Movie Review: ReLIFE

Rating: 7/10

Genre: Romance/Science Fantasy/Drama

Language: Japanese

Starring: Nakagawa Taishi, Taira Yuna, Takasugi Mahiro, Ikeda Elaiza, Okazaki Sae, Chiba Yudai

Seeing that a major part of my job is now writing movie reviews, I think I’ll write as many movie reviews as I can on this blog, just to get some practice in. I’m still pretty new to the art, so it would be good to get more used to writing such reviews without spoiling the story. Practice makes perfect, amirite?

Which brings me to point of this post. I actually watched this version of “ReLIFE” quite a while ago, but didn’t have the chance to write about it until now.

Life has been very much busy and not at all conducive for blogging. I am here now, though, and ready to give my opinion on this version of “ReLIFE”. Please note that I’ll mainly be comparing the film to the anime because I’ve not read the manga.

For my review on the “ReLIFE” anime, click here.

What is it about?

If you’ve taken the time to at least keep up with news regarding Japan every now and then, you might have heard of the term “karoshi”, and in turn, the difficulties found in a Japanese working environment.

For those who aren’t aware, “karoshi” is a Japanese word that is defined as death from overwork, or suicide from work-related stress.

As one of the few Japanese entertainment shows to touch upon the subject, I was immediately intrigued. A show about karoshi? You can bet I’d pay to see that- and I did.

The story starts with a peek at half-NEET Kaizaki Arata’s daily life. After quitting his job of only 3 months, he struggles to find employment, as companies refuse to hire someone who seems unreliable on paper. He claims that the reason behind his resignation is that the company “does not fit his highest potential” when in reality, he couldn’t bear the thought of working for a black company any longer.

So with his reputation in pieces, he walked away from that job and has been struggling ever since. The situation only worsens when his parents cut off his allowance, and he has to fall back on his only other source of income- a part-time job he managed to snag at a mini market.

It is at this point that Yoake enters his life, and offers him a job opportunity, on the condition that he agrees to be a test subject for a scientific experiment first. This experiment involves rejuvenating Kaizaki by 10 years and sending him back to highschool as a student, in order to fix whatever is wrong with his life as well as to provide a chance of enjoying youth again.

Desperate and running out of funds, Kaizaki agrees and signs the contract.

So that was it. He has a year to fix his life and maybe, just maybe, score a job.

Is it worth a watch?

Yes, I would think so. Despite being born from the same source, the live action version of “ReLIFE” is not exactly the same as its anime counterpart. Instead of having 13 episodes to squeeze everything into, the movie version has to work with a trimmer time slot (about 2 hours, if I recall correctly?)- and that means several things have to be changed.

For the first part of the movie, “ReLIFE” pretty much follows the same storyline as its anime counterpart. It then diverges from anime canon, but not so much that it affects the quality of the story. At least in my opinion. The changes they’ve made are reasonable enough that it doesn’t feel too unnatural or out of place in the story, which is something that tends to happen when producers change the storyline in live action or anime shows for whatever reason there may be. Anime/manga fans ought to be especially familiar with this phenomenon.

How many of us have sat through an anime or live action film, feeling incredibly annoyed that the producers have made ridiculous changes to the story? (When I say story, I mean the manga or novel that anime and live action films tend to originate from.)

That aside, other notable changes that can be found in this version of “ReLIFE” is that the more “problematic” undertones in the story have been taken away, probably to keep things light seeing that they’re working on very limited time. Arata’s inner conflict about being much older than his “peers” has been glossed over and ignored, but this change can be forgiven. There is also not as much focus on the identity of Arata’s (Nakagawa Taishi) superior, which is again different from the treatment the character received in the anime.

Another change you can expect is that the main couple of this film enjoys a more “complete” ending. While I do not feel that the decisions made for them to reach that point really make much sense, there is still a sense of closure that fans of this series get to enjoy here as opposed to the anime.

Overall though, I’d say that “ReLIFE” is worth a watch. It’s lighter than the anime, fans of the main couple are definitely in for a treat, and this adaptation is in no way inferior to the anime despite the differences.

