Split Screen: Stratagem #37 is Sticky Balls

Thanks for tuning in to Split Screen! For the second time in series history, it’s actually Together Screen this week, as Emma and I (your trusty intro host Madelyn) got to hang out in NYC for a few days. We had some real cliffhanger endings in our last post, with Boys Over Flowers‘s Jan-di facing the prospect of being burned alive at Shinwa’s tomato party and My Hero Academia‘s Class 1-A facing twenty thousand villains at Universal Studios Japan…er, USJ. Which school will suffer a casualty first? It’s not an obvious an answer as it might seem.

(Want to catch up on these wild TV journeys? Check out the whole series here!)

Boys Over Flowers Episode 5 (up to minute 34)

E: This week’s half-episode was a lot of wrap-up from last week.

M: There’s usually too much to talk about for Boys Over Flowers. This half of the episode was refreshingly restrained.

E: We pick up where we left off with the tomato-less tomato party, and, predictably, Jun-pyo comes dashingly to the rescue by murdering someone with a fire extinguisher. I mean. Come on. That boy is dead.

M: He’s really strong though. Like, definitely a murderer there, one hundred percent, but I’m more focused on the fact that he’s super strong! Did you see how he was carrying Jan-di? I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a secret PA underneath helping out until we saw the long shot

E: It was like he was holding her weight entirely in his biceps as opposed to leaning her into his chest to put some on his back.

M: It seems that way. He doesn’t look that buff, so I was shocked!

E: To be fair, she doesn’t look that heavy.

M: I’m not gonna speculate about her weight, but no matter what that’s a lot to hold all with one muscle.

E: This is skipping ahead, but I guess some serious bicep strength and murder via fire extinguisher is all Jan-di needed to fall for him? When he announces that they’re dating, she does not seem nearly as resistant as she has been before, and she even refers to herself as his girlfriend.

M: She’s kind of trapped at this point. Her whole family knows she’s dating Jun-pyo, the school knows, and she knows she’ll literally be killed by the students if they break up, so basically it’s “til death do them part” now.

E: Speaking of deep stuff, we had some meditations on beauty this episode. And money, per usual. It’s interesting how Jan-di still insists that you can’t buy friends but seems chill with buying beauty.

M: I’m excited to see where this goes next week with the second half of the episode. For a while there, I thought this episode was going to be all about Jan-di and Jun-pyo each learning how the other half lives. But then Jun-pyo’s visit to the laundry apartment was super short and all Jan-di did was ride expensive bicycles. Although really, he’s never heard of an anchovy?

Boys Over Flowers episode 5 discussion

“Do I…eat this?”

E: But he had heard of whatever that thing was…kul chi? I had not heard of that.

M: Rewinding a bit, does Min-ji have no shame at all? That whole kindergarten trauma story was a lot to share with this billionaire boy that she barely knows.

E: He is essentially the source of her trauma or at least the catalyst of her initial breakdown. He seems to be more of a symbol than a person to her- something representative of her insecurities. Not to mention, detective boys may have found all that out already and would have told Jun-pyo. By confronting him herself, she at least gets to express her own narrative.

M: I get that. But isn’t it a kind of odd thing to have pathologized like that? He didn’t even ruin her picture; he just threw it on the ground. And a five year old told her she was ugly, big deal. Everyone in the cafeteria did seem to agree she was ugly though, which was kind of weird from my perspective. Was it the obviously drawn-on freckles?

E: Clear skin is a big thing in eastern countries, I think? I know I’ve watched a few anime where people were made fun of for or self-conscious about freckles.

Boys Over Flowers episode 5 reaction

Really though, what a cutie

M: I thought she was a cute kid! Yet even Jan-di seemed to agree she was ugly. There’s a lot of that kind of dissonance on this show, because I remember talking about this same discrepancy for Jan-di a few weeks ago.

E: The standards are slightly different in high society, maybe? I’m no expert on Korean beauty standards, I don’t want to make assumptions.

M: Fine, I’ll let it go. Anyway, another one bites the dust, looks like Min-ji is out.

E: Unless she comes back an episode later! *looks meaningfully at Ji-hoo*

M: There’s rotating cast of replaceable women on this show, but F4 is forever.

E: Yes, so Ji-hoo is back. We’ve yet to have an explanation.

M: He seems completely over his model lady. I have basically nothing to go on, since we’ve barely dipped our toes into that development. I’ve been wondering since the Next On montage from last time why he says “I object” to Jun-pyo’s romantic announcement though.

Boys Over Flowers episode 5 analysis

“Did you miss me? How long was I even gone?”

E: Good natured ribbing? Foreshadowing of the love triangle? Either way. My theory is either he had an awakening in Paris or something terrible happened between him and the model, and he’s burying his feelings deep.

M: Definitely the former. He’s way too emotional to come back without a misery concerto if something went really wrong.

E: We saw that real violinist the other day, and it makes his bad playing stand out all the more.

