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About sonosong

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    Fan Level: n00b
  • Birthday August 27

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    Watching dramas and movies, reading in my spare time, and going around the urban jungle I call home on my electric bike.

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  1. Wow, Hirose Suzu and Fukushi Sota look so different in Laplace's Witch! In a good way. I was able to see an older film adapted from Yukio Mishima's novel of the same name, Spring Snow, directed by Isao Yukisada. The film was shot beautifully. I loved all the scenes in the snow. The costumes were amazing for a Japanese period film. But after reading the novel, I realize it's quite different from the story Yukio Mishima wanted to tell at its core. Tsumabuki Satoshi did make the character of Kiyoaki more appealing than he was in the book, which I really appreciate. It's hard to sit and watch something for more than an hour when you dislike the main character. I'd give this film an 7/10. It's very slow-paced and definitely not for everyone, but I added an extra point for its replay factor.
  2. Not much that I wanted to see from Japan this year. I enjoyed Sakamichi no Apollon/Kids on the Slope, but the story felt a little stale because I had already read the manga series and watched the anime at this point. Also, even though Nana Komatsu is my ideal beauty, she was not right for the part of Ritsuko, and there was a spark missing between her and Yuri Chinen. It was a solid 6/10 for me. I also got to see romantic fantasy Tonight, At The Movies (2018) directed by Hideki Takeuchi and starring Ayase Haruka and Kentaro Sakaguchi. This one was a solid 7/10. I wasn't really interested in Kentaro Sakaguchi before, but he gave a good performance.
  3. I was slightly able to lessen my obsession with TRoP by channeling all that energy into watching Chen Kun and Ni Ni's other works. But then someone posted that video of "Ning Yi" bumping into "Ziyan" backstage at the 17th Huabiao Awards, and it immediately triggered those feelings all over again, and now here I am. Bah! I'm currently watching Ame no Symphony/Love Story in Shanghai. But after that's done, I think I'm ready for another (fourth) rewatch of TRoP. I'm of the camp that doesn't think he would or that he is much like his father in that respect. Seeing her happy in Jinshi, he would rather let her go than impose. That "bed scene" (which I felt was lacking in so many ways and could have been done better!) showed such a stark contrast to the way his father spoke to Yale. Zhiwei was not looking at Ning Yi as if she hated and feared him, and he was pouring out his heart to her with such beautiful words, while shedding tears. It also didn't register with me until now, but Zhiwei was the one embracing him from behind. If she found him abhorrent, I would think it should be him forcefully embracing her, while she remained stone cold. But that wasn't that case. As much as I hated that scene, there is some significance in their interaction with each other there. I still saw love in her eyes, but I also saw immense pain and sadness. Unlike his father, Ning Yi seems capable of great empathy for people, and he created strong bonds with women in the story like Zhuyin, Zhiwei, Gugu, and his mother. He also has a strong sense of justice. So, no, I don't believe that he will imprison her. BUT I fear that he will keep putting himself in harm's way or pitting himself against other people to save her, which is not going to sit well with a lot of people.
  4. He is the co-director if I'm not mistaken. I saw him going over scenes with Chen Kun and Ni Ni in the bts. Also, they used multi-cams and he was monitoring them with the crew. But I honestly wish his character was not created.
  5. Desperate times calls for desperate measures? Haha. No, I get what you're saying. They did drift apart after she renewed her oath, and I agree this kiss isn't meant to be a sweet moment like the Face Nuzzling in the Dark Room or The Wrist Bite or the Minhai Cave. Personally, that underwater scene and the kiss felt bittersweet, especially the way Zhiwei was desperately pressing her lips against Ning Yi's. Even the moment of silence except for the gurgling of the water and then the music playing sounded hauntingly melancholic. It just seemed like they had this one moment and this moment only, but once they reach the surface, they'd go back to pretending to be strangers again. Well, in any case, it was more sad than anything else. But my takeaway from it is that she may have sworn an oath not to marry him in this lifetime, but that sure as hell doesn't stop her from loving him and vice versa. That's why it was a beautifully melancholic, non-sensual kiss for me. Although I'd rather have the writers never let them drift apart emotionally and give us the ending this couple DESERVED. I totally agree that he did this out of love. Even I - female human that I am - want to protect the people I love. But he really needed to share things with her in order for their relationship to be truly equal. Without confiding in her, he wasn't putting enough trust in her to help him with his problems. I don't see him as patriarchal, but rather stubborn. I do see that he values her opinion, that he knows he can't control her, that he realizes she can take care of herself, BUT at least tell her what you're planning to do and why. Girl may be smart, but she's not perfect. He can't always expect her to read in-between the lines all the time.
