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KajoReviews: Sakuraco, Japanese premium snack box Flavours of Hakone edition

Even though you have never ordered this, you might have seen this snack box being promoted by your favourite influencer or Youtuber.

It was also featured on Forbes, BuzzFeed, Vice, Cosmopolitan and even The New York Times.

Sakuraco is a monthly curated Japanese snack box.

In each box, there are 20 authentic Japanese snacks and candy as well as the perfect tea to pair with them.

It also comes with a 24-page guide so you can read the stories of where your snacks come from.

To complete this unique experience, every box will have home goods such as ceramics, chopstick or furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping cloths) sourced from traditional makers.

The snack box that arrives to your home is different every month so you will never get tired of trying the same thing.

They work closely with many Japanese family-owned businesses who dedicated their lives to the art of snack making.

For the month of May 2024, Sakuraco collaborated with Kanagawa Prefectural Government to bring their customers Flavours of Hakone.

It is a snack box pay to tribute to Hakone, a historical place with breathtaking natural beauty which situated amidst the mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Travellers have been dipping in Hakone’s revitalising onsen or hot springs for centuries.

Flavours of Hakone would bring any snack lovers a tour of this majestic place through their palate without having step out from their homes.

With 20 different snacks and candies to choose from, it is hard to pick your favourites.

After trying them all, here are KajoMag’s three favourite snacks from Flavours of Hakone courtesy from Sakuraco:

1.Strawberry Milk Almonds

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This simple, crunchy snack is made from almonds with strawberry milk coating.

Despite its rich coating, it is not too sweet and has the perfect balance tastes of nutty almond and fruity strawberry.

2.White Miso Financier

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Who would have thought that white miso would make a great ingredient for a financier?

A financier is a traditionally small French almond visitandine, flavoured with beurre noisette while white miso is a mild fermented Japanese soybean paste.

The saltiness of the miso surprisingly enhanced the sweetness of the cake, making it a perfect companion for a well-brewed tea.

Despite the fact it is packaged and travelled from Japan to Borneo, this White Miso Financier still retains its softness and delicate texture.

3.Seven Flavours of Arare

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For those who are unfamiliar, arare is a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavoured with soy sauce.

The bag of arare which comes in Sakuraco’s Flavours of Hakone contains various kind of flavours including such as seaweed, green laver and seaweed.

We only wish it comes with a bigger bag because this is perfect to munch on while watching TV.

4.Yokohama Raisin Sandwich

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Who doesn’t love a snack with a unique twist in it?

This snack is made of plump raisins soaked in brandy syrup and mixed with cream filling that are nestled between two buttery cookies.

Alcohol? Checked. Something sweet? Checked. Something creamy? Checked. Something buttery? Checked. Do we need to say more why we loved this snack?

It is just one of those snacks that makes you crave for more.

5.Matcha Konjac Warabimochi

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When you thought that this snack box couldn’t further surprise you even more? They had to put this unusual snack in to the mix.

Basically, it is just konjac jelly with matcha green tea.

However, the soft texture of the jelly and the light flavour of the green tea is perfect for those who are looking something light (and healthy) to snack on.

So who do we think should purchase Sakuraco?

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1.If you are a snack lover

First of all, Sakuraco is catered those who loved all kinds of snacks.

Every snack inside the box has its own distinct taste and texture. There is no snack or candy that is similar to the other.

If you are the type of foodie unafraid to explore unfamiliar tastes, Sakuraco is definitely for you.

2.If you are a tea lover

The founder of Sakuraco, Ayumi Chikamoto started this unique subscription to focus on traditional Japanese snacks that provide a relaxing afternoon tea experience.

Thus, this snack box is for you if you are a tea lover looking for something light to munch while sipping on your favourite tea.

3.If you love Japanese culture

Some have purchased Sakuraco because it reminds them of the country they once visit while others have bought it out of curiosity the land they wish to visit.

It doesn’t matter if you have visited the Land of the Rising Sun or it is still on your bucket list, give Sakuraco a try. You might find yourself booking your next trip to Japan.

