Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MV BREAKDOWN:// Kim Taehyung: Someone Like You (Adele Cover)

It's V's 20th birthday! To celebrate, a video produced and sung by V himself, was posted BTS' Youtube account.

And here's the (rather short) MV BREAKDOWN:

I love the original song and his voice works perfectly with it. His English is a bit off but hell, his voice is smooth. (He did an amazing job.) I respect anyone that gives another language a try.

Similar to Adele's original video. V's emotions were displayed well in his actions and subtle movements. I felt it. (Or maybe that was fangirl feels...)

All in all, an adorable effort with a manly image. I wish he did the whole song, but I am sure that was hard enough to do. I would love to see him in a Drama, I think he is really good with expressing himself through action. (Please!?) I like seeing this side of our 4D Alien Tae.

With Jungkook's Sofa Cover and J-Hope's self choreographed Dance Practice recently released on their YouTube Channel, I am expecting the other members of BTS to release solo videos to showcase their talents. As an ARMY, I am looking forward to anything they do.

Happy #Virthday!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

POW:// Lee Hongbin

Name: Lee Hongbing
Associated Group:VIXX
DOB: September 29, 1993
Position: Visual, Vocal

Favorite Artist: Park Hyo Shin
Follow him on Twitter: HERE

He is very stylish.

And sexy...
With classes he gives off a kind, intellectual and manly vibe.

In November, I had the pleasure of going to VIXX's showcase concert in NYC. With the release of high touch passes for the first 300 non-VIP ticket holders outside of the concert venue on the line, I lined up with friends early in the morning. It was pretty cold but worth the wait.

Now I am a fan of VIXX but my bias is Ravi. After the concert, fans lined up for high touch. I was super excited for this. I structured a game plan. My mission was to say thank you to all the members and confess my love to Ravi. That soooo didn't go according to plan. When the curtains opened Leo was front in line for high touch, I said thanks and went on to the next member. Who was the next member...I think it was Hyuk. My hand was grabbed longer than I expected and my brain shut off. I mindlessly high fived another member...Then Hongbin ruined my life.

He leaned into me and said "Thank you" (Yes in English) and shined his killer smile and adorable dimples at me. We met eyes and he has the most innocent doe-like eyes I have ever had the pleasure of losing myself in. I think I died.

My bias list was shattered into pieces. I let out a giggle and high fived the rest of the group. My consciousness was revived by the time I got to N as the final member and walked out the venue. I blink and yell..."WTH, I missed Ravi?!" So now, I still love Ravi but I screwed up my moment and Hongbin is forever etched in my mind. With this post, I hope you join me in my newly found POW.

Images are copyright to their rightful owners. No infringement intented. For entertainment purposes only.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

F.T. Island's Hongki Reveals U.S. Stops in 2015!

Several hours ago, via social networking sites, main vocalist of F.T. Island, Lee Hongki, reveals some awesome news for U.S. Primadonnas. An image of a message from FNC Entertainment unveils some U.S. stops for the group's [FTHX] Tour, in January of 2015.

January 28th at the Best Buy Theater in New York. (Wednesday)

January 30th at LA, Club Nokia n California. (Friday)

More information about the tour and ticket sales have yet to be released.

EDIT: Tickets go on sale this Friday at 4PM via Powerhouse. Tickets range from 50-120 dollars each. $120 include early admission and high touch.

Christmas is quickly approaching and I think this is the perfect time to get your list in order and support this awesome group.

With the success of Hongki's drama, Modern Farmer, there is no doubt that this is the perfect time for such news. It'll definitely be a hit as well.

Image from FNC Entertainment

Check out Lee Hongki's Official Instagram and Twitter

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Batzy and Panda's Art Challenge #4

Panda's Entry:

Hint: It's drawn in.  ;)

Batzy's Enry:

Hint: I did her hair no justice, just like the drama character she depicts here. Though this looks nothing like her there are subtle hints that should give this away.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recap: Nodame Cantabile in Europe Part 2

Chiaki recognizes Oliver, Elise's henchman, as his abductor and shoves him off. Oliver tries to convince Chiaki to come quietly, then makes a grab for him, prompting a little girl to bring her mother's attention to the "hugging" men. Oliver throws Chiaki over his shoulder and runs off.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Batzy & Panda's Art Challenge #3

Panda's Entry:

Hint: He was an underground rapper in his teenage years, had to lose weight to be in the boy band he's currently a part of, and is a mama's boy.

Batzy's Entry:

Hint: None. lol.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2PM Go Crazy In New Jersey

I had the chance to check out 2PM's Go Crazy Tour in New Jersey's Prudential Center on Friday the 14th of November. Unfortunately, I do not have an awesome camera, which has prevented me from writing about a lot of the things I attended this year. It did not stop me from taking pics with a camera I borrowed. Excuse the quality, but I am determined to get my own camera soon. I hope to attend more concerts soon and take some awesome pic in the future.

The boys opened with 2 songs that I was dying to see, Heartbeat and Without You. After those two performances, my brain went into fangirl mode and I lost track of following the tracklist. Next time I will try to be more professional, but I make no promises.

