REVIEW: Before they go with TVXQ’s “Rise as One” and “Champagne”

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.

tvxq-food-hibernationNot that kind of hibernation!

Unfortunately, some wishes don’t come true no matter how perfect your “Cassiopeia Constellation” dancing wish ritual is.

IMG_0443Neon 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:

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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.

shim-speedingWhere speed limits are just numbers written in paint.

The music video looks like a love-child of Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” and EXO’s “Love Me Right” which we are back again with SME’s notorious recycling of sets and props!

Remember the room wherein Xiumin and Chen got high in pink plumes and spent several days stoned in a bed of “grass?”

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h02m05s121 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.

vlcsnap-2015-08-24-23h45m21s63They 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?!

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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?”

Bc8a_jpCAAA6I07SME: “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…

…is…

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…very…

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…far from…

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…reality!

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.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h09m13s0Or 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.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h10m31s63Lay 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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

Moving on.

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:

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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.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h27m32s39 Regurgitated Mountain Dew, bubblegum, vodka cocktail?

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:

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m05s205The rich d**che who acts like a baby around his trophy girlfriend.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h28m54s94The full of hot air swagger.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m46s107The rock star who usually trashes the place or is the life of the party until somebody calls the cops or…

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h30m09s76…the bouncers kick him out of the premises.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m34s245And the “I’m just here for the drinks” guy.

Preparing himself to look fly…

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…or actually everybody recognizing him after a closer look.

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The only color-coordinated part of the video is the classy night club.

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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: 

150824-champagne

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.

MY HUNCH?

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.

HO-ROOKIESCan 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.

BUMMER!

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FANCAM: CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014

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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.

CNBluePanorama

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!

 

Moving on…

Forgive my eventual chants about Jonghyun being a member of Gyuline and how Changmin has such great taste on men.

tumblr_mbkzhfdRHc1r9t2vxo7_250“Such good taste on men.”

Part 1:

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From the fancams, even though the crowd was small, their gratitude floods the dome. In the end, Yonghwa promises Manila that they’ll be back, and hopefully the weather will be better.

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FANCAMS: Road trip in Manila with B1A4

 

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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)

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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!

Part 9:

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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.

Part 12:

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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.

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DON’T FORGET BEFORE U GO: The Cassiopeia Philippines’s 11G

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.

SuriSuri04“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.

changmin tvxq ajusshi“Darn it!”

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.

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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.

changmin-yunho-sleep“I don’t care if you are Jung freakin’ Yunho, but if you wake me up during weekends, YOU WILL DIE!!!”

Some of my Cassiopeia friends are looking for that “Cray-Cray-Changmin-fangirl-who-sometimes-uses-him-for-her-work” but, like sisters from another dimension, they do understand my relationship with weekend sleep.

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.

P6075889“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.

P6075890“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~

P6075893“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!

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On the side are the staple Dong Bang standees.

P6075907“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.

changmin-pocky“His standee keeps on falling, it’s as if it’s throwing a tantrum!”

And now, this!

P6075922“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.

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When “Balloons” came up, the more active (or younger) Cassies started waiving their red balloons.

P6075918“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?

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I bought coffee with Dong Bang stamps on it for P15.

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I stroll some more, and then saw the birthday boy… alone… going all existential.

P6075915“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.

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Birthday boy should be really enjoying his special DB5K cake!

P6075921“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.

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Just crop out the other stuff a~aaand… Insta-Dong Bang creepers!

11111111“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.

image110“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.

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Each cocktail is P100, the first cocktail mix that I got is the Soul Fighter mix.

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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.

changminshock“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.”

changmin-thinking“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!!!

changmin-wine“Drunk Chang-pron would be so proud!”

The second round was the YooSu mix.

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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.

10296821_10152537145376189_2076448564000124295_n“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.

yunho crying“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!

mary poppins“Yes. Manliest-man leader!”

But… when I need to dispose the extra alcohol, I see this morbid reminder of not trying Yunho’s!

2014-06-07-1942“Darn it!”

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.

P6075915“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!!!

20“Because, REASONS!”

PHOTO CREDITS from CASSPH and various Tumblr TVXQ fan pages.

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THROWBACK: Taking the judge’s seat at KNation 2013

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.

ojbh-attempt“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~

3RD-ALBUM-O-MAX4“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.

IMG_0761

The extra effort this BIGBANG cosplayer group did on their costumes and ooooh~ props! Nicely done!

IMG_0328

One of the several EXO cosplayers… seriously, so~ooo many EXOs.

IMG_0194

Amongst all the EXOs, a random Jaejoong cosplayer appears!

IMG_0185“PFFT! Cassiopeias and their eagle eyes!”

And a surprise from “Hello Venus” cosplayers.

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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.

IMG_0386

How a KPop event defined how strong their bromance friendship really is.

IMG_0423“Pare, I’m shy!”

IMG_0453“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.

IMG_0491“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.

IMG_0599“D~Awwww…♥”

But to someone, Xander means a whole lot more. What is supposedly a day for KPop fun took a more serious tone.

IMG_0658

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!

IMG_0558

For the lucky winner, she receives an autographed book. KYA~AAAA!!!♥

 IMG_0661

And get to smell a real KPop Star! DOUBLE KYA~AAA!!! ♥♥

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I mean… if that was me, and Shim Changmin, KNation will stop when I turn into this!

changminshock“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.

IMG_0990

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.

195927_10150132988753800_309114493799_6840737_5022983_n“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.”

If dancing or cosplaying is really your thing, be terrible anyways, you’ll get better and more resourceful with experience. Did you think Alodia Gosiengfiao got it the first time she tried?

Keep on FIGHTING and eventually, you’ll get it right.

 Buyoung“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.”

In case you missed it, here’s my write-up about Xander and Bebots.

Meanwhile, totally unrelated… Ma Boy was playing at the other SMX Hall in a very manly-man event full of muscle cars!

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SPELLBOUND FOR THE 2ND TIME: TVXQ’s Suri Suri Review

— 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.

M2“Sorreh guys.”

Until now, my foot is still killing me, but I can walk fine, unlike a few days ago.

136035_original“Hey! What a coincidence!”

Good thing those painkillers are e~ffec~ti~iiiiive~~~~.

trippy“Su~uuuuu~pe~eeeeer~e~ffec~ti~iiiiiiive~” (wallpapervortex.com)

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!!!

period

“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:

SuriSuri01“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.

