Category: KDrama, JDrama, TwDrama, ThDrama, FDrama, CDrama

Dramas and films from the South East Asian nations: South Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and China

Negotiator (2018) Chinese Drama Review & Recap

Negotiator promotional poster

Negotiator (2018) Chinese Drama Review & Recap

I have just started watching this drama starring the glorious Yang Mi.

Genre:  Business, Romance

Episodes: 41

The story is about business, acquisitions, corporation, amalgamation and conglomorate, where Tong Mei (Yang Mi) is on top of her job as a negotiator.

In her role as a negotiator she met Xie Xiafei who is an heir of a Chinese American Corporation with 600 years history.

Though their relationship started with suspicion and animosity on both sides, there was chemistry between them that turned into mutual attraction until Tong Mei found out that Xiafei’s company had something to do with the death of her parents.

Fast forward several years later, they met again as negotiators of rival firms.

Cast:

  • Yang Mi as Tong Mei
  • Huang Zitao as Xie Xiaofei
  • Dylan Kuo as Qin Tianyu
  • Mao Linlin as Xia Shanshan
  • Lai Yi as Xie Xiaotian

Episode 1

Tong Mei was in America, who was asked by her lawyer friend to help in negotiation at the last moment.  Of course Tong Mei came through.

Qin Tianyu was shown as rather spoilt and self-destructive man.  During a monthly family get together, he was particularly harsh with his father and uncle.

Then the episode ended in a private hospital with Qin Tianyu crying over his comatose mother.  You get then the reason why he was rather disrespectful to his father, who seemed to have acquired a new wife.

In the same hospital, he met Tong Mei, who was chasing after her recalcitrant younger sister.

Episode 2

 

Campus Confidential (Taiwanese Movie Review)

Campus Confidential poster

Campus Confidential (Taiwanese Movie Review)

Cast:

  • Chen Ivy as Liang Xiao Qi
  • Chen Bo Lin as Wu Quan Shun
  • Chiang Paul as Zhang Sheng
  • Guo Shu Yao as Mei Shue

Ivy Chen plays Liang Xiao Qi, who is so beautiful and she knows it and quite proud of it too.  She is the campus beauty, who is much sought after including by the geeks of the school.

Unfortunately she is quite allergic to them that she made a crusade of demeaning to them.

One evening while coming back from the school library, she witnessed the whirlpool from the pond.  and then water suddenly evaporated.  In her fascination, she lost her footing and tumbled down the dried up pond.  A boy passing by tried to help her but he also fell into the pond next to her.

She was so embarrassed and left hurriedly.

The next day it was all over the campus about the girl and the boy who fell into the pond.  Apparently there is legend to this Lake Ju, that if a boy and a girl fell on the pond when it is all dried up will end up as a couple and be happy ever after together.

Unfortunately the boy is all geeky, just what Xiao Qi can’t bear.

 

Should We Kiss First (KDrama Recap & Review)

Promotional Poster

Should We Kiss First (KDrama Recap & Review)

I have just started watching this drama.  It is supposed to be a comedy drama but at the moment it is more a melodrama.

Cast:

  • Kam Woo-sung as Son Moo-han
  • Kim Sun-a as An Soon-jin
  • Oh Ji-ho as Eun Kyung-soo
  • Park Si-yeon as Baek Ji-min
  • Kim Sung-soo as Hwang In-woo
  • Ye Ji-won as Lee Mi-ra

The story is about two middle age single people who are afraid to venture into marriage and yet lonely enough to try to be in a relationship.

An Soon-Jin married her childhood sweetheart, Eun Kyung-soo but they ended up divorced.  The reason of the divorce is not yet divulged. But there was a photo of a young child in An Soon-jin’s flat.

Eun Kyung Soo in now married to Baek Ji-min, who comes from an affluent family.

Despite the infidelity issue in this drama, all the characters are likeable even Baek Ji-min.  I supposed it is still early days yet to really judge her.  🙂

The ex-husband too is sweet, very different from Jin Seop, the ex-husband in Happy Sisters.

