Chapter III

Dao Ming Si visits a sick Shan Cai, but her parents think he’s an intruder. They’re hostile toward him until they find out his father’s name (Dao Ming Cheng). They immediately change out of their pyjamas to greet their esteemed guest, but SC silently threatens them by holding up a serrated knife to her throat, so I’m not sure if she was planning to kill her parents or herself (maybe slice a loaf of bread?). As they continue to fawn over him (and make Chinese puns on his name, “Dao” — like “dao cha”: pour tea), SC makes exaggerated facial expressions to express her displeasure — perfect for a play, but aneurysmatic when the cameras come up close.

When they’re finally alone, she asks him why he’s here, and he claims he wants to see the fool who caught a cold in the summer. She warns she will hit him, but her mom gets there first by whacking the back of her daughter’s head with a greasy pan. Later, after she laughs at his “refined” speech, she’s hit again. I know it’s in the manga, but in the live-action world, it seems more like physical abuse. We find out both of DMS’s parents are out of the country due to their jobs. Shan Cai notes that despite his bad grammar usage, he is actually quite polite and well-mannered in front of her parents. Then she remembers all the stuff he did to her. (This is one of my favorite moments in the anime, only because of how they translated the Japanese into these subtitles: “Argh! Don’t get suckered by this smooth operator!”)

Shan Cai’s paranoia of extraterrestial beings reading her mind manifests itself in this disheartening display.

Shan Cai’s mother forces her feverish daughter to walk Dao Ming Si to his car. She wants to know why he pretended to be interested in dinner, etc., but he says he wasn’t — he really hadn’t had those dishes before and reveals he’s eaten by himself since his sister left. Just when we see a bit of the protective veneer cracking, he asks if she’s going to Hawaii, but she doesn’t have the money. He complains about the drawbacks of the middle class (i.e., not having NT$50,000), then offers to pay. SC, building the walls right back up again, states she’s going on a cruise with Qing He, which means she wouldn’t have to see his face for a whole week. The next scene, DMS proclaims to Xi Men and Mei Zuo that Hawaii is “out” and that he will bring them to the new “in” destination… which he’s keeping a secret.

Manga

Qing He and Shan Cai arrive at the dock, but Dao Ming Si appears, along with Baiheqianhui, Xi Men, and Mei Zuo. DMS reveals that he’s bought the whole cruiseliner, but if they still want to board, they’re welcome to. SC is ready to head home, but then Teng Tang Jing and Hua Ze Lei also come out of the woodwork to invite them aboard. She doesn’t really put up a fight as Jing takes her arm. While the richies are lounging and complaining that Hawaii would’ve been better, the ordinary duo happen by. Jing invites them to the party tonight, but SC declines, citing she did not bring formal wear. Baiheqianhui laugh to themselves that she doesn’t even own formal wear. Jing offers to help her prepare for the party and to lend her one of her dresses. While they ready themselves, Shan Cai asks if HZL and DMS have made up, but Jing replies they are still not talking and that they had to force Lei to come.

“I told you I hate Forever 21!”

When they make their entrance, the party patrons take notice of the “transformed” Shan Cai… but she looks exactly the same, except her hair has slightly more curl and her eyes have shadow. Oh, and those hideous pearls. Hua Ze Lei blinks really hard again. Xi Men invites her to dance, which emphasizes the depressing state of the party because there are only nine people there (excluding the waitstaff). While Qing He practices asking her to dance, Mei Zuo scores a slot on Shan Cai’s dance card. HZL also asks to dance, which seems uncharacteristic seeing as the most he’s ever done is blink and hang out silently with people (probably why it skipped the asking and cut straight to the dancing). It causes the scene to slow down as classical music accompanies SC’s dream-like state — she VOs that she feels like Cinderella. You can really see Barbie Xu (the actress) enjoying this moment… I dunno, that’s the vibe I’m getting (of course, they are dating in real life, so it’s not like I’m randomly saying stuff this time). Baiheqianhui wax envy as they hate on SC for dancing with the F3. Qian Hui conjures up a plan so diabolical that she can transmit the info to Bai He telepathically (she gestures her to come closer, and they suddenly smile without even flaring a nostril).

