ATTENTION: *BG is knocked out momentarily. Please stand by*
Yes, another day another Handmaiden post. Just as the force wills it so who am I to say otherwise?
The point of this post is my disappointment in S.Korea. Sure, I am very grateful to them, they have been so awesome to me in the past few years, hell, my top 10 yuri movies has 4 from them with two of them in the top 3!! I love Korean very much, but that does not mean that I can not get disappointed with them.
And so it is kind of ironic that that disappointment comes with the very movie that has me love them so very much, they have given me my favourite movie of all time in The Handmaiden but strangely, along with it comes the only disappointment I have ever felt for South Korea and that is the fact that they chose any other movie over The Handmaiden for the Oscars!
Okay, get this, most of you are probably already aware if you are a fan of this movie and have been following every little thing about it, but in only six months since it’s debut, in just six months, The Handmaiden has been nominated for over sixty awards, SIXTY!!!! and so far, and I mean so far, they have won 27 of them all! So far they have almost grabbed half of the nominations!!! And we are still in 2016!! Next year there will be awards looking back to the past year (2016 then) and it is bound to be nominated for more awards and even win more of them! The current nominations are still going so they still have a chance of jumping over half of the nominations, that is over 30 awards in total in just six months!
Like, can you even believe this! I mean for crying out loud, this is a primarily lesbian movie and it does not have those clichéd bad endings that are award baits! Nope, we got an honest to God BEST END that went well about even the original source materials’ ending! Seriously, The Handmaiden’s ending just blows my mind! But it is not just that hurdle that the movie had to get past! Homo-sexuality in South Korean is considered a taboo (as per Mr Park’s own words) so the movie to do that well in its home land is a miracle already!
Then there is that thing that happened just a month after the movie came out, the thing that was surely to put a stop to any and all success The Handmaiden had been revving up so far – The scandal! Sadly many of us fans of her and Kim Min-hee herself are still greatly affected by it, in that we miss her terribly and she too wishes to be there with the other beloved cast during the rest of the promotions and accompanying sweet Kim Tae-ri to award ceremonies! But other than herself and us fans, and maybe the cast, the movie itself was not affected at all and I hope the person who pulled that dick of a move regrets their decision till the end of time!
But that did not stop people from recognising the actors’ hard work and giving Kim Min-hee her well deserved Best Actress awards (two of them so far), Kim Tae-ri’s Best New Actress Awards, which are FIVE of them so far, and the Production Designers and Art Director awards they have been taking from left to right! But that is only scratching the surface! To have the full idea of all the awards go to The Handmaiden and Kim Tae-ri wiki pages!
Like, seriously South Korean, what were you even thinking?! And from what I hear, other countries are also ramping up awards for Ahgassi like it’s no body’s business! Why did they even do this?! The success in their home country alone should have been enough of a sign on what to do! Seriously South Korea…
But oh so forever grateful!
Holy! What an episode! Talk about fan-service! All them ships sitting together and being given focus continuously! Waka-sama and Minami-chan teleporting right next to their respective lovers when you least expect things to get even better! The silent battle between Minami-chan and Miona!
Okay, so maybe this was more fan-servicing if you were me who likes Ikoma-kun and ships her Minami-chan(Alpha) and Miona (Beta) and also if you ship the others like Waka-sama/Reika, Kazumin/Nanase, Marika/Sayuri because if you are, this is one Christmas present we got right here!
Jeez, talk about going straight for the jugular! There I was, already flipping out on finally having Ikoma-kun and Miona in the same frame sitting right next to one another in…so long I don’t even remember if they ever sat together before, which as you can imagine, it is a big deal! But then we get Kazumin right next to Nanase, and since this takes place right after their ship won the last episode’s couple battle, emotions are still high in regards to them!
Then seemingly out of no where Waka-sama shows up, and lo and behold, she is right next to waifu Reika and I am ready for this party to get going! While I am enjoying seeing Ikoma-kun and Miona chilling right next to one another, trying to not salivate from the corner of my mouth at how delicious they look together (it really has been forever since I saw them so close), and after I almost get a heart attach from Ikoma-kun’s cool pause for the camera that had me fall in love with her even more…
Out of nowhere, even as I almost gave up on that happening, we close in on Ikoma-kun but not with her and Miona as I had anticipated but all three!!! With MINAMI-CHAN?!!! I was like…
In addition, nothing close of wanting to find out who the camera men are on this show and give me each a Christmas present in return for their great work on this episode, we did not end up having just a three-shot until the end of the episode! Nope, it was as before! They would alternate between Ikomiona, Ikominami and them Ikominamiona! I was literally flipping out watching this episode!
