Thursday, May 30, 2013

St Michael

One friend shared this post on facebook and I happened to bump into it when I had nothing to do during my sick leave. Skeptics may doubt the autenthicity and regard this testimony as a work of fiction. But I believe that this is a miracle.. a divine intervention. Frankly, I am a bit skeptical when I read something about miracles bla bla bla. But this story touched me and literally made me cry. For this reason alone, I believe that this is a genuine story.

True story of a Soldier and the Intervention of St. Michael

What follows is a letter written by a young Marine to his mother while he was hospitalized after being wounded on a Korean battlefield in 1950. It came into the hands of a Navy Chaplain who read the letter before 5,000 Marines at a San Diego Naval Base in 1951.

The Navy Chaplain had talked to the young man, to his mother, and to the Sergeant in charge of the patrol. This Navy Chaplain, Father Walter Muldy, assured anyone who asked, that this was a true story.

Dear Mom,

I wouldn't dare write this letter to anyone but you because no one else would believe it. Maybe even you will find it hard, but I have to tell somebody.

First off, I am in a hospital. Now don't worry, you hear me, don't worry. I was wounded but I'm okay. The doctor says that I will be up and around in a month. But that is not what I want to tell you.

Remember when I joined the Marines last year; remember when I left, how you told me to say a prayer to St. Michael every day. You really didn't have to tell me that. Ever since I can remember you always told me to pray to St. Michael the Archangel. You even named me after him. Well I have always prayed to St. Michael. When I got to Korea, I prayed even harder. Remember the prayer that you taught me? "Michael, Michael of the morning, fresh corps of Heaven adorning…" You know the rest of it. Well, I said it every day, sometimes when I was marching or sometimes resting, but always before I went to sleep. I even got some of the other fellas to say it.

Well, one day I was with an advance detail way up over the front lines. We were scouting for the commies. I was plodding along in the bitter cold; my breath was like cigar smoke. I thought I knew every guy in the patrol, when along side of me comes another Marine I never met before. He was bigger than any other Marine I'd ever seen. He must have been over 6 feet 4 inches and built in proportion. It gave me a feeling of security to have such a body near me.

Anyway, there we were trudging along. The rest of the patrol spread out. Just to start a conversation I said, "Cold ain't it." And then I laughed. Here I was with a good chance of getting killed any minute and I am talking about the weather!

My companion seemed to understand. I heard him laugh softly.

I looked at him, "I've never seen you before. I thought I knew every man in the outfit."

"I just joined at the last minute," he replied, "the name is Michael."

"Is that so," I said surprised, "that's my name too."

"I know," he said, and then went on saying the prayer, "Michael, Michael of the morning..."

I was too amazed to say anything for a minute. How did he know my name, and a prayer that you had taught me? Then I smiled to myself, every guy in the outfit knew about me. Hadn't I taught the prayer to anybody who would listen? Why now and then, they even referred to me as St. Michael.

Neither of us spoke for a time, and then he broke the silence.

"We're going to have some trouble up ahead." He must have been in fine physical shape for he was breathing so lightly I couldn't see his breath. Mine poured out in great clouds. There was no smile on his face now. Trouble ahead, I thought to myself; well with the commies all around us, that's no great revelation.

Snow began to fall in thick great globs. In a brief moment the whole countryside was blotted out, and I was marching in a white fog of wet sticky particles. My companion disappeared.

"Michael!" I shouted in sudden alarm. I felt his hand on my arm, his voice was rich and strong, "This will stop shortly."

His prophecy proved to be correct. In a few minutes the snow stopped as abruptly as it had begun. The sun was a hard shining disc. I looked back for the rest of the patrol. There was no one in sight. We lost them in the heavy fall of snow. I looked ahead as we came over a little rise. Mom, my heart stopped. There were seven of them, seven commies in their padded pants and jackets and their funny hats. Only there wasn’t anything funny about them now. Seven rifles were aimed at us.

"Down Michael!" I screamed, and hit the frozen earth. I heard those rifles fire almost as one. I heard the bullets. There was Michael still standing.