4.If you are looking for a one-of-kind gift

Not everyone has the knack for selecting gift. There are some people just struggle to choose the perfect gift for their friends or family.

Regardless you are looking for a personal present or corporate gift, we bet that a curated traditional snack box is not something common to receive.

Imagine the face of your loved ones as they open one snack after the other when they received their very first Sakuraco, it is like opening up presents within the present itself.

To know more about thi subscription snack box, click here.

KajoReviews: 3 reasons why Revenant is the horror K-drama to watch in 2023

Do you know why people love any kind of horror entertainment?

This phenomenon triggers the fight-or-flight response, simultaneously boosting adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine.

After that, the brain can process surroundings and realise that the whole thing is not a real threat.

This knowledge of personal safety is one of the reasons why horror fans always come back for more.

Speaking of horror entertainment, there is always a good number of horror dramas and movies coming out from South Korea.

It is not the end of the year yet, but here at KajoMag we have found the ultimate horror K-drama to watch in 2023.

Revenant (2023) follows the story of Gu San-yeong (Kim Tae-ri). During the day, she is busy with her part time job and studying to become a civil servant at night.

After the death of her estranged father, San-yeong receives some mysterious objects from her father.

She does not think too much about the items until she is approached by Yeom Hae-sang (Oh Jung-se).

Turns out that Hae-sang is a folklore professor who has the special ability to see ghosts and he can see that San-yeong is being possessed by one.

When Hae-sang confronts San-yeong about it, she – like many normal people do – refuses to believe him.

That is until she notices there are mysterious deaths happening around her.

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If you want to know whether this series is worth watching, here are three reasons why Revenant is the horror K-drama to watch in 2023:

  1. Impressive acting from the cast, especially Kim Tae-ri

Let us start by talking about Kim Tae-ri’s performance as Gu San-yeong who is slowly being overtaken by the demon that is possessing her.

The real Gu San-yeong is like any regular young adult struggling to make ends meet. She has no time for any kind of conflicts and dramas, focusing only on her civil service examination. All she wants is to live a simple life with her mum.

Ever since she becomes possessed, however, conflicts begin to stir in her life that even the police come knocking on her door.

Meanwhile, the possessed Gu San-yeong is well, evil. Along with her demonic laugh and creepy smile, viewers cannot help but impressed by Kim’s take on the character.

Other cast members such as Oh Jung-se and Hong Kyung are also worth mentioning.

Oh has always been a versatile actor and famous for being a scene stealer. Viewers can expect nothing less from this award-winning actor.

While Hong still has plenty of space in his resume, the 27-year-old actor manages to pull his own weight in the drama as he works among his senior colleagues.

  • 2. Engrossing storyline

Another good reason to catch up on Revenant is because of the wonderful brain behind its script-writing.

Kim Eun-hee has several masterpieces under her belt including Phantom (2012), Three Days (2014), Signal (2016) and Jirisan (2021).

Perhaps her most famous work is Kingdom (2019), a period horror series which is also Netflix’s first original Korean drama.

She has built her career delivering scripts with psychological thriller, mystery, horror and suspense genres.

With Revenant, one can say it is Eun-hee’s area of expertise as she navigates viewers through suspenseful storyline, shocking plot twists and a good amount of jump scares in between.

In the drama, the main question circles around San-yeong’s possession.

Who is the ghost that possessed her and why? How can she get rid of it before more people around her die?

  • 3.  Not so cliched jump scares

Sometimes we can judge a good horror show by its jump scares.

A good horror movie or drama has to have a good amount of jump scares; not too many that it gets annoying and not too cliched that the story becomes predictable.

And Revenant delivers just that so be ready to get scared when you least expect it.

Apart from the jump scares, the creepy scenes in this drama are also chilling.

Only 12-episodes long, K-drama fans must not miss it.

Watch the trailer here.

Revenant is available for streaming on Disney+.

#KajoReviews: Sarawak by Hedda Morrison, a coffee table book must-have

Sarawak by Hedda Morrison is a photography book published in 1957.

The book features photographs taken by the author during the 8 years she spent in Sarawak.

Morrison was married to Alastair Morrison, a district officer when Sarawak was under the British Crown Colony.

