The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 17 & 18

Episode 17

An episode where Chise took most of the decisions and even saved Elias, instead of the other way around, what’s not to like about it? Chise helps a girl named Stella whose brother has gone missing and isn’t remembered by anyone other than her for reasons disclosed later. What follows is an encounter with Ashen Eye, who is a nosy person to say the least and some pondering of the word family.


Since Chise can’t use magic explicitly throughout the whole episode, it gave her a chance to demonstrate her wit and work around the restrictions. She gained a new friend in the process too. On a side note, the relationship between Stella and her brother turned out to be cute and her brother’s as likable as her.  We also got to see Elias don a new look and deal with kids.


I don’t have much to say except I enjoyed it a lot and the progression of things were good. Only, it would be nice if Ruth got to do more than follow Chise around all the time. He’s great as a mental support but he doesn’t get to demonstrate his power much. 


Episode 18

Stella will become a part of the steady cast it seems. She’s easy to like and apparently way more mature than her age, which turned out to be ten. I would have thought she was at least twelve. It just makes me happy to see Chise making friends more and more, both in the magical world and outside. 


We actually explored the risk of being around someone like Elias, whose understanding of emotions is basic and of course, his reaction to negative ones aren’t exactly likable. Elias experiences something he has never before-jealousy- and throws a tantrum reminiscent of – again, a child- but unlike a five year old, Elias’ actions can have serious consequences. If I wasn’t certain that nothing bad would actually happen, I would have been scared for Chise’s life. It’s only Chise’s wit and maturity that saved her. Chise’s amazing in that she calmed him down, got angry at him and had a talk with him after he almost suffocated her.



The second half involves Chise seeking help from Angelica after accidentally lulling Elias to sleep and we get to meet Angelica’s husband, who is as sweet, if not sweeter than Angelica. I liked their conversation a lot, since it helped clear some confusion I had over the age of the mages and magic and overall, he offers great advice. 

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After sort of not being that pleased with the second cour of the show, these two episodes helped me get my love for it back. 



Ito Junji: Collection Episode 7

While the first story made me sleepy, the second one definitely had me on the edge. The first one is about a record that contains a song from beyond the grave. The second one is about a girl who finds strange things happening to her after one particular bad dream. 

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The first one involved people fighting with each other over a record and losing a bit of humanity in the protest. It’s a portrayal of what humans are capable of when clouded by greed with a backdrop of supernatural. Seeing people run around the street with twisted expression on their face didn’t really do much for me and I can say it was the worst story yet. 


The second one was far more interesting and horrified me to a certain extent. Imagine every person in a town except you starts acting weird one day. Strange in a way that they start peeping into your house, your room, and start using your house as public road. If you don’t allow them to do so, the public would hurt you badly. A land of law no and no privacy. And the worst part is, your family is a part of them. Even the thought is scary, right? A lot of it went to how they portrayed it, the girl trying to understand amidst the confusion and accidentally stabbing her father in the eye and then seeing them act like nothing happened next morning, who would be able to think logically? I have no idea why they felt the need to specifically involve Jack the Ripper, but he did his job as the mysterious man behind the scenes. While the ending was a bit of an expected let down, it still made for a creepy story. 

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The second story restored my faith in the show. That maybe, we do have some good things on our way.

Ito Junji: Collection Episode 6

As usual, we’re back with two stories who were almost there. The Fashion Model is still the only chapter that has come close to leaving me unsettled. 

I had pretty high expectations from the first one. It wasn’t scary per se, but it was getting there and if, if they had a conclusion to it, it would have been great. Though I did wonder why the boy didn’t leave the room when the creepy woman next door started crossing over instead of standing in a fighting stance. On the other hand, point for not opening the window the moment he heard the woman’s voice and going to investigate unlike most protagonist cheap horror. 

