Extravagant Challenge (Skip Beat! Live Action) – 03 Impression
ARGH! I had spent an hour writing a review in a 30 degrees room without air conditioning or a fan and wordpress had conveniently decided to delete my post! I hate it when that happens. As such, this will now be a short review instead of a long one as I would get a heat stroke if I were to spend another hour rewriting the post with a blanket over me (yes, i am using a blanket despite it being 30 degrees as a 60 degrees laptop would burn my leg otherwise).
After slightly over 3 hours into the series, we are finally shown Gong Xi’s official acceptance into the Love Me department of LME.
It had definitely taken a long time to get to this point, but what’s more interesting to note, is the change in Du Helian’s voice actor.
Although I am not sure who had replaced Kunda as the voice actor for Lian’s character, the change in the voice actor had definitely helped with the series. Replacing Kunda’s boyish voice is a new voice actor with a deeper tone to his voice. This is definitely a step-up as Lian now sounds more mature than before and commands a stronger presence. Although I am not entirely happy with the voice, as there is something that just doesn’t sit right with me, I hope that this is the last change that the series plans on making, as a constant change in the voice actor would compromise the believability of the series and the atmosphere of everything. And as you probably all know, having to dubbed a few characters is already a big enough issue in my mind.
Since I am talking about Lian, I might as well continue on. There is something about Lian’s character that feels kinda out of character for me. I know that Lian is meant to be strict and all, but one of the biggest part of his original character was the fact that he hides all of his emotions behind a gentlemanly mask. Yet here, Lian comes across as being really direct and we had only managed to see that “fake” side of him emerge towards the end of the episode when explaining the Love Me department to Gong Xi.
As I had mentioned, to make it short, I shall bullet point what I have to say…
- I had definitely enjoyed the more down-to-earth approach of this episode as it took on a more sentimental note whilst focusing on the effect Gong Xi’s relationship with Shang had on her. Instead of last episode’s foolishness, this version had definitely entertained me more as one is able to understand and accept her attitude.
- The appearance of the stone!
I am glad that the stone had finally made an appearance and I can’t wait for more flashbacks on the past. =D Hopefully it wouldn’t be a long wait before we are shown the Corn and Gong Xi’s past. I am curious to see who would act as Corn 😉
- It was good to be able to see Lian being placed in a comical situation. I had loved it when Gong Xi had reached through the television to strangle Lian. That was the first time Gong Xi notices that Lian treats her differently from the others. I am eager to see how the writers plan on developing this as I doubt that the progress between Lian and Gong Xi would be as slow as in the manga simply due to the medium that it is on. Hopefully we would get to see the rivalry between Shang and Lian as they fight over Gong Xi’s affections.
The things I had an issue with:
- Lory’s office.
Now that was ridiculous. It wasn’t extravagant at all. Instead, it had felt odd and out of place. Why would someone, who is all about being extravagant and over-the-top, have only a couple of expensive pieces whilst leaving the rest of the HUGE space empty? I would have rather the look of the place mimic the extravagance of Gackt’s (popular Japanese artist) bedroom as that is what I call being extravagant. That man had build a water feature in his bedroom simply so he wouldn’t have to buy too many humidifiers. Now that is something I would have expected Lory to do.
- Shang’s inability to recognise Gong Xi at the petrol kiosk.
When I had first read it in the manga, it had felt somewhat absurd. As such, I am glad that at least the drama had attempted to fix the situation by having Shang wear highly tinted sunglasses. (Although I did find it a bit odd how crazy tinted the glasses are. Since I am no sunglass expert I shall refrain from commenting too much on it.)
- The kiosk scene with the wrench.
I know that that segment was meant to be over-the-top and probably unbelievable, but the acting in that scene was really quite terrible. Shang’s part wasn’t as big an issue for me as Gong Xi’s part was. It was quite obvious that Gong Xi had reacted way too early and even before the wrench was even near her face. Thus far, I have loved all the acting in the show (except for the fact that Lian’s character feels stiff) so that scene had pretty much felt like a let down.
- Taisho and his wife (The restaurant owners)
Say what? Cosplaying?
Okay, so this is probably not an issue for those who haven’t seen any other version of the Skip Beat story, but the whole cosplaying thing that destroyed Taisho’s character for me. Instead of the strict and fatherly persona that I had envisioned, he now comes across as being that plus a perverted old man. =_=” Hell, his costume felt like it was made for Lory’s character and not him.
- The CGI
This episode had an overabundance of that. Although the CGI is not really an issue (as it has managed to grow on me), I don’t see it as being a positive thing either since most of the scenes had felt like they were simply there to waste time and add some comedy value to the show.
Overall, this episode had entertained me more than the last due to it’s less foolish and more “normal” observation of Kyoko’s character. And instead of being repetitive, this episode had manage to cover quite a bit of Gong Xi’s character development. All I can hope for is that the next episode would be good as this was as that scene is what I have been looking forward to since the start of the series – the first time we get to see Gong Xi acting.
Episode Rating: 7/10
(Needs an aircon that works. Any suggestions on how to keep cool?)