Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elysium Review

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In this movie, society on earth has been reduced to poverty and ruin; only the very rich get to escape to an artificial sanctuary set up in space called ‘Elysium’ with mansions, lakes and lawns. We are introduced to the main character Max (played by Matt Damon), as a young boy in an orphanage. He grows up to be quite a criminal – stealing cars and other petty crimes… till he is caught and put on parole. He tries to turn his life around (while still on parole), getting a job and staying as low as he can.

Security has been taken over by robots, acting as no nonsense police and parole officers: this takes away the humanity of things and becomes automated with no ‘feeling’. Everything that is considered out of behavior is considered an offence, which is how Max gets his arm broken by a police robot when he does not answer in a ‘proper’ way, sending him to his parole officer The parole officers have been programmed with acute sensitivity, responding to Max smartass answers with “Are you being sarcastic and/or abusive?”. Although funny, I can imagine it to be extremely frustrating.

His broken arm sends him to the hospital, where he meets his childhood crush. This spurs his motivation to live a proper life, only to have it disrupted when he is back at work. Max’s working conditions (at a factory which produces parts for the robots) is appalling and there is no sympathy. Due to a freak accident, he gets blasted with radiation and has only 5 days to live. This incident spurs Max’s motivation to want to get to Elysium to cure himself of the radiation.

On Elysium, each house has pod like machines which can cure all disease and even alter appearance (instant painless plastic surgery anyone?). Getting to Elysium is expensive and with no guarantee that you can survive: anyone from earth (basically the poor majority) trying land on Elysium is met with cruel brute force. Secretary Delacourt (played by Jodie Foster) is the draconian ice queen in charge of security who spares no effort in keeping ‘illegals’ out.

She even hires a ruthless mercenary to do her bidding of eliminating the ‘illegals’ (e.g. sending missiles to totally destroy the ships trying to make their way to Elysium). Her draconian ways are not popular with the rest of the government, who find her methods too cruel and extreme. So they fire the ruthless mercenary and try to discredit her. This motivates Secretary Delacourt to stage a coup with the boss of Max’s factory (who is desperate for funds). Secretary Delacourt tells him to create a program that will overwrite the current system and elect her as the new president instead.


Meanwhile, back on earth Max resolves to get that ticket to Elysium, which essentially means going through a horrendous surgery to affix a metal exo-skeletal structure to aid him in the plan to steal data (from the brain) of a rich person and use that information for his benefit. He approaches Spider (who is the one that attempts to smuggle people to Elysium provided they have the money). Spider proposes a plan to Max, to steal data (e.g. bank account details etc…) from one of the rich who visit earth. Max targets his boss as he wants revenge.

Max survives the surgery and gets a team together to prepare the heist, which ends up with dead team mates and ex-boss; having to run away from the mercenary (re-hired by Secretary Delacourt) and his mean team with the stolen data in his head. It turns out that the data he had stolen is corrupted and to retrieve the data would result in his death. What ensues is Max’s struggle to get to Elysium, save his childhood crush and her daughter and his ultimate sacrifice.

The storyline is simple and the ending quite expected, but the action and the detail is entertaining and immaculate enough: a blown off face getting reconstructed back within seconds and the showing of the face getting blown off in a somewhat slow motion are some of the examples. Jodie Foster’s Secretary Delacourt character although draconian and extreme in her ways, seems to be a little too innocent, trusting the ruthless mercenary a tad too much (or rather naively believing that he is always under her control).

Overall, a reasonably good movie (especially if you like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster) with a simply storyline and lots of action scenes.

Rating: 3.5/5

Crime Squad / Detectives in Trouble

Title: 강력반 / Kangryukban
Also known as: Homicide / Detectives in Trouble
Genre: Action, crime, police
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2011-Mar-07 to 2011-Apr-26
Air time: Monday & Tuesday 21:55

This drama focuses on a group of detectives in the Seoul Gangnam Police Homicide Division who solve crimes based on real life cases with their variety of skills and investigative methods. At the forefront of the team is the impulsive and hotheaded detective Park Se Hyuk and the cold, commanding police chief, Jung Il Do. Park Se Hyuk's passion for his work and rough personality results in a tendency to take action first before thinking later, in contrast with Jung Il Do's by-the-book style. However, his greatest weapon is an instinctive knowledge of a criminal's tricks and mental workings that he gained from his father, the legendary thief, and his own childhood in the streets. Together with the other members of a special team formed to catch Lupin, a notorious burglar, he juggles work with his own personal quest to find his father and confront his older brother, a crooked detective.

Taken from: DramaWiki

Review and Thoughts (warning… some spoilers ahead)

After the death of Park Se Hyuk’s daughter Hae-in, due to a bizarre car accident, he strives to become a detective and find out why his daughter had to die. His daughter was in an ice-cream shop waiting for him when a car crashed into the shop ended her young life. The cause of the car crashing into the shop was Jung Il Do, a detective at the time, who in a bid to stop an escape attempt by the criminal (driving the car) shoots multiple times at the vehicle the criminal was driving, resulting in the crash.

Since the incident, Se Hyuk manages to become an outstanding detective despite his hotheadedness but outside of work he is no different from a lifeless being, not bothering with anything and everything else outside of work. 5 years pass, and one day while visiting his daughter, he meets the family member of the other victim in the car crash, Lee Dong Suk, who lost his fiancé in the accident. He leaves Se Hyuk a cryptic message (which unfolds in a few more episodes) about how revenge can help heal the heart and that he should start living as a person again.

