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JennyStuckOnThatRooftop

T1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

JennyStuckOnThatRooftop

T1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Completed
Blueming
109 people found this review helpful
Apr 1, 2022
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.5

Intimate, empathetic and observant slice-of-life story

The simplicity of "Blueming" really enabled the show to focus on more serious topics such as insecurities, loneliness, and self-doubts. It's simple, raw and the dialogues are written with such authenticity that it makes it really easy to relate to the characters. It was refreshing to see how mundane their struggles were, and I loved how this show "normalized" pain. Not only that, but it doesn't judge its characters for the feelings they have. Quite a few of us might have felt that our pain isn't worth mentioning and I like how it acknowledges that no matter what you're going through, your feelings are valid. I also appreciate how they didn't give us the usual perfect main leads, instead the characters and dialogues are written with such empathy that it made the story feel genuine.

The romance is quite uneventful and I think the story benefits greatly from it. There aren't any grand gestures or declarations, instead you can see them slowly opening up to each other. It's clear they found someone they can be vulnerable with and not fear being judged. I thought their bond and the growing trust was realistically portrayed, proving you don't need a full-length show to convincingly build up a relationship.

Fitting for a story about film students, the cinematography is beautiful. It utilizes lighting and shadows to create atmospheric shots that added an artistic feel to the show. Moreover, it was rather clever that they used filming techniques they talked about in class during one of the episodes. Both lead actors seemed pretty comfortable in their roles and managed to portray the awkwardness and growing attraction quite well. The performances were rather understated, which was fitting for the story. The little touches between them and their body language felt natural and intimate. Once again, the simplicity of it all made it feel realistic and authentic.

"Blueming" is a subtle and quiet depiction of everyday struggles that will tug on your heartstrings. Some dialogues felt so familiar, and I think that's why the story resonated with me. It's a story that lingers in your thoughts, and some conversations were so well-written I could write an essay about it. It may not be perfect in all aspects, but it manages to observantly tell a story of mundane struggles in an engaging and touching way.

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Completed
55:15 Never Too Late
21 people found this review helpful
Feb 2, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 8
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

Regrets and second chances

When we're young, we often picture our future exactly the way we want it to be. But what if one day you realize those dreams you've had never came true? Those chances you didn't take turned into regrets, and you feel like you've wasted most of your time waiting for the right moment? Well, usually that's the part where you might wanna consider therapy, but since we're in dramaland turning into your younger self sounds more like it. The premise is nothing groundbreaking, but I've a thing for time travel and second chances kind of stories. It's typically a story about personal growth and living your life to the fullest. It's an inspiring theme that has been used over and over since it gives us simple humans hope. Hope that in the end everything's going to be ok.

"Never Too Late" is a simple story with themes you can relate to no matter your own age. While the show might lack some complexity in its storytelling, it makes up for that with likeable characters and charming unlikely friendships. The first few episodes focus on each of our leads, taking enough time to establish their backstories. Personally, I think the show really benefitted from this approach, since the character development and friendships were the strongest aspect of it. While there is much to love about "Never Too Late" it does have its flaws. At the beginning of the story you might have to suspense your disbelief a bit and the storytelling feels slightly disjointed. Some episodes were oddly paced, giving insignificant and predictable scenes way too much screen time. Nonetheless, it was delightful to watch these characters grow together, and I appreciated how they balanced the different storylines.

The acting of the main cast was solid whether it was the younger or the older cast with View, Khaotung and Nanon delivering standout performances. Their acting was the most nuanced, and resembled their older counterparts. The support cast was a hit or miss, with certain acting being way too over the top, which took me out of some scenes. My personal favorites were Bomb, Phiphu and Noinae. Not only did I love these characters, I also really enjoyed the performances of the actors. 

"Never Too Late" is a light, fun and heartwarming second coming-of-age story. While not without flaws, the wonderful ensemble cast make it a worthwhile and fun take on the turning back time for a second chance in life formula. It's not a fairy tale, but life hardly ever is, and that's probably part of the reason I enjoyed it so much.

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Completed
Love Between Fairy and Devil
52 people found this review helpful
Sep 5, 2022
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 14
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.5

I'm not even trying to be reasonable about this.

