Attack On Titan – Live Action Character Pics

Haruma Miura as Eren

 

Japanese film news websites Eiga and Sanspo unveiled the first character visuals (including new film-only characters) for the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films. And holy colossal do they look legit. The 3D Maneuver Gear and swords are ON POINT. Be in for some surprising weaponry, however. And a lack of a certain Survey Corps Special Operations Squal Leader, Levi. WHERE IS LEVI?! Ahem.

In regards to cast selection, producer Yoshihiro Sato advised he didn’t pay as much attention to whether or not the cast members looked like the original characters- I guess that means they’re not going to dye Hongo’s hair blond- although I do believe they nailed Mikasa’s look. Kiko Mizuhara is so damn pretty, so here’s to hoping she’s also a badass. According to Sato, through many a discussion with Hajime Isayama (the original creator of Attack on Titan), they went with actors who could act out the “characters’ spirits.” I dig it, here’s to hoping Miura plays Eren with a little less whining though.

Director, Shinji Higuchi, confirmed that there will be two films and that with the supervision of Isayama, the story will be based on the world and characters of the manga, while incorporating new characters and new formidable enemies. Interesting. Yuusuke Watanabe (Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, live-action Gantz, Gantz II: Perfect Answer, 20th Century Boys, Gatchaman) is writing the script, along with Tomohiro Machiyama, friend of Isayama. Surely any friend of Isayama is a friend of ours?

Both films are slated to open next summer. YAASSSS Attack on Titan 2015!!

 

Check out your favs (Hanji looks amaze tbh) below:

Kiko Mizuhara as Mikasa

Okay, so I’m hearing a lot of hoo-hah about ‘isn’t Mikasa supposed to be the only Asian left in the SNK world? She’s the only one who looks the least Asian’. Sure, the manga makes it a point that she is but guys this is a Japanese franchise- find me some white actors who can speak fluent Japanese to play the other characters before you start critizing the casting.

Kanata Hongo as Armin

 

Satomi Ishihara as Hanji

Hanji’s RPG tho’. Wut? Do you reckon (especially with what looks like a tank in one of the photos below) they’ve upped the technology a bit? They still use swords because it’s the easiest to slay a titan with, but perhaps they also have the use of other heavy artillery?

Nanami Sakuraba as Sasha

 

Takahiro Miura as Jean

There are also seven characters that are new to the film versions of the story. According to Sanspo reports Hasegawa’s character Shikishima holds the key to the film’s story as “humanity’s strongest man.” Hmmmmm, check them out below:








Hit us with your thoughts below! Like, love, loathe? If you haven’t read our reviews of the first season check them out here: Part 1 | Part 2.

5 Steps To Having an Awesome #NZSecretSanta 2014 Experience!

#NZ Secret Santa

It’s that time of the year the time when the Twitter folk of New Zealand get their Twitter sleuthing hats on and step up their gift-giving game to partake in ‘NZ Secret Santa’. NZ Secret Santa was started by one @websam in 2010, who wanted to focus only on growing pumpkins and let the cool guys over at NZ Post take the reins in 2012. Since then it’s become quite the organised event with a Santa Storehouse so that you don’t have give out your address willynilly, and an epic elf service that stores the gifts, and only sends out gifts to those Secret Santas who have actually sent a gift! You’ve got to give to receive! And if you don’t give, you still give because the gift that was meant for you goes to Christchurch City Mission. Great huh? Also, NZ Post donates $1500 if there are 1500 participants, $5000 for 5000 signed up participants, or $10,000 if there are 10,000 participants.

So be a sport and sign up and participate because what’s more exciting than spreading some cheer? Other than a new episode of Game of Thrones that is. Seeing as regristrations open tomorrow we thought we’d talk about how to make this year’s #NZSecretSanta an awesome experience, both for returning Santas and new ones.

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Step 1: Follow @nzsecretsanta and Register.

Link your Twitter account to a New Zealand Post online account. It’s easy-peasy, just follow the instructions. Seriously, it’s really easy. Just do as we do.

Mean Girls♥ (Scenes)

Step 2: Tweet! It’s no fun if you’re a Silent Egg.

Just tweet, okay? You can tweet as per usual, if you’re not a prolific tweeter then at least try to make an effort. Hell, tweet about your interests, you can even drop a hint or two if you like, or be as blunt as Jess: “Just because I am an accountant does not mean I want a calculator”. And if you think your tweets are not showing off your personality, add in your personal website, instagram, or links to things you like in your bio. Just keep in mind nobody likes a Demanding Darcy. “I like wacky socks” is good, “GIVE ME WACKY SOCKS” notsomuch.

christmas animated GIF

Oh and remember to use the hashtag: #nzsecretsanta.

Step 3: Stalk Your Recipient Like There’s No Tomorrow.

Get up in there. Obviously we don’t condone actual stalking, because that’s weird and not at all cool, we’re talking getting to know your recipient without alerting them to the fact that you are their Secret Santa. This is where all your days spent online stalking exes, crushes and frenemies come in handy. Don’t act like you don’t do it. But seriously you have to up your twitter stalking game once you find out who you’ve got and Veronica Mars your way into finding out what they like, from links of any websites they have, to their twitter conversations and other online activity. Word of advice, though, don’t start following the person straight away. Stalking is an artform. Put them on a private list or follow a bunch of people using the #nzsecretsanta timeline at once, it’s a great time to get exposed to new tweeters, anyway. Fingers-crossed you get someone fun who hasn’t set their twitter account to private and isn’t a Silent Egg.

