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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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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Fairies post #1- Miki Shimomura

 Keep saying there's enough actresses or Idols already here to post about yet it seems I keep breaking my rules and introducing new people. Guess that's a good thing as that way things don't become stale plus it's wise to get to know more music and other things. Fairies is a group who I've known of for a long time but never paid enough attention to their music, had presumed they were all very young.
 They are but not overly so as the youngest member just turned nineteen and two are twenty or older. They're kind of a popular group as twelve of their first 14 singles have hit the top ten, for this series will only be going back to 2015 because of their ages. Fairies formed way back in 2011, the group once consisted of seven members but during the years two have dropped out leaving five.

 Today's single is their 14th one "Synchronized" which was released on March 1st. It reached #4 on the charts, they're like many J-Pop groups who have had so many top ten hits but none have hit that elusive top spot. The above video is of the group performing the tune on March 5th at the Tama Plaza in Tokyo, nice to see they can sing live. There were three versions of the single released and here are their covers.

 Was a spur of the moment decision to do this post so it's not your usual huge 'singles series' post. What got me thinking more of the group was Miki as on Sunday she had an event for her first photobook, thought she looked so dynamite at it. She's the youngest member and am planning on trying to have at least one intro post for the other four gals but it's also an intro for future posts.

 Fairies has a big tour starting up in about three weeks, that may mean a new single is coming out too. Besides these member posts will probably end up having more for the group as for mag spreads, events and media pics it's usually the five together. Miki does have Instagram and Twitter accounts but not many solo pics at them, her blog has slowly died away.

 Those above pics are from the last two weeks, seems like it's such a small post but there are 44 pics. Have one brand new mag spread which is from WPB #44, with Miki is her Fairies mate Mahiro who also looks pretty darn good.

 Two Fairies members have photobooks, Miki then is naturally the third member and her PB was released on October 27th. The title of the book is "MS 1022", October 22nd was the date Miki turned nineteen. There was a hand shaking event held on October 29th at the Fukuya bookstore in Shinjuku, she must have many fans as the event was easily sold out.
 Miki is also an exclusive model for Seventeen, she wasn't at the TGC event two weeks ago but usually does take a stroll on the catwalk for them. Plenty of pics here from Sunday's event, when I saw how winsome Miki looked knew she and the group deserved a post. The top five pics are from the PB with the first two being the covers.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Lee Yeon-Hee: "The Package" drama episode three recap

 Air Dates: October 13th to November 18, 2017 on JTBC. Airs Friday and Saturday
nights at 11:00 pm. Episode rating: 2.10%

Main Cast:

Lee Yeon-Hee as Yoon So-So
Jung Yong-Hwa as San Ma-Roo
Yoon Park as the Mysterious Man... will refer to him as MM as he has no name!

There are three main couples, just the bottom pair are married

Ha Shi-Eun as Han So-Ran
Choi Woo-Sik as Kim Gyung-Jae

Ryu Seung-Soo as Jung Yeon-Sung
Park Yoo-Na as Na Hyun

Jeong Gyu-Su as Oh Gab-Soo
Lee Ji-Hyun as Han Book-Ja

 Once more a fun and enjoyable episode, don't think these recaps will or have done the series justice. For some reason these semi serious dramas are harder to recap compared to action or suspense shows like "W" or "While You Were Sleeping". One big reason for that is that these kinds of dramas are much better to view than to read about but guess you could say that about all dramas. Don't know what other reviewers are saying about this show but to date I'm truly savoring this drama.

 Writing this up before viewing the fourth episode, in this show we saw much more of Book-Ja and perhaps each show will focus more on one character. That's good as we need to learn more about everyone's background, first two shows were dominated by the characters of So-So and Ma-Ru but we still need to learn much more about their lives prior to the trip to France.
 Book-Ja is an older woman, perhaps sixty(?) and is married to Gab-Soo, no clue on how long they've been married. The pair own a restaurant seemingly well outside of Seoul, one time as you can see in the above screenshots Ma-Ru and his co-workers ate a meal there. Kudos have to go out to Book-Ja as Gab-Soo is not an easy man to live with, he's never violent but is always loud and constantly puts down his wife but we notice that deep down he really cares about Book-Ja.
 What would he do if she was no longer around, the answer to that may be answered soon. Book-Ja is sick with cancer, she hasn't told her husband about it but now it seems as she has less than six months to live, that screenshot above was from a flashback scene. Book-Ja did mention dying to her husband in this episode when the group was visiting a grave site, he told her to be quiet but he was secretly worried about her.

