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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Soulmate [k-drama]

Sorry for the lack of posts the past few weeks.  School and break week had me super busy, and I decided to watch a new drama because I have a hard time finding information about this one.  Soulmate is a Korean drama series from 2006 that has been popular, but not many people know much about it.  I've had this drama in my hard drive for the past few months and had a hard time starting it up.  Korean dramas usually like to have the whole romantic fuzzy feeling cut with betrayals of best friends and such.  I was super apprehensive and the first few episodes were hard to get into because of the constant slang that had to have foot notes for almost half the screen.  But the show is all about how Koreans go about thinking of relationships and the "games" they have to play to get each other.  It focuses on different couples throughout the series and how they all have troubles and happy moments.

One of the cool things about this series, is that they use the actual names of the actors.  One two of them have slightly changed names in the series.

Lee Soo Kyung (Loving You a Thousand Times, Dae Mul)- she plays one of the main characters.  At the beginning of the series, she has been dating her guy Phillip for 5 years, and he finally proposes to her on a train.  She feels apprehensive about accepting, but feels she is really in love.
Shin Dong Wook (Stars Falling From the Sky, Money's Warfare)- he plays a music producer who doesn't believe in fate and destiny, and has never really committed himself to a girl.  He meets Yu Jin on a setup date by their parents, and feels that she is interesting enough to start dating her.

Choi Phillip (Cannot Hate You, Star's Lover)- He plays Soo Kyung's boyfriend and feels that he really loves her.  He can be cheesy, but has good intentions, until he meets Min Ae and he starts to falter in his feelings for his fiancé.

Sa Kang (Salt Doll, Our Happy Ending)- She plays Hong Yu Jin, a naive girl who is very proper and sheltered.  She is apprehensive to date Dong Wook who is much different than her, but she finds him very attractive and wants to try dating him.

Otani Ryohei (The Road Home, Love Marriage)- He plays a fashion model who doesn't believe in the whole mind tricks when it comes to love and would rather be upfront about the way he feels.   He falls for Jang Mi Ae and she feels a special connection to him, perhaps because he is one of the first men to actually care about more than just her looks.

Jang Mi In Ae (Blissful Woman, Super Rookie)-  She plays Jang Mi Ae, the hot girl who can get any guy she wants (through years of technique practice and a little pink relationship book written by a rival/friend in high school) and dates several men at once.  She is enticed by Phillip and the fact that he has a girlfriend already and sets out to make him hers.  

Kim Min Ji (there were no pictures of her online and she's only been in this show, so I had to take a screenshot from the show)-  She plays the boss of Yu Jin and Soo Kyung and has a thing for in shape men.  Min Jin ends up falling for Jung Hwan and they have quite the love-hate relationship.  
Jung Hwan (My Lady Boss, My Hero)- He plays the playboy personal trainer who feels that he knows all the moves to get the women.  Upon initial meeting he cannot stand Min Jin, but with her constant attention and even stalking they form a very unique relationship.

The guys (minus Phillip) are friends from the gym, while the women (minus Mi Ae) all work together.  Throughout the series you realize that everyone knows each other, and the concept of destiny and soulmates plays heavily into all these intertwined relationships.  The series is only 12 hour long episodes, but the last 10 are split so that one side of the episode is Soo Kyung's pov, while the other half hour is from Dong Wook's pov.  This drama is actually very funny and tackles the problems that people have with relationships such as playing hard to get or how to make a move.  There are a lot of Korean slang terms in the first couple episodes that require a bit of reading on the screen, and in the beginning I found it a little hard to keep up.  The biggest concept that they try to get across is one of my favorite thoughts that, "if it's meant to be it will happen."  I'm a big believer in that myself so it was nice to see a drama with the same outlook on love.  Many people find the ending to the series terrible, but I viewed it as you don't need to see to get confirmation.  It was kinda like how 500 Days of Summer had a hopeful ending, if you look at it the right way.  This series has definitely become one of my favorites, and with only 12 episodes it is a nice and short series that is enjoyable.


