03 May 2019

The Guest Review

Title: The Guest
AKA: Hand / Son
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Episodes: 16
Broadcast period: 2018-Sept to 2018-Nov
Cast: Kim Dong Wook, Kim Jae Wook and Jung Eun Chae.

When he was a child, Yoon Hwa Pyung (Kim Dong Wook) was possessed by a superior ghost. The possession led to the deaths of many people, accidently involving the brother of a priest who tried to exorcise him, Choi Yoon, and the daughter of a police woman who tried to help, Kang Gil Young.
As a grown up, Hwa Pyung is able to see ghosts, which he believes is because of the possession. He meets Priest Choi (Kim Jae Wook), while trying to find the superior ghost, Sohn, he believes is still out there creating havoc. And he meets police woman Kang Gil Young (Jung Eun Chae), who wants to find her mothers murderer. The three get involved in an exorcism, and soon they realize that they are all the children, victims of Sohn, the ghost that had possessed Hwa Pyung, repossessed Yoons brother, and killed Gil Youngs mother. At first, the three are at odds, but when they witness more than just one abnormal case of ghosts, they soon form an alliance…

Sorry for the weird summary, I recommend watching the trailer…
Dear lord! This is by far one of my favorite dramas, ever! I loved every single thing about this - maybe not the “Son” background story, but it was still pretty amazing. I loved the cast, their chemistry, and the entire build up. It had me guessing the entire time, and I loved every minute it. I can retell the entire drama, because I was taking every minute in. I was on the edge of my seat, and I enjoyed it. The plot was very intriguing, as in how and what, which has scary moments, but not the classic ones. It was very refreshing to see a different type of storyline - that wasn’t cliché. Likewise, the fact that there wasn’t a love story, made it so much better.
All in all, 100% recommend to people that like suspense, but also those who want to try a very different genre.

☆☆☆☆☆ / 5 out 5 stars

♥♥♥♥♥ / 5 out of 5 hearts

24 April 2019

Voice 2 (Kdrama) review

Title: Voice 2
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Police, Action
Episodes: 12
Broadcast period: 2018-Aug to 2018-Sept
Cast: Lee Ha Na, Lee Jin Wook, Kwon Yool, Son Eun Seo and An Se Ha

This is the second season of Voice.
After Moo Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk) leaves to take care of his child, Kang Kwon Joo (Lee Ha Na) is left alone to deal with the Emergency Call Center. That changes when she encounters detective Do Kang Woo (Lee Jin Wook) who she meets when her Team Leader is found dead and allegedly responsible for murder. They both are familiar with him and both show up at the crime scene, but Kwon Joo soon realizes that Kang Woo has ulterior motives, when he tries to take something from the scene. It is revealed that Kang Woo had been suspended before and is suspected to have killed his partner. Due to his rigid personality, he doesn’t deny, but claims that he looks for the real killer.
The two, start investigating the death and after a few occurrences, the two of them end up working together as there seems to be someone pulling string from behind the scenes…

Okay, so I was a huge fan of the first season, because of the many side stories - like each episode had an individual story. There was a main one too, but it didn’t overshadow the side plots. This one did. I cannot remember the side stories - like at all. I know it is common for Korean dramas to do that, but I really felt disappointed. Its not a bad story, and the focus on the main story doesn’t ruin it, but it felt like every other kdrama, instead of the drama I fell in love with. It’s a good drama with great suspense and storytelling, and I did like it, but I kind of wanted more of the original. But its fine…
The duo was okay, I mean I like Jang Hyuk, but Lee Jin Wook is good too. So, I cannot complain.
All in all, a decent second season.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

23 April 2019

Keiji 7-nin 2 Review

Title: Keiji 7-nin 2
AKA: Seven Detectives 2
Genre: Detective, Crime
Episodes: 9
Broadcast period: 2016-Jul to 2916-Sep
Cast: Higashiyama Noriyuki, Takashima Masahiro, Kataoka Ainosuke, Suzuki Kosuke, Kurashina Kana, Yoshida Kotaro, Tsukamoto Takashi and Kitaoji Kinya.

