M-TP: Proving Vietnam is just as musically awesome as anywhere!

Xin chào! I’m on Spring break at the moment, caught once again between watching too much K-drama and meanwhile trying to study Japanese at the same time. It seems my life is always divided between either South Korea and Japan. Other Asian countries which I sometimes give my attention to would usually be Taiwan (Mandarin Chinese) and Thailand, with it’s awesome and also underrated T-pop industry.

However, even lower than C-pop and T-pop, far away and hidden from any mainstream Asian music market is Vietnam, quiet, and often unpopular Vietnam. I actually have explored the world of V-pop before, verging into a few popular Vietnamese artists and downloading a handful of songs here and there. However, unlike so many other Asian music genres (trust me, I have pretty much explored every Asian country that supplies music) I never much took a liking to V-pop. I think this derives from the very basic and very honest truth: V-pop is damn hard to find.

In my opinion, if something isn’t on Youtube, it doesn’t exist. This is untrue, obviously, but if I can’t get ahold of an artist there, then where can I? V-pop isn’t as widespread on Youtube as most genres, but once you do some real digging (ignoring the basic fact that you cannot understand any Vietnamese) it is there, and it isn’t as dark and forgotten as you might expect.

I stumbled, by some weird chance (since I wasn’t looking for any V-pop whatsoever) upon an artist M-TP, and the addictive greatness that is V-pop/Rap/Hip-hop. No, it’s not rap as in Lil Wayne gangsta asians, but more along the lines of a more digital, auto-tuned, fast-paced version of Vietnamese music with a good beat and a good voice.

AHHHHH! Omg I am sooo addicted. It’s a big deal when something tears me away from K-pop, but I am torn away completely. In fact, I won’t even touch K-pop at the moment, I am so heavily absorbed in this new discovery.

So M-TP, the artist, is as difficult to get info on as V-pop is, but I dug up a few minor details. M-TP is a young guy (around 17-18 years old) in Vietnam who is, I believe, apart of a Vietnamese band called Young Pilots? (Please someone correct me if I’m wrong) and he is responsible for composing all his songs. Using the disgusting awful inaccuracy that is Google Translate, I’ve attempted to try to understand at least the titles of the music I am listening to, or at least something more about the artist, but Vietnamese is not a simple language to translate, let me tell you.

So anyways, M-TP has become my new obsession. I cannot stop listening to this music. I’ve listened to every song of his I can find, and all of them so many times that I have legit picked up my Vietnamese to the extent of my being extremely proud of myself. Not only am I getting the basic crazy alphabet down, but I can sing along easily to all of the songs! And Vietnamese is a difficult language, oh boy.

It’s been a week straight of listening to nothing but his music, and I can’t even tear myself away for some of the great K-pop debuts (EXO!). I’m so obsessed that I hope, I actually hope it will wear off soon so I can get on with my life. Damn, this music is good.

Everyone who is anyone that considers themself of a lover of Asia, even if you know nothing of V-pop must- I say MUST- look up not only the young artist M-TP, but V-pop in general. You will not regret it 🙂

That’s all I have today! I thought I would refresh this blog with something other than a drama review. Haha, I have WAY too many of those.

Goodnight then. Please, give M-TP some love. He is an underrated artist who absolutely rocks 😀

Tam Biet! ❤

Here’s his most famous single: Cơn mưa ngang qua

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Nothing Makes Me Feel Better Than Hana Kimi

 

I just finished watching Hanazakari No Kimitachi E for the second time. Hana Kimi, in case you don’t know, is by far THE best Japanese drama there is. It is hilarious to the point of pain and heartwarming and sweet as any mushy romantic comedy high school drama has the capability of being.

As a massive fan of this drama, I rewarded myself on my birthday with watching this drama for the second time, and reliving all the glorious comedy I had forgotten since I saw it about a year ago.

Horikita Maki, Shun Oguri and Ikuta Toma absolutely SHINE in this tremendously entertaining drama about the classicly wonderful girl-disguised-as-a-boy plot in this story. It’s about cute darling Horikita Maki playing Ashiya Mizuki, a girl who crossdresses in order to attend an all-boys school with the love of her life Sano Izumi (Shun Oguri) and the many other ridiculous colorful characters of the school.

