Ouroboros (Japanese Drama 2015)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya are orphans who grew up in an orphanage called Mahoroba no Ie. When they were elementary school students, an orphanage staff, who took care of them like an older sister, was killed by someone before their very eyes. The two of them gave statements to the police, but their words were squashed by a police official with a gold watch and the case was also covered up for some reason. 15 years later, Ikuo has become a detective. Skilled at catching whiff of cases, he has the highest rate of arrests in his police precinct. On the other hand, Tatsuya has risen to the top of the underworld as a leading member of an organised crime group. A police and a gangster with only each other to trust. The objectives of these two people, who should never have any association, are to locate the gold watch man within the police, find out the truth and expose the darkness of this all powerful organization.

Based on the manga series “Ouroboros” by Kanzaki Yuuya.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

Ouroboros may sound like a simple story about 2 boys who met in the orphanage and set Ouroboros - 02.mp4_002343641off to get revenge when their foster mother was killed right in front of them, however don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the summary because there’s more that this drama could offer. It has a dark humor hovering around the dialogues, violence, secrets within a secret and the never ending conspiracies from one another. It’s a twisty piece of work that would keep you on your toes, even though at times it is easy to guess who the culprit is, it still does not deter the mysterious death of some characters due to an underlying circumstances in every episode.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I started this drama and yet I still watched it until the very end. Though there were a lot of things in this series which I didn’t like, there were MORE things which I found likable that it made up for the lack luster of what I was expecting. Another thing about the story line is the ending, it was great that the writers were not afraid to go into that kind of direction for the final episode. It made me smile and cry at the same time.

The bonus point for me in this drama is the fact that Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun are my Japanese Actor biases. Then add up Ueno Juri into the tandem, that makes it a perfect cast for me. They are a bunch of veterans and I felt the vibe of the whole drama along with the cast’s chemistry. It was really something that these actors can pull off. One minute they are being all funny, then the next they’re mad and then all of the sudden they’re crying. It’s like watching a whirl wind of emotions set to trap me in all those feels.

There were times though when they are set up in a ridiculous situation and have to give an over the top acting style (which is sometimes annoying) but they eventually redeem themselves with the dialogues and the funny inserts. But mostly, this drama is full of seriousness and has a heavy feel. It shows that every action has consequences andOuroboros - 01.mp4_000002002 choices made whether it’s right or wrong has its own ramifications. In the end Karma wins everything. I love how they explained what Ouroborus meant, it is actually an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; (oura) meaning “tail” and (boros) meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail” (excerpted from Crystalinks), in the drama they explained that it also meant life and death, the cycle of humans who lived then died and lived again.

Music wise, this OST really caught my attention. Hearing the sound track felt really familiar, it was as if I heard them before on several dramas. When I researched, Arashi’s name came out. That’ when I realized the music score felt like listening to Maou’s OST which was also sang by Arashi. It was a really good music score which was attractive enough to fit the drama’s tone.

Another thing that made this enjoyable was the political battles inside the police government and each department. It’s fun seeing who’s side would win and who along the way would be affected. Usually though due to these political strife the innocent becomes not so innocent due to grudges held. I want to say more but I’m holding myself off since I don’t want to give spoiler alerts to anyone.

Last note: this drama has a minimal or almost nonexistent romance along the story line so I would suggest for people to check out this drama if they are in the mood for the things I have mentioned above except for the romance part.

Some of the photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

The Secret Message (Korean Drama 2015)

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Synopsis:

Woo-Hyun is a Korean man and Haruka a Japanese woman. They live different lives, but they both carry emotional scars from their first love. While looking for answers and hope, their fateful encounter will change their lives.
It started from one message …Haruka, a stage actress in Seoul, has been in a slump ever since she broke up with her first love. She cannot forget him and keeps sending messages that go unread on LINE. Despite her emotional hurt, Haruka wants to believe in love. In Tokyo, Woo Hyun, an aspiring movie director, keeps on doing interviews concerning “love”. After being deeply hurt by his girlfriend who thought about getting married, he no longer believes in love. Haruka and Woo Hyun have both grown timid of love. The two of them, who live apart in Tokyo and Seoul, have a chance encounter because of a LINE message delivered to Woo Hyun’s smart phone from Haruka. They exchange messages without knowing each other’s faces, and are drawn to each other before they realise it.

Excerpted from: Mydramalist

Words from Me:

The thing that I loved about this drama was the cinematography and visuals. It was so beautiful that I was able to overlook the cliche and lack of a good story line. Another thing that made it good were the actors. Ueno Juri was awesome as usual with how she’s able to depict the emotion of pain, loss, trying to be happy and act normal despite her past. Choi Seung-hyun, on the other hand was a breath of fresh air in this drama. I am so used to seeing him as a bad-ass guy who either kills people or save them. Can’t miss him in movies without a gun and a car. Here, he’s got none of those two things. Even the serious look, because his character is quite dorky and passionate as a wannabe director. So those character roles are the closest I could get out of the drama to make it seem interesting. I could have cared less for the supporting cast since I feel that without them, this drama could still go on… except for Yoo In Ah. I simply have a bias for that actress, so I love the fact that she got to support Ueno Juri throughout the series.

Music wise, it was okay… until the part where Seung-hyun rendered a song… and because of that, I’m giving this drama a plus point. That’s something to look forward into the whole drama.

If you’re looking for something that’s easy and short to watch but not mindblowing, this drama is perfect for you. It has 18 episodes that runs at least 11 minutes each, then it’s going to be a fast watch and not a total waste of time.

I won’t be rewatching this anytime soon, but I will definitely look this up in the future if I want to be inspired with my photography. This drama is simply full of photo clips that are awesome.