Overall, the Morrisons stayed for over 20 years in Sarawak. During this time, she produced two books: Sarawak (1957) and Life in a Longhouse (1962).

She accompanied her husband for his work allowing her to photograph the people she met and the places she visited.

Morrison reportedly used two car batteries to power her portable darkroom enlarger while without power for six years in Sarawak.

On top of that, she stored her negatives in an airtight chest using silica gel as a drying agent to overcome the perils of a tropical climate.

The outcome; her photographs of Sarawak are undoubtedly magnificent and the descriptions that came with them are insightful.

Her texts are mostly based on her personal experiences and opinions.

Sarawak by Hedda Morrison

Sarawak by Hedda Morrison

When Westerners publish something about Sarawak, they usually go into two different directions; romanticizing or condescending.

Morrison definitely belongs to the first category.

Commenting on the Iban people, Morrison stated, “The Ibans are an independent, brace, good-humoured, generous, open-handed people. They are also excitable and emotional. Their personal honesty and innate sense of hospitality are outstanding. There are no locked doors in longhouses. Theft is very rare and intensely despised.”

As for the Kayans and Kenyahs, she opined “In general Kayans and Kenyahs are progressive and exceptionally school conscious. They are quiet and reserved; slow and rather phlegmatic.”

While observing the Bidayuh, Morrison concluded, “The Land Dayaks are very conservative and singularly lacking in the way of wander-lust. There is a good deal of land hunger in the hill areas where they reside and where they cultivate paddy by the usual wasteful system of shifting cultivation. The land has been overworked and much of its fertility has been lost but despite this they are, as a people, very reluctant to migrate to other areas of Sarawak. A curious feature of their paddy cultivation is that they do not head of paddy with a small knife like the other peoples of Sarawak but pluck it off between their fingers.”

The rare photos of Sarawak by Hedda Morrison

Going through Hedda Morrison’s Sarawak is like going through a time portal back to Crown Colony of Sarawak.

She documented some of rare sights of Sarawak that we no longer could see today.

One example is how the Malays in Lundu prepared traditional medicine for pregnant women.

This particular medicine is made from bud of Rafflesia which was sliced up finely and mixed with various spice.

We will never see this sight again because the Rafflesia is now a totally protected plant.

Another sight that we no longer see but can be found in the book is the photo of boat-hawkers.

These were floating shops which travel from one village to another.

Moreover, there are photos of no-longer existing buildings.

For instance, there is a photo of Kampung Pichin’s longhouse in Serian. Today, the villagers no longer live in longhouses but in individuals houses instead.

There is also a photo of a Kenyah longhouse Long Selaan in the upper Baram. However, this particular building no longer exists.

We need a new version of Sarawak by Hedda Morrisson

Her photographs are all undoubtedly magnificent. However, it is possible that they were also not captured in the moment but staged for the photographer.

In a photo taken at Long Buroi in the upper Tinjar, Morrison took photo of a former spirit medium conducting a healing session through spirit invocation.

She honestly shared that despite the subjects being Christians, they all agreed to reenact the session for the photographer.

Another unfortunate fact about the book is the lack of names of the subjects.

Morrison offered a great deal of portraits but their names were not included.

Regardless, we wish that there would be a new generation of local photographers who will document Sarawak like Morrison did, because Sarawak definitely needs an upgraded version of this book.

Why ‘Into the New World’ by SNSD is an iconic K-pop song

Before there were TWICE and BLACKPINK, K-pop fans knew Girls’ Generation as the most popular girl group.

The group now consists of eight members; Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun after the departure of Jessica in 2014.

Also known as SNSD, the group is still one of the most popular K-pop groups worldwide. They belong to what fans call the second generation K-pop groups who were active from 2003 till 2011.

This generation of K-pop singers is credited for bringing their music out of South Korea and making waves in China, Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

SNSD’s 2010 song Gee in particular, became the first single by a non-Japanese girl group to enter the top three of the Oricon chart since 1980.

Their 2013 song ‘I Got a Boy’ reached number one on Billboard’s Korea K-pop Hot 100 and the Gaon Digital Chart.

