Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

29May/071

Dal Ja’s Spring Fan MV 2

Artist: Unknown
Song: Gi Juk Gat Eun Sarang
Creator: chibimikki

29May/075

Dal Ja’s Spring Fan MV

Artist: M.R.J.
Song: Na Bbeun Sarang
Creator: chibimikki

20May/070

Sway (2006)

Yureru

Japanese Title: ゆれる (Yureru)
Genre: Drama, Family
Screenwriter: Miwa Nishikawa
Director: Miwa Nishikawa
Starring: Odagiri Joe, Kagawa Teruyuki
MPAA: R

Synopsis
When successful Tokyo photographer, Takeru (Odagiri Joe), returns home for his mother's funeral, he faces problems he has been running away from for several years. He comes face to face with his older brother, Minoru (Kagawa Teruyuki), and his childhood friend Chieko. A hiking trip with Minoru and Chieko leads to a fatal result when Chieko falls from a suspension bridge to her death and Minoru is put on trial for murder. This forces Takeru to reconsider his fast-paced life and the slow, traditional life he came from.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Yureru unravels truth about human nature with its rather simple storytelling. Although it circles mainly around a courtroom investigation on a woman's death, it is neither courtroom drama nor murder mystery. Instead, it seeks to find out what lies underneath human skin. An investigation into Minoru's role in Chieko's death provides some insight, but what matters here is not the truth but trust, perception, and how the human can sway so easily from the truth. Characters and relationship are stripped down to their core and what the viewer shockingly see is selfishness, fragility, and resentment.

Odagiri Joe fits perfectly in the role of Takeru as a confused, swaying Tokyo photographer with forgotten memories of his hometown. And Kagawa Teruyuki is great in his role as Takeru's older, Minoru, who simply stays bound in the hometown working for his family's gas station with no aspirations of his own. Their personalities contrast and their relationship is tense beneath after years of very little contact and unspoken words. The two brothers go hiking with Chieko with her ultimately falling to her death and Takeru watching from afar. However, trust begins to sway in the courtroom as Takeru gets mixed feelings of what he thinks he sees and what he truly sees.

Yureru is a great movie about the human trust and perception. Sometimes what we think we see is not what we see in reality. Our memories can be clouded by hate and resentment. It makes you really question human testimony in the courtroom. However, this movie is more about family ties and how one event can cause the family relations to slip and waver. What or who is the one that swayed in the end? The bridge, or the man?

20May/070

Collage of Our Life Fan MV,

Artist: Suara
Song: Seiza
Creator: zettaireality

19May/072

Love Revolution Fan MV

Artist: Hirai Ken
Song: Kiss of Life
Creator: chibimikki

14May/072

It Started With a Kiss (2005)

It Started With a Kiss

Taiwanese Title: 惡作劇之吻 / 恶作剧之吻 / E Zuo Ju Zhi Wen
Vietnamese Title: Ngay Tho
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Joe Cheng, Ariel Lin, Jiro Wang
Screenwriter: Qi Yang Lin
Director: Qu You Ning
Episodes: 30 (DVD), 20 (TV)
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
The series was based on the Japanese shoujo manga "Itazura na kiss" (Mischievous Kiss) by Tada Kaoru.

After an earthquake destroyed Xiang Qin's house, she and her father move in with her father's college buddy, uncle Ahli. To her surprise, the kind and amicable aunt and uncle are the parents of her cold and distant schoolmate Jiang Zhi Shu, a genius with an IQ of 200 whom not too long ago rejected Xiang Qin's endless crush on him for the reason that she isn't exactly very bright. Will the close proximity give her a second chance to win the boy's heart? Or, will she break down under his cold, cold words?
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: B- (Good)
Rewatch Factor: Low
Comment: At first this drama has a promising start, the story was interesting and most of the cast members seem appropriate for the role they played. However, some where midway of the drama I grew bored with the same old repetition of the female protagonist, Xiang Qin, getting her hopes up just to be disappointed in the end. Not to mention, I grew impatient with Xiang Qin for having no backbone and just keep getting herself hurt time after time by Jiang Zhi Shu. A lot of the scenes I felt were unnecessary and the length of drama was also a bit too long for more liking, especially for drama like this that doesn't have a complicate plot. Like I mentioned that Rannie Yang overacted her "cuteness" in "Devil Beside You", the same goes for Ariel Lin in this drama. I preferred Ariel in her silent and complentative moments than when she tried to act naive and cute. I enjoyed those moments because they felt natural and real. And even though Joe Cheng does a good job portraying as an arrogrant and insensitive genius, somehow I don't feel a strong emotional connection for his character Jiang Zhi Shu. In actuality, I adore Jiro Wang's character (Jin Yuan Feng) more than Jiang Zhi Shu. I was secretly rooting and hoping for Jin Yuan Feng to end up with Xiang Qin, even toward the very end.

However, what saved this drama from receiving a "C" rating from me was because of the drama's OSTs and the original ending. I think the music blends well into the drama and that it was well selected. Moreover, the quirky, and unique ending of this drama also makes the drama seems not so much of a waste to watch. So while I didn't enjoyed this drama as much as I originally thought, it is still a good watch for anybody who loves to watch angsty romance drama and have extra time to spare. Just remember, if you feel annoy during any of the scenes, there is always the fastforward button.

14May/071

Devil Beside You (2005)

Devil Beside You

A.K.A.: Devils Do Exist
Taiwanese Title: 惡魔在身邊
Cantonese/Mandarin Title: Ngok Mor Joi Sun Bin / Er Mo Zai Shen Bian
Vietnamese Title: Dinh Menh
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Mike He, Rannie Yang, Kingone, Ivy Fan Xia Fan
Screenwriters: Mao Xun Rong and Cao Xiao Ru
Director: Lin He Long
Episodes: 20
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
The series was based on the Japanese shoujo manga "Akuma de Souro" (Devil Does Exist) by Takanashi Mitsuba.

Qi Yue (Rainie Yang) is a carefree and kind college girl who has developed a crush on the captain of the basketball team, Yuan Yi (Kingone). With the encouragement of her best friend Qing Zi (Tsai Pei Lin), Qi Yue decides to confess her feelings. However, when she is about to hand her love letter to Yuan Yi, he walks right by her! When Qi Yue looks up, she finds herself face to face with Jiang Meng (Mike He), the school's director's son. Frightened, she drops her letter and runs off. Though Jiang Meng is known as the school's hottie, but at the same time, he also has a devilish reputation and a hobby of bullying girls. The next day, Jiang Meng then orders Qi Yue to be his slave, as he has her letter, if not, he will then reveal the letter to the entire college, unwillingly, she agreed. Qi Yue being Jiang Meng's slave was already bad, but whats more worst is that, her currently single mom is actually going to marry the currently single school directer, who is also JIang Meng's father, which makes Qi Yue and Jiang Meng siblings. Soon she discovers a soft and kind heart beneath the cold-hearted exterior of Jiang Meng. At the same time, Qi Yue starts to grow feelings for Jiang Meng. Of course, Jiang Meng returns her affections as well. But the only thing that is standing in their way is that they were both about to become siblings in name, how is it possible that they could become lovers and siblings at the same time? And what happens when an arranged marriage and an old love enters their life?
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: B+ (Very Good)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: "Devil Beside You" is responsible for restoring my interest in Taiwanese drama. Before this drama, I was tired of seeing the same old Taiwanese melodramas where tears is what one has for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I enjoyed watching "Devil Beside You" because of the chemistry between Rannie Yang and Mike He, and for the story as well. I haven't read the manga "Akuma de Souro" so I don't know if this drama follows directly from the manga or not, and I don't think I care to know either. This is a great drama on its own, with lots of funny as well as sweet moments. It has some angst in it, but not to the point where it's unbearable. I also like that there is some adult themes and discussions covered in this drama, making it not so cutesy and bubbly sweet.

Mike He is wonderful in this drama, he managed to show his mischievous, "bad boy" side and yet still maintain that lovable image. Additionally, Rannie Yang is adorable in this drama as the female protagonist, but perhaps a bit too adorable. At time, I felt that she overacted in some of the scenes and it doesn't felt natural, but forced and contrived. Nevertheless, I did enjoy watching this drama. In term of being a worthy to watch Taiwanese drama, I would compare seeing this drama to seeing the sunlight again after so many years of being in the dark.

14May/073

Don Ho- Trai Tim Mua Dong

Composer: Truc Ho
Lyrics Translation: Mikki
English Title: A Winter Heart

We met each other in lateness
We met each other in missed love
The squall of rain came so sudden,
Like the two of us when we parted.

We met each other by chance
There was no spoken word, but we exchanged in abundance
Through glances, through laughter
That warmed up my once frozen heart.

