Apparently, Hotel Del Luna is a oldy worldy hotel situated in Seoul, South Korea. The CEO for this establishment had been Jang Man Wol for the last 1000 years.
Due to a most heinous sin (she can no longer remember) which she committed all those years ago, she had been damned to run the hotel until she can find someone who committed a worst transgression than her.
I started watching this last night at Netflix and I have to say I found it really interesting.
Xue Tong was taking an exam in Marxist Philosophy when a ball of paper landed near her desk. Ever curious, she picked up the paper and quickly read it but Mu Cheng He, who was the invigilator, confiscated the paper and then deemed her a cheater.
She protested, she did not cheat but Mu Cheng He was adamant; he caught her red-handed with the cheat-note.
Xue Tong’s professor did believe Xue Tong because she was known as being studious and had garnered the sobriquet of being a hero’s daughter.
Xue Tong’s father was a taxi driver who had three violent robbers jumped into his taxi. The father droved the thugs into the nearest police station. This caused him to be fatally stabbed five times. Because of his act of valour, he was declared as a hero.
Xue Tong was proud of her father but at the same time being known as the hero’s daughter put tremendous pressure on her.
She had to maintain a reputation of being studious befitting the sobriquet, she had to excel and cannot do wrong.
The cheating scandal blew like a wildfire. Suddenly she was bullied. There were rumours that her good grades were due to habitual cheating.
The school tried to sweep the issue under the carpet because Xue Tong was a hero’s daughter.
But Xue Tong had had enough of the constant whispering from others so she did everything to find proof that would validate her innocence.
Who better than Mu Cheng He, a PhD candidate in Physics. The invigilator who started the cheating scandal. He applied physics with trying to prove that Xue Tong did not cheat. He conducted experiments about the trajectory of the ball of paper, where it came from and how it landed in Xue Tong’s vicinity.
His experiment was so spot on, that he found the exact seat of the culprit. It was Song Qi Qi throwing it to Bai Lin.
Two best friends and roommates of Xue Tong.
Because of this misdemeanour, Bai Lin thought that the school will expel her.
Senior Li, the president of the school body, said that she will be ok, it would take three strikes to kick her out. However, she had to improve her grades and do extracurricular activities like joining the school body.
Xue Tong met a handsome basketball player Liu Qi, who lent her his slippers when her slipper tong broke.
Xue Tong and Liu Qi became inseparable and she can’t be any happier.
But at the same time, Xue Tong was also playing the student teacher, Mu Cheng.
She found his student credit access card and used it to buy snacks and junk food in a corner store where Qi Qi had found a job as a shop assistant.
Mu Cheng knew that it was Xue Tong who used his card. He was very indulgent about it and just told Xue Tong to return it to him.
Xue Tong told Mu Cheng that she had taken Russian as her elective. What she did not know was that the teacher of Russian, Mr Chen who was away, was being substituted by student teacher Mu Cheng.
Xue Tong and Mu Cheng started a cute flirtation already.
The three girls, Xue Tong, Bai Lin and Qi Qi, finally met their mysterious roommate. She’s Zhou Xiao Tang, the bell of their university. She was so popular that she was continuously inundated with presents by hoards of boys with a crush on her.
Xue Tong was upset because even Liu Qi, her crush, had also let it be known that he liked Xiao Tang.
Though Xue Tong was upset with Liu Qi because he was using her to get closer with Xiao Tang, Xue Tong was also getting friendlier with Mu Cheng.
Xue Tong was meant to meet Liu Qi on the rooftop in view of her confessing to him. Xue Tong was unknowingly locked out on the rooftop by the security guard.
Mu Cheng heard her singing and saw her on the rooftop and went to rescue her.
Xue Tong was so upset that Liu Qi did not turn up for their rendezvous on the rooftop. To cheer her up, Bai Lin took her drinking at Qi Qi shop.
They then continued drinking and singing karaoke in an establishment in the red light district. It was unfortunate for them as the police turned up and arrested them for prostitution.
They were taken to the police precinct and they told the police that they did not know that the karaoke bar was a front for prostitution.
They book it online.
The police asked them to bring in a respectable guardian.
Xue Tong had to ask Mu Cheng to come and help them out at the police station.
