Fishbowl Wives (2022) JDrama

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Drama: Fishbowl Wives (金魚妻)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 8
Release Date: 2022
Country: Japan

Plot: This is a story of six wives living in the same condo tower and their marital issues that resort them to having affairs.

Main Cast:
Ryoko Shinohara – Sakura Hiraga
Takanori Iwata – Haruto Toyota
Masanobu Ando – Takuya Hiraga
Shizuka Nakamura – Yuka (Outsourcing Wife)
Yuki Kubota – Yuka’s ex boyfriend
Saori Seto – Noriko (Lunchbox Wife)
Shingo Fujimori – Noriko’s husband
Anna Ishii – Saya (Chaperone Wife)
Atsuhiro Inukai – Soto / Saya’s husband
Wakana Matsumoto – Hisako (Headache Wife)
Hidekazu Mashima – Baba / Hisako’s husband
Kyoko Hasegawa – Yuriha (Renovation Wife)
Yasuyuki Maekawa – Yuriha’s husband

Review:
This is not the usual wholesome Jdrama since this is Netflix-produced so there are a lot of nude bed scenes. But I like that the scenes didn’t look awkward but very natural and sexy. Affairs are supposed to be racy and that’s what we got in every episode.

This drama didn’t glorify affairs but shows us why women would have affairs, not that it’s okay to have an affair. Also, since the focus is on the wives, the husbands are always at fault or lacking here. I wouldn’t say I agree with the wives but I get where they are coming from. They’re not happy with their husbands but they don’t want to get divorced since that would disrupt their lives. They also don’t want to get together with the other guy – it’s really just a temporary thing. So they have an affair while still staying with their partners not knowing their naughty deeds. To some people, their logic may be weird and selfish, but I’m very sure these scenarios do happen in real life. I like that there was no preachy tone in the drama and one year later, the wives were definitely happier but still engaging in their affairs.

My main issue with this drama is the main wife’s story was so boring and took up most of the time. It was obviously rebound for the girl and she needed a safe space to stay while she hides from her husband. She probably fell in love/lust because finally there was this guy showing affection to her. And while I feel bad for the younger guy, I think he also took advantage of her. After recognizing her as the woman who helped his sister years ago, he has been looking for her and he believes he’s in love with her (very unrealistic). I think somehow they really did love each other, but I just thought it wouldn’t last. It was just odd that they stood up against the criticisms of their affair, yet in the end they broke up (they had to get one last sexy time before breaking up though haha). I’m very happy they didn’t end up together, which was for the best.

I like the side stories of the other wives (more than the main fishbowl wife) and if I had to rate their stories I liked Lunchbox wife the most. The coworker was so cute and he appreciated her cooking more than the husband did. I didn’t expect that the wife will leave her husband. I actually thought they will enjoy a threesome relationship haha. My next favorite is the Outsourced wife. Girls love bad boys, especially hot ex-boyfriend bad boys. The Renovation wife was annoying at first, for rubbing it in to the fishbowl wife that she is having an affair with her husband, but I felt bad for her when her husband always put his mom first over her – oh well, she’s got a sexy carpenter guy by her bed so she’s happily ignoring the mom.

Next is the Headache wife – the prettiest wife in the drama. I guessed it right away that she is having an affair with her own husband, and I’m glad they made up in the end. Last is the Chaperone wife – I didn’t like the wife because the husband tried to give her everything and she didn’t appreciate it because she felt left behind. I think it was mostly her self esteem issues although the husband could have been more attentive to her.

Rating: 8/10

Juvenile Justice (2022)

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Drama: Juvenile Justice (소년심판)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 10
Release Date: February 25, 2022

Plot: This drama is about bringing juvenile offenders to justice.

Main Cast:
Kim Hye Soo – Shim Eun Seok
Kim Moo Yool – Cha Tae Joo
Lee Sung Min – Kang Won Jung
Lee Jung Eun – Na Geun Hee

Review: This is a heavy drama about juvenile offenders. Bullying, murder, gang rape. Should they be punished or help them reform? Can they really change? This drama will make you think and this is not just applicable to SK. It’s an issue around the world. I realized it’s very important for kids to grow up in a loving and stable family/environment since their childhood trauma remains even when they grow up as adults.

I liked each of the cases although not always how these were resolved. It also made me think how far should we do our jobs. As judges they weren’t supposed to investigate but they crossed the line. Coz if they don’t do it who will? Or maybe they need everyone or the system (prosecutors, police, workers) to effectively work together to reform the children.

On the downside, I just couldn’t connect with or care for the two main leads despite their sad background stories. Cha Tae Joo is clingy and needy, although I like that he really cares for the kids. Eun Seok is too harsh and does not even smile. I would be scared if I had a mother or even a teacher/boss like her. She is soft hearted too and fair.

Rating: 8/10

Yaksha Ruthless Operations (2022)

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Movie: Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (야차)
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Genre: Spy / Action
Distributor: Netflix

Main Cast
Sol Kyung Gu – Yaksha/Ji Kang In
Park Hae Soo – Han Ji Eun
Hiroyuki Takeuchi – Yoshinobu Ozawa
Yang Dong Geun – Chief Hong
Lee El – Hui Won
Song Jae Rim – Jae Kyu
Jin Young – Jong Dae
Lee Soo Kyung – Moon Ju Yeong
Kim Jong Man – Ryeon Hui

Review:
“Justice has to be preserved by any means necessary.”

This movie is about a prosecutor being sent to Shenyang to investigate the Korean team but he ends up in the middle of a war between Sokor, Nokor and Japanese spies.