Taecyeon and Chansung did a duo track. Jun. K and Wooyoung performed Superman which was pretty awesome and full of energy. Junho and Nichkhun performed Love is true together. The members also performed Wooyoung's Sexy Lady together. Other songs included Go Crazy, ADTOY, Come back when you hear this song, I'll be back, Hands Up, 10 out of 10, Game Over, etc.

The interaction with the crowd was pretty good as the members that did not speak english well attempted to after being pestered by the english speaking members to do so, which I found adorable.

Dances were on point.Vocals were amazing. Visuals (as in the lightshows and transitions) were good despite a few hiccups. At some point shirts were ripped off, and hips thrusted. I approved. Good job guys. Their hardwork, efforts and repeated notions of their appreciation for their fans and shock of the support they received for the event just bumped them up a notch on my list.

Yea, Junho is my bias.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile in Europe Part 1

It's spring and everyone is celebrating graduation. Tamaki points out that since they will all be together in R.S-Oke, it's not really goodbye. Mine congratulates Nodame on passing her exam to enter the Conservatory in Paris. She declines the invitation to drink with the others because although she doesn't have to be in Europe until the fall, Chiaki asked her to come with him that week. Masumi is overcome with jealousy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Recap: Nodame Cantabile Episode 11

It's Nodame's first visit home in two years. The Noda family is happy to have everyone together. They wonder what her plans are after graduation. Nodame's brother points out that she will have to teach. The family has spent so much money paying for her tuition to an expensive music academy, that if it doesn't result in her getting a job, it will turn into a bad debt. Mrs. Noda remarks that piano is all Nodame has. Her father agrees; she could never have gotten into a regular college. At least graduating from a music academy will make her seem refined and she might be able to get married.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 10

Nodame finishes performing a slapdash rendition of Etude and the audience is confused when she doesn't start her second piece. Nodame sits dazed until she spots Chiaki in the audience. She remembers Kaori's advice to think of the happiness of being in love. She begins to play L'isle Joyeuse beautifully, which doesn't please Yuuta who has been watching her with disdain.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 7

Nodame and her Gorota puppet wonder if Eto is mistaking her for someone else by claiming to be her instructor. Eto knocks Gorota across the room and tells Nodame to be grateful that he's going to fully bring out her talent. He sees her musical score entitled "Fart Exercises" and Nodame explains that she's working with Tanioka to finish it. Together with choreography, it will be used in her student teaching. Eto demands that she play a normal classical piece.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 6

Nodame dreams that she is playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Strezemann tells her it was a strange rendition, but interesting. However, it won't work with an orchestra. Nodame asks him to help her to be able to perform a concerto with an orchestra too (like Chiaki did). He tells her that she has to face music head-on, otherwise she won't be able to enjoy music from her heart. Nodame insists that she is enjoying the music.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 5

It's been a week since S-Oke's triumphant performance. Nodame uses Chiaki's internet because her phone has been cut off again. Chiaki tells her it's time to go to school, but when she opens her umbrella, it's full of holes. Chiaki coldly walks off, refusing to share his umbrella and Nodame chases after him.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recap:// Nodame Cantabile Episode 4

Nodame decorates to celebrate Chiaki's appointment as conductor to S-Oke, but he's not happy at all. However, he reasons that many conductors have no chance to conduct, so he resolves to make S-Oke sound good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Impressions:// Nae Il's Cantabile

Poster for 내일도 칸타빌레  Naeildo Kantabille, Nae Il's Cantabile, Tomorrow Cantabile featuring the cast of characters

When it comes to assessing Nae Il's Cantabile, comparisons to Nodame Cantabile are inevitable. The Japanese drama was the manga come to life, with theatrics and over-the-top comedic violence that would put the hero behind bars in reality. It was fun, sweet and personified the characters perfectly, with casting that couldn't be beat.

Nae Il's Cantabile tells the story in a more realistic way, expanding upon motives and adding real world aspects. There is still physical comedy, but rather than hitting the heroine across the room, our hero nudges and pushes her. Facial expressions are less exaggerated, and I miss Tamaki Hiroshi's exasperated visage, however I do like the realism of this grown up version of a beloved story.

Tamaki Hiroshi 玉木宏 as Chiaki Shinichi and Joo Won 주원 as Cha Yoo Jin read the news of another conducting student going abroad to study on the bulletin board

Tamaki was a sexy, brooding Chiaki, and Jdrama fans might have a hard time accepting Joo Won in the leading role of Cha Yoo Jin just based on his appearance. However, Joo Won is an excellent actor and I'm sure he'll win them over in time. Yoo Jin is serious with hints of sensitivity, and his mastery of piano completely believable. The one thing I would change, though, is his hairstyle; it's unflattering and ages him. Makeover please!

Two versions of the confrontation between elite teacher and star pupil featuring Toyohara Kosuke 豊原功補 as Eto Kozo and Lee Byung Joon 이병준 as Do Kang Jae respectively / Do Kang Jae and Nam Goong Yun 남궁연 as Ahn Gun Sung confer

Yoo Jin is the son of a famous pianist and he himself has enormous talent and ability in violin, piano and conducting. His problem is that he's had some harrowing experiences that prevent him from travelling to Europe, where he would need to go in order to seriously pursue a career in music. He clashes with his elite piano teacher which sends him down a fated path towards a certain quirky pianist.