Se Hyuk brushes his encounter with Dong Suk aside, and goes to work as usual. Only today is not a normal day at the precinct, a new head of department has arrived to take over and it turns out to be none other than Jung Il Do! The tension between these two characters can be felt from the moment they realize with the other person is. Il Do appears amused that Se Hyuk really became a detective. He is nonchalant and unapologetic about having shot at the criminal which indirectly caused the death of Se Hyuk’s daughter, while Se Hyuk is shocked and angry (wanting some sort of explanation or apology from Il Do but getting nothing to answer his questions; frustrating him even further).

A few episodes in and Se Hyuk realizes that Lee Dong Suk is on a vendetta, killing off criminals who have managed to escape the justice system. He is soon on Lee Dong Suk’s trail when he realizes that Il Do is on his target list.

So while the chase is ongoing, we get introduced to another character, aspiring (and struggling) reporter Jo Min Joo who literally crashed into Se Hyuk’s life, slowly opening his frozen heart and making him more human again. She manages to hang around until she becomes a police special reporter, giving her more access and cute moments with Se Hyuk; even helping them with their cases to the ire and disapproval of II Do. She eventually gets into a major publishing company and becomes a bona-fide reporter.

The case with Lee Dong Suk concludes (somewhat) and there were a couple of other memorable cases that stood out for me. Around episode 6-7, it was the case of a high school girl who had committed suicide by jumping off the school building after school hours. As our detectives work to discover why the girl had jumped, we also meet the demise of the weak-link character in this drama, played by actress Seon Woo-seon. Seon Woo-seon’s character is conflicting and confusing, she’s an aspiring detective-to-be and wants to make it in to the CID, but she is also at the same time timid and a scaredy cat who freezes up in crucial moments which require her to act on her feet.

This case of the school girl’s suicide shows a little more into this detective’s past with bullying and how it affected her. Her departure from the drama was nicely incorporated. I shudder to think how school life has not changed much and has even gotten more brutal, with manipulative (not to mention) rich bullies who appear innocent and kind. I guess it does not help that society at large is more materialistic; all hiding behind a facade.

With Seon Woo-seon’s character departure, in comes a new chief, Lim Gyeong-eun, Her interaction with the team is shaky initially but eventually works out; resulting in a family-like structure. She is always on the team’s side, even standing up to Il Do to defend them within her capacity. She eventually develops a relationship within the team.

The investigative team then goes on to solve the case of a girl who got kidnapped during her company’s training in the woods. Min Joo gets too involved and ends up getting kidnapped herself, which puts Se Hyuk in panic mode. It’s sweet to see him start to care about Min Joo and look after her, developing a soft spot for her despite his denials. The awkwardness and cuteness of this couple is nicely done. Of course, they find out with the culprit is and manage to save the day.

As the episodes progress, we learn that Min Joo’s father is actually a master thief who has been recently released from prison and has something important to a political figure (who happens to be Se hyuk’s ex-father-in-law) and in cahoots with the police chief commissioner (who happens to be Il Do’s father). Further tension and conflict is thrown into the mix when Se hyuk’s ex-wife comes back from America and briefly dates II Do briefly before finding out that he was the one that caused the death of her daughter. Matters are further complicated when she realizes that her father (the politician) was the one who caused a misunderstanding between Se hyuk and herself resulting in their divorcé.

When the team captures a psychotic serial murderer, who kills young women and stamps their hands with a “Good job” stamp, the pieces all fall into place and II Do realizes that it wasn’t his bullet that killed the criminal (causing that car to crash into the ice-cream shop and killing Se hyuk’s daughter).

16 episodes isn’t that long and I felt that it could have been made into a sequel. With the main question solved, the show has potential to become a regular detective show (e.g. like criminal minds) with more interesting cases to solve with a follow-up on the characters life .The whole drama was like a plot within a plot: there was the main plot of finding out if the death of Se hyuk’s daughter was truly an accident, was it really caused by Il Do, and then all the cases along the way eventually led to the resolution of the main question. There is even a nice satisfying twist at the end.

Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rich Man, Poor Woman in New York

A man was walking through a warehouse in New York, holding a cell phone to access to live translator. He is Hyuga the president of Next Innovation; he is here to buy some hard disks from a US company.  The manager turned him down and even sneers that Japan is no longer leading in technology.  Hyuga was terrible pissed with that remark. Makoto gave an impressive presentation in English on her latest research and she is no longer the uncertain college graduate. As she walked out a colleague complimented her and she beamed.  She hopped onto a cab and took out her tablet to show the cabbie where she wants to go. She tell the man to hurry as her man is waiting for her there.

Makoto stood in the middle of the Times Square and tried to call Hyuga but he did not answer the phone. Suddenly, she heard a voice and she turned around to find him standing behind her. Makoto beams and drop everything and run to him. He tells her to pick up her stuffs, grab her hand and off they go. They walked hand in hand together at the famous landmark in New York City. Makoto even fed him a doughnut and bite it at the same time. As Makoto buys some coffee, Hyuga complimented that she looks different and is more confident. Makoto beams at that compliments and placed the cup of coffee on Hyuga cheek.

While they were walking along the street, Hyuga informed her that he needs to catch a flight to Boston later on. Makoto said that Huyga look attractive when he is working but Hyuga noticed that she is reluctant to let him go. He pulls Makoto in for a hug. It’s night time when they part, Makoto heading off in a cab, while Hyuga stood there under the rain with an umbrella seeing her off. After some time, Hyuga is back in Toyko and was seen seated with a brunch of beautiful ladies at a restaurant to celebrate the launch of new software. The ladies toasted him with champagne, when they suddenly shriek and run away.