SuriSuri02“Erm… not sure what these money can buy?”

And that guy is just as coy as ever.

SuriSuri04

 Dictated by Korean culture of seniority, oppa is responsible for paying everything…

SuriSuri05“The food bill alone is a killer. MUST. STEAL. MORE. TIFFANYS.”

 …which makes this coy bastard smirking at his adversary.

SuriSuri06“Win or lose, you pay for all of these!”

Somehow, makes me think that their are not betting on the muniez, but who picks up the tab, since this duo have a difficulty agreeing with each other.

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?

Shinee-lucifer360

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.

SuriSuri-girls“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.

SuriSuri08

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.

SuriSuri-YH05“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!

SuriSuri-CM01“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!

SuriSuri-CM02“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~

 SuriSuri-YH01

SuriSuri-YH03“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…

emoshinkialert

…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.

LYRICS WISE!

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.

yoochun-miroticpart“Uhm, I’m not sure about that though.”

But to me it sounds like the first one.

chunfez-perv“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!”

Before this conversation turns societal and culturally ugly, girls, remember… respect yourselves and other girls first, and oppa will respect you back. Which is greater than having them remember you as one of those creepy sasaengs who do terrible things. Araseeoyo?

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.

Untitled-1“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.

sarahconor“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.

changmincreepyface“HELP, ME~EEEEE!!!~~~”

BACK TO SURI SURI.

Do they really have to assign the “food” part to Changmin?

SuriSuri06“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.

somethingchocolate“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.

SuriSuri-YH02“But that doesn’t stop me from wanting this chunk of Korean meat at all!”

THE FINAL VERDICT:

MUSIC VIDEO

bananaranking-surisuri-video

THE SONG

bananaranking-surisuri-song

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.

SuriSuri-CM03

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*

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Top 32 reasons why I like Max Changmin!

How do I love thee? — As the famous classical writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning would say. But how do I love thee… thee bias? I would often say that mine is unusual for a common fangirl who just swoon over physical looks. Yes, we are no different from the opposite gender since both need something that will grab their attention, if for boys, boobs and booties grab their attention, ours is… well, you know… women, long list.

As of posting time, I am currently a 26-year old web artist for a major online news in the country. From time to time, I shoot or write about Hallyuwave local events. I am not much of a writer since I’ve dedicated my entire life in practicing visual arts. AND I’ve been “worshiping” this eastern god for about four and a half years now. Having said that, I think I have upgraded from the short girly list of fully swooning over a pretty face to having a womanly long demanding list of expectations. But I have to reiterate, I am a very shallow person.

If a guy is reading this post, whether believe it or not, we can see right through you. Only a shallow woman would go purely for looks. There should be some innate qualities you have that will sweep us off our feet. Unfortunately for a “Forever Alone” woman like me, I don’t have much choice here. I am limited to fantasize on celebrities, might as well make the most out of it.

So what would four and a half years of swooning over Changmin be like? In the first years, you will be allured by their demigod looks and status, but later on, you want something more, something that is closer to what you might want to pattern your future partner with. Abs? No. They spend too much time in the gym more than you. Okay, maybe?

*Yawn*

But maybe you are not as philosophical (or serious) like that, maybe you just want something to talk about with other fangirls who have the same bias as you and compare notes.

I have made a top 32 list of what I like about my KPop bias (and then others would say, wow, she’s really going crazy with this).

1. He looks like a Japanese-Filipino guy

I am a Filipino so that should come in the territory. If you can’t view the video, here’s the GIF version.

Yes, I can confirm that he does look a little Southeast Asian. I was surprised myself when I first saw him perform in Bangkok. I was in the front row of the football stadium and I can see closely what he looks like. From there, I had an affirmation that he resembles the uber handsome Japanese-Filipino I randomly met when I was younger. But the guy is older than him. The dude was also tall and handsome that I have to slap myself back to reality in order to do basic functions like crossing the street.

“An ironic twist to what could be the best day of my life, only having my life end right that instant.”

2. His voice resembles a freakin’ tsunami siren

It may not be as manly as Kelly Jones’s (my favorite vocalist), but I have a certain fondness with singers who can belt high notes ala Celine Dion.

To whatever government, give him a seaside mansion and always have a complete sound system installed everywhere, so that when the tide comes, he could just scream “TSU~UUUUUNAAAAAAAMIIIIIIII” in that pitch. Imagine, fans (and sasaengs) would flock in that place and increase the tourism revenue and at the same time, save millions of tax-payers money for a disaster warning system.

“Imagine the possibilities.”
   
The screen name “Choikang” means Maximum in Korean, because he can hit high notes (like a girl) effortlessly. During his audition, he won the best vocal award.

Besides, there is a website that says some women might be swooning for guys who can belt it out like neither their testosterone or Adam’s apple don’t exist. It’s too bad that I lost the link to that website.

3. He is a certified nerd…

During TVXQ’s earlier days, Changmin ranked as one of the brainiest / intelligent KPop stars in Arirang International.

“Top. History. Student. My. Feels. Are. About. To. Explode.”
  
If so… he can answer the question of how bad it was to not check his reflection on cutlery using this scale? Huh? Max-Man?

He may not have flashed his school records like Song Joong Ki or Kim Tae Hee… or even his best friend Kyuhyun, I’d give it to the guy. Besides, haven’t we seen what he did in GOV?

“Indeed! I can’t even memorize birthdays.”

“Can we, declare this a national holiday or something?”

Not to mention, he is an endorser / ambassador for one of Korea’s top Humanities and Science university.

“I wish he was my classmate when I was in art school, I would have drawn better.”
His inauguration photo looks adorkable too!

“Awww~ he looks like a dork, THAT I WANT TO PUNCH! How cute!” #cuteaggressive

His rumored IQ is 150 points. Seriously? I’m not even a hundred points (even if I am already an adult), and South Korea’s national average is 106 points. At most I’ll go with 130 or 140 points — the score our high school valedictorian has, who made it to top 6 in the national bar exams.

