Death Note the Musical – Kwang-Ho Hong vs. Kim Junsu

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Death Note, the unexpected gravy train franchise that has produced an anime, movie, live drama, has now expanded to musicals. This is not new news to hardcore fans – the Japanese show premiered earlier in April and the Korean version followed in May. The Broadway counterpart, depending on which source you sought, may be coming soon (there are demo tapes of the English soundtracks), or may not be coming at all (those tapes were then removed from the official site).

When I first learned that Death Note would be made into a musical, I thought it must be a joke. It’s like one of those abominations that shouldn’t have ever existed, if not for the funniness of demand meeting supply. Fans of the franchise still lusts for more material almost a decade later, and which company ever says no to money?! I was content to close my eyes (and ears) to this farce, … until I heard Light’s song “Death Note” by Kwang Ho Hong. Check it out below:

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 11: Cool Techniques, Demikas Redemption and Shiroe’s Final Showdown

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Overall. I’ve realized that life is pretty fair sometimes. Everything that failed to happen in Episode 10 went down like a dream in Episode 11  (except perhaps Shiroe’s grand revelation but I had stopped hoping for the impossible). Shiroe and party began what looks like the last and final try to finish up the raid, and the whole episode was basically an epic fest of second by second strategy, shiny equipment, and showy techniques. Demikas also reached the final stage of his redemption path by dragging Shiroe kicking and screaming into the final stage of the dungeon. No doubt this is my favorite episode of Season 2 to date.

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 10: Chicken Soup for the Gamer Soul

Hey folks, apologies for being MIA for past 4 episodes as traveling took the month out of me. I’m back now though and ready to give a heartfelt review for episode 10.

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Overall. Unlike Episode 9, an action-packed episode that gave us all the Shiroe action we were missing while Akatsuki wrapped up the Akihabara murder arc, Episode 10 is the sort that haters refer to when they point out how slow the anime pacing is. The entire episode is basically a 22 minute motivational speech. Yeah I get that their whole party died, but half of episode 9 was basically Shiroe resolving his personal issues, which led me to optimistically believe that episode 10 will be when Shiroe reveals his awesome plan, do the impossible, and whoop the butts of the three raid bosses. Tragically, the rest of the party has issues as well, and William Massachusetts’ low self-esteem (“I just accidentally became guild master, but I really suck and don’t deserve it”) rears its head again. Damn. Guess the asskicking is postponed for another episode.

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(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 11 and 12: Conclusion or Prelude to a Second Season?

Liar Game - 17 Poker

The Liar Game kdrama has come to an exciting conclusion. A revival round. Two stages of the final round. Childhood revelations. A hostage situation. And a hint of what’s to come. All packaged in two crazy, suspense-filled episodes. The last two episodes left me with a lot of thoughts and feelings, some positive, some not so much.

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(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 9 and 10: The Smuggling Game and A More Human Drama

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The Smuggling Game is here. After the last two episodes ran off and spun a new and original game for the third round, I thought that there was a chance that the remainder of the drama would continue to create new and original drama-only games. For better or for worse, the kdrama has returned to its pre-President Game pattern and decided to have the participants play the Smuggling Game (a.k.a. the Contraband Game).

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(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 7 and 8: The President Game and Forging a New Path

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Finally, an original game! Three rounds in and more than halfway into the first season, it seemed like the Korean adaptation of Liar Game would, for the most part, just stick to the games and rounds as they appear in the original manga. But fortunately, in an unexpected twist, the fourth round of the Liar Game is not the Contraband Game but the President Game, a new and original concept that had not appeared in other Liar Game media ever before.

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(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 5 and 6: The Layoff Game

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It might be that I’m just getting really excited about how this drama is progressing as a whole, but Liar Game feels like it’s getting better and better with each episode. Episodes 5 and 6 detail the events of the revival round, where Nam Da-Jung and other losers from the Minority Game come together to participate in the Layoff Game. Also called the downsizing game or the restructuring game, the basic premise of the Layoff Game is a popularity contest where contestants vote for each other in a series of rounds, with break time in between each round. The one with the fewest number of votes at the end of all the rounds gets “laid off” and officially loses the right to participate in future rounds of the game.

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Shokugeki no Souma Gets An Anime in 2015

For what it’s worth, I simply love it every time a manga I’ve been following since Day One becomes an anime. It’s like a little personal affirmation that “The Important People in the Industry” agree with my taste in manga. Sometimes it was only a matter of time (Nurarihyon no Mago, Ao no Exorcist, Kuroko no Basuke, etc.) as these manga were made for shounen tv, and other times it was a complete surprise–Yowamushi no Pedal, Love Stage (like how the heck did this get approved O.o), Baby Steps (eh, anime / manga have been biased against sports stuff for a while now), etc.

But Shokugeki no Souma is a different beast. By all means, it should have become an anime a loooong time ago. Although it’s a cooking manga, Shokugeki no Souma is so much more “shounen” than most action mangas out there. Except for one defect: the ecchi (aka non age-appropriate for the shounen anime audience). I wrote about the regretful unfulfilled anime potential in my review on Shokugeki no Souma the manga, and I’m so, so glad that my wish came true and it finally got an anime anyways.

Watch Shounen Jump’s hype video for the anime below:

(Kdrama) Liar Game Episode 3 and 4: Minority Rule

Liar Game Minority Game

In my opinion, out of all the games that are ever played in the liar game, whether it be in the original manga or the Japanese drama, the minority game is the one that most embodies the spirit of the series as a whole. The first round, although it does introduce you to the “liar” part of Liar Game, is there mainly as an extended introduction for the main characters. You get to really see how naive and honest Nao/Nam Da-Jung is, and on the other side, how smart and cunning Akiyama/Cha Woo-Jin is. The second round is where the “game” part of the title comes in and where we get an idea of exactly how deep and complex the tricks and manipulation can get…

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 5: Serial Killing, Badass Soujirou, and Other Assorted Idiocy

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Overall. First of all, what an amazing episode!!! After all that buildup in the first few episodes (and an especially action-less Episode 4), Episode 5 has delivered on everything and more. All my regrets and doubt have been washed away. The People of the Land (well one guy) has really stepped up to present a legit challenge to the all-powerful adventurers. Some light is finally peeking out beneath the Akatsuki dark cloud. Soujirou has a MASSIVE episode as he finally shows us why he’s cool enough to have a harem. We finally see an offensive style “Teaching” / “Overskill” and it looks awesome. Shiroe’s entire party got wiped out by Boss X but whatever, at least they found a boss when they were just crawling around complaining last episode. MOST IMPORTANTLY, that ominous foreshadowing in Episode 1 when Akatsuki and Shiroe meet in death on Christmas Eve just happened, which means that this is the depth of their failure — all that’s left to do is go up!! I can’t wait until Shiroe comes back with a vengeance and Akatsuki just destroys that creep. So, so satisfied right now XD

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