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream

After I had run out of Clinique’s All About the Eyes eye cream, I thought it was well about time to try something new. After all, I had already gone through two containers of All About the Eyes; it was high time for me to give something else a go.

And with my current infatuation with Innisfree (not unlike my infatuation with Yamazaki Kento), my next choice was obvious. So without further ado, I fired up my browser and looked into Innisfree’s selection of eye creams. After much deliberation, I decided to give its Orchid Eye Cream 30ml (RM111) a try.

What is it like?

When compared to Clinique’s All About the Eyes, I have to say that in terms of texture, I far prefer Clinique’s. It is just much more convenient than Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream. Precisely how, I will highlight in the following:

Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream is an anti-aging formula that comes with a slightly hard, thick and slippery texture. It is also infused with a floral scent, but this fades quickly enough to be a non-issue. That said, getting enough product on your ring finger can be a bit annoying because it’s not soft enough to instantly grip your skin, but that’s just a minor, nitpicky inconvenience. The real issue is that it can take a while for the cream to be absorbed into your skin; annoying for those who wish to quickly get on to applying their makeup.

But on the bright side, you’d be surprised by just how little of this cream can really go a long way. Honestly, I’ve been using mine for months now, and I haven’t even used 1/4 of it! Not even 1/5. It’s just that incredible.

Packaging

When it comes to beauty products being packaged in containers such as this, there’ll always be concerns for hygiene. Sticking your fingers in there all the time can’t be clean now, can it?

Which is precisely why this eye cream gets points docked off in terms of packaging. That problem aside, this container is recyclable, and that, my friend, is a huge plus.

End result

I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite being much cheaper than Clinique’s All About the Eyes, it was much more effective than the latter. As a result of using this eye cream, the area under my eyes are more moisturised and suffer from less fine lines.

Thank the Lord.

The best part is that, again, a little really goes a long way, so you’re getting a bang for your buck with this. 🙂

Where can I find it?

Innisfree.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 4/5
  • Packaging rating: 3/5
  • Repurchase?: Yes, at some point in the future

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Squalane, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Arbutin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Orchid Extract, Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Adenosine, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 Alcohols, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Arachidyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Palmitic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Polysorbate 20, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Propanediol, Peg-100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disodium Edta, Fragrance.

Anime Review: ReLIFE

Genre: Science fantasy, drama, romance

Episodes: 13

Rating: 7/10

To get another chance at living an easier, more carefree time of your life. That would be ideal, wouldn’t it? No more worrying about searching for a new job, paying the bills, or any of that old, boring, crusty adult stuff.

That’s exactly the deal that 27 year old Kaizaki Arata gets when he meets a mysterious man called Yoake Ryō.

One pop of a magic pill and he’d be rejuvenated by 10 years- which would then allow him to attend highschool all over again. That would be a dream come true for many. Unfortunately, life isn’t an anime, no matter how much we wish it would be.

Luckily for Kaizaki, ReLIFE is one.

So what is ReLIFE exactly about?

If you’ve taken the time to at least keep up with news regarding Japan every now and then, you might have heard of the term “karoshi”, and in turn, the difficulties found in a Japanese working environment.

For those who aren’t aware, “karoshi” is a Japanese word that is defined as death from overwork, or suicide from work-related stress.

As one of the few Japanese entertainment shows to touch upon the subject, I was immediately intrigued. An anime about karoshi? You can bet I’d pay to see that- and I did.

The story starts with a peek at half-NEET Kaizaki Arata’s daily life. After quitting his job of only 3 months, he struggles to find employment, as companies refuse to hire someone who seems unreliable on paper. He claims that the reason behind his resignation is that the company “does not fit his highest potential” when in reality, he couldn’t bear the thought of working for a black company any longer.

So with his reputation in pieces, he walked away from that job and has been struggling ever since. The situation only worsens when his parents cut off his allowance, and he has to fall back on his only other source of income- a part-time job he managed to snag at a mini market.

