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TV Review: Something About One Percent Episode 14

Episodes: episode 14/16 of English subbed KDrama series
Something About 1 Percent Online: MyDramaList, DramaFeverIMDBAsianWiki
Genre: Romantic Comedy

*slides in from the left* Hello, again! I am back with a review of the fourteenth episode of the weekly TV series.

Kim Da-Hyun (Jeon So-Min) and Lee Jae-In (Ha Seok-Jin) share a few more dates before the end of their dating contract but both appear to be grieving the time when they won’t be together anymore. The day of their last date, Jae-In’s grandfather collapses and is rushed to the hospital for that nasty medical problem that has been “hinted” at for the past few episodes. Now acting as Executive Director of the SH Group, Jae-In feels himself slipping in a cycle of misery again and misses Da-Hyun greatly. The feeling is mutual. Da-Hyun has her own medical emergency and is helped by her best friend Hyun Yin (Im Do Yoon) who enlists aid from her brother Jung Sun Woo (Choi Sung Jae). When Hyun Yin goes to confront Jae-In about Da-Hyun, she mistakes his cousin that he just retrieved from a dancing audition for a new girlfriend. More feels ensue.

This is what one can easily view as a “feels” episode. It does this by also making good use of flashbacks. However, there was not anywhere near enough Attorney Park Hyung-Joon (Kim Sun-Hyuk) in it. In any case, we now have two episodes left in the series to give our main couple the happiness that we want for them. I am curious as to how cheesy they will make it.
At least the writers have pointed out what living with a director of a big company such as SH Group will mean for their spouse. Yes, it does sound like a crap experience and one that I am tackling with a fiction series that I am currently plotting. Living with somebody with money has a cost in time, privacy and security. This will no doubt impact the level of happiness of such a coupling. So, is there a way to make it work?

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you guys again for the final reviews of the series over the next fortnight.


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Manga Review: Love So Life

Year: 2008 – 2015
Author + Artist: Kaede Kochi
Version: XscansX (English scanlation)
Love So Life Online: Wikipedia, MyAnimeList, MangaFox, Kissmanga
Genre: Shōjo, Slice of Life, Romance, Drama

After several months, I have officially completed the Shōjo series Love So Life. As such, I am bringing you this review of the entire series rather than one for the final chapters followed by a later full series review. That seems a little inefficient overall.

When hardworking TV news reporter Seiji Matsunaga has his two-year-old twin niece and nephew dumped at his home by his recently widowed older brother, he takes it upon himself to care for the pair. When juggling his work life and the care of the toddlers becomes too much, he turns to a sixteen-year-old girl at a nearby orphanage for help. Shiharu is the oldest orphan at the institution and had to contend with the early loss of her father followed by her mother a few years later. With those fond memories of her time with her mother to guide her, she attempts to provide good memories for Aoi and Akane whilst also negotiating her growing romantic attachment for Seiji who also grapples with his own attraction to Shiharu in lieu of their age difference and the possible implications if they decided to become romantically inclined.
What will become of them when the twins move to the home of their maternal grandparents? Also, what happened to their dad? And what is with that Takeru guy?

This is a really adorable series. Most of you will have read some of my previous ten-chapter reviews of this series and likely get an inkling of why I really adore it. For those that don’t, I will attempt to elaborate.
First, I really like the characterisation. The characters are normal people with their own problems that are explained meaningfully over time. Even the least likeable character Nao had understandable motivations even if he was highly annoying a lot of the time. As mentioned in previous posts, Takeru is my favourite character in the series for some weird reason.
Second, we see the plot progressing in a steady fashion with numerous “ticking clocks” for our characters to negotiate. The drama makes sense even if it began to drag on slightly toward the end.
Third, the realistic concern over age difference and the possible implications of a relationship. The romantic elements are obviously an important focus of the series. However, we see an adult actually considering the problems of pursuing somebody that is underage. In this case, Seiji also has further concerns related to his job and the possibility of Shiharu getting kicked out of the orphanage for indecent conduct. The series does manage to portray both Seiji and Shiharu as responsible individuals and address their situation in a thoughtful manner.

In spite of all of the things that I liked about this series, there were a few things that annoyed me at times. The first thing is the artwork. As crisp as the artwork was, there were a few characters that didn’t stand out as much as they could have. The second was an issue with the time-shift that occurred in the last few chapters of the series. This felt a little unbalancing from a reader standpoint. I believe that a montage would have worked a bit better ahead of the outing in the final major sequence. Whilst these annoyances did irritate me, they are in no way made me think lesser of the series.

In conclusion, Love So Life is a sweet slice-of-life Shōjo Romance series with some really neat characters that I recommend to anyone looking for a mature relationship rather than a series that relies on sex scenes or convenient and ridiculous drama. To me, it will hold a special place in my heart for a long time to come. So, now I have to decide what my weekly read will be for now on. This could be tricky…

So, now I have to decide what my weekly read will be for now on. This could be tricky… I could go for another romance series but I’ve devoured a bit of romance of late and I would prefer to mix it up a bit. Perhaps I could read a drama or an action series. Maybe I could go for something involving talking cats that can also shoot laser beams from their mouths and do kung-fu. That’s a thing, right? 😀 Anyway, I will keep you guys posted on what I decide.


