Double the surprise

This past weekend marked the 40th Twins Days Festival held annually in Twinsburg, Ohio. I’ve always though being a twin would be cool and¬†had such a fascination with it that much to my older middle brother’s dismay I would sometimes tell people we were twins. (Now that we’re older he doesn’t mind since it’d make him two years younger! ūüôā )¬†Coincidentally¬†a couple¬†of¬†¬†days ago I was watching the documentary AKA Dan which¬†had an unexpected, twist¬†related to twins.

Dan of AKA DanHip-hop artist Dan Matthews was adopted by an American couple as a baby and at age 28¬†decides to find his birth parents in Korea. We get to see such a personal journey as it unfolds, and it’s fascinating and poignant.

Dan seems like a friend as soon as you meet him in the documentary. He’s likable, interesting and seems like hanging out would be fun. It’s funny how documentaries about a person make you feel as if you actually know them in¬†real life.¬†We start off with Dan¬†reading the letter from the adoption agency letting him know they found his parents and, oh by the way, he also has a twin brother. WUUUUTTTTT!!!!

Naturally¬†I was fascinated by the twins featured and the relationship that developed. The documentary is short, only a four episode arc on Dramafever or Hulu. So it doesn’t delve too far into the nature versus nurture, identical twin genes information. You do get to hear from Dan and a set of twins ladies he meets at the¬†Intercountry Adoption Convention in Seoul talk about being raised in different countries from their twins, yet discovering so many similar mannerisms and interests. One of the twin ladies was French, the other American. I would love to know more of their story. Recently I found out that they just released their own documentary called Twinsters.

How cool was it that Dan discovers his twin brother, who grew up with their biological parents in Korea, also raps. We get to hear some tracks from his¬†album Stuntman and see Dan perform. Reality TV has led the viewing public to want to invade people’s space way too much. I found I was curious about so many more things, the aftermath of how everyone ‚ÄĒ his biological parents, sister ‚ÄĒ came to terms with the dad choosing to give one child away and keep only one because they were struggling financially. I spend a good amount of time sobbing along with the birth mom and Dan when they parted at the airport. I was invested in these people I don’t really know. I wanted to know how Dan himself is doing now and if they’ve all stayed in touch.

AKA Dan was an all too brief but good slice of life story about adoption and finding ones roots worth watching.

Kimura Takuya fandom

Kimura Takuya in Ando LloydI’m over two decades late to the party, but I’m now firmly on board with the Kimura Takuya¬†fandom. Along with the other folks¬†in the k-drama watching group, we decided to jump to Japanese drama for a mini break from Korean dramas. We had the option to watch one of¬†¬†three Kimura Takuya TV shows: from his 20s A Sleeping Forest, his 30s Pride, and his 40s Ando Lloyd. We chose Ando Lloyd:¬†AI Knows¬†Love.

Ando Lloyd turned out to be a sci-fi romance and it was entertaining. I think I enjoyed it more because I was watching with a group and the discussions and analysis were interesting. I wouldn’t have stuck with it on my own. It still hasn’t sold me on J-drama. I was happy there was some romance and it wasn’t tragic so that was a win for me. It was nice that there was deeper meaning a than just a sci-fi adventure.

Kadoshiro teddy bear from Ando LloydAnd, hey, I also found a new favorite drama creature¬†‚ÄĒKadoshiro.

As far as making me a solid Kimura Takuya fan, because he played a robot in this, it was difficult for me to see why everyone was drooling about¬†Kimura Takuya. I kept thinking¬† More Kadoshiro Hajime, one of the supporting characters, would have been better. But still there was something about the intensity in Kimura’s eyes that led me to want to see him in something else.¬†Since this Kimutaku in his 40s is a hottie, I decided to check him out in his 30s and watched Pride.

DING, DING, DING, DING!! SOOOOOLD!

Yep, this was the show that placed me firmly into the Kimutaku fandom.

It’s a sports story. It’s a love story. It’s hot, untamable¬†star athlete¬†being “tamed” by ordinary, nice, office-worker girl. The whole soundtrack is Queen music. Queen! He has a friend named Hotta. What could be hotta than that? Okay, I know. ¬†Ignore that. Kimura as Halu by episode 5 half confessing to Aki on a bridge in the first snowfall.¬†*heart*

***SPOILERS***

Halu smilingHalu. Oh Halu you heartbreaker. Full confession and lovemaking all in episode 6. BOOM! By episode 7 I was already steeling myself for heartbreak, because this rosy pink love was ripe to be hijacked by the past. Sure enough Aki’s¬†mothafucker absentee boyfriend (M.I.A. for 2¬†years) shows up right as Halu is about to say “game over,” move in with me to Aki on their favorite bridge. All I could do now was hang on until¬†ep. 10 or 11 when we all¬†can finally say game over, love on.

My biggest complaint with Pride was focusing entirely on Hotta and Yuri in ep. 5 and Aki totally losing her mind in her decision-making toward the end. And the case of¬†last centuryitis that Halu and Aki caught one evening. I mean sure this show was made in 2004, but cell phones were pretty widespread at this point. They waited outside each¬†other‚Äôs homes all night, but no one thought to just use their cell phone to call and say, “Where you at, yo?”

I was on a roll after Pride. Trying to consume whatever I could find of Kimura Takuya. I started A Sleeping Forest and promptly put that freaky thing on hold. Then watched Long Vacation a quirky Noona romance when Kimutaku was in his 20s. I followed that with Love Generation another 20-something romance, this time featuring a love/hate OTP relationship. Both were okay, but neither rose to the level of carving out a special place in my heart like Pride did.

Love Generation certainly had some memorable moments. One featured the brother of Kimura’s character, Teppei. His older brother is about to marry Teppei’s ex-girlfriend from high school. But, he’s having an affair with a woman from his past that has Yakuza ties. And boy is she a cuckoo bird especially when older brother tries to break up with her. She turns into crazy stalker of him and fianc√©.¬†And just when I thought this lady was crazy enough,¬†she pulls out what I think is a switchblade to stab him. Okay, but no, it’s actually either a permanent red Sharpie or lipstick and starts writing¬†on his¬†chest goodbye in Japanese.

What I remember most about both of these dramas is Kimura was always running, running, running everywhere all the time. And he was so young. And seems to specialize in playing the awkward, almost nerdy guy. Except in Pride.

He must be good for me to watch shows that aren’t in HD. My brother was right. Once you go widescreen, HD or retina display, you never go back. But for Kimutaku I did.¬†And now I’m fangirling¬†all over the place. Considering my usual group is k-drama focused, I even had to find another group that focused on Asian dramas that aren’t Korean, but I probably need one specific to Kimutaku.

I started his current drama I’m Home, but my Korean drama watching groups suddenly got busy with several really good shows so it’s on pause for now, too. But I’ll definitely go back. It has an interesting premise. I recommend watching Pride and Ando Lloyd. If you can handle shrill female leads then go ahead and try Long Vacation and Love Generation, but they’re skippable unless you are truly a new fan.