150130_jingyi

SNH48 Update: January 2015

It’s been six months since my last SNH48 Weekly Recap, with the last one being on June 11. There is no way that I’m going to be able to go over the last six months of SNH48, so let’s confine it to what’s happened in the month of January.

SNH48 4th Generation

I think the biggest news of this month is going to be the incoming fourth generation of SNH48. The new members will be officially introduced on January 31 at the SNH48 Request Hour concert. Back in November, there were photos of the 19 girls who were chosen to be the fourth generation of SNH48. Two weekends ago, there was an unconfirmed fan report that identified fourteen of these members.

With that said, we do (temporarily?) have profile pages for the potential members over at Shanghai48s.com. The Japanese site snh48.info has information too. Without knowing too much about any of the members, Song Xinran stood out to me first. There’s a lot of potential doppelgangers in this group of girls too: Wang Shu to Hao Wanqing, Wang Xiaojia to Li Yitong, and Yang Bingyi to Wang Lu. Wang Xiaojia and Wang Shu are apparently League of Legends players. All I can say to that is: at least it’s not DotA.

SNH48 Best 30 Request Time Concert

While it will be too late for anyone coming into this post through Google, SNH48’s request concert will be streamed via qq.com. I’ll be waking up early Saturday morning to watch it. I’m hoping to be able to recognize ever song, but I’m not sure. Even though I’ve sold my soul for a donut and 48G music, I still haven’t heard or learned lots of their songs.

As for rankings of any particular songs, I don’t really care. I just hope it’s a fun show.

GIVE ME FIVE and UZA Released

SNH48 released two EPs since my last SNH48 Weekly: “UZA” and “GIVE ME FIVE.” I’ll save full reactions to both for later. So, quick summary, I’ll just say that I liked “GIVE ME FIVE” more than “UZA.” I made gifs for both:

GIVE ME FIVE

UZA

Members Leaving

In my absence, nine members left the group.

As you can see, all but one of those graduations have been third generation members. This is just the normal cycle of SNH48. Every generation, a good amount of members leave the group pretty quickly. I expect the same thing to happen with the fourth generation. Xu Yanyu leaving the group is the most notable of the bunch. Well, technically, she’s on an indefinite hiatus, but she’s out of the group.

Ju Jingyi in Weekly Playboy

Ju Jingyi becomes the first Chinese SNH48 to get a solo photoshoot in Japan. She looks great in all of the photos but Jingyi is so photogenic that it’s cheating. My favorite of the set are the blue dress photos, but specifically the one with her looking to the side.

(The issue also featured a solo photoshoot of one of my new favorite AKB48 members, Mukaichi Mion.)

Wu Zhehan in Mina magazine

Queen Awkward of SNH48 was featured in a recent issue of mina magazine. It’s been months but it’s still amazing to me that she won the first general election. She looks great in this photoshoot.

Cosplay

150130_cosplay_qingyang

I love this cosplay of Kinomoto Sakura from Team HII’s Li Qingyang. It was just the thing that I needed to notice her more.

Team HII’s Yang Huiting did a cosplay of Love Live! that got more attention. But Love Live is from this decade so I don’t know anything about it.

News

Other bits of news. There’s not much.

Weibo of the WeekMonth

In a month’s time, there must be thousands of weibo posts/updates from just the SNH48 members alone. I do my best to keep up with all of them and post the photos to Shanghai48s, but sometimes it’s just too much.

tumblr_niltdqF9c01ri7x69o1_1280

I’m starting to think the relationship between Chen Wenyan and Zhang Yuxin resembles that of Spike and Chester’s from Looney Tunes.Yuxin comes off as super cute, hyper, and energetic. Wenyan is the type that’d burn a building to the ground and would get annoyed at Yuxin’s energy.. That’s how I choose to believe it.

So that’s it and we’ll see where we go from here. At least Joonyoung won’t be at the top of the blog anymore.

2d1n_141109_037

2 Days & 1 Night – E365 – Countryside Diary Part 1

Original Air Date: 2014.11.09
Season 3, Episode 43

I’ve been promising a couple of friends to watch 2 Days & 1 Night for the better part of a year. KBS World uploads a subtitled version of each episode to YouTube so it’s not difficult to find. Yet season three of the show has been airing for over a year now and I’ve only seen a handful of episodes and clips. Let’s try to change that.

