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  • Contribution Points: 16 LV1
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  • Date d'inscription: septembre 11, 2023
  • Awards Received: Finger Heart Award21 Flower Award22 Coin Gift Award2
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Love in Translation
23 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3 Flower Award1
sept. 28, 2023
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 6.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Slow-Burn Pining Into Wildfire, Great Through Ep 6.

Spoilers only at bottom of review. 8 Episodes total. Finished series & updated review 10/15/23.
I'm conflicted on how to rate this because Ep 2 through 6 are great, very enjoyable, and I would easily rate a 9/10. I know I'll re-watch them multiple times. But Ep 7 & 8 are cringy for multiple reasons and I would rate them a 4/10. Such a disappointment. Still, I loved most of the main couple's story so much that I've decided on 8/10 as my overall rating. When I watch again, I will likely either stop after the first scene in Ep 7, or skip to the 2nd half of Ep 8 to finish.

Wonderful acting by the two leads, decent plot Ep 1-6 but ridiculous plot Ep 7-8, smooth-flowing dialogue *until Ep 7, some lovely cinematography, okay music, meh side characters.

The first episode is a bit overly goofy, and though it did get a few chuckles out of me, I was glad to see that toned down in the second episode as the character interactions and emotions became the focus.

The actors playing Yang and Phumjai are fantastic. There are a lot of sweet moments between the characters and the actor's chemistry is palpable, like magnets. They both also really nail the nuances of overlapping feelings; puting on a certain mask to others while the character's true emotions are just under the surface and still visible for the audience to see. Their chemistry and the way they interact with each other quickly drew me in and got my emotions invested. Their characters and the way they act them are my favorite thing about this series.

The friend Tag and the girl Tammy are acted well and feel like real people. I especially like how Tammy is written; I didn't like her character at first but her actions and communication skills won me over.

The brother is not acted or written well, he feels like the weak link, though his character gets slightly more likeable by the end. The other side characters are more like caricatures; over-the-top and lacking depth. Because the series is only 8 episodes, I was okay that they didn't spend a lot of time rounding these people out in Ep 1-6. But then Ep 7 & 8 relied on them more heavily and the simplistic writing and acting got annoying (especially in situations that were supposed to be serious and dire).

There are some beautiful shots utilizing space and lighting that, to me, underscored the bitter-sweet lonliness of pining. The feeling of being a part from others as you hold your thoughts to yourself.

Sometimes the background music was good, but at other times it did not fit the mood of scenes well (for example, positive major chords being played during an emotionally sad moment). It's probably not obvious enough to bug most people, but it distracted me from scenes a couple of times.

GENERAL SPOILERS:
The intimate scene at the end of Ep 6 had a similar feeling to Love In The Air nc-17 scenes, and I learned it had a similar approach: the actors improvised the scene as their characters (except for a couple of lines). It is BOTH emotional and hot, the best combination in my opinion. It feels very real. And this scene will be memorable for a couple of reasons, you'll see ;)
In Ep 7 & 8 there's a good amount of affectionate skinship and a couple of emotionally charged kisses.

Ep 7 & 8: Ugh, what a way to unravel the magic. The writers, director, editors, and most of the actors created a muddled mess. There was obvious confusion about what mood/tone was the goal. On one hand, there's a very serious situation, on the other, the side characters continue their over-acted comic relief. Things that were supposed to be serious were undermined by lightheartedness or ridiculousness, and what were supposed to be feel-good moments or humorous were not because they were poorly done (& poorly timed) and ridiculous. Tension is completely disolved.

!SPECIFIC SPOILERS!:
Further frustrations with Ep 7 & 8 (I just needed to vent):

Why is it that in most BLs calling the police (or for an ambulance) is treated like an afterthought? You think you're boyfriend is kidnapped and you call and wait for your brother, your employees, and your friend to show up and ask "what should I do?"? This is so obviously unrealistic it's just lazy writing for plot contrivance trying to wring our emotions.

