Articles

This article is regarding impeachment of South Korea's 11st president.

This is a long article. I've tried to be as objective as possible with exception of closing lines which are subjective.

 

1. Who is Park Geun-hye? Her background

 

First of all, Park Geun-hye is the daughter of Park Chung-hee who was the 3rd President of South Korea. Her father was a dictator who won the presidency through a coup and he was later assassinated. His regime lasted from 1963 to 1979, roughly 16 years.

 

Despite of that, the 3rd President is often credited for laying the ground work for rapid development of South Korea in 80s. He pushed the country hard for development at expanse of lives. This ultimately gave the ground work for Park Geun-hye to eventually become elected as 11st president in the future.

 

The 3rd President had two marriages. Park Geun-hye was born from his second wife. Her mother was assassinated on year 1974.

 

All in all, she has an elder half sister, a younger sister, and a younger brother. She is known to have cut ties to them completely.

Thursday, 24 November 2016 23:24

Sanada Maru

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For your information, taiga drama is Japan’s NHK’s longest running series.
Ever since 1963, NHK released a 49 ~ 50 episodes of taiga drama every year.

Sanada Maru is NHK’s 55th taiga drama.
“Taiga drama” is a historical TV series. Although historical, a lot of them have been based on one specific era of Japan: Sengoku.
I consider myself a big fan of taiga drama and have reviewed some over the years.


Sanada Maru is about Sanada clan in mid-late Sengoku era and centers around Sanada Masayuki and his two sons.
The most distinguishable feature found in Sanada Maru is that this taiga drama is comical. Comedy and taiga drama have been water and oil. It never mixed too well. Although there have been funny kind of “what the” moments in previous taiga drama, those semi-comical moments never broke characters.

However, in Sanada Maru, there are comedy, real comedy. This is the first as far as I recall and the comical moments are done very well.
In other words, I really do like Sanada Maru. It is a refreshing break from what many outsiders consider “boring taiga drama”.

Monday, 20 June 2016 02:00

Girlfriend app

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Girlfriend app... for Android phone, yes.

Girl-Friend-App, yes. If you browse Google play with language set in either Korean or Japanese, you can find a fair amount of Girlfriend app.

What the app does is that it gives you ... a digital, eventually nagging, girlfriend. It is fairly popular among young guys. Even some middle-age men have it on their phone.

The app works by gently forcing its players to pay attention to it. You have to periodically play the app in order to increase affinity to the digial girl. High affinity allows its players to change her costomes (which players need to purchase with real money). Reaching higher affinity requires gifts, some of which must be purchased with real money.

Just looking at the amount of reviews such app receives indicate that it has some dedicated playerbase.

The four reviews displayed on the image above say things like "I've finally got a girlfriend!", "It's good, heh. Item arts are lovely.", "How should I respond when my girlfriend gets ill TT", and "I've got a girlfriend in my palm."

I am not writing this to judge them although it's hard to resist hearing a snicker or two in my head as I write this. But each to their own. Let's just leave it at that.

These kind of apps work by gradually making its players addicted and eventually force them to spend real money for gifts and costumes. And as always, there are addicts who can't control themselves and end up spending quite large amount of money over their digital girlfriends.

These apps are known to consistantly nag you by making your phone vibrate periodically. Thankfully, these apps are designed to stay slient during night time.

Errr... whatever.

Sunday, 19 June 2016 22:00

Webtoon "PermIT!"

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This webtoon "PermIT!" is created by the author of Useful Good-for-nothing which I am sure many of you still remember.

Webtoon URL: http://comico.kr/titles/92

In order to view the webtoon, you need to go through an extra hoop which is registering with Payco (Payco.com). I personally dislike having yet another layer on top of everything else. As if I don't have enough passwords to remember...

Currently in Korea, there are gazillions of different standards for online payment that it isn't funny. One can unify the payment via cell phone but you've better watch your bill or you can be slapped with a bill that mounts few thousands easily if you aren't careful.

Anyway, PermIT webtoon is regarding a couple of guys who manage to enter computer science course at a decent university. This webtoon is about hacking and other computer mambo jumbo.

One of staff that may sound really awkward to you while reading this webtoon is "Girlfriend app" which is ... exactly what it is. The app lets you date a girl on screen. You have to please her by checking on her ever so often and sometimes she will ask a gift (that costs real money).

... Needless to say, I know a fair amount of guys are really attached to such app.

 

The major problem with this webtoon is that the plot targets a really niche audience and I didn't find the webtoon worthywhile at all, not at all. I can see that the plot is trying to make me laugh or at least grin but it wasn't working on me.

But it is not the artist's fault. This webtoon has two authors, one's in charge of plot. The other is in charge of the art. The one in charge of the art is responsible for Useful GFN. I don't know why she chose to have a writer. I mean Useful GFN was fairly good. I beleive she may have chosen to work with a plot writer because the ending of Useful GFN was a major letdown. But this writer isn't any good, either.

Is this webtoon worth your time? I would say probably not.

Anyway, click read more for some screenshots.

Saturday, 18 June 2016 13:14

Webtoon 남창 "Male prostitute"

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Catchy title, eh?

But the webtoon stays true to its title. It is a story about a male prostitute who performs predominantly BL actions.

It is a challenge webtoon, meaning it is a level below regular webtoon. Still, the drawing is alright and the story is okay as well.

Webtoon URL: http://www.foxtoon.com/challenge/comic/1212

A challenge webtoon can be taken off at any moment. If you like the work, better save it on your harddrive.

The MC is a young woman who get caught reading a BL webtoon by her younger sister. They get into a fight and the MC slips and cracks her skull against a corner of her desk. She bleeds badly and soon dies (while begging her sister to turn her PC off which was ignored).

 

Shortly after her passing, she gets reincarnated into a boy in a fantasy world. Where she was reborn was a prostitute house where he will be raised as a male prostitute. That is how the story begins.

Having loving BL webtoons in her former life, he is actually eager to start working. And when he starts to work, a war breaks out and his village is destroyed and the MC is taken a prisoner. He eventually becomes a sex slave to a Prince who led the assault.

...... The plot is bold and occasionally comical and ironic. It also uses a fair amount of BL slangs.

Overall, I find the plot fairly good. It actually makes sense and sometimes emotionally moving. Let me remind you that this is a story about a male sex slave. What else do you need more?

Do I recommend this? I guess it depends. The plot can be a little brutal and too direct. If you are someone who can handle some controversies, then go ahead. (Well, if you can handle BL, I suppose you can handle controversies.)

Anyway, click "Read more" for more screenshots.

Friday, 17 June 2016 15:31

Webtoon 명인 "Master"

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Do you remember Hikaru no Go?

It’s an old anime by now. It’s been around 12 years since the show ended and it was one of very few manga dealing with Go board game.

FYI, Go board game is Asia’s equivalent of European chess. I personally find the Go game far more complex than chess but I suppose that’s a subjective issue and I am not going to go into the debate.

Actually although I did say “very few”, I can’t think of any other anime or manga that revolves around Go board game.

I suppose “Shion no Ou” as well as “Chihayafuru” come close but they don’t exactly deal with the same game. It is in the same genre however.

 

The reason for this blog is that -

Some time ago, I found a Korean webtoon that revolves around Go board game.

The title is “명인” which translates to Master.

Webtoon URL : http://www.zzamtoon.com/webtoon/episode/toon/2315

Unfortunately, I do not find the webtoon in the same league of Hikaru no Go. The art (drawing), plot devices, and the atmosphere all seem inferior to Hikaru no Go. Actually, some of elements appear to be direct copies of Hikaru no Go.

What it does have it better than Hikaru no Go is its trend. I mean the characters in webtoon are up to our tech standard, meaning most players enjoy Go game on the internet instead of facing each other in person. Using cell phones to watch games and whatnot. All of which are expected from a far more modern comic.

Thursday, 16 June 2016 22:26

BL's charm

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BL?

Yes, BL. It stands for Boys Love.

In other words, homosexual stuff. You know, gay stuff.

I know some cannot stand BL. Some can manage and some love it.

 

For me? I stand in middle of “Can’t stand it” and “Can take it”. To be honest, I couldn’t care less. I don’t read BL stuff because I am into BL.

The charm in BL genre is its subtly. BL webtoons are often subtler than innocent teenage romance webtoons. It’s often subtle because the general perceived view of BL being forbidden. Because it’s seemingly forbidden, BL couples are very subtle, trying to hide from the society. This creates a pretty nice subtle and warm romance story.

Another factor that makes BL webtoons enjoyable to read is MC’s cluelessness and progressive realization of his sexuality. All of which end up creating nice subtle stories.

Now, a major problem is (Korean) BL webtoons are only few end up getting completed. Most of BL webtoons I’ve read end up going into perpetual hiatus. Authors give out various excuses for stopping. The most common excuse is hitting a plot wall.

Do I believe those excuses? I don’t and I don’t care.

 

Of course, there are far more direct BL webtoons once you cross a certain line. Enter some 19+ webtoon site and you can find pretty brutal BL stuff. Those 19+ BL webtoons are anything but subtle. But truthfully Korean webtoon sites having hardcore adult BL webtoons is pretty rare. Only few select sites deal with those.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 19:34

Koreans and dogs

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20 ~ 30 years ago, Koreans who had dogs were not common but it was not rare. Dogs were kept in dog houses and were kept by those who had their own houses. Those who lived in apartments never had dogs as pets. It was just unthinkable at that time and such was not cultural norm.

Additionally, in the old times, dogs weren’t really pets. They were guardians of gate and, in hard times, emergency meat.

 

Fast forward to 2016, Koreans and dogs mean something entirely different.

I see a lot, I mean really a lot, of people having pet dogs, usually tiny ones instead of big ones I used to see when I was a kid. And they are all dressed up with ribbons and whatnot.

Few decades ago, such was unthinkable. The reason would be simple. Small dogs can’t guard a gate against intruders and small dogs don’t produce lots of meat.

Now if you tell a young Korean those two reasons, s/he would freak out and ask why one would keep a dog for such reasons.

Time flows and trends alter. For better or worse, I don’t know.

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