Mom, those guys couldn't have missed, not at that range. I expected to see him literally blown to bits, but there he stood, making no effort to fire himself. He was paralyzed with fear. It happens sometimes, Mom, even to the bravest. He was like a bird fascinated by a snake. At least that's what I thought then. I jumped up to pull him down and that was when I got mine. I felt a sudden flame in my chest. I often wondered what it felt like to be hit. Now I know.

I remember feeling strong arms about me, arms that laid me ever so gently on a pillow of snow. I opened my eyes, for one last look. I thought I was dying. Maybe I was even dead. I remember thinking, “Well, this is not so bad.”

Maybe I was looking into the sun. Maybe I was in shock, but it seemed I saw Michael standing erect again, only this time his face was shining with a terrible splendor.

As I say, maybe it was the sun in my eyes, but he seemed to change as I watched him. He grew bigger, his arms stretched out wide, maybe it was the snow falling again but there was a brightness around him like the wings of an angel. In his hand was a sword. A sword that flashed with a million lights.

Well, that's the last thing I remember until the rest of the fellas came up and found me; I don't know how much time had passed. Now and then I had but a moment's rest from the pain and fever. I remember telling them of the enemy just ahead.

"Where's Michael?" I asked. I saw them look at one another. "Where's who?" asked one.

"Michael, that big Marine I was walking with just before the snow squall hit us."

"Kid," said the sergeant, "you weren't walking with anyone. I had my eyes on you the whole time. You were getting too far out. I was just going to call you in, when you disappeared in the snow."

He looked at me, curiously. "How did you do it, kid?"

"How did I do what?" I asked half angry, despite my wound. "This Marine named Michael and I were just..." "Son," said the sergeant kindly, "I picked this outfit myself and there just ain't another Michael in it. You are the only Mike in it."

He paused for a minute. "Just how did you do it, kid? We heard shots, yet there hasn't been a shot fired from your rifle, and there isn't a bit of lead in them seven bodies over the hill there."

I didn't say anything; what could I say? I could only look open-mouthed with amazement.

It was then, the sergeant spoke again. "Kid," he said gently, "every one of those seven commies was killed by a sword stroke."

That is all I can tell you, Mom. As I say, it may have been the sun in my eyes, it may have been the cold or the pain, but that is what happened.

Love, Michael

Never heard of the prayer mentioned in this story before but here is the prayer
Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I went out to town for 3 consecutive days! That is an achievement for a lazy bum like me haha.. My main purpose on Saturday was to buy a new pillow. Thanks to my sister that I had to accompany her to Bugis and I discovered that BHG has started with their mid year sale. I decided to get the memory pillow as its after sale price was $19. As compared to "normal" pillows which are in the $15-range, I decided to try the so called memory pillow. The last time I bought my pillow, I thought it was bouncy enough but it did not even last me a year. Now it already sags and I am waking up with congested nose everyday. Oh the one that I bought is memory + charcoal pillow. No idea whether the charcoal serves any purpose or it is just a marketing gimmick. But so far, I like the feeling and the smell of new pilow. Hehe..

I had no plan on buying any more Marvel comics but no idea how I ended up on a website which reviews Marvel cross-over event and I was hooked at Fear Itself. So I was back at Kinokuniya on Sunday as there was a 20% sale going on. Decided to get Fear Itself and Secret Invasion. I am not so much a fan of DC but after borrowing DC's new 52 of Justice League from a friend, I thought their Justice League was nice too. Justice League to DC is like Avengers to Marvel. Previously I could not find the hardcover version anymore so I decided not to buy but yesterday I saw 3 hardcover books on the shelf so I bought Justice League Vol 1 Origins and Vol 2 The Villain's Journey too.

Disappointingly, Fear Itself is crap. Sigh.. Will review it another time. But I personally like Secret Invasion. I have been somehow withdrawn to get Secret Invasion but always hesitated to get because of the ugly Skrulls on the cover. Haha.. The storytelling is great and as I was reading, it also made me confused between the real heroes and the Skrull's version. Still waiting for Avengers vs X-men Companion from Amazon now..

