안녕!: Nami’s Long Overdue Return to WordPress

— 1 —

Hello, fellow bloggers! Did you miss me?

To The Beautiful You Gif 1

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?

I am alive and kicking, and have actually been reading blogs on WordPress too. I’ve just been more active myself reblogging (and occasionally blogging) on my Tumblr. Mostly kdrama and kpop and Catholic stuff, y’know.

— 2 —

I should say I’ve particularly been reblogging kpop due to one specific reason. A now-good-friend on Tumblr got me into BTS which stands for 방탄소년단 (Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof Boyscouts. Lots of translations, the first being a strict romanization.) They’re a hip-hop (! how the heck did I get myself into kpop hip-hop?) group and, while not perfect, have some really fun, good songs. Some of which are especially good to exercise to.

BTS Gif 5

Plus they’re all a bunch of precious cinnamon rolls.

Suga Gif 7

I actually debated about which Suga gift to put here (^Suga, real name Min Yoongi). He’s one of my biases.

Jin Gif 2

Jin, the visual. Looks like a cinnamon roll and is actually a cinnamon roll.

Jimin Gif 1

Jimin, also a cinnamon roll. Looks like a dancing machine and a cinnamon roll, and is actually both.

J-Hope Gif 1

Choosing a J-Hope gif is hard, just like choosing a Suga gif. Probably because he’s my other bias and just…well…you can see he’s J-Hope. Aka J-Horse. Aka (more often) Hobi. Real name Jung Hosoek.

All my 동생들. *sigh*

It especially kills me because they were just in the U.S. last month, and I didn’t know about that part of their tour until the only tickets left were resale tickets. Starting at $300 a pop. I couldn’t justify spending that plus the gas it would take me on the ten-hour round-trip.

But they were on U.S. soil!

As were Super Junior, TeenTop, AOA, Girl’s Generation, SISTAR, Vixx, among others. at KCON 2015 at the end of last month. Oh, and so was Shin-freakin-hwa. Seriously. Shinhwa was in the U.S.

I was sad to miss all the fun, because I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot! But A) I didn’t have the time or money or place to stay in L.A. and B) the artists going to the New York portion (which would’ve been my cheaper option) were (no offense) not my faves.

So I missed KCON 2015 and BTS. But hey, there’s always next year!

And apparently BTS will be back in the states next month for some minor concert/fan engagement stuff for some kind of clothing line they’re promoting. So I won’t get to see them, but they’ll be on U.S. soil again. Yay!

— 3 —

I have probably watched several kdramas since I last posted (how long ago was that now? One month? Two months?) and one, surprisingly, has stood out from the rest. It’s called I Remember You (너를기억해), also called Hello, Monster. Each title has it’s own relevance to the plot, though I must say I prefer I Remember You. It seems to have less flippancy about it, too.

Anyway, why does it stand out? That explanation will be in my next post, a review of the series, which just ended on Tuesday. I may even have several posts on it, if I decide to do some character analyses. The post(s) will be somewhat spoilerific, so to whet your appetite and perhaps entice you to watch the show before you read my posts, I’ll leave my little synopsis here. And let me say that even if kdramas aren’t your cup of tea, you might enjoy this:

Lee Hyeon is a criminologist and professor from Korea who teaches in the States. A series of anonymous emails containing photos from a Korean crime scene lead him back home, in hopes that he might find his father’s killer and his brother, who disappeared twenty years before.

His search entangles him with the Korean police department, including an officer by the name of Cha Ji An; who, for reasons unknown, has been stalking him since they were little. Though his jerk-ish, cocky personality and her stubbornness occasionally clash, the two manage to work together to solve some murders and delve into Hyeon’s past.

It’s not your typical American or British prime-time crime drama – like most kdramas it focuses more on relationships. However, there’s none of the unecessary angst and very little of the noble idiocy we usually see in dramas, and the relationships are essential to the plot. Further, the show’s plot remains intriguing, and the general message it sends is a good one as well. But I’ll get into that later. Go, watch it! All sixteen episodes are available for free and subbed in English.

By the way, a big shout-out and thank you to all the subbers for all the shows on Viki! You guys do all this hard work gratis just so we can watch these shows, and you do it so quickly!

Seriously, these guys are fast. The episode goes up, twelve hours later, it’s between 90%-100% subbed. They’re awesome.

Oh! Another reason the show is really good: the acting. EXO’s D.O. (real name Do Kyungsoo) and up-and-coming actor Park Bo Gum both do a phenomenal job. But I won’t tell you doing what.

I Remember You Gif 13

Just a snippet of D.O. from the show.

— 4 —

I want to get back into some anime again, to give myself some variety, but I’m having a hard time. Any suggestions? I’m going to try starting Hunter x Hunter, and maybe finish a few other series I’d started, but otherwise I’m lost as to where to start.

— 5 —

I haven’t been reading as much lately

*mourns the loss of her reading appetite to her kdrama appetite*

BUT – I did buy a book and am in the middle of reading it in spurts. It’s called I Capture the Castle. It takes place in the 1940s, I believe, and concerns the life and times of a once-well-to-do British family living in poverty in an old large castle in the country. Should be interesting. And looks like it just came back into print.

I’ll try to post some about that once I get further through it.