 Am now back though none of you knew an extended breather was taken. Felt more brain dead than usual after writing the above so it's the next day and did watch the fourth episode which was also quite good. Returning to this show's events and where we had left off from episode two was with
Ma-Ru chasing the tourist bus after getting into a tangle with MM. That's short for Mysterious Man as to date this person hasn't been given a name in the show but his screen time keeps getting larger with each episode.
 MM has a past with So-So, to date we don't know what it is but she's trying desperately to avoid him. He recently was released from prison in Korea and for what charges we don't know yet, many questions about him will be answered in the next recap. The tourist bus has departed without Ma-Ru and MM is furious with him as he knew So-So was on it. Ma-Ru had tripped MM before he could get closer to the bus, now that it was gone Ma-Ru tried to flee from the angry clutches of MM.
 The pair raced around Paris, the bus was eventually going to leave the city so Ma-Ru had to catch it before that happened. After seemingly a ten mile chase the worn out pair finally stop running, MM wants to find out where So-So has gone to but Ma-Ru can't give him an answer. Just then So-So calls Ma-Ru and tells him where to meet the bus. Ma-Ru says okay but first he needs to teach MM a lesson. So-So screams not to as MM is a skilled boxer and fighter, luckily Ma-Ru was able to elude him and went to go find the bus with MM no longer hot on his trail.

 If nothing else least you can learn a bit of French history in this drama plus will try to have many screenshots of the historical places the group visits. Ma-Ru at last catches up with the tour group, a group that only totals seven as a dozen older women missed the flight from Seoul due to them not having their passports.
 It's on to Auvers Sur-Oise which is an artist community seventeen miles northwest of Paris. Many famous artists lived and worked there including Van Gogh who was Dutch. The group really enjoyed this portion of the trip including Gab-Soo, he's an older gent who complains about everything and even he was impressed with the scenery. At the graveyard where Van Gogh is buried was when his wife Book-Ja had mentioned about her dying and where she would like to be buried, Gab-Soo told her to shut up but that's when he started worrying about her much more.

 MM is still on the trail, by the end of the fourth episode we still haven't learned his name but as you can see we're learning more about him and what his relationship with So-So may be. The group didn't stay in Auvers Sur-Oise too long, so many mishaps has left them far behind schedule though I guess a few hours could be considered long enough.
 Ma-Ru may be on vacation but it doesn't seem that way to him. His boss is on the phone with him constantly and Ma-Ru even had to submit a report the last episode. His boss back in Seoul is always on his case, he tells Ma-Ru that his vacation leave was never officially approved by him. His boss for months has been furious with Ma-Ru who had discovered some illegal activities the company was doing. It's a pharmaceutical company that had sent some supplies to Africa plus they also send them to other countries and companies. However a few of the packages hadn't been checked properly as they were trying to save money among other excuses and Ma-Ru had uncovered the sham.
 This may have been going on for a while and the total could be in the millions that the company has gypped others out of. Ma-Ru's girlfriend Oh works for the same company and she's under pressure by the boss to set Ma-Ru straight and to sweep his findings under the rug. Ma-Ru can't turn a blind eye to what's been happening, it's not just the money but perhaps lives may be in danger.

 Ma-Ru had been given a special assignment at work, the screenshots from his employment are flashbacks he's been having and he also daydreams quite a bit. For the assignment his boss gave
Ma-Ru the password to get into his account. Ma-Ru found out more than he was supposed to such as the activities the company was doing with medical products that hadn't been tested properly.
 Oh has been with the company longer so she's much higher in status, she's shocked about what
Ma-Ru has found out. He's not exactly clean himself for prying into secret company files, the boss would have canned him but now Ma-Ru knows too much. Though Oh knows the activities are wrong she can't do much about it, she really wishes that Ma-Ru had never discovered the devious actions of the company but I'm not positive she didn't know about some of them.
 Oh won't do anything to help Ma-Ru, she even cancelled going on the trip to France with Ma-Ru. So for now it appears as it's Ma-Ru against the world or at least all of the employees of his company, this will be an ongoing storyline. Next place for the small group of seven tourists to visit is a place four hours from Paris which is Mont Saint-Michel.

 Mont Saint-Michel is located next to Normandy, it's on the coast but as you can see the castle is part of a small isle. Looks like it'd be useful fort during a war, it had been used that way on occasion in olden times but not too often, it wasn't even used by the Germans in WWII. Coming close to the end of this recap, Mont Saint-Michel is where the group will be spending all of the next episode or two days as their guide So-So has told them.
 We learn more about her as slowly many of our questions are being answered. Seems as though
So-So is 35 in age(!), not positive on that but did the math from a flashback which took place in 2012. In real life Yeon-Hee is 29 but was 28 when this show was shot in France last October. During the flashback So-So had told her parents she was moving to France, she had just graduated from college with an unknown Masters degree. The main reason she was going there was because of a man, the one she may have been married to but we're not 100% sure that ever happened. She did tell her parents she would get her PHD in France and that appears to be the last time she's seen them.
 So-So had invited Ma-Ru to come with her to the castle, it would just be the two of them. He refused as he remembered So-So had charged him previously for a special night trip, after she left though he found a note from her saying it was free. He rushed to the castle to catch up with her, he did but he stood silently behind So-So who was weeping having flashbacks of her wedding day, if a marriage did occur could it have happened at Mont Saint-Michel or was that a wish of So-So's?

 Doubt if marriages would be allowed to take place at the castle as the list would have tens of thousands of names on it, obviously it was just a wish of So-So to get married there. That was a fine episode and like I was trying to explain at the top these dramas are much better to view than to read about, action/suspense shows are much easier to describe. Then again least to me this one turned out okay and it's not a long wait for the next recap as you can read that in the post following this one.