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Why I Can’t Seem To Grasp My Favorite Childhood TV Characters Grown Up (Raven’s Home Reboot, Following Fuller House and Girl Meets World)

23 Jul

Hello ya’ll!

So, recently I was one of the nostalgic adults who tuned in July 21st to watch the premiere of That’s So Raven‘s reboot now called Raven’s Home.

That’s So Raven was a comedy sitcom, possibly Disney’s first, made officially by the channel, about a teenage psychic who often sees something happening in the future and tries (mostly unsuccessfully) to stop the vision from coming true or to help a good vision come true. This obviously left room for a lot of humor, gags, and delightful slapstick. The three lead characters, Raven, Chelsea, and Eddie, really brought the show to life. They all had excellent comedic timing, great chemistry, and plenty of great actors to back the characters up, which helped to make this “kid’s show” into something for the whole family.

But there is something extra special about watching the show through the eyes of an on-screen teenager. Teenagers are not too young, but they aren’t too old either. They are usually free agents with their whole life ahead of them. They don’t have kids, so they can be as independent and fun as they like. At the same time, they aren’t so young they lose touch with adult issues. And yet, it’s fun to watch them live for the moment.

Even as adults, we long for the days of our youth, when life was simpler. It has been great to return to old re-runs of That’s So Raven on Disney Rewind just to re-experience that magic. It’s great to go back to a time when there were no smart phones, and fidget spinners, and when we had those flamboyant sparkly clothes and feathery jackets.

And, for me, that really doesn’t seem too long ago. For me, I’m still the teen I was 10 years ago. I can’t imagine even being an adult…And yet, I am. I have adult problems and issues now. I worry about my future. I worry about getting older and sicker. I no longer have that confidence in my youth.

Yet, in some ways I’m more confident and more successful and happier, too. It’s weird.

Sure, I’m still in my late 20s. But I’m not getting any younger. My friends are married with kids. They no longer can enjoy the same fun pastimes we used to enjoy as teens, like Laser Tag, ice skating, and horseback riding (though I still enjoy all immensely). We all have bills to pay and homes to pay for. It’s just not the same.

Of course, there are some perks to being an adult. Sure. But whenever we wanted to return to the past, shows like That’s So Raven was there.

Now, with the reboot Raven’s Home, Raven Baxter, the wacky psychic teen we grew to love, is older and is now a MOM. Wrapping my mind around this has been challenging, I must admit. The teen that used to make fun of her parents for being embarrassing, the teen that used to trick her parents or try to get out of sticky situations regarding her parents, is now that parent.

She now has two twin children, one of which is also psychic. So, she isn’t the focus anymore.

Trust me, I knew what I was getting into when I watched this show. But I didn’t realize how much it would hit me until the episode ended into the credits.

I’m old.

This is probably how many fans felt after watching Girl Meets World. I didn’t truly understand because Boy Meets World was popular even after the teens went off to college and even after Cory proposed to Tapanga back then. I was still pretty young during that episode. Fuller House may have had the same effect on fans. To us, 10 years or 20 years was not that long ago, but with many kids reminding us that they’ve never heard of these shows, we begin to think, “Am I really that old?” And now our favorite characters are parents, too? And trying to appeal to kids that know nothing of their greatness?

Girl Meets World

I think the shock for our generation (or for me rather) is because maybe we feel like we’ve grown up too fast. Our time seems to have sped even faster than our parents’ time. We’re also mostly at a standstill, still struggling to build careers, and not really settled financially, physically, politically, and socially (according to some experts).  We’re just not following the “rites of passage” to the letter like former generations. Even the two lead actresses, Raven and Anneliese van der Pol, don’t really have a family with kids and seem like real-life bachelorettes, even though they are in their 30s.

I think the two are playing really empowering roles as two single moms raising their kids on their own. I admire that aspect. They are bringing new kids along to help them navigate this new generation. We, as adults, are also navigating in this new generation’s world. These kids were born in the 2000s. We were not.

And yet, we just can’t see ourselves as adults because we kind of grew up in the Y2K era too.

I think what makes Raven’s Home particularly hitting is that the original show was even newer than Boy Meets World and Full House. It just ended in 2007, near the end of the last decade. Anything “2000s” doesn’t sound old. Hannah Montana and High School Musical had come out before the end of That’s So Raven (and we know how iconic those still are). The generation that followed That’s So Raven aren’t just in their 20s and early 30s. Some of the demographic is in their TEENS. My younger cousins were 6 and 7 years old watching That’s So Raven. Now, they are 16 and 17 watching Raven’s Home, and they’re just like, “She’s a mom now?”

Even though Raven was always older than my cousins were back then, she was still pretty young and really cool to a kid who admires their teenage older sisters and cousins. She wasn’t a mom. That generation is still looking for that youth in Raven, for someone who is figuring out their life as maybe a young college student or as a free bachelor seeking to live a glamorous life (like what we have seen with Sex and the City or Friends, only in a kid-friendlier version). The glam factor goes out the window when our favorite characters become parents themselves. I don’t know why that’s so. Maybe because we don’t like glamorizing parenthood to young impressionable children, I don’t know. Maybe because it’s less sexy. Maybe because kids don’t want to think about having kids. I can think of hundreds of reasons why people prefer single and childless characters to those bogged down with a family, even if none of the reasons are rational. It’s just not appealing to watch the parent and everyone falls more in love with the kids (if these kids can act and charm a crowd).

Even Spider-Man got more praise when they brought his character back to high school in the newest Homecoming Warrior. And it seems Spider Man has always been more popular as a teen than he was depicted as an adult.

The adult characters that do make it into shows or cinema are usually more popular when they are single without a family. Possibly because this helps to give the effect to the audience that the characters need to grow, learn, and experience throughout this show or movie, which creates all kinds of story-telling and fantasies for fans. But none of it actually is final, and that’s what makes it great.

With Raven’s Home, with her having her family, it almost seems like her life as a teenage psychic, that chapter, is over. And that’s what makes me so sad about it all.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the kids in the show. Chelsea’s “son” Levi (played by Jason Maybaum) is a showstopper. He’s cute and can manage to land excellent comedic timing. But am I alone in wishing there had been no kids? When I thought of a “reboot”, I thought of them being older, but maybe the focus. I also didn’t imagine these children as really theirs. Maybe they were kids who lived in the building and came to cause mischief (like Cory, Stanley, and Devon’s sister have done in the original show). But theirs? I wasn’t ready.

Then there’s the problem with “modern acting”. The era of the child star, where movies used to set a high standard for what a good little actor was, has gotten more lenient. These kids just don’t have the same star factor as kids from the 1980s and 1990s (though it made those kids’ lives miserable).

And so, I’ve come to realize that I don’t really like reboots like this. I do often long for the old days, but the actual “old days”. Not reboots, not remakes, and not spin-offs. I like shows better as re-runs. There are some reboots that have done really well, especially in the cinema area. But on TV, I haven’t seen many great reboots.

Raven’s Home actually was the best I’ve ever seen. It’s actually funny and I want to see how it goes in the future.

I was not as impressed with Girl Meets World. The characters we watched the show for brought little to the show besides some throwbacks here and there. And I was less interested in their daughter and her more cliche teen story. Most of her drama dealt with relationships, which was just corny. I know it was Disney doing it this time, but it shouldn’t have been done.

After seeing these reboots, I think I’ll pass on asking for reboots in the future. Some people are happy to see their favorite characters return, and they don’t care in what fashion.

But here’s some reasons why I can’t grasp this concept, the concept that makes our favorite characters grown up with kids:

It’s Different

It’s not just different in the sense that it’s a different show. When reboots happen, certain characters are replaced by new actors (which I heard is happening to Orlando Brown’s character Eddie), characters are omitted, and new characters are added. The theme song changes (sometimes to a less likable one because the popular styles have changed). The demographic shift changes the tone of the show. And the overall product is usually quite the opposite of what fans really wanted when they asked for a reboot in the first place.

This “difference” can make or break the show. Most times, the show is broken by the shift in focus. When people fall in love with a show, they just don’t fall in love with some characters and the concept of the show. Everyone on that set worked to make that show a success. Everyone from that show brought a different flavor. Without even one of those key characters, a reboot can feel stale or empty. It just doesn’t have the same fire. It’s even worse when the original MAIN character is no longer the main.

Sure, we know some people will make an appearance. But we know that those appearances will be temporary mostly, not key. If the characters were single without a family, we could kind of see them attaching to new people as well as adding older people, which could help the characters grow as if they are still the same people they were 10 years ago, still navigating life and trying to find themseles. We could even see a more adult show, a show that connects to the demographic that will mostly appreciate the reboot. We would actually have gotten a continuation.

But with a reboot comes a new focus, like in Raven’s Home‘s case. They basically have a new lead character (though we know Raven is the real character driving the story home). The child is the focus and is the one supposed to be bringing the humor to the new audience. But the younger child doesn’t have the same star power, and that’s what makes this concept weaker than the original. They’re going to have a lot to live up to. Stories about kids are also not as appealing as stories about teens.

But using having the kids play as a focus kind of works in Raven’s Home‘s favor because then we get to see how the psychic gene works. We get to see how a child could inherit these abilities. Still, it’s just weird to see Raven walking around with babies. Raven and Chelsea in the show haven’t changed personality-wise, and they just seem like they would be better as big sisters than mommies. But maybe that’s a new approach? I don’t know. I’m skeptical.

Nickelodeon is doing right by Hey Arnold! by continuing his story this fall with the long anticipated Jungle Movie. Most of the old cast is back, key characters are back, and the story is borrowing inspiration from the past. It’s the perfect way to go about bringing old characters. The designs have only slightly changed, but not really. I wish Powerpuff Girls had come afterwards so they could learn how a reboot should be done. I hope the Rugrats reboot brings the same old characters back and doesn’t try to grow them up again.

Reboots can completely change everything. And that’s just not what I want or what I’m ready for. I just don’t like when something is fixed without being broken to begin with. I want the original. Bringing in a new focus means bringing in a different story and show, not the show I loved.

The one thing that makes me happy about Raven’s Home is that the lead character is a boy. When was the last time Disney Channel had a male lead character? Even Stevens? Phil of the Future? The Suite Life of Zack and Cody? Disney XD has kind of taken over for the boys, but Disney Channel is the oldest and has the strongest fanbase. It’s about time.

I know a lot of people will say “Well, Disney is trying to bring this to a new audience. That’s why they brought kids along”. Of course, that’s true. But they didn’t have to make Raven and Chelsea moms to do that, and they didn’t have to make them “B-story” characters either.

Look at the success of Jessie starring Debbie Ryan. She was the lead character, not the kids. She played an adult nanny. And it turned out successful. I don’t think shifting the focus on Raven and Chelsea would’ve made this show any less interesting to kids. In fact, I think more people would find it interesting.

There are people who claim Girl Meets World didn’t hit it off with the primary demographic because “kids aren’t familiar with Boy Meets World“. I’d say the real issue is that there wasn’t enough focus on the people we learned to love in Boy Meets World, the people who really brought the comedy, fun, and depth. And when they did show up, they were corny, overly involved in their daughter’s life and didn’t seem to have lives of their own. And their daughter’s life wasn’t as interesting as theirs in their own series. Her trials were, quite frankly, stupid and over dramatic. There were hardly any funny moments either.

Sabrina Carpenter’s character Maya would’ve made a more interesting offspring than Rowan Blanchard’s character Riley (Cory’s daughter). But I guess with a now-preachy father like Corey and a corporate mom like Tapanga, Riley was the best they could come up with out of the union.

Sure, Boy Meets World had teachable moments, but ’90s comedies knew how to balance that with comedy well. Properly, shows back then touched on sex, violence, gangs, drugs, and peer pressure. Girl Meets World mostly touched on shallow cliche tween subjects like boyfriend issues and finding your own individuality. Then it had no “realism” about it. Sure, Boy Meets World had some out-of-the-box parts, but there was a slice of realism and life about it.

Throughout the reboot, classrooms were interrupted with Riley’s personal life. Everything was forced to teach her lessons, she didn’t gather her lessons from “real” classroom lessons or real life, like Cory did in the original. And unlike Mr. Feeney, Cory couldn’t seem to tell the difference between his classroom and his house. He showed so much favoritism to his daughter and her friends in the classroom, I’m surprised none of the other students reported him. Her father would literally change his classroom subjects to surround the topics on her. I understand this is her world, but it made the show really unrealistic, especially in comparison to the original. Scenes changed awkwardly and each story was just over-the-top for little reasons. This show had moral lessons, but for things that weren’t really deep at the core.

Cory and his wife Tapanga were once dorky and likable kids in the original show. Riley and her lover Luke, on the other hand, are perfect and popular. They are one-dimensional in comparison. And this is because they had a good foundation with the already fleshed out characters from Boy Meets World. How complex could their lives be? We didn’t really need Riley’s perspective at all.

Fuller House is better because Full House never gave us the illusion that the show centered on kids and teens. It centered on the family. This show is more like a continuation than a reboot. The show always focused on adults and we’ve watched the Tanner kids grow up into adults throughout the original.

The good part about the show is some of the key characters are still the key characters, if not more important than they were originally. The kids are now the main characters, but their father and uncles are pretty important, too.

Still, all the characters we felt were cool kids back in the day are now lame adults, and there are new less memorable kids to replace them. I feel bad for the new kids.

Different isn’t always bad. But in the case of a reboot, many times it just feels so different, it doesn’t feel as good.

So far, Raven’s Home brings enough comedy to keep my attention for awhile. Hopefully, it maintains the same level of humor as That’s So Raven. Still, it just feels different.

The Actors Have Changed

And I don’t mean changed as in they switched actors for a role. I mean the actors themselves usually have changed by the time of a reboot. Some haven’t been acting in years, which makes things a little hard for them and also makes it noticeable to the audience.

Actors who have had other acting experiences or other life experiences end up changing their character’s aura, which can always bring depth to a character but can also make the character seem like a stranger to the audience. Especially when that character is now nothing like expected or isn’t as likable as they once were.

With re-runs, the fun never dies. With reboots, sometimes we are left saying, “They’ve really let themselves go” or “Were they really this annoying?”. Public opinion of actors can tarnish their reputation and color people’s perceptions of a show, too.

Because of all that, many reboots are destined to fail at some point.

However, I see a lot of promise with Raven’s Home. Both Raven and Anneliese have become seasoned as actors over the years, which actually helps them get back into the swing of things naturally. This is more than I can say about Boy Meets World‘s Ben Savage.

We Feel Old

I believe I mentioned this before, right? Yes, because it keeps circling in my mind over and over again.

When a show makes a reboot years after the original, we are often seeing the adaption of newer technology, newer slang, and older (sometimes older-looking) characters. I mean Raven and Chelsea in Raven’s Home are sporting “old lady” clothes, not the at-the-time fashionable, trendy, and flamboyant styles they once did. That makes us feel old, which makes us feel lame, stiff, and irrelevant. For some reason, we have been taught that being older means we’ve expired, and it’s not a good feeling to find your favorite childhood show suddenly verifying that. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I watch television to get away from the stresses of the world. I think I just realized Disney Channel is just no longer for me. But that’s exactly what makes me worry about Raven’s Home.

Watching re-runs doesn’t give me the same feeling of being “old” for some reason. It just feels like I’m young again.

My favorite book series as a kid, The Babysitters Club, is still really awesome. It’s not just because it’s about a group of kids starting a business. It’s also cool because it came out of the 1980s and 1990s. When I read it, my era comes alive again and my generation is relevant to me again.

Watching the New Edition biopic gave me that feeling. It made me think, “Yea, that was awesome. Our generation was cool. We still got it.”