The older brother didn't have any savings of his own to help out instead of "being a hostage"? And neither of the brothers thought to ask their very weathly parents for a loan (instead of one of their sons being a hostage)? Get real. If the situation was as dire as the script pretends it is, something could have been worked out with the loving, supportive parents.

The creditor goes from being set up as a scary mob-like antagonist (though this is not pulled off well), to a waffling basic business man. A dire situation spearheaded by a buffoon lowers the stakes and can't hold tension (or the audiences attention).

The completely unnecessary and eye-rolling cliche of the discovery of a young childhood connection. Thankfully, it was brief and didn't have an impact on the story.

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Step by Step
14 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
sept. 14, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 4.0
Histoire 3.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 1.0

A continued mix of annoying and frustraing

Disappointing. The intimate scenes are hot, sure, but the main relationship and story overall left a lot to be desired. Watch the love scenes on YouTube and save yourself the time and emotional frustrations of this show.

The character Pat is annoying and Jeng is frustrating.

Pat is whiny and rude, his character "development" is too little and too late. I personally understand the difficulties with emotional disregulation, but the struggle to manage strong emotions does not excuse thoughtlessness, obstinance, self-centered-ness, and a "oh poor me, everything is unfair" attitude. And "being cute" is not enough to make this character really likeable.

I do appreciate that Jeng tries to evolve the way he behaves with others once it's pointed out to him. The struggle to change something so ingrained was portrayed fairly realistically.

The boss and subordinate dynamic in this show stayed uncomfortable. This is where the frustrations with Jeng's character comes in. (More below)

For a healthy, sweet, and realistic-feeling boss/subordinate BL I recommend The New Employee, a 2022 Korean drama. It doesn't have intense intimate scenes like this show, but I found it overall so much more satisfying!

Generalized SPOILER regarding this show's relationship dynamic & why it was frustrating:
The boss & subordinate relationship is poorly handled by both characters, but especially Jeng, the boss, who is also much older. I was so frustrated that he didn't take any proactive steps to protect Pat socially and professionally. As time went on it felt like Jeng repeatedly purposefully put off thinking ahead and planning for a future where they could both succeed together. Instead focusing on just getting what he wanted with Pat romantically without caring about any ramifications for Pat.

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My Sassy Princess: Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty
9 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
janv. 10, 2024
7 épisodes vus sur 7
Complété 1
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 7.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 4.0

Time Stamps For Sweet BL Side Story Listed.

I mostly just watched the BL side story because the main one didn't hold my attention consistantly. I've listed time stamps for Talay and Sky's story below. (Talay is the brother of the main female lead.)

Sky and Talay were acted well and very naturally (8/10), and though their story was simple, it was enjoyable to watch. I would recommend it for BL fans in the mood for two highschoolers finding their safe space in each other and catching feelings (though at different paces).

I watched the full episodes (7 total) on the One31 YouTube channel (in the USA in January 2024).

I've noted Talay/Sky scenes with them individually as well as together to get their full stories.
Format example: their first scene starts at 26min & 20sec into the episode (-and goes to 32min & 10sec in).
Ep 1: 26.20 (-32.10), 35.10 (-38.40)
Ep 2: 19.15 (-22), 38.50 (-44.50), 45.45 (-47.30)
Ep 3: 4.20 (-5.30), 28.35 (-36.05)
Ep 4: 11.35 (-25.05), 56.30 (-57.40)
Ep 5: 2.20 (-23), 37.20 (-39.35), 48.30 (-50.30), 54.30 (-58.35)
Ep 6: 13.30 (-14.15), 21.15 (-23), 28.40 (-31.15)
Ep 7: 3 months later 1.10 (-7), 16.50 (-23), 36.20 (-39.10), 40.50 (-48.20), 3 years later 54.25 (-55.20)

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Bon Appetit
10 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
sept. 30, 2023
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 9.5
Histoire 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Lovely And Layered With Sincerity

General spoilers only at bottom of review.
A gentle slice-of-life that feels recognizable in many aspects and is ultimately heartening. I ended the series with a long-lasting smile on my face, and sparks of warmth in my chest. The romance is sweet and endearing with physical attraction and gentle yet realistic kisses.

