Calvin Chen, Ehlo Huang, Jacky Chu, Leon Jay Williams, Sweety, Taiwanese Entertainment, Zhao Jun Ya

2020 Recap

Okay, it’s over but, of course, we would be deceiving ourselves if we think that would mean all the troubles of the previous year were gone by some magic barrier of time or something. So, I’m just going to recap all of the positivity that happened this past year. Because there was enough of the bad news already, right?

First off, Qiaoru announced their happy news at the beginning of the year. Many friends and fans sent them well-wishing. It was indeed a shocker to some, but all in all, it was a piece of hopeful news for the beginning of the year. (Click here for specific translations of the news.) Oh yeah, for all Qiaoru fans who stuck it through, we got bragging rights, eh? LOL! (Kidding!)

Then right on April Fool’s Day, Ehlo chose that eventful day to tell us that he got married like in 2018 already. Congrats to him for dodging the paparazzi for so long. Leave it up to him to announce it on his birthday, right? Ehlo’s wife is Cai Yi Zhi (蔡ㄧ支). According to her profiles, she’s from Hawaii, but I can’t confirm other information, lol. They’re sooo cute, by the way. I saw some of the interactions he posted and I laughed so hard. They’re a match made in heaven all right. Also, they’re one of those people who created an Instagram account for their dog. Not judging, lol. I enjoyed the posts, lol. They adopted the dog in 2019—according to the profile information and named her Bao Zhu (寶珠). The funniest thing was that Jacky had called Ehlo “Yu Rong Ge” in his congratulation clip to the blissful couple. I know we all know Jacky’s younger than Ehlo. But for Jacky to not try and gain an upper hand with Ehlo? Was it the effects of 2020? Or because I missed something?

By June, news broke that Ming Dao had become a father. He, of course, got married already. He also hid it well from the paparazzi. Team 183 Club 2, Paparazzi 0. To be honest, I didn’t know about the news either. But Leon posted a congratulations message on his page, so I went hunting for news, lol. I went to stalk the other 183 Club members too and they also congratulated Ming Dao, of course. Jacky even bragged about how his prediction came true that Ming Dao was the first one to have a kid. Anyway, Ming Dao got married in 2019. His wife is Wang Ting Xuan (王婷萱). She was a member of a band called KISS. I went and searched around a bit and saw that the group disbanded already. Oh yeah, to be fair, the paparazzi did catch them before and asked if they were dating and they replied that they were just friends, lol. I’m all for people who deceive the paparazzi. So, my previous declaration about the scores stands. Regardless, congrats to them once again!

Aside from those, Jun Ya launched his YouTube channel to share his various adventure trips called Sergeant Will Take You There, which was a reference to his role in Rookies’ Diary. (It was a while back but I just didn’t have time to go check it out yet.) They’re both informative and fun to watch. For example, there was a segment where he filmed with some of his close friends, which included Ehlo, Derek Chen, Kurt Chou, Kai Hsu, and Liang Zhe. (Click here, here, and here to check out the clips.) What was really funny about the first clip was them performing the intro to “Enticing Trick.” The final reveal was Ehlo because he had his back to the camera initially. It was a funny one because they messed up on the band’s name when they tried to introduce themselves. Derek scolded them for getting it wrong. It was hilarious and brought back a lot of fond memories of 183 Club in general. Also, it was really funny that when they introduced themselves, they were disclosing their heights. Kurt even disclosed his weight. Derek made a comment about how he should just disclose all his measurements as well, lol. (Probably hinting at how they would disclose their measurements during beauty contests, lol.) What got everyone hysterical was how Ehlo said he was an actual member of the 183 Club band, but he was only 178 cm. (Again, I love him! But that was hilarious!) Everyone picking on Kai because he was the youngest, lol. Not really, but Jun Ya was making a comment about him being young and being able to beat the challenge, lol. Hey, it wasn’t like Kai was going to take it from them, because he called them “elders” at various points of the segment. (Click here if you want to watch the whole challenge at one go from Kai’s channel. Since it’s his channel, he would be the main narrator of the clip. Also, he misplaced his GoPro during the third waterfall jump and had to go back and retrieve it later. If you watch Jun Ya’s version, you couldn’t tell the difference except there was a pause and they were yelling about it and weren’t able to find it. He went back later with another diver and they managed to locate it at last but, of course, since the GoPro sank already, he wasn’t able to record some of the later events after his own jump.) The weather was cold the time they were there hence their jackets. Jun Ya disclosed Ehlo’s marital status in the second clip, but I guess if anyone who watched wasn’t paying attention, they didn’t realize it or thought the guys were joking. This clip was loaded in December 2019, so it was before Ehlo announced it in April. (Someone has a bigger mouth than Jacky, lol.) Anyway, those were really fun episodes to watch and I won’t spoil it anymore. So enjoy!

