Saturday, November 17, 2018

Where Stars Land, Part Deux

Decided to do a new post instead of continuing on the old one. Why? I dunno. It's Thursday. Anyway. Just finished episode 6 and finally saw a glimmer of hope for the female lead. It's the first time she wasn't utterly useless.
And...had to do some other stuff and have now also watched episode 7 and 8 while I was on the elliptical at the gym.

Kinda wish I had finished writing up what I was going to originally as now my thoughts are a little more evolved. In episode 6 you finally get also get a glimpse at what's up with Soo Yeon and why he's the way he is -- a motorbike accident while he's chasing after his big brother (another stiff dude at the airport that I haven't really liked since his first appearance). And you get this:

Whoop! There it is.
Er...what? He's got a freaking steampunk arm! I dunno what's up with that. I was expecting maybe a robot arm or something, not some odd steampunk thing. So I am intrigued by this in a WTF sort of fashion. It just seems out of left field. And is the dude that fixes his arm also Yeo Reum's father or does he just look a bit like him (...I'm too lazy to go back and locate the scene that shows the dad, so I guess I'll find out later)?

Anyway...episodes 7 and 8...this show really does have a different rhythm to me than a lot of Kdramas that I've watched so far. We see that Soo Yeon, who had been set up to be the rather taciturn, no expression trope of a dude, is interested in Yeo Reum, far before she really has any particular interest in him beyond friendship and curiosity. Even though so much screen time is given to the female lead, I find his story more compelling and interesting.

However, it does fall into the "how many disasters can happen to one person" thing. The last couple of episodes have literally gone from escaped passenger denied entry into country desperately attacks Soo Yeon to Yeo Reum's mother coming in on a flight THAT SAME NIGHT and the engine catches fire, probably from a bird strike.

Statistically, this is utter bollocks. Forbes says:
Of the roughly 87,000 flights per day in the United States, on average only one or two experience significant enough engine problems to cause the pilots to shut down one engine. In all cases today, commercial planes are capable of continuing to fly on one engine over land.
And this from The Telegraph:
When a bird flies, or is sucked into, the engine of a plane, the poor critter usually disintegrates. However, in incidents with larger birds there can be extensive damage to the engine. “Losing one engine is not going to cause an aircraft to crash because they are designed to fly with one engine down,” said Landells.
Assuming that's pretty typical across the world, the chances of all of this happening on this particular flight are so astronomically slim. Anyway. I know. I should suspend disbelief. It just bugs me when shows pack one disaster after another all in a row (and remember, this is a 1/2 hour show). At least give me a montage to show a passing of time. Something.

But, overall, I'm enjoying it. I like Soo Yeon and the growth he's already shown. There's hints of a love triangle developing that I'm not sure about (Yeo Reum's friend who also works at the airport) but, yeah, okay, I guess you gotta thrown in some angst other than what Yeo Reum's bad luck/attitude cause.

Edit: Okay...barrelled on through a number of them and am up to episode 19. Like pretty much every Kdrama I've watched so far, it's got the "oh, look, it's a random coincidence. Really!" thing happening. And, while you kinda feel like a lot has happened in the last ten episodes or some ways, not really much has actually occurred.

I'm not gonna do a play by play because I'm sick. Fever. Chills. Sore throat. Nose I can only breathe out of 1/2 of. Which is also why I'm so much farther along. Can't think to do anything else. Have no energy. Can't breathe at all when I lay down. 

Anyway. I guess I'm overall still liking it. I have quibbles. Mostly, why is the step-brother (half brother?) such a complete wanker? I don't get his motivation? It seems to be "your existence inconveniences me, so I want you gone"? And why are the prosthetic devices such a huge secret? Besides the whole, why would people care if it got out, wouldn't they be a huge medical advancement? Why the secrecy exactly? Not sure I'm buying the reasoning behind all of that, which is kinda hard when so much of the drama/angst is based entirely on him needing to hide it.

But I do like Soo Yeon. And the friend guy. Feel kinda bad for both of them, to be honest.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

A special kind of tired

It's before 10 AM. I am desperate tired. I'm not entirely sure why. I was up a bit late last night but not super late. We'd gone out to dinner with friends we hadn't seen in probably 10 years (or more) and had a bit of wine, but not too much. Up at 6:30. Boy to school. Petrol in the car. Grocery store for dinner. Coffee. But somehow I am the dog end of tired like I haven't slept for two days. And it's chilly out and I want to just curl up in bed.

