I’ll never forget the first time I played Pump It Up! Pump and DDR were the fad, but since Pump is a Korean-made machine, they were more abundant in arcades than DDR was. Because of that, I was exposed to Pump more than DDR, so I’m more biased towards the machine. I remember I was addicted to that game for about three years. I’d go spend 300 to 1000 won to play this at various arcades. I wanted to master some of the popular songs, but some were just too much for me. However, I enjoyed it!
Now, with my new job, I’m at a place where they have a Pump machine, where I can play for free. For the last two months, I have been playing the songs I played before with fondness. Slowly, I’m able to make my legs and body get used to playing the songs I like while many memories come flooding back to me. More »
Hands down, the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated Slumdog Millionaire is the BEST Asian film of the year for me. And it might as well be the best film of the year period because I found it rich and loaded with raw, powerful visuals and emotionally impacting scenes that weave together to tell the story of Jamal Malik, an Indian teen born into abject poverty. In Slumdog Millionaire, Malik is literally one question away from winning 20 million rupees on the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” Despite this, he is accused of cheating. More »
Did you hear yet? Square Enix has just released the latest Final Fantasy game for PSP, titled Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Now, I don’t want to sound too excited here, but considering that I played through FFVII Crisis Core no less than three times, I was pretty FREAKIN STOKED when I heard Dissidia was coming out. However, as I’ve always been a fan of the traditional Final Fantasy RPG, I wasn’t without a little doubt as to whether Dissidia would work out - after all, previews and trailers of the game show that it is - get this - a fighting game. That said, it still looked freakin cool, and Square Enix’s previous offerings on the PSP haven’t really been turn based either (Crisis Core, Star Ocean), opting for a shorter, faster paced battle system most likely to remain consistent with the portable on-the-go nature of the console. I’m no stickler for any particular genre - if it’s a good game, I’ll play it! More »
Exam season has arrived but don’t gripe, Japan has found a solution.
Not really but for what they believe will bring better luck is a wonton noodles known as “Ganbare Students” (try your hardest or don’t give up) by Myoujou FOods. They are sold in convenience stores all over with cherry blossom colored wontons with flowers embedded in the soup’s kamaboko (if eaten, they bring good fortune supposedly).
But if you’re not hungry and need some loving, there’s also lotion! Waimack Jewel Cosmetics released a “refreshing lotion” designed to clear your mind and encourage students.
All of it sounds like a hoax to me but I wouldn’t mind trying out those wontons.
This year, we reported on crossover artists, but who was the first artist to pioneer into Western media?
Well, he was a young superstar from Japan named Kyu Sakamoto. Like many modern Japanese idols, Kyu was very accomplished. He had several hit albums, over a dozen hit singles and was also an actor.
Kyu got his first big break in the U.S. when DJ Rich Osborne of KORD, a radio station in Washington, played his song on the air in 1963. Not many people know the reason why he played it, but the response from the public was so great that the recording was one of the most requested songs.
Eventually, Capitol Records teamed up with Toshiba Records (Kyu’s label) and helped release the song under a new title here in the states. It was in the top ten for over three weeks! The original song was called “Ueh oh Mui teh Arukō” (”I look up when I walk”) but we Westerners know it as “Sukiyaki.” More »
Considering all of the recent Korean celebrity suicides, especially those who came out as GLBT, I’m glad Hong Seok Cheon didn’t take that route. He’s still alive and kicking, and the most recent news about him is that he published a book. The book’s called Design Your Own Restaurant, and it “celebrates his successful transformation from suddenly-out-of-work actor to restaurateur.”
Hong, an actor back in the ’90s, came out in 2000, and not surprisingly, his sexual orientation wasn’t accepted among the general Korean population. That affected his acting career, so he began opening a series of restaurants — the first one being “Our Place” in Itaewon.
It’s a shame how he gave up acting to do this restaurant business, but from what I read, he’s happy with his current life, and that’s all that it matters. I just hope more GLBT Koreans can see that suicide isn’t the only option for being who they are. Actually, what I really hope is for Korea to become more accepting of GLBT, but considering recent events, the light in the tunnel’s really dim. However, like Hong, I’d like think a bit more optimistically about my home country – even if I am a natural pessimist!
Oh, and one of these days, I shall check out “Our Place.” I live in the area, so I may as well go!
The highly anticipated Korean remake of the manga hit series, Hana Yori Dango, is nearing its televised debut. The series is set to air on January 5th, 2009 on KBS 2TV and scheduled to take over Worlds Within on Mondays and Tuesdays at the 9:55PM slot. I can hear HYD fans screaming all over, including myself.
