JDrama: Juunen Saki mo Kimi ni Koishite「十年先も君に恋して」

After a long period of not blogging about dramas, I find myself back to do a short write up on this JDrama that I have watched recently. Judging from the Japanese title, is it possible to guess what the drama is about? Firstly it involves the concept of time, ten years ago. In the drama, the husband named Maruyama Hiroshi, an engineer working on space elevators, travels 10 years back into the past to prevent his wife, Onozawa Rika from meeting him. Secondly, the word “jun” or 君 means you in Japanese. The last clue is then the single last kanji word which represents love. Loosely translated, the title means “I’ll still love you in 10 years”, so I guess you can sort of guess what the ending is.

Hiroshi, who travelled 10 years into the past, cannot meet up with his younger self because he would get a headache whenever the two of them got too near. Hence he had to strike from Rika, by preventing her from boarding the bus which they met in. He managed to successfully prevent Rika from boarding the bus, because Rika was afraid of this weird guy who kept following her. But as fate dictates that the two of them will meet again after just one hour later. I guess this is what it means by fate?

Having his plan failed, Hiroshi had to devise other means, and finally showed himself after Rika had fallen in love with his younger self. Rika had a shock. Who wouldn’t? But then it became a painful emotional struggle when one has to wonder, if knowing that you would be unhappy 10 years later with this guy, would you still choose him?

In this short 6 episode drama, I manage to be able to feel the character of Hiroshi, and understand the feeling he has when he made the decision to travel back in time. It is obvious that he still loves Rika, and flashbacks show how they often quarrel, because Rika was unhappy that she didn’t live out her dream. Which got me thinking, really, as time goes by, do couples really grow apart? Would we one day decide that we regretted sacrificing for the other person because we did not get what we want?

In the drama, Hiroshi successfully engineers a plan and it leads to the younger Hiroshi being suspicious of Rika’s faithfulness and so they break up. On the surface rthe plan was a success, but was Hiroshi truly happy? Bearing in mind the great love he has for Rika; that he went back 10 years so that she could live the life she wanted, without him. And him having to tell lies to tell Rika that he hates her. It’s just so so emo.

But Hiroshi finally changes his mind, and with the help of Rika’s brother, manages to convince the two that they really do have feelings for each other, and hence young Hiroshi patched back with Rika. As Hiroshi left, memories of the old Hiroshi would fade in the young Rika’s mind, and Hiroshi bravely went back to the present, 2020, to face the divorce that he is having with his wife.

The story ended nicely with Rika getting a letter she wrote to herself 10 years ago in 2010. Rika went back to being an editor, and the two realized they do have feelings for each other, and it ends with Hiroshi realizing that Rika secretly made him a cup of coffee, and the two enjoyed a happy moment together.

So this is it. This is what it is meant by I’ll still love you in 10 years. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship is, but when both live their lives to what they want to be, it would be great. So in the relationship, no party needs to overly sacrifice for the other. Dreams have to be met for everyone to remain satisfied with themselves. I guess I should also pursue my dreams. As always, the question I ask myself on this blog is: 私の夢は何ですか?

JDrama: Ace wo Nerae!

Ace wo nerae, or エースをねらえ in Japanese, means “Aim for the Ace!”. This drama is about this girl Oka Hiromi, who joined the Nishi High School tennis club after seeing this girl (nicknamed Ochoufujin, お蝶夫人) play gracefully on the court. She’s a total newbie, yet the new coach Munakata Jin took notice of her persevering spirit and made her one of the players representing the school for competition. Naturally this means the more qualified seniors are unhappy about the arrangement and seeks means and ways to make Oka feel bad.

The beauty of this drama is in how the coach spends time and effort grooming Oka, and even though Oka does not understand the coach very well, she continues to come back time and again after running away from tennis. Eventually Oka understands the coach’s feelings and at the end of the entire drama she made it as a representative of Japan to go to America to play in the Youth Cup.

We might find ourselves running away from time to time, not understanding what is going on. We may doubt and question ourselves in the choice we make. Oka frequently asks herself why she chose to play tennis. What does tennis mean to her. When Ochoufujin asks her to choose between tennis and herself, Oka initially chooses Ochoufujin, but realizes that she loved tennis so much, so she returned.

