sigh people.

January 27, 2013

Human Relationships are just the most complicated thing ever.

I just want to walk away and be on the Island of Mogurimama

How do we be loving

without being patronizing

How do we show we genuinely care

without desiring secret entertainment

What is the best way to help

Without being beaten to a pulp

If I knew all the answers

I’d really want to help make the world a better place

but now I’m just scared I’ll screw everything up…

All this drama and nonsense

Please let it all just fly away

 

Missing You: My Thoughts

January 24, 2013

Missing You or I Miss You…I don’t even know where to begin. It was melodramatic with a plot that kept you hooked. More than anything, I kept watching episode after episode because of the investigative nature of the plot and the bits of a mystery that unfolded bit by bit after each episode. Who killed Kang Seung Deuk? What’s going on? We all know who the main baddy is but we all want to know how it was done. I must say, the scriptwriter did a great job using such a technique to keep everyone in suspense.

Characters: They’re all such broken people.  But despite that we see each of them, as broken as they are struggling and striving in their own way for a better life and a source of happiness.   Jung Woo waited for Su Yeon, Su Yeon escaped and Harry plotted revenge. Each of them decided that what they were doing would bring them happiness although in the end, only Jung Woo’s paid off. Su Yeon, in her attempt to blot out the past did find momentary happiness in France with Harry but in the end, she still had to face her demons. And we all know what revenge results in- tragedy. Instead of a review, this post is mainly to express my opinions on the main characters and their relationships.

Harry- Yoo Seung Ho’s character. The antagonist and the bad guy. I must admit that one of the main reasons for persevering with this drama was because of him. He was such an interesting character! This is probably the first time I’ve seen the obsessive, cold blooded nearly bordering on psychotic antagonist take stage in a korean drama. Usually, I’ve only come across them in fan fictions. Yoo Seung Ho did a great job portraying him, I mean it doesn’t hurt that he’s really handsome and glam even when he cries 🙂  But through him, I saw Harry’s obsessiveness, child likeness, extremity, pride and hurt. Kudos to Seung Ho and the child actor who played Harry. The stubbornness and extreme feelings that Harry often covered up with a calm and cool demeanor were all traits that remained consistent with his character. It was interesting how a calm, cool appearance masked a whole vault of anger, bitterness and hate. It’s like you could never tell the depth of his hate just by looking at him but then now and again you see the slightly deranged look in his eyes and you’re convinced there’s something very wrong.

Yet at the same time, especially at the start, his kindness and gentleness towards Su Yeon was so sweet. Rather than calling all that a farce, it was evident that he definitely loved her….or wanted to love her to be loved back. He would do anything for her and when he gave her his precious silver chain with the key, it just showed the extent he would go to for her. All in the hopes that he would be loved back. Even though he knew she didn’t truly love him, he was patient. But despite the grandness of his gestures, what he had for her wasn’t true love, it was obsession with wanting to be loved by her. I guess Su Yeon in a way was also Harry’s beacon of hope and happiness. The only good thing in his life and hence why he tried so hard. She gave his life meaning and without her, he thought he had nothing. It was really heartbreaking watching him fight and try as hard as he could, even willing to give up his own life to obtain her. The irony being that it was his efforts and his hand that eventually drove her away. When Jung Woo told him that he had ruined his own chances of being with her…ouch…I wonder how he must have felt. It really must be the worst feeling when you realize that you can’t blame anyone for your demise because you destroyed it by your own hand.

Now to the relationship between Su Yeon and Harry. The director made it pretty obvious from the start that what Su Yeon and Harry had wasn’t romantic love. Although they were introduced as ‘ lovers’ and were acting all couple-ish it was obvious that, that was not their true relationship. For one, Harry never obtained a kiss from her. It was  quite heartbreaking though…that scene :/ Such unrequited love….But the scene also showed their true relationship. The way Harry clung onto her was like a kid clinging onto his mother. Su Yeon, always being the one to comfort him was like that of a big sister protecting a little brother. There was no sense of romantic love even though they held hands, hugged and said alot of romantic phrases to each other. I would say that Harry had a bit of an Oedipus complex. He lost his mother, the most important person in the world to him and Su Yeon was like a replacement. There was no sense of emotional support and reliance that comes with a relationship. It was rather one sided on Harry’s part. He relied completely on her but she never relied on him. To Su Yeon, he was probably always a younger brother…not a husband. On a side note,  I loved the way he looked at her in the early part of the drama ( meltable). It completely summed up his feelings towards her. Sadly, that look disappeared as he grew more crazy.  It’s unfortunate…the couple actually looked really sweet together at the start of the drama 🙂

