Moon Embracing the Sun (Korean Drama 2012)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

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Heo Yeon Woo belongs to a noble family and is a daughter of a high-ranking official. For the first time at the age of thirteen, she was able to enter the palace when she attended her older brother’s civil service examination congratulatory ceremony. Coincidentally, she meets Crown Prince Lee Hwon during the event and they get in all kinds of mishaps. Eventually the two of them falls in love and by chance, Yeon Woo was also chosen as the Crown Princess as she was seen to be fit for the Crown Prince.

KYJ_1Prior to getting married, wicked intents were being plotted against the Yeon Woo since the Queen Dowager wanted the Crown Prince to marry someone from her own family clan to be able to secure her power within the palace. Thus she orders a shaman to cast a spell that can kill Yeon Woo from an unknown illness. Fortunately, the shaman tried to save Yeon Woo from an eminent and was able to bring her back to life, but with dire consequences. Yeon Woo was able to come back to life but she had lost all her memories thus she was given a new identity, she became a shaman named Wol.

After eight years, Wol shows up in the palace shocking Prince Lee Hwon as she brings back all the precious memories of his lost love. To his curiosity, he started investigating what exactly happened to Yeon Woo and who Wol is and where she came from. Not knowing that he was racing against time because there were conspiracies within the palace walls which was set to bring down the royal family. 

This series is a fantasy-sageuk fusion with lots of drama, intrigue, secrecy, sorcery and a mix of law defying love story. In short it has all the elements a proper kdrama should have and would definitely suit both the young and the old. What made this drama appealing is the fact that the premise is a love story between two young children who grew up still in love with each other regardless of the hardships they have gone through. Even though politics brought them apart, their love was still able to surpass all odds. It defied the malicious intents of the people around, prophecy made by shamans and yes… even death.

Man… I don’t know what the writer had taken while writing the story plot, but everything the two main lead went through was quite unimaginable specially during the Joseon era. Though there were still quite a few loopholes, they are still forgivable since there is nothing such as a perfect story in drama land.

The characters in this drama were never wasted. Not even the supporting roles. Each of them had vital reasons to be on screen because you never know that this person may be the reason why both main leads were able to survive.

Music wise, it was a memorable one for me. It had this old and modern type of background tune which makes the scenes more cute, emotional, dangerous, eerie and memorable. I am definitely recommending this drama no matter what their genre preference is and I will also re-watch this in the when all the new sageuk dramas have failed my expectations.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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King 2 Hearts (Korean Drama 2012)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

The story line is about the unification of South and North Korea through an alliance, a marriage from a prestigious family from each country. Kim Hang Ah is the only daughter of the Deputy Minister of the North Korean Ministry of Unification, she is also part of North Korea’s military’s elite force. Despite having a tough exterior due to being a king 2 heartssoldier, she has dreams of finding her feminine side through a better half. When she encounters Lee Jae Ha, the easy go lucky prince of South Korea it seems like she had entered a nightmare. Both were engaged due to political reasons but somehow they find themselves drawn to each other and eventually fall in love. Though both have different outlook and positions in life, when they are cornered by the people around them and they only have each other to rely on, they both become an unstoppable couple.

This series was action packed mixed with romance, drama and politics. It had so many interesting elements which made me wish it could actually happen in real life, but then again, this is drama land and there are so many loopholes which I would rather not have in real life.

So now, let me proceed on dissecting this drama into two parts.

