Temporary Hiatus

Hello Everyone!

I realized I am really late in posting this, but I will make it official since I have no intentions of quitting this Journal.

As some of may or may not know, I will be studying abroad in Japan this coming Fall. Work in relation to this as well as my actual job has been taking up the majority of my time. So much so that I cannot even remember the last time I watched an Asian drama! So sad, I know. However, I have continued making purchases of Korean music just because I love my Korean music; however, I do not have the time currently to review anything.

After giving it some thought, I cannot guarantee when I will be posting again. So anything I have backlogged that you may be looking forward to...well...may not happen. I am sorry!

I have considered making vlogs while abroad, but I will not make any promises. I really have to situate myself first.

Take care!

Closing Thoughts: Extravagant Challenge (Skip Beat! Taiwan Live-Action)
I was highly critical during the first episode: I bashed the CGI, bashed the voice over (dubs), and bashed Siwon's acting. But, as time went on, I easily became captivated just as much as I was for the original anime and manga. What a fantastic show! I really enjoyed Siwon and Ivy working together; I'm so sad to see it all come to an end!

Since the original story is still continuing, I was really curious how they were going to close the drama. With the drama summing up as 15 episodes, I realized off the bat like any other live-action adaption that much would get cut out. So, I was 50-50 on the outcome: either they'll have a passionate make-out session and decide to date and combat the entertainment industry together, or, that they would continue to get a little closer without their real feelings being blatantly realized. Well, I ended up being closer with the latter. I would have to say that I like how they followed the story up to a certain point, and the final episode in closing was mostly satisfying, all things considered.

See, at the end there, Siwon's haunted past was said to be caused by being a shadow to his father's career. Okay. Still like the manga. But it felt rushed. Somehow, in the end, it still works, but it almost didn't.

I bet the fangirls were stoked when the finally got their 'romance' scene right before final curtain. I will be honest and say I wanted their relationship to show more in the drama, but hey, it's a pretty light-hearted show.

Final verdict?
Once this drama is released for US (subbed version), I hope I have money to buy it. That, and the soundtrack. I want the soundtrack so bad. xD

I'd definitely recommend this drama.

Music Video Drivel Today : B.A.P's Warrior
B.A.P standing for Badass Animal-men who Pray on your fangirling eyes and souls.

Or something like that. And just encase you didn't get that:

No, it actually stands for Best.Absolute.Perfect and they are an attractive new South Korean group that debuted on January 26th.

The group consists of 6 member whose ages ranges from 15 to 21 (which makes them all younger than myself o_o ) Maybe I should take after Eun Bi from FBRS?? Anyway, if you haven't seen the video yet, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! Get on the interwebz and do ya thang. (even so, I will place it at the end of the post if you don't feel like opening a new tab. xD)

Membas (ripped from wiki):
Bang - 21; Leader, Main Rapper
Himchan - 21; Vocalist, Rapper
Daehyun - 18; Main Vocalist
Youngjae - 18; Lead Vocalist
Jongup - 16; Vocalist, Main Dancer
Zelo - 15; Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Maknae (youngest in the group), Speed Rapper (I added that last one, hee)

My initial thoughts: WHAT. A. DEBUT. I can't wait to see Eat Your Kimchi's review on the video.
The only thing I rather didn't like was when Zelo was like, "we're goin' to rock this!". Um...okay. He is like 15 years old, and trying to be tough just really doesn't fall in his age group, but...GUH! I thought it was so lame. Are we intended to believe that he's hardcore? Because I can't. Just :10 seconds within the video you see him sucking his thumb. VHAT? I can't take any of that to be hardcore or badass. Nope.  However, as you will find out around 1:45 in the video, this same thumb-sucking dude can speed rap, son. MAJOR PROPS.

Look at Bang Yong Guk (5-6 years older than the previous) now HE screams "I AM MAN". And the raspy rapper voice? Sexy, yes? Yes.