Xue Tong and Mu Cheng were developing an affinity with their love of Russia. He lent her his precious CD, Goodbye, Lenin, to listen to chill out.
Because Bai Lin was so drunk and unruly, Xue Tong stepped on her bag where she put the CD.
Hangovered Bai Lin did not attend class and would need a letter from the school medic. When she went to the clinic she fell in love at first sight with Zhong Qiang, a swimmer.
Xue Tong and Mu Cheng continued to rely on one another. She began helping him with his thesis on thermodynamics. She had finally confessed to Mu Cheng that she destroyed his CD.
Mu Cheng took Xue Tong to the planetarium. He explained to her the Einstein theory of relativity as well as the interstellar travels of Voyager 1. Voyager 1 was launched by NASA in 1977 containing human information. A few years ago, Voyager 1 had left our Solar System.
Bai Lin went on a field trip with the Student Council with Senior Li. While away, she saw a photo of Zhong Qiang being cosy with his ex-girlfriend.
Bai Lin was, of course, got very upset but then again Senior Li was there to cheer her on. They were interrupted by the arrival of Zhong Qiang who declared to Bai Lin that he fell for her at first sight and his ex-girlfriend took the photo as the last memory of them together.
Zhong Qiang threatened to jump off the cliff if Bai Lin did not forgive them.
Meanwhile, Mu Cheng was away on a conference. Xue Tong was actually missing him.
Then he turned up and everything is rosy for Xue Tong again.
Mu Cheng invited Xue Tong to spend the day with him at the amusement park.
Xue Tong asked if they could go to the tower, where it has a reputation for a place for confessing.
Unfortunately, a schoolmate saw Xue Tong, so she and Mu Cheng ended up sitting at each opposite side of the pod with the schoolmate and her boyfriend at the middle.
Afterwards, Xue Tong asked mu Cheng if he had wanted to take her to the tower all along, sort of asking him if he was going to confess to her.
Mu Cheng was rather dense and told her that “no”, did not think of taking her in the tower.
Xue Tong got upset and started to keep away from Mu Cheng.
She even started to see her old crush, Liu Qi.
At the end of her date with her old crush, Mu Cheng showed up and had a talk with the boy. He told the Liu Qi to give up because Xue Tong his Mu Cheng’s.
Finally, Mu Cheng confessed to Xue Tong. He wrote Я люблю тебя (YA lyublyu tebya) on the windscreen of his car. It means I Love You.
And then they hugged.
Xue Tong’s mother who was a policewoman had been nagging Xue Tong for coming home late every night.
Xue Tong had been meeting Mu Cheng and they were totally loved up.
One day they were flying a kite when Mu Cheng suddenly become disorientated. He was so dizzy that he can’t drive the car.
Xue Tong was so worried thinking that her boyfriend has some terminal disease. Mu Cheng refused to go to the hospital but rather slept off his dizziness.
He later told Xue Tong that he has Meniere’s disease which causes him to have dizziness and vertigo. He got it when he was still a child.
Mu Cheng had asked Xue Tong if she wanted to go diving. He then invited her to celebrate valentine’s day and then they will go aboard for some serious diving.
In the meantime, Mu Cheng went to celebrate the New Yew with his mother and stepfather and cousin.
While Xue Tong celebrated the new year with her mother and family. She also had time to catch up with her childhood best friend.
Xue Tong was feeling particularly fond of her mother that she confessed that she has a boyfriend.
Thinking that her mother would go mental, Xue Tong was surprised that her mother was really chilled but told her that she was not ready to have a boyfriend of her daughter to meet her.
Episode 13 Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day did not go as planned for Xue Tong and Mu Cheng. They were so looking forward to seeing each other but their plans were thwarted by Mu Cheng’s mother who brought home a blind date for Mu Cheng.
Mu Cheng told his mother that he was a Valentine but the mother did not believe him and took away his car keys.
He was forced to entertain his blind date.
He was honest with Xue Tong about his blind. She was so disappointed but what can she do?!!!
Song QiQi had a surprise visitor at the shop where she worked. Her married lover came to visit her. He waited for her the strike of midnight to give her a rose and then left at 12:01 to go back to his wife. Despite a minute romance, Song Qi Qi was happy.
