Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks. Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual), let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I rarely did any real reading. Instead, I indulged in mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

– What I Read –

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both A Silent Voice, which had seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was previous month’s recap.

– Favorites –

To be totally honest, I don’t particularly like subscription boxes mainly because I rather know what book I’m getting than a surprise one, which defeats the purpose of the entire concept. However in February I decided to give the Book Boyfriend Box a shot because I’ve been good at successfully guessing what the featured books are in past boxes from theme clues alone. Plus BBB is a bi-monthly subscription (there’s a box every other month) so it’s not too bad on the wallet. So I really loved the Book Boyfriend Box’s April Beauty and the Beast box being the huge BATB fanatic that I am. In addition, the fact it had a pop funko made this feel so worth it! (Though, I did get this box for free because I won their February Fandom challenge a few months back.)

Lately, my new drink obsession has been the caramel macchiato at Dunkin’ Donuts. To me it’s the perfect blend of sweetness and coffee. (I do have a considerable sweet tooth though, so it might be more on the sweet side actually.)

I normally don’t buy clothes anymore but I did purchase a new dress from the Loft. I was going to wear it for Easter but some plans fell through and I spend the holiday in my pajamas. So typical, haha. But here’s a photo from when I tried it on in the dressing room. I was obviously channeling a lot of concentration for the picture, LOL.

– Video Favorites –

Hands down, the most listened to song in my iTunes library this month was Ten’s “Dream in a Dream.” Ten is my favorite member from all the NCT units. Of course, he’s known for his dance skills but I also think he’s a wonderful singer and he has such an adorable idol image. For those reasons, he kind of reminds me of Yixing back during Exo’s debut era. :’)

I was familiar with EXID since their debut year (“Every Night” made me discover them). Similar to Spica, another underrated group I really like, they housed many powerhouse vocalists. Therefore, I was thrilled to see that  “Up and Down” became extremely popular, albeit months after the initial promotion period. But with all that being said, this is probably my favorite song released by them yet. I know one of their members didn’t promote with this comeback (because I think she was sick?) but I still thought the four remaining members pulled off the song well. Plus, Hani is totally girl crush material. And, finally, this is a song that shows her richer vocals!)

I already talked about this video in my last Summing It Up post last month… but I did, indeed, begin watching season 2 of Produce 101 as I predicted I would. So far I’m really liking the show. I think the visuals are lacking compared to season 1 in that I don’t find a lot of the guys are super good looking. But perhaps I only feel that way because I’m older than the majority of the contestants; actually, some of them aren’t even born in the same decade as me. 😮 However, I can easily say I’m a big supporter of Kang Daniel (the guy with the very light pink hair at 1:15). He stood out to me (not just because of his pink hair) in this video, which was before I started the show. To my relief, he seems to have nice and caring personality behind the camera (they do hidden cameras and pranks on the contestants and show the footage to the viewers of the show). (It helps that he was “Harry Pott” lol.) He’s also the most well rounded in that he dances, sings, and raps well. I hope that all the Korean viewers will see that and vote for him. (International fans cannot vote this season, apparently.) He needs to debut!

I just discovered this extremely talented K-indie group and I’m so in love with them. Their voices (even the rapper girl in yellow when she sings occasionally) sounds so sweet. I hadn’t heard of them before but I believe their extremely popular in Korea.

I’d say that this is the ultimate summer song this year. These monthly Day6 releases are killing me; they’re all so good!

It’s simply remarkable how far this band has come. Beast will always have a special place in my heart since it along with SHINee were the bands that first got me into K-pop. (There was a time I listened to “Beautiful” and “Fiction” at least several times daily.) They had their peak in 2011, which is about the time when I discovered them. And they’ve gone through a lot since then. I am so proud they’ve left Cube and created something solely from the ground up. Also, this song is clearly for the fans. To new beginnings for Highlight!

This isn’t my favorite MV to be honest, but I’m quite obsessed with this song. CN Blue was one of the first Korean pop/rock groups that I became familiar with but it’s been a few years since I’ve liked a release by them. (A lot of their songs kind of sound similar if I’m to be completely honest.)

This was my favorite choreography from April if not one of my all time favorites from Koosung Jung and 1 Million Dance Studio. The entire routine fits with the song so well. 😄

I think Shawn is a new choreographer for 1 Million or a guest. Either way, I discovered him through the previous choreo I linked for “That’s What I Like” (he was one of Koosung’s backup dancers) and ended up stumbling upon this choreo that he made for “Let Me Explain,” which is a song I like.