The crew is filming in a farming village in Gimje. In this episode, each member gets paired up with a “grandma” and the goal is to help her with whatever work needs to be done for the day.

2d1n_141109_057

I haven’t watched an episode of 2 Days & 1 Night in at least a couple of months so I needed a re-introduction of each cast member. Lucky for me, the start of this episode was a great primer of who’s who and their personalities. The pairing starts right at the beginning of the episode. Since this is my first 2D1N post, let’s take a minute to introduce each member.

2d1n_141109_020

Kim Jongmin

Jongmin is an original cast member of 2 Days & 1 Night. He is also a member of the group Koyote since their third album, Passion, was released in 2000. I was first found Jongmin in 2010 while Koyote was promoting “Return” and then went on to look up all the rest of their music. Since I was introduced to him through this Koyote song, my first impression of him will always be that he has this mysterious and cool charm. It turns out he anything but that… The guy is quite a goofball. His most recent single, “Sali Go Dali Go,” and Koyote’s “1999” are great examples of this side of him.

Jongmin gets chosen first by Oh Jeongae. Defconn argues that she should try to get to know the rest of the cast before choosing. Jeongae only wants Jongmin. Taehyun even asks her if she knows anyone else but Jongmin. Naturally, she doesn’t. Jongmin throws in a good line – “I’ve never been so popular before in my life” – that made me think of “Sali Go Dali Go.” In fact, the song plays in the background shortly after, good timing.

2d1n_141109_025

Kim Juhyeok

Juhyeok is an actor and the oldest member of the cast. He joined the crew at the start of Season 3 on December 22, 2013. I didn’t know a single thing about this guy before he joined. From what I’ve seen, he is the most reserved of the group and definitely the shyest.

Kim Jeomsun picks Juhyeok to go to the market to buy groceries with her. As it was with Jongmin’s grandma, she chooses him immediately. Defconn pleads with her but she outright says that she doesn’t like him.

2d1n_141109_028

Kim Junho

Junho is a comedian that joined the cast at the start of Season 3. He’s also currently a cast member of two other KBS variety shows: Gag Concert and The Human Condition. I’ve known about him before 2D1N but only as a name in news articles. In 2013, he won the Grand Prize as the KBS Entertainment Awards.

2d1n_141109_026

Junho is paired with Bae Mallye to pick peppers. Well, he’s picking peppers in the field.

2d1n_141109_039

Cha Taehyun

Taehyun joined the show in Season 2, which began on March 4, 2012. His big career break came starring in the film My Sassy Girl with Jeon Jihyun. We won’t talk about this too much though as I’m still trying to pretend that My New Sassy Girl is not a thing that is about to happen.

I still don’t have a read on what Taehyun is like on the show. From what I’ve seen, he is sort of the straight man compared to Jongmin’s goofiness.

Jeong Gapsun needs a doghouse built and it’s between Taehyun, Joonyoung, and Defconn. As you can tell, they all seem useless for the job. Joonyoung and Defconn make fools of themselves and I think she picks Taehyun just because he embarrassed himself the least. Defconn pees in some bushes while Joonyoung does some stuff that only Joonyoung can do. More on that later.

2d1n_141109_048

Jung Joonyoung

Joonyoung joined 2 Days & 1 Night at the beginning of Season 3 as well and is the youngest member of the cast. He was originally going to be vocalist of the idol band LEDApple but was already under contract to another agency. He was subsequently dropped and struggled to find a place in the entertainment industry afterwards. His break came during Superstar K4 when he joined the talent show with a band to try to get some promotion. He ended up participating in the show as a solo artist and finished third. His participation on Superstar K4 is how I (and the rest of the world) got to know him.

Joonyoung is probably the most unique personality on the show and in any Korean variety show that I’ve ever seen. More on that later.

2d1n_141109_040

He ends up with Shin Bongim. She needs someone tall and skinny to replace wallpaper in a room. Defconn is neither of those.