I developed headache so suddenly at work this afternoon and I thought I had a good night sleep with my new pillow last night. Not sure if I am feeling stressed over my visa. It could also be possibly due to my plan to get a tablet. I am more or less decided on getting Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but I am still undecided about the plan. My mobile broadband plan for my laptop is expiring in 2 weeks time and I am very devastated when I was informed that M1 has no longer unlimited data plan available anymore. Haiz.. The last time I asked in January, they still had it. They don't even have multi-line benefit so I am considering jumping ship to Singtel since Singtel has an internet plan without the USB stick device and that will be about $10 cheaper per month as compared to M1's plan which includes the USB stick device. I think my 2 year old device is still fine. Of course my last resort is not to recontract and hope that I am still able to continue with my old-and-discontinued slow but unlimited internet.

Took 1 dose of Pacofen and I felt slightly better after taking a short nap although I still feel that things are a bit "shaky". WIll take another dose before bedtime and hopefully everything will be okay tomorrow morning.. Sigh..

Friday, May 24, 2013

Q-s everywhere!

It is Vesak Day today and I went to Orchard this afternoon for a meet-up as someone bought my damaged Quistis figure! It is a mixed feeling for me. I am glad because I am able to free up some space for newer toys. But I am also emo knowing that I made a loss. I sold it only for $80 while I bought it for at least 60 pounds exclusive of shipping. I was too excited when receiving it last year and did not even realise that the hair was damaged. I deliberately bought 2 because it was sooo difficult to get Quistis and she is my favourite character. I was planning to put one with me here and leave one at home in Indo. Too bad I saw the damaged hair and decided to sell it instead. Okay complain complain complain.. but be grateful that at least I am able to sell it. I think the buyer was also satisfied for finally able to get hold of this after so many years (according to her own words). I hope she is not disappointed and will buy my Seifer and Selphie too! Lol.

I went during an off-peak period so the crowd really surprised me. It was human jam between Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City. The queues at all Kinokuniya cashier counters were amazing. The queue near the Japanese book area actually reached the Japanese/Chinese books information counter! Wow.. I could not find any empty seat in Taka B2 including the sushi counter inside Cold Storage and various eateries near the food court which usually hardly have any patrons. The crowd at Takashimaya was even more sick. At every level and every department, it was people everywhere and long queues at all cashiers too. Madness.. It is as if tomorrow is the end of the world or the end of shopping sia..

My sister was here from Sunday to Wednesday so this week was very tiring. On one side, I am happy that she was lucky enough to be sent by company to travel overseas. On another side, I feel jealous. Here I am cursing my life and my work everyday with no opportunity to go overseas. That's me.. a negative person. If I were to think positively, my thought will be: she is lucky to be here for a few days but I am luckier to be able to be here full time! Anyway she was with another 2 colleagues of her. I was quite irritated with her actually. On the first day, since it was the first day, I thought she should "take care" and accompany her colleagues. She wanted otherwise. On the last day, I thought she should just separate if she still had shopping to do on her own but she had no guts -__-" Wah piang..

Anyway, it is bad to accompany her shopping as I was exposed to more things which I want to buy also. Sigh.. When she was trying a pants in Uniqlo, I was bored and went over to the males area. Sigh.. Uniqlo pants and jeans are made of light materials and there are green colours too. They are definitely much more comfortable to wear and to bring for my upcoming Europe trip so I am thinking of getting 2 pairs: one green and one neutral black or blue colour. I am also tempted for a casual looking jacket too! Sigh.. That will set me back $200 :(

I also want to get a digital camera for taking photos and a tablet to bring over and transfer the pictures when I am in Europe. I want Galaxy Tab 8 inch but it is kinda old to be offered by the telcos here. I can buy it "loosely" for $468 but I am really concerned about my data usage. If in the end I will spend as much as buying a plan, I might as well take up a plan which will come with Galaxy Note 10 inch for $418. But the, 10 inch tablet is not that portable.. I don't know whether this is a good or bad news but Galaxy Note 8 inch will be released here on 25th May!! Haha.. Just nice: 8 inch and since it is new, I am sure M1 will bundle it with a plan!

Okay I am vain and it seems ridiculous to spend close to $1000 just for a 2-wk trip. Bleah.. However, it is more ridiculous that I think so much to spend money for these things when I hardly think before spending money for my anime/manga stuff. Really wrong priority.. Now I am waiting for Great Singapore Sale and see whether there would be good sale from Uniqlo as well as good tablet plan. It is also almost time for my mobile broadband plan renewal. These things are put on hold first because I have not even applied for my visa. If my visa is approved, then my headache will return.