Characters: 4 out of 5 (The cast has all the stereotypical Korean characters to a drama, but that's what makes it enjoyable.  But each adds to the whole complete story and viewpoints on love that is needed for this series)

Story: 4.5 out of 5 (The story is really great because it is a current view on the dating game.  There were the typical cliches but how could you not with a story about soulmates?  The relationship between the two main characters has incredibly sweet moments, my favorite being one involving a day in the park with a Polaroid camera)

Irritation Level: 2 out of 5 (Of course this will occur in a k-drama, but there were only a few characters that I became really irritated with by the 10th episode.  And there are moments where you're like, "really?  You deserve happiness, don't be so self-sacrificing." But it definitely is not as bad and depressing as a stereotypical k-drama because of all the comedy thrown into the mix.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

Loved the outlook on love that they portrayed throughout the series and how people's minds could be changed with just a few chances of fate.  The concept of a soulmate is a very romanticized thing, but this series does a good job of rounding it off with the more practical types of relationships that might happen.  There are a lot of cute/romantic gestures throughout the series that really get the "aww factor" in.  Another awesome thing about this drama is the soundtrack!  It is made up of mostly English songs and is a very unique mix of love songs.  A+ for originality in soundtrack.  Definitely try and check out this "underdog" series because it is well worth your time!

Here are some of the key songs in the series...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo [j-drama]

the Japanese (language) that the Japanese (people) don't know

This is the first time that I've been watching a series as soon as it is aired in Japan.  It's much easier to download a series when it comes out instead of waiting for dead links.  Nihonjin is currently airing and this week will mark the 6th episode, but the rating have been rather poor.  Episode one had 5.8% and episode five had a shockingly low 1.3%  Despite these ratings, it is an entertaining series with many lessons in Japanese and reasoning to certain rules in the Japanese language.    This series is softsubbed which makes it even faster to watch and upload.  The drama is based of an illustrated book of the same name where a teacher is explaining how she teaches foreign students.  The premise of the series is a fashionable shop assistant named Haruko who has always dreamed of being a high school teacher.  She ends up getting a job as a temporary teacher, but finds out when she gets there that it is a school for foreign exchange students.  At first she is intimidated by all of the questions and curiosity of her students, but they end up teaching each other valuable lessons (because come on, it's a drama!).  The cast is one of the most amazing parts of the series!  The main character is a popular actress this season, but the class is actually made up of a wide range of foreigners who speak very good Japanese.  Unfortunately most of them are not popular actors, so there are very few pictures of the whole cast.  I hope that this picture will give you the basic idea of what the whole cast looks like.  (click on the image to see the entire image)

                                                         Naka Riisa (Yankee-kun to Megane-chan)                  
                                                                                                                                                                                              She plays the character Haruko who is given the position of teacher to a class full or foreign students.  She wants to be a Japanese high school teacher and is promised a teaching position if she can get all of her current class to graduate.  She typically dresses like she's a fashionista instead of a teacher and can often get overwhelmed by the types of questions her students ask.  Typically the way the foreigners learn Japanese is quite different and much more formal than most Japanese people are used to using.  She might be a new teacher, but she has a big heart and treats her students well.  

This series is very entertaining and informative.  As a past student of Japanese I found the lessons to be very interesting and also incredibly useful.  It teaches you about some of the little things such as counters, reasoning for kanji readings, "standard speech" vs. "everyday speech," and many various topics.  In one episode one of the characters is into yakuza traditions and even has a high stakes hanafuda* match.  The foreigner's Japanese is very good and it flows just as easily as quickly as some of the Japanese characters within the series.  Perhaps the reason the show isn't too popular in Japan is that it points out things about Japanese language that most people already know or feel like they know.  The students know Japanese from the way they were taught from textbooks and their own countries, and many of the questions are about super formal things in the Japanese language that typical Japanese people don't even think to question.  I suppose it's like that for any foreign country, where you have the way you speak, and you think nothing of it and the way it must sound to a foreigner.  For instance in one of the episodes there are specific ways to talk when working at a restaurant and giving food to customers, but in textbook terms it seems like very strange Japanese to say it the professional way.  I highly recommend this series to anyone interested in the Japanese language and the little things that make up the rules of a language.  


Characters: 5 out of 5 (The cast is pretty much non-Japanese who speak fluent Japanese throughout the series.  Each character has their own personality and they all have good chemistry)

Story: 5 out of 5 (I thought this story was super original and was very good with the information about Japanese language)

Irritation Level: 0 out of 5 (No love misunderstandings, the only thing people might complain about is the characters constantly questioning the way things are.  But if you've taken a language, the willingness to learn and understand is something that many can relate to)

Overall: 5 out of 5

It's a good series with an extremely original premise.  Being an ex-Japanese major, I can relate to wanting to know everything about the language and just being fluent.  Even with the low rating system I am hoping that the rest of the series will be just as good.  I'm guessing there about 5 more episodes before the end and can't wait to see the other students' stories and experiences.  There are 9 students total meaning that everyone should have their own story line, plus a finale.  :)  I hope you also enjoy this series as much as I do!

