Thursday, May 22, 2008

May Panic (Anime, Mangas AND Dramas)

May has always been a hectic month for me. There's Mothers' Day, Exams, Birthdays, Assignments (Which are only worth 1 mark per assignment and you have to go through hell for that 1 mark), Mall Sales (Reading too much Shopaholic is having an adverse effect on me), Revisions (It's LAW! For God's sake!), and admist all that, I can still find time for my anime and mangas AND indulge in my romance and chick lit novels. Really, I have never been busier (and more broke).

The thing about preparing for exams is, no matter how hard you try to concentrate on the book in front of you, it has never been easier to get distracted. It is always during the exam period that I find myself digging for shows to watch. It's like a phase of denial, where you try to convince yourself that exams are easy-peasy, and that you've got more than enough time to prepare for it.

So, to allow myself to focus more on studies, I came up with this scheme that I'm pretty sure could cure my distractedness. I could study a chapter, and then reward myself with a episode of the (very) few anime I've been saving myself for times like this. It's like all those government policies we learn in school, where there are rewards and punishments for following the rules (or something like that). It's the same concept. The only difference is I didn't come up with a punishment scheme to deter myself from allowing my mind to wonder off again.

So, while I was still priding myself on how smart I am to come up with such a ingenious scheme, I was already through 2 series of anime (Hatenkou Yuugi and Spice & Wolf) before I know it and I wasn't even done with 1/4 of revising! Just imagine, how much revision I could do with all the time I've wasted, then again, not that I'm lamenting much about it as you know saying goes, "The time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted." - which I couldn't agree more. Now that I think back, it's actually pretty silly of me to believe that the plan would work anyway.

During the course of my self-search (and in the middle of exams), I finally acknowledged the fact that (albeit grudgingly) God has abandoned me and left me with no more anime to watch. On second thought, maybe He hasn't really abandoned me. Because in a spark of inspiration, I found myself watching (and actually enjoying) one of those Taiwanese dramas that I've sworn never to touch! Bottom line? God Loves Everyone. Amen.

Here's the plot:
Yuan Xiang Qin (Ariel Lin) is a naïve but optimistic high school girl. Ever since she met Jiang Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng) at the freshman orientation, she's fallen in love with the genius with an IQ of 200. After two years of having a crush on him, she finally musters the courage to confess to him at school with a letter. Zhi Shu is not impressed, and his cold-hearted rejection immediately turns her into the biggest joke of the school. Misfortune comes in a pair: that evening, the new house she has just moved into with her father collapses in a minor earthquake. She and her father are instantly left homeless. Fortunately, her father's old high school friend extends a helping hand and invites both of them to live at his house. Little did Xiang Qin know that the kind Uncle Li is actually the father of Jiang Zhi Shu! Because of the unexpected turn of events, the two of them begin living their lives under the same roof. (I know, cliched storyline. Again.)

It Started with a Kiss is arguably the best taiwanese drama I've watched (although I've only watched 2 taiwanese dramas in my 18 years of life - the other being Devil Beside You). But honestly, after watching ISWAK, anything else would pale in comparison. It's that good and funny, not to mention all the angst I feel for the first 17 episodes. The last 3 episodes are what convert me into an ISWAK fan. They make up for all the stupidity in the show.

The thing about me not wanting to watch taiwanese dramas is because I've always felt that they are a rip off from anime and mangas. It's like, they've got no originality or something. Technically speaking, ISWAK is still a rip off, seeing as how it was adapted from a manga and although I did enjoy the drama overall, it did kinda spoil me for the anime Itazura na Kiss (See post below). Half the reason why I didn't give the show up has to be Joe Cheng. You've never seen a guy that gorgeous and cute!

That's the scene in the manga where Kotoko was asleep under a tree and Naoki kissed her, which was seen by Yuuki (that's his brother) who realised that Naoki does, in fact, love Kotoko. There's some difference in the drama where Naoki kissed her in the hospital, which was then witnessed by Yuuki who was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

It Started with a Kiss 2 a.k.a. They Kiss Again follows the story after volume 10, where Kotoko and Naoki got married and they are on their honeymoon. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.