And, surprisingly, I’ve been listening to some music in my native tongue lately. Yes, I do not only listen to kpop. I bought Owl City’s new album Mobile Orchestra, and although I wasn’t impressed with it at first, it slowly grew on me. It doesn’t have the same artistry and whimsy as his other albums – there’s something missing that makes the songs seem not as gripping at first – but there is a weightiness, a thoughtfulness and maturity to the album that also makes it resonate with me very much. Give it a listen, especially track six, “Bird with a Broken Wing.”

— 6 —

And – back to Korean again just for a moment – I’m taking some classes again.

Including a level 2 Korean class, which they’re newly offering this year. I guess that letter my class signed did the trick! Either way, it’s actually spurred me to try and memorize some vocab so I’m not completely at a loss when I get back to class. I’ve only been doing the vocab from my textbook, which isn’t exactly extensive. But it’s a start. And watching kdramas/listening to kpop has definitely given me a jump-start as well.

Never fear! Korean is not my only class. After my disaster of a drawing class last semester (I don’t have enough interest or energy in it anymore, sadly) I decided to avoid that. Instead, I signed up for a couple of other artsy courses: a one-day paper-marbling class, and a 4-week book-binding class.

The paper marbling is a Japanese technique called suminagashi. From what I’ve googled, it seems pretty awesome. You should look it up! And apparently, we even get a marbling kit to take home from the class. That and three hours of marbling, all for $55! Not bad at all.

The book-binding class is a teensy bit more expensive, but worth it – all the materials are included in the class, and you spend three hours a week for four weeks to bind four different kinds of books. Then I’ll have plenty more notebooks to practice 한극어 in.

— 7 —

Ohhhh, and I almost forgot! Besides the Japanese festival we have at our botanical gardens in September, they once again have their Chinese Lantern Festival July through August. I managed to go (for free, due to an electronic fluke!) and it was wonderful. They had some acrobats do a half-hour show before the lights were turned on, and boy were they AMAZING. I could try to describe the things they did but I would never be able to do them justice. Suffice to say, it was a sight to see.

And so were the lanterns themselves, which are not merely just little (or big) round things hanging from strings. These were statues, things made of porcelain plates and cups, or frames covered in silk. Some of them even played music, shot fire, sprayed water, or moved, or blinked lights. And they were beautiful. Ahhhhh….

And of course the were some vendors there – directly from China as far as I can tell, since some of them spoke minimal English (and then there was the cute probably-in-high-school-and-too-young-for-me-volunteer who was helping to translate for them a bit). I bought a lovely ring for $15. It’s probably just glass but it’s so beautiful and catches the light just so! I was going to get one in a jade color, but my sister convinced me to get an orangey-brown, that would go with the clothes I wear regularly, and boy was that a good idea. And I can wear it on a number of fingers, since my hands are so small. Mwhahahahahahaha!

But you don’t need me to go on about that! Basically, the lantern festival was great, I’m still alive and kickin’ and active, and sorry not sorry for my kpop/kdrama gifs.

Ta ta for now!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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3 comments

  1. medievalotaku · August 20, 2015

    Welcome back! I have missed your articles and commentary. That Chinese Lantern festival sounds really cool. I’m usually not interested in K-drama, but the premise behind I Remember You sounds interesting. Can one watch it on Crunchyroll?

    My number one recommendation for anime right now is Ashita no Joe. It’s unfortunately hard to find, but the greatest anime I’ve watched since Rurouni Kenshin. The Rose of Versailles is shaping up to be a great show, and I suspect fans of Rurouni Kenshin will like it. (After all, they’re both historical fiction, and happily available on Crunchyroll.) What else may I recommend? Space Pirate Captain Harlock (another great classic), Ushio and Tora (a new monster slaying shonen anime), Rokka (a solid fantasy show), Hamatora (a rather shocking series about superhuman psychics), Urusei Yatsura (a hilarious sci-fi comedy from Rumiko Takahashi), Bubblegum Crisis (a classic 80’s sci-fi about women in powered suits fighting an evil corporation), Irresponsible Captain Tylor (a hilarious 90’s sci-fi comedy), Yona of the Dawn (a recent fantasy reverse harem anime), and Escaflowne (a classic 90’s fantasy anime). That sounds like more than enough recommendations. 🙂

    I know what you mean by k-dramas biting into your reading time. The same thing happens to me with all the anime I watch. I find myself reading mostly early in the morning or before I go to bed these days, but I try to amend that.

    • Nami · August 26, 2015

      It’s always nice to be missed ^_^ I have actually been reading articles, I just haven’t been writing, which for me is the harder endeavor. Mostly due to my perfectionism. But we’ll see where I get with the next few posts!

      Unfortunately, I Remember You is not on Crunchyroll. However, if you don’t mind putting up with the occasional ad, you can watch it for free on Viki.com. (Rakuten bought them not too long ago, and now they’ve also acquired Crunchyroll’s drama site, Soompi.)

      Ah yes a deluge of recommendations! Always good to have more than enough though =D Hmmm, I should give Rose of Versailles a try – I’ve noticed it but (as you mentioned happens, in one of your posts) was a bit put off by the dated animation. I’ve also seen the movie for Escaflowne but that was years ago, and I’ve heard it’s different from the show. Between dramas, my upcoming classes, and hopefully reading more that should keep me busy!

  2. Pingback: Quick Takes from Anime Summer 2016 « Medieval Otaku

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