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Hajimemashite minna san....welcome to my site on my fave Japanese Pop Culture likes such as dramas, movies, magazine scans, promo events etc. Mainly concentrate on my faves...Risa Watanabe... Kyoko Saito... Yui Kobayashi....Miyuki Watanabe.... Nene Shida.... if you're a fan at all of any of them then you've come to the right place(!) but many others are featured here besides them. Do mainly quick reviews on things I've watched, try to make the reviews brief, quick to read through with not too many spoilers, just whether they're good or bad and why I thought so plus whether you may find them enjoyable. Many, many screenshots are included from everything I've watched plus any video trailers if they're available. Hope you find something that interests you, don't hesitate to comment, arigato gozaimasu!

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

"While You Were Sleeping" drama: episodes one and two recap

 Air Dates: September 27th to November 16th on SBS, airs Wednesday and Thursday nights at 10:00 pm, two episodes per night
 Ratings for the two episodes- 7.2% and 9.2%

Main Cast:

Bae Suzy as Nam Hong-Joo
Lee Jong-Suk as Jung Jae-Chan
Lee Sang-Yeob as Lee Yoo-Bum
Ko Sung-Hee as Shin Hee-Min
Jung Hae-In as Han Woo-Tak
Shin Jae-Ha as Jung Seung-Won
Hwang Young-Hee as Yoon Moon-Sun
Park Jin-Joo as Moon Hyang-Mi

This is another Korean drama that's 30+ minutes an episode, not sure if viewers like the shorter length but I really do and hope more shows will be like this and "Reunited Worlds" which I'm currently watching and recapping, as a matter of fact this show is taking over the time slot for "Reunited Worlds".
 Looked like a very interesting series so thought why not try it out and so far it looks like a winner. Usually just post one recap for two shows, for this series will be having back to back posts and needed to do it for these first four shows as I wasn't quite sure of what was going on. Haven't viewed episodes three and four yet but sure some of my questions will be answered then.

 Hong-Joo is a 22 year old(?) who still lives with her mother. She has a strange talent if you want to call it that which is seeing the future in her dreams. Hong-Joo has said she even foretold her father's death though we don't know the details of that yet. The problem is she can't change the future even though she knows when a person will die and the exact circumstances.
 That happened early on in the first episode as she had dreamed that a middle age man was to die in an explosion caused by his cigarette. Later that night as a man was paying a bill at her mother's restaurant Hong-Joo recognized the man as the one in her dream. With the help of her mother she pleaded with the man not to leave, if he did at least don't smoke or he'll die.
 Naturally the man thought the pair was crazy and departed. On his way home he noticed his gas gauge was close to empty so he stopped at a station to fill up. That dream came true as while filling his tank up the man tried to light a cigarette up, next to gas pumps? Well as he flicked his Bic a spark flew out and somehow ignited a fire. Not just a fire as the whole gas station exploded and the man was quickly burned up.

 Meanwhile across the street from Hong-Joo's house a pair of brothers named Jung have just moved in. When the elder brother Jae-Chan came over with a gift to meet his new neighbors he was told in so uncertain terms by Hong-Joo to get lost. She had seen him in her previous night's dream, the pair were hugging while it was snowing but she can't figure why or what the situation was.
 Jae-Chan has the same talent as Hong-Joo though he's slightly different as he can change the future or at least he did in these first two episodes. Jae-Chan is a new prosecutor for the Seoul office, one of his old mates and guess you could call him a rival works as a lawyer in that office. His name is
Yoo-Bum, he's not a bum but as we learn he is one dastardly person.
 This drama starts off in February 2016 just prior to Valentine's Day. Yoo-Bum is a total jerk but somehow he got set up on a blind date with Hong-Joo and they've gone on a few other dates. It's now Valentine's Day and the pair meet up at a restaurant, for some reason Jae-Chan is in the parking lot. He and Yoo-Bum have a few words, they've known each other for thirteen years and some of their history will be explained as this post goes on.

 You'll see above that Hong-Joo's hair is much shorter than in the opening minutes. She became so distraught after not being able to help the man who died in the explosion she just grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting. Back to the date, her and Yoo-Bum enter the restaurant to enjoy a meal. Hong-Joo is having a hard time enjoying herself as she's unable to contact her mother via her phone.   Hong-Joo's latest dream was of her mother dying but she didn't know when or how, she immediately thought that some tragedy had happened to her. She's panicked so tells Yoo-Bum she has to rush home to see if her mother is there or if she's in trouble. However it had just started to snow heavily and Hong-Joo was petrified if driving in it so Yoo-Bum says he'll drive her car instead.
 This is where tragedy strikes the pair or in the end run mainly for Hong-Joo. Yoo-Bum wasn't paying enough attention to his driving in the storm, as he was looking at Hong-Joo the vehicle struck an object and went careening into a telephone pole. It wasn't just an object but a young man who lay dead in the street. In an odd twist he had just came back from Hong-Joo's house, her mother had left her phone at a restaurant and the young man was returning it. The mother not having her phone is why Hong-Joo couldn't contact her.

