Since I, like most people, have currently been trapped inside, I have been watching a lot of K-dramas of many different genres. For anyone else who is bored, here is my list of my top 3 favorite K-dramas!
Legend of The Blue Sea
A rom-com that switches between modern day time and the Joseon era, that follows two reincarnated characters, a mermaid trying to navigate life on land and a con man.
Crash Landing On You
A story about a woman who has an unexpected paragliding accident and leads to her ending up in North Korea and is hidden by a North Korean soldier.
A dramatic comedy that follows young high school students trying to navigate the consequences of wealth and power.
“You’re right that all people are sinful and foolish, but isn’t that what’s so great?”
Bungo Stray Dogs, written by Kafka Asigiri and illustrated by Sango Harukawa, is a manga series, but today I’ll be reviewing the anime adaptation. The story takes place in Yokohama, Japan and the first character introduced is the protagonist, Atsushi Nakajima, who has recently been kicked out of an orphanage. Asigiri takes names and character traits from famous authors and draws them as characters with special abilities named after their most famous books.
The story begins with Atsushi walking down a riverbank dressed in rags and starving. He sees a man floating down the river and jumps in to save him. Atsushi is then dumbfounded by the stranger’s reaction to being saved, and learns his name, Osama Dazai. Dazai works for the Armed Detective Agency (the Agency), a group of people who have supernatural abilities and use them against crime. Across from Atsushi and Dazai stands another Agency employee, Doppo Kunikida.
The two members treat Atsushi to some food, and talk about their job, which is to catch a man-eating tiger that has been terrorizing the Kantō Region of Japan. Atsushi then explains that he thinks the tiger is following him and is sent out with Dazai to go and catch it. They later discover that Atsushi has the ability to turn into a tiger, and he joins the Agency.
The Agency consists of nine gifted members including their president Yukichi Fukuzawa. He is a stern yet caring man, and his ability allows him to subdue abilities so that they are controllable. The other members are Junichirō Tanizaki, Akiko Yosano, Kenji Miyazawa, Ranpo Edogawa, Dazai Osamu, Doppo Kunikida, and of course Atsushi Nakajima. Each of these members possesses a gift except Ranpo. His ability, Ultra Deduction, is not an ability at all but instead just extreme intelligence.
The Port Mafia is a criminal organization run by Ōgai Mori that often clashes with the Agency. Mori is a frightening heartless individual who is not afraid to get blood on his hands if there’s something he wants. Mori has mentally tortured both Dazai (hence the fact that his previous job was an executive in the Port Mafia) and Yosano (former doctor) and is known for murdering or attacking people using his old scalpel. During the first few episodes of the anime, we are introduced to Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, a slender and sickly man who holds the dangerous ability, Rashōmon. Akutagawa later uses this ability to harm members of the Agency.
Another gifted organization that is an enemy to both the Port Mafia and the Armed the Agency is the Guild, a North American group led by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. They try to destroy the two groups, but later help the agency out in an investigation. The guild eventually disbands after getting defeated and no longer pose a threat.
I loved this series, and I hope to continue reading the manga where the anime left off. Bungo Stray Dogs is actually a very funny series, and I thoroughly enjoyed each episode. It’s one of the only anime series that makes me anxious about what’s going to happen, and each episode is beautifully animated and drawn.
I still laugh every time I re-watch the series knowing that an anime character adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe and other famous authors exist. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes action, comedy, and sci-fi.
by Platypus & Bean
Recently, we (Platypus and Bean) went to see the Kpop group Stray Kids at a concert in New York at the Hulu Theatre. The concert was on January 29th and ended up lasting two and a half hours. We ended up only staying in New York for the show and then left the following morning. Today we will be sharing our tips, opinions, and overall review of the concert experience.
First off, we will talk about the ticket buying process. Before you even buy tickets you need to decide how many tickets you would like, what kind of tickets you want, and when/where the tickets will be sold. It’s very important to mark what day and time the tickets go on sale because they do sell out very fast. We ended up buying 5 tickets only used 4 so we recommend only buying what you will use because we were unable to resell the one ticket.