Hyuga took a sip of champagne, only to spill it out when he saw a horror movie like Makoto lurking behind him. Makoto lurches forward and shows him her tablet where she found an article about where he was going tonight. She pokes him back that IT is so useful.  Turns out that Makoto has a week of vacation because the company is closed for carnival, therefore she is back in town. Makoto walks into Next Innovation and greets everyone cheerfully. When she knows that Yasuoka is getting married to Risa, she is happy for them. Makoto mentioned that she is looking for a cheap hotel to stay, both Yasuoka and Risa pushed her to stay with Hyuga who have no choice but to agree.

Makoto was shocked to see an almost empty apartment with little furniture and household appliances. Hyuga proudly shows her the perfect fridge and the table which he took a long time to decide to buy. Makoto was bundled up in a sleeping bag, while Hyuga was sleeping on the sofa. She complained and Hyuga picked her up and placed her on the sofa while he sleeps on the floor. Makoto asked him to unzip her as she could not believe that she is so close to Hyuga. He unzips her and they lean on each other forehead before they hugged each other. Hyuga woke up in the morning and was freak out by the mess which Makoto made. She is making breakfast and has her appliances on his countertop. He went to the bathroom and was freak out by the cute bear towel hanging on the towel hanger. He finally snapped when Makoto dirty his perfect pan and screamed at Makoto bad habits. Makoto points out that Hyuga habits are the abnormal ones.

Asahina was out of prison and he found a job at an IT company. Yoko beg him to come back home but he refused and said that he like his simple life now. Hyuga had a meeting with the JI Tech big wigs and disagree with their approach. Makoto visits Yoko at a new restaurant where she is working; she aims to save more money to open her restaurant. Nogi was clearly unhappy about it and wished that she is still working with him. Hyuga held a staff meeting at Next Innovation and tells his IT team to find a way to keep the system secure. However, his team complained that it is too hard and JI Tech has already decided on P-box system. Hyuga was disappointed that the staffs does not want to do it because it is too difficult for them. Hyuga suddenly got an idea.

Asahina reads in the Newspaper that Next Innovation is revolting over him coming back to the company, which baffled him. Hyuga found him and asked him to return to Next Innovation and that they could start all over again. Asahina declined and stated that he could not return to Next Innovation. Hyuga revealed that the employees at Next Innovation do not want to challenge themselves because of all the difficulties. Asahina asked if Hyuga wants to give up Next Innovation, and Hyuga said that they could start all over again in this rundown apartment. Asahina said no, this would mean that they will be doing the same thing over again.

 Hyuga needs to gather the people with different points of view to do the same thing. Next Innovation is so big now. Is Hyuga afraid of facing a future he can’t predict? Hyuga wanted to change the world when he had nothing, now that he has everything so how can he run away. Asahina tells Hyuga to try hard now, Hyuga agrees and walk away but he turn back to him and said that Asahina is the one that is takes it easy and run away. Hyuga offered Asahina his fist bump but he does not take it.

Makoto went to the company headquarter and was informed that the company could be acquired by an American company and she might have to move to Boston for work. Makoto was confused and does not know what to do. Hyuga comes home and washed his face. He naturally reaches for her face towel to dry his face and stares in horror at the cute bear design. He discusses with Makoto about attending Yasuoka wedding and Makoto asked him to choose an outfit for the wedding as she has nothing to wear.

They went to a boutique for makeover and despite all the clothing Makoto tries on, they were unsuitable for her. In the end, Hyuga picked a pink jumpsuit for her. Initially, Makoto was wary of the design as this is not her style. In turns out that she look good in the pink jumpsuit and Hyuga agrees. Makoto is at home and watches Hyuga as he falls asleep on the sofa. In the end, Makoto decided to quit her job and stay with Hyuga.  When Makoto goes to quit her job, her bosses deride her for thinking that she became arrogant after working in the company for just one year and delivered one presentation.

Hyuga’s team protested when he requested the team to do beyond JI Tech expectation. They find it a waste of time and were too difficult for them. Hyuga went back home in a foul mood. When Makoto talk to her about her company situation, he cuts her off and started to bitch about how employees just need to do whatever they are told to do, instead of doubting their leader. This rubbed Makoto in the wrong way since she is still thinking about the put down by her bosses. She is disappointed that after what Hyuga went through, he still has not learned to be more understanding of other people. They argued which leads to Hyuga muttering that it is better when they were apart.

Makoto leaves the apartment and met Asahina who happened to be around that area. Asahina took her to a comic store and they sit down in a reading room for a chat. Makoto shares about her relationship woe with Asahina and he assured her that she is the only one that Hyuga’s need in his life. He also mentioned that Hyuga does not have a closet to store his memories after his mother abandoned him. Just then, Aashina was called for work and he took Makoto to Yoko house to spend the night.

Since Yoko lives with her parents now, Makoto have to move in with Risa. She shared about the argument with Hyuga and Risa offered to let her sit next to Hyuga so that they can make up. Makoto leave a note saying that she is leaving and will be back for the wedding. It’s wedding day and Hyuga was called up to prepare his best man speech. But then Hyuga was called back to work.  At the wedding, Yoko was preparing at the kitchen with Nogi. They were bickering and Yoko said that it will be better for him to confess his feeling rather than picking a fight. The wedding guests seated down to watch a video of greeting by Hyuga. In the video, he thanked Yasuoko for sticking with him during his lowest point. Makoto was clearly unhappy that Hyuga was not in the wedding and he did not mention about her.

Hyuga argue his point against the P-box to a panel of JI Tech management and screams that they are all about profit at the expense of innovation. He wanted to make Personal file into open source software in every phone, so that it is accessible to everyone at the tip of their finger. The president of JI tech was impressed with his drive and passion and tells his team to source for the makers of cell phone and get their buy in for this software. Hyuga finally make it to the wedding and sits awkwardly next to Makoto. They watched the newly wed perform a song and dance routine and wonders will they ever be like them. Makoto who is drunk laughed at the absurdity of it. Hyuga tells Makoto that they are just too different and he asks to break up. Makoto cries but did not say no.  Later, she was sobbing in the plane on the way to Boston.