While the plot and character dynamics are not new, I thought they were handled very well. There's some drama yet things aren't forcefully over-dramatized. I've seen other people, or been myself, in situations or relationships like those here. At work, at home, with old crushes, new crushes, exes, co-workers, friends, etc. There are tie-ins to memories and regrets. There's living worn down and finding/making priorities. Characters work to untangle their own emotions and navigate awkward situations others put them in.

And the acting supports that feeling of familiar realism. The two leads are especially good and there is a gentle but persistently strong magnetism between them. I would readily watch them act together again. As actors, there is sincerity in their lines and behind their eyes. The rest of the actors were good with their roles too. No weak link stood out.

The balance of emotional moments was very well done. There was a little bit of everything, which is part of why it felt realistic. But there was an overall trend of increasing warmth and positivity that led to a very satisfied feeling by the end.

The dialogue flows and there are some poetically-worded lines. There were also a couple moments/lines of humor that had me chuckling.

I expect I will rewatch this multiple times, alone and with others.

GENERAL SPOILERS below.
I really appreciated how a few things were written a bit differently than often seen.

1) The past connection and the way it was remembered differently by Yoon Soon and Doo Hoon reminded me of the way stories were told at my college reunion. It felt plausible and very believable.

2) The way the coworkers reacted to finding out that Yoon Soo was Do Hoon's neighbor and romantic interest. It was refreshing, and how some people I know would likely react (and how I wish others would).

3) Yoon Soon's flight plans don't lead to the typical "airport scene". Booking plane tickets may seem like a big action, but it’s the equivalent of going on a road trip to Jeju Island for a breather before the real opening of his restaurant. There were multiple issues with his soft opening and things he needs to plan yet, so he needs to think through those. And things between him and Doo Hoon are at an awkward point, so wanting some physical space to "cool his head" makes sense because they are such close neighbors (they share a wall).

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Beside You
8 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
janv. 25, 2024
3 épisodes vus sur 3
Complété 0
Globalement 3.0
Histoire 1.0
Acting/Cast 3.0
Musique 7.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 1.0

Felt Like A Highschool Marketing Project.

I tried to give the show a pass because it's low-budget, but it felt like a waste of time even though it's so short. Three 12 min episodes. It's 10% plot (that's not done well) and 90% product placement and adds. I understand they need sponsors to cover costs, but it didn't feel like a story someone was passionate about telling, which made it feel like the adds were actually the focus all along. There's nothing special about this apart from some pretty faces. That's just not enough for me.

Starting with a relationship that ends was a waste for the first episode. The main character is very unlikable because of how it goes and it takes time away from the development of the relationship between the main character and the cat-turned-human. You could just start with Ep 2, the recap gives you all you need.

There is no development shown for the cat-turned-human. We know the boy loves his cat, but there's no reason why he would start wanting to kiss the human version. There's nothing to explain the transition from platonic love to romantic love.

And the screenplay makes the human-cat seem simple-minded (not very intelligent). Which makes the "romance" feel even weirder; like it's with a child, not an equal.

There aren't even enough cute moments. There are very few cat-like mannerisms. There are no head rubs, ear scratches, kneading hands, snuggling , etc. The cat characteristics are all focused on food and drink product placements.

The actors are rookies and very flat. It doesn't help that the script is poorly written and doesn't give them much of interest to work with either.

Watched on the DFJ Entertainment YouTube channel in the USA Jan 2024. The English subtitles were rough when I watched it, but they are there.

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VIP Only
11 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
déc. 28, 2023
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 2
Globalement 5.0
Histoire 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 4.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 2.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Cute but also cringy. Watch for the leads.

General spoilers only at bottom of review.
Ep 1-6: Not much plot but cute and sweet with great attraction-tension between leads. A simple, fairly enjoyable, light and easy watch.
Ep 7-10: Cringe-fest! Cliched tropes kept popping up, higher suspension of disbelief required to get through, cheesy moments, corny lines, and more telling vs showing.

