Review: Narratage (ナラタージュ)

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Synopsis:
Izumi Kudo agrees to return to her high school to help out the drama club at the request of her old high school teacher and object of her unrequited love. She returns to the club to find her feelings still strong and struggles to move on from her first love but it seems Hayama-sensei harbours the same mixed feelings for Kudo.

Review:
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Rio Shimamoto, the film starts of poignant, poetic and beautifully-shot, evoking feelings of nostalgia and the innocence of an unrequited high school love. Yet despite its high poduction value, the film seems to perpetuate some disturbing messages relating to the forbidden romance between teachers and their students that makes me rethink the value of the film.

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Review: Todome No Kiss (トドメの接吻)

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I first chanced upon Todome No Kiss through Kmuse’s first impressions post on Dramas With A Side Of Kimchi and the I was intrigued by the plot and fresh concept of the show. Not to mention I’ve been looking for a good J-dorama to get me back into the world of doramas which have always held a special place in my heart and Todome No Kiss was exactly the drama I was looking for.

Synopsis:
Dojima Otaro (Yamazaki Kento) doesn’t believe in love and instead makes money his one true goal, in the form of heiress, Namiki Mikoto (Yuko Araki) who is worth 10 billion. But his dreams get disrupted when he is kissed by a mysterious woman and dies. Only to wake up 7 days in the past.

Review:
I seemed to have developed a habit of reimagining plots then getting disappointed when the plot isn’t what I had imagined. I had initially thought the reason why Otaro was being kissed by Saiko (Kadowaki Mugi) was a threat to make him change a new leaf and treat the women better. (I have no idea where I got that idea from lol) But turns out the reason for the deadly kisses are actually more innocent than that. Not that I’m complaining.

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First Impressions – Nirvana In Fire II (琅琊榜之风起长林)Ep. 1 – 10

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Ever since the masterpiece that is Nirvana In Fire, I have been waiting with mixed feelings of excitement and dread when the sequel was first announced. Excitement for more of the visual feast and intricate storytelling that has spoiled me in the first season, and dread for the disappointment resulting from a subpar sequel that has plagued so many other films and dramas from the past (imagine my restlessness in waiting for Legend of Ruyi, sequel to the great masterpiece Legend of Zhen Huan).

But after watching 10 episodes of Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows In Changlin, I think it’s safe to say that the sequel definitely did not disappoint and not seeing my beloved Hu Ge and Wang Kai on screen…isn’t too bad after all.

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Though I wouldn’t say the sequel is bad, it was hard to shake off what I had initially been expecting, having already seen the first season. So here are some of my thoughts and first impressions of the highly anticipated Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows In Changlin. 

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Review: A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好)

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Synopsis:
The story follows the life of Chen Xiao Xi, a high school student as she nurses and chases after (literally) her longtime crush, Jiang Chen, despite his countless rejections. Together with a group of friends, Xiao Xi goes through the ups and downs of family, friendship and young love.

Review:

I know I’m really late in the game since this drama was aired somewhere in November  2017 and it is now 2018. A friend of mine actually introduced this show to me quite early on but I just never got around to seeing it. I was even going to give this show a miss since I’m not really a fan of youth dramas until another friend started raving about this show.

I’m so glad I didn’t end up giving this a miss. In fact I haven’t felt this much for a youth drama in a long, long time. Since most of the time I never actually finish them. Not to mention this drama was so good that when my Dad chanced upon me watching this show, he ended up finishing it way before I did lol. If a youth drama can capture the attention of a 50 year old man and he actually finish it, then you know it’s a good one.

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Thoughts: Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy (九州·海上牧云记)

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Disclaimer: I’m only up to episode 71 at the moment so I can’t give a full review but here are my rants   thoughts.

Disclaimer: Currently at episode 71 and I feel like dropping it…but I’m so close to the finish line. 

Thoughts:
I had really high expectations for this show seeing the high quality cinematography, set, acting, practically everything. I had thought this was going to be the next Legend of Zhen Huan or Nirvana In Fire (at least in terms of C-drama quality) but despite the visual feast and mind-blowing acting that might have carried the series, it finally crumbled beneath its weightless plot and tired storytelling.

The main story revolves around three people. The first being Muyun Sheng, the half-Charmer prince outcast who was prophesied to become the next Emperor and bring destruction on the people. Then there is Muru Han Jiang who has been prophesied to dethrone Muyun Sheng and take over the throne. Problem is, he is the third son of Muru Shuo, great general of the Muru army who abides by the 300 year old promise to protect the Muyun sovereignty. Finally we have Shuofeng He Ye, predicated to be the Iron Wielder who will lead the oppressed people of the Han Prefecture and take down Tian Qi City.

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Flash Review: Go Back Couple (고백부부)

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Synopsis: 
A couple on the verge of divorce goes back in time to their days in college and gets the chance to live their life all over again.

Review:
When I was first introduced to this drama by a friend, I was really attracted by the concept of a couple going back in time to relive their college days. My expectations were quite high with this one despite my constant disappointments with Korean dramas. I was expecting this drama to tackle some pretty complex issues due to the concept of it and well, the drama went beyond what I expected.

The drama tackled many complex issues to do with marriage, love and relationships. Though I think the idea of youth has been romanticised a little too much. For some reason I relate way more with Jin Joo and Ban Do than with the others, and I’m only 23. The drama tackled these issues in such a mature and profound way, especially the way they dealt with Jae Woo’s and Bo Reum’s relationship. It wasn’t pumped with too much fluff nor was it overly dramatised unlike the way other dramas do. It was so sweet watching them struggle through the littlest things in their relationship yet knowing that they’d break up in the future. And I’m glad that they broke up for a legit reason instead of something small as with other “first love” type of relationships. It shows that even first loves aren’t as superficial and fragile as what most dramas seem to portray.

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Review: Once Upon A Time (三生三世十里桃花)

Crystal Liu and Yang Yang in 2017 c-movie Once Upon A TImeSource

I’m so glad I got to catch Once Upon A Time in the theaters since living in Australia meant Asian movies aren’t as popular and hence rarely get screened in the cinemas. Having already seen the incredibly successful Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (and loving it to bits) I grabbed on to the opportunity to see it on the big screen despite having heard some negative reviews about it. In order not to let it disappoint, as most movie adaptions do, I made sure to set my expectations low.

I went in expecting it to be bad, like a Me Before You movie adaptation kind of bad (my standards are sky high) and wow………………….was I disappointed.

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