The annoying Bai Lin was waiting for her boyfriend to show up but being Valentine’s day, the trains and buses are overbooked, so he was stranded at his hometown.
Bai Lin managed to get a ride from a minivan which was charging an exorbitant fee. When she got to her boyfriend’s hometown, he received a call from him that he was near her house. Annoying Bai Lin screamed her head off and told him that if was not in front of her before Valentine’s Day was over, they were through.
She then posted a weibo update. Her senior, who has a massive crush on her, turned up to look after her. He did so well too, though Bai Lin did not notice it one bit.
Her boyfriend turned up, at last, he was so scared that Bai Lin might break up with her. He removed his top off and showed her his present for her for Valentine’s Day. It was a rose tattoo on his chest. But on a closer look, Bai Lin found that it was a fake.
He boyfriend told her that all the tattoo parlours were closed.
The gorgeous Xiao Tang was not having a romantic time on Valentine’s day. Her boyfriend told her that he had a meeting so he can’t meet her immediately. A beautiful bouquet of roses arrived but it was meant for another girl. It has a reminder of the time and place of their date.
Xiao Tang went to the restaurant and found her boyfriend on a date with another woman. She told them to enjoy Valentine’s day and broke up with the man.
Meanwhile, Mu Cheng finally got away and met Xue Tong. He took her to a flower shop where he ordered a bouquet of Bulgarian roses. Unfortunately, as he did not show earlier so they were all gone.
What was left was seeds of Bulgarian roses which were supposed hard to grow. It was given freely to them by the florist.
They went back to Mu Cheng’s house and they planted the seeds immediately and then each made a wish to spend all their Valentines with each other.
Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong went to Malaysia for their diving.
They shared the same room but nothing happened.
Xiu Tong was rather frustrated seeing that the place they went to was full of honeymooners and lovers.
She had not slept with Mu Cheng. The only intimacy they shared was holding hands once.
But on the last night, Xiu Tong was in a mood, frustrated.
Mu Cheng then gave her a really long snog and that made her happy but not for long because when they landed back to China and went back to Mu Cheng’s house, his mother was there and she was not very impressed at how young Xiu Tong was.
She also got very upset when he found out that the two went to Malaysia to do diving.
Diving is strictly prohibited for Mu Cheng because of his disease.
Xiu Tong left the mother and son to fight it out.
She then started ignoring Mu Cheng’s calls and texts and devoted her time helping her best friend, who was a member of a pro-animals group.
They followed a restauranteur who bought snakes as a delicacy for his restaurant.
Xiu Tong and her friend got caught by the dealers and they would have been beaten up if Mu Cheng did not turn up along with the police.
The experience shook Xiu Tong so much she asked to go home with Mu Cheng as she did not want to be alone at her house as her mother was on duty.
She was hesitant to enter the house.
Mu Cheng was looking at her concernedly.
Xiu Tong reached out to him and kissed him deeply.
He looked at her and then picked her in his arms and shot the front door and the bedroom door.
The next morning they both woke up in bed happy.
Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong became subject of gossip especially when their photographs looking rather friendly were posted in the university’s intranet.
Their friends supported them and Bai Lin asked her senior to speak to the intranet moderator to remove the photos.
To minimise the rumours Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong agreed to only see each other on weekends and outside school.
Meanwhile, Qi Qi finally revealed to her friends that she has a boyfriend but what she did not tell them was that he was married.
The immensity of being the other woman finally fell on Qi Qi like a tonne of bricks. She was having a happy lunchtime date with her boyfriend when his wife turned up out of the blue.
From then on she tried to keep away from her boyfriend. She felt very very sad as her boyfriend tried to tell her that she was important to him and that if they talk they can come into some sort or arrangement.
Qi Qi left and continued sitting and crying outside in the rain.
The next day she fainted in the shop where she worked.
The boyfriend found Qi Qi at the hospital and stayed with her until she was discharged.
Their mutual love of Lorca’s poetry had bonded them.
But their relationship was living under borrowed time.
The boyfriend’s wife came to Qi Qi Russian lecture and slapped her in front of her professor and classmates.
