Chen Kun and Zhou Xun’s New Film – The Yin Yang Master, Hits the Big Screens

The Yin Yang Master is a 2021 film adaptation of the acclaimed role-play mobile game Onmyoji: Master of Yin and Yang. It premieres in cinemas today and should not be mistaken for Deng Lun and Mark Chao’s version that aired last year. That one was a first part adaptation of the novel series titled Onmyoji by Yumemakura Baku. The stories have similarities, but this new movie is from a different director, production company, and cast.

Synopsis – The world is on the verge of a devastating war with monsters trying to retrieve the Scaling Stone. Yin Yang Master Qing Ming’s life is in danger, which leads him on a journey to different worlds in preparation for the upcoming assaults. During his voyage, Qing Ming finds that the key to stopping all the calamities is embracing his human and monster hybrid identity (source – Netflix).

Now here’s a more detailed summary provided on imdb.com – Captain of the City Guard, Yuan Boya, is stripped of his rank after failing to guard an imperial tribute. Unwilling to let things lie, he searches for the thieves that stole the tribute, only to end up entering a mystical world of demons. Along the way, he becomes mixed up in a feud between the Yin Yang Master Qing Ming, humans and the demon worlds. Yuan Boya and Qing Ming’s relationship grows from mutual distaste to grudging respect, and eventually, they establish an unbreakable bond of master and familiar. The two work together to solve an old mystery and prove Qing Ming’s innocence while also unravelling a conspiracy to bring the Demon King back from the dead. (I’m not too confident of this summary’s accuracy since anyone can edit the imdb.com site.)

Main cast list for The Yin Yang Master:

We have one of my favourite Chinese actors ever, Chen Kun as Qin Ming, the yin yang master/Seimei

Zhou Xun as Bai Ni/Yao Bikuni

William Chan as Ci Mu

Claudia Wang as the Peach blossom fairy

Shen Yue as Shen Le/Kagura

Cici Wang as the Snow lady –

Wang Yue Yi as the Butterfly monster

And finally, Shaw Qu as Yuan Bo Ya/Hiromasa.

This stellar cast for The Yin Yang Master truly excites me, and I’m equally eager to get more insight into the world of Onmyoji. I’ve never played the game, but I have seen the 2020 animated series. Sadly, the anime episodes were too short; hence I’m very thankful for these live-actions that allow me to dive more into this intriguing fantasy world. Since Netflix also picked up the international distribution for this version, I’ll wait to watch both the 2020 and 2021 adaptation together. As of now, there’s no official date for the international release since this film just started airing in China.

Update: This film is now available on Netflix.

To close this post, here are all the teasers/trailers for The Yin Yang Master. I saved them for last just in case anyone prefers to go into a movie without knowing what sort of visuals to expect, so watch at your discretion –

My Final Review For ‘Lost Romance’ – Was It Worth The Commitment?🧐

It’s a new year, and I am breaking the spirit of procrastination. Hence, I will be completing all my held back drama reviews this week, starting with Lost Romance. Better late than never, I guess. Hwaiting!!!!

Since it’s been a while, here are all previous reviews for anyone who needs a refresher:

👉🏽 First Impressions of Taiwanese Drama – ‘Lost Romance’

👉🏽 Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review – Episode 2

👉🏽 Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review – Episode 3

👉🏽 Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review – Episode 4 – 6

👉🏽 Lost Romance: Taiwanese Drama Review – Episode 7 – 9

And all episodes of this drama are available on Viki – Lost Romance on Viki.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

First off, here are my thoughts on episodes 10 to 20:

When I went back to continue this show, one aspect that completely turned me off was Situ Aoran’s indecisive and overbearing nature. I didn’t appreciate him trying to control Zheng Xiao En’s life even after rejecting all her advances. There’s absolutely nothing sweet or cute about excessive jealousy. So with that development, I came to enjoy the presence of Qing Feng more. An added disappointment to Situ Aoran’s toxic traits was the character development of Chu Chu in the novel’s world. I was sad when she turned out to be the typical mean and manipulative female viper. She might not have been my favourite character, but I had high hopes for her🤦🏽‍♀️.