*A traditional set of hana cards.  It is traditionally a gambling game, but also a very fun card game.  I've tried teaching it to friends in the past, but they have a hard time getting into it.  My grandpa and my family used to play this a lot when we would visit.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shinzanmono [j-drama]

People lie to escape from their sins and to continue living their lives.  

I have been trying to find a good detective-type drama since I watched the series Odoru Daisosasen back when I was in high school.  It's been recently that I've been researching dramas and keeping up with current seasons (because it is always so much more convenient to download when links are fresh) and found that there are actually a lot of detective ones.  Shinzanmono is a spring season drama that finished back in June.  The actors high profile and the story is moved by multiple mysteries, clearing up the big mystery of who killed newcomer (in Japanese the word for newcomer to a town is shinzanmono) Mitsu Mineko.  The cast was well put together and each character had screen presence.  The main cast appears throughout the series, but there are many recognizable actors in each individual episode.

Abe Hiroshi (been in various dramas and movies for the past 13 years)

He plays detective Kaga Kyoichiro who has been recently transferred (also a shinzanmono) to Ningyo cho, a small shopping-district town famous for it's family owned shops.  He is placed as head of the investigation into the murder of Mitsu Mineko and has very good skills at reading people and the little actions.  

Kuroki Meisa (1 Pound Gospel, Tada Kimi wo Aishiteru, former JJ Model and singer)

She plays journalist, Aoyama Ami who knew Kaga Kyoichiro when she was still in school and is dating the son of Mitsu Mineko.  Ami feels like she has to find out why Mitsu Mineko was killed and starts doing a bit of her own investigating.  

Mukai Osamu (Beck, Osen, Nodame Cantabile, Bambino!)

He plays Kiyose Koki, Mitsu Mineko's son who left home to pursue his acting career against the wishes of his divorced parents.  He feels like his mother regretted having him and does not feel the need to be in contact with her.  He seems to not care about his family since he did not feel wanted, but he can't seem to completely cast away his family.  

Mizobata Junpei (Hana Kimi, Buzzer Beat, Seito Shokun!)

He plays Matsumiya Shuhei who works for the police force and is constantly put with Kaga Kyoichiro.  He is the typical understudy type character who is constantly wondering if Kaga's techniques and questioning really works.  Matsumiya is always trying to prove himself and is a good detective.

Miura Tomokazu (Ryusei no Kizuna, The Taste of Tea)

He plays Kiyose Naohiro, ex-husband of Mitsu Mineko and father to Kiyose Koki.  He is constantly under suspicion from the police because of the background between the two.  He has distanced himself from her, but it is apparent that he still cares, even after her death.

Harada Mieko (Ran, Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis, Dreams)

She plays Mitsu Mineko and is shown in every episode through various flashbacks and recollections of the town inhabitants.  She is a kind woman who just wants to find out more about her son and his life.

I picked this series up because I was happy to see a detective drama.  I am also familiar with Kuroki Meisa because she was a former model in my favorite Japanese magazine, JJ.  She has also been in my all time favorite Japanese love movie, Tada Kimi wo Aishiteru.  The first episode also had a small segment on kendo (Japanese fencing) and me being a kendoist for the past few 7 years, I was excited to see a drama with a kendo segment.  I was pleased with my first detective drama since Odoru and have been looking for other great ones since.  Some have been more comedic, while others have been boring, but I will be interested to learn if there will be another great detective series out there.  :)


Characters: 4.5 out of 5 (Awesome variety in cast and great character movement.  It was the perfect mix with only a few stereotypical characters, but overall good range.)

Story: 4.5 out of 5 (Loved the story and how great of a character Kaga Kiyoichiro was.  He reminded me a lot of Kindaichi from one of my favorite manga's The Kindaichi Case Files.  The town residents were very unique and interesting to watch.)

Irritation Level: 0 out of 5 (No constant, irritating, quarrels and misunderstanding between lovers here!)