Her affair with a married man spread like wildfire.
Xiao Tang was very upset with Qi Qi having an affair with a married man. She slapped Qi Qi hard.
Qi Qi then decided to take a break from uni. Her boyfriend also called her and said some cruel things to break up with her.
Xiu Tong was feeling neglected at the moment. Mu Cheng’s every waking moment was spent in the laboratory, doing his experiment.
When he was with her, he was too tired.
Xiu Tong met Xiao Tang and they talked about the reason why she slapped Qi Qi
Xiao Tang confessed that she cannot abide by women having an affair with a married man. It then turned out that Xiaotang was a product of an affair. Her mother was her father’s mistress.
And being a mistress, her mother had to be satisfied with whatever she can; she was blindly in love with the Xiao Tang father that it had slightly unhinged her. She became nervy and demanding.
It was Mu Cheng’s 31st birthday and Xiu Tong decided to give him a surprise.
But in the end Xiu Tong was the one who got a surprise. Mu Cheng was different from his usual gentle, laidback gorgeous guy.
Instead, he humiliated her in front of his science workmate by telling her to go home with her cake and not to bother him.
Xiu Tong went home and waited for Mu Cheng. When he did return, he had a right go at her again.
Telling her that she was so self-centred, who lacks common sense. He told her never to do what she did again.
It was a mean, after all, what did she do? She baked him a cake and wish him a happy birthday.
Poor Mu Cheng! He had a good solid equation but no way of solving it. He gave his everything to it and now imploding.
Apparently, he was an alcoholic and had now started drinking again.
Xiu Tong was seeing a different Mu Cheng, someone she did not know or like.
She asked him why she did not share his problem with her.
He just said that he wanted her happy. He did not want to burden her.
When she insisted that she would have liked to know what was bothering him as they were a couple, he dragged her to the science lab and showed her his equation.
Suddenly, he was all manic and painstakingly explaining his theory.
The saddened Xiu Tong told him “Let’s break up.”
Mu Cheng and Xiu Tong were both in pieces.
In the end, Mu Cheng left the country for further study abroad.
Xiu Tong meanwhile is doing everything she can to get over Mu Cheng and to concentrate on her studies.
There was a very moving scene that made me cry. Xiu Tong went home to her mother and with not much to say she put her head on her mother’s knees and then cried quietly.
Bai Lin had moved in with her boyfriend but quickly found out that living together was different from dating.
She had taken responsibilities for the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Most days she did not go to class and yet still expect to graduate.
Bai Lin was in one of her hyper-volume screechings when she saw her boyfriend’s mobile phone with a photo of him with another girl.
Meanwhile, XiaoTang received an invitation letter to study abroad. She was having second thought as her first love, the cousin of Mu Cheng, had come back into her life as a business partner.
There was an earthquake in Wudian, where Liu Qi was supposed to run a marathon. It was a pretty strong earthquake that Liu Qi was greatly affected. He immediately organised a donation drive and then went there himself to help with the rescue.
Xiu Tong was impressed with his attitude but got worried when she cannot contact him after hearing the news that a busload of volunteers from Tang Yu met an accident.
Xiu Tong was now an intern to the university magazine and they were covering the disaster.
Thank goodness, Liu Qi turned up ok in the end.
The most annoying character, Bai Lin was so immature. She was so jealous that her boyfriend was having a second thought about her.
She tried to force him to get a rose tattoo on his chest.
He was reluctant because he was a swimmer and he had not known any professional swimmer to have tattoos on their chest.
Bai Lin, however, would not hear out of it.
Finally, her boyfriend told her that she was too immature and seemed to delight in torturing him. He left and the annoying Bai Lin was left sobbing outside their dorm waiting for Xiu Tong to turn up for some sympathy.
Xiao Tang had decided to stay with Mu Hai rather than go abroad to study.
Zhang Qiao finally dumped Bai Lin completely and she was so overwrought.
Liu Qi, who had introduced marathon running to Xiu Tong, finally confessed to Xiu Tong. He asked if they can be together.
Xiu Tong replied, “yes.”
Xiu Tong and Liu Qi were starting a sweet if rather cautious romance. He was very patient with her and very caring, which Xiu Tong noticed and appreciated.