Reboots with the main characters as parents and their kids set up as the main characters give me the feeling that our time has passed, that a new generation is taking over our lives, and that our chapter is closing before we’ve even established ourselves. It’s a somber thought, but one that I had when watching these reboots.

What We Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Us

At the end of our favorite show, there’s normally a solid wrap up that let’s us know the journey has come to an end. Sure, there may be some unresolved conflicts or hanging relationships, but anything else is left up to the imagination or left hanging in the air.

Fantasies about the future of the characters can be a lot of fun, but fantasies are fantasies. Only we personally can enjoy them fully.

We can imagine that Raven Baxter has a happy marriage with her handsome boyfriend Devon. We can imagine her becoming a fashion icon, famous and fierce. Or we can imagine that fleeting relationship between Raven and Eddie getting off the ground. Whatever we imagine, at the end of That’s So Raven, the sky was the limit. Ironically, in a show about the future, That’s So Raven left the future possibilities endless. There is a certain amount of joy and excitement when there is a little mystery. This mystery might have still been there if her life still hadn’t been quite “there”, even with her being older now.

But with a family, a job, and a new start from her old relationship, Raven Baxter seems to have achieved what most in her generation actually haven’t achieved. And that means she seems to have her life set. This means, as a character, she no longer has anything to aspire to. She doesn’t seem to have any goals or dreams beyond living for her kids and reaching back in the past for things she’s lost. This is where she disconnects from the audience and becomes something we not only can’t relate to anymore, but also something we actually fear. Our generation actually has an issue with following the rites of passage (particularly when it comes to marriage and kids). There are dozens of articles showing that this generation just isn’t living like Raven on television. And of course, it’s TV, it’s not real. But That’s So Raven was just more relatable to us at the time it arrived on the scene. Even Raven Symone herself said she’s “learning to be a mom” with this show because, again, even she doesn’t have kids.

In the show, Raven Baxter might develop some long-forgotten dreams she’s had, but they will have to yield to her new role as a mom. That’s just not the same.

While we’re also peering into Raven’s new life, there are some dreams or fantasies that have already become crushed and will continue to be crushed. Any imagination we may have had about the characters have been written for us. And that’s just not as fun as leaving the end to the imagination.

Anyway, overall, I did enjoy Raven’s Home for what it was, just as I had the other reboots, but I’m just hoping it can continue to capture its audience’s attention, despite the shift in focus from Raven to her kids mostly, and despite the fact that it just isn’t That’s So Raven.

Raven Symone herself is just phenomenal in her role! She just merges so naturally with her character! Nothing feels awkward and forced! Anneliese is the same! On set and off-set during interviews, they’ve continued to entertain me. I do look forward to seeing more of them.

I just know eventually this show has to become an independent property.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Did you enjoy the show? Were there things you didn’t like as much? Did you get the same feelings I got? Let me know!

 

 

5 Reasons To Love Cardcaptor Sakura

18 Oct

For the past three weeks, I’ve been binge watching an old Japanese anime from my childhood: Cardcaptor Sakura. This year marks Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th year anniversary, and it looks like CLAMP has added a new arc to the Cardcaptor Sakura series to celebrate: The Clear Card Arc. There is also an anime project in the works. ❤ I did happen to read the first five chapters of the new arc. So far…Regrettably…I’m once again addicted. XD

Recently, I got wind that Cardcaptor Sakura had also been re-dubbed by Animax. As an anime fan, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to watch it up.

A little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a fascination with mysteries and wonders in the world brought me into Cardcaptor Sakura in the first place. Re-watching it again, no matter how bad the dub sounds, how bad I have to focus to read subtitles, or how poor my Japanese skills are, I can’t help but want to watch and read the whole thing over and over again.

carcaptors-sakura-anime

No matter how many times I’ve watched this anime, I never get bored or tired of it. I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time. Why can’t I ever get tired of this anime? What about this anime draws me in every time?

Sure, there are plenty of great Shoujo animes out there. I’ve watched my share. But this one always seems to capture my heart every time I watch it. I usually consider myself tomboyish…But this anime brings out my “girlish” side (?). It’s just so darn sweet and cute. ❤

With that being said, I gathered 5 things I love about this anime and I would like to share them with you, readers, and maybe you might find you like these things about the anime too! For all of you newcomers to Cardcaptor Sakura, I recommend you give this manga/anime a try.

1 .Love Has No Definition

In the Cardcaptor Sakura universe, and fans know this, love isn’t clearly defined, isn’t one-dimensional, and it evolves. Truly, CLAMP, the writers of the source material, had no qualms with inculcating relationships that defy the traditional. In many respects, it was ahead of its time (since it did come out in the 1990s).

For instance, there is one couple in the series that consist of two teenage boys (though technically one isn’t human, but whatever). However you take their relationship, the material doesn’t hesitate to express that these two individuals love one another the most. They don’t turn this into something perverted or unaccepted. It seems to flow naturally in the story, is accepted, and is very romantic. It still carried a level of innocence that is not common with this kind of relationship. All of the relationships could be taken any way according to the reader. There are relationships between family that are highlighted to be stronger than relationships between lovers within this story. However you want to see love and romance, this story has a lot to offer.

Other relationships expressed in the story are still not considered acceptable. However, I applaud CLAMP’s bold approach to the romance genre and their ability to look outside of the box. Even with their canon romance, throughout everything, it was anything but boring.

I usually hate the romance genre. In anime especially, the love interest is usually super obvious and is developed long before the story takes off. It makes the following episodes boring. But I am completely obsessed with this story’s romance story.

2. Everything is Mysterious

I love anything mysterious and unexpected. Cardcaptor Sakura is full of magic and mystery. There was always a suspicious new character being introduced, always a mysterious card lying around, and the story behind most all of the characters are very peculiar and interesting. All of the characters could have their own spin-off series and it would be interesting. Though there was a lot of information left out, it didn’t stop the characters from growing,learning, and changing.

3. The Characters Are Layered And Evolve

Adding on from the last point, the characters are very individual, unique, and evolve. Even the characters one would think is the most stereotypical has something different happen to them that changes the character’s whole perspective on life, thus changing the reader’s opinion of them. The main character is an example of that. One would think that everyone would be in love with the main character. Isn’t that how it is in most Shoujo (directed to girls) anime? But not in this one. Though sure, everybody likes her, this character is not immune to heartbreak. And her idea of a love interest…certainly not someone people would initially think of as “love interest” material. In most shoujo anime, the main love interest is a handsome, tsundere/cheerful guy, who is usually older than the lead character. While this anime starts typically, it evolves into something entirely different…

All characters have strengths and weaknesses, annoying traits and charms. I can’t really say I hate any characters in the story.

4. The Music

This is particularly a point about the anime. The music is mystical and soothing at the same time. The scores are epic.

5. CLAMP-The Creators

What isn’t cool about an all female manga group? I’d say that’s pretty empowering. The four businesswomen who came together to make this project have managed to create a “stamp” for all of their creations. In many of their stories, there is always an element of mystery and intrigue. However, the most notably intriguing part of their animation is how similar all of their characters look. Many times, references are made regarding the similarities throughout most of their other anime and manga work. It almost seems like all of their characters are a part of one big universe and are all connected somehow.

There are four ways to get into the Cardcaptor Sakura story if you’re an English speaker: the translated manga, the Japanese anime subbed, the Nelvana dubbed version, and the Animax dubbed Version…

There are typically two arcs: The Clow Card arc and the Sakura Card arc. But, in the anime, they are covered by 3 seasons with 70 episodes in total. With the new Clear Card arc, there may be more. There are also two movies for the anime series.

The manga is the original source material. NONE of the animes are super close to the original story in the manga, not even the Japanese anime, aside from certain key events and characters. In the anime adaptations, there were many new scenes, extra cards collected, and new characters that weren’t in the manga. At the same time, the animes equally left out other interesting scenes you can only find in the manga. Still, the animes added all the main characters and the most important card scenes.

The Japanese anime was the first adaptation of the manga. You can watch this version with subtitles now.

The Nelvana dub changed the feeling and tone from the original Japanese anime. The cast sounded more “American” (with popular American names and customs replacing Japanese names and customs) and there are hardly any Japanese undertones. Many scenes were edited and chopped up, the opening and ending songs were changed, and the title was changed to Cardcaptors. Season 3 never aired on tv in some countries, so it may all be new to some Cardcaptors fans. They can be found online and in DVD sets. This anime was meant to appeal more to boys as well as girls. I enjoy the dubbing and music on this version. It feels more natural to me (and less cutesy 😉 ). It may be because I’m American and I started with this version. XD

The Animax version was meant to be the direct dub of the original Japanese anime. It does a decent job, but some parts aren’t completely dubbed, for whatever reason…

My advice is to read and watch whichever suits your fancy. I’ve found charms in all versions. ❤

Fans can also look forward to a new chapter in the story! I’m both excited and exasperated. I do love this anime and used to want to know what happened next. But I’m afraid that the anime will outwear its beautiful simplicity. I really liked where the manga and anime ended and I’m afraid things may be ruined or may turn sour with more added to the story. One thing that has ruined other anime and manga was having too many episodes and volumes. Everything must find an ending. I feel that this anime will be more of a gem where it’s at. At the same time, I wasn’t satisfied not seeing the rest. So maybe just one more arc would be fine…

I’ll tell you this…I don’t want to wait two more years before the anime is released. I hope the manga and anime are released simultaneously. I’m too excited! XD

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Have you watched this anime before? Do you agree with my reasons? If you love this story, what are your reasons for loving Cardcaptor Sakura? Do you plan to watch and have any more questions? I’m open to any discussions.

cardcaptor-sakura

Drama Fever: Introduction + Hana Kimi/To the Beautiful You #dramafever

8 Apr

Introduction 

*You can skip the introduction if you don’t want to read all of this.*

Many of you might think that I am a bit of a Weeaboo, a Koreaboo, and a bit of a Sinophile. I understand that these people are not looked upon very kindly by the public. These people are considered those guilty of “cultural appropriation”. Basically, people look at them as individuals who “think” they are Asian, but are not. :/ To some people, my obsession over Korean entertainment, my personal critical reviews of other cultural art and perspectives, may seem offensive.

Sure, I love J-pop, K-pop, and some C-pop. I even watch dramas from many Asian countries. I do own two Chinese-style dresses and a Chinese-style modern top. I enjoy cosplay of my favorite characters from my favorite video game Kingdom Hearts. I hope to learn at least one Asian language in my life-time or visit an Asian country. I am fascinated by Japanese and Chinese history. I’m new to Korean history and more familiar with their modern pop culture.

Hallyu Wave

But this actually goes for any culture. I enjoy music and shows from France, New Zealand, Tanzania, Peru, Turkey, and many other countries. I am fascinated with Turkey and it’s Topkapi Palace. You can literally say…I LOVE THE WORLD. ❤

If you want my honest opinion, I am not racist. I am an African American who doesn’t think my culture is superior to another person’s. And I don’t get offended when people want to adapt a part of my culture. I actually feel flattered. I see culture as something universal, not something “owned” or “exclusive”, like I’m in some snobbish exclusive club. Cultures have and always will change. Women in many countries have adapted American styles of dress, like wearing jeans and skirts, using westernized mobile phone devices, and other westernized products. You can say these people are trying to be American, but some of these items make life more convenient for others. It does not offend me to see a Korean girl wearing a pair of jeans…It does not offend me to see a girl wearing hip-hop clothing…

But of course, other people will not see it my way.

I treat all entertainment as if they are all the same. I treat it all as if it came from the same country. I am a firm believer in cross-cultural fertilization.  I believe people are the same everywhere; no matter what culture, each person is their OWN individual. There are things that I like and dislike about all cultures, including my own, but I do not think one culture is superior to another. We all have faults…

So why am I saying all of this? Well, because I’m about to go on a looooonggg spill about some Asian dramas I’ve been watching. I don’t want to offend anyone if my remarks seem harsh, judgmental, or a bit blunt. I really have nothing negative to say, but I may say some things that these cultures may find inappropriate.

I love Asian entertainment, but I don’t know everything about Asia. I was born and raised a black American. I do not know the ins and outs of each culture. All I know are people, and people are various. I also know myself, and for the sake of this blog, that’s all I can be.

I used to be one of those uber-obsessed people. At one time, I even wanted to live in Asia. I used to look at Asia as a Utopia, a way for me to escape my weirdness in school, my feelings of being an outcast, and of not really fitting into my complete African American community very well. I was always open-minded, but constantly tormented for being different. Asia seemed like a place I could escape all of my troubles. It seemed like a place that would accept me. First off, it was on the other side of the Earth from where I lived. Second, there was a certain innocence and purity within the cultures that made me happy.

But sooner or later, as I became an adult, I actually met people who lived in my favorite Asian countries and learned that, again, people are people, where ever you go. There are mean people everywhere; there is no escaping that. And I learned that there are social rules and laws in Asian cultures that would not be ideal for me. But I met some really nice friends from other countries, too. Particularly in Korea, I met a friend that told me her brother was going to be drafted soon. My friendship with her taught me the most about Korea. I no longer see Asian countries as Utopias, but real places that REAL people live in.

Still, it would be fun to take a trip and visit some of my friends, eat foreign foods, and get lost in a new city within a new country… (to add, really learn a new language fluently).

I’m a little nervous about actually visiting Asian countries though. For starters, I like to feel like I can be myself. My friend (and other bloggers) have stressed the importance of manners in Asian countries. I have a bad feeling I will screw up and make the people around me hate me…Unless, someone is forgiving. Of course, going to a new country, you can’t completely be yourself. You have to consider the social etiquette of the land. This is very frustrating for me…and nerve-wrecking. I am not good at remembering things. I know I will forget something..

I am also afraid to share my interests in Asian entertainment and fashion. I don’t want the people there to think I’m making fun of them. I want to have something in common and I like what I like. Maybe that’s American of me? :/ I don’t want them to think I’m stereo-typing…

Anyway…

I will be watching many dramas from around the world for the next two months. Mostly, I’ll be watching Asian dramas and discussing them with my readers.

The Hana Kimi Adaptations

Last week, I became really sick with a fever. I could hardly get out of bed for two days. So, I was stuck at home. Being bored at home, I caught another kind of fever. This time it was a good fever. I got “drama fever”. That’s right. I became addicted to dramas.

I tapped into my Netflix and got whatever movies I could get. I also became addicted to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dramas.

The latest dramas that caught my interest were the many adaptations of Hana Kimi. Hana Kimi (or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e) is a popular Japanese manga series. It was adapted into drama first by Taiwan, then by Japan twice, and then Korea.

hana kimi

Hana Kimi focuses on the story of a young American female (Ashiya Mizuki) who admires a high-jumping athlete (Sano Izumi) that she happens to spot on TV. Somehow, his jumping inspires her to want to meet him in person. She’s determined to see him high-jump. So, she signs herself up to the all-boys’ school her idol attends and pretends to be a boy. She somehow becomes her idol’s roommate, which greatly affects their relationship throughout the story. He’s not the easiest to live with…But eventually, she melts his cold exterior.

She’s not good at acting like a boy, and is considered a ditz with a cheerful personality (not uncommon in anime and manga series). This is why it was so easy for the school physician to notice right off that she was a girl. The physician becomes a good friend of the lead character, and shows a supportive role in helping her keep her secret. There are many others who discover her secret throughout. She’s not good at hiding her feelings, especially when she likes someone. She’s impulsive and easily angered by remarks made toward the people she cares about.

Along her journey as a boy, she meets some new friends. The first friend she becomes acquainted with is an extroverted soccer champion (Shuichi Nakatsu). He eventually starts to develop feelings for the lead girl, which leads to him questioning his sexuality (because she is disguised as a boy). He gets her adjusted to school and introduces her to some of his friends. He becomes a love rival throughout the story.

