The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Your Name [Japanese Movie]

When I read about the passionate response this movie was getting from its audiences and how it was basically breaking the Japanese box office, so much so that it spooked its writer-director Makoto Shinkai and caused him to come out and say he wasn’t satisfied with his movie and he hoped no more people would go see it because it wasn’t worth the furore it was creating, I knew I had to watch it, if only to see what the fuss was about.

Now that I have seen it, I just have to say: this is So, So Good, you guys. ❤

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kfangurl’s 2012 Drama Awards [Repost]

So this might be the mother of all throwback posts on this blog. (Wait, this might be the only throwback post on the blog, actually!) Basically, this post had first appeared on Stephanie’s blog Crazy for Kdrama, when she’d invited me to guest on her 2012-in-review series. I’d been super excited, and Stephanie’s invitation basically was the catalyst that inspired me to even start this blog (you can find the blog’s origin story here).

Long story short, Crazy for Kdrama suffered from a takedown a while ago, thanks to DMCA bots, which sucked. 😦 But, Steph’s since dusted herself off and has started over at Kchat Jjigae.

This post, though, was lost with the original blog. That’s been niggling me for a while, since this post has a special place in this blog’s history. That, and the more OCD parts of my brain felt uncomfortable that the link to my 2012 year-in-review on the Full List page basically led to nowhere. Happily, those same OCD parts of my brain had thought to save my original draft somewhere, so it wasn’t all that hard to reproduce the post here.

So now, for old times’ sake, and for the sake of having my 2012-in-review post available somewhere, I present to you one of the earliest blog posts I ever wrote, in its pure, original state. I’ve simply added links to reviews where available. Hope you guys enjoy the walk down memory lane with me! 🙂

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Are kdramas getting worse / “dumbed down”?

So recently, a couple of comments on the blog have combined to give me pause for thought.

And instead of just answering the latest question in the comments section, I thought it was interesting enough, and thought-provoking enough, to put it all in a new post, and see what you guys think.

Well ok, that, and the fact that as I chewed on my answer to the latest comment, I realized that there were just too many facets to the answer than I felt could fit reasonably into a simple comment.

Basically, the question is, have kdramas gotten worse / more “dumbed down” in recent years?

Let’s dive in together to take a look, shall we?

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We are TWO!

kfangurl: Can you believe the blog’s actually been around for 2 whole years now? It used to be such teeny tiny lil baby, and now look how well it’s growing up, heh. I’ve heard of the Terrible Twos where toddlers are concerned.. I wonder if we’re now entering the Terrible Twos, for the blog. Like, will we get more tantrumy & stampy!

Lady G:  That could happen! But I believe The Fangirl Verdict is maturing. And, I consider her a girl. She’s lively, and extremely curious about her wonderful Kdrama surroundings. She loves to gush over handsome K-drama men. She’s creative and enjoys writing her own dream dramas, and she’s wise. She genuinely wants to help fans answer their Kdrama problems with her own feature – Dear Kfangurl.

kfangurl:  ‪Y’know, I’ve never thought about that. But you’re right, blog baby’s a girl. How could she NOT be a girl, she spazzes so much over k-boys.

Lady G:  ‪She’s such a little yoja!

kfangurl:  ‪Well, I think so, but I am also completely biased!

Lady G:  ‪And that’s a #1 rule at The Fangirl Verdict, we can be totally biased… WITHOUT stepping on anyone else’s biases.

kfangurl: Or at least, we try.

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Review: The Three Musketeers

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More often brisk and breezy than not, more often engaging and fun than not, and more often interesting and entertaining than not, The Three Musketeers is more than your average fusion sageuk.

This drama is a pretty bold attempt to adapt an age-old tale across mediums (novel to drama) and across cultures (French to Korean), while doing its best to retain the optimum crack ingredients that would appeal to a kdrama-loving audience.

Possibly due to its ambition, pacing across the show can be a little uneven, and logic gets sacrificed on more occasions than one might expect. Put on some generous Logic Blinders, though, and there are likely to be enough goodies in this one to make it worth your while.

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Dear kfangurl: What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great?

Today’s question is brought to us by Bakazen, who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great? I just recently finished watching Doctor Stranger and realized 2 things: LJS is a good actor and I really didn’t like this drama. So why did I finish it? Because I was hooked by the bromance tease between LJS and PHJ.