Sometimes life gives us challenges, and we may feel dejected for a moment. But as long as we truly believed in ourselves, and we truly worked hard for our goals, we will reach there. Even if the world didn’t believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. The world doesn’t owe us a duty to believe, but we can make them believe. With perseverance and hard work, one day we’ll achieve the things that we are aiming for, and then everyone would be forced to believe.

Ace wo nerae, minna.

JDrama: Hotelier

I finished this JDrama a few days ago, and the time spent from the beginning of the drama at episode one to its ending at episode 9 took me almost 6 months. This is because the source for the stream was really bad and it took very long to load the parts. Thanks to Dom, I got to watch the rest of the episodes from episode 5 onwards without any lag.

Hotelier is a drama about managing a hotel. The hotel is facing a crisis as there is a person who is looking forward to take over this hotel through the acquiring of the majority of its shares. The guy’s personal reason for doing so was rather childish in my opinion.

Anyway, he hired a takeover expert who has successfully engineered several takeovers in the past. The expert then stayed in the hotel silently to evaluate the hotel.

Through a series of fortunate events, he fell in love with the Assistant Manager Odagiri (played by Ueto Aya). But his identity was eventually exposed and there were some confusion on Odagiri’s part as she was loyal to the hotel for being her home all these years, and on the other hand she had feelings for the expert.

Eventually after lots of ups and downs, the expert switched sides and saved the hotel.

Notice that I didn’t really remember the names of key personnel, and I didn’t give more review to this drama. This is because the drama isn’t really exciting, and it was slow at some points in time. Had it not been Ueto Aya’s work, I would probably not have finished this drama. Probably this is another reason why it dragged beyond 6 months. I guess people can skip this drama?

I bought two Japan CDs online

For the first time in my life, I tried buying CDs from an online source instead of over the shelf at Music CD shops in Singapore. The reason is simple, and one of practicality. Japanese singer’s CDs are quite rare in Singapore if they are not very famous. At different HMVs in Singapore, I find only a limited number of CDs by the singer that I wanted, and the CDs are expensive. Around 10 tracks for $84? When normal Mandarin CDs cost $19 for 10 tracks!

So I went to search online about the different sites that I can use to buy CDs, and I stumbled upon YesAsia, which offered free shipping if I met the criteria. If I remember correctly, if I spend more than USD$39, then they will provide free shipping. Buying the two CDs would definitely be over USD$39, hence I was entitled to free shipping.

Anyway the two CDs that I bought can be seen below:


Best of Ueto Aya

The “Best of Ueto Aya” cd is a compilation cd of her four earlier CDs, and I guess it would make sense to buy the compilation since it is the best songs that make it into the CD.


Happy Magic: Smile Project

The “Happy Magic: Smile Project” is her latest album in 2009, and was not in the compilation because the compilation cd was in 2006. So I got both the compilation and the latest album as an early birthday present to myself.

Ok, excitement about the CD aside, I shall narrate my experience so that people know what happened when I bought my cds.

I went to YesAsia and added both items to my cart. That was on Feb 7. They told me the expected ship out date was 13th. A few days later, the ship out date was changed to the 15th due to the fact that they are unable to get authorization from my debit card company. That was fine by me. They said their items would ship in 7 days, so 15 sounds like a great timing.

On Feb 17, that’s 2 days after the expected ship out date, YesAsia emailed me to tell me that the “Best of Ueto Aya” cd is not available from any of their suppliers and I had two options. The first is to cancel the cd and let the remaining items ship. The second is to wait another 5 days to see if they could get the source, failing which they will ship the remaining items to me.

Hence the next few days saw an exchange of emails asking if the free shipping would still be on. Naturally I would want to get both cds, but now I had to find another source for my compilation cd! And what about shipping costs? I was unhappy because I feared that if I bought a single cd elsewhere I would be charged for shipping.

Luckily, YesAsia does not charge me for shipping because I had met the criteria originally and it was their mistake that resulted in me not being able to get my cd. Hence I immediately cancelled the compilation cd on Feb 18. On the same day, I went to PlayAsia, and to my delight, they had the compilation cd, and even the edition with the DVDs. And they know the quantity that they have. They have only 4 more, and so I bought it. Especially after knowing that the requirement for my purchase to have free shipping was if my bill was above USD$10, which it already was. Plus it ships in 24 hours.

On Feb 19, I received an email from PlayAsia saying that my cd was shipped. Wow. Fast. I love it. On Feb 19, I received an email from YesAsia confirming my cancellation of the compilation cd. Only on Feb 22 did my CD ship. I had bought the CD from YesAsia 11 days earlier than PlayAsia and PlayAsia actually shipped first.

Last Friday, 26th Feb, I received my compilation cd at home. I only received my “Happy Magic” cd today on 2nd February. I am quite happy to have them with me, but this experience had told me that perhaps it would be wiser to buy from PlayAsia in the future. They even gave me a coupon code if I wanted to buy USD$50 worth of items before the 18th of April. If anyone needs that coupon code, I would be happy to give it to you.

Anyway, PlayAsia’s cd came in the small box, and the cd was inside the bubble thingie. It’s the plastic where you have many bubbles and its nice to pop them? The CD is inside one bubble thingie, and the whole thing was inside a small box. Nice and compact.

YesAsia’s cd came in a big envelope. The envelope is already lined with the bubble thingie inside, and they used two more bubble thingies (ok this is getting irritating..lol) to cushion the CD. Well, my CD got the royal treatment, but I guess it was unnecessary. I got this Haruhi keychain thingie since I was originally purchasing two CDs from YesAsia. They still gave it to me even though I only paid for one in the end.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my purchase even though it took almost a month for the original order to arrive at my mailbox. I think I saved at least S$60 buying the cds online. PlayAsia really made my experience enjoyable. However please do not expect such service. The CD I bought was under the “Ships in 24 hours” status whilst the others are mainly “Ships in 5 – 7” days. But I guess you can expect them to have the stock when they allow you to add it to the cart. I saw that the Hong Kong version of the compilation cd (No DVD) was out of print. Yes, they actually write it on the website.

Guess what version I bought? If you know me well, yes, I got the Japanese version. Might as well right? It’s my first two Japanese songs CD and they are both Japan versions. 😀

Am too happy now. I listened to the compilation many times already, and it’s great. There are 18 songs inside compared to 11 for the “Happy Magic” cd. The songs are great and I love them. It is quite rare for me to love all the songs in the CD when I start to listen. Usually I will only start liking songs once I have heard them for a few times.

I’m not opening the second cd till a few days later. Maybe on Thursday. 🙂 Think I will enjoy it too.

Happy birthday to me. Too early though. It’s in June and its only March now. 3 months and 5 days early!

Aya Ueto – Ai No Tame Ni

Recently I’ve been addicted to this song, and another one, Yume no chikara, which I will post some other time. I don’t know why but Jap songs seem nice. Even when you can only figure out a few of the words. Haha.

Here’s the translated lyrics from the Cherryblossom Garden:

For the sake of love, one more time, now my dream may wither, so I give it water
But I believe in just one thing, and that makes it all alright

I let my tears flow and put all the things I lost in my right pocket
I’ve hidden them, but you always see how they hurt don’t you?

Close your eyes as the sunset fills the sky
and the warmth won’t disappear

Even at a time like this, you smile
Shining upon this heart of mine

For the sake of love, I keep walking, protecting the flower that grows in my heart
There is only one thing that’s important to me, and it allows me to live like this
It’s simply for the sake of love

I smile as put the memories of our encounter in my left pocket
One day, I’ll be proud of the way I’m loving you right now

I thought that the time had stopped
I have not forgotten that night

The words you spoke that time
Even now, they lift up my heart

For the sake of love, I keep walking, protecting the flower that grows in my heart
One day, you and me will go the place of our dreams, always believing that we can get there
It’s simply for the sake of love

For the sake of love, one more time, now my dream may wither, so I give it water
But I believe in just one thing, and that makes it all alright

For the sake of love, I keep walking, protecting the flower that grows in my heart
There is only one thing that’s important to me, and it allows me to live like this
It’s simply for the sake of love

I think I like the chorus where “There is only one thing that’s important to me, and it allows me to live like this”. For me, currently its dreams, or yume in Japanese. And it is the reason why I love “Yume no Chikara” or “The power of dreams”.