Regarding YouTube channels, Derek Chen had launched his awhile back (Xiao Lie’s Cook Show) but I didn’t bother updating so this is a back update for several of them. It’s a cooking channel, mostly, and the first video was loaded six years ago, but I think he either forgot about it or the circumstances of last year hence him getting back into it more actively. (Go here if you want to check it out.) He and Jun Ya are actually closer than some of the others so there was another outing that they did together. (Go here for Derek’s version, here for Jun Ya’s version, and here for Xiao Fei’s version. The other guy talking during the challenge is Xiao Fei, he has his own channel also. They were doing another cross show. It was another fun watch.) Anyway, I remember a clip that Jun Ya shared like awhile back and how passionate Derek was about cooking and his pro tips. So both guys not only shared their adventurous side but also their cooking skills. Jun Ya referred to Derek as “Chef” on many occasions, so it was his own acknowledgment of Derek’s talent. (Of course, it was so obvious that Derek did most of the cooking during their waterfall challenges, and how on one occasion, the guys were all agreeing on how Derek had to survive or they would starve, lol.)

Jun Ya’s cousin, Henry, also launched his YouTube channel to teach English with his daughters called Learning With Henry. There was an episode where they did a crossover with Jun Ya and it was really funny. (Go here for Henry’s version and here for Jun Ya’s version.) What’s the difference between the versions? Henry’s focused on the English part while Jun Ya focused on the journey outside. Jun Ya’s nieces were so cute though, lol. Their sass was also top-notch, especially the questions, lol. Then I wondered if they got influenced by their father or Jun Ya’s attitude at times, lol. Anyway, not to troll but it was supposed to be teaching English after all, they spelled “sergeant” wrong. They were several other mistakes also, but I think overall, the humorous take of various local cultures was worth it. You learn more about Taiwan if you didn’t know before. Oh yeah, Henry apologized for his terrible singing at one point and then proceeded to end the episode with more terrible singing, lol.

I think the rest of the year sort of deteriorated to the point that I didn’t bother to keep up anymore although I did follow some projects that some people were working on. Yet once again, I want to keep this post on the positive side, so I will stop at that. I would also want to save the drama-related news for future updates.

Side-Note: I will not be doing tags update for this year since my lack of updates for last year sort of said a lot that they barely moved.

*Images Credit: from the Facebook pages of Calvin Chen, Joanne Tseng, Ehlo Huang, Leon Jay Wiliams

General

Fan Fiction: Critiquing Your Own Stories

Years ago when I was still active on Winglin and other online communities, there was an explosion of different authors and readers alike coming out with websites or their own page to critique different fan fiction authors. Whether it was to help the authors improve their writing techniques or just something fun to do, it was quite an experience. I never submitted my stories to any of those websites but found them intriguing because I learned of how an author’s perspective could be versus how readers see it. It’s so obvious for everyday, published authors to go through this process. But at that time when I started posting my stories online, it was a new experience for me and it opened my eyes to some levels.

So, what’s the point of this post, right? Especially when I’ve been lagging soooo much on stories. This is an attempt to get back into it. Because the following will be an activity like the title said. I’m going to have fun and critique all the fanfictions I’ve ever written. Yes, I won’t leave anything untouched. But before I do, here’s a disclaimer for those who haven’t read the stories yet (so don’t say I didn’t warn you):

NOTE: The following contains spoilers (obviously from the title), SO if you haven’t read my stories yet, DO NOT proceed.

The beginning of the story had great potential and felt refreshing. It paved a nice and peaceful picture and a hopeful feeling because it described the two major characters’ feelings and goals in life. The humorous exchanges between several characters led readers to believe it would be a fun story. Although it had some typical formula of a small-town family with the scenic backdrop to pave the way, there was some mystery with various characters that readers could look forward to exploring. All in all, it paved a promising picture.

The problem with this story was that it was too wordy. It was one of my first attempts at writing fanfiction so it got so messy with descriptions. It didn’t take into account “show instead of telling” so it felt flaky and corny. In addition, because there was a setback with the last few chapters so it dived into the morbid side without intending to in the first place. It completely took away from the main plot and its lighthearted feeling that was established in the first place. A bad call. Like the feeling when the writers totally gave up and just wanted to end it already like how I often criticize them, lol. Also, the feeling of the celebs chosen was so random and unorganized, like lumping a bunch of people together just because. It felt like a test run.

