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Completed
Perfect and Casual
29 people found this review helpful
by em45
Oct 28, 2020
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Perfect(ly sweet) and Casual(ly bingeable)

I'm impressed.
I went into this drama with no expectations; I just wanted to watch Wei Zheming/Miles as a lead. His supporting role in Find Yourself (下一站是幸福) really caught my eye, and I thought this would be a light, quick and easy drama to watch.
What I didn't expect was getting so invested that I watched it all in less than three days; and I was so hooked that I watched the last three eps without any subs.

Ok, so why was it good?

The story is nothing revolutionary; the teacher/student, cool guy/clumsy girl is not something unheard of, but it was the quality of the characters that really stood out to me. Ok, she's clumsy but it's not to an extent where you want to shake her through the screen to get her act together. And he's cool and logical but he's also very kind;; and they talk about how they feel and what is happening so there are no ridiculous misunderstandings (ok obv there are some things that don't come up right away or cause a small issue but they learn from these!). Characters reflecting on their actions and bettering themselves?? Hallelujah!!!!)

I personally also really enjoyed the side stories; they were intriguing enough to keep you entertained, but not so much as to over shadow the mains.
And the two "rival love interests" were not hateful at all; they end up being important roles for the FL to learn more about her capabilities (for work, etc), and also help the ML learn more about himself and open up to the FL.

I also want to give props to whoever did costuming and makeup because the FL had a lot of repeat outfits and simple make up; which is exactly what you want for a poor, young character! The simplicity:plainness actually helped to highlight the character's good naturedness and other import qualities.

I also think Xu Ruohan (FL) draws irl? If I'm not mistaken, the art in the show is done by her! That was a really nice touch.

Honestly, I started to write out the negative things about the show but they seemed so petty and insignificant, I couldn't really bring myself to.

If you're looking for a short and sweet c-drama, this is for you!

Happy viewing~

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Completed
I Belonged to You
12 people found this review helpful
by em45
Oct 1, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
I Belonged to You has one of those predictable Chinese slice-of-life movie plots. A mix of inter-connected people who go through a certain period in their life. In the end they realise the value of the simple things in life and the film has you appreciating those who love and support you. Nothing really new here.

However, one thing that definitely was atypical, was the fantastic score and soundtrack.
I would actually even recommend you watch this film just for the music.
Which is also why the rewatch value is a little high.

The acting was solid, no complaints there.

But oh boy the music.
Please go and watch it even if it's just for the music.

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Completed
Fight Song
11 people found this review helpful
by em45
Mar 16, 2022
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Heartwarming Encouragement

I'm sure the synopsis will explain the romantic plot and the struggles/growth the characters go through, but I think it's really important to highlight just how heartwarming this show is. It felt like a big 10 episode hug.

It's been a while since I watched a drama that is an original script and not adapted from book/manga. Not to say adaptations are bad (not at all!), but I really liked how the actors got to actively collaborate on creating their characters. It made it feel real for me.

Also, there isn't a bad person in this story! The support they provide to each other throughout it is such a lovely reminder to be kind to others. Nothing is a burden and characters are quick to consider adapting things or situations for their friends, family and loved ones.

While it seems like a lighthearted romcom on the surface, I think there's much to be learnt from this drama.

Happy viewing! And keep your spirits up! Fight!!

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Completed
I Need Romance
8 people found this review helpful
by em45
Aug 15, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Maybe I Need Romance Too...

So another review has already mentioned that the story/plot is nothing new.
And to be honest there was nothing amazing about the characters or acting.
But there is something about New's dazzling smile and the cute little side stories that made me really enjoy this drama.
Rewatch value high-ish only to see all those cute New scenes again hahahahahaha
It's been a while since I watched something so quickly (I ended up finishing it in like 9 hours because I skipped a lot of P'Kan moments whoops), and it's also been a while since I had so many "awwww" reactions and moments.

I have to say, I really appreciated that even the "antagonist" characters had human elements and you could often empathise with their choices- that was a really nice touch, because it makes you critical about how you feel about the FL's choices (and other more "positive" characters!), too.

If you're a softie for cute lil romance, or in doubt whether your heart has frozen over like Najai's: then this is just what you need!

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Completed
Koi Nante, Honki de Yatte Do Suru no?
6 people found this review helpful
by em45
Jun 22, 2022
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

Arienai~

Ok so music was great and well timed; surprise use of SixTONES' new song was perfect and really well suited to the show and mood. A+ to that selection

At first, I really liked the progression of the story and characters. I liked that they were all quite different, with different reasons to be having difficulties with love; like in real life. But I was a little disappointed by the direction of growth for the FL. Growth is growth you could say, but I didn't really like the way she phrased a lot of things in the final few episodes. On the other hand, ML's character kinda dissipates? and I had a hard time justifying his growth/change from a romantic perspective (from the cooking/restaurant perspective i think it's justifiable).