I am telling you dear Readers, I am feeling a Ikoma-kun single upon us! I mean we are in need of a cool single right about now and she always gets the cool ones! Though it is nigh impossible, if it does happen and she ends up being flanked by Minami-chan and Miona…well, let’s just leave it at that.
I know it wasn’t intentional, there are scarcely any fans of the three together but the Force works in mysterious ways and I believe it was with us this time. One of the best presents for Christmas ever dearest Nogizaka. Thank you, thank you very much! You have no idea how happy you have made me with this simple a thing!
Minami-chan holding onto Ikoma-kun’s hand in the darkness, Miona leaning on Ikoma-kun’s shoulder using Kazumin’s spotlight as an excuse, Kazumin crying after her crush Nojo nails the rapping performance, Ikominamiona in the same frame sitting right next to one another!!!! Like How did this probability even get to happen?! Nothing but the Force can explain this!
That’s it, I will not doubt anymore! There is someone out there that is listening and as such, I am re-affirming my wish to have a Ikominamiona single down the road!
What’s that? There is no Ikoma-kun you say?
Seriously, remember when we spent years crying out for another danso episode? I most certainly do! And while the target of our cries let us down (I am looking at you AKBINGO!), Nogizaka was there for us and to date, I have even forgotten how many danso episodes we have gotten in between NOGIBINGO, Nogizakatte doko and Under Construction! All I know is that in the current season of NOGIBINGO, in less than 10 episodes we have already gotten two separate Danso episodes!! Like dear Nogizaka, are you after my own heart?! If not for Yukirin, you would definitely have all of it but as things stand, I can’t help but only give you just a portion of it!
Yes, that is how strong my love for Yukirin is. We are all wondering what in the name of all that is Holly AKB is doing currently and I am not blind to that. But I just love Yukirin so much that AKB has to come first, no matter the circumstances! Well, within the Yasusu project that is. If we are including others, well, there is Tokyo Girls’ Style and T-ara across the seas who are well above them.
But it’s not just the shows that has got me loving Nogizaka a lot more these past moments. I have begun to notice a lot of other girls, and okay, so maybe the shows have more to do with it as I have noticed these girls on said shows, but despite being there for a while now, there are some girls that are getting to me recently and I just can’t help but fall for them. Examples 2nd Gen Nogizaka members Miria, Ranze and Kitano and then there are the Keyakizaka girls that I haave already mentioned before; Ozeki, WRika, Imaizumi, Neru, Suzumoto, Uemura, Shiida and Koike.
Now take all that new blossoming love and add in a large dose of Danso and yuri and great music and really, I am proud to have resisted the temptation to fully convert over to the 46 branch family! Oh, how I wish I had the time! My muse is going crazy with all these dreams of fic material I keep having! Mostly they have to do with Ikoma-kun, which is obvious since she is my Nogi Kami and have had quite a few ideas of her and the new crushes since that episode of Under Construction where the girls were pitching ideas for an out-door event and Ikoma-kun suggested Mountain Climbing the Revenge which shockingly got support from all the un-expected members. Most shocking was Minami-chan, who despite having not had a good time the first time when they went to Mount Fuji, she wanted to go again once again showing her support for her husband! (I am an avid shipper in case you could not tell! Ikominami are the Mayuki of Nogizaka). But then Ranze, Miria and even Asuka were also up for some more mountain climbing and I am sitting here wondering when the hell are we going to get that episode!!! Get to it Nogizaka, before the girls start leaving!
But once again I have got and got side-tracked! Getting back to business, we once again got such a lovely Danso episode! And while I was conflicted about Ikoma-kun not participating I kind of didn’t want to do without her reactions as well so…Oh well, the two boys we got were perfect in Waka-sama and Kazumin. And I know that Nogizaka is just playing coy with us and that they are cooking up something for us. Just you wait, one of these days we are going to get another Ikominami, or even Ikomiria, especially now after that episode where Miria kind of showed a bit of her love for Ikoma-kun, who seems to be loved by the 2nd gens quite a bit. Heh, now that I remember, in that episode Miona didn’t waste the opportunity to remind us that she was the first 2nd gen to get the Iko-love! And since Ranze already centred a song, I can see Miria being next, or maybe they want to keep pushing Ranze, or maybe they will remind us that Miona is the Ace of 2nd gen, who knows! Whatever the case maybe, I am waiting!
