Friday, August 30, 2013

[Anime Review] Brave 10 (2012)

A super cranky ninja named Saizo finds himself unwillingly saving a priestess named Isanami. Isanami's home, the Izumo temple, had been brutally burned and she is the only survivor. She manages to bribe Saizo with food into escorting her to Shinshuu to enlist the aid of laidback, playboy lord, Sanada Yukimura. While Yukimura allows Isanami (and Saizo) to stay, he has his own agenda. He is in the process of gathering his brave ten warriors who will help him take over the world. Mwahahahaha!Just kidding (kind of). They're not really the bad guys. Instead, the ten warriors will discover why the Izumo temple (and Isanami in particular) were targeted by the Leyasu's forces and make sure she doesn't end up in their hands. Or dead.

This is a quality, action/adventure anime. The fighting is totally kick-ass and there's a ton of great eye-candy as can be expected in a series like this. There's even yaoi fanservice! Also, the warriors are a fun, interesting bunch of nutjobs and you can't help but fall in love with them. Even Isanami, who is weak, useless, and a big 'ole whiner, eventually grew on me. The OST's are pretty catchy and I found myself actually listening to the beginning and ending songs for almost each episode.

However, just as the story was getting good and you were sucked completely in...the series ended! That's the problem with these super short, 12-episode anime; there isn't enough time for the story to develop properly. Just gathering the 10 warriors took 9-10 episodes and THEN the story began. So the last episode felt incredibly rushed. The very ending, after the credits, was cute and highlighted each of the warriors' personalities. Viewers ended the series filled with affection for the Brave 10 and smiling. Also, there was a lot of room left for a possibly sequel. We can only hope.

Brave 10 has everything one looks for in an action anime: interesting and amusing characters, exciting fight scenes, a solid plot, and humor. It just didn't have enough episodes to carry it all out. It is definitely worth watching anyway. You can check it out at

Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Anime Review] My Little Monster (2012)

My Little Monster is a shoujo anime about a wild, crazy boy and a studious girl. Shizuku Mizutani is a super bookworm who only cares about studying and nothing else. One day, she is bribed by her teacher to take handouts to her classmate, Haru Yoshida, who was supposed to have the seat next to her, but had been suspended on the first day of school due to fighting. After dropping off the handouts, Haru considers Shizuku a friend and follows her around. Despite his uber violent tendencies, Shizuku learns that Haru isn't so bad. Eventually, they start crushing on one another and cue romance.

This series was really cute and funny. I really liked the characters. Haru's innocence and wackiness, Shizuku's blunt speech and studious nature. The supporting characters were also a lot of fun and really likeable. My only issue was that the series was entirely too short! I wanted to see Haru and Shizuku's relationship develop even more. However, the manga is still ongoing so a true ending wasn't possible. But the series didn't do too bad and provided a believable ending to tide viewers over until a potential second season. My Little Monster is worth a watch when you find you've got a couple of hours free.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[Kmovie Review] Love 911 (2012)

Oh man, this is such a good movie!

Love 911 isn't your typical, fluffy rom-com, which is what makes it so dang good. Mi Soo (played by Hang Hyo Joo) is a cocky female doctor who misdiagnoses a patient based on assumptions about her brute of an husband. Uh-oh! When the patient has a brain aneurism, the husband sues Mi Soo. In order to save her medical license, she seeks firefighter, Kang II (played by Ko Soo), who could help attest to the husband's violent nature in trial. However, his gruff, but noble nature forced him to say no, but Min So doesn't give up. And that's how this love story begins.

What makes this movie stand out is not only its original plot, but its amazing cast and the smoking hot chemistry between the leads. The budding relationship between a self-involved doctor and a grieving firefighter is intriguing, engaging, and entertaining as hell as they don't get along to begin with. When they finally do get together, it's super sweet and swoon-worthy. The supporting cast is frigging stunning. They're all intriguing characters that you can't help but love. They also add depth and sometimes comic relief to the movie. The ending was absolutely beautiful and had me sighing contently.

Love 911 is a definite must-watch. Check it out on YouTube here: and let me know what ya'll think.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

[Kmovie Review] Marrying the Mafia (2002)

In Korean movie, Marrying the Mafia, the typical "waking up next to a stranger after a drunken night" plot is given a twist when Park Dae Seo (played by Jung Joon Ho wakes up in bed with Jang Ji Kyung (played by Kim Jeoung Eun), the only daughter of big time Mafia boss, Triple J.

Craziness and Gangster Comedy ensues. This movie was nothing special. Ji Kyung's brothers were entertaining enough, especially as they played matchmaker. However, I wasn't too impressed with the development of the romance between Dae Seo and Ji Kyung. Their relationship was improving in a subtle way that I found cute, but then Ji Kyung got hurt, ran back home to daddy, Dae Seo chased after her, then bam, wedding! What? It didn't make sense to me and was kind of stupid. The very end wasn't too bad. I liked how we finally got the chance to see how they actually ended up in bed together. I couldn't help, but smile.

In short, I may have better spent my two hours watching something else, but I'm not upset that I gave up that time. It was cute and a bit funny. But definitely has no re-watch value for me.

[Currently Watching] K-Drama, On Air (Episodes 1-3)

I recently joined the Facebook group, Operation: KDrama Chat, where members watch a drama together (two episodes a week) and you guessed it, chat about it.

We're currently watching On Air, starring Kim Ha Neul, Park Yong Ha, Lee Bum So, and Song Yoon Ah. After developing a girl-crush for Kim Ha Neul in A Gentleman's Dignity and falling for Lee Bum So in History of a Salaryman, I was looking forward to watching On Air, which is a drama depicting the behind the scenes of creating a drama with a manager (Lee Bum So as Jang Ki Joon), an actress (Kim Ha Neul as Oh Seung Ah), a scriptwriter (Song Yoon Ah as Seo Young Eun), and a drama director (Park Hon Ha as Lee Kyung Min). 

Three episodes in and I'm don't really like the series much. Some of the lead characters, gah! The scriptwriter is so childish and annoys the hell out of me. She literally sets my teeth on edge and makes me cringe! The director is like this blank character. I can't get a read on him. How can I decide if I like a character if I can't even figure out his personality. The actress is a total bad-ass and I'm torn between equal parts of horror/fear and awe at her actions. The manager is the only character I actively like. However, it's weird that he's maintaining the same lovable idiot hiding a sharp mind act as he played in History of a Salaryman.

Yet, just when I'm ready to abandon the series, the little things keep me intrigued. The fact that scriptwriter Seo is a mother and divorced. The history between Manager Jang and Actress Seung Ah. The subtle sexual tension between scriptwriter Seo and PD Lee Kyung Min. At the moment, the plot isn't developing as quickly as I would like or expect.

For now, I'll keep watching and see where things go.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

[Currently Watching] The Great Doctor aka Faith (2012): Eps. 1 - 2

I just finished episode 2 and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Not loving it or hating it at the moment.

I first decided to watch because my Lee Min Ho honey-baby is the lead. Second, I'd just finished Rooftop Prince and was all for another cool time-travel drama.

So far, I think the story is interesting. All of the special effects and kick-butt ninja fighting is exciting. Min Ho's character, Choi Young, is growing on me, but not immediately loveable (though Min Ho is as sexy as ever!). The lead actress playing the doctor, Eun Soo, is a hoot! For the first episode, she was kind of annoying, but she definitely grew on me in the second episode. The actor, Park Se-Yeoung, is surprisingly a lot more likeable as Queen No-Gook . After seeing her as Se-Na in Rooftop Prince, I was shocked at my immediate detest when she first showed up in episode 1. It's really funny as the roles actors play really alter your views and feelings towards that actor or actress. The King is a big 'ole poopy head and I don't like him much. A few of Choi Young's subordinates are adorable and great for some comic relief.

Oh and the soundtrack is flippin' amazing so far. I can't wait to hear more!

But the politics may be the end of me. The reason I avoid historical dramas is because of the politics inadvertently involved. I can't stand modern politics, so ancient politics are an even bigger snooze-fest. So, I'll probably end up fast-forwarding to all of the nice romantic bits. We'll see.

On to episode 3!

Friday, August 9, 2013

[Korean Drama Review] A Gentleman's Dignity (2012)

I finished A Gentleman's Dignity a few days ago. First, I want to begin by saying that I really really enjoyed it. It's been quite a while since I thoroughly enjoyed watching a series as much as I did this one. From the beginning to the very end, I was filled with endless good feelings. At no point did I feel overly annoyed or even fastforward! The last drama series I watched and loved as much was Rooftop Prince, back in May.

Let's talk about this series in detail shall we?

To enjoy A Gentlemen's Dignity you have to accept the fact that there's not much of a plot. The series revolves around four high school friends who are now 40 and are all sexy as hell. For the last 20 years, they've remained big 'ole man-children. Life begins to change for all four because of the women in their lives. As they fall in love, fight, and deal with drama, they finally grow up and become gentlemen with dignity.

For 20 episodes, viewers follow all four couples as they deny having feels, confess, date, break up, get back together, fight, marry, the list goes on. If this series had been about only one couple, I wouldn't have gotten even half way through, let alone have finished. I would have gotten bored with the serial, episodic TV show aspect of the plot. However having four, very different couples for me to fall in love with made the series amazing. Just as I was getting tired, annoyed, or sick of one couple's issues, the series shifted onto another couple's troubles. That's how I remained hooked.

Next is characters!

I ADORED the cast. Some characters I liked more than others, of course, but in general it was a great cast. The lead couple, Do-Jin and Yi-Soo were a joy to watch. They were both beautiful and the development of their relationship was so much fun to watch. They reflected the silly, cute aspects of being in a relationship. I loved watching how they would tease and play with each other. I also loved the honesty of their actions, especially Yi-Soo. I loved watching her cry (I'm not a sadist, really). It was often funny, cute, and a little unreasonable, but that's what made it real. Seven out of ten crying fits with girls are unreasonable, no? I'm sure that's scientifically proven somewhere. And Do-Jin, that handsome devil. He was such a hoot. Sometimes smoking hot, other times completely immature. I loved it.

The other couples were also just as interesting, though I had varying feelings towards them. I absolutely adored Flirty, Adorable Jung-Rok and Super Cool, Boss Lady Min-Sook. They were the most fascinating couple to me. They just seemed so wrong for one another at first, but you gradually see the depth of their love. I actually would have liked more of a focus on the two of them. I felt they made up a little too quickly at the end, but it was so adorable how it happened that I don't much care. Guess I'm easy that way.

Yoon and Meari. Oh, Yoon. If only this man could exist in real life, I'd be a very happy woman. Meari annoyed me sometimes during the series, but in an affectionate big sister kind of way (even though she's older than me). Most times, I found her adorable! She was like a precious puppy following Yoon around. But she got her man in the end, so you go girl!

Tae-San and Se Ra were my least liked couple. They just had too much drama for me. Most of it of their own making. At the same time, I felt they were perfect for one another. They were simply not people I would want to know in real life, unlike the others.


A Gentlemen's Dignity was a really funny drama! I laughed so much through all 20 episodes. In particular, I absolutely loved the little scenes of the boys being undignified and ungentlemanly at the beginning of each episode. While they often ruined the mood of the previous episode if it had happened to end on a dramatic note, they helped keep the series light-hearted. Perfect, if that's what you wanted like I did. There were also a lot of spoofs and running jokes throughout the entire series. The humor is what made this series the most enjoyable for me. I can say with 91% accuracy that I would not have finished the series if it hadn't been so darn funny!

The Soundtrack!

Was amazing! Each song was perfect for the particular scene. The songs were catchy and easy to fall in love with. The best part was when music was used for comic relief. Check out episode 18 to see what I mean. Also, check out some of my favorite songs from the OST below. (I'll leave it at three for now, but seriously the entire OST is simply beautiful.)

The Ending!

As I was watching the last episode, I was increasingly nervous as it didn't seem to be ending. The first 45 minutes of the episode were just a continuation of episode 19, but without that "things are coming to a close" feeling. Endings are so very important as they are the last thing you see. If I hate the ending of a series, it often ruins the entire series for me and I DID NOT want that to happen with A Gentleman's Dignity. Alas, ten minutes from the very end brought an enormous smile to my face. The ending was perfect. Fun, silly, and oh-so-cute, perfectly suitable to the couple and the series as a whole. Our man-children finally become gentlemen with dignity.

One little thing that bugged me:

Some things didn't get quite as wrapped up as they should have. [SPOILER ALERT]
Do-Jin's illness and Yi-Soo's relationship with her mom, for example. I would have liked that background information.


As I said earlier: If you want to watch A Gentleman's Dignity for a plot, you'll be disappointed. There isn't much of one and the attempts at plotting are not very good. However, if you want to watch simply for a relaxing, enjoyable 20 hours of laughter and smiles, hot men, and super fun characters, I sincerely recommend you watch this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Gentlemen's Dignity: How could it be over?!

Oh...oh, oh! I just finished watching A Gentlemen's Dignity and all I can say is Oh, how I loved it! It was wonderful, amazing, stupendous, extraordinary, riveting, endearing, captivating, the list goes on and on.

It's another addition to my All-time-favorite-dramas-list. I'm feeling a little bereft, in a "what the heck do I do with myself now that this amazing series has ended" kind of way. I'm missing it already and the last episode is still open as a tab as I type this. Gahhh, it was just so darn gooood! It's been a while since I enjoyed a drama series so thoroughly.

Well, this post is simply an out-pouring of emotion. I'll post a more rational review of A Gentlemen's Dignity soon!

Until then,
Looney Express