Jane Eyre BBC (1983) Review: A Romantically Crazy Love Story

After watching so many quirky Japanese shows, I decided I need a switch, so I watched Jane Eyre. In fact, I’m feeling very English. I’m anticipating for fall so I can drink hot tea, but at the same time, I’m not looking forward to the horror of what Covid-19 (the reaper) will do to more lives and the economy. All we can do is tread on until we get out of this dark period. But as an introvert, I sort of enjoy this solitude because most of my hobbies are in door. I just wish the world is not so much in chaos.

My newest obsession goes to Jane Eyre BBC series. This show is superb and romantically crazy. I felt like a little girl all over again, dreaming of Mr. Right who is fictional and who only exists in a woman’s world. The attractive man is mysteriously brooding and sullen. He is a philanthropic, but denies it by behaving coldly. His speech is harsh and short. He is demanding like a child. But underneath his gloomy visage–is a man who is afraid of abandonment. Yes, I just described the male protagonist, Edward Rochester. It must be biology because it was so easy to empathize with Jane and why she fell in love with such a man. She is direct, restless and outspoken; yet she is frail, naive and forgiving. She is realistically feminine, but strong. It was an enjoyable experience to watch Jane grow and watch the dark plot unfold. There was not one moment I find the show dull.

There are two things, however, I didn’t enjoy about the show. One, is knowing the fact Edward is old enough to be Jane’s dad. He is 20 years older than she! It’s biologically impractical to pursue someone twice your age, but most girls yearn for a father figure who will make them feel safe and wanted. Realistically, falling in love with an older man is a tragedy. He will surely die before her and leave her as a heartbroken widow. Most lovers do not survive after their significant other pass away. Unless she is an ambitious woman. Then I can see Jane remaining a widow for the rest of her life.

Another thing that disturbed me about the show is the idea of love and unity. It’s sweet to hear such talk of merging oneself with a lover–to be part of his flesh and belonging to him. It’s romantic, but eerie. Who in the world would want to fuse in with another human being like conjoined twins? The quote below sounds like a horror story!

I am my husband’s life as he is fully as mine. We are bone of each other’s bone and flesh of each other’s flesh.

Despite my pessimism towards everlasting love, I enjoyed Jane Erye very much. It is clean, romantic, dark, and innocent. Watch it if you want your heart to be captivated with beautiful dialogue. What is the harm to romanticize some love into your life? Love can feel like a scary thing especially when emotions take over.

Love and Fortune Review: Sometimes the Other Half Is Literally Half Our Age

Have you ever eaten anything that tasted sweet and then the more you bite into it, it became bitter and tangy? I just described my emotions for Love and Fortune. Love and marriage is a happy ending for most women. But some are just unlucky–meeting the wrong guy at the right time, and meeting the right guy at the wrong time. The maternal clock is always ticking for us women. Women have one shot at finding happiness and many of us never find it. Oh the pain of having a period in life (no kidding sometimes it hurts that we need to take medicine)!

Love and Fortune
picture courtesy

If this show sounds all doom and gloom, far from it, it’s a sweet little horrifying show that would make any normal woman cringe but laugh because she is so shocked at the situation that her eyes would be glued to the screen. The show is about a 30 year-old woman who is conflicted with societal expectations (e.g. getting married, having children, being successful) and who happens to fall in love with a 15 year-old boy. Now, I know what you are thinking–she is pedophile. She is gross, but let’s look at her situation with a magnifying glass–the details.

Wako Taira, the protagonist, is aware of her age. Like any normal woman, she wants to get married, but her relationship with her boyfriend of three years is in limbo. The romance is not there. He looks down on her, constantly nagging her to quit her part-time job at the cinema and find a real job. She does all the housework. He comes home late drunk wanting to have sex–but never returning the favor when she wants it. So what happens to a neglected woman? She finds love and hope elsewhere, and that’s where Yumeaki Iko (the high-school boy) comes in. Can you say no to a rare opportunity, especially when the person has the same interests and hobby? She found her other half, who is literally half her age! If men can fall in love with younger women, why can’t women fall in love with younger men? Take that equal gender rights, patriarchal society (I’m just echoing the film’s message)!

Don’t be fooled though, this show is more than what I just described. The characters are complex creatures who are innocently in-love but are rejected by society’s standard and for practical, biological reasons. The same dilemma can be said to the opposite sex. How can a high-school girl have a relationship with a man twice her age? It’s an interesting show worth watching if you are looking for something horrifyingly comical, but at the same time uncomfortably real because love can turn people into fools and no one is immune from it.

Netflix Series Atelier: It’s Not Just About Underwear

My mother once said, you can tell a lot about a person’s personality based on the shoes he or she wears.  From looking at the picture below (yes it’s my shoes), that’s not far from the truth.

I’m plain, practical, and environmentally conscious.  Rain or shine, I love to walk. I’ve had these shoes for over 12 years! The more I wear it, the more comfortable it feels. As much as I adore my beaten-up shoes, I do feel self-conscious about it, especially around other women.  Not everyone finds my shoes adorable, especially my mother who often scolded me for my unkempt appearance.  They might even associate it with the lack of funds in my bank account after seeing me wear the same shoes every day, or what is worse, they might see me lacking in confidence as a woman. Unfortunately, women do care a lot about their appearance and there is a good reason why.

