Your ultimate bias being in the military might be the most painful (or boring) phase of any fan’s life. With no one to spazz on and no album to anticipate for. It feels like that in those two years, life is… incomplete.
During those moments, you can pass the dreaded two years with these… “hopefully…” while keeping your sanity intact:
1. Focus on other bias groups
One of the common dilemmas an international fan have is having too many group biases. With your ultimate bias out of the way, you can freely allot more time to your number 2.
“I love you, but I gotta pass the time with other gorgeous people!”
Won’t ultimate bias be jealous of this arrangement? Of course not! He’s in the military! Buwaaahahahahahaha!!!
2. Recuperate savings
Okay! So you’ve been to so many concerts of your bias from the time they debuted until their goodbye concert including those that are outside of your country.
It might have come to the point that you’ve almost sold an internal organ just to see them regularly, or have collected mounds of debt in doing so. The two-year hiatus is the perfect time to save up again.
“And hopefully be rich enough to go to their comeback concert.”
…Or alternatively, make yourself even poorer with…
3. Backtrack on lost time
Bias is appearing on shows left and right, and almost every month they release another version of their album.
“I mean, COME ON!!!”
With no new album coming in for the next two years, you can finally complete your collection.
“Even the ones that costs more than a concert ticket!”
There are also tons of unwatched shows floating around the internet that you haven’t watched after all theses years.
“Years of good stuff here.”
But then again, your loved ones may be wondering why you haven’t been outside for a long time. This might be the perfect time also to…
4. Focus on other hobbies
For sure you have other interests besides oppa, right?
“Stalking him on SNS is not considered another hobby.”
Your schedule now is a blank slate, you can finally focus on other things such as your studies and the things you cannot do because you have to wait for oppa’s new MV to be uploaded on their official channel.
“Or you can try climbing a mountain?”
5. Travel the world (other than Korea and Japan)
For the longest time, there are just two countries in your mind: South Korea, and Japan. During their service, why not try seeing other places that are not tied to your bias?
“Like Prague? Still connected?”
6. Spend time (and money) on other things
Supporting all of their activities made you sacrifice some finer things in life, like a new wardrobe, or a food trip to an interesting place…
No activities meant you can have enough money to indulge yourself of things you never get to enjoy because oppa has been hogging up your hard-earned cash.
7. Go for higher goals than KGoals
For the longest time, it’s all about your bias, your goals consists of seeing bias live, or having an encounter with bias, but now that oppa is serving his country, those goals can wait and you can pursue what you want without your hands tied to KPop.
In my case, this item became true. I set a deadline to myself that I am going to pursue working for a studio or seek for a higher career ladder when Dong Bang goes to the military.
As soon as Yunho stepped inside the barracks, my resignation letter was on my editor’s desk that morning.
I used to be a web graphic artist for a reputed news website in the country and have done several coverages on Korean culture and KPop, but then again, my burning passion was on comics and animation.
I have no qualms or complaints with my former job, in fact, sometimes I miss the adrenaline of seeing dignitaries and Korean stars up close and personal, but on the other hand, I was very lucky to land where I wanted to be. The road in getting there was very hard, in fact, I really miss those Cassies who helped me during those years.
In some ways I regret that decision, but the satisfaction I feel that finally I am where I wanted to be is rewarding.
I am not saying that you follow my footsteps because in this economy, my move is considered as suicide.
What I am trying to say is that now you have more spare time to do more things you always wanted to do, however I do discourage you from leaving your job. Maybe you got other hobbies like knitting or something, or drawing stuff, you have more time to focus on those things now.
“Maybe publishing a comic?”
Or you can follow oppa’s footsteps and be a…
8. Follow on their footsteps (be a product endorser)
This is Tintin, she is a bonafide Cassiopeia. Since Yunho is in the military, she decided to join a model search contest for a department store here in the Philippines.
After much deliberation, she… became an endorser for SM Department Store’s Accessories!
“Not connected with SM Entertainment in Korea but I’m pretty sure she wishes it did.”
— In those two years, even Changmin is unsure that fans might still be waiting because two years is such a long time. During those moments we might have moved on and those memories might just be a part of a phase in our lives. He knew that it is an accepted fact that we may move forward, and for sure they will too. But the most important thing is… we had a such a great time and for some, fandom became a bridge or a window of opportunity just as it did to me and to the other Cassiopeias I knew.
Some of them worked in Korean institutions because they were inspired by their bias, and some of them had a goal to pursue in their careers because they were inspired.
But some of them took it a level higher!
“Kudos to ‘yah! And you may endorse products with Yunho in the future.”
I might sound as if I am bidding my farewell to Dong Bang but don’t worry, I am not.
Enlistment is probably the scariest word to hear when you are a KPop fan. It is expected but when the day comes, it still surprises you. In two years, oppa (or dongsaeng in my case) will be nowhere in sight, and what remains are just a bunch of unwatched DVD’s and retrospecting Youtube videos to occupy your time.
BUT, as any pop star who faces uncertainty, they’ve left something to get us by — at least for the next three months.
It looks cool, funky, hipster, existential, okay… maybe not the last two, but it got my hopes up that they’ll do one last comeback before Yunho goes into career hibernation mode. You can clearly sense that these would be entirely two different singles.
Not that kind of hibernation!
Unfortunately, some wishes don’t come true no matter how perfect your “Cassiopeia Constellation” dancing wish ritual is.
Neon naege ppajyeo~~~ (utulsa.edu)
First stop is my ultimate bias’s hibernation single “Rise As One”
The song is a power-ballad from resident belter Shim Changmin. It starts out slow and it gradually peaks to that EDM drop in the middle. I am sensing that for the last two years, SME is having it’s current EDM episode now, and the apparent drug use of the producers are more and more evident.
Drugs are so~ooo bad!!!
BANANA SONG RANKING:
Considering that this is a carrier single, it was an “okay” song. There were much better songs in the album that I see more fitting to be a carrier single or has more emotion to it compared to this one. If for Changmin’s solo, I’d prefer “Apology” over this, because that song has more intensity to it.
You can say whatever you want about pop songs sounding crappier and crappier each day, but usually pop songs should be light, easy to digest, and can be played in so many occasions such as shopping malls, festivals, children’s birthday parties… okay, maybe not always the last one, but Rise As One’s melody is more of a singing contest piece given it’s amazing vocals. The overall sound is more suited for driving to the countryside soundtracks.
Where speed limits are just numbers written in paint.
Remember the room wherein Xiumin and Chen got high in pink plumes and spent several days stoned in a bed of “grass?”
Looks like Xiumin and Chen left some “herbs” for their sunbaes.
This… but… with grayish addicting mist, and more “grass” because sunbaes can afford more of it.
They can afford an entire Mary Jane plantation if they wanted too, but, how would the whole highlands fit inside their teensy-weensy Cheongdam-dong condos?
While we’re on the topic, there are two ways to look at this music video — the creative way, and the realistic view of things, because, a sensitive soul and overly sentimental fan like me cannot resist finding metaphors in so many ways than one.
In the beginning of the video, two kids are roaming around a dilapidated property in the middle of the forest, foraging for TV’s. The two are in a suspended animation state which might be telling of their impending enlistment and inactivity for two years, and whatever’s happening to the real person, seems to happen to the kids like a butterfly rests in Changmin’s nose and consequently a butterfly also sits on the kid’s nose. The kids might be the representation of the two.
WHAT’S WITH THE KIDS?!
The obvious explanation for this is that the kids represent the sentimental entities of the two. Though I have a slight peeve with the choice of models here. You see, if I would bring in my creative experience here, take note of the word “creative experience” here, (totally different from being a racist) would it be more fitting if the kids had some resemblance with the two? You know, Asian looking?
Or, in a more practical sense, did SME have a contract with the modelling agency that mostly supplied Caucasian models instead of Asians, you know, from “Something?”
SME: “DAMN IT! Why did I offer this agency a 13-year contract like my artists!”
