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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
Father, Mother Escaped Again
June 19, 2017
Status: c18
Rating: 4.5 for translating quality; 1 for actual plot. So I guess a...2? Maybe?? Current ratings disgust me though, so I'm giving it a 1.

Read all the released chapters to see if my opinion would change, but nope - definitely opting out of this one.

WARNING: <spoilers> & mature language/content.

... more>> The translation quality is fantastic. The general slang & English colloquialisms are on point. It was the glossed over noncon/dubcon that gave me the heeby-jeebies & ultimately had me marking this series off as a lost cause.

Here's why:

1. She's a virgin/never even held a man's hand before, & reacts to talk of s*x w fear. Not just hesitation - fear.

2. They don't consumate their marriage the night of when she's unwilling/terrified, but only bc she kicks him in the 'nads (hard enough to incapacitate him) when he tries to force himself on her.

3. The night they do the do, it's still noncon. & it's blatantly presented as a punishment. As in: you screwed up, so I'm screwing you.

4. He [email protected] her 7x in one night, which has her looking pale/tired/uncomfortable the next morning. This is funny. She's in pain and she can't walk w/o support. Haha.

5. As the story continues, she balks at every advance made by him in daily life & tries to avoid sleeping with him whenever/however she can. The next time he [email protected] her, she attempts to kick him in the jewels again, but he pins her down anyway.

All the misogynistic tropes aside, the FMC isn't much better. She makes 'funny', 'quirky' little plans to drug these other men to offer them up to her horny husband, who she believes to be gay.

Of course, this was all served as a lighthearted comedy, bc [email protected] can somehow be a joke if presented the right way. & some people are okay with that. Bc it's just a casual work, a light novel. A blip on the internet. Not like it's going to desensitize anyone (๏_๏) or normalize anything. (ಠ‿↼)

I'm not even going to touch the homophobia. But-... yeah, no thank you.

TL;DR The lighthearted packaging of such dark material is disturbing. [email protected] is a very real & specific act of violence. I'd much rather this be excruciatingly detailed & explicit than the shallow, morbid mockery it is. [email protected] should never be correlated w 'Romance' or 'Comedy', ever. Sorry, bc the translating quality was honestly fabulous, but I'm out.

Quick edit: Anyone who thinks the behavior in this is okay bc it's "Asian" and "part of their culture", or tries to correlate it with anime, k-pop, k-drama, anything "trendy" and East Asian needs to STOP. I'm assuming you're like 12-15, but please reevaluate yourself/your words before you continue proliferating BS. <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
A Tale of Two Phoenixes
September 21, 2016
Status: c27
Rating: 2, if I'm being nice.

Warning: rant ahead. Also, SPOILERS AHOY!!!

I have to admit I was excited by the premise of this story. A transmigration story with a clever female lead? And a historical, deliberate reverse harem?? Yes. Sign me the pluck up. I was ready for an assertive female lead in a position of power, especially if it challenged gender dynamics in a historical setting. I am still ready. I will forever be ready. :')

You know how transmigration stories always try to display the protagonist in a... more>> better light by portraying the original inhabitant of the body as a poorer version? As if it's impossible to make the current protagonist likable without trashing the character of the original. This normally isn't a huge deal, as it's basically a cornerstone of CN transmigration LNs, and goodness forbid we have more than one likable/strong female. But. With the expectations the premise inspired... It was doubly disappointing in this story.

You see, one of the main reasons, if not The Reason, the original inhabitant of the body was so very, extremely, unrepentantly, unforgivably unlikable...? The reverse harem she had.

I mean, the story also mentions her selfish and ruthless nature (which is interestingly yet eye-rollingly connected with her s*xual immorality), but the new inhabitant of the body never misses an opportunity to decry and scorn the original. Such as when the protag despairs that the body she's inhabiting belonged to a woman denounced by history, with her name sullied forever to never be used again, because she had the gall, as a woman, to be above men. How disgusting, right? Unforgivable. She definitely deserved to have her life cut short and replaced by a 'better', more 'virtuous', more 'pure' version.