My favourite pair was Arisa and Katsumi; i liked the balance of serious and lighthearted between them. I also liked that he stood by her in his own way to overcome a problem. I had hoped there would be more on them near the end but that's fine.

I think overall it felt like there was too much time spent on some tension building and creating dramatic moments when they could've worked to develop what was already there. I know it's always hard to end a show so I'm lenient with the ending (even though i didn't think it was great), but I also thought there were a few loose ends that could've been better dealt with.

I watched it while airing and found that was a really good pace for it (once a week). I'm curious to hear other opinions and if something like binging it makes it feel different.

Overall, I enjoyed it and liked the ceramics and food element, as well as the friendship and camaraderie.

Edit: After sitting on it for a few hours, I had to re-assess my ratings. I think they might still be a little too lenient but the music really pulled it through.

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Completed
Kono Hatsukoi wa Fiction desu
7 people found this review helpful
by em45
Dec 17, 2021
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Bon Voyage!

Before i get into details, overall i thought this was a pretty cute drama that you can easily binge.

I really enjoyed the format of broadcasting 4x a week and then uploading all episodes to YouTube at the end of the week. Some weeks i watched every night and others I binged the 4 on Friday. There was something really fun about this that kept me excited about what was going to happen next. Also to watch bts videos and other content on YouTube with the actors really hyped me up for it. I think if I were to watch it now that it has all aired, it would be completely different experience. Maybe easier to toss it aside as there is less mystery.

The concept of the story was interesting, but I think the execution could've been done better. The mystery of Sobue is stretched out a little too long imo, but I guess that's the whole point of the show? I think the story did a good job of balancing serious issues with fun moments.

A lot of the actors are young and/or new so you can't expect that it's going to be award-winning performance. BUT, i think this helps them really capture the youthfulness and simple happiness that young people can experience, all while addressing real and imminent issues they may face in life. I'm really curious to see the work these actors are going to create next!

The music is catchy, and you'll find yourself humming 僕の生きがい a lot while watching this drama.
Rewatch value is high-ish; short episodes mean you could easily be enticed to watching it again.

I think it's a classic teen drama where everyone can relate to some aspect and come out of it feeling hopeful for future adventure!

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Ongoing 8/8
Murai no Koi
5 people found this review helpful
by em45
May 21, 2022
8 of 8 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 9.5

Murai no... Supportive Community

If we put aside the taboo aspect of the context, Murai no Koi is such a cute and hilarious show! I love the little moments of comedy; especially those that reveal what's happening in Ayano's head.

I also love that even thought it's "Murai's Koi", everyone comes together to help and support. It's not just about the romance, but also the different kinds of relationships we have in life: family, friends, work colleagues, etc. Although surface level it's just a lighthearted romcom (and you can definitely enjoy it just for that!), when you peel back the layers there are some beautiful life lessons to be learnt.

The music is a bit low just because it wasn't too memorable for me.
*Also; I've finished watching the show but it hasn't been updated on MDL yet so it's marked as "ongoing"

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Completed
It's a Summer Film
5 people found this review helpful
by em45
Nov 13, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

It's a Really Good Film!

It's been a while since I've seen such a refreshing but entertaining take on the "Seishun" film.
There's so much in the film that in hindsight I'm really impressed it didn't feel overwhelming.
The acting was brilliant; particularly the FL whose facial expressions were so animated! I'm also a fan of Cody Lee so the music was also a win in my opinion. And i liked that we're not positioned to dislike any of the characters, i thought that was really beautiful.

If you're looking for a summery samurai-y film, this is it! But more than anything it's a really good film. Contrary to some comments, I liked the ending and feel like it did the film/story justice. Looking forward to rewatching!

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Completed
Irresistible Love
5 people found this review helpful
by em45
Jul 15, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10

Short and sweet

If you're someone like me struggling to get through a drama episode that's over 1hr, this kind of drama is perfect.
Episodes are about 12min if you skip the opening and ending, making it easy to watch in bits or binge in a few hours.

I'm sure most people will hesitate with a mother daughter swap; worry about what's going to happen with their respective love interests.
But I can assure you, without spoiling, it's nothing that crosses any boundaries thanks to a few key plot points.

I actually found this drama really enjoyable! It was so nice to see a cute and sometimes a bit cringe drama take some sentimental moments to consider the importance/significance of mother-daughter relationships from both angles.

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Completed
Sumo Do, Sumo Don't
3 people found this review helpful
by em45
Jun 18, 2013
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 10
"It's not a jockstrap, it's a MA.WA.SHI!"