Hyuga tells his Next Innovation team that JI tech has agreed to put Personal file on tablet phone and if anyone does not want to do it, they don’t belong to the company. Asahina reads in the newspaper about the expanded personal file mobile project and finds Yoko to get back all his belongings. Makoto is at work in the Boston company, when she received a call from Yoko who asked why did she purposely turned off her hand phone and why did she broke off with Hyuga. Makoto puts on a brave front and stated that they never dated and their relationship is more of comrades working together. Hyuga walks back to his empty apartment and says, “This is my room.”

Hyuga goes to New York City and back to that company and try to buy the hard disks. He is once again rudely refused when Asahina came to the rescue and tells hyuga not to buy it. He reveals that JI tech has a division working on a making double the capacities of the hard disks that sells here. As Asahina and Hyuga walk out of the factory, the Americans demand to know who he is and Hyuga announce that Asahina is his partner. Hyuga and Asahina stood at the Battery Park city and chat. Hyuga points out that their company has thrived on not making any hardware but Asahina said that things change and they need to enjoy an unpredictable world. Hyuga smiles and agree that they have to see from a different view, that is when pointed out that Asahina has changed and Asahina says that he wants to live differently now.

Makoto gets a series of texts from everyone at Next Innovation telling her Hyuga is going to be in Boston. Then, she receives a video text from Risa that shows all the NG videos Hyuga make for the wedding. Hyuga can’t bring himself to wish the newlyweds happiness because he doubts two strangers can live together blissfully forever. He went on to talk about his relationship woe with Makoto and how he does not want to hurt her. Makoto break down and cried, not knowing what to do now since she saw the video.

Hyuga walks through Boston and thinks Makoto lives in this city and he might see her somewhere. He turned around and saw Makoto stumbling around looking for the company he was visiting. Hyuga cough to get her attention and they sat in a restaurant for a chat. He asked her how did she knew where to find him and she says that she found him through GPS but Hyuga says that he turned it off. Finally, Makoto admitted that she find him to ask what him means about them being different and why did he say he likes her and ask her to stay by his side.

Hyuga grumbles that she made him say that and Makoto yelled that he is a bastard before she stood up and walked away. But Hyuga stops her and stared at her face for a long time and Makoto was bewildered. She asked him what he wants and he said that he just want to look at her face and that she can go now. Makoto cries and said that she thinks about him and missed all the times they spent together. She said that she can change and requested Hyuga to change himself too. Makoto added that Hyuga will not change himself no matter what. Hyuga said that he did not response and Makoto said that he said before that he can’t change.

Hyuga agreed that he said that and the person is a bastard and a coward that clings on to comfortable things. Makoto was stunned and confused by what he said, Hyuga stood up and leans in for a kiss before saying that he will change for Makoto. This make Makoto cries and ask him to call her first name, but Hyuga refused and left the restaurant leaving Matoko screeching that it is not enough. Hyuga sits in the plane and received a text message from Makoto vowing to fill his closet with love. Looking at the phone, Hyuga smiled and said that his closet will be messy from now. He took out a note left by Makoto, snap a picture of it and store it inside his personal file before he drifted off to sleep with a smile.

Back to the ending scene in the last episode when Asahina came back to work and Makoto transferred back to Tokyo. This time Hyuga invited her to his house and said that now she is allowed to hang a towel on the rack but it can’t be cute little bears. She goes to the bathroom and notices a hand towel hanging on the towel rack. Hyuga tosses her a bathroom towel and says that this is for Makoto to use.  Makoto went gaga at the first time he called her by her first name and launches herself at him. Makoto pulls him in for a kiss and asked him to say her name again.  Hyuga grudging complies and she adorably calls him Toru. Hyuga says, “One more time.” They embrace and the ending says, “The end… is the next beginning.

Drama Review

Oh, how I missed this drama and really hope that there is a second season for this dorama. I like how the story focuses on Hyuga and Makoto differences and how they worked things out in the end. This is like a real life situation whereby two strangers with different personalities were placed together and they need to change themselves to compromise each other living habits. I am glad that this drama touched on real life issue and not some fairy tales story about living together ever after without any obstacles or problems.

Actually, I did wonder in real life, is there somebody like Hyuga who practically leave in an almost empty apartment when he can afford to buy anything. Nonetheless, it shows a drastic contrast between Hyuga and Makoto who had different background, experience and personalities. Two extremely different people living together are nearly impossible. I am glad that people have a choice to either change or remain stagnant.  Hyuga making the choice to change for Makoto sake shows that he really love her and is willing to change for her.

This special episode explained about how Asahina redeemed himself and earned a place for himself at Next Innovation. I like the changes with Asahina and how he wants to start over again, living a different life. After all that happens, he is too ashamed to go back to Next Innovation and even having to face the generosity of Hyuga make him feels so small. I am really glad that Asahina bounce back and helps Hyuga at the American company. It is a heartwarming sight to see them getting back together to change the world and to embrace an unpredictable world that keeps changing.

However, I do not understand how Hyuga overcome his medical condition – Prosopagnosia (Face blindness). That could be because he now makes the effort to recognize people and name. The other flaw in this drama is the Brazil sticker on Makoto face when he met Hyuga at the Next Innovation. I thought she is supposed to be back from Boston? Anyway, this drama is too cute for me to get bothered over some small little details.