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Anime Movie Review: 5 Centimeters per Second

Language: English dub of Japanese production
Online: Wikipedia, IMDB, MyAnimeList
Genre: Drama. Slice of Life, Romance

I have held off watching this film for a while now because I understood from the reviews that it would be a more bittersweet slice of life romance. Given that I am a great big sook, I tend to avoid anything with too many feels. Why? Because feels usually results in me shutting down for a few days as I ponder the fates of those poor characters. However, realistically the world doesn’t always give you that happy ending that you so desperately crave.

5 Centimeters per Second is the story of the relationship between two people told in three parts, as told from the perspective of the pair Akari and Takaki, as well as Kanae, a girl with an unrequited love for Takaki but is aware that he will never feel the same way. It is about how distance can affect relationships even when we feel deeply about somebody. It is a sad story but one that I think many of us can relate to on some level.

This film is short. Even at an hour in length it still manages to pack a huge emotional punch. It is easy to care for each of the characters but we understand that sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned. This is the main point of the story, I think. When we are young, we have all of these high hopes and often want something to last forever. The real world doesn’t always play out the way that we want it. This makes the good times much more precious.
Makoto Shinkai creates such lovely stories and it is little wonder why people get so emotionally involved in his stories. He also does a wonderful job of translating them to the big screen, resulting in numerous awards and hype whenever one of his films are released. He’s also become a bit of a role model for up and coming storytellers as well because of it.

If you are willing to watching a short film that doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending, then you’ll probably appreciate this story. If not, then stay away because this film is not for you. *prompts grabs tissues*


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TV Review: Goblin Episode 02

Year: 2016 – 2017
Episode: 1/16 completed KDrama series (English sub)
Other Names: The Lonely, Shining Goblin; Guardian: The Lonely and Great God; Prince Maker; Mr Sunshine
Online: Wikipedia, MyDramaList,  HanCinema, KoreanDrama, AsianWiki, DramaFever
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Drama, Romance

*waves* I finally got around to watching the second episode of Goblin. Yes, I did take a few weeks to get to it along with some other stuff. Sorry for the delay.

The second episode follows the events after Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) follows Kim Shin the Goblin (Goon Yoo) through the door to Canada. After spending a day in Quebec, Ji Eun Tak is returned to Korea where she has to put up with her crappy relatives. Our resident Grim Reaper (Lee Doon Wook) discusses the task of retrieving several missing souls with another reaper, then gets into a pissing contest with Kim Shin after the Goblin keeps him up all night trying to think of the most trendy way to look when summoned next. Ji Eun Tak gets a job at the least busy Chicken restaurant in the city where she works for the most deliberately disinterested and pretty manager. Our heroine is also watched over by a transformed version of that old spirit-seer that her mother used to know, the one that stood up for the girl during the Grim Reaper’s delayed retrieval of her mother’s soul. After her horrible aunt is visited by nefarious loan sharks, they kidnap the girl for the bankbook for the girl’s insurance money from her mother’s death. In lieu of the young woman being in danger, Kim Shin and Grim Reaper’s telekinetic fight at the dinner table is disrupted and they come to her aid.

Though this show isn’t necessarily a comedy, it had large amounts of funny moments. We still get the feeling that Ji Eun Tak’s aunt’s family are a bit like Harry Potter’s horrible relatives but we also learn how much her family rely on her insurance money. As for the Kim Shin and Grim Reaper, the two show themselves to be more than willing to behave like children when competing with each other. We aren’t given much information about their long-term feud but one gets the feeling that their history will be elaborated on in future episodes. In any case, the episode was highly enjoyable and a good fit for watching in tandem with Dame wa Watashi ni Koshite Kudasai. I will definitely be continuing this highly entertaining series.


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TV Review: Please Love the Useless Me Episode 05

Year: 2016
Episode: Episode 5/10 of completed JDrama series adapted from a Josei manga series (English sub version)
Other Names: Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai
Online: Wikipedia (Re: Manga), MyDramaList, AsianWikiIMDB, KissAsian, DramaCool
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Drama

I decided to watch another episode of Dame na Watashi ni Koshite Kudasai this evening because it has been a while since I watched the show and it never ceases to bring a smile to my face whenever I watch it. We are now around the halfway point in the series and I am also somewhat curious as to how the live-action adaptation will deviate from the source material. Up until this point, the major deviation has been in the older brother of our male lead being deceased for several years which has no doubt changed the dynamic between Ayumu and his brother’s widow Haruko.

