Music Monday! Crayon Pop – FM

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Music Monday!

Have you ever wanted to see a music video that combines the Sailor Moon and Power Rangers? No? I guess it’s just me then. I am a full fledged nerd, however I have toned it down a notch since my teenage years. So you can probably imagine that the video I’m about to share, made my nerd spirit very happy. The music video I’ll be sharing today is “FM” by Crayon Pop.

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Crayon Pop gained popularity in 2013 with their single, “Bar Bar Bar” and no it is not a song about drinking in bars. The group became so popular that they were given the opportunity to be an opening act for Lady Gaga. How awesome is that!!! Now they are back again with another catchy single and showcasing a more mature image and sound. If you are watching this video and you are thinking, “Mature? How’s this mature?”, watch their other videos and you’ll see there is a big change. This Kpop group is known for their silly concepts, this time they are honoring top hit children shows from 90s. Sailor Moon and Power Ranger, heck yeah, this music video is kick a**. The visuals are a must watch, you don’t want to miss this.

I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Webster Falls & One Republic Photography!

Hi everyone,

How are you today? I hope the answer to this question is ‘yes’, if the answer is ‘no’, maybe this post will cheer you up!

This weekend was very eventful for me because I finally got the chance to visit the famous Webster Falls. I had an incredible time and I’m grateful for the sunshine we had yesterday. I will be sharing a few pictures from my special outdoors outing. It is definitely healthy to go out and get in touch with nature.

I also had the opportunity of seeing One Republic live on Friday! I had an incredible time, and I’ll be sharing a few pictures from the concert. I didn’t get the chance to take too many photos with my professional camera because the batteries died. That was actually good thing because I enjoyed the show more, rather than holding up my camera the entire time.

Anyway enough chit chat, it is time to share the photos and I hope you guys enjoy them 🙂

WEBSTER FALLS

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All smiles when I'm surrounded by this beauty!
All smiles when I’m surrounded by this beauty!
Can you spot the rainbow? :)
Can you spot the rainbow? 🙂

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ONE REPUBLIC CONCERT (2015)

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That concludes today’s post, I hope you guys enjoy it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to jump in bed with my tablet and watch my new favorite Japanese drama, Orange Days.

Have a lovely Sunday evening and see you soon!

Music Monday! Martin Garrix ft. Usher – Don’t Look Down.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Music Monday!

Well, well, it seems like I’ll finally be sharing an American song on today’s segment (I am still on my Kpop craze period, it won’t ware off for a while), today I’ll be sharing “Don’t Look Down” by Martin Matrix and Usher.

The lyrics of the song captured my heart and I cannot stop hitting the replay button, this might be my Summer or Spring jam.

Enjoy and let me know what songs you’ve been loving recently 🙂

See you soon!

Rurouni Kenshin Movie Trilogy Review! [CAUTION: SPOILERS].

I always gravitated towards samurai movies, anything with a good sword fighting action is my kind of movie. That’s why I decided it is about time to watch the live action Rurouni Kenshin movies. It’s a good thing I did, because I was blown away by the movies! The three Rurouni Kenshin movie are Rurouni Kenshin (2012), Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014) and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014).

Rurouni Kenshin, 2012.
Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, 2014.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, 2014.

I can’t wait to start talking about these movies, so let’s begin!

RUROUNI KENSHIN (2012)

I’ll begin talking about the first movie from the trilogy! These movies are based on the very popular manga, Rurouni Kenshin. I personally have never watched the anime, but I’ve heard many positive thing about it. I will be sharing an overall opinion about the movies, after I write a brief synopsis for each movie. Before I proceed with this synopsis of this film, let me introduce to you the characters and actors in this movie.

Protagonists

Himura Kenshin played by Takeru Satoh.

Kenshin is the main protagonist of the story, he is a former assassin known as Hitokiri Battōsai. After the 1868 Battle of Toba-Fushimi, Kenshin become a wandering samurai who abandons his assassin life. However, escaping his past is not that easy and he eventually he gets caught up into trouble with new enemies. Even so, he still insists on avoiding any fights and killing opponents like he did in the past.

Kamiya Kaoru played by Emi Takei.

