Reviews of Two Great TV Series from Asia

Review: Toward the Terra

“Toward the Terra” is one of the best anime series I’ve watched. It’s tough to talk about what the show is about with ruining it, so please bear with me. Anyhow, the show is set in the future when after human have fled Earth for other planets. The story revolves around two main characters Jomy and Keith, who eventually fulfill their destiny of becoming the head of the two warring factions of humans, the Mu and humans, respectively. What’s great about this show is both of the main characters are not perfect and both perform act of heroism as well as acts that could be considered atrocities

— it’s a war afterall and the show makes it very clear that war isn’t pretty nor moral. Anyhow, the characters of Jomy and Keith are so well written and complex — I was absolutely delighted. The other side characters are wonderful too. This is definitely a character driven show that also happened to include some great action. One of that last scenes in the final episodes poignantly shows off the skill of the story writers and the animators. I was moved by both the sadness and the hope this scene as well as the care taken to draw Jomy and Keith in their last moments. Oh, so good!!! There are actually a few scenes in the series that are like this and each time I was moved to tears. It’s lonely to be the leader eventhough the leader is loved by many. It is tough to be a leader and to live with the atrocities you’ve committed and to feel the weight of each and every life you feel responsible for protecting. Who is good and who is bad — or in fact are they sometimes the same? This series deeply probes this question and in the end I’m am left to say that Jomy and Keith acted in the best interests of the people they served. I think this comes through best when Keith asks Jomy, “Do you still have the power to destroy planets?” Jomy replies, “yes” and in response Keith says, “Then it is still my duty to eliminate you.” The irony is that Keith has this power too, but it’s in the form of a machine. 5/5 for a truly great series.

 

TV Series Review: Bad Couple (Korean Drama)

 “Bad Couple” is a comedy/drama series from Korea. It runs 16-episodes and each episode is roughly ~1-hr. The story starts as a slapsticky comedy about a woman in her early 30’s, Dang Ja, who doesn’t believe in marriage but wants a beautiful daughter that looks just like herself. So in “ambitious woman” style, she sets out to find the man with the best set of genes in all of Korea to father her child. To get this man, Dang Ja resorts to pulling childish pranks, that play like modern-day Lucy Ricardo schemes (she’s even got the red hair!), to seduce the unsuspecting target, a very soft-hearted and naive botanist named Gi Chan. (Oh, and yes, there’s an Ethel character, too, to spur Lucy along.) In the midst of all fun, Dang Ja and Gi Chan fall in love, but Dang Ja, having little faith in men, rejects her own feelings and those of the very likeable botanist. There is a more serious parallel story of a couple that had been married for 10-years going through a divorce after the husband admits to infidelity. The two stories cleverly intersect and intertwine to weave a story about the general state of modern femininity

— one woman who is highly successful and independent who drives her baby’s father away and one woman who has been a dependant mother all her adult life who is trying to keep her baby’s father. Both woman take a journey of self discovery — the successful woman, through tragedy, learns to depend on Gi Chan and her friends and the dependent woman, through a new relationship, learns how to depend upon herself. By the end the of the journey, both women arrive at the same destination, happy and fulfilled lives (but not necessarily within the confines of a traditional family — a modern and sensible ending that I was very happy to see).

I enjoyed this series quite a bit and during the comedic moments my husband seemed to enjoy it too, although, Dang Ja’s contradictory behavior got on his nerves as the story proceeded. 5/5 for another great TV series from Korea.

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