Its music video went on to beat Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, winning Video of the Year award at the inaugural Youtube Music Awards in 2013.

In 2019, Billboard ranked Girls’ Generation at number on their ‘Top 10 K-pop Girl Groups of the Past Decade’ list.

Then this year in 2022, the ladies will be returning with an album to mark the group’s 15th anniversary.

The album titled Forever 1 was their seventh studio album and released on Aug 8, 2022.

Consisting of 10 tracks, the album includes the lead single ‘Forever 1’.

What makes ‘Forever 1’ a special song for both SNSD and their fans is that it was written by Kenzie.

She is a songwriter who had worked with the group for their songs such as ‘Oh!’ (2010), ‘All Night’ (2017) and ‘Into the New World’ (2007).

‘Into the New World’ is a nostalgic track because it is SNSD’s debut single.

Composed by Kenzie and written by Kim Jeong-bae, the song was meant for another K-pop group M.I.L.K.

M.I.L.K is practically an unheard of K-pop group but two of their members Seo Hyun-jin and Park Hee-von are now popular actresses.

Anyway, the group disbanded in 2003 and the song was kept in the dark until SNSD came along.

The group had their first ever stage performance on Mnet’s School of Rock in July 2007, performing their first single ‘Into the New World’.

Fifteen years since the song first released, the song had became more than just a song which started a girl group’s career.

This K-pop song has become a symbol of unity and hope for the younger generation across Asian countries.

‘Into the New World’ and Ewha Womans University 2016 Protest

Into the New World by Snsd

The first time ‘Into the New World’ was reported to be a politically symbolic song was back in 2016 and it all started in an all-female university.

Ewha Womans University is a private women’s university in Seoul founded in 1886 by American missionary Mary F. Scranton.

Today, it is one of the world’s largest female educational institutes and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea.

In the summer of 2016, the university got caught up with the wider case of South Korean political scandal.

This is due to a former student, Chung Yoo-ra who was admitted under a special rule change thanks to her mother’s connection to South Korean President Park Geun-hye despite not meeting the requirements.

The students held a peaceful protest for days, not only against the corruption behind Chung’s enrolment, but some of the university’s unilateral changes to the degree system.

According to The Korea Herald, the school administration was planning to accept 150 students without college diplomas annually under the new program named Future LiFE (Light up in Future Ewha) starting in 2017.

To that, the students claimed that the school is ‘reproducing the exact hierarchy of elitism’ by insinuating that a degree is paramount proof of practical expertise.

The climax of the protest happened when 1600 police officers were sent to a school building a group of students that reportedly numbered around 200.

While facing the police, CBC News reported, “The students, covering their faces with baseball caps and masks and standing arm in arm, burst into the popular K-pop song ‘Into the New World.’”

Watch the video here.

‘Into the New World’ and the Candlelight Vigil

At the same time, South Korea was going through political turmoil as protesters denounced President Park Geun-hye’s 2016 administration.

From November 2016 till March 2017, a series of protests known as the Candlelight Vigil or Candlelight Demonstration were held to call for the resignation of Park.

As protesters gathered at public squares, K-pop songs including ‘Into the New World’, along with Big Bang’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’ (2015) and Twice’s ‘Cheer Up’ (2016) were played on speakers.

After the news of President Park was impeached broke out in December 2016, demonstrators both young and old were caught on camera dancing to ‘Into the New World’.

Watch the video here.

‘Into the New World’ in protests outside of South Korea

In early 2020, Thai protestors began to demonstrate against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The protesters were mostly students and young people who first demanded the dissolution of the Thai Parliament, ending intimidation of the people and the drafting of a new constitution.

At first, the protests were held on academic campuses but were halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then on July 18, 2020, the protests resumed with a large demonstration organised under the Free Youth Umbrella at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok.

With the younger generation leading these protests, K-pop music was sure had some sort of influence to them.

Hence, it was no surprise when ‘Into the New World’ was played and became the unofficial anthem for the movement.

K-pop fans even took it up notch when they went on donating for these protests.

While most of the money was used to fund legal help for the young protesters, it was also used to buy protective gear such as helmets and goggles for them.