Overall: 5 out of 5

I loved this series.  It was very different from the typical comedic-romance high school drama or the heartbreaking love story that Asians love to watch.  Abe Hiroshi plays Kaga Kyoichiro very well and is an awesome character to watch.  I liked how by solving each of these mysteries, you get closer to the big mystery of who killed Mitsui Mineko.  I hope you guys find joy in this series and perhaps it will spike your interest in the ever popular Japanese detective stories.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Drama Rating System

Since I started to review dramas, I decided to make a rating system.

Characters: Based on the personality of the characters and the way they interact with each other.

Story: Based on the originality of the story and how well it is executed.  (since most are based on manga, this would entail the originality of the manga and how the drama executes it)

Irritation Level: Based on how much I feel irritated with the characters and the typical drama stupidness that people in love can have.  For example, the main guy sees the main girl with another guy and assumes the worst so he gets mad and sulks by ignoring her.  Or if they cry the entire series about their unrequited love (don't worry, after Winter Sonata, I learned my lesson when it comes to super dramatic dramas).

Overall: Based on overall enjoyment of the series and if I'd watch it again.

For the 3 standard scores, it's just based from 1 being bad to 5 being amazing (with irritation level high numbers mean high irritation)
1= bad
2= okay
3= good
4= great
5= amazing

For the overall score, I based the number system like netflix does, but I will add the .5 to the mix.  =P
1= hated it
2= didn't like it
3= like it
4= really like it
5= love it

Sunao ni Narenakute [j-drama]

So it seems like lately I might be doing drama reviews here.  I know a lot of other blogs already do this, and a lot of people already have reviewed a lot of the series I have, but since I have so many, I might as well start somewhere.  :)

I just finished up a series called Sunao ni Narenakute, which translates to Can't Be Honest.  It's about a group of four people who meet each other via Twitter and become great friends.  They finally decide to meet up in real life and get to know each other.  It's about how they learn to be honest with each other and their feelings and how they live their lives.  It's a typical Japanese life drama, but the characters are lovable and ones you get attached to easily.  The cast includes some of the following super stars.

Ueno Juri (Nodame Cantabile, Last Friends)

She plays the main girl character (twitter name Haru) who is a provisional high school teacher who lies and says that she is a legit high school teacher.  She has feelings for her fellow twitter friend Nakaji, and can't wait to meet him.

Eita (Nodame Cantabile, Last Friends)

He plays the main guy character (twitter named Nakaji) who is a photographer for adult magazines, but he lies to his twitter friends saying that he photographs for magazines like Vogue and Elle.  His father was a war photographer and he also wants to follow in his father's footsteps but has a hard time getting into the industry.

Jae Joon (international superstar, part of Dong Bang Shin Ki)

He plays a character named Seonsu (twitter name Doctor) who is a sales guy for a medical company, but he lies and tells his twitter friends that he is actually a doctor.  He is incredibly shy and is often bullied by his coworkers for having the worst sales records.  But he has feelings for Haru before they meet in person and wants to act on them.

Tamayama Tetsuji (Nana)

He plays a character named Kaoru (twitter name Linda) who works at a magazine as he is trying to be an editor, but he lies and tells his twitter friends that he is the head editor of a magazine.  He would do anything to make it in the business, but is being blackmailed into sexual favors by the head editor.  He cares deeply about the friends that he has made and wants to do everything that he can to help them.

Seki Megumi (Ganbatte Ikimasho, Hachimitsu to Clover)

She plays a character named Hikari (named Peach for ever episode after the first) who is Haru's best friend and goes with her to the first twitter meet up.  She is the type of girl who always wants to be loved and is having an affair with her boss.  She has suicidal tendencies and tries to kill herself in the first episode, but her friends save her in time and she decides that she needs to change herself.  She decides to join them up on twitter and changes her name to Peach in a way to reinvent herself.

I originally picked up this drama because of the two main characters, Ueno Juri and Eita.  They have been together in at least 2 other dramas and always have a good chemistry.  I also saw pictures of Eita with a Nikon camera and was intrigued, and I found some nice hardsubs by GOE;SS (gods of the east subbing squad) and finished this series in only 3 days.  It had the typical drama elements of bad timing and misunderstandings, and the self-sacrificing love.  It might sound too girlish, but it was very nice and had a good morale.  Tell the truth about your experiences and feelings.  If you don't it can eat away at you and cause unnecessary pain.

