‘Uptown Girls’ Is More Than a Comedy About Rich White Girls

Despite being a 90s kid and absolutely adoring films from the early 2000s, ‘Uptown Girls’ was one of the rare films I never got around to viewing. I’ve been holding onto the intention of actually sitting down and watching the film for nearly a decade now, and it seemed that 2021 was the year to finally do it.

Uptown Girls Film Brittany Murphy Dakota Fanning Molly Gunn Ray Schleine Corndog Hotdog scene coney island
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One of The Best Shoujo Animes of the 2000s – ToraDora!

Even though the reason behind my revisit of the anime, ToraDora!, still remains unknown, it’s definitely safe to say that this anime is timeless, beautiful, and will forever remain as a truly pure example of how moving and immersive shoujo animes were in the 2000s.

ToraDora is a legendary anime series that is grossly underrated, and if you haven’t already immersed yourself in this wonderful tale of adolescence, the series centers around our two main characters — Taiga Aisaka and Ryuji Takasu. Both teenagers come with their own set of issues, ranging from innocent high school crushes to deeply dysfunctional families, and it’s almost impossible to not get swept up in their daily shenanigans.

While both Taiga and Ryuji are as different as night and day, impossible as it may seem, they have two things in common. Both juveniles are constantly judged for their physical appearance and often have negative assumptions made about them.

For example, Ryuji constantly finds himself cursed with his father’s fierce facial features, as he’s often perceived as a delinquent, despite the fact that his housewife-ish tendencies are unbeatable — not to mention that he’s more caring than you could ever fathom. On the other hand, Taiga’s perpetually tired of other’s drawing conclusions about her based on her tiny physique.

Our female protagonist is petite and packs a mean punch. Thanks to this, she’s been labelled as the ‘Palm-top Tiger’ — a tiger so small, it could fit on top of your palm, yet is still a tiger nonetheless. Due to people often being frightened of her, Taiga only truly has one friend — Minori Kushieda. Much like Taiga, Ryuji also deals with the difficulties of forming friendships, when everybody is constantly avoiding him based on their preconceived notions about him. However, thankfully, there’s one classmate who sees past his physical appearance — the class president, Yusaku Kitamura.

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Great characters

It may be common for shoujo animes to have their very own ‘tsundere’ character, and it’s safe to say that Taiga would immediately be categorised as such. It may also be said that some viewers simply can’t stand ‘tsundere’ characters, which is completely understandable, everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinions. Personally, I don’t gravitate towards such characters, mostly because they do often rub people the wrong way. After awhile, their behaviour and harsh treatment towards the other characters can get exhausting. However, I didn’t develop any negative feelings towards Taiga’s character, at all.

As I took some time to search for the reasoning behind this, I realised that it’s due to the fact that Taiga’s treatment towards others are completely justifiable. She isn’t exceptionally mean to anyone, and when she is, it all boils down to the fact that she’s aware of something that the other characters aren’t. While viewers aren’t exactly in the know of her difficult family background, as everything is mainly revealed in the second half of the season, her behavior and the way in which she carries herself all makes perfect sense as the anime progresses on. In the end, Taiga is a good person and there’s absolutely no reason why viewers should dislike her, when deep down all Taiga wants is the best for those around her.

On the other hand, there’s simply no way that any viewer could harbour any negative feelings towards Ryuji. He’s compassionate, trusting, and an all-around good person. In fact, I’m shocked that he’s not included as one of the top anime guys; on any list. He’s able to fight when he needs to, and he’s an excellent cook to boot! You’re sure to be in good hands when you’re around him. Some might argue that he’s not the stereotypically attractive male anime character, but I personally love his character design and I wouldn’t change a single thing about him. He’s perfect the way he is, and judging him based on his looks would just further highlight the reason as to why he’s treated like a delinquent.

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The most charming thing about this series is that viewers don’t only end up falling in love with the main characters. The creators made sure that they equipped each one of their characters with a significant personality. Not every character is as they seem, Kushieda may be cheerful and optimistic, but there’s more to her. Kitamura may be the go-getter class president, but there’s more to him. What I truly appreciate about this series is that the characters don’t exactly feel like ‘supporting characters’ because we’re provided with the opportunity to truly get to know them. Through that, ToraDora truly provides its viewers with an immersive world for their coming-of-age story.

Watch it for the first time, or simply pay it a little revisit

I first watched this anime while I was still in primary school, and I loved it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it was just so good. But how can we all trust the opinion of such a young individual?

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In order to confirm my previous thoughts about the anime, I recently revisited the series. Just for your reference, and my despair as to how many years have gone by, I shall inform you that I graduated university at the beginning of this year. Which ultimately means that since my last viewing of this anime, I’ve entered high school, graduated high school, entered university, and have since graduated from it. Also, while I have absolutely no desire of returning back to my high school years, I’d like to think that I at least possess the years of experience to accurately determine whether or not this series is worth your time. Be it whether you should watch it for the first time, or simply pay it a little revisit.