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It was pretty easy to guess the conclusion of the second one after a certain point but at least it had one. It fell more on the emotional range than horror. Honestly, all through the story I was thinking more about how I definitely don’t want to be like the protagonist than anything else.  The in-laws behaviour were understandable later but they ignore you for ten years and all you think, I must be in the wrong? Yeah, not happening. 


When I think about it, I preferred those short three minutes stories than the full length one, because with the short ones, the climax is on point. 

Kokkoku Episode 6- The Long Sixth Moment

They used the one character I liked was used as a plot point. I should have seen that coming but I’m still a little bummed. He was the only whose scenes made me wonder where this is going and I was hoping for character development with him, but Tsubasa was always means to an end apparently. 

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The whole episode was really fast and slow at the same time. From the start, it had a clear objective and that was to free Majima’s family from the bonds of the stasis, which worked and then leave with a little twist at the end. It felt like they ticked off another thing of the list so that they could get on with the next chapter. Every action and conversation felt slow rather than well paced, because they were trying to create some sort of tension which never came into effect and then with how recent they revealed what Majima’s objective was, the whole conclusion felt too soon. 


Then there’s the father, Takafumi, whose name I just googled. Of course, Majima couldn’t summon the herald. Her thoughts were focused on protecting her family than anything else while Takafumi is introduced as someone slightly more dangerous than just the annoying middle aged man we thought of him. What’s left to see is if he’s actually going to join hands with the goons and turn against his own family. In the end, it’s an episode you have to go through even if you don’t really enjoy it. 


The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 16

It felt like a filler episode at most but so incredibly cute. All throughout the episode, it became  more and more obvious how comfortable Chise has become in her new home. Sneaking out, buying presents for Elias, making new friends, she seems to have made a proper life for herself. Even that mistletoe moment just spoke of warmth and comfort. On that note, Elias turned out to be a sweetheart who ended up making a single specific bear for Angelica every year. I wonder where she keeps them. 


I almost forgot this show was set in England until Chise and Alice set foot outside. Which brings me to something I always wonder in this stories. Are Chise and the rest communicating in English? Are they communicating in Japanese? Is there some sort of spell that just lets them understand each other or it’s simply forgotten. Well, it’s not relevant but I always get confused about this. 

We use this occasion to get Chise a new friend and go deeper into Alice’s situation. From how little in size Alice looked, you can say Renfred practically raised Alice and combined with the situation he saved her form, her attachment is pretty justifiable. Chise and Alice also work together very well. They have a different relationship than all the other characters and Chise needs an Alice in her life. 


It’s the kind of episode that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy, so you really can’t complain even if there is no actual story to it. 




Kokkoku Episode 5- The Fifth Moment

The episode answered a lot of questions, almost all of them. We know Majima’s past and her objective, how Juri and Majima met, and rescued the Dad- who’s doing a good job of getting on my nerves. Which makes me wonder exactly what’s left. Juri would most probably end up helping Majima, they already feel some kind of pull towards each other. 


Seeing Majima’s family as Heralds in a couple of scenes after Majima explained her situation felt too rushed. It would have been better if they had shown the family before and then made Majima explain. Since I don’t remember the names or position of the goons, the reasonable one got killed right after he decided to be helpful while the rash one survived. The rash one also seem to have a change of heart and has a possible redemption arc for him. 



They really don’t have to end every episode with almost one person dying. Suspense is good, same kind of repeated suspense isn’t. Now, if Tsubasa dies, that would be surprising. Granted, I don’t want him to die since he’s the only character I have some level of interest in. Majima could have been interesting too, she had all the mysterious aura going for her, but her overall conduct and responses are boring. 

There’s these blonde woman they showed during the first episode and I still don’t know if she’s relevant or if that was just a fluke. That, right there, is why this series is confusing. There are all these scenes mixing together but there’s no proper clue of the end goal. This episode felt like it revealed everything so I don’t even know what we’re waiting for. 





While You Were Sleeping Korean Drama Review


Most Dramas that make their way to the television tend to have a strong first episode, but not a lot of them manage to keep the same pace going for the middle and end. A lot of Drama even fizzle out during the middle and then come back with a bang towards the end.  While You Were Sleeping, however isn’t one of them. It’s a show that managed to keep me interested all the way  through the half hour run of thirty two episodes. I doubt I’m going to find another show like this for sometime. 

While You Were Sleeping is the story of Hong Joo, a 29 year old journalist who dreams of event in the future, even if she can never quite manage to change them. That is until she meets Jung Jae-chan, a 29 year old Prosecutor who starts sharing the same fate after meeting her. There is another character, a 29 year old Police officer, Han Woo Tak who ends up developing the same ability as them due to reasons. 


One of the basic attraction of this show is the fact that it’s a rom-com mixed with supernatural and legal Drama. All of these aspects co-exist without burdening each other. If I’m being honest, I was more sold on the legal stuff and the general relationship between all the characters, but the romance was handled maturely too and the main characters dynamic is such a sweet mixture of funny moments, adorableness, and being each other’s support system. The way the Prosecutors worked around the law also made the Drama interesting, because while it wasn’t anything new, there is always that kaboom moment that follows when holes in the legal system are pointed out. As for the fantasy elements, they were there, the effected a lot of the outcome but it wasn’t an absolute focus. You won’t get more than an basic explanation of how the dreams and time works, but you won’t need it either. 


This show’s driving point is essentially the characters. Despite having a well thought out plot, it’s focus has always been the growth of the characters. I liked every one of them so much, the main characters, the recurring ones and even the minor ones. Maybe it’s because of the butterfly effect theme, but all of them had so much impact and tangled in each other’s life in a way which was fascinating to watch. It helped that the cast contended exceptional actors. 

Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk) 

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One of the thing that was endearing about Jung Jae-Chan was his normalcy. He was just a newly appointed prosecutor with zero work place experience who was too excited for his job. At first he tried to ignore the wrongdoings, but simply because he isn’t a person like that, he ended up meticulously going through every case to make sure he doesn’t mess up, to the point the people around him were exasperated with his kindness. Add to that, his goofball behaviour, foot in mouth moments and his obsession with taking selfies,  how could you not fall for the male lead?

Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy)

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What can I say about Nam Hong Joo? There’s nothing more attractive than strong female lead with actual flaws. Hong Joo dreams of her death every night and still manages to greet everyone with a smile in the morning and yet, she holds grudges, and she can be stubbornly set in her ways. Did I mention how she’s a spitfire journalist? She has a crazy side to her too, but that appears more as an attempt to seem like a normal girl than anything else. 

 Lee Yoo-bum (Lee Sang-yeob)

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As the designated bad guy, he was lackluster. I was tempted to skip his scenes a lot but he’s essential to the story. Yoo bum is a lawyer who would help any kind of criminal as long as he gets paid well. The more he did these things, the more corrupted he felt and yet, he didn’t know how to stop once he started. In some ways, he wasn’t  particularly regretful, just  someone who felt he was above other criminals  and the world owed him something. 

Han Woo-tak (Jung Hae-in )



Han Woo Tak had so much complexities to him, said and did things that didn’t always fit his goody two shoe image and yet, at the end of the day, was a genuinely kind person at heart. One of the thing that really about his personality- something that wasn’t emphasized upon- was that he’s smart. He was pretty much the most intelligent character in the in the whole show and a key point in figuring things out. I was attacked by the second lead syndrome due to his performance. He’s pretty much my favourite character here. 

In case it isn’t clear from my constant gushing, I really enjoyed the series. It had a solid first episode that already had me invested in the characters before I realized and that attachment only grew stronger with each passing episode. There’s also another character that I felt strongly for but someone I can’t mention because that would be a major hint. So, if you can, check this out. 



Ito Junji: Collection Episode 5- Recurring Characters Day

Despite not liking the series as much as I hoped, I’m the type of person who ends up watching the moment a new episode comes out. Probably why the disappoint is bigger when the episodes doesn’t meet its expectation. The two adapted stories this week both appear to be part of a mini series. The first one is about this boy, Oshikiri, whose house is an entrance to alternate realities while the other is about Mr. Voodoo doll curse expert Souichi, who we’re already acquainted with due to the first episode. I’m certain Oshikiri is going to show up again in the future too. 


The first story was so disoriented and those horrific images they try to put in didn’t do much for me. Didn’t help that I figured out the so called twist before Oshikiri did. Though the worst part was when the animation dropped severely during a messy fight scene. Anyway, the whole story was just one thing slapped over the other without any pause. Also, this mini series is probably more like a collection of detective style mysterious with a sprinkle of horror than horror? 

As for the second one, I definitely liked it more even though there was nothing scary, and it wasn’t mean to be. It’s just Souichi making other’s life hell, and then tasting his own medicine at the end. I just found myself laughing from start to finish, so I guess it did its job. 


Actually, both the stories reminded me of children books, just without horror thrown in and especially Souichi felt familiar to me. We’re almost halfway through, I hope this series gives us a stellar episode sometime soon. 

Kokkoku Episode 4- The Fourth Moment

We’re getting somewhere and at a much faster pace than the last two episodes. It’s nice to see a more thorough explanation of what happened in the stasis when Juri was young and why Jisan chose to forget it. At the same time, there’s surely more to the story, something that even Jisan doesn’t know, and remains between Majima and Juri. Considering that Majima is the only character among the cultists that isn’t entirely simple, even if she isn’t exactly interesting either, it’s better her story is left for the near future. 


Best thing about the episode was certainly more stress on Juri’s hot headed tendencies and her having no qualms about attacking those perverts. She was also quick to figure out the matter about the jelly, and so it feels like her character could grow to something if given a chance. 

The whole conversation between the father and cultists didn’t lead anywhere. If someone doesn’t save him, or he turns out to be unexpectedly wicked minded, pretty sure the Father would be the first one to mess up. On the other hand, Makoto and his Brother’s scene had more relevance, because there’s a huge chance of them getting attacked, though it probably means Jisan and Juri would arrive at the last moment and save them. Majima’s reveal about the Herald being a person wasn’t exactly much of reveal. Most of the conversation had already led to that conclusion, so that seemed like an unnecessary scene. What’s interesting is Majima and Yukawa family both have people who have been Herald’s in their family, so how are these families connected? 


Things have improved this week but it’s still unclear on what direction the story is going. Actually, we don’t know what the story is at all. Is it just about the Yukawa’s safely leaving the stalled and winning against the villains? Is there something more to the whole thing? What’s interesting is that, despite all the disconnect, this show still has me intrigued and probably will until the end. 

Apparently, the manga is titled Kokkoku: Moment to Moment  and that is appropriate since the show really is operating from moment to moment. 


Ito Junji: Collection Episode 4

Why is it that the stories always start with exciting ideas but fail badly when it comes to  execution? Holes in body through which air comes in and bugs? Great. That would be a nightmare tailor made for me. The way the whole thing resolves, with that one dumb friend that can’t resist temptation and dramatic wind blowing while he digs around for treasure, not so good. Also, didn’t it take time for the grandfather to be effected by the curse? It happened to quickly for the friend. The gem was in the family’s backyard, but only the child got affected and none of the house members, even though none of them touched it? Yeah, either I missed some explanation, or this wasn’t thought through enough. On the other hand, the friends face when it appears suddenly on the window, did startle me a little. 


As for the second story, Would you actually ever set your foot in a person’s house, even if they’re your beloved brother, after you see them attached to strings and essentially moving around like puppets? I’m pretty sure your first thought would be to call the mental hospital instead of having lunch with them. Unfortunately, even if the horror genre itself  requires suspension of disbelief, it’s impossible to enjoy something if it isn’t working on at least some basic logic. 


I can’t help but be interested in shows like this, and I’ll watch it till the end, but it’s coming short of what it could be.