The school is divided by three dorms. Mizuki, the lead girl, is a part of Dorm 2. Many of her closest friends reside in the same Dormitory.

I happened to watch all of the adaptations. I didn’t watch in any particular order. I watched according to whatever series I found out about first. Though all were adaptations, of course, they were not all alike. Each story had something charming that maybe another story did not have. Some stories stayed more true to the manga than others.

Guidelines:

The genre of this series is romantic/comedy. I am very skeptical of the romantic genre when it comes to manga or dramas. For starters, I’m not a romantic person. I think it’s mushy and to watch it makes me want to puke. It’s very hard for me to get into a romantic story, and when I do, it’s hard to keep my interest. BUT what really turns me off about the romantic genre stories are the following things:

1) Love triangles-I really, really dislike love triangles, especially when it’s involving the main character. I get it. They are supposed to make the story interesting. But for me, all they do is confuse me and make me change my mind about a romantic situation. As someone who is deeply compassionate, I always side with the underdog lover in these “triangles”, and more often than not, that “underdog” is not the main love interest. There are very few stories that turn out the way I want them to. Often, I feel dissatisfied with romantic stories. This was my problem with Twilight…Love triangles do not suit my mentality.

This is especially so if the main love interest is a douche with a bunch of other girls crawling all over him, while the “nice person” or the humble person is finishing last. These kinds of triangles irk me.

I also have a problem with love interests who are unimportant to the overall story. It’s irksome when they outshine someone who is actually important to the development of the story (Ran vs Haibara from Detective Conan would be an example). When a rival character is more important to the story, the development between the main character and the love rival will be even more interesting.

There are only a few distinct ways I can accept a love triangle.

First, I can accept a love triangle if the love rival receives a more interesting love interest than the main character. And this rarely happens.

I can also accept a love triangle if the love rival is completely idiotic, with poorly developed feelings, and a shallow outlook. For instance, all of the love rivals in Ranma ½ were complete fools with mostly bad intentions. This made Ranma and Akane such a well-developed pair, even if they were rather predictable.

I can accept a douche love rival if his story is well-developed and/or his change is so drastic it affects the events in the story. Hana Yori Dango is an example.

My favorite romance story is Cardcaptor Sakura’s Sakura and Syaoran. No romantic story has been able to top it in my book. The manga had hardly any love triangles. But everything turned out unexpected in the end. I never thought the main character would receive the sullen, raggly, uncool  Syaoran as a lover.

Peach Girl also impressed upon me.

2) I dislike a boring, predictable relationship-I don’t like those stories where you already know who will be the love interest in the end. I don’t like when characters fall in love “at first sight”. I don’t like smooth betrothals that turn out peachy in the end (unless the two really hate each other at first). I don’t like when love is predictable. Even though in real life, a predictable kind of love is a beautiful thing, it is not really entertaining in a show.

I also dislike boring or uninteresting partners. If one of those love interests are boring, dull, or too cool, I’m bored. I like people that the audience would least expect to be the love interest.

I don’t hate beautiful/handsome people, but if they have no personality beyond good looks, I do not approve of it. It’s not enough to throw a love rival in there. That doesn’t make a RELATIONSHIP interesting, that makes a story more interesting. But if the love rival is not around, and the relationship seems less interesting than when the rival was around, I can’t enjoy it.

People say a person is entitled to like who they like, but this is a story. It doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it or watch it. It doesn’t mean I won’t have preferences.

Unfortunately, Hana Kimi had many elements that irritated me. It had love triangles, so of course I sided with the underdog as usual. The main love interest was a cool, dull, douche…The exact types I dislike. The main romance story was predictable. The main relationship was boring to me and I found myself skipping all of the scenes that overdid their relationship.

But the story itself was interesting…

The thing that makes me a little iffy is the motivation. A girl, traveling all the way to a foreign country, for some complete stranger that she saw on television high-jumping….And she thinks she’s in love now? And this romance actually works? Despite the fact that she was trying to deceive him by lying and pretending to be a boy? What kind of relationship begins with deception? She’s basically a stalker fan, and rather than being sweet and endearing, it’s a little creepy and frightening that someone would even try this. Don’t try this at home, kids. The best part about dreaming about an idol is never knowing who they really are and keeping the dream alive. Trust me. Not every idol is going to turn out as receptive as Izumi Sano. In fact, most won’t, especially if you try to deceive them.

The Japanese versions do a better job in explaining away this obsession, but the other adaptations, especially the Taiwanese version, do not.

Anyway…

This article is a review of the adaptations I’ve watched.

*The Following Review May Contain Spoilers*

To the Beautiful You (Korean Version 2012)

hana kimi to the beautiful you (1)

This was the first one I watched. Being a fan of f(x), I wanted to watch Sulli act in this drama series. I was introduced to the Hana Kimi series through this drama.

Of all the adaptations, I felt this movie version was the most different from the original story. In many ways, the differences made it better, but in other ways, the differences made the story worse.

First, the story mostly focuses on the athletic Dorm 2 and hardly gives the other dorms any attention or development. Second, many characters that were supposed to be friends of the main character were omitted or combined with other characters. Third, many personalities and relationships were changed. Because this was the first one I watched, I didn’t realize how different it was from the original. But without knowing the original, it wasn’t hard to figure that something was missing…

The setting was ritzier than the other adaptations. The dining area showed wealth and the dorms actually looked up-scale. The dorm room Jae-Hee stays in has two beds. One has a winding staircase leading to almost another room. It’s a more advanced bunk-bed of sorts. The bathrooms even look bigger in the Korean version compared to the other adaptations. It was quite an elite-looking school.

Pros: The story was so engaging. I would say the Korean story was more entertaining than the others. There were serious and dramatic moments that made me want to know what was going to happen next. The Korean version was also a bit more realistic in presenting its school and dormitory than the other adaptations. Jae-Hee was required to bring transfer papers in order to enroll in the school. The other adaptations did not go into detail how the girls were able to enroll in the schools without transfer papers…The Korean version didn’t have the sense of exaggeration that the other versions had. This version was also more modern.

Goo Jae-Hee (Korea’s Ashiya Mizuki) is very cute and lovable. She was so cute that it was believable when random people would find out her identity and when random guys would fall in love with her.

She was careless, but not quite as dumb as some of the other girls in other adaptations (though she was still dumb). There was one scene, a dangerous scene, where she was caught in a car with a stranger. This girl had enough sense to notify someone by phone and was strong enough to fight for her life.

This version, out of all the other versions, focused the most on the romantic story.

I was also happy that f(x) songs were sprinkled throughout the show. F(x) are my baes. I was happy to see Sulli in her glorious lead moment.

Cons: They can stick Shinee’s Minho (Kang Tae-Joon) and f(x)’s Sulli (Jae-hee) in the same room. They can throw in little scenes with Minho taking off his shirt. They can try to over-emphasize the relationship between the two supposed love interests with random scenes of them falling on top of each other every chance they get…And I still did not think they belonged together. I tried my best to be team Minsul…and I just couldn’t hang.

First, of all the love interests in other adaptations, Tae-Joon was a complete butthole. Cha Eun-gyeol (played by Lee Hyun-woo), the supposed love rival, was the main character’s first friend. He was kind to the main character. He helped her feel welcome. When Tae-joon was acting like a jerk and making Jae-hee cry, who was there? Eun-gyeol was there. When Tae-joon left Jae-hee under the stars to run back to the city, who was there with Jae-hee? Eun-gyeol was there.

Eun-gyeol also struggled the most with his feelings, thinking he was gay, and really considering his feelings seriously. I was so impressed with him that moment he found the courage to admit that he loved Jae-hee (thinking she’s a boy), even risking his reputation, considering how homophobic some people can be. He said, “Girl or Guy, I love her”. I felt this character TRULY loved the main character from the inside. In my opinion, he was the strongest character in the series.

And yet, I feel like the lead girl just stomped all over his heart. Even when she gave him a chance, she rudely contacted Tae-Joon while on a date with him. I understand you don’t love him, but don’t agree to go on a date and then contact another man. That’s not even a friendly thing to do. I honestly lost all respect for this character after that. I felt that she was caught up in the glory of being around her idol, but it just didn’t feel like true love to me. It felt like an infatuation with an ideal dream…But not real.

To me, Tae-Joon only started to like her AFTER he found out she was a girl and after he found out that she was there for him. To me, he only loved the attention. Everything else sounded like BS. Eun-gyeol saw what was special about her from the very beginning.

The manga can try and pull that “he was just attracted to her femininity” crap when it comes to Shuichi Nakatsu. I don’t buy it in the Korean adaptation. I, in fact, think Tae-joon (Korea’s Izumi Sano) was just attracted to her because she was a girl and loved having the attention. But I did not think he had the same chemistry with the lead girl as Eun-gyeol.

For this reason, I did not like the main love story. They spent way too much time developing the love rival’s moments with the lead girl. That really prevented me from connecting with the main love story.

Another thing that was really distracting to me was the fact that there truly was nothing boyish about Jae-hee. She, in fact, never even tried to act like a boy. Aside from being super tall, unlike the other adaptations, and having a short hair cut, her personality was just too feminine. I’m surprised that people throughout the story couldn’t even figure it out. I feel that the director should’ve made sure that Sulli (the actress) tried to act more masculine. The Japanese and Taiwanese version recognized this a little more.

I suppose boyish girls are so rare in Korea, girls can get away with being a boy as long as they just dress like one…

And they didn’t even do a good job of developing a motivation for the lead girl. Her reasons for going to an all-boys’ school was even more suspicious than the others. They tried to say she had heard that Tae-joon stopped high-jumping because of an injury and that she just wanted to see him high-jump. But it was clear she was trying to persuade the boy to fall in love with her. Her intentions were really unclear throughout the whole show. I dislike a woman who is not direct with her feelings, especially when she uses deception to win someone over rather than being honest. It’s not fair to anyone and I just couldn’t support a relationship that was developed from that. It is annoying.

The final thing I disliked about this version was the fact that most of the main characters from the manga, some of my favorite characters, were completely omitted. Many of my least favorite characters were added, such as the lead girl’s “first love”. Remember I said I disliked love triangles? Well, I dislike love squares even more…

I disliked the fact that some characters that were considered gay in the manga were either changed or had poor, unhappy endings in the Korean version. I guess it just shows their conservatism.

Overall, this was one of my least favorite adaptations and not because it was a bad series. In fact, the series itself was probably told the best in this adaptation. I just hated the ending and how they changed the characters. I left feeling a little unsatisfied.  First, they pulled a Pretty in Pink on me when it came to Jae-Hee and Eun-gyeol.  Then, the ending failed to show the main character’s connection with the school like the other versions did. She solely seemed interested in Tae-Joon and showed hardly any development between other students. Thus, in the end, she didn’t feel like she belonged there. She just left with poor feelings and never even graduated with the other students. I didn’t feel her connection with the other cast members, so I wondered why they were even in the story.

Characters of mention:

Eun-gyeolIt’s hard to miss him. He’s lively, friendly, and active. He’s also handsome. His struggle with his feelings makes him an interesting character to look out for and really makes the story worth watching. I feel he transforms the most throughout the series, even changing his hair.

Director JangDespite the fact that she was never in the original story, I felt her presence held weight. To me, she almost seemed like a second mother to Tae-Joon. She’s his manager, and manages many sports affairs. She is a reflection of idol life in Korea.

Seol Ha-naA girl who begins as an aggressive pursuer of Tae-Joon’s, she seems a little annoying at first. But as the series progresses, she shows remarkable intelligence and strength. She’s definitely a character that is memorable.

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise (Japanese version 2007)

hana kimi to the beautiful you (2)

The Japanese version is pretty close to the manga, but many things were changed here, too. Many characters and events were omitted, but no personalities were changed. The Japanese version was more exaggerated and comical in the acting style. Most Japanese dramas are like this, especially if there are comical characters in the series.

The setting seemed to be in an old, rustic western style school. It was surrounded by gardens and statues reflecting a calm spirit surrounding the school. The dorms weren’t extremely big and the main character slept in a loft of sorts. Compared to the Korean version, it had more natural surroundings.

The classrooms are ridiculously large for a high school…

Shun Oguri plays in this drama as Sano Izumi…He usually plays “cool, handsome” roles. I remember him from the dramas Detective Conan and Boys Over Flowers.

Pros: I liked that the story actually developed the relationship between the main character and the other students. The cast is large in this series, and yet, each character had a life of their own. At first, I couldn’t see any character being developed in-depth because of the large cast. But I realized that was the lovable part about the Japanese adaptation. The characters were shallow, but they were fun and lively. Eventually, I began to see Mizuki (the main character) as a part of the school. She formed a close relationship with many of the characters, not just Izumi Sano and Shuichi Nakatsu. I liked that she eventually wanted to stay for more than just Sano. She grew to love all of the friends she’d made at the school. The strong bond the cast felt shined in the series, and it made the ending a tear-jerker.

I liked how supportive the school was in the end.

And who couldn’t like the scene where the school broke out as cheerleaders and began dancing to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend”. XD Completely worth it.

Cons: There are very few cons for me. The thing that I felt was bittersweet was the relationship between Izumi Sano and Ashiya Mizuki. Again, there were moments where I just couldn’t ship him together with Mizuki. Nakatsu also interfered with my interest in this love story but not as bad as in the Korean version.

Both Nakatsu and Sano started off as jerks. Really, all the boys were a bit rowdy when Mizuki first came to the school. So, either one was fine with me.

Still, in the end, I hated the Nakatsu was the one hurt. He had the hardest time expressing his feelings. The difference is he found out she was a girl much sooner than the character in the Korean version.

The girl they tried to pin Nakatsu with (I guess so a rejection wouldn’t feel as bad with the audience) was dull and showed no chemistry with him, but at least a girl showed interest in him. Even in the special episode, she continued to give him chocolates and express her love. Poor Eun-gyeol in the Korean version got a girl who hadn’t seen him in years, which made for an awkward relationship that hardly developed.

The characters were a bit shallow and one-dimensional. Some characters were pointless. I would have liked some characters to be developed more, especially in Dorm 3.

There were also some pretty offensive things sprinkled without. I understand one scene was trying to put on an act, but the use of” black face” cloak in order to pretend to be a black person, along with disheveled Afros (they could have at least combed it), was just offensive.

But there was one scene where they actually had a real African American man named Bob.

And why does Japan always portray foreigners from America, especially White Americans, as having blonde hair? In the special episode, Mizuki’s foreign friend is seen sporting blonde hair. Basically, she’s supposed to be half Japanese and half White. But most mixed children still carry the dominant genes…

The actress looked like a Japanese girl with a wig on…

Overall, I enjoyed this version and would watch it again.

Characters of mention:

Namba Minami-They cast a very handsome man to play him. He is in fact one of the best looking characters. His affinity for women is one thing, but the fact that he has a strong serious side and surprisingly protects the main character and his fellow dorm mates like a big brother throughout the series makes him a character worth mentioning.

Kayashima Taiki-The man who can see spirits and detect auras. Pay attention to him. He knows a lot more than he lets on.

Sekime Kyogo-He seems like a quiet presence, but his presence is also powerful. In this drama, he was actually Mizuki’s first REAL friend. While the other dorm members were going crazy trying to recruit her to their dorm activities, or teasing her and treating her as insignificant, Sekime calmly listened to her woes and introduced her to what the school had to offer. She, in fact, found out what dorm Sano was in through him. Throughout the series, he also showed himself to be a supportive friend of Sano’s.

Nakao Senri-Probably the only completely openly gay character in this adaptation. His feelings for Namba Minami motivate his character. At first, he was the main character’s rival because he saw her as a threat to his reputation as the school “idol” (since he considers himself cute and adorable). But there was one moment in the series where he and Mizuki really bonded and connected. I really enjoyed that scene.

