Legend of the Blue Sea (Korean Drama 2016)

 

Drama Rating: 8/10

This drama is about a mermaid who falls in love with an ordinary man.

푸른 바다의 전설.E03.161123.720p-NEXT.mp4_000057190There are two timelines in the show, one is during the Joseon era and the other during the present time, both timeline is interconnected for it is believed that history repeats itself no matter the lifetime is. In the past, a mermaid and a noble man fell in love with each other but society dictated that it was forbidden. Their love was deemed to be a doomed fate, however both will try their everything to go against all odds. In the 푸른 바다의 전설.E02.161117.720p-NEXT.mp4_002843640present, another mermaid – one who seems to be reincarnated from the past, meets a peculiar con artist who is more than what he seems and falls in love with him. She goes to all kinds of trouble to find him and when they finally meet again, fate seems to turn its wheels back into motion for the two lovers who were destined for each other from the very beginning.

This drama definitely has a lot to offer. I have been putting off on watching this drama for a long time because I heard a lot of people say it wasn’t that good and that there should be a season two. As for me, I think the drama was wrapped up pretty well… there’s just some scenes I couldn’t agree with how they decided to end it which I will talk 푸른 바다의 전설.E01.161116.720p-NEXT.mp4_000357156about in a spoiler tag later. Over all it was a good watch, I loved the twists the story has given me at the end and how everyone was able to move forward with their lives. Also, there’s that part in which a person’s past is intertwined with the present person. I liked that part, because no matter how they turn away from their true selves, their actual personality and principles eventually takes care of them – damning fate and destiny.

Another thing that I liked about it was the backstory of the main lead guy, Heo Joon Jae acted by Lee Min Ho. When I read the synopsis of the drama, I was initially turned off by 푸른 바다의 전설.E01.161116.720p-NEXT.mp4_000949348the fact that the main guy was a con-artist. Since there weren’t much explanation on what his character is about other than that, my interest in the story as a whole got downsized and thus this drama was set aside for basically three years. What I didn’t expect though was his history until I’ve finally watched it. I like how interesting his life was and why he became a con-artist in the first place, despite having a family back ground such as his. There were a lot of things going on around his life that it made things more complicated and fascinating to watch. Then add up a strong, beautiful mermaid into his life, well… I’ll just say that it was a very exciting show to watch.

푸른 바다의 전설.E01.161116.720p-NEXT.mp4_001793591Honestly, Jun Ji Hyun stole the limelight of the show. Yes, Lee Min Ho was really good looking but Ji Hyun was spectacular here that she definitely overshadowed Min Ho. Her character as a mermaid was ethereal but when she turned into a human, she was seriously lovable with all the funny antics and crazy quirks she learned along the way. I also love the name they gave her, it was so appropriate in many levels. On a side note, the other supporting casts were awesome as well. They added color to the show and made things more complicated with their own story. Their lives intertwined so perfectly from the past and the present that everything makes sense up to the very end.

Cinematography was breathe taking and I like the 푸른 바다의 전설.E02.161117.720p-NEXT.mp4_002845108fact that the production wasn’t cheap. They were able to afford to shoot overseas and make everything look so darn beautiful. The OST on the other hand was something that I could have set aside. It wasn’t as memorable as it should be but it was enough to put emotions on the scenes. Over all it was a good watch. I’m glad I picked it up and would definitely recommend it to those who likes mermaids, fantasy love story and happy endings.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

The major thing I didn’t like about this show was the memory loss. When Shim Chung decided to erase everyone’s memory before she left to recuperate back into the sea, it was a really stupid move. Why erase everyone’s memory when she’s going back to them again? She should have been honest in the first place that she had to heal for a couple of years and when she’s finally alright, she will return to them. They would have waited for her no matter what. When she erased their memories, it left a hole in their hearts and there were remnants of her that everyone couldn’t figure out. That’s the most disappointing part of the drama which the writers caused. I’m betting they did it to have at least another problem up to the very end of the episode which was very unnecessary.

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Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You (Japanese Movie 2016)

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Movie Rating: 9/10

Based on the novel by Takafumi Nanatsuki – Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru (Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You) was made into a live action film starred by Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana. Their roles as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi are characters that would bring forth a love that transcends through time making romance itself not just a simple coincidence but an act of fate that the universe has conspired.

Takatoshi meets Emi in a train for the first time and yet he felt that he had fallen in love at first sight. Plucking the courage to ask her name and confess his feelings, he chased after her on the train platform and talked to her. After that fateful encounter, they began to date and spent their time together happily. One day Takatoshi discovers something about Emi, a secret that she has been keeping all along.