Heaven’s Gift

The setting at the beach at the beginning of the story was promising and lighthearted. It presented a typical picture yet also let readers see a glimpse into each major character’s personality with a dash of humor. It seemed like they didn’t change much over the years, except for the circumstances around them. Light humor continued to occupy the scene, paving the story and pushing the major characters together–or apart–as time went by. There were some surprising details to the plot but it lacked some details here and there, not allowing the full potential of the plot to be explored.

HIDE & SEEK

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Honey In Tea

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Neurotic

Like some other stories, it started out describing the scenery and then introducing the characters. The weather, once again, like some other stories, gave hints to what the plot was going to be like. There was some side humor but just subtle, not too much. It was saying like the story meant business and it was no time to joke around, not really.

It was an interesting concept although it didn’t take in a lot of rules of sci-fi and went off the rails regarding technicalities. However, what made up for it was the layout of the major characters. It kept consistent and featured three female leads. What broke the rule for the third one was leading into a happier, hopeful ending than was predicted. It also gave more character and depth to one of the so-called villains and even allowed for that person to redeem himself and had a start over.

Payback

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Scheming Nature

This was a typical setup of two pairings that were living on the opposite side of society. They met and interacted and somehow became entangled in a complex scheme. It provided a sense of mystery to the overall story and made the readers want to know what was to come and where the story was heading toward. The ending was a bit of an unknown, especially after the intense confrontations between two of the major characters and how it went down. However, it proved to be going on a typical route with allowing all problems to be resolved in a more favorable manner.

This story attempted to mock the life of gangsters and how it was supposed to be yet failed because, in the end, it was equally cliche and was corny in a sense of allowing some bizarre details to come into play. Although having the theme of gang-related activities as the backdrop for the plot, it failed to achieve its intended effect because of the halfway compromise of the mood as an overall. Sometimes, it edged toward the side of intensity or darkness that could push past the barriers of safety but it was shy of making it into something much more.

Slanted Thoughts

The story started out really random, bordering childishness because of the constant fights between two of the major characters. However, it evolved into a sadder story because of what happened at the end. Although it attempted to resurrect the atmosphere with some side humor, the plot never recovered with the happiness felt at the beginning of the story. It was later explained in the second part why it was so and eventually leading the plot into a darker path than was originally intended to–or so it seemed when compared to the beginning of the first part. What the plot lacked severely was the explanation and more details into a certain mysterious organization that impacted some characters’ lives so many years and ongoing. Some of the undertones provided a hint about how they were a big deal and were not to be messed with. Yet it failed to back up the claim as the story went along and eventually wrapped up. It also never explained why Tammy’s character had so much impact on what Wallace’s life was going to be and yet left him alone after he had apparently restored his memories. Or was it because it was to emphasize how scary he was if he returned to his past self? Or because the organization didn’t care how things turned out and that it was only important they kept everything a secret? Some things were never answered.

Slicing Boundary

This was a fun read, at least at the beginning. Sure, there were childish humor and constant competition between the two siblings–or so readers thought as it was with typical siblings rivalry. However, it took a dark turn, killing a major character unnecessarily. Was that an attempt to be overdramatic? Or was it because the writer just decided to give up and end it that way?

The Business

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The Dating Game

The story seemed really random but that wasn’t a bad thing. It hinted potential with so many major characters involved and how each was at a different point in their lives. It was fascinating to see how they all met and would become important–one way or another–in each other’s lives. The story shifted between humor and intensity and back again. Yet always managed to push the plot forward, introducing new characters or circumstances into their lives and how they would react to those situations.

Although the cast was so extended that it provided an outlet for many story arches yet because it was so crowded that it didn’t allow for a focus on some characters. Also, some of the characters had suffered from the inconsistency of personality, except for the main characters. It also created an unrealistic atmosphere with so many of their gatherings and their strong bonds over the years. It could be both good and bad but mostly it was unrealistic. Not to mention how ridiculously meddlesome most of them were of one another’s lives. The occasional stalking of various parties was equally bizarre.