The theme song is by Sugawara Sayuri and is called Sunao ni Narenakute.  The funny thing about drama music is that you might not like it upon first hearing, but by the time the series is done, you will be listening to it all the time.  This song is typical Japanese ballad, but the lyrics are what make the song.  I remember hearing this song before I even heard of the drama because I liked the album cover.  It's such a pretty picture and I tend to download songs just because of the album art.  XD

Sunao ni Narenakute; Sugawara Sayuri
I can just feel it if you protect me
Come and hold me close right now
I want to show you these feelings that were always dear to me
Because my heart couldn’t become honest “…I miss you”
We walked back home and within the silence there was no one
This beating heart feels like it will burst open
I wonder if you can hear it?
Is there a deep love for these closed lips of mine?
I cannot say anything in front of him
I always held in these gentle feelings that you had been deprived of
Because my heart cannot become honest “…I miss you”
I swore I’d live my life, never crying in front of others
But in front of you, my heart becomes overwhelmed with tears
Is there any meaning in the words you gave me in the warmth of your arms?
I held you from behind and muttered softly
I won’t ever let you be alone because I always want to be there for you
I want to feel all of your warmth, I believe you
Because miracles just happen, they are not guided by fate
I was drawn to you so we cannot drift apart
I always held in the gentle smile you wanted to see
Because I want my heart to become honest
I want to show you these feelings that were always dear to me
Because I want my heart to become honest “…I miss you”
I hope that if you watch this series it will be as good of an experience for you as it was for me.  The theme is close to people's hearts because we always hide our true feelings to keep ourselves from hurting, but in the end, you end up feeling worse.  It's a very nice series if you're looking for one that is a bit more drama like, without the super depressing Korean teary characters/endings.  Enjoy and happy watching!!

Characters: 4 out of 5 (nice variety of characters.  they feel insecure at first, but grow to trust each other)

Story: 3.5 out of 5 (it's a typical life story drama where the characters have to learn to trust their friends.  some of the relationships are a bit stereotypical drama)

Irritation Level: 2 out of 5 (quite low, but there is some of that self-sacrificing bits that some people find annonying)

Overall: 4 out of 5 (good series, great characters, good chemistry, mild irritation level because of typical misunderstandings)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Message From My Heart part 2

It’s 3:00am and I can’t fall asleep.  So the first thought was perhaps I need to post a blog.  XD  My internet isn’t working either, so I’m typing this all in a word document until I get the chance to post it later.  (images taken from the wonderful world of lelove)

For those of you who have been reading here and have asked about it, I finally do not have to call myself a hypocrite.  I was finally able to convey my feelings after much anguish and slight pushing from some of my closest friends.  When I went back home, I talked about this never-ending battle with myself to let everything out.  And it only took me 6 hours one night.  The day of, they kept pushing me saying I can’t back out.  They kept telling me that I should stop running away and slowly hurting myself over stress and worry.  In short, after taking preventive measures from me avoiding the topic that night (I called a few friends that I knew would call me out on bitching out), I nervously admitted my feelings.  And let me tell you, people don’t lie when they tell you it makes you feel so much better.  Unfortunately for people who are hoping for a happy ending, it is much more bittersweet.  I got the answer I was expecting, but that was enough for me.  Timing is everything in a relationship, and sometimes just getting that timing is the hardest battle.  It felt great to hear that I was considered best friend material, and for me that was enough.  Sure a lot of people say that the phrase is the “nail in the coffin,” but I try to look at it that it’s a starting point.  If things can be that easy doesn’t that mean something?  I explained that for me just knowing that someone cares is enough.  If I can’t have an “official” boyfriend it would be okay.  Life is crazy at this point in time.  Thinking about such things isn’t always the best idea when you’re trying to figure out your own life and your own happiness.  I’m not saying that I am going to use him as an excuse not to try and find happiness, but at this point in my life, down here in Santa Barbara, another photography student is not something I’m looking for.  Especially with such a small school because in my past observations, it’s just asking for trouble.  (not saying that you can’t have a great experience!  Because I know at least 2 extremely happy couples here at Brooks.  :D)

After all those years, I realize that my timing was good and that the other times I stopped myself, happened for a reason.  As cliché as it sounds, I am a big believer in fate.  I feel like everything that has happened to me has led me to Brooks.  It’s been a road of school, friendship, love, heartbreak, and failure.  Sure, I’m not going to lie by saying I haven’t thought of things that I’ve fucked up and wished I could go back, but when I start thinking like that I just have to remember that I am living my dream right now.  I am doing everything I can to make sure that my future is the best one I can possibly have.   

Overall this post was to just let the few people in my life know that if you have feelings for someone, let them know when you think it’s right.  Sure I had to get some encouragement from my friends because the whole concept was super scary.  I spent many a time making up excuses and reasons not to.  But when you’re ready, don’t hold back.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on something that could be and regret it forever.  Unrequited love hurts like hell, but it’s better to hurt for a few months rather than the rest of your life.  And who knows, the result is usually a happy resolution.  If nothing else, the person would be impressed that you can actually say how you feel about them, especially if you’re a girl.  Guys have this feeling like they have to be the ones to initiate.  But if the girl can say something first, I think it shows them a lot.  This has been another ones of those things in my life that I can look back on and say that even though I might not get a happy ending with this one, at least I tried and didn’t hide.  So, thank you to all who have supported me through the rants and indecisiveness.  :D  Without you guys, I probably wouldn’t have ever found the strength to get it all out there.  

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Personal Taste [k-drama]

I recently watched a recent Korean drama called Personal Taste.  For anyone a fan of the Korean Boys Over Flowers I would definitely recommend it to.  The main guy in this drama is Lee Min Ho who plays Jun Pyo in the Korean version.  He definitely grew on me in Boys Over Flowers, but Personal Taste further enforced my love for him.  The premise is simple.  The ever awkward main girl, Kae In, needs money to save her house from loan sharks, so she lets a guy, Jin Ho (lee min ho), live in her home because she believes him to be gay, thus having no interest in women so it would be fine for them to live together.  Unknown to Kae In he is actually straight and wanting to live in this house to discover what it is about the house that could possibly lead him to gaining a huge job for his architecture firm.

This drama has everything.  The backstabbing best friend that  has you yelling at your monitor, the misunderstandings that come with dramas, and of course, the super cute couple scenes that make these dramas so enjoyable.  As usual, the main girl is the off beat main character that typically one would find weird.  But of course they are still cute because it is a drama.  =P  Jin Ho might not be gay, but throughout the series he continually knows how to make women feels better and seems to be very understanding, just like a gay friend would be.  There are funny little incidents that lead Kae In and her best friend to think that Ji Ho and his business partner are gay and when she's drunk she usually blurts out to everyone in the room that he is gay.  Of course the best friend is an evil bitch and quite reminds me of a girl I used to be friends with.  It is key for any sort of media to be relatable to its viewers so that they feel like the situation could happen to them.  The couple sequences are completely adorable and sigh enducing and will have you keep on watching.

I try not to watch too many Korean dramas because they always make me want a relationship (haha how could you not with all these beautiful people).  Not that I wouldn't mind one, but it's just kinda sad when I don't have one and feel like I need to find one to be fully happy.  Longing for a relationship never really ends well and isn't something that I enjoy feeling.  But it does make me happy to watch couples in love, and makes me hopeful for my future.  :)  I definitely recommend this series to drama fans with the cuteness level high and the entertainment level equally matched.  Hope you find some happiness with this series.  :D  I have a great link to downloads for this series so just ask if you would like it!  I'm sure you could find it on the drama streaming sites, but I prefer to have the nice quality copies of them that I can keep to watch again someday.  =]

Characters: 5 out of 5 (including the bitch you love to hate)

Story: 4 out of 5 (very original storyline, but has the typical "secret" past twist)

Irritation Level: 3 out of 5 (you will find yourself getting irritated at the bitchy "friend" popping up everywhere.  I found the jealously kind of cute from the couple, but it can get wearing)

Overall: 4 out of 5 (great story, cute characters, funny situations, adorable couple)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

High Quality Goodness

Lately I've been watching and downloading the most current drams to keep up with them and have good download rates before they get too old.  Thankfully with video quality and bluray rips, it is so much easier to get high quality videos.  I recently watched the Gokusen movie (subbed by SARS) in HD and it was super amazing!!  Apparently they waited for the bluray disc so they could have a nice quality sub.  It was also really cool to watch the Gokusen movie that encompassed all 3 seasons of characters.  Kind of nostalgic in a way.  :D  It was great to see my old favorite actors show up in something recent.  On the subject of that, one of my favorite Japanese actors, Narimiya Hiroki has played the same kind of character in a lot of things lately.  He was in a movie called Drop, about a "yankee-ish" guy getting put into a public school.  Now there is a spring drama going on called "Yankee-kun to Megane-chan" where he plays a delinquent character.  haha.  I first started to watch out for him after he was in Nana, playing Nobu (my favorite character of the series) and have been able to find him in a lot of things recently.  I'm anxiously awaiting someone to sub Yankee to Megane!!  Just watching the raw, I can tell I will really like it.  :)  That's the sad thing about not being completely fluent in Japanese.  I'm not able to fully understand everything in these dramas as quickly as I want to.  I'm hoping that with my upkeep in Japanese, I will be able to continue with my level and hopefully learn it fluently after I finish up here at Brooks.  :D

 Anyways, there are some pretty crazy formats and subtitle formats floating around out there.  There's even a subtitle file that I dowloaded the other day with the extension .ass  XD  Thankfully, if you're ever in doubt about which player to use, I highly recommend VLC (especially for Mac useres) because it has been compatible with every sort of file I have come across so far.  I notice that the HD formats (720p and higher) are usually in mp4 or mvk formats.  Both are easily playable on many video players.

One of my favorite things is when artists post their music videos in 1080p on Youtube.  It is quite a nice treat to view an amazing music video in top notch quality.  For instance, everyone's favorite Tae Yang...I remember this being one of the first 1080p youtube videos I was able to watch.  :D


Overall the way that video graphics are going is simply amazing!  Seeing things in high definition and such is really changing the way we watch online.  I can't stand watching a show online and seeing nothing but pixels.  D:  I tend to download different series so I am able to watch it clearly like it was intended.  :)  If you ever need a recommendation on a series to start please don't hesitate to ask!  I have the ever growing collection, but I really should learn how to correctly burn DVD copies so in case I have friends who want to watch ones, without the hassle of downloading.  Anyone else have a favorite drama series?  I also love getting recommendations so please let me know!  :D

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breaking it Down

I find that sometimes guys have this misconception of girls that if you date someone, you have to pay for dates, talk on the phone for ages, and invest time that you might not have.  But let me tell you, majority of girls need a whole lot less than that.   For most girls, just knowing that you care about them too will keep them satisfied.  If you can't call every day then it's okay.  Life is important and your future is important, but isn't sharing it with someone sound somewhat promising?  If you're lucky, you will find someone who understands if you can't act all lovey-dovey or don't even want to,  but if you have mutual feelings, and understand them, isn't that worth it?  It always seems so sad that people can't share their feelings with each other.  I see in so many Japanese movies that people lose out on love because they couldn't tell the person they liked their feelings.  I'm rewatching a series called Proposal Daisakusen (operation love) that is about a guy who is able to go back in time (via photographs in his best friend's/love's wedding slideshow) to try and tell the best friend that he's in love with her.  In the past he felt that he had so much time to tell her, he was just always late.  Asian just tend to have those, "too late" movies and no one is happy.  Isn't just knowing that you have someone's love enough?

Some guys argue that girls always say this, but never follow through.  You just have to find those girls that aren't going to do that.  Which makes a whole big circle of work.  XD  Talking with my roomate, we agreed that if you weren't able to see the person you cared about for awhile because of school or life, if you really want to have a relationship with that person it wouldn't make a difference.  Just knowing that you have the support of someone you care about is saying a lot.  Some people can work this kind of relationship.  Some people can't.  Same as things like long-distance relationships.  Good timing is right for relationships.  Sometimes you have to wait.  Sometimes you have perfect timing.  But I do truly believe that if it is meant to be it will happen.  By the way, if you haven't seen Paper Heart (the movie/documentary) I highly recommend it.  It hits both points on not believing in love and just working at something you might have never thought of.  And hearing different people's views on love is also really interesting.  Finding love is hard, but when you do find it, don't let go.

Love, I don't need those things
I don't need no ring
I don't need anything
But you
And me
Cause in your company
I am happy oh so happy and complete

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo Blog

So I started up a photo blog strictly for just posting my work

My family was wondering if they could ever see my images so I decided to make strictly on photo.  I will still be posting up here, so I hope you enjoy both blogs.  :)  Newest entry in the photo blog is the stuff I took over my week long break back at the end of April.  I hope you enjoy!  :D

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I recently read a post from a friend on her blog about 10 honest things about herself.  I decided to do the same.  Just 10 random, truthful things about myself.  :)

1. Writing things out always makes me feel so much better about the thing I can't say.  Sometimes it might be too personal, but it really does make me feel better.  I used to write myspace blogs all the time about the feelings and such.  I kept them so only my really close friends could read them and it was a good outlet for me to just write.