Xiu Tong’s best friend, Chen Yan, had come back again from America. Chen Yan liked Mu Cheng for Xiu Tong but having met Liu Qi, she also approved of him.
Song Qi Qi had finally contacted her friends. Qi Qi was now a grade school teacher in a rather remote village.
The girls, Xiu Tong, Bai Lin, Xiao Tang, and Chen Yan plus Liu Qi went to see her and they had a happy reunion.
When they returned home, Xiu Tong realised that her mother had changed. She then saw her mother looking carefree and having coffee with her colleague, He.
When she confronted her mother, she confessed that she had started a new relationship.
Xiu Tong was upset not for herself but for her dead father. She felt that he was being betrayed.
Her mother then told her that before her father died, they contemplated getting a divorce because her father was having an affair.
Xiu Tong was shocked!
Xiu Tong unexpectedly met the parents of Liu Qi. They made a surprise visit and Xiu Tong felt embarrassed that she may have appeared lacking in some ways because she was deep in thoughts about her father during dinner.
Liu Qi was chilled about it and like him even more.
She was video chatting to Liu Qi when she got a call from Mu Cheng.
Yes, Mu Cheng was back to China from Germany.
Xiu Tong ignored his call.
They met again when Xiu Tong was most upset.
Her best friend, Chen Yan was murdered by a psychopath.
Mu Cheng found out about the passing of Chen Yan via the animal website as he had been helping Chen Yan with Russian translation and information.
Mu Cheng immediately went to the hospital to find Xiu Tong, who was sitting on the steps of the hospital, totally out of herself.
Mu Cheng tried to condole with her but Xiu Tong just got up and left him without acknowledging his presence.
The next day, Mu Cheng can still be found at the steps having not moved an inch. The battery in his car had been used up and they had to tow the car away. Teacher Chen came to help and convince him to go back home and pack as he was due to return to Germany, where his experiment was progressing.
Mu Cheng decided not to go back. He was apparently not doing it for Xiu Tong but rather for himself.
Xiu Tong was now in fourth-year college and she was slowly coming to terms with the death of her best friend.
The death of Chen Yan had a tremendous impact on Xiu Tong. I reckon this had given her a post-traumatic stress disorder because she made strange decisions.
She had been studying for the chance to get the post-graduate only slot. Her mother was proud of her, her aunt was proud of her, her grandma was proud of her, Teacher Chen was proud of her, Mu Cheng was proud of her, Liu Qi was proud of her, Bai Lin was proud of her, Xiaotang was proud of her and even Song Qi Qi, who was her main rival for the post was proud of her. Everyone was proud of her.
Completing her post-graduate studies would mean she could write her meal ticket, laughing on her way to the bank!
What did she do? She withdrew her intention to apply because she would rather have a coloring book published.
Yep, it can only be PTSD.
I have to say the ending was so abrupt. This should have not been the case because they could have had enough time to make the story more focused. The first few episodes were on the tad boring, nothing really happened much. If only they could have tightened the script from beginning to end, they could have really made something more interesting with this drama because it did tackle a lot of life situations.
But having said that, it was enjoyable enough to watch.
Ok how did it end?
Xiu Tong was feeling neglected by the lovely and caring Liu Qi, because he got it into his head to become an international gamer champion rather than the promising civil engineer that he could be.
Liu Qi was playing computer games all the time. But he had a heart to heart with Xiu Tong who ultimately agreed to support his dream.
Qi Qi came back to resume her studies at Tang Yu University.
Bai Lin has Senior Li to look after her.
Xiao Tang’s business partnership with Mu Hai was uncertain as he made decisions which he would not discuss with her first.
Mu Cheng had started circling Xiu Tong again.
At the bridge/jetty Xiu Tong had both Liu Qi and Mu Cheng waiting for what she would say.
Three years later…
Xiu Tong invited the girls to her house for a get-together. Everyone was moaning about how life is so frenetic and they don’t even have time to date or get married.
They concurred that everyone had changed except for Xiu Tong.
Xiu Tong was living the life she wanted and even gotten married.
Cue: knock on the door.
Her husband had forgotten to bring his keys again.