I’ve been listening to so much K-pop lately. The only song sung in English that I liked this month was The Lumineers’ “The Ballad of Cleopatra.”

– WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING –

I watched a ridiculous amount that was probably not healthy for a student preparing for her final exams but in my defense I dropped a good many of these. You’ll see.

Aoharu x Kikanjuu6/10 [Completed]

This was one that I was watching with one of my friends. It was fun and entertaining but nothing really special. The beginning gave me Ouran High School Host Club vibes because it started with a heroine that is mistaken for a guy in a host club. She ends up breaking valuable items in the club and makes a contract with the head host, who happens to blond like Tamaki from Ouran High. Aside from that it does have a unique storyline apart from the former since it’s about gun survival games. The best part about this series was a character named Yuki; he’s a mangaka that writes BDSM manga. He’s unique one, that’s for sure.  But I found the gender bender reveal so incredibly frustrating and unsatisfying.

Anonymous Noise?/10 [Currently Watching]

The premise for Anonymous Noise appealed to me since I tend to enjoy anime with music as the main plot device. Unfortunately, all the moments that actually featured music were horribly cringeworthy. Like who thought it was a good idea to have them singing “Lalala” all the time?? I think this one proves that some stories are best left as manga. But after reading as far along as where the manga has left off (and really enjoying the character development within the cast) I’m still going to continue watching this for now.

Attack on Titan (Season 2)?/10 [Currently Watching]

This was my most highly anticipated anime of the year. Sadly, it’s been a slight letdown because the plot is a little more slow with this new arc. However, I watched episode 30 (or episode 5) yesterday and it seems like it’s starting to pick up now that the backstories of some characters are revealed. As of now, I like season 1 a little better than this one.

Dance with Devils?/10 [Dropped]

I really couldn’t take Dance with Devils seriously because there was so many musical numbers throughout the episodes. And the female lead was a total damsel in distress. And the storyline was a little bit of a trainwreck.

Fuuka?/10 [Dropped]

So in the comments for the episodes of Anonymous Noise some people were comparing it to Fuuka. While waiting for the next episodes for the former to air, I thought I’d watch this in the meantime. And, oh my gosh, I was so shocked. The banner looks harmless, right? Well everything about this one was actually extremely sexual?? Ugh. Anyway, after Fuuka I learned to avoid a genre called Ecchi.  /shudders/

Hakuoki – 5/10 [Completed]

I liked the historical aspect of this story but the female protagonist annoyed me so much. She would carry a sword at all times but never used it despite being “quite adept with the sword for a girl.” Ugh, like it made absolutely no sense why she was so helpless. But I pushed through and continued to watch this anime because of the pretty art.

Hakuoki Hekketsuroku – 7/10 [Completed]

This one was considerably better than the first season because the heroine finally had some semblance of a backbone. There’s also a little more progress with the main romance (the first season didn’t have that much if I remember correctly). And probably what most viewers would connect with the most in this season were the endings for the characters. The cast had a depressingly tragic ending but it also felt quite realistic for a period of war and political unrest.

My Secret Romance?/10 [Dropped]

My Secret Romance continuously kept popping up as an advertisement on Youtube so I caved and tried watching it. It’s certainly cliche but I think it was written to be a more guilty pleasure type of drama anyway. I saw the first two episodes. Though the two leads had great chemistry and the story was cute, I didn’t like it enough to continue.

Pretty Li Hui Zhen3/10 [Dropped]

In 2015, I thought the Korean version of She Was Pretty was way overrated so I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to try Pretty Li Hui Zhen since it’s virtually the same storyline. I liked Dilraba Dilmurat’s performance in 3 Worlds, 3 Lives, 10 Miles of Peach Blossoms (but what didn’t I like about that drama?) so I wanted to see her acting as a more modern character. Predictably, everything about this was meh and unmemorable.

Seraph of the End6/10 [Completed]

A friend recommended Owari no Seraph to me because she liked it. And it was, indeed, super entertaining and easy to watch. The only things I didn’t like were the inauthentic use of demon weapons, the jarring plot holes, and how predictable the plot was.