Watch the video here.

‘Into the New World’ and South Korean LGBTQ+ community

Speaking of an anthem song, a South Korean LGBTQ+ community has chosen ‘Into the New World’ as theirs.

NEON MILK is an LGBTQ+ and drag culture collective collaborated with one of Girls’ Generation members, Tiffany Young in a Youtube video in conjunction with Pride Month.

In the 2021 video, Young shared that it is such an honour that the community has chosen ‘Into the New World’ as their anthem every year.

Watch the video here.

It is all in ‘Into the New World’ lyric

To understand why this particular song has become a symbol for reformation and change, we have to go back to the lyrics.

While it is a song that can be addressed to a lover, it is also about embracing the journey ahead of you.

The second verse goes, “Don’t wait for a miracle, there’s a rough road in front of us with obstacles and future that can’t be known, yet I won’t change, I can’t give up.”

The part which resonates the most is perhaps the chorus. “I love you, just like this. The longed end of wandering. I leave behind this world’s unending sadness. Walking the many and unknowable paths, I follow a dim light. It’s something we’ll do together to the end, into the new world.”

The expression of love in the lyrics symbolises that these demonstrations are meant to be peaceful.

Moreover, the lyrics invoke sense of unity and togetherness as these movement fighters came together to call for a change.

While western countries have songs such as John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ (1971) and Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ (1971) as their Baby Boomer’s protest songs, it is safe to say that here on the other side of the globe Girl’s Generation’s ‘Into the New World’ is the anthem for the new generation.

5 reasons to watch C-drama Falling into Your Smile (2021)

One of the hottest Chinese dramas in 2021 is none other than romance esports series Falling into Your Smile (2021).

Directed by Qiu Zhong Wei and produced by Kelsey Yang, the story is based on Qing Mei’s webnovel “You’re Beautiful When You Smile”.

The series follows the story of Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao) who is scouted to be part of an esports team called ZGDX.

When she finally agrees to join the group and be a professional gamer, Tong Yao officially becomes the first female esport athlete in China.

Her new teammates include the leader Lu Si Cheng (Xu Kai), Xiao Pang (Sun Kai), Lao K (Gao Han) and Lao Mao (Kevin Xiao).

WeTV reported that Falling into Your Smile is the most watched Chinese drama in the month of July 2021 on its platform, beating out other on-air Chinese and Korean dramas.

So what is the buzz all about?

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Here at KajoMag, we have watched all 31 episodes of the series so here are five reasons you should watch Chinese drama Falling into Your Smile (2021):

1.The buildup of the story and main characters

The plot builds around the journey of ZGDX playing through China’s Onmyoji Arena Pro League or OPL.

Like any other sports teams, ZGDX has ups and downs throughout the series.

Moreover like any other sports, they win and lose their matches in the story.

The storyline progresses steadily, focusing more on Tong Yao becoming a professional gamer, the teamwork of ZGDX as well as Tong Yao and Lu Si Cheng’s romantic relationship.

Tong Yao who is used to playing video games as a pastime has to learn how to play it professionally.

She also has to learn to deal with her new status as a ‘celebrity’ whose every move is being watched and posted online.

Other than that, we can see how ZGDX grows as a team and work out their differences whenever conflicts arise.

2.The chemistry among the characters

Speaking of ZGDX, their chemistry in the drama is undeniably good.

The team members Lu Si Cheng , Xiao Pang, Lao K and Lao Mao as well as their coach Yu Ming (Yalkun Merxat) and manager Xiao Rui (Cui Shao Yang) are like older brothers to Tong Yao.

Lao K, being portrayed as the metrosexual guy in the group, notices the little things happening around them.

In the meantime, Lao Mao is the fitness fanatic who is clueless of his surroundings.

Xiao Pang is like a human version of a teddy bear who always sticks by Tong Yao’s side.

The only one who always bickers with Tong Yao is Lu Yue (Yao Chi) but in more like sibling’s rivalry kind of bickering.

Last but not least is Chen Jin Yang (Rachel Wang), Tong Yao’s best friend.

Their friendship is just how you imagine it would be between two young women.

They spend time together, care for each other, are protective over one another and talk about work, love, men and even sex.

3.Healthy romantic relationship between the two main characters

Of course, the most interesting relationship to watch in the series is between Lu Si Cheng and Tong Yao.

Honestly, healthy romantic relationships are hard to find in C-dramas as well as K-dramas.

A cliched plot usually consists of an intelligent, handsome, cold and borderline God-like male lead falling in love with the damsel in distress.

Throw in insecurities, misunderstandings and some love rivals on either (or both) sides, and there you have it; a typical background love story in C-dramas and K-dramas. Sometimes, you don’t even know why the two main characters fall in love with each other in the first place.

Thankfully even from the beginning of Falling into your Smile, Lu Si Cheng and Tong Yao have something that you can rarely find in most fictional couples on TV, and that thing is growth.

First, they begin to trust each other as teammates and then slowly become friends.

From there, they start to show interest in each other with the little things they do for each other and some innocent flirting being thrown back and forth.

When they are finally sure about their feelings, they decide to pursue a romantic relationship together.

Even when they are dating, Lu and Tong are helping each other to be better people and esports athletes.

They do have issues… because which relationship doesn’t have problems, right?

However, they deal with it using very less dramatic way for a fictional couple, which is by communicating.

Don’t expect over-dramatic scenes like someone left crying in the rain after a fight or a love rival coming out of the blue to sway their feelings.

However, there is one thing that is very cliche and cringing to watch when comes to Lu and Tong’s relationship in the series; the slow-mo scenes of Lu catching Tong every time she falls and then them gazing into each others’ eyes.

These scenes are just unnecessary.

4.It addresses the social issues around esports industry

Most of the social issues addressed in Falling into Your Smile are about the esports industry.

With Tong Yao being the only female pro-gamer in the fictional story, it naturally highlights the sexism in the esports industry.

While her teammates are unfazed by her gender, the world seems to be more interested with the fact that she is a girl who plays video games.

Since the esports industry is relatively new, the series focuses on society’s general perception on professional gaming.

The general population deso not see gamers as a profession and there is no future in playing video games.

In the series, the parents of these professional gamers all have different reactions to their children’s choice of work.

Some are supportive while some even disowned their sons.

Their reactions portray the different opinions of society in professional gaming.

Apart from esports, the drama also highlights other social problems that are not just happening in China.

These issues include cyber-bullying, irresponsible journalism, obsessive fans and invasion of privacy for public figures.

Today, athletes are treated like celebrities whose private lives are being reported in the news.

Gone are the days when athletes’ names only appeared in the sports news section.

5.Thrilling fighting animation scenes

If you are not familiar with the game Onmyoji Arena, you might find all the talking about the game strategy and the animation scenes in the series are confusing.

You might even think ‘What on earth are these people talking about?’ or ‘What the hell is going on?’ or ‘Who is who again?’

Once you get familiar with the nature of the game and the game’s characters, the fighting scenes are very entertaining.

The fighting matches in the series are depicted through animation so it is like watching an anime in the same time.

Every fight is not the same as these players used various characters and strategies in different matches.

Moreover, the background music in the fighting scenes makes it more thrilling to watch.

Falling into Your Smile 2

So is Falling into Your Smile (2021) really worth watching?

Falling into Your Smile is Xu Kai’s first ‘modern’ role in a television series.

His previous roles are all in historical or periodic dramas such as Story of Yanxi Palace (2018), The Legends (2019) and Dance of the Sky Empire (2020).

Meanwhile, K-pop fans might recognise Cheng Xiao as one of the members of girl group WJSN.

Although she has been active as a K-pop idol since 2015, Cheng only made her first debut as an actress last year in the drama Detective Chinatown.

Speaking of K-pop, one of the drama soundtracks ‘Warrior’ is by Korean group SEVENTEEN.

Other artists who contributed to the impressive line of soundtracks are WayV, Angela Chang, Chen Zhuoxuan and even the two lead actors Xu Kai and Cheng Xiao.

Overall, Falling into Your Smile is story about a group of young adults who share the same dream and goal.