She's also constantly pointed out to be an adulterer and insinuated to be a s*xual deviant. This is, of course, ignoring the harmfulness of male libidos and their pervasive infidelity. Also,
Spoiler

one of the 'understandable' and 'excusable' reasons some men in her harem plan a rebellion against her is because their pride is injured, being a male concubine. Which. It's obviously that it was a woman who owned the harem that was the problem, not that they were concubines. Protag even goes as far as to release them to prove her 'virtue/goodness/womanly worth'.

[collapse]
*insert eyes rolling out of my face*
And did I mention how any sign of a woman having a s*xual drive being a terrible, horrible, no-good thing is? And how often this is reinforced not only by the antiquated opinions of other characters, but by the protagonist herself? And how the protag has gross reactions to things like a man putting on makeup like feeling grossed out herself and wondering what's wrong with the men who do it?

Additionally, and this was the last straw for me, the most likely romantic partner for the protagonist is a man insinuated to be the most powerful, despite being a concubine. His most significant trait is being unfazed by the princess and curiously powerful - to the point of having the other men's loyalty and being able to go against her orders freely. His 'mysterious draw' seems to be that she has no real power or control over him, and that she is not really above him in any way, much less equal. Oh no. He is definitely her superior, better than her and a few hundred steps ahead of her at any given moment, which is /so attractive/, amirite? *eyes roll on the floor*

Tl;dr I was excited by the idea that there might be less chauvinism in this story, but instead the protagonist is a loud/proud espouser and figure-head for s*xist ideals, and traditional gender roles. The underlying message is still, disappointingly, that women should never be 'On Top', and if a woman dares to be equal, she is a harlot/sinner/failure. Oh, and men are only attractive if the gender inequality is tipped in their favor. *eyes roll themselves off a cliff into blissful oblivion, away from this story*

The only redeemable part about this fic was that she did have scenes where she used her head and made clever decisions (though they were notably unrelated to romance/gender which is a good 90% of this story.) Also, the translator (who also does Stunning Edge) did an A+ job of making the story easy to read and understand. So kudos to her.

If you do not mind the s*xism and misogyny, and find deleterious gender roles to be your thing (or at least something you can brush aside), then maybe this might be a good read for you. For others like me, with a pretty basic but firm set of standards for female representation in my media, this is a no-go. <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
Soshite Shoujo wa Akujo no Karada o Te ni Ireru
September 20, 2016
Status: c5
It's okay, but the antiquated ideas of what a female should be like rub at my senses like a cheese grater. If the original inhabitant of the body was a Bad Girl, in a bad way, then okay, cool, another reason for the MC to look awesome. Unfortunately, the characteristics that have been associated with the original being 'bad' are... not cool.

*Warning: rant-y review below.*

It's much like Stunning Edge in that the original owner of the body the MC pops into is a 'Horrible Person/antagonistic character', primarily bc she likes... more>> boys, & isn't shy about it. Chasing after boys isn't a great hobby, but it doesn't explain or excuse the utter loathing/scorn others have for the MC's predecessor. I know the author is trying to make the MC look good with some contrast but...

Not to mention that in this particular series, the original was a high school student. A high school student. I don't know about you all, but I definitely didn't have my priorities in order when it came to my hormones/etc back when I was a teen. My sense of self was as highly influenced by my peers and the social constructs of that time as any other student.

But somehow it's okay to call her a 'loose b*tch' because she wore makeup & showed interest in the opposite s*x? First of all, what the flipping figs - sl*t shaming is NOT okay. I mean, I guess females exist to gain approval from the menfolk, but it doesn't count unless the approval is gained passively, right? Goodness forbid the female be active or aggressive in any way while trying to gain that approval. No, no - much too intimidating. So unattractive. Obviously she might as well be a prostitute.