After watching a chic Netflix show called Atelier, the concept can’t be more true–women often choose clothes to express their inner beauty.   In this case, the show uses lingerie and not shoes to illustrate this point.  Lingerie is a metaphor for beauty.  After all, lingerie is not meant to be displayed because real beauty, according to the show, is hidden and each woman defines it differently.

You are probably thinking it’s just a show about women. Not entirely true.  It’s about creators who wish to express themselves a bit more freely apart from doing business.  Making money and creating art are two different things.  The show clearly pointed that out.  If you are an artist, or a creative person, I think you can empathize with the characters very well. We often struggle with creating things we don’t always want to do, but we do it because there is a market for it. It’s like a show that cheers all the creative people in the world: “You can do it as a struggling artist! Make money with your art!” I was so moved by the scene where one of the characters subtly insulted businessmen and their mass-produced products. Businessmen/women have the tendency to follow what is popular—they research a product just to secure a profit. I get it. Money is the backbone of a functioning society, however, starving creativity, kills the human soul. We begin to ask ourselves what’s the meaning of our existence if we can’t create the things we want.

Another thing I liked about the show was watching the main character (Mayuko Tokita) and the side character (Mayumi Nanjo) interacting like mother and daughter. They don’t always agree with each other. The mother-like character was always scolding the unruly daughter.  Overall, I thought the show did a great job with characters development. They all grew and as a result, I learned something very valuable along with them.  Maybe it’s time for me to have some self-confidence. Get a new pair of shoes and run after my true passion (sorry ancestors if my passion brings you shame).

I am surprised how much I enjoyed the show. I didn’t expect much from it.  I recommend this show, especially to female audience or if you are one of those people who are in tuned with your creative side.

Note: Originally posted on Mar. 29, 2019, revised Jul. 20, 2020.

Netflix Series Beastars: Is the Rabbit Really a Slut?

Disclaimer: For mature audience. Not for children. Please watch show before reading this article. This is just my interpretation of the show.

Oh my virgin mind tainted by the innocent schoolboy and schoolgirl stuffed animal-like cartoon. How did a show managed to fool me into thinking that I was watching a show about an innocent high school drama? It looks so cute and adorable, so I added the show to my watchlist on Netflix. Oh my, so naive of me!

Beastars starring a slutty rabbit, is no ordinary slut you might envisioned. She is not the scantily clad type. She is a nice girl, a flower girl–small, petite in stature; soft and sweet. The type of gal you would probably find at a church. Her name is Haru. She is so cute that if I were a guy, I would ask her to marry me. With her, I know for sure there would be guaranteed sex. Don’t rabbits love to breed?

Haru_Anime

Then we have Legoshi, the main male character who is timid and soft-spoken. To most girls, he is the ideal type of guy we want for a life partner–sensitive but strong. But underneath his polite demeanor, is a terrifying strong beast.

Legosi

To most people, I might just have described these two main characters as typical, boring and cliche which can be found in most popular literature. But that archaic, plainness character is what makes the show so powerful. It seems so innocent on the outside, but it is far from innocent. They are the well-behaved civilized citizens we often find among us in the society. Underneath the human’s politeness, is raw animal instinct. Legoshi struggles with his instinct to devour Haru while Haru uses sex as a tool to survive, fighting against her instinct to be eaten by a carnivore (if this concept sounds strange I can point you to the scenes where I came to conclude this notion. Just ask in the comment section). She knows she is a prey and he is the predator. It’s a show about the power struggle between the weak and the strong told from a food hierarchy perspective.

Ironically, what I find so fascinating about submissive Haru is that she is actually a feminist. She does not refuse her male counterparts if they want to sleep with her and even admits she might enjoy it too if they want to be rough. But there is one thing she cannot accept: she refuses to be pitied by them. There is a scene where Louis tries to give her money, but she refuses, wanting his heart instead. Does that sound kind of virtuous? Sadly, from the patriarchal perspective, it’s kind of depressing having to use sex to get around in the society safely, but it’s the only weapon she has. Think about it, Haru is a dwarf rabbit. She is small, soft and cute. She is an easy prey. Can you imagine if she rejects all the guys that approach her? The result would be harassment and worst, be killed. Her action may be frown upon in the society but she’s smart about it. Unlike her female peers, Haru pulls her own weight emotionally, turning her weakness into a strength. This is why guys tend to flock towards her. How empowering is that? What I find so enlightening about this anime is that Haru is deceptive. Think twice if you think she is weak. Unlike her female peers, she does not run from her predators or tries to turn them into her loyal pets like Juno, the ambitious gray wolf.

Juno(anime)

So I have a question to female readers: who is the real damsel in distress here? And to the male readers, do you prefer that ambitious bitch Juno, who uses manipulative tactics to tie you down? Hmm…I think I know the answer.

I find it delightful that this show brings forth the struggle between the Madonna and the whore in such a way to expose the dirtiness in human nature in a twisted way. No one is a saint undernearth the orderly, civilized society that we so hope to achieve. There is no such thing as a perfect world and there’s definitely no such thing as the good girl.

Picture credits: Haru, Legoshi, Juno.