好きな人がいること [2016]

01e8nBo4_f1f9da_c2xRomaji: Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto
English title: A Girl & Three Sweethearts
Director: Hiro Kanai, Ryo Tanaka, Tomonobu Moriwaki
Writer: Sayaka Kuwamura
Runtime: Mondays 21:00 starting July 11, 2016

Mirei Kiritani as Sakurai Misaki
Miura Shohei as Shibasaki Chiaki
Yamazaki Kento as Sibasaki Kanata
Shuhei Nomura as Shibasaki Touma
Sakurako Ohara as Nishijima Manami



Plot (asianwiki):
Misaki Sakurai (Mirei Kiritani) has not dated in a long time. She has focused on her work as a pâtissier to eventually run her own business. One day, she gets fired from work. She then meets her first love from high school Chiaki Shibasaki (Shohei Miura). Misaki Sakurai works part-time at Chiaki’s restaurant and also stays there. While she lives with Chiaki at his restaurant, she realizes that Chiaki’s two younger brothers Toma (Shuhei Nomura) and Kanata (Kento Yamazaki) also live there.

I Say…

I don’t care what Yamazaki Kento bashers say about him. Die green with envy. He’s going to be everywhere inthe coming years cos he just keeps on getting better and better with his craft. He’s gone so far since I first saw him in Love for Beginners and LDK. I just saw a more mature Yamaken in Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto, and his character Shibasaki Kanata will be one for the books. A handsome tsundere sous chef slash surfer boy. Stop the swooning. He even looks good clad in tees and folded jeans.

Miura Shohei is Miura Shohei… expect those hearts to beat for the guy. He nailed the aniki role too well. Don’t get too distracted by the guy.
I can’t help but notice the chemistry among the cast; they’re too comfortable working together which is quite hard to fake. You can see it in their BTS and IG posts. FYI, Sakurai Misaki’s account exists so go check it out for proof.

Setting is always important in every drama. It makes you feel at home the entire series. In the case of this dorama, it’s Enoshima. Enoshima is love.

Though it may be more of a love story, the drama is also about family. The conflict isn’t limited to the blossoming love triangle which the title strongly suggests, but also among the owners of Sea Sons. The strong bond shared by Shibasaki kyoudai will be threathened by a family secret that will change their lives in ways they never imagined. To sum up my feelings, it is one unforgettable summer drama. Summer is indeed a good time to fall in love.


I Remember You [2015]

I_Remember_You_promotional_posterAlternative Title: Hello Monster
Hangul: 너를 기억해
No. of episodes: 16
Running time: 70 minutes
Release: June 22, 2015 – August 11, 2015

Seo In-guk as Lee Hyeon / David Lee
Jang Na-ra as Cha Ji-ahn
Choi Won-young as Lee Joon-ho / Lee Joon-young
Park Bo-gum as Jung Sun-ho / Lee Min
Lee Chun-hee as Kang Eun-hyuk
Jun Kwang-ryul as Lee Joong-min

Plot (wikipedia):
Genius profiler Lee Hyun returns home to Korea after something from a case he’s been sent triggers a memory he thought he’d lost forever. Unbeknownst to him, one of his team members, Detective Cha Ji-an, has been investigating him for some time. She is aware that his father was murdered and his brother disappeared under mysterious circumstances involving a criminal named Lee Joon Young — whom they both want found and incarcerated. Each seeks to unravel the other, unaware that they’ve been drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse by a master player and that both truth and evil are closer and far more twisted than they think.

I Say…

Hurray for 2016! I’m back & I promise or at least do my best to blog again. My first drama for 2015 is I Remember You.

You can tell it got me hooked right? I Remember You is one of the Korean dramas I have been trying to find time to see last year but can’t due to various reasons. Thanks to the long holiday vacation I’ve had time to catch up with my dramas and books. Now on to what I think about the series.

In writing I still haven’t checked its viewership status but maybe it went well. Psychopath dramas are all over Korea. They could be used to it. Romance is just a subplot and the drama focused on the growth and characteristics of a psychopath. It’s kind of messed up how they think but they’re brilliant people. How can they imagine so many ways to kill people? Freaky but yeah, wow. Sorry about that. Cha Ji Ahn & Lee Hyeon didn’t get too mushy but you’ll know that there’s this spark that ignited the kind of relationship they have. They’re living their lives & taking care of each other while playing mind games with murderers.

Next, the way their policemen think. They’re not perfect ones since they commit mistakes and get involved in crimes themselves. But their coordination is good… at least TL Kang’s unit.

Lastly, how come all victims get stabbed? I came up with a theory, that maybe guns are limited in Korea & that it is a sure ball if you stab the victim instead of shooting them. It is safe to say that I Remember You is quite good, not just because of Seo In Guk. It successfully unlocked my psychopathic tendencies.

