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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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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Miru Shiroma: Magazine scans #5

 Think Miru is a nice way to end the month off though bet for most readers it's already December, remember to add Nao on to your essential shopping list! Miru's posts have attracted many views but let's get the total up there a bit more, main reason for that is because of the top ten most viewed posts for the last thirty days. As you can see it's dominated by Nogi and think they may have all ten posts. That's never happened before and it's kind of odd that it has as I've slowed down a bit on the Nogi posts and tried to have more variety.

 Miru had the co-center for one previous NMB single but for their 17th one she'll have that spot all to her lonesome. Title of the single is "Warota People" and the release date for it is two days after
X-Mas. Hope that means we'll be seeing more of Miru the next month or more due to her being the center, also hoping that means she'll be attending more promo events and the like. 'Warota' is a newish Japanese slang word which means I laughed or laughing, can have many meanings along those lines.
 Most of these Miru posts have been strictly for her mag spreads and there's certainly nothing wrong with that as she looks so electrifying in every pic. But would like to have some other things for her and will be working on that for her next post(s). Only one recent mag spread for today though it's a tremendous set of pics. But do have three from 2016 that hadn't been posted here yet which will come close to finishing off that year. On to that first set and it's difficult impossible to top Miru's spreads these days, this collection is from the December 8th edition of Young Animal.

 On to the 2016 spreads and have three of them for Miru, all are certified to be flawless or your money will be refunded! This fine set is from volume 12 of My Girl which came out in July.

 Back even further with this Miru spread which is from the March 24th issue of Young Jump.

 There's two more spreads from 2016 but will hold on to them for now just in case another post needs to be filled out. Final set is my fave of them which is from the October edition of Bubka.

Korean movie "Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp" review

 Release Date: July 28, 2010  Running time: 85 minutes    Director: Yoo Sun-Dong

Main Cast:

Park Ji-Yeon as Se-Hee
Hwang Jung-Eum as Eun-Soo(teacher)
Park Eun-Bin as Na-Rae
Ji Chang-Wook as Soo-II
Yoon Si-Yoon as Kwan Ho
Lee A-Jin as Ji-Yoon
Yoon Seung-Ah as Tae-Yeon
Kim Su-Ro as Cha(teacher)
Son Ho-Jun as Jung-Bum
Nam Bo-Ra as Hyeon-A
Kwon Hyun-Sang as JK

 Was thinking of doing a post for the premiere and one of the screenings but kind of hard finding news for events that took place seven years ago plus this review wore me out. It wasn't going to have been for the entire cast but mainly for Eun-Bin(in white) who is becoming a fave of mine. Also was going to include Ji-Yeon who I've had my eye on for a while but have never done a post for her, she's in the middle on the bottom.

 It's not a true sequel to the first 'Death Bell' film though there are many similar things. Both take place at a school which has gone on Summer vacation and both have had students remain at the school for an advanced class. Another thing that's common between the two films is that there's many killings, forgot the total for the first film but think it had more as there was only eight or so in this movie though they were gorier.
 None of the characters are the same though the school could be but the name of it was never revealed to us but it didn't matter in the least that we don't know what it was. On to the review and sorry in advance if it's a long one but long ones usually mean that I enjoyed a film or drama and I thought this may have been better than the first film.

 The film opened with Tae-Yeon winning a swimming race but we don't see much of her until the final twenty or so minutes but she is mentioned often, that's her in the first two screenshots. The other belongs to Lee A-Jin who plays Ji-Yoon, I really liked her character and what a cute gal she is too. The setting is a high school and the class has been taking their final exams which is why Ji-Yoon was irate, a student teacher had interrupted the class.
 It's the final exam before Summer break and also as their teacher Cha tells them their final vacation before graduation. To help the students prepare for their college entrance tests the top thirty will be staying at the school for an advance class, Ji-Yoon above is ranked #1 in the school. The student teacher's name is Eun-Joo and it's her first day on the job. Seeing as how it's the last day of school wonder why she started then?
 Could be because Eun-Joo will be Cha's assistant for the advanced class, no length was mentioned but in the first film the class was scheduled to last for two weeks. Hope Eun-Joo improves quickly as she bombed bad in her first stint in front of the students and the school's administrators were also there. There will be a third teacher for the class who is Kang but he won't be staying long as his main job is to lock the school up once everyone is inside, the female students consider him such a perv.