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Step 4: Get them a Kickass Gift and SEND IT.

This is important, after you’ve sleuthed to your heart’s content, get around to actually sending your gift to the Santa Storehouse to be processed and sent off to your recipient. Which should be easy because you would have registered and have been told how to do it here. Try to be a bit early, definitely in before the 10th of December, especially if some people may have supplied work addresses and will be on leave nearer to christmas. Giving a gift is a great feeling because you’ll know that your recipient will feel like Glen Coco.

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And your gift doesn’t have to be super expensive to be cool (in fact you’re supposed to keep it about $10 if you’re buying). The best gifts are the thoughtful ones. So be creative and most importantly SEND IT IN. Because if you don’t send it, know that this will be you:

Mean-Girls-Christmas-snapes-family-and-friends-32952149-500-144

Step 5: Tweet About What You Get ^_^

It’s not fun unless we’re all shoving our cool gifts down each other’s throats, in a non-graphic or violent way, so tweet, insta, facebook and snapchat all the photos of the gift your amazing NZ Secret Santa got you. Note that Jess, below, got One Direction stationary instead of a calculator because her teeny bopper personality shined through her tweets.

Once again, remember to use #nzsecretsanta for all them humblebrags, come Christmas it should be the humblebrag hashtag. Unless it winds up being Jaded Central. But let’s not dwell on the (possible) negatives, and pledge as Awesome Secret Santas to follow the 5 Steps to an enjoyable NZ Secret Santa experience.

HAPPY #NZSECRETSANTA 2014!

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Some Key Dates for 2014 to keep in mind:

13 Nov, that’s tomorrow, registrations open.
19 Nov, get in quick because this is when registrations close.
21 Nov, find out who you get to stalk, I mean get to be Secret Santa for.
10 Dec, you need to have your gift sent BY this date.
19 Dec, know that your gift should be on its way!

Best Funny Christmas Gifs for your wishes 2013

Doctor Who Catch-Up Thoughts Part I

Playing catch-ups with the past few episodes of Doctor Who. Episodes 8×05 – 8×07.

Doctor Who 8×05 ‘Time Heist’

There must be some logic, right? Too right, character I didn’t care too much for. Too right. The premise of the episode is somewhat exciting, and things happen -I suppose- but all in all the episode is rather lacking. The storyline doesn’t all converge in a way that feels satisfying and the characters feel somewhat restricted, not sure if due to mind-swipe or my general disinterest in any, if any, character development presented.

You can’t say you didn’t see the whole ‘the Doctor IS The Architect’ twist coming, because well the Doctor’s rather quick to just ‘go with it’ isn’t he? Sure they’re already being chased by security and their memories have gone bye-byes so they appear to have no choice BUT to run, however the fact that he doesn’t really push against The Architect’s instructions seems a bit suspect, no?

Heh, I’ll shuttity up now. F***ity bye.


Doctor Who 8×06 ‘The Caretaker’

Doctor Who, 'The Caretaker'

Oh Doctor, Doctor, Doctor. Tells Clara’s he’s going deeeeeeeep undercover only to turn up at Coal Hill (where Clara and Danny work- also incidentally where the Doctor’s own granddaughter “attended” school) disguised rather poorly as the school’s temp caretaker. It’s hard enough that Clara’s trying to maintain two separate lives, as his companion and as a normal English teacher- who’s got a thiiiiiing going on with the Math teacher (hello again Danny Pink) but when those two lives seemingly collide it pushes her into a comprising position where she’s forced to lie to one of them. Clara thinks she’s got everything underwraps but she does not.

We knew that once the Doctor and Danny (properly) met there was going to be some headbutting, but the Doctor’s continued jibes about PE and refusal to accept that Danny was a math teacher kind of got grating after a while. Don’t get me wrong, the Doctor’s haughty remarks are often on point, but I don’t know it was telling how much he kept chipping away at Danny.

Not that Danny or Clara helped at all. Honestly it was like an episode of who can be the most flawed, Clara’s attempts to lead the double life stretching her thin, the Doctor’s pettiness (although his approval of the bow-tie clad teacher was cute) and Danny’s inability to understand Clara’s relationship with the Doctor. Although to be fair she did have a huge crush on him for most of series seven so…

Epilogue: Promised land? The nethersphere? So all these are hinting to what, exactly? And at what point will the Doctor or Clara find themselves here? Because this arc’s ‘mystery’ is becoming a little less intriquing and a little more annoying. But that could just be me.


Doctor Who 8×07 ‘Kill the Moon’

Literally?

The Doctor can’t take a mean comment back so instead takes Courtney Woods (The Disruptive Influence who snuck aboard the TARDIS and the Doctor said mean things to) on a ride along, to the moon circa 2049 where tumblr is something your grandparents did. We find out that the moon’s an egg and the big decision this week rests on the shoulders of one Clara Oswald, or rather is thrust upon her by the Doctor who checks out- washing his hands of the responsibility of making the call between an innocent life (the moon egg baby thing) and the lives of everyone on earth. Fun fun.

