Archive | September 2012

Hana Yori Dango

I watched this drama on Drama Crazy.

So when I was watching Hana Yori Dango, it felt a little nostalgic because the main idea was still the same as Boys Over Flowers (of course since they are based on the same manga), but the feel of the show turned out to be very different from its Korean successor. I will be honest, though it is wildly popular, I have never been a huge fan of BoF.  It was just too ludicrous and dripping with excess in every way.  So why did I spend probably close to 30 hours of my life watching it? Two reasons;  First, it is an all time kdrama classic, and second the plot was actually pretty addicting if you could get over all of the extra filler that made it just so irritatingly cliche and superficial.

This is really a huge piece in the puzzle of why I loved Hana Yori Dango so much and did not care for BoF.  Hana Yori Dango, though two seasons long and considerably lengthier than the 3 other Jdramas I have seen, is still much shorter than BoF.  There are only 20 episodes instead of 24, and each episode is only 45 minutes rather than an hour and 10 minutes.  This left them less time to add little caviats such as people almost drowning and being rescued (like 5 times), random trips to islands for rich people, and supposively dead fathers miraculously coming back to life.  I was perfectly okay without all of the added nonesense.

 

Though the plot was still and will always be in any form somewhat juvenile and cliche, it is still fun and appeals to that hidden girly desire for Cinderelladom and forbidden love.  I loved Minako’s character in HYD, she was a spit fire, and though she needed a little help from time to time, was far from a damsel in distress, and was definitely no dummy.  I loved that for once, the male lead was portrayed as the dopey airhead instead of the female lead.  Each of the F4 members had their flaws, but were very likable in their own way.  Rui was my personal favorite.  Instead of being the constantly brooding and pitiful second lead, he was a truly loving and supportive friend to both Minako and Tsukasa (though not always perfect, he always came around).  He stood on his own two feet and was his own person rather than just pathetically following Minako around because he needed her to be happy.

 

I really did enjoy HYD.  It appealed  to the little girl inside of me.  I will be re-watching BoF soon and will watch the movie of HYD and will probably read the manga as well in order to write a comparison post between them later down the road that is more in depth than what I have mentioned today.  But overall, I would give Hana Yori Dango 4 out of 5 stars.  Definitely worth a watch if Cinderella stories are your thing 🙂

For a plot summary and list of the cast, visit http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Hana_Yori_Dango.

 

TTBY, Arang, and Hana Yori Dango Update

TTBY

  • Episode 11 was kind of whatever for me because it was mostly about that skank hoe.  However, two very amazing things did happen.  1.  Eun Gyul had the most incredibly adorable sock puppet moment ever (How could you not love this character?) and 2.  Eun Gyul finally confessed, and it wasn’t a big production, just a very honest conversation between two friends, which really fit his character.  Yaaaaay!!!
  • Episode 12 was one of the most wonderfully cracktacularly adorable kdrama episodes of all time.  I am in such a quandary here because I am so in love with both the male lead characters.
  • I can’t believe it’s almost over!!  Only two more weeks!!  I know I am going to feel the way I do at the end of CP every time I watch it, like a piece of the world is missing… if only they could be real…

Arang

  • 11 and 12 were both great episodes!!  Great action scenes, some of the twists are beginning to be revealed, and FINALLY the magistrate is taking some action in the romantic arena!!
  • Please give us some more romance next episode!!  Come on Arang, stop trying to be the noble idiot because you’re going to hurt him if you refuse him anyway, so you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so you may as well enjoy it while you can!!!
  • I really hope this doesn’t have a sad ending….

Hana Yori Dango

  • Since I am planning on comparing TTBY and Hana Kimi (the Jdrama and manga), I decided to do the same with BoF.  I am currently watching the J-version, and am planning on re-watching the k-version since it has been so long, and I also plan on reading the manga as well.  I am thinking of making this a new section on my blog.
  • So despite the fact that all of the boys except Rui are considerably less cute, I am pretty into the J-version.  I actually can’t seem to stop watching it.  I watched the first 7 episodes in one day, which is a lot considering how busy I have been lately.  It has all of the fun without all of the annoying stuff that bothered me in the k-version so far.  Thank freaking God that they don’t have her being on the swim team and then getting injured as a plot device, because I think the Korean BoF set the record for male/female damsel in distress in the water moments and I thought I was going to scream when I watched it before (at least this time  I will be expecting it)
  • Maybe it is because I cannot understand the lyrics, but the music is considerably less annoying than  the k-version.
  • I think the shorter length of episodes contributes to it being more to the point and less fluff than the k-version.
  • Rui’s personality is really different from his Korean counterpart it seems so far.
  • Is it just me or is the male lead more violent in this one?  I don’t remember him being quite that punch happy in the k-version. but maybe my memory is just foggy.
  • God Minako is SO much less ditzy and helpless than her Korean counterpart (and in my opinion a lot prettier too)
  • Having said all of this, the really crazy part is just now starting when the rich bitch mom starts to unleash her wrath on Minako, so it may get too ridiculously melodramtic and crazy for me yet.