Secondly, makeup shouldn't be some sort of scarlet letter?? I am East Asian & understand why older generations have their qualms about makeup and such amongst the youngins, but really? Makeup helps hide the flaws society is so eager to pick up on, and can boost self confidence. And a hormonal, likely insecure teenage girl with no one to boost her confidence or ameliorate her loneliness but herself? Not even her family members to support her? Not even her own mother who loves her for who she is rather than asking what 'went wrong'? Not even a single friend at school to assure her she doesn't need male approval to not feel alone/to not feel worthless? Not even a teacher who doesn't think of her with offensive slurs? And if she really is making some horrible choices, she doesn't have a single person (friend/family/teacher/anyone) willing to guide her? Hrmmmm. I wonder why ever she would commit suicide. HRRRRMM.

Honestly, in my opinion, the adults in this situation are The Worst & should turn in their Adulting License asap. Their Parenting License too, if they have one.

*end of rant-y overview on why I think the attempts to portray the original as the terrible alternative to the MC smell of BS and close-minded bigotry*

But hey, at least the MC is pretty much a precious cinnabun.

(even if it comes at the cost of making the body's original owner a foil bc of all the wrong reasons)

Edit (after reading ch13) : ideas like makeup and assertiveness/take action attitude being associated with her being a horrible person and a 'loose b*tch' still rub me the wrong way, but at least her mom seems more supportive, and a little background was given on some of the things she did in the past & why MC thinks the original Aika committed suicide. MC is also still as adorably green as ever. <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
Divine Doctor: Daughter of the First Wife
April 16, 2018
Status: c78
I was really enjoying this story up until chapter 42, honest.

I liked the "OPness" of the female character. A female character who has experience as a military doctor? Sounds intriguing.

Yes, the Pharmacy Pocket Dimension is a little OP, but I don't see people complaining when male protagonists get ridiculous skills on top of unbelievable stats.

The only thing I found a little annoying about her skills was the claim about being combat-adept. She never trains or has reason to display her physical skills. It comes off as just... more>> a bullet point in her profile to further cement her suitability for the similarly Extremely Above Average male lead. She even mentions she needs to tone up her body/muscles, yet no training up to my current chapter.

There's also this s*xist dynamic in Chinese novels that never fails to aggravate me. That is, no matter how skilled, talented, and strong the female lead is, the male lead is always a step ahead.

The part that best encapsulates this spirit is as follows:

Spoiler

"However, even if I am successful in learning it, there will still be a large gap when fighting you... You know how to use qing gong and how to use a long weapon. These things added together put me at a disadvantage. From the two battles, there has only been one outcome."

[collapse]

It is impossible for a strong female lead in a CNovel to be more skilled or powerful than her male counterpart. The balance must always be in favor of the male.

(ꐦ⌅⌄⌅) ノ彡┻━┻

But MC's verbal tete-a-tetes with her enemies and subtle manipulations were entertaining and satisfying.

Then came chapter 42.

My reaction to chapter 40-42 was and is, well, I am... disgusted. Furious, and disgusted.

Spoiler

One particularly antagonistic servant is deliberately lured into situation where she is [email protected] by the master of the house.

JinYuan (MC's father) is delivered an aphrodisiac that was originally meant to poison MC's little brother by MC's servant Wang Chuan, and Chen-shi's servant Jin Zhen. (Chen-shi being one of the main villains and essentially MC's evil stepmother.)

Wang Chuan, under MC's orders, then forces Jin Zhen to stay with JinYuan as the medicine takes effect.

Here's a line from that part: "Wang Chuan retreated while bowing, her gaze containing a hint of a sly look. Until she exited the room, she did not forget to close the door behind her."

Basically, MC and her servant influence events so the servant of Chen-shi is [email protected] by JinYuan.

[collapse]

This is painted to be some sort of twisted retribution. A "serves her right" kind of moment.