For this concert, there were two types of tickets: GA (General Admission) and VIP. General Admission is classified as standard tickets that don’t include any special perks. VIP tickets include being able to sit closer to the stage, but also a “Hi-Touch” experience. Hi-Touch is when after the concert you get to quickly go in a line and high five all of the members. The Hi-Touch goes by very fast, but from a fan’s perspective it’s memorable. Once you succeed in buying tickets you will need to prepare transportation and where you will stay.
Preparing for the show
In terms of what to pack, we would recommend: a small bag, your phone (and phone charger), batteries (for if you buy a light stick), money, any slogans/fan banners, earplugs (because it’s very loud), and maybe a jacket depending on the weather.
It is recommended to arrive at the venue at least an hour ahead of time just to make sure that you can get in line to get through security and enter the theater. It also helps to arrive early so you can get in the front of the merchandise line. When we got into the theater the merchandise line was too long to wait in. We found out shortly after arriving that the merchandise had already sold out. Also, if you have Hi-Touch tickets, you will need to go and get a wristband before going to your seats.
Overall, we had a good time. When the music started playing everybody stood up and cheered. It was extremely loud and we forgot ear plugs so for the majority of the show our hearing was not quite right. We enjoyed listening to people around us scream things such as “I love you!” and “Marry Me!” The concert was really good and Stray Kids put on an excellent performance. The entire concert was fantastic and the lighting and special effects were really good.
Once the concert was over, the staff started calling people with wristbands to form a line for the Hi-Touch. We stood in line for at least 20 minutes and eventually security guards gave us hand sanitizer to use before Bean finally got to slap some hands.
Today I am going to be reviewing the K-drama Abyss, which is a 16 episode long show that first aired May 6th, 2019. The show follows the two main characters Cha Min and Go Se-Yeon in a dramatic and fast-paced mystery/rom-com story. Abyss can easily be found on Netflix and currently has subtitles available in six different languages.
I actually am only on the eighth episode of this show, but I already really love it. It’s very engaging and entertaining, even when I’m not watching the show I find myself wondering what will happen next. The acting is very good and I plan on checking out other shows the actors have been in.
Everything starts in the show with Cha Min having a very difficult time. Cha Min is a very friendly character who will immediately try to protect and save people without thinking about it. After his fiance leaves because she decided he was “ugly” and she only really was with him for his money, Cha Min gets depressed and doesn’t think there is anything left for him in life.
The same night, Cha Min unexpectedly ends up getting into an accident which leads to his death. Surprisingly, a few hours after his death, he wakes up but realizes that he has been brought back to life in the body of a completely different person. The aliens that brought him back to life give him a mysterious orb called “Abyss” which has the power to bring people back to life.
As Cha Min tries to adapt to his strange new circumstances, a whole other side of the story is happening with Go Se-Yeon, who Cha Min had known (and cared for a lot in a one-sided relationship). Se-Yeon is a very sharp-witted character and because of that, she is a prosecutor for the local police force. She has been working on a murder case for 11 years and just when she starts to finally get strong leads in the case she is killed.
After Cha Min brings Se-Yeon back to life with Abyss, she deals with the shock of looking like a completely different person and having to have Cha Min explain how they are alive. She decides that she will go undercover with Cha Min to find her killer. When the police suddenly realize Cha Min’s disappearance was around the same time as Se-Yeon’s death, they begin to suspect him as the killer. Can they solve the mystery of the killer together and prove Cha Min’s name? Find out in Abyss!
All in all, I will give this show five out of five stars.
I’m going to review the anime (which was originally a manga)Sweetness and Lightning! The story is about Kōhei Inuzuka, his daughter, Tsumugi, and Kotori Iida, one of the students he teaches at school, and how they start to make food together. Kōhei teaches math at a high school and is very kind. He tries to do what he can for his daughter since his wife had died six months before the story begins. Since his daughter Tsumugi is only in kindergarten, she doesn’t really understand that her mother is gone.