The fifth episode saw Michiko Shibata (Kyoko Fukada) share her first Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend Daichi Mogami (Shohei Muira) after getting some cooking tips from Ayumu Kurosawa (Dean Fujioka). The Valentine’s Day date scene played out wonderfully but it also foreshadowed something that will no doubt play out in future episodes. (I have my suspicions based on the manga but the live-action may deviate slightly.) We saw some adorable interactions between Shibata and Haruko leading to Shibata wanting to help Kurosawa with his romantic attachment to Haruko; as well as some wonderful moments with Akira Ikushima (Maho Nonami) as Akira continues to offer Shibata relationship advice as self-appointed “Big Sis”. However, we also see some lingering doubt on the part of Mogami over Shibata’s relationship with Kurosawa in spite of her denying anything romantic between the two.

I continue to look forward to each new episode of this series and cannot help but wonder why I haven’t simply binge-watched the entire show already. Shibata and Mogami’s relationship is very cute but is somewhat complicated by her own inexperience and subtle questions about how she feels for Kurosawa. We also see her learning a lot about the various characters, especially Kurosawa, through her meals with other people. However, we still see the appropriate amount of doubt from Mogami over her relationship with Kurosawa. Though the scenes played out slightly different from the manga, we see the spirit of the manga intact. To me, this series remains one of the better live-action adaptations of a manga that I have seen to date.

I will return with another review of the show soon.


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TV Review: Something About One Percent Episode 13

Episodes: episode 13/16 of English subbed KDrama series
Something About 1 Percent Online: MyDramaList, DramaFeverIMDBAsianWiki
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Hello again! Sorry about missing last week. You guys probably already know why I had a brief hiatus from blog last week. So, I won’t rehash the details. What I do have is a review for the next episode of my weekly TV show.

In the aftermath of Kim Da-Hyun (Jeon So-Min) being kidnapped by nefarious people employed by Han Joo-Hee (Seo Eun-Chae), Lee Jae-In (Ha Seok-Jin) and Min Tae-Ha (Kim Hyung Min) begin to get their houses in order leading to investigations into the business dealings between Tae-Ha and HanJoo Chemicals. Da-Hyun has her own issues as she deals with her own trauma at being kidnapped. Joo-Hee tries to get Da-Hyun to forgive her in order to avoid blowback from the crap that she did. We also see Ji Su meet up with Jae-In’s female cousin, the one that attended the event at SH Mall with Da-Hyun a few episodes ago. There seems to be some chemistry there. Da-Hyun and Jae-In later enjoy some lovey-dovey time in the park with a picnic.

Well, we are well and truly into the final stretch of the show now with three more episodes left after this. Some of the ongoing side arcs are now being addressed in a meaningful manner. I don’t mind this aspect but I am guessing that some folks might be annoyed with games of business.
There are still a few technical things that I had to ignore but these don’t impact heavily on my enjoyment of the series. However, those weird sound stingers made more of an appearance again this episode, irking me a bit in the process. Seriously, they don’t match the overall feel of the series and feel like they were purchased at the last minute rather than with careful consideration as to the content.

In any case, I will continue watching the show until it is finished. I will have to consider which of the other longer-run series to put as my weekly watch, however. I suppose that this will be addressed in a week or two. In any case, feel free to post any recommendations that you have. I will consider each one based on the synopsis initially and then available sources to watch it online.


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Manga Review: Love So Life Chapters 81-90

Year: 2008 – 2015
Author + Artist: Kaede Kochi
Version: XscansX (English scanlation)
Love So Life Online: Wikipedia, MyAnimeList, MangaFox, Kissmanga
Genre: Shōjo, Slice of Life, Romance, Drama

Sorry about not getting this review out last week. As some of you already know, I had some health considerations that I needed to address. In any case, this will be the second last week before I conclude reading this series. I hope that you’ve been reading along with me.

A bit happened this time around. The first was a visit to their maternal grandparents by Aoi and Akane with Seiji after some help from Shiharu in getting them used to not having her around. We see them meet some relations that they aren’t already familiar with. We then move to the goings-on of White Day. Rio pesters the amusing Takeru, whilst Nao has to contend with his stalker girl. The biggest event pertains to how Seiji decides to deal with his own White Day celebrations with Shiharu. After many weeks of waiting, we finally have a confession in the latter parts of these ten chapters. And man, was it so freaking adorable. Seiji’s character continues to show his maturity in even how he confesses to Shiharu. We still have some way to go before their relationship is stable but it is in a good place leading up to the final instalments of the series. This will be slightly complicated by Seiji’s brother showing up unexpectedly after two years missing. The last sixteen chapters are sure to be a doozy!

Well, we finally have a confession from Seiji this week after a long time grappling with how he felt about Shiharu. I loved the way that this scene played out a LOT. We won’t have Shiharu’s answer for at least a little while but I do think that the payoff will be worth it. Any drama from here on out will relate more to the side arcs and simply distract Seiji and Shiharu for a little while before the twins leave Seiji’s household.

I have obviously been enjoying my own manga readings. There aren’t a lot of manga that has drawn my attention near as much as this series has. I will go into it in a bit more detail when I complete the series but suffice it to say that I will sad when I turn the final page of the last chapter.
What are you reading at present? I’d love to know about the series that you look forward to with each new instalment. If you have recommendations, feel free to let me know and I will look into each suggestion. Catch you guys next week!