 Neither Yoo-Bum nor Hong-Joo had any serious physical damages from the accident but she was left unconscious. The accident took place on February 14th, now it's ten months later and Hong-Joo is finally waking up from a coma. With what's about to happen in her life she'll probably wish she didn't awaken.
 The dream where Hon-Joo's mother died has unfortunately come true. Because of the accident her mother had to sell the house and restaurant to cover the medical bills and to pay a settlement to the young man's family. She then worked at a few jobs every day to earn more money and the pace eventually caught up with her as one day she just collapsed from exhaustion which resulted in her falling down some stairs and dying.
 The other major result of the accident may not have been as bad but it was awful darn close. At the accident scene Hong-Joo had been unconscious, unknown then to her Yoo-Bum had put her in the passenger seat and set things up to look as though she was the driver! This guy is one low life and if there's justice he'll get his payback before the series ends. After Hong-Joo had awakened from her coma at the hospital prosecutor Jae-Chan came to visit her with some bad news about the accident.

 Hong-Joo is being charged with the killing of the young man, until the charge she was unaware of what fiendish act Yoo-Bum had done. Even the CCTV in the area had seen her behind the wheel of the vehicle plus her DNA was on it's airbag. Hong-Joo was insistent she wasn't the driver but it seemed to fall on deaf ears, whose story Jae-Chan asks her a jury would believe, hers or the story of a respected lawyer?
 The young man's family can also sue Hong-Joo if she's found guilty, like I said it would have been better if she remained in the coma. Before Jae-Chan had arrived for his questioning one of her mother's friends had given her a letter, looks like her mother knew that her working so many hours would be the end of her. But in that letter was also a nice gift as she had two bank accounts totaling 45,800,000 won or $40,000 so she could be set to survive on her own.
 Hong-Joo just couldn't get over the events that have been thrown at her in such a short amount of time and goes into a minor hysteria. She manages to make it to the hospital's roof, she can see no reason for continuing to live and is prepared to fall from the roof. There's a small group of people there including Jae-Chan, as she starts her descent he rushed over to grab her but she slowly falls out of his hand to her death.

 The death didn't quite occur or at least not in real life. Jae-Chan also can dream of the future, that hospital scene while real was also one he had in his previous night's dream or on February 13th. The going back and forth in time is what can be confusing at times or at least it is in the beginning. No clue if they'll be skipping back and forth on a regular basis or if the show eventually is set in 2017.
 Jae-Chan had somewhat of the same dream that Hong-Joo did but with more details. He was able to see the accident and what actions Yoo-Bum did after including switching Hong-Joo from the passenger seat to the driver's. But he can change the future with his knowledge, now we know why he was at the restaurant that night when Hong-Joo and Yoo-Bum were going on a date.
 The same order of events happen, Hong-Joo can't contact her mother and rushes home with
Yoo-Bum driving because of the heavy snow. Jae-Chan should have just chased after the pair from the beginning but didn't, his brother had arrived and they were going to go out somewhere. But
Jae-Chan knew the accident was about to take place and drove off in pursuit. He did catch them but not from behind as he came down a different road and was able to hit the car Yoo-Bum was driving just a few seconds before the young man was about to be run over.

 Not much longer to go with this recap as preventing the accident was the final scene though a long one. Hong-Joo's mother's car is totaled but she's safe this time around and the young man didn't get run over so Jae-Chan saved the day, something Hong-Joo is unable to do with her dreams. However Yoo-Bum is not happy with the accident, naturally he has no clue about the dreams the pair have and thought Jae-Chan hit the vehicle on purpose.
 The two have a long history as Yoo-Bum is three years older. Back in high school Yoo-Bum used to tutor Jae-Chan who wasn't a good student and showed no enthusiasm for academics. That changed over the years as he first became a lawyer and is now a prosecutor. Back in high school the pair had somehow fudged Jae-Chan's grades, getting better grades meant a bonus for Yoo-Bum but the truth eventually was revealed ending Yoo-Bum's tutoring days.
 Jae-Chan had gotten half of the bonus for keeping his mouth shut, he had purchased a mini motorcycle with the money. His dad believed he stole the bike as Jae-Chan didn't have enough money to afford one, that's when it was revealed about the grade fixing. Also there was an accident with the motorcycle, Yoo-Bum had caused one but pinned the blame on Jae-Chan who ended up taking the blame for the accident, the two have that long history but not one that's pleasant for Jae-Chan.