I am also satisfied with the small story between Nogi and Yoko. They were sort of cute whenever they bicker and Yoko knows that Nogi likes her. They really make another adorable pair other than Hyuga and Makoto. On the other hand, Yasuoka and Risa were an example of incompatible couple in term of physical appearances. However, they are able to click with each other and ended up getting married.
This is an inspirational drama about how the main characters overcome obstacles in their life and grow to become a better person. Without any conflicts and heartache, life is like a fairytale which is unrealistic. I like the way the story focused on problems in work and in personal issues and how they stay positive and make tomato juice out of all the tomatoes thrown to them in life. The ending when Hyuga finally make baby steps to change, I felt so touched that he is making the effort. Overall, this drama has been an enjoyable ride and I will always remember this drama for being so awesome. :)

     Episode Guide





    Rich Man, Poor Woman Episode Guide (Complete) & Review

    Given the title of the show – Rich Man, Poor Woman, I do not find it appealing enough for me to watch it at first. However, I was wrong about this drama because this is easily one of the best Japanese dramas in recent years. Honestly, I had lost interest in jdorama after Hana Yori Dango and Nodame Cantabile. The Korean wave is too strong and I decided to jump to Korean drama after some time. In the end, when I decided to watch Rich Man, Poor Woman, it is purely because of Oguri Shun as that is the only face I recognized onscreen.

    Talking about the story line, I find that it was written very well and the story unfolds itself at a good pace. Perhaps, it is my preference for romance-comedy drama that is why I was easily attracted to the charm of the leads and the cute storyline. It helps that the story is simple to understand and nothing too dramatic that is hard to swallow. With only 11 episodes, it was easy to follow the story development and the transformation of the characters. However, I wish there are more episodes to show us some side stories of Yasuoka and his bride. It was interesting to know how they get hitched and eventually gets married. Yoko and the Chef should have their own mini story too.

    Just when I thought that I know the characters well, the next moment there is a drastic change. For instance, people like Asahina can swing to the extreme when he became the villain. That was a little bit shocking because I do not expect him to transform so dramatically just because of jealousy. I wondered does jealousy leads to a green eye monster which destroy everything?

    This drama does not focus too much on complicated love story. Everything is straight to the point and we know that the main leads like each other but do not know how to express themselves. The siblings Aashina and Yoko were thrown into the love triangle conveniently to create some conflicts. Basically, they posed no threats to damage the main leads relationship. The only thing is that Hyuga and Makoto need to figure it out themselves and stop playing ‘tango’ with each other.

    The storyline also touched on dreams, loyalty and brotherhood which make it more interesting to watch. I basically do not find any dull moment during the show and it just gets more exciting and emotional towards the end. The idea of scribbling on the wall is refreshing, the furnitures and props used in this drama is another highlight. I think that is a nice working environment. Don't you think so?

    Ratings: 10/10

    OST - Hikari e

    Miwa is a Japanese singer that wrote and sang the Original Sound track. I simply love this song no matter fast or slow version and it is so catchy. The lyrics itself is meaningful and matches the drama so well. I know that she specially wrote this song for Rich Man, Poor Woman. This OST score a perfect 10 and we can hear her songs many times during the show.

    Episode Guide

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Rich Man, Poor Woman: Episode 11 (Final)

    Hyuga returned to an eerily empty company with only a few desolated employees left. Yamagami comes out and tell Hyuga that it was wrong of him to ask him to return to a dying company. On the other hand, Makoto was assigned to the laborartory in Brazil because of good performance. Hyuga sits outside and Yoko accompanies him. She asked if Hyuga had told Makoto that he wants to see her, Hyuga grumbled that he didn’t which frustrates Yoko. Hyuga claims Makoto want to focus on her career and he wanted to support her. Yoko scolded him for being an idiot and asked why he did not confess his feeling. Hyuga claimed that Makoto just stayed with him out of pity.

    Makoto visits Wonder Wall and apologize for quitting. Yasuoka has become the president now as he showed his name card to Makoto. All her things were packed in the boxes except a photo frame which was missing. Yasuoka said he will return it to her once he found it. She wanted to return the keys but Yasuoka tells her to keep the keys.The prison guard hands Asahina today’s newspaper which reports Hyuga return to Next Innovation and promised to save the company. Asahina wondered what he is doing.

    Makoto went back to the office and met Hyuga. They had a conversation about each other life. Hyuga confessed that this time he may not be able to save the company but Makoto reassured him that he can do it and she has always admire the team work of him and Asahina.  Makoto revealed that she will be posted oversea for job assignment. Hyuga was shocked and said that her work can be done by anyone and there is no need to go oversea. Makoto quarrel with Hyuga and left angrily.

    Asahina sits in his prison and read the Newspaper about Next Innovation. The prison guard told him if he cares so much, why you don’t ask the man himself. Asahina goes out to see Hyuga and tells him to give up on Next Innovation. Hyuga said that he will wait for Asahina to return to Next Innovation. Feeling terribly sorry for what he had done, Asahina kneel down and apologized.

    Hyuga called Makoto while she was napping, she had a shocked when she heard Hyuga voice. They talked about Asahina and how big the company became until Hyuga asked Makoto if she is able to come down to the office after work. Makoto said that she will go and meet him after she is done with her work. Hyuga hang up the phone and waited eager as he continue to do his work. The next day morning, Hyuga is still in his office, checking his phone. Makoto called Hyuga and come clean with her feelings. She told Hyuga that she does not want to meet him because she loves him too much till it is painful for her. Makoto ends the call and Hyuga stared at the phone looking confused. Makoto was given the opportunity to work in Brazil and she readily accepted it. She deleted the hand phone picture which Hyuga and her stood in front of Next Innovation.

