All posts filed under: Entertainment

That poem in ‘Because This Is My First Life’

There are a lot of reasons I loved Because This Is My First Life. Like, a lot. One of them is Jiho’s penchant for making literary allusions and using extended metaphors to express her complicated thoughts and feelings. This was a nice bit of character development, I thought; even though Jiho doesn’t work as a writer for a good chunk of the show, that side of her still comes through to the viewer. There are two main works which Jiho alludes to in the show. One of them is the poem <방문객> (“The Visitor”) by Korean poet 정현종. The poem appears in his 2009 anthology <섬> (Island). 방문객 사람이 온다는 건 실은 어마어마한 일이다. 그는 그의 과거와 현재와 그리고 그의 미래와 함께 오기 때문이다. 한 사람의 일생이 오기 때문이다. 부서지기 쉬운 그래서 부서지기도 했을 마음이 오는 것이다―그 갈피를 아마 바람은 더듬어볼 수 있을 마음, 내 마음이 그런 바람을 흉내낸다면 필경 환대가 될 것이다. The Visitor The coming of a person is, in fact, a tremendous feat. Because he comes with his past and present and …

Interview with Lee Min-ki and Jung So-min (Marie Claire 2017)

So 이번 생은 처음이라 / Because This Is My First Life wraps up this week. This interview came out in October, right before the show started airing so it’s kinda old news at this point, but I needed something to occupy me between episodes and it’s been ages since I’ve translated celebrity news anyway, so here it is. Man, this drama. I came for the contract marriage trope (and also Lee Min-ki because I literally can’t remember seeing him in anything other than Dalja’s Spring) and stayed for the earnestness, the poignancy, the tender heartache present in all the characters. Growing up, I thought a lot about love and marriage and how they relate to each other, given that my family feels one way about it and the society I grew up in feels the almost exact opposite. And now with those two worlds currently colliding in my life, this drama couldn’t have made a more timely arrival. 이번 생은 처음이라 will soon be the only Korean drama I’ve managed to finish in 2017. I may …

Clazziquai Project – #Curious

I’ve had Clazziquai’s new album Travellers on repeat since it came to Spotify (bless). I love the new single so much. The lyrics and instrumentals kind of remind me of Ra-on and Yeong’s early friendships/shenanigans – though that might just be because I’ve been thinking of Moonlight Drawn By Clouds too much these days! Heh. (Seriously though. If I made a Moonlight mixtape, this song would be on it.) Lyrics translation below! #궁금해 같이 먹을래 같이 걸을래 요즘 들어서 왠지 난 같이 하고 싶어 너의 사소한 일도 난 모두 궁금해 네가 없는 날은 너무 지루해 너와 함께라면 오늘도 특별한 하루 I keep sayin’ 여기도 특별한 장소 Don’t you know that 나 또한 특별한 사람 I gotta tell you, do you mind? Do you mind? Everybody knows 다시 말해줘 다시 말해줘 요즘 들어서 왠지 니가 좀 달라 보여 너의 사소한 일도 난 모두 궁금해 네가 없는 날은 너무 지루해 너와 함께라면 오늘도 특별한 하루 I keep sayin’ 여기도 특별한 장소 Don’t you know that 나 또한 특별한 사람 I gotta I tell you do you mind? Do you mind? Everybody knows …

All the feels for ‘Age of Youth’

Yay long weekend! I just finished a 6 hour binge of 청춘시대 (Age of Youth). The last 4 episodes were such a rollercoaster – I think I cried in every single one. Ha. Given that I generally don’t like “slice of life” type shows–and the fact that the last Korean drama I actually finished was 마을: 아치아라의 비밀 (The Village)–I’m kind of shocked at how much I enjoyed this one. The plot is pretty simple: Five young women in their twenties share a house together. We follow their trials and tribulations as they each navigate through their lives, and grow to cherish each other (and themselves). Each character has her own inner demons (almost literally) to face and overcome. This show isn’t flawless by any means. The idea isn’t original; the writing, frankly, isn’t superlative either. There were some odd genre-bending shenanigans going on, which made me wonder at certain points whether I was watching a makjang or a mystery thriller or a romcom? In retrospect, it’s probably because the nature of each character’s inner demon is so different that we …

すみません vs. すいません

So, I’m not crazy. I was re-watching きみはペット (incidentally, one of my favorite Japanese dramas) and I confirmed a long-standing suspicion. A lot of Japanese people pronounce すみません as すいません. For years I’ve thought my brain was somehow not computing the み sound correctly until I actually saw it spelled with い in a manga I was reading. The general consensus from all the language forums I’ve combed through seems to be that すいません is a colloquial and more casual way of pronouncing すみません. The latter is always used when you’re being exceptionally apologetic (as opposed to simply trying to catch someone’s attention) and/or speaking formally to superior. Probably because I don’t know the language that intimately, I’ve always assumed Japanese to be a really rigid language compared to Korean. There aren’t any complex pronunciation rules like in Korean, hiragana/katakana spelling is pretty much 100% phonetic, and verb conjugations are shockingly regular…. I guess that’s why this ‘mispronunciation’ surprised me so much. I am getting to the point in Japanese where I’m finally starting to pick up on colloquialisms and slang, which is kind of …

마녀보감 and the 3 episode test

I’ve recently gotten more impatient when it comes to TV shows. If you can’t hook me in the first 30 minutes, I’m out. My circle of drama-watching friends are a usually more forgiving, though. They do a “three episode test” for every TV show and anime they watch, meaning no matter how mediocre the first episode is, they’ll give the show at least 2 more episodes before deciding on whether to give it up or not. In the spirit of trying to rekindle an interest Korean dramas I decided to give 마녀보감 (Mirror of the Witch) the three episode test. …And, well, it’s caught my interest. Can we talk about how Kim Sae-ron is fifteen years old?! When did that happen? (Won Bin fans might remember her as his co-star in 아저씨–she was a tiny when that movie came out!). Also I haven’t seen Yoon Shi-yoon in anything since Unstoppable High Kick which was. ages. ago. God, I feel old. Anyway, let’s see if keep up with this one. I know sageuks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but …

Cheese in the Trap – 2

So I just finished reading season 1 of Cheese in the Trap, which is kind of a big accomplishment for me because I tend to drop webtoons pretty quickly. That, or I forget to check an update/ author goes on hiatus and it drops off my radar forever. I like this one. I have no idea how close the author is to finishing it so the possibility may be high that I get caught up and it ends up dropping off my radar anyway, but hopefully not. I think this is the first time I’ve read a webtoon where I actually really like the main character. Seol and I are actually very much alike. She’s smart but also hardworking, too busy to care about how she looks, struggles with her hair (see below), and is generally well-liked. There’s a part near the end of season 1 that I really identified with – Seol has to complete a big group assignment/presentation for one of her classes and all of her group members bail on her at the last …

Cheese in the Trap – 1

@chanamuu tell me what you think about it and BLOGGGG — 지니 (@nocturnal_seoul) January 9, 2016 Okay, so I am BLOGGGG-ing about Cheese in the Trap. Only the webtoon, though, not the drama. (I’m feeling meh about dramas these days. I’m almost finished with 마을 아치아라의 비밀 – a drama that is seriously making me question my liking for Moon Geun-young and one that I would’ve given up if it weren’t so deliciously melodramatic. But I digress.) So anyway, Cheese in the Trap. We’re following the story of Hong Seol, a college student heading back to school after a long leave of absence. She’s pretty normal. She’s smart (though the circumstances behind which she received her full scholarship is one of the mysteries of the story) and has a decent social life with a tight-knit group of friends. Surprisingly she’s not dirt poor like most K-drama protagonists, but she’s trying her hardest to not burden her parents with tuition fees (there’s a story behind that too). There’s one thorn in her side though – the campus Mr. Perfect, …

Mandarake – (Used) Manga Paradise in Japan

Okay, so imagine you’re in Japan. For lovers of Japanese fiction/non-fiction, there’s Kinokuniya.  For lovers of manga, light novels, and anime merch, there’s Animate.  And then, my friends, there is a store for those of us who like all of the above but are on a budget.  That’s Mandarake. Mandarake (まんだらけ) is a multi-story anime/manga media store found in a number of locations throughout Japan.  The store is chock-full of anime CDs, DVDs, even VHS tapes (it’s true!), collectible figurines, cosplay gear, toys and cell phone charms, fan-made doujinshi and, best of all, a jaw-dropping quantity of used manga. I went to two different Mandarake’s when I visited Japan: one in Akihabara (Tokyo) and one in Namba (Osaka).  The photo above isn’t mine, but that’s the Namba branch of the store.  And no, your eyes do not deceive you:  Those are shelves of used manga literally chilling outside the building. I very often delude myself into thinking I know Japanese better than I actually do, especially when it comes to reading.  I’m horrible at reading Japanese.  You’d be amazed how undeterred I am by that fact when I am in …