22 May 2018

Massage Tantei Joe Review

Title: Massage Tantei Joe
AKA: Massage Detective Joe
Genre: Suspense, Comedy
Episodes: 12
Broadcast period: 2017-Apr to 2017-Jul
Theme song: Otsukare Sankusu by Nakamaru Yuichi
Cast: Nakamaru Yuichi, Koshiba Fuka, Baisho Mitsuko, Wada Masato and Ozawa Yukiyoshi.

“Until now, there have been countless kinds of detective. A primary school detective with the brain of an adult, a high school detective with a famous grandfather, a really interesting scientist, furthermore, housemaids, antiquarians, people with memory loss or music mania, a lawyer who uses even a 0.1% chance. No good concept for a detective has been left out. But, against all common sense, now a new type of detective was born.” (Intro of episodes)
Yabukihara Joe (Nakamaru Yuichi) is shy and has a fear of human eye-contact, but he is an amazing masseur. He works in a small clinic, with three other masseurs and their boss. After being pulled in to a case, while doing a massage, he starts helping the police solve crimes, by massage the suspects. Due to his talent, he is able to notice small movements in muscles - whether they are tense or not - but also hurts, pain and even heartbeats. As he helps solve cases, there is a sudden interest in him, by unknown people - and they seem to have to do something with his fathers disappearance as well… 

Considering the fact that I stumbled upon this drama, and that I had no idea this was out there, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This drama is another typical half comedy half serious Japanese drama, which I had no problem finishing - actually did it in one evening! Though I gotta emphasize, it isn’t a serious drama. It has moments, but the idea of the drama is to make you laugh, and entertain, which it does.
Nakamaru is fun and I love seeing him act, also the rest of the cast made it very interesting. The overall interaction and screenplay was very decent, even though the massaging sounds were a bit too much…
Okay! All in all, a nice drama that entertained me, and was not a waste of time at all!

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

18 May 2018

Jyuui-san Jiken Desuyo Review

Title: Jyuui-san Jiken Desuyo
AKA: Is there a Vet in the House?
Genre: Family, Comedy
Episodes: 12
Broadcast period: 2014-Jul to 2014-Sept
Cast: Jinnai Takanori, Yoshimoto Miyu, Nogiwa Yoko and Makita Tetsuya.

In the Shiba family there are 3 members: Shiba Hanae (Nogiwa Yoko), Shiba Kentaro (Jinnai Takanori) and Shiba Hinako (Yoshimoto Miyu). Even though all of them share the same surname, none of them are related to blood. Kentaro was adopted by Hanaes husband, and after her husband had passed, he stayed her son. Hinako was adopted by Kentaro, when a friend of his had abandoned Hinako, and at her 15th birthday, he told her that she was adopted, but could decide on her own whether she wanted to annul it or stay as a Shiba, which she wanted. The family runs a vet clinic, where Hanae is the nurse and Kentaro is the vet. One day a bulldog is left abandoned in front of the clinic and they decide to keep it, increasing the family number.
They help people who have family trouble, and usually, if the lady-in-need is pretty, Kentaro falls head over heels - and decides to help with all his ability. This gives the rest of the family a headache, but nonetheless they help too.

When I read about this drama years ago, I thought I would’ve been a nice family drama. The idea of a vet and a family running it sounded interesting, and I felt as if it had potential. That it did, the potential part. I don’t even know where to start… The whole drama was just a miss. It wasn’t emotional, funny, or even interesting. The family didn’t seem close, the running jokes weren’t funny at all, and the storyline with the father/family helping random customers was so boring, I didn’t feel anything while watching. The only reason for my 2 stars rating is because of the quality, of screenplay. And some of the side stories where good to be honest.
All in all, I would not recommend, unless the humor (reminds me of Unubore Deka) is your type.

☆☆ / 2 out of 5 stars
♥ / 1 out of 5 hearts

27 April 2018

Marumo no Okite Review

Title: Marumo no Okite
AKA: The Tradition of Malmo
Genre: Family, Comedy
Episodes: 11
Broadcast period: 2011-Apr to 2011-Jul
Theme song: “Maru Maru Mori Mori!” by Kaoru to Yuki, Tama ni Mook
Cast: Abe Sadao, Ashida Mana and Suzuki Fuku.