If these pair are representing the two, then popular culture automatically makes the kid in white with deep eyes holding a teddy bear as Changmin… which we all know…
FORAGING WILD TELLIES
Aside from the obvious explanation that virtual reality characters don’t need actual people food, the tellies might be the years they’ve spent building their own brand and in the more sentimental sense — building their relationship with the fans.
The shanty living might be telling of their “started from the bottom” story, and the tellies are the musical kingdom they have built for more than ten years.
In the middle of the virtual plantation… I mean, forest, a pretty white lady dances, which kinda reminded me of that sexually frustrated red lady in Mirotic. Though this time, she’s not chasing them anymore, but she’s calm and happy, and her movements are more refined, just like what happens after your hormones stop firing randomly… you know… puberty.
Or it’s just the “herbs” working.
After several hours of foraging for tellies (instead of food), the kids decided to burn the tellies. Now this is turning more “Battle Royale” than a Dong Bang hibernation music video! Having those kids pillage for old tech in the forest in hopes of hacking the system.
Lay off the drugs!
But if you didn’t watch “Battle Royale,” and wasn’t going off course here, the burning tower is more of uncertainty in the future.
But still, kids… wandering in the forest… collecting old tech in an old warehouse, burns it to the ground — it all checks out!
The video ends with the kids staring at the ocean — the usual scene in every Dong Bang live performance after finishing it and it’s time to say goodbye.
They are going to serve their duties to the country for two years, and as Changmin puts it, it’s “hubris” to think that everything will be the same even in a short period of time. Maybe some will move on to build a family, move on with their careers, but nonetheless they can be thankful that in those years, they’ve enjoyed the fruits of their labor and had given them dividends. The hibernation in the video might mean that, they are never gone.
But if there are no more “herbs” or invisible onion-chopping ninjas involved, I’d say that the producers thought of this treatment because… after painstakingly thinking of possible symbolism and angle for this video, I’ve come to the conclusion that the use of the color, filters, slow-motion cameras, controlled lighting, and seemingly marijuana plantation hibernation chamber — IT LOOKS HIPSTER AS SHT!!!
Rise as One is just a staple bizarre EDM music videos that is played on MTV during the wee hours.
BANANA VIDEO RANKING:
It’s not that I hate it but it’s so common. There was nothing exciting and surprising about it, unlike their other music videos “Something” and “Suri-Suri.” It felt more like a filler video by SME so that they can make time for the simultaneous release of two singles on time.
Plus, the duo or even Changmin’s presence wasn’t there, and the Caucasian models didn’t do. It’s not that TVXQ should be all over the place in this because of practical reasons but the models didn’t exactly fill the absence of the two.
Another thing is that, in this video, it doesn’t feel like Changmin owns the video or fully highlights his individuality.
Champagne is Yunho’s carrier single from the album. The song is a standard smooth, classy RnB song that you can easily develop an ear worm from. It is the sound that you’ll usually expect from TVXQ.
BANANA SONG RANKING:
Unlike Rise As One this song is is easier to listen too, easier to remember and to sing too even if you don’t understand Korean, especially the line: “Girl I only want you tonight.” I’d imagine this song being played everywhere from retail stores, to boutiques in Gangnam to childre… okay, still not in children’s parties.
CERTIFIED PARTY BOY
You know that this music video will be a vomiting different spectrum of the rainbow when you see that the intro is Yunho wearing a… I don’t even know what that shade of green is against a classy Marsala backdrop.
Proving that he is the “dance leader,” the video is riddled with dance breaks. For the fans, it’s a treat of everything Yunho, but for those who can look deeper, it’s a tongue in cheek play of an opulent, fast-riding, partying lifestyle of the rich and famous.
At first, the skit looks like just another comedy special from Ho, or even present different sides of Ho, but for someone who spends some time in clubs, they look like different people in clubs that you have to deal with:
The rich d**che who acts like a baby around his trophy girlfriend.
The full of hot air swagger.
The rock star who usually trashes the place or is the life of the party until somebody calls the cops or…
…the bouncers kick him out of the premises.
And the “I’m just here for the drinks” guy.
Preparing himself to look fly…
…or actually everybody recognizing him after a closer look.
The only color-coordinated part of the video is the classy night club.
SO MANY FRIENDS
In “The Celebrity’s 85th line,” it’s been told that Yunho really likes to party with his friends and this video is no different from that. As you can notice, most of the dancers and models… even though employed by SME, have been in other TVXQ videos as well. The BTS (not the boy band) clip in the end even strengthens the idea that these people not only his co-workers including the staff but his friends in real life.
BANANA VIDEO RANKING:
The music video was totally entertaining and the scenes just keeps on getting fresh (and sparkly like Champagne. AH! CRAP! I just didn’t say that!) as the video goes on. What I really like about the video is that, even though it’s not unique, you can see that it’s all Yunho and it totally showcases his personality and experience when he’s behind the camera.
You can also sense that the producer got what Yunho wanted in a solo video. A stark contrast to Rise As One’s safe approach.
Both MVs clearly displays what kind of political power each hold. Min has that “MEH” hold in SME and I feel that his personality is more passive, sensitive, and just agrees to whatever other people are saying, while Yunho is more assertive and he really knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Given the two gentlemen’s different life backgrounds.
It seems that Changmin’s solo aims to be more sentimental and personal for the audience because this is their last chance to entertain such a large fan-base while Champagne aims to pass on a legacy. The presence of an SM Rookies kid there will take you back to Yunho’s “Diamond” days, maybe he’s paying it forward.
Can you imagine this kid going to variety shows saying “I use to dance in Yunho-sunbae’s music video,” and his members regretting his presence?
Their seamless partnership on stage feels like an entire contrast to their personalities behind the scenes and these singles really reflect that.
Overall, the only disappointment was them not being able to perform this live as a comeback in music shows.
We’ll just wait after two years for that comeback.
Thank you for landing on this post (or given this blog’s SEO fail, you have no choice but to land here.) Let me warn you that this is a lengthy post because the concept of brevity is very alien to me and a short post will not suffice explaining myself without sounding like a Dong Bang Shin Ki anti-fan.
Seriously, I’ve even followed them in Taipei to watch their concert and acquired this illegal fancam!
I’ve removed my previous entries regarding this drama because, I’ve read the post over and over again and the more I read it, the more embarrassing flaws and seemingly anti-fan sentiments came up, AND it wasn’t loooong enough to explain everything.
In this post, I’ll be comparing the original avant-garde movie “M” to its TV counterpart to Littlewood’s Law.
THIS POST IS RIDDLED WITH TONS OF SPOILERS!!!
Are you sure about this?
Then, read on.
TV VERSION: In a nutshell
Minwoo is a 28-year old webtoon author of a famous web series “December 8th,” it was all fine and dandy until a commenter under the username “Fire Warrior” wrote “This is based on real events.”
Y U DO DIS?
Like any overly sensitive creator on the face of the internet, he suddenly suffers writer’s block and harasses his manager to hunt down his troll
I don’t remember you, but I will find you, and when I find you, I will kill you.
Only to find out that his troll just lives across his apartment and it was his a-hole bully classmate in high school.
Just like old times.
Fire Warrior only has to say one thing to make him go on a wild goose chase with his past ghost.
Hopeful that the chase will answer how in the heck three months of his 18-year old life was gone and get back his mojo.
No seriously, HOW? I want to forget it too!
After several road trips, “cleansing sessions,” suicide attempts, smoke inhalation from lighting several matchsticks, bad hangovers, purgatory-zoning his pretty editor who’s clearly into him, a lunar eclipse, and a breakdown on his friend’s wedding, he finally concludes that the “December 8th” comic was the three months of his life that disappeared ten years ago that keeps on creeping back in his subconscious mind. That, the very reason for his amnesia (and unexplained depression) was Mimi’s ghost striking a deal with the Angel of Death to exchange her life over Minwoo’s in an agreement that he must never remember her to make things easier for him, since — in Minwoo’s world, everyone he makes a connection with, DIES!
Why does everyone I talk to DIES!
