Flash Review: Love Lasts Forever [An Incurable Case Of Love] [Japan]

So I checked out this show because a number of you had mentioned this to me as a drama that you enjoyed, and, I’d also seen a fair number of positive remarks and a good amount of assorted squee about it as well. Since I’ve said that I’d like to include more Japanese dramas on my drama plate, I felt that it would be quite remiss of me to not check this out.

Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I think it’s quite safe to say that overall, I didn’t manage to enjoy this one as much as everyone else did. But, for the record, this show did eventually grow on me towards the end, and I ended my watch enjoying the cozy-swoony feels that everyone else seemed to be talking about.

I think that this show would appeal to quite a niche sort of audience, which is why I’m here to help you figure out if you’ll like this one – before you invest the drama hours. I know; I’m so helpful that way, aren’t I? πŸ˜‰

OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

Here’s the OST album, if you’d like to listen to Show’s easy-breezy, mostly cute and winsome tunes as you read the review.

WILL THIS SHOW WORK FOR YOU?

I’ve come to the conclusion that if any (or more) of the following apply to you, that you’d have a good chance of enjoying this show.

1. Do you like the Mischievous Kiss sort of set-up?

On the surface, Show looks and feels like it’s an amalgamation of so many of the classic shoujo manga tropes that invaded Dramaland, at one point. Warm, ordinary, unremarkable girl falls for an aloof high-flying, genius type boy, and plans her career around him. The thing about becoming a nurse to his doctor, is particularly reminiscent of Mischievous Kiss.

But, as Show’s fans have pointed out to me more than a few times, this one does feel a little different, in that the Aloof Genius is not as carelessly cruel and cold, and our Warm Girl isn’t blind to his personality flaws.

On that note, I almost feel like I’m describing Chinese youth drama A Love So Beautiful, coz the same description applies. But I’d also say that ALSB worked for me more overall, because the Warm Girl has more noticeable spirit, sass and independence about her.

2. Are you into tsundere male leads?

Do you like the cold male lead who gets transformed by his One True Love? Coz Show serves up the distant jerky male lead in spades. If you’re ok waiting until Show’s last quarter for the cold male lead to shed his prickly outer layers a bit, to show glimpses of the marshmallow heart on the inside, then this could work for you.

3. Do you like Sato Takeru’s brand of smolder?

I do believe that a great deal of Show’s appeal rides on Sato Takeru’s smoldering looks. If you’re into it, there’s lots to flail over; it you’re not into it, there’s.. not a lot to flail over.

Note: Show’s got a pretty strong manga vibe about it as well, that comes from the general exaggerated reaction faces of our characters, and the slightly eccentric quirks of our characters. Logic gets stretched on the regular, and you need your anime lens on, for it to work.

WHAT TOOK SOME GETTING USED TO, FOR ME

Generally speaking, I found that I had a fair bit to get used to, even with my anime lens on. It’s probably partly because I’m still finding my feet with J-dramas and how they typically vibe as a whole, and partly because I feel like I’m not quite into the Mischievous Kiss sort of set-up anymore. Perhaps if Show’s balance leaned less Mischievous Kiss and more A Love So Beautiful (ie, less tsundere, with a sassier warm girl), this might’ve been an easier watch for me.

I found that for each major character or relationship, there were things that I liked, but also, stuff that I struggled with, and it wasn’t until Show’s final stretch, that this became a more comfortable watch for me. As a silver lining, Show does show lashings of heart, often via Sakura’s interaction with its patient-of-the-day.

PS: I’ll be focusing on just the OTP characters and relationship in this quick review. For the record, the side characters were mostly pleasant and mildly amusing, but didn’t quite get under my skin in a big way.

Tendo’s gruffness

The upside

Right away in episode 1, instead of being repelled by Tendo (Sato Takeru), I am intrigued by him. Apparently, there’s a backstory that explains his current state of distant aloofness; legend has it that he used to smile more. And, his bedside manner is impeccable; he seems genuinely kind to his patients. And, he doesn’t couch it as an act, either. He tells his section chief that he only has a limited amount of kindness, and chooses to use it in service of his patients. That’s a level of self-awareness.