The Other Extreme

The first scene already gave a snapshot of what the story was going to be about and how the dark mood predicted the inevitable ending for some characters. The weather foreshadowed a lot of the scenes that were to come for the story. The layout wasn’t bad yet the constant side randomness and humor involving the characters downplayed the overall theme for the majority of the story. It was actually character-based and not plot-based like it should have been. The lack of information on both gang’s background made it hard to relate and didn’t allow for more interest toward that side of the story. It became a wannabe gangster story because it didn’t say how or why they were fighting or fleeing for their lives. It was only covered briefly at the beginning of how both sides had been fighting since forever yet never revealed the real reason why.

Tri-Visual

The storytelling style was strange yet intriguing. It made readers want to read more and find out what was going on and what was the deal with these characters. Or if they could get out from the current prison they were in. However, there were only glimpses here and there and some side details of the characters. They could have been extended to a much more complex story.

True Friendship

This story started out introducing the main characters right away and hinted at their established relationship and how it would come into play later on. The story began lighthearted with some side humor and then took a more serious turn as the characters acknowledge much more complex issues surrounding their lives. In some sense, the story allowed the characters to face reality with a hard punch. But in other sense, it felt a little dramatic and forced. Yet the story was still written a dialed down sort of way, like some subtlety of daily life happenings that could edge toward blandness but jumped back with a kick to tell us that reality will strike again. It was a mixture of complexity and simplicity. It had this balance and one tip of the scale would lead the story spiraling away.

When Wishes Come True

The story introduced some promising aspects, such as the story being told from the main character’s point of view. There were also inspirational quotes involved. So that sort of gave a feeling of a legit book. However, it took a shaky turn and ended up being a typical high school, mean girl type of war. There were some interesting ideas but the execution was terrible and the plot dull. If at all, that was.

Winds & Rain

Extremely disappointing because it seemed like an attempt to crank out something that involved the two main characters. It seemed like an unfinished story and didn’t involve a lot of details. It would have been better to wait for some sort of idea to come forth before continuing with the story. It should have been a one-shot, then it would make more sense.

Conclusion

So, aside from being random for this post, what’s the point here? Of all the stories I’ve written, I only liked True Friendship. Yes, that sad. I took it slow and made it through without feeling like I needed to rush anything or wanted to write to please readers. It wasn’t like I didn’t add in random conversations or some bizarre humor. The story had both. But what was different was how the two main characters didn’t end up together but also didn’t downplay their relationship throughout. It acknowledged some of the more realistic aspects of life, even if it didn’t allow for the story to cover all. I did get stuck on it at one time but the time spent thinking about the plot as an overall and side brainstorming, it had allowed me to change the ending for the better, at least to me.

I also realized some things about my writing styles. Well, I already realized it for a while now but here’s an outright confession, lol. Some characters, especially the main ones, tend to fall into one formula. So I think that’s something to take into account to try to make it different in the future. Or least mix it up a bit.

If anyone noticed, I think I got influenced by Gu Long and Jin Yong at times, lol. No jokes. Sad, but I read those two a lot so I got influenced, especially with describing sceneries and stuff. But of course, I couldn’t go to their level. Not yet. The reason I said “not yet” is because I at least want to reserve some hope that one day I could reach another level. Or like find my own styles. For now, just recognizing the flaws is enough.

So that’s the fun post. More to come in the future, hopefully.

NOTE: This post will be updated from time to write as I add more stories to my blog or finish the current ones.

Ehlo Huang, Taiwanese Entertainment, Tony Sun, Zhao Jun Ya

Xiao Qiao's Wedding

Last weekend was actually Xiao Qiao’s wedding. I previously saw pictures but was confused since aside from her pictures, others didn’t post anything. I thought I misunderstood or it was for a show. But then last weekend’s updates clarified everything and it was very exciting.

The majority of the J-Star family came to support and celebrate with her. In fact, the other members of the 7 Flowers were her bridesmaids. The best men were Johnny Yan and Sam Wang from 183 Club and GINO from K-One. From other pictures, there were other pairings as well.

Of course, there were also other non-J-Star members who came.

Liang Zhe was seen next to Ehlo at the reception.

Jun Ya, Derek Chen, and Ada Pan posed together at one point.

My favorite one must be of Doris and Sam, lol. Because she said the “before picture” was closer to their real-life selves. She paired with Sam so Johnny and Jade were paired together (just like some past events).

Anyway, it was a huge event yet was also heartwarming in many ways and brought back memories for those previously following J-Star events. And I only posted up some pictures from the people I do follow so I don’t know the rest of the details. Also, some people I follow didn’t post up pictures so I wasn’t sure if they were there or not.