Dean Kitahama-A scary presence in the story. Though his moment was brief, he left an impression on my mind. His anger with what happened in his past really made me interested in him as a character. He isn’t initially likable and misunderstood.

Principal Tsubaki-She was never really a character in the original manga, but she should have been. I noticed one thing about all of these adaptations…We never met the principal of these schools. Isn’t that strange? Well, colleges don’t really have principals, so the Taiwanese version is excused.

Hanazakarino Kimitachihe (Taiwanese Version 2006)

hana kimi taiwan

Of all the adaptations, this was probably the most comical (rather than exaggerated silliness). I felt that this version reflected the manga better than the Korean version. Well, it was the first adaptation. But there were differences from the manga as well.

First off, this version did not take place in high school but in college. Most of the students were 19 years old and older. Basically, they’re all adults.

Second, this adaptation also focused mainly on Dorm 2.

Despite the fact that all of the characters are older, they actually act much younger than those in the other adaptations.

The setting is just like any normal college. Each dorm has a bunk bed and a bathroom. The rooms are very small. It is implied that the school is on a strict budget. Nan makes it clear that the food is not too tasty and that the students have to shower early because the hot water turns off at a certain time.

Pros: Ella Chen was the perfect girl to be cast as the lead female character. She did well in portraying the ditzy character while still maintaining a “boyishness”. Really, she actually looked like a boy. Ella Chen is from the girl group S.H.E. and she is known for her androgynous looks. It’s not surprising she was given this role. I was really satisfied with her portrayal and felt that she conveyed the strongest personality of all the girls cast for the lead role.

What kills me is that almost everyone in this version can almost guess she’s a girl more than in the other adaptations, but she looks the most like a boy than the other girls! Oh, the irony. If she wasn’t such a twat, I would’ve never guessed she was a girl.

While in this role, Lu Rui Xi was portrayed as an energetic, but impulsive girl. That was handled well in this adaptation. She was a little feisty in this role, but didn’t know how to pick and choose her battles well. She had the second greatest personality in this series (next to Xiu Yi).

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this show. They didn’t really add every character from the manga, but they did put in the most important characters. I felt the lead girl developed a strong relationship with her fellow dorm members.

Jin Xiu Yi provided a lot of color to the story and made it extra enjoyable.

What I liked most about the story was the fact that Jin Xiu Yi was treated with better dignity than the other love rivals. Sure, he was in love with Rui Xi. But, of course, we knew she was not interested in him. In fact, she seemed rather annoyed by him. I’m glad they found him an even better love interest, one that made his relationship even better than the main love story. I would really like a separate story regarding Xiu Yi and his love interest.

However, Taiwan did the best of all the adaptations in developing the main love story. I really liked the sensible and perceptive Zuo Yi Quan (Izumi Sano). He wasn’t really a jerk, he was just quiet and to himself. He was a bit of a nerd who liked to read. And his tattoo on his right arm was just everything. ❤ He wasn’t arrogantly jealous like Tae-joon who really didn’t care about Eun-gyeol’s feelings. Quan was more perceptive and helpful.

Cons: The ending was bittersweet. There really isn’t anything I dislike about this version, but I wish it had ended a little different. It really left a cliff-hanger. Now, I want to see more. XD

Though I liked Ella Chen’s portrayal of the main character and felt she acted the most like the manga character, that is just it. She was really annoying in the manga. So, she was really annoying in this adaptation. She really had little clue how to act like a boy and play off the fact that she liked Quan. She also didn’t know how to pick and choose her battles carefully, so she wound up in situations she couldn’t even fight off. And who was the first person she screamed annoyingly for when she got herself in stupid situations? Quan.

I also wish Xiu Yi’s feelings had been taken seriously, but in the end, it all worked out.

I also want to point out that there were quite a few holes in the story and some scenes were just too forced or not explained. For instance, there was one scene in episode 6 where the main character is caught in a situation with a stranger and so must flee for her life. Of course, Quan, being Mr. Loverboy, saves her. He tries to carry her back home, but loses his footing. They end up isolated from others, far away from home, for hours, and the main character develops an illness. Now, by this time, all of the characters have shown that they have cell phones. Instead of using his cell phone or Riu Xi’s, he calls “Help!” over and over again. Not once did he look in his pocket to see if he had his cell phone or look in her pocket to see if she had hers. And okay, say he forgot his phone and maybe she did, too. Why wasn’t that explained? To me, it felt that the scene was put in there to build upon the romance between Quan and Rui Xi, but it was constructed poorly. It was confusing because clearly they both had cell phones…Therefore, it just didn’t feel natural. Maybe Quan wanted to get lost with her, but if he really cared about her, wouldn’t he want her to get home so she can get better? And maybe there was no signal…But these are guesses. It should have been explained.

To add, Xi Yi has a cell phone. While he was sitting at the house, waiting and worrying, why didn’t he call Rui Xi to see where she was? Why did no one suggest to call the missing teens by cell phone? They thought about calling the police but no one thought to call Quan or Rui Xi? It was simply unbelievable.

Just like it was unbelievable that no one went through Rui Xi’s school files. How was she able to enroll in the school? Who helped her forge papers and create a new identity? This was also not explained in the Japanese version.

But overall, the characters were entertaining and everyone lived happily ever after in the end. So what can I say, this version was my favorite. 😉 The story itself was over-comical, but it lifted my spirits.

Characters of Mention:

Lu Rui Xi-She was honestly a girl with a lot of personality. It is hard to forget her. Of all the girls, she showed the strongest individuality and made me fall in love with her. She wasn’t just a cute and pretty face. She was never sober and depressing. And unlike the other girls, she was the most honest with her intentions. They didn’t come up with some lame excuse for her. On the flip side, that also means her intentions were not pure. XD

Zuo Yi Quan-A hot body with a tattoo is one thing, but intelligence, practicality, and sensibility are whipped cream, sprinkles, with a cherry on top.

Jin Xiu Yi-Charming, lovable, and also with a big personality, he was bound to be a favorite of mine. This character comes across energetic and brave, but we also see moments where he is sensitive, caring, and supportive. I also admired his courage when he came out as “gay” (though not really). Watching him in action is very entertaining. He’s also handsome and has a sexy voice.

Mei Tian-Long-haired and sexy, this man is gay and proud. I’m very happy they did not try to change him. He wasn’t stereo-typically gay either. He is handsome, smart, and knows his craft. He was also a good guardian for the main character and got her out of many sticky situations. His portrayal was very interesting.

Da Shu-The man who can see spirits. He is really cute. I’m surprised no one pointed out how cute he was. He was not considered for the school pageant and I kept thinking…Man, he would look good in a dress.

Julia-Rui Xi’s feisty American friend. She is no stereotype. She is part Chinese and speaks fluent Chinese but also speaks English. In fact, she speaks in English often throughout her time in Taiwan. Of all the adaptations, this was the only one that developed Julia as a character. I like her voice.

Shen Le-Initially an irritating butthole who reveals more to him than expected.

Yang Yang-Of all the adaptations of Senri Nakao, he is the perfect depiction of cute. The other guys in other adaptations believed they were cute, but umm…No. This guy is really cute. He’s quite sweet, but has a vindictive side to him.

Wu Wan Juan-A sports journalist who focuses on Quan’s success as a high jumper. She wrote under the pen name “KK” and is actually where the lead character got all of her information. She has an interesting but pretty face. Despite her eagerness to get the scoop, she revealed a moral side.

Yuan Qiu Ye-A mysterious and yet strange photographer. He is quite perceptive and talented. He fascinates me.

Wang Tian Si-Leader of Dormitory 1, he seems mostly like a meat-head character, but he is a character who fights fairly and takes responsibility. I can honestly say I respect him.

Man, there are so many characters that I loved in this adaptation.

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise (Japanese version 2011)

hana kimi to the beautiful you (1)

So Japan decided it would be a good idea to remake Hana Kimi for a modern audience.  But the only thing more modern about this version was the cast and setting. For 2011, it wasn’t over-emphasized with new technology, which was surprising. I didn’t understand why this new version was even made.

But since it was…I gave it a try.

This version was similar to the original, though not as exaggerated and more dramatic.

Someone decided that an Akb48 member should be cast as the lead. That proved interesting.

The setting was just like the original: An old, western-style school with old dormitories. Each dormitory has two beds and a loft of sorts. The difference between this version and the original is that the school was even more worn-down and falling apart. Literally. The plumbing was screwed, students were falling through the floor, and it needed a paint job badly. Still, the students love the school. I’m not sure if the school improved, but apparently the students continued to stay there, despite its flaws.

Pros: Ashiya Mizuki’s role was less annoying than the others. Maybe because she just couldn’t get away with acting dumb like the other girls in other adaptations. With the other girls, it felt that their selfish actions were handled too delicately (I mean a girl sneaks in a school to meet her idol, deceives everyone, and tosses feelings aside for her own selfish feelings…for a guy she hardly knows? And hardly recognizes the dangers? Unbelievable). But in this version, much sooner than the others, she recognized when it was time for her to take her leave more than once. And really, it made her character a little more tolerable (I really despise the ditzy female characters in anime, but especially when she gets away with everything).

Unlike the other girls, she actually met this guy before and had a decent conversation with him. She actually formed a friendship prior to the story. It wasn’t too unbelievable when she wanted to meet him again.

I also liked how well she connected with the rest of the cast, which was just like the original version. They didn’t take that away from the story like the Korean version did.

All of the characters were just as lively and colorful as in the original, and many were better interpretations of the characters.

Though this was 2011, it had a timeless, classic feel that I appreciated.

Cons: This version did a very poor job of developing the relationship between Ashiya Mizaki and Sano Izumi. I thought the Korean version was bad. This one beat the Korean version as having the least developed romance of all the adaptations. And the Korean version wasn’t even poorly developed, just not as developed as the friendship. At least in the Korean version Tae-Joon made many efforts to express his interest in the main character. Sano Izumi never expressed any sort of interest whatsoever besides him yelling at her out of jealousy or anger. He never bought her anything. He never even kissed her properly. There were hardly any romantic moments between them. Most of the times, he made the lead character sad. But oh no. She’ll put up with anything. She’s a martyr. She’s humble and submissive. Somehow, some way, she can just tell that his feelings are sincere (though he never makes clear these “imaginary feelings”). Whenever he gets mad at her, she likes to blame herself because she seems to think his feelings matter more than her own.

Shuichi Nakatsu hit it on the nail many times. Their feelings were TOO reserved. So reserved, in fact, I felt she had an abuse syndrome of some sort. The guy was nothing but mean to her. He never supported her at all. All she did was support him. It just didn’t even feel worth it to me. It felt dull.

And here she has a man, Nakatsu, who is willing to make her happy. She has a man beside her who cries when she cries and laughs when she laughs. And yet, she falls in love with Mr. Reserved and Mr. Shallow. And I know a girl can’t help her feelings, but isn’t she an example of why so many girls end up heart-broken and deceived? Because they blindly go after men that are not good for them, that harm them emotionally. This is another case of the “nice guy finishing last”. Looking at this story, I believe the saying is true. She was in love with a bad boy, a mean guy, the guy she couldn’t have, the idol that all the girls wanted, the complicated one. Not the guy who was determined to protect her, oh no. How dumb can she be?

Still, it didn’t make it any better that Nakatsu never received a proper love interest. I think the original girl that dated him was cute but dull. Nakatsu has such a large personality. He needs someone who makes things more interesting, not someone who dries him up.

Speaking of Nakatsu, I felt this guy received way too much air-time. I mean, he was in every scene. He almost seemed more important than Sano Izumi. He also carried strong leadership abilities…There are hints that these abilities led him to being a part of the “Sakura Committee”. He was always the one motivating everyone and trying to get everyone to smile. And who did that for him? No one. But at least the main character recognized her selfishness, unlike in the other versions.

Another thing that possibly contributed to a poor development of the main love story was the lack of time. In the beginning, everything seemed rushed. The main character’s connection with the school happened fast. Nakatsu’s confession occurred too soon. But unfortunately, Sano and Ashiya’s relationship didn’t happen fast enough. This could be because there were only 11 episodes. Still, it made the story a bit bland and superficial. I couldn’t connect with this version as well as the others, though I still teared up at the end (more than I can say about the Korean version).

What ultimately disturbed me was how they brought back ONE cast member from the old series from Hibari 4. I was happy to see her, but she seemed out of place in a sea of new faces. I placed her with the old cast. Her chemistry with them was so strong; I couldn’t understand why she was even put in this version.

Characters of Mention:

Nakatsu: His energetic personality shines in any version, but in this version, he had an even stronger presence. His leadership abilities were made evident in this adaptation.

Namba-Sempai-As dormitory leader, he always catches my attention in the Japanese adaptations. Even when unexpected things are thrown his way, he keeps a cool head and looks over the dorm like a big brother.

Taiki Kayashima-He’s always interesting, but in this version of the adaptation he was more than just a weirdo. He was the voice of reason and wisdom. He gave many of the characters advice almost like an adult figure. His abilities to see spirits and read the auras of people had more of a purpose in this adaptation and I’m glad they made him more useful. He took the place of Dr. Hokuto Umeda in many instances, who often usually gave the main character advice in other adaptations.

Nakao Senri-Much cuter than usual…In fact, he could also pass for a girl. He was just as short as the main character, so she had no need to feel awkward in that regard. He had striking dimples that made him noticeable.

Kyogo Sekime-He was more than just a friend in this version. He was someone with his own trials and challenges as well as victories. He was also one of the only people Sano Izumi actually smiled at. He hardly smiled at Ashiya Mizuki.

Hanayashiki Hibari-Guess who is back to reprise her role as St. Blossom’s fierce leader? Yes, the same actress from the 2007 version is playing this role, too!

Kishinosato Juri-A delicate flower, a graceful presence, but a vindictive heart. Very complex.

Watanabe Ikkei –I was wondering who cooked the food for all the students. This was the only version that developed the chef as a character.

Itsuki Sakura-One of the headmistresses of the school. She’s a strange woman. Really, really strange. Somehow, though, she sees the potential of her students.

So that’s my spin on the many adaptations based on the Hana Kimi manga series! Have any of you readers watched? If you have, tell me your favorite drama or moments? What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Different Approaches to Education Than The Traditional

17 Dec

nick news

Nick News on the Nickelodeon TV network aired a segment highlighting five different schools that decided to take less traditional approaches to schooling. It was quite an interesting segment because it highlighted how innovative and liberal people have become regarding education. In this Digital Revolution, education has become less important to children, as internet teaches people things on a daily basis, and it’s clear to see that modern-day children in the USA do not value a traditional education the way other nations do. In fact, most American children do not appreciate an education until they get to high school and realize they have to take care of themselves in a few years. Unfortunately, so many American children get dumped out in the world with limited job opportunities, yes, because of the economy, but also because they lack the basic skills to pass higher education courses or to get into trading courses that require particular technical knowledge. Not to mention, they lack the focus and discipline to deal with rigorous courses. I must admit, technology makes life fast, and it can stress children out. Everything is expected to be done in a timely manner. I can’t say it’s much different on a job, but you know, I suppose people are working to try to change that, too…

Well, the unfortunate part is that children who don’t appreciate school do not really learn. They also end up very disruptive and restless. They may also suffer from self-esteem because they just can’t seem to get into school. I was that kind of child.