Takaki Mamoru (Abe Sadao) a bachelor living in a one-room apartment, doesn’t have much in life - especially after he gets transferred to Customer Service branch, even though he has potential in other areas.
When his high school friend Sasakura passes away suddenly, Mamoru meets the friends two children, the twins Sasakura Kaoru (Ashida Mana) and Sasakura Tomoki (Suzuki Fuku). While alive Sasakura had emphasized that he would like the children to be together as they had always been inseparable, but the family members, unable to have their own children and the twins in the house, decide to separate the two. Soon enough the two become depressed and start running away from home. This is where Mamoru decides to take in the twins and decides to help them enter school as well as helping the cope with the loss of their father.
While the trio start getting used to each other, Tomoki finds a stray dog, who happens to be able to talk, and for some reason it helps the family in dealing with emotional scars and issues…

I became a fan of Abe Sadao after watching him in the Iryu series, so when I noticed this drama, I simply had to watch it. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, since it was the only drama of his that had a different character, other than the one from Iryu - that I have watched. To put it simply, he is officially one of my favorite actors now. Putting aside the classic storyline, and the amazing kid actors, Abe Sadao is absolutely believable in this character - I really can’t explain why, but he embodied Mamoru perfectly. Almost as if the character was made for him. (LOL) The storyline was good too, though at first, I was thrown off by the dog being able to talk… But later it kind of made sense to me. It is very cute, and I sort of felt happy about it later on.
So to sum up: a cute drama with great acting.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

26 April 2018

The Immortal Admiral Yi Soon Shin Review

Title: The Immortal Admiral Yi Soon Shin
AKA: Immortal Admiral Yi Sun Shin
Genre: Period, Historical
Episodes: 104
Broadcast period: 2004-Sept to 20044-Aug
Cast: Kim Myung Min, Choi Jae Sung, Lee Jae Ryung, Choi Chul Ho and many others..

This drama is the biopic of the great admiral Yi Soon Shin, from his childhood till his death.
Yi Soon Shin (Kim Myung Min) was born as a poor noble, due to his grandfather being convicted as a traitor, which leads to his family being labelled for generations. Being book-smart and intelligent, Soon Shin has together with his two best friends Won Kyun (Choi Jae Sung) and Yoo Sung Ryung (Lee Jae Ryung) made a promise to apply for scholar positions at Sunkyungkwan, but due to the lack wealth and reputation, he decides to change paths, and becomes a soldier.
In the army Soon Shin goes through ups and downs, and while noticing the increase of Japanese pirates, he investigates, and discovers that the “pirates” aren’t pirates but actual militia, the Japanese Navy. Terrified of the possibilities and man power of the Japanese Navy, Soon Shin tries to get help from the ‘higher ups’ but is dismissed. This doesn’t stop Yi Soon Shin, and he decides to get help in order to become the admiral of the Joseon Navy, so that he can prepare for possible invasions. This doesn’t lie good with the higher ups, the king and even his best friend, as they see him as a man trying to get power. Soon enough the Japanese attack, and while rooting for a Joseon win, the public start to see Soon Shin in a better light than their own king - which doesn’t lie well with the shallow king…

This is another one of the most popular heroes of Korean history, and probably one of the most liked one too. The best part for me was that it almost fit the ‘real’ story perfectly (almost), but another good part is that it was very exciting to watch - there were things happening quite often. There was storytelling, but not in the boring kind of way. That said, 104 episodes is a lot! Even if you love every character and love the story, it seriously is long. Even if you binge it, it takes a lot of time. I remember when I was at the last episode and they showed the entire storyline, it seriously felt like it was years ago. And I do think it took me a week or so… and I was binging… The casting was perfect: Kim Myung Min is great as Yi Soon Shin, and his voice just fits like a glove.
The bad part is though the makeup and wigs/fake beards… It really looked fake. Also the ‘wars’ looked very cheap - I don’t know if it because its from 2004, but you could see that some scenes were used more than once, and the “turtle ship” was also filmed from different angles, so you would think there were more than one. Besides that (actually not something I spend much time thinking about), it was a really good watch.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥½ / 4½ out of 5 hearts

25 April 2018

Pasta Review

Title: Pasta
Genre: Romance, Cooking, Comedy
Episodes: 20
Broadcast period: 2010-Jan to 2010-Mar
Cast: Gong Hyo Jin, Lee Sun Kyun, Lee Honey and Alex.