M: I did love that peek at baby Ji-hoo in the flashback though.

E: He has not improved his skills at all since that point apparently.

M: Ouch. Man, what else? This episode was pretty light on drama, comparatively.

E: Don’t forget the butler! You know, the MVP of the show?

M: True. Didn’t you say something about a spin-off for him?

E: Yes. Downtown Abbey but modern k-drama.

M: Watch out, PBS.

E: Honestly, this show is ripe for spin-offs. No offense to butler dude, by the way, but I would not want an $18,000 bike. Generosity of heart or no, NOPE. I would be so stressed all the time.

Jan-di in Boys Over Flowers

Yeah, that’s about the look I would have

M:  It’s not like she paid for it. Jun-pyo will just get her a new one if it gets stolen. Frankly, eighteen thousand is probably cheap for bikes at Shinwa.

E: That’s fair.

M: Other random thoughts: I loved the video game cameo. #gamergirls

E: For me, the localization/translation nerd, I liked all the Korean terms and adages we learned.

M: We have officially learned now that “pumpkin” means “ugly” in Korean slang, which helps with a strange comparison we heard in an episode a few weeks ago.

E: Also, escape is the 36th strategy? Would have put it further up. That’s like my fourth strategy.

M: Based on my extensive internet research, I think that was a reference to the 36 Stratagems which is a Chinese guide for relationships and war and all that good stuff, but please correct me if I’m wrong, people, because I have no expertise here.

E: Talk This! is not an educational program. Unless that gets us some funding.

M: I think it’s time for the Romance Tracker!

E: I mean, we leave off with Jan-di being Jun-pyo’s boyfriend.

Boys Over Flowers romance

Boyfriend or not, he still attacks people’s faces

M: Girlfriend.

E: Oops. CBB kept making all those “he’s gay” comments, it suctioned to my brain!

M: Clickbait Boyfriend was in the room pretending not to watch this week too. But back to the matter at hand, Emma, what do you think?

E: Next time, we’ll get some love triangle hype with some emotional misunderstanding, and that drama will lead us into the next episode.

M: That’s not a prediction. Who will she end up with? Follow the rules!

E: You know, they got all that stuff for their house from Jun-pyo which they decided to put into her dowry. It’d be really funny if he got it all back when they got married. That’s a long joke I’d like to see payoff for.

M: I think this is the first time you’re in the Jun-pyo camp!

E: That’s too fun of a gag to pass up. It’d make me giggle.

M: It just feels like they’re being pushed together too early for them to end up together. Now that CBB has planted that seed in my mind, I think one of F4 is definitely gay. If we’re going by stereotypes, it’s probably Ji-hoo. So I think that Jan-di and Ji-hoo will probably date for a while around mid-season, but he’ll have an awakening and leave her for the F2 minor guy, the one with bad style.

E: Optimistic plot line for k-drama from, what, 2012?

M: I’m hoping for the best from these writers, which feels completely justified based on the quality of the writing so far. So yeah, two votes for Jun-pyo this week. Crazy.

Boys Over Flowers episode 5

Big sigh

E: In the second half, I think that somebody, playing darts, is going to get hit by a dart.

M: What a weird, mundane prediction!

E: It seems like a slow, slice of life episode, so.

M: I don’t buy that for a minute. They’re trying to fool us and something over-the-top is about to go down. I predict that the butler has a lot of cleaning up to after the party. And no one thanks him.

E: I’ll thank the butler. Thank you, butler.

M: Keep on keepin’ on, dude.

My Hero Academia S1E10: Encounter with the Unknown

My Hero Academia Episode 10

M: Okay, so you’re going to hate me for saying this, but nothing happened.

E: I want to know your definition of nothing happening. My Hero Academia, I guess, doesn’t really follow the formula we’re used to from 20 minute programs over here- you know, with some sort of episode plot in addition to the long running story. My Hero Academia is just long running story in small chunks. Maybe you just aren’t used to it?

M: It just feels like…I know things happened in this episode. But if I had waited, and I did wait, a week for that episode, I would be disappointed with how little progress we made through this battle. Once again, we spent two or three minutes on flashbacks

E: Things were still happening in the present as the flashbacks happened though.

M: The voiceover slows things down a lot. Two to three minutes of flashbacks with voiceovers is probably only fifteen seconds of real time thinking.

E: Deku is a nerd, as we said several times during this episode, his thought process is…get used to it?

M: I’m being a little over-the-top with my criticism here, but it’s because I’m invested. I wanted a huge battle and instead we had Sticky Balls crying about boobs.

E: When I think about MHA, I selectively block out Mineta.

M: It’s just such a waste of time. I don’t have a problem with having a stupid boy like that in the class, because there absolutely would be in a freshman class, but it’s such a waste of screentime.

Mineta in My Hero Academia

Bigger sigh

E: Yes. He’s there for comic relief. MHA wants to be broadly appealing, so it’s trying to downplay just how terrifying this situation actually is. I mean, these are children, and adults are seriously trying to murder them. Stuff like Mineta is there to distract from that fact, in any way possible.