That's all for now even though there are still plenty of things I would like to write about..

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement is a relatively old news but last Sunday was his officially last day of his 27 years tenure as the manager of Manchester United. I stopped watching soccer not long after MU's treble in 1998-1999 and I merely followed soccer news. That makes MU as the only soccer team that I am a fan of. Haha.. The Champions League final was still fresh in my memory: how I slept on my sofa to make sure that I did not oversleep and miss the match, how I hid behind the fridge when my dad went down to have a drink (and he was like "WTF are you doing??!!" when he caught me there, how I was jumping around quietly so as not to wake everyone in my house when finally MU won. Haha.. Well, I was still a 12 year old kid then and staying awake for a soccer match at 2am was just something bizarre.

Despite his idiosyncracies, nobody can deny how great Fergie is as a manager. It is too long to list his achivements so let the picture below summarise it. However, something I am really impressed with him is how he can nurture the young talents and make them into great players under his wings.

Since it is MU's 20th Premier League title, they call themselves Champ20ns this time. Considering Robin van Persie's tremendous contribution for this season, it is no wonder that they come up with the image below. Hmm.. looks like RvP successfully fulfils his aim to help MU win the 20th Premier League title with his choice of no 20.

It will be interesting to see how MU will be post-Fergie era. Will MU remain a successful team? Or is it all Fergie's golden touch? Oh ya, by the way, Paul Scholes is also retiring!! I think that leaves Ryan Giggs from the team which won the 1998-1999 treble!

As promised, I searched for 2013 Britain's Got Talent videos and it was greatly disappointing as compared to last year. I can't find anything exceptionally good, exceptionally touching, or exceptionally funny so that was a bummer. There are plenty of solo (+guitar) singing acts which are not something I really enjoy. I will only mention 3 acts which I thought was touching, entertaining, and cool respectively.

First is Mother & Son. Okay, it was Mothers' Day on last Sunday so this is quite bittersweet to watch. The son seems to be embarrassed having to perform with his mum (well, you will know why when you hear her sing). He claimed to be nervous during the pre-show and on stage, he was visibly distressed especially when the crowd started laughing at her mum and the buzzer was pressed. However, he held himself together and did his part quite well (the crowd agreed with me here!) actually. I am just wondering whether the mum is tagging or dragging the son for the audition. Anyways, what I think so sweet about this is how the mum shows her pride with the son when he started singing as well as the end when she "slapped" his arm. Aaah.. mum's love is always the best in the world.

Second is The Duelling Pianos which I think is something new and fresh. It is a good variety from the typical singing and dancing acts. I don't know what songs they are playing. They sound simple but the cheerful tunes successfully made the audience clap and cheer so that was something. And as Ant & Dec mentioned, it is something worth mentioning that they got 3 Yes-es after 3 buzzes.

And the last one is Luminites. They just sound wicked, especially the beatbox! When I heard this for the first time without watching the video, I thought it was a band act. They are actually only having a guitar with them! Not my type of song or voice but their voices blend well together for a great act.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


After done with "Last Friends", I chose to rewatch "Nodame Cantabile" to lift up my mood. It is not normal for me to rewatch an anime or a dorama series but Nodame does not disappoint! After all this time, I still find it hilarious and I literally laughed out loud to many of the scenes. The classical pieces are still very nice to watch even though once in a while I listen to their mp3.

On the first episode, Saiko sang an interesting song. I normally hate classical pieces which have vocal. High pitch, screeching, operatic noises in foreign languages just sound irritating to me. But this one is quite interesting. The title is "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen". No idea what languange it is in but its translation is "Hell's vengeance boils in my heart". It is a song written by Mozart for the opera The Magic Flute. It is more known as Queen of the Night Aria as the full title is too mouthful.

With the acting, she seems to be singing this effortlessly. Love "" part. Whatever.. Haha

So what can be more amazing to watch than this? It is when the same song being sung by a 14 year old boy. Yes.. B-O-Y! Sounds impossible but true. Listening to this sounds okay but watching it looks like the guy is in a bit of pain to hit the super high notes. Anyway, I thought at 14, most boys would have their voice broken already so it is quite something for this guy to be able to sing this. Btw, his voice has broken and is very deep now. Would love to see him trying this again with his manly voice.