But there are things to do.

The dog isn't helping. He's over in the corner snoring.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Pushing the button

So. Just finished filling out the paperwork to renounce my citizenship and scanned all the documents and filled out the email and...pushed the button. Sent.

It's a bit surreal.

The mid-term elections were held yesterday in the US and tons of my friends on FB and Twitter are all posting about their I Voted! stickers and the results (good, bad, ugly, etc.).

But, for me, this is the first time that I didn't vote. I knew I was going to fill in all the paperwork and give up my rights. Sure, I could have voted as I'm still a citizen at this point, but it kinda didn't feel right to do it when I knew I was a short timer. Maybe I should have anyway, though my vote would have been in Florida and I honestly don't think it would have made a difference. I know, I know, every vote counts.


I think I thought it would feel weirder pushing the button and sending it off into the ether. But I had my cry about it when I debated it and now it just kinda feels...empty.

Is empty the word? Maybe not. It is what it is.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Where Stars Land

So, it's Halloween and the little dude has a friend over for a playdate. We're off tomorrow to Dublin (a friend is watching the dog). I've finished all of the paperwork for little dude's school stuff. I've done the packing. Made a cottage pie for a family that recently lost the dad at little dude's school. Washed all the clothes. Decorated pumpkins. Answered emails. So I had about 1/2 hour and a bit to waste. Thought I'd watch a Kdrama episode. But Shopping King Louie episodes are an hour long and I didn't quite feel in the mood for 20th Century Boy and Girl again. started a third drama. Am I bad? Yes, yes I am.

I think Where Stars Land is an ongoing one, which isn't necessarily what I should have done, but for some reason it appealed to me today and the episodes are only 30 minutes long on Viki. It might be because I saw a clip of the show on Facebook the other day featuring some of the secondary characters and I liked it.

Han Yeo Reum (Chae Soo Bin) is not a model employee. After finally landing her dream job at Incheon airport, she's been transferred to different departments because she's apparently got a temper. The write up says she "is a bubbly new passenger service agent at the airport who is eager to do her best. But her clumsy nature makes her a threat to herself and the passengers." but when watching it, that doesn't really seem like the case. She's not particularly bubbly or clumsy. She was moved on for swearing at customers and roundhouse kicking someone. She's late for her first day of work, even though a friend/brother/someone? calls her to make sure she's awake. Honestly, not sure so far why I should be rooting for her...but hopefully she gets a good character arc. She's the type to always get lost and never ask for help.

On the way to her first day in her new department (Customer Service support of some kind), she has a chance encounter with Lee Soo Yeon (Lee Je Hoon). A magnetic one. No, really, I mean that literally. Like, the compass she wears around her neck gets stuck to his arm. The Viki description says that his dream was to be a pilot but he has poor eyesight and now works in "General Planning" in the same department as Han Yeo Reum. And he has a secret. They're the two romantic leads based on the photos/title page. So far she doesn't like him much but, hey, I don't like her much at this point either.

All we as viewers know about him as of the end of the first episode is that he's a bit of a silent, deadpan type and doesn't have any friends in particular. And now he's been assigned to act as a watchdog/supervisor over Yeo Reum even though he's only worked at the airport for a couple of months, so he's competent, if not well-loved. I do like deadpan guys, especially when they warm up later on, so we'll see. There are hints that his secret might have something to do with super strength, which would be a bit weird, but meh, okay.

I honestly have no particular opinion after watching the first episode. It could turn into something good or it could fizzle. There's not really enough to go on yet to form an opinion. More after I watch some more episodes. I have hopes as the rating is over 9 on Viki. That's usually a good sign.

Edit: Have watched through four now. Hmmmmmm. She's definitely my least fav female lead so far. Really. She's terrible. Bad at her job. Judgemental. Quick to anger/argue. Chip on her shoulder. No obvious reason for her to act the way she does, as we know very little about her past other than that she was a bad student and didn't go to a good university. Seems lazy. Always looking for a shortcut. Doesn't listen. Basically, always does the wrong thing and then gets pissed when it doesn't go her way.

