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  • Join Date: October 26, 2021
  • Awards Received: Flower Award2
Completed
Don't Say No: Special Episode
43 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Nov 6, 2021
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 3.0
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Nothing happened

Honestly I wish I could have given this a bigger score. I really do. But nothing happened.

I originally watched this hoping for something to happen with Leon and Pob -- it was their relationship that was left unresolved, and it was this that I had the most hopes for (big mistake). We got maybe 5 minutes of screentime total for these two (we got to see more of Leon than Pob, but in regards to them talking/thinking about their relationship, it was like 5 minutes), and they never interacted with each other. Pob finally comes back to Thailand (on the same plane as Leo and Fiat, no less, but none of them ever find that out) and he and Leon get so many of those coincidental almost-see-each-other-but-don't moments. At the end, they decide to leave it up to fate if they're ever going to see each other again. (Which is so ridiculous in my opinion. You gotta put effort into a relationship if you want it to work, guys. Come on.)

As for Leo and Fiat, we got the most screentime from them (of course), but apart from fluff and some sexy moments, nothing happened plot-wise. They came back from London and hung out with their friends. That's kinda it. Cute, but not much else.

And while the video itself is an hour and a half, the last 20-ish minutes are just BTS pictures and videos. Just a warning, because I kept thinking we'd get more resolution and then we didn't.

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Completed
Individual Circumstances
35 people found this review helpful
by Ariel Flower Award1
Feb 9, 2023
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Missing... something.

Oh, man, how do I even describe this?

I went into this with no expectations and I think that helped my enjoyment of it. I was curious as to the main characters' backstories and why they were the way they are now, and that kept me watching. I actually did enjoy watching this and kept wondering what Yeon Woo would do next to woo (no pun intended) Woo Jae.

However, I do think this show ran into a few classic K-BL problems. The plot, while enough to keep me interested, wasn't the most satisfying. Yeon Woo did everything to get Woo Jae back, but Woo Jae honestly didn't do too much to reciprocate. I wonder if we'd had more of their past (where it was implied Woo Jae was the... pursuer for lack of a better word, though not in the traditional sense) it might have been better, but I'm not sure it would be. I felt like it was missing one of those "I realized I messed up and am now going to run to him" scenes.

Second, the actors were very much lacking chemistry. It wasn't super noticeable in earlier scenes, but towards the end where they were meant to be closer romantically, I felt like they were just actors trying to act in a BL instead of the characters who missed the other and wanted to be with their partner. The kisses were the stereotypical dead fish kiss and I very much got a "let's press our lips together because the script says it but no homo" vibe. I could easily see them as friends but struggled to see them as a couple. I am begging K-BLs to do chemistry workshops, please.

While I do think this show ran into a low-budget, low-episode-count problem, I also feel like the plot was all over the place and didn't do the best it could have. We got hints of their earlier relationship, we got hints of their current relationship changing, but unfortunately it wasn't fleshed out enough either way to give us any satisfaction.

It's a fun, fast binge for those who are looking to kill time, but I recommend you lower those expectations and just go with the flow for this one.

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Completed
The Killer Is Also Romantic
34 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Apr 16, 2022
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10

Mr. & Mrs. Smith but historical China

I saw this described as Mr. & Mrs. Smith but period C-Drama* and I would say that's a pretty accurate description.

The shortness of the drama left no space for filler episodes or unnecessary drama, which honestly was really great to watch. The emotions from the actors were very well portrayed, and I really loved seeing a female lead that was strong and could protect herself (which is unfortunately rare in these types of dramas). I wasn't as invested in the side couple as I was the main couple since I felt they were a little bit more cliché, but they were still interesting enough to watch.

Because this show is so short, I found myself hitting "next" all too often, which made this go by too quickly! But honestly it was truly a well-done show. It didn't feel like they were too low-budget (likely because it was short) so I was never pulled away in disbelief.

Nobody was ever annoying, everyone played an important role. There were funny moments, serious moments, romantic moments, and sad moments. The ending was a little too neatly tied together, but even so I still very much enjoyed it.

This is honestly one of my favorite C-Dramas now, just because it's so fun to watch!

*credit for the description to sarah-yyy on tumblr

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Completed
Ase to Sekken
26 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
May 21, 2022
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.5
This review may contain spoilers

Healthy Relationships! Communication! (And... a fetish?)