This is the kind of show you get so addicted to you don't even realize hours have passed since you first hit play. While some of these types of dramas leave me feeling sticky like I just indulged on too much sugar, this is one of the few cases I did not regret a minute of the rush. While the romance is captivating, this show doesn't sacrifice its main storyline or logic to keep the tension. Instead, we got a well established conflict that's in line with the characters personalities as well as the world building. At every moment of this show, I understood the motivations of each character and could sympathize with them. Never did it feel like they were stalling or creating unnecessary drama to fill the episodes.

Even though the story is your classic forbidden love tail, the way it was presented and how it incorporated its fantasy elements made it feel fresh and engaging. The world building is one of the things I really enjoyed about this show. Often Xianxias can feel overwhelming and incoherent since they just randomly dump information on you and don't even bother to explain the key points of the world they're set in. While it may not dive too deep into it's setting, it does utilize beautiful and detailed sets as well as costumes to highlight differences between the three realms and its respective residents. It creates an immersive experience which made it feel like these places were more than just pretty backdrops. Apart from the sets, I actually thought the visual effects were surprisingly good, resulting in exciting and impressive fight scenes. I've to quickly mention the OST at this point, which is hauntingly beautiful and still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it after finishing the drama.

Overall I enjoyed the performances of the cast and quite a few side characters won me over. They got developed enough to make me care about them, but I would not have minded if we got more of their stories as well. Fleshing out the other stories might have helped with some pacing issues and added more layers to the romance focused show. The selling point of this drama, though, are our two leads and their relationship. So let me highlight why I loved these two and what made their relationship so special for me.

"I'm a beautiful fairy with a good heart." 
Well, if that isn't the most accurate self-description I've heard in a while. Orchid has to be one of my favorite female leads in recent Chinese dramas. She starts off as a bubbly and adorable fairy that is rather naive and timid. However, throughout the story she develops into a brave and determined person that never loses the essence of her character, which is her compassionate and selfless heart. She brings out the best in people with her unrelenting belief in them. I truly adored her, and Yu Shu Xin is one of those actresses that has something so likable about her, which was really fitting for this character. I know that some viewers were bothered by her voice, I was not one of them. In fact, she did a great job with the transition of her voice as the story progressed. At the begging of the story it's pretty high-pitched and childlike, which indicates Orchids innocence, however as she matures throughout the story her voice also changes and it was so nice to witness this change in her. She also uses a different voice during the body swap scenes, adding another layer to her performance. One of the things I loved the most about her journey was how she starts off seeing the world in black and white, but after meeting different people, she realizes the fairy realm might not be as perfect as it seems. She also learns there are more layers to a person than what you can see on the surface.

"No one ever taught me how to get close to others." This was my first Wang He Di drama, so I don't have anything to compare it to, however he embodied Dong Fang Qing Cang in a way that you can't even imagine anyone else playing this character. I was impressed by his nuanced portrayal, and I believed every gesture and every word he said. He was fierce and domineering as the Moon Supreme, while also showing subtle emotions and changes throughout the story without losing his personality in the process. His transformation felt authentic and genuine, and I especially enjoyed his performance in the more emotional later episodes. Moreover, he sold that body swap to me, which isn't something a lot of body swap shows manage to do. The way he adapted Yu Shu Xin´s body language and mannerism made me believe I was watching Orchid struggle in Dong Fang Qing Cang's body, which was amusing to watch. I also have to mention the voice actor here, because he was amazing and really helped bring this character to life. While watching Dong Fang Qing Cang slowly change and grow, you honestly can't help fall in love with him alongside Orchid. Wang He Di really went the extra mile in this one.

I often have this issue with romance dramas nowadays that I can't get invested in them because I feel somewhat disconnected to the characters and their relationship. This is mostly due to the fact that shows don't take their time establishing those first before they move on to the emotional scenes. Love Between Fairy and Devil does not have this issue. It managed to convincingly tell a romance where both parties felt equally strong about each other. This relationship evolved over time and helped both of them grow as characters. I truly appreciated that this show took the time to establish them individually while also developing their relationship before we got to the angst, since the emotional scenes had way more impact this way.

This show might not be for everyone, however I had a wonderful time watching it. The balance between romance, captivating story and fantastical elements just worked for me and had me hooked until the very last episode. It's one of those shows I'll get back to again and again.

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Completed
Let Me Hear It Barefoot
16 people found this review helpful
Jun 7, 2022
Completed 14
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

"I feel like there is an invisible barrier around me."