Moving on, of course, Situ Aoran and Zheng Xiao En got together. I was okay with their relationship since they did have sizzling chemistry, + Aoran became less controlling. As the story progressed, I understood that Aoran served as an alter ego for He Tian Xing, who wished for more freedom in life. Situ Aoran was like a combination of all the traits that Tian Xing considered weak, which means Zheng Xiao En loved him at his lowest… Awww🥰, quite endearing.

Honestly, this drama nearly lost me halfway, but once they switched back entirely to the real world, the new dynamic between He Tian Xing and Zheng Xiao En kept me hooked. I think we can all agree that He Tian Xing is way more charming than Situ Aoran. Plus, the real world’s courting stage felt more genuine without all the novel-like antics and uncertainties. I also enjoyed how the story came full circle with He Tian Xing doing the pursuit, spying on Zheng Xiao En with a drone and comforting her during her down moments –

Now in regards to our villains, starting with Uncle Hu. I don’t have much to say because he is simply a twisted individual that decided to destroy a friend’s family due to greed. He Tian Jian, on the other hand, indeed took me by surprise in the closing episodes. I was rooting for you boy, how could you? Even as Situ Moran, he was no better😑. The saving grace of this group was He Ming Li. Although nothing excuses her evil ways, we can’t deny that she was a demon created by her father’s infidelity and mother’s neglect. If their father had communicated his real feelings towards all his children, the He family could have been in a better situation. I’m glad that He Ming Li realized her mistakes and did a full turn around –

With all that said, I have to conclude that my favourite character from Lost Romance is Qing Feng. His backstory of roaming through various novels added an intriguing layer to the drama when it started to get draggy. Plus, he was just a very loving and genuine person in general. Thankfully Qing Feng got his happy ending, and I loved the brief cameo from Puff Kuo.

Final Review:

Overall, Lost Romance was an okay drama. The story started quite bizarre, then mid-way, it got a bit draggy, but thankfully the scriptwriter still managed to round up every arc properly. Aside from the overly dramatic sequences of the novel’s world + some unnecessary filler scenes, and lack of better development for certain side characters, everything else was a good watch. I enjoyed the second half of the show more, which is why I feel they could have made this a sixteen-episode series. As an avid drama watcher, I have outgrown the cliché plot-devices adopted in this show, hence why specific aspects were too exhausting for me. All the same, the scriptwriter, director, and actors did exceptionally well in gracing me with superb acting, sizzling chemistry, a great showcase of friendship, comedy, witty dialogues and beautiful soundtracks.

I give big props to Marcus Chang for his contribution to the soundtracks👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. He has such a soothing voice, so his songs were my favourite, along with the opening track by Ariel Tsai –

To close this post, my rating for Lost Romance is 7.5/10. To better understand how I rate each movie or drama, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide. Also, feel free to let me know your thoughts on this series in the comment section💕.

The Blogger Recognition Award 2020

Christmas is around the corner, and although 2020 hasn’t been the best, I still have things that made my year. One of such items on my list are bloggers who dedicated their time throughout this year to provide beautiful content that comforted readers. The Blogger Recognition Award serves as an appreciation for them. 

First off, I would like to thank Hallyureviews for nominating my blog; it truly means a lot. Although I discovered hallyureviews quite late this year, I love their take on Korean music and dramas + it sometimes feels like we’re in sync with our content, and that’s so fun😄. Kindly check them out. 

THE RULES OF NOMINATION:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and feature a link to their blog in your award post.
  2. Post the award banner somewhere on your blog.
  3. Share the reason why you started your blog.
  4. Share two pieces of advice that could benefit new bloggers.
  5. Nominate a maximum of fifteen other bloggers.
  6. Tell your nominees about your award post so they can participate!

Why I started this blog?