I don’t want to go head-to-head with parents, but a lot of it has to do with parents. It’s not that most parents don’t care, (though some don’t, I’ve met many), but most parents just can’t seem to find the time to instill an appreciation for education in their kids. Then you have parents who really don’t appreciate education themselves or have felt inferior in an educated environment. They are more than likely to be negative about school. Especially if they were not the best behaved. And these same parents also do not instill a healthy dose of respect for authority. I understand some authority can be unjust, but some authority is there to keep things orderly and safe. Imagine schools without anyone keeping the behavior in check. Fights will break out and kids will be killed. End of discussion. Of course, we have parents who don’t see that far in advance or who can’t see their child as anything but precious “angels” or “babies”. But hey, kids have their home life, and they have a social school life that parents often don’t know about the way teachers and school staff does. In fact, from experience, most children live a double life, as early as 5 years old when they begin kindergarten.

Unfortunately, a parent who doesn’t instill a proper respect for authority in their child soon finds their child rebelling against the greatest authority figure in their own lives: Their parents. And physical discipline can straighten action, but not feelings and thoughts. Children can feel like they want to rebel even if they don’t actually do it. I was that kind of child myself.

My experience? Yes, I work in the education system. I was once a poor student in elementary school, and it greatly affected me in Middle School, High School, and even College! I was able to push through, but so many in my age group dropped out. We were the “test dummy” children put under the new system “No Child Left Behind”. So many programs focused on improving test scores, but little good did it do. We all just wanted to do what we wanted to do, and felt we shouldn’t be forced to do something we weren’t ready to do. Of course, we were children, so all we wanted to do was play. We had no work ethic. Might I add, many parents today also do not instill a work ethic in their children. I used to blame the school as a child, because well, I was a child. I used my mother as a scapegoat to get me out of situations in school that I felt were too challenging. Did it benefit me? At the time, but not in the long-run. This may not go for every child, but it’s just my experience…Which wasn’t too long ago, considering I’m still in my twenties…

The education system we know today is not without flaw, either. These declining test scores reveal serious problems in the established education system that aren’t all direct. There are teachers who seriously do not have the patience to truly deal with children. If you are a parent, imagine having thirty kids in your home for 6 to 8 hours a day…A whole work day…Some parents can barely deal with two to four children that long. That’s what teaching is like. Some teachers get so overwhelmed with their jobs, they want to give up and don’t give the students the proper attention they need. Some teachers get into the profession thinking it will be ideal and thinking it will be easy to deal with children. After all, they are just children, right? Right? Treat them with respect and they will love and respect you? Wrong. Children often don’t respect you just because they don’t want to. They sometimes think it’s funnier to tease the butt monkey, i.e. the teacher. Many times when you start off nice, it’s hard to be firm when you have to be, especially when they child is not used to being disciplined at home. And then there are teachers who let children provoke them, because they haven’t quite matured, and end up over-doing things…

In the high school, you have teachers who just don’t know their place…

With all of these issues, there could be several reasons why children are not performing in school, which are the basis for the founding of “new schools” mentioned in this news segment:

1) Children feel overloaded with work.

2) Schools have pushed on higher levels of stress upon modern children.

3) Some children are bullied, or fear being bullied, and can’t function in a hostile environment.

4) They are not challenged enough and are too advanced for the curriculum.

5) They can’t handle being told what to do.

6) The material is not presented to them in a way that is interesting and fun.

7) Parents have turned them off from liking school.

8) The teachers were too strict or impatient and not attentive to each child’s needs.

10) They may have a disability or another set-back and need extra help.

11) Parent did not instill discipline in a child so that they could endure long hour days and focus.

12) Children may not get any help for the problems they do not understand, not from teachers or parents.

13) No one at home or school cares about their successes or failures, and therefore, they have no real motivation for achieving aside from the fact it could give them a good job in the future…If they really care to think that far in advance. I think this is so sad, but is a true reality that I’ve seen. 😦

14) They live privileged lives and can’t see a future where they are not reliant on their parents. This can turn into a “Peter Pan” syndrome.

15) Awards are not earned. Children are either awarded during Christmas and birthdays, without having to behave, so they don’t see the importance of good behavior, or they are not particularly awarded when they do good in school, and are only awarded when they cry. Or not given any awards or attention at all. This often happens in families with many children.

16) Older children feel they already know what they want to do in the future and don’t see the need to learn various subjects they’re not interested in.

17)  Parents may not stick the children to a schedule in the home. Bedtimes are not enforced, so children are not getting enough sleep.

18) There are other severe issues with the home life, such as poverty or abuse.

These are several issues I’ve experienced, but this may not even reveal ALL of the issues!

Now, back to the topic. The schools mentioned in this segment all seek to improve the above issues. Many of the schools seek to place children in environments deemed more “comfortable” for children. Many of the ideas of these schools are truly innovative, and I think should be implemented in all schools. But many of the ideas…don’t strike me as practical for the real world. I don’t want to bash a school’s head in. I encourage all education. Perhaps I will seem a little bias, though it won’t be intended. Still, I am entitled to have certain questions and comments when I feel that something is not considered in the grand scheme of things. This may spark a debate, but I’m no stranger to controversial subjects. I welcome all comments, even if I don’t agree with them.

Quest to Learn

Quest to learn

This school uses games to teach children. They are constantly using cards, computers, and other game tools to learn subjects. Some of the kids commented that they often “move so fast, they don’t realize they have learned something, but then later, they recall it all”. This school believes that children learn best when they are active and involved. They seek to make school fun and action-packed. They mentally challenge students to think on their toes.

One student comments: “I was really zoned out. I was like reading comics in class,” he says. “But now I’m not even considering touching a comic book because I’m so scared that I’m going to miss a subject.”

It seems like the goal is to get children so busy and mobile, they don’t have time to be distracted.

I like the idea that this school uses games and other tools to motivate students, though most schools have this included in their teaching strategies, but just not so extreme. This school seems well-suited to children who catch on to things quickly. It’s also suited to children who thrive well in a competitive environment and enjoy movement.

As a child, I was not that kind of little person. I’m sure there are other children who would feel nervous in this kind of environment. It struck a nerve when the child commented that “He’s so scared he’s going to miss a subject”. I’m not a firm believer in scaring a child. I think fear intensifies stress.

As a child, I needed a versatile environment that considered my needs. Established public schools have all kinds of teaching strategies for every kind of child. This school only provides the strategies that could appeal to a child that doesn’t feel challenged enough.

But hey, there is every kind of school for every kind of child. The only down-side is when these children move on to higher education, they may be so used to a fast-paced environment, they may be frustrated with how slow-paced college courses are. In college, there are no games, there are no quick lessons. These children may ultimately end up impatient with college, and may end up dropping out for quick employment.

Children who learn to get things quick are quick about getting things done. Learning to move quickly may not be bad when it comes to meeting deadlines and challenges on a job, but sometimes these actions can lead to impulsive decisions when choosing careers.

Trek North

Trek North

This school takes it’s students on wilderness trips to teach outdoor skills. It’s a bit like Boys and Girls Scouts. They take service trips, and often they take these week-long trips to help the homeless.  A student can get a high school diploma from this school just from completing tasks. This school seems designed to give children a hands-on approach to learning, which teaches skills that are beyond the range of modern society. These children learn survival skills, which can be useful if the whole system crashes.

This school seems like a lot of fun. This is a school I would’ve loved attending as a child, as I always appreciated the wilderness and volunteer work.

The only issue is that it doesn’t teach children various skills that can assist them in a modern, progressive society. It doesn’t help them properly compete in a GLOBAL economy. Getting a piece of paper is not as important as what you learned to get it. I think this school would be great if implemented as a mandatory after school program. But the main education? I think this leaves a child handicapped in the job force. They also won’t have many options with the skills they learn. Their experience may bring them to jobs that deal with the wilderness or some volunteer work, but if they decide they change their minds, they may not have any OTHER basic skills that could transfer them into another career. We learn various subjects to give our children various options in the world. We don’t want our children limited to one career field when there is much to learn in this world!

Durango Big Picture High School

Durango

I absolutely love this school’s ideas. One student said:  “I wanted to come here because I didn’t like sitting in the classroom listening to a lecture all day,” she says. “(Here) you’re creating a future that you want.”

This school may be just the ticket to help children appreciate school. I believe that children learn better when they understand that their education will benefit them and help them get jobs. In fact, I wish there was an elementary school like this. I wish I had enrolled in a school like this. The reason many of these children don’t appreciate school is because they don’t realize or don’t feel an education will help them get jobs in the future. It’s sad, but I’ve run into children who don’t see the benefit in learning how to even spell their name. But if someone emphasized how important this was in the world, it would motivate the children to do it. An internship, where a child experiences the working world first-hand, is just the ticket.

My only qualm is that it doesn’t consider the indecision of teens. I wanted to be a journalist as a teenager, and even did a program to help assist me. Of course, I changed my mind. But I had strengths in other subjects besides English (History), so I was able to transition into another career. Again, when a student doesn’t learn various skills, they limit themselves. A child may get work that fits their skills, but technology is taking over at a rapid pace, the business they are working in may close, and they will be forced to return to basics to learn a whole new set of skills!

Children need variety. I think this school lets children make decisions they are not half way mature enough to make yet. Heck, I know more than 20 of my friends who went to college “Undecided”, and a dozen of them who have changed majors about three times…And they were all adults! But at least they had basic skills in other areas to make that transition. It’s especially important to have reading and math as mandatory subjects, even if a kid thinks only one of those subjects are important, even if she says she only wants to be a book author. I mean, how is she going to count her money without knowing the value of a dollar?

Aside from all of that, a student can come out of this school working. They can adjust to a work environment easier. They can use that money from their job to pay for a higher education. It’s really a well-developed school with minor kinks.

Connections Academy

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A student said, “I learned that actually not having a lot of kids around me makes me thrive,” she says. “Now that all the distractions are removed, I’m a lot more focused.”

When I think of the future, I always think of online education. This is an online school. This is the modern home-schooling world. The goal of this school is to remove children out of distracting, and even hostile, environments.

My first taste of online classes was in college. In college, you had the option to work in a quiet environment and work at your own pace. It was a new thing for me and my family.

What I hated about it was the deadlines. You couldn’t get an extension or extra time unless you informed the teacher way ahead of time. Computers are impersonal, despite what anyone says. It’s often hard to get the help you need. In order to get help, you can chat with your teacher online, BUT it’s sometimes hard to tell them exactly what your issues are because they are not sitting next to you or watching to see if you’re doing everything correctly. When they correct your work, they correct it, and then forward it with instructions on how improve the assignment. But they never give that personal one-on-one attention. If you are a student that catches on to subjects quickly, online school is the school for you. But for me, it’s the reason I almost failed Chemistry.

You also need a lot of focus. Sometimes, computers can be distracting. Even when I was doing my Microsoft Word paper on the computer, I was distracted by Social networking, so it took longer to finish my assignments, and I was sloppy in my work in a rush to finish.

Home-schooling like this can help a child become a computer expert, as all of their work is done on the internet. The problem happens when a school is only online. Computers do break, and internet does go out. Some home-school programs offer books on the side and allow you to send the work by mail to a school. This home-school program is all-internet.

The other problem is that this schooling doesn’t put a child in social situations, therefore social problem-solving skills will not develop. When they do grow up, they will be weaker to peer pressure and will have a harder time deciphering the right healthy association, unless the parents warn children of this early on. Further, they will be more sensitive to insults and criticism, things they may not experience at home. If they experience it early on, believe it or not, they will expect it on the job and find ways to deal with it. Home shelters them.

They may also develop a mind-set where they expect the working environment to be “like home”. They may be disappointed that the world is not like home. On the plus side, if they become entrepreneurs, they may create a more comfortable working environment for people. Most children who have this schooling are some of the most well-behaved children because they don’t have the social pressure to be bad. Their only influences are their parents. On the same token, if they are only used to listening to their parents, they won’t get accustomed to listening to new ideas that may be more beneficial than what their parents are teaching them. These children carry the risk of not being able to think entirely for themselves. And it’s important for children to develop some individuality and independence from their parents.

And again, while they are in school, they are usually not influenced by peer pressure. But when they graduate, step out into the working world,  they will not be used to peer pressure. They won’t be able to avoid peer pressure. We learn how to deal with this pressure in school, especially in high school. Though home-schooling is meant to protect the child from peer pressure, it doesn’t help them learn to deal with this pressure. And no, bullying and negative peer pressure is not good. I understand that some parents would rather protect their children. In schools outside of the home, not only do children make friends, but they learn to deal with peers. Traditional schools don’t just teach reading and math, but the purpose of a school is to teach you how to deal with other people. In the real working world, they will end up experiencing people they don’t get along with, questionable friendships, and bullies. Daddy and Mommy will not be around to tell them to quit a job and home-job them. Some may work from home, but most will end up working outside of the home. How will they deal with this issue? Will they quit every job they feel is hard, which is every job? Will they let people get under their skin?

These children can become more impressionable than the average person when they become adults. This is not to say this is every child who is home-schooled, but from my experience, it’s a risk. Justin Bieber would be an example.

The upside is that when a child is alone with their work, they have the ability to develop all kinds of skills. When there are no distractions, a strong curiosity can develop. From my experience, home-schooled children acquire skills that most children learn when they are older, like the ability to sew. Many develop talents. They often learn to become excellent cooks and often eat healthy diets. They stay children much longer. They are least likely to be pregnant teens and will more than likely plan their lives.

Yet, the strong curiosity can lead them into danger as they get older. They may wish to do all the things they missed out on,and they may live wild lives in an attempt to do all they missed out on.

Diablo Valley School

Diablo

This school doesn’t have a curriculum, doesn’t give homework, tests, or grades. When we think about this ideally, we can see that this school has good intentions. They want children to be comfortable in their learning environment. The school setting is more like a house, where there are couches and the staff cooks lunch for the kids. They allow children to attend board meetings, voice an opinion, vote, and help with school-wide decisions. This school’s goal is to encourage children to be confident in themselves. This school wants children to develop their own identity, and be proud of who they are. It’s a school that wants children to recognize that everyone has individual strengths, and it minimizes the idea that any child has a weakness. The goal is truly ideal.

One student said, “I’ve become a lot more confident with myself,” she says. “And I think the best thing about this school is that there is no pressure to be anyone other than yourself.”

Many of their ideas are so out-of-the-box in both excellent ways and debatable ways. I like that they let the children have a voice on what goes on in the school, and I like that they let those children take leadership roles. This helps them move their school and learn the importance of responsibility. This school is great for students who don’t feel confident in a regular school. This is also a good school for students who need a little more intimate attention from their teacher. This is also good for students who want to have fun. The children did seem happy in the segment. What child would not want to go to a school like this? This is a school where kids rule. To add, the food probably tastes better than the food at any school around the nation…

But there are a few things that I think was not considered in the greater scheme of things.

This school seeks to “protect” or “nurture” children by giving children what they emotionally need and want, but it doesn’t prepare them for the harsh realities of the real working world.

This school allows children to begin learning basic skills such as reading and writing…whenever the child feels like learning it. Yes, they decide what they want to learn and when they want to learn it. They feel this helps the children develop a natural interest in subjects. If a child wants to learn something, they ask, and the staff there helps them learn it. And it doesn’t have to be basic skills, like reading or math. It can be something like sewing. I understand this school was designed to make children feel more confident in what they are learning.

But I feel this school treats the children like babies. While the school provides a comfortable learning environment, it doesn’t teach them how to adjust to working environments that are not ideal when they get older. In traditional education, at least a child learns to adapt to various working styles. This actually teaches them how to endure in many different kinds of jobs. It gives them the discipline to deal with the working world. When a child becomes use to this environment, a real job becomes a cinch. They learn that each job has it’s own rules and it’s own code of dress and many other similarities to their school.

A comfortable environment makes the children feel at home, but gives them unrealistic expectations about the job life. These children will grow up with the attitude that on a job “They will work when they are good and ready”. They will not know how to do something they don’t want to do. But guess what? No one wants to work, but we have to. Otherwise, who will eat?

