Many interesting things have I been doing lately, including Saiunkoku Monogatari, Romeo X Juliet, Ryusei no Kizuna, They Kiss Again and Hana Yori Dango. Plus some other stuff. Daaaamn. Haha. All in one day. Hey, theres 9 inches of snow on the ground, I’m sick, and I don’t have anything to do anyway.
In my last post I mentioned how terribly off track this blog has gotten, and really, it’s not going to get any more ‘on-track’, but at least I’m actually watching jdramas again. I feel like it’s too late to change the blogs’ name, but its kinda totally wrong. Ah well. I don’t really care. So, to work:
(Story of Saiunkoku)
An enthusiastic friend burned the entire first season onto discs for me, which I never finished watching. So it was included in my goal of “Over winter break, FINISH KUROSAGI. And watch Saiunkoku Monogatari and Romeo X Juliet, since they’re already downloaded.” Anyway, I’m not finished watching it yet, so I guess I won’t give a full on review (I never do anyways. My thoughts are too disorganized and un-critical D:). But I must say, even though it’s not exceptional or anything, I enjoy Saiunkoku a lot. It must be my weakness for period plots.
I do love historic, fantasy, or futuristic worlds. Dystopias, of course, being the best. But back to Saiunkoku. It’s set in a fictional country that seems to be based on China 200+ years ago. Sorry I can’t tell you anything other than such a vague guess as to the time period, but I’m gonna say it really doesn’t matter.
Yes, I know that Shuurei’s hair is annoyingly impossible given the laws of gravity. I’ll just have to deal.
I’m just completely entertained by this series. The characters are pleasant and have personalities; the plot makes sense and holds my interest, barring the occasional side stories; the drawings are acceptable, with nice watercolor pictures of the Chinese-like city; the music is cute (by cute I mean historically accurate) and the theme songs are girly yet not insanely annoying. Lala, this series is so fun! (You know, I can enjoy pretty much anything. But I somehow manage to be picky still. I myself don’t even get it.)
I love the background stuff about the country’s history. I am just so entertained and happy. I can’t wait to see what the second season is like.
ROMEO X JULIET
Right now I’m just so happy in the anime department. I have Saiunkoku Monogatari to lightly entertain me, and I have Romeo X Juliet to give me a little tragedy and depth(ish). I love this, regardless of the flaws I’ve seen, which I will list right now to get them off my back. Its gonna seem like I hate this series, but trust me, I don’t. I’m just being harsh. Okay, so 1): Regarding the actual relationship between Romeo and Juliet. This is the whole basis of the title and much of the plot. So where is it?! How are they connected at all?! All they ever say to each other is… “R-Romeo!” and “…Juliet?!” and then they blush and somehow this adds up to a relationship?! Where’s the passion? 2): Actually, I don’t really have any other problems, so far.
So now to the positive aspects, which are many more!
The Plot. Well DUH. Of course the plot is fantastic, who wrote it again? Was it Shakespeare, one of the most famous people ever? The original plot is obviously gorgeous, but Romeo X Juliet’s plot adaption is extremely entertaining. Even though we all know how it’s going to end, RxJ manages to recapture your interest by making this be Romeo and Juliet in essence, at that same time completely and decidedly NOT being Romeo and Juliet, and yet still being Romeo and Juliet. You know what, don’t even make me try to put it into words, just go watch it.
The Characters. The set-up of the characters is a bit different, as the Montagues are in power, and the Capulets are subdued; rather than having them just be fighting like babies. Also, several different characters are introduced, and other characters don’t appear until later, aka Tybalt. I actually have no idea where that one is going. I’m only on episode 10 out of 24. So we’ll find out what the hell Tybalt is doing NOT being friends with Romeo eventually. Character development looked like it was going to be nada at first, but now I think Juliet is started to show a bit more of a personality. Can Romeo’s personality be saved? You’ll just have to watch it and see if the director turns out to be good after all. (Made by Gonzo, by the way)
The Setting. I love Neo Verona! I love the flying horses, and the fact that Romeo’s is adeptly named Cielo (Sky).
The Art and Character Designs. Ehhh what do I know about this..; All I can say is the characters’ faces don’t annoy me, +500 points! Juliet’s wig for when she’s “Odin” and a boy is incredibly annoying, but I can live with that. The CG and backgrounds are kinda cool and Scrapped Princess-like. I really like the designs for the Montague and Capulet coats of arms.