The lead actors are good and their chemistry is great; they kept me watching. There was slow building romantic and sexual tension, a decent amount of skinship, and realistic making-out. The actors seemed comfortable with each other and the growing interest and attraction of their characters was believable. Most of the time they managed to elevate the weak screenplay. I would readily watch them if they had another project together.

The plot is basic and extremely predictable, the script is mediocre, and the theme song is decent but over-used and I didn't like most of the rest of the music (either didn't feel like it fit well or it just came across as cheap or cheesy).

Good for binge-watching one time; it's cute and light but the 20min episodes don't have enough of a storyline arc individually to feel satisfying on their own. I won't re-watch it.

Stan Huang is great as Gu Jing and held a lot of energy in his eyes. I found him compelling to watch, even when the character wasn't doing much.

Liu Li is naive to the point that some suspension of disbelief is required to like him! Xuang Chen is good with his doe-eyed innocence. I think whatever annoyances I felt were with the way the character was written, not with the actor. It does take some skill to act so believably clueless.

The lead couple in You Are Mine have a mini cameo in this series. I personally felt like it didn't add much, either to their story or to this one.

Ep 7-10 really lowered my enjoyment with this show. If you can shrug things off and roll with it, you may fare better than I did (I could only do so up to a point).

GENERAL SPOILERS on CLICHÉS below.

In broad strokes, here's what's in store for Ep 7-10:
A love triangle, jealousy hijinks, the "burden" of a family member completely (and ridiculously) getting in the way of the protagonists being together, Gu Jing all of a sudden losing his spine and Liu Li abruptly getting one, characters doing things that impact two people without communicating with the other first, public approval/validation when handling a family matter, public gawking over light PDA, secondary characters getting closer romantically (though no time is really spent on it), and a childhood connection (which is told, not shown)!

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Zenra Meshi
7 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3 Flower Award1
nov. 12, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Also known as Love, Life And Liberation

You might enjoy if you like character-based angst that's well acted, food tidbits from various cuisines, and can find satisfaction in a romance with physical attraction that doesn't actually get physical beyond holding hands.

It's helpful to watch through the credits to the end of each episode because sometimes there's a bit more to see (often a flashback to high school)!

General Spoilers below.
Love, Life And Liberation is a much more fitting title. The title Naked Dining is completely misleading. This is a very PG romance and the only "kiss" is a slight press of lips while one of them is mostly asleep. Even so, the growing mental and physical attraction is felt, especially from Sota. And that's important because he's the character that didn't know he could be attracted to men, and so him falling for Mahiro as more than a friend is believable. It does not feel like "just a bromance" as some other JBL series with similar character progressions do.

Sota's confusion and progression of feelings for Mahiro were well-paced and very believable. His missteps while he struggles with that and his fear of losing Mahiro's friendship may be messy but are understandable.

Mahiro runs away from things a lot, even (or especially) things that he wants, which at first kind of irked me until I thought more about it. It's an instinctive defensive mechanism for fear; to avoid disappointment, rejection, or negative judgment. While this can be frusterating for the audience, there are people who really do behave this way. Mahiro's hesitancy and fear are noticeable even in the high school flashbacks so it seems life has reinforced this response in him. And I can understand him not wanting to be a sexuality "experiment" for the person he's in love with.

There are a LOT of misunderstandings, but they are also at least fundamentally understandable. What's different in this series is that the characters do actually try to communicate with each other! But often their fears lead them to either put on a brave face or to filter what the other person is saying to match what they *expect* to be said. This type of thing actually happens a lot in real life, so even though the misunderstandings are drawn out dramatically, it didn't annoy me too much because I could understand the progression. And the misunderstandings here really have a cascading effect. (They do get resolved satisfactorily.)

The actors were great, especially Kondo Shori as Sota. They made me smile and also tugged so hard at my heartstrings that I teared up. The secondary characters are well acted and likeable too.

The series is character-focused without much plot. I was really happy that they made 12 episodes (20-25min each) instead of 10 because the character and relationship arcs felt complete. The last few episodes didn't feel rushed like many 10 episode BLs do.