Big screen to small screen
The drama was adapted from the movie “M” starring Kang Dongwon as the original Han Minwoo and Lee Yeonhee as Mimi. It is an experimental avant-garde psychological thriller that leaves a bittersweet taste and is a must-see movie for every visual arts student out there. Director Lee Myungse refrained from using computer graphics but instead focused on using lighting techniques to achieve a dreamlike scenery.
As an artists myself that thinks of nothing but rainbows and dragon unicorns, the richness of color and representation coupled with deep heart-wrenching quotes landed a spot as one of my memorable movies I’ve watched.
The drama version has promised to keep it’s experimental charms and avant-garde(ness) but will be changing some of the plot to make it suitable for television. This time, Han Minwoo is played by Shim Changmin and Mimi by upcoming actress Moon Gayoung.
If my memory is correct, the original Minwoo was a novelist suffering from writer’s block, while the TV version made him into an online webtoon writer. Movie Mimi is a vibrant 18-year old slow-witted high school student, while TV Mimi is a smart home-schooled sickly 18-year old girl who has psychic abilities.
The symbolisms and famous lines remained but was diluted to make it more friendly to Cassiopeias or younger audiences — which, if it was the first one, I wouldn’t get it since our average ages range from very late teens to early 30’s. I wouldn’t know if their intention is to recruit younger fans, but at first glance, the adaptation wasn’t really my cup of tea, or if it was, maybe if I was 13?
The addition of the match box is likely inspired by the fairy tale “The Little Match Girl” wherein the girl lights up a match to see the soul of her deceased grandmother in heaven. On this one, Minwoo lights up a match to see Mimi’s ghost and asks away.
Umbrella man’s role was turned multifunctional. In the movie, he’s just a novel stalker following Mimi around, while on this one, he plays both the stalker, the Lupin bartender, and… SPOILER ALERT — Angel of Death.
In terms of screenplay, it is a combination of Ghost Whisperer’s Love Never Dies and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In Love Never Dies, the older sister trades her life in exchange for her brother’s, and Eternal Sunshine’s Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey having messed-up memories as a side effect of a new neurological procedure that deletes painful memories.
What they’ve also changed is the plot of the story, instead of the entire series pondering on Mimi’s death, they’ve also added some generic time travel “save your bae in the past” thing.
In this version, Minwoo can be pro-active with whether Mimi is gone forever, or will she return again?
But… I’m too EMO to actually do anything.
It’s unique point of being a feast in the eyes was kept in both versions. The movie has it’s beautiful visual typography and contrasts that makes the color burn through the screen, while it’s counterpart experimented on how a parallax webtoon works when a user scrolls down and the clean crisp color treatment on the final film. Though, Kang Dongwon’s Minwoo is much more gritty, violent, and disgruntled than Shim’s sappy, suicidal, emo rendition of Minwoo.
“When I’m sad, I go cross-country hunting down the ghost of my past because, EMOYOLO!!!”
Which brings us to the low points of the drama…
M’s simple, yet bittersweetly heart-wrenching story is a promising material for any adaptation. It’s story gives a lot of room for creative experimentation of visuals and non-linear storytelling. However, the producers’ attempt to maintain it’s avant-garde charms didn’t blend well with their goal to make it digestible for an ordinary TV audience. The first two episodes abused too much foreshadowing causing too many threads to follow. If the aim was to simulate a man’s really messed-up memory, well, it really messed up the story thread. Some of the clues to Minwoo’s memory were either too much giveaway or was introduced all at the same time without giving much needed processing time for the audience.
Second is the editing, there are some scenes that could have been better if some of them were clipped or was added on later episodes. Making the actor’s performance suffer or look like they are working too little or too much.
It seems like the drama was made for young Cassiopeia fan-service, or… in my case… a fulfillment of my fantasy of seeing Shim as a comic artist.
MY KIND OF FAN-SERVICE
Third, Mimi’s character was turned into an stereotypical Korean tragic love story, which in my opinion, they should have kept her healthy. It might bear more weight since Minwoo’s character who is already a lethargic emo kid. It will have more impact if Mimi was bouncing off walls smiling like Joker without holding her chest than both of them having a scenic pity party on each other’s loss. Besides, the young lady will die from a car crash, not from heart failure.
Why so serious? — BEST. PICK-UP. LINE. TO A GUY. EVER.
Fourth, it seems that this is like a big SM Town billboard, only promoting their ballads and their newest rookie singer Wendy of Red Velvet. The soundtrack is nice and all, but it didn’t have the same haunting effect as BoA’s “Mist” which was used on the original.
I am aware that both soundtracks (the one that Shim performs on a guitar that can be heard all over the drama) were remakes, but something tells me that one of the producers was from Reply 1994.
The flashback montages are big music videos which has nothing to do with the story, but it still occupied the majority of the drama, leaving me as confused as Minwoo.
Does the forever cross-dissolve and panning a part of the story? I’m confused.
Which also makes me think that part of the reason the three left the company is because of sh*tty drama projects!
“If I didn’t leave SME, I wouldn’t be able to turn into a Choseon Prince that you all love!”
Shim is perfect for the role, his statuesque physique coupled with his school boy looks that can turn dark in any moment is a manhwa fan’s dream. However, it wasn’t the acting — it was poor directing.
If I were to compare his role as Momo to this, he has potential to play such disturbing characters, but the director wasn’t able to realize this potential.
In the hands of a good director, Momoko is an Osaka seductress.
Not against Shim here or any of the actors and actresses but the writing was so poor and the revelations were hurriedly incorporated to fit four episodes. Minwoo’s character doesn’t have anything to redeem himself to prove that he’s more than just a sappy emo troubled guy, and what disturbs me the most is in reality, a person who exhibits Han Minwoo’s behavior is likely suffering from mental illness, I don’t know how serious given I only have four years of Fine Arts education but this may look severe! There was nothing the actors can do to save this poorly written fan-service drama even if they try.
Watch this drama if you are a really, really, undying fan of Changmin that you love the guy so much you’d be willing to jump off a tall building in a jiffy if he tells you to.
Honestly, the first two episodes were so confusing, even several bottles of beer and coke rum didn’t help my brain to appreciate it.
The struggle is real!
But, I won’t be writing this entry if I didn’t give it another chance.
“Thank you noona!”
I mean… this is part of my love-hate relationship with Shim.
Aside from the pilot’s web-toon treatment, the good thing about the drama is it’s richness in sappy emo quotes. The kind of stuff that you see on internet memes.
As I mentioned before, if the soundtrack was judged as an SME album, then it sounds pretty nice.
Changing also the plot twist gives a different spin from the movie. I wouldn’t mention which, ‘cos that will take out the fun from the original.
Lastly is their depiction of a visual artist at work. It took the liberty of showing what it’s really like to be a present day artist:
Glossing over Wacoms.
Spending relatively sleepless nights and foregoing personal hygiene.
Replacing food, water, and medicine with coffee.
Worse? Sloshing down one year expired concentrated pressed coffee!
Being harassed by editors when deadlines are looming!
I mean, I could look at that Creative Suite on that Cintiq with a touch-free glove for days. Ahhh~
I kinda felt sad that I’d always tell people I originally dream to be a comic artist while I was in college. I trained for about two years just to get it right, but several years of hand dormancy has significantly diminished what I’ve learned before. It wasn’t because of lack of opportunity in my country, but because I couldn’t find the time and courage to do so.
Why? Here is when I somehow realize that I am looking at a part of me on the screen.
It gets creepy… real creepy.
During Mimi’s press conference, Shim says that “it will remind you of your first love.” I’ve seen that theme in almost every Korean mainstream material there is, which, if you ask me…
… their fixation…
… over their first…
… love at all!
What could possibly be so nerve-rackingly different about this?
Seriously, I don’t get it at all. Call me bitter but, I’ve never seen (or at least within my circle) whose fixated over the guy / girl they’ve dated during their teens. Hormone-fueled decisions should be forgotten for LIFE!!!
I’m waiting for you to regret this decision three years from now.
And seriously, it’s like 2005 all over again.
That time when Shim first discovered tragic love story drama.
I mean… what could you possibly want to remember when you were…
18 years old… WAIT!