It’s unique, it’s different

While I can easily see how individuals may quickly write this anime off as your run-of-the-mill shoujo anime, especially compared to the plethora of shoujo animes which currently exists, ToraDora is innately in an entirely different league of its own. We’re all familiar with the boy-meets-girl trope. But you would be hard-pressed to find a rom-com anime as immersive and personal as ToraDora. Even though the main theme of the series can been be simplified and summed up as ‘love’, the story is comfortably complex. It hits you with a storm of emotions, but ultimately leaves you with a feel-good feeling.

Another notable aspect of this anime series that I must point out, is that unlike many shoujo animes — which were adapted from a manga series — this one is complete. It’s nothing amazing for a shoujo series to run for 25 or 26 episodes, however, many of them were solely created to attract more fans to check out their manga counterpart. Which is ultimately unfortunate for those who fell for the anime; and are left to hopelessly pine for a continuation that will never be made. ToraDora is, thankfully, one of the few that successfully leaves viewers satisfied and blessed with its conclusion.

One of the best OSTs

Not only is ToraDora’s dialogue, story and visuals so thoroughly effective at inspiring laughter, and oh-so-many emotions, but what truly triggers one’s feelings is this series’s official soundtrack. While there are certainly many animes out there who can be proud for their outstanding soundtracks, there aren’t as many shoujo animes who can confidently claim that their music has been effective at pulling their viewers’ heartstrings.

While it can’t be said that the music featured in ToraDora is indefinitely the best of all time, it is one of the few that has effectively captured the essence of its most important scenes. We can all admit that nothing hits quite as hard as ToraDora‘s ‘Lost My Pieces’, but the series also contains happy and moving musical gems, such as: ‘Start Up’, ‘Happy Monday’, and ‘READY STEADY GO’.

In my opinion, this shoujo anime literally achieved the perfect blend of lightheartedness to heart-wrenching ratio. And if you’re thinking that that aforementioned statement is literally impossible because it appears to be one of the most unbelievable oxymorons ever stated, I’d like to inform you that ToraDora’s unique enough to have perfectly captured both elements — which makes it one of the best shoujo animes from the 2000s.

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Kingsman – The Secret Service [Film Review]

I haven’t had the energy to write these past couple of weeks; which would explain the lack of my promised Tom Holland post on LinnTellsAStory. However, all is well because even though I am currently stumbling through the day on a measly two hours of shuteye, my newfound love for the 2014 film : Kingsman just will not let me rest. To be honest, I’m slightly kicking myself for not having viewed this film sooner. It’s been out for two years! Of course, there was the whole past two years of examination madness but I feel like I’ve whipped out that excuse way too often; or at least more than I’d care to admit.

kingsman-the-secret-service

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Movie Review : [Little Manhattan]

Greetings.

I’m back with another movie review. I know that this is a lil’ different compared to the usual anime reviews and such, however I haven’t had much time to start up any new anime series. I stumbled over this movie, Little Manhattan, that was released in 2005 that starred an adorable, chubby, little Josh Hutcherson.

Now, let me just give you the rundown on my past with young Joshie.

I’ve been a fan of the films : ‘Zathura’, ‘Journey – To the Centre of the Earth’ and ‘Bridge to Terabithia’. Also, unbeknownst to me… he was also that chubby, obnoxious kid in the film- RV. Yes, I do mean the one starring Jojo and Robin Williams [The one and only].

However, I was completely unaware of this movie- Little Manhattan’s existence, until I recently saw Josh’s IMDB. After watching the cheesy trailer and stumbling over the movie online, I just couldn’t resist watching it…even though I was in the midst of studying for my exams… [It was okay though!! I swear. I limited myself, I actually found my performance in studying and focusing better! So what I did was sort out my time and spent 50 minutes of pure concentration on my studies and later rewarding myself with 15 hilarious minutes of ‘Little Manhattan’.]

My thoughts on this incredibly old school movie? I loved it! I absolutely loved it!

I mean, yeah. What it cheesy? ABSOLUTELY.

Was it corny? UNCERTIFIABLY.  (I don’t care if that’s a word or not. Because it’s the only way to express my thoughts.)

But it was its undoubtedly cheesy and corny existence that made it so hilariously adorable!

I don’t know…but it was just something about seeing a cute, little Josh freak out and overthink every single detail and going through the stages of paranoia that every single person of the female gender has been a victim off… that was oddly satisfying and oh-so- gratifying.

So to kick this thing off, let’s start with a quick summary of this lovable movie.

‘Little Manhattan’ is set in Manhattan (obviously) and highlights the cruel two-faced nature of love through Gabe’s (Young Josh) tale of First Love. Gabe is a typical 90s kid that lives in the fabulous ‘Big Apple’; New York. At the young cheery age of ten and three quarters, Gabe is quick to become the victim of love as he sets his eyes (and heart) on Rosemary Telesco, the rich, pretty, tap-dancing, karate-loving girl that he used to play with… before kids started reaching that whole gender-segregating phase.

