248

Open Thread #81

 

For some reason, it seems like this week really sped by. I’m not sure if I feel happy about that or not. (I ain’t getting any younger and I can’t just let time slip away like that! On the other hand: Friday.)

SONG OF THE DAY

Anna Nalick – “Satellite” [ Download ]

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@bbm

I haven't had the motivation to watch Kamen Rider but, I have watched Mei-Chan and Absolute Boyfriend numerous times to see Hiro. *sigh I might tackle Hana Kimi b/c I really didn't notice him as Nanba Senpai the first time around.

I forgot about Oguri Shun. He's somewhat EYE CANDY. I just wish his grill wasn't so...crooked.
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Who thinks Russell Wong is HAWT? I loved him in Joy Luck Club. He was just such a dark and lovely character in that Jet Li...I've had a brain fart. I can't recall the movie's title.

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@131 Linda re: Lotte Duty Free CF/MV
Oh my! Thank you thank you thank you for the link! And just when I thought I was not going to have anything new to obsess about my k-hubby Kang Ji-Kwan! Nice weekend isn't it? :)

Never heard of Lotte Duty Free - but if they are smart enough to have so many hot hot MEN advertising for them, I'm buying whatever they are selling LOL. Damn the korean ads are gimmicky but sure as hell entertaining.

This ad should come with a serious health warning! To have Song Seung Hun, Park Yong Ah, Ji Sung, Rain AND Kang Ji-Kwan all appear within the first 24 secs...either I was going to nose-bleed to death or have a heart attack! I mean who cares if it sounded like they were singing 'Soul Em Wubbing Ew' (instead of 'So I'm Loving You') with THAT amount of eye candy - all is definitely forgiven! I'll leave the Big Bang boys to others...but when they sang 'Do It Do it Do it Do' (1:20) first thing that popped into my head 'hmmmmm but WHO do I choose first?' (and no it was definitely NOT PG thoughts....)

Kang Ji-Kwan looked like he was having fun - adorkable as ever with the 'click-sway/dance' HAHA. And his voice - very impressive. When he winked at ME (yes totally delusional)......I totally melted into a puddle.

And WTF!? - when did Ji Sung get so hot? Was I totally blinded by my love for Lee Byung Hun in 'All In'? Ji Sung was good looking then but phoaw....Is this what military service does? Hubba Hubba. Is it the hair? Was not really interested in 'Swallow the Sun aka All In 2' but after this (and my new found fondness for Yi Nok/Sung Yuri) HAVE to check it out!

Poor Rain. He showed more charm in this CF than in any of his 'world domination' movies. *sigh* Use to like him, and this ad helped me rediscover some of that love. Its a shame his charm/charisma is lost in translation. Rain stay in Asia! - forget about trying to be something you are not.

(Sorry for the rant..and yep I DO know I just provided a detailed rant on a 3min AD!....I am such a k-tragic!)

Now back to what I was going to post about...ummmm...hot men (LMAO)

OK criteria for this list - there has to be something other than just good looks. Honestly the korean pop culture seems to be filled with them (or they make ppl think that if they were to arrive in Korea there would be only good looking men in Korea! I wish...or is that dream? BTW if this is fact let me know - I'ld be on first plane there swine-mutated influenza or not!) Like others - think Daniel Henney is good/great looking, but something about him is just bleh. (Don't get my wrong would not knock back meeting him upclose). The following MEN has something about them in addition to looks. Talent. Charisma. Intensity. Masculinity (*). Something...

TOP....(whatever)... SUPERNOVAs
(this list keeps growing, k-movies/k-dramas make me a fickle fickle woman)

LEE BYUNG HUN
Do I even NEED to say any more? Have you ever seen All In? Come on down IRIS! (fingers crossed about Kim Tae Hee)

WON BIN
Oh my how the time has flown - missed him! Loved him in 'Taegukgi'. Looking forward to 'Mother'.

LEE JUNG JAE
Loved him since Il Mare. Here is hoping 'Triple' works out better than 'Air City' (still can't believe how they messed that up!)

KANG JI KWAN
This man made me WANT to watch the rest of the (unbearable) 'Exhibitions of Fireworks' just for HIM (after a few aborted attempts). When his intensity/acting can nulify the 'acting' of 'Korean Barbie' (err...still don't get that) Han Chae Young and Park Eun Hye. THAT my friends is talent. Then came his role as Hong Gil Dong...O-M-F-G!

KIM RAE WON
That smile enabled me to forgive his Kringlish in 'Harvard'. Something interesting about his 'boy next door' charm (and if there was a boy next door like THAT - I ain't ever moving...)

HYUN BIN
Ahhh the topic of much discussion (and love) in today's open thread. Liked him in MNIKSS. Loved him in Worlds Within (even if the series was a bit slow paced). Agree with @129 (Fizzle) that Hyun Bin showed growth in his acting there. Absolutely smitten after finishing Snow Queen today (what is it with Open Thread's coinciding with my kdrama viewing? Freaky!). Not sure why it had poor reviews - loved it. (and it had Yi Nok/Sung Yuri too!)

Re @Samsooki - Hyun Bun bar scenario

In order to prevent marital discord between you and your wife, in the event of Hyun Bin Bar scenario happening- please give me a call. Happy to help :) Anytime!

and your take on the power of O-P-W? Loved it! What a classic! You honestly crack me up LOL
(BTW am pretty sure you'll love Sung Yuri aka Yi Nok in Hong Gil Dong! Sung Yuri and Kang Ji Kwan were very cute!)

USE TO BE SUPERNOVA List - Slightly less Super?
KWON SANG-WOO -
Use to have him at close to, if not, top of my fav k-actor list. Then I watched Sad Sonata. Only thing that kept coming to mind was 'is all that crying not dangerous for his vision? Perhaps he should get checked out by an opthalmologist?' I skipped 'Bad Love' - and from all reports it was a good thing I did. Can the man, and his agent, please select less melodramatic future projects? The man has a family now you know? - he needs his eyes to see his wife and son! Wonder if 'Cinderella Man' will be less o_0 than it seems (30+yr KSW with a Girl Group love interest?.....ahem) But still on the top of my hottest k-body list!
SONG SEUNG HUN
All lovely to look at. He tumbled from the top tier when I realised cannot be so so shallow as to overlook what talents, aside from the superficial, the man has. Am still looking.....and waiting. (and no did not think to check out EoE. and it's 50+ eps)

'Need to seriously check out' List
-So Ji Sub
-Jang Dong Gun (although loved him in Taeguki!)
I know I know - weird to not know these two 'classic hot' men. Fixing that ASAP. Starting with 2 for 1 in 'Model'.

