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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?!

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You’re Beautiful

Genre: romance, gender-bender, music, comedy

Episodes: 16

Main actress: Park Shin Hye

Main actors: Jang Geun Suk, Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Hong Ki

Story: The famous idol group A.N.Jell is loved and adored by many fans. Unfortunately, main vocal Hwang Tae Kyeongs (Jang Geun Suk) voice is hurting so they decided to add a new member: Ko Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye). The problem is that Mi Nam is currently in the states to undergo plastic surgery on his eyes. He begs his twin sister Go Mi Nyeo (also played by Park Shin Hye) to take his place in the band as long as he’s in the hospital. Since she doesn’t want to ruin her brothers dream Mi Nyeo agrees and disguises herself as a guy to enter A.N.Jell. That her act brings many problems along isn’t surprising: First of all how is she going to live together with three guys without being discovered as a girl? Second the main vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Tae Kyeong turns out to be a total jerk and makes Mi Nyeos life as hard as possible. And third: The life of an Idol isn’t to be underestimated!

Just a few days after Mi Nyeo entered A.N.Jell discovers guitarist Kang Shin Woo (Jung Yong Hwa) her secret but due to his nice and soft nature keeps it to himself. Only that his discovery shows aftereffects: He starts to feel something for Mi Nyeo. Even Tae Kyeong eventually finds out that she’s a girl and he, too, begins to fall for her. Last but not least is bright and funny drummer Jeremy (Lee Hong Ki) captured by Mi Nyeos cute image despite the fact that he thinks she’s a guy. Three love driven guys and a girl who’s still convinced her act isn’t discovered yet – how is that going to work out?

Intro:

One of the most adorable scenes in the whole drama: A.N.Jell going grocery shopping… more or less. ;D

Own opinion: It was the first korean drama I’ve ever watched right after the japanese “Hana Kimi” and led me to the korean music industry. Looking back I totally liked it but thinking about it now feels different.

The story is cute but honestly: No matter how you look at it – Park Shin Hye doesn’t seem manly at all. I thought so back then and I think so now. Her face, her body, her voice – everything literally screams “girl”!

Aside from that is “You’re Beautiful” really nice. Yes, the character design is totally obvious – one jerk, one angel and one clown next to a shy and ridiculously innocent girl. Yes, the story takes it a step too far by making all three guys fall for her. Yes, that the-jerk-wins-while-the-nice-guys-end-up-having-nothing plot is annoying and unrealistic. BUT we can’t forget: It’s a korean drama. It isn’t supposed to be realistic. “You’re Beautiful” serves every imaginable cliché possible. And I know that many people like that.

As for me… it was nice back then because I didn’t know better. But since I’ve watched a dozen japanese and korean dramas now and saw some really really awesome ones I wouldn’t say it’s that great anymore. It’s a simple one – nothing for the brain but for the heart. Cute and emotional even though a little exaggerated.

Rating: 5 1/2 points out of 10. I’m honestly sorry for every fan out there but it’s my opinion and I really do think the plot and design of the whole drama is a little bit too simple for more.

PS: The japanese version is called “Ikemen desu ne” but due to the not-so-interesting plot and because I usually don’t like remakes is it still on my not-watched-yet list. 😉

Mendol-Ikemen Idol

Genre: music, comedy

Episodes: 12

Main actresses: Kojima Haruna, Takahashi Minami, Minegishi Minami

Story: Asahi (Kojima Haruna), Nami (Takahashi Minami) and Hinata (Minegishi Minami) are all young, pretty and cute. The three of them want to be famous Idols by any means which’s why they attend one casting after another. But despite disappointments, failures and sexual assaults there’s nothing going as they wish for. Then one day – after another failed audition – they witness a criminal act and are now the target of those gangsters. Unexpectedly, the director of an entertainment agency helps them flee and even offers to let them debut… provided their approval to disguise themselves as a boy group! So besides the hurdles of a normal fresh music trio enterting the music business Asahi, Nami and Hinata have to be especially cautious about their identities not being revealed. And as if that wouldn’t be enough other problems start to arise thanks to their masquerade – for example a forceful songstress who falls in love with the male version of Nami, a producer who likes Asahi as a guy and begins to question his sexuality and a paparazzo childhood friend who stalks them 24h per day. How are they ever going to live the life of an Idol in all this chaos?

The opening (I didn’t find it with english subtitles but it pretty much explaines itself.):

Own opinion: To be honest I think it’s quite weird. The idea’s really cool and unique which’s why I watched it in the first place but the whole making’s just totally bizarre. Let alone the fact that Minegishi Minami is way too cute and feminine to look like a boy. I guess I need to ignore that one because they all played together in this drama since they’re a girl group in real life anyway. Ever heard of “AKB48”? It’s the most famous girl group in Japan and probably whole Asia. You’ll know why if you look at the name. Oh yes! Not kidding you! “AKB48” has exactly 48 young female members. Because all of them could never fit on one stage they’ve countless sub-units – one of them called “no3b”, including our main actresses in this dorama. Don’t ask me about the name of that sub-unit though. I don’t get it either.

Well, there are still a lot of other things which bothered me while watching this series besides their absolutely not-male faces. For example the fact that they always wear the same stage outfit. I mean: Yes, it’s definitely stylish but which idol group’s wearing the same thing over and over again? Doesn’t it smell? Or for another example those really really really weird L-scenes. It’s not about the fact that they’re women but about the fact they kissed every five friggin’ minutes! WHY? Move on with the plot, damnit! I also like kisses – but not ten times in a row! -.- Maybe I could’ve even ignored that but what the heck was it with that damn whip? O.o So strange!!

The only things which kept me watching were: First of all the relationship between that songstress and Nami – so darn cute! ❤ Second Minegishi Minami. I didn’t know her before but even as a woman I can’t deny the fact that she’s the most adorable girl I’ve ever seen. Like a doll! Flawless from every angle. >.< Well, and as for the third thing it’s the length of this series. Every episode’s around 30 minutes long and the whole drama only has 12 episodes. I thought about this matter kind of like drawing a picture: Even if I’m going to throw it away at the end I still need to finish it to see how it looks as a complete composition. And it won’t even take that much time.

Rating: 4 / 10 – The idea’s good and the title song “3 Seconds” pretty catchy, alright. Some scenes are funny and the costumes rather cool. The rest though… -.-