And I just went and got distracted again, didn’t I!
So, we had three segments, or three ships in our terms. There was the threesome in Manatsu/Waka-sama/Reika, then there was the looked forward to Nanase/Kazumin and finally we had yet another threesome in Waka-sama/Asuka/Kazumin. Not to beat around the bush, this was a competition, as it usually is and the winner was only non-threesome couple which made me feel better about myself in that I truly do not like threesomes in any shape or form! Butt on the other hand, I was kind of disappointed! I mean I am one of those that used to ship Kazumin and Nanase, before I found out they were just friends (no, really) and before I knew Kazumin was in love with Nojo and before I discovered that Ikoma-kun would kiss the ground Nanase walks on. Speaking of, Ikoma-kun was the one that did not vote for Nanase out of the three, surprising me but also making me proud at the same time.
Let’s start with that couple actually! Just as Ikoma-kun said, and probably why she did not vote for Nanase and Kazumin, their story was just too clichéd! You called what was going to happen next a mile away! But then you have to remember that it is that cheesiness that most people love! It is why there are more romance and drama movies than any other medium. Nothing new can happen in those plots anymore and yet people drink them up like some super special chocomochalatteespresccino drink. You knew Kazumin was going to glance towards Nanase before he even did it, you knew he would grab Nanase’s hand to prevent her from leaving before he had even thought it. Now not to say it wasn’t good at that. No, despite knowing that it still hit home, which I guess is why everyone loves these types of movies despite seeing something similar countless times before. It is about what it makes you feel in that moment.
Kazumin and Nanase were really great in it. Nanase especially so. Her acting experience was put to good use when they gave her more body language than actual words and you could really feel this secret history between them two at that high school re-union after years apart. Still, that being said, it is still a cliché and I would not have gone for it out of the three couple. The other that I would not have voted for out of the three is the first ship with Manatsu, Waka-sama and Reika!
Yes, yes, we get it already! You want us to drop the Waka-sama/Reika love story but just like many times before, your efforts are in vain! We shall board that ship until it sinks to the bottom of the emptiness of Space! In other words, never!! Play off it however much you want! Push Waka-sama and Nanase in your PVs, pair Waka-sama with someone else in your Danso episodes, have Waka-sama dump Reika as many times as you want like you did here, we won’t bite!
This is the reason why I would not have gone with this ship. You did not have to step on Reika and Waka-sama’s love for this! And just when we got Reika to actually confess to Waka-sama they go and turn her into a bitch that does not deserve the love! If they had kept her love as one-sided, in that she loved Waka-sama but instead kept it to herself in favour of her best friend Manatsu and only show her broken self as she watches her friend and secret love be happy, it could have been No1 for sure! Add in the fact that Manatsu was actually tolerable in this and we would have had an Oscar nominee on our hands! But alas!
Which brings me to what should have won this tourney, especially given that this is a Danso episode! Not only did we get both Waka-sama and Kazumin for the grand slam, they were fighting over our main girl in all their manliness! Like, what the heck Judges! How could you not vote for this ship?! Maybe it had something to do with Asuka’s choice? Putting aside the fact that she chose Kazumin over Waka-sama, I mean let’s be honest here, Waka-sama is SAMA but then again maybe that twist was the point? But then wouldn’t you have had Kazumin be the under-dog instead of having them be equal?
In which case, I guess the reason they did not win is that Asuka made the wrong choice! Not in choosing Kazumin over Waka-sama but rather in choosing one of them. Seriously I thought she would either not pick one in that she did not have those kinds of feelings for them (which is understandable in that they grew up together and there is a tendency to develop feelings in those situations but they usually get nowhere) or at the very least don’t because you love both of them equally!
I mean they were presented as being equal in all aspects so her choosing just one of them was just so un-nerving! I mean, how are they going to be after this? Even if Waka-sama showed support as he left, don’t forget that (even if I don’t think it was on purpose) we did not see his face. What feelings did he have showing? How hurt was he? Was their love worth the years of friendship in case Waka-sama decides to break away from them? I mean if you were in his shoes, what would you feel seeing them every day knowing that they have that something now between them that is beyond you? How will you have to act now towards them? When will you know where your line stops in order to not over-step? What of your feelings? Will you not feel bitterness towards Kazumin even a little knowing that he has something with Asuka now that you do not and never will?