Gentle and sensitive LGBTQ+ drama that explores themes such as emotional repression conducted by society, family conflicts and the struggle of finding your own path in life.

Probably the strongest point of this film are the two main characters and the performances of the cast. Naomi and Maki are played in such a nuanced and likable way, you quickly feel invested in their story. I was happy when these two were happy, and I was devastated when these two were. It's an emotionally charged story that lives through its silent moments between Naomi and Maki and the immaculate performances of these two actors. I genuinely enjoyed the movies subtle approach to storytelling, since it avoids spelling things out and instead trusts the viewers enough to let them figure out the context themselves. You may not have the complete backstory of each character, but you know exactly what is going on and the emotions are loud and clear.

Given the audiovisual context of the story, it's probably no surprise the score and sound design was exceptionally well-done. Some of the most entertaining parts of the story were Naomi's and Maki's unconventional approach to sound-engineering. Watching them figure out how to recreate specific sounds was delightful. Apart from the sound, I have to mention the beautiful cinematography that seemed to almost intuitively capture the protagonist's feelings and thoughts.

Considering I've only praised this movie so far, one might think it's perfect, so I have to mention two aspects that might raise criticism. The first one is the somewhat repetitive nature of the storytelling. This wasn't something that bothered me in particular. At some point, the movie gets into this rhythm, repeating certain activities over and over. I can see why this might bother some viewers, however I thought this intensified the underlying feelings of the leads, and it felt different enough to see the progress of the story.

The second aspect is something that bothered me personally, so not everyone might have this issue with the story. Without giving anything away, I disagreed with a few narrative choices that were made in the later half of the movie, since they weren't in line with the behavior of the characters in the first half, at least it felt like that to a certain extent. This evoked strong emotions in me, which honestly just showed how invested I was in the story and how connected I felt to these characters. So, while I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, even having thought about it for a day, I realized that while I might be conflicted about certain parts of the story, this movie managed to touch me deeply, and it has stayed with me.

Let Me Hear It Barefoot is a poignant movie with wonderful quiet moments, genuinely likable characters, and a story that lingers with you after you have finished watching it.

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Completed
What She Likes
16 people found this review helpful
Jun 5, 2022
Completed 5
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5

Emotional LGBTQ+ Coming-of-Age Story

"I felt like a guest at a cult meeting"

Based on a web novel which was already adapted into a drama, "What She Likes..." is an emotional LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story about Jun, a closeted high school student struggling with his homosexuality, and Sae a BL manga obsessed classmate that develops feelings for him.

I'm a bit torn about this one. Overall, I did enjoy it and thought it was a touching story with beautiful cinematography and some heart-wrenching moments. My main issues were how unrealistically they resolved some of the conflicts they were dealing with. The way they brushed over some characters and themes lessened the impact for me. Moreover, they should have focused more on Jun as the main lead. One could argue this was about Jun and Sae which is true to a certain extent and there were aspects I really liked about these two. However, considering that this, at its core, is a queer story, I would have preferred a louder voice from the queer character instead of the BL loving classmate.

In conclusion, this was an intriguing movie that while it does have its flaws still managed to move me. I quickly have to mention Kamio Fuju's performance as Jun. I genuinely feel he's a talented guy, who's nuanced portrayal of Jun stood out to me the most.

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Jun 8, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.5

Feel-good time travel story that leaves its viewers smiling.

A seemingly one-take sci-fi comedy that makes up for the lack in budget with creativity and lots of charm.

I had the best time watching this hidden gem. Starring a bunch of actors from a popular theatrical troupe and directed by Junta Yamaguchi, who doesn't have many credits to his name yet. The fact that this movie accomplished so much with so little is what made it so outstanding to me.

Given the time loop setting, it's a bit repetitive at first and takes some time to get into its flow since all characters have to understand the whole concept first. But as the movie progresses it just keeps getting more inventive, hilarious and absurd in the best way possible.

A compelling and whimsical take on time travel shenanigans proving that sci-fi doesn't always need a big budget.

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Completed
The End of the Pale Hour
14 people found this review helpful
Jun 4, 2022
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0

Melancholic Youth Drama

Based on a novel by Katsuse Masahiko, Matsumoto Hana's “The End of the Pale Hour” follows an unnamed protagonist that just graduated from college and is about to enter the workforce. He meets a young woman, and we follow him as he falls in love, makes friends and struggles with his monotonous life.

