Monday, July 25, 2011

A Losing Battle Against K-Pop

So occasionally, I develop somewhat irrational aversions to things. These aversions are based on insignificant events/experiences which result in the not-so-insignificant effect of me writing off that thing for all eternity. Or at least until my perspective/opinion is amended by some outside force. A few examples are my aversion to almonds (blown out of the water when introduced to amaretto), my dislike of skinny jeans (disappeared when I actually tried on a pair), and my avoidance of cats (overcome when I met Starfish who is a cat lover). One more overturned aversion to add to this list is my distaste for K-pop music.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Who am I? I'm their homeroom teacher.

Gokusen by Morimoto Kozueko is one of my all time favorites, but it took a bit of unpacking for me to figure out why. The ah-ha moment happened when I was watching the drama adaptation. Something was missing. Something even the ultimate cuteness of Matsumoto Jun couldn't make up for. That something was Attitude with a capital A.

The story revolves around a high school teacher and her class of delinquent students. The students are one step away from a correctional facility, and Yankumi, their homeroom teacher, aims to keep them that way. Usually, this would be a Herculean task, but Yankumi has a secret advantage. She is a third generation Yakuza heir, so delinquents are milk toast compared to what she deals with at home. The stories are episodic, switching between Yankumi's struggles at school (Will her class pass basic arithmetic?) struggles at home (How will she stop a rival gang from encroaching on her turf?), and of course, the ever present difficulty of keeping her identity secret.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Insomnia and K-Dramas: Pt. 1 - An Introduction

Due to the fact that it is crazy-hot in my room, I am unable to fall asleep. Instead of cursing the summer weather and lamenting my lack of air-conditioning like I normally would, I decided to channel my energies into a new blog post that I've been meaning to write for a while on K-DRAMAS.
Winter Sonata - Megahit from early 2000s

K-dramas, short for Korean dramas, are a staple here at Manga Meditation. You may have noticed a previous foray into K-dramas with Blackbird's review of Delightful Girl Chun-Hyang, but believe me, that is only the tippity top of the very large, extensive and all-encompassing iceberg that is the K-drama world. We shall endeavor to delve further, starting with Part 1: An Introduction.

NOTE: There's no way that I'm going to be able to fully cover everything in this post, so I'm going to just hit on the big points and fill in the gaps later. Also, K-dramas are not the only icebergs in the sea - Japanese dramas, Chinese dramas, and Taiwanese dramas are also sizable chunks of ice in their own right, though that will DEFINITELY have to wait for a separate post.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blah blah blah: Crazy Coffee Cat Manhwa Review

One of the mildly relevant title intro panels.
So far I'm not so crazy for Crazy Coffee Cat, a Korean webtoon written by Um Jae Kyung and drawn by Choi Kyung Ah. As far as I can tell from the few scanlations now available, it's a comic of the soonjung romance, slice-of-life variety. Basically it follows protagonist Kho Yang Yra, a girl who has been given a job at a coffee company. Strangely enough, however, I'm eight strips in (which are essentially eight chapters) and I still don't know too much beyond that.

I think part of it is that I don't really understand where this thing is going yet. The exposition is weird in that it feels as though all of the events just sort of happen, without too much buildup, like there isn't any forward movement or logical progression of events. I can't help but wonder if the writing was really planned beforehand, or if it was written as ideas simply occurred to the writer. Even in slice-of-life pieces there's some sense of forward progression, however small. Regardless, I'm getting the feeling that after eight strips we're still not into the meat of the story, so I'm probably making assumptions too early.