Chinese dramas on free tv

Something I’ve noticed about the various Chinese dramas on NTV7 over the past year or so. The production value has gotten much better compared to its early days. If a show’s set during a certain period, efforts are made to at least simulate the feel of the age, and one drama not too long ago actually got quite a bit of their sets right.

Even if they did end up with a large cement wall in the background by accident.

The past few dramas I’ve caught snippets of though, make me despair. The one currently showing in the 10pm slot irritates the hell out of me because it feels so unrealistic, shallow and one-dimensional. I just watched a scene in where the hero is jailed for a crime he did not commit.

His wife tracks down her brother who can clear her husband’s name. He refuses and runs away. The heroine’s mother then accuses the heroine of being selfish for she thinks of no one but her husband since she married.

Now, the heroine was forced by her parents, including said mother, to marry the man to settle the father’s debts. So no one can fault her if she decides to point out that her brother’s a selfish asshole who deserves what he gets, right? In fact, I’d think anyone in that position would have resorted to more emotive and angry-filled words.

She just says instead, “Brother, you must take responsibility for your actions.”

…. Personally I’d have said, “You coward and useless piece of shit,” followed by a long litany of how his ass was saved by the husband and that his and mom’s cosy life would be ruined if his bro in law was not rescued.

I suppose there’s a reason why I’m no scriptwriter.

[Writing] Well that was fast

I remember now why I love to write. There’s so many unexpected twists and turns when you let your muses go and just write. Still, that ended pretty fast. This won’t ever be a project I publish, but it was a good exercise. Never did quite pay attention to Seruling and Patrice, so I’m glad I did, this time. After all, they were responsible for much of Sukina and Naoko’s training in their younger days, and how they turned out.

Ok, now to start on another project.

[Writing] Depths of mind

Darling muses

I know that rationally, you’re a part of me and what you express are facets of myself that I can’t consciously be aware of.

But damn Sukina, that was chilling. And yes, I know Naoko, it was cowardly of me to chicken it out that way. But argh.

Depth of mind you terrify me. But still. <3 Thank you all for being patient with me. This disjointed entry brought to you by terrifying Subconscious Muses (TM).

[Shorts] This war

Just a quickie that’s been bothering me the whole evening.

“This war we’re fighting for… it was never for us. It was never for our sake. It was always for our children. If we want a better world for our children to grow up in, then it’s up to us to make it. No one else,” she whispered softly as they sat near the campfire, her face furrowed in concentration.

“But what if we’re wrong?” her student’s voice sounded loud after her whisper. She caught a note of hysteria and uncertainty in that question.

“Then our children live with our mistakes.”

“That’s not…”

“Fair? The world isn’t. But I’d rather leave my daughter a legacy she can look up to than one that will cover her in shame,” both of them fell quiet, leaving the unspoken thought between them that legacies were a very impractical thing to leave a baby.

“Go to sleep, Ariala. The call may come soon,” her voice was kindly as she admonished her student to sleep. The child yawned.

“But I’m not sleepy,” she protested weakly, even as she wrapped herself in the blanket and laid down. Within seconds, she had fallen into the quick sleep that elite soldiers did when they took their rest whenever they could.

They had a good two hours rest before the horns sounded, and they went to war.

Moon Crystal Power! Makeup!

Moon Frisbee!

When I was a kid, I was first introduced to the concept of a sentai by Sailormoon. Before then, I did watch on and off other henshin and magical girls anime but those were merely glimpses. Sailormoon, with its all-female kick ass cast, was the first manga that I regularly bought with Dragonball, and it became my mainstay after that. I sold some of the Malay translated comics later and now regret it; there was an episode with Luna that I simply adored.

I first fell in love with Sailormoon for the art. There was also the fact that unlike other manga or anime then, there was no pleasing the male gaze. Back in those days, I loved Sailormoon cause she didn’t need to show off skin to save the day (Wonder Woman and gang, I am looking at you). There was no need to wear skin-tight leotards to kick ass; day-to-day clothes will do just as fine (this was before I was introduced to Kaoru Kamiya). In fact, intelligence was a prized asset, and smart bookworms who were beautiful yet insecure about themselves (and NOT about their ability to attract boys) nailed it for me.

As Comic Book Girl points out, almost all women here are represented. All types, with different motivations and different reasons for the actions they did. Not all of them were for romantic love (the only villain that did that was in the first arc, but that was one of the arcs I’m not familiar with, I admit) but they revolved around various themes.

Growing up. Taking responsibilities for your actions. Dedicating yourself to a passion, no matter what anyone else said.

Oh, and it’s ok to love both science and the arts at the same time (Mercury’s backstory was the clincher for me in this case).

Sailormoon normalised the concept that it was ok to be female AND independent. It taught me that it was fine to rely on yourself to get yourself out of trouble, especially scrapes that you get into (Sailor V). It taught me that it was fine to like cooking even though I’m a tomboy (Makoto). It taught me that being devoted to a purpose was ok (Sailor Mars). It taught me that it was ok to love books and there is no shame in that (Ami Mizuno).

Most of all, it taught me that I’m an independent human beings, and that it’s fine to be friends with other human beings without wanting to one-up them. It taught me that friends could be people you trust and depend on, and that you’re their support, just as they are yours.

Thank you, Sailormoon.

*Starts saving up for English manga reprint now*