Princess Jellyfish (Japanese Movie 2014)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

Kurashita Tsukimi is a shy woman obsessed with jellyfish but has a talent for makingPrincess-Jellyfish-5-1024x576 things out of cloth. She lives in a dorm house along with other women who have their own quirks. They are somehow separated from society and mostly called an “Otaku” due to their specific hobbies. One day Tsukimi rescues Koibuchi Kuranosuke, a cross dresser whom she has mistaken as a real woman. When she took Kuranosuke to her home, things started to change little by little up until they are about to loose their house due to realtors trying to oust the neighborhood for business purposes. Kuranosuke tries to convince everyone to step up and urged Tsukimi to create something out of her obsession.

Watching this movie was like opening a plastic wrap with a bunch of gummy bears. It was sweet, colorful and full of fun.

657703The movie may seem nonsensical or rather another “Make Over” concept at first, but gradually, the fun starts when the cross dressing male lead Koibuchi Kuranosuke gets more involved with the female lead Kurashita Tsukimi and her housemates. I think that’s where the story line actually picks up. Kuragehime may not have a great romance aspect into it, but it does give hints as to whom the character’s heart actually belongs to. The portrayal of an Otaku in this film is also quite a bit over rated to my taste but then there’s Kuranosuke who by the way is trying to hide the fact that he is a male cross dressing as a female so as not to be hated by Tuskimi’s housemates who thinks he is a girl… so that actually became a redeemer factor for me. The story revolves around this simple story line made complicated by the characters themselves. Though there may be additional conflict inserts along the plot line, it didn’t give much impact to the overall feel of the film.

Acting wise, I really enjoyed the fact that the main lead is comfortable wearing female clothes and actually looks good in it. Compared to other cross dressed actors I’ve seen, Suda Masaki nailed his role, he never once looked like he was a trying-hard-wannabe-cross-dresser. It was fun watching him punch the air in excitement, dress up Mitzuki inPrincess_Jellyfish-008 pretty clothes and walk like a model while speaking in a male voice. The way he acted spelled FUN all over the place. Then there’s our female lead, Mitzuki. Nounen Rena who portrayed this character (with her glasses on) looked so much like Aoi Miyazaki from the Movie – Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru. Sorry, I had to insert that because I really found the resemblance quite astounding! Aside from that detail, I found myself liking her character. It wasn’t as strong as the male lead, but it was cute enough to compliment Masaki along the way.

Princess-Jellyfish-1-1024x576As for the other supporting actresses, I found each characters lovable: Banba (afro girl), Mayaya (Bangs Girl), Chieko (Doll Girl) and Jiji (Old Man lover girl). The person who caught my attention though was the afro girl. I really find her fetish for trains a bit odd, but her other skills like photography, having a keen eye, attention to details… those things made her really interesting. Oh! Her BIG Afro wig was a big plus too. Aside from these girls, I will have to insert Kuranosuke’s brother – Shu Koibuchi and his ever faithful driver Yoshio Hanamori (played by my favorite Mokomichi Hayami-san!!!). Their tandem in this movie is funny, despite the over-acting in their part, I still find the slapstick comedy funny.

Music wise, I find it endearing and catchy, it also made me check out the band which was SEKAI NO OWARI. Ironically upon listening to their music they have the same feel as the American Band: Owl City, and when I did my research they already had a show together! That piece of information was really awesome. Another trivia about SEKAI NO OWARI, they are also the same band who sang the OST for Attack on Titans (but it’s such a shame the movie wasn’t up to my expectations).

Over all, this will be worth your time if your mood is into a feel-good-funny movie with bits and pieces about Otakus, Gender Bender and Fashion.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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Sassy Go Go (Korean Drama 2015)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

This drama depicts the life of high school students who struggles with the school system, their peers and even from their parents.

After finishing all 12 episodes, I now understand how they could wrap everything up in such a short span of time. I liked the fact that they didn’t put in fillers and add 4 more episodes to make the drama longer, hence it would have dragged on.