Sometimes, it may ultimately make them less confident as adults as they begin to compare how much they know with the other adults around them who have learned so much. Some children may not even acquire the curiosity to read until they are teenagers. By then, many teenagers their age would’ve learned so much more, even the students that are considered “struggling” in traditional schools! I asked one child, who was struggling in 5th grade, to spell her name out for me as fast as she could. She spelled it so fast, you can tell that she had written that name a thousand times. She knew it by heart, even though she was struggling with her school subjects. I told her that’s how I knew she was in 5th grade. I could tell that she had spent five years practicing that name. A student who decides when they are going to learn this in teen years will be way behind…

Children with mental disabilities often never acquire an interest in learning because of their set-backs, so this school would leave them empty-handed. I’ve had to push (not shove, of course) many students with disabilities to learn subjects. They may not have liked it as children, but when they get older, they often felt confident. When they are not pushed, they don’t learn, and are left to feel odd or as mentally disabled as people make them feel when they become adults.

Also in a subject like history, this school will put the kids behind. There are certain things children should know about history by the time they are in 8th grade. We learn history so we can avoid making the same social mistakes and so we can borrow inspiration to create a more progressive future. That’s how we were able to make many of the inventions we have today, on the basis of what people did. Most children do not acquire a natural curiosity to learn history. I know this from experience.

Instead of helping them compete with a global economy, this school will still put them behind. This school stated they are focused on improving test scores in the nation, but without…testing the children. It sounds like they are only about the numbers, not the education. Or rather, they seem to be all about the numbers they decide to put in. But without a curriculum guide, they don’t really seem to care if the child can truly compete with other children globally on an intellectual level. The students may not feel these debilities as children or teens, but they will feel it as adults.

The school also doesn’t prepare the students for a higher education. In college, while they do get to choose the subjects they want to study, and what time they want to take the courses, they have to sit for long hours in lecture halls, complete homework assignments, and deal with stressful exams. How does this school prepare them for a higher education should a child want to pursue that path? This school, in my honest opinion, is for the pampered and babied. In fact, without a test, how could they monitor a child’s progress or really know whether they have learned something in the school? How can they know if a child has even learned to count? By letting the child monitor their OWN progress? Children just want to play, and may say anything just to get work out of their hair.

The upside to this kind of schooling is that these children may grow up remembering that they don’t have to work at something they don’t like. That’s the privilege of living in the USA. This may thus help them push for more creative freedom in a work environment. But making that kind of difference takes time. And they still need to learn to work at a stable job. But then there are those moments where the lack of various skills limits them to odd-end jobs…

What really disturbs me is the fact that none of the “teachers” are required to be certified. The children learn from random people who share their “experiences”. Again, this is ideal, but not at all realistic. The school seems to be lacking in a little historical education themselves, and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past. In the past, teachers were not required to have any more than a 8th grade education. Soon after, women were usually married off and men began working. But how could a student be confident in a teacher they are not sure has been to school or learned anything themselves? Would you want a certified Doctor operating on you or your family? Or some random person who came into the hospital saying they know a little bit about medicine? I know a college degree doesn’t make a person smarter than someone without one, but at least you know they have acquired the knowledge to attend to the job at hand. The certificate is confirmation that it has been a field of study for 4 or more years. When someone is not certified, you can’t really know if you are being taught lies or not. You may not know with a certified teacher either, but at least you know they have studied the facts before.

Then, there are things personal experience cannot teach you. There are some subjects that can’t be understood in-depth without consistency and an expert. For instance, there are hundreds of countries around the world. It is not only beneficial to talk about the country the child lives in, but also about other countries. This not only broadens their world view, increases compassion in a child, but it also teaches them to think about someone other than themselves. A random teacher can’t teach a child about correct geography or how to read a map correctly. These “teachers” are also probably not equipped to deal with mentally disabled people, either. I mean, the school isn’t bad, but is it really on the same quality-level as a traditional school? Or should I think it’s better just because it’s free and new?

The school would then have to place value on what THEY deem is more important to learn, which means they would be belittling the subjects they feel are not so important. I’d like to think that each subject has a use. If we belittle a subject, we belittle a job and therefore limit what our children could do in the future.

So, this is my spin on the “new school” education. Share your comments on the matter. Do you think the schools have the right answer to combat declining test scores in the USA?

The Bechdel Test Amendment: The Bly Test and The Socratic Test

24 Oct

Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_(Bechdel_test_origin)

I recently just heard about the Bechdel test. As someone who is all about equality, I am surprised I’m the last to know about this examination. I heard about this test when I was in a debate about whether Frozen was a feminist movie or not. I was told, “At least the movie passed the Bechdel test”.

The Bechdel Test was a short, three-step test designed in the 1980’s by cartoonist and feminist Alison Bechdel. She had a character in her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, that presented the idea. The character said she would not go to the movies if the movies were missing certain standards. These were the following requirements:

1) It has to have at least two women in it who…

2) Talk to Each Other About…

3) Something Besides a Man

Later someone added a fourth requirement:

4) The women must be named characters

I know, the requirements are amusing, but very well-thought out. It’s a good start, considering the ideas were formed over 20 years ago. This three-step standard seems to have become the deciding factor over whether a work of fiction is female-suitable, and thus whether the fiction makes it “feminist”-friendly.

Again, while I think the standard is a good start, I think the test is too simple and is flawed. Critics have pointed out the flaws. While I think it was an amusing strip, and good for a short read, I don’t think it’s thorough enough for people to go off of full-throttle. Here are a list of flaws:

1) While it mentions that a movie should have at least two main characters, it doesn’t specify whether those two females should be important to the story or influential (which the Mako Mori test covers, more on this later).

2) It doesn’t cover content. While there may be females in a movie, the content could be very sexist or very stereotypical in nature.

3) The idea of whether a man is included in a story conflicts with true feminism. Feminism is the idea that the genders are equal. The exclusion of male roles would not be fair or equal. It would also not make a woman’s movie equal that of a man’s because every “male-oriented” movie includes a woman in it. The extent to how much a man should be mentioned isn’t specified. Does this mean that a woman can’t even mention one man at all with another female? Does this mean that she can talk about a man, but not exclusively? Does this mean the content should exclude a relationship between a man and woman? Could a woman have a romantic interest that’s male, but still not talk to another woman about that love interest? There are too many blurred lines here…

So, if we only let the Bechdel test alone decide feminist content, we would be glossing over greater fictional issues.

mako mori

The second test that comes after the Bechdel Test is the Mako Mori Test. The standards for this test is as follows:

1) At least one female character…

2) Who gets her own narrative arc…

3) That is not about supporting a man’s story

I think Law and Order: SVU passes both tests…

This broadens the requirements a bit more, but still fails to cover content or gender equality. We are in the depths of the 21st Century. It’s time to bump up the requirements.

It seems extra strenuous to tack on more requirements. Even meeting these requirements is challenging. One of the reasons it’s so challenging is because there are not enough women influencing entertainment beyond being an entertainer. Though women have influenced literature, there are hardly any women producing music, music videos, or movies. One in six directors, writers, and producers are actually women. I’ll bet the greatest number of females are singing, dancing, or modeling…Being an image for the camera rather than behind it…

Another reason this is all so challenging is because it’s easier for male-oriented movies to appeal to both genders, but it’s harder for female-oriented movies to do so. Many times, female-oriented movies have to cave some of these requirements in order to get box office hits. Let’s face it: Men will not support a woman if she’s not attractive. Men make up viewer numbers, and if they don’t watch it, it will have a harder time being bigger than a male-oriented movie that gets viewership from both males and females.

The third issue is whether the standards match reality. The reality is that some women themselves are only interested in movies that deal with men and/or traditional feminine interests. Look at the success of the Twilight series. Look who wrote the series: A woman. In order to meet these standards, there needs to be a complete re-working in the mentality of the next generation.

To add, there are women who audition for stereotypical roles in movies, write about stereotypical lifestyles, and present stereotypical images in music videos all the time. If they support it, the issue will persist. As long as up-coming actresses settle for any female role, even if that role is stereotypical in nature, directors will continue to represent women the way they want to. The real question is: How does the modern female see herself, and will these views conflict with another female’s idea of “equal”?

Read my article: Feminism Today: Is it Real or Overrated?

The fourth issue is the true goal of all women. Is the Bechdel Test designed to promote a feminist agenda or some other form of female empowerment? We have to remember that female chauvinism and misandry still exist…Do women really want a movie that is equal to a man’s? Or do they want a movie that exclusively represents women and her glory? Women are not all united in what they want, so pleasing women on a universal level is difficult.

What is the difference between feminism, chauvinism, and misandry? Click me and Find out

The Bechdel Test hasn’t done enough to put men and women on the same level. This depends on if this is really what women want…

The Bly Test

Because of the above issues, there needs to be stronger, firmer lines and boundaries. I decided to write an amendment to the Bechdel Test. I decided to create my own modern, 21st Century test called the “Bly Test”. These requirements are for the ULTIMATE feminist movie. If you readers agree with my test, then you can set it as your standard. If you don’t, feel free to comment on my draft. I will always consider possible flaws in this draft, but I at least want to begin somewhere new.

Why the name “Bly”? I am inspired from Nellie Bly, a daring female reporter who invented Investigative Reporting. She went undercover as a mentally insane person and wrote about her experiences in an asylum. She also traveled around the world in 72 days! That female dared to do what no female before or after her would do and she broke ground in the reporting industry. This new test I’m thinking of is made to break new ground in fiction. If Nellie Bly can dare to be a different sort of writer, why can’t women dare to be something different in writing? Nellie Bly wrote about exciting stories with herself as the main character! And her stories would probably pass both the Bechdel Test AND the Mako Mori Test, if ever someone gets around to writing her story or creating her live-action movie. I’m really surprised there are no movies on this woman…

bly

That aside, I have my own standards. So, here I go.

1) The fiction has to have a female lead character…

2) With her own Story Arc…

3) That should not be supporting a Man…

Very similar to the Mako Mori Test. Sure, there are plenty of female lead characters in movies today. So, keep it rolling. We need more women playing the lead and not the lead love interest…I will keep it moving…

4) There should at least be one or more female supporting characters…

Yes, this bothers me. There are a lot of lead female characters, but I notice that all the other supporting characters tend to be male, especially in animated movies. For instance, in Mulan, Mulan was a strong female heroine, but she was the only one. All of the other supporting characters were male. Princess and the Frog had one female supporting character that provided comic relief, but the rest were male (Yes, I’m including the alligator and firefly). In male movies, most of their supporting characters are male, with one female love interest. Sadly, women only choose males for most of their support, too. It’s okay to have a love interest, but one work of fiction should still include more female characters as support. Even Hunger Games had more male supporting roles than female. Divergent took a risk and ended up having more female supporting characters, but the lead support was a male love interest…Not that this makes the movie different from a male-directed movie.

5) If it has elements of comedy, Main Female Character and/or Female Supporting Characters Must Provide Comic Relief and Personality…

Many females do not get respect for being funny. More male comedians get respect than females. I was very pleased when Terk from Tarzan and Dory from Finding Nemo provided comedy. Both female supporting characters did not turn out to be love interests. I was very grateful. Even Thor had one female comic character. I wish that more movies made women entertaining, and not dry and serious all the time.

And main female characters are usually even more boring, moral, and serious. Women seem irritated and defensive about everything. I don’t think that’s how they should be represented. Even Katniss Everdeen, Tris, and Hermoine seemed overtly serious and focused.

I find because women lack “personality”, they lack entertainment value. They are so serious, so focused, determined, defensive, and ambitious, they are too serious. We need some recklessness, some drama to the character, some humor from her.

6) All Female characters Must Be Named.

As was added to the Bechdel Test, it will also be added to the Bly Test.

7) The Female Must Have a Goal, Dreams, or Aspirations…

I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will. Just in case.

8) And the Female’s MAIN GOALS In life Must Not Lean Toward Fashion, Romance, Social Status, Singing, or Dancing.

We are missing a strong group of females in the sci-fi or technology genre. Most lead females, especially in fiction geared to children, focus on fashion, social status (like Material Girls or Mean Girls), romance, and music, like dancing and/or singing. The problem are these goals focus a heavy lot on appearances and the body. We need more characters that aspire to be rulers, adventurers, or even women who discover something or invent something. I would love a female to lead a story like Atlantis the Lost Empire. I’m not saying there should be no fashion, social status, singing, romance, or dancing AT ALL. BUT I feel women need to move away from these hobbies and goals just a tad bit more. It would do some good to have variety. Women should show the world that they have various interests and that they are capable of intelligence.

9) Female Lead Must Not Focus on Her Looks, Not even to Impress Love Interest, to Satisfy Herself, or to Impress Viewers/Readers.

Women in fiction focus entirely too much on fashion and pretty looks. Even Frozen‘s Elsa decided to dazzle the crowd with a glittery dress when she could’ve expressed her freedom with the clothes she had on. I have more to say on this on another article. A female must use her actions to impress the audience/reader, as well as any love interests or admirers. Is this so hard to ask? If women themselves focus so much on their own looks, how can anyone ever think women are anything more than pretty faces?

Surprisingly, Alice in Wonderland accomplishes this.

10) The Female Must Save the Day Without the Assistance of a Male.

The female must take down the final villain all on her own, with no assistance from a male. Mulan accomplished this.

11) If there is a female villain, She Must Be A Strong Female Villain and/or Rival, who isn’t evil because of her appearance or a broken heart. If he is male, he must still be a strong opponent, even if the hero is a female…

12) And they should have Female Minions

I’m so tired of these weak female villains who turn out to be victims. We need some seriously ferocious female villains. That’s what I appreciated about Divergent. Why must a woman only be evil or have ambition when a man is her motivation for wanting revenge or anything else in life? And I know a villain isn’t flattering, but sometimes a movie is as good as it’s villain. Look at the Joker from The Dark Knight? Even a good female anti-hero would suffice, one like Jack Sparrow. Women are too, well, stuck-in-the-mud with righteous views. Why can’t women be good super villains or confusing ani-heroines? Why should female heroes only have villains that are easy to take down? That was what was disappointing about Frozen. Aren’t women strong enough to be challenged in a a great way? Villains test the strength of main characters. Without a good antagonist, how can we admire the hero? And what better way to challenge a female heroine than with another strong female antagonist?

13) All female animal characters should not be defined with a bow or with the color pink.

As if all girls like pink. I hated pink as a child, and I still do. It’s my least favorite color. I’m the least attracted to characters in pink, which is why the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers was my least favorite Ranger…The bow thing just adds to much girlishness. This wouldn’t happen if #4 was exercised. Once you use the bow on one character, what will you use on the second female? Oh, maybe something pink. How frustrating. Again, this is why I liked Terk and Dory.

There is also a sad lack of female minions. The male minions even take center-stage over female minions.

Basically, if a movie meets these requirements, some of our feminist problems will be solved. There would leave no room for women to complain. We covered adventure and action because without fashion, performing arts, and romance, what is there left in genres? Sci-fi, action, adventure, or family drama is left! We covered women being a main character for once. We covered women having a shot at supporting other females, and we even covered villain equality. We covered content and goals. Everything else should be up to the creativity of the writer. If we put too many rules on this, it would actually be limiting.

The Socratic Test

While putting standards on a movie that is geared towards women with female leads is challenging enough, it’s really not enough to equalize the genders. There are still challenges. Really, to achieve a completely feminist movie experience, we have to alter our views of men in movies as well. Really, the reason many women are portrayed so stereotypical is because men are also portrayed as one-dimensional. The roles that our men play influences the  roles that will be pinned on women and vice versa. If women have stereotypical views of men, how can they expect men to open their minds on women? If men have very rigid views of themselves, they will be rigid in the way they view women. For instance, if a woman expects a man to be the bread-winner in the household instead of stay-at-home dad, to be the brave one, and to suck up all of his emotions instead of crying, then who does she think should play those roles? It will fall back on her. It will have a reverse effect.

