Anna Karenina- the 2012 Movie and My Thoughts

So I just saw the movie trailer of the big screen's adaptation of Tolstoy's masterpiece Anna Karenina and I was so intrigued that I looked up the book. Let me just say that I've heard of Anna Karenina before but I wasn't really interested in finding out what made people like it so much. Till I read it.

I LOVED it. And I'm usually not a fan of such stories. I mean, there's infidelity. And a tragic ending. However, I'm obsessed with it. I now understand why it can spark so much discussion sometimes. Someone asked me who my favorite character was and I was surprised to discover that Anna remained my favorite throughout the book in spite of the actions she took. And when Book Seven rolled along, I felt like I'd been hit by a two-ton truck. I didn't see that coming one bit. Is it wrong that I feel not an iota of pity for Vronsky? I mean, by the end there, he and his mother made it feel as if his despair after Anna's suicide was somehow her fault. Like if she hadn't gone off and killed herself, he wouldn't be going off to war, essentially death. What about Anna? Sure, her actions were her choice but dammit, he's the one who chased after her when she was already married and then became distant from her after she had given up so much for him. By the end there, I'm pretty sure she was unhealthily obssessed with him and even if she had lived, I don't think their relationship would have lasted that long.

Am i wrong for feeling more pity for Anna than Vronsky?

Anyway, here's a trailer for the upcoming movie for people who haven't seen it.

I'm Completely In Love With Panda and Hedgehog :)

To be honest, I was a little skeptical when hanjae raved about the drama when she posted spoilers for the last two episodes so I decided to check it out myself, see if she was right.

People, she was completely right.

I haven't really sat down and watched many Korean dramas this year. I mean, I read recaps and put them on my list to watch if I like them but I've been re-watching my favorite dramas so far. With that said, I don't know why exactly I decided to watch Panda and Hedgehog instead of just putting it on my list of dramas to watch. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I did! I haven't felt this much love for a drama since Ojakgyo Brothers ( hmm, was that this year too? Well, whatever.) Considering the fact... no, regardless of the fact that most Korean pop idols turned actors are uncomfortable to watch, the list of the exceptions to that rule keeps rising and now I can add Super Junior's Donghae to my list of Yoochun, UEE, Eun Ji, etc.

I'm trying to find words to explain why I loved it so much that I'm on my 3rd re-watch and I only first watched it on Friday. It doesn't hurt that its only 16 episodes, unlike the 58 episodes of Ojakgyo Brothers that makes re-watching for the sixth time a little bit inconvenient especially since I have and exam tomorrow. But the feeling I got, watching Panda and Hedgehog, is the feeling I get when I watch a really good Taiwanese drama (and those are a little bit hard to find). I laughed out loud on numerous occasions and I cried at the emotional scenes and yet I didn't feel like a ping-pong ball subject to that racket of the writers. Though the story is anything but original (and I understand its fairly reminiscent of the writer's previous work It's Okay Daddy's Girl which I didn't watch but heard not-so-good things about), there's a lot to say about the enjoyment of a predictable story. Not to spoil it if anyone decides to watch but you kind of knew which way the toast would be buttered by at least the second episode. By then, however, I was a little bit too interested in Donghae's character that I overlooked it.

Simply put, don't miss out on such a refreshing drama like Panda and Hedgehog because of the actors or the story. Watch for the characters and their relations with each other. I mean, there's a love triangle that doesn't turn out the way the girl in it thought it would. If that does not intrigue you, I must be missing something!!

Goodbye, Anime

Area no kishi

So my favorite sport animes of this season have either been canceled or have ended. Which sucks because one in particular, Area no Kishi/ Knight in the Area, went so far beyond its scanlated manga counterpart that waiting for the manga to reach and go beyond where the anime ended will be hell. It doesn't help that it was canceled because of unpopularity thereby dashing all my hopes for a second season

The other one, Kuroko no Basuke/ Kuroko's Basketball, unlike Area no Kishi ended its extremely popular run so I'm 100% sure that there'll be a season 2. However, the wait for the new season is sure to be just as brutal as waiting for Area no Kishi.

What to do next?
Any recommendations for any other anime or manga to tide me over? I finally read Captain Tsubasa and all its sequels. Epic!! I now understand why it was so popular.

Unreal Gymnastics by McKayla Maroney for Team USA!!!

Yesterday was quite a day for me as a viewer of the Olympics. I watched Michael Phelps come paper thin to one record in one swim and slam into another in his last swim of the day. Still to come was the team gymnastics in which the USA hadn't gold-medaled in 16 years, since the Magnificent Seven in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. My favorite event in gymnastics is by far the vault and yesterday, the world champion of the vault, McKayla Maroney, changed the way the world will look at vaulting.
(Watch it here if you missed it or would like to see it again)

McKayla's only purpose on Team USA was to do that one thing on the vault and raise their aggregate score and boy did she do that!! She gave them such a boost that even after the Uneven Bars,which is the team's weakest event, they still had a lead over Russia. Of course, aided by Russia's self-implosion, it was a victory lap to the gold medal. Almost all because of one vault.

And the judges still didn't give her a perfect score!!

I'm no expert in gymnastics, but if it was possible for a gymnast to put on a 16.5 perfect score worth performance, wouldn't it have been McKayla's?

