And yet another lovely short movie from Korean because, South Korea is awesome that’s why! And just like the one, literally the last post I put up, End of Summer is also as good as any other movie length feature! This time though the story here is super heavy, lots of FEELs with this one and I am pretty sure it won an award in its year at the festival, which was 2015. The fact that it was one of the selected five, and the only yuri movie in that selection that got the Plain Archive treatment, is testament to that.
Yes, I wanted to get that DVD but I was late to the pre-orders that just a day after release, I was already too late. They were old out! Thank God it was actually already up on Vimeo even before then and with English subtitles too so I was not left in the dark. So you all too will be able to watch it if you want, in case you do not want to be spoiled before you watch it, jump to the end of the post for the link to Vimeo.
This nice short really packs a heavy punch! The fact that it is so real and that the characters are very relatable in addition to what they go through being something so common, makes this one of my favourite shorts but really, the fact that I am writing about it should be telling already.
Yes, if you know that there is something I should know about but haven’t written about despite many comments letting me know about it, it means that I have seen it but that it wasn’t to my palate. Sometimes I have already seen it but it is still in the queue to be written about. For example, I thank you all for the Moon Young (Kim Tae-ri) shout out but do you really think I do not know about that!! You must be crazy! Lovely, but crazy!
True story, even before The Handmaiden, I already knew about Moon Young but only saw a short clip and there was none of that goodness that is in the current version everyone is going crazy about or by the gods, believe you me I would already have blogged about it. As things stand, I only need to find the best version, grab some caps and we are a go!
Same goes for the TV show Night Light. I watched 12 episodes of that show but dropped it because the amount of yuri was equally negated with the amount of hetero and with the same characters! Now, if someone tells me that the crack ship I actually had going in the awesomely developed friendship between Se-jin and Ma-ri, is looking up, then I am all aboard gain. Otherwise, my yuri-sense didn’t tingle at all in the 12 episodes I watch between Se-jin and Yi-kyung. Now, if you are telling me I missed something in the later episodes I did not watch, then I will jump right back in and maybe talk about it.
One last thing before we get back to the topic at hand, this is about Mediafire. Yes, I know many people these days can’t excuse a site that takes more than a second to load but please be patient with MF. It is still one of the best free sites (well, under 200MB) around from the old days and it takes a few seconds for the folders and files to show up so hold off on closing that tab thinking the links or site is broken.
With that out of the way, let’s get it on!
‘End of Summer’ couldn’t be any more perfect as a title for this movie! Not even swapping Summer with Spring can make that title better in any way! It was a perfect choice and I actually did not think of it at all until after I watched the movie and was thinking about which way to approach this post of it.
This movie, is summarised in that title. The whole period that this movie was set in is our main heroine, Ju-yeon’s ‘summer’. From the beginning until the end, this is Ju-yeon’s beginning and ending of her summer! Our other girl, Kyeong-hui, is then the summer itself and thus Ju-yeon’s summer! The movie starts with her walking into Ju-yeon’s life and ends with her leaving it, hence the title!
I love it!
Ju-yeon’s life was a bad one, hell even for a girl like her. Her parents were arguing all the time and from the few words we hear from her mother just before she leaves Ju-yeon behind just like that with her father, without even as much as a good-bye, and the very way that young Ju-yeon doesn’t react at all at her leaving let alone the shouting, shows that her whole life their home was a complete mess! At this point in her life, still so young, Ju-yeon had perhaps even given up on life. The other kids didn’t play with her or even spare her some attention, even in the form of bullying! She was nothing!
Then one day a miracle happens, Kyeong-hui walks into her life and turns it downside up! Other than her dog Chu-chu, Ju-yeong was never close to anyone, not even her parents. But then here came a girl, a girl that was so out of her class ox existence, someone everyone knew, even Ju-yeong herself knew as we learn in their introduction when she says that she knows who Kyeong-hui is, much to the other girl’s surprise, a girl like her, came close to her, talked to her, wanted to play with her and Chu-chu!