'Keeping an eye out for' List
- Uhm Ki Joon/Eom ki Jun - the smexy bastard from World's Within (nearly stole my focus from Hyun Bin!)
- Jung Il Woo - Pretty boy - but impressed in The Return of Illjimae, WITHOUT subtitles. WOW.
- Jang Geun Suk - Hong Gil Dong's friend/foe Prince. Another pretty boy. Perhaps it is my love for all things HGD. Surely not!?
- And of course will check out F4's future endeavours. C'mon after the craziness of BOF how could I not? Perhaps not all on HOT list but definitely cute list!

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Ok I slept early last night and slept in to make up for a week of sleep deprivation due to work only to find the open tread to have over 200 posts!!! I will never ever catch up!! In addition to being behind there are so many different discussions going on in every different directions that are all interesting that I feel I'm being pulled apart like dried squid legs.

I don't even know where to start. So I'll just say a few things

1. The korean actress I swoon for is Im Su Jeong. She has a vulnerablity that is poetic to me. She is like the rose in the little prince. She shows grit and displays her thorns but in reality she is fragile and their is a sadness in her eyes that can drown you in their pools. The thorns are her comfort though she is mostly all rose.

2. My husband and I dated since college. Back then there were a lot of asian girls dating non-asian guys but not the reverse [ok save that for another topic of discussion. How asian men feel when they see a hot asian girl dating non-asians etc--bound to be a touchy subject].

My husband actually never thought of non-asian women as dating material because he didn't think that was really possible without making severe compromises on who he was. He had the same feeling that Samsooki had that asian men to non-asians and even to some asian women are not sexual beings. I on the other hand had dated a number of different ethnicties and never thought for a minute that I needed to be different to date someone or needed to limit my circle of possible dating partners by race.

Anyway, fast forward to today. Dating and marrying asian guys is vastly more acceptable on the east coast and I see quite a number of Asian guys with non-asians girls. My husband gets consistently hit on now by caucasian and black women (mostly by 18-24 years old). I should add my husband looks very young (younger than me *cries* though I'm younger) and most of the girls appear to be college students. Anyway he cant believe he wasn't born 10 years later when the trends and preceptions have obviously changed. I, however, would like to think that even in a different time and space he would have still chosen me even though he chose me from the smaller Asian pool of fishes ;-)

Samsookie thanks for sharing your thoughts on being an Asian male. I thought it was quite brave of you to hang it all out on the line. I'm not sure I can quite to that. Not only is it brutally honest but there is a truth to what you said that rang home for me especially when I think back to the korean boys and men I've known. I'm sure it was equally educational and eye opening for everybody else on this thread no matter what their backgrounds are.

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@ belleza
You've convinced me to check out 2046 :)

"She and her student friends act out a patriotic play in their university theatre, proclaiming how China will never fall to a foreign aggressor. That scene made me tear up."

I think that time period of Chinese history always gets to me emotionally. There was so much hope and pain all rolled into one at the time. But post-Qing China has always been interesting to me (especially when I had seriously considered going into grad school for Chinese history :)

@Sere
You should give LV another try...when I initially watched it, I thought it didn't really get interesting until episode 5 when the interest between Sena and Minami becomes more apparent. Speaking of Mr. Brain...I still haven't made up my mind about Mizushima Hiro....he's definitely pretty...but I don't know. I do think Ikuta Toma is a cutie though...

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BTW JB is this your longest thread? i feel like the open threads have become more and more popular but I haven't seen any that topped 200.

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</3

..I sooo need to find a guy who actually makes me feel like I matter..

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@Gramps, "Don’t be too sure. I’m too old for the P and the W to have much affect on me, but oh boy, as more than one person around here knows, the O gets me into devoted self-sacrificial action every time, though I’m as European as they come. Of course, it does require a guy to understand some Korean. If I didn’t, my Teutonic cultural strand would make me think I was being called “Opa” or, err, “Gramps”."
- Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten the only person on the planet I do call Oppa?
Just don't be expecting the "P" or "W" from the O-P-W from me...cuz it ain't gonna happen. ;)

"Finally, though, ladies beware: the O effect cuts both ways. Oppa may be wrapped round your little finger, but he still expects his dongsaeng to Be a Good Girl and will scold her when she isn’t.
A propos of which: HJKJOMO!!! Yaa!! OK it’s a holiday and all, but what are you doing spending time in this thread talking about MEN when you have vital subbing labors to complete."
- Okay, okay, 잔소리 duly noted...watch it, though, else I send Mrs. Gramps a collection of Wondergirls and SNSD swag w/your name on the mail order. ;)
Good thing the spouse (mine) doesn't read this blog...where else can I gush over my "mine" list?

@bspanda, "Kang Ji-Kwan looked like he was having fun - adorkable as ever with the ‘click-sway/dance’ HAHA. And his voice - very impressive. When he winked at ME (yes totally delusional)……I totally melted into a puddle."
- Really? I was SURE he was winking at me. :P

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so...i'm finalizing two papers for the two grad classes i'm taking this semester...but my prof did tell me that breaks are necessary, and this has been a most lovely open thread!

@131 linda re the Lotte Duty Free video- O.M.G. the eye candy!!! =P i think i was very much like samsooki while watching it--"grinning the entire time" and feeling "a little bit of “tee-hee-hee-hee” school girl shyness a few times"

@ 202 bspanda re your post: love it!

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@samsookie
Thank you. I think that male perspectives are truly the most fascinating. Especially at times when we experience the same situations. Its still amazing to me the ways in which men differ from women. I don't have alot of male friends but those that I do interact with don't always know how to express these truths as well. Only my fiance seems to dig deep with me...and he says that I am the first woman that has asked him to elaborate and listens.

What stuck with me is this: "We are thrown into pressure cookers and expected to come out as a “man” even though we know nothing of what that means."

The emphasis on "man" is significant because women are women as long as we are not trying to attach a penis. Being a "man" is something altogether different and more complex and holds so much stigma and pressure.

Again I'm thankful to be a woman. Thank you Jesus!

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hey dramabeans
youve always given me some great recommendations for dramas and so i thought i might return the favor.
i was watching this great drama called queen of housewives. its really good so far (though i absolutely hate the main character) but im on episode 8 and i think its awesome. idk if you'll like it but maybe you can check it out.
btw started watching story of a man, seems pretty intense so i'll continue watching it
thanks for all your hard work!

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@nycgirl,

"BTW JB is this your longest thread? i feel like the open threads have become more and more popular but I haven’t seen any that topped 200."

I think last week's Open Thread was the first to hit 200. It's been steadily increasing, but I think Samsooki is a major reason why.

@omo,

"How can the same set of dimples on HB have 2 opposing effects on different people?"

Agreed. More studies need to be done on Binniesexuality.