First off the action:

king-gun2I love watching Ha Ji Won kicking ass on screen. Whether it is in a movie or a drama I love seeing her as a strong, independent woman who can make men drop on her their knees with their balls shrinking from their behind. There’s no difference here, as Kim Hang Ah is a general’s daughter – strong willed, stubborn, military trained sniper/assassin and yet still smoking with femininity. She is a woman with a high caliber. Literally and figuratively speaking. Then there’s our male counter part Lee Seung Ki. This guy is awesome on screen. He’s not really good looking but man… he is oozing with charm and sex appeal, I don’t know where he gets it. I loved his character as Lee Jae Ha for several reasons – he is a dork, irresponsible and has an easy go lucky personality – which would make viewers think (what makes that likable?) but then these characteristics makes him normal and realisticTk2H15avi_002795362 in terms of being a rebellious prince – someone who is second in the throne. He had so much issues on hand but it gave his character so much room for improvement. If anyone does end up watching this, they’ll know what I mean. Setting these two main characters aside, I should not forget the supporting actors, the bad guys and the overall theatrics.

20120529_seoulbeats_king2heartsAnother character favorite of mine is Jo Jung Suk as Eun Shi Kyung. He suits the role as a national guard who protects the royalties. He was great in his portrayal and how he stands up to Lee Jae Ha’s being a pain in the ass to everyone. But what I liked most was his chemistry with the princess. The spoiled sister Lee Jae Shin acted by Lee Yoon Ji. She was awesome here, although initially her character is the happy spoiled princess she’s supposed to be, she actually becomes more than that and becomes a vital character in the drama. Finally we have Yoon Je Moon as Kim Bong Goo aka John Mayer. Gaaaad… king09-00026.jpgcan’t they think of a better name than that? Why name a bad guy after a singer? Anyway… aside from the cheesy namesake, his character was crazy as a bastard. He has a deep grudge against the royalties and has planned out everything up to the very last detail. I like the way he has portrayed his sick character, it was so believable and him being an antagonist works like magic.

Now let’s go with the Romance, Drama and Politics:

In every drama there is always the conflict of romance, but in every politics we seldom see romance as a highlight. Here these three elements are mixed together perfectly. Nothing is over shadowed. I wish I could talk more about that without spoiling the drama, but unfortunately it will be a spoiler, so I would rather not dwell in that. Hopefully someone out there would check this drama out to see how all drama elements were blended so well.

This drama is re-watchable since I like ass kicking and bickering from our main characters. The sound track was alright, it did match up with the scenes and was appropriate in every episode but it just did not stick into my head. Over all I highly recommend this drama for those who likes the genre I have mentioned on top.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Love for Beginners (Japanese Movie 2012)

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Movie Rating: 7/10

20120425_kyokoiHibino Tsubaki is a high school student who has a low self esteem and tends to dress like an old-fashioned lady. Due to this, she is often teased in school. Despite being occasionally bullied, she has a talent for styling other people’s hair but not her own since she does not have the confidence to make herself look pretty. One fateful day, her life makes a hundred and eighty degree turn when she gets herself involved with the popular Tsubaki Kyota. A boy who had commitment issues and yet seemed to be drawn to Tsubaki despite her odd personality.

As a manga adaptation, the movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was simple kkwh8and cute but not really something to be excited about. In my opinion, it was pretty average… if only they could have replaced Matsuzaka Tori with someone better, I would have appreciated the movie much more. I’m deeply sorry to his fans, but I’m only trying to be honest with my own opinion. I feel like cringing every time I see him interact with Takei Emi, her acting is quite wasted alongside the guy. He would probably have done better if he removed the idol image in his role… then maybe I would have liked him more. I hope he has improved though, since this film was set last 2012.

Setting those comments aside, what I enjoyed about this film was the movie theme; that is in which the characters where trying to come into terms with change, finding their own path and deciding for their future. Sometimes I wish this was as simple as it is in real life… but then again, this is a shoujo manga adaptation, so maybe the mangaka artist was inspired by someone from reality.

Over all the story was really shoujou-ish, cute, fluffy and mixed with adolescent love-life problems. I did enjoy the music as well, it gave a good vibe throughout the movie, adding more cute to the already cute. I probably would not be re-watching this film, but I would recommend this to viewers who are looking for manga adaptations and hope they could pass their own judgement on the film, whether they compare it to the original or not.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.