Marry Me, or Not? (2015) – First Impressions

Marry Me, or Not? is a Taiwanese romance comedy drama. I am currently on episode 6.

Synopsis

I haven’t read a synopsis that actually tells you about the plot so here’s what happens:

Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan’s rivalry dates back to 10 years ago. At a class reunion, Hao Sheng Nan tells everyone that a man named Justin is her boyfriend. Justin is actually her older brother.

When Hao Sheng Nan’s finds out that Cai Huan Zhen is about to marry her relative, she schemes to make her look bad at her wedding. To her surprise, Cai Huan Zhen calls off the weddings and vows to take revenge.

Not only does Cai Huan Zhen start working at Hao Sheng Nan’s workplace, she also plots to steal Justin, “Hao Sheng Nan’s boyfriend,” away from her. Justin has his own motives for “dating” Cai Huang Zhen…

Thoughts

These two women are so petty! All of the main characters are power-driven and Cai Huan Zhen admits to being a b*tch in the first episode. I’ve seen far too many dramas of an “evil” character scheming against the innocent and naive character. In this drama, both women are horrible. That’s what makes this drama so much fun to watch.

Although these characters have pretty bad personalities, you can’t help but love them. Justin is charming, Cai Huan Zhen is smart and knows what she wants, and Hao Sheng Nan is hard-working. I think that deep down, they have big hearts.

The scenes between Cai Huan Zhen and Justin are hilarious. They both have their reasons for dating each other, as they are both cunning people. I haven’t laughed this hard while watching a drama in a long time. They have amazing chemistry, though.

Episode 1 screencaps:

Cai Huan Zhen and Justin’s first meeting as strangers and they are already arguing.

Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan show up at the class reunion with the same outfit…

Same outfit again.


Episodes with English subtitles are on YouTube. I recommend it.

C-Drama Boyhood (2017): Mid-Series Impressions

Where is the baseball??

Synopsis: Ban Xiao Song is passionate about baseball, but his school’s baseball team is terrible. They miserably lose against a rival school. To make matters worse, Ban Xiao Song’s baseball team gets disbanded due to a lack of funds. Wu Tong from the rival school transfers to Ban Xiao Song’s school and together, they try to start up the baseball team again. Along the way, they try to recruit Yin Ke and other classmates.

Episodes watched: 19/39

Thoughts: I started this series because of the cast. The baseball coach is played by Chinese singer Joker Xue and the three main characters (Ban Xiao Song, Wu Tong, and Yin Ke) are from the boy group, TFBoys. Joker Xue and TFBoys are incredibly famous in China. Danson Tang, another popular celebrity, plays one of the teachers.

There are two main storylines in this drama:

  1. Ban Xiao Song recruits classmates to help him start the baseball team again. It focuses on his friendships with Wu Tong and Yin Ke.
  2. Tao Xi (the baseball coach and gym teacher) and his rivalry against An Mi, the new staff member at school, who is also his next door neighbour. We also see his home life with Guo Guo, the child he takes care of.

I’m loving this series. However, I have one complaint and it’s a big one. Where is the baseball?? I’ve seen half of the series and the first episode showed us the most baseball. There hasn’t been any matches after that.

It made sense for the start of the series to focus on friendships. After all, the baseball team got disbanded and the friendships between the main characters were not formed yet. It also made sense for the characters to work through their issues first. However, I expected a focus on baseball once these things were all taken care of.

Instead, the story then focuses on a girl classmate (who is not on the baseball team) in love with a celebrity (also not on the baseball team). What does this have to do with baseball? This drama seems more like a teacher-student series like Great Teacher Onizuka, Gokusen, or Assassination Classroom instead of a sports series, except Tao Xi isn’t as involved in the students’ lives.

One thing I like about the Chinese drama, The King’s Avatar, is that there is a really good balance between friendships and gaming throughout the show. After all, the series is about a E-sport team. Since this drama is about a baseball team, it should have more baseball scenes, shouldn’t it?