2d1n_141109_049

Defconn

Defconn is a rapper that has been active since 1998 but has only recently found success. He formed a duo with Jung Hyungdon and they’ve been pretty successful as a comedy team. I’ve been more excited about the duo’s work as producer of that kind of thing with idols. They created Big Byung and are doing a female idol version in the near future.

I haven’t seen enough to say this is a definitive statement but a lot of 2DN1’s comedy based on Defconn is based on his weight. It gets to be a bit too much sometimes. However, despite that, I think that Defconn (along with Junho) is the best natural comedian of the show. He’s got great timing on jokes and adapts to comedic situations so well. He and Jongmin have the best facial reactions of the show.

Lee Yongim says she wants some skinny to help pick out some weeds in a rice field. She’s stuck with Defconn though.

2d1n_141109_056

And off we go!

It’s going to be a bit too much to recap the whole episode, so let’s just go with a list of the memorable moments.

  • 00:19:25 Defconn in the field and asking if there are leeches. “There are” says Yongim.
  • 00:19:54 Yongim struggling to say Defconn’s name.
  • 00:25:56 Bongim speaking too loudly when she calls Joonyoung weak.
  • 00:26:12 Joonyoung having to look up on his phone how to tear off wallpaper.
  • 00:28:24 All the cosmos flowers in Gimje. It’s an amazingly pretty and scenic area. There are lots of scenes that are beatiful to look at as Juhyeok and his grandmom go to the market.
  • Every scene between Junho and Bae Mallye. I can’t believe how great the chemistry was between these two.
  • 00:32:45 Junho trying to hide in Defconn’s fields.
  • 00:45:53 Junho, Defconn, and Bae Mallye talking about Mallye’s deceased husband. This was a pretty emotional scene. I was definitely caught up in it.
  • 00:50:33 Defconn to get his grandma to rap and the shout out to Yoon Mirae. Image
  • 00:53:16 Defconn’s so pleased with himself when he fixes her ceiling light. Image.
  • 00:53:49 Joonyoung taking two hours to put up one strip of wallpaper. The rest of the 2D1N staff is basically forced to do the rest of the work for him.
  • 00:55:19 The grandma with Taehyun pretending to eat when she wasn’t hungry just for the 2D1N cameras.
  • 01:03:18 Junho and Mallye’s sudden karaoke session.
  • 01:09:15 Juhyeok uncomfortable dancing in public. He can be so awkward that is hurts.

And what deserves a very special mention is Bae Mallye exposing the flaws of every variety show:

As much as I like and approve of Mallye’s idea, it would grind a lot of a variety shows to a halt.

Out of Context Screenshots

Joonyoungism Of The Episode

2d1n_141109_085

Before I wrap this up, we need to talk about Joonyoung. Whether it’s all an act for the show or his true personality, the way Joonyoung acts on 2 Days & 1 Night is incredibly unique. There have been actors and idols who play “stupid” characters on shows before but that’s not quite what Joonyoung does. He’s more so aloof that he comes off as stupid, but it pretty clever in his own way. The age difference between him and the rest of the cast adds to the comedy of it as they seem to be constantly bewildered and confused by everything Joonyoung does.

So this week, the best Joonyoung moment was when he was pulling down the wallpaper from Bongim’s room and finds some spiders. I’ve never related to a celebrity more than Joonyoung in this moment. I used to be able to handle spiders; but after a summer when a nest of eggs was hatched in my room, it’s never been the same. Everything about Joonyoung’s face is how I feel about the dang things.

This is was more of an “introduction post.” Apologies for any mistakes in it! If things go well, I’ll be posting about 2 Days & 1 Night on the regular. I’m not going to go back and watch all of the episodes that I missed so we will just continue on from here. I’m hoping to watch two episodes a week until I catch up to current airings, but the show is 90 minutes long. It took me two hours to watch those 90 minutes and another hour or two to write this post. So it might take a bit to catch up. I also may try out different formats of how to go about writing and posting this.