Additionally, he does notice Sakura’s (Kamishiraishi Mone) efforts and progress, and isn’t too proud to concede her winning traits, even though she’s still got lots of room for improvement, overall. Despite Tendo’s prickly demeanor, the silver lining is that he sincerely cares for his patients, and that often is the driving factor that causes him to lose his patience with Sakura. Altogether, this makes him a lot more tolerable than Aloof Geniuses who just seem to revel in their superiority, just for the sake of it.

There are times when I do think Tendo looks quite nice. Often, this is when he’s dressed down in a hoodie, or fresh out of the shower, because that’s when he looks softer and less stern.

The downside

I generally don’t find myself swooning over Tendo’s charms. I feel like he looks the part of an anime character, with the sharp features and the wild hair, but I mostly just don’t feel it, especially in Show’s first half.Β To my eyes, Takeru looks like he’s a manga character moving from frame to frame, and so, it appears like he’s arranged just so, for each frame. On the upside, he looks like a manga character to a T; on the downside, Tendo comes across as a poseur, at least to me.

Tendo’s brusqueness and general aura of disdain comes across pretty strongly for much of Show’s run, and I found myself growing tired of his gruffness, particularly when it’s shown in response to something warm or sweet.

Essentially, I think I needed more of Tendo’s warmth to peek through.

Sakura’s determinedly sunny disposition

The upside

I like that right away in episode 1, Sakura is quickly disillusioned about her dream guy, and questions her entire career choice as a result. At the same time, she bounces back quite quickly, when she’s told that he’s kind, underneath it all. It’s sweet that she blossoms at the chance to see him in a good light, and it’s quite cute that she’s generally hard to get down.

Her enthusiasm isn’t quite matched by her performance on the job, but I like that she sincerely wants to do well. Tendo might be the reason that she chose to be a nurse to begin with, but that doesn’t mean that she’s content to do a shoddy job of it. She genuinely wants to help people, and works hard in order to achieve that goal, and that’s definitely a plus in my books. She has a genuine interest in people, and takes the time to get to know her patients, which is always a good thing as well.

The downside

I find Sakura’s sunny disposition a bit forced at times, like she’s smiling too hard and trying too hard to be cheerful and happy; it comes across as rather unnatural. But I’m rationalizing that she’s probably supposed to be uber smiley in the manga. Also, this could be a cultural thing.

Despite Sakura’s desire to do well, she doesn’t seem to have much self-confidence, and seems to suffer from a case of low self-esteem. There are more than a few occasions when we see her berate herself or cry or feel discouraged or apologize profusely, for being stupid, or not quick enough, or not good enough, and it’s a bummer to see.

This self-deprecating behavior is possibly a cultural thing as well, so I tried to roll with it, but I have to admit that it did wear on me at times.

The OTP dynamic

The upside

Over time, we see Tendo softening towards Sakura in small degrees, which is a step in the right direction. He’s comparatively less impatient with her, but he still demands excellence from her. And, when she does well, he does praise her or at least acknowledge her.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E3. Tendo taking the time to let Sakura practice her needle skills on him is a big deal. He hasn’t said it at this point, but he’s acknowledging her potential. That’s encouraging.

E3. Tendo’s backstory, of having lost his girlfriend to heart disease, is sad. And while I find it an overstepping of boundaries for other people to tell Sakura this kind of personal stuff, I do like how Sakura processes it.

The tipsy stuff that she says at the end of the episode is very empathetic and compassionate. “If you lost someone precious to you… And worked so hard… that people call you a devil… And you’re always making a stern face… It must be hard.” And then she promises to make him laugh. It’s sweet. And I can see why Tendo would look a little startled, to have her actually see through him like that.

E5. It’s fun to see everyone’s jaws drop, when he casually announces that Sakura is his girlfriend and therefore he’d like her to have Sunday off, so that they can have dinner together.

[END SPOILER]

The downside

Even when Tendo and Sakura start dating, Tendo looks like he’s a reluctant participant being dragged around against his will. This just isn’t the kind of stuff that floats my boat, and I was not quite prepared for just how grumpy Tendo can be as a boyfriend – at least on the surface.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E6. I’m not too hot on the idea that Sakura tails Tendo to Osaka when he’d told her to wait for him. It implies a lack of trust, and honestly, Tendo’s never given her reason to doubt him. Although, I can also understand her feelings of insecurity, since Tendo’s not been a very affirming boyfriend, in the short span of their relationship.