 The final minute consisted of Hong-Joo getting out of the car and slowly strolling over to Jae-Chan to hug him. She had dreamed this scene the previous night but had no idea what it meant or who the man she hugged was, now she knows and believes in the dreams of Jae-Chan.
 With that the second episode came to it's conclusion, actually wasn't as confusing writing this as I thought. The only thing which may baffle some reading this is the two dreams as it seemed the second one of Jae-Chan's wiped out the the real events of the man getting killed and Hong-Joo being charged for his killing.
 Haven't viewed the next two shows yet but am about to start on them, sure some of my bewildering thoughts on exactly what and will happen will be answered. For a change have that next recap just below this one, may help you too to read them back to back if you're not sure of what powers these dreams have. So far though it's been an exciting and interesting drama, really hoping it remains that way and don't know why it wouldn't as I have a feeling it's going to become even more intriguing.

"While You Were Sleeping" drama: episodes three and four recap

 Air Dates: September 27th to November 16th on SBS, airs Wednesday and Thursday nights at 10:00 pm, two episodes per night
 Ratings for the two episodes- 8.3% and 9.2%

Main Cast:

Bae Suzy as Nam Hong-Joo
Lee Jong-Suk as Jung Jae-Chan
Lee Sang-Yeob as Lee Yoo-Bum
Ko Sung-Hee as Shin Hee-Min
Jung Hae-In as Han Woo-Tak
Shin Jae-Ha as Jung Seung-Won
Hwang Young-Hee as Yoon Moon-Sun
Park Jin-Joo as Moon Hyang-Mi

Would suggest reading the above post first if you haven't as there won't be too many details from the two shows because so much happened in this pair though it probably will be a shorter recap, should say I hope so.
 At the conclusion of the previous show Jae-Chan had prevented a serious accident through a dream he had. He was able to save his neighbor though not exactly a friend Hong-Joo and a young man who we found out later was an officer. Driving the car that Jae-Chan had slammed into was Yoo-Bum, the two have known each other for thirteen years though are no longer close and they could be considered rivals.

 No one was serious injured in the crash, the only thing that didn't survive was Hong-Joo's glasses, she has a new pair now but preferred her older ones. At the hospital Hong-Joo and Jae-Chan have a long discussion, it seems as though this was the first time he's had a dream that saw the future. And that future was the accident and how Hong-Joo was going to get wrongly blamed for it.
 Jae-Chan doesn't really believe she can see the future like Hong-Joo claims she can, he feels those dreams are controlling her life and he's probably right. But the problem is all of her dreams do come true and almost all have a fatal ending. At least for now Jae-Chan doesn't take much stock in what she says, he actually hasn't seen any of her dreams come true though the pair did just meet.
 There was a surprise guest this for these two episodes and she may be in another one or two though it was just supposed to be a cameo. That guest is Kim So-Hyun, you may remember her from the "Bring it on Ghost" drama from last year which I did a partial recap of, think they were until the sixth show but did finish the series and thought it was enjoyable but more of a teen drama. She plays
So-Yoon who is an eighteen year old student and also a virtuoso at the piano, she was the one giving the recital that Jae-Chan's brother wanted to attend before the accident.

 From that top screenshot what happened was that So-Yoon's mother had passed out after the recital. As was noted by a medical attendant the reason for her passing out was because of her pain, she had six broken ribs and the damage was done by her husband. He insisted that the injuries weren't his fault though they fell on deaf ears and he was arrested.
 The husband's name is Park and the case went to the prosecutor's office. The lawyer representing him was Yoo-Bum, if you read the first recap you know what kind of conniving person he is. This wasn't the first time Park has been arrested on DV charges, he's a regular with Yoo-Bum and has put him on his payroll to keep him out of jail for crimes like this one. That's been successful 100% of the time in the past and was once again for this incident.
 Jae-Chan who is a new prosecutor wants to charge Park with an injury case versus an assault case, with the former a person can go to jail. But Yoo-Bum has fixed up some documents, they stated that the wife's broken ribs were from a skiing trip on February 10th, it's now the 18th and the year is still 2016. Jae-Chan has no choice but to go with the lesser charge, he knows the documents were forged but is helpless to do anything about it, plus the wife won't file charges. The two have some heated words in front of many of the office workers, this rivalry is soon to become even more intense.