It got a bit serious there, didn’t it? And Clara’s angry outburst at the end at the Doctor, while not completely unwarranted, wasn’t entirely understandable? Almost as obscure as the Doctor’s reasons for gapping it in the first place. In order to address this we need to have a quick look at the Doctor’s relationship with the human race. It’s bumpy at best, he loves us… he loves us not…he saves us…he expects us to save ourselves. Honestly for me the words that echo in my mind when the Doctor pulls a stunt like this isn’t even from an episode of Doctor Who but rather from Torchwood: Children of Earth by Gwen Cooper:

I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn’t. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don’t need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame.

 

But this time it’s the Doctor’s actions that are shameful, because he doesn’t even know why he gapped it. Respect for Clara? Should have just stuck to ‘it was a decision for humans’ buddy. His actions put Clara in a difficult position, in a way that made her question her own morality I suppose. So I guess her outburst is understandable. I mean if she had went with the majority vote she could have justified it with ‘well majority rules’ but would she have been able to live with herself? Would the Doctor have been able to look at her the same way? I can’t say ‘Kill the Moon’ is a solid ep, but it posed some interesting questions- and set up some conflicts that have been brewing for a while. Even if it felt a bit sudden.

All I know is I’m not sure I would have been able to make a decision. Well… that’s not entirely true because them bacteria spiders would have meant we never even find out that the moon’s an egg- because if those things jumped out at me this is what would have happened: Kill it with fire

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Collection 2 (Eps 14-25) | Review

Mikasa, Eren and Armin“To rise above monsters, we have to abandon our humanity.”

Got your Attack on Titan Collection 2 DVD/BluRays? People always rag on dubbed anime but honestly it’s nice not to have to read subtitles every now and then- and if the translation is pretty decent and the voice actors are good then everything should be hunky dory!

Right? Right, now onto the review of the second-half of the first season, shall we? First of all, marathon play is definitely your friend. Because if anything the second half is so much more intriguing than the first as we get into the nitty gritty of everything within and outside the walls, so being able to just experience the entire thing without interruption is such a plus.

Also, if you thought the first half of the season was violent and gory, well wait until you get through the second half. (A lot of us probably couldn’t wait for the dubbed and continued with the subbed only to get confused as to why Armin sounded like a girl, or was that just me?) There’s so much going on, above and beyond Titan take downs- or Titans feasting on humans.

Also more Levi! Seriously. So epic.

Oh and Hanji, one of my favourite characters.

Attack on Titan gives us an almost overwhelming amount of characters, however there’s no difficulty with keeping up with them as they are uniquely characterised, making it easy to recognise a certain character and their motivation (well apart from survival, anyway). What is humanity’s breaking point? The series continues to explore human nature in this anime about what it means to be human in the face of certain death, while still allowing us to ponder the mysteries of the Titans and how they came to be. I’ve heard many call it the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones of anime, in that it’s gritty, addictive and provides an interesting approach to human survival and what people do in order to do just that. Especially when there’s obviously more to be wary of than just Titans, sure Titans are still the biggest problem however humans are just as dangerous. If it were up to Hanji Titans would be considered pets deserving of some slack.

This anime is so addictive, you get through the entire season and mourn the fact there’s still no word on a second season. Especially because there’s little to no, well there’s absolutely no, closure by the end as we’re kind of left on a huge cliffhanger. So huge that I immediately started reading the manga. That cliffhanger’s been explained, sort of, but so much more happens that it’s physically painful to be waiting for the second season which will be made up of the rest of the manga out so far. But don’t let the lack of closure deter you, let it spur you. I encourage you to watch the first season, if not for the excellent animation and original characters, then definitely for the mysteries surrounding the Titans

Check out the trailer for the second half of the (dubbed) first season below:

Persona 4: The Animation Series Collection

The bear puns just HAD to go. The character-focused episodes were life.

I can’t say I liked Persona 4: The Animation from start to finish because I almost didn’t make it past the third episode. However I’m glad I persevered because it got hilarious soon after, it’s safe to say that this anime’s a bit of a slow-starter however once the show gets into its groove and finds its footing it’s easy to become engrossed. Which is lucky because while the anime was pretty and sharp, what was with the bottom half of each person’s face being a shade darker than the top half? It was weird and a bit distracting, luckily you do learn to overlook it.

The story revolves around new kid, Yu Narukami, in the town of Inaba- where a mysterious murders have been taking place. Upon discovering a distorted TV World and acquiring a mysterious power known as “Persona”, Yu and his friends, (Yosuke Hanamura, Chie Satonaka) decide to investigate the murders and save others from being killed. As the show progresses, those rescued also become allies after overcoming their own Shadowselves and gaining Personas of their own, including Chie’s best friend, Yukiko Amagi, delinquent Kanji Tatsumi, idol Rise Kujikawa, and young detective Naoto Shirogane. Together, Yu and his companions face up against the threat of the Shadows whilst also making some YOLO choices.