4. …And a certified geek…

Our maknae is an avid Changmin-hater. Well, you can’t really please everybody but given the history I had with boys, I seem to have a habit of cherry-picking nerds and geeks. Most of my friends, both guys and gals are in this category and she just couldn’t handle all that geek! But don’t worry, I can’t handle her “socialite” thing too, it’s a truce. When I asked her about it, she simply said that he looked like a geeky art student. Yes, imagine all the red, fat, beefy hearts flying in my head that moment while an expression of disgust is drawn all over her face.

“Ate, Ewww~”

I am not a full pledged geek or nerd myself, but what others consider weird behavior is like a my kryptonite. My AADBSK 3 DVD was my priced TVXQ possession besides JJ’s Anan and their Rolling Stones magazine because in one of the DVD’s chapter, I noticed a nicely-colored blue shirt, oh, how I loved that shade of blue, wait… is that what I think it is?

“NO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” 

My dad is a big Star Wars fan, bring up a single related SW item and he won’t stop blabbing about it. Although he may fanboy in silence but when I was a kid, he would scold me for doing a Vader impersonation. Oh, god! And when I brought home a Darth Vader M&M’s poster (a Philippine promotional merchandise from Revenge of the Sith) he gave my cute poster a stink eye and… I couldn’t remember the exact words, but he went full blast philosophical about it. I thought CM’s shirt was just a fad, not until it was revealed how he loves the franchise.

“If you want to know what I’m talking about, click the photo. DO IT! DO IT!”

While mostly would shout “Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala” if they want to think of something, his apparently is the Star Wars theme song.

“Now it’s legit to carry these in a TVXQ concert while in a slave Leia outfit. Hey! Hear that sound? That’s the sound of my dad disowning me!”

5. …And how adorable he looks while swooning over his fandom.

If you love something, express it. Do I need to say more? In my books, this is more adorable than an aegyo!

“Trying to be diplomatic about it and suddenly…”

“…a burst of feels!”

“Focus boy! FOCUS!”

“CASSIOPEIA VERSION: Replace Legos with TVXQ merchandises”

“CASSOPEIA VERSION: Replace Lego World with a Dong Bang fan meeting or concert”

It’s good to know that the dude who is partly responsible for our fan club name is no different from us.

6. How he is as the Agent 007 of the group, or duo, whatever!

As a former girl scout, I approve of this! And yes, that, is how you pack your bags soldier!

Okay, so… the video was already taken down in Youtube. In Strong Heart, the mc’s go rummaging on CM’s bag contents and they were surprised to see that his bag is like a mini convenience store. I give him plus points for the re-usable shopping bag. If my memory is correct, he said something like: I shop using a re-usable bag because it is more environment friendly.

7. How sexy his eyes look if he is trying to answer a history question.

A follow-up to item number three. Why can’t I find dudes like these in a quiz bee competition? WHY?! I have joined a few, but, zero, nada, opseo! WHY?!

Even though he is not answering trivia questions, his eyes have the ability to look super cute and at times fierce. That’s what we call versatility guys!

“If he sees an outstanding girl from the crowd, he remembers her appearance like a picture forever. I… would like to experience the Changmin-glare and I… should glare at him back! — I swear, I will get that glare! For all the good reasons of course.”

8. He is quite a rocker

In a Japanese interview, he said that his favorite Japanese band is B’zs. I wonder if he actually settled in that vocal range because he wants to scream like a rock star, but ended up in a boyband? Hmmm?

And this! Oh god! X-Japan!

  Oh yes, pre-requisite sexy.

9. His untamed hair

“Lies! ALL LIES!!!”

All my life, my poofy hair has been the bane of my existence! I used the word “poofy” because I couldn’t describe it as curly. It’s not even pretty!

“Here’s an accurate depiction of it”

Until I’ve read a fan forum board or was it an interview, that he asked fans not to give him a comb. A big brush is what he needed the most. His reason is that, a plastic comb would break in half if he ran it across HIS POOFY HAIR! It’s like, the heavens has sent an angel in my life!

“The messiah of POOFY.”

Not only his crown has an untamed mane, it was all over! He is a very, very hairy boy and I am a national forest. In a BTS interview, CM said the most difficult thing he encountered while he was shooting his first television drama other than the punishing acting training and schedule, it was the preparation for this scene:

Let us not forget the pain he suffered in a waxing salon just to satisfy our carnal fantasies of him. If the universe would allow it, and… uhh~ let’s say we had a kid… he would end up like this:

“Our son, isn’t he handsome?”

10. The quirks of his weird pronunciations both in Hangul and Nihonggo

He seem to have a problem with the pronunciation of “ae.” I tried searching the internet or asking other people, it’s really weird. Here’s how he called BAEkhyun:

        
And here’s another one in Catch Me’s “WAE”:

(mark at 3:29)

Sometimes he gets it right, sometimes he doesn’t. But we all find that cute, right? Or it’s just me who noticed?

11. His awkwardness

Maybe it’s just the age but I am not amused with hallyu-celebs showing their aegyo.

“Except him.”

I don’t get it, why do it? If a guy does that? Would you think it’s adorable? Do they like doing it? I don’t think so. A little feeling of embarrassment afterwards shows that they are human too, it’s all a show, but I’m still not into that sh*t.

And in some of their choreography, he seems to have a hard time loosening up.

“The other one trusts the physics, while the other is not trusting  the forces of gravity.” 

Isn’t that cute! Yah, I know, I’m twisted like that.

12. The derps

So… I heard he is the most handsome creature who graced this planet, tell me more!

“It’s like catching Pokemons. Hehehe~”

I even made a compilation to glorify it! Handsome pictures are boring!

“I take everything back!”

Plus, derps make a good response on social media posts since the dawn on image replies.

“This can be used from ‘OH GAHD NO!’ to ‘WTF’s going on?!'”

13. He’s introverted, well, mostly

That’s what he said! There are some findings that say introverted people tend to be more sensitive than extroverts. Their definition of quality time is an alone time and socialization is spent with a few good friends than a big party.

Introverted people are mostly intellectual. *swoons*”

But one might debate over this. Changmin works in showbiz which requires a lot of interaction with people, but in order to recharge or think of new ideas, he wanted solitude. While I am writing this post, I only have several hours after midnight to ponder on this. As a result, it took longer than I expected to finish a paragraph because I have to think really hard. By now, I am listening to Youtube pink noise to block out all the sounds in the environment and it is doing wonders, it’s giving me an illusion that I am all by myself. Okay, back to him… it’s safe to assume that our well-loved Dong Bang Shin Ki member is actually an Ambivert. By definition, it is a combination of some extroverted qualities like the desire for public recognition for their work, while enjoying some alone time as relaxation.