I always enjoyed sharing my thoughts on Kpop/Kdramas with my friends, so at some point, I felt the need to share my love for these things with a broader audience. After researching various platforms, I decided to start a blog.

My advice for newbies:

Once you have an idea, write!! It might not be perfect, but it is undoubtedly a good beginning. Trust me, with time, everything will fall into place, and you will find your niche.

While you research and try to get ideas from other people’s blogs, never forget your originality. Always leave a piece of you in every post by appreciating your unique writing style.

To close off, here are my nominations, please check them out –

Cfensi @ cfen.si

Anime Tokoyo @ animetokoyo.home.blog

SHAN SHANS JACKET @ ckdrama.home.blog

dramapearls @ dramapearls.com

FORTRESS @ nostalgicwalksblog.wordpress.com

 

I’m Taking A Break from Posting Until November

Hello everyone🤗, I hope you all are in good health

I’m writing this post to announce that I will be taking a break from posting any new content for a while. At least until November. Many of you may not be aware that I’m a Nigerian studying in Canada. Currently, my country is bleeding🩸. Therefore I am not in the right mental space to discuss dramas or music.

The movement against police brutality in Nigeria started about two weeks ago. Nigerians both home and abroad took to the streets to demand the immediate disbandment of an anti-robbery task force known as SARS. This police unit has been the cause of numerous deaths in all states of Nigeria. They profiled innocent civilians as criminals just for having iPhones, laptops, good cars, tattoos, locs, or merely dressing well😔. SARS was supposed to protect Nigerian citizens, but they became the biggest robbers. They not only profiled innocent citizens but went further to seize money and kill anyone that refused their requested amounts. The NIGERIAN YOUTHS took it upon themselves to peacefully; I repeat peacefully protest for the government to END SARS.

Bringing us to yesterday when my country, Nigeria, massacred her people in cold blood

First, the government placed an impromptu curfew, took down CCTV cameras, waited for nighttime and then the Nigerian Army opened gunfire at non-active peaceful protesters who were sitting down while raising the Nigerian flag

The flag colours are green, white, green, but yesterday in most states of Nigeria, it became GREEN, RED, GREEN!!! The blood of so many youths stained our flag. I AM PAINED💔, and I CANNOT SLEEP. I’m having nightmares even though I wasn’t there in person. Therefore, I’m taking a break to give myself space to think and also follow up closely with what happens next in my country.

Regarding dramas like Lost Romance, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay, Unsung Cinderella and Do You Like Brahms?, which I already started following. I will give my final reviews once I return in November.

Once again, I wish all my readers the best. Continue to stay safe, everyone, and please protect your mental space. Love you all ❣️

Is The Live-Action of ‘Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku’ Worth A Watch?

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, also known as It’s Difficult to Love an Otaku, is a 2020 Japanese live-action film based on a manga written and illustrated by Fujita. The manga’s name is Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii.

Synopsis: Momose Narumi is a 26-year-old otaku who enjoys reading boys’ love manga but hides it from others. She begins work at a new company and meets her old childhood friend Nifuji Hirotaka. Hirotaka is handsome and good at his job, but he is also an otaku. After work, Narumi and Hirotaka talk about their otaku interests. Hirotaka asks her if they can date, telling her it will be nice. They begin their relationship but face many hardships and difficulties. (source – MyDramaList)

Expectations: I remember ranting about this movie late last year. It was a detailed post explaining my love for the source material and how I felt about the upcoming film 👉🏼 My Excitement Is Real – WOTAKOI: LOVE IS HARD FOR OTAKU is getting a live-action film. YESSS🎊🎊🎊.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku released in February, and I just saw it last week. It took me a while to watch it mainly because I was waiting for subtitles and HD quality. It’s interesting to see one of my favourite manga/anime come to life. I think Saito Takumi and Takahata Mitsuki did okay considering how the director/scriptwriter crafted things.