@Taohua,

"I think that time period of Chinese history always gets to me emotionally. There was so much hope and pain all rolled into one at the time."

My grandfather was a high ranking military officer who knew the Kai-sheks.

@Sere and @Mookie,

"!)! I also didn’t think Kimutaku was that sexy *hides from Belleza* "

AND

"I thought putting ‘Kimura’ + ‘uglier’ tog is fine with ‘WB’"

Fools! Fools! I am surrounded by Twittericists!! Kimura-sempai, don't listen to their twittericist agenda, I will smote them all with my . . . broom. Uhh, gotta sweep the floor today. Bleh. :(

@jing,

"Anyway on EoE, I believe it’s Han Ji Hye’s most riveting performance yet…"

Between the younger leads, I thought Han Ji Hye delivered the strongest performance (I think doing "Likable or Not" smoothed out some of her acting.) Though like the other actors, there were spots where you could tell she was struggling with how the character was written or being directed.

That was probably my least favorite of Park Hae Jin's work. I'm fine with his character being a villain-turned-good, but I thought he was kinda going for a Jo In Sung-style "overacting" performance, and was shooting all over the place. But I'm glad his profile's gotten up -- before East of Eden aired, he was my pick to be the next Hyun Bin. I liked him a lot in By Land and Sky and Fabulous Chili Sisters.

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@Belleza
"Fools! Fools! I am surrounded by Twittericists!!"
Ahahah. But I don't even have Twitter :p But seriously now, rec me a good jdrama with him and I'll definately give it a try. Come on, convert me, I'm pretty open to new experiences (and that totally DIDN'T sound dirty!)! ;)

@202 bspanda
Re: the lotte duty free MV. I'm SO relieved to hear I'm not alone in this obsession! I've watched that clip so many times and it never gets old! Esp KJH. He seems to be having a blast and I love him when he does that little dance (such a DORK!!!)!

@197 Kobe
"Luckily not all guys are the same. "
Thank God! *g* I was merely pointing out that I have yet to meet a man like that. But a girl can still hope, no?

@ jing Re: LV
I don't feel alone anymore, thank you, jing!

@204 Taohua Re: LV
I started being a little more...brutal when it comes to dramas. I don't have that much time so if a drama doesn't grab me in the first 2/3 eps (I'm a little more forgiving with Kdramas), I'm done with it. I used not to be like that, but there're a lot of dramas that I'd like to watch so if I stubbornly keep watching one that bores me to tears, I'd feel like I'm wasting time. But I'm totally open to suggestions: I'd watch any other drama with Kimutaku ;)

As for Ikuta Toma, I started appreciating him in Hana Kimi, but he improved a lot. I've finished Voice a few days ago and while the drama was nice (not my fave, but good), I was really, really impressed with his performance. I can't wait for Majo Saiban! Finally, he'll be the lead man! Wheeee!

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@201 Dramaniac
put me at the front of the Russell Wong line! i kept trying to remember his name and kept coming up short. i loved him when he had a show on the former WB.

since i am new to the whole drama biz, my list for hot men is short and well...it does include some idols and more from the music industry.

1. Donghae from Suju. i can't tell you what it is about that boy, but he's frakkin hot. it's weird because his face looks plain, or average. my interests peeked during Suju's Full House show where they take in 2 exchange students.

2. Shin Dong Wook . i hope i got the name right, it's the guy from Soulmate. i've pictures with a haircut and my hot meter doesn't peak as much. but it's still there.

3. Baron Chen. not Korean but the actor from Fated to Love You. just yumminess.

4. Hyun Joong of SS501 and BOF. not buff hot, but i really loved his personality during WGM and the interviews i've seen of him. sure i may not understand the language, but there are things within body language that makes you go mmmmmmmmm.

short list.

as for the women. at this point i find Yoo Chae Young absolutely beautiful. maybe it's because she's a comedian and not afraid to act a little nutty.

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@211, Belleza,

" “BTW JB is this your longest thread? i feel like the open threads have become more and more popular but I haven’t seen any that topped 200.”

I think last week’s Open Thread was the first to hit 200. It’s been steadily increasing, but I think Samsooki is a major reason why."

? Noooo.... I refuse to be the reason why anyone does anything differently! Everyone has to take responsibility for themselves and their own posts!

Hmm, but, if in case I do have some influence on other people, then I say,

1. Say no to drugs (except for a certain Korean actor, give him another chance)!
2. Say yes to binniesexuality (vote yes on Prop 925)!

-Samsooki

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@ Belleza,

I almost forgot about LoN, but I skipped around that one because it was too long. First thing I noticed in HJH in the beginning episodes of EoE was that she was crying exactly liker her "mother" in LoN.... the kinda cry (and scream) that gets under my skin, that makes me wanna smack the heck outta her. I love her A LOT, but I couldn't take it at those times. Thankfully a few episodes later, she shifted from that style and somewhat developed her own.. one that she ended up enhancing as the episode progressed. It would've been nicer if she had more time to work with Lee Mi Sook, who had so much more to show (and teach) HJH how it's done.

I don't think it was only HJH that got confused with the writing. It was evident in PHJ's performance in the last quarter of the drama. Was I disappointed? Yes. But to his defense, the writing was all over the place. The new writer was even confused with his own piece.. Myung Hoon contradicting not only his very goal since the beginning, but he's contradicting what was said just 5 episodes ago. It's as if writer had forgotten it. In the end, it didn't leave me the enlightenment I was expecting at the beginning. Pity it had so much potential.

I don't understand how a big project, esp when they said that the writer spent 2 years working on it, could degenerate in quality just like that? To be honest, it was my first kdrama in a few years.. it was EoE that pulled me back and had me catching up in other titles as I waited its debut. Start was exciting, refreshing, intense.. but it didn't last long, and overall, to me at least, it was utterly disappointing.. Why in the world did they bother make so many promises only to be broken in the end? Not only once, but multiple times. This experience made me lose faith in whatever future PD/writer/network may promise about an upcoming project.

Good thing I discovered JB.. I'll wait for a series to be over and read reviews from different posters here before investing precious time again.

@ Sere:
Some ppl recommended Maou ( Ikuta & Sakurai).. It won the drama of the year award in Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix. Now I'm more motivated to watch this one.

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@215 jing
Well, Maou is a remake of Mawang (The devil) with Joo Ji-hoon and Shin Min-ah. Personally, I'm going to watch the original before venturing with the J-remake. And not because I have anything against Toma or Ohno. I based my decision purely on the number of eps and because I think the original ought to have a bit more umph than the remake.

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Rus-sell Wong! Rus-sell Wong!
Been in love since 1992!

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Vanishing Son was the name of the Russell Wong tv movies and show.
i had to look him up, and he's still pretty hot. http://www.russellwong.com/galleries.htm

but i had NO clue he was in the last Mummy movie. now i have to go watch that.

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@ Russell Wong lovers....Romeo Must Die was that Jet Li movie I was mentioning that Russell starred in. He was a great villain. I love bad boys!

I didn't know he was in the last Mummy installment. I'll give it a watch. I need a break from Hiro anyways!

@ whoever suggested Ikuta Toma as HAWT. Thank you!!! I might watch Hana Kimi again for him or HYD 2nd Season.

He's scrumptious...*drool

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Ahhh, Russell Wong...China Cry...dang, he used to be so hot.
He hasn't aged as well as one would've hoped, though (ala The Mummy).

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@ 207 hjkomo
'Really? I was SURE he was winking at me'

Sorry to distress you but he really really was winking at ME. I felt it in my bones. :P

@208 aher15

Thanks for the compliment *blush* The post about hot men was maybe too hot for my PC - it literally shut down mid post! Grrr! Had to rewrite that TWICE (and yes 1st time round was still long winded). But for the love of hot men - what can I do eh? but write it again.

@212 Sere Lotte (Hot Men) MV

I'm also relieved that I too am not alone! So much hotness in so little time. Holy hell am that 'obsessed' by this MV, it was the first thing I did when I turned on the PC. An uberfangirl MV if there ever was one. Those idol groups have NOTHING on this MV. But then again how can you not love a clip featuring KJH + the other hot men?

Oops also just realised that in my excitement for the Lotte Men (btw can they just form a male revue aka strip troupe and do a world tour already? A Man Band? Anything? All that combined hotness cannot be just left to 3 mins... opps distracted again..) forgot to clarify what I meant by Masculinty (*) in my definition for 'Hot Men'.

BTW forgot to add: Alex Chu (Clazziquai) to my list of hot Korean men. Silly me!

There seems quite an extreme in kpop (culture) for good looking guys: either manly men (see my list for eg's) or 'pretty pretty girly' boys. But there is something about those pretty boys that does not seem to allow me to elevate them to hot men category.

Example: Lee Jun Ki. While I totally appreciate Lee Jun ki's talent (his performance in 'The King and I' really was worth the acolades), he has charisma that little 'something' too right? But am I the only one that gets majorly creeped out by how pretty that boy is? LJK makes me (a female and been one ALL my life) feel like a pre-op transexual man in need of high doses of estrogen hormones! He is THAT girly. It cannot be good when a man looks more feminine than a female can it? That he seems like if he would hog the bathroom and spend ages applying makeup while I wait outside? Or a male who looks like I could knock him down by breathing in his direction? Can't be good can it? Can it? o_0 I just don't 'get' the appeal of that overly pretty/girly' man as a hot man.

But then again Kim Hyun Joong aka Ji-Hoon sunbae - god love him - is also good looking/pretty but he falls outside the 'pretty girly boys' for me. Cause he has 'personality'. He is cheeky, and funny. He is borderline Hot Man. Warm boy-man perhaps? (btw pls check out We Got Married if you think of him only as 'Ji-Hoon sunbae'. Honestly if you loved him in BOF you can only love him more - he is a total riot).

In the (post(?) era of metrosexual men - it is refreshing to see more 'rugged' looking men on the (pop culture) scene. The HK/TW dramas seem to be flooded with pretty (useless?) idol boys (TW) or the same faces (HK). (TVB - really you need to learn the definition of 'fresh' casting ASAP. Another reason I went to k-drama!). Am so so tired of girly men in my TV dramas!

Not that I want return of total 'cavemen' back ( I mean please - grooming, gender equality and manners are very important to my shallow self) - but just that I like the visible differences in 'masculine'/'feminine' (visual) traits. That's what makes my heart flutter. A man's man.

That is also probably why my pals and I are forever stumped to name a hot Chinese (inc TW/HK) actor for ages yet can immediately rattle off half a dozen in 2 secs when it comes to Korean actors. LOL

(JP scene is even harder for me still (but then again am not really into J-dorama). Aside from my love for Takeshi Kaneshiro (hmm he is half Chinese), and Abe 'Mr He Who Can't Marry' Hiroshi - seem to be forever distracted by their (bad? crooked?) teeth.)

Of course in real life personality, integrity etc is what counts (truly these things matter to me!). But in regards to pop culture - I am as shallow as a puddle.

[NB Hmm I THINK there wasa point I was trying to make here......not sure if I did. Thanks for your time - hope it wasn't totally wasted reading my rant!.]

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Russell Wong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh he used to be my biggest crush. like...10 years ago! ( oh man, i sound sooo old :( )

Kim Hyun Joong, yes yes he's real dork in WGM. I was so sad because Alex and Shinae left the show, then we got this older woman-younger man couple, and I thought, this is not gonna work. He's just AWKWARD. But then 5 episodes later, I couldn't miss a single episode of them. You're lucky [email protected]#tch, Hwang Bo! hahaa.
I can really understand how Hwang Bo could tear up sometimes.
I saw some of HJ's performances in variety shows, when he talked about himself, he just adorable weird.

HJ is also the reason I became interested with Kim Heechul. Once I can 'accept' that weird 4D persona is somehow interesting and amusing, I can't help to love them.

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reading comments here is like reading for an assignment. Long discussion and take hours to finish.

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@ sere
Thanks for that bit of info. I didn't know it was a remake. Someone suggested The Devil to me also. Both getting raves, now, I'm confused which one I want to watch first. I lean more towards jdramas for its shorter episodes, which leads to fast pacing. Might be good, whatever is missing, skipped or lacking in the shorter one, I wouldn't be disappointed since I still get to move on to the original version, where I can savour the same story again. But the second time will be savoured slowly and in longer.

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I just watched the "So I'm Loving You-Lotte Duty Free" CF featuring some of the top Korean stars, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having said that, it is really quite cheesy, isn't it? I mean the lyrics of "So I'm loving you" and "Lotte Duty Free" in the same sentence? LOL.

This is a "really Korean" thing from my point of view (as someone who emigrated from Korea at the age of four and grew up in Canada). A few years ago, I wouldn't have enjoyed the CF, but as a fairly new Kdrama fan I am embracing my "Koreaness". And like Samsooki, Kdramas have made me feel that Koreans can be cool, and that I can enjoy my Koreaness without reservation.

In fact, I'm hoping *keeping my fingers crossed* that my husband (also Korean-born, Canada-raised) and I will be able to visit Korea this fall for the first time since emigrating (that's almost 40 years!!! for me). Wow, I'm so excited but feeling a little bit guilty for not taking my 3 teenagers. But most of my Korean friends tell us that we should go alone for the first trip, and take the kids on a separate occasion. Anybody have other thoughts?

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@ all those of Korean heritage who have grown up elsewhere:

If your country's sports team (in my case, Canada) was competing against Team Korea in, let's say, an Olympic event , for which team would you be cheering?

It's a bit like asking "Which child is your favourite?", isn't it?

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@224 jing Re: The devil vs Maou

True, jdoramas are fast-paced and the plot might be tighter, but this is not a love story that no matter how many times is told, it still feels new and different (in that a kdrama love story is usually totally different from the same story remade as a jdorama and viceversa. Think Hana Yori Dango and Boys before flowers).

This is a thriller and once you're spoiled, you're spoiled and...it might be a bit boring when you rewatch one or the other. I mean, you already know how the major twists are going to play out. I suggest you take a good look at the actors, see which set gives you more confidence of "pulling it off" and then decide. I watched about 5 eps of The devil and I loved it. JJH and Uhm Tae Woong are really, really good. I love Ikuta Toma so I'm a bit biased, but as much as I consider Ohno a decent actor, I don't think he can compare to JJH.

I haven't watched Maou yet, but I have watched a lot of jdramas and as people pointed out several times already (see Belleza's comments about Jdoramas in the old Open threads), Jdoramas tend to focus more on the plot so the actors and the actors' performances are usually not the focal point of the drama. Kdramas on the other hand are more about the actors and how good they are so when the story is already good, like in the Devil, the fact that the actors can perfom somewhat better is a plus, imho.

I'd be nice to read comments from people who've watched both the dramas and can give you a more proper reply. *I* usually am more impressed from the first drama I watch (I loved HYD. I put BBF to a forced hiatus. And this is coming from a kdrama lover), but that is just me.

And I don't know if that helped at all.

@221 bspanda Re: the Lotte Duty Free MV
I still can't stop watching it. LOL Why can't we get similar ads here too? It's cheesy and lame, but...I love it. I honestly imagined casting it with non-Korean actors and I failed. Somehow I don't see any of them do such a silly thing, no matter how big their pay might be. I think you need to be very ironic and laid back to film such an MV.

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@202, bspanda,

"This ad should come with a serious health warning! To have Song Seung Hun, Park Yong Ah, Ji Sung, Rain AND Kang Ji-Kwan all appear within the first 24 secs…either I was going to nose-bleed to death or have a heart attack!"

In actuality, I sort of had the same reaction. You know how in k-dramas, the way they make the audience think that a person is studying hard is by giving him or her a nosebleed (e.g., Bad Family with KMM in school at the end), I had to check to see if my nose was bleeding.

It is so fascinating to see Korean guys being "guys" in a "I am sexy in my own sort of way, and you who are watching me from home know exactly what I am talking about because I am so confident in my sexiness that I can wink and smile at you and I know you are totally melting, but I'm not going to look away but I'm going to continue to melt you, so go ahead and melt, it's okay, I know." It is one thing to see Korean guys in k-dramas, acting hot or whatever. A part of my brain knows its just acting. But in a commercial, it is like, "hey, these guys are really real, and this is what they are like in real life." And in real life ("real life" where they get to strut around singing a silly song about duty free shopping and look all good looking and stuff), Korean guys can be hot.

Btw, I'm glad you liked Snow Queen. I actually figured something out last night as well, a small (but probably important) part of why I like Sung Yuri - it has to do with a certain look that she can put up, that is similar to ones that some Korean models ala racing girls have (Lee Ji Woo, et al). I won't talk about it here, but at least I recognize it for what it is, and it is definitely a whole Open Friday thread's worth of conversation.

@203, nycgrl -

I'm way past the point of being embarrassed for who I was or what I am. For so long, I was embarrassed for who I am, and even when I visited Korea, I was embarrassed there too (imagine, a whole country full of dorky Korean guys). But part of growing up is to gain balance and an integrity of self, and so I don't mind talking about it or joking about it. I'm cool with who I am now (cooler every day, especially after seeing Lotte Duty Free CF, LOL), but there were times when my life was a lot darker, and not just because I didn't want to be Asian but because I didn't want to be anything that my parents wanted me to be, and so a few bad choices in a row and I might have been a tragic news story rather than anything else. And now that I've solved Lee Min Ho's secret hair styling process, I am well on my way to Korean actor style hair. hehe.

@226, birdscout:

If I see Team USA vs. Team Korea, I root for Team USA. My ethnic background is Korean, but this is my country, and I am American by choice, by birth, by right. I will always have a soft spot for Korea, more so now and in the future, but cultural pride (for me) is one thing while nationalistic pride is quite another.

It's like what Jason Scott Lee (in the role of Bruce Lee) said when confronted by a white guy who was cursing him because the white guy's father died in the Korean war, "I'm sorry about your father, but that was Korea. I'm an American."

-Samsooki

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@227 Sere Re: Lotte Duty Free MV (aka Lotta Hot Men MV)

Seriously I have totally lost the plot when it comes to this MV! Now if only I could get my mitts on a HQ ver! And if anyone has this potent drug pls share with this junkie ok? Cause hey - you know caring is sharing! and the world needs more caring.

And yes cannot imagine a non Asian combo either. This ad is definitely an example of 'only in Asia' type advertising (but hell I ain't complaining). Hmm....Honestly could probably write a zillion word thesis on 'Cultural Codes: Celebrities endorsements in Asia' (with the 'proper' research like viewing Lotta Men MV again...and again.. ) Perhaps next week's Open thread...LOL

@228 Samsooki
Good to see this MV has the same reaction to a guy as well! Can you imagine the carnage at the Red Cross Blood banks globally if they had Hyun Bun in it too? *faint* Oh la la.

OK the whole 'nose bleed = over work' in kdramas. This is the thing - have been over worked / stressed tired in my life but never EVER have I had constant nose bleed(s) as a result. Did I not work hard enough perhaps? LOL. Shocking skin? Yes - definitely! Panda eyes? OMG Yes. Nosebleed? No.

It is quite amusing when I see it in kdramas. Like a precursor that something bad has/is about to happen (eg sort of like the Jaws theme = if you're in the water something is coming to eat you for their lunch!) I mean if it was Chinese 'reality' - first thing the mum (gender stereotype I know) ) would do would make your drink swimming pool vats of 'cooling' herbal teas that are black as the abyss while totally make you cutting out 'heaty' foods eg fried, spicy etc. to balance you out.

BTW Dramabeans has become my 'K-drama Anonymous'. 'Hi my name is bspanda and I am a kdrama addict!'
(must also try to resist posting back in this Open thread :P)

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samsooki or anyone else who would know:

is there any place i can find the lyrics for "it's alright" by jang nara?

much thanks.

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@kb
For lyrics in hanguk, I usually check maniadb.com

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sere,

thank you!

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@230, kb -

You want the lyrics in Korean, romanized Korean, or just an English translation? Lemme see if I can't break out my embarassingly bad Korean ability. I apologize in advance for butchering the translation.

가끔 힘이들때 그대 어깨 기대어 쉬면
너무 편안한 마음 느끼죠
두눈을 감으면 제일 먼저 생각난 사람
그대라서 고마운거죠

Resting on your shoulder when things are difficult every now and then
Makes me feel safe inside.
When I close my eyes, the first person I think of (is you),
I am thankful that this is so.

때로는 가슴아픈 추억에
우리 사랑을 미워도 했지만
난 알아요 내가 힘들지 않게
웃음속에 눈물흘리며 참아 왔단걸

Sometimes, when I get a painful memory
And I hated (regretted?) our love.
I know (what you did), in order to make it not so hard for me,
You smiled while holding in the tears.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
이제는 내가 사랑을 할게요
그대 힘이들면 안아줄 수 있도록

It's alright, it's alright (now)
I will love you
so that when you lose strength, I can hold you up.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
나 잡은 두손 놓지 않을거라고
마지막 그 날 까지 함께 할 수 있게

It's alright, it's alright
I'm telling you that I will not let go of you
until the end of days, so that we can be together.

나란히 걸으면 애써 나와 발을 맞추며
자그마한 소리로 웃었죠
그대는 그렇게 수줍은듯 미소 지으며
항상 내 손을 잡아 주죠

Walking side by side, you tried to match me step for step,
And we laughed softly (in sotte voce)
During that time, with that kind of shy smile,
You never let go of my hand.

한 때는 혹시 내가 아플까
못난 내 사랑을 주지 못했죠
미안해요 그대 맘을 몰라서
항상 내게 잘해준 사람 보지 못해서

In case I would be hurt one day,
I withheld my love from you (the bad person that I am).
I'm sorry, I didn't know your heart then,
I didn't see the person who treated me so well.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
이제는 내가 사랑을 할게요
그대 힘이들면 안아줄 수 있도록

It's alright, it's alright (now)
I will love you
so that when you lose strength, I can hold you up.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
나 잡은 두손 놓지 않을거라고
마지막 그 날 까지 함께 할 수 있게

It's alright, it's alright
I'm telling you that I will not let go of you
until the end of days, so that we can be together.

우리 사랑 여기 있기에
그대가 있기에 살아가죠

Because our love is here
Because our love is here, it will survive.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
나에겐 그대 하나 뿐 이라고
다시 태어나도 그대 밖엔 없다고

It's alright, it's alright
I'm saying, to me our love is the only thing.
Even if I am born again (next life), there is nothing else but our love.

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
나 세상끝에 혼자 남겨진대도
함께 할 수 있기에 너무 행복하죠

It's alright, it's alright
Even if I become the last person left on earth
For the chance to be together, I will still be happy.

***

The last paragraph is a little bit difficult. I think it means "It's alright, it's alright (it's okay, don't worry), I will still be happy for the chance for us to be together even if it means that I will be left as the last person on earth."

Bleh... will someone with better translating skillz please help us out?

-Samsooki

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The problem with Korean is that you can't translate it word for word because it doesn't work that way.

Sometimes, you have to translate the imagery (quasi-metaphoric, quasi-figurative) and then flip it around so that the verb isn't at the end. But because these are lyrics, if I did that, you wouldn't be able to go line by line and that would screw up those trying to learn Korean from songs.

Basically, I think Jang Nara is singing the words of which every guy wants to hear from the girl they have loved unrequited-ly:

1. "I appreciate what you have always done for me."
2. "I knew you were hiding your emotions from me to make things easier for me."
2. "I'm sorry for not giving my love to you earlier."
3. "Don't be afraid any more, I am yours, even if the world collapses around us, even if I am made to be the last person on earth, even if I am reborn in the next life, I will still be yours, and I am happy to commit to you in such manner."

I love this song. hehe. For shizzle, Jang Nara does this well (as do many other Korean ballad singers) - she makes her songs a condensed version of a k-drama.

-Samsooki

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samsooki,

the translation is awesome. i like to use korean songs that i like to learn korean. yes, as a youngster, i rejected all things korean, and now, i've come to regret not being fluent in my native language.

i fell in love with jang nara back when she was in this show called "new nonstop", which was sort of like "saved by the bell." anyway, after i found out she sang as well, i ran out and got her first cd. after that, however, i did not really follow her career as my crush was waning.

i began to peruse some of the older "open threads" here, and i saw that you highly recommended this song, so i had to check it out. i was not disappointed. it's been on repeat for at least the last couple hours. i would love to check out your other recommendations, particularly "snow queen," but i must resist. seeing me addicted to a kdrama is not a pretty sight. it's as if the rest of the world comes to a stop.

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"i would love to check out your other recommendations, particularly “snow queen,” but i must resist. seeing me addicted to a kdrama is not a pretty sight."

I'm with everybody -- The Lotte Duty Free CF (btw, for those who don't know, Lotty Duty is kinda like what Macy's of New York is . . .and so this is kinda the equivalent of X-mas shopping ad, if X-man shopping ads were full of HOT MEN in DROOL touching their DROOL with their DROOL on their DROOL oh my DROOL . . . :P ) continues to haunt my dreams.

Of course, it's missing one thing. Let Kim Hee Chul show you what it is . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ygMQaUXVwg&fmt=18

Actually if you want a uber-oppa Sung Yu Ri drama, you may want to check out One Fine Day. Not a whole lot of O-P-W, but there's a lot of W-O-H (*weep* "oppa!" *hug*, ala Autumn Tale) moments. Originally, OFD was to be a remake of the manga "Eden no Hana" or "Flowers of Hana." And there's bits here and there that come from it. The one key bit that changed . . . they are supposed to be blood related (eww!!!) But, for the most part, Gong Yoo played it close to that, kinda like he played Coffee Prince closed to the story's insinuation, and Hello My Teacher to that story's end conclusion.

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@Samsooki

Yup, sometimes the only way of getting the flow of a Korean song (or even a Korean sentence in a drama dialogue) across is a kind of twin-pack of translation followed by paraphrase. I found both your components very enlightening.

Just one point that may help other people trying to get the feel as well as the sense of things like this

It′s Alright, It′s Alright
이제는 내가 사랑을 할게요

It’s alright, it’s alright (now)
I will love you

Korean has a number of words for "now", and they are generally not interchangeable. 이젠 specifically identifies "now" as a point in time that marks an epoch of some kind. Up to 이젠, things were one way, from 이젠 on they're going to be significantly different. That notion of significant change (often in a romantic relationship) is emphasised further by adding the topic particle as here.
And of course the shape of the harmony, the melody and the delivery also combine to bring this out as the pivotal line in what you rightly identify as a mini Kdrama.

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RE: Samsooki (#156) O-P-W technique

KEKEKEKE :) That is absolutely hilarious.

I agree that it probably works better on Korean guys mainly because of the "oppa"-word. I think if I were to try that on a Chinese guy and call him brother ("ge ge") he would freak out.

But don't worry my Chinese sisters, we also have a technique called the "Tao Yan" *Hit* *Turn Around* (THT) technique.

Basically you

1. Act all annoyed and in one motion
2a. Say "Tao Yan" ( http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&p=%E8%A8%8E%E5%8E%AD )
2b. Hit him
2c. Turn around

This will force him to try and comfort you and agree to all your demands.

Works like a charm!

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@Jessica,

"This will force him to try and comfort you and agree to all your demands."

. . . with severe sense of reproach :D

The THT works best if you can execute it with a severe frown and if your voice goes up 2 octaves. But don't overdo it. Then you'll look like Zhang Ziyi, and everybody will hate you. ;)

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@Jessica

LOL I always thought that "Tao Yan" meant "annoying" or "you're so annoying", because my better half says that to me all the time, and yes, she does it with the hit 'n turn around thing as well! I never really asked her what it meant, I just assumed it meant "annoying" because she does that whenever I'm being annoying :)

But you're right though, it is quite a powerful techinique, although not quite as potent at OPW. Funnily enough, I've never even experienced OPW IRL nor am I Korean yet I can feel it's power already. I guess it doesn't really matter since THT gets me all the time anyway :P

Just a question: Why do girls (especially Asian girls) talk with a higher pitch when they're with guys they like?

@Belleza

Sorry my radar was a bit off tonight but it won't happen again!

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@kobe,

Part of the power of the "oppa" thing is learned. if you are in hs / college, and you have an older "sis" / noona who you look up to and so on, and she, in turn, has an "oppa" who she just kind of adores, it's a very weird, very kind of "the world is a circle, life is a circle, we are all connected, everything is everything" zen thing that is going on.

It's like that Wilkinson razor commercial, "fight for kisses" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuSBCIV1zuQ. Guess which character you are.

That older 'sis' treats you like a kid brother (i.e., a baby), and then she in turn gets treated specially by her oppa, but then what does that make you and that oppa? I guess that "should" make him your "hyung" but sometimes it doesn't work like that you just get mixed feelings, especially if that guy takes up all of your noona's time. You and that oppa are not REALLY in competition but there is an element of awe / jealousy / where's my free lunch going on, competition for attention, etc. You will never be an oppa to your older 'sis', but at some point you realize you will be an oppa to someone else down the line, and the circle of life repeats. Conflict solved, sorta, unless you have a Dal Ja's Spring - younger guy / older woman thing going on... then I'm not sure how that works.

But here's my point. Through this process, you learned by watching. Someone who took care of you was in turn made to feel special by someone else, and so you learn that as well.

Fight for oppa-ness. The baby turns into the master. Who then is turned into a walking wallet and keyfob by the o-p-w. It's a circle thing.

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@belleza,

I remember you mentioning recent taiga deteriorating. In what way exactly? I tried to watch Atsu-Hime but gave up over half-way through.. then now I'm following Tenchijin. I finished Toshie to Matsu and Yoshitsune (my 1st taiga), so I just assumed their style is different from usual jdramas. What recent titles would you recommend?

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Caught the first episode of Bloody Monday on TV. WOW. I mean, WOW. If Iris could be half as good.

@Kobe,

That's okay. At least you showed up to play. Unlike Bynum. Is Phil saving Bynum saving for July? And tell Gasol to stop playing like a little girl!!!

@jing,

"I tried to watch Atsu-Hime but gave up over half-way through.. "

I really enjoyed Atsuhime, but it's really an one hour asadora (which is fine for me!) I think the inherent problem with Atsu-hime is that you have a story about the ooku while the Bakamatsu was going on. This is the equivalent of doing a story about "the help" while the Civil War is burning down the mansion. It's perhaps interesting as a short series, but kinda trivial as taiga. All the same, as an asadora, working through the tropes of disapproving stepmoms and formal rituals of family, it's just marvelous. And Miyazaki Aoi wears some impressive hairdresses. :)

"then now I’m following Tenchijin."

I really like some of the arty touches they've done for Tenchijin (for example, when Kanetsugu is alone and acting out a 2-man play), and I also like Tsumabuki Satoshi (he's been compared to Won Bin :D ) a lot. I even saw Nada Sousou (Okinawa and Taiwanese folk songs are a lot alike BTW), so I really enjoy any scene between Satoshi and Masami Nagasawa. But I also think this is easily the worst taiga I've ever seen. Does Kanetsugu have to cry in EVERY episode? When you watch taiga, you should feel like you need an encyclopedia or at least wiki to match up all the names and plots? Not here. This is a story about a guy who basically cries around grown samurai in order to shape the fate of the Uesugi. Also, taiga's episodic format makes this even more obvious how slow the overall storyline is, which seems impossible given that the story could easily focus on the struggle between the demonic Nodabunga (any taiga with Nodabunga in a major role should be all sorts of fun) and the godlike Kenshin, and then the struggle within the clan.

Having said that, I'm enjoying the show. :D When Satoshi cries, a new tree grows in New Zealand. ;)

"I remember you mentioning recent taiga deteriorating. In what way exactly? "

It's just the general consensus since Yoshitsune (or, as it's sometimes called "YoSHITsune". ;) ) That the much venerated NHK tradition finally succumbed to the teen audience market and started watering down the storylines, casting actors who aren't ready for this kind of stuff, etc. (For example, casting Shota Matsuda prominently in Atsu-hime, that type of thing wouldn't have been done years ago.) Tenchijin is even more extreme.

Having said that, I remember liking Yoshitsune. And in general, I like jidaigekis, be it taiga, chambara, or an asadora from the early 20th century, etc. If you liked Toshie to Matsu, there's Komyo ga Tsuji starring Nakama Yukie (not as good, but the husband/wife dynamic is still moving.) If you like swordplay, there's Mushashi. If you like Gackt, there's his uhhh "memorable" crossdressing/manequin/Visual Kei interpretation of Uusegi Kenshin (yup, the same bloke in Tenchijin played by Hiroshi Abe . . .. RETUUUURRNNAAAAAAA!!!), Fuurin Kazan. If you want a depiction of the Bakamatsu, there's Shinsengumi.

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I thought it was the kimono that looked fabulous. I even saved uHQ files in the hopes of softsubs to come out. That way the colors and designs of those kimonos could be better appreciated.

I suppose my standards is different from usual Taiga watcher since Yoshitsune was my first title. Tenchijin was addicting from the start, considering it has Hiroshi Abe plus I too like Tsumabuki and Tokiwa Takako (and Tamayama- realized that he really can't act here.. i knew he wasn't the best, but Tenchijin somewhat highlighted that weakness. He's still hot so it somewhat compensates me). I couldn't shake off Abe's silliness from his previous roles, that seeing him as Kenshin was so refreshing to me. He embodied the "god-of-war-like" Kenshin. His aura in that drama made me understand why Nobunaga considered him as a huge block to his plan in conquering the whole country. And now at ep 11, the supposed heir is portrayed as "weak" and "indecisive" <_< .. I find myself not so addicted to it anymore.

Since Nobunaga and Hideyoshi almost always appear in Taigas, how do you get used to different portrayals? I can't seem to get used to Tenchijin's Nobunaga when Sorimachi Takashi already did an amazing job in Toshie to Matsu.

Thanks for the recommendations, I have all those titles so I should be able to start working on it. Gackt as Kenshin??? Hahhaha.. would it be enough to last me all 49 episodes? I forgot to go back and pick up on Komyou ga Tsuji... and Hojo Tokimune. Since I started watching Hojo Tokimune right after Yoshitsune, I was kinda biased towards the show that I ended up dropping it. Learning how Masako and the Hojos used Yoritomo to gain power.. how Yoritomo's vision of the bafuku, to which (according to the drama) he had to sacrifice his own brother, is the total opposite to the one that the Hojo controlled some decades after his death. But now, thinking back to it without bias, story actually seems much more interesting.

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"I thought it was the kimono that looked fabulous."

One of the things I loved about the hairdresses (and different kimono and even how sometimes she had certain powder and so on) was how it reflected different stages in her social standing and deference as well as her own personal development. My mum and I would often remark about her essemble whenever it shifted throughout the show.

"I have all those titles so I should be able to start working on it. Gackt as Kenshin??? Hahhaha.. would it be enough to last me all 49 episodes?"

Fuurin Kazaan (which aired in 2007) focuses on one of Uesugi's main rivals, the Takeda clan. The involvement between the Uesugi and the Takeda clan doesn't arrive until about halfway through the show (basically, the Uesugi were in SO much sheezy that they beseeched Kenshin to leave his monastic isolation and lead them. In a sense, the Godlike Kenshin is almost like a warrior priest) Fuurin Kazaan ends with the rivalry between Shingen and Kenshin, which overlaps with the Tenchijin story.

The NHK taiga planning seems to be dithering in a parallel, serial fashion. Fuurin Kazaan covers the Takeda and the rivalry between them and the Uesugi . Two seasons later, Tenchijin covers the Uesugi , overlapping near the later part of the Shingen/Kenshin rivalry. The 2010 taiga is going back to the Bakafu to cover Sakamoto Ryoma. Now, if you watched Atsuhime, Ryoma was one of Eita's closest buddies and you may recall that Ryoma's mentor was one of Atsuhime's most trusted friends, who dreamed of building the Japanese navy. And, so, this drama will be about the Japanese navy, which was discussed in Atsuhime. If we get naval battles, this show will be Ultimate Win.

Oh and Fukuyama Masaharu (lead actor of Galileo, as well as the leader of SMAP) is going to play Ryoma.

"Gackt as Kenshin??? "

Oh, Gackt haunted my dreams as Kenshin. Was his acting good? Was it in any way realistic? Was it remotely Uesugi Kenshin? Hellz no!! But OMG -- it was like watching . . . uhhh . . . RUROUNI Kenshin come to life!! :D

(One of the things I treasure most about Japanese dramas/movie culture is that, sometimes, they totally sidestep the "but is this good?" question by making it so frigging out there that reasonable notions of taste, if not sanity itself, gets destroyed in a shower of BISHONEN POWA!!! And this is one of those moments. :D )

Anyway, for the NHK Year-end Gala (and yes, in our house, we try to watch the MBC Awards Show, KBS Awards Show, NHK Gala, and Ryan Seacrest's Year End Ball all the same time on Dec 31st :D ), they had Gackt re-enact his Uesugi Kenshin role, and then perform Returner. So, what you see here . . . is pretty dang close to what his Uesugi Kenshin was like. Prepare to be taken back to Sengoku!! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfCxeEvFc9w&fmt=18

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*goosebumps* kinda creeped me out.. but after getting to the part where he said, "prepare yourself, we'll leave for battle" or something like that.. I still had to yell at the monitor "YEAH!!!!" and burst out LMAO. Song is awesome though.. I love the theme, sengoku samurais + j-rock :D.. but if they brought this atmosphere into the drama, i wonder if i'll be rofl or pulling my hair out.

When I heard about Ryoma Den and Fukuyama, I was ecstatic. He's not in SMAP though, I think you meant Nakai? I can't remember or probably haven't gotten to the part of Ryoma's appearance in Atsuhime. But the toppling of the Tokugawa Bakufu is what I'm more curious about. Plus Fukuyama's character playing one of the important role in that change, I might really like this one.

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"but if they brought this atmosphere into the drama, i wonder if i’ll be rofl or pulling my hair out."

Oh, Gackt's performance was universally panned and rightfully so. But it's memorable. Mmm!! :D

"I can’t remember or probably haven’t gotten to the part of Ryoma’s appearance in Atsuhime. "

Ryoma comes in about the 2nd half of the story. Basically Atsuhime has 2 major storylines: the asadora-style presentation of life in the ooku, and Satsuma's alliance with the Choshu. The Satsuma story becomes much more prevalent through the 2nd half of the story, and there you have Eita's character Komatsu Tatewaki (one of Satsuma's leaders) interacting with Ryoma. Ryoma is characterized as sort of an oddball, country bumpkin in Atsuhime, but they made a point in emphasizing his dream of a Japanese navy that'll stand with the Americans and other Western powers.

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"Basically Atsuhime has 2 major storylines: the asadora-style presentation of life in the ooku, and Satsuma’s alliance with the Choshu."

Sounds like I missed out a LOT then! Trying to understand her complicated situation, but I was just frustrated with her turning her back on the Satsuma clan and embraced being part of the Tokugawa. Especially when she was their last hope in the battle for the heirship after her husband's death. But I'm glad to finally learn that the story shifted back to the Satsuma Clan. Wasn't it part of her (first foster) father's dream to eradicate the olden (and backward) ways and build up, rather modernize Japan's defenses? I cried when he died... he had a vision, probably along the same lines as Iesada, prior to meeting Atsuhime. When the he married off his daughter to the shogun, she ended up giving him reason to keep the current bakufu alive.

oopss.. kinda way too far from k-ent.. is there other sites just like this which is dedicated to j-ent discussions?

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