E7. We’re starting to see that Tendo cares more for Sakura than he’d like to let on, but I do struggle with how gruff he is. This show’s idea of romantic is when Sakura goes to him feeling insecure, and he responds by putting a hand on her head, leaning in really close, and then delivering a big smooch, as she looks surprised. It’s typical manga stuff, and should be received as such, but I have to admit that it’s not landing for me the way it’s intended to. I find Tendo too scowly and squinty, though I think that’s supposed to be part of his appeal.

Even when he lets on that he cares, or is jealous, it’s washed over by a heavy layer of gruff denial. “That’s enough, go home.” This might get some women’s hearts racing (I guess? Since this show is popular?) but it certainly doesn’t do anything for me.

[END SPOILER]

Sometimes you need to suspend disbelief a whole lot

You really need to suspend a lot of disbelief to enjoy this show. I’ve heard people say that this is like watching fan fiction. I’m not super familiar with fan fiction, but I imagine that’s a pretty good analogy. IΒ  was semi-successful at closing both eyes to Show’s lack of logic. Sometimes I thought it was hilarious and funny, and at other times, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at it.

Here’s a great example of how Show tosses logic out the window in service of its flagrant anime tendencies.

[SPOILER ALERT]

She sustains a head injury, and he, a proper doctor, freaks out when she loses consciousness in the ambulance, as if he think she’s dying – and it turns out she just fell asleep? Which is ridiculous, since she’d been earnestly confessing her big love for him just prior. And he barks at her that if she gets through this, he’ll do everything she asks; kiss her, take her on dates, whatever. HA.

And when she wakes up, she remembers, and asks him to keep his promise, and he tells her she’s an idiot and that she imagined everything – before doing an about-face, grabbing the back of her head, and kissing her. And then informing her that it’s for treatment.

[END SPOILER]

HAHA. The facepalming ridiculousness of it all. You either accept it or you don’t.

WHEN SHOW STARTED GROWING ON ME

Like I mentioned earlier in this review, Show is slow to melt away Tendo’s cold outer layers, and at the episode 7 mark, I was halfway tempted to drop out, purely from tsundere fatigue.

However, I’m glad I hung in there, because by the episode 8 mark, Tendo shows more tenderness towards Sakura, and that helps. In fact, as we get deeper into our final stretch, Tendo becomes increasingly overt about his feelings towards Sakura, and it’s quite gratifying to watch.

I guess this is a case of patience paying off; this show would’ve left a very different taste in my mouth, if I’d opted to drop out just before the gruff turns to sweet. I guess the lesson here is, if you’re going to watch this one, go into it with a view to finish it – or don’t get into it at all, if you don’t think you can wait for things to turn around in the last quarter.

SPOTLIGHT ON THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE [SPOILERS]

This episode is so secondhand embarrassing to watch. Tendo visiting Sakura’s family, only to have the entire family grill him about a potential wedding, and then setting up a shared bedroom for them, and then spying on them to check if sexytimes were happening as hoped for. Shudder.

And then, it’s even harder to watch Sakura nervously try to seduce Tendo. Egad. Who decided this was a good plot point?

I concede though, that Tendo murmuring to Sakura about how much he’s been enduring not touching her, is quite alluring.

That accident is so random and also, so implausible. How did that one car – which skidded to a stop – result in so many injured people splayed all over the road? HAHA.

The mirroring of Tendo angsting again, over potentially losing the woman that he loves again is heavy-handed. I am also not terribly pleased that the words spoken by Tendo that seem to trigger Sakura to her waking senses, are things like “idiot,” “stupid” and the like. That seems highly dysfunctional to me.

However. The scene of Tendo telling Sakura all the reasons that he likes her, while his back is turned to her, and the tears are falling from his eyes, is satisfying to watch. He’s been acting all cool and aloof all this time, that it’s high time he learns to wear his heart on his sleeve a bit, and tell Sakura that he loves her, and not just assume that she knows.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

For someone who found large chunks of this show uninspiring, I’m pleasantly surprised by how satisfied I felt, coming away from this finale episode.