Raining… WAIT!What he said!
Car accident, and it was raining… WAIT!
Something that happened during the 8th… WAIT!
A calendar… WAIT!
And a fine arts school… HORY SHET!!!
My hands started to get clammy, my heart begins to sink, and my lips suddenly craved for more alcohol. I started to suspect that SM Entertainment has planted a bug on me since 2005. Why in the world would my ultimate bias do that? WHY?! JUST, WHY?!?!?!!!
Let’s just say, while I was in fine arts, getting all obsessed with becoming a comic artist, I was 18, I met this really tall guy who’s kinda emotionally troubled, and during the 8th of September, got into a car accident, made a legendary calendar and comic book, and was in it for another two and a half years.
I wish I was lying about this. But the good thing is… NOBODY DIED — TWICE!
Yep! ‘Cos that will haunt me forever.
I mean, I’m not gonna deny nor confirm the accuracy of this drama of my 18 year-old self.
You know, there was this room at the 5th floor of the fine arts building wherein we stack all our paintings and… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! SHIM, STAHP, DIVULGING, MORE DETAILS!!! YOU’RE CREEPING NOONA OUT!!!
In Watase Yuu’s Tohoshinki fan account, she shared that one of the reasons why most of her colleagues were Changmin-biased is because if they were reborn as male, they wanted to be him. In my case, part of the reason was every time I was doing generic flower boy guys and it kinda looked like Shim. It’s like seeing my imagination come to life. I didn’t give it much thought back then and totally forgot about it.
In 2005 (06) – the year I started training to draw comics, we saw the Samsung Yepp CF set playing at the college auditorium, and it seems that the guy I was dating then remarked it’s good to see a spunky girl that can keep up with the other guys — only to find out years later that the spunky girl, was indeed — a spunky guy!
With nice racks!
I wouldn’t say much about the eerie coincidences because that will make me sound like a crazy fan, but there is this thing that we call Littlewood’s Law which is a concept that if you think an event is so extraordinary, there is a big chance of it happening in an average of every 35 days.
For example… I’d never think that Shim will go running around as a centaur to greet the year of the horse…
…until I retreated back on my computer chair and say “I stand corrected.”
And after that, I’d never thought Shim would dress up as a girl again until…
I… stand corrected.
Coincidences, according to Michael of VSauce is our mechanism to find a sense of connection. The eerie coincidences just keep on flowing until I had it, paused the video to go to the bathroom walking like an angry zombie, returned to my chair and plays at this, exact, moment.
Even though it was creepily similar, the good thing is… I’m not Minwoo or Mimi after ten years.
“They are first, because it is imperfect”
I am quoting the original movie here because this is my more accurate opinion about the topic. Even if the drama was basically a role play of what happened to me ten years ago including the ghosts and psychic dreams. I’d completely forgot about it years ago. My Minwoo already have his Eunhye, while I just have gone Mimi’s path to freedom.
Although I am not wishing to meet the person again, the last part of the drama did really hit the spot. When you were foolish, the only thing you wanted to say is sorry and make sure numerous times that they are doing okay. The damage was done and there’s nothing you can do about it even if the universe gave you the chance to go back in time.
Maybe I was so creeped-out that my eyes started to well-up during the last bar scene.
But you know what, this is one accurate depiction of what the first is, it’s imperfect, you’re kinda hormonal about it, so you mess up really bad, but that’s okay, it’s meant to be like that. Because, it paves a way to the next one.
As for me, well… I don’t want to follow Minwoo who wants to find happiness in being with another person.
CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014 was so good that it will make you guilty to post on SNS everything great about it.
For starters, this was the crowd inside the Araneta Coliseum.
But before you go into conclusions why this happened, let me explain to you what happened on that fateful day.
September 19 was supposed to be CNBlue’s 2nd concert in the country, however tropical storm Mario drenched almost all of Luzon including Metro Manila and it’s surrounding provinces. CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014 was announced a few months prior, and the BOICES were ready for their arrival. The Philippines is not as sunshine-y as you think. The country is plagued by relentless rains for almost 8 months every year and what the postcards always depict is the perfect blue skies of summer… which, can make you skin boil both literally and figuratively.
Hours before CNBlue, fans affected by floods are petitioning the promoter to cancel the show since most of the events that were set that day was postponed for tomorrow. In spite of all the crying fans on facebook, the promoter and FNC went on to the show. There have been so many complaints from the fans who didn’t make it, but for someone who doesn’t know or too young to understand how these all works, the promoter’s decision to went on the show was the best decision that day. It is not all about money, but businesses also operate on good decision making that will benefit at least the majority of the players, and when we say major players, it’s CNBlue and FNC.
The biggest factor of all why foreign acts are difficult to cancel or postpone compared to local acts because of their international schedule. As you’ve known by now, KPop labels jam-pack their idols’ schedule to the max. If the concert gets cancelled or postponed to Saturday, then Yonghwa’s Japan fan-meeting would be affected and the whole chain will follow suit. That could also lead to more dramatic repercussions like delayed comebacks, delayed filming and more.
However, when the storm clouds clear, a glimmer of sunshine follows.
The promoter announced that they’ll come-up with a compromise to those fans who didn’t make it. Staying true to their model that fans will get more than what they paid for. And believe me, no other promoter does this move, ever!
B1A4’s Road Trip to Manila 2014 was proven to be one heck of a fun ride! To capture every moment, I’ve used my phone camera (except on the intro), but actually this also served as my first trial of what the advertised 41MP Nokia Lumia phone can do.
Unlike my previous TVXQ fancam before, I’ve learned my lesson. Although, please forgive my shakyness. That’s just my hand.
One more thing, you can download and re-upload the fancams on your own channel. I didn’t used Youtube on these babies ‘cos… they always prompt me that the video contains copyrighted music. O_O~
Just don’t forget to link back to this page for attribution.
I don’t know all B1A4 songs except for the famous ones like Baby Goodnight and Solo Day. Maybe hardcore BANAs can name the songs in the comments section?
Part 1: (shot with Canon 600D and compressed according to Dailymotion’s limit)
During “Chu, Chu, Chu” a random fan was called through a manager’s mobile phone by Sandeul to come up to the stage. Judging ate’s behavior, she was very behaved as a fan even though the boys are offering her to hug them or to “kiss” them. However, if that was Shim Changmin, I would probably latch on that lad’s leg while chanting ‘suri suri masuri susuri saba’ for more than an hour, or until Yunho, Beat Burger dancers, managers, and the rest of the staff would rent the “jaws of life” and collectively tug me away from THE Shim!
This is the part where everything gets messed-up. You see, I’ve scattered my links through Vimeo and Dailymotion and completely forgot where I placed them at the first place. In part 12 and 13, B1A4 is wearing white suits, which must be one of the first or second sets of the concert.
When idol groups come visit the Philippines, usually what they’ll play are canned mp3’s of their songs. As if the promoters invited them in short notice. Rarely would these group would make the effort and bring their own band. So far, the idol groups that I’ve seen dancing in the tune of their own band is BIGBANG, Infinite, and this – B1A4! Not only did B1A4’s songs sounded nicer in live but it introduced a different flavor in their music besides bubblegum.
Now that I think of it, B1A4 materials are plastered in the billboards of Bangkok and Tower Records of Osaka, but I’ve never seen a tint of appreciation for the band elsewhere even in their motherland. With so many talented idol groups debuting in Korea almost every week, it is a shame that many talented idol groups are still under-appreciated or underrated even though they’ve been in the industry for quite some time now.
I’m sorry if I always reiterate my age compared to other fangirls. Relatively, an 87-liner is a bit old compared to other fangirls that are mostly in their teens. If the KPop group is still young (in terms of debut years), then worries of their “oppas” going to the military is the least of their problems. As years creep in, the worry of a two-year hiatus becomes imminent, when we are so used to waiting on SNS for our idol’s latest news in a span of a few weeks? Now you start to ask the question.
“What would you do in 730 days without your bias?”