Alright, there goes my sweet intro. Belt up people because things are about to get sour. I have seen the anime, bought and read the manga, which proves my commitment. Therefore, I am fully authorized to comment.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to partake in or even slightly enjoy the musical aspect introduced in this live-action. I’m probably mistaken about the target audience, but the musical scenes felt random, cringe and lasted way too long. I enjoyed Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii since it had a certain maturity level due to the office setting and the characters’ age group. I also loved the weird/witty comedy. Thankfully, that was left intact.

Nonetheless, this film completely threw out the source material’s fire and left me watching what I couldn’t exactly wrap my head around. Ladies and Gentlemen, I must admit that I could not bring myself to sit through the entire movie at this juncture. The frustration and utter disappointment were too real. Actually, throughout this week, I have been contemplating whether to write this review. I’m only giving myself the go-ahead to break down some significant elements that ultimately caused this film to go left –

  1. The replacement/partial removal of essential characters like Koyanagi Hanako and Kabakura Taro – In my opinion, the director didn’t showcase enough of them. Instead, he gave us two other support roles that took all their lines/screen time from the manga. Also, these newly found second leads weren’t essential to the story’s development.
  2. The director did a lot of tossing around with the story – It felt like he placed the source material on a chopping board and failed to puzzle it back correctly. The storyline was oddly out of place and felt too rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I know the manga was fast-paced, but at least the story flowed. By taking away specific essential roles in the live-action and mix-matching the timeline of specific events, everything else came off quite sloppy, in my opinion.
  3. Odd story progression leads to missed opportunities for good character development – Take, for example, The No-Otaku date that Narumi and Hirotaka had. I think it came too early in the film. Hence, it failed to accomplish the same understanding and growth brought to their relationship in the manga/anime version.

I could go on, but I’m going to end things here. Overall, Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku did not do its source material justice in any shape or form. I highly doubt that anyone would watch this film and become intrigued enough to pick up the manga. Maybe I’m too picky, and some people enjoyed this live-action. WHO KNOWS? Still, for me, this film gets a 4.5/10. To better understand how I rate each drama or movie, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide.

If anyone is still interested in watching this movie and forming their own opinion, it is available on Dramanice with English subtitles.

Unsung Cinderella: Byoin Yakuzaishi no Shoboshi: Japanese Drama Review – Episode 4 – 7

Alright, I am back to give my review on episodes 4 – 7 of Unsung Cinderella: Byoin Yakuzaishi no Shoboshi. If you haven’t read my previous review, use this link 👉🏼 Unsung Cinderella: Byoin Yakuzaishi no Shoboshi: Drama Review – Episode 1 – 3

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:  

Episodes four to seven showcased how Aoi Midori’s approach to being a pharmacist influences her closest co-workers and patients. Everyone learns something new after meeting her. That is why we got into the stories of side characters like Hakura and Aihara.

Hakura’s issue with his dad was an excellent way to stress that every individual should be independent of other people’s negative stigma on their profession or lifestyle in general. Being a doctor would have probably given Hakura more prestige, but a hospital doesn’t need only doctors. Therefore no matter the medical line you fall into, you are still fully involved in saving a life. Thankfully, Hakura gained confidence in his profession through Aoi Midori’s help, and his father also learnt some well-deserved lessons.

In Aihara’s case, she’s finally intrigued to pursue pharmacy with more passion after seeing Aoi interact with numerous patients. Plus, she now wants to focus on anti-cancer medication. At first, Aihara had difficulty connecting with patients or being discreet with her facial expressions. However, after paying more attention and heeding to great advice, she’s gotten better. Aihara’s growth is still a working progress, and I want to see how far the writer develops this character before the drama wraps up.

I am genuinely enjoying the presence of almost every character in this drama. Everyone (lead, supporting cast & patients) plays a vital role in bringing this heartwarming series to life. The stories of each patient are always lesson filled and so touching. Minoshima Koharu’s battle with leukemia and the cancer patient’s family was the most memorable aspect of episodes four to seven.