I remember reading the comments’ section on Youtube about the recent “Brony” movement. You know what was sad? There were women who said they wouldn’t date a man who liked ponies. Many of the girls had the nerve to say, “They want a manly man”. What, by chance ladies, is a manly man? If you think that a man should be a certain way, if you are that way, do you believe that is “acting like a man”?

Read article on Bronies: Brony Movement

Read up on the Feminist Frequency, as she talks about tropes dealing with men and women: A Real Feminist

Therefore, the next challenge rises.

The Socratic Test is named after the Greek philosopher who was the principal founder of many of the modern philosophies many westerners go by today. He believed that people should be concerned about the welfare of their family’s “souls”. He believed virtue could be taught, and that successful fathers did not necessarily make successful sons. He believed that each person had their own virtues separate from their upbringing, and he encouraged men to develop friendship and love among themselves. He believed that good virtues were more valuable than possessions. I believe he had the best idea on life for men.

Socrates, AC Grayling

The biggest problem is again, deciphering what is real and what is ideal. So, if any of you disagree with these standards, feel free to comment and explain why you do.

The problem with this test is that some men are very traditional and very rigid. In fact, men tend to be more closed-minded in this regard than women. Thus, men still admire the tropes that have actually been to the detriment and decline of men. It leaves men trapped in stereotypes and limits the options men have.

So, here are my standards for male and female-oriented movies:

1) The male protagonist must not have the main objective of winning a female love interest, she must not be the reason for his goals, neither must the Villain use her as leverage. 

I can’t tell you how many male movies are like this. In fact, what male movie does not have a woman as his main objective? Most males seem to do everything to impress a woman. And worse, the villain always uses her to get under the main protagonist’s skin.

This goes for female-directed movies, too. Most of the men in these movies serve no other purpose than to be the love interest. Their goals in most media is geared towards women. Even in a music video, the men are portrayed as showing interest in the woman while she just shyly rejects him. His goal throughout the video is usually to obtain a WOMAN. This shows people that men live their lives through women, and without women, they don’t have a life.

In fact, if we omit the women out of every male-oriented movie, for many, there would be no story.

I’m not saying there should be NO women or no female love interests. But she should not be the main goal or a reason the villain finds the hero weak. If this stereotype is omitted, that would be the end of damsels-in-distress, therefore, fitting a feminist agenda as well as showing more sides to men.

Superman fails this so strongly. Pretty much, every super hero movie existing today does.

2) The Story must not be focused on Sports if the male is the main character.

I’m not saying that the male lead can’t have an interest in sports, however, I don’t think the movie should be sports-focused. There is a heavy load of men missing in other professions on the big screen. This is especially evident in the black community. Black men are only portrayed as successful when they are athletes. This limits their options. Even movies about famous historical figures center around African American athletes. What about Black inventors? Artists? Dancers? There are other famous historical black figures that are male.

Again, I’m not saying a male can’t be interested in sports. That’s unrealistic. But the main goal of the story should not be driven by a sport.

3) The lead male must be a good character with a clean background.

I’m tired of the bad-boys-gone-good tropes, especially in female-directed movies like Endless Love, Twilight, Divergent, and many others. Why can’t men, especially love interests, be portrayed as good guys? It’s no wonder boys have such pressure to act bad! The highest number of crimes in the world are committed by men. And it’s all attractive until someone gets hurt. We can do better than that.

Men are always associated with chaos. For once, I challenge a producer, director, and screen-writer to create a character who doesn’t commit a crime or doesn’t intentionally harm someone. I dare them to create a character without a “bad past”. These portrayals aren’t always realistic anyway (Twilight). They glamorize a life that is not real. I had one girl tell me she hopes to find a man like Edward from Twilight…A vampire, she said. Face palm time.

I’m including “playboys” and “pimps” in this category. I’m not including men from the slums or “the streets” if they did nothing wrong on those “streets”. This especially applies to black men. This is why people don’t respect black men. They are portrayed as thugs and men who don’t have any stability or money unless they are committing a crime or pimping off some women. I’m tired of these tropes.

I’m not including one minor mistake the main character makes. That’s passable.

4) Violence should not be encouraged as the only way the main male protagonist solves his problems.

In almost every single movie surrounding men, violence is usually the main theme. It’s as if men do not have more intelligent ways of solving their problems unless someone is dead. Perhaps they could use their brains? Perhaps he could use other tactics, just like in Atlantis the Lost Empire.

In fact, Atlantis the Lost Empire passes the Socratic Test. Drumline also passes the test.

So let me know what you think about my amendment! You think it would work? What other additions do you think I should add to the Bly Test and Socratic Test? Leave a comment and let me know.

VIZ Media Stops DCTP Translations and Scans of the Manga Detective Conan

24 Jul

So I go on DCTP.ws to get my dosage of Detective Conan to find this:

dctp

VIZ Media sent a notice to DCTP, The Detective Conan Translation Project,  an online message board for Detective Conan fans, telling them to stop scans and translations because apparently VIZ owns the “rights” to Detective Conan. DCTP was known as a website that translated the Detective Conan manga, and at one time anime, for English-speakers, since most English-speakers had no manga complement as decent as the Japanese version. DCTP drew in fans from around the world. The team was very dedicated to their job of translating, even though many had other things to do. They were greatly appreciated. The same outrageous thing happened when SOPA and PIPA cracked down on pirating movies and shows on the internet, and so DCTP had to cease their translations of the Detective Conan animes. I was alright with that as longs as I was able to read the manga. And there wasn’t an English anime airing on my t.v. And I certainly don’t want that trash, Case Closed, ever airing on Cartoon Network again. In fact, there was never a good English anime complement to the Japanese version. DCTP’s manga scans helped that. But then VIZ just had to drop the bomb.

Here’s my thing. Why now, of all times? DCTP has been around for YEARS, and they choose now to say something? VIZ Media, if you own the rights, why haven’t you been doing your job of translating the manga at the same pace as the Japanese version? I am sure DCTP wouldn’t have translated the manga had there actually BEEN some decent mangas for them to read in ENGLISH! DCTP did a better job of releasing the English scans in a timely fashion, nearly matching the timing of the Japanese manga, and they weren’t even getting paid! VIZ Media is SLOW and PATHETIC.

I don’t speak Japanese, and I don’t READ Japanese. I appreciated a website that provided a decent, well-translated manga. VIZ Media is GARBAGE. They do not know how to make good dubbed material. They translate the mangas they want to translate, and if it doesn’t give them the satisfactory number of sales they want, they will cease translation altogether. That was a perk I will sorely miss from DCTP. They were loyal, hard-working fans that would never stop translating because they enjoyed reading Detective Conan themselves and made a hobby of sharing it with other international fans.

VIZ Media never cared about manga and anime fans. All they care about is making money from anime geeks. They hope to make a profit from this. But sadly, they won’t. You know why? Because their translations are 10 years behind JAPAN’S! Over half of the English audience is 10 years ahead of VIZ Media in the story. By the time VIZ Media chokes up the most up-to-date file, English-speaking fans will more than likely just give up on the series altogether. And by that time, Japan’s version will probably be OVER! DCTP was up-to-date. VIZ Media fails as a company altogether. I understand VIZ is a company and has to make money to eat, but they don’t put the same effort behind Detective Conan that DCTP did, and that’s the truth.

Another crappy addition to VIZ Media’s version is the SCREWED title, Case Closed. Why couldn’t you have used the ORIGINAL title, Detective Conan, VIZ Media? I understand that there’s a show that already has rights to the name “Conan”. But couldn’t you have called it Detective Kudou instead? Let’s also add the fact that Ran’s name is RACHEL and Shinichi’s name is JIMMY! Why those changes? Oh, why! Why is my worst nightmare coming true! Most of the cast’s names have been changed to sound more “American”, and it’s horrifying. The Detective Boys are the “Junior Detective League”, Mouri Kogorou is RICHARD MOORE, Ai Haibara is VI GRAYTHORN (WTF?) and Heiji is Harley Hartwell! Oh, just shoot me! Shoot me now!

I might not be buying or reading another Detective Conan manga until File 84 comes out in English. And when will that be? Another FOUR YEARS? This is the most disappointing news I’ve received! And when I do get it, I won’t be reading about Shinichi Kudo. Oh no. I will be reading about Jimmy Kudo! ARGH! The agony! I can’t even cringe my way through that!

I’m also reflecting on all of the Japanese cultural moments that were so eloquently translated by DCTP. VIZ Media just loves to take Japanese tradition and culture, and STOMP America all over it! They butcher over half of their mangas to make it more “understandable” for international audiences, and it just usually ends up a pile of train-wreck! They never translate the volume almost EXACTLY like the Japanese manga, and certainly not the way DCTP did. VIZ translates, omits, and re-writes everything! They are likely to change a popular Japanese board game into checkers! WHY! Please tell me this isn’t so! I knew this was coming one day, but I guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought for this day. I count it as a lost in my manga world.

For people around the world who don’t have to deal with VIZ, you are fortunate.

I think this is probably the worst news I’ve heard this month…

No, wait. f(x)’s schedule for this week and next week have been wiped clean. Today is not my day…

Case_Closed_Volume_36

Not Case Closed! Anything but Case Closed! NO!

U.S. Nylon Covers Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal: Korea’s Fashion Queens

14 Jun

bazaar-jess-krystal-1-main

The Jung sisters, as they are called lately, have been a popular topic since news spread that they had a little project in the works: their new reality show, which began airing on June 3, 2014. It is airing on the OnStyle Network, and captures the natural lives of the two sisters.

The Jung sisters have been so much of a hot topic that both Nylon’s Korean and U.S. reporters have covered their story, along with snapping some beautiful pictures for the cover of the magazine and for inside viewing as well.

In the interview with Nylon, the Jung sisters mentioned how they have a reputation for being “arrogant” and “blunt”. I do recognize this reputation. Jessica and Krystal are both often called “Ice Princesses”, and not just because Krystal knows how to ice skate!

During an ice skating variety show, Krystal was attacked for being a little “blunt” with the ice skating director that was trying to help her improve her ice skating. Krystal is also often taken the wrong way because she rarely smiles. Her reason: She hates her smile. Jessica has also been called a little “scary” because of her decisive and take-charge personality (People tend to think F(x) Amber is a little scared of Jessica).

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/38779/20130823/f-x-krystal-doesnt-like-smiling.htm

I will admit that Krystal and Jessica always try to be themselves. Their dorky, lovable selves. And thus, they sometimes end up coming across completely normal. Sometimes, normal isn’t always putting on a smile, being friendly, or stating opinions people agree with. I, myself, am not always smiling. I have days where I just don’t want to care. But, of course, I try to be polite to people, even if I don’t know them. Fortunately for myself, I don’t have to deal with people day in, day out. They DO. I can see how this can be a challenge.

Due to this reputation, the sisters decided to give a reality show a shot to show people how “sincere” they really are.

There are more juicy details translated for everyone here: Jung sisters with Nylon

At the end of the day however, one can only respect the Jung sisters. They do their jobs well.

Girls’ Generation, the 9-member, all-girl group, sits heavenly on their thrones as the reigning queens and goddesses of modern K-pop. Girls’ Generation is the first K-pop group to have American artists reach major stardom. They have sparked the female dance-pop group craze. They have a cute, feminine, and innocently sexy concept that many K-pop groups have imitated. They popularized the “Jegi-kicking dance” in Korea. Girls’ Generation shows the world Korea’s beauty through almost a dozen girls. Trust me, they have a lot of male fans. This group is considered one of the pioneers of modern K-pop music in Korea. They were the first female K-pop group to receive Western attention, possibly, thanks to their English-speaking members. Girls’ Generation is a very beautiful girl group, but they also have lovely voices and significant dancing abilities.

F(x), on the other hand, is a 5-member, all-female group (questionably 😛 ), currently known as being quirky and experimental. F(x) is the group that music critics rave over. F(x) is an edgier group and is often compared to the boys’ groups rather than the girls.  F(x) is heavily known for their boyish charms, their unusual concepts, and unique sound. Their music is distinctly different, but highly expressive, and often, personal. They are also known to be less focused on beauty, and more focused on expressing their talents, even though they have beautiful girls in their group. F(x) is a multi-talented group. Some members are super flexible and can perform flips! Others play piano, Krystal being one of them, and others play guitar! There are even some song-writers and composers in the group. They are less sexualized and more…individualistic. You’ll never see them dressed alike. F(x) is also known for their powerful charisma. F(x) was Korea’s first major multinational female group (3/5 members aren’t from Korea, and 2/5 aren’t of Korean heritage).

Despite their significant differences, both groups have garnered a huge international following, and have set many trends in the K-pop industry. To add, both are backed by the “powerhouse” label SM Entertainment, so they are sister groups.

The Jung sisters themselves have garnered a lot of attention for their beauty, as both girls have amazing petite figures and lovely facial features. But they have also gained attention for their amazing, yet equally different, fashion senses.

Nylon covered their distinctly different styles well.

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Showbiz Korea also highlighted what they observed about the two girls’ fashion styles, and it also brings to light some pretty interesting points about the styles of their individual groups as well.

The video above interestingly points out the differences between the sisters. So, I thought it’d be interesting to note what I’ve observed on their respective natal charts. Jessica has her fashion planet, Venus, in the sensual, naturally beautiful sign of Taurus. Venus is at home in Taurus, and at it’s most powerful. It’s no wonder Jessica is considered an icon of feminine fashion. Venus is the main feminine planet. She rules over love and beauty. Taurus loves beauty, but they like comfort, being an earth sign and all. This is probably why Jessica likes to dress casually. Earth-tone colors suit Tauruses. Soft colors, like pink, also suits Tauruses. They have a down-to-earth charm. They love pleasures of all kinds: good food, soft fabrics, lovely smells, anything that appeals to the senses. They never deny themselves pleasure, so they may shop a lot. They know what looks good and what doesn’t. This means that they have excellent taste. They can be a little demanding, and a little too superficial, but they are always honest and sincere. Venus in Taurus is usually very attractive to the opposite sex. Venus in Taurus loves peace and security. Money and possessions are important to them. Jessica is probably more about beauty, cosmetics, and fashion than her sister is. Tauruses are always charming. Taurus is usually classic, preferring the tried-and-true to the outrageous and new. They like fine materials, and won’t spend money on anything cheap-looking.

Archetypes of Venus in Taurus: the caretaker, sweet pea, Eve (of Adam & Eve), Aphrodite, pin-up, beauty queen, trophy wife, silent screen actress, banker’s daughter, millionaire heiress, earth mama, nature lover, queen, matriarch

Krystal has her Venus in Taurus’s opposite sign, Scorpio, the mysterious, sexy sign ruled by Mars, Venus’ opposite planet. Venus is naturally uncomfortable in the sign of Scorpio. Venus loves peace, but Scorpio brings out the risk-taker in a person. Krystal has a chic, edgy fashion that combines her boyish nature with her girlish nature. This is very risky, as people aren’t always sure how to take the combination. Mars is a masculine planet, so it’s natural for Scorpios to gender-bend! Scorpio is directly opposite Taurus, so Jessica and Krystal really are opposites in style! Scorpio is a powerful sign, and everywhere Venus in Scorpio walks, they make an impact. When it comes to fashion, they usually care less about what others think and care more about expressing who they really are inside. Because Scorpios usually have nothing to hide, they don’t mind showing skin, but in a subtle way, as they are also quite secretive. This is why you may see Krystal in some sheer outfits, or in a see-through skirt like above. Scorpios can be a little too blunt, and since they hate being phony, they aren’t always polite. But Scorpio’s charm is the fact that they are fearless, a true leader, and have extreme charisma. They literally draw people in like a magnet. They are true rebels who challenge the rules of society. Scorpios, no matter how pretty they look, always think there’s more to a person than what meets the eyes. They define beauty in a different way from most people.