Also, these boys CAN DANCE. Throwing, and tossing, and breakin'-it-down, and just moving every which way. They even do a bit of krump and some old school Stepping. OH! Was I excited to see that--I did a little bit of step myself back in the day. xD And still can! But never had I thought that I would see step in a South Korean music video, although I'm not sure why not since South Koreans have proven to be top-notch dancers.

So, since I was so excited about the debut, I went ahead and bought the mini-album/maxi-single to be released on YesAsia on February 2nd. And since it's YesAsia, I probably won't see my copy until March. :/ So I'm trying my best not to sample the other tracks and wait until I receive my copy. :D

The Lyrics (you can go here for romanization and translation) are kind of intense, as if, 'here we are, we can take your sh*t, we can take on the world, we understand sh*t happens, but that makes us stronger. keep going, keep strong' and a little side note that there are times where it's hard to handle what life throws at you, but deal. The lyrics really for me are a bit jumbled, but stepping back, they could really give this message.

Favorites parts of the Music Video Warrior (and I'll insert times from the video):
2. Waaaarrior (1:03)
3. Move at (1:08)
4. Get down, ge-ge-get down (1:31)
5. SPEED RAP (1:45)
6. It's STEPPIN' tiiiiME (2:45-3:19) (w/ some break dance)
7. I AM MAN (3:49)
8. Get the Maknae (4:01-4:09)


Official Website
Official Facebookusi

First Impressions?: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (K-drama)
Once again, I am posting a 'First Impression' piece after already getting way into the series. My bad. xD; (I be on the tenth now xD; by the way, some spoilers ahead. You've been warned. )

To begin from the beginning, I really didn't think I was going to enjoy this series. For some odd reason it took me a little bit to warm up to Cha Chi Soo played by Jung Il Woo. He seemed far too immature for my taste, and his arrogance--WHOA. I even thought at the beginning of the first episode that he was not all that great looking; however, his face grew on me after a while (although that's a terrible thing to say >_>;). Once the fact that he was a high school student became known, everything pretty much fell into place for me. I slowly began to enjoy the show and warmed up to all the characters and became hooked into the story.

Now the leading female--what a peculiar character that one is. Named Yang Eun Bi and acted out by Lee Chung Ah; this character acts as if her elevator doesn't quite reach the top floor. She's a: faithful girlfriend; tough ex-volleyball player; teacher in order to have steady income; and outside of the classroom she tends to like to talk to herself a lot and act out different scenarios in her head (not that we all don't maybe once, or twice, or a lot in our lifetime.) Her reactions are just not realistic sometimes. Which may or may not be the idea for comedy.

The third lead is my faaaaaaaaaavorite. Faaaaaaaaavoorite. FaAAAvVVvoOOrrrriiiIIitTTtteEEe. You get the point, right? I sure hope so. Choi Kang Hyeok played by LEE KI WOO! OHMAIGUUUUDH. (sorry for fangirling all over the place, guise) He is just so good looking! I love his character: pretends he doesn't care and finds a round-about way to solve everyone's problems; a lone giant who appears to have narcolepsy and when things become uninteresting and a bother--why not sleep it off? (can I do that with my philosophy exam coming up? but still get a good grade? No? Okay...) And he absolutely falls in love with Eun Bi. Like, truly. Ahh! It's so heart warming! Flower Boy Ramyun Shop has become the first drama in which my whole being desires for 'the-other-guy' to get-the-girl. Please? But oh! I probably shall not get my wish after watching the 10th episode. If you have not watched it, I will not tell. Just watch it.

As my first impressions: I didn't think I'd like the show. Further into the series, it wasn't so much that I liked it but more me being curious of what exactly will happen with this relationship where it's older woman with younger man. I realized early on it's not one of the best dramas I have seen, but it's addiiiicting. And, I just love seeing Ki Woo. xDD The story is okay, but not the best. Currently I have the series on hold because I do not agree with what happened at the end of the 10th episode. I literaled, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" at the last seen. (and yes, I know literaled isn't a real word, but I like using it. yes, I'm the cause of the growing idiocracy xD )

---side note---
Since I'm thoroughly involved with my school work this semester, I haven't been able to watch much of anything. T__T I basically do the work thing and/or the school thing every day of the week. Yes, even Saturday (classes) and Sunday (study group). So, this project I started here where I obsess over the dramas I watch might be more slow-paced than I planned--as you can tell by the lack of updates even though I said last post a bazillion years ago that I would have many write-ups soon -eh hem- 'pologies for that.