One of my favorite quotes of this drama is said in the very last episode, when Akiha-san, the local photographer, hands Ashiya a photo album of all the great memories of the school and says very simply: “When you feel like crying, look at these idiots and laugh”.

This quote, to me, just about sums up all that is Hana Kimi. Idiots and laughter. So, so so much laughter.

I will never forget: the adorable sweet tomboyishness that is Horikita Maki, the shining gleaming hilarious comedic PERFECTION that is the character Nakatsu Shuuici, and all the unfathomably entertaining amounts of idiocracy which surround all three of the dorms in this crazy school.

Hana Kimi was a huge success when it came out back in ’07. I was a nerd in middle school at this time and didn’t discover this drama until 2011, but it is still timeless and classic as one of the funniest J-dramas ever created. I am certain of that.

It’s hard to mention comedy without bringing up Ikuta Toma, and his golden character Nakatsu Shuuici, who is BY FAR my #1 favorite-character-of-any-drama-ever. Yes, I just created that title. Anyways, Nakatsu is completely and utterly everything that is Hana Kimi. Just ask the fans. As much as girls always choose the cool, tall dark and handsome type (Shun Oguri as Sano Izumi here), the hilarious, loud, and sweet-heart best friend seems to always garner the most love from viewers. Viewers meaning me.

In every K-drama romance triangle I have witnessed, I have never been on the right side. The guy I always root for NEVER wins, you know, the nice guy who doesn’t treat her like crap, is open with his feelings and is always supportive? Yeah, well that’s what happens here once more. No, I’m not spoiling anything since it’s pretty obvious from the get-go that poor fantastic amazing Nakatsu, with his red hair, wide grin and long charming monologues which leave me crying of laughter, is in the loser’s seat.

Oh welll….Nakatsu may not be Ashiya’s first choice since she is stupidly hung up on boring Sano (sorry, not a big fan here) but there is enough outside plot- if the foolish games in this drama can be called ‘plot’ – to subdue any viewer who doesn’t favor the spotlight romance. The shenanigans of the outsiders such as Hibari Four, Kagurazaka and his strange rivalry/love for Sano, Dr Umeda and his enemy/lover? Akiha-san, the three Dorm heads Tennouji-sama, Oscar and Nanba-senpai, minor, but adorable characters such as “aura-boy” Kayashima, the-name-no-one-remembers Sekime, Nanba’s stalker Nakao, the dog-who-is-oddly-a-major-character Yuujiro, and all the crazy people within each dorm never cease to be extremely entertaining.

You will laugh, you will cry, and you will miss every scene that Nakatsu is not in. At least, that is the basic jist of MY emotions. Ha Ha.

If you are someone who cannot find a J-drama worth watching or has lost any faith in the misunderstood comedy of Japan, you must watch Hana Kimi. It is reveered and loved by all, and will forever and ever by my all time favorite Japanese drama.

I just keep in mind that when I’m feeling down, and I want to cry, I can look at these idiots and laugh. What more could anyone ask for? 😀

Sou da, arigatou ne, minna-san! Jaa, matta! Tanoshikatta yo!

^_^ ~

The Greatest K-Drama I Have Ever Seen: The Princess’ Man

 

Excuse me while I wipe from my eyes the tears of outpouring emotion which seems imposible to contain after finishing the final episode of The Princess’ Man. If I can manage to keep the post short of being a full fledged novel to describe this impeccable drama, I will try.

I’ve seen many dramas in my time (too many) ranging from regular ole cookie cutter modern-day romantic comedies to ancient Chosun dynasty war stories and love stories. All Korean Dramas are certain to be exquisite and to fully consume my life to the extent of ruining all my hobbies and social life and replacing them with too much laptop time. I feel as though my typical over-emotional crazy exaggerated tendancies may cause my many many many K-drama posts to all sound overly fantastic and ridiculous. So, I guess I will have to say: Here’s one more.