After spending three years as a kitchen assistant Seo Yoo Kyung (Gong Hyo Jin) is finally to be upgraded to junior cook, or assistant pasta cook, at the restaurant La Sfera. Unfortunately, the head chef runs off with the restaurant money and leaves La Sfera without money and head chef. The manager decides to hire Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Sun Kyun), whom Yoo Kyung had met before on the streets, and had confused him with being the new kitchen assistant. As Hyun Wook enters he ends up firing all the female cooks, which at first seems to be coincidental, but soon he announces that ‘women have no room in his kitchen’. He hires all male cooks for the positions the female cooks had, and soon enough even Yoo Kyung is fired as well. But being stubborn as she is, she refuses to leave, even if she has to continue being a kitchen assistant in order to stay.
At the same time Kim San (Alex) a regular customer, has an interest in Yoo Kyung, but hides the fact that he is the owner of La Sfera. Also, TV personality and cook Oh Se Young (Lee Honey), who happens to be close to Kim San, seems to have a past with Hyun Wook.
The four soon have their work entwined, and as fate has it, also their love life…

I stumbled upon this drama when I was checking out Gong Hyo Jins dramas, and decided to watch it, since I liked the drama “Thank You”. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as pleased as I was when I watched Thank You, but it has its moment. The drama is not bad, just has absolutely no point - I didn’t understand the dilemma, and I didn’t understand the supporting actors (Lee Hone and Alex), except for the unnecessary love triangle/whatever you call four people love drama. Also, I was annoyed at the amount of hostility from the other cooks, though I get the entire “he-fired-everyone- and-wants-to-boss- everyone-else”-vibe, but isn’t that what it means to be a chef… like don’t they do that all the time? And aren’t used to being bossed around…? Hence the “main chef”?
Anyways… Putting that aside, I kind of enjoyed the kitchen/restaurant environment. The main couple was also realistic, ignoring the “no-love-in-kitchen”-part. Their “meet”, and story was pretty decedent and funny.
So all in all nice drama, but to be honest, 20 episodes was a bit stretchy...

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

10 April 2018

Suzuki Sensei Review

Title: Suzuki Sensei
Genre: School, Drama, Human
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2011-Apr to 2011-Jun
Cast: Hasegawa Hiroki, Usuda Asami, Tsuchiya Tao and a lot of other child actors, and adults…

This drama revolves around a teacher who tries different types of theories and unorthodox practices, in order solve the issues and problems occurring in this class of middle schoolers.
Suzuki Akira (Hasegwana Hiroki), also known as Suzuki-sensei, is the homeroom teacher of 2-A. While dividing the student into classes, Suzuki-sensei had a goal of making “the most harmonious class”, which is ones of his believes, by compiling pupils that would engage and interact in such a manner that they would be able to comprehend, accept, discuss and solve issues that would arise. But also give the class and school a platform for dialogues, that would be deemed as unethical or morally wrong, such as sex and pregnancy.
At the same time Suzuki-sensei meets Hata Asami (Usuda Asami), and starts sharing his practice and theories with her, and even discusses possible outcomes and dilemmas in each situation presented in school…

This drama is one of the old dramas I downloaded years ago, while being new to the Asian drama world. I remember starting out and loved the school/teacher genre, so I decides to download it, but later read the summary about it being a serious drama, so I completely forgot about it.
After watching it I have to say I agree about the ‘serious’-talk. It really is a serious drama, with quite some shocking element, I didn’t expect. The thought that sex would be so common for 6th/7th graders is not something I even realized. Of course, you can blame it on the Asian drama would trying to portray their society as ‘innocent’, but tbh, when I heard those words coming out of their mouth, phew…
I am not sure about the ages of the young actors, but they seem quite good I their portrayal. To be able to do such complex characters is refreshing, and the fact that thing are said out loud, makes it an interesting watch. This drama isn’t a ‘feel-good’ drama; it has some disturbing elements too, but I kind of felt like they were necessary - as they are never shown in regular dramas.
To sum up: an interesting drama with a different take on ‘reality’, compared to your regular JP school drama.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