Anyway, I'm just glad I got to witness something like this at least once :)

Kingyo Club = Love

So the last two episodes of jdrama Kingyo Club finally got subbed, and let me just say that it was all worth the wait. I usually keep Japanese dramas like this for days I feel depressed (I've amassed quite a collection with 1 Liter of Tears, Taiyou no Uta, Iguana no Musume, etc) but I couldn't help myself so I just watched this drama even though I don't feel down. It helps that the episodes are just short of 20 minutes and there are only 10 episodes (Love Japanese drama length.)

Anyway, Kingyo Club is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt and yet so poignant that I feel like crying whenever I see the faces of the main characters. I understand the drama is based off of an internet novel and it's times like these that I fervently wish I could read Japanese. I would love to know how much more detailed the novel gets about Haru and Koto's relationship :) The drama is about bullying and while I've tended to stay away from Japan's resident Numero Uno bullying drama, LIFE, I couldn't help but want to watch Kingyo Club even though I knew it was about bullying.

Why do I like it, you ask?

Well, the main characters are lovely, both apart and together. I love Koto who gets bullied on a daily basis and still has the strength to show up to school every day (except the last two episodes when shit went down and she couldn't make it to school.) And I love Haru who, despite the fact that he's wounded somehow, is not just an observer of the world as he would like to be. Here's a character who actually tries to do something about the bullying of this poor girl before he even knows who she is or falls in love with her. And I love that, at the end, he knows how much he's gained just by being with her. If this was a real life situation, I can easily see them moving on together in life, quiet but functional.

It's just a really lovely drama.

Becoming, A Raine Thomas Heaven... I'm still on my Young Adult fiction exploration and I've come across this YA novel called Becoming by Raine Thomas. First of all, I've become deeply skeptical of YA novels in the past few months. I've yet to come across another one that will satisfy me as much as Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road. So imagine my surprise (and relief) when I came across Raine Thomas's Daughters of Saraqael trilogy. Here's the description of the 1st book in the trilogy I got off Amazon:

"Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She's already worked her way through five foster placements, and she's doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She'll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she'll discover that she isn't really without family.

To top it all off, she'll finally find out why she's having the power surges: she isn't entirely human.

Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she's ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk."

While I like the summary, it doesn't do justice to the real story. Trust me, the real story's way better :)

Becoming is the first in the trilogy and focuses mostly on eldest sister Amber. I'm completely in love with this novel. It feels fairytale-ish and sometimes not. It's the only one of the trilogy I've read so I can't compare it to the rest. However, I'm confident that they'll be equally as good or better.

I'm off to read the nest book Central about middle sister Olivia :)

Honey, I'm Hoooome!!

Wow, it's been a long long time since I posted anything. I've been lurking around Livejournal but my internet in the dorm is such that I can't do anything important except schoolwork. I can't download from from mediafire or megaupload or anything like that nor can I post anything on Livejournal.
It sucks, I tell you.

However, I got into something this past week that I just had to rave about and that, my friends, is On The Jellicoe Road, a Young Adult fiction novel. People, despite the fact that I am a young adult, I typically don't read any YA novels. In fact, the last one I remember reading before Jellicoe Road is the Twilight saga. Yep, not a good track record.

Fortunately, for me, my reorientaion with the world of teen angst with Jellicoe Road has made me take a hard critical look at my reading past. People, if you haven't heard of Melina Marchetta's On The Jellicoe Road, then today is your lucky day. I am about to pimp the life out of this novel.

Simply put, it might be the best novel I have read since, I don't know, ever.

What is it about, you wonder?

Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence.

But Taylor has other things on her mind: a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road.

I rarely come across a novel that is so universally acclaimed as seen here, here, and here, and loads more where that came from. In fact, Jellicoe Road won American Library Association’s Printz Award. Then it was selected for DABWAHA. At this point, nothing I can say about this will make it better than it is.

Just read it.

If you don't want to shell out money and but it untill you're sure I'm right, just look for its ebook online and download it for free. I promise you won't regret it. The story is just so... so... It's the first time I've ever had a crush on a fictional guy but the guy in this story, Jonah Griggs, is to die for. This is one of the only books that I am absolutely sure the main characters will stay together forever, that's how convincing the romance part is.

All I can say is, do yourself a favor and get this book, 'kay?

ABC's Once Upon A Time Has A New Fan...

... Me.

I can't begin to explain how much anticipation I have for the first season of this show. It's been quite a while since I've liked more than one new TV show at a time but it looks like this fall TV season is just kicking it out of the park with me, what with my love for Revenge and now Once Upon A Time which are both ABC shows surprisingly.

Anyway, I'm just loving the story and characters and actress. Is it too early to find Lana Parilla who plays The Evil Queen completely fascinating? I've always wondered why The Evil Queen hated Snow White so much. I mean, just because someone is prettier than you doesn't mean you can go all homicidal on their ass. I guess this show will attempt to answer that question. Plus, I'm just loving the juxtaposition between the fairy-tale land and the modern world.

Wow... Just Wow, Girls Generation...

So South Korea's best girl group just released a new album yesterday with two new music videos(one in Korean and one in English) and in just one day, the Korean MV has received upwards of 3 million views! If that does not say something about the sate of SNSD, I don't know what does. Fans and antis alike are checking out this new album so quickly (with different views and opinions, of course) that an all-kill on the charts is being heavily anticipated.
As a Sone, I'm both happy and ecstatic but what about Secret, another girl group who also released a brand new song and MV this week? They're totally being overshadowed.
I guess you don't become SNSD without the ability to shut down groups like Secret, hmm?
I'm posting both groups MVs below. Check them out and see what you think..