What started out as a slightly weird and funny show ended up being really touching with an example of what a healthy relationship should be. I was incredibly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this show, and encourage anyone who's curious about it to give it a chance.

Let's start with the characters. Natori is a man who can smell things really well, to the point where it is a little bit of a superpower. It helps him develop his relationship with Yaeshima in both obvious (how they met) and subtle (emotion-sensing) ways. Yaeshima has low-self-esteem, but while that would normally make me not want to watch the show (unfortunately women like this are often portrayed as pushovers or people without personalities), they actually portrayed it well in this show. She's got some trauma from being bullied as a child, and Natori and his fascination with Yaeshima's scent very much helps her feel a lot more comfortable in her own skin.

The side characters were very much just side characters, with none of them being fully fleshed out, but honestly I didn't feel too saddened by this, since by the time I realized this I was already invested in Natori and Yaeshima's relationship.

But honestly, my most favorite thing about this show is the communication! The show always makes sure to resolve the conflict of the episode in the same episode (with the exception of the penultimate episode) and there is rarely any miscommunication that isn't talked out in the very same episode. As a person who watches a lot of dramas, this was like a breath of fresh air. Miscommunication is often used as a trope and/or plot-device to create more drama, and quite frankly it's something I'm very tired of. To have these two flawed characters act like adults and talk about their problems in a healthy way just made my heart sing. Whoever is the screenwriter -- thank you!

If you can get past (or get used to) the sniffing bits, how often the female lead gets shown in a bra, and the unique, almost-metaphorical ways of portraying steamy scenes, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise with this show.

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Completed
Once Upon a Crime
18 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Sep 15, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.5

A fun retelling

I clicked on this movie for two reasons: 1) The Netflix algorithm knows me pretty well and 2) I was bored and didn't have the energy to start a whole new show so I thought a movie was perfect.

And boy, was it. This isn't just a re-imagining of Red Riding Hood and Cinderella's stories, it's basically fanfiction just using the characters and giving them entirely different stories (but still using key plot points in a clever way). And I mean that in a good way. As the other reviewer said, Hashimoto Kanna played Red Riding Hood really well. I loved that they turned her into a detective that has flashes of inspiration - though I'm going to be honest that even now I'm not sure if they're visions or her mind just connecting dots. But even not knowing that, it was really cool to watch.

Everything about this re-imagining - from having two witches instead of a fairy godmother to the murder Red Riding Hood solves - made these classic stories feel fresh and new. And our prejudices of what we expect to happen in this story is clearly expected by the writers since they play on that in a fun way.

But it's not all solving murder and fairy-tale magic - there's love and humor and wit, too. I wouldn't call this movie a masterpiece, but it was really good in a lot of ways, and one I'd enjoy rewatching for sure.

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Completed
Kamisama no Ekohiiki
12 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Mar 30, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5

Really fun to watch

Not only is the acting really well done -- we really get the sense that Amano Yashiro is in Tendou Kagura's body and vice versa -- but the storyline is pretty creative. I love Kami-sama and Ukon and the comedic relief they provide (I also loved Kami-sama's backstory).

I also really enjoyed the questions this show poses. If Amano took over Tendou's body, what does that mean for Tendou? Can Nanahara really fall in love with Amano if he is now a girl, or is it just that he sees his friend as just his friend? Does a person like someone for just their personality or does their body play a part in that? Super interesting stuff. I don't think there's a clear answer. It's different for everybody, just like it is in real life.

There's only eight episodes total so the pace moves quickly (which I actually like, it means that misunderstandings don't last very long), and it's a refreshing and fun story.

Also big thanks to Furritsu for the subs <3

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Completed
Blueming
9 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Mar 31, 2022
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10

I was not expecting it to be so good!

Maybe because there wasn't much hype over this show, but I really wasn't expecting it to be so good. Not only was the plot incredibly realistic, but the writing really touched me. It showed these two imperfect humans who find someone who loves them despite, or maybe because of, all their flaws.

First, let me talk about the acting. It was incredible! Kang EunBin and Jo HyukJoon did such an incredible job - they portrayed so many complex emotions very well, and there wasn't a second where I didn't believe their reaction.

I already talked a little bit about the writing and the plot, but it was honestly so well done. I felt like it was so realistic and their flaws so real, that it made their story so much more interesting. I definitely relate a little bit to Cha SiWon, so maybe that's why the writing touched me, but the fact that this wasn't just a love story but also a journey of growth for both of the main characters was wonderful to watch. Props to the scriptwriter!