08 April 2018

Hono no Tenkosei REBORN Review

Title: Hono no Tenkosei Reborn
AKA: Blazing Transfer Students
Genre: Comedy, School
Episodes: 8
Release date: November 10, 2017
Cast: Shigeoka Daiki, Hamada Takahiro, Kamiyama Tomohiro, Kotaki Nozomu, Kiriyama Akito, Fuji Ryusei, Nakama Junta and Kawashima Umika.

While transferring schools Shigeoka Kakeru (Shigeoka Daiki) meets Hikari (Kawashima Umika) at the entrance. Soon after he is thrown into a ring with six other transfer students: a boxer (Hamada Takahiro), a wanna-be samurai (Kiriyama Akita), a narcissist (Fuji Ryusei), a scaredy-cat (Kamiyama Tomohiro), a genius (Nakama Junta) and a yankee (Kotaki Nozomu). For some reason the seven are forced to fight one another, in a “transfer student fight-off”. The group soon decide to run away, but are soon captured, and realize that all have the same first name: Kakeru.
After a turbulent first day, they are introduced to their principle, who tells them that they are part of the “Blazing Transfer Student”-mission, where they have to transfer to problem schools and fix the problems from within… But why are they all there in the first place, and how big of a coincident is that they all share the first name?

When I heard that all seven Johnny’s WEST were going to star in a drama together, I was so excited. These guys are so funny together, so I was sure it would be fun watch. And I was right: it was so silly that it became hilarious. As Japanese drama goes, this one is most defiantly one of those you’d call “wacky” or just plain ridiculous. But again, since it’s a Japanese drama, it really embraced the silliness and became a good drama to watch, with really nice acting. The storyline is not too confusing, and it actually does keep you watching… kind a.
All in all, a funny/silly drama that isn’t that time consuming.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

25 February 2018

Witch's Court Review

Title: Witch’s Court
AKA: Witch at Court
Genre: Legal, Crime,
Episodes: 16
Broadcast period: 2017-Oct to 2017-Nov
Cast: Jung Ryu Won, Yoon Hyun Min, Jun Kwang Ryul, Kim Yeo Jin and Lee Il Hwa.

In 1986, four factory workers were victims of sexual torture during a strike, by the officer Jo Gab Soo (Jun Kwang Ryul). 10 years later Jo Gab Soo, now a political nominee, was trialed for the offences. Kwak Yong Sil (Lee Il Hwa) is a noodle restaurant owner, living with her teenage daughter, Ma Yi Deum. When the trial goes public, Young Sil was reluctant to come forward, but thinking about the other women, she decided to stop hiding and come forward, only to be found by Jo Gab Soo, and mysteriously disappear. Yi Deum, unaware of the situation, tried to find her mother, but was unsuccessful.
20 years pass and Yi Deum (Jung Ryeo Won) is now a prosecutor aiming for the top. Known to use dirty tricks, and cheat during trial, she has gotten herself a bad reputation with co-workers. And when her team leader is accused of sexual harassment, she tries her best to keep it buried. Things go haywire, and she is demoted to the Crimes Against Girls Unit dealing only with sex crimes, together with the prosecutor of the case she tried to bury, Yeo Jin Wook (Yoon Hyun Min).
While dealing with these cases, Prosecutor Yi Deum, with the help of Prosecutor Jin Wook, soon starts to understand the victim’s perspective, but also starts to find links to her mother’s past and disappearance…

To start up, I was ecstatic when I found out that there was going to be a Korean drama revolving around sexual abuse/misconduct, because it is so rare and underplayed. Unfortunately, this drama missed the mark of actually doing what was supposed to be an eye opener. Even though the manage to show the true world of these situations and crimes, the fact that they managed to undertone it once again with just the wort type of character that could be the lead for this type of story. I get that the drama was about her “witch” personality but I felt so uncomfortable most of the time, that I started to dislike the lead more and more, instead of feeling any form of sympathy for her. They tried to show her backstory and make her likeable in situations, being all ‘badass’ but it honestly just infuriated me even more. At the end I didn’t even care for her.
Putting all that aside, as said the stories of the victims are amazingly and brutally honest, and I like that. Making stories that make you realize things, instead of wanting to avoid them, is good storytelling - which this drama does. It just needed a different lead actress/main character. I think I would have enjoyed it with just the main lead actor… and he was such a dull character too.
All in all, I wouldn’t recommend. My ratings are both based on the acting and story, but the heart rating is my experience of it.

