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Off road experiences

I may be addicted to asian dramas, films, music and its culture but sometimes I just feel like I need a break – even if it’s just a short one. My life basically revolves around Japan and South Korea and everything in my room – beginning with my interior and ending with a closet full of clothes I bought because they looked a little bit like some stage outfits from idol groups – reminds me that this is what I was made for each day.

But I think it’d be kind of narrow minded to say that I’m not interested in any other stuff. Of course there are English bands and singers I like a lot and of course there are English movies and series I could watch over and over again without getting bored. (For those of you who’re wondering about them just read my post “Off Road” below the menu “I My Me Mine”.)

Most of the times, however, I can’t help but be reminded about Asian things while looking at something else. Do you know that feeling? You watch a Hollywood movie and suddenly you think that you saw this and that scene in a Korean drama once before. You listen to an English band and then a melody is played which brings back memories of a Japanese song. Or you can’t decide whether to order pizza or burger tonight and while you’re still looking at the menu your brain unexpectedly starts screaming “sushi” out of nowhere – even though it isn’t even an option on the menu.

I experienced that way too often! These days it’s even going as far as to think that non-Asian actors and actresses look a little bit like some Korean and Japanese ones I know. Today for example I watched the Iron-Man-movies again since I really like Robert Downey Jr. and his character “Tony Stark” and I was totally enjoying this over exaggerated hollywood-action-super-hero topic when suddenly a weird thought popped up in my mind: ‘With glasses, grey hair and a smaller statue he’d kind of look like Lee Jung Gil, wouldn’t he? … Wait, WHAT?!’ O.o

I don’t want to think that. Honestly! It just happens automatically. … I can’t even say if I’m proud or just kind of freaked out by myself. Do you guys happen to know what I’m trying to explain here? It’s crazy, right?!

Hana Kimi

Genre: school life, romance, comedy

Episodes: 13 + a special episode

Main actors: Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma

Main actress: Horikita Maki

Story: Mizuki Ashiya (Horikita Maki) is a Japanese girl who originally lived in California together with her parents but decided to come back to Japan for the boy she’s in love with: Izumi Sano (Oguri Shun), a high jump star whom she only knows from TV but wants to meet by all means! Since Izumi’s attending an all-boys boarding school Mizuki needs to disguises herself as one of them and enter the school as a new student. Living together with a bunch of young guys, however, isn’t as easy as she may have thought. Besides the trouble that she mustn’t get caught while taking a shower, changing clothes or lying sick in bed there’s another problem in front of her: Nakatsu Shuichi (Ikuta Toma) falls in love with Mizuki even though he thinks she’s a boy and starts to question his own sexuality. And as if this wouldn’t be enough there are still a ton of other troubles for a student living in a boarding school such as rivalry between the dorms, festivals which need to be organized, sport events or just the ordinary madness. How is Mizuki ever going to confess in all this chaos?

Own opinion: Oh yes! My first asian drama of all times and still one of my favourites! I already loved the manga which’s undoubtedly one of the cutest things I’ve ever read but this drama’s even better!

Let me tell you that Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma and Horikita Maki are one of the most famous actors in Japan. Sure, “Hana Kimi” was a huge help for all of them to get known by the people but their performance here really IS awesome – in a cute, funny and heartbreaking way. Horikita as the strong willed but nevertheless shy girl disguised as a boy is perfect. Since she’s small and skinny she doesn’t really has a chest either but her adorable face compensates these features  – she doesn’t seem manly per se but on the other hand not female enough to be troubled over this. Definitly a good boy-aka-girl. 😉

Oguri Shun as the cold but somehow really lovely Izumi Sano is exactly as I imagined him while reading the manga. If I remember it correctly Izumi is said to be handsome but has more of an interesting face rather than a common pretty one. Oguri pulls that off perfectly! On first glance I thought he isn’t handsome at all but the more I looked at him the more I thought that he’s kind of sexy. And his huge thin body made him the perfect actor for this character.

