Le Coup de Foudre Episode 1 Thoughts

—The breaking-the-third-wall interview that occurs within the first few minutes of the show reminds me a lot of Reply 1994. I like this technique, but I feel like its utilization is more apt in the Reply series, where the method brings viewers to question who becomes the main lead’s husband. In Le Coup de Foudre, however, we already know that the main leads get married: Wu Qian’s character reveals this in the first minute. In this case, there is no more suspense, and thus feels more like the method is just there to experiment with narrative telling, rather than serving as a strategic plot device.

—Also, what is up with the OPs of Chinese dramas?! Very often they spoil so much plot. In this case, we see the two second leads getting married!

—The settings seem a bit random at times. Qiao Yi and her best friend choose to meet up at a bookstore, we have no context as towards why a bookstore, they flip through books without looking at them, then strike a conversation about an upcoming student reunion. Clearly, the scene was meant to enlighten viewers that such an event was coming up, although it seems more like a means to an end.

—Pacing… is a bit slow?

—Aw, her boss at the television station is really nice. The life lesson scene was great.

—And the episode progressively gets better! Yan Mo is so good-looking lol. I like the Romeo and Juliet feel, though we probably won’t find out what was keeping Qiao Yi from saying yes to starting a relationship with Yan Mo until later. My guess is either she didn’t want to hinder his studies (oh, noble idiocy) or was forced to by his parents.

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Is “Fancy” the mark of a new Twice aesthetic?

My favorite Kpop group, Twice, has just released “Fancy”, a comeback that seemed to come out of nowhere, with what I thought was less promotion than their other title songs. Nonetheless, Youtube views don’t seem less than usual — in fact I think this comeback is more popular among US fans than other title songs.

I find that there are two camps of Twice fans: those who want Twice to switch to a more mature sound, and those who still enjoy the signature cute, girl-next-door vibe but who recognize that the group will eventually need to switch concepts. None of us would mind if Twice did change concepts, as let’s be honest — stanning a Kpop group goes farther than just liking their songs. (Twice’s 2017 release “Signal” is ample proof that a off-mark song can do no damage to the fanbase.) But while we didn’t mind if Twice switched concepts, we gradually started wondering when it would happen.

We thought BDZ would finally be the triumphant return to the “girl crush” concept since “Like Ooh Ah” at debut, but alas, we were terribly rickrolled. Sure, Twice members were dressed in sexier outfits, but their sound maintained the cutesy tone they were known for.

Well, here it is. HERE. IT. IS. “Fancy” is a glorious, upbeat yet melancholy song, that Twice sings perfectly, with an apt wistfulness in their voices. The release immediately reminds me of older Kpop, where EDM dance pop was more popular, executed by groups like TARA or KARA. I can only hope that Twice continues this sound in the future; it would certainly satisfy my nostalgia.

The question is why now for the switch in concepts. In a sense I am sort of sad. I always viewed Twice’s eventual concept switch as the trump card, a move to be made only in desperate situations. Is Twice’s predicament, then, one that is being threatened by other girl groups? I still think Twice remains “one-top”, especially among the general public (excluding fandom). Until a national hit like Cheer Up appears, I think this spot remains Twice’s. What then is in danger? Perhaps it is not public recognition, but fandom that Twice is concerned about. Izone, a relatively new girl group formed from the survival show Produce 48, also has three Japanese members, and thus represents a threat to the Twice niche in the Japanese Kpop market. I think JYP recognizes that if Twice doesn’t do something to keep the attention of fans, they might change loyalties to rival groups.

Finally, should we, Twice fans, worry about this concept change? Well, I for one welcome this new sound. Fancy is probably my favorite Twice song now.

Hi again

I have been meaning to blog, but each time I begin writing a new post, I wonder if I have anything meaningful to say.

It doesn’t really matter to me now if I have insightful revelations to share or not: I just want to blog, and so I’m here.

Anyway… I’ve been listening to Oohyo’s “Other Side of Town” on repeat lately. There’s a genuine melancholy tint to the song, carried by gentle synths and a catchy melody.

Hope everyone is feeling alright today.

A (Long-Awaited?) Blog Update

Hi all! My last post was published three months ago — wow. I realize I have been neglecting this blog, and I can only say that I have returned with a better image and will not disappoint my fans — sorry, was channeling Kpop idol apologies right there.

I guess a mix of things happened. I began dating someone for the first time in my life. I started living in an apartment. My roommate got a cat. I started taking upper-division courses at school.

These aren’t really excuses for not blogging, though, since I guess I technically still have time. I’m just horrible at managing time. But I hope that these circumstances provide a better context for why I was gone for so long.

No worries, however! I am bringing this blog back to life, since I missed writing so much. I plan on shifting my blogging focus to Kpop rather than dramas, though I’m not super committed on this plan yet. Regardless, I’m just glad to get back into blogging, and I hope y’all enjoy the future posts to come!

Jdrama Recommendation: Long Vacation

The iconic OST for the drama, La La La Love Song:

The number one reason to watch this drama is for its well-written script.

Have you ever watched a drama where the plot progresses so fast that it’s almost like you’re watching a Dramabeans recap instead of the actual show? Or have you watched a drama that is so slow that you give up on the show and start reading Kpop forums instead?

Well, I think I’ve found a drama with perfect pacing — Long Vacation, a 1996 Japanese drama starring Kimura Takuya and Yamaguchi Tomoko as two housemates who start out as friends but gradually begin developing romantic feelings for each other.

There’s a lot of dialogue, but it doesn’t make the show boring. Instead, their conversations are always interesting, and are structured in a way that seems natural, rather than simply existing to further plot along.

Score: 9/10