As he starts falling hard, we are given the golden opportunity of savoring every little bit of it as he gets his butt kicked, overthinks everything, goes on dates with her, kisses her, proclaims his false hatred towards her, cries as the sinking feeling of regret hits him hard, declaring his undying love for her (repeatedly might I add) and of course… slow dancing with her.

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I don’t know about you, but I found myself cracking up every five minutes, either from the sheer cuteness  or how Young Joshie was an adorable, creepy, little stalker. You have got to admit that at least. My favourite seen was how he still, under all that love-sickness, was just a childish little kid. Just watching him yell ‘I hate you’ and then bursting into tears completely makes my day. Does that make me kinda mean..?

But how does that not just crack you up?

It’s inevitable!!

So far, I have come to the conclusion that this film is an absolute MUST-WATCH. Even though, it is no where near the list of my favourite movies, it just definitely something you must pick up.

It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy that everyone can enjoy, so I highly recommend it!

If you’ve already watched it, then tell me what your thoughts are on it!

Did you burst into tears? Or burst into laughter?

Let me know!

Favourite AMV Of The Day #1 [Winter Break Special]

Hello.

 

I know, I’ve been completely neglecting this section of my blog. I’m extremely sorry.

However, I’ve come up with a way to make it up to you guys!

Since I’m now currently on my winter break, I’ll be uploading AMVs that I absolutely LOVE every single day for the next two weeks! I have decided to name it my ‘Winter Break Special’!

Please look forward to all the amazing AMVs that you should also love too!

Here’s the first one for DAY 1~

 

I absolutely love the intro, plus the amazing ‘cut-a-ways’. The song is also amazing too, I found myself dancing along with it and smashing that replay button, so I hope you go through the same thing when you watch it!

Enjoy!~

The Legend of Korra Book 3- Review.

Big News!

If you have not already heard…The Legend of Korra Book 3 has finally been released. They decided to release this season earlier than planned because apparently some ‘die-hard-fans’ were already starting to get their hands on Book 3.

I wish I could say that I have been waiting for this day for my entire life but that would be a lie. I have however, been waiting for this day for  the entire week! It was released last Friday in the US, which would be today from where I’m from. (Australia), so I only just got my hands on it today!

So far, 3 episodes have already been released! It seems that this was supposed to be the special sneak peek at Book 3. Hopefully, they’ll continue to steadily release a new episode each week.

Of course, I’ve already watched all three and honestly, there are still really awesome things going on in this series. Heck, I think that I might even enjoy Book 3 more than I enjoyed Book 2. First, I want to talk about the romantic side of this series, nothing extreme is really going on with the romance section here. Aside from the after effects of the ‘break-up’, you know the awkwardness however, it’s mostly just Mako being way too overly sensitive about the whole thing.

But I guess I’m pretty relieved that nothing big is going down between that dynamic love triangle because after that emotional roller coaster at the end of Book 2, I don’t think my heart can handle anymore trauma. Aside from the crazy love triangle, Jinora might have a new love interest, his name is Kai, he’s around her age but he’s an outlaw orphan kid that just developed new air bending skills.

I know what  you’re thinking…

“There are actually more air-benders out there aside from Tenzen and his kids?!” Why, yes. In fact, Bumi, Tenzen’s awesome crazy non-bender brother started being able to airbend. Apparently  this is one of the side effects from the two portals opening, people start developing airbending abilities. Which is a giant relief because honestly, that means that airbenders can finally marry other airbenders without it being all incest and such.

So now the general outline of what Team Avatar is doing right now is that they’re rounding up all the new airbenders, they’re going to train them and take them all to live as nomads in the Northern Air Temple. The new airbenders are not being very cooperative however, since they don’t actually want to have the ability of airbending. Ungrateful of what? I would love to be an airbender! But let’s not get off track.

However, the only airbender that Team Avatar has been able to recruit is Kai, the thief boy. Which is not really going very well since all he has done so far is run away and steal goods from random citizens, which includes Mako and Bolin as well.
Speaking of Mako and Bolin, while they’re in Ba Sing Se, they lose their way, thanks to Kai and they bump into their uncle who invites them in to meet all their relatives. So things are going pretty well over here.

Also powerful criminals are slowly breaking out from their prison cells which calls for Fire Lord Zuko to make his grand appearance in The Legend of Korra. Which honestly, if you ask me, is about bloody time he did. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty shocked. I seriously thought that he was already dead, due to certain rumours but I’m glad that he’s still alive. They did have to change Zuko’s voice actor though, same as they did with Aang because they couldn’t have Dante Basco playing the voice of a 80-something year old man. Which makes sense, plus Dante Basco is already playing the voice of his grandson, General Iroh.

I think that’s it for me so far.

I really look forward to the rest of Book 3 and we’ll see how it goes.