*Images credit: Joyce Zhao, Doris Lai, Sam Wang, Ehlo Huang, GINO Tsai, Tony Sun, Derek Chen, and Zhao Jun Ya

Denny Tang Feng, Enson Chang, Jacky Chu, Rookies' Diary, Taiwanese Entertainment, Zhang Xin Yu, Zhao Jun Ya

Rookies’ Diary: Favorite Character(s)

This is like WAY overdue by now since I first planned it in 2011. YES, that long ago. But I guess better late than never. I initially wanted to list all characters and then discussed them before wrapping up with saying who my favorite characters are. Yet I couldn’t really do it now since I have practically forgotten about half of the characters already, especially part 2 since I couldn’t even remember some of them, except for the ones I really liked. So I’m going to list the ones that I like and actually remember.

Li Xing Wen (李興文) – Ding Hao (丁浩)/ Đinh Hạo. A very strict yet effective leader. He seemed fierce yet he also cared for his soldiers’ well-being. He often encouraged new ideas yet also warned others to be cautious of all actions, especially how he had advised An Bang many times throughout. Considering how he had been in a similar situation in the past and wouldn’t want the same incident to happen again. The actor sure delivered and I have no complaint about him.

Yao Yuan Hao (姚元浩) – Sun An Bang (孫安邦)/ Tôn An Bang. Very, very tough with his routine and was a no-nonsense type of guy. However, his only weakness was caving into his younger brother’s attitude. He later learned to loosen up among others, not just for the sake of his younger brother but had managed to learn how to interact and get along with others. His role was beyond cool if you didn’t watch BTS. I think BTS sort of ruined it for me yet at the same time showed the hardworking attitude of cast members. Because in the BTS, it showed that he NG’ed so much that Tang Feng got impatient and yelled at him. I’m sure Tang Feng was kidding though, but it was indeed a riot to watch with how the cool, fierce dude wasn’t so cool anymore.

Fu Zi Chun (傅子純) – Yang Hai Sheng (楊海生)/ Dương Hải Sanh. Very funny and such a smooth talker. A smart-aleck but wasn’t too hateful with his way. Initially, a player and could flirt with any girl. Yet since he met Yu Ting, he had changed somewhat of his way so one could see his sincerity. Of course, he can’t be too serious or it would be too boring for his character, lol. But it was convincing to see how he had proved to Yu Ting he was serious about her, not just a casual date or two to show off some sort of record. His most admirable characteristics must be his righteousness and his loyalty to his friends. It made him heroic in that sense.

Tang Feng (唐豐) – Luo Gang (羅剛)/ La Cương. Could be quite hot-headed at times but definitely righteous in many ways. Growing up with such a harsh childhood, it was hard to blame him. He was also quite gifted in different areas too, but again, his hot-headedness got in the way of his path. He could be funny and was seen joking around at times with the others when he was finally accepted within the group. (Or after the misunderstandings were resolved.) And although I sympathized with him on many things, eventually I was tired of watching some of his side dramas. I felt that I liked him better with the guys joking around or competing for the sake of the training than seeing him morbid all the time. Or maybe I didn’t like seeing Tang Feng in depressing roles or moody situations, lol. NOT sure, but yeah.

Liu Xiang Ci (劉香慈) – Wang Sheng Nan (王勝男) / Vương Thắng Nam. A tough character. Both intelligent and daring, she was a convincing heroine. She was a hardworking person and didn’t care for anyone’s senseless gestures. Yet she was also caring toward the soldiers in her own way. That didn’t mean she spared them the rod either.

Pang Yong Zhi (龐庸之) aka Ah Pang (阿龐) – Yu Shan Ren (余善仁)/ Dư Thiện Nhân. He could be silly, unreasonable, senseless, and a pervert–among many other random bits. But what was admirable about him was he was able to keep to his word. Not a tattle-teller, especially that one disagreement with Luo Gang. He also was willing to keep one eye closed for some people as see fit, especially that one time when he sided with Yang Hai Sheng when YHS was picking on Xiao De Ji.

Hao Zi (浩子) – Cai Hao Zhi (蔡浩志)/ Thái Hạo Chí. Mixture of seriousness and silliness, depending on the situation. He was just one of those guys that add to the list of crazy characters.

Ah Xiang (阿翔) – Qiu You Shun (邱有順)/ Khâu Hữu Thuận. There was more of a plot going on for him since he was having some very harsh times with the financials and that had caused some misunderstandings and obstacles throughout. Yet he wasn’t all bad. It was just that he wasn’t in a situation to joke so lightly like others–even if it looked like he didn’t care.

