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  • Last Online: 14 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Texas
  • Total Edits: 36
  • Birthday: July 31
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  • Join Date: August 8, 2012
Completed
Bloody Monday
34 people found this review helpful
Nov 5, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I only began Bloody Monday because I was told by a dear friend that Miura Haruma was hot. What I didn't know is that he happens to be a good actor, of which I suspected but needed some time (about 2 episodes) to confirm. But there you have it. The reason why I watched a Japanese drama about a terrorist cell intent on destroying Tokyo with a deadly virus known as Bloody X was because of Miura Haruma. Our then 18 year old lead star plays Takagi Fujimaro, aka Falcon – an internationally acclaimed master hacker who of course becomes unwittingly involved in… dun Dun DUN… saving the world. Or at least Tokyo.

Needless to say is that Bloody Monday is an intense action-thriller that successfully kept my interest in its 11 episode run. Before I get down to knit-picking it, let me just say that for the most part I was pretty sure on how much I liked it. It was a staunch 8/10 from at least episode 3 onwards. Whether that was because Miura Haruma proved to be so efficient at portraying a genius high school boy/hacker whose world is thrown off balance by the intrusion of downright evil and plot-twist-worthy terrorists is a moot point. I try to be objective, but the only proof I have right now is to say that when he cried, I cried. No Kdrama heroine-esqe tears from this boy. I believed him! I was also impressed with the nearly endless series of plot twists, some of which I predicted from day 1 and some of which I never in my wildest dreams saw coming (and I seriously dream plot twist detection - it’s my one consolation before bed that at least my brain is smarter than Dramaland-ish plot twists). In the last five minutes, I hastily changed my 8 to a 9. I like a good emotional twist. So sue me.

While Bloody Monday is an overall exciting watch with notable acting (even among the supporting cast), I’m just going to have to say that thrillers, even more than comedies, come under my scrutiny for gaping plot holes. For instance, I’m pretty sure I could hand in my current resume, and instantly get a job with the number one Japanese intelligence agency (in this drama, Third-i), because obviously my rationale for thinking out logical strategies is higher than half the plans created by the master spooks in Bloody Monday. I also know that when you’re gearing up for a gun-fight, you really shouldn't walk up to your intended target close enough to where your target can easily disarm you and aim that gun directly at your own head. But I digress.

And all plot holes aside, I really did have shivers most of the times I sat down to watch this drama unfold. Having genuine anxiety for fictional characters goes a long way in my book of Appreciating Entertainment 101.

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Bara no nai Hanaya
15 people found this review helpful
Jun 27, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Need a shockingly good, slightly melo-ish but mostly heartwarming slice-of-life Jdrama with an excellent cast, beautiful and deep characters, that doesn't feel like work to watch, but still keeps your interest? Can I come up with a longer sentence to describe how gorgeous this drama is inside and out? (Given another 5 minutes, I could probably achieve that.) If your answer is yes, then please do sit down and watch Bara no nai Hanaya.

This is such a lovely atmospheric drama, featuring real and recognizable human beings. Eiji is a simple man with a hidden past, and Katori absolutely does not overact in his characterization. He is slow and plodding, and one of the kindest, most selfless creatures you’ll ever see. Yet the drama weaves his past in such a way that the slow unveiling of his life history and the history of the woman he loved is almost as integral to the story as the events that happen in real time. Throw in his obvious affection for Shizuku, and their own adoption of a neighborly grandmother, another loner desperate to feel needed and loved, and just try not having any feels for this beautiful little family structure.

Keep in mind, all this is even before the lovely Mio steps into their lives, cane in hand, full of anxiety and uncertainty about this new direction in her life. And maybe with just a few secrets of her own, hidden behind a web of lies. And perhaps she’s not the only character to have more than one secret.

Conclusion- I love it. All of it. The only reason it doesn't get a perfect score is probably because of some of the pacing issues, but after I’d finished the drama and started to reflect on it, I realize just how lovely it is. I’m not yet that versed in Jdramas, but I think this was a rare find for me.

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Dal Ja's Spring
11 people found this review helpful
Sep 26, 2012
22 of 22 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Dal Ja's Spring started out pretty fantastic. The first half is fun and spiffy, with a storyline that makes you think, "Why don't all Kdramas do such cool twists?" Dal Ja herself is probalby one of my favorite Kdrama heroines, and Kang Tae Bong is a pretty good looking lead, even if his expressions leave something to be desired (more kisses, I'm sure would have helped - though there were still plenty!).