The cinematography was good and the music was okay but not memorable.

It left me feeling very satisfied and I could see myself watching this again at some point. Sota's character arc was especially well acted and I'll want to see that again.

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Don't Say No
7 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
sept. 14, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 6.0
Histoire 3.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 5.5

Worth a watch for Ja and First!

The lead actors are fantastic, but the story is not very well written. I watched the whole thing because Ja and First did a wonderful job with what they were given. Especially considering this was their first time as the main couple in a show. There are only a few acting "growing pains" here and there. Mostly they are very natural, heart-felt, and believable in the wide range of emotions they expressed. And the way they interact with each other is both comfortable and magnetic. Awesome chemistry.

Their group of friends and Ja's mother were also enjoyable in their roles.

The script and direction were frequently awkward. Dialogues didn't have a natural flow, or give-and-take between characters. The director seemed to want to show all the latent pauses in-between words or actions that the weakness of the script created. The story/plot required a lot of suspension of disbelief, especially from Ep 7 onward.

Emotionally, there was a whole lot of unnecessary angst, but it was "enjoyable" because of Ja and First's dynamic. In other words, it hurt just right ;)

So if you like experiencing both emotional highs (there's a lot of sweetness too) and lows that are mostly resolved, really hot chemistry and intimate scenes, and can suspend disbelief and logic to go with the flow and not get frustrated, then this is great to watch at least once.

Slight spoiler of the end: it ends well for Ja and First's characters. For me, that's what makes it worth going through the angst!

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Jack Frost
6 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3 Finger Heart Award1
oct. 31, 2023
6 épisodes vus sur 6
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Recognizable, Real, Bittersweet, And Hopeful.

If you've ever felt taken for granted in a relationship with someone you love, you'll probably understand the character Fumiya easily. If you've wished you could go back to the start of a relationship, this series explores that "what if" in a way that is thoughtful and realistic even though there is an element of fantasy to the premise.

The relationship and characters were so recognizable in multiple ways that every moment and emotion resonated. For me, it was a little emotionally difficult to watch at times because of this; it brought up a lot of my own bittersweet memories. There was hope and sweetness too though, and wonderfully nuanced acting, and I binge-watched it without pausing or fast-forwarding. [Update: I even re-watched it 3 months later and still loved it.]

What I like about many Japanese BLs is that everything is *not* always spelled out for the viewer. The dialogue and internal thoughts are realistic in that way.

The story starts off at the peak of a fall-out that seems unreasonably abrupt. As the story progresses however, we are intermittently shown memories of Fumiya's that show both the good times of their relationship and what lead up to the fall-out.

The psychology, emotions, and actions of both characters are things I've either experienced or seen and are very realistic. (I have not known anyone with selective amnesia but that plot point doesn't change how real the rest of it is.)

I see in reviews that many people don't understand Fumiya, but the screenplay and acting continuously give us breadcrumbs to his experience that were more obvious to me, so I thought I'd share a general summary of the character's psychological state:

The main point, is that Fumiya's growing hidden hurt means that any small new hurt triggers ALL of the past hurts, *whether directly related or not*! This leads to abrupt mood changes and shutting down or blowing up, even over seemingly small or mundane things. In addition, accumulating frustration can lead to resentment and biterness, which comes through when Fumiya snaps out something harsh. Eplained more below.

The cinematography is good, the differentiation between the present and flashbacks are clear, and the music was very emotionally fitting without being obvious.

GENERAL SPOILERS below.

The way Fumiya reacts to any type of praise may be subtle, but is extremely telling. There is surprise, small pleased smiles, shyness in the way he ducks his head or eyes flit around, biting or compressing his lips to hold in just how good it makes him feel, and an eagerness to do more. There are similar reactions when Ritsu gives him attention or makes him a priority in situations where he has learned to no longer expect, or even hope for, it.

Fumiya has been feeling increasingly taken for granted and of low priority to his boyfriend for a while. His major flaw is he doesn't know how to talk about this and keeps his frustrations bottled up; he says okay, that's fine, I'm not mad because he wants to keep the peace.