That was the start of Ju-yeong’s summer after an eternity of gloomy weather! Jump a few years ahead in their late teens and they have grown so close! Ju-yeong still is a stranger to the other girls their age and Kyeong-hui is still as popular as ever! But growing up all those years and being close to only one person has a deadly side-effect and we soon see Ju-yeong showing the symptoms of this dangerous disease to all yuri girls, as we all yuri netizens should be familiar with already! We have seen writers use this deadly disease as a way to deny us yuri, turning out girls into the clichéd ‘psycho lesbian’.
Thankfully before that virus hits, we get to see how close the two have grown since childhood. The fact that sealed the deal for me out of everything though was knowing that Kyeong-hui’s parents trusted Ju-yeong enough to entrust their daughter’s life with her. And Ju-yeong proved every time and time again to be worth of that trust! You see Kyeong-hui is very sickly and she constantly needs medicine shots which are provided Ju-yeong, who is never late even a second to administer the medicine!
All throughout out the time that we have seen these two, Ju-yeong has not failed Kyeong-hui. Even in areas where it is not the medicine that is required, as long as there is danger to Kyeong-hui’s life, Ju-yeong always came to her safety, no matter what! No matter at what cost! NO MATTER THE COST!
This detail really hit me hard. The only other character that hit me this hard with the amount of length they are willing to go to in order to save their loved ones is Akemi Homura. If we include their actions being too over the line, then Himemiya Chikane joins in that list! And so it is with the fact that while with the other situations the girls ended up on a happy note, or somewhat in Homucifer’s case, the ending for End of Summer really leaves me with a heavy heart!
Actually now that I think of Madoka, Homuran-chan’s situation with Madoka is almost the same as with Ju-yeong with Kyeong-hui. Madoka changed Homura’s life from the darkness just as Kyeong-hui saved Ju-yeon’s. They both ended up spending most of their lives protecting their saviours and in the end, they ended up losing that connection due to their actions. Well, in the case of Ju-yeong, it was already known that Kyeong-hui would leave sometime to go to a medical school after graduating from high school and they both knew it so it is somewhat different but they are separated.
The separation is not on bad terms, it is not because Ju-yeong finally got the virus and went over the edge. It was an inevitable separation. Not the say that Ju-yeong survived the disease! Nope, she still contracted the psycho lesbian virus! But while in most other cases it is used as a device to get rid of the yuri or advance plot, here it makes sense! In Ju-yeon’s case the feelings were warranted! She only had one person in her life and when a new entrant arrived in the picture showing all the signs of taking that person away from her, well, we all know how humans behave when their safety is threatened!
This threat that started the incubation of the virus came in the form of a transfer student So-yeong. And here is another thing that thins short movie does so well. It made me care for this rival! She might have been too on the nose but her actions were also justified. Her father is a gambler and moves around a lot so she does not get to make friends a lot meaning that she is also just as lonely as Ju-yeong was before summer hit.
Meanwhile Kyeong-hui is still the greatest Alpha female character ever put on screen. She is a real Mother Teresa, so of course she was going to be there for the new girl. Add in the fact that they had many things in common, even sharing the same dreams of moving to medical school and becoming medicine practitioners and So-yeong looking to make at least a friend, then you have the perfect recipe for both triggering a friendship and also brewing up a dose of disaster!
Now of course someone moving in between her and Kyeong-hui is enough to trigger Ju-yeon but there are other things that, though not by So-yeong’s hands, they did affect Ju-yeon’s life in a very bad way! The worst of this had to do with Chu-chu! Chu-chu, the only other living thing that meant the world to Ju-yeon, died because of So-yeong’s father! He had a drug that turned dogs into beasts and in order to prove its effectiveness so Ju-yeon’s father could use it in the races, they decided to use Chu-chu as the experiment. The suggestion was not even from Ju-yeon’s father but So-yeong’s. Worse, it wasn’t Chu-chu that got the shot but rather they used Chu-chu to show what a dosed dog would do to something and that something was Chu-chu.
To make matters worse, Kyeong-hui did not even show up to console Ju-yeon or even help her burry Chu-chu’s remains! Hell, she did not even learn of this until much later, probably too busy having a chill time with her new friend So-yeong!