This is the second season of the drama Keiji 7-nin.
Continuing from season 1, the 12th Division is still working cases based on being “the bottom” of the hierarchy. Amagi Yu (Higashiyama Noriyuki) has been transferred to division 6, driving around in his patrol car and responds to radio calls, and is first on scene. Though he is transferred, the division works together, and investigates crimes - always in a dramatic way.
When a serial of body parts is left in gift boxes around Tokyo, the team, together with other divisions, try and track the killer, who seems to taunt them. At the same time, Aoyama Arata (Tsukamoto Takashi) is tasked to keep an eye on division 12, and report back to the head investigator…

I watched this right after the first season, and compared to first season, this season is dark. There is a heavy seriousness and very little humor, which is odd, because in the first season it was explained that Division 12, was for outcasts and weirdoes. Basically, they did a 180 degree turn, on our characters, and I didn’t appreciate that. All seem so dull and stoic, compared to the loud and funny characters from season one. Especially our main lead, who straightened his curly hair, and changed his brown suit, to a black one. Worst of all, he only speaks when needed, and has a frown. Definitely different than season 1…
Other than that, the entire season was good. The stories were great, and the team work was intriguing to watch. I honestly liked every single story in this drama, so kudos to the writers.
All in all, different from season 1, but still a good drama.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

17 April 2019

Keiji 7-nin Review

Title: Keiji 7-nin
AKA: Seven Detectives
Genre: Detective, Crime
Episodes: 9
Broadcast period: 2015-Jul to 2015-Sep
Cast: Higashiyama Noriyuki, Takashima Masahiro, Kataoka Ainosuke, Suzuki Kosuke, Kurashina Kana, Yoshida Kotaro and Kitaoji Kinya.

While working at the Lost and Found Center for the MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) Amagi Yu (Higashiyama Noriyuki) gets a visit from Katagari Masatoshi (Yoshida Kotaro), who tells him to return to the First Investigation as a detective. When he arrives at his division, Division 12, Amagi is met by 6 odd members. Infamous for being a “detective graveyard”, Division 12 is the place where detectives go, but don’t move up, no matter what they accomplish. The chief, Katagari is laid back and chain smoking, not really invested in his position. Samura Kosuke (Takashima Masahiro) a brute detective, with temperament issues. Nagasawa Keita (Suzuki Kosuke) a worrisome detective, who doesn’t stop talking. Mizuta Tamaki (Kurashina Kana) the only female detective, but without real motivation. Yamashita Takumi (Kataoka Ainosuke) a fancy detective, who works as the team’s lab expert. And Domoto Shuntaro (Kitaoji Kinya) the forensic professor, who seems to know Amagi well.
When a boat explodes by the harbor, Division 12 is set out to investigate, but due to hierarchy, they lose the case to another division, and get two minor cases instead. Soon they realize that all three cases are entwined, and they uncover an even deeper conspiracy…

So, I really like Higashiyama, like I am a fan, since I started liking Johnny’s, but I never knew he was doing TV. This was a pleasant surprise, as I really enjoyed this drama. It was interesting, fun and it got me emotional at times, but still managed to have a bit of action. Though I would occasionally find it a bit dragged, not in the bad sense, but in the “filler” kind if way, it was still a good drama to watch. The cast was good, pretty standard, and Higashiyama was alright… I mean, his character is a bit typical, and the rest are also quite stereotypical, so I wasn’t blown away per se. But it was good, nonetheless.
All in all, a good drama, with good storytelling.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

04 April 2019

99.9 2 Review

Title: 99.9 season 2
AKA: Criminal Lawyers season 2
Genre: Legal, Drama
Episodes: 9
Broadcast period: 2018-Jan to 2018-Mar
Theme song: Find the Answer by Arashi
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Kagawa Teruyuki and Kimura Fumino