I felt physically ill reading this.

To make it worse, the author paints the womanchild who was just [email protected] as a villain in the midst of her own assault.

Spoiler

Jin Zhe's fear just disappears and she begins plotting how her [email protected] can benefit her, while she's still being violated.

She can just brush off her [email protected] because, and I quote, "she was not a young girl with no s*xual experience."

[collapse]

The author not only uses [email protected] as a punishment, but glazes over the seriousness of the crime and its effects on the victims, and, on top of that, attempts to depict the victim in such a way that the audience feels less pity and less horror and less sympathy.

Not to mention the idea of non-virginal women being somehow unaffected by s*xual assault.

(˙ ͜ʟ˙)

I just. No. No.

[email protected] is not something you use to "get back" at other women; it's not to be used as revenge. It's not a weapon you inflict on other women who "deserve it."

If you're going to write about [email protected], you write about it with respect. With research. With sensitivity and humane consideration for victims of s*xual assault. With realism.

I am going to attempt to continue reading, but I cannot emphasize enough how much of a travesty that scene is, and how much it decimated my respect for the author.

I should also point out that there is fatphobic connotations, with the author's description of Chen-shi, and the insults of other characters that focus on her weight.

Further, not only the writing, but the reader response seems to be generally s*xist. Feng Jin Yuan is human trash and arguably the worst villain in this story, along with his mother, yet the audience is led to aim their vitriol primarily at Chen-shi and Chen Yu.

(I personally find the latter an intriguing character and admirable, to a certain degree. She is crafty, intelligent, beautiful, and ambitious in a society in which women are essentially powerless without being somewhat greedy for stability/safety. She also has a dense and graceless burden of a mother. But she's still the antagonist, so. There's that.)

In other news, the translating is great, easy to understand, and has very few typos. The footnotes were also helpful.

The rating I want to give this series: 1/10.

The rating I am currently willing to give: 2/10; still a failing grade but marginally better, accounting for good translation quality, (lost) character potential, and the dialogue/developments excluding the s*xual assault.

Edit: In response to a PM I was sent about my review by DaoFox, telling me not to "pretend" to have deep/complicated reasons and to read the entire story before being critical...

Whether there is more to read or not, what I have read and addressed is still atrocious. Even if my opinion of the rest of the novel is positive, my opinion of what I have read, and the criticisms I gave, still stand. I also used spoiler boxes where I needed to, and I am sorry you think I shouldn't have been using them because I haven't "read enough."

[Pls do not passive aggressively contact me and attempt to mock me unless you have a salient argument. (。^‿^。) ] <<less
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Kimchi759
I started this because I was looking for a series with a strong female lead and no romance.

Strong female lead? Yeah, eventually.

No romance? Debatable. There's romantic subtext and a lot of validation through male admiration/approval. And, of course, invalidation bc male dismissal/disapproval. Either way, a woman's worth is hinged on how desirable men find her. Female characters are worthless because no men like them (back), or worthy because men (or one particularly exceptional man) likes them.

What was particularly frustrating, and at times infuriating, was the contrast between the feminist veneer... more>> and the misogynistic messages.

The feminist veneer was wonderful, if flimsy and artificial. Female lead with aims and goals outside of romance? Great. Scathing observations about Alpha Male leads? Awesome. Heroine who tries to use logic and reason as much as possible? Fantastic. Female warriors/combatants who refuse to be seen as inferior to the men? Flippin' beautiful.

Unfortunately, everything that showed through the transparent veneer was... gross.