This is in contrast to the relationship Su Yeon had with Jung Woo. We can see them relying on each other emotionally and there’s give and take in the relationship. I really liked the way that the director used actions and gestures to contrast the 2 relationships even though this ended up making Harry seem pretty pathetic because it provided so much more insight into the understanding of their relationships than dialogue ever could.  So, now onto Jung Woo. What can I say? He’s like the perfect guy and the representative of real love. It is selfless. He put Su Yeon’s happiness and welfare before his and would do anything to make sure she was happy. Compare Harry’s obsessiveness- he would do anything to try and make Su Yeon love him but he didn’t really care about her happiness. In the end, it boiled down to benefitting himself. Even when he said he would die for her, he didn’t and wouldn’t have pulled the trigger until she at least looked at him. Harry didn’t truly lover her, he truly wanted to be loved by her.

The Jung Woo and Su Yeon couple received many fans because their relationship was just so pure and beautiful. They were perfect for each other. Yoo chun’s acting has also improved loads, once again, both him and his child actor were totally in sync. Same goes for Eun Hye and her child counterpart. I must admit though, that sometimes their lovey dovey-ness was draggy and the whole thing where Su Yeon loved him but kept using the excuse that she hated him did drag a bit as well. It was like….okay we get it, get together already, let’s move on! Still, the actors were really good.  Obviously, I’m Harry/ Seung Ho biased 🙂 I can’t help it, I almost always find the antagonist so much more intriguing and interesting to watch.

Also mentionable is Su Yeon’s mother. Wow….her acting skills are dae bak. Her emotions were just so raw and so intensely portrayed, I felt like the actress was going to get a heart attack every time she cried. When she weeped it was so dramatic and so….real. The hurt, the devastation and the hopelessness which the mother felt due to the family’s tragic circumstances was just so intensely portrayed. If it doesn’t move you…I don’t know what would.  So yes, kudos to her for her very commendable crying scenes.

At the end of the day, Missing You was a very exciting and intense journey. I don’t think it was the best drama overall because of the draggy romantic development and the extravagant amount of time invested in the Jung Woo Su Yeon relationship..although I guess fans of the couple really wouldn’t mind one bit. However, the suspense and mystery aspect of the main plot with the drama’s main theme of Love vs Obsession definitely makes it a worthy watch.

some words of wisdom

January 19, 2013

‘ Destroy your track record. You are only as good as the record you are working on now. It removes all sense of complacency. It also takes off alot of pressure and it also allows you to write something good…You only get there if you allow yourself to suck. Its only when you allow yourself to maybe suck that you produce something half decent’ – MIKA.

 

He certainly makes alot of sense and proof…his album!

Haruki Murakami…what can I say, I absolutely adore/ship his writing style. I’m not so much a fan of his surrealism than I am a fan of his beautiful prose and his ability to describe the human condition with such precision that when you meet his characters, you feel as if they were real people.  Music and books are also a huge theme in all his books and although I can’t really appreciate the names he throws out, I appreciate the fact that they’re there. Anyway, back to the characters, their feelings, thoughts, philosophies are described with such sensitivity and awareness of what runs through the mind that it’s like he’s expressing what you think about from time to time during the day but then never gave that thought much thought, thoughts that you had but forgot or feelings that you had but ignored….Murakami has documented them all down.  In this documentary I watched about him, he did express that he spends alot of time thinking deeply about various things and this just reflects in the detail he accords to developing his characters.

Another aspect which I love about his style is the simple, and nearly banal plot lines he adopts   for most of his books. ( Reminds me a bit of Albert Camus’ The Outsider.) I mean they really aren’t very creative- Love Triangle, Friend falling in love with the best friend, An extra marital affair…but the awesome, awesome thing is that these simple story lines  enable the reader to concentrate more on the protagonist and his character development. It is also this ability to transform something banal into something enjoyable that makes him a brilliant writer. The detached tone of his stories coupled with the very down to earth descriptions of his characters just leaves you hooked. It’s like life moving right before your eyes; Life itself being a cold, meaningless medium but at the same time ever so present and enjoyable.  But alongside these extremely normal people living very normal lives is the exact opposite- the strange and surreal. The appearance of the Sheepman in Dance Dance Dance,  Eri in eternal sleep watched over by The Man With No Face in After Dark, The existence of ‘The Other Side’ in Sputnik Sweetheart etc. etc. Because I unfortunately can’t really deal with things which are too out of this world, I have not attempted his full on ‘very out there’ books like Kafka on the Shore or Wild Sheep Chase where you actually have characters morphing into animals and what not.. The Sheepman was about my limit.  This surreal aspect of his books always leave readers guessing and uncertain of what is real and what isn’t. Questions that forever run through my head reading his books: A) Is this a metaphor? B)  A Symbol? C) A Dream?  D) Just plain random. More often than not, I think it’s option D. Just when I thought I was probably too blind or stupid to decipher the meaning of his symbols, Murakami says that he writes what he wants to write. He writes it not because he’s attached some very deep philosophical meaning to it but because well, it’s fun. The meaning we attach to it, is ever so often just our own creations. Here, i breathe a sigh of relief…I’m not that dense! But he balances the surrealism and reality so well that readers still turn the pages without giving up. The ethereal creatures also just enhance the detached and dream like quality of his prose.


Most often, he explores the ideas of desire, love, sex, loneliness and the meaning of life in his characters. I think his insights into these areas of the human psyche are fascinating and he just has such a talent for articulating his thoughts.

‘…..even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw even nearer to our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.’  — Sputnik Sweetheart

His characters usually explore meaning and purpose in life as well as deal with desire, love and lust. They also feel that they have to conform to what’s expected by society- failing in some ways succeeding in others and always dissatisfied. And this..well rings a bell with loads of people. Sometimes, he paints quite a depressing picture of human beings but Murakami however, usually ends his stories on a more positive note.  They’re almost always open ended but tinged with feelings of hope and new beginnings.

Norwegian Wood is one of Murakami’s most grounded and most well loved book but somehow…I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of his other ones. Although i more or less enjoyed  ALL his stories so far.

If I had to pick though, my favourites would be South of the Border and West of the Sun as well as After Dark.  It’s been awhile since I read After Dark and sadly I can’t really remember the plot. All I remember is that I absolutely loved it and it made me a Murakami fan. Yes, not Norwegian Wood…After Dark.

South of the Border and West of the Sun is what  I read recently and I really liked it because it just had such beautiful, poignant descriptions as well as a poignant storyline. To me, much more so than Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Wood was….exploring adolescence using a complicated love triangle.  South of the Border however, was about Marriage vs Passion, which I found much more intriguing.

‘ Inside that darkness, I saw rain falling on the sea. Rain softly falling on a vast sea, with no one there to see it. The rain strikes the surface of the sea yet even the fish don’t know it is raining. Until someone came and rested a hand lightly on my shoulder, my thoughts were of the sea.’— South of the Border, West of the Sun

In short ( slightly ironic?), Murakami’s books are worth a read. If not a couple, at least one. Maybe when you encounter his style of story telling you’ll find that special quality and fall in love…just like I did.

Anime Days :)

January 8, 2013

I’m on an anime roll 😀 wow I haven’t felt so excited and thrilled about anime in the longest time! It’s so nice to have this feeling back again 🙂 honestly I think this feeling of freshness, excitement and pure happiness can only come from anime. Come to think of it, watching drama I normally feel excited and kyaaa fangirly but never refreshed. If it’s refreshing, it’s usually coupled with tension and foreboding because when the plot’s fresh, it’s usually dark.

So anyway, CHIHAYAFURU! I don’t know why I didn’t discover this anime earlier. Basically i love it. The high school setting just makes me miss my school days and the days when…well you had time to join after school clubs, and you just had time to invest in hobbies, do other things other than work and make friendships that last a lifetime. That period of time will never come back. The times when friendships were so pure and innocent and lasted a lifetime.   Also, love the competitive sports aspect of it- the trials the characters go through, the mental training of persevering through loss and hardship climaxing with that sweet victory sensation. Reminds me all too much of my school days when we went for competitions and couldn’t go anywhere without a teacher :). Miss those days! Also the feelings of adolescence, being unsure of joining a nerdy club , the pressure to do only what you’re good at…it’s all too familiar and it makes me look back at life and its regrets and successes. The characters are really relatable. It’s like you can see a part of yourself in each of them! Well, the days of my youth are gone ( am I that old??) but I’m glad to be able to experience it once again through this anime! Also, karuta! this show makes me want to learn how to play it 🙂

Also, aside from the competitive sports aspect, there’s also the romance. Only implied but nevertheless there. Taichi and Chihaya! (below)

I think every girl watching this anime is more or less in love with Taichi. he’s the sweetest thing. Always there for Chihaya yet never daring to make a move on her for well..many reasons. It’s so obvious that he likes her though. I think my heart stops every time he looks at her. His gaze is so intense and is just filled with so much emotion. Good job to the artists for managing to portray his feelings so well! All the time he’s  watching out for her, taking care of her and doing things for her you can tell he really likes her but like any typical female anime lead who are completely dense and oblivious to awesome guys around them, Chihaya is no exception. What makes it worse is that she’s chasing after Arata! Which just makes everyone sympathize with Taichi even more. The fact that he’s voiced by Miyano only adds to his plus points too :D.  He is pretty good looking as well, much more so than Arata! who’s well…cool but boring. that’s how I’d describe him.

“Love is when it isn’t fun to be with that person. It’s when nothing goes the way you want. When you’re not having fun…and yet….You still want to be with her.” –Mashima Taichi

How sweet is that? 🙂 I think it’s true too. So anyway, I’m rooting for this pairing….hopefully SOMETHING happens in season 2 otherwise it’s going to be such a let down. Unrequited feelings which don’t result in anything sighs. But knowing animes, nothing ever happens 3/4 of the time. I hope for more character development in season 2! Chihaya and Taichi must be one of the sweetest anime couples ever. Their romance is so subdued but all the little things really get to you 🙂 . Also, they look so good together! I have yet to finish watching Chihayafuru Season 1 but so far…it’s been awesome.

Chihayafuru you’ve outdone yourself. I started it without much expectation but it’s proven to be amazing so far! I’m so glad to have chanced upon it! Finally, finally I’ve found some good anime to watch 🙂 Fate Zero and now this! It’s been so long since I watched anime simply due to the fact I couldn’t find any good ones. But now, I’m over the moon! 2 awesome ones at once! Yayy anime days are back! 🙂

Fate Zero

January 7, 2013

So it’s been some time since I’ve blogged about an anime! I’m actually kinda missing all this reviewing of shows that I did for a bit last time. Hence, I shall revive this hobby of mine 🙂

Anyway, I finished watching Fate Zero. I must say it was pretty intense and exciting. It reminded me of the Hunger Games in the sense that it’s a competition where all the players are contending for the Holy Grail ( quintet-wizard tournament?).  I wasn’t really blown away by their philosophies about life. No, but it was pretty cool how each Servant and Master had something which called them to the tournament. A reason to be in the fight, something they needed to change in life. For Rider, he had his unfulfilled wish of going to Okeanos but actually, this mystical place is like a physical embodiment of that eternal glory which he always seeks but will never be obtained or satisfied with. However, when he dies in the end, he hears the sound of the waves of Okeanos and he is at peace. Symbolically, he is at peace because he did his best and died a glorious death, reaching his destination.  For Saber, she finally understands why she failed as a king- she never showed her knights her leadership although they never doubted her character. In fact, it’s because she’s too kind that she drove Lancelot to insanity….basically she wasn’t much of a leader and took too much upon herself that it made everyone around doubt her and her abilities. Misunderstood kid. She was one of the coolest Servants though, in Singlish it’s what you would call zai. Lancer, sigh I really liked his noble character, kind personality and his Code of Chivalry, it just sucks that he was killed off so quickly :/.