On Ritsu's side of things, he has not been intentionally trying to hurt Fumiya, but has made work his highest priority and has fallen complacent in his relationship. Like he says to Fumiya though, he won't know what's going wrong unless Fumiya tells him straightforwardly. Ritsu can tell there's friction but Fumiya often says 'it's okay' when Ritsu asks questions or apologizes.

The only reasons why this got a 9 instead of a 10 from me had to do with the last episode. This episode felt rushed (unlike the others).
1) I liked how the turning point for Ritsu was triggered, but his conclusion felt a little contrived to wrap things up quickly (what was there to be "afraid" of about sharing that part of his past?) Though it gave a symmetry or balance to things, it didn't quite make sense.
2) I wanted more time with them together at the end processing the relief of reconciliation. I also needed more time seeing them moving forward together for my own emotional state to transition to a more hopeful equilibrium after going through all the heavy feels. I feel emotions really strongly though, so this may not be as much of an issue for others.

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Laws of Attraction
5 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
nov. 13, 2023
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 6.0
Histoire 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 2.0

Entertaining But Melodramatic.

8 episodes total. Okay for one watch but it didn't engage me emotionally. It took me a couple of episodes to really get interested in the characters. It was melodramatic but in an entertaining way through ep 6 and then it slid into eye-rolling over-the-top-ness. Ep 8 is painfully cheesy and it cuts abruptly from one vignette to the next. Ex: jumping from watching a bad guy getting hurt & a brief blurb about it on the news to a romantic photoshoot with bubbles. It was a bizarre final episode and not very satisfying.

The actors (leads and secondary characters) felt rather forced in their intensity at times but it kind of fits into this melodramatic world that the series created. The actor Film has an un-hinged psycho-smile that would be too much elsewhere but kind of fits his character here.

There's good sexual tension between the main leads for the first half of the series then it kind of fades away. Which I thought was a weird progression because at the beginning one of them is grieving the recent murder of a family member yet has easy smiles with the other lead. There's a decent amount of skinship but anything beyond that is almost always interrupted. And when there are kisses (2 total I think) it's a dead-fish kiss. They seem much more comfortable ogling each other than sharing breathing space.

I found myself invested in and rooting for the secondary couple. They were the closest to getting my emotions engaged.

Nothing noticeably good or distracting about cinematography and music.

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oct. 14, 2023
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 7.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Lovely Slice-Of-Life Epilogue.

General spoiler only at bottom of review.
Cute and sweet, slice-of-life epilogue to the series. It's simple and light and I found myself smiling a lot. It’s a nice and very satisfying end cap to the series story. I wouldn't recommend it unless you've seen the series first, otherwise you'll be missing the emotional foundation of the main couple's bond. The secondary couple were less annoying to me in the movie (and didn't get much screen time, which I was fine with).

I appreciated how Adachi and Kurosawa learned to communicate better with each other and started to approach things in their lives as a team.

The lead actors are so good with their eyes and facial expressions. Everything is 100% believable until there's close romantic physical touch, then it feels ever so slightly stiff. Even so, there are some nice hugs and the way they look at each other holds so much emotion.

The cinematography is nice but the music is not memorable.

GENERAL SPOILERS.
The introduction to the families was a nice blend of realism and fantasy. Some realistic tensions were brought up, but then were resolved fairly quickly, which kept the overall tone of the movie bright. The family members with concerns showed a lingering internal worry even as they made efforts to be accepting, which I thought was a nice, more realistic touch than doing a 180 in 5 min.

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Cherry Blossoms After Winter
6 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
déc. 11, 2023
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 10
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Subtle, Feel-Good, Sincere Romance.

To me, this series felt like a higher rating than the sum of it's parts (technically, more like a 9/10 but enjoyable and satisfying enough to be one of my favorites). It was like being wrapped in a cozy blanket of hopeful sincerity. It's slice-of-life with a focus on feelings and while there are multiple emotional moments, there's no big drama (other than school bullying at the beginning). I enjoyed every minute and will watch again.