The only reason I'd say I'm still watching it is that a) it doesn't seem to be following a typical Kdrama structure and b) I'm curious about the male lead, though we also know precious little about him as well at this point. Super strength aka Strong Woman Do Bong Soon? Just a metal/bionic arm? Some kind of secret past? Military training? Taciturn but goodhearted. Wants to hide but can't help but help people. He's sort of the antithesis of the girl, which is, I imagine, the point. But, as a viewer, I don't see why you would want to inflict her on him. There doesn't seem to be any benefit in it.

I get the feeling this is one that, if I finish it, it won't be because of the romantic aspect.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Shopping King Louie

So, for whatever reason, I just wasn't in the mood to watch another episode of 20th Century Boy & Girl (though I do think I'll finish it). I wanted something silly after spending a couple of days churning through other people's manuscripts (other than the one I did for my third publisher, a bunch of friends and I decided to kick off a proper crit group rather than just meet/work like we normally do and our first meeting is tomorrow, so I've read through 15K words for them). Anyway, arguably the silliest looking thing on my list (other than the Weightlifting Fairy one) was Shopping King Louie.

And it is, indeed, fairly goofy though, to be fair, a lot of serious stuff has happened in the first episode already. Louie of the title is the sheltered grandson of a wealthy shopping heiress. After losing her husband and child (Louie's parents, when he was young) and receiving a dire prediction that he'd be in danger if he hung around her, Kang Ji Seong (Seo In Guk) aka Louie has been living a super rich lifestyle in France while she is in Seoul. Basically, he shops and stays safe. It's a lonely life. He really doesn't have any friends and has definitely never experienced romance. Instead, he has a butler who has been like a father figure to him. When his grandmother collapses with pneumonia, Louie rushes to be by her side.

He doesn't seem like a bad guy, per se, just that particular type of clueless rich chaebol who doesn't know any better and has never had a chance to grow up. Coincidentally, while watching TV at around the midpoint of the episode, he watches a documentary about a girl from backwoods Korea that is the heroine of the show and is intrigued. You see, he has an eye for things -- in shopping, that means he can immediately pick out the best of the best, the rare, etc. So we know she's the one.

Though, considering what he buys in the shopping spree they show, that means that my taste is definitely not chaebol richy-rich. It was mostly hideously ugly jewelry crusted with diamonds. Ahem. Anyway.

The girl is Go Bok Sil (Nam Ji Hyun), a very sweet young lady who had been living in the middle of nowhere without electricity or anything fancy in order to take of her aging grandmother. Her younger brother had also lived with them but had taken off for Seoul after he got a taste of big town life when his sister had been the subject of that backwoods Korea documentary (which had shown her digging up herbs, etc. -- one sweet note the documentary, she makes a comment about how the one thing she really wishes for is a refrigerator because everything has to be made fresh every day. Louie, watching it, immediately tells his butler to buy a refrigerator and send it to her, though the butler then has to explain they don't even have electricity and it's a documentary, not a charity show--at any rate, I think, at least, it's to show that his character isn't intrinsically a rich asshole).

Right after she finds a large 50 year old rare wild ginseng, she comes home to discover that her grandmother has died. Here's some of the dark I was talking about. So she packs a single bag of stuff + the wild ginseng (which is supposed to be worth up to 5000 won) and heads off to the big city to try and find the only family she has left. Her brother. There's one brief clip of him shown hanging on to the back of a speeding moped.

On the train ride there, Bok Sil offers a rice ball to a granny in the seat across from her. Evil granny pretends to choke on it and sends our naive girl off to get water from the next car. As the train stops, granny apparently steals her bag (i.e. everything she has, except for the wild ginseng tied around her waist) and vamooses. Bok Sil goes to the police once she arrives in Seoul, but they are not super helpful and she doesn't even have a mobile phone for them to contact her on. She's penniless.

As she sits, forlorn, in the train station, wondering what to do, she spots Cha Joong Won (Yoon Sang Hyun). He looks rich. He also has one of those ridiculous pencil thin moustaches that make him look like a teenage boy that just started to be able to grow facial hair and won't shave it off even though it's so sparse it looks more like he's left bits of dirt on his face than anything else. Omo! I'm having a hard time taking him serious as an actor in this. Erm.

We've seen him before, actually. He's a relatively high up dude in the shopping conglomerate owned by Louie's grandmother (oh, look, an unlikely coincidence as two main characters meet!) and is one of those generally correct, but socially asshole-ish guys who shows no particular kindness to anyone. Earlier, we also saw his mother and father delivering food to his fancy apartment and going Oh, woe! He never eats the side dishes I bring him! and her searching his apartment with sweeping laser vision Help me find evidence he's ever brought a woman here! Oh woe! How can he be nearly 40 and with no hope of getting married?!