The story line was quite simple – a girl who loved dancing and is trying to live her lifesassy12-00295a in a school with high standards but meets a lot of trials along the way. The plot is not really my cup of tea, but knowing that Jung Eun Ji is the main actress, I decided to watch it despite the bland summary. When I watched the pilot episode, it still wasn’t enough to make me excited about the following episodes so I’ve put the drama on my least of priority to watch, however after the 3rd and 4th episodes, the drama started to pick up its pace and finally became interesting for me. Then when the love triangle was finally revealed through the sassy-go-go-jung-eun-ji-lee-won-geun-and-ji-soolater part of the drama, I was wrenched into a second lead syndrome again. Arrrgh! *slaps face to go back to reality* I knew that I was setting myself up to a complete heart break again… or so I thought. The drama’s ending was really constructed well and it left no room for any loop holes to think about. Even the love triangle was resolved in a simple yet satisfying way. It was heartfelt with a breath of fresh air compared to those high school themed melodramas I’ve been watching lately.

What makes this drama endearing for me is how the story did not focus on the dancing sassy_go_go_14-720x405and cheering side going to the ultimate goal of participating in the Cheering Squad for specs purposes but instead, they focused on the characters themselves. The story revolved on the conflicts with family, school, friends and even romantic aspect in life. A plus factor that made this drama appealing was how they dealt into the issue of 20151023_seoulbeats_SassyGoGo4teenage suicide. It may be rampant in Asian countries these days as most of the culture is about persevering and keeping problems to themselves until they actually break and decide to end their lives. This drama shows the importance of having support systems like family, friends or even teachers being around to help suicidal kids deal with their inner turmoil.

SGG1-00035My favorite character would be Kang Yeon Doo, despite being aggravated by Kwon Soo Ah, I can’t really fathom how much she could still be nice and forgiving. Although it’s not realistic anymore in this day and age, it made me trace myself back to my own goodness. It made me wonder how far I would go to tolerate such bitchiness from anyone. If it was me, I might have walked out that door or would have probably cared less whatever happens to my nemesis. But that’s part of the spark of this whole drama… Yeon Doo keeps everyone together including the boys she’s very much close with. Anothersassy08-00302a character I love is Seo Ha Joon, acted by Ji Soo. I love watching him interact with the main lead and how they had that great chemistry together. This is my first time seeing him in a drama and he totally gives me that whole Woo Bin aura while he was with Park Shin Hye in “Heirs”. Ji Soo had that same feels around him and I think this guy may have a great potential as an actor. I really wish he can chose his roles wisely in the near future. I would like to insert Kim Yeol portrayed by Lee Won Gun, he may be cute and kissable but man, his chemistry with Eun Ji is sub par to Ji Soo’s.

Oh let’s not forget the other side characters that I am much in favor of:

Teacher Yang Tae Beom played by Kim Ji Suk, it amazes me how much a teacher roles suits him well. It’s nice to watch him again in the same role after seeing him in School 2015. Then there’s the coach acted by Lee Mi Do, notably she looked like Sandrasassy-go-go-lee-mi-do-and-kim-ji-suk Oh. I loved Sandra Oh in Grey’s Anatomy, so seeing her look alike here in this drama brings nostalgia, but Mi Do is great in her acting. I loved her strong character and the way she prances around to cover for the students and fights her way so as not to be bullied by other teachers. Then lastly, there’s Yeon Doo’s mom played by Kim Yeo Jin, I personally think this woman is lovely. I’ve seen her in several dramas and enjoy looking at her. I think her beauty is one that will not easily fade as she ages.

Music wise, it wasn’t something that was able to stick with me but I enjoyed listening to it while the characters were in their own moments. Overall I would recommend this series to people who are in the mood to watch a high school drama about friendship, first love and a feel good after taste full of drama goodness.

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.