M: Did he get into UA because the teachers were like “we need some comic relief?” Because there’s absolutely no way.

E: He could immobilize the robots with his sticky balls. I buy that he passed the exam.

M: Oh, I’m not saying he doesn’t have a good power. I was thinking the whole episode about how it could be useful here. But how did this idiot score high enough on the hero test to get in?

E: Oh well, that’s definitely true, Who knows?

M: Anyway, I had a correct prediction last week, which feels good. They did have to use their environments to their advantage. So playing it safe with my crystal (sticky) ball paid off. The most exciting development this time really was meeting dog-bear principal guy!

E: Kacchan did something stupid, too, so you got that right. He got in the way of Thirteen.

M: I was really thinking he was going to get a kid killed, so I can only take half credit for that one.

My Hero Academia episode 10 season 1 discussion

If you’re gonna be stupid, at least don’t be stupid alone

E: Before we talk about the principal, here’s my translation corner where we compare the dub to the sub! *theme music plays* One line was translated badly, imo, but we’ll talk about that when it’s relevant later on. On the other hand, I actually like the way the dub handles Shigaraki (the handy man) more than the sub does.

M: Why?

E: We’ll get a bit more in focus on him as we continue, but I really like the “the most annoying thing about pro heroes is when they live up to all the hype” line, particularly the use of “hype.” It tells you a lot about him right off, and it fits his personality better than the sub’s “normal people don’t stand a chance against them.” We’ll see more of his lingo in the coming episodes.

M: I’ll look forward to that.

E: Back to the rat principal, I think I sent you a GIF of him before.

M: I don’t need rat GIFs. There are enough here. Real ones. Don’t send that again.

E: Do they drink your tea though?

M: God I hope not. That line was a real zinger. A ginger zinger, if you’re into tea.

E: Anything else notable for you?

M: Couple things. One: the principal is very cute. How is a hero though? Just by being a good boy?

My Hero Academia reaction

Madelyn likes THIS rat….or whatever he is

E: Hmmmmm………

M: Enlightening. Also, Deku, freaking nerd, telling his pro hero teacher how to fight. Dude. Come on. What do you think you’re doing?

E: Deku is a hero-splainer.

M: Seriously. Ready for Lawsuit Watch?

E: I mean…I don’t think dead-by-fire-extinguisher guy’s family really has a case against the school, so it’s gotta be U.A.

M: Yeah, Shinwa was actually pretty tame this week.

E: There was slightly more standard bullying this week rather than the typical Xtreme Bullying (™) we’re used to.

M: I don’t have anything to add. Obviously U.A. is criminally negligent here.

E: Villains are bad.

villains in My Hero Academia

Villains are bad

M: Again, enlightening. Before I make some predictions, CBB, any thoughts?

CBB: I like sticky balls guy. That’s it.

M: Do you want to make a prediction for what happens next?

CBB: Uh….what even happened in Boys Over Flowers? I think that curly hair man is going to soften up because of his new girlfriend. I can already see it happening. And I think that Sticky Balls is gonna get with Frog Girl. An unlikely romance. I do think Mr. Guy Who Came Back From Somewhere is gonna have a lot of wisdom. He seemed enlightened because there was light shining from the back. I feel like he’s really ascended to a higher plane. And that dude is gonna set a new record in his video game, once his girlfriend leaves. I believe in him. He seems good at video games. That’s all.

M: Thanks.

CBB: I think that Axel is gonna have a fight with Sora at some point

E: Just because he has red hair…Kirishima is his own person!

mY hERO ACADEMIA

CBB: And he’s an anime character!

E: Fine. Whatever.

M: Okay, my turn!

E: Episode title is Game Over.

M: Well that doesn’t sound good. I think Iida is gonna run into some more villains on the streets on his way back to the school. Hood villains.

E:

M: And I think that Sticky Balls is going to do something super heroic. He seemed like he was getting inspired. Also, he’ll figure out he can give himself boobs with his balls.

E: Also, the balls don’t stick to him.

M: Fine, he can stick them on the wall. And I also thing that Eraser Man is going to get in trouble because smart-ass Deku was right, he’s not good at fighting groups.

E:

M: Finally, Kacchan will burn the frozen people for a critical hit.

E:

M: 1.5 damage multiplier, baby.

Hey everyone, thanks for reading our thoughts on Boys Over Flowers and My Hero Academia. If you want to watch along with us, we’re catching BOF on Netflix and the MHA dub on Hulu! Comment or shoot us a line on social media if you have any thoughts to add- no spoilers though since Madelyn is blind. Although this last episode of MHA S3 was uh. Who needs villains with heroes like these?

Next week, we discover what brought Ji-hoo back to Korea after abandoning his inappropriately aged lady love in Europe. And, in My Hero Academia, we see how the rest of the students are handling themselves against the villains.

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