We also see him on a date in Busan, where he's basically insulting to his blind date his mother set up, saying she's too pretty and looks like a doll. That's where he's coming back from and I suppose it is telling that he sees Bok Sil and thinks who is this swarthy woman? Because she certainly doesn't look like a doll. Not sure that swarthy was the right translation, but she does look healthy and normal and not delicate.

She tells him her sob story and asks him to buy her wild ginseng (ah, now we understand why she was looking for well-dressed people). They argue back and forth about it, him not even sure why (it's not like he was looking to buy some wild ginseng from some random girl), and it winds up with him giving her a fraction of it's worth and saying he'll pay the rest once he gets it appraised. He gives her his phone number as she doesn't have a phone.

At the very end of the episode, we see Bok Sil run over to someone she thinks is her brother from behind, as they are wearing a unique tracksuit (he'd bought a knock off one, whereas Louie had bought the original, most expensive one). It's a dirty, disheveled Louie. If I hadn't read the show description, I'd have no idea what's going on as they drop that on you out of nowhere, but it's because he suffers some kind of accident after getting off his plane (his first time flying by himself!) and has lost his memory.

So, yeah, this is going to be one of those shows with ridiculous coincidences. It's also got the silly sound effects and I think it's gonna be predictable as all hell BUT I was in the mood for something just weirdly silly and not taxing, so I'm okay. I think I've just got to be in the mood to go along with these kinds of shows.

Yeah, dude, I'm horrified too. I can barely look at you.
I do really hope the one guy shaves though. I mean, seriously, is there anyone that finds that attractive? I'm sure he's a lovely man when he doesn't have something crawling across his face and has a better hair cut...though based on a Google image search, he often has it (though better hair often helps). Why, dude? Why? And, finally, an actor who is actually older than me. But, man. Urk.

Will edit once I've watched more (though am not gonna do full on recaps...this post is already kinda long for a show that I think I'm going to like but not love).

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Comic Con

The little dude and I went to Comic Con yesterday. We hadn't been in a few years because we've been out of town or busy but this time we were around -- at least for the Friday session. So we went. It was good to go without the husband, actually, as we could take our time and wander instead of being rushed around and then leaving early (he doesn't do well with crowds and he's not nearly as into the geeky/otaku stuff as we are). Much more relaxing. We had a lot of fun and spent too much money and I think we both wish we could have gone another day (but today we're hosting a D&D game at our house, so that's out anyway).

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I did the last time we went on a Saturday as we didn't see as many amazing costumes, but I did get a few. One guy I really loved -- pretty sure he was doing something from Tokyo Ghoul (which I haven't read/seen but know the basic storyline) but he had the best hair. He looked perfect. If it was a wig, it was a good one. He wasn't the best costume that I saw -- that might have been the guy dressed as Aquaman (though I didn't manage to get a picture of that as he was in a crowd) but I just liked his whole vibe. So I had to ask for a picture when I ran into him the second time. I imagine he was thinking, yeah, okay, old lady. But whatever.

I regret not bringing a wheelie bag to cart around all the stuff we bought. Mostly it was the Bleach manga box set that killed me. They were half price from the publisher and we couldn't resist. It's going to be little dude's November book allowance in one go. But, man, that sucker was heavy. I thought my hand was going to fall off. But they did throw in a My Hero Academia bag, a bracelet, and a poster, so that was a bonus.

We also found DVD sets of all of Nisekoi, which we'd been looking for. Forbidden Planet has season 2, but not season 1 and for a pretty pricey price. We got them for £5/£8 each. Deal! And we found Kamisama Kiss on DVD as well...bit more expensive, but Max really wanted them. But another deal on Bakuman, which I didn't even know was made into an anime. We haven't even read that one yet, but it's been on our list. And, finally, the indulgent purchase that we shouldn't have made...the limited edition Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun set with the anime + the soundtrack. The anime is still on Crunchyroll, so we really didn't need to buy it, BUT it is our fav show of all time. So...

Also met a few TokyoPop authors and bought some manga from them. Hadn't planned on it originally, but one of them was offering chibi portraits for only £5 and little dude really wanted to get one done. It was adorable and well worth it. So we bought some books as well. The books look good. And interesting to me personally as I didn't think TokyoPop was doing a lot anymore. I remember when the Twelve Kingdoms (not manga, but a novelisation) came out in English years ago and what a surprise it was. A violent one, at that. Anyway, will have to look into what they are up to now.

Other than that, randomly found a stall in the Asian section that was selling Korean face masks so YAY! They have a subscription service and I may have to do it...I bought one of their boxes and they threw in a makeup bag and some other stuff. I actually tried one last night and it was good. Am I jumping on a bandwagon? I don't care. I like them.

Anyway. Rambling post. I really enjoyed going to Comic Con with the little dude. Wish I'd thrown together a cosplay for myself, but as we only decided to go on Tuesday, I was happy we were able to throw something together for the little man. We only bought one thing (some glasses). He went as the steampunk version of himself...not a character or anything, but just steampunk in general. He looked awesome, especially considering that it was random bits (literally, we made a bandolier out of the hubby's old leather laptop bag strap). He was so proud of himself.

And I--man, it was just so nice to be surrounded by people who are into the same stuff that I am. Like, you don't feel weird. It's normal there. I miss that in my life. That I could be walking around and see people dressed up as somewhat obscure characters and go, hey! Elias and Chise! And they smile because you're sharing something. When I post photos on Facebook, other mums and friends comment on it about how fun it all looks, but it's from an outsider they are viewing it as tourists do...not understanding any of it, but thinking oh, that looks kinda weird but strange it all is. Whereas I feel at home.

As an one point, while little dude was standing in a crowd trying to win a raffle prize from Crunchyroll, I collapsed onto the ground near some 20-something. Oi, my feet hurt. I'm not even sure what she was dressed as, but she had great blue hair. We had a nice chat. We weren't into the same fandoms as far as I could tell, but we talked about the stuff we'd seen and bought and the costumes was nice. We were speaking the same language. It didn't matter that I'm probably twice her age or that we weren't into exactly the same stuff.

Or when little dude was trying out the new Super Smash Brothers game at a big stand and I got into a gaming discussion about different platforms, etc. with the guy that was supposed to be timing them and the guy was so into talking about it with me that little man wound up getting an extra go. And I'm old school -- I don't really play on console systems. But I can talk about game theory and styles and hold my own.

Anyway, it was a good day. Even if the husband did get annoyed because we didn't get home until nearly 7. It's a pity that the Excel centre is way over in East London and we live in the West. He's a bit of a grumpy bastard when he hasn't had enough sleep. But I wouldn't have cut it short. Little dude had such an awesome day and I didn't want to leave until he was ready to go. Me too.

Our Private Homeroom: Shuya

So...the other free route that they posted in Love 365 was for Shuya (the old childhood friend turned teacher at your school) in Our Private Homeroom.

This is that series that I really didn't think I'd like much based on the setting BUT the MC is actually 18 AND probably the best heroine in any of the Voltage stuff. I like her attitude and her sass. Sigh. I really wish they'd write some older characters with as as this one has.

Anyway, to sum up -- you're a student in your last year of high school and your mom has gone off to another country for her job. You stayed behind and were supposed to move into an apartment on your own but through circumstances beyond your control, that falls through and you're literally out on the street with nowhere to go. Shuya, your old childhood friend and new teacher at your school, saves the day by taking you in.

He's a bit controlling and overprotective, but it's from a good place and even your mom agrees that it's okay for you to live with him. As you stay there, you are struck by the two Shuyas: the strict teacher at school who keeps students at arm's length but obviously cares for them, and the overprotective friend you've always known. You soon start experiencing "flutters" when you're around him and can't quite figure out why.

Much of the route is taken up with a male friend of yours from high school named T-something-or-other who obviously (only to the reader and Shuya) likes you. Shuya even somewhat encourages you to date this guy, who is very nice in this route, even though it's obvious (to the reader and the other guy) making him jealous. To be fair, even though I knew it wouldn't happen, I was rooting for the other guy. He makes more sense, he was nice, he was caring, he wasn't an inappropriate choice, and it almost seemed like they had more charisma together than Shuya and the MC. That's partly the fault of having Shuya resist until the very end, I suppose.

The other main stress in the route is that, apparently, Shuya left his last school under a cloud of suspicion about his relationship with a student. Come on, Voltage. Can you not think of any other storylines for your school teacher/student stories? He's not guilty, per se, though his fault lay mainly in not actively discouraging the girl because she was "fragile." Anyway, for me, I was annoyed at this storyline. Really didn't think it was necessary. was okay. Shuya's not a bad guy. The route was decent but not amazing. In this scenario, I'd actually thought the childhood friend trope thing would work out better, but I enjoyed Ryota's story more and found that romance more believable.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My Forged Wedding

Damn you, Voltage. There I was, after 11:30 at night, about to put my phone down and go to sleep. And then I realised I hadn't yet checked in to Love 365 to get my free daily coins (or the random heart that I can't figure out what to do with). So I sign in and think, heh, I'll check and see if there are any new free routes posted.


I didn't get to sleep until nearly 1.

They had to go and post a free route for one of the ones I've been wanting to read for a long time. Actually, two of my favourite heroines...the one from My Forged Wedding and Our Private Homeroom (the latter being one I was surprised to like). But I'd been waiting on Ren for ages and had almost bought his story a number of times. The biggest thing stopping me was I was afraid he'd turn out like that wet blanket Seiya from When Destiny Comes Knocking. That route had literally made me cancel my Love 365 subscription for a couple months. Burn it with fire. Seriously.

See, I like the silent types so long as they ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE AT SOME POINT.

Okay. I'll stop complaining about Seiya now. Let's talk about Ren.

As in all these routes, you're newly arrived in the big city and your "Uncle" is supposed to help you out in finding a job, etc. All of his friends want help with a favour. You pick Ren to help, maybe because he seems quiet and unthreatening. So, what is this favour? You're supposed to go live with him and pretend to be his fiancé. They really draw out the reveal in this one (I don't really understand the purpose of that, unless it's just to pad the story...realistically (hahaha did I just use that word?) you'd think they'd want to prepare you for your role before you meet the people you have to convince).

Turns out Ren is a prince from a small European country and they want him to come back home. He'd promised he would if he didn't find a fiancé in 10 years. Don't think, honestly, he's ever tried as he's spent all his time researching. He wants to create a new drug and bring industry and prosperity to his people. He's almost at a breakthrough and about to get funding.

I'm going to completely ignore how all of the details about his job really don't make sense. I know too many people in that industry and in research. Anywho...

Daniel, Ren's butler, appears. You have to convince him. Complicating things is that he moves in next door and pops up unexpectedly. Expected hijinks ensue. Things come to a head when the royal family sets up an engagement party in their home country and you both have to attend. By this time, you're both in love but neither have either said it and/or realised it. But the guilt is all-consuming as you continue to lie to people with your heart not in it. In the end, after far too many realllllly long plane trips back and forth, you find each other and confess.

So, okay, the story is both typical and a bit weak in logic and logistics. And towards the end the writing even falls apart a bit and gets really clumsy. BUT I do really like Ren and how he gradually opens up. Love all the reactions from the rest of the guys when he starts acting "in love." He's a sweet, gentle dude and the scene with the kiss on the back of the neck was really nice. The MC is still feisty and loyal. So the lack of sleep was worth it. I may just need a nap later.

---------Below is what I'd previously written up about My Forged Wedding...decided to move it here from the massive Love 365 post so that it would all be in one place...this is definitely one of my more favoured storylines from the app----------

My Forged Wedding

You're looking for a job and you've traveled to whatever big city it is to visit your uncle (who isn't actually your uncle, thank goodness, since he's one of the route options) in hopes of finding work. Instead, you get roped into pretending to be someone's wife...

Things I like in general about this one: the MC is no fainting flower. She drinks sochu and is, at least in the bits I've seen, basically one of the guys in a lot of ways. Even though she gets roped into a weird situation, she's a fairly tough girl.

I started playing this one as the standalone app and it's now been transferred as well. I played Yuta's route in the original. He's a comedian and I have no idea why I picked him as he's honestly the least my type out of all the guys. I don't remember why. He needs you to pretend to be his ball-and-chain for a television show and you have to basically henpeck him on TV. He's pretty funny and sweet and I overall enjoyed his route, but I didn't like how he kind of disappeared towards the end (to create that separation anxiety in the plot, I suppose). And...he's kind of a puppy. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this route to other people, but it wasn't bad.

Then Yamato popped up as a free option once it got moved to Love 365 and I did his route. He's a teacher at an all girl's school and needs you to pretend to be his wife so he doesn't get fired. I enjoyed this one more than Yuta. Yamato's one of those guys that makes fun of you and is very bull-headed, but a softie on the inside. It just takes you a while to get there. My least fav bit is the stuff with the teenage student. The MC wasn't as strong in this route in some ways and caved a bit too much. But it all came together in the end and there's a bit more shmexy to this route than Yuta. Definitely.

This is Takao. He's freaking adorable.
That's not even his kid. He's like a cousin.
When the MC comes in and finds him like this,
she totally joins in the nap. Who wouldn't?
I also used my monthly pass to buy the Takao route. He's a lawyer and needs you to play his fiancé because his ailing grandmother has one last dying wish. Okay, he's my fav so far for this story. He's just so freaking nice. There's not a bad bone in his body. And his family is great too -- especially grandma, who has a ton of tricks up her sleeve. The MC is good in this one too and they both show themselves to be very caring people. Probably one of my fav Voltage routes. Still working my way through Sequel and Wedding Bells as I took some time out to do Sosuke. This is a cleansing route...meaning, even though there's the required minimum angst, you don't ever want to burn anyone with fire. It's nice, romantic, and sexy too.

It's routes like this one that make me not delete the Love 365 app. I'm sure there are people who prefer the "bad boys" and the sarcastically mean tsunderes and yanderes, but I'm not one of those people. I can get treated badly in real life.

I do also want to play through Ren (the Researcher -- no idea why he needs you to be his fake wife) because I actually like the kind of silent types as long as it isn't over done (I'm looking at you, Seiya)). Not sure about the others, a lot of which weren't even mentioned in the prologue, or the uncle character (because that just feels kinda weird).

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

20th Century Boy and Girl

Not sure why this one is called 20th Century Boy and Girl when they are all supposed to be in their 30's (and actually are in real life)? But, no matter. Excited to watch something with actors closer to my age.

It's the story of three long-time girl friends, though it is pretty clear that Sa Jin Jin (Han Ye Seul) is the main character. Or maybe I should say four friends, because the main romance interest played by Kim Ji Suk (the one standing in the picture--his character is Gong Ji-Won) was also part of their high school group. At any rate, none of the three ladies ever got married though they are approaching the latter half of their 30's now. Sa Jin Jin is an actress/former Idol and very successful...but she's never dated. Han A-Reum (Ryoo Hyoun-Kyoung) is a flight attendant and Jang Young-Sim (Lee Sang-Hee) is a lawyer looking for a job.

I'm about to start episode 5 -- these are quick episodes at about 30 minutes long -- and so far the main thrust of the story is Sa Jin Jin being thrown into a couple of scandals through no fault of her own. I'm not going to do a re-hash of every bit of it. No time at the moment. Just going to talk about the highlights.

I started this one because it was on a list of 5 K-Drama Leads That Break The Toxic Bad Boy Trope along with Ahn Min Hyuk from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. And since Park Hyung Sik's character in that was the best thing in my week last week, I thought I'd give it a go.

So far I'd say it looks pretty decent. Acting is fine and not overwrought. Plot so far seems pretty straightforward and typical. You know darn well going in that Sa Jin Jin is going to wind up with Gong Ji-Won (and he totally seems worth it, already supporting her but not asking for anything in return). It seems sweet. I do very much like the good friendship between the three female leads -- it's supportive and realistic. I could use some friends like that. Anyone wanna be my new best friend? Heh. Also like that they aren't 20-somethings and, other than Sa Jin Jin's superstar status, seem pretty normal.

At the same time, I wouldn't say that this one has grabbed me so far. Like, I'm not anxious to get on to the next episode. Not that there's been anything wrong with it at all. So we'll see how that goes. More later after a few more episodes. There are 32 total so I've got a long way to go.

Edit -- About to start episode 7. Would've been farther along but have been busy (finished that Reader's Report on the manuscript for my third editor -- very torn on it...some really good elements but also felt the Egyptian worldbuilding a bit lax and the dialogue was anachronistically modern). Anyway...this show...welllllllll...still liking it but it's also got a very slow pace. Not really anything much has happened in the last episodes. Even though Sa Jin Jin and Gong Ji-Won have now run into each other multiple times (living in the same frickin' building) and they both SO obviously have some feelings for each other / memories...she's literally not said more than 5 words to him. Not sentences. Words. And three of those words were her saying his name the first time they ran into each other at the airport when he saved her. So...we'll see. I think (so far) that I like it enough to finish it unless it really goes off the rails as the actors seem good, but it would be nice if something, you know, happens...