The two lead characters first crossed path about six years ago while on board a plane. Moo Han was a passenger whilst Soon-jin was a stewardess.  They had a bit of an angry incident as each were unhappy in their current personal situations.  He just lost his wife and child to an American man and it seemed she just lost her child.  She told him that it was fine with her if he did not want to fasten his seatbelt.  She even said that death might be a relief.

As soon as the plane touched down, they both found themselves going to the zoo (not together).  She was absolutely heartbroken.

At present day, Moo Han at 50 is still a genius ads man but a bit jaded.

Soon-Jin, who is now 45, is debt ridden with only a month to her 20 years of service as a flight stewardess.

Unbeknown to each one of them, they have lived on the same building on top of each other.  Soon-Jin is #401 whilst Moo Han is at #501.  They have issues against each other as anonymous neighbours.

Again, they have mutual friends who set them up together, in view of marriage.  They did not hit it off but Moo Han recognised her as the stewardess of six years ago.

And now follows both hilarious and poignant adventures.

Hopefully this drama will tackle how love and marriage as well as having relationships with older couple.

 

 

Kiss That Kills (Japanese Drama Review & Recap)

Todome no Kisu poster

YES!!!

A new Kento Yamazaki drama.

This boy is certainly a busy boy and growing into a very fine actor with a varied theme of work.Kiss

That Kills (Japanese Drama Review & Recap)

Cast:

  • Kento Yamazaki as Otaro Dojima
  • Mugi Kadowaki as kissing woman
  • Mackenyu as Takauji Namiki
  • Yuko Araki as Mikoto Namiki
  • Hayato Sano as Hiroyuki Hasebe
  • Jun Shison as Kazuma Osanai
  • Masaki Suda as Kazunori Harumi
  • Hio Miyazawa as Michinari Hotei
  • Akane Hotta as Nao Mori
  •  Erika Karata as Marin Aota
  • Ai Yamamoto as Nanako Koyanagi
  • Yoshinori Okada as Koichi Nezu
  • Ken Mitsuishi as Akira Dojima
  • Kaoru Okunuki as Mitsuyo Dojima
  • Tomohisa Yuge as Tsuji
  • Meikyo Yamada as Takeru Namiki
  • Hitomi Takahashi as Kyoko Namiki
  • Mantaro Koichi as Gunji Arai

Todome no Kiso, roughly translated in English as Kiss of Death or Kiss that Kills is a drama, which is more mature in nature for Kento.  He plays the role of a Otaro Dojima, who works as a host in a club, which provide companionship (including sex) to women, who are prepared to pay for it.

He is fairly satisfied with his lot until he met a mysterious woman with red lips over a very pale face.  This woman is the kiss of death.

Every time she kisses Dojima who is also known as Eight, he dies and then promptly come alive again and travel back a few days in time. Apparently this is called a time slip where only the consciousness travels back in time in the form of a deja vu!

Episode 2

The sinister kissing girl is actually there to save Eight who is being targeted by a love obsessed cross-dresser Kazuma.

 

Unnatural (Japanese Drama Review)

Unnatural poster

Unnatural (Japanese Drama Review)

Fantastic, a new drama by my favourite Japanese actress, Satomi Ishihara.

Cast:

  • Ishihara Satomi as Misumi Mikoto
  • Iura Arata as Nakado Kei
  • Kubota Masataka as Kube Rokuro
  • Ichikawa Mikako as Shoji Yuko
  • Iio Kazuki as Sakamoto Makoto
  • Matsushige Yutaka as Kamikura Yasuo
  • Ikeda Tetsuhiro as Suetsugu Kosuke

Satomi Ishihara plays Mikoto Misumi, a forensic pathologist.  She works in UDI (Unnatural Death Investigation) lab together with her team investigating suspicious death.

Misumi Mikoto has a very interesting back story.

She is a bit damaged because she’s the only one who lived through a family suicide.  A young girl, all alone in the world, she got adopted by friends of her parents.

Mikoto is so focused on her job that her lovelife suffered.  She was on the verge of becoming engaged to a lovely young man but she put her work before him, including during the ‘meet the parents’ dinner.  Her would be fiance was so embarrassed that he broke up with her completely.

Nakado Kei is a brilliant but rather taciturn pathologist.  No social skill whatsoever.  His back story was that he was tasked to do a forensic on a young woman.  When he opened the body bag, he found out that it was his girlfriend,  He did the pathology but was put under suspicion later on.

Kube Rokuro is a young and still rather naive and in need of money.  A tabloid agency had him working for them.  He had been divulging sensitive information for money.

Shoji Yuko is the most gregarious amongst the lot.  She likes going dating and drinking.

I find this drama better than its Hollywood’s counterpart.  It is more natural because they don’t finish each other’s sentences. (I was always wondering in US’s CSI – what is the point of having a sort of debriefing just after each episode is about to finish when each character seems to know each other’s thought word for word – very unnatural 🙂  )

 

Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Kamenashi Kazuya

Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Very Versatile actor and singer

BioData:

DoB: 23 February 1986 (31)

Dramas & Films:

  • No wo Produce
  • P JK (Policeman & Me) 2017
  • Sapuri
  • Second Love
  • Tokyo Bandwagon

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

Mare poster

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

I am currently watching this drama which is 156 episodes long.  🙁  I know, right?  But it has Yamazaki Kento and Tsuchiya Tao on it.

Each episode lasts for 15 short minutes and the first 3-4 minutes is intro of Tsuchiya as Mare, half-running and half-floating in a white summer dress.  She looks young and carefree.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Mare Tsumura
  • Kento Yamazaki as Keita Kontani, Hiroyuki’s son and Mare’s classmate and Mare’s Husband
  • Yō Ōizumi as Tōru Tsumura, Mare’s father
  • Takako Tokiwa as Aiko Tsumura, Mare’s mother
  • Shōno Hayama as Ittetsu Tsumura, Mare’s brother
  • Min Tanaka as Kanji Okesaku
  • Yuko Tanaka as Fumi Okesaku, his wife
  • Atsuo Nakamura as Yatarō Kontani, a lacquerware craftsman
  • Itsuji Itao as Hiroyuki Kontani, Yataro’s son and a public servant
  • Eisuke Sasai as Kōichi Kuramoto, a hairdresser
  • Sawa Suzuki as Hana Kuramoto, his wife
  • Fumika Shimizu as Ichiko Kuramoto, their daughter and Mare’s classmate
  • Guts Ishimatsu as Shin’ichirō Kado, a fisherman
  • Yūta Takahata as Yōichiro Kado, his son and Mare’s classmate
  • Muga Tsukaji as Makoto Teraoka, a postman
  • Eri Fuse as Kumi Teraoka, his wife
  • Mugi Kadowaki as Minori Teraoka, their daughter and Mare’s classmate
  • Daichi Watanabe as Takashi Futaki, Mare’s classmate
  • Fumiyo Kohinata as Daigo Ikehata, an expert patissier
  • Ryō as Rinko Ikehata, a Chinese restaurateur
  • Yuya Yagira as Daisuke Ikehata, their son
  • Yurika Nakamura as Minami Ikehata, their daughter

This drama is like a more modern version of Little House in the Prairie meets the Gilmore Girls.

Mare’s family was forced to move to the countryside away from Tokyo, where they accumulated a mountain of debts.  This was mainly because the father kept investing in quick get rich schemes, which ultimately failed.

The drama started rather slowly, taking time to introduce the people in the village of Noto, a place where everyone is welcomed with open heart.  People/neighbours would distribute their daily harvest, catch, etc to each other for free.  You won’t be left starving!

Mare’s family ended up in Noto renting a room in an inn run by an elderly couple Kanji, a salt-farmer, and Fumi, a brilliant cook.  Mare was with her dreamer father, strange and weak mother and younger brother.  They ended up staying in the inn permanently, in return they have to help out around the inn and in the salt mine.

Mare’s view of life was coloured by her weak loser father’s, who made their life a hand to mouth existence.

They were only staying for a few months in Noto when her father went back to Tokyo to look for a job.  There he stayed for six years without coming back.

Though Mare’s mother was upset, she was actually happy that her loser husband was chasing his dreams, irregardlessn of what was happening in their home front, where she abused Mare for child labour! 🙂

From a young age, Mare learned to shoulder the burden of her family.  She worked really hard.  She does not believe in having dreams, all she wanted was to become a salary woman in the local government were pay will be consistent.

But despite herself, she can’t help but aspire to be a good cook, a cake chef a patissier.

From Noto she travelled to Yokohama and train under a world renowned patissier, Daigo Ikehata.

For four years she learned the craft and excelled.  Daigo was impressed that he encouraged her to further her training in Paris.

Unfortunately love intervened.   She married Keita, who was an apprentice in laquer, though he was to inherit the historic with long tradition, wood laquer ware of Noto.  The marriage came with so much responsibility that her goal of becoming the world’s best patissier was put in the back burner.  It only got more complicated when she fell pregnant and gave birth to twins.

She did return to the cake business in the end and would continue to work and better her craft.

 


Finally finished watching this long drama.  It took me two days.  I love it.  there are parts that are really outstanding and some are not so good.

I have to admit the older cast out-acted the younger generation.

 

 

 

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

Orange poster

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

This is a beautiful film starring two of my favourite Japanese actors:  Kento Yamazaki and Tsuchiya Tao.

I actually previously watched this film and loved it.  But somehow I remember it as a sad suicide film.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Naho Takamiya
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kakeru Naruse
  • Ryo Ryusei as Hiroto Suwa
  • Hirona Yamazaki as Takako Chino
  • Dori Sakurada as Saku Hagita
  • Kurumi Shimizu as Azusa Murasaka
  • Erina Mano as Rio Ueda

I am glad I watched it again because it is not really about taking one’s life.  It is about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s self and grabbing happiness where you can.

This another parallel world story.

The central character to the story is Kakeru, who is a transfer student from Tokyo.  He became friends immediately with a close knit group made up of Naho, Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu.  He’s tall and a handsome boy though at times was rather melancholic.

The kind hearted Naho took him under her wing.  This was where it got supernatural.  The 16 years old Naho was happy to be back the second year in  high school.  She was full of hope and joy under the full blooms of cherry blossom trees.  She then noticed a letter tucked in into the front pocket of her school bag.

With much curiosity, she noticed that the letter was addressed to her and the sender was herself.

As soon as she got to class, she opened the letter which claimed that the letter was sent to her 16-year old from  herself 10 years into the future.

She was becoming more confused as the letter goes on.  Her 26 year old self was telling her to right all the regrets in her past.  There was going to be a boy, a transferee from Tokyo by name of Kakeru Naruse.  At that moment, their new homeroom teacher was introducing a transfer student by the name of  Kakeru Naruse.

Naho was absolutely flabbergasted.  The letter continues on to state not to invite Kakeru into the introduction outing.  Naho can’t really do anything about this as Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu all insisted that Kakeru try the new bread at a bakery with them.  They had fun and Kakeru was laughing.  Naho thought that was ok.

After that Kakeru did not appear at the school for two weeks. Naho was perturbed.  But just like that Kakeru was back at school again.

Kakeru was really a very personable young man (He is Kento Yamazaki 🙂  ).  Naho fell for his charm and so was another Tokyo transferee called Rio Ueda.

It was really unfortunate that Ueda confessed to Kakeru first about liking him.  They started going out together but Kakeru really liked Naho and Naho liked him.

He dumped Ueda, who became rather vengeful and made Naho’s school life miserable but only briefly as Naho had her posse of friends.

She later found out from Kakeru the reason why he was off for two weeks.  His mother died, she committed suicide.  She was bipolar and depressive.  She had her illness since Kakeru was a young boy.  His life with his mother coloured his own outlook in life and built such a huge guilty complex.  He blamed himself for not being with his mother on her time of need, he thought he could have stopped her.  Poor Kakeru was a damaged boy.  He suddenly died at the age of 17 by accident.