It is a still a romantic comedy so you will find yourself chuckling every now and then.

While international fans might enjoying the drama including Cheng’s performance as Tong Yao in the series, the esports community in China was not entirely thrilled.

Global Times reported that esports players in China were accusing her of being ‘unprofessional’ and ‘ruining the spirit of esports’.

This series of criticism led into an online uproar between esporting groups and Cheng’s fans.

The drama’s production company had to publish a statement urging the fans to “watch these episodes rationally, pass fair judgement and do not insult or target any actors.”

Perhaps Cheng’s performance was so good in Falling into Your Smile that some viewers could not differentiate between fiction and reality?

You have to watch the drama yourself to find out.

#KajoReviews Pixelberry’s Choices: Stories You Play

For some light and interactive reading, Choices: Stories You Play by Pixelberry Studios offers up an addictive array of choose-your-adventure books.

At first glance, you may think that their book gallery features mostly Young Adult reading as there’s high school romances, and light fantasy stories like ‘The Elementalist’, but the steamy exclusive scenes in some of these stories are decidedly R-Rated.

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Choices may come off at first glance like YA lit, but there’s a genre for every mood.

If you’re more into mysteries or high-speed chases, you can opt for The Haunting of Braidwood Manor or The Heist: Monaco.

Meanwhile, if you’re missing some vampire fantasy, you can try out Blood Bound. For more more light adult reading that lean more towards Hallmark, you can try out Save the Date and Home for the Holidays. There’s something for every mood you’re in.

You can either play as a VIP member (you’ll get unlimited keys and 185 diamonds with your purchase) or you can play for free, and learn the art of patience and the true value of decision-making (especially when you use a bunch of diamonds you’ve been scrounging for on a dress which you could have saved for an exclusive scene instead).

VIP membership will also allow you access to books solely reserved for VIP members. On top of that, you will also get rewarded more diamonds at the end of the chapter compared to those who don’t opt for VIP membership.

How to play

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A cute outfit like this is going to make you wish you loaded up on diamonds.

You get to choose your character’s ethnicity, hair and outfit. Diamonds will help you purchase the more dynamic hairstyles and wardrobe, but you’ll still get by being a plain Jane.

You also get to choose your names, although I have been happy with the random names the game has provided. I personally liked the name Dr Casey Valentine for my character in ‘Open Heart’.

Some stories will also allow you to choose the appearance of the main love interest, making it even more interactive.

You need keys to open up chapters, and for those who are playing the games for free, your keys will typically regenerate after 2 or 3 hours, while diamonds help you open up exclusive scenes within those chapters which can help you deepen your relationship with that special someone or find out more of a character or event’s backstory.

You can Watch Ads or complete daily and one time challenges to score diamonds.

You can have several love interests going, and even though you have zoomed in one specific love interest or don’t choose the main love interest, the game will offer up an exclusive scene with another character. Sometimes there will be opportunities for threesomes, so spend your diamonds wisely.

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How to collect diamonds between chapters.

So far there are no terrible fallouts from not spending diamonds on exclusive scenes, but there are some events where a friend needs some proper counseling and you don’t have the diamonds to spend on an exclusive shoulder-to-cry-on scene. In those cases, you would just look like a jerk in real life.

Purchases are not necessarily limited to outfits and exclusive scenes, you can even purchase a pet or opt to live in a swankier place.

In others, like the vampire Blood Bound series, your selected outfit could impress an opponent or help you in a life-and-death situation.

Meanwhile, some stories like ‘The Crown and the Flame’ will challenge your patience and make you think that it wouldn’t hurt if you just purchased a few keys to find out what happens in the next chapter.

To download or not to download?

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What does your choice say about you? Bryce the surgeon from Open Heart.

What makes Choices addictive is that you feel the weight (and the satisfaction or regret) of your decisions. The artwork, from backdrops to character illustrations, are polished and immersive, allowing you a temporary getaway from the humdrum of daily life.

You will definitely feel the weight of your decisions and interaction with other characters in stories like ‘Courtesan of Rome’ where you play a Gallic princess bent on Julius Caesar’s downfall, making it a story that’s hard to put down.