Lastly, let me talk about the cinematography! Everything was so beautifully filmed that I really felt like this was high budget. I have no idea if it was or not, but the scenes were all so carefully and wonderfully made.

I honestly cannot find a single negative thing to say about this, except maybe that the side characters' storylines were not 100% resolved, but that honestly didn't bug me at all, especially since we were mostly invested in the main characters.

I honestly had no expectations for this show, but it really just skyrocketed up to one of my favorite BLs of all time. Watch it!

(One thing I will say though, is that if you suffer from an ED, there are some parts that might be a bit triggering, so be careful).

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Completed
Between Us Special
7 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Nov 24, 2021
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

Really sweet

There's a small warning in the beginning, "This project started because we want to do it. There's no any other reason. There's no drama. There's only fun and confusion. We just want to do it, so don't expect a meaningful story. Even if you want to find it, you can't find it. But if you want to find our cuteness, you will definitely see it." This is so true. While there's no "meaningful story," as they put it, it's still super sweet and endearing to watch. Each episode is only ~5 minutes, and they're all small compilations of just cute, mundane moments between Team and Win. Honestly, it made my day to watch these, and I'll probably rewatch just before Between Us comes out in 2022 (and maybe in between if there's any drama that makes me cry, haha).

Note: There was some body-shaming in the 3rd episode that I wasn't a huge fan of, but other than that I enjoyed these episodes!

Just watch it if you want pure sugar <3

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Completed
Star Struck
8 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Jun 8, 2023
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Who edited this? I wanna talk.

Oh, boy. Where do I even start?

First, let's talk about the acting. The actors, especially Kim In Sung, were pretty good at acting out their emotions. However, the chemistry between the two main leads (especially on Zuho's side -- sorry Zuho), was not the best, which unfortunately is not surprising in a K-BL, especially one with an idol. However, I don't know if that was truly the acting or if it was the editing, writing, and/or directing that left me feeling this way, since we didn't actually get to see much of their relationship develop due to the weird scene jumps.

As for the plot, it had so much potential. Had the story been told in a linear fashion (without flashbacks) or had a better way of telling us what date it was (so we could better keep track of when something happened), it might have been better. But because it was edited in a way that made it seem like essential scenes had been cut, it just left me with whiplash whenever we cut to another scene without any resolution for the past one. (One big example, and a spoiler, is when Yoo Jae tells Han Joon they should date. Han Joon doesn't even reply before we cut to them dating for 62 days. Like, what?? How?? When?? Please give me more information about how they got to this point!) I would have loved to see the conversations that resulted in the events we saw. Seeing them talk, while it might not have been incredibly important to moving the plot forward, would have allowed us to feel the characters get closer and their relationship deepen. But instead, we got plot points directly cut to plot points, with no time to breathe or understand how we got there. They set up so much, especially with the family problems, only for them to be completely ignored at the end. What happened to Han Joon's mom? It felt as though they used her mostly as a plot point to cause some last-minute drama and then boom! Nothing after that.

Ultimately, I think this suffered from what most K-BLs suffer from, and that's too little episodes. Yes, the actors could have had chemistry readings or workshops (I say this a lot for K-BLs, don't I?), but in the end I just think the biggest issue was the runtime. Had this series had a longer runtime, they could have let the characters and situations be fleshed out more and given us scenes that better explained why certain characters acted the way they did. Instead, we got strange cuts that led us to situations where we were left wondering how the characters got there.

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Completed
Happy Ending Romance
6 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Dec 15, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 2.5
This review may contain spoilers

Okay with a side of Cute

Oh man, how do I describe this show? It's... confusing, cute, and with a potential that could have been better. Not sure how else I'd describe it.

First, the acting. I am a huge fan of VIXX and so was excited to see Leo on here, but honestly I wasn't super convinced by his acting. He seemed to only have an expression of annoyance most of the time, and didn't really excel in micro-expressions, which I think his character called for. However, there were moments when his character elicited emotional reactions from me (mostly anger lol), which does mean that he has promise. But the biggest letdown was honestly just the lack of chemistry between him and Karam, which could be attributed to the fact that their relationship is deteriorating at the time of the story, but even in the beginning scene, I didn't really feel anything.

Similarly to Leo, I found Karam a little lacking, but he seemed to have better chemistry with Ha Jong Woo than with Leo (that might be more because of Jong Woo, though maybe not!). I did enjoy his moments of happiness whenever he was opposite Jong Woo, and I do think he did well, but he was wooden at times - not sure if that's because of it being a BL or just his general lack of experience in acting.