Kitamura Takumi perfectly portrays the young man's enthusiasm, growing disappointment and apathy over the years. His portrayal feels genuine, and the male lead's relatable struggles make it easy to connect with him, even if his character is quite the passive guy. Kuroshima Yuin is excellent as his love interest, and they both had very convincing chemistry. Inoue Yuki as the Naoko, our main lead's upbeat friend, was easily my favorite character. Their friendship made for some heartwarming moments.

The End of the Pale Hour is an empathic depiction of heartbreak, growing up, and a realistic portrayal of the struggles that come with working for a big corporation and finding your place in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. While the first half was light and sweet, the later half shifts in tone as our male lead has to face reality. Personally, I thought the twist was well done and gave this movie another interesting layer. Apart from the wonderful performances of the cast, I also really enjoyed the soundtrack that matched the youth theme and melancholic atmosphere of the story.

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Completed
Under the Open Sky
13 people found this review helpful
Jul 20, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

“Prison is the only place that won’t kick you out no matter how badly you behave.”

“Society today is extremely cruel to people who step off the path. But even those of us who stay on the path aren’t happy. So we’re unforgiving.”

How does one find their way back into society when society is doing everything to keep you out of it? What I loved about this movie is the fact that it doesn't just focus on one side. It depicts social issues, such as inequalities, prejudice and how unforgiving society can be. But it also deals with how our protagonist became the person he is now and how your life choices can define who you are.
Mikami is impulsive, easily angered and impatient. He wears his heart on his sleeve, longs to find a place in life and just wants to feel appreciated. I loved him the moment I saw the sadness in his eyes. Mikami might not be in prison anymore, but it would be foolish to call him free.

Directed with emotional depth and empathy, well-acted by the whole cast and refined with a beautiful soundtrack. For some people it might feel slow or even incoherent at times. But for me it was all about those little moments and Yakusho Koji giving the performance of his life.

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Completed
Semantic Error
23 people found this review helpful
Mar 10, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.5

A silver lining on the Korean BL horizon

Semantic Error may not reinvent the wheel, but its authentic characters, convincing performances of the lead actors and charming storytelling make this one of the most entertaining BLs I've recently watched.

The strongest aspect of Semantic Error are the characters and the palpable chemistry between the lead actors. Both Jaeyoung and Sangwoo are incredibly likeable characters, which is always a good thing in a romance drama. If I don't like one of the leads, it's just hard to get invested and root for their relationship. Our lead actors seemed to have fun playing these roles, and it felt like they genuinely wanted to tell this story. There was absolutely no awkwardness or apprehension between them, instead we got sizzling chemistry and gradual attraction that convincingly builds up the tension between our main couple. It's reminiscent of last years "To My Star" in terms of quality and chemistry between the leads.

Park Jaechan plays Chu Sangwoo an intelligent but emotionally distant computer science major. Sangwoo´s stubborn nature and obsession with rules could have made him come off as cold, but he was surprisingly sweet and funny. Through Park Jae Chans excellent portrayal, Sangwoo´s robotic tendencies come off as charming and endearing instead of unnerving.

Park Seoham plays Jang Jaeyoung a confident, popular and talented design major. Seoham is a social butterfly, seemingly getting along with everyone, he's the typical handsome cool kid. What makes him different from a lot of other leads of this stereotype is that he's actually a kind soul and rather self-reflective. Something I was very thankful for since Jaeyoung´s charming, caring and fun personality made it so easy to root for him.

The supporting cast may have not been fleshed out like our leads, but we got some memorable additions to the cast. Often when side characters show up in short dramas like this, it feels like they are taking away screen time from our main couple. That was absolutely not the case for Semantic Error, since we usually got fun banter or meaningful conversations whenever one of the side characters showed up. Apart from the characters, I really enjoyed the dialogues and humor in this show. It never felt forced and enhanced the lighthearted and fun atmosphere.

The cinematography gives you a cozy feeling with its fall setting and use of vibrant colors. I also want to point out the excellent soundtrack by Coldin. "Romantic Devil" is super catchy, while "Can you stay" is a soothing track that makes you feel all warm inside.