Novia Lin Ruo Ya (林若亞) – Qiu Jing Wen (邱靖雯)/ Khâu Tĩnh Văn. She didn’t appear much, but she was the typical gentle and kind medic. She was also able to joke at times, not too one dimensional or boring. Yes, she could be so naive at times or seemed clueless, like that one time she got lost. But it wasn’t pathetic. It was somewhat cute in a way.

Zhao Jun Ya (趙駿亞) – Wang Wei (王威)/ Vương Uy. A mixture of serious and silliness yet was different from the randomness of others in here. He seemed cold-blooded or cool on the outside yet his caring for others was undeniable. He was seen helping the new recruits straighten up at the beginning somewhat, and later joined in on some of the recruit’s craziness as well. The difference between him and Shan Ren was his ability to distinguish between professional and personal matters. On top of that, he was quite hardworking, because he was also seen studying at various points of the show to enter the special training and programs, etc. He was quite ambitious but wasn’t bragging about it at all.

Derek Chen De Lie (陳德烈) – Lin Bo Wen (林博文)/ Lâm Bác Văn. Funny at times yet could be depressing at others. Sure, I like Derek Chen, but only like the character when he was joking around with Hai Sheng, not with the whole Tian Xin thing. It was driving me insane, to say the least.

Ye Jia Yu (葉家妤) – Zheng Yu Ting (鄭玉婷)/ Trịnh Ngọc Đình. A teacher. She was not only cute and pretty but was also quite witty as well. She was seen in constant banter with Hai Sheng. The two were sure a match made in heaven with their arguments, lol. She wasn’t just the typical naive girl though since I said she was seriously witty. She was quite grounded, like the majority of the characters in here.

Debbie Huang Di Jun (黃荻鈞) – Jin Bi Ying (金碧瑩)/ Kim Bích Oánh. At first, I found her quite interesting and couldn’t wait to see how they might cover some other stuff with her being a higher authority figure. However, she sort of lost ground when it was only focused on her crush on An Bang, etc.

Qian Jun Zhong (錢君仲) – Ye Da Tong (葉大同)/ Diệp Đại Đồng. Hilarious at times and just plain silly at others. From the start, we know he tried to dodge from having to serve by coming up with different schemes. After he failed, he had no choice but to do as told. Yet he was driving others insane, especially Shan Ren.

Xia Zheng Feng (夏政峰) – Wu Yong (吳勇)/ Ngô Dũng. Probably the most talented among all the side characters. ‘Cause he was seen knowing a lot of stuff too. His vast knowledge of the jungle and his other side tips shaped his character quite well. Although he was clueless around girls, that only made it funnier and realistic as well, considering how they couldn’t all be pros, lol. He was indeed younger than some of the guys in here so it made sense. He also had a knack for singing and rapping with the others so all of those traits made his character stood out as well.

Lin Dao Yuan (林道遠) – Lai Hu (賴虎)/ Lại Hỗ. I don’t know. I just can’t like him that much. NOT because of what happened at the end. Since I’d already gone past that. Considering how now I finally revisit the characters, it had faded with the other thing. But I just found his character as quite unnecessary as some others in here. Perhaps, it was more enjoyable seeing him joking around with others and the whole F4 craziness, but aside from that, his character alone was just annoying in some ways. Well, it added to the realistic of the military since not everyone was as hardworking there, but it was just pushing my patience too much at times. Yet I think Lin Dao Yuan did a good job with the character since he’s actually really, really smart outside. (I remember watching this one game show years back, it was impressive.)

Pan Bo Xi (潘柏希) – Shi Jun (石俊)/ Thạch Tuấn. The poor guy that was trying to get acknowledgment from his father. I really felt his frustration with trying to prove to his father that he could do it. He was working so hard, having endured so much pressure yet the father just plain shrugged it off like it was nothing. On top of that, he was being gang-bullied by Xiao De Ji and the others. It was just plain madness. I really enjoyed his storytelling from time to time from his diary though. What was really admirable about him was his loyalty to others and although he realized how he had to work harder than some others in here yet he wasn’t envious of them. He’d even seen it as a challenge or took them in as role models to work harder.

Ah Gan (阿 竿) – Chen Tian Bin (陳添彬)/ Trần Thiêm Bân. Seriously funny and could be a riot. He was smart and was a smart mouth at first yet learned to mingle with the others later.

Tang Zhen (唐臻) – Yan Xiao Rou (嚴小柔)/ Nghiêm Tiểu Nhu. Sooooo cute. I just loved watching her clumsy moments in here. She was probably the only naive character on the female side here. Although the others were young too, she believed in a lot of stuff that the other girls didn’t, lol. It was a riot. But I guess cute in her own way, not too exaggerating.

Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu (張芯瑜) aka Xiao Xiao Yu (小小瑜) – Ye Xiao Yan (葉曉燕)/ Diệp Hiểu Yến. Cute and hilarious. She could be so mean, but it wasn’t her fault. NOT exactly, lol. Seeing her getting into some bicker with the others was funny. And for this character, XXY got to show off her swimming skills at various points so it wasn’t all lost. Then she got to sing for the soundtrack too so that was fun.

Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) – Xu Jia Cheng (許家成)/ Hứa Gia Thành. He didn’t appear much but was a promising character. He was seen at odds or having conflicting views with Sun An Bang. However, he agreed to help them later regarding An Bang’s case so he wasn’t all hostile. It was just that he was a doctor so he didn’t like seeing the strict ways An Bang was enforcing with the recruits.

Ricky Jiang Jun Han (江俊翰) – Chen Zhan Hong (陳展鴻)/ Trần Triển Hồng. Tough and no-nonsense type of guy. He was a strong leader and was convincing in that area.

Enson Chang/ Zhang Yan Ming (張雁名) – Tang Kai Yu (湯凱宇)/ Thang Khải Vũ. Like I said in the other post, it was such a shame that he wasn’t able to appear more because of the accident. The little bits of his character made me really liked him more, and he was like a breath of fresh air among all those new authoritative figures who were already so intense.

Okay, the others I didn’t list or had to erase because I could no longer remember, LOL! Too bad, but I didn’t want to go back and dig it up. But who are the top 5? Well, I have to divide into two groups, for guys and girls, since there are seriously too many characters. I would say my top 5 for the guys would be Yu Shan Ren, Wang Wei, Yang Hai Sheng, Wu Yong, and Shi Jun. Many might be shocked why I didn’t pick Luo Gang, although I claimed to be a Tang Feng fan. It wasn’t because of how the ending turned out with the triangles or whatever else. It was more like I said that it was too much to bear with his background and all. It sort of faded for me over time. It was also because I liked him more with others than his individual character. Sure, I acknowledged he was awesome throughout and a powerful character–and had enjoyed his performances during different trials a lot. But put aside all his talents, there wasn’t much to go on for me. It sure was a tough decision in dropping him, but I didn’t want to put him in just because of Tang Feng. Shi Jun seemed like the weakest link at times, aside from Bo Wen (lol), but I felt his story was intriguing aside from the constant bullying and the frustration of watching him enduring all the pressures from his father. His story could be elaborated in part 2 if they had decided on that route. But perhaps it wasn’t Pan Bo Xi’s time yet since most of the focus was on the other members of the cast, even some of the ones I didn’t care for got to participate in the soundtrack and much more. In a way, I was glad I held back on this post because I felt I could finally stand back to observe without the bias of because a favorite person portrayed a character, I had to pick that person. Stepping back and just focusing on the characters after the buzz had died down had helped heaps. Oh yeah, I almost wanted to put Tang Kai Yu in but had to resist. This was due to the fact that he only appeared a bit and his character wasn’t properly developed yet so that seemed like only a bit of obsession thus I didn’t put him in the top 5 in the end. It was too obvious that Shan Ren and Wang Wei made it because they’d been my favorite characters right from the start. Even if I didn’t like Ah Pang much (mostly due to the fact that I had watched him in not so likable roles in the past) and I had no idea who Zhao Jun Ya was. They were my favorites together as friends or were fine when they were involved in other scenes with their own side stories. I found them hilarious and addicting to watch. Yang Hai Sheng was invincible. He was a riot in many ways yet wasn’t just all talks either. He had real capabilities so that sort of fused his arrogance at points. But he wasn’t all bad. He just couldn’t help but be obnoxious at times. It was how he was. He got this incurable teasing habit. But that was what made him fun to watch. Yet like I said before, his righteousness and loyalty made him admirable in many ways. He helped Shi Jun to fight off the bullies at one point. He also tried to protect Bo Wen by hiding the magazines from Bo Wen that one time. The things that did matter, he didn’t brag about. And Wu Yong? Need I say more? He was just different yet still hilarious. Sort of odd at times yet wasn’t all clueless either. He wasn’t outright rude with others since he did call Hai Sheng “Hai Sheng Da Ge” (海生大哥) at one point or another. He was also the teasing type but wasn’t cruel. It was his way to get others’ attention or it was just some harmless prank.