 That's Se-Hee above who has the biggest role in the film and is played by Park Ji-Yeon. That's milk in her hair as there was prank done in the classroom and she ended up getting hit with a container of milk but it wasn't meant to hit her. Se-Hee barely made the grade as she was ranked 25th on the list  but at one time had been ranked much higher. No clue how many students are in the school but if it's in the hundreds then 25th wouldn't be a bad spot.
 There's a special position for a student, unsure if that means there will now be 31 in the advanced class. That student is Na-Rae who was played by Park Eun-Bin, this was her first major movie role. Na-Rae is not one of the more brighter students as she didn't make the top thirty but what she does have is a wealthy family behind her. Her mother has set it up for Na-Rae to attend the special class, that didn't sit well with Na-Rae who wanted to enjoy her final Summer vacation.

 Don't think most of the other students minded Na-Rae getting the special spot except for Ji-Yoon. Besides being the smartest student at school she's also extremely snobby, she's talking about Na-Rae above. The thirty students and three teachers have assembled at the school and the classes have already started to the pleasure of most of the students who are committed to learning, don't count as one of those excited students Na-Rae.
 It's quickly become dusk and it's time for the older teacher Kang to take his leave, he's scheduled to come back the next day. He locks the entire school up, there's no way for anyone in there to leave and can't understand that thinking as for instance what if there was a fire? No action has happened yet but can't consider it a slow beginning as the events moved right along, there was hardly any filler or slow scenes in the entire film.
 Hyeon-A is a bit of an oddball who has some mental issues but seems to be liked by most of the students. She's the first student to have a few terrifying moments which happened in the women's bathroom. Hyeon-A had taken her medication for the illness, shortly after that we witnessed that her hair began growing by leaps and bounds and as that was happening blood started pouring out of the ceiling on to her. But it was all a dream or should I say nightmare for Hyeon-A, we do learn much later that somehow her medication had been switched but for now she's oki-doki ala SKE.

 First victim of the night was the school's swimming coach who we barely met, bit of a looker though she's never become too popular. That incident happened in the girl's locker room as she had been practicing at night, very short scene as the coach had noticed a shadow moving. Checking the shadow out was a huge mistake as it quickly turned on her as she met her demise after being on the screen for about a minute.
 But the first deaths or near deaths come in rapid succession, up next was Yong-Ran and like a few of the characters we didn't get to know her too well before their death. She had a budding relationship with JK, not his actual name but that's what everyone called him. The pair had met up on the school's roof where they had planned a session of love making, bit dangerous doing the act with a pair of teachers and so many students around.
 You'll notice the screenshots are quite dark, the power had gone off in the school yet somehow there was enough light to film the scenes. First to meet her maker was Yong-Ran but actually we're not positive she did truly die or at least at first. After the meeting on the roof we didn't see any more of the pair together, the scene shifts to the library where the remaining students were studying but all had nodded off. The clock strikes midnight and slowly they all awaken, one of them was Se-Hee who had drops of blood falling on her from the ceiling. As she looked up along with some of the other students a body suddenly dropped from the ceiling!

 The body was just dangling there but it was quickly cut down, it was the body of Yong-Ran but she was alive. That's the last we saw of her so going to presume she died shortly after, we never did see her getting beaten but she wasn't a pretty sight to look at. This may mean something but wasn't as important as it may have been planned to be. When Se-Hee woke up she had seen a message written that soon disappeared, it said 'When an innocent mother is killed, what son would not avenge her death?', she was the only student to see it.
 Now that I wrote it don't think it had any meaning for any of the events that take place but it seemed important at the time and there had to be a reason for us seeing the message. The library full of students didn't go into panic mode after seeing Yong-Ran's body but soon will. The school's loudspeakers came to life and there's a demonic male voice telling them a few details of what they have to do.
 The voice tells the students that a test has now started, also one by one a student will be killed! No instructions were told on how to prevent any killings but there was one more statement for now from the voice, we do learn later on who it is. It tells them that the test has questions, each student has to figure out who and why certain students will be killed, only those that can answer the questions will be allowed to leave the school. The killings did continue one by one but the questions that needed to be answered never amounted to anything.

