Asian Drama Fever

Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

timestoryIt’s long (54 episodes) and it has way too many major characters (31 just look at the poster!) but it’s one of the best real life stories I’ve seen in a while. The story starts in the 1960’s in a small community in Taiwan. The drama is revolves around the lives of several families who are closely tied to each other. It begins when most the major characters are still children and follows them through their rebellious age, their first crush, their growth into adults. It is truly a story of “laughter and tears”. Their childhood and young adulthood is filled with innocent mischief, and the bonds between friends are amazing.

‘Story of Time’ is also filled with history. Many of the family are filled with retired soldiers who left their families in mainland China. They are banned from returning in the ’60s and starts a new life in Taiwan. I’m not clear about the actual history if that period but this drama is a great way to get a taste of life in that period.

Episodes 1-20 | Episode 21-40 | Episodes 41-54

beethovenvirus베토벤 바이러스
Beethoven Virus

Best drama I’ve seen in a VERY long time! And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Look at the high viewership.

If you are fan of classical music, this drama is to die for! If you like it just fine, you will love the drama and become a fan of classical music. If classical music doesn’t absolute disgust you, watch this drama!

Now that I’ve advertised this drama. Here’s why I love it and been watching it none stop since last night. (Already on episode 10!!)

The female lead is lovable and not in a love/hate kind of way. The male leads… I can’t seem to figure out if the male lead is the intolerable and occasionally soft-hearted orchestra director or the sweet and talented musical genius. Well, the male leads are attractive in their own way despite their huge age gap and difference in personalities.
All the other supporting characters are interesting in their own way and they fill each episode with little stories that really touches the heart.

Ultimately, I love the music the most. I am personally very passionate about music, classical or not, and each episode of Beethoven Virus contains a mini-concert. Whether it’s an actual concert in episode 4 or scenes set during the orchestra’s rehearsal, the quality of music is up to par. There was one piece in episode 4 that featured a cello solo that I replayed over and over. It’s that good!

I’m not a classical music fanatic. Usually I despise orchestra concerts. But classical music in small doses does amazing things to the soul. It can be uplifting and sweetly sorrowful. Couple that with decent acting and a fast paced plot line, Beethoven Virus is a must watch.

English subs: Crunchyroll

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missnogood_cover

不良笑花
Bu Liang Xiao Hua

I was definitely expecting this drama to be another one of those immature jokes that the Taiwan entertainment industry occasionally pushes out. After a few episodes (Ok, I watched all ten episodes that have aired within a week!), Bu Liang Xiao Hua or Miss No Good is in reality refreshing and sometimes funny. Rainie Yang does a good job playing a untypical girl with a screwed fashion sense.

I was really excited to see Wilber Pan as an actor and I’m not at all disappointed. In most dramas, the male lead is obviously trying to look handsome on camera with deliberate poses. (*cough* Mike He *cough*) I don’t know if Wilber’s doing the same thing, but he seems like a natural actor.

I’m going to keep on watching as new episodes come out each week. Don’t know if this drama is really for you? Just skim the first episode or two and you’ll know if you totally hate or love the main characters.

w/ Chinese Subtitles: eChineseChanel

w/ English Subtitles: Mysoju.com

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Since the unsubbed version is already out on CrunchyRoll, it won’t be long before every HanaKimi fans will get access to watch the 90 minute special. With multiple midterms this week, it took me a couple days to finish the movie special. The special basically revisits our favorite people from the Hana Kimi (Japan) series but doesn’t develop the plot at all.

We see Nakatsu being his happy/over-active self and Sano expressing… what is that? His emotions!?!!

The boys at the 3 rivial dorms are still acting as silly as ever, and sports is still the only clue that school is in session. Do they not have class? The only adults at the school seems to be principal, her assistant, and the homosexual nurse.

The special wasn’t bad at all. It’s just a little disappointing after that long wait and all the hype from the media.

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Watch this! I’ve only seen the first episode and am super excited for the rest. For those of you who haven’t heard of Koizora, it’s a super cute story about high school romance. Some dialogues are pretty mushy but nothing out of the norm in a jdrama. This is not the 2007 movie but actually a very short drama – six episodes total – airing August to September 2008.

[Later… Same day] Lol, I’ve finished the three episodes that have aired! If you think this drama is too immature or mushy for you, stick it through the first 2 episodes. Trust me it gets a lot more interesting and much more emotionally gripping. So many tragedies happen to the unlikely couple of Mika and Hiro, I can’t help but be amazed that they make it through it all. I won’t speak too early since a lot could happen in the second half / the last 3 episodes. I hope they make it.

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Other than the fact that it’s based significantly on the Chinese story of the Three Kingdoms, Red Cliff is your typical epic movie. I estimated that 40% of the scenes are on the battle field and 30% didn’t make any sense to me. I spent a lot time waiting for the 300-like battle scenes to end and the plot to progress. This is a very long time spent considering how long the movie was. I’m even more surprised to find that I’ve only watched Part I.

Despite my distaste with the prolonged fight scenes, I really liked this movie. The cast is wonderful, again the male roles dominating the female. Tony Leung from Lust, Caution playing a convincing and admirable general. Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城 武) previously appearing in House of Flying Daggers is Zhuge Liang, a cunning strategist for the good guys. As for the villain, Cao Cao (I italicize villain since Cao Cao is a hero in other stories, it’s just for this movie that he is the villain), Zhang Fengyi does a great job portraying his passion and his heartlessness.

As for the females: the production crew managed to make Lin Chi Ling, a famous Taiwanese model, look like your average girl, and Zhao Wei’s hairstyle and dress make her look twice her age! I won’t go into more details about the characters or the plot (which you can read below) since I don’t have a great grasp on all that history. I do question how western audiences will be able to distinguish the two battling sides! The men, except for Zhuge Liang, all dress in dark armor and the flags carry Chinese characters. Not to the mention a plethora of minor characters who appear randomly on the battle field.

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Thoughts based solely on the first episode which btw you can now watch online.

Jerry Yan returns as his best played character – handsome rich boy with attitude. Love it! I truly believe that only Jerry has the amazing bone structure to perfectly pull off a condescending yet attractive look. (That’s right, in the world of drama, sons of rich families always have cheekbone that are more spectacular than normal. Their fathers always seem to carry prominent mustaches.) As of now, the audience haven’t been attacked by Jerry’s full blown smile yet. Even his reluctant turn of the lips, a secret smile to himself, is so cute! I expecting ratings to go off the roof when Jerry finally shows his signature dimples later on.

On to Alan Luo… he’s also playing a character that really suits him. Sadly even after gaining great popularity in Taiwan, he still has that poor boy look. So playing the orphan Yuan Da Ying is totally appropriate. Alan Luo on any screen has always cracked me up. His facial expressions might sometimes seem immature but they come naturally to his face. I hate it when actors force themselves to be funny. Alan is just a pro by nature.

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New MP3s!

Leo Ku 古巨基: 情歌王, 年年有今日 (Feat. Beatbox X 金牌一條順)
LOCH 2008 (射雕英雄传) Soundtrack: 英雄寞, 乌云然, 我只能爱你
Look for more MP3s on the Downloads page.

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