It is at this point that Yoake enters his life, and offers him a job opportunity, on the condition that he agrees to be a test subject for a scientific experiment first. This experiment involves rejuvenating Kaizaki by 10 years and sending him back to highschool as a student, in order to fix whatever is wrong with his life as well as to provide a chance of enjoying youth again.

Desperate and running out of funds, Kaizaki agrees and signs the contract.

So that was it. He has a year to fix his life and maybe, just maybe, score a job.

Getting a bit too real in here

Despite the obviously fantastical element, ReLIFE does manage to weave in doses of bitter reality in its tale.

The Japanese working environment is not an easy one, and ReLIFE does not hesitate to explore the hardships it possesses. From sexism, power harassment and disregard for life, this anime lays it out on a silver platter. The content is perhaps not as in depth as one might wish it would be, but it does the job nonetheless. And it is through this that one might get the Japanese’ obsession with the highschool genre- things were just much more simple back then, no?

That said, ReLIFE is not without its light-hearted moments. It has plenty of those, especially when Kaizaki struggles to fit in as a student. Having been out of school for so long, the really-a-27-year-old has completely forgotten what he had learned in classes all those years ago. Maths? What the heck is that? The man can’t remember how to solve third year equations for the life of him.

Don’t even get him started on his dilemma with a certain attractive and jarringly familiar girl in his class.

So is ReLIFE worth a watch? I would think so, especially if you’re interested in the subject of karoshi.

The anime retains a fun, easy-going feel despite its darker undertones, and this makes it easier to watch in one go. There is plenty of humour to be had in this, with an amusing cast of characters and their own stories to further colour it.

I look forward to watching Season 2 the conclusion of this series.

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

What is it?

Winner of 22 Global Beauty Awards, Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (RM58) has high expectations placed upon it by all who encounter it. Which may be surprising to some considering its super affordable price.

After all, high price = super quality, doesn’t it?

Not at all in this case.

This 6-in-1 clay mask focuses on the following: pore tightening, sebum control, dead skin cell exfoliating, deep cleansing, and skin complexion improvement through its cooling effect. If you’re not sold on this just yet, then take note that Innisfree claims that it is more effective in controlling sebum than mud and red clay.

Which ought to score a hurrah from combination/oily skin types, but let’s take a look at how well it performs first.

What is it like?

When I first opened the container, I was surprised by how dry the mask looks. I have used my fair share of clay masks by now, and this was the first time I encountered one that was that dry. It wasn’t by any means deprived of all moisture, but it was dry enough that it was somewhat hard to scoop out and apply on my face. The texture is drier and stiffer than what I’m used to, but not enough to put me off. As long as it works, it’s all good, no?

And almost as though to make up for its texture, the mask was surprisingly comfortable to wear. There was some feeling of tightness, but overall, it was just… nice. I didn’t find it uncomfortable in the least.

Washing it off was quite easy too. There was no need for excessive rubbing or even scrubbing; the mask just washes off after a few splashes and wipes.

Packaging

While I do not abhor the idea of masks coming in pots much like this one, it does bring with it the concern of hygiene.

Of course, I always make sure to wash my hands before applying a mask on, but constantly dipping my fingers in the pot to spread more of it on my face… That can’t be clean, right? Right.

I would’ve preferred it if this came in a tube.

End result

It is always a pleasure to find affordable products that deliver results, and this was a feeling I rediscovered the day I decided to give Innisfree a try.

And to date, I honestly can’t think of a single Innisfree product that fits that image more than the Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. Priced at just RM58, I was happily taken aback by how clean my face looked after I washed the mask off.

If that sentence doesn’t make sense, then allow me to elaborate. After I washed the mask off, I found that my pores were smaller, tighter and for the most part, unclogged. That was not all, though. Thanks to the deep cleansing effect of the mask, my skin was also brighter and enjoyed an improvement in texture. It was amazing.

My good experience carried on till the next day as well, because my skin produced much less oil than before. If that’s not a call for me to keep using this baby, then I don’t know what is.

Quick overview

Pros

  • Pores appear smaller and tighter
  • Pores are unclogged; less blackheads and whiteheads
  • Skin texture is improved; it’s brighter and smoother
  • Excellent oil controlling properties
  • Immediate results

Cons

  • Mask texture is a bit stiff
  • Comes in a pot

Where can I find it?