Examples:

Spoiler

    • The characterization of the lead as "Not Like The Other Girls" and out of the norm for recognizing sh***y dudes as trash.
      (eg. "This indicated that she had stayed in the hospital too long. Ning Shu, whose sense of aesthetic had diverged from that of ordinary people, expressed that she didn't understand.")
    • Little non sequiturs like this: "All women liked being subdued by a strong man." "So much hidden bitterness, you're acting like a total girl."
    • The s*xual dynamics, wherein men are characterized as being naturally licentious and unable to control themselves, and therefore excused of all responsibility when it comes to intercourse (even forced).
    • Use of the Madonna-Wh*re Complex, with the 'villainous' women being promiscuous/s*xually active, and vice versa.
    • Reaffirmations of s*xist Confucian ideology/the status quo, especially by tying the antagonist with less conservative tropes and villifying these "against the current" cliches.
[collapse]

But the most unforgivable aspect of this novel was the gender violence.

There is a lot of rape and dubcon. And it is extremely glossed over.

Memorable examples:

Spoiler

- The "he isn't raping me - he seems like a good guy (also he's hawt) " example. Dude puts his unwanted wife through rape, torture, and forced prostitution just because he doesn't love her. He has a good impression of her when Ning Shu takes over, so he wants to "make her his." He hasn't changed, but his view of her has, so the author describes him favorably with constant comments on his unruly good looks. He doesn't give a sh** about the women his men rape though, and neither, aparently, should you.

- The "he's so nice usually, and she deserves it" example. Woman is raped by the man who comforts her while she's mourning the loss of her OTL because he "can't take it anymore"... She's portrayed as unreasonable for refusing to forgive him when he "continues treating her gently and considerately" afterwards, to which he responds by raping her repeatedly. It's all good though, because she's the antagonist. Rape can be used as a justifiable punishment right? Ha. Asdfghjkl.

[collapse]

Aside from that, there were also a wealth of plot holes and inconsistencies. The characterization was often inorganic, forced, and illogical; especially for the antagonists, though even the heroine was prone to random personality changes.

There was tons of potential here. A shame it wasn't carried through. <<less
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Kimchi759
Rating: 3.7

Eh. It's not bad. There's not much to judge bc only seven chapters have been translated, but it's the basic Otome Villainess Reincarnation story. The trope used is the one where the original protagonist of the game is actually an antagonist.

She does pretty well keeping her cool during the Engagement Break scene, but I do wish that she'd been given a chance to actually save herself. Aquasteed Marineforest (lol at the ridiculous names in this) ends up being the one to rescue her and redeem the status of the... more>> poor Damsel in Distress. What better way to prove she's not as pitiable or pathetic as one might believe after being dumped by the idiot prince/fiancé than to publicly get the approval of another prince? Male approval as a necessity for redemption/value as a female individual seems to be an overreaching theme. But the translations are pretty good, & the male lead seems cool so far, in that he takes her wishes into account when setting things up for them to be affianced. <<less
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Kimchi759
I'm going to preface this with an admission that I dropped this after reading up to v2ch3 (& then up to Extra 4). Also, I dropped this a while back and my memory is more than fuzzy.

However, looking back at my comments on the chapters, I understand why I dropped it, and I have subzero inclination to pick it up again. Re-reading or continuing would be torture.

The male lead is plain Trash. And the female lead is frustratingly, idealistically "feminine". This label includes all the terribly misogynistic stereotypes about the... more>> female gender.

Here's a quote I haven't seen in the reviews thus far that does much to reaffirm my decision to leave this in the bin:

“Those kind of words, you know, Christina. To the men that attended the party, those are the kind of compliments that they’ll easily say to anyone, anywhere. It is an old trick that men use to persuade women to sleep with them.”

This line sounds more than suspiciously like the lies abusive a**holes forcefeed their SOs to make them feel worthless/unattractive/undesirable. They do this so their victims lose confidence & independence.

This was in the same chapter as the quote about killing all other men interested in her, btw.

Plus, Albert is unsettlingly aggressive in his s*xual advances. It's her fault if she turns him on so much that he loses control and can't listen to a "no" - that kind of aggressive.

i don't expect much from WNs/LNs, and I expect even less from series tagged with "yandere", but. This is too much.