Kaoru is the owner and instructor at a Kendo school that was founded by her deceased father. Kaoru is timid and she is against violence, one day she meets Kenshin who saves her from an impostor who calls himself Battosai. As a thank you, Kaoru invited Kenshin to stay at her dojo and begins to see him as a kind person.

Takani Megumi played by Yu Aoi.

Takani Megumi is a physician who get captured by Takeda Kanryu and tries to get her to help him make opium. After being held captive for a few days, she manages to escape Kanryu’s house, but she is shortly pursued by his servants. Near the end of the movie she gets captures, but Kenshin and Sagara save her. Throughout the movie trilogy, she proves to be loyal and reliable.

Sagara Sanosuke played by Munetaka Aoki.

He has a very impulsive, brash and straightforward personality, Sagara serves the role as the comic relief during some of the battle moments in the movies. Sagara’s first encounter with Kenshin is when they are in jail together, Sagara challenges him to a duel after he learns Kenshin is Hitokiri Battōsai. Sagara loses the battle, but him and Kenshin become friend. Sagara offers his assistance to Kenshin in his fight against Takeda Kanryu and his men, when they go to save Kaoru and Megumi. Even through he can very brash, he really is a great friend!

Myojin Yahiko played by Taketo Tanaka.

Yahiko is a student at Kaoru’s school, he always tries to help Kaoru and Kenshin even though he is not skilled fighter.

Saito Hajime played by Yusuke Eguchi.

Saito Hajime was very skilled and powerful samurai a decade before the Meiji Government was formed, he led his group and fought against Kenshin in the Battle of Toba-Fishimi. After the battle, he becomes a high ranking member of the police department. He is in pursuit of Takeda Kanruy and seeks the help of Kenshin because he knows he is a skilled fighter. Throughout the movie trilogy, he proves to a great fighter and almost equal to Kenshin! He fights for justice and bringing down the antagonists in this story!

Antagonists

Takeda Kanryu played by Teruyuki Kagawa.

Takeda is known for being very materialistic and only caring about money, he is also a opium dealer! At the beginning of the movie he captures Megumi because she knows how to make opium, after Megumi espcapes, he sends his men to find her. He has a very sarcastic, yet wicked personality and strives to get what he wants in a dishonest manner.

Udo Jin-e played by Koji Kikkawa.

Udo Jin-e used to be a hitokiri (sumarai) during the Bakumatsu era, after the war, he took Kenshin’s katana. A decade later, Udo Jin-e called himself Battōsai, impersonating Kenshin and using  Kenshin’s old katana to commit mass murders. He began to work for Kanryu and he was ordered to kidnap Kaoru and Megumi.

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The story follow the journey of Himura Kenshin who is a former legendary assassin who becomes a wanderer after the famous 1868 Battle of Toba-Fushimi. After the battle is over, he makes a vow to himself to abandon his life as an assassin and never kill again. The movie begins with the battle, showing scenes of Keshin fighting his opponents. Back then he was known as Hitokiri Battōsai, after the battle he leaves his katana (sword) as sign of abandoning his assassin life. A decade later, the New Age is celebrated and the Meiji government is created, the New Age and government strictly state that ownership of any weapons is strictly prohibited.  However, trouble comes back after Saito Hajime finds an undercover cop dead, supposedly by Battosai, but he suspects the healthy wealthy business man, Takeda Kanryu. Secretly, Kanryu hires his own army with Udo Jin-e being the main fighter of the group. Following this event, more killings have been reported to the police! As Kenshin continues his journey as a wandered, he stumbles upon a village where he meets Kaoru Kamiya, who thinks Kenshin is Battosai and the one responsible for the killings. However, the misunderstanding is quickly resolved and Kenshin learns Kaoru is the owner of a dojo. Following a number of events, the people from the dojo fall ill from rat poison. Angered by this, Kenshin and Sagara join forces to defeat Kanryu.

RUROUNI KENSHIN: KYOTO INFERNO (2014)

I am going to proceed and list the protagonists/antagonists for the sequel, I will only list characters that were not mentioned above.

Protagonists

Mikamachi Misao played by Tao Tsuchiya.

Makimachi Misao is part of the Kyoto-based Oniwabanshu, they are undercover agents  known as ninjas. She encounters Kenshin while she is on her quest to find Aoshi who took care of Misao. She tries to take Kenshin’s sword, but she fails. Later on in the movie, she and the rest of the Oniwabanshu members join forces to fight against the main villain of this movie.