An absolutely hilarious film about a college student who is forced to join the sumo team in order to graduate.
The storyline is not new, but the concept of bringing humour and sumo together is really refreshing.
Takenaka Naoto definitely steals the majority of the laughs of the film, and so he should as I nearly peed my pants laughing at his performance!

May be hard to find online, etc as it is a little old, but I'd say that it is definitely worth renting out/buying it as you can watch it over and over again and still have stomach pains and tears from laughing so hard!

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Completed
Ore no Kawaii wa Mousugu Shohikigen!?
2 people found this review helpful
by em45
Jun 12, 2022
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Cheers to Cuteness!

This was such a damn cute show!
I really loved watching Maruya-kun's asides/monologues they were so cute and hilarious.
I thought Sanada-san was so deadpan and funny, but above all I loved the harmony between all the characters.
I would've liked to see more development with the "mysterious old guy" and also Maruya-kun's family and some other additional characters. It definitely felt like there were slightly too many underdeveloped characters for the length of the show.

Overall, as the title promises, a cute drama that you can crack open a beer and enjoy! Cheers!

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Completed
Ainu Mosir
2 people found this review helpful
by em45
Sep 8, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0

Silently Beautiful

This film has been on my radar for a while and I'm so glad I got to watch it.

Ainu Mosir is a coming of age story, not just for the main character Kanto, but almost also for the people in the town.
We see the townspeople trying to balance between preserving their culture and getting by in modern Japan.
I really enjoyed the scenes with Kanto's mother in them.
I think she was a really good personification of this struggle for balance.

I want to especially point out the use of sound.
This was so beautifully done in my opinion.
I've marked this under music but it's isn't really music, but rather the background sounds you can hear.
There are quite a few scenes were you lean in (metaphorically and physically) to hear the tranquil sounds of nature.
It's beautiful, breathtaking, and also sometimes sad.
I thought this was a really nice way to contrast between the sounds we hear in the town; repetitive announcements that feel disruptive, but have been accepted as a part of everyday life.

While the story is about Ainu culture, I think many people will be able to relate with the idea of balancing different 'identities'.

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Completed
Cartoon KAT-TUN
2 people found this review helpful
by em45
May 15, 2020
152 of 152 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This is such an amazing all-round variety show, put aside the fact that I'm a hyphen and check it out because its so good. They did so many different things; starting in the studio doing guest interviews in Season 1, to hosting guests individually or in pairs and doing the "What is love?" project in Season 2, all the way to going out and trying different things and learning life lessons in Season 3. I'm going to be honest and say some of the episodes in the last season weren't as interesting for me, but that all really depended on the guest and the life lesson. I think the growth of the show really mirrored the growth of the group, and you get to see the amazing relationship that the KAT-TUN members have with one another. It's a collection of bittersweet memories from when they were still all together. It's also interesting to see a lot of actors and comedians who were on the rise back then (especially true for Season 1 guests). You'll definitely go back to watch your favourite parts (I have rewatched the "Jitsu wa boku..." Competition episode countless times; highly recommend) and although they are a boyband, they are absolutely hilarious!

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Completed
To the Supreme!
1 people found this review helpful
by em45
Oct 16, 2022
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Artistic or just a hot (naked) body?

4 women and 4 "trash" men.
I went in thinking this would be a typical easy watching romcom, but was pleasantly surprised by some of the intricacies, particularly in the cinematography.

It's hard to talk about why this film was great without spoiling any of the twists and surprises, but I'll do my best!
I feel like the twist made me want to think a lot about what else was possible in the story.
Kinda like my experience when I watched "Initiation Love"

There's a really nice use of imagery focusing on rice throughout the film, and the way that helps to interweave not just the stories but also connect the spaces. That was really nice.

I think some of the acting and storytelling was a bit cheesy (on purpose) but it took a way a little from the otherwise solid performance.

I went and saw it in the cinema and was surprised actually that more people didn't laugh!
There were so many small moments of joy and comedy here and there that I just couldn't help myself

As something that's been adapted from theatre, I'm really curious about how the original production was staged.

I think if you're after something that surface level seems light but can also be layered and thought provoking, this is a really good film.

Or just watch for Fuma's six pack and butt shot, that's a valid reason too hahaha

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Completed
One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote
1 people found this review helpful
by em45
Sep 28, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10

Tickled Happy!

This isn't a cinematic masterpiece.
Nor is it complicated or intricate in anyway.
However...this is EXACTLY the kind of video we all needed during these unprecedented times.

Rather than recreating the original film, this spin off was short&sweet, heartwarming and sure to put a smile on anyone's face (regardless of if you were a fan of the original or not!)
The closing credits were a lovely bonus too.
It creates a sense of closeness during times when we are feeling distanced.
I come back to watch this whenever I want a little chuckle. And it never fails to make me feel more positive.

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