Can't recommend, in good conscience. 😰 <<less
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Kimchi759
I've only read a single chapter of the manga so far, and zilch of the novel. However, I'm giving it a five stars (for now) on the basis of the poor reasoning given by the people who've reviewed it negatively.

Whether I change the rating or not is up to how I feel after reading what has been released.

What I have to say atm: the idea of the "Mary Sue" was created & proliferated by misogynistic chauvinists who wanted to police the depiction & empowerment of women in media by dismissing... more>> them as fancifully indulgent/unrealistic. Conveniently ignoring their own idolatry of OP male counterparts in fantasy, science fiction, adventure, etc.

Labeling any exceptional or "special" female character with talents/aesthetics/intelligence above what they perceive to be the norm a "Mary Sue" is lazy and offensive. (I do have issues with the eurocentrism of the MC's looks, but that's another issue, and unrelated.)

That's all, for now. I'll come back to this review for edits/additions after a read.

Additions:

The manga is much easier to read than these translations, but it's not impossible to understand. Just harder bc the grammar is a bit off. The motives of Asahi are unknown, but I'd appreciate some explanation by the end of this. Her chaacterization is pretty one-dimensional, & she seems to only exist to gather sympathy for the MC so far.

The MC is a little frustrating bc her troubles are understandable and she is pitiable, but she does little to solve her own problems. She just complains and lists her grievances in mental monologues. Get a restraining order, move to another prefecture, go to a boarding school, elucidate in public how much you'd rather she leave you be. Anything.

A little disappointed the MC isn't as sharp as she initially seemed to be. She's more dense and rash than I thought, and less intelligent/wise/shrewd than I had hoped.

She is definitely OP, but it's acknowledged and comedic. Ex: "Seeing Ruri effortlessly create the dimensional tear that was supposed to at least be challenging, ___ smiled bitterly." <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
Mesmerizing Ghost Doctor
July 26, 2018
Status: 259
I really struggled with this rating. I do like this novel, overall, but the usual flaws of cnovels came out in full force.

My main issues being:

    1. the use of s*xual violence/rape (rape is used as a punishment multiple times)
    2. the homophobia, esp as it intersects with noncon/dubcon (eg. it's okay or funny when it's men being assaulted; gay men are predatory & gross)
    3. the reinforcement of gender roles & power dynamics in romance (eg. males must be stronger & women must be saved/Damsels in Distress, at least in front of their love interest)
Spoiler

1. Mainly "bad guys" getting raped as just desserts, but characters that aren't necessarily "bad" are also punished through forced prostitution.

2. The main character has a male persona which leads to predictable homophobia. Main character plays along sometimes, but mainly to see others squirm, and recoils in disgust other times.

3. The female lead is very strong, and very blessed. This is fine - it's actually enjoyable since she does have weak spots and people she knows to avoid challenging. What sucks is that the male lead, as per usual in these novels, is leagues stronger. Like, leagues. Enough to turn her into a Damsel in Distress needing to be rescued by him, despite her OP fantasy protag status. Y'know, as the male leads always have to be in these novels to reinforce the gender power dynamics in romanic pairs. (He also has her captured and put to work at his castle, which is a gross trope.)

[collapse]

These issues made it really, really hard to enjoy the novel.

Some of the positives include the female lead knowing her own limits; the female lead continuing to train and grow; the kind, caring family members; the ML not being a complete asshole; and the existence of friendly, non-romantic characters (especially Leng Shuang as a friendly female character, even if servile). These were great aspects.

But the issues made me want to give the novel a 3* review.

I did so enjoy it when I numbed my brain cells to the flaws, stopped reading critically, and pretended I didn't know or care about the harmful effects this kinda media has... but yeah. It was painful reconciling the positives with the glaring negatives.
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
May I Ask For One Final Thing?
June 18, 2019
Status: c4
I had such high hopes for this series, but yet again I’ve learned my lesson. Set my hopes & standards low. Bury them in the ground so people don’t even know they’re walking over ‘em.