The Music …is the pleasant kind that you find yourself singing as you make dinner. And I must add that the Japanese version of “You Raise Me Up” is quite lovely and way better than the original, which I hated. The lyrics are better now, too. ;P The end song is kinda JRock-like, which is nice.
KYAAA I’m excited for the plot! I am SO willing to overlook short-comings for this anime!
Up next is…
RYUSEI NO KIZUNA
All right, so I was indeed quite put off by the Fall 2008 drama season. A lot. This was the only drama that got me interested, and it’s STILL taken me until December to start watching it. Thank god SARS picked this up, otherwise I might NEVER have watched it. (I love SARS. Thank you SO MUCH for Hana Kimi, HanaDan, Nodame Cantabile and like 5000 more!)
Ummm what can I say. I’m thinking this drama might pull a Kurosagi and turn episodic, thereby making me extremely sad and incapable of ever finishing it. (WHY IS IT that I just cannot get myself to finish watching Kurosagi? Why?). Of course, I hope it doesn’t. Even though there are some weird comic moments that are almost out of place, espcially with Ninomiya, who plays the oldest brother out of 3 siblings whose parents were murdered. Is Nino just completely un-funny? He seem so awkward in comedy scenes. I can’t tell if it’s his character, or if he just cannot act in comedies.
Anyway, kind of scattered plot but its holding my interest for now so I’ll keep downloading and follow it. There’ll be more later.
THEY KISS AGAIN – Episode 2
This is just going to be an awful rant about how unhappy I am about episode 2 of the sequel to ISWAK, the best TWdrama out there that I’ve ever heard of.
Okay, so to set things straight: YES I really enjoyed ISWAK, even though I think the cinematography was about as bad is it gets (I’m wrong there, in They Kiss Again its worse), the plot and characters were shallow (thats usual for a TWdrama though), and I was never sure whether Xiang Qin and Jiang-taitai’s crappy taste in EVERYTHING from plaster figurines to over-the-top lace to cutesy stuffed things was a joke or for real. (as far as I can tell from TKA, it’s real. OH the horror).
The sequel, They Kiss Again, is just so pointless, futile, predictable and torturous, that I can’t imagine how they even filmed it without unconsciously jumping out the window. What the hell is the point of making a show about life after marriage? Who wants to watch someones’ marriage fall apart, come back together, then watch them not trust each other, become suspicious, cry and whine about it? And if there was a point to making a show about life after marriage, it would be because the show is deep, and characters are profound and you actually comprehend how they can possibly think in the way that they do. Which does NOT describe TKA. And then if its that bad, WHY make every episode 80 minutes long? It dragged on forever and ever. And half of that time was spent fawning over the Jiang’s new house which was decorated with more plaster figurines, kitschy family photographs, and way larger than life pictures of babies; in frilly pink lace and satin and way larger than life pictures of Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu kissing.
Whew. And if all that doesn’t tell you how disappointed I am, I have absolutely no idea what will.
Thank god for Hana Yori Dango! Even the melodrama of the final episode was enough to beat back the pain I experienced from watching They Kiss Again. That wrapped up my rewatching of Hana Yori Dango for the Holiday season. I’m considering rewatching Hana Yori Dango Returns as well, seeing as I remember like none of it. Guess what elseeeee? Hana Yori Dango Final was released on DVD on the 19th and soon SARS will be subbing away!!!!!!
Ahhhh that was long. But wait! There’s more!
After this sad and forlorn Fall season, I’m hoping for a little better in Winter 2009. So far what has me interested is Kami no Shizuku, with Kamenashi Kazuya – about wine, will probably try to be profound; and a slightly trashier-sounding but possibly better Mizushima Hiro drama, yes I know he tends to only be eye candy, but this could be funny: ‘Mei-chan no Shitsuji’, or Mei’s Butler. Hopefully they won’t disappoint.
And moving away from the television genre, we have a very intriguing French book called ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’. I would recommend it to anyone who is disillusioned with the modern world, and who is sophisticated, intelligent and interested in art, culture and philosophy. I’m really enjoying it.
And to wrap this extremely long post about many unrelated things, I have a couple more random statements:
1) I love the movie Ever After, best sappy period romance ever
2) One of these days I’ll write up my ramblings about Scrapped Princess, one of my favorite animes
3) Happy Holidays and thank god the days are finally getting longer again!