Unfortunately, what I liked most about the first half is almost what made me bored by the second half. Just about every second lead or side character is actually well-written, and serves a purpose. After a while though, I just wished they'd already serve their purpose, and back off for the sake of my romantic wish-fulfillment. One of the draggiest ends of a drama ever! Though the main storyline is a good one.

Loved the soundtrack! Maybe because this doesn't seem like a prime-time drama, and perhaps becauseit's relatively old, but the music was expertly done, with lots of great little clips of famous pieces (both pop and classical) that helped tell the story almost as much as script.

Sorry though, you'll never catch me wanting to rewatch this one.

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Liar Game
12 people found this review helpful
Mar 5, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
Well I finally got around to watching this classic. Having heard much about it and its cast, I was no ends of hyped up and ready to go, and this highly marathonable drama was a treat to behold, but while it's addicting, it's not perfect. Intriguing, though somewhat lacking.

The Cool Part:
The games themselves are a logician’s masterwork. No twist is foreseeable, and no puzzle unsolvable to the brilliantly minded Akiyama-san. If you like sitting for half an hour – or two - in complete suspense wondering how on earth they will ever manage to win each round through sheer guile, biting your fingernails in anticipation of victory – well that might explain why it’s so highly marathonable. Matsuda Shota plays his part to perfection as the ultimate silent type: an analyst of humans, ever noting the depths of lies and secrets, and calculating every possible move ages before it happens. You’ll find yourself sitting in absolutely stillness waiting for his manipulations to become clear and work their magic.


The Boring Part:
You get the feeling after a while that Akiyama-san will always be there to save the day. And then, the suspense becomes merely repetitive. Having watched half the drama, the pattern for each match firmly memorized, and my brain starting to unravel to keep up with each game’s rules and intricacies, I found myself spacing out. Fortunately, the drama anticipates just such an outcome. Get lost trying to understand the all the players’ plots and maneuverings? No sweat! Before the game ends, there’ll be at least a 20 minute step by step account of how everything happened, and why.

The Real Crux of the Matter:
Games and plotting aside, there’s something very unique about Liar Game’s premise. The story isn’t merely about forcing poor innocent, indebted people to play a game, practically to the death, financial death. Liar Game instead strives to uncover the heart of human nature itself. As the game’s masterful creator intones: “Humans are willing to betray each other in order to survive. Therefore, what’s wrong with deceiving others from the start or living faithfully for your own desires? That’s being human.”

The world he paints in one of black and white, where the black-hearted will always win, and the weak and pitiful will always lose. It’s the cunning versus the trusting, and the pack against the loner, not necessarily evil versus good. To reach the top, humans should or will be capable of stepping on anyone and anything; survival of the smartest, when the risk is losing everything. You lie or you lose.

In Kanzaki Nao, we not only have the most gullible and trusting character ever written; she is an allegory of trust and honesty, absolutely incapable of lying. To the exasperation of the Liar Game Tournament office (or perhaps to their increasing interest), Nao refuses to adhere to their rules. She tries again and again to prove that with teamwork, everyone can win and advance to the next round, maybe not with a profit, but at least debt free. The catch is, if Nao wins, it will disprove everything our Liar Game creator believes in. But for how long Nao can keep the players working together is the only true unknown. It’s a question not even solved by the end of season 1.

Conclusion
It’s hard to fault Liar Game for any real plot holes, especially when it’s obvious that the entire story has purpose beyond plain entertainment, fun, games or romance. Are all the concepts expertly done? Not always. Is it a little cheesy and overly moralistic at times? Absolutely. Will this be my favorite drama of all times, or will I ever rewatch it? No, and most likely not.

But the characters are generally good, and well acted for their roles. Matsuda Shota is fantastic to watch, especially when he gets his game face on. I’d like to say that Erika Toda didn’t overly impress me with her acting, but when her character is an allegory, and mostly unrealistic – that’s something I just can’t make a case out of disliking. Did it detract a little bit from my enjoyment overall? Sure, but then it was a fun ride and eventually I will continue the story, and finish the game another day.