I’m going to continue watching this drama because I’m still enjoying it regardless. Hopefully there will be more baseball.


I’m watching this series on the official YouTube channel. Only the first two episodes have English subtitles.

Review: Someday or One Day (2019)

In my last post, I reviewed a drama and gave it a lower rating. I thought that I would review an amazing drama this time. Someday or One Day is a Taiwanese drama.

Synopsis

Huang Yu Xuan is a 27-year-old woman who misses her boyfriend Wang Quan Sheng, who went missing two years ago. She is unable to accept that he is gone and is still searching for him. One day, she receives a walkman and cassette from a mysterious sender. As she listens to the music, she wakes up in the year 1998. She is now a 17-year-old girl named Chen Yun Ru, who looks exactly like her. In Chen Yun Ru’s body, she meets a schoolmate who looks exactly like her missing boyfriend, except… he’s not her boyfriend. His name is Li Zi Wei!

Huang Yu Xuan soon discovers that Chen Yun Ru will die in the year 1999. She needs to find a way to prevent Chen Yun Ru’s death before she dies in her body.

Thoughts

Three words: Just watch it.

For you anime fans out there, I know what you might be thinking. It’s kind of like Erased, right? Kind of! It’s different from Erased in some ways because Huang Yu Xuan goes into someone else’s body instead of her own. I think that this is really unique. There is also a heavy romance component in Someday or One Day, which is done extremely well.

You’ll most definitely like this series if you like the Taiwanese movies, Our Times and You Are the Apple of My Eye.

What I like about this drama is that it is not predictable. As someone who has watched a lot of anime and Asian dramas, I can practically guess how shows will end. This drama kept me on the edge of my seat.

When I watched the first episode, I felt like I was watching a movie. The cinematography is on-point, the music is memorable, and the acting is realistic. I felt very emotional and balled my eyes out… just by the first episode.

This drama covers mature themes so I wouldn’t recommend it to younger audiences. It covers topics that are taboo in Asian culture and you don’t see many dramas talk about these topics.

As mentioned earlier, the music is memorable. The songs are so good. A lot of the scenes are pleasing to the eyes and look really aesthetic.

Final verdict: 9.5/10 This is hands-down one of the best Asian dramas I’ve seen.

Note: There is an extra scene on YouTube, which is meant to be watched once you have completed the series. Be sure to watch it after you’re done!

Review: My Fantastic Mrs Right: Season 1 (2020)

Episodes watched: 6/12

Synopsis: Mi Xiao Qi drops from the sky and lands in Bei Yue Kingdom of Kun Peng Continent. She’s a young woman, except she’s turned into a fat cat. When she transforms back into her human form, she must meet her fated lover and make him fall in love with her. Together with her fated one, they must find the four pieces of the magical jade. Otherwise, she will die!

Thoughts: This kind of drama seemed like my kind of show. I really enjoyed the historical comedy drama, The Eternal Love, so I thought that I would love this one too. The first couple of episodes were funny, but it became less funny later on.

My main problem with this drama is that there is no flow. The writing is all over the place. Things progress quite quickly and it seems so unrealistic. I feel like the characters do have good chemistry, but the drama does not do a very good job at portraying that. I understand that this drama is meant to be fun and silly, but the flaws take away from the enjoyment of the show.

On the flip side, I really like the characters. Xiao Qi in her cat form is adorable. The idea of the drama is hilarious, but the execution was poorly done.

Final verdict: 6.5/10 Dropped.

Thank you, The Untamed

I recently finished the Chinese drama, The Untamed. I’ve watched many Asian dramas. According to MyDramaList, I’ve watched over 1000 episodes. Most of the time when I finish a drama, I just move on and watch the next thing… but I have to write about The Untamed. The Untamed is an exceptional drama. I give it 10/10.

Throughout my life, I’ve heard people talk about shows in a negative light.