Time is relative when you are having fun. It’s been five years since my first taste of TVXQ, and yet it felt like it all happened a few weeks ago. I could still feel my 23-year old self even though my current age is the stuff of adult literature — dreaming of grandeur and going for thrills like life is a big poker game.
“Did somebody say, POKER?”
But I chose the path in which women of my age has outgrown. If there’s one relief that fate has offered me, it’s their ages are close to mine.
Like a cruel joke, my age also means military service to these guys. So, the annual Cassiopeia gathering was dedicated to the 730 days that these guys would be out of sight.
The Philippine Cassiopeia started by 2PM, but since I value my weekend sleep more than anything else, I arrived at the venue by 4:30PM.
“I don’t care if you are Jung freakin’ Yunho, but if you wake me up during weekends, YOU WILL DIE!!!”
Riding the LRT to the venue always takes me back to the old Manila. For those who are not familiar with Metro Manila’s political divisions, the city of Manila is the nation’s capital, even though most government offices (except for the Malacañang Palace) and business districts (except for the Chamber of Commerce) is located in Quezon City and Makati, respectively. The chipped paint of old buildings triggers my inner-historian, since most of the train stations are named after heroes and past political figures.
Such as the venue’s location that was named after late President Elpidio Quirino.
“Lazy, lazy Saturday afternoon in contrast to it’s usual ‘packed to the brim’ rush hours.”
The venue was a little dim and apparently my tremors are getting uncontrollable through age. I sometimes wonder how I’ve maintained my profession as an artist despite my shaky hands.
I apologize for the shaky photos.
“Welcome. We’ve been expecting you. Don’t mind us, this is how we ri~iiise.”
The entire penthouse floor was filled with Cassiopeias and everything TVXQ. A giant tarpaulin of the boys welcomes every Cassiopeia to the bar / film showing area.
My first Cassiopeia victim… was my colleague. Hehehe~
“I’m watching you~uuu.”
She was taking care of selling / managing all the pre-loved TVXQ items sold by other fangirls. Dang! Those merch don’t even look second-hand!
On the side are the staple Dong Bang standees.
“That you can take selfies with!”
In which I could do my obligatory “Troll Changmin’s standee with food” photo series!
This was the first photo from last year’s KPop Convention.
“His standee keeps on falling, it’s as if it’s throwing a tantrum!”
And now, this!
“With good ol’ Toasted Siopao.”
11G happened during Yoochun’s birthday (or within Yoochun’s birthday), judging the standees, it seems birthday boy is missing!
The whole afternoon was dedicated for fan programs and film showing of concert mash-ups and random videos.
When “Balloons” came up, the more active (or younger) Cassies started waiving their red balloons.
“Not really obvious in this photo, but they are dancing to it! I swear.”
The afternoon’s theme is like a Toho-cafe, wherein they serve pastries and coffee while enjoying the video mash-ups. Upon presenting my ticket, an admin handed me this chocolate pop right here. I don’t know if you can recognize the constellation pattern icing here?
I bought coffee with Dong Bang stamps on it for P15.
I stroll some more, and then saw the birthday boy… alone… going all existential.
“Staring at the window, asking himself, ‘Why am I here?’ ‘What is my purpose in life?'”
I will never understand his existential problem in his birthday party, so I’ve decided to pull him out of his existential rut and back to his birthday cake.
Birthday boy should be really enjoying his special DB5K cake!
“I could think of several R-18 (NC-17) jokes with this cake, not to mention, some Changmin inside jokes. Hehehe!”
Of course, the whole club sang a birthday song for Yoochun.
Fan gatherings like these gives me the chance to catch-up with old friends (who are apparently Cassies) and fangirls that I get to talk to on social media only. While I was catching up with my Taekwondo buddy, my name was called for a random raffle of Cassiopeia goods.
What happened was so random, I didn’t know I could do a smile like this.
Just crop out the other stuff a~aaand… Insta-Dong Bang creepers!
“We’re going to choke you with that lanyard while you slee~eeep!”
After the fan activities, it is time for Toho-Night. In the Philippines, Cassiopeias often have signature events such as Toho-Cafes and Toho-nights. Although not happening very often which I sometimes wish it always does, but where’s the element of surprise if that happens. They did the same set-up before back in 2011 (if my memory is correct) during the “Red Room” gathering. I wasn’t able to experience the Toho-cafe that time because I was training during that year, so I went for the Toho-night instead.
Toho-night is like a big night club party for fangirls with alcoholic cocktails served at the Toho-bar.
“It’s kinda like this, but replace Yunho with a citra-board version of him.”
Each cocktail is named after Dong Bang members. From a moderate drinker like me, 2011’s mix was a little too weak in my opinion, but this year was a little stronger. I don’t if it’s due to I haven’t ate a decent dinner, but I liked it! The alcohol was not too strong or too weak, it was just enough to give you a buzz without causing a traffic accident while crossing the street later.
Each cocktail is P100, the first cocktail mix that I got is the Soul Fighter mix.
I don’t know if you can tell the colors, on the left – the pink one is “Essence of Jaejoong”, the Cassies’ take on basic Margarita and the yellow one is “Katas ni Changmin” (Extract of Changmin). In Filipino, the word “Katas” is a strong, funky word, kinda like you’re taking someone’s blood or ♫swea~aaat♫ and put it into a vile or something… but that’s just me.
“Changmin EXTRACTS me wa~aaant!!!”
True enough, the “Katas ni Changmin” has a pungent taste, added with orange pulp mixed with what I think is gin, goodness. Kinda like the basic gin / vodka juice I always encounter in beach parties, or, or… the sour version of the drink “Sex on the Beach.”
“Like, if I ever get the chance to talk to Changmin and tries to bring this comparison up, It would be like, ‘Hey dude, the Philippine Cassiopeia made a drink after you and it kinda taste like Se…, se…, a~aaaaah, forget it!'”
“Essence of Jaejoong” is as pink as Jaejoong’s soul, and it’s pinkness is a prelude to it’s super sweet taste. Since we Filipinos prefer sweet tastes, and apparently most Cassie heavy drinkers that I’ve met are Jaejoong fans it’s no surprise that in about an hour, Jaejoong’s drink was out of stock.
I still have some left in my cup, so I’ve decided to experiment on it, I mixed the two and it was divine, like Hello Kitties and Se…, Se…, AAAAH! THIS SOUNDS SO WRONG IN SO MANY LEVELS!!! WHY DO YOU EVEN NAME A FAMOUS ORANGE JUICE COCKTAIL LIKE THAT!!!
“Drunk Chang-pron would be so proud!”
The second round was the YooSu mix.
I can’t tell which is which ‘cos birthday boy’s cocktail was the same color as Junsu, but I think the one on the left is Junsu’s. Junsu juice is the basic Piñacolada. Birthday boy’s mix is called “Mr. Park’s Elixir” like he’s some kind of a magic potion! Or a warning that Micky’s mix is not to be messed with. As always, Micky’s cocktail is often the strongest alcoholic mix followed by Jaejoong’s.
After drinking his Elixir the buzz kicked in fast, leading to this sedated version of me… drinking alone… in an existential table.
“If fate would allow me to have a family of my own, at least that kid won’t find incriminating drunken photos of me in the bowels of the internet. Instead, only incriminating sober photos of me doing stupid things while lucid!“
The train station will close within a few minutes, so I skipped on Yunho’s mix, which by the way has the funkiest name of all “Kamandag ni Yunconda” which is a great Tagalog wordplay for “Venom of Yunconda,” like oppa is some sort of a snake or something. I’m so sorry oppa.
“NEXT TIME! I promise.”
Judging from the last event, Yunho’s cocktail would have been the ‘punchiest’ of all, only fitting the manliest-man leader of Dong Bang Shin Ki!
“Yes. Manliest-man leader!”
But… when I need to dispose the extra alcohol, I see this morbid reminder of not trying Yunho’s!
Of course, a Cassiopeia night club party-party wouldn’t be complete without a “Mirotic” dance off!
Catching the last train home, I realized that a few hours of coffee and alcohol was a well spent weekend catching up with friends and meeting SNS Cassiopeias, not just profile pictures of their Dong Bang bias, that even I myself is guilty of doing. There was so much activities, I couldn’t even put all in this post.