“The Japanese criminal justice system has a conviction rate of 99.9%. Once indicted, a guilty verdict is a near certainty. This drama series tells the story of the lawyers who take on these difficult cases, so that they may find the facts hidden within the remaining 0.1%.” (Intro of each episode)
Returning to where we left off, Miyama Hiroto (Matsumoto Jun) still works “losing” cases for Madarame Law Firm. Joining him this time is a former judge, Ozaki Maiko (Kimura Fumino), who firmly and blindly, believes in the judicial system of Japan - which is completely opposite from Miyama.
Not being able to unite in the beginning, the two learn to adapt to each other’s workstyle, and soon enough, together with top defense lawyer Sada Atsuhiro (Kagawa Teruyuki), they seek justice for cases with a 0,01 % success rate…

So, 2 years back, I watched the first season, and didn’t not fancy it. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t that into it. The second season is a bit better. I like that there is an exact opposite of Miyama, making it two sides, instead of just the one. Also, Ozaki is really cool. I like her character being herself, even if she is caught in a disadvantage, which the previous lead didn’t have. All characters are pretty much the same, and the acting was pretty much at point - though the humor and speed of conversations, is hard to follow, which it was in season one as well. The stories are good, and the flow of the back plot is great, so it made it a bit more enjoyable.
All in all, a better season, and interesting storytelling.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

01 April 2019

Medical Examiner Dr. Qin Review

Title: Medical Examiner Dr. Qin
Genre: Mystery, Drama, Forensic
Episodes: 20
Broadcast period: 2016-Oct to 2016-Dec
Cast: Zhang Ruo Yun, Jiao Jun Yan and Li Xian.

Qin Ming (Zhang Ruo Yun) is the head M.E of the Public Security Bureu of Longfan City. Known to be col, stict and harsh towards everyone around him, Qin Ming works with Lin Tao (Li Xian), the only police officer able to stand Qin Ming, in the Criminal Branch of Forensic Investigations. Unable to keep an assistant, due to his uncooperative behavior, Qin Ming changes assistants too often. When part of a body is found in barrels of frying oil, a new assistant arrives them. And to both Qin Mings and Lin Taos surprise, Li Da Bao, a female, joins. Though Qin Ming and Da Bao are at odds in the beginning, Da Bao soon proves herself to Qin Ming, and together with Lin Tao, the dynamic trio solve cases, smoothly.
At the same time, an unknown foe starts to emerge, targeting Qin Ming, and his past becomes the center of it all…

This drama was an accidental one: I found it online, while looking for crime dramas, and ended up with this one. It’s a good drama with well made stories, though a bit too unrealistic if you ask me. I know that all crime dramas are somewhat unrealistic, but this one kind of had grotesque ones. I like a well-made story as much as the next person, but compared to the quality of the stories, the bodies/props really seemed badly made. This can also ruin a bit of it, but if you don’t mind that, the acting and portrayal of the characters is great. It is serious and has funny moments - so this is your typical crime drama. It has a main story too, which is very nice, so I do have to say, it is a good overall watch.

☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars

♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts

27 March 2019

King Gwanggaeto the Great Review

Title: King Gwanggaeto the Great
AKA: Gwanggaeto, The Great Conqueror
Genre: Historical
Episodes: 92
Broadcast period: 2011-Jun to 2012-Apr
Cast: Lee Tae Gon, Kim Seung Soo, Im Ho, Park Jung Chul, Oh Ji Eun and Lee In Hye.

This story is about King Gwanggaeto, who conquered much land, and made his kingdom Gogouryo spread and occupied most of the peninsula, making it the biggest kingdom, of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Go Damdeok (Lee Tae Gon) is the second son of the royal family, but this has not strained the relationship with his brother, Crown prince Dammang (Jung Tae Woo), however Damdeok has the same qualities, if not better. Though the royal household is loving and caring, the politics of the court act otherwise. Since Damdeok has been in battles, and on the front line for many victories, the court start seeing Damdeok as a possible threat, especially the prime minister Gae Yeon Su (Choi Dong Joon). Unsatisfied with the royal house, Gae Yeon Su has been working behind the curtains, to remove the king from his post, and make himself that title, but Damdeok, compared to the others, defies both strategies and advances made by Yeon Su. Though not completely aware of Yeon Su’s intentions, Damdeok doesn’t trust him, and soon enough Yeon Su plans an assassination on Damdeoks life. This attempt forces Damdeok into hiding, and soon enough he experiences the real Gogoryeo; away from the royal lifestyle, and military life…

So, this is another historical day drama, which spans over 92 episodes. It caught my attention due to the lead character, which is a very famous hero of Korean history. And though I expected it to be a bit draggy, the last 15-10 episodes were fillers of you ask me. I guess it was quite popular, and they decided to drag it on, which is very annoying when you’ve been watching a decent story for the past 60 episodes. I’ve now watched my fair share, so I can say with certainty that this drama has the most action I’ve seen in a day drama, for a very long time. I mean I was stuck to my screen for the first 20 episodes, and it just got better while it went on. Of course, as the usual historical dramas, the female leads were left out a bit - the love stories were halfhearted, sort of - and they didn’t show much progress, or at least I felt the typical ‘vibe’. That said, the drama is good, and has good side characters. I was pleasantly surprised by their depth, and this is more than just the ‘right hand man’. This goes for almost all the supporting cast!
To sum up: a good historical drama with a good plot, decent actions scenes, and great character storylines.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

25 March 2019

Signal: Choki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sosahan Review

Title: Signal
AKA: Signal - Choki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sosahan
Genre: Suspense, (Time-travel)
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2018-Apr to 2018-Jun
Cast: Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Kazuki, Kichise Michiko and Kamio Fuju.

This is the Japanese version of the Korean drama with the same name.
Working freelance, Saegusa Kento (Sakaguchi Kentaro) spends most of his time getting scoop for random gossip magazines, though he’d finished police school. One day he gets picked up by the police, and reprimanded, but let go, due to lack of lawbreaking. While leaving, he accidently passes a garbage truck, and notices a walkie-talkie calling out to him. Confused and curious, he picks it up and starts talking to Oyama Takeshi (Kitamura Kazuki), who asks him about an abandoned hospital. Their call gets cut abruptly, and in order to soothe his curiosity, Saegusa visits the abandons place, only to find a skeleton. Surprisingly, a 15-year-old case that has haunted Saegusa with guilt in the past, has now resurfaced.
Bewildered, Saegusa reconnects with Oyama to ask about the case, but Oyama claims he’s from 15 years ago, and that the case had just happened…

After watching the Korean version, I decided to give this one a go, especially since I loved the original. Compared to the original, this one is shorter, and does not incorporate all stories you get from the Korean version. Thankfully it is the one story that I really didn’t like from the original that they didn’t add, so I was pleasantly surprised. I tend to like the Japanese remakes of Korean dramas, as the stories are good, without the “over-the-top” drama/dilemma. Its very clean cut, and it also is very well acted. Also, I like the two veteran actors, another nice surprise. The lead actor I don’t remember seeing before, but he did a good job, considering the original almost blew me away. So, another plus.
That said, I did feel the ending summed up too fast. I know it is because I had the original in my head, but I felt it being hurried, and little bit messy - not much, just enough for a kdrama fan to notice.
Anyways, I enjoyed it, and I liked it.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

10 October 2018

Iryu Sosa 4 Review

Title: Iryu Sosa Season 4
AKA: CSI: Crime Scene Talks Season 4
Genre: Police, Mystery, Crime
Episodes: 9
Broadcast period: 2017-Jul to 2017-Sep
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Kuriyama Chiaki, Toda Keiko, Nagai Masaru and Miyazaki Karen.

This is the fourth season of the drama series.
During a cruise trip in Kyoto, Itomura Satoshi (Kamikawa Takaya) is, together with the passengers and crew of the ship, hijacked by gunmen, right leaving the harbour. While threatening to blow up the ship, the gunmen blow up one of them, leaving small burnt pieces of paper behind. Using his smarts, he tries to alert the police, who have occupied the harbor, of possible on-shore accomplices. His signal is spotted by Kanzaki Rio (Kuriyama Chiaki), a detective of the Special Crime Management and Control Office (Tokutai), a team that specializes in crimes that are seen as either too wired or hard to solve. Soon enough the cruise is saved, but the hijackers are nowhere to be found. But Itomura believes otherwise, and the Tokutai are introduced to the unique man, only interested in the burnt pieces of paper, left by the hijackers….

Sorry about the summary - it’s been a while.
After four seasons, you kind of get used to the flow and storylines of this drama. It is a nice break from serious and heavy dramas, and you can enjoy it without much prior knowledge. Though I haven’t watched the special that is in between season 3 and season 4, I felt that I didn’t need it. I could follow the story, and I again, didn’t need any backstory. Season 4 is also different, in the sense that we are in a different city and with different characters (except Itomura of course), so it is very refreshing. I also feel like this season has turned up the storytelling - the individual episode stories are really well-written and good.
All in all, a good drama with good acting - and good storytelling.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

03 September 2018

Unnatural Review

Title: Unnatural
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Forensic, Comedy, Drama
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2018-Jan to 2018-Mar
Cast: Ishihara Satomi, Iura Arata, Kubota Masataka, Ichikawa Mikako and Matsushige Yutaka.

This drama revolves around the few forensic pathologists at the UDI Lab.
Misumi Mikoto (Ishihara Satomi) works as a medical examiner at the UDI Lab. She is earnest and believes every death has a “truth”. Other than her, there is Nakado Kai (Iura Arata) working as a medical examiner. Though he has worked in the field longer than her, his approach is different. He is cold and fast, but very talented. There is Shoji Yuko (Ichikawa Mikako) a clinical test technologist, and Kube Rokuro (Kubota Masataka) a recorder.
Overworked and underappreciated, the UDI Lab has more and more cases each day, and when circumstances from the past creeps up on the team faces different obstacles, they didn’t expect…

I am sorry for the lame summary. This drama does not deserve such crappy explaining… Watch the trailer!
Currently I’m into these pathologist type of dramas, and this one is a really good one. I love the simplicity of this drama, though there is a main story, and from get go you know that where its going. So it’s not all “simple”. As a general, in any entertainment industry, it is hard to find a well-written story that has a decent female lead storyline. I like that this one showed the sexist part of society. They tend to pretend it isn’t there - in any drama/country - and they do it as a part of the overall story, not just a piece of sub plot.
The acting was great and so was the storyline, so all in all a good drama to watch!

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥ / 4 out of 5 hearts

30 August 2018

Partners of Justice Review

Title: Partners of Justice
AKA: Investigation Couple
Genre: drama, crime, mystery
Episodes: 32
Broadcast period: 2018-May to 2018-Jul
Cast: Jung Jae Young, Jung Yoo Mi, Lee Yi Kyung, Park Eun Suk and Stephanie Lee.

Eun Sol (Jung Yoo Mi) is a newly appointed public prosecutor, full of life and energy. Though very young and inexperienced, she graduated with highest points, and treats everyone with enthusiasm. Easy to talk to and bubbly, she is liked by everyone, until she encounters Baek Bom (Jung Jae Young), a forensic pathologist. Grumpy and simpleminded, Bom is rude to everyone, especially Sol, after she accidently almost contaminates a crime scene. Scarred by his past, Bom who had been a successful surgeon, but decided to become a medical examiner, and excelled while doing so.
The two completely different people, both talented in their fields, start recognizing each other’s strengths, while cases from past and present turn up, and the two unknowingly become partners…

This is one of those where you can’t really give a decent resume, it has to be watched.
I swear, this drama took me by surprise. I did not expect to like it as much as I did. I think I cried (or was teary) in almost every story! The fact that there weren’t unnecessary love stories, or a draggy/long main story, kind of made it more interesting as a viewer. To be engaged in every story, rather than wanting to follow a main story, is kind of refreshing. BUT yes... There is a main story, it just doesn’t take much of the screen time in every episode, different than (filler episodes) dramas… I enjoyed the characters too. They seemed a bit typical at the beginning, but you kind of find them relatable later one. From the happy girl to the grumpy guy. I liked both.
Of course, there are annoying things as well, but you kind of forget those along the way.
So: all in all, a great drama to watch - heck made me interested in pathology… says a bit.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥½ / 4½ out of 5 hearts

26 August 2018

HiGH & LOW: The Story of S.W.O.R.D Review

Title: High & Low: The Story of S.W.O.R.D
AKA: High & Low Season 1
Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama, Delinquents
Episodes: 10
Broadcast period: 2015-Oct to 2015-Dec
Cast: Iwata Takanori, Suzuki Nobuyuki, Yamashita Kenjiro, Sato Kanta, Sato Taiki, Keiji, Yamada Yuki, Kubota Masataka and Hayashi Kento... and many many others..

“Long ago, the legendary team ‘MUGEN’ had controlled this land. Due to their overwhelming power, the whole district ended up being controlled by them. Under the rule of MUGEN, there were a pair of brothers who were the only ones that didn’t submit and fought equally, with just the two of them: The Amamiya Brothers. They couldn’t form an agreement and after an unexpected event, MUGEN suddenly broke up, and The Amamiya Brothers hid themselves. Then, from that district, 5 organizations/teams rose to the top: Oya High, White Rascals, Rude Boys, Daruma Hooligans and Sannoh Association. The first letter of each name was used to name the district ‘S.W.O.R.D’.” (Intro of drama)
Chiharu (Sato Taiki) is the newest member of the organization/team “Sannoh Associations”, that consists of: the leader Cobra (Iwata Takanori), Yamato (Suzuki Nobuyuki), Dan (Yamashita Kenjiro), and Tetz (Sato Kanta). The team famously protects the Sannoh district and keeps unwanted gangs away.
A month prior, Chiharu had been a transfer student at Oya High, infamously known as the school for delinquents and students repeating the last year over and over again. Disagreeing with the No. 2, Chiharu gets himself in trouble, but is saved by Yamato, who didn’t know it was Oya High. This leads so disturbance amongst the 5 teams. At the same time another group, the yakuza, try to overtake the 5 districts…

I’m sorry for lengthy and partly confusing summary, but so many things happen, at the same time, making it very hard for me to sum up. Continuing from dramas like Gokusen or movies like CROWS ZERO, this one had the same type of mentality, except that it involves entire districts, instead of schools. This would be the equivalent of gangs (in America or Europe) minus murdering and shooting, which makes it a great watch. They fight, but with style and stamina, and it is enjoyable to watch, not just mindless hitting. Also: bromance.
I enjoyed it a lot, and I liked every minute of it - which is why my heart rating is high. But for other views it might be a bit different. If you aren’t into this thing, it might not be as interesting, though there is decent amount of emotional moments as well.
So, all in all, a great drama that the average can enjoy, but also might not.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥♥♥ / 5 out of 5 hearts

15 August 2018

Iryu Sosa 3 Review

Title: Iryu Sosa Season 3
AKA: CSI: Crime Scene Talks Season 3
Genre: Police, Mystery, Crime
Episodes: 9
Broadcast period:
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Saito Yuki, Nishimura Masahiko, Masana Bokuzo, Mashima Hidekazu and Namioka Kazuki.

This is the third season of the drama series.
The drama continues where the last season left off, and the team has been allowed to focus on big cases due to their success of solving them in the past. Even though the team is still intact, the MPD First Investigation Division sends over Morita Sosuke (Nishimura Masahiko), a serious and loyal veteran detective, who is the complete opposite of Itomura Satoshi (Kamikawa Takaya). Though the team is used to Itomura and his sudden weird antics, the headstrong Morita refuses to let Itomura trample on the ranks and structure of the Japanese Police Force. Being gentle by nature, and quite frankly uninterested in anything but the victims, Itomura doesn’t rebuff or comment on Moritas obejctions, which infuriates Morita even more.
As Morita gets more and more used to the team, his initial goal of reporting about the division becomes less and less important, and Itomuras unreasonable personality becomes a common thing…

