K-Dramas: My Sickeningly Unstoppable- but Educational- Addiction

AHHHH! I have legit lost my mind over Korean dramas. Since I got back from Japan it’s been like this crazy non-stop marathon of never-ending K-drama watching. I was convinced I could watch them guilt-free and neglect my Japanese studies since I had spent soooo much time in Japan. Thus, this is the first day in literally MONTHS that I have not had a K-Drama to watch. I start to feel so strange…I have so much free-time, what am I supposed to do with it all? I find that I actually do things such as leave my room and get off my laptop once and awhile to talk to real people. It is sick and wrong, I tell you, JUST PLAIN WRONG.

So today I had this hopeful inclination that I would FINALLY try to watch some Japanese stuff. Japanese dramas are…eh (I’ve expressed my particular loathing of them before) and it feels like a physical chore to even watch most of them. I have such a scarce, sad little list of J-dramas that I even have any mild interest in, and I have a massive-literally massive- list of K-dramas that I am actually DYING to see.

Here’s my problem: I am an avid Japanese student. I study (try to) often -though not lately- and watching Japanese dramas is like studying without trying too hard. The amount of comprehension I get out of the average episode (sometimes I don’t even need subtitles) is golden. Few people probably realize the immense educational potential of dramas.

For example, due to my sickening obsession to K-dramas, I am actually learning Korean. I don’t mean Annyeong and Saranghae, I mean, I’m beginning to pick up A LOT. I find myself sometimes saying things in Korean. I find myself all too often trying to translate words in French or Japanese and thinking Korean instead. I find myself picking up a bit of a Korean accent when I try to speak Japanese. If that’s not a dangerous sign I’ve been watching too much K-Drama, I don’t know what is.

So, I try, oh how I try, to NOT watch them. I feel like I am turning into a Korean girl for god sake. But I’m supposed to be JAPANESE! Erg. I can’t even listen to J-pop. AT ALL. Never have, never can. I find J-pop as uninteresting as J-dramas, and therefore, I exclusively listen to K-pop. ANOTHER PROBLEM.

I need my Korean drama damn it. I NEED IT.

Food, Water, Sleep, and Korean Drama. Take away one of those things and my frail human self may just disintegrate. My life feels so sad and empty without it. What do I do?

I plan to resist it- at least for a week or two- but I have a feeling that such a task may be easier said than done! >_<

Wish me luck! ~Ganbatte! ^^



Dreams DO Come True: My First Trip to Japan! Yes, I’m That Girl.

Hello Blog. Tonight I felt compelled to stray from my usual topics of K-pop and J-dramas to bring you an exclusive look into the personal life of this crazy blogger that I am.

Perhaps you thought that all I ever do is dream about going to Japan (which is true) but in 2 days from now, August 29th, I’ll be leaving my quaint, but overwhelmingly dull and restrictive small-town in America to head to about 4 different airports over the course of 4 days. On August 30th, I’ll be boarding my 12-hour flight headed straight one way across the Pacific, my destination? Osaka, Japan.

I’ve been dreaming about this trip for years; the day that I, the silly fangirl of Japan, may actually set foot on that magical island. And now, it will at last be a reality.

I’m only 17 years old, but in about 3 days, I will have officially visited 3 continents. And all just this summer.

Though I am young, I am more mature than the expectations of my friends and family. For years, all they have seen was this crazy little fangirl, the girl who had a map of Japan hanging over her bed, and an obsessive collection of Japanese newpapers, candy, and wall decorations slung across the small confines of her room. A girl who, rather than hanging out with friends at lunch, would sit alone in the cafeteria, scribbling Japanese into a notebook, and muttering to herself “watashi wa…” as she cared more for studying than actual socializing. They’ve seen the silly girl who only listened to “foreign” music, and screamed at the computer screen during a particularly intense scene in her asian drama. The girl who would practice Para Para in her basement, or sing along to Anime theme songs. The girl who walked around her house, constantly narrating her life in Japanese (much to the annoyance of her little brother). The girl who cried even in her classes at school for days on end after the tsunami hit Japan. The girl who never stopped studying, who never even got an A- in school, all because of her immense desire. The girl who’s dedication to this foriegn place seemed greater than any passion any of them had felt in their lives.

I’m that girl.

Yet, the girl who is going to Japan on Monday is not that absent-minded, dreamy fangirl she’s been for years. Rather, she is an adult. Something she has never been before. Something that will scare her as much as it will excite her.

 Buying tickets, talking to shop keepers, navigating the streets of Osaka, trains, buses, conversation. All of it, up to this young adult in a few days.

I have taken a leave of absence from school, and will make-up the month’s worth of work via emails on my new laptop. Meanwhile, my mother and I will be staying with our new host family in Nara, Japan, working in a homeschool, teaching English to elementary students, translating the town flier, and playing with toddlers at the daycare. For free.

Sounds too good to be true? Well it’s not. I returned from Ireland recently, where we also went on a work exchange. “Work Exchange” is a fancy way of saying, you can stay for free room, board, and meals, in exchange for your “work” (though I don’t think playing with Japanese toddlers is very difficult labor). In Ireland, for instance, my mom and I (she and I are a work team) merely painted an Irish woman’s house and helped her decorate. In exchange we had two heavenly weeks in the southwest of Ireland, with all the juicy, exciting adventures you could possibly imagine.

And now, it’s Japan. Real Japan. In the flesh and blood. In the soil and water. REAL. Not a fabricated ideal in my fangirl mind, but an actual place, which is now in my grasp. In my power.

I wonder how I got so lucky. How I got a Dad who worked in the airline business so long that our entire family has FREE flight to anywhere in the world. How I stumbled across this magical work exchange program. How I had the patience and, I suppose, intelligence, to learn the frustrating Japanese language. How I ever discovered Japanese Pop Culture in the first place. How I managed to recruit the teachers and principals of the school to back me up and allow me to miss school to go to Japan. How I did all of this at seventeen.

How? I really couldn’t say. Mama? My mom did alot of it. Thank you Mama.

My advice to anyone who desires a far-away thing, whether it be a job, a place, or a person, is just to TRY. I mean, if you want it as bad as you think you do, then just do it, damnit! Stop saying you don’t have the potential, you don’t have the smarts, the looks, the ability. ANYBODY can do what they want. It’s the oldest speech in the book, but it’s true.

I wanted something, Japan, and so I worked hard. I worked so hard in school, so hard at home, that I guess, in a weird way, everything just fell into my lap like “Hey, look, here’s your dream, thanks for your hard work”. I’m only seventeen, but I’ve already done things many people will never do in their lives.

Thought all I did was sit on my laptop and watch dramas all day? Think again 😉

I’ll write when I get to Japan. But…for now? Sayounara. Oyasuminasai!


Since When Are Sweatpants a Sin? Himono-Onnas and Hotaru no Hikari

Okay. I seriously need to rant about this drama. Hotaru no Hikari. It is one of my very favorite J-dramas (is it me, or am I finding many good J-dramas lately?) and there is so much I feel I need to rave about, whether it be how great the plot is, or how frustrating it is.

The setting, the characters, the actors, the comedy. It is really just a perfect, delicious little combination of great acting and adorable romance. I have never identified with a character more than I do Amemiya Hotaru (played by the talented and lovely Ayase Haruka) and I feel like I am watching myself. Seriously.

But there is something I really feel frustrated with. My anger and confusion has been mounting throughout the series, and it seems to have reached it’s breaking point.

Please, someone tell me: Since when are sweatpants a sin?

This drama projects Hotaru, who likes dressing in sweats and jerseys and being a lazy beer-drinking slob while at home, to be this somehow tragic Himono-onna character with this deep black scorching secret of being that laid back at home. Okay, please, someone, englighten me with your opinion.

I know that in America, people wear sweats in the grocery store for god sakes. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t “relax” while at home and change into what I personally call “my home clothes” when they are just chillin at their place. Okay, so maybe some aspects of our personal lives can be embarassing, and I wouldn’t want to wear what I wear at home out in real life, but this drama is REALLY emphasizing the evils of what I assumed to be a totally normal way of life.

Hotaru is honestly shunned by society because she wears sweats at home. Literally. Her boyfriend, who “loves” her ran off on her when he found out what she was “really” like at home. I mean, WHAT THE HELL. So much for “I love you”. What is this? So because she wears sweats and not, I don’t know, a formal suit or dress, while hanging out at home, this makes her somehow a repulsive creature that he can suddenly not even love anymore? AH!

Is this somehow normal in Japan? What are women suppose to act like at home? I mean, really. Like, am I suppose to put on makeup, doll up my hair and pick out a nice outfit in order to be a couch potato for the day? And, one more thing, what’s wrong with Hotaru’s “home hair” I love it, and think it looks super cute.  Just saying…

Bucho is the person who I really love, aside from Hotaru. I love how, for once, in this drama a man and woman can honestly live together as best friends, without any awkward feelings for each other getting in the way. Bucho (I honestly can’t even think of his real name) is so delightful. I love every scene with him and Hotaru sitting on the porch or joking around at home. But hey, Bucho, lay off on the mean comments! She is just wearing sweatpants, not committing some kind of mortal crime! >_<

I read many comments on the video (since I watch all my dramas online) and everyone was just as pissed as me. If being lazy and wearing sweats qualifies a woman as a Himono-onna, then I, as well as about 150 million Americans are Himono-onnas. And, guess what? We’re not hated by society for it!

I’m protesting the strict crazy dress code that Japanese society seems to be enforcing. Those poor women! If you can’t be yourself in the comfort of your own home, then when can you be? And, moreover, Teshima, if you can’t love your girlfriend for everything she is, sweats and all, then you are an awful boyfriend. Yeah, that’s right Teshima Makoto-kun, you lost my vote as an awesome character. I thought you were better than that!

Ah, well, I still have a few episodes to go, and the Season 2, YAY! Maybe things will get better, and my anger will diminish. After all, as I watch this drama, I am dressed in some pretty unflattering “home clothes” and I don’t feel this guilt and self-hatred, I just feel comfortable!

After all, comfort is what home is all about right? ^_^

Jaa~ Matta!


Here it is. The beginning of my crazy teenage rantings.

 It’s a terribly ordinary night; me on the computer, spazzing over the latest episode of Coffee Prince (tonight was QUITE a dramatic one! Episode 9), listening to the incredible, wonderful magic that is K-pop (Infinite’s Tic Toc <333 or 2NE1’s latest, Hate You) and chatting with the same two or three people on Facebook.

It’s mid/late July, the 22nd to be exact, and we’ve been experiencing one of the most massive of heatwaves that our northern, snow-prone town is accustomed to. Today it was 100 degrees (no air conditioning in this house). Meanwhile, we are all sweaty and sick, and everywhere we have fans buzzing in a desperate attempt to at least move the stagnant, boiling air.

 And yet, I like it. I thrive on heat. I feel strangely comforted by it. I loathe the cold. I should move where it’s hotter. Living here can kill me >_<

So, aside from my dull, ridiculous life, I do desperatly wish I had some kind of adorable tale of romance or drama to tell you. I wish my life could be as cheesy and lovely as the life of my many heroines: Geum Jan Di, Wi Mae Ri, Oh Ha Ni, or my latest darling, Ko Eun Chan. You know, with all the spicy love triangles, cliche’ wrist grabs and eventful trips to Jeju Island ( is it just me or does EVERY drama feature a Jeju Island segment??) .  And in addition to what is already a blissfully straight-out-of-a-korean-drama plotline, my life could feature Kim Hyun Joong as my supporting best friend/potential love interest  (if I didn’t die of joy first) or Lee Min Ho to add some great-acting flavor to the set.

So, I like Korean Dramas a bit. And Korean Pop. ALOT. Yet my country of choice has always been Japan. It is where my heart lies. I’ve studied Japanese extensively, and can speak/read/write a modest amount. And yet, I feel such a weird aversion to Japanese dramas and music. Is it that I truly have been too spoiled by the glitz and glamor of it’s Korean counterpart to appreciate the art of Japanese dramas and music? Or is it simply that Japan is not up to par with the greatness of Korean entertainment? Ah, who really knows. For now, I shall study Japanese, and plan my trip to Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto/Nara, just with a constant stream of K-pop and K-dramas <333 Sorry Nihon, I have not forgotten you, but I can’t guarantee I won’t push you gleefully aside once Suju releases their comeback album in August. (OH MY GOD AM I EXCITED!) My K-pop love is too crazy to be argued with. I try to polish up my Japanese, but sometimes Hangul gets quite obtrusively in the way! 😛


This crazy fangirl needs to go to sleep. Tomorrow, new episodes of Coffee Prince, and some further 2NE1 downloads (is it just me, or are CL, Park Bom, Minzi and Sandara ten times more enjoyable than the actual music they release?) Haha, well, I’m off. Think about it!

Oyasumi! Chu~