Now the only character that I do not appreciate so far is Dr. Nanao. He seems to be all about personal achievement rather than caring for patients. The fact that there might be doctors like him in real life irks me. In these episodes, he steadfastly tried to push a trial drug on a patient that didn’t want the treatment. All new medicines get tested at some point, but his intentions weren’t pure. Plus, the way he nitpicks at every little thing is quite annoying.

Before I round, am I the only one that feels Seno likes Aoi? I don’t care much for a love connection in this drama, but he sends signals that I can’t overlook. Also, the preview was scary. I hope Seno doesn’t have a terminal disease🙏🏽. However, no matter what the writer decides to do, I will still be watching because I am enjoying Unsung Cinderella: Byoin Yakuzaishi no Shoboshi.

That’s is all for this review. If you’re currently watching this drama, what do you think of the story so far? Let me know in the comment section.

Remember, this drama is available with subtitles on Dramanice or Kissasian.

Korean Drama – ‘Do You Like Brahms?’: First Impressions

Do You Like Brahms? is an ongoing Korean series that stars Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin as leads. It started airing on August 31st and will run for sixteen episodes.

Synopsis: In defiance of her family’s opposition, Song Ah gets accepted to the same university’s music school, where she previously majored in business. As she’s seven years older than her classmates, she finds her new academic life daunting and struggles to find strength. One day, she hears Joon Young playing “Traumerei,” which comforts her. Joon Young is a talented pianist who started playing the piano when he was six. He’s been friends with Jung Kyung, Kyunghoo Group’s CEO’s granddaughter, for a long time, and is in love with her. When he decides to keep his distance from Jung Kyung, he meets Song Ah. (source – Viki)

Expectations: I saw the trailers for this drama all over Instagram. Plus, I enjoy the acting of both leads. Hence I decided to check it out and see if it’s worth my time.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: 

First off, I adore the serene atmosphere of this show. The calm nature makes for a relaxing watch. From what I’ve seen, Do You Like Brahms? is going to be a slow burn romance story. I don’t mind this because we are getting quite realistic interactions. Chae Song Ah and Park Joon Young are so awkward and overly careful around each other. Hence why it will be interesting to watch their relationship progress out of that stage. I’m super excited to see them become friends and gradually fall in love because the subtle glances at each other, in just these two episodes, are screaming chemistry!!!

Another thing I genuinely appreciate about this drama is that Song Ah and Joon Young are friendly and also respectful to others. We all know that a male lead that starts nice is quite rare in the K-drama scene. That’s why when I meet these occasional gems, I remain tuned. Also, the OST line-up is promising. The one from Punch – “Close To Me” is simply beautiful –

Now let’s discuss the existing love triangles holding our leads back –

  • Chae Song Ah Vs. Yoo Dong Yoon & Kang Min Sung: I don’t think this triangle will get messy, but there is tension to unfold. Chae Song Ah lacks confidence due to her academic standing, but she’s brave for pursuing her dream. Maybe the writer plans to use this situation of being in love with her friend’s ex-boyfriend to impact growth and boost her confidence level.
  • Park Joon Young Vs Lee Jung Kyung & Han Hyun Ho: Now, this one will not end well. This triangle is the literal definition of – “it’s about to go down.” Park Joon Young has always done things to please others and provide for his family, hence why I believe this situation might be a device to let him out of his shell. The major problem here is Lee Jung Kyung. She seems quite jealous already, and I’m not looking forward to what will cook up once Joon Young starts shows vital interest in Song Ah.

Although this drama does not have many funny moments, I laughed out loud when Song Ah asked Joon Young – “Do You Like Brahms?” at the airport. I instantly had a flashback of the iconic line from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo – Do You Like Messi? 😂😂😂

I am very excited about the upcoming episodes, and if anyone else is interested, new episodes of Do You Like Brahms? are uploaded every Monday & Tuesday on Viki 👉🏼 https://www.viki.com/tv/37214c-do-you-like-brahms