Seraph of the End (Season 2)7/10 [Completed]

Owari no Seraph (Season 2) was way better than the first. Possibly because there’s even more action and I liked seeing the Yuu and Mikaela interactions. #ishipit #noshame And Shinoa is such a badass; I adore her (as well as her voice actor).

Stairway to Heaven5/10 [Skip Completed]

A throwback but I was always told throughout the years by my Korean friends that this is a K-drama classic. After kind of watching it (kind of because I was skipping past some of the episodes since it was a little too much for me), I can why other Korean dramas are hold to this standard. The general K-drama formula is there with complicated love, character angst, and ridiculous drama. But I don’t think I can appreciate this one as much as if I had watched it when it aired in 2003. I did like seeing the familiar faces like Kim Tae Hee and a young Park Shin Hye though.

We Married as a Job8/10 [Completed]

I started this at a whim and went into it with low expectations. Surprisingly, it probably was the best show I watched last monthWe Married as a Job looked like it would be another generic marriage contract type of romance but I was so pleased to find this one to be creative. The entire cast was extremely likable and realistic. And the romance itself was a believable slowburn. I was rooting for the main couple and flailed with each baby step their relationship took. Overall, this one was a breath of fresh air. The couple is so adorkably awkward but their charm is what makes viewers want to come back for more.

I was given the notion that this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I only saw the first episode but it didn’t give me much reason to continue.


My gosh, so I really did watch an absurd amount. o_O I kind of wonder how I survived my exams now then, lol. 😄 Anyways, as always, thanks for tuning in! I hope to catch up with everyone really soon! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Summing It Up: April 2017

  1. ravenblake99 says:

    Loved your post! I loved the first season of Hakouki but I haven’t watched the second season yet. I haven’t watched any dramas recently and nothing has caught my eye so I’m planning to watch Goblin because I’ve great things about it. Hope you have a great month! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks, Raven! Oh gosh, well the second season of Hakuoki is a rollercoaster of feels. Lots happen is all I’m going to say. I watched Goblin earlier this year and it was pretty good! Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook’s characters have amazing chemistry. 😉 I hope you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoe says:

    I’ve missed you and your wonderful posts, so I’m so glad you’re back! ❤ It sounds like you had a nice, refreshing break. Thanks for sharing, and, as always, fabulous recap! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joyce @ thebookharpy says:

    Your April sounded amazing – with all those anime and k-drama you’ve watched although I’m sorry you dropped most of them. And can I say that the dress looks amazing on you, Summer?? Because it does! I always find your posts really enjoyable and if I’ll have to give out an anime recommendation, it’ll be definitely Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. It’s my favorite! ❤ And have a fun on your summer break! Congrats on your finished exams!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I know right? My attention span is just too short when it comes to watching things. I guess I should be thankful it isn’t the same way with books, haha. Aww, thank you so much! And I’ve heard a lot about Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, but if I remember correctly there are like 50+ episodes? I’m not sure if I’m ready for that long of a commitment yet, lol. But I’ll give it a try soon if it’s that good. Thanks so much for you comment, Joyce! I really appreciate it. ❤

      Like

  4. Lais says:

    I’m glad you had a great month, besides all the tests and school work. This month was all about studying for me as well, but I was pretty disappointed with my results. I guess I’ll just have to work harder for next months!
    Dream in a Dream is definitely a beautiful song! I love the choreo, and I think Ten is probably one of the most promising artists from his company. I also really liked Baekhyun’s Take You Home. I find that this type of song really matches this time of the year.
    I hope you have a fantastic May, Summer! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Aww, Lais, I feel for you. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do better!

      Isn’t it? I love the oriental concept of “Dream in a Dream” and don’t get me started on how aesthetically pleasing it is to watch. I think Ten is the perfect member to ace this style. (I actually thought it was just going to be a dance video but I was super blown away by how beautiful his voice is, too.)

      I don’t follow a lot of the individual promotions that the Exo members have so thank you for sharing “Take You Home” with me. Easy listening ballads suits Baekhyun’s voice so well. :’)

      Thanks so much, Lais! Same to you. I hope all your upcoming exams go well. Fighting!!

      Like

  5. leathehatless says:

    Dance with Devils was ridiculous but I actually loved it because of it. I laughed so much at the plot. xD
    Yeah… buckle up for SnK season 2. If it’s anything like the manga is about to get really confusing.

    And congrats on finishing this semester! I wish you the best luck for the next one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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