Notes on general differences from the manhwa at the bottom of review.

There are eight 25min episodes. I liked that we got to see HaeBom and TaeSung's story over a couple of years even though the time constraints meant that time passed quickly. The passing of time was slower in the beginning so it was easy to understand and connect with the characters and watch the transition of their bond into something more romantic. Then time jumps became a little bigger and more frequent but still retained character arcs. The mother's arc near the end felt the most rushed but it still worked; it feels like she would have gotten to that point anyway so doing so quickly didn't really break character.

I would have loved to watch more details of HaeBom and TaeSung's relationship as it unfolded, but was still very satisfied with what was shown. The staying power of their bond is reiterated over time so their happy ending and hopeful future is believable.

Their dynamic may seem stereotypically simple and unbalanced at first, but over time it's demonstrated how their strengths compliment each other's weaknesses and they balance each other well. They also put effort into understanding each other. Fondueforkharpoon's review expands on that and pretty perfectly sums it up.

There is a lot of skinship and cuddling and a couple passionate kisses.

While HaeBom was adopted by his mother's friend when he was 7 and grew up in the same house as TaeSung, I appreciated that the story *didn't* feel like a fetishization of brothers.

I enjoyed the friendship that the side characters YongHee and JiAh had with TaeSung and, over time, HaeBom. They were very much supporting roles but still felt like real people, not caricatures.

Cinematography was often soft and lovely, though some of the handheld camerawork was a little unsteady for my preferences (the constant small movements felt like maybe it was done on purpose to underscore high emotions but I found it distracting). Music fit scenes and emotions well.

Notes on the manhwa:
General Spoilers below.
The show follows vol.1 very closely then makes a few adjustments when incorporating vol.2. The show smartly makes the give and take between TaeSung and HaeBom clearer and more balanced, which I love. The one thing the show left out that I felt missing when I watched it (before I even read the manhwa), was the Mom's concern that TaeSung forced HaeBom; that HaeBom was in a position where he didn't feel he could say no. That's one of the Mom's biggest issues in the manhwa.

The show also integrates their growing physical relationship smoothly and believably once they start living in their own apartment. The manhwa on the other hand, is very chaste except for some kisses for vol.1 & 2, while vol.3 is mostly all R rated scenes (which are well done, by the way, and focuses on the progression of their physical intimacy). I've just started to read vol.4 and it seems to be bringing in more plot from the world around them again.

Fondueforkharpoon has a wonderful review that says other things I was thinking as well.

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Innocent
6 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3 Finger Heart Award1
oct. 9, 2023
4 épisodes vus sur 4
Complété 0
Globalement 5.5
Histoire 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 9.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 3.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Great Idea, Disappointed With Writers

Absolutely loved the premise but the execution by the writers was problematic in a couple of ways. The actors are good and the series is interesting despite the shortcomings. Overall worth a watch, especially since it's so short. Possible triggers for child molestation (though details are not shown or talked about) and... I don’t know what to call it, read the next paragraph for more.

As the series summary states, one of the main characters has a split personality disorder. Noah is the adult protector identity and Yu Shi is a stuck in childhood identity.
The biggest issue for me that made me uncomfortable from the start was the sex scene with the Yu Shi identity, who is mentally like a child even though the character is physically around 30 years old. And it's implied that Yu Shi was molested by a man when he was 5 years old, which makes sex with that identity even more cringe. (And later in Ep 1, the costuming decision to dress him in a shirt with Sesame Street characters was disturbing). Thankfully, all further intimate scenes were between Noah and Wu Zheng.

This morally questionable dynamic with Yu Shi stayed uncomfortable in my mind and negatively affected my overall rating. I like that Wu Zheng accepts both sides of YuShi/Noah, but he seems to have romantically fallen for Yu Shi first. Falling in love and getting physical with Noah, who is an adult mentally, is completely different than doing so with Yu Shi, in my opinion.

STRENGTHS
I loved the interactions between Noah and Wu Zheng. They were both natural and believable actors. Their chemistry was strong and their intimate scenes were full of desire.