Out of the three main characters, I think Ha Jong Woo carried this show. His bright, bubbly personality (and that smile!) was super cute and I enjoyed every scene with him in it. That's not to say he can't act seriously - this was proven to us in the more emotional scenes he got towards the end. He also seemed the least wooden when it came to the kissing scenes, but that's kind of a low bar here. Either way, I came for Leo but very much stayed for Jong Woo.

Speaking of the kissing, I was sad to see the DFK (dead fish kiss) back again in a K-BL. We had had a good run with some of those like Semantic Error and To My Star that I had kinda forgotten K-dramas really like a good DFK! Again, not sure if this is due to the acting, directing, or some other behind-the-scenes, but it would have been nice to see a good kiss instead of just putting two lips together. But alas.

As a few other reviewers have said before, the plot gets a bit confusing. Not sure if it's the editing or the writing, but sometimes I was confused about what happened or why certain characters reacted certain ways. My biggest confusion was why everyone reacted to the "big reveal" in the last episode -- was it really that bad? The story was also wrapped up a bit too quickly. They drew out a lot of the drama and then wrapped it up in a nice bow in the very last episode. I would have liked to have seen more of character growth and development, but I acknowledge that you can only do so much in eight episodes.

All in all, it was a good show. I've seen better and I've definitely seen worse, but overall it's one of those you watch when you have nothing else to do.

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Completed
The Blue Whisper: Part 2
6 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Jun 6, 2022
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers

It pulls you in, but doesn't always keep you there

This is my review of part 1 and 2 in its entirety, not the individual parts.

While I enjoyed the beginning and the show kept me hooked til the end, I do think it missed on a few points.

First, the things I liked: I loved that Yun He was smart and powerful. Many of these shows make the female lead a person that gets herself into trouble but needs help getting out of it, normally by the male lead. Her intelligence, wisdom, and strength made her a fascinating and interesting character.

I also really liked Chang Yi. I felt that his character was very realistically portrayed and he, too, was a powerful, intelligent being. It's rare to find a show that is willing to make the male lead naive and sweet, and it was nice to watch.

Many reviews state the lack of chemistry between the main leads, but I would disagree. I actually felt it to be pretty solid. Not mind-blowing, but good.

As for Hao Qing, it was interesting to see him basically similar to his father (minus the manipulation) towards the end. He was also in a wheelchair, and his attendant was also in love with him. Not sure if I liked his somewhat bittersweet ending, but it wasn't too bad.

The world-building was well done, and while the CGI wasn't always great, I've seen worse!

Our main leads' ending was left open ended, but I felt satisfied.

Now onto the things I didn't like as much.

I honestly disliked how this show treated Shunde. I'm not saying what Shunde was good, in fact I very much hated her, but compared to the other bad guys she felt more two-dimensional. While the other big bad guys got redemption arcs (Lin Cang Lan not being truly evil, he just so happened to be forced into the situation; Ning Qing ultimately sacrificing himself to atone for his sins), she did not. And yes, while we did get some other powerful, good women in this show, the fact that the only evil woman was treated differently than the two other (significant) male antagonists was a bit questionable.

I also really disliked Luo Luo. A lot. I am not a fan of the ditzy, silly best friend who means well but because she can't read the room ends up causing the main leads more trouble. Shows always want to portray this type of character as cute but I just find it immensely annoying. Not to mention the really frustrating "pretty-fication". At the start, she was supposed to be not very attractive (she has freckles and slightly darker skin; apparently this is considered unattractive) but then she finds love and magically loses her freckles and gets lighter skin. Not only am I so tired of the casual racism this trope implies, but also the message that you can't be average-looking to find love.

Overall, a fun watch, but I did occasionally have to use the fast forward button to get past drawn-out parts (or parts featuring Luo Luo).

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Completed
Love Class
6 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
May 18, 2022
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Surprisingly good!

I surprisingly really enjoyed this short drama. I went into it a little hesitant, especially since Cha Ji Woo was a little cringey with how he liked Yu Na. But because it was such a short drama, and it was being released every day, I figured I’d give it a try.