“It’s just a show.”

“Everything is fake.”

“Watching TV is a waste of time.”

It’s really not just a show. I think that we all know that dramas are fictional. Is there anyone who doesn’t know this? I think that people who really appreciate dramas and anime are cognizant of the amount of time and the effort that went into making the show. Actors, directors, producers, scriptwriters, voice actors, camera crew, costume design team, those who work on the sets, those who work on the props, and subtitles, the editing team, the animation team, the list goes on… Pre-production of The Untamed took two and a half years. Saying that watching TV is a waste of time is almost disregarding all of these things.

The Untamed cast practiced posture, calligraphy, martial arts, musical instruments, and more. Since The Untamed takes place in ancient China, they went through training to learn these skills.

Several of the cast members sang their own character songs. They’re really talented.

  • Wu Ji – sang by Xiao Zhan & Wang Yibo (Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji)
  • Wei Wuxian’s theme song – sang by Xiao Zhan (Wei Wuxian)
  • Bu Wang (Lan Wangji’s theme song) – sang by Wang Yibo (Lan Wangji)
  • Chi Zi (Wen Ning’s theme song) – sang by Yu Bin (Wen Ning)
  • Hen Bie (Jiang Cheng’s theme song) – sang by Wang Zhuo Cheng (Jiang Cheng)
  • Bu Wang (Lan Xichen’s theme song) – sang by Liu Haikuan (Lan Xichen)
  • Gu Cheng (Yi City group’s theme song) – sang by Sun Bolun & Chen Zhuoxuan (A-Qing)

The youth group also sang their theme song. The rest of the character songs are also really nice. I think the songs really convey the characters’ feelings.

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This is not a goodbye post because there’s still the Mo Dao Zu Shi donghua, novel, and manhua. Maybe I’ll rewatch The Untamed one day. I think it will be interesting to compare the different versions. I think that The Untamed did an amazing job at portraying the relationships, given China’s heavy censorship. I think they made it obvious and clear.

Missing: Wei Wuxian nendoroid (It’s out of stock… I really wanted it…)


Full episodes with English subtitles are on Netflix and YouTube.

Recommendations For You

My apologies for not coming out with new cosplays, drawings or reviews. I’ve been busy… watching shows LOL. I’ve been having a great time. I thought I might as well share what I’m currently obsessing over in case anyone wants some recommendations. 

The Untamed (Mo Dao Zu Shi Chinese live-action adaptation)

You can watch The Untamed on Netflix and YouTube. Both have English subtitles. It is based on Mo Dao Zu Shi, which is an extremely popular Chinese webnovel, manhua and donghua. This drama is super popular not just in China, but internationally as well. The webnovel is a Boys Love (BL) story but due to China’s censorship, Wei Wuxian and Lan Zhan are close friends. I wrote this in a review for the donghua (anime), but the story is really compelling. BL is not for everybody but I think that a lot of people can appreciate this series regardless. The cast for The Untamed is really good. They cast the perfect actors for Wei Wuxian and Xiao Xingchen. There is a lot of beautiful scenery from China’s natural landscapes in the live-action and the music is so beautiful (from traditional Chinese instruments). I ordered an acrylic figure a couple of days ago so I’m waiting for that right now hahaha. It is my dream to wear a hanfu and I hope that it will be revived in this generation.

I wish Xue Yang and Xiao Xingchen met under different circumstances… QQ I am more interested in their relationship than Wei Wuxian and Lan Zhan lolol but Xue Yang went too far… 

The King’s Avatar (Chinese live-action adaptation)

The King’s Avatar live-action is on Netflix. It is based on the manhua and donghua. They cast the perfect person for Ye Qiu. Yang Yang is my favourite Chinese actor and his other drama (Love O2O) is one of my favourite Chinese dramas as well. The donghua was amazing but I do like the live-action more, maybe because I am a little biased hahaha. The live-action also introduces a lot of new characters that we never saw in S1 of the donghua.