    Hyuga ran to Asahina for help as he could not understand why Makoto said that she love him too much that it hurts. Asahina laughed and said that he had not laugh for a long time. He guesses it is Makoto, which lead him to reveal that he was jealous of her. Because once she came, Hyuga had not asked him for advice anymore. When Hyuga said that he was disappointed in him, it hurts him. He reassured Hyuga that it was a thing that was in the past and if the same thing happens again, he will not be hurt anymore. Asahina lean forward and say he will teach Hyuga one more thing. He explained that Makoto merely wanted to know how he feels about her. Hyuga is still confused as Makoto does not want to see him. Asahina said that the rest, he got to figure it out himself. Before he leaves, he asked Hyuga how is Next Innovation. Hyuga asked him not to worry as he had found a solution. Asahina smiled wryly and said work still comes easy for Hyuga.

    Hyuga met with JI Tech board of director and ask for the revival of Personal file project with a 500 million allocation. Next Innovation will not get any profit and their name need not be attached to the project. All he need is to borrow 500 million from JI Tech and when the board of directors became angry, he hides behind Yamagami who smiles. Hyuga further explained that this contract will last for 100 years as opposed to other technology which will obsolete after a few years. The JI tech president agrees to provide the money if he is able to do it. Hyuga promised to do it within 2 weeks. The Wonder Wall employees came back to Next Innovation to help as all the staffs were busy meeting the deadline with the project.

    Yoko went to visit her brother at the prison and Yoko forgave her brother for all the mistakes. Makoto is moving out of her apartment and Haroko ask her to see Hyuga one more time before she leaves but Makoto said that he will not want to leave to Brazil if she see him. Itech finally signed a contract with Next Innovation for the collaboration of Personal file. The JI tech president said that 99.9% of the companies disappear within 30 years and he hope Hyuga will make miracle happen. Hyuga nods and bow down to the president.

    Hyuga tell Asahina the success and see that he is contented. Hyuga also shares with him that he likes what he has become and candidly said that he change because of Makoto. The Next Innovation team hosts a party to celebrate the success of Personal file project. People ask if they could scribble on the wall and Hyuga ask them to go ahead. Hyuga sip a glass of wine looked around the office and think about the memories with Makoto here. Yasuoka asked Hyuga to give a speech and he ended up calling each of the employee names. He drunkenly said that he gotten a perfect score and thank all the staffs for helping him to be a better person and will not forget them before he passes out.

    Yoko pass a glass of water to Hyuga and ask if he feels that he is missing someone. Makoto call Yasuoka and tells him she is at Wonder Wall and is heading to the airport, Makoto asked him for the picture of her and Hyuga. Yasuoka purposely spoke very loud and said that he could not find the picture and secretly hand the picture to Hyuga and gave him a jacket. Hyuga looked at the picture and gradually stood up and break into a run. Hyuga races to the Wonder Wall and Makoto apartment but she has left. In the end, he called the employees at Next Innovation to help to locate Makoto. Yasouka wake everyone up and started to search online. They were able to find out the place and the time of the flight.

    Before Makoto board the plane, he looked at the phone with all the missed calls. Suddenly she heard Hyuga voice which says, “Didn’t you promise to always answer my phone call!” Makoto thought that it comes from the phone. Hyuga tells her not to move and that is when she realized that he is at the airport. Makoto leaves the line and starts to run around the airport. She finally stops running and Hyuga hands her the picture. Hyuga finally asked Mokoto what she means when she say that she likes him so much that it’s painful. Mokoto yells at him for not telling how he feels but asking her to stay. She calls him an idiot and that she is leaving!

    Hyuga stops her and say that he like her but Makoto was unimpressed with his unfeeling declaration. Hyuga puts on his jacket and presented himself well saying, “Natsui Makoto, I like you so please stay by my side.” Makoto begins to cry and jabber about work and the distance before Hyuga pulls her in for a kiss. He tells her that the other side of the world is no big deal. He will find a way to bridge the distance and she can feel secure and go. Hyuga added that he could bridge the distance to see each other virtually but he could not bridge a kiss. Hyuga suggests they kiss now, Makoto smiles and nod. He lean in for a kiss and just before their lips touch, he pulls back in embarrassment. They smile at each other before they lean in to kiss again!

    One year and nine months later, Asahina came back to Next Innovation and he writes a new note on the wall which says, “We can do it if we do it together.” Both of them fist bump again. Yasuoka and his office crush were married and that was a cute ending for them. Hyuga is talking online with Makoto and she is asking if Hyuga read the medical journal that she published. Hyuga is busy with other stuffs and Makoto can tell. Therefore, Hyuga ends the call with Makoto. Suddenly, he heard her voice saying, “You should not hang up the phone so abruptly!” Hyuga turns around and saw Makoto at the entrance as she peels the Brazil flag off her cheek. He smiled and welcomes her home and they hugged each other. The entire group took a group picture and hyuga hangs it up. He looked at the picture and said, “not bad.”

           Episode Guide

        Rich Man, Poor Woman: Episode 10

        Yoko was hounded by the media outside the restaurant after Asahina was arrested by the authorities. She told them that her brother has nothing to do with this restaurant and refused to give any answer. Nogi told Yoko to take a break and he will manage the restaurant for the time being. Hyuga sat in the police station and was told that they have evidence of Asahina leaking the information of personal file through Tono. He had confessed to the crime and he does it because he wanted validation from hyuga.

        Makoto pace around the office and waited for Hyuga to come back and even asked the other three to greet him brightly and act as though everything is fine. Hyuga come back and Makoto gave a mega smiles to welcome him back, so does the other three. The wonder wall foursome gathered around to watch a video in Yasuoka’s computer and worries about the current state of Next Innovation. Makoto changes the subject and tells everyone that they have a project to work on. Everyone gets back to work and leave the matters aside for the time being.