The show got much better as it went on, with the characters being very realistically flawed. I loved watching Ji Woo and Ro-A slowly develop a friendship that ended up turning into something… more. Ro-A’s quiet but steady presence was nice to watch, though I wish the actor portrayed more emotions with his body language. Not sure if it was a directorial choice or a choice by the actor, but I do wish there were more expressions from him. Luckily for them, I am a fan of the stoic character, but that might not be true for everyone.

As Ji Woo and Ro-A got closer, Ji Woo got a taste of what he had given Yu Na: unconditional care. Ro-A’s presence in Ji Woo’s life clearly had a positive impact, and given his actions I truly can’t blame Ji Woo for falling in love with him.

I also really like the resolution of Ji Woo’s crush for Yu Na. I feel like it was a closure for both of them, and it was necessary for Ji Woo to move on.

However, I don’t love Ro-A’s behavior towards his friend Nam Jun, but I also didn’t really enjoy Nam Jun’s behavior towards Ro-A. I think that friendship turned toxic as soon as Nam Jun confessed and Ro-A selfishly asked him to stay as a friend. Nam Jun’s feelings were never resolved and always lingering, which made them both uncomfortable.

Another thing I was not the biggest fan of was the hinting of the Professor and Hye Won’s relationship. Not only do I not really love unequal-power relationships, but I also don’t love Hye Won’s character very much, so I often found myself skipping ahead during those scenes.

However, when we focus mostly on Ji Woo and Ro-A’s relationship, I honestly liked it. While it’s not as good as Blueming, for example, it had its own charm and emotion. The ending was satisfying as well.

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Completed
Hit the Spot
5 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Jan 14, 2023
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.5

Fun & relatable

When I first started this show, I didn't know what to expect. The first scene was surprising (especially coming from S. Korea!) but man, did I really enjoy this show!

What I enjoyed most from this show was the real-ness of it. It worked to dispel sexual myths in the best way possible, while still making for a fun show. I loved that the main characters worked through their traumas in a realistic way, which made these flawed characters feel very realistic. I do think the show could have benefitted from a longer run-time -- some of the romantic development happened a bit too quickly -- but overall it was a sweet (and sometimes spicy) show.

I also really enjoyed that it worked to remove the shame from women who like sex, but also emphasized that if you didn't want sex that was perfectly fine; the only person you should listen to is yourself and your needs. It was a refreshing breath of fresh air from some other dramas where the main characters act as if they've never heard the word "sex" before.

Another thing I loved is that it showed that it is important to heal and prioritize yourself before you devote yourself to another person. I loved, loved, loved that messaging!

I very much recommend this show. Not only is it easy to binge, but it's a fun, relatable show!

(The only thing that was not realistic is how the podcasts are made -- the echo in that room would have sucked for a podcast -- but that's neither here nor there xD)

(Oh and maybe also the car sex. That is not as comfortable as it looked in the show!)

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Completed
In Your Heart
5 people found this review helpful
by Ariel
Mar 6, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 3.0
This review may contain spoilers

Reminiscent of 2016's BLs. AKA Addicted.

Ahh, China. I should have known better than to expect more from you.

For a Chinese BL, it really wasn't that bad. It's very on par with other Chinese BLs, and with BLs from like, 2016 or so.

But if we're rating this with today's standards, with so many amazing BLs like Be Loved In House and Semantic Error, unfortunately it doesn't measure up.

The ending reminded me a lot of The Untamed: very ambiguous, because we know the gays can't be too happy in China.

As for the scene before Cheng Yi left... *sigh* To avoid major spoilers I won't say much, but it was disappointing that we're still going with that trope instead of something more... consensual. Alas.

I'm glad China was able to produce a BL since that huge ban several years ago, but I just wish the plot was better and the ending less open-ended. Let the gays be happy!

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Completed
Kieta Hatsukoi
5 people found this review helpful
by Ariel Flower Award1
Dec 18, 2021
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

My favorite JBL so far!

Honestly, I really liked this show. Every time I watched it, I had a smile on my face for at least most of the episode, if not all. Aoki is refreshingly relatable to the me in high school. Ida is a little clueless but still tries his best. And together these two are the cutest ever.

I really enjoyed how in almost every episode, Aoki and Ida improved their communication and resolved any issues or misgivings they had. A misunderstanding never went past two episodes, which as an anxiety-ridden person I enjoyed immensely. And watching their relationship blossom just made my heart so happy.

As a fan of Cherry Magic, this one gave me very similar vibes, except this one takes place in high school. This show was innocent, cute, and funny. Friends, give it a watch. You won't regret it.

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