Kōhei isn’t a particularly good cook, so he normally just buys pre-made food, but when he and Tsumugi run into Kotori at the cherry blossom viewing, Kotori says what she happens to be eating is delicious and gives them the address of her mom’s restaurant. Later that night, Tsumugi says she’s hungry and wants something good to eat. Desperate, Kōhei rushes to Kotori’s restaurant with Tsumugi. Kotori’s mother is still at work, so Kotori tries her hardest to cook rice for them. That’s how Tsumugi, Kōhei, and Kotori start making food together.
Some other background characters are Yagi Yūsuke, a friend of Kōhei since high school, and Shinobu Kojika who is the friend of Kotori and runs a vegetable shop. Yagi often babysits Tsumugi and checks up on Kōhei. Shinobu becomes friends with Tsumugi as well.
This anime made me so hungry… I’m also reading the manga, and they’re pretty similar, so you could read it or watch it and it’d be just as good either way. I think the story is very calming and it’s refreshing since I’ve been watching a lot of fast paced battle anime. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a nice and relaxing anime, and it’s definitely in the “slice of life” genre.
Concert rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I recently went to Anime Boston (with Platypus), which was held in the Hynes Convention Center on April 19-21. It was my first anime convention and it was truly amazing. Platypus says on her way there, she saw people cosplayed as Mario and Luigi buying ice cream. There were so many people in costumes, I felt weird not wearing one. We found out that there was an entire room dedicated to fan art. I actually bought a piece of fan-art of a character that I like! Platypus got some as well. I stumbled upon a section selling things K-pop and J-pop related as well as anime.
There were different panels you could attend such as “The importance of Japanese comfort food in anime” and “History of Lolita fashion” although we did not attend any of them because we ended up spending all our time looking at fan art and merchandise. Even though Hynes Convention Centre is big, it was packed and I was afraid of getting swept up in the crowd.
The amount of merchandise there was really something. I saw figurines, key chains, DVDs, and even manga. I spent too much money though. The whole fan art room was extraordinary as well. I just got this little card of a character I like, and when I looked up there was someone in cosplay as her. I was laughing about it with Platypus. All the art there was really amazing. So much effort was put into all the beautiful pieces of artwork.
Platypus and me enjoyed all of the weird and wonderful cosplay. We saw giant Pokémon, dragons, Nintendo characters, and even a few knights. Platypus and I also found the weird pairings of characters funny. There could be Pikachu from Pokémon holding hands with Light from Death Note. Anime Boston is a really fun event and I plan on going again.
Overall it was a really fun experience and I saw so many characters that I’m sure most anime fans are familiar with such as characters from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Death Note. I’d definitely check this out next year. Here’s the link to the website: http://www.animeboston.com
I’m going to review a very popular anime series called Orange, by Ichigo Takano.
Our protagonist is Naho Takimiya. On her first day of 11th grade, she finds a strange envelope with a letter inside. She takes it with her as she heads to school and reads it at her desk. It turns out the letter was sent from herself and from ten years in the future. Naho brushes it off as a prank, but when it lists things that happen throughout the day, it turns out to be real. The letter tells Naho to save the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, from his death and guides Naho to make sure she keeps him alive.
Kakeru, the cause of this letter, is a new student from Tokyo. His mother has an illness. On the first day of school, he tells his mother to go to the hospital by herself, since he had just been invited out on a walk. Kakeru then finds out his mother died, and tells no one because of the shame. He feels as though it’s his fault and feels bad having fun when she can’t. Naho and Kakeru eventually become close and are good friends.
Now I’ll introduce some other big characters, Naho’s friends! Suwa Hiroto is a happy and energized guy who enjoys soccer. He’s incredibly sensitive with other’s feelings and is always putting his friends before him. Suwa is then revealed to have received a letter from the future as well, and does his part to save Kakeru.
Naho’s other friends are Murasaka Azusa (who likes to be called Azu) as well as Chino Takako and Hagita Saku. Azu is extremely hyper and friendly and can be a little crazy. Her parents own a bakery and she often brings her friends bread. Takako, on the other hand, is more reserved, but still friendly. She defends her friends whenever she feels the need to, and has a bit of a fiery attitude. Hagita is a gloomy, grumpy guy who is kind on the inside. He’s always teasing Azu, since they have clashing personalities. He likes to read manga, and is almost always seen with a book. All of Naho’s friends end up getting letters from their future selves, and try their hardest to keep Kakeru safe.