I could not remember how but I was somehow led to Britain's Got Talent 2012 video. Yup, I am being 1 year behind. Haha.. I always find it lame when I saw Nodame crying whenever she watches Chiaki's orchestra. Now I know that it is not impossible that music touches you to the point of crying. I actually shed tears when I watched this video.

At the beginning, I heard "33 members". Actually, it said 133 members. Haha.. Well, the song choice itself is powerful and although nothing fanciful or overly technical with the singing, there is just something powerful when so many people combine their voices. What makes it more touching is that this is not a "professional" choir group or something. Only Boys Aloud is formed as an avenue for the young males in South Wales to make better use of their time. According the their website, they don't even do audition as they want to include as many as possible.

Okay and below is their performance in the semi-final.

Apparently Britain's Got Talent 2012 had another gem: Jonathan and Charlotte. Their audition somehow reminds us of Susan Boyle's. People laughed and jeered at Jonathan's appearance but when he started singing, his voice just blew everyone away.

Initially I thought they were siblings but I heard wrongly. They are actually friends and something is just unusual and magical about their friendship. I mean it is not normal for a pretty girl to be that nice to a shy big-sized guy and it is lovely for the guy not to "dump" her despite his Pavarotti-level vocal because he appreciates the girl's support. Great to see that Charlotte improve a lot and in the end they released an album as a duet :) Below is their semi-final performance.

Surprisingly, Jonathan & Charlotte emerged as runner-up and Only Boys Aloud in the third position. The winner for last year's Britain's Got Talent is a dog show -_-" I don't deny that the dog is talented bla bla bla but I just find it ridiculous that a dog beat these singers.

Anyways, I love this set of judges. Alesha and David are more like-able than Piers Morgan. Alesha has a smexy accent too! It is lovely to hear her speaking. Haha.. And I thought Simon changed a lot. He is much more composed and calm when giving his comments. And standing ovation from him even during auditions stage?? Wow.. That was unimaginable in the previous seasons.. I better follow this year's run as soon as possible! Haha..

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Real Sexy!

Sexy Zone released their fourth single on 1 May. The title is getting more and more bizzare: Real Sexy!/Bad Boys. It is supposed to be a double-A single but only Real Sexy is made into PV. Bad Boys is used as the soundtrack of Bad Boys J dorama staring Kento.

Real Sexy is a typical Sexy Zone song: simple, catchy tune, akward dance moves, with Shori saying "Real Sexy!" somewhere in the middle of the song. The video clip is interesting to watch although in reality, it is only a group of boys dancing in front of green screen.

I don't know what Johnny has in mind the latest development of this group is not too exciting. Looking at the CD jackets above, people will think this is a group of 3 with several background dancers or something. People are guessing that Marius and Sou have been "demoted" to the subgroup Sexy Boyz especially that lately the two of them are often excluded from performances in Shonen Club too. Some say that current arrangement is due to them being "too young" for the Bad Boys song.  Oh well.. I read a lot of people hate the covers etc but the single became another no. 1 single with sales much better than their 3rd single (Hello! Hello! Merry Christmas -> Obviously this is not the title). Lol.

The other song, Bad Boys, is just not my cup of tea. It is a typical coming-of-age song for teens who are trying to break away from "cute" to "cool". Bleah.. It sounds like a mere shouting and screaming to me.

Enough of all the sexy things, let's move on to Hey! Say! JUMP who is popular but yet hardly releases new single or album. They performed a new song titled Come On A My House. Does not sound gramatically sound but oh well, it sounds JUMPish and I like the fact that the song is equally shared with all members.

And so what happened to my favorite AKB48?? Things seem to be going downhill after Acchan's graduation. After "Eien Pressure" which I dislike, their next single "So Long" sounds equally generic and boring -__-" Anyways, I have a history of hating AKB48's ballad songs. Yes, I dislike them enough that I won't embed any of these songs here. With more and more members announcing graduations, it seems that AKB days are numbered. Let's see how their summer hit will be. Usually they will have cheerful and upbeat song for summer although the PV will most likely be a predictable repeat of skin-bikini fest. Haha.. The last news I read is Tomomi Itano announcing her graduation sometime this year. Bleah.. She is one member whom I like.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I am exteremely tired as work pissed me off last week. It was almost a 730am-630pm daily and I did not get anything for OT, mind you! It was so tiring that my thigh muscles were unable to support me standing anymore. On Saturday, I was just extremely exhausted and I did not have any energy to speed up my picking. It is just sickening when manpower is short and the available ones are so lousy!

