09 September 2017

Please Love the Useless Me Review

TitlePlease Love the Useless Me
AKAPlease Love Me! 
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 10
Broadcast Period: Jan-2016 to Mar-2016
Cast: Kyoko Fukada, Dean Fujioka, Shohei Miura, Maho Nonami, Takehiko Ono, Mimura,

Michio (Kyoko Fukada) is 30-years-old. She keeps looking for a job after her previous employer went bankrupt, but she is unable to find work. Michio still supports her younger boyfriend and her savings is almost gone. Then, Michio meets her ex-boss Ayumu (Dean Fujioka). She was scared of Ayumu when they worked together. Ayumu now runs a tearoom which his grandmother ran. Michio decides to work part-time at Ayumu's tearoom, there, she various troubles everyday. Ayumu helps Michio, which allows her to see a different side of him that she never noticed before.

A short simple love story, but more than romance it felt like it was a life lesson. Like ‘Love yourself first, so others can love you’. It didn’t have the heavy feeling or anything, but that’s what Japanese dramas are best at, having to deal with life-problems and still manage to make it bearable and enjoyable. The cast were well picked and definitely had character growth throughout the drama. I definitely enjoyed this drama, and recommend to all.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

The Legend of the Blue Sea Review

Title: The Legend of the Blue Sea
AKA: Remember the Blue Sea
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Comedy
Episodes: 20
Broadcast Period: Nov-2016 to Jan-2017
Cast: Jun Ji Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Lee Hee Joon, Shin Won Ho, Lee Ji Hoon, Hwang Shin Hye, Shin Hye Sun, 

Sometime during August, 1598, newly appointed governor Dam Ryung (Lee Min Ho) stays for a night at an inn run by Mr. Yang (Sung Dong Il). During that evening, Mr. Yang shows Dam Ryung a captured mermaid named Sim Chung (Jun Ji Hyun). Later that night, Dam Ryung releases her into the ocean and, before she swims away, Sim Chung reaches out her hand to Dam Ryung which he briefly holds.
In the present day, Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) is a smooth talking conman with magician like abilities. He works with Nam Doo (Lee Hee Joon) and Tae Oh (Shin Won Ho). For their next score, Joon Jae impersonates a prosecutor and swindles a large amount of money from a wealthy suspect's mother. Joon Jae then travels abroad and stays at an oceanside resort. Meanwhile, Sim Chung is swept up in a tidal wave and washed ashore near the oceanside resort.

It has been a while ago since I watched this drama, and my review was half finished, so I’m just going to try and sum up what I feel about it with the memory of it. I can already now say that it didn’t have an exceptional impact on me. It had the same feeling over it like  My Love From Another Star, and since it’s the same actress too, Jun Ji Hyun, I kinda expected something different. But I guess these kind of roles are her expertise, so she stays in the same lane. Lee Min Ho, I don’t know what to say, individually he didnt impress me, but as a couple with Jun Ji Hyun I kind of enjoyed their chemistry and humour. So I would say what saved him was his co-actors too, the 2 other conmans. One thing that stood out in this drama, was the beautiful cinematography, that I enjoyed for sure. I know this drama was really popular, but for me it didn’t hit all my expectations.

☆☆☆  (1/2) / 3 (1/2)  out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

29 August 2017

Angel N Devil Review

Title: Angel N Devil
Genre: Fantasy, School, Idol
Episodes: 26
Broadcast period: 2014-Nov to 2015-feb
Cast: Sylvia Wang, Simon Lian, Teddy Chen, Cosmos Lin, Cheng Yu Xi, Lou Hong Zheng, Huang Wei Jin, Chen De Xiu, Lucia Chen, Ting Liu, Allie Jie and Sunnee Yang.