Innisfree.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 4/5
  • Packaging rating: 4/5

Will I repurchase this? Oh, definitely, definitely. For the price and the results it gives, you can bet your bottom ringgit I will.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Volcanic Ash, Silica, Trehalose, Kaolin, Bentonite, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, PVP, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Xanthan Gum, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sorbitan Stearate, Polyacrylate-13, Mannitol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Lactic Acid, Polyisobutene, Menthoxypropanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Polysorbate 20, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.

TV Series Review: Yamada and the Seven Witches

Starring: Yamamoto Yusuke, Nishiuchi Mariya, Triendl Reina, Ide Takuya, Ono Ito, Mamiya Shotaro, Kobayashi Ryoko, Miyama Karen, Kojima Fujiko, Matsui Airi, Takuyama Hidenori, Nagae Yuuki

Genre: Romantic comedy, supernatural

Episodes: 8

Rating: 4/10

Ever since I started attending Japanese language classes, I’ve taken the initiative to watch more Japanese shows that extend beyond anime. Despite having seen a few since then, this will be the first one I’ll be touching on- simply because I suck and had next to no opportunity to write during the time. Perhaps one of these days I’ll write about the rest, because there were quite a few gems in the lot.

Anyway.

After watching so many slice of life films and tv shows, I decided I wanted to try something different. I wanted to see the Japanese’ hand on the fantasy genre. Should be interesting, right?

So, compelled by the eye-catching DVD cover and 3 for RM30 offer, I picked up “Yamada and the Seven Witches”, the live-action version of a manga series by Yoshikawa Miki.

What is it about?

The story starts with the introduction of the two main characters, Yamada Ryū (Yamamoto Yusuke) and Shiraishi Urara (Nishiuchi Mariya).

Yamada is the school delinquent. Much like a good chunk of anime/manga protagonists, Yamada is naive, blunt and as dumb as a sack of bricks. Shiraishi, on the other hand, is a quiet, smart girl who is currently being bullied by her peers.

One day, Yamada and Shiraishi accidentally trip whilst they are walking up a flight up stairs. A rough fall in which they knock into each other and inadvertently have their lips connect is where the string of events that follow begins. This is because after Yamada awakens from his fall, he realises that he’s in Shiraishi’s body, and she his.

They had swapped bodies.

What in the holy Hell?! Panic grips him and he works with her to return to his own body. Unfortunately for Yamada, however, it doesn’t just end there. He soon finds himself in a mind numbing web that involves witches, dastardly schemes and magic.

Time for the nitty gritty

If you’re the sort of person who likes watching shows with actual depth and meaning, you should probably give this one a pass.

Although “Yamada and the Seven Witches” does have its highlights, it is largely a show that runs on a senseless plot that solely depends on fanservice, with the added trait of trying to emulate the immature side of anime/manga as much as possible. It is for the latter reason that “Yamada and the Seven Witches” is rife with over the top reactions, strange logic and bizarre interactions that cannot be found in real life. The characters are, in the simplest term possible, caricatures.

So those who are unfamiliar with the nature of anime/manga will likely find this incredibly off-putting and nonsensical- although to be fair,  older fans of the genre will probably share the sentiment. The main difference is that they would understand why the material is the way it is. It is crack and honestly isn’t meant to be taken seriously.

That is not to say that this eight episode series is a total loss; as mentioned earlier, it does have its strong points.

These strong points are the cast and the light-hearted humour it is injected with. For all of “Yamada and the Seven Witches” faults, the actors and actresses have done no wrong and have simply done their job in giving a good performance. Colourful and vibrant, it is through their work that the series retains some semblance of entertainment value, thank Heavens.

So would I recommend this to anyone who wants anything remotely serious? Definitely not.

But I would recommend this to someone who doesn’t mind spending a lazy Sunday afternoon watching senseless fun and a near endless stream of fanservice.

“Yamada and the Seven Witches”? More like “Yamada and Every Man and Woman on the Planet”.

You get the picture.