Sure, many of you don’t want to be left alone but, great minds have to hear themselves sometimes.

“The voices inside my head is telling me to eat endlessly!”

14. The Voldemin Lord of Pron (or anything NC19)…

Throwback anyone?

But he was young back then. Maybe he’s a changed man, NOPE! HE’S GETTING WORSE!!!

“There’s more where it came from… CLICK THE GIF guys to see the whole post.”

Every guy does it. There was a study about guys who doesn’t watch porn but it was easier to find people who did. Anyways, a Konkuk University Science Journal concludes that watching porn can actually make you dumb. So, let’s say that Changmin’s rumored genius IQ of 150 points is true, then being the Lord of Pron may have drastically decreased his brain power.

“How ironic, he came from Konkuk University.”

For us, we should really lessen watching Chang-prons from now on.

“Why do we have to choose  between our intelligence and fulfillment!”

15. His epic fails

BEHOLD, the man who has a rumored 150 IQ points!

*boop*

No one’s family jewels is safe from him either.

“Ain’t gonna have ki~iiiiids! Sorry Yunho-bias people.”
             
“You are here to hit some pins with a ball, not hit balls with pins!”

But, in my books, he is still a champion.

16. His love for baseball

Baseball is the only sport I’ve played my whole life. In the Philippines, not much is known about this sport, then came Voldemin, whose obsession with the game is synonymous with other’s love for football and basketball. He even plays some catch during his break.

“His pose is like an insult to my femininity” 

A tradition in Tokyo Dome says that everyone who visits it must catch a fly ball, since Tokyo Dome is one of the major baseball arenas in Japan. Every TVXQ concert, an autographed fly ball is thrown to BIGEASTS to observe that practice. Well, at least that’s what I think it is, but the gesture is brilliant.

“That’s not how you do it, Shim!”

The results of the major league affects his mood of the day. But we can’t blame him if he’s really passionate about it.

17. The extreme polarities of his physical strength

Yes, he is a member of Dong Bang Shin Ki, Changmin is athletic like the other guys…

His great hand strength has been the biggest fear of these guys too.

But…

“You have toned biceps. USE THEM!”

Oh, yes… you don’t have to be Hercules all the time.

18. His extreme tolerance of spicy food

In “Explorers of the Human Body,” the group has demonstrated their high tolerance of spicy food. Aside from Jaejoong, he may be the second on the list. Even when they turned into a duo, the Japanese still challenges his ability to chug down incredible Scovilles.

19. The rarity of seeing a pop-star / matinee idol consume alcohol in public and how he is not afraid to say it.

“I don’t drink alcohol” — HAH! One of the BS that I hear from matinee idols who have to keep their images clean.

“Even Junsu drinks! Your argument is invalid!”

It is normal for adults to drink and we call it socialization. In my case, I drink alone. It’s like drinking some special tea. I mean, South Korea is like the drunkard capital of the world. So what better way to celebrate your 10th year in the industry? By having some shots of course!

(start at 2:44)
20. Him, downing some caffeine

Don’t you just fantasize of a handsome guy serving you some coffee? As a coffee-lover, yes, I do!

“The best Arabica drip in town, served to you by Shim Changmin everyday.”

That dark liquid of goodness streaming down his diamond-laced vocals. Oh yeah!

Wait, whut? O_O~

21. His views of life

As I said before, I appreciate honesty. I mean, we’ll all go there someday.

“YH’s reply is what I get when my peers ask me about my philosophy in life.”

I am brutally honest from time to time, but honesty can be misinterpreted as snarkyness or in this case, negativity.  In his past UFO replies, it may sound that he is being snarky, but I can sense a bit of honesty and logic in his words.

22. How his actions would resemble an anime character

I grew up watching anime and one of my favorite is Slam Dunk. My favorite characters were the two three-pointer shooting guards of Kainan and Shohoku.

Even his long hair days is similar, sans missing front teeth.

It’s no surprise that when I started to fangirl, my desire to watch anime has decreased. Now, I just watch a few for the art and story, not for unrealistic drawing of bishounens. I have KPop guys to do it for me. Plus, they kinda act like one.

     
“Add more dudes on the side and you can form a Power Rangers team here.”
  
23. The roles he play in various music videos, dramas, magazines, and movies

Every fangirl wants their Goo Jun Pyo, right? Well, honestly, I hate the story of BOF with passion because of reasons! I have nothing against the original manga artist or the actors who have played it in different version except the North American version. Maybe I’m just different. I like suspense thriller films that have tons of mindf*ck political and existential mysteries and growing up in anime made a weird mix of pop culture fantasies in my head.

Role Number 1: Han Dong Joo

As a kid, I have no idea what the three letter word that couples do in their honeymoon meant. The kid me is saying, when I get married, I’ll dress up like a princess and we’ll watch our favorite game / show together. UGH!!! In this scene, Han Dong Joo and Dal Ji gets married garbed in Prince and Princess-like wear, rushes to their rooms, just in time for the World Cup. Wait, what? So… that thinking is universal? Which figures, because Dong Joo and Dal Ji is portraying puppy love or a kid-like innocence of something big.

Role Number 2: Choi Tae Hyun

choitaehyun

I was in South Korea for a vacation when this episode aired. Aaaaah!!!

Okay, okay, Ana, breath. HA~AAAAAH!

Moving on…

Choi Tae Hyun is a nuclear weapons and tactics expert of the government. In his first appearance, Agent Choi because it’s sexier if you put the word AGENT at the start of every name disarmed a C6(?) type plastic explosive connected to a thermal-sensitive trigger that could destroy a military bunker underground. I’ve watched several suspense thriller films and enjoyed every bit of blabbety  nonsense this Agent Choi is sayin’. The episode that I enjoyed the most was when Agent Choi is debriefing the staff of the Nuclear ploy that the North stored for them… because, you know, I read about nuclear energy and weapons in my spare time. O_O

Athena18-00044“You can disarm my bombs anytime soon Agent Choi.”