I really like this book. Platypus introduced me to this series, and I have no regrets. We both agree that Naho is a frustratingly relatable character in the sense she doesn’t have a lot of courage and tends to hesitate when doing things. I would definitely recommend the anime, but if you want you can also check out the manga.
I’m going to be reviewing a popular anime that was originally a manga called “My Roommate is a Cat”written by Minatsuki and turned into an anime by Zero-G. The main character is Subaru Mikazuki who’s in his early twenties and lives alone in his parents’ old house.
Subaru is an extreme introvert author who prefers books to people. He is incredibly sad about his parents’ death that happened a few years earlier. One day, when he goes to visit their shrine, a stray cat comes out of nowhere and she eats the offerings he left. Subaru then gets an idea for a book, and decides to bring that cat home. Since he has no experience with pets, the cat and him start off rough. Later, Subaru names the cat, Haru, and they begin to warm up to each other.
Hiroto Yasaka is Subaru’s good friend who’s been with him since their childhood. He’s the opposite of Subaru and is outgoing and hyperactive. At times he can be sensitive and helps Subaru come out of his shell a little. Hiroto often comes to Subaru’s to check on him and bring him food.
Another big character is Subaru’s editor, Atsushi Kawase. Subaru wasn’t a big fan of him at first, but has begun to tolerate him. Kawase is a high-energy character who is a huge fan of cats, and he ends up visiting Subaru almost everyday. Haru doesn’t like him very much either. In fact, he frightens her.
When Subaru decides to head to a pet store for the first time, he meets Nana Ōkami, a cheerful employee who later becomes Subaru’s friend. She and her younger brother are both big fans of Subaru’s novel. Later, Subaru reveals that he’s the author.
I like how the episodes are told from both Haru’s perspective and Subaru’s. The story is very realistic in a sense that pets are good for you, and they are ridiculous yet caring creatures that look out for you.
I would rate this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars
The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is a movie directed by Masaaki Yuasa and based off the novel by Tomihiko Morimi. We follow the stories of two people during one night out: a young woman called Kōhai (which means, junior) and a young man called Senpai (meaning, senior). The main theme of the movie is love and it is set as a comedy.
Senpai has a crush on Kōhai and wishes to confess this to her, but keeps just missing her all night as she wanders around making friends, remembering memories, and drinking alcohol. Senpai chases after her, but is always unsuccessful, losing her in a crowd, or having his own battles with accidents or bad luck.
For the duration of the movie, Kōhai wanders around town, having adventures. Following a celebration party, she first starts her adventure in a bar where she meets Higuchi and Hanuki. The friends tell her about a special kind of alcohol she could find, but only if she has a drinking contest with Rihaku – who seemed to be some kind of god or supernatural creature who looked and spoke like an old man.
After the bar, Kōhai goes on a journey to find a book she was read to as a kid, which then led to her being in a traveling play that raced through the town so as not to be shut down. Later on, Senpai feels like giving up. A cold has spread through the town and now Kōhai begins visiting various people she met on her journey. She first visits the school festival executive head (who is a friend of Senpai), then she visits a friend of Higuchi and Hanuki, and then was told to visit Rihaku. The old and sick god tells her that Senpai is lonely, so she goes over to see him too.
Since Senpai is sick (love sick and sick-sick), he over-reacts when he’s told Kōhaiwill be coming over. He has an… interesting fever dream and when ge wakes up it’s a sunny day and Kōhaiis sitting with him. He later asks her if she would like to get coffee when he’s better and the movie ends there.
I saw this at a Japanese Film Festival at the Museum Of Fine Arts, and I thought this was incredibly funny. Some scenes I think might not be… suitable… for some anime watchers, but overall it was fantastic. The art was different from most anime, and the people around me seemed to really enjoy it too.
Platypus and Bean is a website of many different subjects and reviews.