 Prior to going into the office for the day Jae-Chan had met up with Hong-Joo. Her dream from the previous night showed her what his routine would be that morning, for once there was no death in one of her dreams. She had known he would stop at a certain coffee shop and what he would order, before he had arrived she had placed his order for him. Also there had been a group of young girls playing with a balloon that got stuck in a tree.
 Hong-Joo had told the group to wait for Jae-Chan to get it for them as he would be passing by in a minute. He did and got the balloon down for them, one girl said 'Thank you Mr. Jae-Chan', that left him perplexed knowing she somehow knew his name. When they meet up on the subway Hong-Joo gives him an umbrella telling him he would need it later. He gave it back to her but that was a mistake as later it ended up pouring leaving him rather wet.
 Once again the two have a discussion, now Jae-Chan tells her to leave him alone as he still doesn't believe that she can see the future in her dreams. She's not the only one who can see the future as we meet a young boy and don't know if he's going to be a regular character. Actually it wasn't a boy but instead a girl, she had her hair cut very short and until the end when it was revealed it was a girl we all thought, that includes everyone in the show, that the kid was a boy.

 The young girl's name was never mentioned and it's not in any cast list so just will refer to her as the little/young girl who is about ten years old. She had a dream the previous night her father would get killed in a bus accident caused by an explosion, the father is a bus driver. The father is driving on his regular route when his daughter gets on the bus, she skipped school because she was so worried.
 Right after she got on the bus someone else did, a soldier with a huge bag. On the radio was a report of a soldier who had fled his base with a loaded gun and grenades, the father thought better safe than sorry and stopped the bus. He asked the passengers to get off as there were some problems with the tires, he also told his daughter to get off.
 Everyone did depart except for one person who was the AWOL soldier. The driver started talking with him and asked him to get off the bus too, he even wondered if he would help him check the tires. Those were the last words spoken by the father as the soldier took out the grenades and the whole bus went up in flames killing the two instantly. Briefly we saw the daughter again at the end of the fourth episode, she's all alone and confused but if she does have the ability to see the future perhaps she'll be working with Hong-Joo and Jae-Chan but that's just a guess.

 That bottom screenshot is of prosecutor Hee-Min who we met briefly in these two episodes. She knows Jae-Chan as the pair had attended the same college, he tries to treat her as an old friend but she's very cold to him though it looks like the character will be an important one as time goes on.
 Back to So-Yoon who goes to the same high school as Jae-Chan's brother Seung-Won. The two know each other and think somewhat well though So-Yoon wishes that they didn't know each other. She doesn't hate Seung-Won but it could be because her older brother is a prosecutor and she despises them. The DV charges against her father wasn't the first time it's happened and in her mind it won't be the last as with the help of Yoo-Bum her father always gets away with the crime.
 So-Yoon has been planning to kill her father, she was looking up how to order some chemicals and poisons to use on her father when Seung-Won noticed what she was doing. She told him why she has to kill him, she can't go on any longer with what's being done to her mother as the court system to her is just a huge joke.

 Don't know if any of these recaps for this series will be short, can't believe how many things keep happening in a half hour show. But we're getting close to the end and Jae-Chan has had another dream which was about his brother though he didn't know all of the details. In it he saw Seung-Won being arrested and put in a police car but for what charge he didn't know.
 Jae-Chan was in dire need of advice after the dream, the only person he knew that could help him was Hong-Joo so he broke down and visited her. Two nights before Hong-Joo also had a dream about his brother Seung-Won but until now she didn't know the two were brothers. In her dream
Seung-Won was arrested for murder, he did the crime because of his brother but Hong-Joo didn't know any more than that.
 No thrilling cliffhanger as the final two scenes flipped back and forth. The other one was that
Seung-Won had followed So-Joon to a store, she was getting ready to buy some anti-freeze and wonder if she was going to use it somehow on her father? If so Seung-Won is probably involved and that's why he was in the dreams of Jae-Chan and Hong-Joo. Looks like Jae-Chan is starting to believe that she can see the future, now what the pair needs to do is find out what is exactly going to happen and to find Seung-Won before he's involved in murder.

 As mentioned no thrilling cliffhanger but still a very edgy ending to the fourth episode, so far every show has been a winner and glad I took a chance on this drama. Writing two recaps in a day is something I haven't done for a while and my brain is a bit mushy right now. Don't know how others can do about five a day with about 25,000 words, don't envy them but it must take a lot of time between watching and then writing about it.
 Then again I'm not a fan at all of those 5,000+ word reviews, can get a bit tiring to read plus why tell the readers every single thing that happened. Personally I don't peruse them because if you know everything that happens it kind of takes the fun and curiosity out of watching them.
 So far am enjoying this drama immensely, the next four shows air next Wednesday and Thursday. Will try to recap all four every week and probably will be able to do it for a while but will eventually fall behind as there's another series beginning soon that I'll be posting about. Next recaps should be out about the same time next week and would recommend viewing it for as of now it's been quite an interesting drama and have a feeling they episodes are going to get even better.