Role Number 3: Momo

After several series of his painful acting, his role in “Fly with the Gold” has landed him a Best Actor Award, I’m a fan of his, and I don’t know how that happened. But he has improved ten-fold from his last major drama project. Considering that the director keeps on flaming at him. THANK YOU MISTER DIRECTOR! If it weren’t for you, I would have totally given up on my bias’s endeavors in dramas and films.

Without leaking any spoilers, Momo is an ex-North Korean spy who have sought refuge in Japan, only to get hunted down by assassins. The protagonist has chosen the name Momo after a Japanese children’s folklore story in which the original Momotarou in the folklore is ubiquitous and yet his origins were unknown. This was my favorite role of his, which combines two of my favorite things: Changmin and Suspense Thriller.

In the movie, Momo was tasked to blow up the leading news station in downtown Osaka. Oh, I definitely saw what you did there Miss Author, or director, I don’t know, I haven’t read the novel yet! As to spread terror in the news station, he intimidates an employee.

“I am so~ooo taking my overtime now!”
Which spells “feels-exploding” to any Cassiopeia working for a news agency. Like me.

Role Number 4: The Photographer

Photography was one of our pre-requisite subjects in Fine Arts. The school administration reasons that artists should know how to take decent photos because we’ll never know when we’ll need it. Several years later, when shove comes to shove, or I volunteer, or clients don’t have an appropriate budget to HIRE a professional photographer, I… take over! Aside from comic illustration, my life in Fine Arts revolved around Photography and I may not be an official professional, I still love it like… it’s an extension of my illustrating.

“Capturing Chanyeol’s derp is 1000x more rewarding than drawing his chibi! Hehehe!”

But professional photographers don’t always share the same views with us artists. So, my encounter with them, especially fashion photographers doesn’t turn out pretty.

“Destroy my histogram, artist! I, dare, you!”

A shoot or coverage is nowhere near a “The Celebrity” photo-shoot, from asking permissions to suffering hours of severe dehydration, hunger, and muscle fatigue from squeezing through the crowd. Even if it’s just a picture, it’s a lot of comfort for me to stay fit and focused.

Role Number 5: Han Minwoo

61dh

As a Fine Arts alumni and a professional (pseudo-comic) artist… DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO?! Imagine if your ultimate bias would play the role which is your job or your current college course is? What kind of feels would you have. For example, you happen to be a big Kyungsoo fan and apparently you work as a part time supermarket employee, wouldn’t that make you appreciate your job more?

do-cart“Career Existentialism put aside.”

I haven’t forgotten his first ever role in Banjun Drama:

CM-banjun“Chant Mirotic’s chorus in front of your TVXQ merchs for the same creepy effect.”

I’m always afraid that he’ll find out my Changmin altar.

24. The big difference of Shim-past and Shim-present Remember this prank?

Now, I want you to return to 2014 and picture Changmin making this face to anyone whose trying to prank him.

“Nothing is sacred when he gives you that look.”

And how some grandmas molested / violated the kid.

Now, he’s just, uhhh~ I don’t know how to put this…

The violent Shim before…

CM-violent

…to a peaceful Shim today.

CM-meditate

He is a changed man I tell you. *crosses fingers behind back*

25. His love affair with food…

If there is “Friendzoned” or in the case of Filipinos “Kuyazoned” (which is worse than friendzone) anybody who makes a move on him will end up…

foodzoned*sigh*

When he was younger, he eats a lot like 7 meals a day and several creepy sasaeng accounts listed of what he eats on a daily basis. In MNet’s TAXI, it was revealed that Yunho is the one who eats astounding amounts of food, given that the dude dances a lot. But you don’t have to eat in big quantities to say how much you love food. Because as one of my mentors said, a person who loves food, loves to cook.

“For those who can understand Tagalog: IT’S. A. TRAP!”

Second to Jaejoong, I think he is one of Dong Bang’s best cook… he really know where to put those cookies!

Now that the Dong Bang under SME is a duo, Changmin still does all the cooking, but now they live separate condo units.

26. His neatness and nagging is of the same level as a woman’s

“Yes! Who does that?! It’s disgusting!”

If I had my own place, my unit would be as obsessively clean as his. Bu~uuut, given the high prices of property here in the Philippines for a common salary worker, I’d just imagine my ocd-kind of room.

Yes, I get you in that area my loves.

In a twisted alternate universe, Changmin would be the one wearing the skirt, a hot pink balloon skirt!

27. I mean, LOOK AT THIS PRETTY WOMAN RIGHT HERE!

They say that the real measure of a man’s handsomeness is how he would look like if he dresses up like a girl.

“So much insecurity issues arising from this one.”

28. His wits and quick thinking

During Mirotic Seoul Tour talk, Changmin pointed out that his wits and quick thinking were due to his parent’s genes. Dictated by Asian culture, the other boys were not able to argue any further.

Wits can be mistaken for snarkyness, because in reality, he just knew what to say at the right time and at the right place…

…even if it seemed to be inappropriate or NC 19 material.

29. His quirks never fails to make me wonder – why am I even here?

At first, when I saw this picture, I thought to myself that nothing else would get worse than this…

“Earning money is harder than he thought.”

…but I was WRONG!

*hiss*

Hey! That would be the most brain melting costume of a pop star I would see him wear. And as if FATED, this greeted me “Happy Year of the HORSE!”

This should be a Gaki no Tsukai for Cassiopeias, the fangirl who laughs — will be punished!

“Imagine, Spice Guy is saying he’s riding a white horse, the camera pans to the side and you see Changmin in the other corner saying ‘I… am… a white horse!’ Oh god! My imagination is betraying me!”

30. His honesty

Even if it would cost him his job… he is still not afraid to say it — up to a certain extent. Of course, you can’t be 100% honest if everybody’s looking up to you and watching your every move. That’s why he strayed off Social Media sites.

31. His fidelity

paradiseranch-wedding“Cray-Cray Photoshop material. Hehehe~”

A man who could stay settled for years is an intelligent man, or has a good upbringing. In his interviews, he said that he latch on a relationship for years. It was never a one-time summer thing like “Superstar.”

While most guys have a taste for younger women (or girls), Shim Changmin admitted that he never had a girlfriend younger than him… even if you count the months. They are still older than the dude.

noona“Yes! Yes you may, dongsaeng. *wiggle eyebrows*”

32. And finally, how he drop quotable-quotes.

CM-quotes

runningaway

Sometimes fans forget that they have a life to live other than their bias. Even  if TVXQ is still thriving on our “crazy,” he still reminds us to put ourselves first, before them.