Okay I’ll get to the point. THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST K-DRAMA THERE IS. Sure whatever, you can say “it’s a matter of opinion” or the classic “ancient dramas with less-known actors aren’t my style” but when I think of all the greats, the classic K-dramas that any K-drama lover has seen, I can’t seem to convince myself that they are better than this one.

The acting. The plot. The cinematography. The character development. The music. The romantic chemistry. The nail-biting action scenes. The deception. The joyful moments. The horrific and tragic moments. The suspense. The having-the-urge-to-scream and/or actually-screaming when those cliff-hanger moments sneak up on you. It’s all there. And together an impeccable drama is produced.

Moon Chae Won, (little Seung Mi from Shining Inheritance) and Park Shi Hoo (I-forget-his-name from Iljimae) join together as the classic duo of star-crossed lovers who battle against the romeo-&-juliet family fueds of their powerful familes. Before you throw up from that cliche’ and overly used concept as I wanted to prior to watching, try to imagine Romeo and Juliet- then take out all the pathetic unrealistic crap, minus the foolish, thoughtless romance, and get rid of all that sappy ‘forbidden love’ stuff. Now imagine the characters are beautiful Chosun dynasty nobles, who, rather than being the primary focus, become the beautiful backdrop for what becomes a harcore full-blown rebellion and uprising against the unfathomable evils of politics and throne-coveting. Not to mention, of course, their ridiculously amazing chemistry together.

Then, add into the mix some juicy “minor” characters, who were so unbelievably talented I feel shamed to even use the word “minor” to describe them. Princess Gyeoung Hye, who makes the term ‘snobby egotistical princess’ seem like the greatest thing in the world, as she is thus the greatest ‘snobby egotistical princess’ I have ever encountered in her courage and overall awesomeness. Then there’s Jong, the unlikely nerd at the beginning who slowly but surely becomes the most fantastic, powerful, and endearing character of all. He and Gyeoung-Hye form an unlikely but soon-to-be perfect romance in their fight to abolish Su Yang.

Su Yang is the epitome of EVIL. No, not Shining Inheritance step-mother evil. No, not Wang Ji Hye’s character in Personal Preference evil, but satan-like, bloodthirsty, insane, murdering kind of evil. In other words, not K-drama evil, but actual realistic noble-who-wants-the-crown-of-the-King-and-will-do-ANYTHING-to-get-it kind of evil. God, I hate him. He caused all the drama of this drama. Evil Su Yang. UGH.

Shin Myeon. He gets his own paragraph. The majority of people who watch this drama will shed all the attention on the tragic love of Se Ryeong and Seung Yu, and ignore (as much of the plot did) the single greatest character of this whole show. Say whatever you want, you can disagree if you like, but I am convinced. Shin Myeon was BY FAR my favorite character. He was always pushed to the side, always shadowed by the main couple, but his influence, to me, was the strongest of anyone. He starts off as the best friend of Seung Yu (Park Shi Hoo) and the two have the sweet happy little friendship. Then he decides to join ‘the dark side’ with Su Yang to protect himself. Goodbye innocent Shin Myeon, enter new crazy disturbed broken-hearted Shin Myeon. The latter being my favorite. He is the example of the good guy stuck on the bad side. He is forced to kill so many people, even his own friends, and is never at peace. His eyes (bravo Song Jong Ho, I love you) are always so damn sad. He is disturbed and tormented constantly, and no one- NO ONE- ever gives him a break. He falls in love with Se Ryeong, only to have her hate him with a burning passion throughout the entire show. Thus he covers up his true feelings with constant creulty. Oh, I loved him so much. He was such a beautifully tragic character. Every scene he was in, even if he just sat there with his wide nervous eyes and distraught expression, I adored. I love it when the “villans” are the most sensative and endearing of all the characters. Poor Shin Myeon, so misunderstood 😦

Okay. No I know, I need to talk about the main characters. Se Ryeong, played by the FREAKING AMAZING Moon Chae Won, who I love to death, progressed from being a weak, pathetically romantic melodramtic girl at the beginning to a strong, back-talking, rebellious (but still ever so cute and innocent) opinionated princess. She rocked. Plain and simple. Her love for Seung Yu felt so real I could feel it right through her tear-filled eyes and constant desperation.