That said, this was a great episode to start with. Because of the rural setting, it’s an immediate reminder of Invincible Youth. Junho and Defconn stood out the most as far as interacting with their grandmother partners. At one point, Mallye asked Junho when he will be coming back to visit her. Hopefully often, the two of them need to have at least a monthly visit. The next episode preview promised to bring in the rest of the village for a big dinner. I hope to get around to watching it before New Year’s.

14-12-25 hamada masatoshi

Hamada Masatoshi – Chicken Rice

I’ve said this in a previous post but I’m not really into celebrating Christmas. As far as winter holidays go, I prefer New Year’s Eve. It’s more exciting, celebrated in more parts of the world, and we get fun television. I’ve gone out for First Night celebrations and that can be an interesting too. Christmas though? I dunno, it’s just not my thing I guess.

But for the rest of my family, it is their thing. Especially my mom. You can sense her mood changes in the weeks before Christmas. She starts getting very nostalgic and bringing up the same stories about me and my sisters’ early Christmas experiences. She still sings in our local church choir so she will start singing songs. The Christmas mass is the one mass that I’ll attend for the year – and it’s for her, not for me. She loves Christmas music, Christmas decorations, giving gifts, the whole works.

So, when Christmas rolls around, the parents are always on my mind.

And that’s where Hamada Masatoshi’s “Chicken Rice” comes into play. As you may have already figured out, I’m not that keen on Christmas music. It’s not all Christmas music but I’m just indifferent to the same old jingles. Everything from “Jingle Bell Rock” to the church tunes that my mom sings, I’m a bit worn out on it all. But the one Christmas song that I love and will never get tired of is “Chicken Rice.”

I linked a subtitled version of it above. I have no idea who did the translation, but credit wherever it’s due. The lyrics are written by Matsumoto Hitoshi, Hamada’s comedy partner (more on that later). In the song, Hamada sings from the perspective of a man reflecting back on his childhood. His family quite and poor and, in fact, was in such a position that he’d prefer ordering chicken rice instead of turkey for a Christmas dinner. I have to believe that the situation must have been really bad for a kid to be thinking along those lines. By the end of the song, even though he is no longer in poverty, he still sticks with the chicken rice. He can afford a better meal but the chicken rice is a tradition now.

It’s not exactly the most complex song in the world. But I’ve always been drawn to it because of the real emotion that Hamada feels when he sings it. You can just tell how much love and admiration that this man has for his parents. It doesn’t really matter to me if the song is lacking any sort of subtlety or that Hamada isn’t the best singer. Heck, even if Hamada never experienced any of this himself, he puts forth Matsumoto’s lyrics in a strong and realistic performance.

I can’t relate to the levels of poverty that Hamada is singing about. And when I think about it, some people have such broken or nonexistent relationships with their parents that that can’t relate to any of this at all. So it’s obvious that this song isn’t for everybody. But, for me, I can relate to the love that one might have for their old folks. That’s why this is my favorite Christmas song.

It also gets me thinking… well, my dad is getting up there in age. My mom isn’t too far behind him. It’s not like there’s an unlimited amount of Christmases for us. Right now, things are great, as the Christmas celebrations expand as my sister’s family grows. It won’t be like this forever though. And even if it’s not a holiday that I’m personally into, I can deal with that later in life. They love it so I have to do my best to be as festive as possible for them.

One last thing, Hamada Masatoshi is 1/2 of the reason that I got into Jpop in the first place. Back in the lates 90s/early 00s, I would watch way too much television. I’d try out every station and this would eventually turn into me being a regular viewing of old International Channel. That old network would air years-old episodes of Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ, hosted by the comedy duo of Downtown (Matsumoto Hitoshi and, yes, Hamada Masatoshi).

So when I think about “Chicken Rice,” I don’t just relate it to my parents. I think about all of the friends that I’ve made over the years because of this interest. If I didn’t stumble on that television network and didn’t watch episodes of Hey!x3 (or Record of Lodoss War!), then I most likely would have never met any of them. And to go all It’s a Wonderful World on everyone, where would they all be had they not met me?

These are just the “what-if” thoughts that run through your head when you are getting all nostalgic and contemplative on a Christmas morning. That’s just how I am I guess.

I think I get it from my mom.