2. I will sing anywhere, anytime, but never in the shower.  XD

3. I believe that everything happens for a reason.  You might not understand the reasons why in short term, but in the long run, they usually lead to bigger and better things.

4. I also believe that if it's meant to be it will happen.  You might have to wait awhile, you might even get hurt, but I totally believe that it will all work out in the end.  Of course, you might have to take charge and make it happen, but sometimes that's what it takes to make it reality.

5. I've never had a brother, but I feel as if my Lodi guy friends are like my brothers.  I can make fun of them, laugh with them, and pretty much do nothing and still be entertained.  I talk about them a lot, and some people might mistake my talking about them so much as a crush, but the reality is, I feel like they are part of my family.  I don't know what I would do without them.  :)

6. I only have a few really close girl friends.  But I would do anything for them.  I hate being so spread out from all of them, but I try to keep in contact as much as possible.  The future holds so much for all of us.  Life is changing for us at rapid speed, and I can't wait to see what we will be like in 10 years.  We can go without ages seeing each other, but the minute we get together, it's like time hasn't passed.  Seeing us mature and live life is exciting.  I hope to have them in my life always.

7. Lyrics make or break a song for me.  I pay attention to them a lot.  I think it's because there are just some that I can instantly relate to because I know the feeling.  My current favorite songs tend to change with the feelings that I'm feeling and the lyrics that relate to them.

8. I constantly wonder about the future.  But at the same time, when someone asks where I see myself in 10 years, I have no clue what to say.

9. I never felt as intellectual as many of my family and friends.  All of our family friends and my close friends all went to school for things like science and engineering with top honors in school.  I was more the girl who sucked at math but loved to be creative or learning foreign languages.  Growing up like that I felt pressured by myself, even though my parents knew I wasn't going to be the next doctor.  XD  They didn't expect me to, but still, I felt like I wasn't as smart as my friends or family and disappointing the people who would buzz about me for going to a community college.  Even though I was happy with my choice, I still felt like I was disappointing people.  Thankfully I'm where I want to be now, and it might not lead me to finding a cure for cancer, or creating the latest invention to change mankind, but I am happy doing something that I know I will always be in love with.

10. I never really used to think of myself as pretty.  I grew up with crazy blown up hair, glasses, and bad acne.  Now, 8 years later, I have grown to love my full hair, have a cute pair of glasses, and have been getting my skin under much better control.  Low self-esteem was my enemy back when I was in grade school, but in the past 3 years, I have grown to appreciate and love the way I am.  :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finding Your Happiness

Finding something that you love to do is always incredibly rewarding.  It is something that you can turn to no matter what kind of mood you're in and make you feel happy.  For me, I have a lot of things that make my life.  Photography obviously is the thing I turn to.  I love seeing the happiness that my photographs can give people.  A lot of people hate getting their picture taken.  But if I can give them photographs that they love, it makes me feel accomplished and like I have done my job.  The satisfaction that comes with giving my gift to others to enjoy is simply amazing.

I have known Morgan for almost 7 years now.  He started just a few months before me at Sacramento's kendo dojo, so we were all kind of new together.  We've been friends ever since.  He is a self-taught guitar player and has been playing for about 4 years now.  Morgan's recorded some things already, but is constantly working on new songs.  His style is simply guitar (no singing) with a lot of fancy fret work.  He's currently working on a youtube channel, but for now here's a link to a performance from 3 years ago.

I went to visit this past weekend, and I asked if I could take some photos.  My style of portraits is to take ones of people doing the things they love to do.  I took the more natural approach since it's more his style, but the lighting was kind of strange, so I definitely want to try more some other time when I have better lighting.  I also didn't do too many pictures with his face in it, because most people don't like having pictures of themselves on a wall.  XD  I am saving posting my favorite pictures till later.  I want them to have impact when he sees them for the first time in person.  I promise I'll post them up here later if people are interested.  Maybe someday when he makes CD's I will be able to do his album art.  :)  I hope you enjoy these photos and look for Morgan in the future.  :D