So, not only did So-yeong threaten to take Kyeong-hui away from her, but she took away Chu-chu (even if indirectly) and her father’s shady business was sure to negatively affect Ju-yeon’s father’s life and thus her life effectively! In fact, that last part definitely happened with that happened to So-yeong, even if we never actually get to hear the fate of Ju-yeon’s father.
Ju-yeon and Kyeong-hui do have a falling out of course, when the symptoms start to show and Ju-yeon does go all commando on So-yeong, even in the presence of Kyeong-hui. But they do make up and Ju-yeon tries to get along with So-yeong after being lectured by Kyeong-hui and having some time to think things over. But that respite is not long-lived!
While out for a walk now all in a relatively positive mood the three of them for the very first time, So-yeong’s father’s shady actions finally catch up to them when the dog that was dosed and killed Chu-chu, goes lose and winds up running into the three girls. But before I explain how the following actions mean so much to Ju-yeon’s character and her feelings for Kyeong-hui like I explained, let me tell you a story.
I remember when I was young, very young, me and my sister were going over to a friend’s house and one of the homes we had to pass by had a dog. The dogs where I live are not those nice ones that you go to a vet shop and buy and see people walking with on the roads. Nope! These were wild. You had to keep them on the leash at all times. They would back at anything or anyone they did not know and being so young my fear made things once probably more than they actually were. But anyway this time the dog was lose and it chased after us. It was probably because we started running and it was thinking we were playing a game but I remember being so scared that I ran so fast without even thinking of my sister! Obviously she is okay and maybe I was young but I doubt things would be different if I was older and there was danger.
Knowing first-hand how people value their own life at times like these, I was so prepared for Ju-yeon to finally fail at her task of always saving Kyeong-hui and thus yet another movie shutting us yuri fans down with a BAD END, much worse that Kyeong-hui dying because we know that Ju-yeon’s love wasn’t all that if she had ran away and left Kyeong-hui behind to die after showing so much resilience before that point, that the happiness that filled my heart at what actually happened is immeasurable!
Now of course this does not mean that I was happy that So-yeong died! Oh yeah, she died. And if Ju-yeon and Kyeong-hui had stayed, they too would have died! So what happened? The three walk into the dog. The reality of the situation hits them! That dog was so ready to maul them all to their deaths! In fact, I thought that they would all be frozen and end up dying or maybe the movie wasn’t that ambitious and that the fathers would show up on time to shoot the dog and save the girls!
None of the scenarios I had in mind included what happened, which was that as if it was second nature to save Kyeong-hui, Ju-yeon doesn’t waste time to snap to her senses, make a judgement call to use So-yeong, who was walking slightly ahead of them and thus close to the dog, as bait and then grabbing a terrified to stone Kyeong-hui and running for their lives as the dog pounces and attacks So-yeong.
Like, can you even imagine what Ju-yeon’s life was after that?! Even if she was not arrested and thus it was not her fault that So-yeong died, she still left her for dead. She will have that guilt for the rest of her life! And who is to tell that Kyeong-hui doesn’t see it that way?! Especially since Ju-yeon wasn’t so hot on the girl?! Add in the fact that her father is most probably in jail since it was his dog, and the fact that Kyeong-hui leaves her not so long after that incident, without having actually stated her real feelings to Kyeong-hui, even though I am sure she knew, then you have one sad ending!
Actually now that I think of it, Ju-yeon was even worse by the end of the movie than she was at the beginning! All she put up with back then was a lousy home and parents and she even had Chu-chu. But by the end of the movie, she has no parents, she has no Chu-chu, she felt the love in Kyeong-hui but that love is no more and there is the guilt of ending someone’s life on top of all of that not to mention that she is lonelier that she had ever been!
And don’t even get me started on the practicality of the ending! From Ju-yeon’s heart-crunching tears when she finally, for the first time, breaks down after everything that has happened to her life, to that ending scene mid credits when young Ju-yeon and Kyeong-hui are playing with Chu-chu in the fields and Ju-yeon lifts her head and glances at an aware Kyeong-hui…
The FEELs! Jesus just kill me now! My heart is sinking just thinking of it so I am going to leave it here you all.
Have a chill weekend…