Personally, I was entertained from the first to the last episode, so there isn't much to criticize. You could argue it's rather uninventive with its university setting, enemies to lovers trope and the school rebel falls for nerd setting. All of these valid reasons to give this a pass since it's been done so many times before. If you aren't tired of it yet or if you're the type to be won over by good storytelling and endearing characters, I would give this one a chance nonetheless.

Semantic Error was able to not only establish incredibly likable characters, but also show the gradual affection between them. We see they're falling for each other and most importantly we understand why they are falling for each other. Frankly, that's something not all romance centered dramas accomplish. Although short, this show is very well paced, perfectly utilizing the amount of time they have without focusing on unnecessary fillers or rushing anything. It's a short and sweet youth drama which is the perfect comfort watch if you need something to warm your heart and make you smile. Definitely re-watch material.

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Completed
The Longest Day in Chang'an
16 people found this review helpful
Jun 3, 2021
48 of 48 episodes seen
Completed 26
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.5

Suspenseful historical set in an immersive and authentic Chang'an during the Tang Dynasty.

The Longest Day in Chang'an is well-written, the characters are complex and the politics are intricate. While the first half of the show literally had me on the edge of my seat because of the fast-pace and suspense, the second half is a bit slower. It focuses more on our characters backstories and on politics. That does not mean the show gets boring during the second half though. It just shifts its focus. By the time we got there I already cared about quite a few characters. So, I loved that we got to know them even more in the latter part of the show. Something I really enjoyed about the characters was how multilayered they were. Each of them had their own ideologies and motivations and while I did not always agree with them, I loved finding out more about their pasts. Trying to figure out the motivations and getting to know the different layers of them, was one of the things I really enjoyed about this show.

The cast is excellent. You can clearly see the effort the production team put into finding the right actors.
I really need to praise our two main leads. Lei Jia Yin as Zhang Xiaojing is incredible and takes you along with him throughout this whole journey.  Jackson Yi is ridiculously talented at such a young age and I loved how nuanced his portrayal of Li Bi was.

The cinematography, the sets and costumes are gorgeous. Everything looks stunning, and I found myself rewinding a lot, just so I could watch a particularly breathtaking shot again.
The production team paid a lot of attention to details and historical accuracy. You can see this in pretty much every shot, and I was constantly impressed by it.

I do realize that I'm basically telling you this show is perfect, but it's not. One of the biggest problems was the sound engineering. The music is often way too loud while the dialogues are sometimes so low that you can't really hear it. And while I really appreciate that almost everyone used their own voice, some parts were clearly dubbed in post-production. It is just awkward when the voice changes into the dubbed version mid-sentence. At times, I thought the plot and politics got a bit convoluted and even a bit preachy at the end. The last 8 episodes are not as good as they could have been. But that never took away from my overall enjoyment.

This show is probably not for everyone. It takes some time to get into it, and you really have to pay attention while watching. That being said for me this show just worked. You could easily watch this as a beautifully shot historical drama full of suspense and action. Or you can watch it while savoring every shot, paying attention to how well-crafted the sets are, the little details in each scene, the poems, the songs, historical facts and so much more. It's really your choice how much you invest into this show. And that truly was what I loved about it so much. I found myself researching about Chang´an and the Tang dynasty or other details that caught my eyes while watching. And that is something I really appreciate.

Going straight to my all-time favorites.

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Completed
Ainu Mosir
10 people found this review helpful
Jun 10, 2021
Completed 2
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Beautifully shot and quietly observed coming of age drama.

Kanto is an Ainu teenager living in a small tourist town of Japan’s northern Island, Hokkaido. Still struggling with his father's death one year prior, he's eager to leave behind the rural and isolated town he grew up in. When the village elder Debo tries to educate Kanto in Ainu traditions, two ways of living collide.

The Ainu are an ethnic group indigenous to northern Japan. Through the film the viewer gets to experience several Ainu traditions such as dances, music, rituals and feasts. It also shows different generations struggling with their identity and doesn't shy away from social commentary. My favorite being the moment a tourist compliments Kanto's mother, a fellow Japanese, on her Japanese skills. The irony of that hits pretty hard.

Nature plays a huge part in the life of the Ainu, so it felt only natural that it was a big part of the movie as well.
It offers an abundance of gorgeous shots of deep, green forests, beautiful seashores and the rural town. The changing seasons as well as the long and calming shots give the movie an incredibly relaxing atmosphere.
This felt like taking a relaxing walk through a beautiful landscape.