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars
♥♥½ / 2½ out of 5 hearts

10 February 2018

CROWS ZERO 3 Movie Review

Genre: Action, Delinquents, School
Origin: Japan
Release Date: April 12, 2014
Cast: Higashide Masahiro, Saotome Taichi, Katsuji Ryo, Nagayama Kento and Yagira Yuya.

This movie is a sequel to CROWS ZERO 2, and the third movie in the series.
Kaburagi Kazeo (Masahiro Higashide) is a new transfer student at Suzuran High School. As he arrives he witness’ a fight between the current TOP Goura Toru (Yagira Yura) and another student. The fight is interrupted by Kagami Ryohei (Saotome Taichi) who arrogantly announces he will be the TOP. While commotion is going on, Kazeo refuses to fight but knocks out a student whose attacking him, with a single punch.
Former mobster Katagiri Ken (Yabe Kyosuke) encounters Makise Takashi (Takahashi Tsutomu) and while the two converse Makise offers Ken to work at the mechanics shop with him. It is soon revealed that Ken used to work for Ryohei’s father, who was the head of the gang, and had helped take care of Ryohei when he was little.
Due to issues at home, and some bad influence by drop-out from other schools, Ryohei decides to rein havoc at both schools, and Ken’s new gig. At the same time, Kazeo is refusing to fight, even though he might be the strongest amongst the students…

I gotta apologize for the summary, I really tried not to spoil, but it is very hard to explain this movie.
If I were to compare the movie with the other two I have to say it’s not as good, and I honestly can’t blame it on the cast. This movie is bad because of the story. Very little focus is used on the relationships between the characters, and they used way too much time on Makise and Ken. I know that they tried to give a bit back to the fans of the series, but with an entire new cast, I kind of felt that I never really got to know the new characters. It is hard to trump the originals I agree, but they didn’t give them much space to grow tbh.
Though the layout of the school was much better, and the quality of the surrounding was better - but still isn’t good of the overall doesn’t work. I mean they did try to go all out, but the ended up having too much.
On the other note, I admit it was refreshing having a new cast, and new storylines. I like that it was much ‘lighter’ as in actually being able to see the scenes - for example: the mob and the bars, which were so dark before… I guess the got a new scenographer… Or whatever it’s called…
All in all, okay movie, but not close to the originals.

☆☆☆ / 3 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

09 February 2018

Joseon Gunman Review

Title: Joseon Gunman
AKA: Gunman in Joseon / The Chosun Shooter / The Joseon Gunman / The Joseon Shooter
Genre: Period, Revenge, Melodrama, Action, Romance, Suspense
Episodes: 22
Broadcast period: 2014-Jun to 2014-Sep
Cast: Lee Joon Ki, Nam Sang Mi, Jun Hye Bin, Han Joo Wan and Yoo Oh Sung.

“Third year of Emperor Gojong's reign. The Liberals and Conservatives were in fierce opposition in Joseon. The Confucian Scholars who advocated for Emperor Gojong's enlightenment policies and their doubts for gunmen holding a new type of gun were being brought down one by one...” (intro of drama)
Park Yoon Kang (Lee Joon Ki) is the son of the magistrate, but much to his fathers' dismay, he is quite the party boy. His father had taught him swordsmanship, but due to Yoon Kangs carefree life, he spends most his time entertaining gisaengs. The two don't see eye to eye, as Yoon Kang doesn't have any interest in his future, and his father spends most time away from home. All this changes, as notable people get shot in the middle of the streets, and the magistrate is unable to apprehend the gunman. Soon enough their family becomes a target, and the family goes into hiding with the Jung family. While there the daughter of the Jungs, Jung Soo In (Nam Sang Mi) and Yoon Kang, recognize each other, due to an earlier altercation, but soon they become close. As the situation with the gunman escalates and the magistrate dies, becomes labeled a traitor, and the rest of the family as well. Yoon Kang’s sister is sent into slavery, and while trying to run away with the help of Soo In, he is shot in the chest and falls into water - presumed dead.
Three years later, a Japanese business man called Hasegawa Hanjo, looking exactly like Yoon Kang emerges on the shores of Hanyang. Even though he is refuting everyone’s claim that he is Yoon Kang, Hanjo in the matter of the fact Yoon Kang - but has decided to pretend to be Hanjo; in order to clear his father’s name, save his sister from slavery, and exact revenge on his father’s death. But that is easier said, than done…