Qian Hui announces that since it’s 23:59, it’s time for a special game… kissing in the dark. Honestly, how did they think it would be a good plan? It’s a huge-ass, empty room and in reality they would probably be groping around in the dark. The producers were so bent on sticking to the original source, while at the same time diverging from it because of financial constraints or whatever. (Some random dude announces the game originally, and random dudes are not affordable here.) I guess Qian Hui (who, in retrospect, was surprisingly altruistic if she had suggested BH be the kisser) thought that though Bai He would have a 62.5% chance of kissing a guy, she still had a 50% chance of snogging a F4 member. When the lights come on, she finds herself kissing Qing He (ROFL) while Qian Hui overacts with horror in the background. They both lament not kissing their intended targets (Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si). Despite it being more devoid of persons than a Kevin Federline concert, someone’s managed to push into SC, who not only fell on top of DMS, but kissed him in the process.

I want to yank off those pearls, crush them into a fine powder, mix them with a meat slurry that’ll be fed to a shark, and fire its resulting poop to the Sun.

Shan Cai runs out in disbelief as Dao Ming Si follows after her. He asks if that was her first kiss and comments on her forwardness. OMG, then he asks if she wants to try again, lol, and it makes me cringe and recoil in horror and laughter. She runs away, thinking she’s being punished by God for eagerly lapping up an experience she isn’t meant to enjoy. The next morning, they’re awkward to each other as Xi Men and Mei Zuo notice this and wonder if it’s because they kissed last night. Baiheqianhui are shocked, thinking it’s one of her tricks. SC counters that it was an accident, looking at Hua Ze Lei, who remarks that it isn’t his business who she kisses. She walks away from the group dejectedly, feeling like an idiot thinking HZL would help her again. She locks herself in her room to mope and to cry a river… seriously. It looks like she dunked her face in the sink. Qing He decides to challenge DMS to defend her honor… by seeing who can hold their breaths underwater the longest. SC decides to leave her habitación to return Jing’s dress, but probably not-so-accidentally eavesdrops on her conversation with HZL.

Jing asks if he’s disappointed Shan Cai isn’t here; he wonders why she’s so obsessed with her. She admits she felt jealous that day when Lei saved SC, and again during the dance, because he no longer belonged only to her. In a somewhat threatening shot (for some reason, it reminds me of film noir; though note I am only an extremely casual film noir fan, i.e., I will only notice the references if they are overhwelmingly apparent), he tells her to stop playing with his feelings. He likes Makino Tsukushi? Joudan ja nai wa yo. There’s only one girl he wants — and he grabs Jing and kisses her. The whole scene is actually quite anticlimactic, so it doesn’t have the same resonance as, say, the anime. (Which is, I think, why I compulsively wrote down the anime/manga version in my notes… that scene was just brimming with emotions, and they’re illustrated characters. It stands out as one of the more memorable in that show.) This is one of the few times Lei has an outburst, but he stays so subdued they had to loop his lines. I can’t feel his desire for Jing behind the scene, and the kiss is so dispassionate, so when SC cries, I don’t quite believe her… because why should she believe that dopey scene she’d just witnessed?

Meanwhile, it turns out Qing He cannot swim, so Dao Ming Si has to save him. (We don’t see that, but QH wakes up on deck so it’s pretty good assumption.) He wants a rematch in another event, but DMS is hungry. He doesn’t want to ask the chef to cook, so Qing He suggests they go fishing. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what? It’s not like there are Filet-O-Fishes swimming around. And there weren’t any leftovers from the party? They catch the fish, but there is no way to cook it. THEY WERE JUST IN THE KITCHEN LOOKING FOR FOOD WHAT KIND OF PISS-POOR SHIP DID DAO MING SI BUY? Qing He (I keep wanting to type Kazuya) gets to talking about Shan Cai, and how back then she would always stand up for and take care of her friends. DMS gets the hint that QH likes Shan Cai, but DMS claims SC likes him now, especially since they kissed last night. QH throws ice at him in anger, so DMS chases him.

As Shan Cai thinks back on her memories with Hua Ze Lei, Qing He comes running by asking for help. The two guys mock fight each other while SC is glad she’s not alone tonight… even if it is with Dao Ming Si. DMS suddenly realizes he has a way of eating the uncooked fish. Back to Lei and Jing — the former has stopped the passionless kissing and asks how the latter can be so calm. She coolly answers that she’s glad he needs her so much and that it’s okay and natural, since they are man and woman. He refuses her advances, stating “this” is not what he wants. DMS suddenly barges in and invites them (along with the others) to eat… sashimi. A mysterious girl has appeared (one of the servers, maybe?), who’s with Xi Men. The whole gang joke and tell riddles. Shan Cai asks HZL about Jing’s whereabouts, but he doesn’t know and guesses she’s asleep. She blurts out wondering if they were interrupted, and quickly covers that she was just passing through and heard them inadvertently. She also blames her new tears on the wasabi. Suddenly, she asks him not to hate her. He responds that if he did, he wouldn’t have helped her. We end the scene with the knowledge that someone is recording them.