It was Free Comic Day yesterday and at 1 PM, my friend messaged me that the Free Comic Day giveaways were fully claimed. Lol I was still at work. Anyway I decided to go to Kinokuniya to buy something utilising the 20%. I wanted to buy Legend of Zelda Hyrule Hystoria, Avengers Kree Skrull War, Infinity Gauntlet, and some random Japanese artbook (which turned out to be Nurarihyon no Mago or Nura: The Rise of Yokai Clan as its English title). I was teasing my friend to lend me his DC comics as I am a Marvel while he is a DC fan. Even though I was damn tired, thank goodness I decided to say yes. As I needed to go to his place, I decided not to buy anything from Kino as it would be to heavy.
I played PS3 a bit and that was my first time touching a PS3.. T_T Tears of joy.. Haha.. Anyway I decided to borrow his Justice League comics. I just prefer stories where there were lots of superheroes rather than buying individual superheroes. It was a reboot of the old Justice League with the art being redrawn. Superman finally followed 21st century fashion and stops wearing his underwear outside. Lol. Anyway, the books are pretty good. I enjoyed the fight while the story is a bit.. erm.. there is no story actually. Haha.. In my opinion, it is like a reverse of Marvel which tends to have pretty good solid but pretty lousy action.
New 52 Justice League
I downloaded Kree Skrull War and Infinity Gauntlet. Done reading Infinity Gauntlet and I am glad I did not buy it lol. The story is quite engaging but the action is dumb ass haha.. Only done with 1st part of Kree Skrull War as I was too tired last night.

Even my sleep did not restore my energy and I woke up still in a bad mood. There was a heavy storm which made me stuck at home. Only ate my Ferrero as my lunch. I was very irritated by my sister. Haiz.. I have to give her credit for coordinating and organising almost all aspect of our coming Europe trip. But she kept disturbing me over small matters and the worst part is I am in terribly bad mood today and extremely pissed off with her.

To be honest, I am quite easy going when it comes to travelling. Usually I will just let others organise and I will just follow. My sister keeps asking me where I want to go and what I want to see etc etc. But when she wants me to decide down to the details like which hotels, which timing, bla bla bla, I get very irritated. Okay, it's partly my bad because I am just LAZY to organise and I am fine as long as she does not make non-sensical choices like taking overnight train or choosing some rundown hotel to stay. 

Itinerary was decided already so I was extremely angry when she still asked which type of train ticket I want: point-to-point of free pass. Bleah.. See the itinerary and decide according la. I don't want want to answer because I know what is coming next: but this one costs XXX and that one costs YYY. Grrr.. I just don't like it when someone wants everything with limited resources. Please decided on your priorities!! Bah!! Best part is asking me how when the website only accepts European Credit Card. It is not as if I can do anything right? There are few options: 1) ask our aunt to help us buy or 2) we buy when we reach there and don't care about the fucking price because there is no other option!! Bah.. After all the messages, she told me that the travel agent could help with booking but there is extra admin fee of 5 Euro per ticket. When I heard that, I felt like banging my head. If right from the start there is such option, I will just choose that option! Yes 5 Euro admin fee seems pricey but please, there is no other fucking choice so the only bad choice is our only choice! Faints...

Bleah.. I foresee this coming week to be another bad week as I am still feeling very tired and very angry about my work situation. Haiz haiz haiz.. So much for emotion control when my physical state just clouds my mind!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Last Friends + SP

Last Friends tackles issues that afflict the current generation. Michiru's mother has brought a man back to their home and she is bullied at her workplace. She starts cohabiting with her boyfriend who turns out abusive and violent at home. Michiru met Ruka who was her classmate before she left Tokyo many years ago. Ruka is an aspiring motocross racer who has gender identity disorder and is secretly in love with Michiru. Takeru is a hair and make-up artist at day time and a bartender at night time who is attracted to Ruka but hides a childhood trauma of female body. Eri is a air stewardess who does not believe in true love but is in constant search of finding her own love. She provides support to Ogurin, her superior, a timid man troubled with his wife's extramarital affairs. The five of them live together in shared house and provide one another with emotional support and friendship.