Kashiwazaki Nenji played by Min Tanaka.

Kashiwazaki Nenji is the leader of the Oniwabanshu, he and his group keep a close eye on any chaos that may occur. He met Kenshin for the first time when he brought Masao back to Kyoto. He is the one who helped Kenshin to find the son of the person who created his first sword. He is kind, yet determined to protect the people close to him with every ounce of strength he has left!

Antagonists

Shishio Makoto played by Tatsuya Fujiwara (the actor who played Shuya in Battle Royale).

Shishio is one of Kenshin’s fiercest appoints in the entire film trilogy, he has a ruthless and coldblooded personality. After the Bonshin war, Shishio was betrayed by his comrades, who tried to burn him and left him to die. However, Shishio survived and now he covers his body because of the severe burns. Shishio wants to take revenge on Kyoto and his establishes an army to burn Kyoto.

Aoshi Shinomori played by Yusuke Iseya.

Aoshi Shinomori used to be a young leader of the Oniwabanshu, after witnessing the murder of his comrades by the guards working with the Shotguntune government, he went missing. Afterwards, he joined Shishio’s group and began searching for Kenshin with the hopes of defeating him.

Sawagejo Cho played by Ryosuke Miura.

Sawagejo is part of Shishio’s army, he is very arrogant and bloodthirsty and his goal is to use every sword in the world. He duels Kenshin and hopes to win so he can get his hands of the final sword that was made by one of the best swordsman, also the one who created Kenshin’s first katana.

Soujiro Seta played by Ryunosuke Kamiki.

Soujiro is the right-handman of Shishio and the most skilled swordsman among his crew, so skilled that he breaks Kenshin’s sword during their first battle. His speed is impeccable and matches Kenshin’s speed, making it difficult for him to fight during their first battle. Soujiro is normally seen smiling and showing no other emotion, however he can have a meltdown if his opponent is stronger than him.

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This movie introduced new protagonists and antagonists, it all begins when Saito Hajime who finds out Shishio is responsible for the new chaos. Alarmed by the news of the recent killings, Kenshin is called in by President Okubo of the Meji Govenment, asking him to assist them and kill Shishio. Kenshin declines, stating that his assassin life is in the past, however shortly after their meeting Okubo is killed by Soujiro Seta. That makes Kenshin realize that the situation is very serious and chooses to leave Tokyo and go to Kyoto. Eventually, he meets Shishio, but he refuses to fight Kenshin because he wants his fighting spirit to be back as it was in the past. Instead, Soujiro fights Kenshin and breaks his sword! After meeting Nenji, he goes to find the son of the swordsmith who made his first sword. Kenshin meets the son, however he declines to give him the sword because he is against violence. Shortly after, Sawagero Cho goes to the swordsmith son’s house, scared for his baby’s life, he gives Kenshin the sword to fight and protect his family from Sawagero. When Kenshin goes back to the Oniwabanshu house, he and the ninjas prepared for the arrival of Shishio’s army. While Kenshin is fighting, he notices that Kaoru is kidnapped, so he follows her. Kenshin tries to desperately save Kaoru, so when she is pushed off the ship, he jumps to find her, but he couldn’t. The movie ends with Kenshin lying unconscious on a beach.

RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS (2014)

Protagonist

Hiko Seijūrō XIII played by Fukuyama Masaharu.

Hiko Seijuro is Kenshin’s master, he is the one who discovers Kenshin unconscious on the beach. Kenshin tells him about Shishio and asks him to teach him the final technique, Seijuro agrees and they begin to train. He tries to give Kenshin confidence and help him figure out how to fight to his true potential. Despite being tough spoken with Kenshin, he does care about him and wants him to be happy.

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The movie starts where the last movie ended, Kenshin meets his master and they begin training together. The good news is that Kaoru is alive, the movie ends with the big and final fight between Shishio and Kenshin. There are many more details to be added, but it’s best to watch the movie and find out everything on your own. It will be more exciting 🙂

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I was blown away by how well this movie was done, the story was told well and at an appropriate pace. The sword fighting choreography was amazing, I couldn’t look away from the screen. The casting is nearly perfect, the acting is well done and I see this movie becoming more popular overseas. My final verdict is to watch the movie, trust me, you’ll thank me for recommending this movie 🙂

Let me know what you think if you watch it or have watched it!

Thank you for stopping by and see you soon.

I

Music Monday! Jimin Park – Hopeless Love.

Welcome back to Music Monday!

Before I proceed to share today’s music video, I want to let all of my readers know that my segment, International Wonderland, will no longer continue on this blog. The reason for this is because I want to share all music on my Music Monday segment, that includes American and foreign music. To me music is an universal language and it should grouped together as one, rather than be separated.

Now, let me introduce to you a song that I’ve been loving for the past few days! The song I’ll be sharing is “Hopeless Love” by Korean pop singer, Jimin Park.

I love ballads, to me they are so powerful and it makes it extra powerful when the singer has strong vocals like Jimin Park. Jimin Park is signed under the record label, JYP Entertainment, one of the top Korean Record Labels along with SM Entertainment. It always amazes me when certain singers can perform a powerful ballad and make it seem so effortless. This is what Jimin Park does, this song is absolutely beautiful and even though I can’t understand the lyrics, I still appreciate this piece of art.

The official music video has subtitles, so make sure to turn them on when you watch the music video. Enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂

See you soon! Also my film review that was supposed to be posted last week, will be published this week. I wanted to take my time, write and edit it very well. Please excuse the delay and I appreciate your patience 🙂

Music Monday! ZEDD ft. Selena Gomez – I Want You To Know.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Music Monday!

I like every genre of music, but I especially like EDM, Rock and Pop! Two years ago, I discovered ZEDD, who is now a Grammy Award winning DJ, his EDM compositions are very catchy. When I heard that he will be releasing a new single with Selena Gomez, I was very excited to hear what he created. So today I will be sharing with you ZEDD and Selena Gomez’s single, “I Want You To Know”.

The video features Selena dancing by herself in a crowded club and the multiple wardrobe changes gives us a 70s vibe. The editing of the video matches the tempo of the song very well and the neon lights are also a nice touch. Compared to the overly edited music videos in the recent years, the simplicity of this music video is enough. My favorite part of the music video is when Zedd appears like a mirage and his and Selena colorful silhouettes  blend together!

Enjoy this catchy tune and let me know what you think 🙂

See you soon with another Japanese film review! I think I’m on a roll with these reviews and I really enjoy writing them too 🙂

Battle Royale Movie Review! [CAUTION – SPOILERS].

Battle Royale is one of those classic movies that everyone should go and watch, I’ve heard about the movie for a long time and I finally watched it. Battle Royale is Japanese film that was released in 2000 adapted from the widely popular novel that was published in 1999. People may have heard about Battle Royale in relation to the Hunger Games, when the Hunger Games was promoted, Battle Royale fans claimed HG is a Battle Royale ripoff. While I watched the movie, I did find a lot of similarities, but I am going to give Susanne Collins the benefit of the doubt.

We won’t discuss that today, but I will talk to you about Battle Royale and why it is worth your time. Let’s begin.

Battle Royale is known for being more gory than the Hunger Games movies (HG fans don’t worry, I still love HG). I usually avoid gory movies because they are not to my liking, but this one is an exception. The story and the characters intrigued me and I had to watch the whole movie till the end.

Battle Royale is written by Koushun Takami and the story takes place in fictional police state version of Japan known as Republic of Greater East Asia. The BR Act was passed down as a form of military research, however it was discovered that it is really a means of terrorizing the population. If people see this horror, they will be afraid and this can prevent future rebellion.  From time to time, randomly selected classes are chosen to fight in a game to the death, until only one person remains the survivor. The protagonists in the story are Shuya Nanahara, Noriko Nakagawa, Shogo Kawada and Shinji Mimura. The antagonists are Kazuo Kiriyama, Kitano and Mitsuko Souma. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each character that was mentioned here.

Protagonists

played by Tatsuya Fujiwara.

Shuya had a rough childhood from his mother abandoning him to his father committing suicide. When he turns 14 years old, Shuya joined an orphanage. He made many friends and one of his best friends is Yoshitoku Kuninobu. He teaches Shuya how to play the guitar. Before the BR game, Yoshitoku confessed to Shuya that he has a crush on Noriko. When Yoshitoku dies, Shuya makes a vow to protect Noriko in Yoshitoku’s memory.

played by Aki Maeda.

Noriko is a quiet and reserved girl, who also has a crush on Shuya. As the story progresses, Noriko gets shot in the arm by one of the military soldiers. Although she is weak, her strong sense of spirit for hope encourages Shogo and Shuya.

played by Taro Yamamoto.

Shogo was a participant of the games three years ago with a girl her loved, Keiko. When Shogo and Keiko remain the last two on the island, one of them has to die, otherwise the collars will explode and kill them both. That’s why Keiko decides she will be the one die, after this Shogo participates in the games again to avenge her death.

played by Takashi Tsukamoto.

Shinji is portrayed as an intuitive and intelligent student. He is a vital character in the story because he is the one who tries to hack the government’s computer and disable their collars. He is also the first one to find out there are microphones on their collars. The collars track the location of each student, measures their pulse and if someone tries to remove it, it will explode. Along with trying to figure out a way to disable the collars, Shinji also plans to build a bomb. With the purpose of blowing up the Program’s staff location. Unfortunately, he is unsuccessful due to outside interference.

                                                            Antagonists

played by Masanobu Ando.

Kiriyama is ruthless when it comes to confronting anyone in the game. He doesn’t seem to have a second thought before killing. Due to events that occurred in his life as child, Kiriyama could’ve been possibly mute. He shows no emotions and is seen as a sadistic psychopath. He is a dangerous one for sure!

played by Takeshi Kitano.

Kitano is a character that only appears in the movie and not in the novel. He leaves his job as a teacher and instead he becomes a Battle Royale instructor. He is more apathetic to the deaths and we see a more sympathetic side of him with Noriko. In the end, he gets shot by Shuya thinking Kitano was really going to shoot Noriko.

played by Kou Shibasaki.

As a child Mitsuko was molested and she suffers from a severe emotional trauma. Due to this event, Mitsuko became cold, deadly and promiscuous. Despite all this, in the end Mitsuko’s wish has been to fit and not be a loser anymore.

Now that the main characters are introduced, it is time to talk more about the story and the events that occurred in the movie. The movie begins with Ninth Grade Class B in the bus going on a field trip, on their way they are gassed and wake up in a classroom on a remote island. Kitano appears through the door, Class B’s grade seven teacher and he informs them that they are selected for this year’s Battle Royale. Kitano plays an instructional video for the students, telling them how the game is played. In middle of the video, Kitano kills two students because they misbehave, one of them is Shuya’s best friend, Yoshitoku (Nobu). When the commotion settles down, each student is given a bag with food, water, map of the island, compass and a weapon. Sometimes the weapon will be useful, in other circumstances a player may get something useless like a paper fan (what can you possibly do with that). One by one each student is called to take their bags and begin playing the game, before Shuya heads out he tells Noriko that he will be waiting for her outside. In Nobu’s memory, Shuya vows to protect Noriko, because he feels it is responsibility to his best friend and he knows Nobu would’ve done the same. The game begins and many of the students intent to kill, while others chose not to. Eventually, Shogo, Noriko and Shuya form an alliance and try to get through the game together. Shogo has already participated in the game, so he proves to be more knowledgeable and helpful during the tough moments.

The Battle Royale movie was directed by one of the most respected movie directors in Japan, Kinji Fukasaku. Kinji Fukasaku stated in an interview that his inspiration for writing the script of the movie was from his own experience as a teenager in World War II. Fukasaku managed to bring the audience an action packed movie, with plot twists and a lot of drama. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end! The violence and gore can be brutal, but it does look a little bit fake and some of the acting can be too melodramatic. Nevertheless, the great film editing and the dark atmosphere that was created by Fukasaku, makes up for these two minor flaws.

My final verdict for this film is to go and watch it, this dark-thriller is full of suspense and great fighting sequences. This is a powerful and memorable movie that will make you want to re-watch it many more times. I am currently reading the novel, if you wish to see a book review from me, let me know in the comments box.

I hope you enjoyed this film review, there will be more to come soon.

Thank you for reading and see you soon 🙂