I started this drama because of Lee Joon Ki, since it was his first after military release, but it took me quite a while to finish. This drama reminds me of the typical Korean dramas that are too new to be ‘classics’ and too old to be ‘revolutionary’ - they are those ‘inbetweeners’ that bores both new and old crowd. While watching I expected it to be a “typical”, but they decided they wanted to make it different, and kind of ruined most of it. I felt that it dragged on for a very long while, and the ‘main story’ had a dumb ending. The second half was just unnecessary, and it ended, for me at least, as if the main cast were unlikeable antagonistic. I get what they were trying to do, but they were just unlikeable at the end, and I didn’t like any part of it - meaning I ended up not feeling bad for anyone at the end. They tried to make it reasonable and failed.
I didn’t enjoy Lee Joon Ki in this, and I felt that he was stuck in his bad old routine - I hope he snaps out of it soon. The female cast I forgot as soon as they left the screen - so I had situations where I forgot who the main actress it.
All in all, a drama bored people might enjoy, but not a drama to watch for excitement.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

17 January 2018

Jeong Do Jeon Review

Title: Jeong Do Jeon
Genre: Historical, Political, Drama
Episodes: 50
Broadcast period: 2014-Jan to 2014-Jun
Cast: Cho Jae Hyun, Yoo Dong Geun, Park Young Gyu and Lim Ho.

This story is about the man who changed the corrupt Goryeo by making laws to help the low class and poor, and helped establish Joseon, by installing a new king on the throne.
Jeong Do Jeon (Cho Jae Hyun) is a low-class noble working for the government as a scholar in Sungkyunkwan. When the king, who was betrayed by his most loyal servants repeatedly, trials Do Jeon, the two come to an agreement, and decide to work together to fix the crumbling Goryeo. Unfortunately, the king is assassinated, by his guards, and the prime minister, together with his allies, put a young prince on the throne, to manipulate him behind the curtain. In opposition of this, Do Jeon becomes labeled as a traitor, and is forced in exile.
Loosing all hope and desire for the future, he meets the peasants of Goryeo, the ill treatment they suffer, and decides to once again help the government, but soon notices how bad the political situation in Goryeo is, so he decides to do the unthinkable: if the problem is the government, we change the government…

As a history buff this idea made me all excited, since it’s one of “those” stories/highlights of Korean history. Even if this has a lot of storytelling and a lot of moments, I kind of don’t understand the necessity of 50 episodes - which was one of the things that made my brown frown, when I started it. But as I went along with episodes, I noticed the “change” in history, which made me annoyed. Even if it didn’t change the overall history part it kind of made it “sentimental” or “emotional” without it being it. Also, simply historically incorrect. I don’t want to spoil, so I’m just going to say, trying to make a man seem like he is “feeling” bad for the poor people when he doesn’t care for his own family in the same sense is plain weird. Though I must give the production credit for portraying Jeong Do Jeon as he is portrayed in history books, and not some hero, is what made me continue this drama (even though the above mentioned annoyed me A LOT). Plus: Cho Jae Hyun is perfect casting. The rest seem okay, but the acting just seems like how any actor would act in the given roles - I mean like it doesn’t give anything extra. Besides that, this drama can seem boring - there is sooo much political TALK. They keep talking and talking, and unless you can see the history part, you’ll be bored. So they didn’t really think about that while making this drama.
OKAY, summing up: a fine drama with mostly accurate storyline, but has some flaws that just aren’t acceptable as a history buff, and can be quite boring for those who aren’t.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

21 December 2017

The Host Movie Review

Title: The Host
AKA: Monster
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Origin: Korea
Release Date: July 27, 2006
Cast: Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Doo Na and Go Ah Sung.

