My Teacher (Japanese Movie 2017)

Synopsis:

Based on the manga series of the same name by Kawahara Kazune. Sophomore and representative of the archery club, Shimada Hibiki is a 17-year-old student who has never been in love. During her high school’s entrance ceremony she sees Kosaku Ito, her 26-year-old world history teacher, who is well known to be a stern and cold person. Hibiki, rescued by Ito after a minor incident, discovers that their teacher is actually compassionate towards others and starts to develop romantic feelings for him. Hibiki confesses, and her honest and young love begins to slowly melt Ito’s heart.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from me:

I have ambivalent feelings about this movie.

I love Ikuta Toma but it feels like the whole movie lacks substance and is focused on the high school girl’s love towards her teacher. The manga probably would have been really good but the Movie adaptation wasn’t able to live up to the hype and simply felt like there was some sense of pedophilia in all of these even though the story tries to tell me that it’s supposed to be “pure love” between a man and a young woman. However, watching it all unfold still felt weird.

It’s really sad that I have so many complaints with the script and story line, but setting those aside, I totally love the actors. I’ve been following Ikuta Toma’s work for quite some time now and this is probably one of the best characters that I’ve seen him in. I like the fact that his character was a total tsundere – this is a Japanese term that describes a person who is initially cold or hostile before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time. Personally, I think this kind of character is perfect for him. Then there’s Hirose Suzu, the fact that she’s pretty even with short hair is kind of killing me. How can someone look so great even with short hair??? Besides that, I think her pairing up with Toma for this movie is the best choice. Despite the lackluster of the script, both actors look really great together. They are simply an eye candy to watch. As for the supporting characters, there’s nothing much to mention because even if they were not there, I think the drama between the main leads could still push forward.

There are no problems with the actors or their acting. I think they were really great, the problem lies solely from the script. For those who had read the manga, they would have probably understood the scene even without the dialogue, but for someone like me who had no idea about the original story, I had to second guess what the characters wanted to imply with what they were saying.

Cinematography wise, the scenes were really lovely. There was this overall sepia feel to it that makes the whole movie seem dreamlike. The OST wasn’t really that memorable for me despite the melancholic soft tones. I didn’t have the last song syndrome for it even during the important scenes. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this movie for those who are looking a meaningful show to watch, but in case someone is looking for a movie to pass time with, this would be a nice film to check out.

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Korean Odyssey (Korean Drama 2017)

Synopsis:

This drama is also known as Hwayugi.

Jin Seon Mi is a human child who can see ghosts and other creatures beyond the sight of a normal person. Due to this, she was able to see and recognize a monster named Mawang in a guise of a human. She saw him drive away the ghosts who was chasing after her with the use of an umbrella. When Mawang realized that she can see him, he made her go to the marble mountains to retrieve something of importance and in exchange he will give his umbrella that Jin Seon Mi wanted from him so she can protect herself. However, instead of retrieving what Mawang requested, she accidentally released a different monster disguised as a human being. The monster called himself Son Oh Gong who was previously a deity equal to the heavens. In the process of releasing him, they exchanged a promise that Son Oh Gong will protect her if she calls out his name, but he tricked her by removing the memory of knowing his name and so he was able to get away from her.

Years later when Jin Seon Mi was in her 30’s, she has once again crossed paths with Mawang and Son Oh Gong. This time, she has become the “Samjang”, a human who has the scent of a lotus flower which could only be smelled by monsters. This makes her the ultimate human prey which makes a monster become strong with the taste of her blood and if they eat her, they become powerful as well.

Destiny made Seon Mi and Son Oh Gong meet for a higher purpose in the future but the deities never expected that the samjang would fall in love with the monster and so their story is told.

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Words from Me:

When my cousin recommended this drama and told me that it’s a really good show and worth the watch, I had some second thoughts since she said there was a catch, the show consists of monsters and supernatural beings that could be quite scary. But since I was able to survive the drama Master’s Sun, I was okay with this.

For a hyped drama such as Hwayugi, it definitely lived up to its expectations. This drama is totally my cup of tea because I love all elements of fantasy, action, drama, comedy and romance. The story isn’t lacking either and it never felt rushed. I also think that the script was well thought of because there are so many quotable quotes in this drama especially from Son Oh Gong. There might be bits of loop holes here and there in the storyline but it’s forgivable because the ending made it all seem senseless. Though the series was a typical horror-drama-romcom type wherein a human can see ghosts, monsters and other entities, the thing that set this drama aside from the rest was the execution of all the characters, including the supporting casts. The all the actors where really good and nobody looked too stiff. It was as if the roles where made for them.

 

A lot of people thought that the final episode felt like a cliff hanger or that it needs a second season, but for me, there is finality in the story between Jin Seon Mi and Son Oh Gong. If ever they plan on making a part two, I think it is going to be a different story all together. There were several things that surprised me upon watching this drama which I need to put under a spoiler tag (please see below of this post) because my thoughts are connected to major incidents that happened to the characters.

The cinematography was very pretty along with the OST. I would probably remember the songs and associate it with certain scenes from this drama if it gets played out of the blue on the radio or wherever. I would also re-watch this in the future if I forgot the details and wanted to be reminded of how cool the main characters where. Over all I’d rate this drama 9/10 and would highly recommend it to anyone who’s not a scaredycat.

 

*MAJOR SPOILERS* 

Highlight to see text below.

One of the things I noted and got me confused was when the octopus prince named Ok Ryong inhibited a female body, an actress called Alice. It was really weird when he-Ok Ryong fell in love with PK just because the woman he’s possessed liked PK, the thought that his feelings got swayed simply because he was inside a woman was really a tricky thing. Because of that he gave up his life for him… so basically what he felt was really genuine, right? Another one is Summer Fairy, since she’s sharing General Winter’s body the guy had to cross-dress which is another taboo for Kdramas. We don’t usually see guys cross dressing in Kdrama world.

Finally, the scene when the main character died shocked me. Literally died and had no sense of being reincarnated soon. I know that Samjang is actually destined to die but usually, KDrama land makes the main characters survive or get into the cycle of reincarnation, ie. Goblin. Does this drama ring a bell?

The fact that the writer wasn’t shy to portray about LGBT or kill off main characters was a huge thing. Usually, KDramas try to pacify things and generalize to fit whatever seems alright for the viewers, however in this series, they just went on the roll and disregarded the norm. This was a great surprise and made the drama more appealing.