Compared to season 2, this one seems a bit darker. Even though its better than season 1, it has some element -which I can’t put my finger on - but it gives you a different feel. I don’t know if it’s because of the colors, or if its different locations that are dark, but I felt I bit sadder watching this. The humor is also dark, which, I believe, contributes to the theme. The stories are amazing, I think my favorite of all 3 seasons. They are sad, heartbreaking, and most of all relatable.  
I didn’t like the main story though. It kind of felt repeated, and I am sick of people against Itomura, it’s boring. Same old song, even if it gradually becomes better, you just want to watch a team, not this typical story…
Anyways, cool season, with amazing side stories, but typical and recognizable main story.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

05 August 2018

Gye Baek Review

Title: Gye Baek
Genre: Period, Historical, Romance, Revenge, Melodrama
Episodes: 36
Broadcast period: 2011-Jul to 2011-Nov
Cast: Lee Seo Jin, Cho Jae Hyun, Oh Yeon Soo, Song Ji Hyo, Cha In Pyo, Hyo Min, Lee Hyun Woo and No Young Hak.

Due to the Queen being of Silla blood, an elite group of assassins try to kill her and the Crown Prince Ui Ja on a regular basis. This has prompted the King of Baekje to assign his most loyal and skilled swordsman Moo Jin (Cha In Pyo) to guard them.  But due to unforeseen events, the Queen dies to save her son, and Moo Jins wife dies while giving birth to a son, Gye Baek.
Several years later, Gye Baek (Lee Hyun Woo) now a youngster, works odd jobs, so he can take care of his drunk father. Here he meets merchant-in-training Eun Ko (Park Eun Bin), whom he immediately falls for. Moo Jin, who has lost his arm, has remarried, so the past is unknown, and Gye Baek believes his stepmother and stepbrother, are his real mother and brother. Though mourning, Moo Jin meets the Crown Prince Ui Ja (No Young Hak) again, now a regular Prince due to the new Queens (Oh Yeon Soo) son taking that title and sees right through his pretense, about not caring about the past.
While trying to uncover the truth, and helping Ui Ja, Moo Jin dies, while Gye Baek witnesses it. Filled with anger, Gye Baek blames Ui Ja for the murder of his father but ends up as a hostage of Silla. As years pass, Gye Baek (Lee Seo Jin) lives only for one sole purpose: to kill the man, who killed his father, unaware that there is more to the story than meets the eyes…

Yeah, I know this is very detailed, and yes, I did spoil a bit, but I tried to stay off the details, so if you decide to watch it, you will get several surprises and you will notice the details I left out.
Out of all the historical dramas out there, this one is the first one where I was in awe of the quality of the costumes - like the first 10 min seemed extremely well. I don’t now much about the uniforms of Baekje, but I know that the armor was iron, and it kind of looked like iron. In most dramas I can see that they are made of plastic (or whatever it is) but I didn’t in this one - at least not in the beginning. Also, it might be because I had the first episode in HD quality (I think 1080p), that might have something to do with it too. What I mean is, it was nice to see that there exist good costumes out there, like realistic ones anyways.
This is also one of my first dramas where the lead actors are over 30 years old, as they (directors, or whoever casts these actors) usually have young actors doing quality and popular dramas. And they were all ‘veteran’ actors, with skill, which was extremely nice to see. I have to admit, I was amazed by Song Ji Hyo. I never knew she could act mean or evil - she can officially do both. I liked her in this, and she is very good at acting. Though I noticed that she was tired (haha, blaming RM for that). The rest were good too.
The lacking thing in this one is both pace and extreme character development, which I couldn’t really comprehend. Though the fact that these developments are the reason the story end as it did.
But all in all, an alright drama that made me emotional, and confused at the same time.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

04 August 2018

Iryu Sosa 2 Review

Title: Iryu Sosa 2
AKA: Iryu Sosa Season 2/ CSI: Crime Scene Talks Season 2
Genre: Police, Mystery, Crime
Episodes: 8
Broadcast period: 2012-Jul to 2012-Sept
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Saito Yuki, Yashima Norito, Tanaka Tetsushi, Okada Yoshinori, Masana Bokuzo and Mashima Hidekazu.