 When the teacher Kang locked the school's doors he made sure no person could leave as he put heavy duty padlocks on all of them and secured every window. Now panic had set in as the students rushed to escape the building but were unable to do so, don't know why they only only tried to push the doors open instead of breaking the windows on them.
 As they're all milling about the main lobby a video suddenly starts playing high on a wall near them, the culprit has set everything up well in advance. On the video is JK who is trapped on an upper floor. JK owns a motorcycle and had driven it to school. Now the culprit is riding it, we never did get a good look at him as the person was dressed all in black plus had a helmet on. This person has added a feature to the bike which was extremely sharp spikes on it's sides.
 This was definitely one of the more gruesome killings in the film and they didn't skimp on the fake blood. The bike kept chasing JK down the hallways and as it passed by him the spikes would do some heavy damage to his body. After a few times of passing him JK went down for the count, for good measure the rider ran him over a few extra times.

 That's the third student who has met their end along with the swimming coach and in the beginning Tae-Yeon. The students have all assembled back in their classroom as they try to make sense of what's happening to them. Hyeon-A tells the others that it's the ghost of Tae-Yeon who has come back to haunt them as she died at school very mysteriously and most think it was a suicide. Others say she's has no idea what she's talking about, a ghost can't ride a motorcycle or talk over a loud speaker.
 While these conversations were going on Hyeon-A started to look and act a bit odd, actually odder than she usually acts. She imagined ants running all over her body and takes out a pen to kill them. When the pen had no affect Hyeon-A then used a knife to kill the ants and before you know it she's a bloody mess. She's still alive though not for too long as instead of scrapping at herself with the knife Hyeon-A takes it and brutally stabs herself to death.
 Ji-Yoon then noticed the container of Hyeon-A's pills, they weren't the ones prescribed to her. Someone had switched the pills which led her to hallucinating and were the cause of her death. None of the remaining students were accusing each other of doing it but who could get close enough to her to switch the pills? Right after her death the two teachers Cha and Eun-Soo finally return to the room, they've been absent for quite a long time. They had tried to fix the power but were unsuccessful, also they couldn't reach anyone outside of the school as the internet was down and the phones were dead.

 The students had to hand in their cellphones when the advanced class began, never did see any teacher get them back to see if they would work. Above is Se-Hee describing what she thought of the deceased student Tae-Yeon. She was telling some details about her past to Na-Rae, one was the huge secret that Tae-Yeon was Se-Hee's sister and it's the past tense as she's now dead. Their parents had gotten divorced many years ago with Se-Hee staying with her father.
 Tae-Yeon remained with her mother and had moved away. But now in high school she's moved back to whatever city this takes place in and is reunited with her sister. Se-Hee though can't stand
Tae-Yeon and it was never made clear why, no one at the school knew they were sisters. Tae-Yeon was a champion swimmer but that's no reason to hate someone. Perhaps Se-Hee did believe her ghost is the one doing the killings and needed for someone else to know the truth that they were sisters. Tae-Yeon's ghost was not the one doing the killing but her death was why these the students are locked in at school awaiting their deaths.

 Getting closer to the end as we're well past the halfway point but the final scene will take a lot of explaining. That middle screenshot above is of  Park Ji-Yeon, doesn't she look like a young Maki Horikita? The teacher Cha is roaming the hallways looking for an escape route. He's found nothing but has run into Ji-Yoon and it seems the pair have a secret between them. Ji-Yoon brought up the subject of some pictures that we hadn't heard about, could they be the reason for this nightmare happening? Cha tells her it isn't and that she needs to return to her room immediately which happens, meanwhile he heads to the school's photography room.
 There he finds Song-Il who has been beaten and doesn't appear as though he'll remain living for too long. But what catches the eye of Cha is of the newly developed pictures hanging there, the exact ones that Ji-Yoon was talking about. He knows what the pictures mean and can't understand how they've ended up in the room. Song-Il was on those pictures along with three other classmates, seems to me he went to the room to destroy the negatives but was beaten before he had the chance.
 They show four students running away from an incident that for now is unknown to us but will be revealed very shortly. Cha then noticed all of the negatives in the small developing room and there's hundreds of them. As he's viewing the negatives the door violently slams behind him leaving Cha locked in. The students have been watching this event happen via the video screen set up by the culprit, they all rush to the photography room to save Cha.