Ryuko (Karina) takes Sakura with her to see her parents, and Tendo shows up and announces to his parents that Sakura is the woman he plans to marry. (Tendo stands up for his love! Yes!) Sakura turns down an opportunity to study abroad, feeling that it’s too much for her, and also, that it would also be too hard to be apart from Tendo for a year. But Tendo encourages her to go anyway.

In typical Sakura fashion, she gets her departure time wrong, and Tendo barely makes it to the airport to say goodbye. He breathlessly whips out the ring he’d bought, and proposes, saying that they’ll get married when she returns. Sakura practically bursts with joy as she accepts.

One year time skip later, Sakura returns, and we catch up with our various characters as everyone congregates for the wedding. As is typical of the Tendo-Sakura pairing, the wedding doesn’t go as planned, when Numazu’s brother (Kousei) collapses and everyone jumps into emergency care mode.

Back at the hospital, after Numazu’s brother is declared stable and safe, Tendo remembers that Sakura never did give her answer at the wedding ceremony, and so, pulling his jacket back on, he asks her again, and this time, she smiles as she says, “I do.”

Tendo smiles a gratified, satisfied smile, and then pulls her in for a kiss – and then another. His contented, pleased expression, layered on top of the smolder, as he grins-smooches his wife, is absolutely squee-worthy to see, and – shallow me that I am – I feel like this was absolutely worth sticking around for.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Fun for a whirl, if you’re into tsundere male leads &/or Sato Takeru’s brand of smolder.

FINAL GRADE: B-

TEASER:

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48 thoughts on “Flash Review: Love Lasts Forever [An Incurable Case Of Love] [Japan]

  1. karenedramaddictions

    I loved Takeru since his Rurouni Kenshin days but had always thought of him as kakkoii and not sexy/hot. Boy, this drama changed my perception of him. I belong to the camp which flailed over Tendou’s smouldering hot looks. As for the dorama itself, I’ve been an avid Jdorama fan for many years so this style didn’t seem awkward to me with its manga-elements and OTT scenes – LOL at the final romantic scene of Tendou kissing Sakura, him in swoon-worthy suit and her in her imaginary Warrior garb. I loved the manga elements to bits actually. <3 If anyone enjoyed this style, I also highly recommend a very very popular Jdorama (rather aged, but still a classic!) – My Boss My Hero (high school comedy).

    Reply
  2. vespertyne29

    ” Sato Takeru’s smoldering looks”

    Yes. That is the one and only thing I liked about this drama, and it kept me watching (well, maybe with a little spacing out here and there when he wasn’t on the screen) until the end. Plus, the cat-god dancing bar-tender was so much fun – I love cats, and I loved his crazy “meow meow meow” cat dancing! ha!

    This drama features something I simply cannot stand about many Asian dramas – the insipid, stupid, obsequious, sweet-but-not-that-pretty FL, who somehow ends up getting the hot sexy smart guy. It’s a trope that I just HATE. I can’t stand seeing women reduced to that role, and then getting REWARDED for it. Why is this so popular in Kdramas, Cdramas, and now, apparently, also Jdramas? Is it because it makes average girls watching this imagine that they, too, can have a rich, handsome, smart guy? Is that why they get so obsessed with their Kpop idols and actors, that they stalk them and buy expensive gifts for them, and freak out when they date the wrong girl? It is a trend that seemed to really trend heavily in the late 2000s, but thankfully seems to be fading out a little, especially in Kdramas. Still pretty prominent in contemporary Cdramas, which is why I prefer the wuxia/xiania type Cdramas, which often have strong interesting female characters (Maiden Holmes!) , or kind of ignore the women, and focus on the excellent bromances, like Nirvana in Fire, or the recent first part of Joy of Life, both of which I love.

    So, simply because of the FL character, who I could never, in a million years, suspend my disbelief and imagine Sato Takeru’s character even being able to stand looking at/listening to, much less finding sexually attractive or falling for, I find it hard to recommend this drama to anyone. I’d like to see more of Sato Takeru, though. I know he’s in “If Cats Disappeared From the World,” but that sounds just too incredibly sad for me to watch. Especially in 2020, when life already sucks beyond belief, and I’m stressed to the max, and America’s future is on the line in less than 60 days. Too much stress already.