Chorus:
A dried heart,
A winter heart.
A heart that through multiple attempts,
Multiple attempts to run and hide from love
All my life, I always was the person that arrived late*,
Thus, I resigned to bear with this muted love.

*Late here means he was one step behind others in love.

14May/070

Nguyen Khang- Tuong Niem

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Composer: Tram Tu Thien
Lyrics Translation: Mikki
English Title: In Remembrance

In the memory of the talented composer, Tram Tu Thien.

I leaned my shoulder; reflected once again on my existence,
Then fearfully the sunset suddenly came
I leaned my shoulder; reflected once again on human's love
Then the evening's shadow sunk upon my lips
I'm indulging so life will bloom with flowers,
Suddenly, I was bewildered when the final words period arrived
I'm carressing a luxurious love,
Unexpectedly, it slipped through my hands
We lived a suffering life, to die accidentally
We searched for each other, to lose the other in the brief hours
How can the hands hold,
A lifetime that just passed by
How can the hands keep,
A time of passionate love
To you, I hold gratitude for once giving me your love,
Even though it was not a warm memory
To you, I hold gratitude for the great misery,
It was the golden sunlight though trapped in the clouds
To the Superior Being, I hold gratitude for my life,
Some ten thousand days the wind will madly called the diluvial rain
In my painful moments appeared a cloud of smoky incense,
Pulled me back, back to the world of nothingness

11May/0711

Hwang Jin Yi (2006)

Hwang Jin Yi

A.K.A: Hwang Jini, Dust Storm
Korean Title: 황진이 (黃眞伊) (Hwang Jin Yi)
Genre: Period, Traditional, Drama
Starring: Ha Ji Won, Kim Jae Won, Kim Young Ae, Jang Geun Suk, Wang Bit Na
Screenwriter: Yoon Sun Joo
Directors: Kim Chul Kyu
Episodes: 24
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
The story of Hwang Jin Yi, the famous 16th century Gisaeng.

This story sheds new light on the life of Joseon-era dancer, musician and poet Hwang Jin Yi, who made her art blossom even when her love was put to test. The series also depicts the tragic life of a woman who faces hardships due to her social status. The drama drew the spotlight even before its premiere because Hwang Jin Yi is portrayed by top actress Ha Ji Won. Meanwhile, Wang Bit Na portrays another prominent dancer of the same era who is jealous of Hwang Jin Yi’s artistic talent. The role of nobleman Kim Eun Ho, Hwang Jin Yi’s first love who dies because their love turns out unrealistic due to differences in their social status, is played by Jang Geun Suk, while king’s relative Byuk Kye Soo, who becomes addicted to Hwang Jin Yi but fails to win her heart, is played by Yoo Tae Jun. Actor Lee Shi Hwan portrays Yi Saeng, an ambivalent character who is neither Hwang Jin Yi’s lover nor friend. Kim Young Ae plays the role of dancing girls’ trainer, while Kim Bo Yeon portrays her rival, Mae-hyang. The role of dancer Heon-keum, Hwang Jin Yi's mother who gave birth to her as a result of her belief that love only comes once in a lifetime, is portrayed by Jun Mi Sun.
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: This period drama captured my attention from the first episode. The drama has similar theme as the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the old Japanese drama "Oshin", that is the theme about the struggle of a woman living in a world dictated by men and rising above the adversities. Hwang Jin Yi is fiction drama about the life of a famous kisaeng (gisaeng), an entertainer similar to the Japanese geisha. In the drama, Hwang Jin Yi is portrayed as not only a highly intelligent individual, but also a talented artist who if not for her sex and social status could've held high and powerful rank. The drama was very well done, from the sceneries to the elaborate costumes.

Ha Ji Won is absolutely perfect in the role of Hwang Jin Yi, playing as a strong and vulnerable seductress. Every facial expressions that Ha Ji Won showed in this drama is subtle yet precise. From her inviting glance to her alluring smirk, all was done effortlessly and naturally. I love seeing the transformation of Hwang Jin Yi from a naive and lively kisaeng to an experienced and unemotional kisaeng. Not to mention, all the dances in this drama took my breath away, especially the Baekmu's Crane Dance. Sadly, I was more interested in Hwang Jin Yi process of becoming a kisaeng and her life as an artist rather than her love life, so I was bothered that there was more attention giving to her love life in the drama. Nevertheless, this is a beautifully done drama that shouldn't be missed.