Oh my God

The first day back to school, Dao Ming Si wakes up to breakfast (which looks like lunch — a glass of milk with a sandwich and salad — but I guess if one country can nap for hours during lunch, another can have whatever the heck they want in the morning) in a surprisingly good mood, his butler notices. His propriety extends to Shan Cai, whose sneakers he’s taken and worn for himself. After she leaves in a huff, he asks Xi Men and Mei Zuo if they saw the look on her face. They ask him if that’s why he woke them up so early, and he responds he spent all night thinking up this prank. All night? I would’ve expected an explosion or something. Also, it looks as if he’s wearing boots as he’s walking away. Way to go, continuity. He asks if they’ve seen Lei. They don’t know, but I’ve seen him: He’s on the roof. He sits with Shan Cai silently hanging off the ledge. Down on earth, DMS holds two soft drinks, practicing his peace offering. He asks a random student (where were you for announcing the kissing game?!) if he’s seen Lei. He responds that he’s on the roof, then quickly apologizes.

Dao Ming Si arrives on the roof, but doesn’t make his presence known as he overhears Shan Cai’s and Hua Ze Lei’s conversation. She didn’t think she’d see him here again, so she’s glad. She implies his being here is important to her. DMS becomes so incensed he crushes the aluminum can. (Wait, now it looks like beer! What little text I can see says PORO, which I’m surmising is the back end of SAPPORO. It’s not even noon, folks. Calm down on the alcohol.) Why they can’t hear this, I’ve not a clue. They didn’t even hear him open the door. He walks away, wrath slowly filling his eyes. He asks the other F4 members if they knew SC and HZL regularly meet on the roof. Baiheqianhui appear out of nowhere, insisting SC is in love with HZL and that they have proof — their gigantic camcorder. The girls express their disgust with the way she’s stringing the both of them along, and DMS angrily hurls the camera onto the ground. Bai He claims that when she told SC of HZL’s adoration for Jing, she decided to go after DMS instead. Sickening, isn’t it? she asks, laying a hand on his arm. He pushes her away with brute force, yelling at her not to touch him. Xi Men tries to soothe his nerves, explaining that Lei would no never go for Shan Cai, considering his feelings for Jing. He, too, makes the mistake of putting an arm around DMS (while inviting him out for coffee). Dao Ming Si is nicer this time, and tells him to get off. After he stalks away, XM remarks to MZ (who has hilariously popped in from like ten feet away to make it on camera in time) that he has the same look in his eyes as he did years ago when he nearly killed someone.

“Would you like some making fuck, Berserker?”

Now in some kind of beserker mode (his POV becomes somewhat hazy, almost like he’s on hallucinogens [hm…]), DMS makes his way back up to the roof. Lei receives a phone call and has to leave, but hands Shan Cai an invitation to Jing’s birthday party before doing so. (Was DMS hiding in the shadows or something and HZL didn’t notice him?) When she also decides to exeunt, she doesn’t notice Dao Ming Si silently standing there, and is freaked out. He insults her, calls her out on her wrongdoing and her betrayal, and punches the wall behind her. She is aware that the look in his eyes is not normal. She tries to run away, but he catches up to her, grabs her, and forcibly kisses her. He tears her shirt, and as she sobs, he finally stops, kissing her forehead. I guess orchestrating a gang rape is bad, but being an almost rapist is sunshine and ponies? At home, Shan Cai wonders what had happened to him that changed his demeanour so quickly. She never realized how strong he was, and recognized he was not the normal Dao Ming Si. Meanwhile, as he has his wound tended to, DMS looks remorseful. The next day, he posts a sign warning others not to bully Shan Cai.

Li Zhen has also been invited to Jing’s party, but doesn’t have anything to wear. Shan Cai finds a gift box on her scooter, with a beautiful dress and a note inside from Dao Ming Si. She doesn’t accept his apology, but she doesn’t want to waste a perfectly good piece of clothing, so she gives the dress to Li Zhen.

The best part is “<3 Dao Ming Si”

Shan Cai tells only Xiao You what had happened with Dao Ming Si. She then invites her to go with her to Jing’s party. She doesn’t feel like attending, but Jing has been really nice to her, and I guess strength in numbers and stuff. SC’s mom pops in, notices the invitation, and pushes for her to go meet rich guys. Xiao You offhandedly remarks they don’t know what to wear and SC comically smooshes her face as punishment for telling her. SC’s mom says she has just the thing. Hilarity ensues!

Facial exercises promote vitality and circulation!

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