Once I was parteway into Ep 2, I was invested and wanted to see how Noah/YuShi and Wu Zheng's relationship would play out.

All of the music chosen fit the mood and enhanced scenes. It blended well and was never distracting. The cinematography was consistantly good and created a cohesive feel.

FYI watch past the end credits in Ep 4 for another short scene!

WEAKNESSES
It would have been much less confusing and easier to connect with the characters sooner had the story progressed in a linear fashion instead of jumping around. It felt like they started in the middle of the story just to grab viewers with a sex scene, then jumped backwards to fill in more of the emotional connection, then forwards again to finish where they left off.

The secondary relationship was completely and utterly unnecessary. I wish they had spent the measly 5min of their story on the main couple instead. The ending for the main couple in ep 4 felt rushed and all issues and lingering questions just swept under the rug for the fairytale ending.

The therapist seriously violated doctor-patient confidentiality in two different scenes, which irked me (a careless, inaccurate, and insulting portrayal of that profession).

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Not Me
6 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3 Flower Award1
sept. 19, 2023
14 épisodes vus sur 14
Complété 0
Globalement 10
Histoire 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 9.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Satisfying In All Aspects!

(No spoiler until the bottom of the review)
This is the most fulfilling series! The acting, script, cinematography, music, production value, everything! The show is not 100% perfect, but it still FEELS like a 10/10. The mood it set, the tension that was built, the deep bonding between characters... it hooked me immediately and kept me enthralled throughout. I didn't fast-forward through anything, it was all worth watching.

Everyone is perfectly cast! Gun especially did a fantastic job as the two twins White and Black. His energy, the way he carried himself, and the look in his eyes were so distinct between them. Phenomenal acting. All the characters, even the secondary ones, felt like fully-fleshed people. The script, acting, and directing all supported this. I became invested in almost all of the characters! And I loved the different group dynamics.

I loved how this was done: It's hard to describe but it felt like the focus was on the slowly built bond and trust between White and Sean, NOT on the romance of it. Yet when it did become romantic, it was immensely powerful because of how carefully their connection had been built up. It felt so real/realistic and filled me with warmth, happiness, and satisfaction.

The politics of the story was interwoven very well with the plot. I appreciated that it often gave arguments from opposing viewpoints and mostly didn't feel too heavy-handed or preach-y. Instead it was easy to invest in the group's goals and root for their cause, even if they had disagreements amongst themselves (or with others) on the best way to go about it.

Most of the time I wasn't conscious of what the background music was doing. I like that because it means it was an effective support and not a distraction. Whenever I did notice it, it fit perfectly to enhance the emotions I was already feeling.

I already know this is a show I will watch again and again, at least once a year. It has filled my heart full of feelings and prompted some thoughtful thinking.

GENERAL SPOILER on the ending:
I liked the ending. It felt like a natural lull in a story that would continue. A time when our beloved characters are in a good spot even though their fight is not over. They still have goals they want to accomplish but we are able to be hopeful with them. It felt like a satisfying end to the show but didn't feel like an end to their story. Beautifully done.

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Kaette Kitara Ippai Shite.
4 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zii3
févr. 18, 2024
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

Fun, sexy, & with likeable characters.

Ten 25-30min episodes. Some of my thoughts below. I also recommend reading the review by Virgievirgie, which sums things up well: https://mydramalist.com/profile/voicelesslove/review/330409

I will add:
I thoroughly enjoyed this. There are some moments where the manga-style humor and situations made me feel secondhand embarrassment, but it was still funny.

All of the character's are likeable and well acted. The male lead really grew on me. The female lead was written differently than many Jrom-coms and I loved it!; she's a little goofy because she's so zealous about her work but she's not ditzy or annoying, she's a bit naive but not dumb, she's not great at reading social cues but she can be empathetic, and while she has moments of shyness, she is also an engaged participant in physical intimacy and even instigates some things herself.

There is a lot of very well done, hot eroticism in the first 2/3rds, and then that fades a bit as things become more emotional in the last 1/3rd.

I expect that I will rewatch this.

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