SHIGATSU WA KIMI NO USO: ARTWORK

Of late I have found a new anime obsession- Shigatsu wa Kimi no uso.  For me artwork has always been the deciding factor when picking up a new anime. Thankfully, Shigatsu wa Kimi no uso has amazing art in abundance and a great story with exceptionally well done monologues. Here is some of the art giving a peek into the colorful world of Shigatsu wa Kimi no uso.

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SHIGATSU WA KIMI NO USO : ANIME REVIEW

Shigatsu wa kimi no uso a.k.a. Your Lie In April is bunch of wows waiting to happen. It’s a beautiful yet crazy story with moments full of warmth and heartbreak that left me in awe and honestly a bit emotional. Even though it is adapted from manga by the same name, I didn’t have a clue about its existence until my pinterest feed for anime went berserk with kimi no uso . I generally tend to avoid music animes but Kimi no uso is easily among my top 5 shoujo/drama anime. And did I mention it has the best damn art I have seen in anime in recent times.

Story: Piano prodigy Kousei Arima who dominated all the competitions now lives an existence that is colorless and views the world in monotone. He hasn’t played the piano since he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital after his mother’s death. He can no longer hear the sound of his own music even though his hearing is perfectly fine. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari. But everything  changes when Kaori Miyazono, a pretty, free-spirited violinist walks into his life and shows him a way to break free from his inhibitions and play the music he wants to play.

Shigatsu wa kimi no uso  fashions itself to be a stand-out romance series that reminds us that while some relationships may be transient and brief, some people will come into our lives at just the right time for just long enough to touch us in a way we never thought possible. It is a deceitfully masterful series that initially appears light-hearted and colorful romantic comedy,but the moment you open your eyes to its true story you’ll find yourself looking at a tragedy in making that’s all about the healing that comes after the hurt and moving on. The beauty of the story lies in the fact that it not only takes us on journey of first love but it also portrays how  PTSD and child abuse have a long-lasting impact on people and sometimes can really twist people. It is also a story of friends who have always had each others back. The little flashbacks we get of the time that Kosei,Tsubaki and Watari spent together when they were peanut sized really helps the audience understand the deep bond of friendship that the three of them share. They were together through the the thick and thin and nothing really gets better than that.

In terms of character development, I’d say this anime did an amazing job at exploring each character. As most animes, not all the characters were fully fleshed out, and I didn’t expect it to do so. The ones that mattered most were developed beautifully. Kosei with help of his friends and kaori is able to move on from the pain he suffered as a child and really matures as a character as the anime progresses. Even his competition -Takeshi and Nagi contribute to his growth. We see Kaori live her life to the fullest and she really brightens up the lives of the people around her.She never takes no for an answer, if she wants something she will go for it come what may. For instance, the time she stalked Kosei to be her accompanist until he finally bowed to her wishes. Tsubaki also acknowledges her feelings. The  only character who remained the same was Watari but he was an awesome friend.

The animation is wonderful employing a bright vibrant pastel pallet  that breathes life into characters. The breathtaking surroundings add to the atmosphere and shows the tonal shift.  It sort of reminded me of Orange Marmalade       ( Webtoon).  I won’t comment much on music since it is entirely subjective but personally I thought it was perfect. Especially the final performance that was  exceedingly beautiful, sad, but ultimately an uplifting performance. But then again I am no virtuoso when it comes to music.

Overall, Shigatsu wa kimi no uso is an amazing anime that takes you on a journey filled with drama, romance and music. Highly recommended, especially to the fans of Nodame Cantabile and Clannad. 9/10

 

KAMISAMA KISS SEASON 2:ANIME REVIEW

Season 2 of the shoujo anime Kamisama kiss picks up right where its freshman season(review here) left us. It delves deeper into the pasts of its characters and the seeds of a love story that were planted in the first season begin to grow and take shape. Also season two is as short and sweet as its predecessor. It introduces a ton of new characters and has reappearances of older ones that makes for a more diverse storyline and a change in direction that makes it more entertaining and fun to watch. 

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This season takes a bit of a break from Nanami “learning how to be a Land God” and explores the approach of “Nanami being a boss God” who is not afraid to voice her opinions. The story is as you would expect it to be; Nanami encounters challenges and works to fix them on her own.While Nanami strives to become a better land God, her two familiars – the grumpy foxTomoe and the snake Mizaki continue to protect her. What I really liked this time around was how Nanami becomes her own person and manages to get a lot done without the help of her ever faithful familiars. KAMISAMA KISS SEASON 2 (2)Also  it is always fun to watch Mr. crankypants aka Tomoe be bossy when Nanami is around and then pine for her when she isn’t there. I could not get enough of him, with his revelations and inner monologue. He’s been around for centuries but still can’t muster the guts to get an actual confession out of his system… guess somethings are never easy no matter the age. Poor Fox 😉

The story as a whole is more mature than what we saw in first season and muses a lot about death and memories. There are a whole bunch of new characters. KAMISAMA KISS SEASON 2 (4)Some of them manage to get enough screen time while some are left hanging, for instance Akura/ Kirihito, the devil ex BFF of Tomoe. His character has the potential of becoming one of the most crafty villains but we never really get to see much of him except for flashbacks of the wild days he spent with Tomoe. Maybe producers decided to save his story arc for the next season ( I am hoping there is one). But of all the new character my favourite has to be Mamoru, the adorable monkey child, who is quickly books a spot for himself on the list of “Things/People that Antagonize Tomoe”. As KAMISAMA KISS SEASON 2 (1)for the main characters, we get to know more about their pasts that adds a whole new dimension to their characters. Nanami has grown on me a bit, making me like her character a little more. She is getting stronger and stronger each day with her powers. The romance between her and Tomoe is also stronger but it sort of makes me want to bang my head against the desk. Why can’t Tomoe see if he is not honest about his feelings, Nanami may actually choose one hunk from her growing list of suitors. Almost everywhere she goes, for some reason the really hard core mean boys end up falling for her slightly.  Even Kurama the resident  quintessential bad boy gets a past story. It was both action packed and rib tickling at the same time.  So yeah, it is pretty much a character boatload!! but in a good way.

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The animation is pretty much the same as the first one, meaning the good and the bad remain the same. The artwork has been used as a device to provide a nice contrast between the two worlds and the fact that each episode seems to get darker and darker as the story goes on adds to a build up that might be coming. I say might because I don’t want to spoil anything.

To sum it all up, the season 2 of Kamisama Kiss is an absolute must watch that is if you have seen the first one. This is by no means one of those series which have a terrific season 1 and a terrible season 2. This anime was a blast to watch and left me wanting more. Let’s hope for a season 3.

OVERALL: 8/10

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NOBLESSE WEBTOON RETURNS

Ramen loving, telepathic,uber powerful noblesse CadisEtrama DiRaziel better known as Rai along with his knights RK-5 made a grand comeback after a long hiatus of 17 weeks. Written by Son Jae-ho and illustrated by Lee kwangsoo, Noblesse is by far the best Action/Comedy/Sci-fi/Supernatural webtoon. Whenever it takes a  break, my action loving brain cells are badly hit and suffer some serious withdrawal symptoms.So forgive me if I sound like a fangirl because I’m one 😉

noblesse returnsI have missed the bone crunching action, humor and the bloody fight sequences of Noblesse. Since it is a webtoon, its comic strip format makes everything even more appealing. I never thought I’d say this but I even missed the cliffhangers and trust me when I say Noblesse does solid job of leaving you wanting more. It took a break to allow illustrator Lee kwangsoo recover from some health issues. Now that Noblesse is back I hope that the illustrator is on his road to recovery. Fighting!!

Rai and ramen
THE MIGHTY LOVER OF RAMEN 

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If you haven’t already read this fantastic work of fiction, you should. Here is a brief synopsis :

Noblesse is about a powerful noble – Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (also called Rai) – who has been asleep for 820 years with no knowledge of mankind’s advancement and scientific successes. He has recently woken up in an abandoned building in South Korea, and is starting to get used to the modern world. He goes to a school where he meets his loyal servant Frankenstein. With Frankenstein’s help, Rai enrolls into Ye Ran high school, and inadvertently befriended Shinwoo – an athletic teenager, Ik-Han – a computer geek, Yuuna, Shinwoo’s crush, and a few others. Noblesse follows the group’s often dangerous adventures against a secret organization while uncovering Rai’s past.

Now I hope Noblesse doesn’t go on a ‘recess’ and keeps on entertaining its legion of fans including me for a long time. Keeping my fingers crossed…

Noblesse characters

PSYCHOMETRY (2013): KOREAN MOVIE REVIEW

Psychometry/Gifted Hands is a 2013 Korean film that deploys intense, dramatic and thrilling adventure that bringing you closer to the world of crime and psychometry. Directed by Kwon Ho-Young and starring Kim Kang-woo and Kim Beom, Psychometry uses a semi conventional detective storyline to narrate a bigger picture. A fine piece of art that is both engaging and memorable.

The movie opens to Detective Yang (Kim Kang-woo) getting into trouble with his superiors because of his involvement in a shady pyramid system company which according to him was ‘Network Marketing’. Psychometry  (5)And it so happens that he is also a detective who rarely gets results. One day, a woman comes to the police station and reports her daughter missing. Nobody takes her case seriously, but Yang Choon-Dong believes it could be a real kidnapping case. His boss lets Yang Choon-Dong work on the case alone. Late one evening, Yang Choon-Dong wanders down an alley to take a leak. Right next to him is a young guy (Kim Beom) who appears to have finished spray painting graffiti on the wall. Yang Choon-Dong chews out the young guy for vandalism but the young guy gets better of him. Days later, the missing girl is found dead in a vacant lot. To Yang’s surprise the crime scene is eerily similar to the graffiti he saw the young guy painting. Yang Choon-Dong becomes confused, because the graffiti was spray painted about a month before the girl’s body was found. Soon Yang tracks down the guy but he gets more than he bargained for. It turns out the young man named Kim Joon has a special “psychometry” ability, which allows him to read someone’s past by simply touching them. And this power of his has plagued him and forced him into isolation. Will they be able to catch the killer before he strikes again?

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The big picture of the movie shows about the child kidnapping case and the psychometric ability but the its heart lies in the relationship between the main characters. You are at an odds, who is the protagonist? Is it Yang or Joon. They both have secrets and scars that run deep. It’s not that the case and the ability aren’t important; in fact, I can’t imagine the movie without the gruesome case Pscychometry, but the one thing that lured me into watching it until the end is how Yang and Joon’s relationship changes throughout the course of the movie. Their journey from complete strangers to brother in arms is really heartfelt. Kim Kang-woo and Kim Beom are at their best. It was really nice to see Kim Beom outgrow his flower boy days. He has beautifully captured the pain and anger of Joon’s character.

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A nice addition to the dark elements is the frequent flashes of humor at some unexpected places. It provides reprieve from the dark moods and tension and helps maintain a fine balance throughout the movie. Moreover, the investigation rarely comes to a halt. There are constant twists and turns and clues popping up and thus Psychometry has nearly no lengthy scenes. You get enraptured in a cinematography of beauty, cunning, and wit.The choice of scenes, direction and the pace of the film are extremely good. Staging and the lighting depict a very well astute director who knows how to play his cards right.But the biggest surprise has to be that the movie doesn’t feel as familiar and boring as it looks on paper.  Director Kwon Ho-Jung has composed a brilliant story with interweaving elements of mystery and supernatural.

There’s much to be learned from Korean films, this is why I feel Psychometry is an incredible film for a person new to Korean films. Its a solid thriller that offers nice entertainment. 7.5/10

I AM JUSTICE! – ANTI HEROES, JUSTICE AS IN DEATH NOTE

Our moral values are no longer decided for us by an absolute god but something we decide for ourselves. But how do we differentiate between what is right and what is wrong? There are caped heroes, vigilantes and supercops dominating both on the silver screen and our televisions giving us a false illusion of what justice is. Heroes and villains often mirror each other in term of their capabilities and sometimes even their preternatural strengths. The only difference is heroes fight for others and villains are selfish pricks. But there is another breed that walks the fine line between the two diagonally opposite stereotypes – ANTIHERO. The antihero is someone who is neither Mr. goody two shoes nor the archetypal bad guy hell bent on destruction . He often has a strong sense of justice,It’s just that sometimes their actions go beyond questionable from a moral point of view. And Death Note gave the world an antihero who goes from a high school kid to believing himself to be god or in his words ” I am Justice” – Light Yagami.

Death note is a contemporary series set in a society with a very steep slope for crime rate. Written by Tsugumi Ohba with a mega hit anime directed by Tetsurō Araki, Death note pits two very alike characters fighting crime and injustice from the either side of laws dictated by the moral code of humans- L and Light. Light is a smart, athletic, popular high school student who uses a mystical note book to make the world ‘a better place’.The note book has the ability to kill anyone whose name is written within it. of the society is high.Before he received the Death Note he was rather helpless and bitter about the crime and corruption eating away the very foundation of society . But with Death Note is in his possession he finally has the power to make a difference and hence after a brief moment of moral hesitation, he decides that he is going to use the Death Note to create a Utopia. He does this by killing all the criminals and ridding the world of crime and fear:

“First I wrote the names of the worst criminals I could think of, like I was cleaning up the world, one name at a time. So that eventually, no one will ever do anything evil again. […] Then, and only then, the world will start moving in the right direction. It’ll be a new world, free of injustice, and populated by people who I have judged to be honest, kind and hardworking “

Kira vs L

Deciding to punish criminals using the notebook, Light takes on the name Kira, a name given to him by his supporters, derived from the English word killer.The series follows his descent to the very corrupted being he wanted to eliminate as he progressively moves away from the justice that he claims to seek. Light’s use of the notebook takes on the form of retributive justice.Eventually Light decides that he is a god and will reform the world. At this time, Light’s form of justice seems to drift into a form of Utilitarianism, where the punishment is dealt out to make the world become a better place. To many people this seems like a fair form of justice, but over the course of the series, Light’s actions become increasingly tyrannical, dealing death as punishment to lesser crimes.Light maintains a general contempt and hatred towards humanity throughout the series. 

“Once you actually start looking around, it makes you wonder if you’d be doing society a favor by getting rid of all these people.”
 One thing is for sure, and that is when the people are starting to realize that there is someone who is going after the criminals, the crime rates is going drastically down, and in that sense Light achieves his goal. Apart from how you look at the killings, the question also remains, by killing the criminals didn’t he become one of them?? On one hand, he believe that he is fighting for the sake of his people, but on the other hand he also believes that he is above the law that he is trying to enforce. Here comes in L, the great detective working with law to catch Kira.  The mental fights between these two become the main points of the story. Both are representative of a form of justice. Light as a type of absoluteDeath Note - 04 - Pursuit.avi_000039664 justice and L as someone who believes in deduction and mortal law. If we look at the moral decisions both of them make there is in fact very little difference.They both believe that they have the right to judge people and deliver punishment except Light believes himself god and L believes himself to be the executor of human law. It’s not just the characters but even their portraiture depict the two sides of justice.I believe,  Light is a sort of a metaphor for Satan. That’s why his hair and eyes always turn red, and why he’s always shown holding an apple. He’s portrayed as a smart, athletic, good looking, popular, brilliant person, who literally want’s to be God. It’s the same as the Biblical/Judaic story of Lucifer, the most beautiful angel who fell from grace and became a devil because he wanted to be a God.
I think L is the closest thing we have to justice. Yes he represents the government which will always be corrupt on some level, and speaking in utilitarian terms Lights brand of justice did save more innocent lives. But the Government also represents the people to an extent, since it’s a creation of the people, not a God (Kira) who forces people into submission through fear. Kira seems to take the world by the throat. People either praise him or curse him but Criminals do fear him and with a good reason.Many people approve of his methods or so it seems. As the story progresses more and more people fall in line with Kira and his form of absolute justice. At the climax of the story we see that the world has gone back to the way it was without Kira, crime rate has gone up to the levels. It appears that people didn’t fear breaking law but going against Kira.
Death Note is trying to convey that trying to change the world through justice and laws changes nothing. One cannot change the human nature of people through strict tyranny or law. Society merely bends itself to the ruling authority because of fear of punishment but without that they revert back to their true selves. Justice is nothing but a means to an end. Justice is merely a system used by the authorities to keep everyone in line.

CODE:BREAKER: ANIME REVIEW

“An eye for an eye;a tooth for a tooth;and evil for evil”

Code:Breaker is a 2012 anime series adapted from the manga by the same name written by  Akimine Kamijyo.  code breaker posterThe anime brings up many philosophical ideas of crime and punishment especially of the death penalty and the “can people really change?” debate. While many shounen series tend to focus only on the hero who can do no wrong and must put a stop to an evil mastermind’s plan, Code:Breaker looks to offer a different perspective. The world of Code:Breaker is one of moral ambiguity and filled with terrible people where performing heinous acts to put a stop to evil plans seems justified. Also, its length makes it less of a commitment than its many peers. This 13 episode long anime gives a clear and crisp presentation with plenty of action and decent enough storyline and good character development.

code breaker (18)PLOT: Sakura Sakurakoji is an extremely popular girl who is also a martial arts expert and lives a normal life. However that changes when one day on a bus ride home she witnesses a group of people being burned alive by blue fire with a mysterious young man standing in the center unharmed. Believing she might have just imagined it, Sakura attends school the next day only to find that a code breaker (17)new transfer student is joining the class and it just so happens to be the young man from last night. His name is Rei Ogami and despite Sakura questioning him about the incident, he plays innocent. So Sakura decides to stalk him and discovers that Ogami and 5 others are members of the Government sanctioned group of assassins called Code:Breakers,one who ‘does not exist’. Each of the members has a unique capability that make them a great asset for the Government. Their main purpose as Ogami says is to “take out the trash”—or deal with evil that is outside laws reach falls and by dealing I mean killing every last one of them. No mercy to be granted.

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To start of I hadn’t read the manga or even heard of it for that matter. Stumbling across this action packed joyride was purely stroke of luck. The balance between Humor, Action and even a little bit drama is done wonderfully and doesn’t let your attention stray even for a minute. My one and only complaint with this anime besides it being short is the ending. It felt like two cars suddenly colliding head on – Crash and Burn. They could have easily let the ending unfold the mystery and action at a steady pace. But I loved the action scenes. Each code breaker’s power makes sense( they have their own little X Men esque team going) and is just plain badass. When compared to other strictly action shounen mangas, this definitely comes on top.

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code breaker (13)Ogami is a really dark character who is frequently accused of being a heartless person who has no soul but there are moments when the kindness in him seeps out especially when he is with Sakura. His character is somewhat similar to Rin from Blue Exorcist– they both are powerful, independent, sometimes sarcastic and even have the same blue flames erupting all around them when they switch to their action mode. And as if all this was not enough they even have the same seiyuu(voice actor). Sakura is strong, willful and champion of all things moral. I like that fact that she is not a typical love interest but more of a tangible conscience to Ogami. She has taken it upon herself to make him see the fault in his ways but things become interesting when even she can’t help but agree with Ogami’s actions. code breaker (14)My favorite characters are Code no.4 Toki who controls magnetism just like the Magneto and Code no.3 Yuki who is the wielder of sound waves. Toki is one character whom Ogami trusts least because he is manipulative and lying is basically second nature to him. But Toki at his core is the protective brother who watches out for his sister and would go to any extent to protect the people he cares for. Yuki is the cat guy who is the most innocent and lethal among the pack.  Despite his violent tendencies, he genuinely rewards kindness, and apologizes by giving gifts to people.

Overall, Code:Breaker is highly recommended to all lovers of shounen genre and with its short length I guarantee your time will be well invested. 8.5/10

THE TECHNICIANS (2014): KOREAN MOVIE REVIEW

The Technicians aka The Con Artists is South Korean heist movie that came out in 2014 in December. Directed by Kim Hong-sun, The Technicians stars the ever charismatic Kim Woo-bin(School 2013), Lee Hyun-woo(Secretly,Greatly), and Ko Chang-seok. Besides its stellar main cast, Technicians boasts of a  smartly written narrative that provides 116 minutes of solid entertainment and nothing less is expected from a Korean film. And might I add with Technicians I have accomplished the self assigned task of watching all the productions that Kim Woo Bin has credits for with the exception of his recent flick ‘Twenty’s’. 🙂

Lee Ji Hyuk (Kim Woo Bin) is a master safe cracker and art thief who harbors a desire for revenge. He works with a master engineer Koo-In (Ko Chang-Seok) who introduces him to elite hacker Jong-Bae (Lee Hyun-Woo). The trio work together to steal precious diamonds held within a secret vault at a a high-end jewelry store owned by President Jo (Kim Young-Chul). President Jo spares their lives on the condition that the three of them steal $150 million dollars from Incheon Customs.

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The highlight of the Technicians has to be its three main characters. Kim Woo Bin is the indisputable star of this film with the story revolving around him. Kim Woo bin effortlessly delivers as Lee Ji hyuk who is a devil may care smarty pants and we get lots eyebrow action too (If you Woo Bin fan like me you’ll know what I mean 😉  ) Lee Hyun Woo is adorable as the genius hacker and has come a long way since his ‘To the Beautiful You’ days. He impressed me in ‘Secretly, Greatly’ with his ability to handle shady characters and continues to deliver a mature performance. Ko Chang-seok is amusing as the loyal big teddy bear Ajusshi.

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Lim Joo Hwan is surprisingly badass. Despite the fact that his role is that of a relatively minor supporting character, he kicks some major butt with his silver taser stick. The movie also stars Jo Yoon Hee (Nine Times) as Eun Ha, the romantic interest of Ji Hyuk, and Kim Young Chul as President Jo, the ultimate meanie. The two played their parts well and kept the movie going, providing motivation for Ji Hyuk’s actions.Also there is a School 2013 connect with Daniel Choi making a cameo as the bumbling agent.

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My one complaint with this caper film is its action or its lack thereof. The Technicians had a plot that could easily cash on some high octane action and make the pace of the movie a little more zippy. Or maybe my high expectations of this movie are to blame. I kept waiting for it throw some twists and thrills but it hardly ever did.

The Technicians is a solid watch and manages to keep you entertained for its  entire run. Highly recommended to all Kim woo Bin fans. 7/10

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BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD: MANHWA REVIEW

Where have you been all this time… Beautiful BOTWG 1Heartbreaking Hilarious  – Bride of the Water God. It is Mi-Kyung Yun’s debut title and also Dark Horse’s first ever licensed shoujo manga (or “sunjeong manhwa,” if we must be linguistically specific) . Yun received a “Best New Artist” award in 2004 for Bride of the Water God which went on to become 2006’s top-selling sunjeong manhwa and deservedly so.  And its list of accolades continues to grow as it was recently announced  that it is being adapted into a Kdrama(Yayyyyy… 🙂  ). Bride of the Water God(BOTWG) is one of the few historical manga/manhwa that managed to retain my attention beyond 20 chapters.Also the fact that it is one of the most beautifully drawn graphic novels you will ever see helps breaks the monotony that generally seeps in historical manga.

PLOT: When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God-instead of killed-she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her! Most surprising, however, is the Water God himself . . . and how very different he is from the monster Soah imagined.

BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD (2)ART: One word to describe the artwork is exotic. It is very ornate and detailed making BOTWG  one of the most beautifully drawn manhwa you will ever have the pleasure of reading .  It is simply gorgeous. With every piece of art the story of Water God and his human Bride comes alive. Mi-Kyung Yun has put in much more detail into her drawings than an average manga artist.The detailed artwork of the palaces, costumes, hairstyles, faces etc. in the story is exquisite. And trademark blossoms and butterflies show up everywhere. Exoticism gives what would otherwise have been a pretty run of the mill, girl gets uber-hunk story an added heft as well. Not only that, but the characters themselves are drop-dead gorgeous. Just when you think manhwaga couldn’t possibly come up with any more androgynous beautiful male characters…there’s another one!!!!