Until next post!

Just an Update.
I know I have not posted anything for a week now, but I have a good excuse!
School just started back up and I also had to prepare for an interview done in Japanese on Monday.
Let's just say, I've never had such a terrible experience in my life. But I'm glad it's done and over with.
But yes, this journal is not meant for my personal updates; I'm just letting you know why I've been absent and just to say I have entries soon to be posted after I have finished my homework. xD

What to expect:
Closing Thoughts: Ikemen Desu Ne
Closing Thoughts: Goong
Today's Musings: Coffee Prince
First Impressions: What's Up?
First Impressions: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop
Today's Musings: The Beauty's Taming the Idol Stars

They all won't be posted right away, but expect at least one of them soon.

That's all! Until next time! :D

First Impressions: Goong (Kdrama) [late]
I try to get first impression write-ups done after watching the first or second episode, however, I'm already on the fifth. Apologies. xD;
I suppose the hype back in 2006 was all worth it, because this drama thus far is truly excellent!

This is my first drama, if I recall properly, that combines both contemporary and traditional Korean culture with such emphasis. I've seen my share of contemporary and of traditional separately, but none that I can recall off the top of my hand that combines the two.

A Quick Recap of the Opening: (slight spoilers)
The show opens with a doctor observing the sick-ridden King of Korea. After examining the King, the doctor goes to relay information to the Queen and King's mother. The King is suffering from neuroglycopenia that can cause strokes and damage the brain. The King's mother becomes worried for her son and worried for the future of the royal family. She discusses with the Queen the necessity to put attention toward the Crowned Prince's marriage.

The Characters:
Shin Chae Kyung played by Yoon Eun Hye is a peppy, artistic, high school girl who is down-to-earth and enjoys anything art based. She is no book worm and very friendly and quick to adapt to change. At the beginning, Chae had no outstanding opinions of the Crowned Prince other than he is someone who should be respected. But given that she is also a proud girl, he wouldn't completely step down to someone being rude to her.

Lee Shin, the Crowned Prince, played by Joo Ji Hoon, is a pompous, egocentric, know-it-all high school boy who is adored by all the girls at school, and seemingly does well in both academics and athletics. From the beginning, there is already a girl in which he would rather marry and even proposes to Min Hyo Rin, played by Song Ji Hyo (YAY! GO RM!!), who turns him down in order to pursue her dream of becoming a world renowned ballet dancer.

Chae and Shin's destinies collide when there grandfathers had arranged their marriage before passing away. And from there, the story unfolds.

There are others characters introduced, especially another main role Lee Yol played by Kim Jung Hoon. He is the cousin of Shin and the rightful heir to the throne before his father passed away. But since his father passed, Yol's father's brother and uncle took the throne given the right to the throne to Lee Shin. There is going to be much drama over this, I know already, but I cannot give further details since I'm only on the fifth episode.

Impressions: short and sweet.
So far I REALLY enjoy this drama! The cast work well together and the style of the living quarters is really eye catching. And wow! some of the clothes Chae wears is so beautiful! Especially that black and royal red dress she wore when bickering with Shin while eating some fruit pastry. It has to be one of the first times I just mentally paused and thought, 'wow, that's so gorgeous'.

I'm also currently in the 'Lee Yol boat' because I find him much more charming than Shin, which I believe was the direction the drama intended. I'm almost certain this will be one of those where the spontaneous, out-going girl, turns the cold, harsh rendering guy into an open, thoughtful and loving being. And Lee Yol will be the third-wheel that either truly falls in love with Chae but won't get her because Chae and Shin's relationship will develop or he will use her for his goals of ??? (not truly explained just yet. Everything I write is based on my own interpretations) but I'm believing that he could either want to take back the crown or do something completely destructive that would dishonor the royal family for generations, or ruin them altogether. However, it seems that the director has placed little notes in the series that show Yol not being so dead-set into revenge as his mother. I guess we shall see.