10 years into the future, Sawa was now married to Naho and they had a little baby.  They met up with the rest of the group and visited Kakeru grandmother for the 10 year anniversary of his death.  They found out that his death was not an accident but a suicide.  He left a note regarding it.

The friends where inconsolable with grief.  Mourning Kakeru all over again.  Naho was particularly upset.

 

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya, at such a young age, has created an impressive catalogue of films and dramas under her belt.

She stars in some of my favourite Japanese dramas and films.

BioData:

  • 3 February 1995 (23)
  • Height: 1.55 m (5’1″)
  • Career:  Model, singer & Actress

Films & Dramas:

 

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

My Brother Loves Me Too Much poster

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

I have just watched this film, which I have been looking forward to be subbed in English for ages.  This film gives closure to the 5 episodes drama,  Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Setoka Tachibana
  • Ryota Katayose as Haruka Tachibana
  • Yudai Chiba as Takane Serikawa
  • Takuya Kusakawa as Chiaki Mioka
  • Yosuke Sugino as Kunimitsu Serikawa
  • Towa Araki as young Haruka Tachibana
  • Ito Ono as Chiyuku Mioka

The story is about a quasi brother and sister, Haruka and Setoka.

Haruka had found out quite a while ago that Setoka was not his blood sister but he loved her anyway as if she was his real sister as first.  He made it his mission to protect her at all costs, including affairs of the heart.

Unfortunately for Setoka, Haruka went rather overboard with protecting her that he frightened any boy who would come near.

At the age of 17, she had told Iskedes! (I like you!) to 12 boys but each time. they would always run away or told her “No” despite intially showing interest in her.

Actually these 12 aborted romances occurred during the drama, Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.  

She was aggrieved and found solace and comfort with her brother, Haruka, who she later found out had actually scared the 12 boys and backed off.

Towards the end of the drama, her first love, Takane,came back from his studies abroad and now a doctor.  He told her that he likes her, she is his first love.

Suddenly she has become a male magnet as a playboy Chiaki, she met in the park was also interested in her.

There was also her teacher, who loves speaking in English, who is comically full of himself and thought that he was God’s gift to women or rather school girls.

The drama ended with Setoka having to choose from these interested males.

The film follows on from the drama.

Suddenly Haruka is more aggresive with Setoka.  At one point they were on the brink of kissing when Takane arrived at the Tachibana beach house.

Takane, Chiaki and  the rather oily teacher pursued her.

In the end she chose Takane.  But during a date that turned rather amorous, Setoka stopped Takane from going any further.

In his frustration Takane told her that her heart is not 100 per cent his and that she is in love with someone else.

At first Setoka did not understand what Takane was getting at until he said that Haruka was not her real blood sibling.  Apparently Takane knew all along because he remembered a one-year old baby girl coming to live with the Tachibanas about 16 years ago.

Setoka ran all the way home and confronted Haruka for the truth.  She found out the truth from  Haruka, who  said that no matter what she will always be part of his family.

Next day at school, someone said about starting over, which inspired her to fully break up with Takane, who was in confrontation with Haruka.

Setoka overheard Haruka saying that he loves her.  And that is that.

It was cute after getting over the initial discomfort about siblings romantic relationships taboo.  They are not really blood related and Haruka did loved her tenderly and cared and cooked for her.

Haruka said that he will wait for Setoka to feel more comfortable and truly love him before they start dating.  Of course Setoka said that she had loved him for a long time also.  Cute.

I have to mention that the boy who played the young Haruka is so cute.  I can see another Kento Yamazaki in him.  Just give hime 5-8 years.  Kawaii.

There was another thing that niggled me so much while watching the film.  It was the strap of Setoka’s blouse which was undone by Takane in the car.  During a heart to heart talk between Haruka and Setoka, one scene would show the strap undone, the next scene, done up hurriedly, and then undone again and finely neatly tied back in a bow.  Seriously, it was rather off-putting.

Aside from that it is a cute romantic story with lots of laughs.  Good acting all round especially by Tsuchiya Tao.

%d bloggers like this: