Sunday, April 28, 2013

JDrama Review: Yankee-kun to Megane-chan

The Gist: Shinagawa Daichi (Narimiya Hiroki) is a high school delinquent, who is constantly getting into fights and ditching class. This gets the attention of Adachi Hana (Naka Riisa), the class rep, who is determined to get Daichi more involved in school activities. He gets accustomed to her clingy ways, finding himself more grateful for her kindness, if not annoyed by her stupidity. Daichi soon realizes that the reason that Hana is so interested in him is that they are similar. Hana is a reformed Yankee and still a feared fighter, who desires to help Daichi clean up his life just like she did.
1.Hardcore Hana

I have somewhat conflicted feelings about Hana during most of the show. Her character bugs me a bit and her voice is kind of grating. The saving grace about Hana is the flashbacks to her Yankee days when we get to see a new kind of Hana. It almost makes me wish she was still that badass throughout the show. I know we’re rooting for her to be better, but it’s amazing to see her let loose, both in style and action.
2.Warm Fuzzies

For a show about delinquent kids, YTM stays surprisingly light and fluffy. While that’s not always a good thing, it’s probably one of the shows strongest points. The sincere moments of relationship building between Hana and Daichi are the highlights. Hana’s unrelenting pursuit of friendship with Daichi just makes you feel good as you’re watching it. As the two of them get used to each other and help each other out, there’s just no bad feeling behind it. I’d classify this as a feel good show.
1.The Casting

 While I credit this somewhat to bad writing, the characters kind of drove me crazy. I have no idea why they keep casting Hiroki in these roles that require him to be somewhat threatening. To me, he just doesn’t really pull it off. Luckily, he is supposed to be pretty mild throughout the show, but I thought there might have been a better actor out there for this role. I said already that Riisa bothered me, but I think a lot of that was largely her choices for class rep character. She kind of reminded me of a beaver behind those glasses. I think that’s a lot of the reason I like hardcore Hana so much better.
2.The Fighting

Man, I feel like this show had such a great opportunity to show off some flashy fighting. Instead, it opts for some seriously cartoony action sequences that really don’t take any skill on the part of the actor. I guess this is another reason I have beef with the casting of this show – none of the actors have any fighting talent to show off. If you’re going to do a show about delinquents get some fighting! Heck, even some scenes like Shut Up Flower Boy Band! felt more realistic and interesting than the fighting in YTM.
1.Will They? Won’t They?

I really thought this show was driving towards a romance. I really did. I think the manga might go this route but it never is fully realized in the drama. I don’t have a problem with a solid friendship story, but I felt that the writing was pushing Hana and Daichi towards each other so strongly, that I felt a little disappointed with where things ended. I believe this might be because the show aired before the manga ended, but shows that decide to run before their source material is done need to make some strong creative choices to give the show some conclusion.
So… Overall, my impression of this show was disappointing. The actors did and OK job, but I think the performances weren’t that strong and the chemistry only so/so. If you’re holding out for a good romance, the show never takes that strong step, which really leaves you hanging. It’s fine for one watch, but really didn’t meet my expectations.
Final Grade: C-

Saturday, April 20, 2013

TDrama Review: Romantic Princess

*Available on US Netflix Streaming*

The Gist: Xiao Mai (Angela Zhang) always resented how confined her life was by lack of funds. In the middle of working hard to save up money to live in luxury, she is found by her biological grandfather, who is a wealthy mogul. Going by Emp, her grandfather brings her in to set her up with one of four prospective successors. As the favorite, Nan Feng Jin (Wu Chun) seems to be the best option. Unfortunately, Jin has no desire to succeed Emp and therefore pushes Mai away as much as possible, treating her terribly. That doesn’t turn Mai off to him, however, and she begins to feel conflicted about what a relationship with him would mean for his future.
1.Xiao Mai

After feeling a little ambivalent about her first, I really grew to love Mai. Her determination makes her an awesomely strong character to watch. She’s got a lot to deal with, discovering a secret rich grandfather and that her parents were kind of shady, and then being matched up with boys she doesn’t know. Not that those are all bad things, but they’re all BIG things and she takes them head on. Love the actress and love the characters.
2. Playing House

*Minor Spoilers* At some point, Jin, Mai, Cai, and Li (Genie Chuo) bail out on Emp’s successor plans and strike out on their own for the real world. Jin and Mai take to it swimmingly as Mai is used to it and this is exactly what Jin has always wanted. Cai and Li have no idea how to live outside of the lap of luxury and start to fall apart right away. I really appreciate this turn because it’s unexpected and really dives into the heart of our main characters. It’s smart writing and didn’t really remind me of anything else.
1. The Other Guys

While I did appreciate Jin and Cai (Calvin Chen), George Hu as Nan Feng Lin and Li Ang Lin as Nan Feng Ying were sort of non-characters to me. I was excited at first because the setup generally reminded me of Hana Yori Dango, which I love, but I feel like only Jin and Cai were developed enough to have us care about them. That meant that Lin and Ying were really just filler characters when they should have added more to the story. That said, there’s nothing terribly wrong with them, I just wanted more.
2. Emp

While I didn’t really have issue with the actor, Gu Bao Ming, the character felt a little stereotypical. I am so sick of the rich head of the family character that puts his company before his family. I get that he wants what’s best for the second generation, but it still drove me a little crazy. Still, there were some nice redemptive moments between him and Mai as they tried to get to know each other.
1.The Ending

**SPOILERS** AH! Speaking of stereotypes, enough with a main character leaving at the end! I loved how they were tying things up. Mai being her grandfather’s successor is a brilliant move. Her charisma and determination makes her a good fit, even though she doesn’t know a lot about business. Plus, she can save the man she loves from a fate he hates and still gets to be with him… except then she doesn’t. It’s like great! Here’s all these awesome things, oh wait, go peace out to America for 3 years. While I appreciate that Jin and Mai will do a long distance thing, it’s just unnecessary and played out.


So… I liked RP, but I didn’t love it. The romance was cute, but it didn’t do as well as some other reverse harem dramas, bogged down by a lot of stereotypical moves that were only sort of interesting. I love the main actress, but I felt like a lot of the other characters were underdeveloped, which ultimately left me wanting a bit more.
Final Grade: B-

Thursday, April 18, 2013

JDrama Review: Smile

The Gist: Vito (Matsumoto Jun) has it rough. As a half Filipino, half Japanese, he is often the target of racism and gets tangled up with unseemly people in his effort just to get by. Luckily, he is able to find a day job he likes and when he meets Hana (Aragaki Yui), he can't help but like her. Having lost her voice from a trauma, Hana is difficult to communicate with but she forms a quick attachment to Vito. Drawn in by her smile, he helps her get a job where he works so that they can be together all the time. Things always seem to turn sour for Vito when he gets arrested for a crime and Hana is the only witness, unable to testify.


1. Hana

Expertly cast by Aragaki, Hana is a particularly difficult part to play because she is silent through almost the entire drama. Her facial expressions and body language need to be dead on to communicate what she's trying to convey. Aragaki does this so well that you can feel what she's thinking, even when she can't say it. The subtlety of this character is what makes her so outstanding. As much as I will always love Matsujun, Hana totally steals the show. 

2. Seriousness

This drama is not fluffy popcorn romance. Vito is dealing with some major problems between the racism and the crimes. Also, his complicated relationship with Seiji (Oguri Shun) really makes you feel that Vito is trapped. It's a nice break from how light most of the popular JDramas are and actually gets you thinking about larger problems. Most shows blow small problems out of proportion, but you really have to admire Hana and Vito for finding reasons to smile even though their lives are so difficult.

3. The Ending

**SPOILERS** Of course with a premise like this, it's impossible to not want to see Hana speak. They build it up to the perfect moment. Vito's conviction and life depend on Hana testifying, which flashbacks to a trial her family had gone through before. She has to overcome her fear to save Vito, which she does in what is probably one of the most satisfying scenes I've seen in a drama.

4. Seiji

Oguri Shun and Matsujun are just attached at the hip it would seem. I loved seeing Shun in a darker role. Seiji is the kind of villain you love to hate. There's really no redemption for him and the pressure that he puts on Vito is what drives the main problem of the show. Not that I didn't love him in Hana Yori Dango, but it's always enjoyable to see different sides of an actor and I thought he was brilliant. 


1.  The Lawyer

Nakai Kiichi as Ito Kazuma becomes very involved in our heroes journey when he becomes Vito's lawyer. It is revealed rather quickly that Kazuma is biracial, just like Vito. His apathy highlights how hard the life is, but it also made me a little bit uncaring towards him. I never totally came to embrace him, even as he comes to help Vito. I just felt out main pair were much stronger characters, that I sort of didn't really mind if Kazuma was around or not.


1. Heavy

I feel a bit weird making the distinction that I like the seriousness but don't like the heavy. I think at times the show becomes a little overbearing and especially after Vito gets arrested, things are so bleak it's hard to watch. Hana and Vito's relationship helps lighten things, but by the end of the show, I was more than ready to watch something that didn't really matter.

So... If not already biased towards anything starring Matsujun, I did enjoy Smile for its more serious plot and brilliant acting by the leading lady. The seriousness can be a little harsh occasionally though, often making you wish for something a little happier here and there. The ending is rewarding, however, making it worth the trek to the end.

Final Grade: B

Saturday, April 13, 2013

KDrama Review: To the Beautiful You

The Gist: Goo Jae Hee (Sulli) had it rough when her mother remarried and moved them to America. Her only comfort came from Kang Tae Joon (Minho), a high jumper back in Korea. After his skills motivated her to take up track, her life became easier and enjoyable. However, Tae Joon suffered an ankle injury and stopped pursuing his dream. Feeling inspired by and indebted to him, Jae Hee radically decides to chop off her long hair and disguise herself as a boy to enroll at Tae Joon’s school in Korea. Fate’s on her side because not only does she end up in Tae Joon’s school, but also in his room! He doesn’t want her help, immediately annoyed at how interested she is in him. Luckily, another student Cha Eun Gyeol (Lee Hyun Woo), takes a liking to Jae Hee, such a strong liking that Eun Gyeol starts to become confused by their friendship.  He’s not the only one – it’s not too long before Tae Joon realizes how Jae Hee can help him and that she’s not exactly who she’s claiming to be.  
1.Casting and Characters

 I really admire that the characters in TTBY have their own quirks and personalities apart from the Japanese version, Hana Kimi. While I think sticking to the source material is great, I think some new material has to be added to make it worthwhile. I think I like Sulli in this role a little bit more than her Japanese counterpart and definitely liked Minho as a better fit than Oguri Shun. Their chemistry was obvious, which made the plot smooth. Eun Gyeol was also a favorite, though I must admit I liked him much better when he cut his hair halfway through the series. He looked like a mushroom initially.
2. Seol Han Na

Acted by Kim Ji Won, Han Na was a character I thought I’d hate the whole show. She starts out obviously catty and clingy, totally obsessed with Tae Joon without much consideration for anyone else. **SPOILERS** I think the best decision for this character was to have her get injured. It humanized her and even drew some strong parallels between her and Tae Joon. This moment enabled her to accept and even befriend Jae Hee, which gives me that cathartic redemption I was looking for in this character. I think her later pairings with Seung Ri (Seo Jun Young) also led to some surprisingly enjoyable scenes.
3. Min Hyun Jae

 Kang Ha Neul’s character is Tae Joon’s rival in high jump, always in his shadow. I feel very similarly about Hyun Jae as I do to Han Na. I thought I’d hate his character forever as he seemed to simply stand in to make Tae Joon’s life harder. **SPOILERS** He gets pretty complex when his inferiority drives him to attempt to hurt Tae Joon, a stunt that ends up injuring his roommate, Eun Gyeol. That desperation was a welcome change from his cocky attitude and afterwards, his efforts to change make him utterly likeable. His resulting friendship with Tae Joon felt very appropriate.
1.The Comedy

I had this same complaint about Hana Kimi. I think that the bizarre over acted weirdness just doesn’t resonate with the rest of the story. Prime example: when Tae Joon first meets Jae Hee, her suitcase busts open. She ends up sitting in it and flying down the entrance steps. The effects are bad and the writing is bad. The whole scene made me cringe. STILL, I think it is a bit lighter with TTBY than with Hana Kimi, so the briefer moments are more tolerable. Also, that just seems to be the spirit of the original, so I can’t complain too much for them keeping some of that flavor.
2. The Pacing

I didn’t mind the length of the show, but I think they pushed back the reveal about Jae Hee’s gender too far. At some point the relationship between her and Tae Joon drops off because there’s only so far they can go when she doesn’t realize he knows she’s a girl. I think between episodes 9 and 15, I just wanted her to be exposed already. I appreciate that that would have thrown off the course of events, but it still felt a little drawn out.
1.The Ending

**SPOILERS** Seriously, are we ever going to get a good drama where people aren’t separated at the end? I have major beef with this ending. First, when she decides to leave, why doesn’t she just transfer to the school she was supposed to be at this whole time? Obviously, her family doesn’t mind or they wouldn’t have let her go to begin with. Then, she doesn’t go to Tae Joon’s competition, which is like the pinnacle of why she’s there. Her excuse – if I see him then I won’t be able to go – which is funny, because after saying that, she goes to see him before the competition anyway! She should have just gone to see him jump. But alas, she doesn’t transfer to a school to be near to her best friend and boyfriend, but goes back to America FOR NO REASON. It was nice that Tae Joon came to visit her, but what an unsettling ending. I think Hana Kimi ended better.
2. The Self Pics

I cannot overstate how much it bugged me that Eun Gyeol just randomly held out his phone to take pictures of himself staring deeply into the lens, then tweet it with a bizarrely vague phrase. It made me feel like Eun Gyeol was more self-absorbed than he really was and just seemed like a forced character quirk. I mean, I totally believe that’s something a high school student would do, but I found it totally cheesy and weird. Almost as weird as that student that uses the lip balm all the time.
3. Too Rich

WHAT HIGH SCHOOL LOOKS LIKE THAT? It’s so over the top that it was almost distracting. Even the best schools don’t have boarding rooms that nice. Maybe Korea’s got something on America, but the dorms and cafeteria seemed more like a movie set than someplace high schoolers would actually live. When Jae Hee would offhandedly mention something about how small their room was, I couldn’t believe it. I’ll trade with you any day!
So…I think ultimately I liked this version better than Hana Kimi, but still not as much as I wanted too. The casting was good, but the ending had me feeling a little empty. Also, our characters kiss like they barely like each other – what is this, a Japanese drama (oh snap!)? I think the depth of the story was good, but it didn’t have that same spark that shows like You’re Beautiful or Hana Yori Dango have.
Final Grade: B   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

KDrama Review: Flower Boy Next Door

The Gist: After a traumatic incident in high school, Go Dok Mi (Park Shin Hye) becomes afraid of people and shuts herself in her apartment. Working from home, she has very little reason to interact with anybody. Still, she can’t help but admire a doctor who lives across the street from her. Too scared to actually introduce herself, she simply watches him from afar every day. This turns out to be her undoing when his brother, video game genius Enrique (Yoon Shi Yoon) returns from Spain and catches her looking into his brother’s apartment. A type A extrovert, he can’t leave her alone but is determined to help her grow out of her shell. This ticks off Dok Mi’s neighbor, Jin Rak (Kim Ji Hoon) who had noticed Dok Mi’s good qualities long ago and just wants Enrique to leave her alone. Despite this discouragement, Enrique is unable to be swayed as he and Dok Mi learn to understand and help each other.

I have to give mad props to FBND for having such an original idea. So frequently I find myself watching a drama and it reminds me of thirty other things I’ve watched. I do not think there was even one moment when I thought this scene is just like that other drama. The plot is fresh (as is pointed out in a very meta fashion through Jin Rak’s boss) and the characters unusual. I can’t think of any characters even similar to Enrique or Dok Mi and definitely not as a pair. If you’re sick of the run of the mill story quirks, this one is totally different and well done at that.

 Park Shin Hye is a very familiar face by now, but it was enjoyable to see her in something to different from her usual fair. Unlike Heartstrings and You’re Beautiful, FBND doesn’t showcase her musical talent at all. She plays such a believable recluse, that you actually get nervous watching her in uncomfortable situations. I’d think she was just a quiet person, but her other roles are so energetic that we can simply credit her fabulous acting. Shi Yoon was not an actor I had seen before, but I loved his commitment to his character, panda hat and all, and his interactions with Shin Hye were adorably sincere.

As a different kind of love triangle, I have to admit, I love this romance. My favorite romance stories are the ones where it’s obvious why two people should be together. Somewhere in the middle it became crystal clear why Dok Mi should be with Enrique and not Jin Rak. Jin Rak wanted Dok Mi to just be herself, not needing to change for anyone. I was totally on his side in this opinion because it seemed so harsh and that mantra of just be yourself is so ingrained, Enrique often seemed mean. However, I realized that Enrique wanted to push Dok Mi to be herself more fully and he could see how much happier and healthier she could be. It was not the easy way, but Enrique was better for Dok Mi and she was good for him too.
4.Dong Hoon  

Played by Go Kyung Pyo, Dong Hoon is Jin Rak’s roommate and coworker. At first, I was really annoyed with this character. He seemed like a playboy and kind of obnoxious. You figure out eventually that he’s not a playboy but has to work every night as a designated driver to make meager cash. His support of Jin Rak and Do Hwi (Park Soo Jin) isn’t always straightforward, but he’s a really good friend. Also his interactions with the director of their webtoon, brilliantly acted by Kim Seul Gi, snuck up on me as some of the best on the show.

Japanese transplant, Watanabe (Mizuta Kouki), moves into our protagonists’ apartment complex to learn Korean cooking. I just do not really understand the point of this character. He was fine, but I don’t really understand him. All he really seems to add to the storyline is a place for everyone to get together. I kept waiting to see why he was there and he was essentially just the packing peanuts of the story. I felt like he was underused. Either they should have utilized him more fully or just yanked him out.

I loved this show, but the story felt like it dragged on for a bit. With such a subtle plot and quiet characters, I understand the holdup – you have to build to Dok Mi’s transformation. Still, I think condensing it down would have helped a bit. It’s not meant to be filled with action, but the story does lag a bit at certain parts.
1.Expiration Date

Immediately when Enrique is introduced, it’s a given that he’s going back to Spain in like a month or two. That puts me at edge right off the bat because I know there’s a limit to the relationship building. I could see this being the big problem for them a mile away and I kind of hate that. I do not understand what it is about KDramas and separating your pair at the end, but they can’t seem to help themselves. The ultimate handling of it was nicely done, but it ticked me off right from the beginning.
2.Overreaction Much?

I almost feel bad for saying this because everyone is different, but when I found out the reason for Dok Mi’s reclusive behavior, I was a bit disappointed. Her level of fear and dislike of people made me think she had been assaulted or something. I won’t spoil it here but it’s definitely not that dramatic. It sort of dented how I felt about Dok Mi, but I moved past it pretty quickly.
So… I love how different this show is. Peppered by a brilliant cast, FBND doesn’t have a strong overarching theme, but the small moments are poignant enough to carry it. The romance is well written and acted, if not a little bit long for the story.
Final Grade: B+

Saturday, April 6, 2013

JDrama Review: Kurosagi

The Gist: Kurosaki (Yamashita Tomohisa) , under the pseudonym Kurosagi, became a swindler of swindlers after his family fell victim. Now, he plays Robin Hood, disguising himself to take back the money of innocent people and returning it to them. A woman in his neighborhood, Yoshikawa Tsurara (Horikita Maki) , takes notice of Kurosagi and can't seem to leave her interest alone. She quickly realizes that he's a con artist, which she can't accept as a burgeoning law student. Rather than try to expose him, she focuses her efforts on trying to help him give up the swindling life and depend on her.


1. The Swindling

As a core theme of this show, it's very entertaining to see how Kurosagi outsmarts people. Things don't always go off without a hitch, but the action is what makes this show enjoyable. It may not be entirely unpredictable, but there's a satisfaction that comes with seeing him take these people down. There's also an irony you really have to appreciate in Kurosagi becoming what he hates to take down who he hates (Batman?).


1. Episodic

While there is definitely an overarching plot line, Kurosagi is not a story where you'd be lost jumping in the middle. Each episode has a similar plot of picking a villain, disguising Kurosagi, and taking down the bad guy. The plot with Tsurara does move along, slowly, but the general feel of the show picks a routine and sticks to it pretty closely.

2. No Memorable Side Characters

I guess this point is a little subjective, but having watches this show a few years back now, I really can't remember any characters beside our main pair. I think this show could have been strengthened with a good supporting cast. Still, I understand the choice. Kurosagi needs to be isolated to make Tsurara his only life boat. The strong focus on the two of them really highlights their relationship.


1. The Romance?

 Really though, I feel like the show hinted at romance between our main protagonists, but nothing really develops between them. I think that Tsurara and Kurosagi come to understand each other, but there's not a lot of growth in the relationship. On some level, they're just as distant at the end of the show as when they started. Tsurara still can't accept what Kurosagi does and Kurosagi can't give it up. The two of them don't have a visible lasting impact on each other because they're each still alone by the end of the show. On some level, I'd say this show is more about a decent friendship between the two of them than an actual romance.

2. Too Moody

 Yes, things lighten up a bit during Kurosagi's endeavors, but overall, the show is just taking itself too seriously. I think it would have benefited from some lighter moments here and there. Kurosagi pushing Tsurara away for too long makes the show seem quite long, when at 11 episodes, it really isn't. Also, I mentioned that there's not a lot of growth by the end of the show, but that also means there's not a catharsis for the audience watching. You spend all this time trying to root for Kurosagi to get some meaning and happiness to his life and the end of it just isn't that satisfying.

So... Kurosagi is OK. Not great. I think as far as con shows go, Liar Game is far superior as far as neat plot and interesting characters. I definitely wanted some more development between Kurosagi and Tsurara, which the show just never really delivers. I have a similar complaint about Liar Game, but Kurosagi doesn't have enough strength in other areas to make up for it. The pairing of Yamapi and Maki works better in Nobuta wo Produce.

Final Grade: C-

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jdrama Review: Nodame Cantible

The Gist: Chiaki (Tamaki Hiroshi) prizes himself on having his life together. He's working hard at a music university to follow in his father's footsteps and leave a great legacy in music as a conductor. His life gets thrown out of sorts when he meets Noda Megumi (Ueno Juri), known as Nodame, an immature piano player. While she doesn't like structure and tends to give in to her emotions, her skills at piano are recognizable, even by Chiaki. Nodame quickly falls for Chiaki, who has taken her on as something of a project, to try and get her to realize her full potential. It's not too long before Chiaki realizes that behind those piano skills is a person he actually might like.


1. The Music

If you hate classical music with a passion, turn around now. While I don't particularly love classical music, I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances in NC. The piano pieces were well played and fit into the story wonderfully, especially when Chiaki and Nodame played together. The violin pieces were excellent and I learned what a timpani is! It made me super knowledgeable. I have a feeling that people who love classical music will get more out of this, but it's done well enough to be enjoyable for everyone.

2. The Side Characters

While our main duo is duking it out, I was totally enthralled by the other students at the university. The violinists Mine Ryutaro (Eita) and Miki Kiyora (Mizukawa Asami) had a captivating romance that was a little like our main pair, but toned down. The tension between trying to be better than each other while falling for each other is lovely. I normally dislike super cartoony characters but timpani player Masumi (Koide Keisuke) was totally hilarious and his crush on Chiaki and therefore rivalry with Nodame was one of the best part of the show.


1. Tamaki

I don't know if I just don't like this actor or if he just keeps taking roles that drive me crazy. I can not seem to take him seriously. He always has this look of "why is this happening to me?" on his face and I just want to smack him and tell him to go with it. Still, I watched the anime first and love Chiaki as a character and Tamaki's Chiaki isn't bad - it's just not great. This might be totally a personal issue though, as I just don't seem to get Tamaki as an actor.

 2. Franz Strezemann 

Played by Takenaka Naoto, Franz is supposed to be what, Austrian? German? Either way it's totally obvious that he isn't foreign and is totally Japanese, which is bizarre. While I love Masumi, Franz's cartoonish behavior started to grate on my nerves. I think that's mostly because he's a total creeper and obvious pervert. I think it's supposed to be difficult for us to like him because it's difficult for Chiaki, but I never really warmed up to him.


1. Non Linear Romance

So the romance between Chiaki and Nodame seems pretty standard drama fare, if not a little bit slow going. However, it's totally not obvious when they're supposed to have started dating. When they have their break up scene, I thought I missed an episode because I had no idea they were together. Let's get an obvious kiss or confession or something going! I'm all for subtlety but it sort of lets the air out of the tires when the audience can't even tell if they're waiting for them to get together or if they already are. It's not totally the drama's fault, the anime's a little confusing on this point too.


So... I feel sort of ambivalent about Nodame Cantible. It got me really into classical music for a moment, which is unusual fare for your drama. The side characters are awesome, but the romance is slow moving and honestly, king of confusing, If you're looking for obvious intimacy and a straightforward romance, this isn't my highest recommendation.

Final Grade: C