Professor Do Kang Jae (Eto) played by Lee Byung Joon, has a bigger role in the Korean version, as does Professor Ahn Gun Sung (Tanioka) portrayed by Nam Goong Yun. It seems that they, along with dean Song Mi Na (Minako) played by Ye Ji Won, will have more of a voice as they help shape the students, as well as add the element of conflicting agendas in the school; namely dreams versus practicality.

Chiaki is discovered by Ueno Juri 上野樹里 (うえの じゅり) as Noda Megumi aka Nodame, passed out in the hallway / The same scene featuring Shim Eun Kyung 심은경 as Sul Nae Il kneeling beside Cha Yoo Jin

Shim Eun Kyung as Sul Nae Il (Nodame) is sweet, fresh and eccentric; everything that she should be. She understands the character and has studied her expressions, depicting her childlike enthsiasm perfectly.

Chiaki wakes up in Nodame's messy room / Yoo Jin wakes up in Nae Il's messy room

Nae Il is a bit of a mess. She gets distracted and tends not to do things like cooking, cleaning or washing her hair often. However, she's brilliant in piano and able to play pieces after hearing them once. She's just undisciplined and not able to read sheet music well.

The Japanese, manga and Korean versions of Chiaki blowdrying Nodame's hair

Joo Won is an excellent straight man to Shim Eun Kyung's comic, and their chemistry develops naturally as they clash, exchange soft looks and make beautiful music together. One of the things that has made this story so popular is the fact that Yoo Jin (Chiaki) is such a serious and abrasive personality, but will still do things like cook Nae Il (Nodame) gourmet meals and wash her hair before they're even a couple. Sure, he's doing it for his own purposes, but where in real life would you find such a man?

Baek Yoon Shik 백윤식 and Takenaka Naoto 竹中直人 (たけなか なおと) as Franz von Stresemann taking pictures at the school

It looks like a different approach might be taken with maestro Franz von Stresemann. The Korean version seems a bit more dignifed, but we'll see what happens. I had thought that they might cast a caucasian for the role of the German conductor, but Baek Yoon Shik is a good choice. Takenaka Naoto played his Japanese counterpart in a very comical way with flashes of gravity. I suspect Baek Yoon Shik will do the opposite.

Baek Seo Bin 백서빈 as Han Seung Oh, Kim Yoo Mi  김유미 as Chae Do Kyung, Go Kyung Pyo 고경표 as Yoo Il Rak and Ahn Kil Kang 안길강 as Yoo Won Sang

There wasn't too much emphasis on the side characters in episode one, but so far they do look promising.  Baek Seo Bin as Han Seung Oh (Hayakawa) was a benign character in the Japanese version, but it looks like there will be some friction between him and Yoo Jin as he's a bit obnoxious. He seems like a combination of the Hayakawa and Ookouchi characters. Chae Do Kyung (Saiko) played by Kim Yoo Mi is Yoo Jin's ex-girlfriend with attitude.

Go Kyung Pyo is Yoo Il Rak (Mine) and he has really captured the spirit of the character; immature, a bit rebellious and completely warm-hearted. Here again, I would change that horrible hairstyle! He's supposed to be all about rock; they should have given him a more dynamic do. Ahn Kil Kang plays his doting dad, Yoo Won Sang, and I hope they give him a decent amount of scenes because he is hilarious. 

Nishimura Masahiko 西村雅彦 as Tanioka Hajime listens to Chiaki and Nodame's duet / Yoo Jin and Nae Il play their duet for Ahn Gun Sung

The music is wonderful, and like their Japanese counterparts, Joo Won and Shim Eun Kyung are believable at the piano. (I always wonder if they feel silly doing all that posturing when they aren't really playing.) Harmonizing together gives them an added level of communication and collaboration that lends itself to a bond that you don't find in a typical romantic comedy. 

Chiaki looks in on Nodame playing the piano / Yoo Jin watches Nae Il play

The Korean version obviously has a bigger budget than the Japanese, with beautiful sets and pianos. It adds elegance to this world of classical music, though I would have preferred that they leave the apartments as small student dwellings.

I enjoyed watching the iconic scenes remade and am also looking forward to seeing where they will expand on the story. With 16 episodes as opposed to the 11 + 2 specials of the original, there will be three more hours to play with. In one scene, Nae Il defends a bag that Yoo Jin wants to throw away, telling him she got it from Kim Tak Goo's bakery, referencing the 2010 drama King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo that Joo Won appeared in.

Yoo Jin walks through a forest, then a field to a clearing where Nae Il plays the piano

The troubled Yoo Jin seems lost as if in a forest, but the way clears when he hears Nae Il's piano and he finds his way to her. I like that they added some romantic symbolism from the start. Episode one takes us through lessons one, two and most of three of the manga. The Korean production has stayed true to the material while asserting a voice of its own. I hope to see even more of that as the series goes on.