Jdrama #3-Himitsu

Before Himitsu I had only seen 2 other body swapping dramas, both were Korean.  The first was Secret Garden, which was a goofier take on the idea of walking in someone else’s shoes (literally), and the second was Big, which was well, simply put overall an utter disappointment of a drama that did not make use of the body swapping plot device like they could have.  Himitsu had a totally different vibe from either SG or Big, which despite their melodramatic moments, tended to often make light of the body swapping and lean towards the humorous side.

Himitsu was dark and serious, dealing heavily with the moral implications of someone’s soul being in another person’s body.  Of course they had more ammunition to deal with the moral aspect because it was the wife/mother whose body died and somehow her soul ended up inhabiting the body of her 16 year old daughter, whose body survived, but whose soul was MIA somewhere.  I have to say that I really love this about the three Jdramas I have watched thus far.  They dive right into moral issues and unabashedly dissect the human heart, our natural desires, and how far our invisible boundaries will let us run before we run smack into the invisible fence and fall on our faces.  Himitsu went even further than Nobuta Wo Produce and Absolute Boyfriend with this issue as it explored the dynamics of the relationship between a husband and wife with the wife’s soul being forever trapped in the body of their young teenage daughter.

I feel that if this were a Korean drama, that they would have gone the Freaky Friday route and made it a goofy portrayal of a middle aged mother floundering to try and fit in as she is masquerading as her daughter and had some crazy intense melodrama surrounding a love triangle between her and a teenage schoolmate and her husband.  The Japanese however, did not go this route at all.  They instead made this a chance for the mother to start her life over again and study hard to get into medical school, and for her to use her experience to mentor and guide her daughter’s lost teenage friends.  Though there is a small subplot of a close and somewhat questionable relationship between her and her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, they do not turn it into a huge love triangle dynamic.  They instead use it as a device for the husband and wife to face the issue of whether or not they can continue to be together and be happy and whether their relationship will ever be morally right.  I really enjoyed this aspect of the drama and though I enjoy the Korean tradition of a giant love triangle as much as the next person, for me it was a breath of fresh air, a chance to enjoy something a little different for a change.

There was also a subplot going on between the husband and the wife of the bus driver who caused the accident that took his wife’s body and his daughter’s soul.  To me it was about forgiveness and whether it is right or not to hold a grudge, and can you blame a person for the tragic events that happen in life or is it just fate?  This part of the drama was also very touching and really looked deep into human nature and how to some extent we all share in each other’s grief and happiness.

This drama to me was sheer perfection.  It is short comparatively speaking to a kdrama, but I feel like this cut out a lot of the fluff and plot circling that tends to happen in the many overextended kdramas that I have seen.  Even to the end it was very thought provoking, and I am going to be honest I am going to have to look up what happened in the manga to find out if I am understanding it correctly, or maybe it was just supposed to be ambiguous to keep you thinking and guessing even after you’ve finished watching.  Either way I thought it was just a really beautifully executed drama from the plot, to the camera work, the music, and the acting.  If you are ever in the mood to watch a very serious and brain teasing drama, I would definitely recommend that you give this one a try.  5 out of 5 stars!!!

I watched this drama on http://www.gooddrama.net/japanese-drama/himitsu

I got the following info from wiki.d-addicts.com/Himitsu

Details

  • Title: 秘密
  • Title (romaji): Himitsu
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: Human suspense drama
  • Episodes: 9
  • Viewership ratings: TBA
  • Broadcast network: TV Asahi
  • Broadcast period: 2010-Oct-15 to 2010-Dec-10
  • Air time: Friday 23:15
  • Theme song: Tsuyogari Soleil by Hatsune

Synopsis

Naoko and Monami, mother and daughter, are in a bus accident. Naoko dies, but her spirit ends up inhabiting Monami’s body. She then returns home to Heisuke, dad, and they try to figure out how to live their lives. Additionally, there is some suspicion surrounding the cause of the accident, which Heisuke investigates.

Cast

Correlation chart

Guests

Production Credits

Currently Watching-TTBY, Arang, and One Fine Day update

TTBY

  • I am getting to the point of total obsession with this show.  I definitely bought the first 3 volumes of the Hana Kimi manga and have started reading it.
  • I miss Eun Gyul’s old hair.  It was cute and quirky like him.
  • There are so many CP references in this show I have lost count lol, but I love that they pay homage to the greatest drama ever :).
  • I think I am so into the characters now that I felt like I was stabbed in the heart when Eun Gyul walked in on Tae Joon and Jae Hee sleeping in the bed together.
  • Ugh I hate kdrama spoiled brat girls.  All I can think of right now is Uee in You’re Beautiful.
  • I thought the doctor was just kind of metro and they were making him seem like he had a man crush on Jae Hee’s brother just to be funny, but it turns out in the manga he is like flaming gay and very open about it, so I guess he is in the Korean version as well, just a little more subtle.  So that makes him, chapstick kid, and then sort of Eun Gyul lol.

Arang

  • I love the part where they start to first realize their feelings.
  • I’m sorry, but creepy fiance guy is just not attractive to me.
  • I wonder what is special about Moo Yong besides him being the Reaper?
  • Those were some crazy awesome action scenes in episode 10.  Lee Joon Ki really can kick some butt!

One Fine Day

  • So all I can say is wow…. I didn’t think it was possible to fit so many racial stereotypes, overdone k-drama cliches, and terrible action scenes into one episode.  As  much as I love Gong Yoo, I am not going to lie,  it was pretty much one of the worst first episodes I’ve ever seen, but because it is starring Gong Yoo I am going to try and keep watching to see if it gets better.
  • I wish they would get rid of his awful wannabe mustache thing.  It makes him look like a creeper…

YEH Directs Short Film and is invited to compete at the Busan International Film Festival

I follow a huge YEH fan page on Facebook that updates me on her current news.  This is so exciting!!  I will be searching desperately for this short film online so I can watch it.  She just continues to get more and more awesome!!  Anyway, I copied the article they translated and I’m going to paste it for you below.  Enjoy!! 🙂

“Yoon Eun Hye’s Short Film, Invited to The Busan International Film Festival”(Seoul=Yonhap News) Reporter Im Mi Na = A short film directed by actress Yoon Eun Hye has been invited to the Busan International Film Festival to compete in t

he Korean short film category.According to the list of invited films from the 17th Busan International Film Festival, released on the 14th , Yoon Eun Hye’s first directed film was included under the ‘Wide Angle’ section of Korean short films category.

The film festival praised the film by stating “The directing is excellent as the film is not satisfied with simply dealing with an issue of farewell, but moves to add dense emotions surrounded by many foreshadowing actions and items that appear at an end of a relationship.” ‘Knitting’ is 12 minutes long, as is a shorter film compared to its competing films. The project was created as a required 1st semester assignment for Yoon Eun Hye, who is majoring in Film Production at the Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia & Film of Chung-Ang University (GSAIM).

Yoon Eun Hye’s management explained to Yonhap News, “Directing a short film was a school assignment and her seniors helped her as staff members and etc. Then the professor liked the final work which led to being invited to the Busan International Film Festival.” He/she added “I understand that directing is more of an interest to her than to say that she wants to become a director at this point.” The management stated that Yoon Eun Hye is currently in the process of moving her schedule to attend the festival as an invited director.

Credit nate
Translated by CDBloom

Like · · Share · 1,3743522 · about an hour ago ·

Padam, Padam

I watched this drama on Hulu

This drama was utterly mind boggling in more ways then one.  First, the intensity of emotion is in high gear and it was a very raw, gritty, and realistic feeling drama.  It’s so funny because judging by the intro you would think it was all butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns, but in reality it was totally the opposite.  There’s fighting, lots of blood, murder, imprisonment, cursing, well you get the idea…  The love story is absolutely beautiful, and even though it is filled with kdrama cliches, they present them in a way that is much less annoying, I wish I could describe why, but right now my brain is fried and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

 

One of my favorite parts about the drama is that it has a crazy time bending supernatural element to it.  Throughout the show you have to really pay attention to what’s going on or you will get lost really quickly because things can drastically change in an instant.  They really mess with your head with premonitions and going forward and back in time to give second chances.