So moving on to the top 5 girls: Zheng Yu Ting, Qiu Jing Wen, Yan Xiao Rou, Ye Xiao Yan, and Wang Sheng Nan. Yes, I placed Sheng Nan last. Again, not because of what happened in the end. It was more because I got sort of side-track later on with liking other characters more. I got it that she was a tough leader and all, but it sort of faded for me with other conflicts going into play, etc. Still, one of the coolest characters, just that I got pulled in more by others along the way. Although Jing Wen didn’t appear much, I really liked her. Like I said, a mixture of maturity and somewhat innocence. It was cute. Xiao Rou was just hilarious to watch with her clumsiness. She made it cute without being too over the top, etc. Even though Xiao Yan was the youngest (I think), she was more mature than her age. Considering how her mother ran the shop, she had to help with luring customers in and all. So she wasn’t so clueless with stuff. She made it funny, even when she was being mean. Or tried to, lol. Actually, it was a tough call for me with placing Jing Wen, Xiao Rou, and Xiao Yan. I felt like they could be on the same scale for me. All funny and lovable in their own way. I saved Yu Ting last on purpose. She was like a chameleon in here, both appearance-wise and personality-wise. She made it addicting to watch like it was with some other characters in here. I wasn’t sure if it was because Ye Jia Yu had to work on several dramas at the same time like some of them, but I liked how her hairstyles and attires were changed gradually throughout the drama. It was like showing her sense of style as the character and also made us see that she wasn’t just always wearing the same type of clothes. It was like Director Wang–or perhaps the production team as an overall–had decided to make it more realistic with not going the lazy route by letting some people’s hairstyles just stay the same or always wearing the same set of clothing. I got it that we all wear some similar outfits all the time and can’t just toss stuff out and be wasteful like that, but in other dramas, it was always the same set of styles. In fact, even Xiao Yan had different hairstyles and a variety of outfits too. Same with Xiao Rou. In fact, various characters in here showed differences when they were on or off duty or in different settings. That was what made me feel like their characters consisted of realism.

So now that I got this topic out of the way, I’m not sure when would be the next time for a Rookies’ Diary update. But perhaps when I couldn’t resist and go back to watch? Who knows?

*All images were captured by DTLCT.

Calvin Chen, Ehlo Huang, Jacky Chu, James Chu, Taiwanese Entertainment, Zhao Jun Ya

New Year 2015: Scavenger Hunt

(Image Credit: James Chu’s Facebook)

So I was sitting around waiting for the countdown moment. Okay, okay, NOT really. That would be exaggerating because I wasn’t really doing that. I was keeping tabs on the time but wasn’t actively celebrating. Aside from putting a bottle of apple cider into the fridge to let it chill, I wasn’t really involved in any of the hype. So then the counting went and came, had a mini celebration before heading onward to check out what the others were doing on Facebook, lol. After liking a dozen posts (because you can’t not like a “Happy New Year” post, lol), not wanting to offend any friends, I finally saw that James had posted up a New Year post as well. Oh, what the world, “like” I went. But what I noticed was his post was forwarded from Instagram. The fact that I had asked him if he has an account like a month back didn’t bother him. (Or possibly he wanted me to find out on my own anyway. Challenge accepted! LOL!) What next? I told one of my fellow bloggers about it and we went on a New Year Scavenger Hunt. Yes, just like that. But not just any typical scavenger hunt, but an online one. After a dozen of search terms and possible code names that could be used for his Instagram presence, I was about to give up. That wasn’t for lack of trying either since aside from the search terms, code names, and constant debate between the two of us, we managed to scorch through possibly hundreds of names and mutual friends of his. If Jacky didn’t follow him, it was getting discouraging, lol. Or maybe Jacky was in on the “game” too. But I managed to find Ehlo and a bunch of others. Even finding Derek Chen and his buddy, Jun Ya. YES, I found Jun Ya! Oh, the point! LOL! Um, just when I was about to give up, my conspirator did something I should have thought of ages back! She clicked on the picture of James and wala! I couldn’t believe it but we went through the madness for nothing. (Okay, it wasn’t for nothing since I did find Jun Ya!) Was that the apple cider blocking my brain functionality? Or was that just plain fatigue from lack of sleep? I’m not sure. But the point is, we finally found James! What a nice scavenger hunt activity to start off 2015, right?

Links, you say? Oh, seriously? I went through the scavenger hunt with my conspirator. You will have to too! So have fun and good luck!