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Jang Ok Jung
13 people found this review helpful
Oct 22, 2013
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
I've never been a huge sageuk fan, but I can't resit a good ‘what if?’ historical retelling. What if, Jang Ok Jung wasn't the evil, conniving woman that history paints her as? What if she wasn't totally about greed and power. What if it really was all about love between Lee Soon and herself, to hell with all else…?

Pshh.. This is well documented Korean history.

But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be more to the story than history has to say. Or that the inner motivations of these highly visible personages were ever truly known by more than themselves or a few other people.

In other words, history always gives us this much leeway to make a romance out of nothing. If you want to approach Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love as infallible history, don’t. But if you’re in the mood for a sweeping epic love story set in historical period based more or less on real people– this might be a good drama for you.

We’re certainly not working with highbrow historical revisionism here.
JOJ: Live in Love is a snapshot of Joseon history ca. 1680s. It's a complicated and very violent story of King Sukjong (before, Crown Prince Lee Soon) and his wives/concubines- among whom are some of the most well known female figures of the age, including the famously tragic Queen Inhyun.

JOJ, however is a romantic and simplified spin on what’s probably 10x more complicated than the drama depicts. I’m actually okay with that, because it does a decent job of making all these events make sense in a way that won’t make your head spin.

But it’s also romantic in that the story it tells is exactly opposite from what history tries to tell. Give a quick thought back to last year’s hit drama Queen Inhyun’s Man, and the depiction you get of Jang Ok Jung is of a conniving bitch. So who wants to see Ok Jung get a makeover? Apparently not Korean audiences, because the ratings were just not there. It took an extra dose of romantic scenes to garner interest in the show. I think it’s shame because despite the unconventional retelling, Jang Ok Jung wasn’t all that bad.

The actors were fabulous, particularly Hong Soo Hyun- she just does sageuk figures so well, and I loved how they played with her Inhyun character in tandem with Ok Jung's dramafied character.

Overall, it was compelling. However, this is history, and history has an outcome that won’t be undone by fiction no matter how good your script is. As for the love between Lee Soon and his beloved concubine/queen, I bought it completely. Even within the grounds of how unhistorical it was that King Sukjong could’ve only had one person he ever loved (or even slept with – because, history says he had tons of concubines and a parcel of children). But I liked how the relationship between the two worked as an anchor for the overall political story. Ok Jung was portrayed as smart and wily, King Sukjong as a master politician, and as such their teamwork was a boon to the storyline. It kept things fresh and interesting at least 80% of the time.

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Orthros no Inu
13 people found this review helpful
Apr 3, 2013
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Ryuzaki Shinji (Tackey) and Aoi Ryosuke (Nishikido Ryo) are two sides of a coin and each blessed/cursed with a unique power. One wields the “God’s hand” and can heal people with just a touch. The other has the “Demon’s hand” with the power to kill. It should be a story that is black and white, but the demon wears white, and the angel wears black.
Aoi Ryosuke may have a devil’s curse, but he is terrified of his own abilities, while his counterpart Ryuzaki Shinji is a devil himself, with the gift of god. When they are brought together however, the game really begins.

From beginning to end, the mystery behind their powers drives the plot of the drama: just how much they know about each other and what are the implications of their gift. Is it a curse or blessing, or both, and how are they to be used? What is their purpose on this world? While a larger mythological background is hinted at, I actually appreciated how the drama focused more on the immediate repercussions. This isn’t a tale of gods and demons. It’s the story of two men who behind their powers are just as human as you or me. Their entanglement with Detective Hasebe gives this even more of a humanly-backing as she struggles to learn more about them - to trust or fear, protect or arrest.

“If I were able to change this world, would God be the only one who could allow that? If humans were able to hold God’s powers, would they be able to change the world?”

Thus begins the story as Ryuzaki stands overlooking a city drenched in rain. The camera pans down to reveal Aoi,as he walks into the nearest police station and turns himself in for murder:

“Coming here on my own makes the distinction, of what sort of person I, who has taken away that life, will become.”

The Dog of Orthros: The name comes from Greek mythology. Orthros was a two-headed dog beast (brother of the more famous 3-headed dog Cerberus), and minion to a giant. I'm sure other comparisons could be made between drama and myth, but there's not much known about the dog. Rather, it's more interesting to me that nowhere in the show does it say which man, the angel or the demon, is the actual beast. Both are just two parts of the same whole.

