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! ^^

 

Iljimae! Iljimae!

 

Okay. So I just spent the last 4-5 hours cooped up in my room with this laptop while I sobbed, bit my nails ferociously to the stubs and screamed and squealed loud enough to possibly wake the rest of my family this late at night. All of this as I watched the final episodes of Iljimae.

Let me start off by saying what I normally say: I wasn’t expecting this to be that great of a drama. After finishing Secret Garden, I had lost all faith that pretty much anything else could measure up to it, and settled on a random, completely impulsive last-minute choice, the historical action flick Iljimae. It was slow-moving, too action-packed, not enough romance, and pretty much just all around not appealing in the beginning, however, I saw the ratings, despite my questioning the first episode, and decided, if this much of South Korea loved it (it was #1 or #2 the entire time it was on the air) then I guess I can too.

So, here’s the plot in a jist (with no spoilers that you don’t find out within the first few minutes): Joseon Dynasty (for those of you non-history buffs, just say medieval olden-days Korea) is the setting. Boy has nobleman father. Boy’s father is framed as a traitor and killed in front of him. Boy loses his memory. Boy is adopted by a peasant family. Boy grows up as a beggar, one day gets his memory back and embarks on a quest to avenge his father. Boy does this by dressing up as a badass Robin-hood-esque thief to search for his father’s killer. Boy becomes increasingly more badass as time elapses.

Who is this boy? Well, he goes by three names: his birth name Gyum, his adopted name Yong, and his badass name, Iljimae. But I like to call him the amazing actor Lee Joon Ki, who I had not realized would ever end up as fantastic and lovely as he did.

My first impression of both the main character and the plot was mild interest, but mostly confusion and annoyance. Yong starts off as a whiny, obnoxious arrogant douchebag (pardon my language) that cries almost constantly, is lazy, mean, and honestly just the perfect example of the worst possible hero/main character ever. But I knew, I just KNEW, it wasn’t going to stay that way.     As for the plot, it is really slow moving in the beginning. You literally have to watch the kid grow up, and it gets to a point where you are practically tempted to just click on episode 10 and get the whole affair over with. But YOU MUST BE PATIENT. Please remember: All good things come to those who wait. Or, in this case, GREAT FANTASTIC things 😀

There comes a point when everything changes. All the things you may have hated are suddenly all wiped away and it becomes increasingly more intense, engrossing, suspenseful, heart-wrenching, and GOOD. Yong/Iljimae develops from an annoying little weasel to the hottest, coolest, strongest, most lovable character ever with his badass (honestly, I don’t feel I can overuse the word ‘badass’ enough here) character, who makes every scene more wonderful than the last.

In this drama, you will laugh often, cry more often, and sit on the edge of your seat biting your nails the most. I’ve always though the term ‘a nail-biter’ was cheesy, but it is literally the case here. My fingers are sore. I guess I really got into this drama 😀

If you’re a sappy, over-emotional teenage girl like myself who NEEDS- and I mean NEEDS- romantic comedy to live, and cannot possibly imagine yourself enjoying a drama which is about 5% romance and about 95% crazy fighting, political conspiracies, and suspense, then change your mentality. Give this drama a chance. Lee Joon Ki, while unappealing at first, absolutely glows in this drama, and the characters seriously grow on you.

This is an example of a drama which grows exponentially greater and greater as it moves forward. You become gradually more interested after each episode until you can’t pull yourself away. I’ve never watched so many episodes of a drama in a row before- I just couldn’t stop. And for those nerds out there like me who scout out soundtracks, this one has a goodie (I downloaded the ENTIRE thing). Give this drama a chance! And don’t let those words “historical” and “action” turn you away.

Much love to Iljimae, and my new favorite actor Lee Joon Ki ^_^ Annyeoung!

The Absolutely Astoundingly Amazing Awesomeness That is Secret Garden and Hyun Bin

 

Okay. So I REALLY have been dying to write about my current craving for Secret Garden, but I wanted to wait until I was a little deeper into the series before I decided to delve into it. Or should I say, delve in Hyun Bin.

In all honesty, this drama IS Hyun Bin. I swear Ha Ji Won is just there for color commentary and a dosage of a pretty girl. But, I swear, almost every scene is reserved exclusively for Hyun Bin, and the character I thought to have been the main (Gil Ra Im)is proving less adorable than the male lead. Hard to believe? Allow me to explain.

First of all, let me start by saying that when I read the synopsis for this drama, I was less than impressed. A story about a guy and girl who switch bodies, and the twisted form of so-called “romance” that develops from it? No thanks. I like my men as men, and my girls as girls. Not the other way around. OR SO I THOUGHT.

This plotline is BY FAR, the most unique, hilarious, and fantastic of anything I have ever watched. I have NEVER laughed so hard during a Korean Drama. It builds with several episodes with the characters (Poor, sweet Gil Ra Im and snobby, rich-guy smartass Joo Won) who meet as their “normal” selves and battle between class differences and their growing attraction to one another. You think it’s just going to be your cookie-cutter sugary little K-drama romance, and then BAM! An accident causes them to switch bodies.

I kept waiting for it to happen, thinking to myself “this drama is going to be SO lame when they do the stupid switch up”.  But, OH MY, did it make things fun. I never thought this kind of thing could work in a K-drama, but it DOES!

Now we have the smart-ass, snobby, selfish personality of Joo Won in the pretty body of Gil Ra Im, and the soft, girliness of her in the body of Joo Won (Hyun Bin). Sure the whole “take a walk in another’s shoes” concept is big (especially since she is poor and he is rich), but better than any morale-teaching, self-discovery plot, is the acting.

This drama PROVES that personality overpowers appearance, and, even moreso, how cute Hyun Bin is as a girly, clueless, bashful feminine character. I was never a big Hyun Bin fan; he always seems to play the dominant, rich, snoody kind of alpha-male. I hated him as Joo Won in this, he was annoying as hell, and then BAM he turns into a soft, darling girl character, despite still looking like a man. And then, suddenly, I absolutely LOVED Hyun Bin. Personality can COMPLETELY change a person. Gil Ra Im is cute and lovely when she is herself, and then she becomes Joo Won, with that arrogant, sarcastic attitude, she suddenly doesn’t seem cute anymore.

Sounds weird? Trust me, any potential weirdness is completely overruled by how incredible of an actor Hyun Bin is. Regardless of which character he is (Joo Won or Gil Ra Im) It’s still Hyun Bin, one guy, playing the part of two strongly opposite characters with such a natural grace, you feel like he IS the character. Ha Ji Won, also, manages to completely make you believe she is both a guy and a girl. However, Hyun Bin, being a giggly, innocent, sweet character is too adorable to bear. I laugh SO hard. In fact, I do truly believe that Secret Garden takes the prize for the most I have laughed over the course of a K-drama.

If this were the Academy Awards, and I was the Committee, this guy would get my vote:

 

Hyun Bin, You Rock.

You’re Beautiful: It’s Beautiful

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Oh my god. I am so crazy about this drama right now.

You’re Beautiful is just my style of K-drama; it’s got the unrealistic but fantastic plot, the sickenly adorable cross-dressing female, and the juicy, heartbreaking romance that can only be found in one hell of a great love triangle. Yeah, it’s all there.

I’ve always heard this drama being raved about. It can easily be said that “You’re Beautiful” is one of the very highest in the ranks of some of the most popular and famous K-dramas, and now, at last, I understand why.

First of all, the cast. We’ve got Park Shin Hye, who, up until now was nothing more to me than a famous name, who is beautiful both in her acting and in her looks. She is the kind of boyish, naive, sweet little character that I always pray for in a K-drama, and her acting is superb. I enjoy every minute she’s on screen. In addition to her, there’s Jang Geun Suk, who’s name alone promises some really high-quality acting, singing, and just plain charisma. He is really perfect for this role; and I hate his snoody, stuck-up, jerk-of-a-character as much as I adore him. He’s the kind of character who can make you pissed and super mad one minute, and then have you swooning and sighing “Awe” the next moment. Together with Park Shin Hye, there is one great pair.

Then, there is also Jung Yong Hwa. (Isn’t he lovely?)

 Though his character is slightly more minor, I felt compelled to give him his own paragraph in my blog here, particularly because I think I have seriously fallen in love with him over the course of these few episodes of You’re Beautiful (6 to be exact). I don’t know who I love more, him, or his character. I remember reading his name on the cast list and thinking “Isn’t he some guy from CN Blue?” I happen to be a HUGE CNBlue fan, although I’ve never been all that familiar with the actual members. Anyways, aside from his obvious overwhelming talent as a singer/songwriter/musician in his band, I am so happy to see him in a drama. His character Shin Woo might just be the sweetest, most heart-wrenching character I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I almost cry every time I see him, and I am constantly thinking to myself “Please, OH PLEASE, let the next scene have Shin Woo in it!” Sadly, he has very few scenes, but the scenes he does have are packed with so much shy, sweet, love and sincerity that I think I’m going to melt from all the adorable darlingness of he and Go Minam’s relationship (Team Shin Woo, NOT Taekyung, thank you very much!) ❤

Okay, okay, so aside from my clear fondness for Jung Yong Hwa, and my consitantly recurring attachment to drama’s that feature a cross-dressing girl (Is it just me or are those drama’s always the best?), I am more than loving this drama. I have to fight the urge not to watch about ten episodes per sitting, and painfully must will myself to only watch 2-3 a day.

The romance, the drama, the comedy. It is so addicting and delicious, I don’t think I can possibly keep myself from anymore episodes.

As of now, I shall go watch another episode. And, as usual, hope for more Jung Yong Hwa ❤

Much Love, Ria

U-Kiss Neverland Comeback (I Couldn’t Resist)

Okay, so I happen to be on one kick-ass awesome  homestay in Japan at the moment, and I could be writing a really exciting and compelling description of my many Japanese adventures here in this fantastic country, but what does this fangirl choose to write about instead? Why, U-Kiss’ Comeback of course!

Let me start by saying, I was NOT a U-Kiss fangirl, nor have I ever been. To me, they were remininscent of yet ANOTHER boring, blur-into-the-background K-pop boy band with the same sound and style as too many others with no real spark. This was, of course, before their recent comeback. Let me just say that I am blown away, truly.

Literally OVERNIGHT I transformed from a mildly enthusiastic mere “listener” of some U-Kiss, to a full-blown fan of this awesome group. Truly, they are highly underrated. Even I myself seriously underestimated how talented they are. Now now, I know as well as anyone that the credit for the songs themselves go to some anonymous studio song writer, but aside from the “song writing” the performing part is definitly captured beautifully. My bias has always been ‘that one hot guy’ as I called him in former U-Kiss videos (you may know the lovely darling as Kiseop <33); though I can proudly confess to actually knowing some names now. All within the span of one day I’ve downloaded almost all of Neverland, and I am continually growing crazier and crazier for this incredible album and group.

From the title track Neverland, which I LOVE, to the equally enjoyable electronic track Top That, I am also really enjoying most of the ballad songs, such as ‘Take Me Away’ or “Someday” which is SUPER rare for me. I am seriously biased to electro pop autotune based songs, and I often roll my eyes at ballad songs (which all sound the same to me) or skip over them entirely; I know, horrible, right? Anyways, thanks to U-Kiss, I am actually giving these great ballad songs a listen, and I love them . The vocals are really fantastic, there’s something really sweet and soft about the voices in U-Kiss; I can’t seem to put my finger on it.

My favorite song would be Obsession. Is it because Kiseop sings most of it? Perhaps. Probably. I don’t know, there’s something truly special about those tracks like this one that mix electronic and ballad into a this kind of fancy, high-quality hybrid. It’s great. Plus, I’m a sucker for softer songs with cool rap parts mixed in. Really makes for good entertainment 😀

Anyways, if you’re like me, and you think U-Kiss is just “another K-pop boy band”, have some patience, listen to their new stuff, their old stuff, all their stuff. I think they really have something extraordinary about them, and in one day, they went from almost last on my list of boy bands to the top percentile. I can’t pinpoint what struck me exactly, but these great songs and good looking members certainly make it easy to love them ❤

I look forward to future U-Kiss music and performances. I am now hooked. U-Kiss Fighting!

(And yes, I will post some info about Japan someday soon…once I can stop raving about U-Kiss >_<)

I shall return to my Japanese life and try to tone down my immense Korean fangirlness for sake of Japan. Ha Ha.

Annyeoung….I mean, Oyasumi~ ^_^

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!

 

Kyuhyun, Kyuhyun, Kyuhyun, and more Kyuhyun. That is all I need.

        Why yes, I have just posted a picture of perhaps one of the most beautiful and talented people on this earth. And yes, you are very VERY welcome, my friend.

Don’t know Kyuhyun? Don’t like Kyuhyun? Please, leave now. I mean it. Don’t even bother to read my blog unless you are at least mildly a fan of this wonderful creature. If you don’t know him, I hope I can englighten you.

Most commonly known as Super Junior’s “maknae” Kyuhyun is the baby of the group, with the voice of an angel. Everytime I hear him sing, whether it be in the hazy background chorus of a Suju dance pop song, or the lead of a touching K.R.Y. ballad, I feel like either a) Bursting into tears, b) squealing like the little fangirl that I am, or c) melting into a puddle of emotion on the floor.

However, my adoration for him is not a shallow one. Honestly, I believe that, even if he wasn’t the adorable, charming darling that he is, his voice alone would render me a hopeless fan of everything he does. He is too talented to deny; and the music industry is lucky to have him.

Super Junior, Super Junior M, KRY, SM Ballad; to name a few. I will continue to jump for joy whenever this heavenly singer is recruited into yet another sub-group of SM Entertainment. And, as much as I, as well as just about all fangirls, craves the delicious idea of him being a solo artist, with each scene of a MV dedicated solely to him, deep inside we all hope and pray that he will never leave Super Junior, and that Super Junior in itself will be eternal.

I believe there is a god somewhere that looked upon Kyuhyun as an infant (who was most likely just as adorable then) and decided to bestow upon him the greatest, most beautiful voice ever to be blessed upon humanity. Haha. Yes, I mean it.

Being the dedicated (I say “dedicated” to avoid really saying what we fangirls truly are, which is “sickly obsessed”) fan that I am of him, I have watched plenty of Star King and Immortal Song 2 clips to fulfill my dosage of Suju playtime and glimpses into what I can only imagine their “personality” to be. And Kyuhyun (of maybe it’s just because I’m so enormously biased) seems to forever be the most endearing.

Ahhhh I could rant forever, but I know I’ll get too carried away. I’ll stop here, just giving you a little taste of my love for him (perhaps too much so). Meanwhile, I shall return to listening to Suju KRY’s “Words of the Westerly Wind” which is literally THE MOST BEAUTIFUL song I have ever heard. Please, go look it up now. Kyuhyun sings a great deal of it! 😀

Thanks for reading my obsessive ranting! Hope I didn’t scare you too much (I scared myself a little). 😛 I believe there is a deep fangirl of something within all of us! Some of us are simply too scared to unleash it. But here, I unleash it. My love for Kyuhyun, my favorite singer and artist ever. I respect his music, just as much as I admire his looks ^_^ Keep at it Kyuhyun! Fighting!!

Annyeoung! ~

Just for kicks, here’s one more pic 😀

Can’t Get Enough Hotaru no Hikari!!

                OMG. I am crazy about this J-drama. Not only did I fly through the first season (thank god there is more than one) but I am now heavily in love with the second season; possibly moreso than I was in season 1.

This drama encompasses everything I love about J-dramas, and dramas in general. I have NEVER adored a character as I do Amemiya Hotaru (Ayase Haruka). I laugh so hard watching this adorable drama. Her and Buchou and all their sweet little antics, such as beers out on the porch or a nice little “gororororo” rolling segment just melts my heart. Amemiya Hotaru is both incredibly hilarious, and hopelessly endearing. I see so much of myself in her, as well as so much I wish I could be. She is a perfect all-around character, and I shall forever have enormous respect for Ayase Haruka based on this role. Buchou as well! AHHH! I love him. And Futatsugi-san and Yamada-ne-san, funny Seno “Himono-Otoko”-san, and even Makoto-kun from Season 1 who I earlier ranted about hating,

Oh gosh I just love everything about it.

I know in my last entry I sounded like an angry anti-fan, but I assure you that pet peeve has passed (it ended up being resolved within the next episode) and now I am hopelessly in love with this show.

Sure, it ‘ain’t no K-drama, and it doesn’t have all that high quality glitz and glamor or deep plotlines. Rather, it is just the silly mishaps of the ditzy and clueless Hotaru, and her weird, but sweet, friend/lover relationship with her boss, but current roommate, Buchou. I know, sounds confusing, but trust me, this is perhaps the simpliest drama ever. No crazy, in-depth drama or sadness. No intense or suspenseful twists. No cliche’ plot hang ups. Just pure and simple fun.

That’s all it is, just pure fun. Plenty of laugh out loud comedy, without the over-the-top animeness one might expect from a J-drama. It’s the kind of comedy that even someone as stuck-up (yeah, I’m stuck-up) as I can enjoy. Trust me, it’s good.

It’s a perfect feel-good drama about the awkwardness of young love, and the main idea of “if someone loves you, they should love you as you are” concept that is forever lovely.

I would HIGHLY reccommend this show. It is very beloved to me, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

And one more thing: Season 2 is honestly even better than Season 1, which is a sweet rarity. I feel so connected to the characters having known them for so many episodes, and the silly charms of Season 1 that I loved so much are (in my opinion) even more apparent and lovable in Season 2.

Can’t wait to watch more of Aho-Miya and Buchou, and see what other ridiculous trouble they get into 😛

Oyasumi! Jaa~

(P.S. To me the pic below sums up this show PERFECTLY. Hotaru doing something stupid and weird, and Buchou, as always looking at her as if to say “How can this kind of stupidity truly exist?” Ah, I love you Buchou. And you too Hotaru, of course.)

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!

Zettai Kareshi: The Ending, and My Overall Opinion (Many Spoilers)

I know what you might be thinking: Two posts in a row about the same topic? WHY?

Ahhgghhh! I really fell in love with this drama, and though it’s over, I still feel under it’s spell. I felt compelled to rant about the ending and the ‘Special’ episode, as well as more of the more minor elements of this great J-drama. It is for sure one of my all-time favorite dramas, and possibly my favorite Japanese one.

The story really developed from a somewhat irritating and impossible romance to something truly golden and touching. I became attached to Riiko and Night’s relationship, I was really crying hard at the end. I think this takes the prize for the most tears shed during a drama. The screen kept blurring from all my tears, I could barely watch it.

I wasn’t sure whether to be pissed off, devastated, or touched by the ending. Night “dying” was certainly sad, and I was really crying over the little memoir video and such *tear* But somehow, despite how heartbreaking it was, I found it strangely sufficient, and I felt comfortable with it.

Then came the Special. I totally knew Night was going to be revived, and that the love triangle would be launched once more, but I found the Special to be MUCH less lovely than I had hoped for. I was happy to see that the characters and setting were blissfully unaltered (despite the Special being filmed years later) and I was excited at the prospect of Night and Riiko’s love being restored, but…it was just different. As much as I love Soshi-san, I really don’t feel much emotion from him, despite his so-called “love” for Riiko. I just see him as kind of the best friend type, and seeing those two as a couple is just super weird to me, it doesn’t fit.

Anyways, aside from a very un-romantic reunion, I felt the plot to be too long, complex, and unnecessary. The Special was TWO hours long, but they could have shaved off a good hour. The little romance between whats-her-name Robot creator and her robot lover-look alike was cute, but took up a little too much of the story line. I also felt that the creators were pumping a little too much action (aka, the secret agent/fighter robot/badass Namikiri segment) into the show. Perhaps if there had been a little less Kamiya and Nanase and more Riiko, Soshi and Night, I would have been more of a fan.

This whole Special wouldn’t have bothered me at all if I wasn’t still super pissed at the ending. I mean, what the hell?

IT ENDED EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE FIRST ENDING! What was the point of making a sequel if Night just ended up going off to die in the end AGAIN. I was practically on the edge of my seat saying “No, Riiko will turn around any minute and stop Night from leaving! Any minute now!” but she didn’t. And then, like before, she just went on back to Soshi, who she ignored and treated like crap and barely seems to spend much time with anyways. But, I gotta give him credit, he IS a human 😛

Errgg.

Well overall, despite my crazy and seemingly hateful ranting, I ADORED this sweet beautiful drama. The romance was oh so heartwarming, and I cried and said “awwww” far too many times. It was just…wow. What a great drama. This was K-drama quality for sure, and I really applaude Japan for turning what could have been a potentially stupid storyline into something really wonderful and moving. Yay!

“Absolute Boyfriend” Korea is being made, or I think might be airing right now. My beloved adorable Goo Hye Sun from BOF is the “Riiko”, so I might be tempted to watch, despite my usual aversion to watching the same drama in different nationalities, haha! Oh well, I’m sure it will be great.

The worst thing about J-dramas? Only 10ish episodes!! K-drama’s usually have close to 20, and are individually about 15-20 minutes longer. ARG! I wish Japan put more into length. 

 Ahh well, since I am headed to Japan in about 2 weeks (for the first time ever!) , I need to stock up on as much Japanese  as humanly possible, so I am dedicating the rest of August to watching strictly Japanese dramas, despite how difficult it can be to find good ones :/ My language skills depend on it! (If only I could find some juicy ones in Kansai dialect, grr)

Oh well, time to go!  Oyasumi, tomodachi!! ^_^