—-

There are several reasons why we choose our ultimate bias, it can be based from our idea of the illusive Mr. Right or we just see a little of ourselves in them.

We may not know our idol personally or we wouldn’t know if it’s all for a show, but at least there is a bit of humanity that is trickled onto the media. Not just a perfectly manufactured product that we usually buy at the shelves.

As I type… I just realized… is Changmin a Korean male version of me, sans height? O_O~

“Oh crap! She’s that deep bat-sh*t crazy already!”

——————–

The photos and videos used in this post are compiled from different TVXQ Facebook fanpages, websites and Tumblr accounts. Some of them were re-posted in several portals. I didn’t remove many of the watermarks or in case of the GIFs, I’ve placed their original Tumblr account on their hyperlinks whenever I can. I re-uploaded some of those in my own image hosting account for posterity, to keep this post intact just in case the owners of the websites decide to delete it.

It took me several days to complete this entry because I have to jog my memory for the links and I only have three to four hours a day to do this (including some Photoshop edits to make a meme). If you just skimmed your way through, please take time to click on the links, not because I am advertising them, but you may learn a thing or two. I also closed all my SNS tabs and even listened to pink noise so I can remember some of the sources better.

If you are planning to pull out my “words” from this blog, please don’t just simply copy-paste it on your website, because that’s just lazy and it won’t give you much brain practice if you aim to be a journalist or writer in the future. Link back to this post guys. The images, I don’t mind, they are not mine either.

An open letter to my favorite KPop Leader-nim

My shot of my favorite leader three years ago. After the concert, he took off his shirt, asked the ELFs to move out of the way, so he could give the grandma who was watching him on the bleachers his small token of appreciation.

The smile of my favorite leader that I took three years ago. After the concert, he took off his shirt, asked the ELFs to move out of the way so he could give the grandma who was watching him on the bleachers his small token of appreciation.

I couldn’t forget what bright smile you have every time you visit our country. Even though you are not my Pumpkin Prince, my camera would involuntarily capture your beaming smile.

But behind that angel smile, is a tragedy waiting to happen. You have spoken about it several years ago, but now, the devil has wreaked havoc in your life.

Super Junior – my first love in Hallyu, will always leave an impression on me. Just like a first love that left a mark, no matter how many men you will love along the way.

Even if I had met my true love in Hallyu, your impression will always be the strongest. Your trials will have a stronger sting in heart.

I may not give you my condolences by myself, because… what would a single Cassiopeia’s words in 영어 can do to alleviate the pain you are going through.

Tons of condolences from all ELFs would have reached him from now, but no matter how many, they wouldn’t be enough to heal all the pain.

No words of comfort can do it.

Not even in millions.

I couldn’t say Leader-nim, be strong, because how could you be strong if you are all broken.

Even if years may come, grief may not end… but as my favorite leader, my only prayer for you is… keep on living. You don’t have to pretend to be strong when you are already broken. Aside from your team and your friends, the thousands of Everlasting Friends, even from the Red Ocean, will be here to offer our arms to assist you, to be you crutches.

To help you walk on this life.

To help you keep on moving forward.

 

 

 cassioelf

P.S.: I am technically a CassioELF, I fangirl and buy merch of both TVXQ and Super Junior. But my dominating fandom is Cassiopeia that’s why I’ve indicated Cassiopeia only in my letter.

THAT “SOMETHING”: Cassiopeias all grown up

What did we expect on TVXQ’s 10th year anniversary comeback? A sappy love song? Or perhaps a new strong beat pair with a trademark dance? The 10th year anniversary title single for me is just as important as their first comeback from the two-year hiatus in 2011.

Then came the release date, the boys continued to pull my strings once again.

Hehe. Get it? Pulling my string?

This time, they are The Rat Pack (okay, maybe a duo Rat Pack!)  In that cool, suave 1960’s beat.

I am not a fan of jazz but having Yoko Kanno’s arrangement for Cowboy Bebop and Tokyo Jihen populating my second gen ipod shuffle, I had an interest with those kinds of tunes. I never thought that jazz and pop don’t mix, but “Something” has pulled it of.

THE TUNES:

As a group that has been working in the industry for ten year, that would be the perfect opportunity to experiment and explore other ways of “re-inventing” mainstream pop. KYHD had that “Inception” drums going on, and Catch Me has shown Lee Soo Man’s producers are at the peak of their Skrillex episode. In these cases I would like to offer their producers a nice “at least you tried” cake in all their efforts to re-brand TVXQ as a duo.

at-least-you-triedAt least they did.

In those two albums, I felt that something was missing? Could it be that I became a fan by listening to DB5K? In their second album as a duo, the mould for two is starting to form and by the time they get to their third, it was complete.

The title track “Something” is another experimentation of the group, but in my books, this experiment is now a success.

I like it how this track drops the bass NOT the Skrillex way, but rather how the Rat Pack would have strum it. Compared to their last releases, the arrangement is consistent and cohesive. No sudden unrelated dubstep mix, no random drums and screams that makes we want to throw a table if I’m wearing headphones.

Let me be clear that I like Changmin’s screaming if used properly

The trumpets makes me want to snap my fingers and dance the swing… but if I do that in the real world… the jazz would stop.

jaejoongsummerdreamAnd then brass instruments would come flying at me.

Another thing is that they have really incorporated the jazz tunes unlike what happened to SJ’s Mr. Simple that the smooth, sexy tunes just ended up as a tease only.

THE LYRICS:

After ten years,  most Cassiopeias would be in their early to mid-twenties (just like me.) One’s lyrics may also reflect of what kind of fangirls they do have. And I don’t think women of my age would go for that puppy love theme songs and shallow “I love you’s” in autotune. We want depth, we want content, and mostly, we want lyrics that relates to our style.

The chorus lyrics goes as:

“She got that something

You’re not enough for me, stop baby

You may look haughty, but I can see you staring at me

You’re going to have to do better than that

She got that something

If you hesitate, I’ll cry baby

If you smoothly approach me without getting caught

I might just turn a blind eye and play along” — (from kashigasa.com)

Modern women are not kept in their houses, we earn degrees, work and have hobbies now (and this is my hobby, sadly T_T) , unlike the time period that this video is set to. Men’s preference have changed as we changed, and the ideal woman for them would be the kind of girl that doesn’t put herself out there or… gold diggers.