THE WATER GOD HAEBAK
Many faces of the Water God

STORY: None of the splendid artwork is any good without a great story. Thankfully, BOTWG is a beautiful story that in my opinion gets better as the series goes along. Bride of the Water God is not just a story of romantic entanglements but also a story of power games played between rival Gods. There are darker forces at work in Suguk, manipulative and jealous gods with their own agenda. And a mysterious past and a battle to protect the people you love the most. As the series goes on, we are taken further back into the past, to the tragedy that lies on Habaek’s parents, and feuds in the heavens with terrible ties of loyalty. Will Habaek and Soah ever be able to live as husband and wife?  The only negative aspect of BOTWG is the recurring flashbacks and it’s not always clearly signaled when they’re about to happen. I found it rather confusing at first, and had to read the first volume twice before I got the hang it. But, as someone who has recently finished Volume 19, I can tell you once it catches hold of you it won’t let go.

CHARACTERS:  Soah is one headstrong character.BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD (3)Even though human she has the galls to defy the all mighty Gods and refuses to be puppet in anyone’s hands. But at the same time she is also the vulnerable human wife who is torn between her loyalty to Haebak and her strong attraction to Mui whom she doesn’t know are in fact one and the same person. Haebak/Mui is  an arrogant God who hides a soft heart behind the crusty exterior. He is someone who would go to any lengths to protect his people. Oh! did I mention that he is also breathtakingly handsome as Mui and adorable as the grumpy Haebak… SWOON!!! He wins some major brownie points for that and totally makes up for his arrogance. Also there are many Gods who are pivotal to the plot,but the ones that really stand out are Hu-ye and Mura. Hu-ye is the commander of the Water Kingdom and a confidante and friend of Soah and Mura is the Witch of Chung Yo Mountains. They both are in one sided love and the things they do to get their love makes you really feel sorry for these characters.

Bride of the Water God is definitely one of the best historical/supernatural romances out there and I  highly recommend you to pick it up if you haven’t already. 9/10

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LOVE FORECAST(2015): KOREAN MOVIE REVIEW

LF4Love Forecast aka Today’s Love is a romantic comedy film portraying lovers in modern Seoul and the relationship between men and women that are as delicate and complex as the weather.  Directed and co-written by Park Jin-pyo, Love Forecast stars Lee Seung-gi and Moon Chae-won , who also costarred in the smash hit Kdrama Brilliant Legacy .It is not quite as entertaining as “My Sassy Girl” (2001) or “Love 911” (2012) but it is a decent effort from the land of romantic comedies.

Hyun-woo is a weather reporter known for her stunning looks and class on television. In real life, however, she’s a boozehound who can shatter any preconceived notions of her in the blink of an eye.LF2 Then there is her  childhood friend and schoolteacher Jun-su, who has willingly spent 18 years in the dreaded “friend zone”, but he begins to have feelings over his long-time friend Hyun-woo. To complicate his campaign for Hyun-woo’s heart are two other suitors vying for girl’s attention – Dong-jin the married producer whom Hyun-woo loves and Hyo-bong a young photographer who falls for Hyun-woo at first sight.The “love story” of Hyun-woo life now unfolds as she juggles three relationships with three men of different personalities. Busy Busy Girl…..

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lf7 (5)I’m a fan of Lee Seung-gi (My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho) as well as the gorgeous Moon Chae-won (The Princess’ Man). They are two actors who actually happen to be amazing at their job and are not just pretty faces. They breath life into each and every character they play. As I said earlier, they have worked together already.Back in Brilliant Legacy drama, they weren’t the lead couple, but close enough to wish they were. The chemistry between the two is still as good as before and both have given admirable performances. This movie has a  lot of idols among the cast, all of them with very little experience in performing, but they all have played their well no matter the scant screen time each they get.  The humor is mostly grounded and works well.

lf7 (1)However, one area where Love Forecast is completely lacking is character development. Lee Seung-gi’s role is not written well enough to carry half of this movie, in fact his character gets overshadowed by Moon Chae-Won.  Moon Chae-Won is the more interesting character with more to do. She has a career she has a turbulent love life and is sassy in right amounts. In stark contrast Lee Seung-gi’s character is rather dull. He is just this pushover guy who at times comes across shallow and thinks being submissive equals nice. Also, the editing of the movie has been done rather poorly. It could have been easily 20 min shorter.

Overall, Love Forecast is a pretty decent watch if you have sufficient time and love a good romcom. 6/10