Then, of course, we have Mr. Hottie over there, Park Shi Hoo, transitioning in the drama from the wide-eyed schoolboy Seung Yu to the crazy, long-haired black-wearing badass assassin man out to get revenge. His anger hinges on his being a full-blown lost-his-goddamn-mind madman at times, but when he shapes up, he does become sweet and romantic. Even if when he’s not loving and protecting Se Ryeong he’s out slicing people into little pieces. Woo.

This a bloody drama. I mean, ACTION-PACKED lots-o-blood stuff. I’ve come to lift the title of my being a strictly-romance kind of girl, since I can’t help but start cheering and squeezing the hell out of my Japanese plushie toy (which I unconsciously hug whenever I watch super intense scenes) while I watch the fights and the actiony suspense scenes in excitement and fear. If I could even count the number of times I would scream out loud and startle my family, or how very painfully low I would bite my nails, I might be able to provide you with a decent estimation of just how much suspense and action fills this drama.

THE MUSIC. That is all I will say. Listening to it as I wrote this.

Damn. This drama was literally THE example of K-drama perfection. As I myself am the kind of mature, intelligent (sure, I’m bragging) kind of teen that loves convoluted politics, and historical cinematography, I feel I may appreciate the greatness of this drama more than the average teen girl. This show is no Boys Over Flowers or You’re Beautiful, we’re talking DEEP stuff man.

If you’re too hopped up on romantic comedies with hallyu idols (not that I’m blaming you, as I myself am one) this drama honestly might not be for you. It requires alot of thought, and nerves of steel. But, my, what entertainment. What emotion. When I wasn’t watching this drama, I was thinking about it, all the time, almost everywhere. It took me nearly a month to watch, and I still feel like it ended too soon. I never got tired of it for a moment. I wish there were more.

Oh well. I shall close this now. And tomorrow, March 20th, on my 18th birthday, I shall try to recover from the loss of this perfect drama and move onto some ridiculous Japanese one or another. Ha.

Goodnight now. Saranghaeyo Moon Chae Won, Park Shi Hoo, Song Jong Ho and others whom I can’t name off the top of my head. You all created something so beautiful. I commend thee!

Oyasumi now. Owari. ❤ ^^ HOORAY FOR SAGEUK DRAMAS!!!! Always the best.

LEAVE JYJ ALONE!!!

In response to the latest wildfire rumor and JYJ scandal circulating the internet, I felt compelled to post my own personal response to this ridiculous and tragic circumstance.

In case you haven’t heard (which, if you are a K-pop fan, you ought to be ashamed), JYJ- my beloved Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu- recently had an audio released of them screaming at fans, cursing at them, and- as it is assumed- also using violence on them by hitting some of them. This reaction was aimed at ‘Sasengs’, sick and crazy girls who literally STALK them day and night by following them in a long string of legit ‘Saeseng taxis’ which make money off helping girls to follow and stalk K-pop idols at all hours of the day.

This was the first time I ever heard the word ‘Saseng’ and I was honestly disturbed. Yes, I am a massive fan of JYJ, and I stalk them in the figurative sense of following their work via internet, but to take it to the level these girls do is just tragic. These girls (which, as it is believed, are many) know their address, phone number, social security numbers, personal schedules- everything- and they try NONSTOP to contact them and intrude into their lives. When I read articles about JYJ’s scandal, it actually brought tears to my eyes.

Jaejoong, who is credited to be the worst offender, was quoted to have screamed obscenities at them, calling many of them “bitches” and “dogs” (I know, that this came from gentle Jaejoong shocks me too). Some of what he mentioned was how he felt like “a criminal in hiding”, that he “lives in fear” and how he wished he wasn’t famous so he could just have a “normal” life. I felt so sad reading this. As a fan, to push your beloved artist to actually loathe their lives and be driven to such madness is just unforgivable.

Critics claim that as people who rely on their “fans” for their success, JYJ should have handled this with more poise and maturity. My response? Until you’ve lived a day, a month, several YEARS in the kind of world they live in, can any of us really scorn their actions? Their reaction, while extreme, was the result of what several years of public and private torture have done to them.

Their reactions prove what many of these saseng fans can’t seem to grasp: IDOLS ARE HUMAN BEINGS. They may be famous, and sure, they signed up for it, but to be driven to live in fear and misery because of so-called “fans” is just sickening. A true fan would respect the privacy and personal space of an artist. What these sasengs do is selfish and wrong. Some sasengs even say they don’t mind abuse, just as long as they can be close to their loves. Ugh.

I don’t know Jaejoong, or what happened. A sketchy recording may not really be sufficient evidence. However, while I don’t blame Jaejoong for his actions, taking this measure to actually hitting young women due to their obsession is quite wrong, I agree. I can’t imagine what kind of messed up feelings he must have had to be driven to do something like this.

Nevertheless, you can call me ridiculous up all you want, but I support JYJ. The majority of responses I’ve noticed towards this issue is that most fans are still fully supportive and on JYJ’s side. This recording is years old, back from the TVXQ days, and only now resurfaced. I’m willing to bet JYJ is not at all the first group to have had serious trouble with crazy Sasengs.

If JYJ’s reputation is damaged due to this ridiculous scandal, I don’t know what I’ll think. I know I’ll still support and love them as ever. A fan is a fan. Not a stalker.

This blog entry was not merely to mention the JYJ scandal, but the entire severity of “Idol Mania” in Korea, and the level of obsession that many freaks will take it to. I feel sad for so many artists in Korea who are literally tortured by fans who can’t leave them alone. I know crazy fans are everywhere, even here in my country, but what many foreigners can’t understand is how bad it is in Korea, a society which is literally DEVOTED solely to its idols’ every move and thought. Fans need to understand that even idols are human beings, and to cause them pain based on your own selfishness is inexcusable.

There may be two sides to this arguement, and I acknowledge that, but I hold true to my beliefs. In the words of TVXQ’s old Japanese song- I will most definitly “Stand By U” JYJ. And, if I could, me and the army of outraged fans would happily go run down those evil Sasengs.

So….anyways. Hope I don’t get killed by anyone for voicing my opinion in this article.

Over and out. JYJ FIGHTING!

 

Big Bang: Still ALIVE

I thought I’d take a break from my usually biased posts about K-Drama and share an aspect of my lfie which is much more important- K-pop. And, of course, it is difficult to talk about K-pop without mentioning Big Bang and their oh so wonderful contributions to everything we know as good music and entertainment over there in South Korea 😀

Today, at last, all tracks from their comeback album ‘ALIVE’ were released. I’ve been spamming ‘Blue’ since the MV was released about a week ago. Now I have sucessfully gotten my hands on all the tracks from the new mini-album, and I have truly been enjoying myself!

But this blog entry is not exactly about their comeback so much as their overall, unchanging (if not growing) success in recent years. I can honestly say that, although I am not a hardcore VIP, and Big Bang is far from being my #1 favorite group, I can admit that Big Bang is BY FAR the most unique, original, and talented.

The reason why Big Bang is not my favorite group, despite their incredible skill, is that to me, when I think Hallyu, Big Bang is far from my mind. It’s true- I often forget Big Bang is K-pop at all, they’re THAT unique. I can scarcely call them a ‘boy band’, since that title seems reserved for a cookie-cutter genre of autotuned, dancing pretty boys. I actually prefer the cookie-cutter genre, and stick to my beloved groups such as DBSK, Super Junior, SHINEe and U-KISS rather than Big Bang, but that doesn’t mean I don’t scream like an excited fangirl and count down the days for their comeback and sing along to all their songs by heart.

GD, Seungri, TOP, Daesung, Taeyang- you all are truly revolutionary in everything you do. They invented everything that is Daebak in Korea, and GD might as well get credit for being THE rapper of S Korea. He single-handedly and completely ROCKS. God, I love him. He has such talent, and he writes the music- a feat which is sadly rare in the K-pop world.

Anyone who knows K-pop can tell almost within seconds that a song is a Big Bang song. They don’t sound like anyone else, look like anyone else, dance like anyone else, act like anyone else. Not to mention how much of an American vibe everything has. They shoot MV’s in the dirty streets of Brooklyn, or in the desert of Vegas. They are so cool they fit into American style and music. They are so suave they have white girls in their videos. They are so unique that no one has, or ever will, copy their style. Ever.

So I just wanted this short entry as a shout-out and a kudos to this increasingly AWESOME and incredibly ONE OF A KIND group. Keep being awesome!

Big Bang Fighting! ^_^

Oyasumi~ ^^

Finally A Super Awesome J-Drama: Sunao Ni Narenakute

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Wow. i just finished one jem of a great J-Drama- probably the best and most realistic drama I’ve ever seen.

Sunao Ni Naranakute, FINALLY proved to me that a J-drama can truly be mature, well-made, and serious while still producing good results. I’ve had enough of the manga-turned-live action teen comedy dramas with too much ridiculous comedy and not enough realism, so this drama was like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise oversaturated market of uber-kawaii romantic comedy J-dramas.

This was such a human drama. All about a group of close-knit friends and their own personally screwed up lives, this drama tackles everything from drug addiction to suicide, meanwhile tangling up a bizarre string of love triangles- both heterosexual and homosexual.

While at times one can feel depressed by the otherwise “intense” melodramtic plotline, you can’t help but feel that this drama is exactly the opposite of it’s title, which translated literally means “Can’t become honest”, since this drama, in every form of the word, is purely honest. It displays real struggles that real people face, both in Japan and in the world. It also shows how friendship, support and love can get anyone through anything 🙂

For once a drama doesn’t have to sugar-coat and fluff all the characters and plotlines to suit a cookie-cutter demographic. It’s real and raw, and that’s what was so damn great about it. It also, unfortunately, is what kept this unconventional drama from becoming very famous, as many viewers claim it being simply too “depressing”.

Well, aside from the weaklings who can’t seem to handle real DRAMA, I happen to whole-heartedly appreciate this beautiful drama. Starring the lovely and talented Ueno Juri, and her popular counterpart Eita, the two stars clearly steal every scene from the “minor” characters.

For those out there who, like myself, are sickenly in love with DBSK and Jaejoong, you will be VERY HAPPY by the extreme cuteness exhibited by the character ‘Doctor’ who is played by the beautiful perfection that is Jaejoong. He is DELIGHTFUL. I feel I could watch him all day long and never get tired of his adorable nature. Not to mention he is beautifully fluent in Japanese. I got such enjoyment out of anytime he would throw in a little Korean reference: ex. Fighting! But aside from the usually important things such as “acting” and “character” his ridiculous good looks make me want to scream at his costars to appreciate the fact that such sublime beauty is standing beside them. His beauty literally makes me want to cry sometimes. I don’t know whether to be madly in love with him or just jealous- haha!

But that’s getting off-topic….(I’ll save Jaejoong for his own blog post :P)

Another minor character I simply ADORED was Tamayama Tetsuji’s character Linda. Tamayama is such a freaking amazing actor. I never even knew the guy till I saw this drama, and I am now in love with him. He is just awesome…wow. His portrayal of the tormented homosexual character Linda was stunning and beautifully heartbreaking 😦 I love you, man.

Due to my own personal disinterest in giving a plot synopsis and acting review, I just want to say that I give this show a great big five stars, and a hopeful wish that someday someone can begin to appreciate this wonderful Japanese drama for all that it is. 11 episodes of greatness indeed. I laughed, I cried big slopppy sobs, and I just flat out loved it. I can only hope that can find another J-drama out there as good as this one.

Please, I beg of thee- watch this drama.

But now that my adventure with this lovely drama has ended, I move onto a Korean drama, which, sadly, will probably steal the limelight once again. But don’t fear, SNN, wasurenagusa! I won’t forget you. And for fans like myself who have trouble admitting it- NO this drama does not equal Jaejoong. Please, appreciate this drama as something other than JUST HIM (if you can)

I’m off- here’s another silly drama review from Ria-chan! Sayounara! Oyasumi~ ^^

P.S. When I was looking for a picture to add to this blog, probably 3/4 (maybe more) of the Sunao Ni Narenakute image results were Jaejoong screenshots. I find this hilariously enjoyable.

PSS. Wait…no actually ALL the image results are Jaejoong screenshots. Sorry.

To be fair, I think Ueno Juri, Eita, Tamayama Testuji and Peach deserve a hell of a lot more credit. Where are all their screenshots? Hmph.

Personal Taste Overview

 

Well, I thought I owed it to Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin to report on the lovely drama Personal Taste, I have just finished. On my growing list of dramas, this one was definitly quite sweet.

Though this drama did cover all the K-drama cliche’s from top to bottom, there were so many fresh and new concepts thrown into the mix. I think the most important element would be, obviously, its attention to  homosexuality.

The synopsis for this drama is about Jeon Jin Ho (played by the wonderful Lee Min Ho) pretending to be gay in order to become the roommate to Son Ye Jin’s character Park Gae In, who lives in a house he is researching for an architecture project. The entire show is one huge love drama after the next, with the most tangled twisted love triangle, squares, and pentagons swirling around. Some, dare I say, even involving gay characters.

Quite frankly, I was really amazed that there was FINALLY some realistic coverage on homosexuality. Though I personally am not gay, I am a huge advocate for gay rights, and I found this drama incredibly touching. The character of Director Choi (who is gay in the show) was really emotional. The actor was obviously quite talented, but I was honestly stunned that a Korean drama was actually addressing a gay romance. As we all know, homosexuality is still a taboo topic in Korean (and pretty much every countries) media, so I thought it was really cool that they could bring it up in a way that wasn’t over-the-top, but wasn’t closeted and ignored.

Don’t get me wrong though, the amount of homosexuality in this drama barely touches on being super in-your-face and in the spotlight. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it the main theme. The man-woman romance triangles obviously dominate this sugary romantic comedy, but aren’t everything.

I thought this was a really romantic and sweet drama, and was definitely funny.

I think the characters were the best part of this drama. Wang Ji Hye’s character Kim In Hee, has officially ranked #1 as the most evil mean girl bitch of any drama I have EVER watched. I have never hated the sight of a character as much as her (not even the mom from Shining Inheritance was this bad) and as much as I want to resent Wang Ji Hye for even playing the character, I guess I should give her props for sucessfully creating a character that was such a fake bitch I could hate her so much, haha. Someone who could-have-been-but-wasn’t an evil character was Han Chang Ryul, who, like many men in K-dramas, started out as a shallow, heartless douchebag but transitioned into being one of the sweetest, most endearing characters of the show. Maybe I’m just sappy, but I really came to like him alot. He really blossomed. Also, a special shout-out to the character of Sang Jun (played by Jung Sung Hwa). He was FANTASTIC, literally one of the single most hilarious K-drama characters I have ever had the pleasure of watching. As the best friend of Jin Ho, he pretends to be his gay partner, and his behavior is so incredibly hilarious, his role itself is unforgettable.

Obviously the main characters Jeon Jin Ho and Park Gae In were charming and adorable as ever. It renewed my love for Lee Min Ho, and introduced me to the eternal sweetness of Son Ye Jin. Their relationship reminded me extremely of Hotaru no Hikari, and I swore half the time, as they were sitting on the porch of their traditional Korean style house, that I was watching the Hangul version of Hotaru and Buccho joking about life again. It was really lovely. I will admit that I felt the whole “pretending to be gay” scheme should have gone on longer. Their romance kicks in too early, and by the end I was starting to get sick of it. I guess I just like it better when characters have to fight harder to be together.

Anyways, overall, a sweet, funny, entertaining drama which I would highly recommend. It was really lovely, and I’m glad I decided to check it out 🙂

Oyasumi! ~ ^^

Shining Inheritance! K-Drama At Its Finest.

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It’s Christmas break, and despite many nice things that I’ve done and recieved this season, perhaps the best part of this entire vacation has been watching Shining Inheritance.

This delicious soap-opera-esque K-Drama is sophisticated, stylish, and downright addictive, and not to mention 28 episodes (that’s almost twice as long as a normal drama) so I can watch many episodes without fearing they will dissappear and the drama will end too soon!

This drama is more mature and dramatic than the average bubbly boy-meets-girl romantic comedy. In fact, considering most teenage girls (I speak for the demographic) require some juicy romance in any show to survive, this one is shockingly entertaining despite very minimal romance initially. It’s less about lovey dovey couples and more about the twisted webs of lies and deciet that crazy rich people will spin when money and status are threatened.

You get plenty of annoying rich snobs and selfish greedy evil stepmothers to last a lifetime, but there is more to this drama than just whiny aristocrats and spoiled brats, and much of that lies in the two lead characters: Han Hyo Joo and Lee Seung Ki.

I already liked Han Hyo Joo from Iljimae, but she is now by far one of my top actresses. Not only is she beautiful, but oh so endearing, and her performance is just unforgettable. When she cries, I cry. When she smiles, I smile. And THAT is true good acting.

As for Lee Seung Ki, who was only an over-rated celebrity in my book before this show, his cuteness and charm are so overwhelming that I actually adore his character, despite the fact that for a great deal of the show he is a spoiled, arrogant Grade-A douchebag. For once, I think I will actually pick the mean guy over the nice guy in this love triangle (Hwan Vs. Joo-Sae)

Gosh this drama just keeps me on my toes. All the lies, the greed, the heart-breaking darlingness of Han Hyo Joo, the whole Cinderella-story concept; it’s just too wonderful.

In case you didn’t already know, Shining Inheritance is one of the highest rated K-dramas of all time. It garnered a whopping 40% viewer rating (that’s almost half of the South Korean population) and was BY FAR the best drama of 2009. And I certainly can see why.

This drama is DRAMA done right. It has every kind of shocking wonderful, emotional, twist you can think of, and yes, for you teenage girls, there is some good romance and some serious love-triangle rivalry and jealousy.

This drama is long, and thank god, because this high quality entertainment has got me hopelessly addicted, and for the moment, I really don’t know what I would even do with myself if I didn’t have episodes of Shining Inheritance to watch each day.

As my title says: this is, most certainly, K-drama at it’s FINEST. Beautifully done and worth every minute of my time.

Please, do watch it.

For now, I go! Oyasumi! Annyeoung! ~ ^^

Everything I Thought I Loved In Life Has Been Replaced By SHINee

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I don’t think I have ever known love before. Truly. What ON EARTH have I been doing all these years? You might as well say I’ve been dead. I must have been to not have noticed SHINee for so long.

I officially declare, without a shadow of a doubt this time, that SHINee is, most certainly, my #1 favorite K-pop group. Yes, you heard me. That means even above Super Junior and -dare I say it?- DBSK. Those words I never thought I would say, ESPECIALLY about SHINee.

On my list of K-pop groups, SHINee was, in all 100% honesty, at the bottom. I didn’t care one bit that they even existed. I liked maybe 2 songs by them, and I still didn’t find them particularly worth my time. They were just…eh. Just some over-rated K-pop group that seemed to garner more attention than it deserved.

I wish I could go back in time just to slap myself in the face.

Over the course of a few days, SHINee skyrocketed from last place to first place, surpassing the insurpassable Super Junior and DBSK, and everyone else, on my list.

I have a disease. No longer do I care about K-Dramas. Rather, I listen to SHINee almost non-stop, and I have proceeded to download and obsess over nearly every song they have ever released. But that, certainly, is not all.

Two words: Hello Baby. The very words bring me infinite joy. The very thought of that show. Of Minho, Jonghyun, Taemin, Key, Onew and the sickeningly adorable baby angel Yoogeun playing, cooking, laughing, loving. I feel like I am going to burst from how ridiculously entertained I am by this show.

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I don’t know what I love more: SHINee as entertainers, or SHINee as people. Is there really any way to choose? I can find no fault in them. I love everything they do. I love their music, their personalities, their dancing, their singing, their comedy, their looks (haha), just everything.

I don’t even feel compelled to write a long blog entry. They are just that great. They don’t even need a large article to be wonderful. They just are.

And, as of now, nothing else matters.

Saranghamnida, oppas ~ Annyeoung! ^^ SHINee HWAITING! ❤