Review: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai [2011]

Ano-Hana1Alternative Title: Ano Hana

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Episodes: 11

Plot (wikipedia):

A group of six childhood friends drift apart after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, dies in an accident. Ten years after the incident, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, has withdrawn from society and lives as a recluse. One summer day, the ghost of an older looking Menma appears before him and asks to have a wish granted, reasoning that she cannot pass on into the afterlife until it is fulfilled. Since Menma does not remember what her wish is, Jinta gathers his estranged friends together once again, believing that they are the key to resolving this problem. However, hidden feelings, internal conflicts, and lingering feelings of bitterness from Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle to help not only Menma move on, but themselves as well.

I Say…

The feeling is somehow similar to Honey and Clover, funny and sad at the same time. You just can’t help it. Ano Hana is very short yet it etched a big time in my memory. There’s no such thing as forever because there’s “change”… and change can’t be helped at all. It’s part of life.

Just like for the troupe Super Peace Busters… life used to be so simple. One single tragedy changed them all forever.

I don’t know whether to classify Menma as a ghost or just Jinta’s hallucination. Hallucinations don’t write on diary pages or cook steamed bread, right? Poltergeist perhaps? Nah. Let’s leave it for you to be excited about.

Soundtrack is good as well, adding more feeling to the series. Galileo Galilee is a bit Suneohair-ish… that’s why I always get reminded of Honey and Clover. The ending theme Secret Base, is like the song of all songs for Ano Hana… a very strong theme that says it all.

All in all, it was worth the watch. One way or another it will make you remember some childhood memories too.


Review: K-drama: Lie To Me [2011]


Hangul: Nae-ge Geo-jit-mal-eul Hae-bwa

Cast: Kang Ji-hwan as Hyeon Gi-Joon
Eun Eun Hae as Gong Ah-Jeong

Episodes: 16

Directed by: Kim Soo-ryong,Kwon Hyeok-chan

Synopsis (hancinema):
A romantic comedy about a woman in her mid 20s lying that she was forced into marriage and then thing that happen after that.

I Say…

Passable. It was off with a good start but then it somehow stopped picking up in the middle. Usually Korean dramas keep you hanging til the end, where anything can take place beyond your expectation. But this one just got longer and longer. But don’t be mistaken that I didn’t like it, it’s just that I was looking for something present in Full House and My Girl. I just thin the story didn’t last that long.

As expected of Yoon Eun Hae, her bubbly acting gave life to the series. She and Kang Ji-hwan have that chemistry so I proceed to finish all 16 episodes. Kang Ji-hwan deserved the best newcomer award for this. Keep up the good job oppa… You’ll go a long way from here on.

By the way, soundtrack is good! Lovin Ice Cream and Ppeon-ppeon-han geo-jin-mal are the cutest tracks! Kang Ji-hwan’s Lovin’ Ice Cream version is a good one too. Better than the original 🙂

The subs were bad for the copy I have so definitely I’ll watch out for the highlights I did not quite understand on our local channel.

Probably my favorite scene in the series. This made me cry… I just felt Ah Jeong’s pain. 😦

Review: Nodame Cantabile [2006]

Nodame_CantabileTitle: のだめカンタービレ
Romantic Comedy
Broadcast network:
Fuji TV
Broadcast period:
2006-Oct-16 to 2006-Dec-25
Opening song:
Symphony No. 7 in A major by Beethoven, arranged by Hattori Takayuki
Ending song:
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, arranged by Hattori Takayuki
Original writing:
Ninomiya Tomoko
Etou Rin
Wakamatsu Hiroki, Shimizu Kazuyuki
Takeuchi Hideki, Kawamura Yasuhiro, Tanimura Masaki
Music: Hattori Takayuki


51st Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Drama
51st Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actress: Ueno Juri
51st Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Director: Takeuchi Hideki
51st Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Musical Arrangement: Takeuchi Hideki
51st Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Opening: Hattori Takayuki
2nd Seoul Drama Awards: Best Miniseries
2nd Seoul Drama Awards: Best Director: Takeuchi Hideki
2nd Seoul Drama Awards: Best Music

Episode Titles:

Ep 01: Rhapsody of the weird pianist vs. the self-centered conductor
Ep 02:
An orchestra of failing freaks! The start of trouble!?
Ep 03:
The puny orchestra’s in a pinch!! Can love rescue the poor?
Ep 04:
A successful kiss!? The moving battle of a regular perfomance!!
Ep 05:
Goodbye Maestro! The love battle of school festival orchestras!!
Ep 06:
Goodbye S Orchestra!! A tearful farewell ceremony and a two-piano performance of love!
Ep 07:
The start of a new orchestra! A storm on the horizon for a romance passing by!?
Ep 08:
The first battle for a new orchestra! A romance that wavers in overcoming trauma
Ep 09:
Competition vs. studying abroad! Could the decision mean farewell!?
Ep 10:
A competition of ups and downs! A final chapter of confession and tears!!
Ep 11:
Goodbye Nodame!! A tearful Christmas performance
Special: Nodame Cantabile Shinshun Special in Europe


Ueno Juri as Noda Megumi aka Nodame
Tamaki Hiroshi as
Chiaki Shinichi
Takenaka Naoto as Franz Stresemann


Based on the hit comic book by Tomoko Ninomiya, this is a fun-filled quirky romantic story of two very opposite people.

Megumi Noda, or “Nodame” is a piano student at Momogaoka College of Music. An extremely talented pianist who wants to be a kindergarten teacher, she prefers playing by ear rather than reading the music score. She is messy and disorganized, takes baths several days apart and loves to eat, sometimes stealing her friend’s lunchbox when it is filled with delicacies.

Shinichi Chiaki, is Momogaoka’s top student. Born into a musical family, he is talented in piano and violin and has secret ambitions to become a conductor. An arrogant multi-lingual perfectionist who once lived abroad in the music capitals of the world as a young boy, he feels mired in Japan because of a childhood phobia.

They meet by accident. Nodame quickly falls in love, but it takes much longer for Chiaki to even begin to appreciate Nodame’s unusual qualities. Their relationship causes them both to develop and grow. Because of Nodame, Chiaki got the opportunity to lead a student orchestra and begins to have a broader appreciation of people’s musical abilities. Because of Chiaki, Nodame faces her fears and enters a piano competition. Opportunities open up as both begin taking risks, stretching themselves far more than they ever thought possible.

I Say…

Nodame Cantabile created quite a stir in the world of J-Dorama & it was only now that I got the chance to finish it. It was highly entertaining for me, and slowly it got me interested in also reading the manga (also famous now) & see the anime version as well. The story itself was quite addictive, and it’s making me wonder how they’ll make the follow up as successful as it is. Ueno Juri seems to be quite a moving actress in spite of a few irritating ways of playing the heroine. Well, Noda Megumi is supposed to be clumsy, not-a-care-in-the-world person anyway. But halfway through it I wished she didn’t exaggerate that much. As for Tamaki Hiroshi who’s very handsome by the way, it was my first time seeing his acting so I have no idea really how he acts or if he’s any good. On Nodame Cantabile, he compliments Ueno Juri’s exaggerations and it’s a good thing. Maybe from the beginning they were already instructed to do lots of exaggerations to make Nodame Cantabile sensational, don’t you think?

Last but not the least…the Oke perfs are worth the watch. So if you’re a fan of classical music and a lover of romantic comedy, I recommend Nodame Cantabile for your viewing pleasure.

Review: Which Star Are You From [2006]

Alternative Titles: Which Star Did You Come From; What Star Are You From
Screenplay by: Jeong Yoo-jeong (정유정)
Directed by: Pyo Min-soo (표민수)
No. of Episodes: 16
Airing Date in Korea: 2006. 03. 13 ~ 2006. 05. 02

Jeong Ryeo Won as Kim Bok-shil/Lee Hye Su/Lee Hae-rim
Kim Rae Won as Choi Seung-hee
Park Shi-hoo as Han Jeong-hoon
Kang Jeong Hwa as Yoon Mi hyoon


Plot: [MBC Global]
A countryside girl who grew up on a hillside village in Kangwon-do is later found out to be the daughter of a rich family in Kangnam. How lucky! Overnight she has realized every person’s fantasy. But is she really happy? Is she truthfully happy? The goal of this drama is to show how characters that seem like they would never be able to truly communicate with each other start to look at the world from inside the other person’s shoes; the process of how they face difficulties with each other but learn to understand and communicate; the process of how they heal their pain and find themselves. And finally of how they discover in a fun and touching way that everyone in the world, including themselves, can be a hero. Whether you have a lot or not, whether you had a great education or not, whether you’re old or young, whether you have found true love or not…life can still be so lonely and tiring. Becoming an adult means opening yourself to others by finding out that life’s lonely journey isn’t only about you. Those who know this are the ones that can taste the true happiness of love. In the end, everyone’s happiness comes from within their own heart. Our wish is that all people living in this desolate and gray civilization will be able to feel true warmth and happiness spreading through their hearts.