I guess alot of people would be able to identify themselves in this song, and hence it is quite meaningful too. 🙂

Attention Please

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I’ve recently watched Attention Please, a drama about cabin attendants, or air stewardess as most of us would be familiar with. I watched this drama after I set my goal to get into SIA, and it has further given me an insight into the airline industry, although it may only be a slight insight.

This story is about this boyish girl called Misaki Youko, who decides to be a cabin attendant because the guy she likes commented that he would like to see her in the uniform. However he didn’t really mean it, but Misaki took it very seriously and went to join Japan Airlines. She was initially very unsuited to be a cabin attendant, and she meets a very capable and responsible instructor Mikami who would rather fail her than allow her to fly without proper training.

Mikami always asks an important question, “What does it mean to you to be a cabin attendant”. Everytime she asked that in the drama, I would ask myself “What does it mean to me to be an engineer in the SIA”, and I would have more and more answers telling me why it would mean much to me to be an engineer there.

Back to the drama, Misaki has totally no idea why she wants to be a cabin attendant, and has no idea what being a cabin attendant truly means. When she finds out that the guy she likes is cohabiting with another lady, she feels miserable. Mikami told her to take a look at her own failure. Misaki didn’t want to lose, so she continued with the program.

Along the way, Misaki matured a great deal, learning about the airline industry along the way. She recognizes that the engineers put in much effort, and that it is a very serious job. She ended up learning from it and becoming serious about her job. She realizes that cabin attendants are not only waitresses in the sky.

Even when she progressed to the On Job Training, she still manages to be not good enough in her senpai’s eyes. However when Mikami opened her eyes to the reasons she isn’t doing great, she realizes that she has much to learn, and eventually managed to graduate properly and become a full fledged cabin attendant.

I think life is a journey of experiences, and you never know where it brings you. However, if you really want to accomplish something, put in effort and you can get what you want. I look forward to my beautiful journey working in SIA in the future, learning and growing and contributing to making it the best airline in the world.

Celeb To Binbo Taro

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I’ve just finished watching this very entertaining JDrama titled “Celeb To Binbo Taro”, which actually means Celebrity And Poor Taro. Taro is the name of the guy who’s very poor. His own wife died, leaving him with 3 kids. His kids are all very adorable and obedient, and are easily contented and optimistic when all they may eat are bread crumbs from the local bakery. He tries hard to work and earn money, but it is always only enough to pay part of the bills.

The celebrity in the title is Alice-san, the 23 year old fashion designer born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She has never lived poorly, and always has good meals. She lives in a hotel suite and she is worth 7 trillion yen. She has two people waiting on her full time and hires Taro as her driver one day.

What happens is the journey of getting to know Taro better and seeing how he lives. No matter whether he has money for food or not, his family is always happy and optimistic. Throughout the whole drama, a side topic is on Alice’s own previous love story and it links to the crux of the entire drama, when her parent’s company got took over by someone else and she becomes Binbo Alice.

Even then, Taro is still like a friend trying to support her and tries ways and means to think of how to get the money back for Alice. He ends up, expectedly, falling for her.

I liked this drama because I find it heart warming. The plot may not be a very solid plot, but it is already better than some station’s dramas. It is the process of having a rich girl learning many things like how to say thank you even for simple things like Asako’s (the chicken) egg every morning, as well as learning to get adjusted to poverty. Maybe it is the process where you get to understand each other better, get involved in each other’s lives, and suddenly finding that you’re worried about each other, that is the sweetest thing to me.

Maybe it just seems like a fairy tale and we all need fairy tales from time to time. But in reality, YES fairy tales can come true.

YES WE CAN. (Hmm..Only people who watched it can understand why I wrote it)
YES YOU CAN.