As I get older, my responsibilities as an adult and a designer has greatly increased through the years, that what I took for granted before, like the little naps, boring and nothing to do weekends had turned into a luxury I can’t waste. Even writing a post about this weekend took me several days before I could publish it. I have to be honest, these girls, or women, are not only my partners in swooning, or either the people I go to for when I’m having a Changmin cray-cray episode, it’s more than that. Most of them are already professionals and because of this, it has helped pave way for us to have a well-founded professional and social activities network within ourselves. Not exclusively for Cassiopeias, but every other first and second generation idol fandoms. And I think that younger fandoms would have this too in the future, when they grow up and enter the working force. As I would advise younger fangirls, grow up together with your fellow fangirls, you’ll never know what will come in the future.
I have to admit, the only close friends that was left during my teen years are the ones that I spent my time fangirling. Nobody knows how long the allure of Hallyuwave would continue to entice us. Maybe someday we’ll outgrow it, just like how I’ve outgrown my obsession with anime. Until then, enjoy your fandom.
Just like us, the idols’ do carry a bigger plate once they turn into sunbaes. Also, the all eminent 2-year mandatory military service by South Korea. In two years, they’ll forego fan service in the service of their country technically still at war with their neighbor.
11G’s title suggests that we don’t forget, and this could probably the last Cassiopeia gathering before the boys do their duty for their motherland. Like a last swing party in all World War II movies, the last shots were called before sending them off…
…until then, we’ll be in a fangirl existential hiatus corner.
“How do I swoon thee without thy oppa?”
P.S.: Some corrections on the cocktail mixes, since my drinking experience is different, one CassPH core said that the mixes are as follows: Yunho – Midori Illusion, Jaejoong – Strawberry Margarita, Yoosu – Variants of Margarita, and Changmin – Screwdriver. Although I’ve tried Screwdriver before (and had fond memories of turning me into a blabbing GENIUS after several shots of it) both variants of Sex on the Beach and Screwdriver that I’ve tried in the past are made with orange juice, except that SOB has a grenadine syrup, and the basic Screwdriver has only the alcohol and juice on it which is much closer to what I’ve tasted. Bu~uuut for LOLs I won’t change it! Muwaaahahahahahahaha!!!
PHOTO CREDITS from CASSPH and various Tumblr TVXQ fan pages.
In every training or demo I go, the instructor’s fandom is too dang high whether they are teaching the basics of visual arts or coding. Last week, I was able to attend the “School of Data Philippines” at the World Bank Office in Bonifacio Global City. I’ve noticed that the instructor was a big fan of football and he used football data in some of his database examples. I want to practice and experiment on databases and such, but… I can’t just pull any random data out of nowhere! Then an idea came… what if I experiment on my Cassiopeia cray-crayness like the instructor?
Then a lightbulb!
You see, I love karaoke… I love karaoke so much that I’m willing to spend money to sing like a forever alone fool in amusement centers. But most song books only has English songs. In order for you to sing a Korean or a Japanese song, you must know the code yourself, and even if you know the code, it doesn’t guarantee that the song is present in the machine. It’s basically a trial and error thing with Kumyoung machines here.
I don’t know what’s up with my brain but my memory can be compared to Dory the fish!
“Whut?! I don’t remember this squishy?”
If I found a Kumyoung machine that has TVXQ songs, I… suddenly forget the piece of paper with the codes and lyrics on.
With that in mind, I have developed a searchable database called… drum roll please…
OH YEAH!!! With that glorious Chun-face pasted on it!!!
Here’s how you use Karaokeshinki:
I’ll show you screenshots taken from my Toshiba Thrive tablet, since the goal of this database is to make it mobile-friendly.
It started with a special invitation from the founder / organizer of Jjang Events (KPop Culture and Fest) Mr. JP dela Cruz — would I like to take part as a judge for the Dance Cover? I may not be a dancer myself, but I can totally say that I am a veteran of these events, having attended and joined numerous KPop events and contest in the past five years of fandom.
I even joined the first KFest Cosplay event back in 2010.
“Shout out to my Yunho bias friend over there!”
Sorry for the inaccuracy but… this is apparently my measly attempt in feminizing Changmin’s O Jung Ban Hap costume, but only ended up looking like a bar waitress. O_O~
“Forgive my insolence, Oh Lord Voldemin!” *grovels*
My original intention was to do a write-up about Xander’s arrival here in the Philipines, but from simply being an observer, I was upgraded to being part of the show, with a possibility of crushing some of my fellow KPopers’ heart. Take it from me, I never won a KNation or a KPop Cosplay contest in my life and some KPop fans (especially the younger ones), the feeling of defeat did not sit well with them.
I wasn’t able to take much photos of cover groups and cosplayers because I was busy from thinking what I could submit my editors the next day and writing down the scores of cover groups, but I did capture some adorable and amazing moments that are too hard to pass up.
Like how this Crayon Pop’s cover group member looked like a character from an anime in that pose.
The extra effort this BIGBANG cosplayer group did on their costumes and ooooh~ props! Nicely done!
One of the several EXO cosplayers… seriously, so~ooo many EXOs.
Amongst all the EXOs, a random Jaejoong cosplayer appears!
“PFFT! Cassiopeias and their eagle eyes!”
And a surprise from “Hello Venus” cosplayers.
This event has also brought out some characteristics that cannot be seen easily from all the screaming and loudspeakers, like:
How a K-Idol contestant was inspired by EXO’s Sehun to keep going on in his life.
How a KPop event defined how strong their bromance friendship really is.
“Pare, I’m shy!”
“I assure you, these dudes are 100% TNL (real men)! They’ve done what no man, or boy would ever dare to do — eat Pepero, Couple Style with your bro.”
How a young fangirl can’t contain her feels! Even if she was only imagining a scenario of dating Xander Eusebio.
“POWERFUL IMAGINATION! Give it a few more years and you’ll be like me! A CRAY-CRAY DELULU~ NOONA! Bwaaaahahahahahahaaa!!!”
I have seen U-KISS perform before, but I wasn’t assigned to cover these events when they came here. I could only recognize Xander from U-KISS because in Twitter he is one of the most active and lovable of KPop celebs. Philippines is one of his most mentioned countries in his tweets, and when the strongest Super Typhoon of 2013 Haiyan (Yolanda) struck parts of Visayas, his second arrival of the year had a purpose of helping out our Kababayans, not just perform in front of his fans.
But to someone, Xander means a whole lot more. What is supposedly a day for KPop fun took a more serious tone.
I did chose this shot of her with her hair covering her face, because I don’t like having someone’s face plastered all over the internet with this following story. Yes, I do get sarcastic and creepy most of the time but I don’t want someone or a future employer of her searching Google and find out her young past self with this story… or worse, could be a subject for online bullying.
The contest “KPop Star and I” promises a chance to be up close and personal with Xander. But one contestant confessed that before he got into this fandom, she was so depressed and attempted to kill herself at some point but failed. Even if the contestant didn’t win the contest, I think the simple gesture of Xander putting his shoulders on her is a lingering reminder that her idol told her to keep moving on no matter how tough life is, and if no mortal could give a shoulder for her to cry on, the Holy Immortal one will.
Now, if there’s a chance that she’s reading this, take cray-cray noona’s word on this, our brains were never developed emotionally and logically until we are 21 years old. Due to hormonal changes, we do crazy things when we are that age. In my case, wisdom came first, but maturity came last. There is no guarantee that things will be better in the future, but if you were hurt by someone, try to think why they are doing this to you and you’ll see that they got it worse than you. In case of sadness, I am glad that you found this hobby as an inspiration, as someone who suffered depression as a kid to my late teens, I know how it feels to have a black dog walking around beside you all the time, I assure you, once the hormones pass, try to find what true optimism is and you’ll never go down that road again. Also, if your friends are giving you trouble, or an obnoxious boyfriend — i-dispatsa mo na sila day! Hindi sila worth it! ‘Di bale nang walang mga kaibigan kaysa maraming kaibigang pabigat! Losing people is a part of the growing up process. If it’s family, you are your own person, you can change to be different from the tree, kasi pag-sinisi mo ang lahat ng BS na nangyayari sa buhay mo, sa iyo rin babalik iyan! Kung pera, hindi kita matutulungan diyan. If this was something else, I don’t have anything to add, uhm… eat healthy? More Sun? More KPop?