Where the show focuses on our characters, and less on the Persona “Chosen One” storyline, is where it shines the best. While I can’t attest to whether or not the show was a solid adaptation of the game, as I’ve never played it myself, I can say that the characters are the anime’s best feature. They’re memorable and hilarious, well-rounded and developed. They aren’t just flawed, but confront their flaws and insecurities head on, literally, when faced with their Shadowselves. The murder mystery plot was interesting in that they let it develop and build towards the big reveal, while not becoming so convoluted and bogged down by its own complexity. Well.

Get through the first few establishing episodes because the best the anime has to offer comes after all the setup. I like that it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, also the fantasy elements are interesting- if a bit cumbersome at the start in terms of setting out the story. Fair warning, the show’s a bit R16 aye lol. So uh, yeah.

Stray gif thoughts:

Yu’s deadpanned humour is actually my favourite thing.

Gotta catch ‘em all Cardcaptor Sakura?

 

Also, tomorrow’s the Tokyo Ghoul finale, I believe! Catch it on AnimeLab and then look out for our series review. Still reading the manga, too.

Mockingjay Part One Trailer – “The Mockingjay Lives”

 

OH GOD, IT’S FINALLY HERE.

DEEEEEEEEEP BREATHS EVERYBODY!

WHY ARE WE YELLING?!

Well because the first full-length Mockingjay – Part One trailer has finally been released and it looks absolutely insane! A good insane. I seriously had to restrain myself from screaming when Katniss (my idol) Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) started speaking.

Oh, the feels is strong in this one. I’m expecting great things from this film, and the trailer has already set my standards pretty high. We’re all in this together, guys… So somebody hold me. Because this ish is going to be seriously intense.

You’re lying to yourself if you think you didn’t react the exact same way.

The Korean Drama Takeover

WAE

In July I made the worst (best) discovery I could make, Korean Dramas are addictive. Aigoo, so addictive. I was dragged into the (not so) seedy underworld of KDrama to appease my dongsaeng and stop her nagging (for me to watch just one show with her), so the initial reluctance was strong in this one. However about 10 dramas later, with no end in sight, I can’t really call myself a ‘reluctant’ KDrama watcher anymore, can I? Sure the storylines can be utterly ridiculous and it takes a short while to become accustomed to some cultural aspects (and the subtitles), but before long you realise that the elements are rather formulaic and repetitive so you grasp them more easily- even if they’re so unbelievable you need to fortify the tree branch where you sit suspending your disbelief. They’re ridiculous and melodramatic (sometimes too melodramatic- hello makjang), with moments of pure poignancy often interspersed (thankfully) with heavy amounts of humour. Not to mention the copious amounts of eye-candy (lol SUFBB pun!). You’ll be thankful for the the fact that the shows are often contained within a single season, of about 13-20 episodes, that typically wraps up by the finale with plenty of closure.

Well, save for the occasional, yet extreme, Second Lead Syndrome (SLS) you’re left with. The music is another monster altogether in that I went into KDramas not much of a KPop listener but now have over 300 Korean songs on my iPod. Halp.

So let’s take a look at what I’ve (binge) watched so far over the past two or so months. If you’ve seen the shows I’m about to go in on, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you think I’ve gone mad, follow me down the rabbit hole so that I can make my case. I’m just hoping that forming somewhat cohesive thoughts and writing them down will prove therapeutic and thus help me to work through this addiction. Because it’s affecting my TV-watching habits, big time.


  To The Beautiful You (2012)

http://i7.minus.com/iksg6r5vSGAjL.jpg

I’m slightly (read as really) embarrassed that this show was my introduction to Korean Drama. Based on a Japanese manga, Hana-Kimi, TTBY made me so angry. I mean, I just couldn’t get over the main female character’s motivation in life. Disguising yourself as a boy to get into an all-boys school in order to help your idol- who’s basically just got the yips after recovering from an injury- with no other aspirations is kind of saddening. I think SM (Kpop Idol Manufacturers? I’m still new to the entire operation lol) just decided to produce the drama, any drama, as a way of making more moolah off their assets, in this case Sulli of f(x) and Minho of SHINee.

While I understand that the character’s motivation in the manga is the same, surely they could have had the writers give Jae-hee (Sulli) another motivating factor to drive her. Give her a reason to want to wake up in the morning other than to be there to whisper-shout ‘FIGHTING!’ at Tae-joon (Minho). Also she was kind of a shitty friend to anyone who wasn’t Tae-joon. Cha Eun-gyul (the magnificent Lee Hyun-woo) deserved better, we all did. Eun-gyul may have been one of the more complex characters the show had to offer- tied with Min Hyeon-jae (Kang Ha-neul).

It could have just been Hyun-woo’s acting (he’s really amazing in Secretly, Greatly btw), especially in the second half of the show, however he was much more of a complex character than Jae-hee. Dude portrayed a guy super confused about his sexuality so well. Hell Tae-joon’s athletic rival Hyeon-jae (whose conflict stemmed from being a poor scholarship student battling self-esteem issues whilst trying to make it as a high-jumper in order to better his family’s quality of life) was more of a complex character than Jae-hee. Hyun-woo was a standout, for reals. Gah, the adorbs- the feels, the SLS.