Not to ignore the drama’s political plotline (because, in this kind of scenario unfortunately one just has to exist), but that part was a little more on the predictable side of things – the only questionable outcome is which man, if either, would align with the greedy and power-hungry parties and politicians.

What was more subtly done I thought were many of the side characters, including Detective Hasebe’s young daughter (who often seemed to understand important things better even than her mother), and delinquent youth Kumakiri Masaru (Yaotome Hikaru).

Should you watch it?
I could barely turn away from this drama, and not even the political plotline bored me for more than a few minutes at a time. Like most Jdramas, the romance may be a tiny bit lacking, but the relationship between the three main players was anything but lacking in overall chemistry. The thriller/mystery aspects were also extremely well done (if not completely perfect) but enough that even knowing the outcome, I’d be likely to watch it again.

Read more (with pictures) on my blog:
http://shinealightrose.blogspot.com/2013/03/jdrama-review-orthros-no-inu-2009.html

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Time Between Dog and Wolf
15 people found this review helpful
Aug 15, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
A superb blend of action, suspense, and romance combined with terrific acting performances and a plot so thorough, I wish more Kdramas were like this. Who knew Lee Joon Ki was more than just a pretty face? This is the drama of a lifetime for me. To classify this as a simple spy/revenge tale would be an outrage to this nuanced and near-perfect drama. Borrowing a few familiar and almost standard Kdrama tropes , TBDW takes them beyond the conventions of just about any other drama. The characters feel real, not pre-written hollow shells, throw on the emotional angst. The levels of character development and moral ambiguity here are so prevalent, I get chills. Did I mention that you get to see LJK play both good guy and extra hot baddie?? Such a fantastic watch!

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Majo no Jouken
8 people found this review helpful
Apr 24, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Prepare yourself for a ridiculously young Takizawa Hideaki - 17 at this time playing a high school student who falls in love with his 26 yr old homeroom teacher. Is the love returned? Would it be a drama if it wasn’t? Japan spares no details apparently with this tricky genre. Majo no Jouken, or Forbidden Love, is a fully fledged love story that jumps right into the story, the romance, and all the icky taboos and consequences of the younger man/older woman relationship.

In some ways, Majo no Jouken was a predictable roller-coaster ride as the ‘forbidden’ couple struggle to find acceptance in a society that doesn’t legally forbid their love, but certainly doesn’t know how to handle it. However, a variety of side characters add to the battle, including Hirose-sensei’s one time fiancé and Hikaru’s young and possessive single mother. And between these two, we get the feeling that there are some things even sicker and twisted than the relatively innocuous age difference of our show’s main lovers.

On a Technical Note:
This drama had me asking questions I never thought I'd worry about. The amount of time I spent surfing the internet studying Japanese legal age of consent; wondering if Japan really does consider it a psychological disorder for a woman to love a high school age boy; curiosity if Japan would really go to such lengths to depict one of the creepiest mothers ever before hinted at; confusion as to why I could care so much about a couple that seems so destined to suffer one crisis after another...

All fruitless efforts, really. Half mushy, half gritty, Majo's romance was a hot whirlwind of a mess, and not afraid of delving into serious life questions. What does a woman do when her boyfriend is uneducated and unemployed, and how does said boyfriend take care of a woman 9 years his senior? There is no instant maturity, no immediate solutions, and not every expectation will be fulfilled as first it was conceived. Kind of like... life.

I almost find it hard to recommend this, because unless you’re in the mood for a torturous road of almost Kdrama level proportions (though at least not in length), Majo no Jouken is a painful drama to watch. Even the initial sweetness of the romance is very nearly spoiled by a traumatic second half. However, if you love seeing actors portraying their characters well, and those characters being well-handled over the course of the drama, or if you just want to see Tackey back when he was young and adorable (as opposed to the older version which is just plain hot), then I guess you should watch it sometime. ;) And hardships aside, the characters really do make a sweet couple. I say that even remembering just how young he is here. At least that much is quite believable.

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Kimi wa Petto
8 people found this review helpful
Mar 12, 2013
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
So what’s the story? Girl finds injured boy in a box; girl takes boy home and adopts him – as a dog. I’ll give you a second for your eyes to stop rolling. It works! I promise you, the story actually works! – Once you can get your mind wrapped around the premise that a 28 year old woman would actually be ok taking in a 20 year old homeless boy and in every way possible treating him as a master to its pet.

Sumire the career woman and MatsuJun the obedient dog: Together they are one of the cutest onscreen couples I’ve ever seen. And when I say cute, I do mean cute as in ‘puppy dog’ cuteness. So cute it’s downright awkward.

Yet the strength of the show lies in this very strained and awkward relationship. On one hand, the players are perfectly happy to pretend like it makes sense. He needs a home and someone to feed him, she’s lonely and likes the companionship, especially at the end of a hard day. To come home from work to find a happy pet waiting anxiously for its owner? Tail wagging, happy and desperately giving out the mixed signals of ‘I love you - Feed me!’ No questions asked, no stressful conversations, and no obligations.

It’s a borderline perfect friendship, laced with a dangerous hint of sexual tension. Especially once Sumire begins an actual dating relationship with another man, and neglects to tell him about the ‘pet’ she keeps at home. Tanabe Seiichi plays the ideal boyfriend Hasumi Shigehito, tall and even more career bound – perfect for the haughty Sumire whose shorter ex-boyfriend suffered an inferiority complex. Yet the person that begins to melt Sumire’s cold exterior is not the boyfriend she’s crushed on for years, but the warm and huggable stray living away tucked up in her apartment.

In case you’re worried that this isn’t enough conflict already to see this plot through to the end, fear not. Despite the wtf-premise of boy acting like dog, not everything is always fun and games with this couple, nor is the real issue behind their mutual farce completely ignored. Takeshi/Momo may act like the perfect dog, loving and obedient, but behind the antics is a real human being, sadly cognizant of the reality of the situation. How long can they keep this up and how long he can keep his own feelings hidden drives the plotline of the latter half.

Do I recommend this? Absolutely. Just shut off your brain for a tiny bit and roll with it. It’s a unique romance story adapted from a manga – but unlike others of its origin, the drama’s characters are rarely overdone or overly dramatic. Even MatsuJun as the dog exhibits some depths of character as he switches between the happy-go-lucky puppy and the lone artist, dissatisfied with himself and his life. Sumire is the real face-palming mystery of the show, unsure of herself and her feelings. And yet, her strange behavior could not dampen how fun the drama is overall. I’m already in a re-watching mood, and at 10 episodes, this seems eminently doable.


For some select screencaps, see my original blog article at http://shinealightrose.blogspot.com/2013/02/jdrama-review-kimi-wa-petto-2003.html

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Completed
Nobuta Wo Produce
9 people found this review helpful
Aug 8, 2012
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10
Nobuta is my first Jdrama, and I'm not sure it will ever be toppled as my favorite. A high school coming of age drama, Nobuta explores the true meaning of friendship, in the moment and forever. I'm not sure I've ever seen a trio of characters portray such a deep level of non-sexual chemistry. They actors together are completely in sync, and the story line is unique, quirky, deeply moving and poignant, and just glorious overall. I am so sad that there were only 10 eposides. I could have watched these characters forever.
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Completed
Summer Scent
14 people found this review helpful
Aug 8, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Summer Scent suffers unfortunately from the same ills as the rest of the Endless Love dramas, which is to say that it's slow as molasses and at least 10 episodes too long. However, like its predecessors, the foundation of the show's main plot is phenomenal! The main characters' chance encounter on the mountain, and every scene they're in for at least the next the next 6 episodes at least are well worth the time. If you find you can't handle it after that, just skip to the end for faster resolution. We won't judge you!
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Winter Sonata
17 people found this review helpful
Aug 29, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
What can I say about this drama?! It's beautiful, utterly romantic, wonderfully filmed, with amazing actors, and a soundtrack to weep over. On the other hand, it's painfully slow-paced, frustrating, and epically long (20 episodes is long for a plot like this one).

What to do.. watch it? or not? If you're taking the "Endless Love Watch All Challenge," then yes. The good news: This is THE most famous of the series, and arguably the best of the four. The bad news is: it's arguably the best of the four.

As a stand alone drama, however, I would actually hazard an opinion that Winter Sonata is a must watch for anyone. Yes it's melodramatic, yes it's a bit plodding. But it does have its own unique charm that is so endearing, and draws its viewer into caring for the characters whether you wanted to or not, so much that I stuck with it to the end, with a bit of help...from the fast-forward button... Just, fast forward every 30-45 seconds for quicker drama flow. You won't miss anything, and it still feels like you watched every moment.