  6. Umm, I'm embarrassed to say this, but Chen Kun fans on instagram have sent me down a rabbit hole of obsession. I just finished C’est La Vie Mon Cheri/Endless Love (2008), and absolutely LOVED his character and his unwavering devotion to Ah Min (Fiona Sit's character) and Ah Min's entire family. Actually, I loved all the characters in this drama, even his ex, Tracy. They did dub over his voice, but whoever it was that dubbed over him in Madarin was really, really good, as in top seiyuu level good. I'm so in love with whoever dubbed his voice haha. (But I know you don't like dubbed dramas.) My enjoyment level for this drama is on par with TRoP, except this gave me good vibes at the end despite a not-so-happy ending. Derek Yee directed the 1993 film, and he directed this drama as well, and I'm glad he chose to remake it because the movie left me wanting in the romance department. I'm just sad it's not fully subbed in English. I got by after Ep 6 with my limited Mandarin and a lot of guessing. Now I'm onto Lost in 1949 (2018). It's more of a spy comedy than espionage/thriller, but sold itself as a serious drama, which threw me off a bit. If you're looking for great acting, this wouldn't be the right drama. I think it's just supposed to be fun to watch. Chen Kun's Qiao Zhi Cai and Wan Qian's Huang Liwen are cute together. And my boxsets from Japan finally arrived for Love Story in Shanghai (his first tv drama), Farewell, Vancouver (2003), and The Conquest (2006). Going to be watching those soon too!
  7. Yes, I think the editing robbed me of my former joy. (Sadistic writers!) Did he do this because he now knew his mother was alive and he would be returning to basically give up everything and just wanted her to be happy in Jinshi? I never really did understand why he turned her down there.
  8. LOL – you guys! I thought the underwater kiss was beautiful and poetic. I guess I’m alone. Only in private can they be just two people in love. For me, the kiss wasn’t supposed to be sizzling with chemistry but a reaffirmation of their love. The way they caressed each other’s faces was full of tenderness and affection. Also, even though she associated bad memories with him when she was under the influence of the azalea powder, I loved how she ran so happily, almost like a child, toward the sound of the instrument he was playing. Oops, thanks for reminding me. I've been watching A LOT of Chen Kun's other dramas recently, so I've been forgetting more of TRoP lately. That's good because I'll be prepared for another rewatch soon.
  9. I know we've talked about this before, but I just remembered something. Didn't she explicitly admit her feelings to Hua Qiong before her marriage to Helian Zheng? I thought she basically said, "To hell with the world, I only want him!" (Well, not in those words exactly, but you get the point.) Was this before she left as a bride to Jinshi? If so, it was understandable. When he was sick in Minhai, she was able to send him letters and let him know she was there for him. Was there no way for Ning Yi to get his feelings across to her? Why the silence?
  10. Did either she and Ning Yi really know about the side effects of the potion? I thought Prince of An forced her to drink it, but Ning Yi wasn't aware that it was given to her, and she didn't know what it was that she took. Didn't Ning Yi ask her if she ate anything different or something along those lines? I always assumed he didn't know or else he wouldn't have accepted that cure-all from her for himself. I also thought he only knew about the marriage plans after he was told, but it wasn't part of his original plan. I'd like to know if anyone caught onto this.
  11. Somebody on Reddit pointed out that there are magic elements but characters mostly hide it? Like wasn't Gu Nanyi practically flying at certain points? And that spell that binded the Emperor with Ning Yi was real too. At first, I thought Yale simply poisoned them. I'm currently watching him in TVB series, C'est La Vie, Mon Chéri (2008), and his performance is a lot more restrained there and fits the modern setting. I can’t judge by his voice because it’s dubbed over. But, yeah, I think this is strictly how he performed for this series in particular. Also, I'm sorry, but not enough is being said about Ni Ni’s acting from me. Girl needs some love, especially since she did a spectacular job bringing Zhiwei to life for me. I heard some people call her a Mary Sue type, but I don’t get where they're coming from at all? She's such a strong female character. Every time Ning Yi wants to help her, she’s like, “Excuse me, but I got this.” Like the time he told her to stay put at his residence, but she writes him a letter and takes off. Two scenes that I found to be incredibly high performances from her is the scene where she’s turned away by her mother at the beginning and gets drunk, and the heartbreaking prison scene where she cries herself to sleep on her mother’s lap. She was so adorable in the romantic scenes as well. I still get super giddy thinking about that wounded-shy look she gives Ning Yi in the cave at Ep 45 when she's exhausted all (innocent) effort to keep him warm and he still wasn't satisfied. *melts*
  12. Thanks, @raziela for the in-depth response! The most hilarious thing I found is that all the things you disliked were things I absolutely loved. So it really just boils down to our personal preferences. No harm done. Ah, as someone who has experienced loss myself, I just thought of it as people dealing with grief differently in front of other people. But I do agree with you that Ning Qi's grief felt real. I honestly felt so bad for Ning Qi losing his mother as she is also the sweetest character (next to his wife) in the show. We've also seen more scenes of them together, so there was a bond built there. But then I blame him for resorting to underhanded methods such as kidnapping Ning Yi's mother. My ever emotional sister burst in tears next to me when Ning Yi's mother was taken away. She was like, "Oh my god, not his mother!" Just wanted to point out that it's not easy to capture these slight nuances in facial expression on a theater stage. That's why they usually bring stage plays to the silver screen. Unlike in film, those emotions like the ones Chen Kun are essaying in his character, cannot be slowed down frame by frame for the audience to see. I don't feel like this is theater acting at all, but I do get where people find him "theatrical." I've probably mentioned this a dozen times before, but my takeaway from this is that it was completely in line with his character. Others will beg to differ on this, I suppose. Had he not experienced the death of Ning Qiao, get locked away for eight years, grow up without real, parental affection, and had people try to kill him left and right the moment he got out, I doubt I could buy into his grandiose ideals and his quest for justice. For me he's not a true hero or antihero. He straddles the divide. He's also a little crazy. I find this character so fascinating. But I can see where it would turn some off.