Another thing potentially useful for any Asian ancient history/Asian Ideology majors or learners is Goong's little inclusions of Confucianism and other traditional aspects. With myself being an International Studies major currently and with having had many classes about Asian culture, I found this delightful.

Ending Thoughts
No doubt after I publish this entry my face will remain in front of this computer continuing Goong, which I'd like to thank Akai-kitsune on mydramalist for reintroducing me to the series because as it was airing in 2006, I knew little about it but really focused on school and my social life and didn't dabble on the internet much. I'm really thankful to Akai because I already know this drama will probably be another favorite of mine.

Now off to continue episode 5! :D

First Impressions: Ikemen Desu Ne. (J-Drama)
Coming across this was a complete shock to me. This past year although I've watched dramas off and on, I never researched as much as I did in the past, so I was not informed AT ALL that there was going to be a Japanese adaption to You're Beautiful. I really had no idea. The first thing I did after finding out was texting my good friend who use to watch the original with me while we were roommates on campus. The textual conversation went as follow: (apologies in advance if you find anything offensive)

Me: "There...there...is a Japanese version of you're beautiful!!!"
Friend: ".....WAT. WHERE."
Me: "It's called 'ikemen desu ne'. -site name- has it and so does -another site name-. It was released earlier in the fall...I had no clue. xD"
Friend: "OMG I JUST POOPED MY PANTS XDD that is so exciting..."

I was just as excited, though my bowels were functioning as normal. xD I love my friend's reaction.
My friend and myself enjoyed immensely the time we shared watching this. I think that is another reason we hold You're Beautiful in such high regards, it makes us reminisce quite a bit. Even just before school let in for this past Fall semester, we started marathoning the series again. So because of this, the conversation went as so:

Friend continuing: "...But I feel like I will be disappointed since my expectations are so high lmao"
Me: "Lol, i know. Like, I'[m] curious about the guy cast for jeremy. I'm thinking of starting it soon after I finish what I'm doing. :DDD"
Friend: "I will for sure be disappointed in anyone that isn't lee hong ki xDDD"
Me: "Hahaha, I know. But im too curious. I'll clue you in with some details once I start it. :)"
Friend: "ok :3"

While watching the first episode, I caught myself comparing too much to the Korean version. I fixed that problem and told myself, 'what if this was the original, you need to see it more clearly for what it is.' After that moment, I started to thoroughly enjoy the series! I mean, Yaotome Hikaru is no Lee Hong Ki (that my friend and I shamelessly nickname "Hunky") and I don't believe anyone could portray the role as well as he did, but I simply love this drama! And the President, even the manager, are a piece of work! Especially the President. I don't EVER think I'll forget that scene where he stood and said, "Holy Sh*t!" in English. xD Oh dear, much laughter ensued.

Currently I'm in the middle of the second episode and want to avoid for the time being lengthy entries, so I'll conclude by saying: put your biases aside if you have any and watch this drama! The cast has good chemistry and it's truly enjoyable. Watch it!

Until next time!

Closing Thoughts: Itazura na Kiss (J-Drama)
Glad that's over with.

From the beginning it seemed like it would turn out to be a decent drama and overall it was at least for the decade, but never have I received a headache from watching a drama before! Kotoko........many times I was right there with Irie wanted her to be quiet. Especially when she was cheering for him outside the examination site for Tokyo Uni. That moment, I actually covered my ears. And in the last two episodes they used too much sound reverberation.

What disappointed me the most was that Irie really had no bases, I felt, to truly love Kotoko. Normally in a series, they really develop this aspect, you know. They create incidents that truly captures the sorrowful one's desire for companionship. But here, it was sourly conveyed. Most of the series, as it really is in all the adaptions, is much of Kotoko obsessing over Irie to the point where he gives in. However in the other versions, there were more scenes that smoothed the transition of Irie's heart. Itazura na Kiss did not do this in my opinion.