Okay, now I am not so sure about who should have won. I guess the judges were right in that when weighing the negatives, the Kazumin/Nanase ship was less heavy compared to the other two but since I am not one for that kind of thing (I do not hate pain, okay?) I guess that two Danso are still better than one and let’s not forget about them gakuran and that old-school seifuku Asuka was wearing! Seeing as I just did a marathon of Sukeban Deka Series II (I love that series so much! Saki/Yukino FTW) I still have a strong love for those uniforms. And so Kazumin/Asuka/Waka-sama it is for me (even though I don’t like threesomes but hey, it did not end in one so…)
Ooh but on the other hand Nanase and Kazumin had an atomic bomb of hand-holding going on courtesy of director Marika so…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Okay fine, fine! Kazumin and Nanase win! I give in! Hands are my kryptonite after all! That is so unfair Marika!
Anyway, I can’t wait for more. Hopefully tonight’s episode is a continuation. I need more!
Jump over for the caps…
Whew! Now that I have reserved my Amazon pre-order of this single…
How dare thee NMB!?! You think you can just flaunt yuri and the good old cool PVs in my face and I will be back to buying your singles?! Well, you are right in thinking that! I have not bought anything from NMB since Don’t Look Back (because of Yukirin) and nothing before that since Maachun left (and incidentally breaking up my by then 2nd favourite ship – Sayacchu).
And now with more than half the 1st gen gone and going, I thought there would never come a day when I buy another NMB single but lo and behold – They go and release a monster and I love my monster singles! Not only is the A-side cool as all hell bringing back that NMB of old and momentarily back, they go and add in two yurific b-sides in there for that double-tap move! Like, I am not made of stone! The most surely got me with the two yuri vids, especially that Kinoshita one (Holy molly Kinoshita is centering!!?!) but then they went and made the A side one to die for! I love my cool singles as you know. My tope 10 of the whole 48 G consists mostly of the cool songs (Beginner, Uza, Kazefu, Virginity, J_19, KuroShoujo, Two Years Later, etc) so you know my resistance in this matter was as good as the Borg would say – futile!
First off, what’s up with that Kinoshita PV?! Who is that girl?!! I have been out of NMB for a while now that I do not even know if she is a member or not! Is she a member? If she is, who is she? tell me you all NMB royals out there! Strangely enough my first thought was that she was not a member and with that my mind went into overdrive coming up with strange ideas like her being Ex-Nogizaka Itou Nene! Oh come on, she looks like her, don’t she?
And damn that Kinoshita! She looks so in love with that girl that the other delusions was that she was her real life girl-friend and that she is actually putting her into the MV and we are here clueless not knowing nothing! Dear Lord if it is actually Kinoshita’s GF Imma gonna…And how cool does Kinoshita look in that wool jacket?! How cool the members with her are, like did you think Moka could be cool?! I most certainly did not. Now I know that any NMB member is capable of being cool!
Okay, maybe not Azusa but hey, they need some cute in there, amirite!
Then there is that Team M b-side! Barring my confusion wondering when the hell did Uuka, Nagisa and Akarin become Team M members when I soon found out that there was a shuffle that happened (understandably since many members are leaving), I have a feeling I am gonna have a blast feeding my delusions of who is with whom when the full PV gets here. For example there seems to be a chaotic threesome going on between Nagisa, Akarin and Mirurun, then there is the S&M pair with Renapyon and we have the cutesly Uuka and Chihii!
And finally let’s not forget that lovely cool A side that is an all out dance battle themed PV! Like, how cooler can they get than that! And did I spy some gayness between Saepi and Reinyan, Jo-chan and Riripo in there too?! Is every other PV gay in here?! Give me my DVDs right now Japan?!!!
Congrats NMB, you have managed to gran be back (temporarily, okay? Temporarily!) with this 16th ‘Boku igai no dare ka’ single! Take all my money for all versions of the single, just this one more time, okay?! This is the last time!!
Anyway, more caps and the short versions after the jump…
Having already sobered from the high that is the sheer fact that we have the Kagoshimai facing off as the captains of Red and White teams in AKB48’s 6th Kouhaku Utagassen, I finally got the mind to sit down and look through the line-up and man…Talk about unequal ground! Things get even worse when you see the whole listing of the full members! Like, are you even serious Bruh?!
From talent to star-power Red Team has White beat in all regards. Dancers, singers, Kamis, Aces…Jesus Red team, what even?! There is no way that White team is going to win this without some strings being pulled!