    I really love your reviews, though. I always check them out, even though I don’t reply much.

    Oh, and whoever here brought up Kim Jae Wook -yum!! One of my favorites. I also think he looks as if he could be Japanese, perhaps in part because I first saw him in Coffee Prince, where he speaks Japanese. I loved him in the film Antique, and also in Her Private Life. Haven’t watched him in Voice, though. I’ll bet he’s an awesome evil guy, but I enjoyed seeing him as a romantic ML in HPL.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Lol. I mostly came out of curiosity, and then stayed for the promise of smolder myself! πŸ˜† This is the kind of character setup that was everywhere in Dramaland for a while, so I have to admit the premise does feel quite dated, at least outside of C-dramas, where, as you pointed out, it’s still quite popular.

      I haven’t seen Voice either, but I agree that Kim Jae Wook is probably great playing a villain. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  3. latefair

    I love that you reviewed this! I read the manga a long time ago, was surprised to learn that it had become a dorama.

    I’m usually a Sato Takeru fan but the acting here killed me, and not in a great way. Maybe it was the total over-exaggeration that you mentioned. (It’s probably also because I watched this right after Nigeru wa Haji. Probably.) Kamishiraishi Mone is super cute though, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it through just for her.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Yeah, I think this one really only works for a very niche audience.. you have to be in the mood for that kind of over-exaggeration, and want to see a live-action manga. I also think the premise is rather old by now, so many viewers would be over the type of tsundere male lead that Show serves up. I can’t blame you for dropping out early! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  4. Elena

    I gave it a try since it’s been a while from my last jdrama -the wonderful Nagi’s long vacation. Also, I love Sato Takeru…but halfway the 1st episode the girl decided she would be a nurse just to be close to the guy, and that’s something that didn’t sit well with me. I found this setup very outdated and annoying, women nowadays have their own lives and dreams, I just can’t watch several hours of this.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Very understandable, Elena!! This setup is quite overdone, and has been rehashed multiple times within the Mischievous Kiss franchise and outside of it too. πŸ˜› I don’t blame you for dropping it! Have you seen We Married as a Job? It’s sweet, cute and quirky, and should be a great departure from the cold jerky male lead type of story. I loved it, and I hope you’ll give it a try. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Tabz

    I just watched this drama a few days ago. It was my first j-drama. I forced myself to finish it. While I like cold male leads who gets transformed by the female lead I thought the ML here was a bit too jerky and took far too long to turn around. I also wasn’t satisfied with how his cold feelings towards FL transformed to tender. Really glad that it was a short drama!

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Aw, that’s quite a tragic start to your J-drama journey, Tabz! πŸ˜… I do think that the premise, with a warm, effervescent girl crushing on the cold, distant male lead, is rather old and overdone at this point, and not quite relevant to the times anymore, so I feel like this show would appeal only to a very niche group of viewers, who have a soft spot for this type of storyline.

      For a much better J-drama experience, I’d like to recommend We Married as a Job, which is dorky, sweet and heartfelt. No jerky cold male lead in that one! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
      1. karenedramaddictions

        We Married As A Job – Loved it overall, but I was so exasperated with the male lead throughout the show….until when someone finally switched on the light bulb in his head that he was being very selfish just running away because of his lack of confidence.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          Aw, I think I felt less exasperated than you did, with our male lead. Glad you still enjoyed the show overall, despite your earlier frustration! πŸ™‚

          Reply
  6. pizzahxxi

    Honestly, I really loved this show πŸ˜€ It was short, sweet and mostly a light drama to watch, with occasional bits of seriousness, since they are working in a hospital. The extra episodes were cute and helped to tie up a few loose ends in the drama.

    I found some parts of the drama to be relatable, like Sakura’s lack of self-confidence. I thought that it made sense in this setting since she is young and still learning about her job. Her job literally deals with life or death matters. I feel the same way when I make mistakes, so I could understand why she would be upset.

    However, other parts of the show felt very much like a drama. Like the exaggerated expressions or that accident scene that was very random, which I agree with your points πŸ˜€

    I also enjoyed the patient-of-the-day part of the show. It gave us an opportunity to learn more about the main characters as they interacted with the different patients.