 The students arrived in time to save Cha but the door is locked, they have no clue what the password is to open it. But on the pictures were letters and they've deduced the letters are an anagram of the password needed to open the door. Se-Hee reasoned that they spell out Memento Mori, besides being a Latin term was also the second film in the 'Whispering Corridors' series and a really fine movie. That password is correct but the students just figured out the anagram a tad too late. In the room the temperature was rapidly rising, the heat became so intense that the film negatives caught on fire. The whole room soon exploded, no need to tell you that Cha became the latest victim. They weren't too far from saving Cha as there was only two letters left of the password to punch in.
  Now on the video screen is their student teacher Eun-Soo who has an important message. For the next ten minutes there will be a safe in a hallway that will contain phones that work. They'll be allowed to contact whoever they want but at the ten minute mark the phones will be dead again. The students are furious at their teacher as they naturally think that she's the one behind the nightmare. They're wrong as Eun-Soo was only reading a message from someone else, that person is the mastermind behind everything and will tell you more about him very shortly. But it was the final time we saw Eun-Soo, after the speech she was heading down a stairwell when she was noticed by some students. They thought she was behind everything and proceeded to give her a severe beating and seeing as how we never saw her again have to presume that beating killer her.

 Two scenes to go and they really merge into a very long one. After meeting Cha in the hallway
Ji-Yoon had disappeared and the students finally noticed her absence. Now on the video screen is the body of Ji-Yoon who is tied up in the school's gym. Two options face the students then, to the gym to save their classmate or off to the safe to call for help?
 The safe is locked so they need to find the key to get into it, it's nowhere to be found so the students all end up in the gym. They rush to save Ji-Yoon but that's uselesse as she's tied up via a cord that goes through the gym's ceiling, it's too strong to untie. But at the end of the cord is the key to the safe, if they pull it down there's still time to call for help. Problem is when they pull the key down it pulls up Ji-Yoon, if they pull the key all the way down it'll lead to her death.
 That was a neat scene, do you sacrifice one student to save 25 others? It took a while but eventually the students were able to get high enough to grab the key without pulling the cord. But there was only ten minutes in all and they used almost all of that time trying to get the key. The students did get the door to the safe opened but just as they were about to make a call the time limit had been reached and the phones became inoperable.
 Even though the students tried not to hurt Ji-Yoon it didn't matter in the end. Whoever designed the trap had it set up for the cord to pull her up shortly after the phones became unusable which is what happened. Ji-Yoon got whisked right up to the ceiling and was dangling there. The remaining students stood there helpless as she quickly died, now the four students who were in those pictures are all dead and the secrets to everything will now be revealed.

 Before the answers to who was behind this dastardly affair first the students did something that they should have done a while ago which was to escape! That's right, somehow they concocted the notion of burning their way out and using chemicals from the lab they created a bomb which was set next to the main entrance. It was lit and the explosion from it toppled the front door and the remaining students came storming out. The total dead wasn't all that high but the school had only been locked up for a few hours as it was still nighttime.
 Am combining the two segments which happened right before and after the escape from school. It'll make it so much easier to understand but that escape scene lasted only two minutes and was just a brief gap between the pair of segments narrated by a person. The first narrator was Jung-Bum and that's a name which has hasn't been mentioned up until now. He's the same age or perhaps one year older than the rest of the students, he's also the evil mastermind of this whole escapade.
 Tae-Yeon's death wasn't a suicide but instead she was killed. By who was a bit confusing and was it murder or just an accident? On the night of her death two years ago Tae-Yeon had been swimming in the school's pool and after her practicing had been confronted by the quartet of Ji-Yoon, Son-Il, JK and Yong-Ran. Those four have perished already and were the students in the photos though while their killings were planned the other deaths weren't except for perhaps Cha's.

 This encounter with Tae-Yeon was all by chance as the group had no plans on hurting her, as a matter of fact they didn't realize she was at school. It had been a Friday night, the four are the smartest at school and were having a study session. They grew a bit weary of the nonstop studying so decided to down some whiskey, Ji-Yoon happened to have some in her locker. The four sat around talking about things with the main topic turning towards sex and how Song-Il was the only one not to have done it, the previous year he had spent as an exchange student in America.
 The alcohol began to take affect, when that was happening they also heard some noises coming from the girl's locker room. When the students found out it was Tae-Yoon three of them had an idea to help Song-Il lose his virginity. The three confronted Tae-Yeon in the locker room, behind them was
Song-Il who at first didn't want to do anything to her but the alcohol started to cloud his thinking. He jumped on top of Tae-Yoon who he did think was very attractive and was clumsily trying to have sex with her. That didn't go well and she kneed him in the groin area which left writhing in agony.
 Ji-Yoon wasn't pleased with how everything was working out and proceeded to verbally abuse
Tae-Yeon who took it for a while and then sent Ji-Yoon reeling with a violent slap to the face. As she was turning to leave Ji-Yoon pushed her from behind, the shove flew her into a shower stall where Tae-Yeon hit her head against a faucet and crumbled lifelessly to the ground.