        Yasuoka and the other two engineers looked on as Makoto gave lessons to Hyuga on how to converse with people politely and be patient in explaining things. Matoko even teach him how to smile as they were on their way to meet a client at a bookstore. Hyuga tries hard but he almost got the name of the client wrong and Makoto had to step in to help him. Afterward, he commented that working hard is so exhausting and he asked Makoto to rate his performance. Makoto gave him 75 since he almost got the client’s name wrong. Hyuga was a little disappointed, and Makoto tap his chin and said he will score perfect only when he has successfully completed the project.

        Hyuga went to the detention facility to see Asahina but was told that he cannot see anyone associated with the case for 22 days. After Hyuga leave, the guard brings a book for Asahina to read while he stared out of the window. Hyuga and Makoto bows respectfully as a client leave and Hyuga asked Makoto how is his performance today. Makoto gave him 89 because he is not sincere when he bows so low. Hyuga explained that he is really trying hard and Makoto replied that he look the coolest now. Hyuga smiled at that comment. They ride a bus together on their way back and Makoto fall asleep on Hyuga shoulder.

        Hyuga led a group of people in a departmental store and introduced new software for busy ladies to streamline their shopping for clothes. He has Makoto run to a booth and scans an image of her on the screen as a 3D model. Hyuga explained that this model allow women to stay at home and try out all the clothing from the store. He flips through the catalogue and dresses model Makoto in various outfits. The event was a success and the four employees gave him a thumb up. After that, Hyuga asked Matoko to join them for dinner which she decline. Before he runs back to the car, he turned and asked Makoto how she would grade him today. Makoto gave him 120 for being beyond perfect today. Hyuga smiled at her and gets into the car. Makoto walked through the offices of Wonder wall and those magazines features news about Hyuga Toru making a comeback through Wonder Wall.

        Hyuga went to the detention facility to see Asahina and was told that Asahina does not want to see him. The guard brings a comic book on top of a newspaper to Asahina and asked him to read because he looks like he wants to die. Hyuga met with Yamagami at the coffee house and he asks Hyuga if he is willing to go back to Next Innovation. He bows his head and said that the company can only be save with Hyuga back. Hyuga declined and said that he has something else to protect now.

        Makoto got a job at the laboratory and confide in her friend Haraku that she is not needed in Wonder Wall anymore now that the company is doing well. She cried on Haraku shoulders, explaining that it was painful for her to be around Hyuga because he is too amazing. Hyuga sat in Wonder Wall as the three employees talked about a Chinese firm wants to buy over Next Innovation at a cheap price. Hyuga asked if they will support him should he go back to revive Next Innovation. The employees looked shocked and he backtracks and says he is just joking.   

        Hyuga got a text from Makoto stating that she is taking a vacation. It turned out that she is working in a laboratory at S-tel now. Hyuga tried to call her but she did pick up the phone. In the end, Hyuga went to Makoto place to look for her and was worried that he might be died in the house. He peeve through the windows and ran away when a woman looked at him suspiciously. Hyuga muttered in the temple room and stated that he hates having personal interactions with people because this is what happens.  The monk said that he had accepted Makoto despite it all. Hyuga confesses that he just want to see her face.

        Yoko and Hyuga met each other on the train and have short chat. Hyuga need to look for someone and Yoko is taking a break, thus they coincidentally board the same train. During the conversations, they talked about Asahina and how he refused to see any visitor. Old memories struck Asahina and Hyuga as they remember the time when they were so happy building Next Innovation together. Asahina realized that he was crying when he wipe away the tears. Yoko asked Hyuga if she could visit Makoto family with her as she wants to help.

        Makoto is at the lab and she asked her supervisor does the work she does helps to improve people life and her supervisor said yes. Back at Makoto hometown, Yoko and Hyuga were treated to a feast. The family revealed that Makoto graduated from college but won’t get a job and insisted on starting a business with a guy. They were worried about Makoto and her mother said that she must really like that guy a lot. Hyuga did not say anything but was clearly affected.

        Yoko asked if Hyuga will not go and visit his mother now that he was here. Hyuga replied that she would not recognize him now that he had grown up and his name was changed when he was adopted at the orphanage. Suddenly, Hyuga’s mother returns to the restaurant and open the store for them. She cooked a plate of omurice as Hyuga ate quietly. For a moment, it looks like Hyuga mother recognize him, however, she only recognize him as an amazing business man in Tokyo.

        At the train station, Hyuga revealed that it is okay that his mother did not recognize him and he is glad that his mother looks good. He doesn’t know why he is so fixated on finding her all these years. Yoko pointed out that he has someone else that he is looking for and that is Makoto. Hyuga nodded and Yoko smiles at how honest he is. He thanked Yoko for taking this trip with him and he had made up his mind for a decision. Sakaguchi met the three employees at Wonder wall and said that Hyuga asked him for help. The employees grumbled that Hyuga is going back to Next Innovation and left them here. Sakaguchi tells them that they cannot continue relying on Hyuga.

        Hyuga went to S-tel and saw Makoto at the carpark. He revealed that he tried every means and ways to find her. Makoto asked why did he made those effort and he has a hard time come clean so he make the excuse that his employee went missing and he was just concerned. They both have something important to say to each other. Hyuag mentioned that he is going back to Next Innovation and he has someone he wants to see. Makoto said that she is working in the lab from now onwards and she could not keep her promise never to leave him. Hyuga pretend to play it cool and lie to her that he did not take it seriously either. Makoto said the person you are waiting for is Asahina, right? Makoto said that he will be able to see Asahina again. Makoto bids farewell to Hyuga as she returned to the lab. In the end, both of them turned their back and walked away.