In conclusion, I don't feel like it was a waste of time, but I would recommend watching the Taiwanese version over this--and even over the Korean version for that matter.

Now it's off to enjoy some unhealthy late-night eatery curtsy of my imouto.

Today's Musings: Itazura Na Kiss (Japanese Drama)
While I was writing for my first entry on Taiwan's Skip-Beat! live action adaption I had a realization concerning which was the original country to release the live action for the manga Itazura na Kiss. Contemplating this, my first thoughts were, 'of course it had to be Japan, but why do the mental images shoot straight to the Taiwanese version?' And then it hit me! I never watched the Japanese version! It was another drama released before I started watching Asian dramas. Within the last decade, I have seen quite a handful of 90's dramas, but I suppose this one never really caught my radar--until now, that this. The last couple of days I have been watching the 9 episode long series and I'm two episodes shy from having it completed.

But as the thought occurs, I just had to comment on how much I just LOVE 90's aesthetics. No joke. Particular to the medium of television. More specifically, dramas. They're hilarious, spontaneous, they can exaggerate full force, and not to mention, HOW I LOVE THE MUSIC. 90's music just has a certain spot in my soul that births spores that will attach themselves on and feed off anything affiliated with that joyous sound of the 90's. I think that's why I'm such a mostly-hardcore fan of T.M.Revolution. God love that man.

As I was watching the seventh episode of Itazura na Kiss: the sound effects, continual close-ups, somewhat obnoxious acting of Kotoko, THE INTRO, just everything is fantastically 90's. Though, I will have to admit that Kotoko Aihara's voice at times is REALLY obnoxious...because of the constant yelling/screaming/spazzing. It truly hurts the ears. DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES. Especially because the leading male role Naoki Irie has a somewhat softer tone (at least in comparison) and the overall volume just seems to fluctuate because of this.

Last night I believe because of this I marathon'd TMR. Which, if you have not seen the Jdorama, Beautiful Life, do so. The drama can be a bit depressing at times, but it's one that I absolutely love. It stars one of my favorite Japanese male actors, Kimura Takuya, and Nishikawa Takanori (TMR) has a supporting role. ^-^

And that concludes today's musings.
Just if you're curious and want to keep your drama database up to par, the following are the live action adaptions in order by release date:
Japan: イタズラなKiss; Itazura na Kiss; Playful Kiss (1996)
Taiwan: 惡作劇之吻; Ezuoju zhi wen; It Started with a Kiss (2005) [with a sequel to follow]
South Korea: 장난스런 키스; Jangnanseureon Kiseu; Mischievous Kiss (2010) [net sequel to follow]
(Mandarin and Korean romanization credited to wiki)

Until the next musing!

First Impressions: Skip-Beat! (Taiwanese Drama)

Be prepare Dear curious minds and like Asian drama enthusiasts, this could get rather lengthy.

Before I jump into what I do and do not like thus far of the Taiwanese adaption of Skip-Beat!, let me first provide a very acute summary of the original storyline.

Skip-Beat! Short BitCollapse )

Fantastical set-up for a long and entertaining shoujo manga (although short but sweet anime adaption).

As of now there are 29 volumes of the manga and continuing! If it has continued this long, since 2006, then it's quite a success! That means there is a huge backing. And well, huge expectations. When I heard that Skip-Beat! was going to be made into a live action drama, no doubt I was excited. Knowing that it was going to be a Taiwanese adaption did not really create any bias before watching it. After all, being as I have been watching Asian dramas for nearly a decade now (cramming two decades of dramas and the current within that time slot), I'm well aware of the standards produced from each country. And if you dig further, by each company. When I discovered Taiwan making an adaption way back when, I purposely did not do any research thereafter because I wanted to be surprised.

Well yes, I am a little surprised, but I could not honestly say it is a whole-heartily good surprise. My first impressions are rather unfortunate one main reason being because with the title such as Skip-Beat! and it's grand following, you really need to bring your A-game, and thus far, GTV is slacking hardcore.