    Overall, this show doesn’t really take itself too seriously. It was exactly as you described it “A fluffy live-action anime-like little drama” πŸ˜€

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Hi pizzahxxi!! πŸ˜€ Yes, this show didn’t take itself too seriously indeed. For what it was, it managed to be more heartfelt than I expected, and that’s definitely a plus point. I think if one is in the right mood, this can be a fun little watch, and it sounds like it was just that, for you! πŸ™‚ Fluffy and anime-like indeed! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  7. junny

    This was adapted from a manga, which explains the exaggerated characterisation and portrayals. It’s really not something one thinks too hard about, or at all, because almost every character was stupid, most of all Sakura, who was not believable as a nurse. The actors had very little chemistry, and the show coasted on Sato Takeru’s acting and appeal.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Hahaha, so I was right, that whether one likes this show, does depend largely on how one feels about Takeru’s brand of smolder! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Yes, this was not a believable drama at all, and I guess it never pretended to be, so at least it embraced its nature? πŸ˜€

      Reply
    2. vespertyne29

      Is Sakura as dumb and annoying in the manga as she is in the drama? Because I just can’t watch dramas with FLs who are so stupid and dorky and unbelievable-as-a-romantic-interest that I cringe when they show up in a scene.

      Reply
  8. Susan

    Based on your review, I’m probably not going to like this one even though I love Sato Takeru. (Have you seen the movies The Liar and His Lover and Rurouni Kenshin?) I hate it when the characters’ actions defy logic. 😜

    On a side note, I find that I can remember Japanese characters’ names, but not Korean ones. Honestly, I can’t tell if a Korean name is male or female, which makes it hard to pin it to a face. Am I the only one? πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. merij1

      Me too, Susan, for sure. For Korean actors/actresses, I’ve learned to focus only on the given name until that becomes familiar. That’s usually the most distinctive part, since there are only a relatively limited number of surnames in use in South Korea. And learning a two-part name is so much easier than three.

      On the other hand, when learning characters’ names in a new show, I decide which part to learn based on how other characters refer to them. “President Kim” vs. “Min-joon.”

      I’ll leave it to those who actually know something to comment on gender differences, which don’t appear to be consistent, and are therefore ripe for script-writing hi-jinks.

      But one thing I did notice in a drama recently was that the boy-girl siblings did share the first part of their given name — the generational name — which I guess is traditional for boy-siblings-only but is now conferred on any siblings or not used at all.

      If it is used, the order would be: family name, generational name+personal name. So the sister of a boy named Kim Min-joon might be named Kim Min-young.

      Of course, this is what they mean when they say a little knowledge is dangerous. You probably already know way more about this than I do! I’m just blathering on to procrastinate on my office work-from-home this morning…

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      1. Susan

        Haha! Unless Min-joon and Min-young are the only two characters in the show, I’d most likely still have trouble remembering who’s who. πŸ˜‚

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        1. merij1

          lol. In that case, ignore Min and focus only on -joon vs. -young!

          I look for the most distinctive part of whatever name the other characters use when referring to that person. It’s too much for my little brain to take in the whole name at first or even the two-part given name.

          So I look for the segment that’s least similar to any other character’s name and learn that. A few episodes later, I can usually learn the rest of the name.

          But that’s just for reading the subtitles. When my wife and I actually discuss the characters, we agree on nicknames and stick with them for the entire show. In One Spring Night, for example, we referred to the male lead (played by Jung Hae-in) as “the pharmacist.”

          Reply
            1. larius247

              The nicknames are the best way to go πŸ™‚ It is so hard to remeber the names especially when there are similar one in the drama like Soo-hyun and Seo-hyun. And I feel like every actor/actress pronounces differently. For example old actors compared to young actors.
              I usually just go with people I like and people I don’t like πŸ˜€

              Reply
    2. kfangurl

      Lol. This is definitely one of those shows where the characters’ actions don’t always make sense, since it’s got that manga vibe. If you’re not part of Show’s niche audience, it’s probably wise to give this a pass. πŸ˜‰

