OKAASAN! The Host Club is Back!

ouran

Just like most fans of Ouran High School Host Club, I really didn’t think a drama would work. A big part of the manga and the anime’s charm was Tamaki’s dramatics and somehow, I felt that a drama wouldn’t be able to show that as effectively as the anime did to perfection. Besides, who would they cast as Tamaki? Where would they find an actor whom the fans would deem worthy of bringing their beloved Host Club King to life? And what about everyone else? No, I thought the drama wasn’t really a good idea at first.

Eventually, though, I found myself watching the drama on a whim since I re-watched the anime. Might as well give it a try, right? That was what I thought. I could always stop if I didn’t enjoy it and so I started watching. Eventually, I found it hard to stop.

Yes, an Ouran High School Host Club live-action drama is painfully awkward to watch, especially the first few episodes when it looked like everyone was still getting into their roles. The acting wasn’t flawless and yes, quite awkward at times, but you have to hand it to the cast and the crew, they tried and oh did they try hard. They tried so hard I couldn’t help but be won over eventually.

The cast certainly seemed like they were putting in a lot of effort into what they did, especially Yamamoto Yusuke who played Tamaki. Yamamoto Yusuke certainly wasn’t the perfect match to Tamaki in terms of looks, but he certainly made up for it by throwing himself into the role and pulling out all the stops to be Tamaki. He was dramatic, he was all over the place, he whined and cajoled and yelled “HARUHI!” and yet was also quite gentle and charming when he wanted to be. He even allowed himself to be wired up and tossed against walls. He probably had the most demanding role in the cast and I think he did splendidly. The rest of the cast also seemed to fit their roles quite well. I loved the Takagi twins as Hikaru and Kaoru and Nakamura Masaya and Chiba Yudai as Mori and Honey were pretty spot on too. Kawaguchi Haruna wasn’t my first choice for Haruhi, but I guess she did okay. I also loved how they gave the spotlight to Jounouchi Ayame in one episode and I loved her story and how well Nakabeppu Aoi played her. And Totsugi Shigeyuki as Ranka was just amazing, too. Special props must be given to Daito Shunsuke for bringing Kyouya, my favorite character, to life. He looked the part and was able to deliver a convincing performance of the Shadow King I know and love. He’s just so cool. *w*

As for the visuals, I have to say that there was a lot of sparkles and that was good because in Ouran, you can never have enough sparkles. The Hosts are always sparkling so I’m glad that the drama also incorporated that. The styling was also pretty good and the Ouran boys looked like real life obocchan as they strutted around, even when they’re out of their smart, spiffy uniforms (though I have to warn you guys about the Karuizawa episode. You’ll die. Just. DIE.). The drama also tried its best to be faithful when it came to scene composition, shooting scenes as they appeared in the manga and anime.

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

Is there anything about the drama that I didn’t like? Of course. For one, I didn’t like the obvious slant towards Kyouya/Haruhi that wasn’t really there in the manga or anime. It’s also quite biased of me, but I wish they showed more of Kyouya’s story. I was really waiting for that episode where Kyouya gets left alone in a mall with Haruhi, but that episode wasn’t in the drama so it was a disappointment. The drama is only 11 episodes all in all, each episode around 25 minutes long, and I wish it were longer or they just made a second season on top of the movie. But of course we fans can’t get everything. I guess there’s always the anime and manga to give us comfort, haha.

!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!

As I said earlier on in this review, the cast and crew of the Ouran drama tried very hard and I think in some ways they did very well. At the very least, they renewed interest for Ouran and I’m sure the fandom is pretty thankful for that despite everything.

Now, if only someone subbed the movie already…

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That Sorta Typical New Year’s Post

It’s a typical blog post at the start of the year to recount the last year and to look forward to the new year, so I’m jumping in and joining the bandwagon even if it’s a little late. I was actually supposed to have an entry like this way before now but you know how it is during the holidays. You kind of forget even more what the word “productive” actually means. But I was prompted by someone just now and so you finally get this post.

Highlights of 2012

  1. All the traveling. I got to go to Hong Kong, Baguio and Singapore last year. Sure, Baguio isn’t exactly that exotic since it’s just somewhere north of Manila, but I loved being there anyways. The cooler weather made the difference and so did the sights. Meanwhile, Hong Kong was my first ever international trip since I was diagnosed with MCTD and it went pretty well. Singapore was the first international trip ever with Noel, so it was special too. Last year was certainly a great year for travel, that’s for sure.
  2. Improved health. As mentioned, I was able to travel overseas and that would not have been possible without better health. I was able to walk long distances and withstand extreme weather and crowds. This absolutely helps too with the next item.
  3. Got myself a new job. Good health is definitely essential in doing regular work. I found work as an Office Manager of a Korean online English school and it can be pretty physically, mentally and psychologically trying at times. I’m glad to be having a regular job after two years of not having one, though, so that’s something. However, as I mentioned and have blogged about before, it can be physically, mentally and psychologically taxing. Plus the salary is a bit low. It’s still a job, though. (Monday, must you come so soon?)
  4. New blogs! I joined WordPress this year and started up two blogs, this one and Takaw Mode. I’m obviously still very bad at updating regularly, but they’re there now and they’re helping me express myself in ways that I haven’t in a very, very long time. It’s nice to be blogging again.
  5. NaBloPoMo. And speaking of blogging, I joined, along with numerous other bloggers, National Blog Posting Month  last November. I posted almost everyday for a month. It was hard and exhilarating and a lot of fun. I’ll go ahead and do that again this year.
  6. Media Club. It was an idea borne out of wanting to stay connected with a couple of friends and I’m so happy how it has not only kept us in touch, but also had us get to know each other more through exploring each other’s taste in all sorts of things. The conversations here got really in depth both personally and intellectually. I look forward to more meetings, guys.
  7. Rekindling and renewing friendships. The Media Club had made it easier for me to keep in touch with RL friends that I hardly ever saw. And I was also able to get in touch with friends that I thought I had lost before. It was fun getting to know people all over again and spending time with them, whether it be through chatting or meet ups.
  8. Fandom. The Avengers really did a number on fandom and I found myself getting caught up with the hype. Chris Evans’ Captain America certainly helped, hahaha. Then there were also these great shows like Game of Thrones and The Borgias. Older shows like Supernatural, Bigh Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were still being awesome, too. There were just a lot to watch and new fanfiction to read and new characters to swoon over. 2012 was an awesome year for fandoms, definitely.
  9. QWERTEE. Qwertee is out to get my money, seriously. I ordered two shirts from them last year and barely stopped myself from getting another one just before Christmas. I don’t doubt that I will succumb to a new shirt design eventually. I’ll get my bank account ready for that.
  10. HER. She made me laugh. She made me cry. She made me feel happy, but also like I’m a terrible person. All at once.

Resolutions for 2013

  1. Travel more. Because why not? Admittedly, budget is a bit tight right now, but if I want to go back to Baguio, I’ll find a way. ‘Got to start saving up!
  2. Write more. There’s this writing contest that a friend told me about. I also owe that friend a fanfic. I have so many things that I want to write.  I have to stop thinking about how and when and just start writing.
  3. Watch more movies, read more books, etc. Get doused in culture along the way if it’s possible. Enrich my life with art while I also try and attempt to make art myself. These things are one source of inspiration.
  4. Spend less time online. Hahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Aaaah, but I should try. Too much time online is killing my productivity and social skills, I swear. Definitely a must do.
  5. Develop better sleeping and eating habits. I think, if I didn’t sleep late and didn’t eat as much junk, I would be so damned healthy right now, I will be able to do all the things that I want to do. This is a definite must do too.
  6. Learn something new. Last year, I learned a lot more about the financial side of things when it comes to running a company. Also the legalities involved in it. I wonder what I’d learn this year.
  7. Be more active about finding what I want to do with my life and myself. I’ve gotta stop being passive. ‘Must be more participative. It would be painful (painfully painful? Painfully awkward? Both?), but it must be done. Why am I here? What do I really want to do? I’d love to know soon.
  8. Find a new job. Because I’m learning a lot and they love me there, but I’m not content, much less happy with what I’m doing there. Must find a way to move on.
  9. Choose to be happy. Too often, I get caught being sad and I’m starting to think I like being unhappy, which isn’t good, really. Sadness and depression may make you feel alive because you feel something, it’s better than being numb, but then it can get you six feet under much faster, I think.
  10. Let go. Let go of negativity, of sadness, of things not worth wasting time on. Sometimes, too, some people just aren’t worth keeping around if they do hardly anything else but pull you down. I hope I find the strength to be able to let go.