Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Missing You

Missing You is a 21 episode, 2012 Korean drama series that aired on MBC, focusing on the trauma, struggles, love and friendship of a young couple. Drawn to this drama purely because of the heady combination of Yoon Eun Hye and Yoochun, I was completely gripped on the action from the get-go.

High school sweethearts Jung-woo and Soo-yeon were separated in a horrifying tragedy that continues to weigh down on them as adults. Now a guilt-ridden detective, Jung-woo has been desperately searching for Soo-yeon for years, but when he crosses paths with her again, she has already become someone else with a new identity.

I really enjoy throwback dramas that begin in one decade and swiftly move to another. In the first instance, I felt Missing You was extremely well cast, from the two leads down to their childhood doppelgangers. There's a great, timid yet believable chemistry between Soo-yeon and Jung-woo (Yoon Eun Hye and Yoochun respectively). The drama completely plays on the reunited childhood sweethearts plot with a heartbreaking, crime ridden twist that completely throws all elements of trust, love, luck and friendship out of bounds.

"Fourteen years later", Jung-woo is a detective intent on finding his first love whilst working on other cases, whilst kidnapped Soo-yeon is alive and semi-well, going by the name of Zoe Lou and harnessing her fashion empire as the brand's designer.

Missing You is action-packed from the beginning and the storyline sits at a good pace, only slowing down mid-end which I guess is atypical of these dramas. There aren't any annoying sub-plots, and any that are present are completely worthwhile to the end result.

Watch here: Missing You (2012).

Contributor: Michelle

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: Toheart - The 1st Mini Album

Release Date: 10-03-14
Language: Korean
Song Count: 6

When SM Ent. announced the debut of its' first cross-group subunit, no-one was more excited or surprised than I. Hailing from top Kpop idol groups INFINITE and SHINee respectively, Woohyun and Key form Toheart, a heartbreakingly cool duo.

Toheart's first mini album certainly doesn't disappoint. My personal highlights are 'Tell Me Why', a subdued ballad with a cool drum beat in the background featuring Woohyun's frankly perfect vocals, and 'You're My Lady' which is the ultimate driving playlist addition.

Of course I couldn't write a review without including the title track - 'Delicious'. If I'd been handed the EP pre-release, I'd be able to pinpoint this as SM's title track for sure. 'Delicious' is the ultimate medley fusion of INFINITE and SHINee and it packs all of Woohyun and Key's personality and talent in. I really like the track but have a favouring for the ballads at the moment.

I'll leave you with the mini album's accompanying extended MV for 'Delicious'. You're welcome.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A 2014 Hello

Welcome to the revamped LAA, a new space to share Asian drama, anime, manga, music, culture and style ideas. From reviews to previews, thoughts on new releases to throwbacks to favourites from yesteryear, LAA is going to be the perfect place to spend lazy evenings with just your laptop and a cool beverage for company.

Pull up a cosy chair and join us? For editorial contributions, pop an email to me at
- Michelle x

Monday, 8 December 2008

Review: Miss No Good

Jiang Xiao Hua is a jewelry store owner with no sense of style. When prince charming Jia Si Le comes back from Japan with intentions of dating her, she blackmails Tang Men, a poison-tongue style guru, into helping her become a lady worthy of Si Le.
I can't believe how quickly this series went. This has been one of the better dramas I've watched in a very, very long time, and I was genuinely sad when I clicked 'View Episode 12' and suddenly it said it was the series finale.

When I first started watching this, I really didn't like it much. I thought Rainie as Xiao Hua (usually my favourite ever!) was weak in this drama. I hated her cringey, squeaky voice (OTT Y____Y;) and come on! - let's be honest... - they could have made her wig a little more realistic. I don't know, I'm probably just used to seeing Rainie more refined and preened, in her usual roles. I was relieved when they got rid of the wig though!

Even after all this, MNG grew on me and I loved the plot! It was original and kept me guessing until the last episode. I actually really liked Rainie and Wilbur Pan as a couple: in the drama obviously. Who knows, maybe they'll even be the new Rainie Yang and Mike He for me...

Contributor: Dulce

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Review: Lucky Star

Lucky Star is one of those cutesy series. It revolves around four best friends who are at high school, and there isn't an in-depth or serious storyline. Each episode has a mini storyline - but the main one is how the four girls get through high school, with their clashing personalities.

My favourite characters are Konata and Kagami. Konata is incredibly nerdy and coooool ;) She is obsessed with video games, anime and manga, and I think she's more tomboyish than her friends. Kagami is a fraternal twin of Tsukasa and she is loud and outgoing.