Archetypes of Venus in Scorpio: the black widow, prostitute, phoenix, thorny red rose, belly dancer, erotic dancer, smoldering ashes, scorpion, seductress, celibate, psychologist, jealous one, fortress, the betrayer/betrayed, vampiress, alchemist, shaman, spy

Despite the girls’ differences in style and personality, they are very close. Nylon magazine pointed out their close relationship, and mentioned they were more like “friends than sisters”, even though Jessica is five years older than Krystal.

Well, with Jessica and Krystal’s reality show in full swing, and F(x)’s comeback around the corner, I wish the girls the best and hope for future success as they cater more to their international fan-bases.

So now, let’s enjoy a nice video: Chocolate Love, the LG commercials! Which is more you? The elegantly sexy members in the “white chocolate”, Girls’ Generation? Or the dangerously sexy members in the “dark chocolate”, F(x)?

To Read more about F(x) and Krystal, you can click the following links:

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Alice in Wonderland

16 May

Alice in Wonderland has become a popular part of today’s culture. It has developed into a “cult” film. There are many people interested in the story, and there’s a lot of merchandise that comes with it. I’ve seen clothing items, handbags, school supplies, toys, jewelry, posters, and many other items dedicated to this story. Teenagers had made it into somewhat of a sub-culture.

The story is quite fascinating. Many people can’t decipher the reality or inspiration behind the story. Nothing makes sense-but that’s the point, right? It’s very “mental”.

Most people are most familiar with the Walt Disney film that came out in 1950’s titled Alice in Wonderland. What most people don’t realize it that film was the most inaccurate portrayal of Alice in Wonderland out of all of the portrayals. But because most people are familiar with this one, it is often considered the main story. Whenever a new movie comes out that is more accurate, I hear people saying, “Oh, I hate it. It’s nothing like the original.” The “original” they are usually referring to is Disney’s version.

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But did you know that Disney’s version was based off of Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) AND his second novel Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)?

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Disney chopped up both stories and stuck them in one movie, combining the queens together, even combining some characters with the Mad Hatter, and omitting the scariest antagonist in the story, the Jabberwocky. The story made the “Jabberwocky” poem a popular part of poetic literature and modern culture, even though it’s purely, well, nonsense. I think there’s even a rock band named Jabberwocky. See why this is a “cult” film now?

The most accurate live-action portrayal of both books was the two-part 1985 film Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. It was made-for-tv, and it had a huge all-star cast.

Though the graphics are boo boo, the costumes are bogus, and the musical numbers are distracting, this film brought out all of the elements of Lewis Carroll’s novels, so the story was good. Once you watch this version, you can really see just how whimsical the TRUE story is. I just wish Disney had done true justice to the story. There are some characters I would’ve liked to see animated or re-done with modern graphics.

So, take a look at the 1985 version of the film and let me know what YOU think!

If you like Disney, here is a sneak peek at Disney’s next live-action film, Cinderella! Watch the trailer! Set to come out March 2015!

The Korean Wave “Hallyu”

17 Apr

I first heard the coined term on an article about f(x) being the first K-pop act to perform at Texas’s SXSW South By Southwest.

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Brings the Korean Wave to Texas

I know you’re wondering why I suddenly have this inspiration to create an article about the Korean Wave. Well, the other day (as in last week), I was watching Crayon Pop’s song “Uh-ee” and “Bar Bar Bar” when I heard the news that Lady Gaga wants to have Crayon Pop open for her Live Concert Tour. If anyone knows Crayon Pop, they are an all-female K-pop group that went viral awhile back due to their quirky dance moves, bike helmets, and wholesome attire entirely. They are definitely unique, and they seem like they would be Lady Gaga’s taste.

But just hearing how even Lady Gaga is into Korean pop music got me thinking: Just how many people listen to K-pop?

So, I did some research on this subject.

The “Korean Wave” reminds me of the Tulip Era in Turkey in the 18th Century…for all of you historians who are interested…

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What is the Korean Wave?

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It is a sudden “wave” of interest in South Korean “pop” culture. Yes, not just any Korean culture, but “modern” and “popular” Korean culture. And it has developed into a sub-culture with some cult followers in the mix…

The term “Korean Wave”, also called Hallyu, was said to have been coined by Beijing journalists who noticed a growing interest in South Korean culture in China. More and more Chinese people were exporting Korean merchandise, and supporting Korean music and film.

The Korean Wave shows a huge thrust toward entertainment media mostly, but many foreigners are more aware of the lifestyle in Korea as a result, such as the food (I learned about Kimchi), fashion, language, and even literature. The only thing excluded from this category is history, but that may come soon with the rising popularity of Korean dramas.

Due to increase internet availability and usage around the world, and the Technological Revolution of the early 21st Century, K-pop and Korean dramas are more available to people all over the world! So, Korean pop culture is spreading quicker and easier.

The Korean government hopes they can use this “wave” of interest to gain “soft power”. Not the kind of power where you take over other nations, but the kind that introduces Korean beauty, culture, and art to the rest of the world. They hope to make peace through this “wave”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Wave

Where Did the Korean Wave Come From?

After World War II, Japan put a limit on entertainment that came in and out of the country. Once Japan lifted restrictions on international imports (and exports) in the 1980’s, entertainment could be distributed more freely worldwide. This brought about a “Japanese Wave” that was at a much smaller scale than the Korean Wave (mostly due to the fact that internet was a newer concept and not available everywhere around the world), but still, relatively large.

With the “Japanese Wave” came an increased interest in Japanese animation and comics called mangas. Japanese cartoons were fed to children in the 1990’s (I was one of those children). My first Japanese anime cartoon was Sailor Moon. Every day before school, I watched this show! Of course, at that time, the show was butchered so much because they wanted the animes to “relate to American children”. Later, Cartoon Network’s popularity increased as more and more people had access to cable channels in the late 1990’s.

Then came the Pokemon phenomenon, the first major Japanese animation to make millions in the West. It even had a very successful theatrical release! Pokemon is still being aired today.

Cartoon Network began to band together with the popular American animation company Funimation, a company that translated Japanese anime to make it more understandable to American audiences. Toonami, a segment of the day that mostly aired anime, was born afterwards. My next favorite anime to watch on that segment was Dragon Ball Z. This was the start of Japanese influence seeping into the minds of children.

There was also an increased interest in Japanese role-playing games. Sony, a Japanese company, made Playstation and Playstation 2, which made characters come alive on the television screen. The graphics were more real-looking than they had ever been before on any console, controls were easy to use, and Japanese game-makers began to sell their games to the world using this console.

Square-Enix was one such company. They are known for making the popular Final Fantasy series as well as the phenomenon Kingdom Hearts.

Japanese anime brought a wave of interest from the generation exposed to it. Interest in animes like Inuyasha and video games like Kingdom Hearts led to a growing interest in J-pop music (as you can hear an artist at the end of every anime or video game, particularly the legend Ayumi Hamasaki), Japanese food (teriyaki and goyza), Japanese language (Kawaii, Sugoi), fashion (cosplays and lolita came out of this wave), holidays, festivals (like Hinamatsuri), and destinations (like Osaka and Tokyo).

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An interest in Japanese culture, thus, led to an interest in all modern Asian culture.

This is where Korea comes in.

Korean Dramas and Manga

Korean film producers banked on this rising interest in Mangas and Animes. Korean drama adaptations of these animes spurred a fascination for Korean dramas in general. One of the biggest dramas a part of the “Korean Wave” is the drama Boys Over Flowers, based off of the popular Japanese manga series Hana Yori Dango. Meteor Garden, a Chinese version made in Taiwan in 1999, was the first live adaptation of the popular manga series. It was big in all of Asia. Since most southeastern Asian countries speak Chinese, other people were exposed to the drama. The Korean Boys Over Flowers had come out a decade later in 2009, updating the original adaptation and giving a modern feeling. Other Asian countries remembered Meteor Garden and heard about the new adaptation, which exposed many people to Korean culture.

Winter Sonata was Korea’s own major masterpiece, and it equaled the success of  Meteor Garden. This drama was said to have been the drama that launched the “Korean Wave”.

These Korean dramas were popular because of two factors as quoted from Wikipedia:

  • Emotional engagement of the audience with particular emphasis on forging an emotional bond with the protagonist
  • Explicit attention to female sexual desires — Departing from conventional dramas that tend to eroticize the female body, these dramas market the sexual attraction of the male actors, giving women a certain freedom of sexual expression.

 SM Entertainment

“Powerhouse” label SM Entertainment brought Korean music to the world for the first time. H.O.T. was the first all-boy Korean group to perform a sold-out Concert outside of Korea. This group particularly targeted teenagers and were the first of their kind. They were the pioneers of what we know as the “idol group trend”. They were meant to bring K-pop to the younger generation. Their debut was in 1996.

Then came BoA Kwon, the reigning Princess of K-Pop. BoA was the first Korean artist to sell over a million copies of her albums outside of Korea. She was Korea’s first international superstar. She was an extremely young artist, and the youngest artist to debut at the time of her debut (2000 at age 14).

My first taste of K-pop was also through BoA. I was first introduced to BoA after my favorite doll brand, Bratz, did a collaboration with BoA and Howie D (Backstreet Boys) back in 2003. It was my second taste of foreign music (my first was Utada Hikaru from the Kingdom Hearts series, but she sounded so “American”, I didn’t realize she was a Japanese superstar at the time).

I started looking up more about BoA. That’s when I found out she sang the ending song to the popular anime, Inuyasha, which also made BoA more popular. That’s when I realized just how popular BoA was in Japan.

Then I found out she wasn’t Japanese. Little did I know, at the time, I was a part of a movement that shaped the next generation.

She is still the only Korean artist to have six consecutive hits in Japan, and is considered a household name in many Asian countries.

Soon, other K-pop artists from SM began to pop their way to stardom.

The groups I remember distinctly popping up was TVXQ (DBSK), Super Junior, SHINee, and Girls’ Generation. With the Youtube phenomenon, these groups spread Korean pop music internationally. Many of those groups had international members in them. The male groups broke Asian stereotypes around the world, and gave Asian men a “beautiful face” in the Western world.

At the time, SHINee was the most unique. SHINee embraced their more “feminine features” and made it more attractive to girls! They also started the new generation of dance-pop music with complex dance moves. After their debut, the other artists started imitating their style. Originally K-pop boys showed more edge, but SHINee softened their blows, wearing eyeliner, long hair, and shaking their butts in “Ring ding dong”.

Girls Generation brought Asian beauties to international audiences, and paved the way for the female “idol group” trend.

My biggest sweep into the Korean Wave was with the group f(x). Amber was Korea’s first androgynous pop star! Ever since, I’ve been an adamant follower of K-pop “idol groups” rather than Japanese, and recently, C-pop (Chinese pop). I’m just so darn addicted to that group! Once you get swept into the ocean of K-pop, with your favorite K-pop artist, it’s hard to swim back to shore…rather, it’s hard to want to.

The rising popularity of these groups contributed to the “group” trend that is known in Korea today…

Adding these idols to K-dramas spreads Hallyu further.

Psy and Gangnam Style

Psy made K-pop a global phenomenon in 2012 to 2013 with his smash Youtube hit “Gangnam Style”, an upbeat, electro-dance pop/rap song, put to funny, satirical lyrics, and choreographed with humorous “galloping” dance moves. Psy made a statement in Korea, and brought Korea to everyone’s backyard. He was the first viral artist to have over a billion views! He broke a world record!

Unlike most idols, he wasn’t slim-trim, with a “Justin Bieber” haircut, skinny jeans, and hot dance moves. He was an “average” guy. His music also made a statement. He pointed out satirically about the lavish lifestyle in Gangnam, a district in Seoul, Korea, the center of Korean pop culture. This appealed to audiences worldwide.

Psy also put his label, YG, on the map. Korea hopes to use his fandom as a sign of diplomacy.

What Makes the Korean Wave Unique from other “Asian Waves”?

The Korean phenomenon wasn’t the first international fascination with Asian culture. Asian persuasion has been around since the growing popularity of Kung Fu films in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which put Chinese cinema on the map and popularized Chinese culture and history in many parts of the world. The growing popularity of Japanese culture dominated the 1990’s.

But what makes the “Korean Wave” unique is that it is getting popular in an era that is influenced by the “Digital Revolution”. It is spreading at a much faster rate and on a more universal scale than the other two phenomenons.

It’s also unique in the fact that Koreans are popular for their “modern” culture, and not stereotyped, historical depictions of them that may no longer ring true (like all Asian men learning martial arts). Koreans are looked at as more of an advancing society, as their modern culture is more popular than their ancient one, and that’s what makes this “wave” special.

Finally, what makes the “Korean Wave” unique from the other two “Waves” is the fact that the “Korean Wave” shows a huge support from the female audience. Kung Fu movies and the “Japanese Wave” mostly had male audiences wrapped around their fingers. Though, as a female, I’ve been into all the waves at one time…

This also helps to change the world’s views on Asian culture. It helps to diminish biases, prejudices, and stereotypes. It creates mutual understanding and peace between nations.

What are characteristics of those involved with the Korean Wave?

1) Lots and Lots of fan girls-Because of the increased female fan-base, men are more objectified in K-pop and K-dramas, and female sexuality is highlighted. This makes Asian men more desirable to women.

2) K-pop Group biases and fan wars-With the rising popularity of K-pop groups, you find tons of fans defending their favorite “idol” groups. My favorite is f(x) recently. They helped sweep me into this “Korean Wave”. But I hate fan wars.

3) K-Drama discussions-K-dramas can be so dramatic, you will find tons of message boards about them. Prepare to cry.

4) Eclectic clothing-Korean clothing can be trendy and sometimes downright eccentric.

5) A bunch of young college kids-While you might think mostly teenagers are into this wave, sources show that the biggest support comes from young adults in their 20’s. So, this is what the college kids are into. I sort…of…um…am apart of that demographic. :3

Well, that’s all for now folks! Leave me a comment let me know what you think about Korea’s growing popularity!

f(x) TV #2: Watch f(x) on Their Adventures as They Travel Across the Globe!

31 Mar

 VOTE FOR F(x): VOTE Click!

VOTE FOR F(x) ON M!COUNTDOWN!

 Vote f(x) for Summer Song on Fuse TV

 

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Today is the final day of March, and the final day of f(x) month. Where did the first two months go? 😦 Thank you all so much for joining me and supporting my posts this month. Though it’s the final f(x) day on here, I will still be pushing promotion of this K-pop group throughout the year. You also can always go back to articles about f(x) in my archives.

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) and Venus

We won’t end today on a sad note. Grab some more popcorn from yesterday (and another pillow)! Today, I’m going to post some of f(x)’s amazing adventures around the world! They are quite entertaining! You will be introduced to the personalities of the group as well as their daily life as K-pop starz!

So, I hope you all enjoy!

Remember, throughout the year help us f(x) fans in trending #bfx2us and put your city or town behind it! Hopefully, with all of your help, f(x) will give us that Concert tour we’ve been dying for! 

Hello f(x)

Travel with f(x) to Kenya, Africa, and Thailand, Asia!

(It’s a full playlist, so just press play and it should go next automatically)*

Amazing f(x)

Travel with f(x) to New Zealand!

(It’s a full playlist, so just press play it should go next automatically)*

f(x) @ SMTOWN FRANCE

f(x) in Japan

Watch Amber as the MC on We Got Married: Global Edition! This is the online spin-off to the original We Got Married (the one with Victoria in it)! Amber is always on MC mode no matter what. It’s just natural for her, even when she’s introducing herself during performances.

For more f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

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