Starting from the top, look at those captains!! Red has two of the most experienced ‘organisers’ in the group, one with her own solo tours (Yukirin) and the other with a whole group (Sasshi) and both a super nerds when it comes to Idols so like…I don’t even…. And let’s not forget the instrumentalists in Nao, who is backed-up by Sayanee, Rion and Aoi. Meanwhile don’t get me started on the vocals (Miyu, Erina, Sayanee, Yukirin) and dancing skills (Yokoyama Yui, Tano, Yuria, Jurina, etc, etc…!
Oh man, this is going to be some brutal experience!
Thank the Lord that I am mostly going into this for the Kagoshima combi. Yeah yeah, I know they are supposed to be competing but hey, at least finally AKS is recognising their duel value so this is a cause for flipping out in happiness!!!
What are the odds that instead of singing different songs like the captains that have come before, they instead both sing the same song and battle it out dance floor style? I mean Sakura VS Yukirin in a music performance battle is pure madness but if they were to perform the same song while doing the thing, al else is forgotten!
Alright, that is it. If you want the full listing, go to Stage48. They got you covered…
Alright Thailand, you go get ‘em! PV of the year perhaps? Between this one and SISTAR’s One More Day, the choice isn’t easy. Both have the positives, the f-star elements (kissing) but they also have the negatives which are, to put this bluntly, shitting on the guys!
Okay, the way they treat guys in both PVs is different because while in SISTAR’s MV both the plot and the characters were mean to the male character in that he was written as a dick and the girls really went sparta on him, here the characters almost got away without giving the guy crap but of course the writers had to put that thing in where (during the rooftop scene) the girls seem to be rubbing their love in the male character’s face. On the other hand the male character almost escaped the plot of being a douche but once again, they just had to put that one scene in where he hit our main girl (glasses) with a racket ball so hard she bruised.
Now we got some sensual first-aid a la Lily Fever but still. That was not what really rubbed me the wrong way this time in regards to male characters. It seemed to me like this MV was actually making out our girls and their love to be a bad thing, some what, in that the song almost seemed written for the guy and they kept showing him being hurt by the betrayal and lies his girl-friend/fiancee?(she had a ring, that she took off, most definitely from him), but they don’t show why they were even drifting apart. And the way the showed the escalating distance was also kinda mean. Like, she couldn’t even let him hold her while in bed, like…If you are still together to the point of sharing a bed isn’t that kind of real cold?
It almost seemed like the guy’s life became nothing (with the gradual disappearance of his form, though that might be in regards to our main girl’s life but even so, having loved someone once you can’t simply erase them from your memory. I mean you were at the level of accepting a ring!! You can’t just forget all that time you shared! So if it is not that, then it is from the guy’s POV and it feels like his life in turning to nothingness with the loss of his girlfriend.
And I don’t even know why I am defending Hetero love on THIS blog! What is going on?!
But with that all said and done, I pick this PV over SISTAR’s because Thailand just knows how to do ‘cute’! The scenes between our couple in this were real cute and while usually those go overboard and into tooth-ache levels of sweet territory (spoilers for why I have not blogged about, and essentially finished watching any of the ‘Yes or No’ movies yet) it was the right dose this time around.
There are also intelligent scenes like the one where Girl B (no glasses) is staring across the court to the couple and she is smiling despite the situation. She does this thing with the rackets net and you know that while the guy has no clue Girl A (glasses girl) is thinking of that moment when they were threading fingers through the court net while they made googly eyes at each other.
Then there is the glasses-off scene that I have found I have a fetish for. I don’t know what it is about girls taking off other girls’ glasses but I find it completely hot! It’s almost as if they are bearing themselves (hanyan~). And it also reminds of Ikoma-kun and Minami-chan in SHAKISM of course. Also the director focused on the guy’s closed fist at around that scene which made me think that he was jealous in that he did not even ever get to see his no-longer-girl without glasses, or he did but wasn’t ever the one to take them of and is now just realising how hot and personal the gesture is. Wait, I was on his side, what happened? Oh yeah, yuri happened!
Anyway, There are more cute scenes, like Girl A always leaning on Girl B with such a serene smile on her face, or the foot sexing scene, or the bubbles scene and let’s not forget the fingers through the net scene. So hot, so sensual!
Alright, PV of the year here, Ladies and Gentlemen. Even though the song won’t be making it on my Note 4, in that it sounds like a typical drama OP or something of the sort, the PV more than makes up for it, not to mention we have had a limited list this year in PVs too.
Anyway, jump over for caps and the video…
PS: A shout out to Honey for the heads-up. Love ya and thanks again! ^^