The lyrics are somehow giving tips on how to snag a prince. Remember Prince William and Kate’s love story? Although she may be the most beautiful girl in the room who wanted to be the Queen of England someday, she didn’t come and get the Prince like other girls did, she played it cool until the Prince came to her on one bended knee. I like how the Dutchess of Cambridge did it than those girls in Korean dramas – ever so helpless and waiting for their prince to come. Or worse, seduce the prince in tacky ways like bearing some skin.

“She got that something She got that something

She’s just a beautiful (hey hey hey)

Just a beautiful (hey hey hey)”

There have been jokes and happenings circling the internet for a long time now, about the story of a JP Morgan banker (which was fake) and the Kim Possible girl, where they fish the sea hoping to get a BIG catch. They’ve used their youth and beauty as baits but the big fishes didn’t bite because, even if the bait looks delectable, they needed something more.

As Prince Charmings see most damsels not in distress anymore, their rescuing skills are no longer needed. Now that we can bring something to the table, our prince wanted us to take our own contribution, not just their own bacon.

tumblr_m3jj1j29191qbsxzbMmmmm… BACON.

Sure, it may sound cocky at first, but I think that’s what the lyrics are trying to say. Unfortunately, this is Asia, the Independent Woman type is a western idea, therefore in real life, that won’t do.

THE VISUALS:

Let us be clear that I am a Cassiopeia and I’ve seen more good points than the bad ones. Ayt!

something-lastframeOther than what seemingly looks like the Cassiopeia formation in the last frame.

The MV is just produced to show how awesome the choreography is and how awesome they look in Rat Pack garb.

In other news, they’ve used not just one lead model, but many, many girls. Unlike a traditional KPop MV that uses a single model all throughout. Which oftentimes creeps me out.

exowolfdramaThis looks like 11 wolves (or probably rapists) ready to pounce.

Seeing my bias in a harem is more titillating on video than a bunch of dudes orbiting around a girl. Because for me, that just exudes charisma although it may look misogynists. But…

cm-hairstylejamesdean

Changmin’s hairstyle should have been switched into the James Dean style in the harem scenes to make him look like a high-rolling Maverick, but instead, he looked like a college boy out for a night of debauchery using his parents’ money! O_O

cm-haremLook at that young bastard squandering his inheritance on foreign women!

I have nothing on Yunho’s styling since it really suits him.

What I do not like about the styling was the Tatoos! The only people that I could think of wearing formal suits with tats peeking their necks and hands are the Yakuzas. The tats ruined the classy.

something-tatsWill somebody please scrub those things out! Okay. No volunteers? I’ll do it.

I do not expect much in pop videos since they are just thrown in there for pure entertainment only but if I compared it with IU’s “The Red Shoes” which uses the same 1960’s treatment. IU’s MV did better in terms of story line and consistency.

Like… HOW? — If you got other conspiracy theories, I’m sure those are creepy.

THE MOVES:

yh-puppet

From little Hangul I could understand and if I am correct, they call it – Line Dance. The dancers use ropes to turn it into different props such as a mic stand, a whip or a string to control a puppet. The puppet thing reminds me of NSync’s Bye, Bye, Bye.

Here in the Philippines, several dance cover contests are held almost everywhere. What I don’t see is a cover group doing TVXQ’s dance not unless the dance cover contest requires them to do it. Even though “Catch Me” is an awesome dance cover material. If dance covers would like to challenge their skill as dancers, they should try this, instead of just going for famous dance moves by younger idol groups only. I do not have anything on younger idols, in fact I like EXO I just think it’s kinda boring to see the same dance being performed by different cover groups.

THE LINE DANCE,  as I call it, requires more than just energy, it needs coordination with other dancers. If any dance cover group in our KPop conventions would pull it off, this may not be a winning piece but this would gain them the respect of the judges.

Try not hitting the judges while doing this! #bannedtoperformforever

I may not be a fan from the beginning but I do know that my bias debuted when he was still 15 years old (international age), now he is 25 turning 26 next month. By then, he has matured a lot. Not only him, but the other members as well. They are kings now, not princes. So are we. Cassiopeias are not little princesses anymore, but we are now queens. Our fanclub is named after a goddess and before our throne in the sky tumbles again, at least our kings gave us a treat that we can hold on until they come back again.

COMEBACK WAY TOO OVERDUE: Why we shouldn’t judge EXOtics

As of posting time, SME haven’t released an official fan club name for EXO fans but for now they like to call themselves EXOtics. Well, at least in my archipelago.

I must say… Kai and Chanyeol’s growling part is in my opinion the BEST KPop lyrics. Which in rough translation means “DIE, KILL, FIGHT!” I enjoy this kind of lyrics because I listen to a lot of JRock before KPop.


Kai’s screamo part is perfect when you cannot contain your rage!

Hehehe~

Moving on one year later, some SME employees allegedly lost their USB flash drives in the middle of EXO recordings, thus giving EXOtics a taste of unedited rough / demo recording of WOLF and d*mn I laughed a lot while I was listening to it. For those who will bash the demo version, these are supposed to sound funny because sound engineers are not yet done with some enhancements with the instruments or the breathing sounds in the microphone. Simply take this like, if you are recording your voice on your phone and you haven’t cleared all the crackle and noise in it. But knowing SME, I knew they can make that track sound cool enough and it did. That move by some fans months before their comeback really scared the life out of me. If some fans behave like this in such an early stage of EXO’s career, I could just imagine what they would be like if they reached Super Junior’s status or worse, TVXQ’s status. Would they send / hack the member’s personal details like their bank accounts, or will they follow Sehun incessantly until he breaks down in the middle of the street?

exosaesaeng

But I am not here to lecture EXOtics on how to behave. In fact, Cassiopeias and ELFs are also guilty of this behavior in fact, some of us could do worse damage than this. From following my sister, who is an EXOtic… there is a reason why some of them are in a rush for SME to let them out and perform.