While some of us will probably have to wait till the subbed versions are “released”, KBS has already put out promotional posters and a trailer. I can’t say I’m completely content with the casting of the F4 boys but hopefully the series is not as bad as they look!
Another video treat for you all. This year was filled with a lot of events that made us SSS (squeak, scream, and squeal) but, we had to narrow it down to our favorite 5. There were a lot of honorable mentions such as Rain’s American movie debut through Speed Racer and BoA’s US single. However we just could not fit it all on this video because would would have been talking for hours. No seriously, we talked for almost 30 minutes about 10 amazing 2008 events and it was just so heart breaking to edit that all out. Anyway, hope you all enjoy! More »
This article is about how the US State Department considers Hongdae and Sinchon, two famous clubbing and bar hopping districts in Seoul, “dangerous areas”. This article brings out two clashing viewpoints from me. One is bewilderment and the other is anger.
I am trying to see why the US State Department would even consider those two areas dangerous. For a city where crime isn’t huge as some major cities, I just cannot fathom what could be listed as dangerous. I mean, yes, since it is a bar district, running into drunkards is not my idea of safe, but it just makes me wonder what they mean by “dangerous”. Yes, crime will always exist, but is it really high in those two areas or is it just another way to prevent Americans from going there? And by Americans I mean those who are affiliated with the US military. More »
Sometimes I wish I had a cheaper hobby. As much as I love video games, they really suck my poor bank account empty. It doesn’t help when I have the internet telling me what games are coming out in United States and what games are released in Japan, which I hope some of them do see English localisations! A girl can dream! Now I just need to conjure up more money for these games that interest me in 2009. It’s going to be another expensive gaming year. More »
If there was one word to describe my gaming style, it would be this: sporadic. I play when I’m in the mood, and with that you can find me playing a game that was released in 2003 right now in 2008. Yes, I do not follow what’s mainstream, but with video games, I sort of try, and I succeeded this year with the DS — again that’s with a “sort of”. Come to think of it, I own three other systems, but I don’t think I touched any of them this year. Oi. Anyway, here are the games that were released in 2008, that were actually played in 2008, not necessarily beaten, and what I consider to be “best” or more like “personal favourites”. The list is in the order by the games’ release date. More »
Here’s a weekly music round up for the year.
While the single may be a hit, it’s not always that the music video is. In fact, it’s hard to find a song and MV that go well together. Loads of MVs were released this year by new and old artists but only a handful of them were actually memorable.
Listed below are the MVs from 2008 that have stand out the most to me (in no particular order). More »
It’s been one week since we asked who was Jay Chou’s biggest fan and deserved two tickets to see Jay live in concert. We got a wide range of responses. Many people said Jay was just so H-O-T. Others said his voice was so beautiful. Everyone told us how Jay’s music had touched their lives. Someone even claimed to be Jay’s illegitimate son and wished for a family reunion. (We decided that request was best handled by Jay’s management) More »
I am glad 2008 is almost behind us. What a bitch of a year it was! You know you’re screwed when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged much faster than Tila Tequila’s 5-minute fame and Zhang Ziyi’s chances of making it big in Hollywood. 2008 was also a year filled with weird news. Here is my top ten list of “The Weird News From Asia” in descending order. For the fun of it, you should go over the list from the bottom to the top. More »
Talk is cheap, barbers give it away for free with a haircut; however, there are moments in conversation that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The following celebs have left their mark in media history by saying the wrong thing at the wrong place and time. While most can simply be laughed off, others will haunt them forever. More »
Don’t act like you’ve never subjected an hour of your time watching an E! special on top (insert topic here.) You’ve been bored before, don’t lie. Ningin.com is certainly not going lie about this: 2008 experienced a few Asian scandals. Not enough to warrant an E! special, but enough for Ningin.com’s sake. In no particular order, save for the last scandal (the biggest scandal), 2008’s scandals: More »
Holy Tokyo Drift! That’s Sung Kang—bigger than life. This mural’s on the wall of Taiwan-based Jump Shoes’ flagship store in SoHo. But how did it get there? Meet David Foox—a New Zealand artist with an eye for Asian symbolism. Plus, see Sung Kang’s last three short films with Jump Shoes and Arowana Films. More »
2008 has been an exciting year for a fair number of Asian celebrities. On deciding who to spotlight, I took into account the recent histories of the celebrities’ careers and how 2008 is a good indication of what they stand to gain in the future. And of course, I filtered out celebrities that had any publicized drama, career blunders, and/or scandals; this is the happy section, after all! A couple of these picks may not be the biggest names, but I’m more than sure they’ll be riding their notable upswings well into 2009 and beyond. More »