Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] Her Private Life

Western-ish Korean romance of K-pop fan girl and their art museum setting.

Spoilers below!

Romance drama in Korean tends to tick the boxes, from fighting to loving people, cheesy words and act of service, this is a story of art curator Deok Mi and her life in pursuing her idol Cha Si An.

As you could expect, her initial under cover fan girling and a good mixture of art museum background was surprisingly nice together. A plus point for the aesthetic of this drama, actors and the visual of the series looks warm yet vivid.

And then there is the museum director Ryan Gold, adopted Korean which had a history of being abandoned and currently a US citizen. His obsession with a bubble drawing and coincidental Cha Si An flight landing brings more ‘fateful meeting’ to our female protagonist Sung Deok Mi.

They have more daring make out scenes, thus the more American style. If you are looking for a romance drama and likes to watch western dramas, this might feel more at home than other Korean dramas.

It was a well set story. Predictable yet still satisfying to watch. The side characters were not wasted and added some flares to the overall feeling.

Relatable K-pop fans and recommended for people that loves romance.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Summer 2019] Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

Kuzu no Honkai’s friend

This is a coming of age story with five girls in the literature club, going about youth and it’s struggle.

The realization of liking someone; the struggle with risking friendship and understanding your true feelings, this is a mixed bag of small pieces coming in together for a common cause.

It’s a well-rounded story and had a proper ending point. If you like to watch drama and relationship stuff, this is yours.

Extra toppings where they used sexual words and hints in this series, I find it funny if you didn’t take everything too seriously.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] The World of the Married

Good starting but lousy wrap-up

The hype was real. And like a rollercoaster departing, many got on the ride as it smashes the highest rating by Sky Castle and outdone itself a little more towards the end.

Quoting many elements of Dr Foster, I went and gave myself some spoilers. It was a slightly better version with the more compact story and faster pacing. Some of the momentum dropped yet it still serves as a nice platter in terms of sense of betrayal, excitement, anger and thrill of the unknown twist.

There might have been some good curve ball and I was truly entertained. If you like a good spicy drama where you feel what the characters do, give it a try but bear in mind the last two episodes might be a bit of a blur and weird.

Good one if you are bored but steer away if you do not want stressful situations.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] Hot Stove League

Baseball manager game

Carrying baseball knowledge from anime, this Korean drama was better than I expected. I used to love Moshidora, Ofuri and Cross Game so it piqued my interest.

As you could expect, it’s a dark horse tale of a baseball team where they always get the last place. Follow their journey as they change everything: from players, coach, scouting, advertising and management, in order to make the team good again.

This is not the usual series one would watch. But if you like a good story of team sports or likes baseball, this is the story for you.

If you have similar taste as mine, give it a try. It’s not mind-blowing but decent enough to be entertaining.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] Mr Sunshine

The weirdest title choice. Glory and sad ending. Love story? Oh I might have just forgotten that part.

Netflix have a special place in my heart, bringing some nice choices in original series that is not found elsewhere. However, Mr Sunshine was a hard watch for me. I cut a few episodes by reading spoilers and summary to save some of the torture.

Going back to the time prior to independence, where the King is weak and people even weaker, all these people gather to make their own choices, heavily guided by their history. In terms of character setting and motivation, no doubt they were strong. But the whole story comes out in a way that you would look away since the character focuses were better. Over the top cinematic not usually found in dramas were nice but gets old and familiarise by mid series. Was the shots nice? Yes, but only a handful memorable.

Not that it was a bad drama. It just tasted like a bitter herbal tea. You know those kind that is black and good for your health? The whole series doesn’t change in terms of that taste. The plot felt like a flat line. Bitter sour to your tongue and occasional sweetness aftertaste. Every single episode. So the 24 episodes were too long for my enjoyment.

If you like to watch those historical background stories, this is a good one. Make sure you watch other series in between so that you do not get bored by the similar pacing. War time story have a bad habit of killing their characters at the most epic timing, and this series have them well executed (pun intended, haha!). For the best of it I guess.

Be warned of open end and you could always read the summary if it didn’t fit your taste. Nothing a bit of spoiler cannot fix if you want to cut the hours lost short.

Reminds me why I prefer anime and Japanese drama.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[JDrama] Hitori Camp de Kutte Neru

Solo camping and their cooking eating relaxation

It was totally accidental. I just happen to see it among the whole list of Japanese drama and all I did was click into it to watch the first episode. While my mom wonder at what I was watching, I didn’t realize until I finished the whole episode.

It was slow and mundane in a way. Maybe curiosity made me wanted to watch camping yet I stayed for the cooking savoury. Their way of collecting raw materials from the nature made the whole process even more tasty.

People that watches slice of life genre will not find it unbearable to watch. A plus if you are outdoorsy or likes eating.

A surprising drama which I never intend to watch but finds it memorable.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] Melo is My Nature @ Be Melodramatic

Three women’s story in a mesh. I nodded the most with their witty conversations.

Jin Joo the drama script writer, Han Joo the young mother working in a production company and the final touch of spice with Eun Jung documentary director makes a well diverse population. This story telling format reminds me of Little Women. Separate yet whole.

After finishing all 16 episodes, I can say that the script’s main attraction seems to go in the sense of words and out-of-the-box thought. Most of the characters are richful. Special quotes were all compiled by the end of every episode and I do say I like to stay and watch it until the end.

Without spoilers, I’d say that this drama feels and tasted like steamboat. It’s a variety of material cooked in a pot where you might have some likes and dislikes yet it all balanced out. The downside of it? It isn’t something new and does lack in an overall impression where they had small Eurekas instead of a solid main arc.

The strength of this drama definitely goes to the rich background story Eun Jung where she can see her dead boyfriend. The process of her identifying her problem to finding her solution, it was a very well written process.

I guess maybe due to low budget, they have the same song repeating. Both as in drama and also off as a background music. It felt like cover songs that grows on you.

This drama feels like the side dishes. Get something else for your main meals but if you needed something to wash your palate or as an add-on, I highly recommend it. Even so if you are 30ish.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[JDrama] Kansatsui Asagao

A more family orientated version of forensic doctor drama. SPOILER ALERT!

I like detective/mystery genre, not to mention the last drama that I’ve watched for this was Unnatural, this series was slightly lacking in terms of case complexity and yet more on family issues.

Both Ueno Juri and Ishihara Satomi are actress I tend to watch regardless of what her new drama may be.

Starting as the victim’s family, Asagao came to forensic due to her missing mother after a tsunami. Her guiding light and similar forensic doctor Chako sensei was there to guide and help her throughout her journey.

From being single, getting married and having a daughter of her own, this drama proceeds at a pace to show how people move on from obstacles in life. Characters of this series had a very good balance and none stuck out different from any other. They were all normal people and relatable. (Unlike Unnatural, characters were more quirky and fictional)

Dramas like this always suffers from the lack of urge to marathon watch it due to their lone-standing cases and loosely correlation of a similar cast going about their daily life.

It took some time but the general flow of the story did well to give everyone a complete story.

I wouldn’t personally recommend it but if you have bias for Ueno Juri like I do, you can have a look 😉 (but I find Alice no Toge better).

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Winter 2020] Dorohedoro

From the creators of Kakegurui and Yuri on Ice in Mappa style. Your trusted brand.

I hesitated when I first saw this series. 3D pop-up animation doesn’t sit well in my preferable animation style. I guess Knights of Sidonia left a bad impression but luckily Dorohedoro has not overused it and sometimes it fits the action.

This is a weird story with a setting of an amnesia-struck lizard head guy Caiman hunting for the sorcerer that had done that to him. Accompanied by his friend Nikaidou, embarks on a journey to find links and stories back to his past. On his journey, secrets will be discovered and another mafia family with their own quirky members shall add spice to the whole pot.

It isn’t your typical anime so it might not appeal to many. And yet if you managed to get hooked after easing in their story, the whole series does well. A very good all-rounder in terms of style, animation and seiyuu. The background music was lacking but you wouldn’t notice it much.

If you enjoyed Kekkai Sensen, give this a try.

Anime/Drama/Movie Review

[Korean Drama] Hi Bye, Mama!

For those who had experienced lost, this one resonates with you

This is a story of a woman, after her sudden departure, the days surrounding the people (and ghost) around her.

The lost of a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and her own future, this story starts off with her staying by her loved ones for 5 years. Spending days unseen yet knowing all the sorrow and struggles, Cha Yu-ri was granted a chance to come back.

This is a typical 49 days return. I wouldn’t want to spoil the show but if there is one thing I could say, this is mostly an emotional journey and not the plot. The storyline has always meant or wished to go a certain way, even when you are rooting for another chance. This story would feel slow and uneventful in some way.

Some emotions run deep.

A series to cry along if you can relate.