      I think there are Korean names which can be used for both genders, with the differentiation probably only showing up in the Hanja. Names like Ji Ho have been used for both female and male characters, for example. But, there are certain name “parts” that seem to be used specifically for males and others, for females. For example, for male names, “Wook,” “Kang,” “Jang” and “Joon” and for female names, you’d often see “Sook,” “Joo,” “Hee” and “Ae.” Interestingly, a name like Min Young is almost certainly for a female, but the name Young Min is almost certainly for a male. It is confusing at first, but I do think that over time, you start to develop an instinct for it.. I hope that this was helpful – and not more confusing! πŸ˜…

      Reply
      1. Susan

        I’ve watched a lot of Kdramas and even read manhwas, but haven’t gotten the hang of Korean names yet. My brain just skips over them since I have no idea who they’re referring to anyway. Then there are the suffixes. It gets even more confusing with the oppa and unni and whatnots. πŸ˜‰

        Reply
        1. kfangurl

          Lol. I can imagine how that can all get very confusing! It’s good that you’ve managed to keep on enjoying dramas, despite the names and other terms of address being a mystery to you. I do cover some of those terms of address is my glossary, which you might find helpful. You can check out the glossary here. I hope that helps a little bit! πŸ™‚

          Reply
  9. Timescout

    Mischiveous Kiss did not float my boat in any incarnation even when I was a drama noob. I knew this was not for me either once I read few posts on the premise, so I didn’t even attempt watching this.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      HAHA! I’m not at all surprised that this one didn’t manage to pique your interest, Timescout!! πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I can verify that this is not your kind of show, at all! πŸ˜‚ Good call on giving it a wide berth! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
    1. kfangurl

      It kinda-sorta is, though I personally think this one is slightly more palatable than Mischievous Kiss. πŸ˜… If you’re not in the mood for a Mischievous Kiss type story, then this is unlikely to work for you, I think. πŸ˜‰

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  10. seankfletcher

    I did want to like this one, but I dropped it at the halfway mark. I thoroughly enjoyed the start, but it fell away dramatically for me during the fourth and fifth episodes.

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    1. kfangurl

      I think this one only really started looking up for me properly, at the E8 mark, to be honest! πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I can’t blame you for dropping out at E5; I almost dropped out at E7 myself! But.. I ended up liking the end quite nicely, so I feel like I made the right choice by sticking around. However, I can’t say for sure if this is your kind of show to begin with, so I won’t encourage you to take another look! πŸ˜…

      Reply
      1. seankfletcher

        I think that’s, perhaps, true. Two of my all time favourite jdramas are Takane no Hana and Desuga, Ashita Kekkonshimasu. The former about a mismatched couple set against the backdrop of the world of flower arranging. The latter is a story re opposing views of marriage. Sadly, some kept comparing it to the manga, and so gave it a low rating, but it is truly awesome. A nice compilation can be found here: https://youtu.be/asGZkaMQt1w

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        1. phl1rxd

          FG and Sean – I dropped this at Episode 6. It just wasn’t for me. It helps if you like Mangas as yes, it has a strong manga vibe. I did like Takeru Satoh in the Rurouni Kenshin movie series and, on the bright side, Mone Kamishiraishi’s smile reminded me of a cute bunny rabbit. I could not help but smile along with her.

          LOL Sean – I have to stop reading your recommendations because I took a peek at Takane no Hana and ugh, I am already hooked on the visuals (those flowers are beautiful), the characters and the possible romantic intrigues. Another one on “The List that I have Started to Fear”.

          Reply
          1. seankfletcher

            Enjoy Takane no Hana, phl! I actually finished it in one day. My wife is a florist, so I understood much more about what was happening re the meaning of the flowers used and the flower arranging in the show, especially from the Japanese perspective.

            LOL re “The List that I have Started to Fear.” I have been so good of late, and kept it in check, but the pressure is mounting as I keep finding so many other dramas to watch. A number of shows across the board going through a shorter run has helped and I have maintained my dropped rate at about 27%.

            PS – for those who are interested, there is even a spin off to Love Lasts Forever 😜

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        2. phl1rxd

          Oh dear Sean – I just finished Takane no Hana and I must say that Kazama Naoto is now one of my favorite male leads of all time. That elevator scene was just so deeply beautiful – I was like Niagara Falls over here crying my eyes out. In fact there were several times I was completely overwhelmed at the beauty of Kazama Naoto’s soul.