With its documentary style, 'Ainu Mosir' quietly observes younger and older Ainu generations trying to find their place in our modern times. Never judging but simply exploring their day-to-day life. Paired with the convincing performances of the non-professional Ainu actors, this makes for a compelling, grounded and authentic watch.

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Eien no Kinou
12 people found this review helpful
Dec 11, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

Unique, bittersweet and touching story about love, grief and friendship.

One thing I've always loved about Japanese dramas is how they come up with crazy concepts like this and somehow make them work. I feel the main reason for this is the balance in their stories. They take a unique premise and make it feel grounded with relatable characters and genuine relationships.

Apart from the quirky setup, the biggest strength of Eien no Kinou are its two main leads. Koichi is the kind of person everyone loves to be friends with. His fun, cheerful and kind personality draws people in. Micchan on the other hand is the calm and collective type, and he seems unapproachable and slightly intimidating to the people around him. However, this doesn't stop Koichi since he's determined to become friends with him. What I really enjoyed about this relationship and their characters is that they slowly and realistically established their bond, despite this show's short length. 

Koichi showcases an admirable inner strength by the way he handles the debilitating situation he's in, being more concerned with how other people feel than allowing himself to grief his own loss. Micchans experiences shaped him into a lonely, introverted person that has a hard time being around other people. He hates himself for being "cold" which he absolutely isn't. His sensitive and deeply moving monologues show that once he has someone in his heart, he's an incredibly caring and loving person. These two polar opposite characters develop a genuine bond and give each other the warmth and love both of them were craving, and it was truly touching to see them feel at home with each other. 

I really enjoyed the performances of Komiya Rio and Inoue Sora. Komiya Rio already won me over as Tanaka in Takara-kun to Amagi-kun which was a drama that I personally didn't really enjoy, however his performance stood out to me in the few scenes he had. While Tanaka is a vastly different character to Koichi they both have an engaging and likable charm in common which I credit the actor for. You're on his side and want him to be happy, so when he does allow himself to show his pain, it hits you hard. Inoue Soras Micchan is gentle, restrained, and yet you can see a whirlwind of emotions behind that facade. He convincingly portrays Micchans calm strength and protective nature, as well as his vulnerable and lonely side. 

While I enjoyed this story, and they were able to move me despite the dramas short length, I can't help but feel the impact would have been even stronger if they had the time to establish the characters and their relationships further. Spending more time with the leads before the accident and developing their other friendships would have given this story another layer, which I would have really appreciated. Some parts of the story felt rather random and disconnected, simply because they lacked the time to explore them. 

I've to quickly mention the amazing OST of this drama. The opening theme Sunshower by Ayumu Imazu is a melancholic yet hopeful song that made me feel emotional after its first few notes. While the hauntingly serene ending theme, Toi Natsu no Hi by Kubo Aoi makes you reminisce the episode once the ending credits start. Both songs are absolutely beautiful, with touching lyrics that add to the meaning of the story. I thought the scenes of the ending credits getting blurrier with each episode was a really nice detail, and so was the changed ending for the final episode.

Eien no Kinou is a poignant story about cherishing the time you have with the people you love. It's a delicate yet powerful drama about love and friendship, told with so much heart it lingers in your thoughts long after you've finished it. 

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Completed
Muchuu-sa, Kimi ni
9 people found this review helpful
Jan 8, 2022
5 of 5 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Wasting time never felt so valuable

"Muchuu-sa, Kimi ni" is a whimsical and charming drama that teaches you a thing or two about the value of time.

At the center of this drama is Hayashi, a quite eccentric high schooler, that spends his days searching for the best ways to "waste" his time. Whether that's counting all the stairs in his school building or creating word games by photographing letters around him. Wasting his time brings him joy because it makes him feel like he's got time to waste. Throughout the story, he comes in contact with all kinds of characters, attracting their attention and impacting their life in different kinds of ways. The beginning of this drama might be a bit confusing since it's a series of vignettes telling the stories of different characters, all loosely connected to each other. It's a celebration of youth, companionship, and finding people with who you can truly connect.