Xiu Tong opened the door and it was…
Mu Cheng (surprise surprise) who said that he purposely forgot his key so she could open the door and see her sooner. Ahhh
Tamako In Moratorium (Japanese Movie Review & Summary)
Tamako in Moratorium poster
Genre: Family, Drama
Date Released: October 2013
Film: 78 Minutes
Tamako Sakai – Atsuko Maeda
Yoshitsugu Sakai – Suon Kan
Jin – Seiya Ito
Keisuke Sakai – Keiichi Suzuki
Yoshiko Sakai – Kumi Nakamura
Yoko – Yasuko Tomita
This drama is so clever. I have to say I watched it expecting to see something climactic in the end because all the initiating forces were there. Thus kept you interested hoping for a dramatic or at least heartwarming ending!
It started in Autumn. Tamako was a 23-year-old woman, who had just graduated from university. She seemed to have promptly returned to her father, who was divorced from the mother, who was currently working and living in Tokyo with another man.
Anyway, Tamako had turned into a complete sloth who instead of looking for a job and enjoying young adult life was instead can be found, sleeping, eating, reading manga or playing video games. She was completely dependent on her father, who runs a sports equipment shop.
Her father does the cooking and he was quite good at it as well, he does the cleaning and he was very thorough too, plus he does the laundry, even washing his daugther’s undies.
The way she was abominably treating her father, you would think that he had done something really wrong with her, like incest for instance, but know her father was affable and quite good to her. He even spoils her with an expensive gift when he gets drunk.
At first, her father would ask her why she was not looking for work? What was the point in going to university?
Tamako replied that it was not the time, she will around to it… soon.
Autumn rolled into winter, winter into spring and spring into summer.
Tamako remained unemployed but she did try to send an application to become an idol.
Her father saw the photos she had had taken of her in cutsy poses (Again the rather hush hush way Tamako and the boy talked of keeping secret the pictures taken, I thought it was nude photos. (This was from the clever use of a near-nude new year’s calendar somewhere in the film which subliminally insinuated it.
The photographer was the highschooler. Again, I put drama in this relationship as well. I thought Tamako would fall for the young boy because of sheer boredom and loneliness from being coop up at home.
But no, again it was a non-starter.
She tagged along with her father to go to her uncle’s house for free food.
Tamako heard that her father, who had become rather cheerful lately, had begun dating an accessory teacher.
Tamako was intrigued and was against the idea at first. But her aunt said that her father should start looking for a life companion as Tamako will sooner rather than later be leaving home not that she was grown up.
Tamako tried to find out everything about her father’s new girlfriend.
She send the schoolboy to the centre where the woman taught.
The boy said that she was kind, charming, a divorcee owns a cat, etc.
Tamako asked if she was pretty.
The boy said he doesn’t know but probably.
Tamako can’t help it but see for herself how the woman was.
She went to the centre herself and even attended the accessory making session.
The woman was very kind and soon enough Tamako was telling her that she doesn’t have any problem with the woman dating her father. Tamako warned her though that her father was very pretentious. He cooked at home and add decoration to his food like putting parsley on top of the food. She also told her that he had hairy legs. She also said that her father nagged at her but cannot find the courage to tell her to move out.
The woman said pointedly to Tamako that now she knew why her father can’t find a girlfriend, it was because Tamako is mean.
During another dinner with her father, he finally told her that by the end of summer, she should move out.
This seemed to have shaken Tamako a bit because she started helping in the shop.
That afternoon, while eating popsicle with the boy, they got talking about his love life.
He confessed that he had broken up with his girlfriend.
When she asked him why?
He said the feeling had just naturally vanished.
Left alone, Tamako pondered about feelings which naturally vanished. She then said to herself, I have never heard of that one before.
The film ended…
At first you feel like what had just happened? Nothing had really happened yet? Why is it finished?!!!
But it was just like taking paracetamol. The effect is not instantaneous, you have wait and ponder a little while to realise that the film was really clever. Behind non-eventful scenes lie self-summary of the film. You are left to add your self-contained dramas to the film. Or just say what a b******t film.
By the way, the lead actress was excellent. She was so annoying in her laziness but she was so pretty, you forgive her.