Archer or Gilgamesh, his appearance is beautiful. really, he is very handsome ( see above pic 🙂 )but just so, so arrogant, conceited, self absorbed and sweetly sadistic. He really couldn’t care less what happened to others as long as he was in some way entertained. The part where he was sipping wine watching Kariya go through a mental breakdown….like seriously?? that’s not even human. He didn’t even care about the grail…all he wanted was to add it to his treasure trove. I have to tip my hat off to his Noble Phantasm, Gates of Babylon though. It was just such eye candy! I was always waiting for him to fight just so I could see that magnificent sight appear. It’s so cool gosh. That gold, shining brilliance which shoots flaming swords, arrows, hammers and hurls out chains. :O honestly it’s the coolest weapon. Best part is, it’s invisibile! so you cannot see the size or vastness of its treasure store- Just the beautiful golden pool like openings for the weapons to shoot out 😀 As you can see…I’m a bit obsessed..whoops. So aside from his awesome Noble Phantasm, Archer really doesn’t have any other attractive points. I have to give it to him though, in the last episode when the Grail was about to be destroyed all he was concerned about was how the very significant event was disrupting his ‘ proposal’ to Saber, I literally laughed out loud. He’s unsalvageable, his ego is truly sky high. Caster and Ryuunuske…what an insane psychotic pair. That’s all i can say. Blasphemy and Worship = Praise to God. That philosophy says it all…They’re TWISTED. and hence they died…still twisted.

Okay so now for mentionable servants….Kariya! Antagonist and underdog. He doesn’t appear much but you actually end up feeling really sorry for him because he’s tragic. He really was a good person but was driven to such a bitter end because of his love for Aoi. His love, i would say drove him mad like Berserker. Come to think of it, Master and Servant are perfect for each other in this sense. Till the end, I was sympathetic towards him, suffering so much for nothing. His love for Aoi also blinded him though, blinded him to see what it really was that made her happy. In the end it all backfired too, to the extent that Aoi did not even recognize his feelings for her. So betrayed 😦 Kirei…haha he was just pure evil. Always trying to fight it but in the end the Grail made him realize his true nature. It’s quite sad really to come to a realization that you have not a speck of good in you. I don’t know, him laughing maniacally at the end actually made me feel just tiny bit sorry for him. His evilness is shown so plainly though especially when he gave Rin the dagger as gift, that being the same dagger he used to literally backstab her father. Talk about Dramatic Irony. Kirei must’ve been enjoying every minute of that. Kiritsugu! Well…what can I say, this man’s life was a real tragedy. He killed solely for the ideal to save many. He entered the war thinking that all his killings would be worth it, that in the end, he’d be able to achieve total peace on earth. In the end…what a lie. The Grail was corrupt and all his sacrifices were for naught and ironically, he ended up killing more that he saved. Exactly the image the Grail showed him. In the end, he only managed to save 1 boy. That’s really pathetic considering the millions of lives he dreamed and envisioned saving. The disillusionment must’ve been torture…because it more or less destroyed his very logical and nearly robotic decision making ways in which he had been living his life.

All in all, the anime was awesome. Lots of good action, I really liked the tournament style and all the special abilities and diverse personalities of the characters- the crazy, the righteous, the chivalrous, the love lorn, the idealist, the innocent, the evil, the proud…..and all these personalities come together, rub off on each other and give birth to all sorts of conflicts, realizations and conversations. All the different powers too….coming together in a display of mesmerizing lights and colours.

So anyway, I’m glad to have finished watching this. Glad I didn’t give up at episode 9 which I nearly did. It was a joy ride that I can only describe as shiok.