The series focuses on Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa and Miyuki's friendship, and their random escapades along the way. It's probably one of my favourite animes to date, and I'd recommend it for an easy watch, where you don't have to think, and simply watch for leisure.

Contributor: Michelle

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Yukimi Daifuku 雪見だいふく

Food enthusiast alert!

I thought I'd write about food today. I tried mochi ice-cream a few months ago, and still haven't grown out of it. My parents used to buy it all the time, but it isn't as readily available anymore unfortunately. Yukimi Daifuku, or mochi ice-cream, is a ball of soft vanilla ice-cream wrapped in mochi and best served fresh out of the freezer.

I personally eat mochi ice-cream when it's been left out to defrost a little, so the ice-cream is a little softer than usual. It comes in different flavours, including vanilla, chocolate and green tea, and I'm sure many more that I'm yet to try!

If you have access to a Japanese/Asian supermarket, I'd definitely recommend you to go and buy a box of these. So. Good!

Contributor: Michelle

Monday, 10 November 2008

Album Review: Rainie Yang - '半熟宣言'

半熟宣言 by 楊丞琳
Release Date: 07-11-08
Language: Mandarin
Song Count: 10

In case anyone hadn't already noticed from reading my posts on here, I'm a huge Rainie Yang fan xD I've been anticipating this album for so long, and Rainie usually releases albums annually, so this year was just one big build-up.

The theme for this album was maturity: Rainie is now onto her fourth album, and I guess people were just expecting her to grow up from some of her old material, since she's been in the entertainment industry from the age of 16. I absolutely love a ballad, so this was no problem for me, and I was pleasantly surprised by her new release. It isn't what I'd expected at all, and you can really see a shift in maturity and vocal range.

Overall, I'm happy if not a bit disappointed with this album. I really like the album art: Rainie looks so beautiful and classy in the photoshoot, but keeps the typical Rainie 'kawaii' look about her. And thank God she got rid of that jellyfish hairdo from earlier this year. Where the songs are good, they're very good, but when they're bad, they're awful.

The first song (太烦恼) was totally weak on the vocals, but most of the album does not dissappoint. Rainie's vocals are getting stronger, except for the first song ofc lol. I absolutely hate "爱我请 Shut Up" because she sounds like she's singing "shullup" instead of "shut up" aha. I'd say download the album, and skip to 带我走, 冷战 and 幸福的节拍.

Contributor: Michelle

Album Review: Big Bang - 'Remember'

Remember by Big Bang
Release Date: 05-11-08
Language: Korean
Song Count: 10

Big Bang is back... again! Truth be told, I never really took very to this band when Sharon told me about them. I was immersed in my ballads phase (still am) and wasn't in the market for Korean music at all. But then I figured Number 1 was a seriously good album (their Japanese edition of this), so I gave it a try.

Immediately, the first thing I LOVED about the album was that there were fully fledged, non-accented Korean versions of Haru Haru and Remember at last. Those are two of my all-time favourites on this album. It also features some new songs, including my favourite track of the album, 멍청한 사랑 (Foolish Love), and some remixes of older songs from past albums. I loved the Last Farewell remix! Definitely a must-have album for any Kpop fan.

Contributor: Michelle

Review: Miss No Good (不良笑花)

Sorry I've been gone from here for so long ): College work and uni applications have taken over my life lol. I've started watching Miss No Good at last, now that I have a few minutes to myself, so here's a quick pre-watch review, and I'll probably add more to this when I finish watching the series.

So far, MNG is really cute and light-hearted. I've only seen two episodes, and the themes have already gone from comedy, to a more serious theme. Obviously there is some romance ;) Rainie Yang plays the lead, Xiao Fa, a girl who is unfashionable and loud but runs a jewellery store. As a child, she made friends with a er, fat kid at school, who asked her to marry him. Aw. A couple years down the line, and he is back to win her over =OO He lost weight and is "good-looking" (note: why don't I see this?!) Xiao Fa realises she needs to change to make sure she doesn't embarass the wealthy Jia Si Le, and enlists the help of his friend (she doesn't know they're friends!) to change her image.

There's like a million and one things going on at the same time in this drama. So many twists and turns! Although the ending was a bit suckish... and they could have done so much more with it to make it better and not as typical. But I won't ruin any more of it for you - watch it =D

Watch here: Miss No Good drama.

Contributor: Michelle

Friday, 3 October 2008

LAA For You: More Kawaii Icons

some more kawaii emoticons for msn and such.. =]