This movie reminds me of 50 first dates and The Tale of Benjamin Button but in a very different and more complicated way. That’s all I could say for a spoiler free introduction. I would write an indebt review about this, but the rest of my thoughts would be under the spoiler tag below.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You is a compelling and poignant movie to be exact, definitely worth the 1 hour and 50 minutes of screen time. The first few part of the movie seemed very odd at first. Even the first scene would seem peculiar for a simple romantic movie but as I gradually continued to watch, everything started to make sense. The lead female character seemed to be shrouded in mystery while the male lead simply Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001018560looks hopelessly in love, but those things did not deter me from watching it because as boring as it may sound as I write about it in summary, the movie is very interesting. The pacing of the love story is a bit fast than the usual Japanese shows, which caught me off guard. I wasn’t really expecting a love confession at the get go, however it was a detrimental element in the whole point of the movie. So even though it seemed fast, there was a drawback… and that’s another part of the film that made it more fascinating.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001023940The characters portrayal of Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi was great. It felt like they were made for the roles, their acting wasn’t over the top and made me feel connected to each person. They had this bittersweet way of acting that made me feel melancholic about their characters and yet the same time happy. I liked how Emi’s personality was bubbly and yet tears off as fast as a raindrop and there’s the seemingly clueless Takatoshi who’s simply too much in love to notice anything else Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_002124374.pngabout his girlfriend. Aside these main characters, there’s that one special supporting character that’s worth mentioning – Kaminoyama Soichi , he’s one of Takatoshi’s sempai in the university and acts as his best friend and older brother. I liked the fact that he gives Takatoshi great advice in love and life. The guy acting this character, Higashide Masahiro is a veteran actor even though he looks young.

Overall the movie was a great watch. I loved the mystery factor and I did rewatch it immediately again because I wanted to pinpoint the clues that I had missed out during the duration of the film. Music wise it was alright, along with cinematography. Those things aren’t that much important to me though while I was watching because I was too engrossed with the characters that those two aspects of the movie simply made the whole thing better than it already was. It was like reading a book and I there’s great background music while the book had awesome pictures in it to give at least a good visual about what I am reading. I’m recommending this movie for those who are looking for a romantic watch mixed with mystery and pure love.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

Now… as I dive into details, I’m guessing that whoever is reading this would have watched the movie. IF NOT – I HIGHLY SUGGEST TO WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST. The point of the movie is the mystery aspect. The film would lose its purpose if the mystery is gone.

So the secret about Emi is that she lives in a different timeline than Takatoshi. It’s like being in a different dimension but once every five years, they are able to meet for 30 days when the moon turns full. Another complicated thing about their meeting is that Takatoshi lives in the future, while Emi lives in the past. Does that even make sense? It will be explained in the movie but I would like to put it here because I still can’t believe that I have been succumbed into watching a romantic movie that was actually mixed with fantasy and sci-fi. And that’s in a very subtle form. Anyway… Emi lives her days with Takatoshi backwards, meaning she forgets the day she spent her days with her boyfriend and she ages younger while Takatoshi lives his days forward, keeping all the memories of them together thus making the title of the movie a very literal and appropriate one. That’s why I compared it to 50 first dates because Emi forgets everything after a day, while in Benjamin Button he ages backwards which is the same as Emi.

It’s a two dimensional thing and having two star crossed lovers makes a bittersweet ending. However, despite that sad note of not being able to be together forever, at least fate gave them a chance to be together as lovers even for a short time. That’s the part that made me love this movie the most because it simply tells people to live at the moment and love while it actually lasts.

 

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (Korean Drama 2016)

Love in the Moonlight 07

Drama Rating: 9/10

Hong Ra On is a woman who disguised herself as a man named Hong Sam Nom due to personal reasons, she works in a performing troupe while selling her counseling expertise and ghost writing letters about love on the sidelines. Unknown to her, she has been writing for noble man who actually liked the princess and because of this, the Love in the Moonlight 23crown prince Lee Young aka Hyo Myeong read the letters and felt dubious about the whole courtship. He decided to meet the noble man by making an appointment to mean in the pretense that he is the princess but that man was too shy and scared that he begged Sam Nom to go in his stead. When the two met, one thing led to another and they both end up getting into a ditch, literally. After this incident, the prince has marked Sam Nom as an unforgettable person.