Female main character is extremely entertaining. She’s a “perfect oujo-sama” character. A villainess in an otome game who only follows after her fiancé bc politics. A popular, untouchable student of exemplary grades & conduct. Only she happens to have violent tendencies that result in an inner monologue that sounds rather, uh, bloodthirsty. In a comedic way,... more>> of course.

Unfortunately, the author chose to do the old & tired thing of forcing the gendered power imbalance in favor of the Male Lead. In short, it’s yet another story where the exceptional female lead has to be weaker than the male lead. And, to make it even worse, he’s an If-I-Try-I’m-a-Genius type. So when she does “win”, it’s bc he so graciously Let her.

I’m just... so tired of it. This obnoxiously upheld dynamic is so contrived & in poor taste. The male lead does not always have to be smarter/richer/stronger for fig’s sake. Just, for once, let the exceptional female protagonist be a Top Student or whatever without the male lead being secretly even better. He doesn’t have to be the worst student or the poorest/most idiotic male either — just don’t force his gender superiority! *pterodactyl screeching*

Anyway. I will say that Sangria’s translations were of a good quality. There wasn’t any fragmented grammar that interrupted the flow of the story, & the content was easy to understand as a whole. <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
Sugar Apple Fairytale
April 20, 2018
Status: v3c1
It is such a shame this was dropped.

I usually write lengthy reviews because I try to make my criticisms as detailed and well-supported as possible, but.

I love this series so much? I mean, if I really, really tried, I could find flaws, no doubt. And yet I don't want to?

... more>> It's just somehow so very pleasant to read, and the translating was done so well. The formatting, phrasing, etc was great.

Again, it's a shame it was dropped. Especially when there was so much left to read! The manga spin-off only covers the first volume, too.

I sincerely hope someone picks this project up. <<less
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Kimchi759
Kimchi759 rated it
A Star Reborn: The Queen’s Return
June 24, 2019
Status: --
Well. Here’s what I thought.

1) Female lead is tolerable. Her talent, strong-will, and self-confidence make her admirable, if not likable.

2) Male Lead A: Li Lei... A massive disappointment. He was sweet and attentive at first, but my opinion of him quickly soured. He had his employees deliberately create a huge dilemma so that she’d have no choice but to call him for help and depend on him.

To be specific, ... more>>
Spoiler

when the predatory CEO of another company (who she’s rejected) offers a deal to have her transferred to his company, the employee tells her she’s not worth enough for them to keep her. They do this knowing they’re forcing her to choose b/t being sold to the other CEO as a personal play toy, or submitting to her current CEO as his “lover”.

[collapse]
... yeah. I know. Gross.

3) Male Lead B: He Who Shall Not Be Named. The other CEO. Human waste. Garbage. An huge, smelly, physically and mentally abusive pile of t-rex poo.

Spoiler

He adopts her as a kid with promises to treat her ill sister. Somehow, this turns into a romance, only for him to turn his back on her saying he needs a “proper wife” — she’s a side piece. Then, when she tries to leave him, he mentally and physically abuses her. Like, dude literally uses doctors and nurses and drugs and even straitjackets.

Oh, and he also:

  • locks her in a cage with rabid dogs
  • keeps her chained captive in a room
  • whips/beats her
  • tries to condition her with alternating abuse and comfort
[collapse]

3 & 4) Both music producers in her life are leagues better than either male lead. For example, one tried to help her out of the dilemma Male Lead A orchestrated.

Tl;dr while the fem lead is intriguing and attractive as a protag, both male leads are controlling, manipulative, and have no respect for her free-will & autonomy. They constantly try to force her into becoming their possession and “submitting” to them. Sometimes thru violent means.

I tried to stick round for the music producers & the showbiz elements, but the male leads were too much of a turn off. <<less
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