Whew! That was heavy! Here! Look at this adorable photo of Xander!
For the lucky winner, she receives an autographed book. KYA~AAAA!!!♥
And get to smell a real KPop Star! DOUBLE KYA~AAA!!! ♥♥
I mean… if that was me, and Shim Changmin, KNation will stop when I turn into this!
“And have the organizers call a priest or an albularyo, whichever is more applicable and available. I mean, Baclaran Church is near that place.”
Back to judging, believe me… it was brain-racking and emotionally confusing. Because, you have several youngster and young professionals allotting their free time whether existent or not, to practice the difficult moves of their idols, including also the price of making costumes. Like, their hopes and efforts are in your hands!
I have seen judges or the event organizers being questioned by cover groups because of their decision but believe me, when you’re there, it’s harder that it looks. That’s why I don’t have much good photos of cover groups performing because judging takes all your attention and focus and when you blink, you might be writing the wrong decision. I don’t know any of these cover groups personally, as you can see from my tagging in my previous posts. I name them according to the artists that they cover most of the time and explains why I can’t even name their groups properly.
As someone who joins these contests before and kept on losing, the most important thing to remember is you are there to have fun and celebrate with your fellow fangirls or fanboys. Winning is just an extra reward, and when you let go of the mentality of winning the prize, you’ll see that it will take you farther in places you’ll never expect to be.
“To my co-workers, colleagues, and bosses… I was young. And stupid. Also, that vest is totally made of the same thing as your typical sampayan.”
Keep on FIGHTING and eventually, you’ll get it right.
“After two (or three) years of joining contests, I finally won 2nd place for drama cosplay competition as the past life Bu Young – the leading lady of Micky Yoochun which is totally TVXQ / JYJ related person in Rooftop Prince. But again… to my colleagues, I WAS YOUNG… AND STUPID.”
It’s Women’s month all over the world and here in the Philippines it means sale for fashion and beauty products!
During Women’s Month is when I take advantage of those uber-expensive make-up products that I am not ready to splurge on for the sake of beauty, which I rather spend that money on food and TVXQ merchandises.
In KPopverse, TVXQ is considered as one of the top artists and sunbaes of the industry having just celebrated their 10th year anniversary last December 26, 2013, yes I know, I may not remember your birthdates but I’m really good in history! Fit to their image and aging fanbase the band was chosen to endorse Missha, which in my opinion has a classier or more high-end feel than those of it’s KPop endorsed counterparts such as Nature Republic and Tony Moly.
Which makes their prices, MORE EXPENSIVE! Buwaaaahahahahaaa!!!
I only discovered Missha when TVXQ endorsed it back in 2011, at that time, I was having a dilemma with most BB cremes, because I always ended up like a floating geisha head. Even if most Korean products are really good in holding up to the test of humidity and heat, finding the perfect shade for my sun-kissed skin requires a lot of on-location research. I was surprised to see a dark shade BB Creme by just pointing at his standee.
“No offense dude.”
But my BB Creme story is reserved for a separate post.
As a certified cray-cray Cassiopeia, I have already bought the ‘L’EAU DE MISSHA which burnt a whole in my concert funds, and I really like the… well, I would like to call the SCENT OF CHANGMIN ‘cos it has his name on the bottle. It has a sweeter scent compared to Yunho’s, which I think is more suitable for a temperate country.
“LIKE SOUTH KOREA!!!”
Okay, back to the pricey lip balms!
So earlier, I went to visit Missha at SM North EDSA to check out how much discount I could get for the Missha TVXQ Kiss Lipbalm. Since I already have the TVXQ tumbler, photobook, calendar, and paperbag, I opted for the posters.
“I love you guys so much that I am willing to make you richer!”
The envelope where the posters are has a film emboss which is tasteful for an older fandom, it has this royalty feel on it, yet minimalistic.
Goodies are encased in a so-not-totally-kpop box. I can’t help but have thoughts in my mind of how this box was printed since part of my job before was to check the quality of print products in a printing press.
“C2S vellum board, heavy gsm, glossy, satin finish, 5th ink emboss gold, semi-film emboss on the photo, and glossy cold lamination on the sides. — only QC’s will understand, terminologies varies from print shop to another.”
The whole set comes in two tubs. And for a lipbalm, they sure are BIG TUBS!
U-Know Kiss is strawberry scented, while the Max Kiss is Citrus… well that’s what the PR says, but from tasting it… take note, TASTING IT, Max Kiss is a mix of Pomelo and Pink Lemonade. I am a big fan of strawberry scent, and somehow I wished that the strawberry scent was designated to Changmin instead.
“Redundant? Ah, okay.”
But knowing Yunho’s obsession with strawberries, I think Changmin would not put up a fight in deciding what his lip balm flavor during their brainstorming.
At first, when I opened the tubs, the scent was too strong. As Filipinos would describe it, “may amoy altar” which roughly translates to tabernacle-ly or incense-like scent. But once I dabbed it on my lips, it was like Fruit-tella, I can’t stop chewing on it.
Which… I dunno if it’s a good thing or a bad thing since I have a habit of lip-bitting.
I have to use several lip balms to ease the bleeding of my lips or just to have a little protection from my incisors.
“I have to show myself this picture from time to time, just to prevent treating my lips like gummy bears.”
I am not a fan of anything citrus, but after applying the Max Kiss and drinking some Snapple, Oh dear! It was a delicious trip to citrus land!
“Citrus La~aaaaand!” — drinkwhat.com
The Missha TVXQ kiss has lots of moisture which is best suitable for those who have dry to very dry lips like mine. But make sure that it doesn’t overflow to your skin, ‘cos it’s really oily. I have to pat it with my clean fingers around the corners. The good thing about these lip balms is that a little goes a long way. You don’t have to scrape a lot of it just to cover the whole surface.
Since it is a Missha special edition and it has several TVXQ attachments, the posters and everything, I can understand it’s pricey-ness. The original price was P1,700 ($37.50), with discount, I only got it for P1,450 ($32). For those who live in a country with a higher currency, $3 may not mean much, but in the Philippines, $3 can buy you a Mc Donald’s Cheeseburger meal with fries and drinks.
Judging the size of the tubs and the amount you have to use, the TVXQ Kiss Lipbalm will last a very long time, even if I have to use it frequently… when I feel like my lips are some kind of a Korean dried squid.
It almost have the same consistency as my Max Factor lip gloss, which I have substituted for a lip balm when I finally finished my last one. But I hated using this Max Factor lip thing ‘cos it really tastes like wax. Ugh!
“MAX Factor over MAX’s Kiss with MAX’s photo on the box, ooooh that’s a lot of MAX! Let’s take this thing to the MAX and MAX it up further.”
With so many Cassiopeias and BIGEASTs all over the world, I haven’t seen a single description or review on this. It is either they can’t use it because it has the boys’ faces on it, or because they are paralyzed to touch the product because of it’s price. Well, here’s the bad news… cosmetics, they do rot and if you don’t use them, they will just melt in your cabinet or worse, the perfume used in this product will turn into rubbing alcohol… which is more regretful than buying an expensive piece of merchandise and not using it for the sake of posterity.
If there’s one thing that I’ll lock into my vault is these babies!
I AIN’T HANGING THEM ON MY WALL, ‘cos UV rays fade away ink!
— Notes from the author: I was supposed to publish this post during the time the second MV was released, but due to fever, migranes, and foot injury, I wasn’t able to finish this, so pardon my tardiness.
Until now, my foot is still killing me, but I can walk fine, unlike a few days ago.
“Hey! What a coincidence!”
Good thing those painkillers are e~ffec~ti~iiiiive~~~~.