This story is the continuation of the Zhong Ji Series, but in the Copper Dimension.
Kate (Cosmos Lin), Yan Yan (Lucia Chen), Xiang Ning (Ting Liu), Allie (Allie Ji), Ding Dang (Sunnee Yang) and Xiao Yang (Cheng Yu Xi) are six high schoolers, living in the copper dimension. All sic have signed a contract with the guardian of light Xiong Ya (Teddy Chen) in exchange of one wish to come true. They fight the evils and demons, and protect the innocent at night.
One night while fighting a demon, Xiao Yang is attacked and dies as a result. The groups become bent of finding the killer, and soon meet Yin Xiao Feng (Sylvia Wang), who claims to be her younger sister.  At first the group is mistrusting, until they notice her fighting power. They decide to introduce her to the world, but Xiao Feng is reluctant to join. Wondering why her sister would sign a contract that would enable her to get harmed, for one wish, she questions Xiong Ya about it. She is told that her sisters wish is to keep Wang Cha Li (Simon Lian) out of danger and protect him. Soon she meets Cha Li, and finds out that he is Xiao Yangs boyfriend.
The two dislike each other at first, but when Xiao Feng signs the contract to find her sisters killer, the two find middle ground and decide to join forces…

Hmm, not sure of I got all it completely right with the summary, but I think most of it fits.
Continuing the series, this one has all the new actors from the Zhong Ji universe, though the characters are not the same. There is a small resemblance, but I think this series has the new cast in focus, mainly the A’N’D idol group. Though SpeXial is in it (and ends up taking more screen time than the girls), the main story is the girls and Sylvia Wang.
Considering its predecessors, this is a bit on the lower side of the bar, though the storyline is good. Unfortunately, there are too many fillers, and not a real guide for the new actors - they really are green. The ending was supposed to be epic, but was rather a headscratcher.  And the saddest part is that the stars in this one is Lou Hong Zheng, Huang Wei Jin and Chen De Xiu, though Sylvia Wang has moments.
All in all, a decent drama, but not that exciting - unless you really like the girl group A’N’D (and boyband SpeXial).

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

27 August 2017

The X-Dormitory Review

Title: The X-Dormitory
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Family
Episodes: 40
Broadcast period: 2014-Jun to 2014-Aug
Cast: Pauline Lan, Emily Tsai, Lou Hong Zheng, Xu Ming Jie, Huang Wei Jin and Chen De Xiu.

When the war of the dimensions begins Xiong Ges (Pauline Lan) two sons and husband leave to protect the Iron Dimension. Due to the exposure and tightened rules about Yi Neng users, Xiong Ge decides to open a dormitory to pay her bills, and to help children with Yi Neng powers. Helping her is Han (Emily Tsai), who is yearning for Xia Tian, but staying loyal to the family. Ye Sheng (Huang Wei) and Cang Qiong (Lou Hong Zheng) are both children arriving at the dormitory. Though one is a Yi Neng user, and the other is a Ma Gua (not a Yi Neng user). Unfortunately, they can’t distinguish which is which, and they can’t use their powers to find out as they may get exposed.
Everything seems to fall into place, until there suddenly appears a magical door with the number 206, and the door seems unable to be opened…

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen “The X-Family”, but watching “The X-Dormitory” it all came back to me at once. Unfortunately, this season is not as good as the other one, both because the 4 main actors aren’t in it (the ones that were in X-Family) and because the enormous lack of storyline. They do add a few and try to make it interesting, but since it is the second season, you can’t not compare these two. Another bad thing is the humor: 10 years ago, the slapstick and over reactions might have been funny, but there are just so forced here and not funny at all.
The only light (and interesting part) is SpeXial, and their storylines. Though the unnecessary forced love triangle between Xia Tian, Han and Cang Qiong was horrible, the idea was good, and well executed considering the crappy script and subplot the actors had to work with. The story of Ye Sheng was very enjoyable, and everything involving him (and the other one - no spoiler) was great to watch.
All in all, a bad sequel, though it has great acting prodigies - or just good young idol actors…

☆☆½/ 2½ out of 5 stars

♥♥½ / 2½ out of 5 hearts

25 August 2017

Ouroboros Review

Title: Ouroboros
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Action
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2015-Jan to 2015-Mar
Cast: Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma and Ueno Juri.