            Episode Guide



        Monday, August 19, 2013

        Rich Man, Poor Woman: Episode 9

        Hyuga fall asleep and wakes up in a scream as he leaped off Makoto’s lap onto the sand. She asks if he is alright and he looked around and realized that they are at the beach side. He wondered how he could fall asleep in a place like this. Makoto sensed his anxiety, tried to tell him everything is fine and he could do many things in the future. In the middle of her speech, the wind blows a plastic bag on her face. She shrieks and Hyuga laughs and pull the plastic bag off and helps her wipe the sand off her face.

        The laughter turns into silence as Hyuga lean closely to her face and it looks like they were about kiss when he stops. Hyuga pull himself away and commented that she has sands on her face. Makoto frantically wipe the sands off her face while hyuga said that they should head back home and if anyone saw them here will think that they were some silly couple spending their time at the beach. Makoto said that they have to draft out a plan for their future tomorrow and he agrees.

        Hyuga took Makoto to a newly rented office and she realized that he had ordered three tables and chairs for the three employees but she does not have any. Hyuga replied that he did not know Makoto will come along. Makoto noticed the lease on the table and realized that the rent was expensive and Hyuga has no concept of money. Hyuga house and car belonged to the company and the accountant showed him just how much had left in the bank account. The only thing which he could sell is the motorbike and he asked the accountant how much can he get for selling it? Makoto opened the door of her apartment and was surprised to see Hyuga standing at the door with his suitcase and his Roomba. He asked to stay at her house and Makoto screeches, “What?”

        Makoto and Hyuga walked to the temple and Hyuga said he must be insane to consider living with Makoto when he had another place to go. The priest is so happy that Makoto is by his side and mentioned that Hyuga mother abandoned him when he was young. It was only when he found a business partner then he begins to believe that he could rely on someone. Makoto wonders if he did trust and relied on her and the priest told her to go full stream to break down hyuga wall. Asahina met up with the big wigs of JI technology and compromised on their budget scheme. The engineers in Next Innovation were unsatisfied with the deal but Asahina said that their salary will increase if they agree to do what they were told to do. On the other hand, Yoko decided to move out of the house because she could not stand her brother.

        Yoko met up with Hyuga with a thumb drive in her hand and handed it over to Hyuga. The thumb drive contains information of her brother misdeed and she felt guilty for not doing anything. Hyuga did not blame her and rejected the thumb drive. Yoko asked if he is not angry with his brother and Hyuga replied no for some reasons. Yoko stated that she thought Hyuga will be depressed after all that happened to him. Hyuga explained that he cannot be depressed for long as he has a fool that is following him right now.

        Makoto looks at Hyuga balance and realized that he did not keep track on how much he spends. She immediately puts up signs and re-educate him the importance of saving money. Hyuga puts his head on the table and refused to follow the measures as it is too embarrassing for him. Makoto is not about to give up and forced him to pay attention to what she says. Hyuga agreed with what she says and requested to borrow a dollar from her to buy a pudding that is selling at half price at the store which is closing. Makoto received a call from her folk and she tried to reassure them that she had turned down the pharmaceutical company because she is doing business with someone and they are doing fine. She hangs up the phone when she saw Hyuga and asked if she could buy some beers.

        Makoto was drunk and passes out and her phone rang, it was her mother calling her. Hyuga was dumbfounded when he saw the interface onscreen. He muttered in disgusted, “what is this piece of shit?” Asahina showed the new personal file interface to the ministry big wigs and only vice minister Fujikawa brings out that the new interface is just like any government website out there and the engineers looked embarrassed. She added, “This is what Next Innovation becomes, without Hyuga Toru.”

        The staffs at Next Innovation gathered together and look sad as the painters were hired to paint over the wall. Asahina took the paintbrush paint the wall aggressively before breaking out into a fake smile and asked the employees to get back to work. He saw the address of Hyuga mother written by Makoto at the corner of the wall and took it down. Hyuga sat in the office doing nothing while Makoto keeps calling for jobs opportunities. Makoto went to the bank to check the balance and was surprised that her balance had increase dramatically. On the other hand, Yoko met Asahina near the building and knows that he is meeting up with Makoto. She overheard the address he gave the cab driver.

        Makoto met up with Asashina to return the money to him and they had a little chat. Yoko looked for Hyuga again armed with the thumb drive which contained evidence; however, Hyuga does not care anymore. Yoko asked Hyuga to go to a new coffee shop and bring him to Makoto and Asahina meeting place. Hyuga froze on the spot as he saw the scene and refused to go when Yoko held his hand. Hyuga felt betrayed by Makoto and asked her to leave. Makoto cried as she wrote on pieces of papers and it was night time when Hyuga went back to the office and cried. However, he was in for a shocked when he saw pieces of papers pasted on the wall. It turns out that Makoto had met up with Fujikawa and she gave him a deadline of three days to complete the project.

        The new personal file interface was introduced during the meeting and Yasuoka and the engineers were surprised that it was different from the original and guessed that Hyuga had program the system. The project was successful and Hyuga looked for Makoto at the subway train station. He tried to hide away when Makoto saw him. Eventually, they went back to the office merrily, only to discover that Yasuoka and the employees came back to help him. Hyuga wrote wonder wall on the wall and the motto is, “Money is important, yet we will not sell our souls.”

        Hyuga led Makoto to a corner and showed her a piece of paper which says - I want to break down Hyuga Toro walls. He asked Makoto to be responsible for breaking the wall. Suddenly, they heard news of Asahina being arrested by the police on the television.

             Episode Guide