Sometime last year, I noticed I'm always rushing in my everyday life. So I started getting off the subway earlier and walking home while listening to an audiobook. At first, this was "hard" because when I'm not hurrying to get things done I feel like I'm "wasting" my time. So, you might be asking yourself, why am I telling you this nonsense?

While watching this drama, I got reminded of my own situation. Of course, we're busy. We've work or school, chores to do and people to take care of, but sometimes we don't even realize how much time we spend mindlessly. So next time you're stuck in traffic or in the line at the grocery store, put on your favorite song or podcast and just enjoy that moment. Get off the subway earlier or take a detour just for the sake of slowing down a bit and taking in the world around you. Don't get stressed out over wasting your time, but rather embrace it every once in a while.

This is just one of the relatable themes of this show. Even though it's such a short drama, it managed to make me care about the characters and their different relationships. All of them were so incredibly charming in their own way and it was heartwarming to see them bond. I would have loved to spend more time with them, following their amusing antics, but even in these 5 episodes they already conquered my heart. It's a quirky show that managed to make me laugh but also think about different aspects of my life, which I didn't expect from a drama of this length. It's probably not a show that works for everyone with its eccentric characters, wacky humor, and expressive acting style, but when it does, it's incredibly captivating.

The fact that this drama is full of people I know is an added bonus. We've got the adorable Hashimoto from Kieta Hatsukoi, Nishi from Life: Senjou no Bokura and I've seen a few more of them before as well. For me, Bando Ryota as Medaka was the scene-stealer of this drama. I really enjoyed his performance and hope to see him in other projects in the future.

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Completed
Utsukushii Kare
12 people found this review helpful
Jan 2, 2022
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

As gentle as a summer breeze, as all-consuming as the sun.

Yeah, well, I've watched it twice now. It's quite addictive, but way too short. I really don't think Kiyoi is the most problematic one in this relationship. He can be harsh and rude, but you honestly don't need a magnifying glass to see through that farce. They did have this power imbalance between them, but Kiyoi isn't the only one to blame for this.

Hira's obsessive behavior was just as problematic to me. It was pretty obvious what was going on between these two, and if Hira wasn't so self-absorbed all the time, he should have been able to tell. I feel like both of them are quite vulnerable and insecure people that deal with their vulnerability in different ways. Kioyi hides his feelings behind harsh words and actions, while Hira tries to be as invisible as possible while shutting everybody out. That's probably the reason why I didn't just mark it off as toxic, since it deals with people's insecurities and emotions in a sympathizing way, even if those can be self-destructive and unhealthy.

It's not as deep as it wants to be, but it definitely has its impactful moments that linger with you. I particularly enjoyed how they played with the view the leads have of each other and their relationship and how we, if we pay close attention, can already see everything. They were subtle, but to me the emotions were loud and clear and somehow that even enhanced the emotions when they got voiced out. We got some beautiful scenery shots and the way they played with camera angles, lighting and music made for some atmospheric and captivating shots between our leads.

Overall, I really liked the performance of the actors.
In some scenes the acting wasn't as nuanced as it could have been, but It wasn't for the lack of trying, so I'm really happy with what we've got since they managed to move me with their performance. I just wish this was longer since the short length kinda lessens the impact and there is still so much more to explore here. They're both incredibly flawed characters, but there's something about them that tugs at your heartstrings.

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Completed
Ring Wandering
8 people found this review helpful
Jun 3, 2022
Completed 5
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5

Remembering the pain of the past.

A quiet, slow and beautifully shot movie about an aspiring manga artist in search of inspiration who finds meaningful connections to the past.

Ring Wandering doesn't only explore the subject of loneliness and personal relationships, it also highlights the importance of not forgetting the past. It's a movie that slowly reveals its different layers and leaves room for interpretation. What stood out to me the most were the visuals of this movie. The gorgeous nature shots, especially at the beginning and the end of the story.

While I did appreciate the atmospheric nature shots, the narrative would have benefitted from a shorter length. Some parts are too slow without adding any value to the story. I didn't mind it as much since I enjoy slow movies, it's still something that you should be aware of going into it. In an effort to convey universal messages, it neglects the connection of the audience to its main characters, which made me feel pretty indifferent towards them.

Ring Wandering is a serene movie with gorgeous cinematography and an almost meditative atmosphere. I genuinely appreciated the different themes it explored and its subtle depiction of loneliness, showing that even the smallest connections between people can go a long way.

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