The second time they met was inside the palace when Ra On was sold to become a eunuch. When the prince found out about Ra On’s admission and caught her in the Love in the Moonlight 22middle of the night trying to sneak out and escape, he made sure that she will be able to pass through the test not knowing that the person he’s keeping an eye on to become a eunuch was actually a woman, while Ra On had no idea that he was the crown prince. When the politics inside the palace has intensified, the only person that prince Lee Young can trust were Kim Byung Yeon who was his body guard and Sam Nom his personal eunuch, who has eventually crawled into his heart. With all the things that’s happening, both the crowned prince and Ra On are drawn closer to each other day by day not noticing that they were slowly falling in love with each other.

This is such a cute sageuk drama for so many reasons. Despite mixed reviews from a lot of people, I gave it a high rating of 9 because I think the actors deserve that high point or rather the whole production deserves it. I do have my own complaints from the drama that’s why I’ve withheld that single point for my rant. I’ll be writing about my reasons for why it’s that good and why hold a measly point from the rating later on and will put some in spoiler.

First thing’s first… the reason I loved this drama were because of the actors. I’ve know Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung from a couple of dramas from the past, which I had no doubts they could portray their characters spot on and they didn’t disappoint in this drama. Both of them were so cute and had an amazing on screen chemistry that it soobin-4would be hard not to root for them. Oh and also Chae Soo Bin, I’ve seen her from the drama Sassy Go Go which I hated her character since she was the antagonist. Despite that, I liked her as an actress because she was effective in moving my emotions here and there. In this drama I’m happy that she didn’t end up as the bitchy girl who’s in love with the prince and would do anything to ruin the person he loves but instead, her character Love in the Moonlight 15was pure, even in her unrequited love, she had no ill intentions whatsoever. Despite knowing that she was alone on loving that one person whose heart can never belong to her, she still loved. I find her character sad because she had so many options but still… she remained true to her heart up to the very end. Aside from her, there are two characters Love in the Moonlight 09which I only got to know from this drama: Kim Yoon Sung and Kim Byung Yeon where were portrayed by Kwak Dong Yeon and Jung Jin Young. I had no idea who these two guys were but maaaaaaaaan… They were good. They’re not just the typical good looking flower boys in a saguek but they definitely deliver great fight scenes, emotional conversations and not to forget those smoldering eyes when they look seriously at something. I’m totally looking forward to the career growth of these two actors. I really think they are promising guys who deserve to be in a lead role someday.

Story wise, it was so-so. That’s one of the reasons why it’s not a perfect 10. I guess I am also biased with the actors that’s why whole drama was wonderful to watch. Another thing about the story, it’s just weird how the writer made Hong Ra On able to keep up the 5cf257ff-c822-472a-893b-cff6a1959d6druse of being a man inside the palace and even able to survive as a Eunuch for so long. Plus she was able to come in and out of the palace unnoticed with all the clothing disguise. That’s just too far fetched that it’s one of my complaints from this drama. Aside that, everything went well for me even the ending. The cinematography was also beautiful and full of royal themed and pastel colors. The different shades of pink was what mainly caught my eye since it’s also my favorite color, it definitely made an impact because it represented Hong Ra On and her feminine side. It’s also used in the hanboks she wore. The OST is worth downloading as well because its melody is so easy to listen to. PLUS! Park Bo Gum sang some of the songs in the drama. Overall I’m recommending this drama as a feel good watch.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

There are several scenes I like in the drama that I want to specify and share my thoughts with:

The scene where Ra On danced during the Ming Envoy’s visit. Since the main dancer mysteriously disappeared, Ra On had to step up and dance in her stead risking her life for the prince because the event was so important that it would tarnish the Royal family’s reputation. That’s how she wanted to protect him, even it meant she might get caught and die. It was a moving scene especially with the background music playing. The prince had this surprised look on his face and the dress that Ra On wore was breathtaking. It was a lovely hanbok that’s worth taking a screenshot of.

Click here for video: Dance Scene

Then there’s the part where in the prince finally realized that Sam Nom was actually a girl and that she was in fact very beautiful. Park Bo Gum had that fantastic expression on his face that only he alone could come up with, one that has a mixture of pain, relief and happiness. It was such a great scene to play over and over again.

Click here for video: Gender Reveal Scene

Lastly, there was the emotional death of Kim Yoon Sung. I loved the guy to bits even though he is a second lead because all he wanted was for Ra On to be safe and he made sure of that even at the cost of his life. He’s such a great character because of his noble kind of love, but it’s just too sad that he had to end up dead. I cried at this scene and at the same time was glad that the writer didn’t shy away from character death to one of the main cast.

Click here for video: Death of Kim Yoon Sung