Super-Vocal (season 1) 

Super-Vocal is a Chinese singing competition but it is different than a lot of other competitions because the contestants are classically trained singers. I don’t think a lot of people know this about me but I love musicals. I’m watching season 1 for Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga. Zheng Yunlong is a professional musical theatre actor from my hometown and Ayanga is a professional music theatre actor of Mongolian descent. Zheng Yunlong said that he joined the competition because he wants more people to know about musicals. I think that’s amazing. Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga met in university and have been friends for over 10 years. I love their bond and they sing so well. QQ

Super-Vocal season 1 ran from 2018 to early 2019. I’m watching the episodes on YouTube. 


Other than that, there is nothing going on with me. I am probably a boring person but I have a lot of passion towards my hobbies lolol. 

The Eternal Love (2017) – Episodes 1-3 Impressions

Title: The Eternal Love/双世宠妃

Release year: 2017

Episode count: 24

I started a Chinese drama called The Eternal Love. It’s not to be confused with Eternal Love or Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, which is an entirely different Chinese drama (the latter is one of my favourite dramas, by the way – go check it out).

In The Eternal Love, Qu Xiaotan from the modern world is isekai’d into historical China. In other words, she time travels and occupies the body of Qu Tan’er, the second daughter of the Qu family. The catch is that whenever she tells a lie, the real Tan’er wakes up from the body. Xiaotan and Tan’er basically switch back and forth and do not retain memories of each other.

Now for the plot. Xiaotan/Tan’er is forced to marry Mo Liancheng, the eighth prince. Xiaotan does not like the idea of marrying a stranger, while Tan’er is in love with Liancheng’s brother, Mo Yihuai. However, she marries him with the intention of spying on Liancheng. Xiaotan is left in the dark about these schemes which is really confusing for Liancheng.

Tan’er is proper and follows the traditional norms of the time period. Xiaotan, on the other hand, is rebellious and unapologetic. She is infuriated that she experiences mistreatment from her father’s consort and that she was forced to marry a stranger. She makes several attempts to return to the modern world.

This drama is hilarious! Xiaotan cracks me up. Since she is a character from the modern world, only we can understand her references to certain things (i.e. the toothbrush, modern slang). Her and Liancheng have great chemistry. He always has her back, cares deeply for her, is good-looking…

I’m definitely going to keep watching because this drama is so funny and because I love both the main leads. A lot of historical dramas have a serious tone to them and they are quite long… Time passes so quickly when I’m watching this drama. For a romantic comedy historical drama, this one is done really well.

Animal World: Kaiji Film Adaptation Review

Animal World (2018) is a Chinese film based on the manga, Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It is on the rock-paper-scissors arc of the manga. As a huge Kaiji fan, I had to watch this film.

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Synopsis: Zheng Kaisi is tricked into shouldering on his friend’s debt. He enters a game that takes place on a ship. There, he sees players from all over the world with enormous debts. If he wins, he will be debt-free. However – if he loses, he will have to face a life worse than imaginable. The game is rock-paper-scissors but it has its own set of rules. Zheng Kaisi has to beat the other players in rock-paper-scissors. Sounds straight-forward, right?

Actually, it’s an extremely intense and interesting game. There are various psychological elements to consider, such as cheating, betrayal, working with comrades and greed. This psychological thriller/gambling film adapts the Kaiji manga very well. The gambling that happens in the film is identical to the manga, so you won’t be disappointed with the ending.

Something that was interesting was that the players were diverse and spoke different languages. Kaisi communicated with non-Chinese players by listening to an earpiece that translated the other player’s words into Chinese in real time. I thought this was realistic.

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Kaiji is a great manga that tackles themes such as human nature and I think that ‘Animal World’ is a suitable name for the film because in an environment where there are not a lot of regulations, humans may succumb to “animal-like behaviours.” Kaisi is a great protagonist that refuses to degrade himself like that. In this game, he fights the resistance to betray others. He is a flawed protagonist that does not have a 100% chance of winning. That is what makes him such a relatable character.