Park Gang Doo (Song Kang Ho), a mentally slow man and father of Park Hyun Soo (Go Ah Sung), runs a street vendor with his father Park Hee Bong (Byun Hee Bong), right next to Han River. On the day of his sisters Park Nam Joo’s (Bae Doo Na) archery competition, tourists sight a weird creature near the river. The creature, swimming closer to land, gathers the attention of most people, and soon enough also Gang Doo. While everyone is intrigued, the creature jumps out of the water, and starts grabbing and killing people. In the confusion Hyun Soo runs out, and becomes pulled underwater by the monster.
The victims and survivors of the incident are evacuated, and the Park family, Gang Doo, Hee Bong, Nam Joo and the big brother Park Nam Il (Park Hae Il), gather to mourn Hyun Soo.
While the situation becomes noticed by media, and the government start covering it up, Gang Doo gets a call from Hyun Soo, giving him hope of her having survived, and the family decides to go and find Hyun Soo. The family manages to escape the military holding, but due to the cover-up, the entire family becomes wanted, and now must hide while trying to rescue Hyun Soo…

The summary might seem detailed, but I managed to only cover bit of the beginning.
If you are a variety or drama watcher, you will at some point get to hear about this movie, as it is referenced and mentioned a lot. So, I kind of needed to see what the hype was about.
When I began it, I expected it to be a horror movie, but was pleasantly surprised of the fact that it is a monster movie (like Godzilla or like that). It’s been ages since I’ve watched one, and I really didn’t feel like another ‘The Wailing’. Of course, it has horror elements, where you get freaked out, but it’s more of a rescue mission or/and “clear image of the enemy”-kind of movie. I like the cast, and I like that the movie didn’t succumb the “American/Hollywood”-hype, though I disliked the beginning - where an American is to blame for the creation of the monster (don’t worry the first 10min of the movie shows this, so not really a spoiler).
I don’t want to comment that much, as this is a movie classic, where my opinion can change your judgement. So, I’m leaving it with this: a good movie with deserved reputation, though a few dislikable situations and I have to admit, weird backstory - I felt like the director sometimes took a bit of the intelligence of the audience for granted.
But all in all, enjoyable.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ ½ / 3½ out 5 hearts

16 December 2017

Aogeba Toutoshi Review

Title: Aogeba Toutoshi
AKA: Brass Dreams
Genre: School, Music, Delinquents
Episodes: 8
Broadcast period: 2016-Jul to 2016-Sept
Cast: Terao Akira, Tabe Mikako, Mackenyu, Nijiro Murakami, Anna Ishii and many others…

Hikuma Koichi (Terao Akira) is a music teacher, strongly believing in involving all is students in all the performances they make, no matter how well they play. After having troubles with the music club Kanagawa Public Misaki High School invites Koichi to help them, in order to join the national competition. Soon Koichi notices the biggest problem of the club: the five members that don't want to return. The five had been a band, but due to other students ruining their performance, the five end up leaving everything that involves music. Because of their attire (being delinquents), no one wants them to return... except Koichi, who makes it his mission to get them back, and have all the students play at the contest. But it is not easy, as the five firmly refuse to return. How will it turn out?

Again, I apologize of the summary: I recommend you watch the trailer.
After watching almost every single Yankee drama out there, I kind of missed the genre. I tend to re- watch old ones, so this was a nice drama to come by, as it is new and fresh. I didn’t want another Gokusen, and this drama wasn’t like that.  Yes, there were Yankees, and a teacher “believing-in-the-students-and-so-forth”, but this one is a bit different. It felt a bit “heavy” as in quite an amount of emotions, I didn’t expect to feel. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster, I wasn’t ready for it. The cast was good too, much better than the average Japanese youngsters/newbie actors, so that contributed too.
The overall story was real, and I think this is one of those that is underrated, if you ask me.
All in all, a fine drama, with great cast, and decent story.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts