[Korean Drama] Hotel Del Luna Review (2019)

The reason for my absence: watching dramas is a time-consuming feat

I am not a big fan of korean drama but decided to try this with glimpses of the series. IU was fine as the berserk hotel owner Jang Man Woel (reminds me of yubaba in Spirited Away) and the human hotel manager Goo Chan Seong was the guy that acted in some series of a commoner replacing a korean king (many apologies for true fans ’cause I only knew his acting skills were nice with two characters of the opposite pole)

I knew the ending would not differ much from expectation since the beginning gives a fairly clear idea of which direction it is going. Despite the detours and curve balls it tries to throw, the characters grew and certain predictability in the plot was set due to the nature of the characters.

A hotel for the dead before passing on with staffs facing the same fate, this series involves previous lives and could be a bit like a puzzle piece while you put the timelines together.

I cannot deny the story was a bit sad, but the occasional over-reactions of comic relief, pun-intended jokes and flirting cheesy pick-up lines were adequate at its best.

Best highlights goes to the CG effects, hotel sceneries and the main characters’ clothes. Ghosts in this series were not on the shabby side even though you could barely compare it with true horror movies. The suits, dresses and clothing is something to admire while you see them change between scenes. My favorite goes to the shooting set, the large staircase in a spacious classy hotel lobby and Jang Man Woel’s personal office with her photographs for a thousand year’s worth of ‘working experience’.

Recommended for people who enjoys “Along with the Gods” movie with similar vibe, lessons and background setting.

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[Winter 2019] Yakusoku no Neverland

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Do not be fooled by the bunch of kids in a seemingly nice orphanage! 

What would you do to hope in the face of despair?

This series is a surprisingly short but packed a punch in terms of its story and setting. The background was laid down sufficiently as it goes and characters were surprisingly solid even for the supporting characters.

For those who enjoys thriller and psychological anime once in a while, this would be worth watching. It’s difficult to actually tell without spoilers so you will need to go and try by yourself to know it. The most similar aura I could think of would probably be an anime called Shinsekai Yori.

Enjoy the thrill, speculate and be entertained by the strategy placed before you even thought of it =D

 

 

[Event] Penang Bon Odori 2017

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So Bon Odori has been an annual event, originally held at another venue but relocated due to renovation. It is an outdoor car park adjacent to a shopping mall called Queensbay Mall.

The good thing about it is that we could park at the multi-level car park and have an air-conditioned environment to run to before and after the event. A big disadvantage is that the venue for Bon Odori was all sand and rocks, making it difficult to walk around.

Stalls such as sushi king, drinks, goldfish scooping and balloon fishing was seen but requires coupon for purchase. Related japanese food and goods are not too common so it is not too attracting as we walked pass some amount of visitors in yukata.

On the main stage, performances such as yosakoi dance by two different middle school with japanese language class and a medley dance by a cosplay fanclub were part of the act. As for performers from Japan, a company called DDC from Aichi prefacture flew all the way to Penang for their dance with fan, paper umbrella and large flags, presenting three songs. Instrumental performance by an English foreigner and a group of elderly presented three songs,one of it as ‘Rasa Sayang’ and another classic jpop song which I could not name.

In between, they had tutorial and practice run for the bon odori dance with the public. You can see the leading group are all dressed up in a variety of yukata and the dance move are simple to follow, repeating in similar pattern. The whole sequence of performances were repeated to face another direction before ending at 10pm with a firework display in the end.

All in all, there are still a lot of improvement to be made. For first timers, it was still a good exposure and experience. As for going to the event for the second time, maybe you can consider twice. XP

 

 

[Fall 2016] Yuri On Ice

Chase your dream

 

This is a story of an overly anxious professional figure skater, Yuuri Katsuki in his slump streak seeking direction of his future while trying to avoid gaining weight for his love of pork cutlet. After his figure skating video went viral, his idol Victor Nikikorof came to be his mentor.

Another highlight of the show is his rival Yuuri Plisetsky, while being a prodigy, enjoy as he realized his weaknesses and continue to change along the series. Many other national representatives along with their own charm and routine is another enjoyment for figure skating fans.

While this series might seem a bit weak as a sports anime, it doesn’t falter with its spectrum of characters and a tinge of bromance.

Recommended for people that likes figure skating or just in a mood for a comedy sports anime that is slightly relaxing.

 

[Fall 2015 & 2016] Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-blooded Orphans Season 1 & 2

Everything comes at a price.

 

Anyone who is a fan of the franchise Gundam would know that this particular series is slightly different from the others, having the main casts in adolescent age range in mutiny, viewers may feel or think that some of the decision and plot progression were forced. Even so, it is still an animation of giant robots fighting with each other at war to protect or fight for something they believe.

As a whole, the soundtrack and action scenes were still satisfying for a Gundam series. Some of the characters are relatable and some deaths are deemed necessary even if a lot of fans out there think that it is a mere waste of time.

Without giving too much spoilers, let’s just say this series is recommended for people who are fond of fighting scenes while hardcore fans of series like Lelouch may need to steer clear as your destination might not be as you’d imagine. If an ending of a series which does not meet your expectation would spoil the whole series, try this with caution.

 

[Spring 2017] Tsuki ga Kirei

The miracle of first love

 

This is a standard middle school romance of a guy named Kotarou (a writer in literature club) and a girl Akane (a short distance runner in track and field club) of how they saw and fell in love with each other.

This story depicts the details of how people interact, act and overcome obstacles of being in a relationship. From a standard point of texting each other to having rivals and confessions by another guy and girl, watch this couple fight yet another trial as Akane’s father gets transferred.

Will the rivalries win? Will the distance separate them apart?

Recommended for anyone that is just looking for a classical romance of first love. Have a cup of tea as you reminisced how you fell in love the first time in your life. In this story, having your first love as the first mutual relationship is a classic miracle in life. Cheers to that!