 

I absolutely adored the two male leads in this drama.  Yang Kang Chil had an awkward roughness yet honesty about him that was totally endearing.  Jung Woo Sung really made that character come to life with signature mannerisms, style of speech, and facial expressions that I haven’t seen in any other kdrama character.  He was just plain out fun to watch and he had a depth to his character that is rarely seen.  Kim Bum as Lee Gook Soo… oh what can I say about this character?  This character is like up there with Choi Han Gyul and Go Eun Chan for me.  I loved him that much!!  First of all he was the perfect angel (and I mean that in a literal sense) as far as looks go.  Absolutely freaking gorgeous!!  Like really, how does Kim Bum not worship himself in the mirror all day, I would!!  But besides being a pretty face Gook Soo was eccentric yet lovable and extremely passionate.  He could be the most gentle, loving, and encouraging person one moment, and then turn around and be bitter and vengeful with the intent of murder in his heart the next.  I loved this about him, he was passionate to the extreme, throwing all his heart and soul into every emotion he felt.  I also loved that he was so non-chalant about being a super natural being.  He was just like “Yeah I’m becoming and angel, cool huh?”

 

The bond between Yang Kang Chil and Lee Gook Soo was one of the most endearing parts of the show.  They had like this amazing inseparable friendship that was even closer then family or real brothers.  Amanda, I couldn’t remember if these two were on your list of kdrama bromances that should be consummated, but they would be number one for me!!

 

I also must make a short random note of the vast amount of shirtless sexy man scenes in this drama, more than I’ve seen in any other *dools*.  I have nothing but love for Padam, Padam and I defy someone to watch it and hate it (although I’m sure there has to be someone out there).    5 out of 5 stars!! 🙂

I got the following info from http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Padam_Padam…_The_Sound_of_His_and_Her_Heartbeats

Details

  • Title: 빠담빠담… 그와 그녀의 심장박동소리 / Bba-dam-bba-dam… Geu-wa Geu-nyeo-eui Sim-jang-bak-dong-so-ri
  • Also known as: Padam Padam
  • Genre: Romance, fantasy
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast network: jTBC
  • Broadcast period: 2011-Dec-05 to 2012-Feb-07
  • Air time: Monday & Tuesday 20:45
  • Original Soundtrack: Padam Padam… The Sound of His and Her Heartbeats OST

Synopsis

“Padam” which means ‘to thump’ in French is a mellow drama about a man who lived life according to its own course but meets a woman he shouldn’t love and about his breathtaking love for her.

Yang Kang Chil just came out from prison after 16 years. He was jailed because of a murder he never did. After released from prison, he goes to Seoul accompanied by his guardian angel, Lee Gook Soo. Meanwhile, Han Ji Min will play Jung Ji Na, a cheerful veterinarian who loves Kang Chil. —KoreanDrama.org

Cast

Things Kdramas Make Me Crave

  1. Noodles-I don’t know how many times I have had to make and/or go out and order some form of Asian noodle dish because I am constantly watching people eat delicious looking noodles on kdramas and jdramas.  In fact, I have a giant pot of ramyun cooking as I write this…
  2. Asian liquor-I have two sets of cute little Asian bowl cup things with matching little plates and I love to be a giant nerdy loser and drink soju/sake/and or Asian wines out of them while watching my dramas…  I actually did this last night, bought a giant bowl of spicy ramyun at a local Japanese restaurant and then bought some sake at World Market and went home and drank it in my cute little Asian cups while watching dramas (keep in mind this was my Friday night).   Go ahead laugh if you want… I laugh at myself all the time…
  3. Random cute things-Since watching kdramas and observing all of the little needlessly cute things that kdrama girls have I developed a habit of collecting those types of things too.  For instance, when I went out to buy a tape dispenser it couldn’t just be a regular tape dispenser, it had to be shaped like a high heeled shoe.  When I bought a flash drive it was in the shape of a cute little animated Asian monster whose head is the protective cover and comes on and off.  My contact case has two little piggies that screw off instead of just regular circles.  You get the idea…
  4. Asian cosmetics- I look at how perfect the skin and face of some of these girls are and wish I could even come close.  I have found myself switching to BB cream and now being obsessed with it.  There is never a day where I do not put moisturizer on my face.  I may actually own two pairs of circle contact lenses (only for special occasions, not every day use…)  and I have even entertained the thought of trying that eyebrow filler stuff they use just to see how it works (it’s so weird!!).
  5. Asian fashion-I love how kdrama and jdrama girls make really bold statements with their clothes (not so excited about men’s bold statements in some dramas though…)  I find myself buying shirts with the black nun collars and cutsie little prints with things like scottie dogs with red bows all over them.  I have to wear boots with all kinds of things now (no lie there was a pair of white slouch boots that the second lead in Goong wore all the time that I was obsessed with and I bought some just like them and now wear them ALL the time.  I always get complimented on them though…)  I also wear little clips with bows and flowers and such in my hair all the time despite the fact that I am a grown woman…

Do you guys have anything that kdramas make you crave?