The special episode is set 1 year after the main dorama. Eri and Ogurin returned from overseas and decided to visit the share house.

My opinion:
This type of thing is not my cup of tea. I bought this more than 2 years ago but only watched it now in 2013. Haha.. I was interested in this dorama because of Nodame Cantabile. Ueno Juri (who plays as Nodame), Eita (who plays as Mine), and Mizukawa Asami (who plays as Kiyora) star in this dorama as Ruka, Takeru, and Eri respectively. After watching Nodame, I developed a liking towards Mizukawa Asami too. Haha.. The dorama also shared a high rating (close to ~20) so usually it is a good sign.

Anyway, the promo picture and the story do not exactly tally. Nishikido Ryo plays as Michiru's abusive boyfriend while Ogurin who stays together in the share house is not shown in the promo picture.

As I mention earlier, this is not my cup of tea. So while the story and characters are not bad per se, I don't quite enjoy it because the pace is too slow. Everyone has a problem but the focus is largely on Michiru. I mean it is okay because Michiru is the main character but I was hoping that the issues of the other characters are addressed too. 

In the end, it is not clear whether Ruka did a sex change operation and it is still not clear what happened to Takeru (was it sexual grooming by his step sister?) which resulted in his trauma and whether he overcomes that trauma. The resolution of Sousuke (Michiru's boyfriend who is played by Nishikido Ryo) is akward. After raping Michiru and then saw Michiru's happy pictures at the share house, he decided to kill himself. Hmm.. how convenient. There is no telling on why he is so possesive and abusive too.

At least Eri and Ogurin have good ending. It is obvious that Eri is slowly developing feelings towards Ogurin while Ogurin is the "slow one". Good to see that he dumped his wife for Eri. And I think it is a nice touch that Eri accepts Ogurin despite his weaknesses. It is a rare thing in the modern world that a strong, pretty, capable womam will setlle for a nice but "perceived weak" family man.

I have a more mixed feeling regarding Michiru-Ruka-Takeru's ending of forming a dysfunctional family. So errrm.. Takeru likes Ruka but he is afraid of woman's body. Ruka loves Michiru and she stated that she won't marry a man. Michiru develops feeling towards Takeru but again she has Sousuke's child and Takeru likes Ruka anyway. Since none of the relationship will work, they decide to just stay together as friends-family-husband-wife in the share house. Haha it's too early too judge since there is a special episode which I have not watched yet.

The SP is an utter rubbish as it is 99% recap of the main dorama. Ruka only appeared in the last 30s -__-". There is not much going on except perhaps Takeru's reconciliation. Ogurin went to Michiru's ex-workplace and it was revealed that Michiru's ex-colleague, who used to bully her, is also abused by his boyfriend. Sadly, it stops there. No reconcilliation between Michiru and her ex-colleague. Really a waste of 1 hour 10 minutes.

My afterthoughts:
This dorama really presents current issues in family lives such as domestic violence, homosexuality (although it is more of a gender identity disorder rather than a straight lesbianism), rape, extra marital affairs, etc. I personally have no biased against the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transexuals, etc. I mean I try to understand perhaps they are born that way and it is not their choice. It is a struggle to live that way. However, on the other side of the coin, when they "threaten" traditional family life with gay marriage or adoption, the impact can be scary too. Perhaps it is easy to take the shortcut to live like Takeru-Ruka-Michiru's ending the series to live together as friends or whatever you want to call it. But imagine a few years down the road, what will happen to the child? Imagine many years down the road, what will happen to them when they are old. It is indeed a scary thought.

In the midst of all these issues, one may easily miss out that eventually, the there of the dorama is about love. Or perhaps more accurately summed up by the OST "Prisoner of Love". Love despite extra-marital affairs, love despite domestic violence, love despite gender issues, love among friends, love in a family and so on. It is ironic that love can be something beautiful as well as something so painful.