watching him rack up his brain to come up with ideas to save himself and his brother was seriously one of my favorite parts of this show .

I have to add , I love the outfit choices , even up to his haircut and the glasses he wears . As I was watching the show I couldn't help but notice how nicely he always tried to dress , even when the situation didn't call for it . I am not an expert but you can tell a lot about a person with how they present themselves to the world . And it seemed like he was trying to make up for some inferiority complex through his clothes . Because he was so deeply humiliated , made to feel like a fraud , his fashion was a way of reclaiming some of his personhood " I'm a real lawyer , I even look the part , from my hair to my shoes . " But more than anyone else he was probably trying to prove it to himself . And Seo Doyoung saw right thought that : " You look better without the glasses . " I was completely blown by that line , he saw through this fragile facade for what it was , but instead of mocking it as a shameful and lame act , he instead praised his real self , because who Han Dongsoo really is , is better than whatever fake persona he was trying to trick himself into believing was him .

How will all of this end , will our protagonist be able to bare the consequences of his choices ? How will his brother be affected ? Will Doyoung face justice ? I can't wait to find out!

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0 people found this review helpful
Jan 29, 2024
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
As a Beyond Evil refugee, I am compelled to check out anything by Shin Ha Kyun, and I finally got around to watching this last night.

The premise was undoubtedly good, and this short series tackled on some interesting and moving themes of love, grief, memories, fear of death and loss, and the hope of finding a small light of knowledge (that is supposed to bring us comfort and peace) in the unknown, with the help of science. All of this, with the use of our current technological progress (think Virtual Reality and Neuralink) and some sci fi, to take it a step further and imagine an uncanny near–future where our own brains, feelings and memories are turned into a commodity.

Yonder, in English, means 'at a great distance away'. Something you can see but can't quite reach yet. It was a really clever name not only for this series but also for the supposed promised heaven to anyone willing to euthanize themselves and insert a small biochip in their neck. Our main character lived staring right ahead at death as his wife's health slowly declined and withered, until she finally reached that place just yonder. And then, beyond that—once again—he finds something new, something yonder, someplace he struggles to accept but eventually makes the final leap to reach, just to reunite with his wife.

Looking at it from this perspective, it is a beautifully heartbreaking story that touches something deep within us and makes us confront our humanity. It's in the execution where it falls short. I feel like this series could have done so much better with its limited runtime. Yet, even with less than half the episode length of a typical kdrama, it still feels drawn out with unnecessary plot points. And I could have ignored my moments of cringe at the hacking genius trope and could have enjoyed this more with a suspension of disbelief (the time spent showing the main character's interactions with other grieving families could have either developed them better, or been used to expand a little bit on how and why the organ donor lady joined our main duo. Both these could have done so much for this work.) if this series didn't make me stop at each point to wonder if this was just plain lazy writing or I'm expecting too much. I understand this is not an easy genre so I don't want to be too critical and deter someone else from experiencing this because it does have moments where it shines.

There was a special and small moment where I felt like I was thrown into The Good Place again, a series very dear to me, so just for that, I would say this was worth my time and attention. But otherwise, I could not help but skip 5 second per 5 second and I don't feel like I missed anything significant. The screenwriters could have used their time to really dig into what they wanted to say and delve more into the characters, instead of focusing on a plot that seems to give prominence to their weakness in writing.

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