Growing up as orphans Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya never had a place they called home, until they arrive at a children’s home run by Kashiwaba Yuiko (Hirosue Ryoko). The two grow very fond of Yuiko, due to her caring personality and big heart, and start seeing her as the only adult they trust.
Everything changes drastically when they one-night witness four men leaving a bleeding Yuiko, after shooting her. This leads them to vow, to find the men, take revenge, and kill them. Several years later, they both are grown: Ryuzaki Ikuo (Ikuta Toma) is a detective with a perfect arrest record, and Danno Tatsuya (Oguri Shun) is a don in the underworld. Waiting for opportunities and clues to find the assailants behind Yuikos killers.
After an alleged suicide, Ikuo arrives at the crime scene and becomes the partner of Hibino Mizuki (Ueno Juri). Soon they find out that the suicide isn’t a suicide, and suddenly the clues start dropping.
The two start their mission, now without caring about their capture…

This is one of the few revenge dramas that I’ve enjoyed in my 10+ years of watching dramas. It is a typical drama meaning a tiny bit cliché, but with good twist - had me wondering a few times. I like that it was delivered as it is, and was not apologetic about its characters. We were made aware from the beginning how things are, and how the situation will be. And yet we are wondering at the end, if there might be a better life for these guys in the future.
This is as said one of the few ‘revenge’ dramas I like, and funnily enough it once again stars Ikuta Toma (the other revenge drama I enjoyed is Maou in which he stars in). Oguri and Ikuta are amazing actors, so the duo is actually perfect in almost every sense. At first, I didn’t really understand Ueno Juri had to be in it - they didn’t use her characters potential at all, but she is interesting to watch, and a great actress, so it’s not a complete waste.
To sum up: a great drama with good plot and great screenplay. Recommendable!

☆☆☆☆½ / 4½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥♥ / 5 out of 5 hearts

23 August 2017

Whisper Review

Title: Whisper
Genre: Legal, Chaebol, Melodrama
Episodes: 17
Broadcast period: 2017-Mar t 2017-May
Cast: Lee Bo Young, Lee Sang Yoon, Kwon Yeol, Park Se Young and Kim Kap Soo.

After covering a case with one of South Koreas biggest law firms Taebak, Detective Shin Young Joos (Lee Bo Young) father gets caught up in a murder trial. He is accused of killing one of his friends, and due to the overwhelming evidence against him, he is sure to get convicted. Refusing to believe her father could do so and confident that he is set up, Young Joo decides to investigate the case herself, and decides to meet up with the judge of the trial, as she is afraid Taebak might cover the whole thing. Lee Dong Joon (Lee Sang Yoon) is the judge on the case, and as fate has it, he is known to be honest and fair in his judging.
The two meet, and Young Joo finally sees hope, deciding to trust her most important evidence to Dong Joon. But soon enough Taebak begins to bother and threaten Dong Joon, and is unable to judge fairly. This infuriates Young Joo, and she decides to take revenge on Dong Joo and Taebak with all means possible…

So apparently this drama was hyped because of the lead couple - they acted in another drama together, and it was very popular. Considering the supposed chemistry, it wasn’t that great. As a whole the story is weak and so is the overall backdrop, even though the idea is good, but with such a weak story I wasn’t really satisfied. I think I was expecting much more than this offered, but once I got over that it was okay to watch. I still felt that those “oh yeah!” moments were either forced or just simply blown out of proportion. If you think about how ‘easy’ the last few episodes were, with the evidence piling up against the antagonist, the beginning seemed a bit dull. Luckily the chemistry was good, and it was interesting to watch, so it didn’t feel like a complete waste.
All in all an okay drama to watch, but has a bit too much seriousness for a casual watch.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts