Posted in jdrama

Love You as the World Ends Season 01 Review

For the first time, I will be writing a review of a J-drama that I am currently watching. If you enjoyed watching zombie movies (Alive, Train to Busan, Peninsula) or series (Kingdom). This show is for you.

Synopsis

Hibiki Mamiya and Kurumi Ogasawara – The lead characters for the series

Hibiki Mamiya (Portrayed by Ryoma Takeuchi) is a car mechanic and lives with her girlfriend Kurumi Ogasawara (Portrayed by Ayami Nakajo). They have dated since they were high school. Hibiki plans to propose to her girlfriend but on the day of the proposal, he slides off a tunnel and becomes trapped. 4 days later he was able to escape but he faces a different world. No people outside, traffic systems are destroyed and bloodstains are everywhere on the streets. He later finds out that the town is filled with zombies (called as golems on the show). Unable to return home, he found refuge with a group of people who has able to survive the first wave of the golem attacks. Separated by the tragic events, Will Hibiki be able to reunite with Kurumi as they face the struggles of survival on a golem filled nation.

Series Thoughts

The first time I watched the series, it actually had that “Walking Dead” feel into it. It introduced us to different groups of people who wanted to survive on their own. What’s different on this series is that it was revealed that a certain doctor created the virus that turns humans into golems and the shocking revelation was that Hibiki’s mom (who died years ago before the events of the series) was the first golem to be created by the doctor. At the end of the series the evil doctor succumbed to death after being shot by Hibiki after transforming to a golem.

Hiro Todoroki (Portrayed by Show Kasamatsu), Hibiki’s long time friend and rival to Kurumi
Kanae Hiiragi (Portrayed by Marie Iitoyo) and Yohei Komoto (Portrayed by Makita Sports), comrades of Hibiki Mamiya
Doctor Koki Shuto (Portrayed by Kenichi Takito), the antagonist of Season 1. The creator of the golem virus

The supporting cast were also critical on how the series went out, unfortunately the series didn’t provide a quick backstory to the characters throughout the series.

There were a lot of casualties on this series so expect that some characters will not be appearing on season 2

Final Thoughts

The concept might not be new as we have seen a lot of shows that has the same concept but the love story that looms within the series is different compared to other shows that we have seen so far. This show does not shy away from violence as this was streamed through Hulu. What I liked on the series is how the story progresses and how the interaction of the characters evolve on the series. Are we expecting a new set of antagonists for season 2 —– yes. Are we expecting to see more deaths and new characters —– probably, I just hope that season 2 does not stray away from the original story.

Score8/10: The series has a lot of potential gearing towards season 2. I will write a separate review for Season 2 once it is completed.

Posted in movies

Space Sweepers (승리호) – Movie Review

Hi Everyone! I am moving things a little bit to review this recent movie that was released on Netflix. The story takes place in the year 2092 wherein Earth has become too polluted that people are now migrating over to Mars. The crew of the spaceship named “Victory” (승리) will be entangled in a conflict between Earth and Mars.

The crew of Spaceship Victory (승리)

Key Characters

Tae-Ho (Portrayed by Song Joong-ki) – The pilot of Spaceship Victory and was a former commander of the Space Guard. Before he joined the crew of Spaceship Victory, he adopted a child named Oh Jiyul and became a father figure to the little. girl. After a tragic event wherein Soonyi was caught on an explosion in space, Tae-ho uses all his resources in order to find her hoping that she survived after the tragic incident. At the conclusion of the story we found out that Soonyi didn’t survived the explosion.

Tae-Ho (Portrayed by Song Joong-Ki)

Captain Jang (Portrayed by Kim Tae-Ri) – The leader of the crew. As a student she developed 4D AR lenses in addition to lightweight laser blasters and EMP mines. She deserted the colony at a young age to form a pirate organization after becoming immersed in anti-UTS ideology. She previously attempted to kill CEO James Sullivan at the expense of her previous team.

Captain Jang (Portrayed by Kim Tae-Ri)

Tiger Park (Portrayed by Jin Sun-Kyu) – A wanted person on Earth as he led a drug cartel thus he fled the planed to avoid being captured. He is the crew member who is really fond of Dorothy/Kang Kot-nim)

Tiger park (Portrayed by Jin Sun-Kyu)

Bubs (voiced by Yu Hae-Jin; portrayed by Kim Hyang-Gi) – The Mechanical crew of Spaceship Victory. Probably the crew member that has the most amount of cash on hand due to him winning wagers. During the events of the film his mechanical body got heavily damaged at the final battle wherein he received a human-like body (surprisingly a female).

Bubs (Voiced by Yu Hae-Jin)

Dorothy/Kang Kot-Nim (Portrayed by Park Ye-Rin) – originally perceived as a weapon of mass destruction that when the crew of Spaceship Victory discovered her hiding on their cargo area, the crew originally tried to sell them off for a good amount of money. It turns out that she is the daughter of Kang Hyun-Woo. It was explained that she suffered a rare diseases and was on the verge of dying. Her father injected a serum that is loaded with nanobots which in turn had a positive effect for Kot-Nim as she was able to walk again. Not only that, she is able to control the nanobots and was able to revive a dead plant. She was also used in making Mars liveable thus he is the target of CEO James Sullivan.

Kang Kot-Nim (Portrayed by Park Ye-Rin)

James Sullivan (Portrayed by Richard Armitage) – The CEO of UTS and an enhanced individual. His veins shows up everytime he is angry. His intention was to kill Kot-Nim however since she is protected by her nanobots, the only way to kill her is by using a Hydrogen Bomb wherein she will be destroyed on a molecular level. He was killed by the Hydrogen Bomb after the crew set him up thinking that Kot-Nim was with them while travelling far away to prevent the destruction of Earth.

CEO James Sullivan (Portrayed by Richard Armitage)

Thoughts/Feedback

The concept of people moving to a different planet or to a space colony is not new as this story concept was seen on the majority of Gundam Series. Even though the movie did not provide a back story on how Earth went into a such sorry state, the movie provided us with the best cinematography that I have seen so far. I hope this pushes all Korean Producers to keep this trend on the highest level. Would there be a sequel? I don’t think so, I think it is good that the story ends there rather than having a sequel that will be faced with a lot of criticism because of the massive success of the original movie (Train to Busan: Peninsula).

Rating

4/5 Stars

Posted in kdrama

Sweet Home (2020) Quick Review

Before 2020 ended we received a Christmas gift in a form of a Apocalyptic series titled “Sweet Home”. Similar to Kingdom and Extracurricular, this drama has maximized Netflix’s liberty by presenting tons of graphic visuals, explicit violence and a production value that matches the budget. This series follows a group of apartment residents that are desperately fighting for their survival. At first I was drawn by the strong visuals when it was first promoted, however I was more drawn to the individual stories of the characters who have suffered loss, grief and redemption.

The Plot

The story takes place on a rundown apartment building called Green Home wherein residents with complicated and mysterious backstories of loss and resilience live. A new resident moves to that apartment after losing his family to a car accident only to commit suicide to end his pain and suffering from relentless hardships, apparently the world beats him to it. The world collapses into chaos after a mysterious disease spreads out and transforms humans into monsters. The disease manipulates the person’s deepest desires with an irresistible lure and once the person is infected that person immediately fall victim to their inner demons. On rare occasions one can resist their inner demons but one unlikely person was able to and that person was the suicidal high schooler Cha Hyun-Soo.

The Key Survivors

Cha Hyun-Soo (Song Kang) is a 19 year old high school who recently moved over to Green Home after losing his family to a car accident. Prior to the tragic incident he was also a victim of bullying by his classmate who used his father’s power to justify his cruel intentions. The betrayal of his friends and his family’s negligence he became severely depressed. His deepest desires for death manifested in his monstrous alter ego that prodded him to quench his thirst, however he fought it off with his will to survive. Alongside with the survivors of the apartment, he faced acceptance, rejection, temptation and comfort as he learns to navigate the apocalypse.

Yoon Ji-soo (Lee Kyu-young) is living above Hyun-soo. A bass player who moved a week earlier than Hyun-soo after his partner committed suicide. She was able to met a few neighbors which includes Jung Jae-heon (Kim Nam-hee) who was a korean language teacher who is also skilled in fencing.

Han Doo-Shik (Kim Sang-ho) was a handicapped army veteran in a wheelchair who is also a skilled technician and became the survivors’ builder and engineer. He first met Hyun-soo in their mission to save two kids who lost their father to a monster. He became the guardian of those kids and became the expert who upgrades their weapons to fend off the monsters.

Lee Eun-hyuk (Lee Do-hyun) is the group’s strategist and the unofficial leader who is somewhat portrayed as the “bad guy” and the one responsible calling the toughest decisions which some are morally questionable.

Seo Yi-Kyung (Lee Shi-young) is an original character to the series but not in the original webtoon. She is a firefighter who formerly served in the special forces. She lost her fiancé just before their marriage. However she founds out that his death was related to the apocalypse. Her strong intellectual and physical skills saves the group from crisis but her desire to uncover the truth about her fiancé leaves the survivors, especially Hyun-soo in a weird situation.

Pyun Sang-Wook (Lee Wook-jin) is a visitor to the apartment with a goal to kill one resident. He is a skilled hired killer with noticeable scars to his body. The burn scar on his face was from a backstory wherein he was the only one who survived a fire that killed his family. He killed the arsonist who showed no remorse for his crime and received no punishment from the justice system. He slowly regained his humanity through his interactions with the group.

Series Thoughts

The show was really good not because of the lucrative budget this series has but the individual backstories of each surviving resident was the best part of the series. Everyone has their own share of loss, grief and redemption. Since this is streamed through netflix, we are seeing extremely gore scenes. The computer graphics were not that good, some 3D generated monsters were pretty lame but nonetheless it will definitely make you shocked most of the time. It is sad that we were left in a cliffhanger after the series finale and we are hoping to see the next season soon.

Some of the cast members (especially Lee Do-hyun) has expressed their interest in returning to the show once a second season is confirmed. There were a lot of questions remained unanswered like where did this apocalypse came from. The only hint that we know is that the government has been involved and they are trying to fix (or clean) the entire situation.

As of this writing I haven’t read the webtoon version of this one so I really can’t compare the differences from the original story. I hope they will be back for another season soon as I am excited to see what’s in store for the survivors.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 Stars.

Posted in kdrama

Start-Up (2020) Review

Samsan Tech (삼산택)

I have finished watching this drama and I have to say… The story was intriguing and it did deliver good results (and a huge wave of fans).

The story is about Seo Dalmi (portrayed by Bae Suzy) who came from a broken family who had hopes of becoming a CEO of her own company. Nam Dosan (portrayed by Nam Joo Hyuk) was genius kid who won a quiz bee defeating kids who were way older than him and it went to a point that he went straight to college but eventually dropped out and went back to middle school. After a small plot by Dalmi’s grandmother and Han Jipyeong (portrayed by Kim Seon Ho) long time ago. They became penpals and the rest is history

My thoughts about the story overall:

The drama shows the reality of how difficult it is to build a start-up company. As one company will have to go through a ton of hardships in order for them to succeed. During the course of the drama it also shows important terminologies that is essential while building a start-up company. What I also liked was the plot twist wherein the Samsan Tech team was disbanded. But after 3 years they were reunited to finish that one project that they have planned before Samsan Tech was bought by 2STO.

Character thoughts:

Seo Dalmi – The CEO of Samsan Tech (which later turned to Cheong Myeong) who grew up with her grandmother shortly after her father died. She proved to everyone why she was picked as CEO during the Sandbox exam. She may not have the technical skills but she has faith on all her team members. She was deceived that Nam Dosan was really the one sending her letters when she was a child but it turns out to be Han Jipyeong who was presuaded by her own grandmother to become friends with after being separated from her older sister Injae.

Nam Dosan – CEO of Samsan Tech (before entering Sandbox)/CTO of Samsan Tech/Cheong Myeong – The brains behind the Image Recognition tech of the company. The boy whose name was randomly picked by Dalmi’s grandmother and Han Jipyeong to pretend as Dalmi’s new friend. He was approached later on by Han Jipyeong and was asked to pretend to be a successful businessman to protect Dalmi’s feelings. It turns out that his real identity has been revealed and later on became Dalmi’s love interest. He was always on the receiving end of Han Jipyeong’s criticism especially about Samsan Tech’s business model and became rivals with him to win Dalmi’s heart.

Won/Seo Injae – Dalmi’s elder sister who followed her mother during their parent’s divorce. She became a successful CEO from her stepfather’s company. She was seen originally as the evil sister on the drama but later on during the series, she showed how she still care for Dalmi. After hearing her grandmother’s degrading vision, she eventually showed up and making amends with her family and later on changed her family name back to Seo after her mother’s divorce to her stepfather.

Han Jipyeong – Director of SH Venture Capital. In my opinion, the most interesting character throughout the series. An orphan that used his skills in investing at a very young age. She was adopted by Dalmi’s grandmother and was fondly called “Good Boy”. He is Dalmi’s real penpal and he has protected Dalmi on numerous occassions. He is straightforward about his opinions especially if he sees any flaws on any start-up businesses that he encountered. He became a rival of Dosan when it comes to Dalmi. At the end of the series, he set his feelings aside and became a business partner for Cheong Myeong. Kim Seon Ho’s popularity when through the roof after the drama aired on TvN/Netflix.

Verdict

I would definitely recommend this drama to everyone. It provides us with a fresh plot that revolves around Business, Family and Friends (without the usual goons or similar stuff).

Additional Notes

Due to the drama’s popularity, there were a ton of merchandise producing replica shirts from the series (Sandbox’s CEO, Mentor and Staff shirts). I was able to secure the CEO and Mentor shirts, but news has it that TvN will be releasing the official merchandise from the series (hopefully I can secure the official merchandise soon). In addition, I was rooting for the relationship of Cheol-San and Sa Ha, as their segments were way more interesting than the segments that we saw from Dosan and Dalmi.

Posted in kdrama

Tale of the Nine Tailed: Character Thoughts

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After watching the first 2 episodes of the drama, Here’s my opinion on the main characters for this drama

Lee Yeon (Portrayed by Lee Dong Wook)

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For some reason, his personality is somewhat similar to the Grim Reaper character from Goblin. A special being who got accustomed to a modern day living. His go-to food is “Mint Choco” Ice Cream. He also works for the Afterlife Immigration Office wherein he captures (or kills) specific nine-tailed foxes that disrupt order.

He also gave up being a mountain spirit in order to revive her dead girlfriend (which was portrayed by Jo Bo Ah). We have yet to see the events that happened as to why that woman died.

Nam Ji Ah (Portrayed by Jo Bo Ah)

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The woman who was in search of the mysterious man that he encountered when she lost her parents due to a road accident that was caused by supernatural beings (safe to say that was caused by other nine-tailed foxes). She works as a producer for a TV network that focuses on paranormal activities. She is more like a detective when uncovering facts from mysterious that happened during the first episode wherein she discovered fox fur on the missing bride and revealing that the bus accident survivor was indeed not human. She also made a perfect plan to reveal that Lee Yeon was not a human being by jumping off the building with the original copy of the leaked video where we saw Lee Yeon and Lee Rang (portrayed by Kim Beom) fight and use their superhuman abilities.

Lee Rang (Kim Beom)

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Lee Yeon’s younger brother, who is somewhat similar to Loki’s personality: cunning, deceiving and somewhat immature. His motives are yet to be revealed but he definitely knows something about the dead girlfriend that Lee Yeon is waiting for.

So far, the first two episodes are really interesting. I am looking forward on how will the story unfold for the upcoming weeks.