I don’t think that Kaiji is a simple manga to adapt. Animal World did it well, because of a number of reasons. One, the cinematography is really well done. Nobuyuki Fukumoto does a lot of panels with metaphors, and Animal World has amazing graphics that showcases those metaphors. Metaphors help the audience understand the depths of what the character is feeling. I liked that the film remained close to the source material in this way.

The actor who plays Kaiji/Kaisi, Li Yifeng, is a great actor. He is famous in China and played the role really well. Kaisi is different from Kaiji in terms of his personality, family background, life situation and relationships, which gives Animal World its own sense of originality. Like Kaiji, Kaisi is a likable and strong protagonist.

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The budget for this film and also the cinematography allowed the manga to come to life. Extra elements were added in the film but they were enjoyable to watch. Overall, I was really impressed with this adaptation and enjoyed it a lot. I recommend watching Animal World, even if you have never read or watched Kaiji. If you are a Kaiji fan, it doesn’t hurt to give this a try.

Animal World is available on Netflix.

Korean Film Recommendation: Always (2011)

I’m writing this immediately after I finished watching Always, because that’s how good it was. My nose is still stuffy and my eyes are still sore from crying so much. It’s also almost 1 AM.

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Synopsis: During his shift at his job as a parking lot attendant, Cheol Min is visited by Jung Hwa, a woman who is blind. She was friends with the former parking lot attendant. Cheol Min and Jung Hwa develop a friendship, which turns into something more.

So much happens in this movie and I really cannot spoil too much. This is a romance movie and they do become a couple. That’s the focus of the first part of the film. They are in a serious relationship and they intend to have children together.

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In the second half of the film, Cheol Min and Jung Hwa’s happy life together is disrupted. Sad events ensue, and that’s when the ugly crying happens. The film has a happy ending, which I had to make sure before I even watched it. I can’t spoil what happens, so you’ll just have to watch it.

I loved this film because one, it evoked such a strong reaction out of me. Two, because I really enjoyed watching the daily life of the two together, and the simplicity of it. Three, because of how strong their love is. I think it’s inspiring to watch a story of a couple that have such an unbreakable bond. The film was really good at producing motifs and stories that only the two of them would know.

The only major thing I would have liked to be different is that I wish they gave us some more scenes in the end. I know, I’m greedy.

Peach Girl (2017) – Japanese Film Review

Peach Girl (2017) is a Japanese live-action film based on the manga with the same name.

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Synopsis: Momo Adachi is a high school student who is always mistaken as “easy” and “scandalous” due to her tan skin. She doesn’t care what others think about her, as long as Kazuya Toji believes in her. A rumor gets out that Momo kissed Kairi Okayasu, the most popular guy at school. This starts a spiral of complicated matters because Toji is the one Momo is in love with!

The antagonist of this story is Sae Kashiwagi, a girl who pretends to be Momo’s friend but she actually takes pleasure in ruining Momo’s life. I watched the Taiwanese drama of this story in my childhood and to this day Sae has always been my most hated character. Momo is so sweet though, because she still cares about Sae. Sae is played by Mei Nagano, the actress who played Rinko Yamato from Ore Monogatari!! She’s a great actress because she played Sae’s character well, who is the complete opposite of Yamato’s character.

What I Liked: I liked the cast and liked how things were peach themed, especially with Momo’s name (meaning peach). Everyone was very fashionable, which reminds me of shojo manga. I liked the imagery, such as the beach scenes, flower shop and restaurant scenes. Overall, it was a pretty movie and the ending was cute.

What I Disliked: This movie had pacing issues. Things happened too quickly. There were overly dramatic scenes as well and it didn’t feel natural. While this film had its good moments, I would not rewatch this film.

Rating: 7/10