Before February closed, the boys were back with the single “Suri Suri” or Spellbound as the English title suggests.
Since it’s the time of the month, I shall give a special highlight to my bias of the week… Yunnie-bunny-oppa!!!
“Yes, that kind of TIME OF THE MONTH!”
YAY HORMONAL IMBALANCE!!!
I apologize for that.
The MV starts with these two playing roulette with cards, which, I am not sure how you play roulette with cards. Realistically speaking, if your husband or life partner is so into gambling, you might run into problems like this:
“Oppa! Are those my Tiffanys? Put that back! I ain’t giving you permission to gamble those away!”
The money they are gambling with is freakier than any unregulated tender.
“Erm… not sure what these money can buy?”
And that guy is just as coy as ever.
Dictated by Korean culture of seniority, oppa is responsible for paying everything…
“The food bill alone is a killer. MUST. STEAL. MORE. TIFFANYS.”
…which makes this coy bastard smirking at his adversary.
The music video’s theme is no different from the “Great Gatsby” treatment they’ve done with Something. From following SME’s trend, they seem to stick to one treatment as long as it still works until we, the fans are so sick and tired of it.
Remember their 360 cam obsession back then?
Dance steps are shot in continuous like in EXO’s Growl. And something tells me, they’ll be sticking to this type of MV for a long time just like their 360 cam and Skrillex episode.
In the past, KPop MV’s are just as creepy as fudge when they just introduce one girl or boy to the mix in a feeble attempt to stop fans hunting down that model / actress. One thing that made me happy about TVXQ’s new gimmick is that they have incorporated more women dancers in their dance routine and MV’s… which, I am so adding this move to my roster of terribly awkward spazzy dances.
“Yay! Spazzing over oppa ri~iiight here!”
This time, the female dancers are interacting with these guys more intimately, which makes the steps more believable for a love song.
The set is the usual box room, but it is not as impressive as the set in Something.
SME has received a lot of flak from international netizens because of their incessant use of box rooms. I am not complaining though, ‘cos if it works them, then they can do a hundred more box MV’s. Besides, they’ve been doing that box thing like forever.
It’s quick, it doesn’t take forever to set-up and it doesn’t take much of the idols’ energy, they just have to stay in one place and dance. Contrary to what others believe, they have done exceptional drama MV’s such as BoA’s Disturbance (featuring TaeMan) and Before You Go. Let us note that their idols spew new singles almost every month, if given such a short time, then their staff have to go for the quickest route, not unless if you are willing to wait for eons like EXOtics.
Box MV’s if done correctly can show the production team’s creativity and the band’s dance moves, but… given all of SME’s profit and talented staff who can whip up a concept on the go, isn’t it time to step up their game?
Just sayin’ SME, you take a lot of inspiration from the other peninsula, and you have your SM Rookies.
The second MV feels like EXO’s Growl 2. Shot continuously, but added some editing fancy to spice it up a bit. In this version, the boys costumes keep on changing in certain parts of the song.
The transition is seamless, until the 2:45 mark, when Yunho hands over the card to Changmin, I dunno if it’s just my hypersensitivity that the microsecond jump shocked my senses.
As for the costume changes, I know that this suggestion will wear down the boys (and the crew) further, but to make this effect fancier, the costume changes should be more than three or four outfits for a perfect blink effect. Therefore giving the video editor more room for creativity.
“Because you can obviously see how many times oppa had these hands smeared all over him take after take.”
In both MV’s, there was a ton of Changmin close-ups, which I only find in Japanese PV’s… During the day, I customize my screen to what I call the Panic Screen, it’s basically a bunch of Adobe software lined up perfectly with my email window and a tiny tab for MV’s. It works like a charm to my focus, I don’t know how, but it really does, not when there’s a lot of Changmin close-ups. My brain shuts down completely for whatever reasons!
“Changmin! Stop distracting noona! You can perfectly breathe on your own!”
Seriously, I have to drop everything for a while when this shot comes up!
“Swiper! No SWIPING!”
While Lord Voldemin is having a shot of his life in a Korean MV, I am noticing something with oppa’s scenes. O_O~
“YH to Mr. Director: Is this really necessary?”
I know Miss Dancer is not really reaching down his “feels” but… uhhh~ okay Mr. Director, whatever angle floats your boat.
About the song… well, be ready to have your “DB5K” thread stroked…
…well, if it really does, but I’m putting a disclaimer anyway!
From what I remember, SPELLBOUND is an alternative meaning to DB5K’s epic single “Mirotic” as JJ coined the term from the word “Miro” which means maze, and if you are stuck in the maze of love, then it is like you are under a spell! SPELLBOUND is also the title of Mirotic’s remix version that was played in their last Asia Tour as five.
I am not here to impose some conspiracy theories, but whether the title is a coincidence or not, both are really nice songs.
But there is no stopping me from mentioning the former.
Mirotic’s lyrics are more carnal… venting on… well, depends on your interpretation, it may sound like a crime of passion or that weird fetish we call S&M.
“Uhm, I’m not sure about that though.”
But to me it sounds like the first one.
“I don’t care if you are freakin’ Micky Yoochun, but if I see you creepin’ on me like that! I am calling the cops!”
Aside from the sinful interpretation, Mirotic is also a message song for Cassiopeias and BIGEASTs who have held on strong in the fandom for the last five years. Unlike their Japanese counterparts, Korean boybands have a short career lifespan and it is already a feat if they lasted for more than five years. 2008 was DB5K’s fifth year and presumably, the epoch of their careers, but what follows broke the hearts of many fans, and even stepped on some political sensitivities of both Japan and Korea.
If we try to look at the MV and the lyrics in a more positive light, the Red girl suppose to represent Cassiopeia. Who through thick and thin has stood by their side, relentlessly following every activity they had and purchasing album after album even at some point meant destroying their own lives. Even if… in real life, oppa will never ever know of their presence except in numbers.
“What is love? What! It’s now meant by the Red Ocean”
Even if the original intention of Jaejoong or SME were wholesome, the tunes were derived from Sarah Connor’s Under My Skin which is sexual in nature. Some of it’s remnants ended up in the Korean lyrics, ‘cos I’m not sure if it has more recall in Korean or they are keeping it consistent with the original, but the chorus was easy for me to memorize.
“Can I just say that she has fantastic long legs?”
My cray-cray Cassiopeia side of me has no courage to compare Mirotic to any song of the trio, or duo, or quintet, since I got to this “devil’s ride” when I saw Mirotic. I started to worship Changmin and what happened next is a downward spiral to Crazyville and sleepless nights.
BACK TO SURI SURI.
Do they really have to assign the “food” part to Changmin?
“This noona is not paying for your dinner!”
The lyrics, like their banner song Something, has impressed me for going beyond saranghaeyo. These words really sound like a guy who wants his girl to stay, well… I’m going in my late twenties later this year and if some kid will try to woo me with a plain saranghaeyo, you ain’t getting anywhere. The words compose a mature love song to cater to long time Cassiopeias who, by now are awaiting or have heard these from their boyfriends or husbands.
If you are in my age… this is just as sweet as fudge, the literal fudge.
“Yes… chocolate fudge. 676 calories! WHOSE COUNTING THEM ANYWAY!” (dbsknights)
What is also amazing is, in spite of the dance routine’s many skinship moments, the lyrics do not bear much physical or suggestive sexual innuendos at all.
“But that doesn’t stop me from wanting this chunk of Korean meat at all!”
THE FINAL VERDICT:
My score is pretty high, not because I am a Cassiopeia, but I really think this is really good.
From comments I keep on reading on pages and forums, fans always say that the repackage single is always better than the banner song. To that I agree. Is that part of their marketing strategy to keep us buying the same thing more than twice?
If so, it is working.
And oh, Changmin, my fling with Yunho oppa only lasts for a week every month. Don’t worry, this cray-cray noona loves you neomu, neomu much.
Even if this crazy noona is just one of the thousands of other crazy noonas out there to get you! Hohoho, hehehe, hahaha!!! *smiles at the last GIF creepily*