1. SME over-hyped EXO.

Before EXO, SME present their soon-to-be debuting trainees by letting them collaborate with their sunbaes. To name a few there is Yunho who did the rap for Dana’s Diamonds, Yuri in TVXQ’s Beautiful Life and Victoria in SHINee’s Noona Neomu Yeppeo. But in the case of EXO, they did more than that. Not only did they let some of the members act as models and extras they released 21 freakin’ teasers  followed with two extra pseudo single teaser titled “History” and “What is Love.” They were also featured as one of the performers in the 2011 Gayo Daejun SM Town Orchestra.

EXO's Epic 21 Teasers

 

My first thoughts were… “WOW! SME is loaded!” I mean, they don’t spend this much on their other flagship bands such as Super Junior, SHINee and TVXQ. I got bored when the second Tao teaser was released. But in social media, there were a lot of outbursts from over-excited-soon-to-be EXOtics.  Over-hyping a KPop band is not a bad marketing move though, in marketing terms… this creates a demand even before the product was released. So, SME’s Return on Investment (ROI) is assured. Since there would be EXOtics even before the debut. Finally April 2012 came. I was in Bangkok still high from the TVXQ performance that night before, until Kai and Xiumin’s Visual Kei face paints took over my memories of watching Changmin perform live! Oh mahn! That DIE, KILL, FIGHT part was powerful! Even though MAMA failed to dominate the music charts, EXO was able to win newcomer awards from various award-giving bodies. In other words, they did not disappoint.  The response from the fans were overwhelming and they craved for more which brings me to my second theory…

2. There wasn’t much TV appearance from EXO aside from numerous interviews.

Suho Translating for Tao

When I’m watching another TVXQ interview, my mind goes to snooze mode. You can’t get a lot from your idol / bias when all they do is talk. Unlike Super Junior, as soon as they debuted, they have their own variety show and appeared as guests in several dramas. EXO M appeared in few variety shows but EXO K did so~ooo many interviews. Fans want to see them fall on their faces just like Yesung, or the possibility of Baekhyun a.k.a. BACON or D.O actually being athletic or witty. There were a few quirks about them recently such as how Suho wrongly translates Korean to Tao, but other than that – EXO is like a secret band under their label’s sleeves.

EXO is like a ghost of 12 handsome boys

“The ghost of 12 handsome Korean / Chinese boys kept under SME’s wraps.”

From following the trends of KPop idols, one year is just enough grace period for any company or producer to churn out good material in exception of B.A.P. which released non-stop during 2012. If you don’t see that much from your idol, one year is too much waiting. I mean Shawols have their weekly dose of SHINee because they appear in every single variety show there is and they’re not simply doing interviews. The members are exchanging witty remarks with more experienced hosts and some of them engage in mini-games. Even if the gap between Sherlock and Dream Girl is about a year, Shawols were not kept in the dark because of their idol’s constant appearance. I understand that EXO is new but if they practice their variety show skills by baptism of fire, they’ll be showing more sides of them than just being awesome dancers and singers. And fans will surely not be lonely while producers and song-writers are preparing for their next comeback.

BTW, there’s a compilation of EXO appearances ri~iiight HERE!

Finally…

3. Most EXOtics are young fangirls in their teens or just turned 20.

EXOtics in the background

One of the ways you can judge how young a fandom is by counting how fast one can upload / subtitle the most recent video that artist had… or by how many macros they can create as soon as the company release their photos.

D.O racing with Baekhyun

“Tumblr is full of them!”

How did I come up with that criteria?

The average time an SJ / TVXQ video being uploaded with subs is approximately 3 days to one week since most of their fans are in their twenties. We have jobs or post-graduate courses to attend to. While a single subbed Shinhwa Broadcast episode takes about a week or two… or three or even a month since original Changjos are in their 30’s who possibly hold a managerial position or at their peak of their careers or attending to their children. While EXO’s Wolf comeback was uploaded in HD several minutes after MNet broadcast the episode.

My observation might not be that accurate but let me get to my point.

When I was still in high school, even though I was studying under a scholarship program, I manage to create Yahoo pages and a website for our high school batch. Plus, I was fangirling over the British boyband “BLUE” and even created three websites pseudo-worshipping them with my own made GIF’s and VCD rip videos. During that time, there was no Youtube, Facebook or Tumblr. Everything was done in notepad. Then, I was an active poster in the official forum boards of BLUE and Maroon 5. When I look back, I had all the time in the world because I wasn’t handling so much responsibilities when I was 15. If TVXQ was famous here when I was that age, rest-assured that I’m one of those despised saesaeng fans in the airport who were shouted upon by Yunho.

Thankfully I became a fan when I was 23 y.o., at that age I don’t have the time and energy to stalk my idols because I was busy with work and other stuff. Although there could be positive results when teen fans grow up. Some of them might become great chefs because they like Kyungsoo, and Kyungsoo loves to cook, some of them might study Wushu because they like Tao.

The difference with today’s fangirls is that we have quick access to virtually everything. When I was 15, I have to rely on unnie-fans because they’re the only fangirls who has access to technology and they were freakin’ slow uploaders so patience must be practiced at all times. Now, I rely from younger fans because parents have the purchasing power to buy them gadgets and they have all the time in the world to lurk the internet for updates.

Everything has to be ppali, ppali! Summer vacation / school break and pretty much staring at the computer screen waiting can take a toll on every fan. When the rumored May 29 MV release was a fluke, harsh words towards SME drowned my news feed.

Technology pretty much shaped how we take in information and I’m pretty sure that…

BORED

In short, WE WANT INSTANT GRATIFICATION. When I was younger, I want everything to be in front of me immediately. If most EXOtics are about that age, they’ll be tempted to hack SME servers, download leaked songs, etc., etc., which… this may appear as a bad fan behavior but you can’t blame them.

In the end, even if you are one of those fans who distributed the leaked audios — AS LONG AS YOU ARE GETTING THEIR ALBUM, ALL SINS WILL BE FORGIVEN. But next time, refrain from it because as one SME Producer said, it is about respect of one’s creative work.

I end this post with EXO’s latest single: WOLF.

P.S.: I understand the sudden urge to storm the airport when EXO comes in your country but please… think of your own safety. Prioritize yourself first before EXO. Do not push each other when trying to capture a snapshot of Kai in the airport. Thankfully when DKFC was done here, EXO graced NAIA without a hitch. Besides, manager-nim is notorious for pushing / beating up fans to protect your idol.

keepcalmexopushing