This is the second season of the drama series.
After speaking up and undermining the ranks of the force, as he usually does, during an investigation at the First Investigation Division, Itomura Satoshi (Kamikawa Takaya) is demoted to work in a smaller station, in the outskirts of the city. This Investigation Team is led by Mizusawa Kyoko (Saito Yuki), and has few members, as well as small sections, such as traffic and guarding. Here Itomura isn’t tasked with the personal items, but he prefers to look at them, and investigate based on them. Though his team find him weird and occasionally annoying, they let him focus on the items left by the victims and have him investigate. This creates teamwork, as Itomura focuses on the families left behind, and his colleague focus on the crime…

Compared to season 1, this one I like way better. Not that it is much different: the premise and lead actor is the same. But I liked the supporting cast more in this one. Even if the characters didn’t support the lead, I felt that there was more teamwork in this season, compared to the first one. The characters are really likeable, and the side stories are good. Also, the guest stars were good actors, so an upgrade there…
This season has a bit more humor as well, and honestly, it is much more relatable, though I have to say, I am very surprised of how Itomura manages to find all those thigs out - but that is TV for you.
All in all, a good season, but better than the first one.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

03 August 2018

Jumong Review

Title: Jumong
AKA: Prince of the Legend
Genre: Period, Historical, Romance, Melodrama
Episodes: 81
Broadcast period: 2006-May to 2008-Mar
Cast: Song Il Kook, Han Hye Jin, Kim Seung Soo, Jeon Kwang Leol, Oh Yeon Su and Song Ji Hyo.

This is the story about the creation of Kogoryeo, and the people who started it.
While trying to fight the corrupt noblemen, Hae Mo Soo (Heo Jun Ho) and the crown prince Kum Wa (Jeon Kwang Leol) get caught up in political turmoil. The king saves the crown prince, but Hae Mo Soo is caught and tortured. Yoo Hwa (Oh Yeon Su), the only survivor of her clan had always admired Hae Mo Soo, thus the two had become lovers, but after Hae Mo Soo gets caught, the crown prince saves Yoo Hwa, by making her his concubine, while carrying the child of Hae Mo Soo.
Several years later, the son of Hae Mo Soo and Yoo Hwa, Ju Mong (Song Il Gook), now all grown up, was raised as the concubine’s son. Earning the utter contempt from his two older brothers, who believe that the now king prefers Ju Mong, rather than the two older sons. Though a brat, and quite useless, Ju Mong tries his best to be seen at “a piece of trash” so that he won’t get attention, but the jealous brothers try to kill him numerous times. After being thrown out of the royal house, Ju Mong ends up on the streets and meets So Seo No (Han Hye Jin), daughter of a merchant, again, where the first time she had saved him, after his brothers had attempted to kill him.
He starts working for the So family and becomes familiar with the world. At the same time the two princes desperately want Ju Mong dead, though fate has other plans for him…

This drama has been one of those that I watched the beginning of, with interest, but accidently read about the evolvement of the story, so I had it put on hold. As time had passed, I’d forgotten about the evolvement, and I decided to watch it again, so when the “thing” I wasn’t interested in seeing appeared, I remembered it, but had an easier time sitting through it. After watching the entire thing, I had mixed emotions, mostly frustration due to the love story, but as many of the “older” dramas, the romance is usually the subplot, so it isn’t given the same amount of “care” as the main story. That said, I didn’t care for the romance aspect, as it made me annoyed, and I ended up going: whoever, just save the wife please.
The main story is very interesting, and one of the better Korean period pieces, as it is action packed most of the way through - though it has moments where I was bored. But it tries to keep you invested.
It was funny seeing Song Il Kook so young, but honestly, I didn’t see much of a difference. The rest was alright, though there is something annoying about the female lead, even if she was the most bad-ass female lead I’ve seen in a long while, but I can’t really put my finger on it.
To sum up: a great and interesting drama with a frustrating love-triangle, but still decent storyline.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts