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.

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! ~ ^^