14-12-23 cross gene

Habit Posting 15 (Cross Gene vs. SHINee)

Last summer, SHINee released their eighth Japanese single, “Boys Meet U.”

On January 14, 2015, Cross Gene will release “Future,” the sequel to Shinee’s music video.

I probably would have never watched the Cross Gene video if it wasn’t for Terada Takuya’s appearances on Abnormal Summit. I’ve known about Cross Gene for a while now but it was never a group that I was going to go out of my way to see. I’m just going to consider myself lucky that the first release that I caught of them brought me so much joy. With that said, let’s get into it…

Both videos start off with the members running towards the beach! I guess they were both so excited to get to the beach that they forgot to change into swimsuits. At least for Cross Gene’s sake, it’s January, so that water is probably lukewarm at best.

They both can spell the name of their groups. Congratulations.

After the beach, it’s time to play some basketball. Truthfully, I’d rather see Minho play more football instead.

At least their hair isn’t combed to the same side!

So is there anything different between the two releases? Well, SHINee’s shirts are more blue and the Cross Gene members prefer a red style… SHINee’s single was released in August, a great time to go to the beach!Meanwhile, Cross Gene’s album comes out in January, and the only time that I see beaches in January are for January 1 traditions or for gravure magazine shoots. While I’m disappointed that we won’t get either from Taemin, he may have inspired the whole “Labrador Retriever” concept:

shinee6

Which may or may not mean that Taemin is responsible for my new AKB48 obsession.

I actually prefer the “Future” music video over “Boys Meet U.” Cross Gene take a trip to the beach just so everyone can have a good time. And they play some basketball. Sounds like a blast to me. “Future” is about constantly running into Oomasa Aya or whatever. Look who cares. What matters about that SHINee music video is the Jonghyun and Key tandem bike.

Actually, it’s extremely odd that both SHINee and Aya were eating at this restaurant with no other customers or waiting staff… In fact, there’s no one else at this fancy resort beach location at all. Except for SHINee, Aya, and the dog. Whose dog is it? Is it Aya’s? Did they kidnap her dog to get her attention? And where is the waiting staff when they are eating burgers and fries. Who made the food? Heck, SHINee aren’t even eating the food, there are no crumbs anywhere. The restaurant was completely empty. Maybe this video is darker than I realized.

Cross Gene has no one else in the video too but who would want to go see them?

As for the song, well it’s a bit unfair to try to make that comparison just yet. These are both Jpop videos on YouTube so that means we are talking about short music videos. But I’ve heard a full version of “Boys Meet U” and enjoyed it. It’s not a classic or anything, just a fun and upbeat song. It helps that the SHINee members have very distinct voices. Especially Onew. “Future,” well, it’s a catchy chorus.

In all honesty, I don’t mean to be so harsh on Cross Gene. There’s only so much you can do with a beach music video while trying to remain as wholesome as possible. Well, in the regard, both videos could’ve done more. There are lots of your typical beach scenes that are missing, such as having a member buried up to their head in the sand or people splashing each other in the water. I guess I’m just assuming that doesn’t happen in the longer versions. Either way, both videos could’ve benefited from a little adventure and having some fun under the boardwalk, boardwalk. There’s no one getting drunk or high so it’s not like any beach that I’ve been to. Still, in the end, I had fun watching and listening to both.

14-12-22 lizzy

Habit Posting 14 (Orange Caramel)

I’ve been teasing an entry about Lizzy for a few days now. The problem is she decided to become the biggest star in the world during that time so it ruined everything that I was going to say! I didn’t get around to finishing it last night. So it’s still coming!

Rule #1 was always post Lizzy when in doubt.

orangecaramel1222-01

orangecaramel1222-02

orangecaramel1222-03

These outfits are just so Orange Caramel. It’s perfect. I might as well end any sort of Christmas posts that I was cooking up since nothing will top this.

As I mentioned on Idolminded, Orange Caramel’s performance of “Catallena” was a saving grace amidst a boring SBS Gayo Daejun show. Watching it back is even better. Cute moments like Raina trying to pop out of her present too soon. Lizzy dominating the camera even when it’s not focused on her. I can even forget that Nana was on Roommate for a minute while watching this.