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Ah, kôya 2

Review for Both Parts of The Movie
I only recently started getting into Japanese film and drama, and decided to follow Masaki Suda's filmography, as his performance in Mr. Hiiragi's Classroom was stand out. This is his 3rd work I have seen, and its incredible how different each of his character are - in this he is the wild and angry Senji, at times an unlikable character who evokes passion in his found friend Kenji.

Both leads are well rounded characters and were acted extremely well by both actors. The boxing scenes were incredible, the tension and realism to each fight was palpable.

I loved the atmosphere and cinematography in both movies, a slight noir feel to them that somehow creates a nostalgia for the past. The music was appropriate but not memorable, and the side characters ranged from likeable to completely unnecessary. The anti-suicide subplot was so weird and seemed very disconnected to the main story line.

The movies really could have been combined into one, had the frequent (and in my opinion wholly unnecessary) sex scenes been cut and the subplots been shaved down as well.

Note: there is a TON of sex scenes in this, just an FYI.

The biggest flaw for me though was the ending. I felt like perhaps I missed out on a message the movie was trying to tell its viewers, but by the end I really felt like what was the point? I missed it for sure, and it made me question why I even watched these movies in the first place.

The acting and atmosphere of these movies are incredible, but the ending completely fell flat for me, and so I wouldn't recommend investing the time into these movies.

3 nen A gumi -Imakara minasan wa, Hitojichi desu-

Addicting Binge Watch Thriller With A Solid Heart at It's Core
Mr. Hiiragi's Classroom is an extremely interesting drama full of twists and turns, but at it's heart it has poignant themes and a heartwarming message. The style of the story is somewhat silly at times and a tad over dramatic, but it doesn't take away too much from what is a solid story with incredible acting (for the most part) from an extremely large cast.

At the head is Mr. Hiiragi, who's character is intriguing, dynamic, and charismatic at different turns. Masaki Suda is so very good, you truly cannot take your eyes off of him. The cast playing the students do a great job, with some of them being just okay actors and others doing an equally good job as the ML. In particular was the best friend of Reina, who was such a natural talent.

The soundtrack has some really beautiful moments, and I enjoyed the shock value scenes and style of the show. There were definitely some oddly over-acted parts and out of place moments, but overall as a whole, the drama was extremely good. I loved the underlying message as well. This was such a fun binge watch I finished it in two days and I will definitely be re-watching it again soon. I highly recommend it!

Geunyeoneun yeppeodda

Cute But Too Long
She Was Pretty had a lot of things going for it - a cute plot line that created lovely angsty moments and a fun feisty female lead that you can't help but love. The biggest problem for me was once the main conflict was resolved (episode 10 I think) the show completely lost its steam. I found myself struggling to finish, and for the last 5 episodes I was actively fast forwarding just to finish.

While I did love the female lead, her reactions were sometimes too over the top, it made an otherwise fun and cute character seem cartoonish at times.

I loved the message about beauty, that the FL was pretty just as she was, but at the same time you can try to make an effort to look and feel pretty without totally changing who you are.

The ML was cute as well, and they had great chemistry. I did get a bit of SML syndrome with this show, as the second male lead was such a good match for the FL, he was goofy and funny and saw her as special and beautiful before anyone else did.

All that being said, I'm not sure I would recommend this, just because the second half is so boring after the main conflict is resolved. I wish they had wrapped it up an episode or two after resolving the conflict but it went on and on and felt overly drawn out. The side characters were fun at times but I didn't care for them so much as to have so many subplots.

Kokdu: Season of Deity

Horrible Writing Ruins an Otherwise Good Story
Wow was this a huge disappointment! The potential for an amazing drama was there and the horrible writing completely destroyed an otherwise really interesting plot.

The premise and actual plot were very good (although not particularly original) but the way they got from point to point was awful, often nonsensical, and confusing. The story felt disjointed, and at times I felt completely lost while watching. The first episode was horrible, and the second was only slightly better, but then the next few episodes gave me hope. But by the halfway point I knew this show was going to be a mess, but I wanted to finish it anyway because the ML and FL gave such great performances and their characters were so interesting.

That being said, even the great acting couldn't save the show. Sad moments were written so poorly that they failed to make me feel any emotion. Instead of feeling immersed in the story and characters, I felt like an outsider watching, not connected to any character or story line.

This was truly a shame, the cinematography was beautiful, and as I said the performances were well done. The writing completely ruined a show that had great potential to be an amazing fantasy kdrama.

I think I would recommend skipping this one! Watch Goblin instead for a similar story line that is done perfectly.

The Heavenly Idol

A Fun Rom-Com with an Innocent Air
The Heavenly Idol is quite frankly a perfect romantic comedy. It has a very wide range cast of characters that are all so much fun to watch, with each one adding a little bit of flair to the overall plot line.

The story is fun, interesting, and just different enough to make it stand out from the crowd. The ML is such a wonderful character, just naive enough that the situations he finds himself in are ridiculous in a believable way that create genuine humor for the viewer. The romance is more of a subplot, but it is well done with a really great female lead who is both smart and strong.

I thought that 12 episodes was the perfect length to have a well fleshed-out story line without dragging it out or rushing the plot points. The portrayal of K-pop idols definitely gives fans something to think about, as their favorite idols are often mistreated and go through a lot of hardship to get into the spotlight, and I found watching this little group of idols very rewarding and interesting.

Overall I this is well worth the watch for any rom-com fan!

Agmaga Neoui Ileum-eul Buleul Ttae

Underrated Gem
For some reason I thought When The Devil Calls Your Name was a musical, so I put off watching it for quite a long time. I suddenly felt the need to check it out the other day, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. An interesting and very different type of story pulled me in, and the characters and music kept me enthralled to the very end.

I found the start to be a little slow, but around the fourth episode the pacing picked up and the soundtrack really got good.

The music is by far the best part of the show, with songs that I listened to long after finishing the show. But the characters are also very well done, particularly Harib, Gi Kyung, and the Devil. The only character that I was confused at why he was included was Kang Ha, the character with memory loss living with Harib, who seemed to be tacked on and served little to no purpose.

I loved the ending, the way all the story lines were wrapped up was very well done, and the character growth is extremely rewarding to watch. The actors did a superb job, particularly the FL and Harib who was a stand out performance.

I highly recommend this show, it is so different from any other kdrama I have seen, and the music subplot is wonderfully well done, with music and performances that are worth the watch all on their own.

Naneun Gil-eseo Yeon-yein-eul Juwossda

Over The Top Entertainment
This show is nothing like I expected - it's shot beautifully with wonderful cinematography that gives it a high-budget feel, but the plot itself is an over the top, quirky indie type of story. The premise is so silly, but it really works because the casting is fantastic, the whole main trio of actors have incredible chemistry and are so engaging on screen together that you can't help but binge watch the show. There are top-notch cringe scenes that are usually rounded out with true humor so it never leaves a sour taste. And the writing is great, each plot line getting just the right amount of time and attention, and finishing off with a tightly written ending that leaves the viewer satisfied.

Is there definite Stockholm syndrome in this show? Absolutely, but it really works because of the writing and the cast. I enjoyed this show immensely, and while it probably should only get a 6 or 7 rating, I am giving it an 8 because it was so unexpectedly fun to watch.

Aetaneun Romaenseu

Low Budget Melodrama with Fantastic Chemistry
My Secret Romance was on my watchlist for a very long time, however I continued to put it off because of the mixed things I had read about the show. So let me be very clear on what is good and what is bad about this drama.

The bad: low budget for sure, the overall quality was pretty weak in this drama. It also was melodramatic for many parts, and the ending was overly drawn out, with the second half filled with so many flashbacks I started to fast forward through them.

The good: the chemistry between the leads was blazingly hot! I rarely see two actors that have such natural chemistry in kdramas, and these two were so starry-eyed for each other it was extremely intense and fun to watch! The plot was simple, straightforward, and not too insane with no overly dramatic twists. And the side-characters were fun and enjoyable to watch (with the exception of the SFL who was obnoxious and annoying). Seung Hoo was a super stud in this show, which was an obvious plus!

Overall, subjectively I loved this show and would give it a 9 based just on how much I loved watching the leads together. But objectively I have to give it a 6 because of its weak points. But if you are a fan of rom-coms definitely watch this show, it is extremely enjoyable and very funny at times!

Level Up

Forgettable But Fun
Level Up was a fun watch but ultimately a bit forgettable.

I had never heard of this show before and decided to give it a shot.

The first episode didn't really impress me, but I am glad I ended up continuing to watch. The show hit its stride around the end of the second episode, and I began to really become fond of the characters and wanted to know how the main conflict would end.

The ML is a bit robotic but in a fun/humorous way that felt stale at first but turned funny about 1/3 of the way through. I thought that Sung Hoon did a great job with this quirky character, and the rare but more emotional moments of the show demonstrated that he is a good actor. The FL was silly but relatable, and she grew on me as well. The overall premise about saving bankrupt companies was different and interesting, and I really enjoyed watching this tiny gaming company come back from the dead.

Overall the show wasn't anything super special, but it was an enjoyable comedy. To be honest there was extremely little romance, and if you go into the show hoping for it you will be disappointed. But the comedy aspects were well done and some parts had me laughing out loud. Definitely worth a one off watch as a silly, fun comedy.

Cafe Minamdang

Humor and Drama Clashed into a Cheesy Mess
I really, really wanted to like Cafe Minamdang. I adore Seo In Guk, and the premise seemed very promising. The first few episodes were a strong start, but eventually the humor and drama began to clash in a way that made serious moments feel silly and the actual silly moments fell extremely flat. I thought the acting was awful from everyone, even Seo In Guk, who is a great actor, and whom I have loved in everything else I have seen him in. The plot was dragged out for much too long, this show could have easily been a 12 episode series and it would have been more than enough time to finish telling the story. The music was fun, and honestly that's probably the most I can say that was good about the show. The leads had zero chemistry, and the ML's best friend was a stupid and obnoxious character. All the couples were over the top lovey-dovey and it got old extremely fast. I hated how every guy in the show started doing that silly baby talk when they started dating. That can be an endearing and funny bit when done right, but this bit was definitely not landing.

Overall, I think a 4 is rather generous, and I am only giving it that because the beginning of the show was fun and entertaining.

Yeolyeodeolui Soongan

Genuine Sweet Story of First Love
Moment at Eighteen is a wonderful, sweet story of first love and the conflicts that arise between young students in an elite school full of the children of ambitious parents. The characters are all very well developed, and multiple story lines are skillfully woven into a single overarching plot that feels fully fleshed out and explored. The cast is full of young and talented actors, each of them unique and each one gave an impressive performance. The story has enough drama to keep the audience interested, but it also feels genuine and down to earth, without any crazy sudden dramatic turns. The soundtrack in particular stood out to me and was both beautiful and memorable.

Overall, the underlying story of a first love at the age of 18 was sweet and executed perfectly. The awkwardness, the tenderness, the ups and downs; all were done extremely well.

The only complaint I had was it was a little slow at times, and the show overall could have probably been wrapped up in 12 episodes instead of 16. The ending was also a bit too open ended for my taste.

That being said, for a school drama/slice of life it is a wonderful show that is well worth a watch.


Unexpectedly Great
I went into this show with admittedly low expectations. It didn't air on any of the big Korean channels, and wasn't made for any streaming service in particular. There were no big name actors in it, although I did recognize Park Ji Hoon from the fantastic At A Distance Summer is Green, where he played a summery playboy hiding a dark secret. This character could not have been more opposite, and boy was I blown away by his performance. I hope he is given bigger roles after this show, he certainly deserves the chance as his acting was great across the board.

Si Yeun is a pretty, smallish young boy, so seeing him being a brilliant strategist combined with a wiry, stubborn strength was a pleasant surprise that kept me interested from the very first few minutes. While school bullying in Korean dramas is certainly not a new concept, this show is somewhat different from the others I have seen. It centers on human emotions in a way that puts every character in a grey moral zone that makes them all incredible interesting to watch and also all too relatable.

It seems the ending was set up for a season two, and I really hope to see another set of episodes of this amazing show. I was completely hooked from start to finish!

The Law Cafe

Sweet and Entertaining Melodrama
I very much enjoyed The Law Cafe - the leads had great chemistry and the story was interesting and engaging. That being said, it was littered with cliches and should very much have been labelled/categorized as a melodrama. I was not expecting so many predictable and overly used plot devices, so that definitely affected my rating. These cliches made the story feel at times overly dramatic and sometimes even ridiculous. Although I was certainly never bored.

The acting was good all around, but I have to say the absolute stand out performance for me was the wildly entertaining, entirely insane character played by Jo Han-Chul. He completely stole every scene he was in, and at least half of my enjoyment came from watching him acting like a total lunatic.

Overall I enjoyed this, but probably wouldn't recommend it. Both the leads have been in much better dramas, and seeing them in those would be time better spent.

Gan Tteoleojineun Donggeo

Better Than Expected!
Cute, fun, and sweet, this show was a pleasant surprise and definitely better than I expected. I think perhaps the hype around it and the poster put me off, but something drew me to the show eventually, and I am so glad I ended up watching it! The story is fun and engaging, I was never bored and the show felt properly distributed through all 16 episodes. The main couple were super cute and exploding with chemistry. The relationship was built naturally and realistically, and both leads were good actors who gave satisfying performances. The side characters were well developed as well, and added to the story in just the right way. The soundtrack was enjoyable as well, and there were some really nice cinematography moments throughout.

All in all it was a completely satisfying watch that I would recommend!

Link: Eat, Love, Kill

Wonderful Romance Thriller With a Twist
Link doesn't bring anything hugely new to the thriller genre, although the premise of being "linked" through emotions was interesting and gave a different flavor to the show. The mystery of the ML's missing sister was very well done with tightly written twists and well-rounded villains. The main cast are all likeable and interesting. The romance was built up in a very believable way and the ML and FL had decent chemistry. The soundtrack was amazing and really elevated the show. I am glad I waited to binge watch it because it is a very addicting show that keeps you on the edge of your seat! Highly recommend it and rate it an 8.5.

Why Her

Twisted, Thoroughly Entertaining Melodrama
Why Her is an intense melodrama full of well written twists and turns. Seo Hyun Jin is incredible in this, and her performance alone is worth a watch. Hwang In Yeop is wonderful as well, and the rest of the supporting cast are great, particularly Huh Joon Ho as the villain who was absolutely fantastic. The characters are all very well written and well rounded. The score creates the perfect atmosphere for a really entertaining watch that keeps you hooked from start to finish. I am not a fan of noona romances, but the leads had enough chemistry and the characters had a good enough connection that the relationship was believable.

The show is well worth a watch!

Keureiji reobeu

Believable Enemies to Lovers
Enemies to Lovers fans rejoice! This drama is very well done and has a believable journey for our leads to go from enemies to very cute lovers. Acting was good across the board, and the soundtrack was fun if not necessarily memorable. The plot was dramatic but not too dramatic (within kdrama standards of course) and kept me interested throughout the entire show. I really loved the underlying message that one good person can make a big difference. Overall this was a cute one time watch that I enjoyed a lot.

Dalriwa Gamjatang

Cute With a Touch of Melo
I really enjoyed Dali and The Cocky Prince. It had a touch of unique humor where the drama wasn't afraid to laugh at itself. The first episode had a lot of English speaking, most of which was done by sub-par actors (with the exception of Dali's boss who was pretty good), and those scenes were a touch cringe and I felt like I had to push myself to get through them. After that episode the show fell into a more familiar rhythm, and I thoroughly enjoyed the lovely rom-com atmosphere. The leads had fantastic chemistry, and I loved them as a couple. The story was interesting and kept my attention, falling a bit into the melodramatic zone in the last two episodes but not to the point that it felt out of place.

The soundtrack was sweet and matched the atmosphere of the show very well. The cinematography was well done but nothing special. Overall it was a cute and fun watch, although not something I would probably re-watch. It is well worth a one-time watch though and I would recommend it to rom-com lovers!

Radio Romaenseu

Sweet Romance
Radio Romance is a sweet romance surrounding a radio program and a troubled actor. I really enjoyed the story, it was simple but compelling, and the radio side story was very interesting.

I thought Yoon Doo-Joon did a great job, especially at the beginning with the way he was holding back his emotions; his eyes were so communicative and lots of little micro-emotions conveyed so much. I do wish that later in the series we had gotten some more open and genuine emotions from him but I suppose it was true to character that we didn't.

I thought that the ML and FL were good for each other, and despite a rocky start, they were overall a mature and cute couple. That being said, I personally felt zero chemistry between the actors. The 2ML had a bit more chemistry with the FL but not really in a romantic way either.

The side characters were interesting and eccentric which was fun to watch. I enjoyed the wide variety of music played in the show as well.

Overall this was a decent one time watch that I enjoyed, although it probably will not be very memorable.

Business Proposal

Cute, Silly, Pure Rom-Com
Business Proposal is one of the more popular k-dramas right now, and I was curious to see why it has such popularity and high ratings.

Firstly, I'm a big fan of Ahn Hyo-Seop with his soulful puppy-eyes and he is a great actor to boot, but this wasn't my favorite of his roles. His character's personality is mostly the same throughout, nothing special and rather boring, with Se-Jeong having much more personality in her character. I thought the overall premise was cute and fun, but I'm glad it was only 12 episodes as anything more would have been dragged out. I liked that the show wasn't afraid to poke fun at the k-drama cliches and make fun of itself at times. The second couple was also cute and I enjoyed both stories.

Overall the story is simple and fun and this show is a pure rom-com. I enjoyed it but it didn't blow me away, and I personally like a bit more plot with my shows. It is a easy watch and a good way to become a fan of Hyo-Seop!


Brilliant and Gripping Thriller
Kairos was an incredible show from start to finish. The plot twists and details were impeccably thought through, and the acting was top notch from the whole cast. The cinematography was perfectly done to help aid the viewer distinguish between the present and future story lines. The soundtrack was somber and chilling at times and helped to create the dark mood of the show.

The first half of the show was definitely a bit better than the second half, but I still was hooked to every episode. The last few episodes were a tad muddled, and I was a bit confused as to the main villain's motive, hence the knock of one star. Otherwise it was a perfect show.


Genuine and Well Done Story About Love and Self-Love
I had very little expectations of this kdrama I had never heard of before. I didn't know any of the actors, and the story seemed odd at first. However I think this is a rare gem in the kdrama world. It speaks about love and self acceptance in a genuine way that I haven't seen in any other kdrama. The issues facing the characters were so real and done really well and realistically.

The ML is one of the oddest and most eccentric of any ML I have ever seen, which made him quite unlikable, although he does have some great character development throughout the show.

The FL is wonderful and relatable, and I thought Jae Hee and Ye Rin looked incredibly alike, the switch from her older and younger selves was very well done. I also loved how they ended it - I won't spoil anything but the characters are treated well. I was very happy with how they addressed the issues surrounding weight and loving yourself unlike other shows I have seen (looking at you Oh My Venus).

I would definitely give this show a shot!


A Bellcurve Type Plot
Grand Prince had it's ups and downs, I think overall it was a decent show that was a bit too long and suffered from a stylistic over dramatic flair that brought the show down to a mediocre melodrama.

The plot was interesting and well written, however the first episode was a bit weird and over dramatic. Despite that odd first episode, the beginning of the show was strong, but then it began to unravel towards the midway mark and felt strung out towards the end. There were plot points that I thought should have been further explored, such as Eun Song's time with the Jurchen's. The characters were believable although they often felt a bit flat, with sadly very little character development (with the exception of the FL who was the only character that grew). The soundtrack was nice but overused. Some scenes were so over-acted it felt like I was watching a soap opera, which was unfortunate because all of the actors were great and could have done the scenes in a more tightly controlled manner.

The romantic plot line was very sweet, the loyalty and love between the leads was really wonderful to watch. The evil prince Lee Kang was incredible and easily the best character with the best acting. The younger version of him was so perfectly cast as well.

Overall I think this is worth a watch if you enjoy historical shows and melodramas. It's not bad, but not great either. It is unfortunately filmed like a much older show despite it being filmed in 2018. I would give it a chance though.

Ma-dam Ang-teu-wan

Cute and Surprisingly Accurate
Madame Antione was unexpectedly well done, with a feisty FL who had appropriate reactions to the often cold and calculating ML. I thought the backstories of the leads was well done and engaging, and the acting was great across the board. I thought the show demonstrated realistic relationships between the characters, and while I found some of them annoying I was happy at how they were written.

Most pleasant of all was the accuracy given to the psychology! The psychological disorders were portrayed very well, and I enjoyed how much detail was put into each "side" story. I also liked how the side stories didn't influence the main story - I think it's annoying how convenient it is when a side story directly correlates and influences what is happening to the main story (i.e. Lucifer, House, etc.). I also liked how even though the ML was a psychologist, he had his own struggles that were handled thoughtfully as a psychologist might have trouble with their own mental health despite knowing a lot of the answers.

Overall I really enjoyed this show, I would consider it a rare gem, and would definitely recommend it!

Otsomae Bolkeun Kkeutdong

I've very rarely seen such a beautiful k-drama - the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking and it is accompanied by an equally beautiful soundtrack. The acting is top notch all around from every cast member. The plot is complex and well written. It has both amazing happy moments balanced well with very serious and sad moments.

My only complaint is that I found some scenes between the leads to have an underlying feeling of "forced consent" that I found distasteful. It ruined some otherwise romantic moments. The show also doesn't have a great re-watch ability.

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