So the fact that we had some gems in such a trainwreck of a show really ground my gears, like to the point that I was constantly ready to throw things ALL THE TIME. ALL THE DAMN TIME. I know what you’re thinking, ‘well sheesh if you hated it that much why’d you keep watching?’ I don’t know, I guess I hate-watched the whole thing. Fine, that’s not completely true; I liked a few characters’ shirtless scenes too much to abandon them and I wanted to see how it would end- which was lamely I might add.

16 (hour-long) Episodes in (approx) Five Days


Boys Over Flowers (2009)

And yet I started another show right after. Again I’m really embarrassed here, but let’s just blame it all on my sister. Now what should we say about Boys Over/Before Flowers? Firstly, it’s another Japanese manga (Hana Yori Dango) adaptation, although I suppose it was slightly better in terms of female character development. Slightly. Basic rundown, poor spunky girl attends super-exclusive high school for the rich on scholarship (for reasons) and has a run in with the big dawgs on campus who call themselves the F4. Fab 4? Fantastic 4? Flower 4? I can’t remember what the F stands for. Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho), Yoon Ji-hoo (Kim Hyun-joong), So Yi-jeong (Kim Bum), and Song Woo-bin (Kim Joon) are the top dogs of the school (because their families are the richest) and no one, not the teachers, other students, general members of the public, dare challenge them. No one, that is, except Jan-di, spunky poor girl (Ku Hye-sun). There’s so much cringe that goes on, but each actor commits to their role like nobody’s business. Them cardboard kisses tho’. While I found Jan-di refreshingly, especially following on from Jae-hee’s lacklustre existence, spirited at the start. I mean them high kicks and punches were ace.

But unfortunately she kind of started to dim a bit towards the end and MAN WHY DIDN’T ANYTHING BAD EVER HAPPEN TO THE DOUCHES OF THE BOF WORLD?! Catty chicks do shitty things and all that happens to them is angry glares from main characters, horrid parents continue on their horrid lives as horrid people with no repercussions because- why? WAE? But, as you’ll find with the four out of five Korean dramas you watch, it all manages to tie up nicely and happily come the final episode- well DURING the final episode. This drama did its best to bring the SLS, especially towards the end, but I’m thinking Jan-di really dodged that bullet.

25 (hour-sometimes longer-long) Episodes in (approx) Six Days. Made worth it by hilarious moments like this. Smooth, Gu Jun-pyo, so smooth.


 Personal Taste (2010)

Heh, hot off the heels of BoF I started this show about an uber-clean architect named Jeon Jin-ho (oh hey, Lee Min-ho!) who gets mistaken for a gay guy by down-on-her-luck Park Kae-in (Son Ye-jin). In order to win the favor of the Dam Art Center director, and win a moneymaking project bid, Jin-ho has to get the skinny about the art center director’s favorite building: Sanggojae, which has never even once been opened to the public. Coincidentally, the Sangojae is Kae-in’s home, Kae-in’s in search for a new roomie for reasons that should you should watch rather than read about (hint: whatever happened to sisters before misters?) and agrees (with much persuasion from her crack up bestie Lee Young-sun, played by Jo Eun-ji) to rent the room to Jin-ho.

Only because, after more than one scene of hilarioussss misunderstandings, they’re both under the impression that he’s gay. As it’s the only way he can study the house, and because his own friend basically pushes him into it, Jin-ho goes with it. Hilarity, and way too much heartache for a show that was meant to be nothing but lulz, ensues.

16 (hour-long) Episodes in (approx) Four Days. Also Kae-in laying down some realness:


 City Hunter (2011)

Let’s say I went on a bit of a Lee Min Ho-binge, also- City Hunter was awesome. A revenge story to the very end with many twists, turns and dramatic reveals along the way. Intense, action-packed (man do I love fighting scenes) and funny with enough cliff hangers and near misses to guarantee at least one heart attack an episode. Until you’re almost at the end you’re constantly thinking ‘what kind of logic?!’ in regards to Lee Yoon-sung’s (Lee Min Ho) adoptive father, Lee Jin-pyo (Kim Sang-joong). I get it man, you were wronged by your own government but your methods… we need to talk about your methods. That’s where Yoon-sung comes in, raised by Jin-pyo to take revenge on the government officials that killed Jin-pyo’s bestie (Yoon-sung’s bio-dad). But they seem to disagree, naturally, on their methods of revenge-scheme execution.

The show runs the risk of becoming too convoluted but it’s saved by a great cast with good chemistry- and awesome fight scenes. I can’t stress enough how much action sequences, well-executed action sequences, make me happy. Even if I’m on the edge of my seat fearing for my bbs lives. Including secondary characters like, Kim Young-joo (Lee Joon-hyuk) our long-legged ahjussi prosecutor who brought the SLS and broke our hearts in the process and the hilarious mother-hen-like Bae Man-duk/Bae Shik-joong (played by Kim Sang-ho).

 
Also how awesome is Kim Na-na, played by Park Min-young? Not only is she independent, with her own motivations and aspirations in life, she kicks butt on the reg. Holy agency, batman! I mean she’s working extra jobs to pay for her dad’s hospital bills, which isn’t really allowed when you’re a bodyguard at the Blue House and this causes problems for her in the course of the drama but she works through them on her own- mostly. You’ll find that three out of five kdrama main female protagonists are dirt poor.

20 (hour-long) Episodes in (approx) Four Days…worth it. Even if the ending was a tad lukewarm.


Secret Garden (2010)

This fantasy drama was suggested by a friend who said I’d love it and she was right. (Sidenote I used to mock/become irritated with when she couldn’t discuss mutual shows due to watching KDrama, in hindsight I was harsh and I take it all back. Because I understand now. Oh how I understand now.) Secret Garden revolved around a badass stunt-woman Gil Ra-im (the brilliant Ha Ji-won) who has the misfortune of crossing paths and making an impression on the arrogant uptight CEO Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin). Bing bang bosh and somehow Ra-im finds herself in Ji-won’s body and vice versa, we know how they got that way (although we don’t know the whys) but they don’t and their body-swap scenes breeds all kinds of hilariousness. However that doesn’t mean this drama didn’t throw some absolutely heart-wrenching moments at us, like WAE? At many points you’re left wondering whether the universe could BE more mean? Which is a mistake because the universe responds with a resounding ‘yes’.

The leads have some excellent chemistry, and the supporting cast were just as awesome. Sure at times you wanted Ra-im to properly maim Joo-won, like actually- him and his super annoying mother. Ugh chaebol families. There were some problematic moments of seemingly unwanted skinship that had you questioning why you were shipping it ever-so-slightly, just because you weren’t sure how the show was handling a person’s right to certain boundaries. Oh and some explanations were rather wishy-washy, hinging a lot on fate and whimsical fantasy and whatnot. However Hyun Bin and Ha Ji-won’s acting soon made you forget the troublesome scenes and focus on the funny. Because Hyun Bin’s portrayal of Gil Ra-im stuck in his body was so awesome to watch, and Ha Ji-won’s mastery of Joo-won’s facial expressions were epic.

20 (hour-long) Episodes in (approx) Four Days because there’s no such thing as moderation.

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 The 1st Shop Coffee Prince (2007)

You wanna talk about chemistry? Let’s talk about Yoon Eun-hye and Gong Yoo’s chemistry in Coffee Prince. Because daaaaamn. Go Eun-chan (Eun-hye) is often mistaken for a boy- owing to her androgynous looks and boyish behaviour. She’s basically the head of her family because her dad passed away, her mum’s a bit shit with money and her little sister is well, her little sister. After (a few) run-ins with an immature but attractive rich guy- Choi Han-kyul (Yoo) who mistakes her for a boy and asks her to pretend to be his boyfriend to get out of the blind dates his grandmother keeps setting him up on. Han-kyul’s grandmother makes him manage a coffee shop, Eun-chan continues lets Han-hyul think she’s a guy so she can work there- the shop’s concept is ‘princes’. Of course they start to have proper love-like feelings for each other, and Gong Yoo plays an incredibly compelling man confused about his feelings for someone he thinks is a guy- when he’s pretty sure he’s not gay.

The fleshed out characters really make this show so addicting and the writing meant the story never waned and can I just say it was nice not to hate a single parental figure? Because up until now there have been nothing but evil chaebol relatives who seemed to have but one dimension. However we have here an irritating at times but well-meaning mum, and a stern matriarch who doesn’t immediately hate our female lead obstinately- granted she doesn’t know Eun-chan’s a girl at first.

17 (hour-long) Episodes in Four Days.


 Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012)

The feels were strong in this one. Don’t let the name fool you, sure there were pretty flower boys but they were so much more than that, this show was so much more than that. Much like its main characters, the show was rather gritty and unrelenting with solid acting, writing and directing. I could watch this band of misfits forming their own family all day. The drama revolved around them as a group however allowed us to see them develop as individuals- with the core relationship of the band-members shoving romance to the side a bit. Which was actually rather refreshing. The show handled their characters well, although there was a touch of noble idiocy-syndrome towards the end, it wasn’t to the extent that made you want to scratch the inside of your eyes out.

Lee Min-ki’s cameo was all shades of amazing, I wish we could have gotten more but that’s pure selfishness on my part because the show really was great the way it was. Even if it meant a whole lot of anguish early on in the drama for our boys. Roll-call? We had Singer/guitarist, Ji Hyuk (Sung Joon) living on his own (because his blood-relatives were dicks) and is, after we bid farewell to Byung-hee (Lee Min-ki), the one holding it down for the team. Guitarist Hyun Soo (L) has an initially icy demeanour and temper but is loyal to a fault and the way he looked after his sister was so cute. Do II (Lee Hyun Jae), the silent seemingly easy-going drummer who doesn’t say much- quietly observing. Ha Jin (Yoo Min Kyu), the skux playboy and bassist, and Kyung Jun (Kim Min Suk), kitten and keyboardist, have the best friendship- it’s better shown than described.

The female characters were also well-written and developed, Im Soo-Ah (Jo Bo-ah) goes through her own problems and comes out a stronger person as a result. At the start you’re not sure what to make of her as she’s seen through the adoring eyes of Byung-hee. However as the show progresses you find that she’s more complex than you initially give her credit for as she picks up odd jobs and carries on with life without much complaint despite the crap the universe hands her- while not being a complete doormat. Although Bang Woo-kyung (Kim Jung-min) did get on my nerves a lot, you had to admire her loyalty- even if it felt like she really didn’t know how to take a hint. Everyone loves an underdog story and that’s what SUFBB gave us, in droves. Our pretty punk-rock flower boys were likeable, even when they were being stupid (they were teenaged boys), and it just made you root for them even more.

16 (hour-long) Episodes (of Bromance) in Four Days.


My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho (2010)

Up until now I’d been marathoning one show at a time, however it was at this point that I started watching multiple shows at once (My GF Is a Gumiho & Reply 1997). Bad enough that I was binge-watching Kdramas and completely ignoring everything else (family, friends, other TV shows …life in general) in the process, but suddenly I wasn’t even content to marathon just one at a time. MGIAG was, I was told, required kdrama watching for any newbie drama watcher. The show is all parts adorable and hilarious with occasional sad-making moments. Cha Dae-woong (Lee Seung-gi), is an aspiring actor who accidentally releases a none-tailed fox spirit/gumiho, played by Shin Min-ah, from a painting she was trapped in for 500 years. She saves his life by putting her fox bead in him, and she follows him back to where he’s staying. Even though he’s initially scared shitless when he realises she’s not kidding about being a gumiho and is an asshat, he starts to develop feelings for her. Although it took him long enough to stop being a little gutless butt for a bit- honestly the amount of times I wanted to shake him. Mi-ho, as she comes to be known, is so adorbs.

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Her childlike wonder at the world is so endearing, there wasn’t a moment where she annoyed me- well save for a touch of noble idiocy she displays. No Min-woo’s Park Dong-joo brought the SLS early on in the drama, however once Dae-woong started acting like a person and not like a little batch you realise you shipped the endgame so much it hurts. My only problem with this show was how angsty it got towards the end- I was left wondering where my light-hearted adorable fantasy romcom went and when was it replaced by TEARS.

16 (hour-long) Episodes in Three Days. HOI HOI.


Reply/Answer Me 1997 (2012)

Where do I even begin? This drama was just so awesome, from all the 90s nostalgia it gave me (yes, a lot of it was specific to South Korea but 90s nostalgia is still 90s nostalgia) to the well-developed characters and situations that had me laughing out loud. Reply 1997 followed the lives of a group of friends in Busan, as the timeline moves back and forth between their past as 18-year-old high schoolers in 1997 and their present as 33-year-olds at their high school reunion dinner in 2012, where one couple will announce that they’re getting married. You’ll find yourself caring about each character as much as the next, even the side ones. Sung Shi-won (Jung Eun-ji) is a crazy fangirl of the boyband H.O.T who’s all shades of sassy and hilarious (her relationship with her parents, especially her dad, is honestly soooo crack up) and Yoon Yoon-jae (Seo In-guk) is her oldest friend- the boy next door who’s the top of the class and in love with her. Man I shipped them so much, the chemistry was insane, too. However the rest of main characters were just as awesome.

Kang Joon-hee (Hoya) Yoon-jae’s best friend, who’s the kindest most adorable character, second only to Mo Yoo-jung (Shin So-yul) Shi-won’s best friend. Do Hak-chan (Eun Ji-won) is that new kid who’s transferred from Seoul- the guys all think he’s the man due to his sporting skill, Seoul accent and large porn collection, but it’s hilarious that Hak-chan can’t talk to actual girls. Then there’s that friend of the group, Bang Sung-jae (Lee Si-eon) who talks more than a scolding ahjumma. Shi-won’s parents, especially her dad, were so brilliant. So much laughter was had because of Shi-won’s interactions with her dad.

Her haircut-punishment was SO Samoan btw, my mum threatened to cut my hair like that all the time when I was growing up. This drama made me laugh so much, not even kidding. The comedic timing (I don’t even want to know what was up with the goat/sheep sounds) was on point. However this doesn’t mean it didn’t bring the feels because holy-crap did it get so intense at times. When it brought the feels it really piled it up onto your plate and slapped you in the face with it.

Yoon-jae’s relationship with his hyung, Yoon Tae-woong (Song Jong-ho) was also well-written, if complicated because of that pesky triangle thing they just had to do. But this show offered some great pearls of wisdom while granting us access to complex, realistic and likeable characters. It was kind of difficult to watch something else afterwards, and I especially didn’t want to watch the 2013 follow up Reply/Answer Me 1994 for fear of it not living up to Reply 1997. Might give Reply 1994 a go somewhere down the line, however. I’m all about giving things chances. Although if it drags out the ‘who’s she with’ storyline longer than Reply 1997 did- I’ll be annoyed. Like kick-someone in the face, annoyed.

14 (Half-hour) Episodes and 2 (hour-long) in One Day- so SO worth it. If not for the the awesome storyline, lovable characters and well-developed story than for the fact that we’ve all been that crazy fangirl/boy at some point in our lives. Also, the mortification in the following scene gave me such life.


 You’re All Surrounded (2014)

Ragtag team of rookie cops (all the bromance, budding romance, hilarious hijinks times) in Gangnam with a gruff team-leader and some revenge-plot/seedy tragic backstories thrown in for good measure? Count us in! Also Lee Seung-gi (My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho) as a broody rookie, Eun Dae-gu, with a chip on his shoulder? Awwww yeah. This cast made me so happy, they worked so well together- even if the writing wasn’t that great. The story got bogged down by the most annoying villain ever and the never-ending storyline behind getting to them but it also gave us some complex characters that gave me such feels. Chief Kang (Seo Yi-sook) for example, deeply flawed but only trying to reach a noble goal to the end. Initially brusque, Seo Pan-seok (Cha Seung-won) and the nicer Lee Eung-do (Sung Ji-roo) made just the best surrogate cop parents for our rookies. And our rookies, lmao Soo-sun (Go Ara) applied seven times before being accepted into the police academy and is the only female in the new recruits, Tae-il (Ahn Jae-hyun) is super skux- according to my nephew- and Ji Gook (Park Jung-min) the geeky, talkative one who joined because he wanted to live in Gangnam? Hahaha. And of course the prickly Dae-gu who joins the force to try to get justice for what happened to his mum.

Unfortunately my nephew developed a liking for this one (said it had a Brooklyn Nine Nine feel to it) and so it took a bit longer to watch. Heeeh, we managed to rope a nephew into our KDrama ring- not a ring if it’s just two people and it’s still not one with just three YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Fun fact, my nephew’s second favourite Korean actor is Lee Seung-gi, with his first being Lee Jong-suk (I Hear Your Voice) who he thinks is ‘skux’ after watching Young Hot Bloods, according to my nephew he’s going to be like Jong-suk’s YHB character and get all the girls.

20 (Hour-long) Episodes in Two Weeks (it was actually rather excruciating having to exercise restraint). *Slow-mo walks out*


The King 2 Hearts (2012)

Lee Seung-gi again, heh. But also Ha Ji-won (Gil Ra-im from Secret Garden!) too! Set in an alt reality where modern-day South Korea is governed by a constitutional monarchy Lee Jae-ha (Seung-gi) is a crown prince (later king) who doesn’t care about politics or being the second in line to the throne. Lee Jae-kang (Lee Sung-min), the current king, tricks him into joining a joint military collaboration with North Korea as a means to help “make him grow up.” Can I say their relationship was my favourite? Because honestly so cute. At the joint military raining Jae-ha meets Kim Hang-ah (Ji-won), a North Korean Special Forces Officer who is SO AWESOME. She was strong but also a girl in that she doesn’t allow the fact that she’s this super soldier stop her from getting what she wants or liking girly things (omg her fangirling over Hyun Bin’s billboard was the best).

Jae-ha’s character was slightly reminiscent of Dae Woong from My Girlfriend is a Gumiho especially at the start- although he was much more snarky. Our mains are initially antagonistic towards each other, but Jae-ha unwittingly sparks a friendship with Hang-ah and he subsequently falls in love with her. What I liked about this show wasn’t the melodrama and romance, of which there was plenty- or the over the top baddie who I wished would walk off a cliff- but the way Jae-ha’s growth was portrayed. He developed from reluctant royal to responsible king but not without a fair share of mistakes. A testament to Seung-gi’s acting. Also, the second leads (most of the secondary characters really) were amazing and I loved not having to worry about SLS- for the most part. But dear lord the angst was strong in this one, and the tears. How I loved Jo Jung-suk as Eun Shi-kyung, his bromance with Jae-ha gave me life…so you can understand how torn up I was about that ending. But if we, the fans, were so heartbroken over it imagine how Princess Lee Jae-shin felt, Lee Yoon-ji was excellent in the role.

20 (Hours-Long) Episodes in Two Weeks…in which I almost stopped watching because the actors they used for non-Korean roles were so cringey, and not in a haha funny way but in a I CAN’T WATCH ANYMORE I WANT TO HURL MY COFFEE AT THE SCREEN SO BAD SO BAD. Yeah… I can’t say it’ll be one to rewatch for this reason alone. So thank goodness for fanvids.

Currently Watching:

High School King of Savvy/Conduct (2014)

Initially started because Seo In-guk from Reply 1997 is the lead, but I love his family unit and I’m starting to warm up to the main female character.


You From Another Star (2013)

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Loving it so far. Loving it a LOT. I saw The Thieves and thought there needed to be more Yenicall (Jeon Ji-hyun) and Zampano (Kim Soo-hyun) and this show is just everything, okay? Sawrry.


You’re Beautiful (2009)

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Frustrating but hilarious. Ugh so frustrating. Already the SLS is pulling at my heartstrings (which is why I’m going to find and watch Heartstrings after this) not that I don’t like the lead because his bitchface game is strong.


I Hear Your Voice (2013)

I’ve only seen the first ep so far but you know I’m hooked. Also Oska and Tae-sun reunion? Heh my sister shipped them in Secret Garden so much.


So that’s it, that’s my rambling about Kdrama done! Unless you want more, maybe on a less uhm grand scale because whoa this was a lot to get out. Also, I’m not sure how much this helped my addiction. Because if anything I want to consume more kdrama to see just how many characters in kdramaland are lacking in peripheral vision.