Meanwhile, the cover for Open Heart may look cheesy at first glance, but if you like Grey’s Anatomy’s earlier seasons, you will enjoy the storyline.

The Nanny Affair and Save the Date’s steamy scenes were definitely worth a read-through. (Isn’t that why people download Choices in the first place?)

Blood Bound’s writing, especially the dialogue feels underdeveloped and cheesy by comparison, and your character will say things that make you look like a fly in a hurricane. But I still feel compelled to go through books 1 to 3.

What’s the verdict? Choices: Stories You Play is a definite download.

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There’s more reading under the VIP section.

KajoReviews: 5 reasons to watch C-drama Detective L (2019)

Set in 1930s Shanghai, Detective L (2019) is a Chinese detective drama that follows Qin Xiaoman (played by Una You Jingru 尤靖茹 ) after she graduates from police academy.

She happens to live the same apartment building as Luo Fei (Bai Yu 白宇), a former policeman turned private detective who is an outstanding investigator.

The duo often clash with each other but eventually find themselves making a great team when it comes to solving cases.

It has been one of the highest rated Chinese dramas for 2019 and after watching the series, we at KajoMag understand why.

Here are five things to appreciate while watching Chinese drama Detective L:

1.The fascinating cinematography and camera transition

First of all, let us talk about the beautiful colour palette used in Detective L. The dark gray and different blue tones of the drama manage to set the mood and transport viewers to 1930s Shanghai.

In order to tell the story better, different camera transitions are used throughout the drama.

For example, the camera would shift from the back of the main actors while they interview a suspect. This gives the viewers the impression of being in the same room with the characters, walking around and watching the whole conversation.

2.The intriguing story-line with plenty of (sometimes unpredictable) plot twists

Fans of detective stories, sometimes have a tendency to try to solve the mystery in our minds ahead of the next plot unveil.

But things can get boring if the plots get predictable. Thankfully, most of the cases featured in Detective L are not that easy to crack even for devout fans of detective stories.

However if you pay close attention throughout the episode, you might be able to ‘catch’ the culprit.

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You cannot miss a thing while watching this drama or else you might miss an important clue to solving the case. Credits: YouTube.
3.The grandeur of Shanghai French Concession architecture and attention to detail filming sets

The events in Detective L actually takes place in the Shanghai French Concession. Although some of the buildings are clearly CGI-animated, some of the shooting takes place at historical buildings and sites.

Even for Luo Fei and Xiaoman’s apartments which are clearly studio filming sets, one can’t help but notice the props used in the drama to depict that era.

The production team’s attention to details is definitely worth our thumbs up. So much so, we bet you would never find a Starbucks cup anywhere in the camera frame in this drama. 😉

4.The stylish costumes in Detective L

Since Detective L is set in 1930s Shanghai, the costumes carefully depict the fashion of that era.

China in the 1930s is considered the golden age of the cheongsam (qipao). This Chinese traditional dress became slimmer and more skintight during this era. In 1933, a slit was added to the dress, giving it the look that we are all familiar with today.

And you can observe the beauty of these cheongsams in Detective L, especially on Luo Fei and Xiaoman’s landlady Wang Susu (Dong Weijia).

Besides the filming sets, the production team also pay great detail to costuming the characters.

You cannot help to appreciate their outfits (men and women alike) while getting caught up with the storyline.

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This Chinese detectivedrama is definitly one of the must-watch dramas for 2019. Credits: Youtube.
5.It somehow reminds you of Sherlock Holmes, but in an Agatha Christie book

Speaking of storyline, you can’t help the similarity between Luo Fei and Sherlock Holmes.

There are some quirks and eccentricities of Luo Fei which reminds you of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes.

Furthermore, Bai Yu’s acting as Luo Fei in this drama is indeed impressive. It is a complete deviate from his previous roles such as in Love O2O.

When it comes to the flow of the storyline, some of the cases seem almost taken out or inspired by Agatha Christie’s books.

So if you are a fan of Doyle and Christie, you will definitely enjoy Detective L.

Watch the trailer here.

You can watch Detective L on Tencent Video’s official YouTube channel.