 She looks it but Tae-Yeon wasn't dead yet but if she didn't get some medical help soon she would perish. Instead the four students drag her out of the locker room and leave her behind a pillar. The pictures which were so key to the story were of them dragging the body, abandoning it and fleeing. Their teacher Cha had been aware of the incident but kept his mouth shut to protect the school's reputation. Who should stumble upon the scene now but Jung-Bum who had been dating Tae-Yeon during that time but it didn't appear to be going anywhere as it was more of a one sided affair on Jung-Bum's side.
 He tried to revive Tae-Yeon but then had some heinous thought to finish the job of killing her.
Jung-Bum put his hands around her neck to complete the deed, at that moment he heard the screams of some students who were witnessing the act. But to me it doesn't seem as Jung-Bum went through with his strangulation, Tae-Yeon died because of her original injuries. But the students didn't see what was actually happening because of the pillar which blocked off 1/3 of Tae-Yeon's body, at a quick glance it would look like she was being strangled.
 Jung-Bum was sent to prison for his deeds and there began to become a bit unhinged. During one prison scene we learned of his relationship with Eun-Soo as she was his older sister and believed that he was innocent. Didn't think of it until now but it was never explained why he was released, perhaps because he was a minor at the time of his crime? Wasn't a crime as we all found out but then again he could have escaped. Eun-Soo did help him out with narrating a message to the students and perhaps setting up some video devices but don't think she had any hand in the actual killings.

 Down to the final two short scenes, first was of Se-Hee's narration as she was sitting near the school's pool with Na-Rae. Se-Hee was telling her about the incidents of that fateful night, none of us knew it until now but Se-Hee had been there. As the four were on their way to confront Tae-Yeon in the locker room they had run into Se-Hee and they had asked her to buy them snacks. She did and upon her return Se-Hee stumbled unto the scene where she witnessed Song-Il fumbling his chance at sex with Tae-Yeon and her eventual death. Se-Hee kept it a secret from the others that Tae-Yeon was her sister, she also kept what the four did to herself.
 At the time was surprised that Jung-Bum didn't try to take revenge on Se-Hee but that thought quickly passed. Jung-Bum had soon captured Na-Rae, dragged her to the top of the diving board and threw her in. This was the only confusing part of the film as there was soon a chain locked onto
Se-Hee's ankle, who put it there? Could have been Jung-Bum as he quickly went into the pool which seemed to be at least fifty feet deep. The chain was about half that length so someone better save
Se-Hee quickly before her oxygen runs out. Kwan-Ho, who we saw often but wasn't mentioned that much, noticed the altercation and jumped in. He started wrestling with Jung-Bum but he needs to subdue him soon as she appears not to be breathing all that well if at all.
 We didn't see the conclusion of their match but we do know that Kwan-Ho was able to overcome Jung-Bum and swim towards the body of Se-Hee that was floating lifelessly. Her body was able to float up as it was removed from the chain holding her down, it was the ghost of her sister Tae-Yeon which released her! The film officially ended there but as the credits continued on we saw Kwan-Ho giving Se-Hee mouth to mouth, we don't know if he performed it in time as the film finally ended on that note. Hopefully those final two paragraphs aren't too difficult to understand as I ended up
re-writing most of it without deleting what was originally written.

 For some reason horror films have a reputation for being simple and mindless, that must be for American horror films as Asian ones are anything but simple. Or perhaps it's the ones I end up viewing but it's hard to believe how many things took place in an 85 minute movie which is a good thing as the pace was nonstop all the way through.
 Do give everyone a big thank you if you read this review all the way through which was my longest one for sure, as I've said though the longer a review is means the better a film or drama is. Didn't read the reviews too closely but most others seem to think this was a step down from the first movie, I'm in the minority then as to me this was the better of the two and had many more gory scenes.
 Can't recall what rating the first film received, thinking 8.5/10 which is a solid number. Seeing as how this one was better will give it a 9/10 and have to say I really enjoyed this movie. Been lucky lately with my movie choices and hope it continues, except for one that was so-so the past ten new films I've viewed have all been very good. Not sure what's up next but odds are it'll be a horror movie again, am leaning towards the Japanese movie "Cult" from 2013.