          While there were things that could have been improved upon (the ending felt rushed and not enough dysfunctional relationships had ‘real’ closure – cause there were quite a few LOL), there was one thing that was pretty doggone great. That was the OTP. These two people really love each other and it came across even at the worst of times.

          Kazama Naoto was, hands down, the best! Even better than Li Da Ren (In Time With You) who I consider to be one of the most adorable, dorky and sweetest ML in ML drama history. Just goes to show that inside beauty trumps outside beauty any day.

          Sigh, I wish Fangurl had watched this instead. Thanks bunches Sean for another stellar suggestion. I binged it so fast – I could not stop watching once I started. This drama really touched my heart.

          Reply
            1. phl1rxd

              Hi merj1! I had to go over to the dark side to watch it. Beez calls it “DC”. I had no problems this time as I used my work PC to watch. Oh – it was lovely! A lot of dysfunctional family characters (made all the more dysfunctional by the rushed ending but with only 10 episodes I can rationalize that) but that ML has my love forever. There are only 10 episodes so it can be binged easily in a day.

              Reply
          1. seankfletcher

            Phl, there are no two ways about it, Kazama Naoto is an utter delight. You do have two of the best actors around in Takane no Hana, and they really delivered (although our male lead, who is extremely talented, it would seem he has been a little bit of naughty boy in the past with his punk rock band. He’s a writer too). One of the amazing things re jdramas: they make shows about anything and everything, and in amongst it all they manage to produce little gems like this one. Anyway, I thought i would do a comparison between MDL and IMDb. The latter has a very low rating and some of the negative comments are by the same people on MDL. I only marked it down slightly, as you said, because it was rushed at the end.

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          2. kfangurl

            Even better than Li Da Ren??? 🀯😱 I must make it my mission to check out Takane no Hana now! πŸ˜†πŸ˜‹ Thanks for the endorsement, phl – and for the Li Da Ren comparison. You sure know how to make me sit up and take notice! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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        3. kfangurl

          Thanks for the recommendations, Sean!! πŸ˜€ They sound interesting! I have put both shows on my list, prioritizing Takane no Hana, thanks to phl referencing Li Da Ren. πŸ˜‰

          Reply
    2. merij1

      On a side note, if I had any delusions I was starting to be able tell the difference between a Korean vs. a Japanese face, the images in this review dispelled that hope entirely. I would have said both these actors were Korean, for sure.

      The male lead looks like he could be Kim Jae-wook’s younger brother and the woman looks like Kim Hyun-soo, the young actress who played the middle school version of the lead in My Love/You From Another Star. (Which we’re watching right now, btw. We just finished Ep 6).

      Piece this back together for a gallery of the young Another Star actress: http://www.kdramalove.com/galleries/HyunSooKim.html

      Reply
      1. merij1

        Although, maybe it’s more that Kim Jae-wook looks as if he might be Japanese. Come to think of it, they added that biographical detail to his “half-Japanese waffle cook” character in Coffee Prince, so maybe even Koreans think that of him.

        Yes, I know. I sound like a dumb-ass Westerner. Heh.

        Reply
        1. larius247

          I was like that when I started watching dramas. Now I don’t get them mixed up anymore and I can distinguish them pretty easily πŸ™‚ But I do know the feeling of being a dumb ass westerner πŸ˜€

          Reply
        2. kfangurl

          I actually do think that Kim Jae Wook has a rather Japanese look, compared to other Korean actors! πŸ˜€ And I’d say Kim Jae Wook does have a similar look to Takeru in this show. So you’re probably on to something there! πŸ˜‰

          Reply
  11. Mywebfoot

    Perfect review. I think the criticisms are well-deserved. Some of the shows tone-deaf moments were difficult to ignore.
    The kudos are also spot on. I quite liked his swoony moves πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. kfangurl

      Thanks dear Webby!! ❀❀ It means a lot that you find the review spot-on, even though it sounds like you enjoyed your watch more than I did mine! πŸ˜€ I’m glad I stuck it out though.. when he’s not being gruff and distant, the swoon is REAL! 😍😍😍

      Reply

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