I Say…

Finally, I got to finish watching all the episodes left. This drama reminded me of Full House at one point because they have certain similarities though this one’s a bit too shallow. It was really unclear to me why the mother hates Choi Seung-hee so much even during the time he was still going out with her elder daughter. I found the mother’s behavior very irritating. She’s just too stubborn to be a mother to her own child she hasn’t been with for 20 years. Another character I didn’t like that much would have to be the cousin. I cannot understand too, what her real intention and feelings are towards people involved in the story. Like, is she good or bad…who’s she faithful to? Then she gradually disappears without even giving enough twist to the story.

On the other hand, I love the shift from drama to comedy. There’s a lot of that in more than 16 hours span. A lot of them of course, involved the two characters. Once again, KRW proved that he is a versatile actor. He’s effortless, making all those funny actions whenever he’s with Jeong Ryeo Won. I wonder if they will have a follow up drama in the future.

Wrapping up, I must say that it’s nice enough not to disappoint you. Up to the very end it will surely leave you feeling so in love. There’s no need to worry about mushy scenes because they’re too comic to be mushy. So if you want some shallow love story, see this one and enjoy.

Review: Strawberry On Shortcake [2001]

S.OAlternative Title: S.O.S. / SOS
Format: Renzoku
Episodes: 10
Broadcast network: TBS
Broadcast period: 2001-Jan-12 to 2001-Mar-16

Opening song: Chiquitita by ABBA
Ending song: S.O.S. by ABBA

Production Credits:

Screenwriter: Nojima Shinji
Producer: Ito Kazuhiro
Directors: Doi Nobuhiro, Matsubara Hiroshi (松原浩)
Music: Senju Akira


Takizawa Hideaki as Irie Manato
Fukada Kyoko as Misawa Yui
Uchiyama Rina as Sawamura Haruka
Kubozuka Yosuke as Saeki Tetsuya

Plot: (TBS)
At some point, Irie Manato (Takizawa Hideaki) began to withdraw himself from the world. Even when picked on, it’s not the real Irie, but an act. However one day he meets a strange girl – Misawa Yui (Fukada Kyoko). Yui, who finds the tedium of everyday life unbearable, teases Manato with her almost too upfront and honest manner. Alone and afraid Manato wavers but finds himself drawn to her. But his feelings for Yui are doomed to be unrequited.

I Say…

It was like I just watched Honey & Clover and Wicker Park…it was torture. You know, I can’t imagine falling in love and hurting has all sorts of forms and instances. Strawberry on the Shortcake now belongs to my growing list of weird love stories done for TV/Movie.

S.O.S is not so new to me for I have known about it for ages. I just purposely restrained myself from reading reviews & synopses so as no t to spoil my longing to watch the drama. When my chance finally came, I thought that it was worth the wait. The moment I got to the middle (episode 5), I started tor read the comments and some of the synopses just to give myself some more suspense. It turned out that S.O.S also had quite a number of critiques.

Now I’m actually one of them. I had second thoughts of proceeding with it because at some point I was already beginning to feel sad for Manato. Then I reconsidered and said that how it will end matters more than how it began. (I learned that after watching Wicker Park long ago.) Now that I’ve finally got myself out of the tortuous viewing, I can slowly absorb S.O.S’ happy ending. Manato was always ending his narration with the phrase ” And because of that I will never forget you…”. You can’t blame me for guessing that maybe Yui might die or end up with Saeki or someone else in the end! OK, so much for spoilers… Just bear in mind that it was still Manato & Yui during the few seconds remaining on the display (I always display the number of seconds/minutes left every time I watch DVDs).

Despite negative comments about the entire story and calling it useless, I’m still convinced that it was intentional to deceive the audience, letting them share the sadness and then leave them feeling satisfied in the end. There are worse plots if you would ask me, and I think S.O.S is just fine. I personally do not think that it’s senseless in any way, because it actually opened my eyes to endless possibilities or ways of falling in love, discovering one’s feeling for another and letting the person know how you actually feel.

Although Yui succumbed to a painstaking strategy, she and Manato were still able to pull it through. So, being a writer myself…hail to the people who gave life to such a good story. I just hate the part when Yui pretended to be dead… I felt like someone toyed with my emotions when she opened her eyes and gave Saeki and Haruka a peace sign. She’s my least favorite character in the story.It was Sawamura Haruka who acted the real heroine, remaining a faithful friend and a real person in love. (Uchiyama Rina kind of looks like Megan Lai, don’t you think?) As for the two guys…well they did great too. Takezawa Hideaki & Kubozuka Yosuke were convincing actors.

S.O.S is really a “creative” love story It’ll surely leave you feeling like you watched suspense instead of drama. Interesting, isn’t it?

Credits to: JDorama.com: Strawberry On Shortcake