Ivy Chen as Kyoko Mogami (Gong Xi)
Choi Siwon as Ren Tsuruga (Du He Lian)
Lee Donghae as Shou Fuwa (Bu Po Shang)
Jin Qin as Ren's Manager, Yukihito Yashiro (Du Jin)

Into the guts of the delightful and the dissatisfying. (disclaimer: definite spoilers)
Only two subbed episodes are currently available on the web and so my opinions are drawn from the two, simply first impressions and thoughts. And to not have this first post leading out on a distasteful note, I will begin with the bad: voice-overs, that hell-ridden wig, CGI work, script rewrite to display Ren's character and the portrayal of the restaurant couple. And then I will lead into the good: Casting of Ren's manager, and Ivy Chen. Then end with a couple of notes.

The dissuading voice-overs. To begin, I have to start off with what puts me off more than anything else in the drama and that is the voice-overs for the two Korean actors, Siwon and Donghae. It drives me loony when sound is not synced. Something I don't understand is why cast those that you cannot formally portray their voice on film especially where there are an ample amount of attractive Taiwanese actors available? Am I the only one dissatisfied with this? I hate to say, but I began thinking that they're using the popularity of Super Junior in order to boost the ratings for the drama. If that is the case, I do not approve. If that is not the case...then, why?

Concerning the present choices for Ren and Shou, Siwon and Donghae, respectively, I did not watch Poseidon so I'm not really known to Siwon's acting abilities other than the few MV's with his idol group. That's not much to go on, but none the less, his acting is mediocre for me in the drama. Donghae shines in comparison and no, I don't believe it is because the individual characteristics the roles are meant. Not in the least. From what I gather from the first two episodes, it's him going. "Look at me! look at me! I'm so quite and collective. Aren't I pretty?"

After recent research, I actually found that Jerry Yan was the original casting for this part. ?!? However, I'll keep my small rant on this for later.

The hell-ridden wig. DEAR GOD. What was that monstrosity they put on poor Ivy's head during her hair transitions? If they were going to put such an awful wig on that girl, they should not have written in the hair-dresser scene. No one believes that was not a wig. Which, given the standards they should hold themselves to, the audience should believe whatever you lead them to believe. It's appearance was short-lived, but far longer than I wanted to see it. I was so happy to see that thing go!

CGI work. Not all was bad. They definitely put in a little effort from what I can tell, with my very minute understanding of the technical aspect.  However, there were a couple of things I wanted to point out accompanied with pictures!

In this scene, Kyoko (or Gong Xi, as they named her for this adaption) is racing toward a music distribution shop in order to get posters that were to accompany purchasing Shou's new CD (which she purchased, yet did not receive). She rides her bike ferociously to the shop and manages a 15 minute ride that would normally take 45 (I believe the episode mentioned -too lazy to double check-). And so the surrounding scenery on her trek is made to look like a blur stressing the speed she has accumulated. With this obvious green scene maneuver, it definitely gives some comical introduction, but I really believe it could have been upped slightly given today's technology. And what was with the white car speeding up when the police bike was driving up? (really unneeded additive).

The second CGI work I wanted to bring up might be myself being a little picky.

Kyoko's apparitions. Something bugged me a bit, wanna take a jab what it might be? Try guessing before continuing from this point.

Have something in mind? Well, frankly, it's the apparitions' hair! The scene in the screen cap Kyoko has long hair, although it's not visible by this angle. Why aren't the apparitions' hair long? The apparitions also appear when Kyoko is wearing the hell-ridden wig. But the apparitions didn't have hell-ridden wigs. Since the beginning, the apparitions have Kyoko's final hair cut. For some reason, I just could not look over it. Don't misunderstand, the detail in the apparitions I approve greatly! They turned out well, but the hair didn't match the owner like in the manga. I'm not sure how much work goes into making that hair for the apparitions, but I guess a lot if they decided to overlook it. That, or they were just lazy. And I'd like to stress once again, with a big name like Skip-Beat!, laziness will end in disapproval.

Anchorman Story. Now, I'm wavering a little bit with my opinion on this only for the fact I cannot remember if it was in the manga or not or if it was added in by the script editors. I plan to read back in the manga to find out, but as my mind stands now, I felt it was a poor indication of Ren's personality. If you're not sure what I mean, it's the man at the beginning who asks for Ren's autograph for his daughter. Though the story can be heart-felt, I believe it was poorly conducted. And by the end of that whole bit, Ren's character seems like an afterthought. I felt this could have been done another way.

Japanese restaurant Boss and Boss's Wife. You know, the lovely couple that lets Kyoko room upstairs, as she pursues her new ambition? Now, this could be me forgetting details again, but what was with the scene of them as Doctor and Nurse? I wouldn't really consider myself a prude, but were they displayed in such a way in the manga? Since they are just minor characters, I don't really care that much that the writers turned them into role-playing enthusiasts, but I had the initial reaction, 'wha the....'.

On to now what I liked.

The casting of Ren's Manager. What follows was my reaction when I first saw Ren's manager: "WHAAAAAA!!!! It's that guy!!!! AAHHH!! I said I wished to see him again in another drama and now here he is!!! YESSS!!" Yes. I honestly don't know what my deal is, but I once saw Jin Qin in another drama in which I can't properly recall. ^-^; But! Whatever drama that was, I remember saying that he had such an adorable face and I hoped to see him again. And Wah la! Now, I did do a little research to figure out what drama it could have been that I saw him in, and the only one I could find was ToGetHer, but I'm not positive. :/ I'll have to do further research. But anyway, other than the fact I was excited to see him again, he does well in this role. I greatly approve. And one last thing concerning him: yellow phone.

The casting of Ivy Chen. It works. She's decent at being loud, spontaneous, and not afraid to put herself out there. Concerning her acting, my only previous experience with Ivy's style was from Smiling Pasta, which roles greatly contrast. With that said, I don't have a lot to go on. I felt in her portrayal of Kyoko, she put off a lot of vibes as if she were Ella Chen's and Rainie Yang's love child. If you have seen many dramas with Ella and Rainie, you know of what I'm talking about with Ivy's Kyoko. However, that is just an initial impression. I definitely plan to continue watching to see Ivy's efforts. Especially with Kyoko's 'acting' scenes soon to surface.

Unfortunately, that's truly all that I really comment about of the good. There was another moment in the beginning of the second episode where she turned from the cab the casting manager got in and speaks into her watch, "Partner!" and her bike zooms past her and she cries, "Partner, Where are you going!?" This moment was probably the first time I truly laughed within the drama.

Side Notes.
Original Casting. As I mentioned before I never researched the casting until just yesterday. With this, I found Jerry Yan who was in the popular Meteor Garden, Meteor Garden II, Down with Love and many others; and Ariel Lin, known to me by the Taiwanese version of It Started with a Kiss and Love Contract, were to be the original Ren and Kyoko. WHAT?! How I wished that happened! Ivy has appear so far to do the role fine, so I'm not as depressed over Ariel not being Kyoko, but Jerry in my opinion would have been great for Ren! Now, I plan to give Siwon more time, but Jerry I have no doubt would have done the role well. But, there isn't much we can do about things that could've been.

Ending Words.
The overall product from the first two episodes are a bit faltering and lagging. If I were someone working on this project, I would try to give it my best in order to produce something phenomenal (although that could be my inner fandom speaking). But what doesn't leave my conscious is the simple fact this IS a huge title and so extra efforts should be made, though were these efforts misplaced by having Super Junior there?

In order to continue with an informed mind I plan to re-read the manga because little details I'm not sure about drive me crazy. But that shouldn't be difficult since I do enjoy the manga.

And despite all the negative I had to say about it, I do plan on sticking with it. I'm curious to see after the initial introduction of characters, if they really develop the interaction between characters. I'm mostly curious to see more out of Siwon since he has not done enough for me to consider him a leading role. Donghae in that respect has done well enough. I guess we'll see.

Until the next release!


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