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Completed
Big
17 people found this review helpful
Aug 8, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This drama could have been one of those rare finds of the year. Big started out so strong, it was hilarious, Gong Yoo was amazing, the rest of the cast was fun and likeable. The body switch was unique, the mystery of Yoon Jae was off the charts! The hints were there! The pace was wild! And... Wait, WTF's going on? Two time jumps, an un-filmed wedding, almost Every question left unanswered, and an ending so boring I almost passed out. The plot goes nowhere, the body switch is basically unaddressed, the mystery is never solved. Could it really have been that hard to write some sort of resolution? I want those 16 hours of my life back, Hong sisters!

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Damo
8 people found this review helpful
Nov 17, 2013
14 of 14 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
You know when you start watching some epic drama, and it's taking too long to get to all the good parts, and you just want something vaguely similar, with more action and romance? Well that's why I decided to watch Damo. It's most all fluff and love. And action sequences: the, scaling-rooftops, flying-through-trees, blades-all-a-blur-and-quite-bloody type of action scenes - Just what I was craving. I refuse to say it was a great drama, but at 14 episodes it was more than right for a spur of the moment marathon, and quite enjoyable.

Our story is quite modern, despite it's sageuk feel (It's considered one of the first fusion sageuks out there). Think fusion of detective drama, conspiracy-driven action adventure, with good guys and bad guys, sageuk-era cops and robbers (police and rebels) and they're not all necessarily evil. Sadly, there's no bromance, -- Just a lot of testosterone.

Uhm, what else should I say? It's very much a Kdrama, and the story is built with almost exactly similar tropes: love triangle, secrets, suspense, a love triangle, conspiracies, noble heroes fighting for some very vague cause.. did I mention there's something weird about that love triangle...? *ahem*

The story is fast-paced and exciting! Ha Ji Won is super badass, like she was always meant to be. The men are all bearded in old fashion style, but like all hot Korean actors, they make it look it good. The costumes are spectacular, and the cast doesn't always look all pristine and pretty. And oh - guerrilla warfare! Cool! I'm a sucker for bandit hideout stories and rebel leaders who make use the landscape to slaughter whole troops in a creative fashion making a big ole' bloody mess! Yeeaaaahhhhh!(Whaat? I never said I liked only romance stories...)

WHERE DAMO DELIVERS:

Ha Ji Won is really the best thing about this drama. If you're a fan, you'll like her. If you're not a fan, well you'll still probably like her, depending on your inclination for bloody sageuk detective dramas. Actress aside though, the rest of the cast wasn't too bad either. Every character held their own, and even the comic relief at the beginning will make your heart plunge into an emotion of feels by the end.

Did I mention this drama is fairly realistic in its approach to human life? Don't just assume everyone's gonna make it out of this alive... Joseon Korea in turmoil isn't exactly the most forgiving of places.


WHERE DAMO DISAPPOINTS:

As cool as Damo is for the most part, it requires a willing suspension of disbelief if you try to make sense of the plot. The premise is pinned on one of the flimsiest of causes. The number of times our naively heroic characters yell out righteously "for the people!" was too many times to count. Especially when one knows anything about Korean history, or Joseon Korea's lack of history featuring anything remotely successful "for the people." At least as far as political, anti-political revolts go. This was sort of a killing point for me. When clever characters are mired up in a lame excuse for plot-making, I check out. It's just too unfortunate.

Also ere's one episode that takes place in a cave. Like, the whole episode. In a cave. The whole time. In a cave.

Good luck.

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Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
8 people found this review helpful
Aug 21, 2012
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
What? I finished it already?? I don't watch too many Japanese dramas - this being only my second; but from my brief excursions into a new culture, I have to say there's something almost magical about them, especially Hana Kimi.

Where do I even begin? Hana Kimi is equal parts about building friendships, falling in love, hot boys, and over the top goofiness (the kind that's so overboard it's insane, and I don't realize how stupid it can be until I'm so stunned I can't help but giggle ridiculously hard, so that my husband comes running to see what's the matter!). This is one of the few dramas that could move me in ALL of those categories: The fuzziness, the adorableness, the pretty, and the hilarious. I was miserably sad to finish this... guess I'll have to watch it again someday... soon.

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