My personal theory is they work well as substitutes for the sometimes overwhelming lack of affection we see between couples. Guys in bromances show affection, love, solidarity, joy, connection & (dare I say it) skinship! Nothing warms my heart like one of the F4s coming to a bros rescue, the F44s teasing each other or the leads in School 2013 (LJS & Woobie) saying how much they missed each other’s friendship. Besides, I rarely get that hooked into the female friendships (major exception, Noh Eun-seol & Lee Myung Ran from Protect the Boss). What do you think?

Bakazen

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A Kim Woo Bin ~ IU Dream Drama: Aurora

Thanks to Jaime of http://thedramanoona.wordpress.com/ for the beautiful drama poster!

Scriptwriter’s Note

This drama was created in the spirit of some of my favorite fantasy/sageuk dramas like “Faith,” “Chuno,” and “Rooftop Prince” with a dash of “Thousand Years of Love” (not my favorite but could have been brilliant), and “Queen In-hyun’s Man.” I added concepts from some of my favorite Western Time Travel movies and shows and borrowed ideas I have used in the past for my own Fan-Fiction stories.

I now present the first *Official* Dream Drama Post on this blog: Aurora

~ Lady G.

Quick Synopsis

Eun Mi is a young, hardworking museum employee who is particularly passionate about the Silla era. One day, to her shock and surprise, she mysteriously time travels back to the Silla era, landing right into the life of Hyun Ki, a rough-and-tough street fighter and mercenary. Despite their vast differences in personality, upbringing and era, the two eventually fall deeply in love.

How will they overcome the colossal obstacles – literally spanning the time-space divide – that stand in the way of their love? An epic love story of truly cosmic proportions.

~ kfangurl

Main Cast

  • Kim Woo Bin as Hyun Ki
  • IU (Lee Ji-Eun) as Han Eun Mi
  • Song Joong Ki as Kang Woo
  • Park Bo Young as Bo Ra
  • Yoo Seung Ho as Yang Gil
  • Kim Yoo Jung as Jin Sun Hee

Poster art by kfangurl

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Review: You From Another Star [My Love From Another Star]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that’s got a light, frothy and often comedic outer shell, but harbors an inner core that’s poignant, stirring and heart-in-your-throat moving.

To be sure, if one put on a hard logical lens, this show’s flaws may be too glaring for one to overlook. But for those who can turn that logical lens to a blurry soft-focus, and amp up the emotional lens to a setting high enough to engage with the characters on a more visceral level, that touching inner core is the satisfying, gratifying reward.

Separately, Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun are both truly excellent in their roles. Even better? Together, they are pure magic.

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Liebster Shower [Round 2!]

So a funny thing happened. Liebster season snuck up on me when I wasn’t even looking.

When the first signs popped up, hinting that Liebster season was upon us again, I hardly took notice. I was all like, Well, I had a good go at that last year, and it was a heap of fun. Surely after 9 whole Liebsters, though, no one’s going to want to ask me more questions about myself. Right?

Wrong.

When I wasn’t looking, those Liebsters seemed to multiply in a little room all by their sneaky little selves. Almost like they had a will all their own. And now, I have a serious heap of questions to answer *starts sweating bullets*

I plead hectic Real Life schedules as the reason that I delegated the job of answering the Liebster questions to Future Me (hey, after watching so many time-travel dramas, you gotta learn something, right?)

So here I am, Future Me (er, now Present Me?) to the rescue! Let’s see if you guys can stick with me all the way to the very end, eh? I promise to make this as pain-free as possible 😉

And, thanks to all you sweethearts who nominated me – I feel like I’ve been rained on by showers of lurve ❤

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Blogoversary Giveaway Winner! + Happy New Year!

Annyeong! Happy New Year everyone!! ❤

I hope 2014’s been treatin’ you nice so far!

I know, I’ve been a little bit MIA in the last couple of weeks, only surfacing periodically to answer comments. I’m sorry, you guys. I plead crazy-hectic-holiday-schedule. Both my Christmas and New Year weeks were packed to the gills with gatherings, lunches, dinners (or insert alternative meal) and other get-togethers.

On the upside, it made me feel really popular (ha). On the downside, I got a lot less drama on my screen, and a lot less time to chat with you (boo).

I didn’t forget the giveaway, though! And yes, it’s time to find out the winner of one gorgeous DVD box set of Queen In-hyun’s Man!

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