Sol Kyung Gu is so cool in this movie while Haesu’s straight laced character started off as clueless (how many times was he fooled throughout the movie?). But he later learns and joins hands with Yaksha to defeat the enemy. The story was confusing because we didnt exactly know what was happening but it all makes sense later on.

The betrayals were predictable, same with using chemical factory as the final scene so they can blow up the factory 😆. But still enjoyed watching.

Rating: 8/10

Twenty Five Twenty One (2022)

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Drama: Twenty Five Twenty One (스물다섯 스물하나)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 12 – April 3, 2022
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:10

Plot: A story about five friends and their once youthful lives filled with dreams, passion and love.

Main Cast
Kim Tae Ri – Na Hee Do
Nam Joo Hyuk – Baek Yijin
Bona – Ko Yurim
Choi Hyun Wook – Moon Ji Woong
Lee Joo Myoung – Ji Seung Wan

Review:
The title alone should already warn us of the ending but some didn’t take the hint.

I loved the nostalgia feel of the drama because I grew up in the 90s. Actually I was the same age as Heedo in 1998 that’s why even though I didn’t grow up in Korea and was not an athlete, I could still somehow relate to her. I keep thinking, she is my age. What if I were her friend? How would I support her? It also made me think of my own high school experience and how different I am from when I was 18 years old vs who I am now and how I interact with my friends. I could totally understand them, that even though so many years have passed and we don’t always get to meet often, we will always remain friends and when we get together, it’s as if time has not passed. We also reminisce the good and bad memories and laugh about it.

I really loved the friendship between Heedo and Yurim. They started out as strangers, almost like enemies, fan to idol. They fought, they disagreed, they supported and comforted each other through out their personal and professional lives. I loved and teared up in all their final matches and when Heedo retired and Yurim was there to support her. Boys/men can come and go but friends will always be forever. The writer is the same as Search WWW and it’s no wonder you can also feel some girl-love vibes between Heedo and Yurim (just like Gakyeong and Scarlet in WWW).

I also loved Heedo and Yijin’s relationship. I think the drama spent more time showing how close they were (friendship, brother-sister kind of love) and less than when they were in love. A lot of people hated the ending. They thought they should have ended together. I was fine either way, as long the writer end it well (more on this in the latter paragraphs). I think it was the right love at the wrong time. The love they had was real and it was what they needed during those times. But their circumstances and the events just didn’t make it possible for them to survive.

Maybe if they met in their 30s they could have handled the relationship better. But Heedo was in high school. Sometimes she was brave but often times she was still immature and couldn’t handle a relationship with an older guy. But give her a break, she was young, she still had so many things going on for her and I agree that she deserved to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t make her sad and worry. There are other guys out there and she knows herself and to walk away when she is no longer happy. But at the same time, she also didn’t empathize and understand enough with what Yijin was going through. That’s why they failed.

On the other hand, Yijin tried his best to stay away from Heedo. Not only was she younger than him, he knows he also has a lot of issues to work with himself and his career and his family. Plus the trauma of witnessing the New York attacks took a toll on his mental state. I believe he wasn’t in the right state of mind to maintain a relationship and it was best to let go, no matter painful it was. I was also crying in that scene when they knew it was over and just wanted to take back all the hurtful words they said to each other. Their looks told me they may have broken up but they will always love and support each other. Just like 10 years later when they meet again via Yijin’s show. Although they haven’t kept in touch, you can see they’re still happy for each other and how far they have gone from 10 years ago.

On the other hand, Yurim and Jiwoong’s happy ever after is a contrast to H&Y. Despite the LDR they still made it work. Again, I would say the difference is that they didn’t have a lot of issues to deal with. No mommy issues, no mental health or career issues. That’s why it was easier for them to stay long and strong. I loved the proposal. Very creative Jiwoong and very apt for Yurim.

What I didn’t like in this drama? I think the present timeline wasn’t necessary. Maybe because they used a different actress to play Heedo and she had a very different vibe from the younger Heedo. It makes you think what happened to her all these years and how her youth and passionate love shaped her into who she is now but we didn’t get any of that.

Instead the present timeline served more as a way to introduce the story and was weakly trying to show a parallel between Heedo and her daughter who wanted to quit ballet. Before, Heedo’s mom was against her continuing fencing, but mom Heedo didn’t force Minchae if she didn’t want to do ballet anymore. Minchae, through reading Heedo’s diary also got inspired after reading all the hard work that Heedo went through to reach her success and made her want to take up ballet again.

Those were fine, but it doesn’t really link back to Yijin and Heedo’s story, which was very much the center of the plot. I felt like maybe she wasn’t really over Yijin? It felt like she had so many regrets and that she only had closure when she found her diary. Also, we didn’t see who she married and why they married. Is she happy? If she is happy why is she still not over the diary? Why did she have to go back to the tunnel and look so regretful? If she left Yijin because she wanted to have a relationship with someone who would be there for her, then why is her husband not around? The ending /present timeline really did not close the story well.

We also do not get see what happened to older Yijin aside from being UBS anchor. Did he marry or did he stay single because he couldn’t get over Heedo? He was able to build a home for his family, and we see his younger brother look so grown up. Is he happy? He is the male lead but I felt we didn’t get his own ending.

Overall, I loved this drama. It made me cry buckets of tears every single episode and made me feel so much emotions. I just wish the ending was stronger and made more impact considering the rest of the 15 episodes were almost perfect.

Rating: 9/10