  13. Ah, I finally get where you guys are coming from. So you felt he wasn't right for the role? And I guess some of you did feel he hammed it up or just didn't connect with his character overall. (Sorry, didn't feel like going back several pages out of laziness.) Would love to know @raziela what scenes you felt he did great in, and which ones you felt were not-so-great. Oh and which scenes took you out of the drama? I'm always curious to hear differing opinions. I promise you won't be lampooned for it, at least not by me! Actually, I feel it’s faring much better on Netflix and with its international audience than it did getting shortchanged on TV in China. So many people worldwide going through Yi-Wei withdrawal right now and begging Netflix for Season 2. My French and Japanese friends are currently obsessed with TRoP, and Chen Kun has been posting in English a lot recently, so I think he's aware that he has a growing fan-base outside of China right now. Also, it put Ni Ni on the map for a lot of people, as they had never seen her before. She already has an audience for her next drama. I know I'll be watching. (Though my heart isn't ready to see her romancing someone else.)
  14. @skibbies I can't speak for all Japanese people but tbh 鳳凰の飛翔 sounds a lot better than 凰権 in Japanese. They're also being practical and putting the title in plain English as well. Sadly the episodes come out in smaller batches in Japan than they did in the US. But if this gains popularity it will give it a greater chance to get a Blu Ray release in Japan at the end of next year, which I'm not complaining about. I want - no, NEED - a physical copy of this on Blu Ray. I'll take that explanation and try to swallow my one, remaining gripe then. But what I meant by onscreen presence isn't merely a princely or regal aura. A fallen prince who has to lay low and scrape and bow to the son of a family that he felt took everything away from him would have murderous intent or seem broken inside. I never once felt that intensity in his eyes. I just don't think he's that good of an actor. There's really no real way for me to define onscreen chemistry either. It's not just about looking good together and saying/doing romantic things, or else I'd be more crazy for Mark Chao/Yang Mi pairing. I just watched TMoPB, and I can truly say that I felt no real chemistry there. I would say that Eita and Hikari Mitsushima in Soredemo, Ikite Yuku is closest to that definition of real chemistry in a jdrama. It was so hard to watch them play siblings in their next drama because of that. As for Chen Kun and Ni Ni, they have an amazing, professional working relationship and a friendship that translates outside of work. I watched the Happy Camp episode with them too, and even though I couldn't understand anything, you could see how much they enjoy each other's company. Ning Yi and Zhiwei have that extra something that makes them pop. I attribute it to the fact that they have an incredible amount of trust in each other. Ck was practically "living" as his character, and Ni Ni had become "Zhiwei", so all those emotions - love, lust, pain, etc. - were all real and genuine. They, as their characters, were truly in love, and it translated onscreen. I sure as hell felt it. I suppose that's why the two of them, in separate interviews, kept mentioning that they had a hard time pulling out of their characters. In those seven months, they were Ning Yi and Feng Zhiwei. So happy I found this drama. I feel like I keep rehashing things over and over again, but I can't help it. I still haven't been able to move on yet.
  15. I think his features have matured and I always thought he was attractive, but I probably have my blinders on. I have this thing for sad, melancholy eyes. I looked at more pictures and he looks more like Chen Kun in his earlier days. But Post-40's Chen Kun is just, ugh, something else. Too beautiful! Going back OT... Now that I'm on Episode 66 (my third time watching), I don't feel the pacing is that bad anymore. What happened to me? Blinders on? This time, I decided not to fast-forward through anything - not even Prince of Wei's parts - as I'm watching with other people, and although events are unraveling quickly they are not as erratic as I first thought. I also find Ning Qi more intriguing now than I did before. The guy really doesn't understand his father or his brothers. He has no real, tangible relationship with them. My only remaining gripe is that (and I don't mean to diss the co-director) I wish they had chosen another actor for the role of the 4th Prince of Dacheng. Someone with more onscreen presence and prominence. Also, someone who can convincingly look like like he would be Zhiwei's blood brother. Hope I'm not being too shallow when I say that. Yuan Hong's Prince of An was introduced much later in the story, but he really nailed his scenes in the short time he had. Even the guy who played the batty son in the Si Family in Jinshi who was locked up in a temple and had his face ruined felt like he had more impact on me. I think they could have managed to pull this off in 70 episodes satisfactorily (for me, at least) if they had chosen the right person to play that role.
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