I've created a monster. Ha, not really. My little dude started a blog yesterday so he can write up his thoughts on gaming, manga, and anime. He's having a lot of fun with it. His grammar is pretty atrocious at times, but he's funny. We'll see if he keeps at it. I think it'll be good for him. It was the first thing he went to this morning...before he even brushed his teeth. Which, yeah. We'll need to work on that...

Updated the about this blog/me page this morning. It seems there's someone(s) who reads this as the not-me pageviews do go up every day by a bit. I'm not sure where they've come from as I don't allow this blog to be indexed. So it makes me curious. I don't mind. I just find it interesting. My blog posts are mostly an explosion of randomness and meandering thoughts. Of course, it could just be weird random bots and not actual people. Hello, bots!

Though, if there is a real person out there, hiya! Feel free to ask questions or whatever. I suppose you could be someone from Reddit, since I have periodically posted links there. Haven't been super active lately though...just been lurking. I need to get back on there. Want to talk about Mitsunari finally being released in Ikemen Sengoku...

Other than that...It's half term break and we kicked it off with a Japan-ish theme by hunting for daifuku in London and consuming entirely too many wagashi and, in my case, matcha. Today we really need to work on little dude's school application stuff. I know it needs to get done but it is kinda soul destroying and tedious. We'd both rather watch anime all day...which reminds me, there's a bunch of anime notes I need to write up. We've watched a few lately I wanted to talk about. Does all isekai have to include too much fan service? Why is that a thing? Why??

Also got a bit of work from my third editor (the same one who wants the graphic novel proposal from me). I'm acting as a reader for her on a manuscript. They've expanded their list and need some help sorting through the slush. I started the manuscript and not sure how I'm feeling about it yet. The core idea seems good but the dialogue is anachronistic and a bit stilted and unsuitable for the setting, so it keeps pulling me out of the story. Also a fair few grammatical mistakes...which aren't necessarily a killer (that's what the copy edit phase is for) but does show a general lack of attention. Reserving judgement for now though as, if the plot/character works, the rest of that is salvageable.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Irresistible Mistakes: Toshiaki

Ah, after the last free route on Love 365, I needed this one. I'd actually debated about buying this one before as I'd randomly taken a peek at Toshiaki's POV first chapter and really liked it. I enjoyed the heroine in this one more than in the Shunichiro route (though, to be fair, I thought she was fairly realistic in that route as she'd had such a crush on him for so long).

Let me back up. In Irresistible Mistakes, it all starts off with our erstwhile MC getting stinking drunk at an office outing, sleeping with someone, waking up in a hotel room and then getting the hell out of dodge in embarrassment. She's not sure who she was with. In this route, she has vague memories of someone super gentle and the best lovemaking she's ever experienced in her life. So she's shocked the next day at the office to discover that the man was Toshiaki aka The Devil of the office. He's got a reputation for being incredibly harsh and strict. She doesn't know him well, but she can't quite reconcile that with the gentle touch of the man she slept with.

This is one of those routes where you should read the Dude's POV. Stat.

She winds up (of course) placed on a project with him right after he insists that they act like the night never happened. She slowly comes to know him as a kind, gentle man who may be strict when it comes to work, but is also incredibly supportive to his colleagues. He goes out of his way, actually, even though most people talk about him behind his back.

I liked that she fell in love with him gradually as she learned about his true nature. And, that once she did, she wanted to help him out of the morass of his past because...blech...this is one of those dead girlfriend stories. Yes, the trope that should die a thousand deaths. I don't generally like those BUT I liked Toshiaki and the MC's relationship enough that it worked. 

I like that she was proactive and willing to put herself out there to hopefully win the recalcitrant dude. I like that she is competent and, even if she needs help sometimes, it's just a push in the right direction and not complete handholding.

That said, I took a peek at the overview of the other seasons of Toshiaki and I doubt I'll do any of them because it makes it sound like they keep going back to square one. I don't get why they do that a lot -- have the MC get through to the dude's heart and then things somehow regress and it's gotta be done all over again. I'd rather see things move on than to re-hash things again.