Now to the secret hero of this drama: Nakatsu Shuichi! Really, this is the most adorable love driven guy I’ve ever seen in a drama or movie! Ikuta Toma acts so unbelievably passionate that the viewer has no other chance but to fall in love with him! His character really is the secret hero of this drama since he has a bigger fan base than Izumi Sano or any other guy involved. His funny yet romantic yet heartbreaking actions make him the audiences darling and even though everyone knows how his love for Mizuki will end they still cheer for him. He’s the one who makes the whole drama more enjoyable and interesting. Nakatsu, the viewers sweetheart. ❤

Just let me tell you this one before you start watching this: Japanese people tend to overact sometimes. They want to make their dramas as original-like as possible so they act out everything! And with everything I mean even things like getting a nosebleed, screaming directly into the camera, having hearts instead of eyes and seeing pink frames around the face of the beloved ones. 😀 But that’s what makes “Hana Kimi” so really great!

Rating: I give this one… hm… well, yeah: 10 / 10. Because they made it as good as it was possible. There couldn’t have been any more.

PS: Maybe I should mention here that there also exists a taiwanese version of “Hana Kimi”, a japanese remake and a korean one called “To the beautiful You”. I tried to watch them but for me the original japanese one’s still the best. 🙂

 

Once upon a time…

… I was a normal little girl. I liked Barbie, dolls, playing mother-father-child and cooking a lot of interesting meals with plastic dishes. I’d go out in our garden and catch little pitiful insects to watch them trying to escape their prison called “jam jar”. My older sister liked to play with building blocks which were originally mine just to tell me that I’ve to play with the house she constructed just now. I didn’t mind.

So quite a normal childhood. Until I met the Japanese cartoons in the afternoon-TV.

I’m sure many people know about series like “Sailor Moon”, “Detective Conan”, “Inuyasha”, “Pokémon” and the rest of that sort. That’s how all of this began. I got infected with the “Anime-Virus” and from then on my life revolved around the time after school and before going to bed. My parents are sort of strict so they allowed my sister and me roughly one hour of TV per day. No need to mention that we hardly followed that order, right? There were just too many interesting anime’s going on so we couldn’t help it! 😉

Aah, the nostalgia’s strong with this one. ❤

Man, how I loved Inuyasha. xD And the song still gives me chills.

I actually use this as my work-out background music sometimes. xDD

Sheesh, the memories with this one! -^^- Conan was basically my everyday-after-school date for years!

Soon after discovering these series I found out about the Japanese comics – manga’s. Well, one thing led to another and my sister and I began to collect all sorts of manga’s at our home. I even began to draw these kind of figures myself and the more I was getting into the matter the more passion grew inside of me. My love for Asian things became a part of me and even my family began to recognize that. They gave me all kind of Asian gifts for birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. It was great! ❤

The step from manga’s and anime’s to Asian dramas with real actors and actresses was done by a manga called “Hana Kimi” – a really cute one – which was the “model” for a Japanese drama. I don’t remember it that exactly anymore but I think the friend who borrowed me “Hana Kimi” told me about the drama series. Well, however I got there doesn’t really matter. The point is: I loved it! So much that I searched for other dramas like this and found a website with thousand and more thousand series – Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese… you can’t imagine my reaction! I was literally blown away!

 

I still clearly know which was my second drama because this one guided me to the Asian music industry: “You’re Beautiful”. I fell in love with Jung Yong Hwa (second male lead) at once and as I was collecting some information about him I stumbled over his band “CN Blue”. While watching the famous music video “I’m a Loner” on YouTube some other videos related to k-pop showed up at the right side bar – and one click later I found myself confronted with the 13 handsome boys of “Super Junior”. What should I tell you? They had me in their hands immediately. Again, one thing led to another and a few months later I knew about almost every k-pop group and singer there was to know, started to spend my days indoor watching k-dramas and collected information about idols and actors.

CN Blue: I’m a Loner

My first ever MV by Super Junior – and I fell hard! 😉 Especially for Donghae… #FirstKoreanIdolCrush ❤

Super Junior: Sorry Sorry

That’s how it started. People often said – and some still do – that I waste my time with these things and should do something “useful” instead – to which my question always is what “useful” means in their eyes. And why I should live my life according to their opinion of “useful”. I am responsible for my own life and no one else. I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why I am doing with my time what I am doing. Neither my parents nor friends or anyone else. They won’t live my life for me, right?

And as I am looking at my lovely Korean and Japanese friends which I treasure dearly I know that it was the right thing to do. =)