It’s not often that I choose to write about (or really even choose to watch) American television. That’s because in my opinion, the writing in American drama is often inferior and the characters not as emotionally engaging as Asian dramas. Season 2 had already started when I finally got around to watching Season 1 of This Is Us, the show that would change my opinion of American Dramas. – Don’t get me wrong. I love me some drama regardless of what country it originates from.. but I distinctively recall for example, when “Fault of Our Stars” came out, how much praise it was being given, as being the saddest movie of all time, ever, by radio and TV critics and movie-goers across our nation. I watched the film and was left feeling, mostly, nothing at all. That’s IT?! I thought to myself as I contemplated the movie for the next few hours. Sure it was “sad” – but these people (who praised the film so heavily) have clearly no idea what a “sad” movie even is. Go watch a Kdrama, and then come back and tell me “Fault of Our Stars” is still the saddest thing you’ve ever watched. When it came to American dramas, they seemed to fall into one of 2 categories, smut filled soap operas that never end (versus the concise, beginning, middle, end, 24 episode formula of most Kdrama), or into a predictable, but enjoyable, feel good romantic comedy chick flick (where a happy ending was almost guaranteed). It’s rare to find a “serious” American drama that can evoke the same empathy and sympathy and devastation and heart ache that most Kdramas can cause the audience to feel. “Fault of Our Stars” (as well as “The Notebook” and other similar films) attempt to create a sad love story, but still I’m often left feeling less emotion than I expected (although admittedly, “The Notebook” did have both myself and my best friend running to the restroom to grab tissues as we started sobbing at the ending).
I went to see My Neighbor Totoro subbed last night as part of the 2017 GKids Studio Ghiblifest. The theater I went to seemed to have a fairly good turnout for the show, but not as popular as the theatrical SailorMoon Release which I reviewed here (dub) and here (sub)
Still it is nice to see anime getting more coverage in theaters. I drove almost an hour to go see Totoro, but it was still closer than the nearly 2 hour drive I made (twice) to go see Sailor Moon. It’s also awesome to see old anime like Totoro from the 80s and SailorMoon from the 90s finally on the big screen!
I just purchased and watched “The Red Turtle” last night. The silent animated feature length film was done, in part, by Studio Ghibli, famous animators of feature length family favorite anime films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and The Cat’s Return, just to name a few.
I have to admit, I didn’t really do my research on this title (and didn’t realize it was a silent film until I began watching it), but every time I saw a preview, I just wanted to see it oh so badly. When I realized I could buy it for only $10 more than the “rental” price ($15 vs $5) I immediately purchased it.
Big Fish & Begonia (also known as Da Yu Hai Tang) is not technically an anime since it is from China instead of Japan; however, it is a beautifully animated fantasy adventure with a lot of heart. The quality of the animation is on par with Disney or Studio Ghibli.
The story has a few plot holes and pacing issues, but overall, the emotional impact of the story telling makes this film a must watch. The story may feel familiar if you’ve watched Disney’s the Little Mermaid, or another Chinese animation from the 90s, Chinese Ghost Story. Despite the similar concepts, Big Fish & Begonia still manages to add its own unique twists and takes on concepts of forbidden love and reincarnation.
Title: Twelve Months
Release Date: 1978
This was a joint production with a Russian studio and is based on a Russian Fairy Tale. – The only one I could find online was dubbed in Russian and had English subtitles. There are also Japanese and English voiced versions. The Russian one is not terrible though since the anime is “Set in Russia” and the characters themselves are supposed to be Russian.
Story: 10/10 I enjoyed the story immensely despite the age of the film and having watched it in Russian language. I think it’s an under rated and obscure anime. It is older than me, and probably older than most of my readers.
Title: Plastic Memories
Genre: Slice of Life, Romance, Scifi, Comedy
Release Date: 2015
Studio: Doga Kobo
Length: 13 Episodes
Overall: 32/35 91% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”
Story: 10/10 Plastic Memories is a 2015 anime series about a futuristic society aided by companion android like creations known as Giftia. The giftia live together with humans, and often as an integral role of their family. More often than not, they serve as children for couples unable to conceive on their own, or taking the place of children who died.
Alternate Title: Child’s Toy
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Slice of Life / Drama
Length: 102 Episodes
Release Date: 1996
Based Upon: “Kodomo no Omocha” manga by Miho Obana
Where to Buy: Amazon.com/Kodocha.. – This is a pretty old and rare / obscure series. At time of writing, there’s only 2 copies of the Kodocha Season 1 DVD box set available – for about $45. I’d encourage you to snap them up now, rather than later, as it will become harder and harder to find as time goes on. The Season 2 Kodocha DVD boxset is even more rare, with only 1 copy for $135 at time of this review.
Genre: Shoujo, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life, Romance
Length: 26 Episodes
Release Date: 2002
Story: 10/10 Hideki is a young, poor college student from the country who moves into a new apartment in the city. There, one night he finds a Persocom that someone has thrown away in the garbage. Persocom is short for Personal Computer, and since this series takes place in the future; computers have evolved to take on nearly human like forms and can be customized by their owners. Persocoms are very useful; they can go to work to earn money for their owners, connect to the internet for research, or run simple errands, like going to the grocery store etc.
While not technically an anime, per say, since it is not from Japan, Yobi the Five Tailed Fox is an excellent family film that has a similar style to that of Studio Ghibli. The story of Yobi the Five Tailed Fox tells us a Korean folk tale legend about Kitsune like creatures who could become human if they stole a human’s soul. Because of that belief, that the foxes could steal souls, they became hunted almost to extinction.
Except for Yobi, the “young” (if 100 years old is young) fox who lives in the forest with her farting alien family who are trying to repair their spaceship to return home. One of her family members wanders into a summer camp for humans near the forest one day and Yobi goes to the camp in her human form to try to convince the alien to return back home.
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Overall: 31/35 89% B+ Very Good Anime for Girls
Number of Episodes: 26
Overview: Nagi No Asukara is an anime about a race of merfolk whose school closing forces them to attend school on the land with human children. Their elders worry about preserving the merfolk culture, heritage, traditions, and are distrusting of the humans. The children are both sad about their school closing, as well as excited to be able to attend school on the land.
There’s going to be a new Star Trek TV Series according to this article in the New York Times.
It is being produced by Alex Kurtman who produced the 2009 Star Trek Movie and 2013 Star Trek Into Darkness. The new Star Trek Television Series will premier on January 2017 on CBS.
There’s also a new movie coming out next summer, but they say the TV series will not be related to this film.
It marks the first time in over a decade that new Star Trek TV episodes have premiered on Television and also coincides with the series’ 50th anniversary.
According to this article on Time.com Golden Compass Fans are about to get the sequel they’ve always wanted. Kinda. Am I the only person that actually LIKED? no… LOVED the first movie? I’ve been DYING to see what happens next! (and no I haven’t read the books, sorry, I’m not a big “reader” these days. (I used to be, when I was in highschool, before this thing called the internet, which I think, kinda killed my attention span lol. ) (Not that I would never read a book these days, but I prefer watching movies, and sitting on my fat ass eating bag fulls of popcorn lol.). (mmm Popcorn (my favorite, its even better than chocolate)…)
Over the weekend, I went to the movies with my grandma. We saw PAN, a supposed origins story for Peter Pan (and other characters such as Sme and Hook.). The movie was just “okay.” I thought Blackbeard was really well cast. I have terrible facial recognition so I didn’t realize until later that it was Hugh Jackman from Xmen Wolverine fame. Blackbeard was really super funny (and a little bit creepy) and on point. The music in the film was awesome – Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit in a children’s film?! And seeing Hugh Jackman singing the song was outrageously funny too. We happened to be the only two people in the theater so I was singing along also. And the special effects were superb. Similar in scope to the effects found in movies such as Avatar. It had great cinnematics… but suffered from terrible casting (aside from Blackbeard) AND terrible writing.
Although the title of this post is “kdrama that will make you cry”, this list actually includes other forms of Asian drama such as films from Japan and Taiwan. All of them are sad and guaranteed to bring on the water works. If you’re in the mood for a good Tearjerker tonight, check out our Top 10 Kdrama that Will Make You Cry.
10.) Fated to Love You – Taiwanese Version
This is the original televised version of the series, based on the comic book of the same name. The plot follows closely to the comic, beginning with a case of mistaken identity which finds the two main characters (Chen Xin Yi and Ji Cun Xi) sleeping together resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. The male lead is being pressured by his family to produce an heir for his company, and so the two strike a bargain in which Xin Yi will live there for 9 months (the duration of her pregnancy) and then sign over rights to the child to Cun Xi and leave the picture completely.