You might call it 8-bit, you might call it chip tune, you might call it awesome, you might call it video game noises—either way, you’d be correct because YMCK has come back with a vengence with “Family Cooking,” which brings the funk! That’s right, the FUNK! With jazzy rhythms and groovy vocals, it’s the Shibuya-kei musical spirit reborn thru an NES (or the Famicom for our Japanese readers. Hello, Japanese readers!) I know there will be nay-sayers saying that Shibuya-kei stopped at Paris Match and Pizzicato Five, but those people (are you one of them?!) are just a bunch of stuck-in-the-past fuddy duddys. Welcome the Neo-Shibuya-kei chiptune movement! More »
One year ago, anybody who followed Chinese entertainment associated the name “Edison Chen” (陳冠希; Chen Guanxi) with the “bad boy” image. Cool, talented and attractive, the multilingual Chen had released multiple albums, played roles in multiple movies, and was one of the most successful Cantonese pop stars. But as 2008 began, Chen took the “bad boy” image too far. In what would become one of the biggest news makers of the year, graphic images appeared on the internet depicting Chen with various women, many of them well-known entertainers themselves. China, Taiwan and Hong Kong watched as one of the industry’s favorite idols tried desperately to save his career, only to see him finally admit ownership of the pictures in late February. Not only did the Edison Chen Photo Scandal destroy Edison’s career and force him to move back to North America, it also brought down stars like Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝; Zhang Bozhi) and Twins member “Ah Gil” (鐘欣桐; Zhong Xintong). More »
With the Wonder Girls U.S. tour a little over than a month away, the five femmes fantastique have become the zenith of JYP Entertainment. Always on top of their game, due to their infectious hit dance “Tell Me,” their hallyu wave has not been reproduced by any other Korean girl group to date. Their videos Nobody and So Hot have been posted on Perez Hilton, reaching the new, trendy American generation… and along with other all-girl-bands like No Angels (From Germany), Cheetah Girls (3LW), and Danity Kane, they are considered one of the top girl groups to watch, according to Virgin Media. More »
Oh, really? What about violent films? Films about drug usages and trafficking? Films about psychological issues? There’s already an abundance of porn, so I doubt some film will really cause “moral chaos”. Okay, so maybe the media is a powerful tool for influence for a person, but really, South Korea, just stop being so repressed and conservative!
Considering how conservative South Korea is, I’m amazed they passed that law where they deem that “restricted screening on sexual content films is unconstitutional”, which means that films that are too raunchy for the general audience is viewed in selected theaters — but that process is now abolished. Is this really South Korea? Holy cow, they are turning progressive! Let’s see how long this freedom last until the court rules the original law back into place.
Despite my pessimism, though, I hope this works out. And that Shortbus film the article mentioned sounds intriguing.
Is it just me, or did this month fly by extremely fast?
Not very many good singles this week; however, I did discover some cover and remix artists who are probably more talented than the artists they cover/remix. For those of you who don’t believe me, check them out below!
And as always, enjoi. More »
Ok, you don’t have to. I’m neither a Steelers fan nor a Cardinals fan. But I am a fan of the yearly commercial spectacle that is the NFL Superbowl. I’m one of those people that watch it for the commercials more than the game. Often times, in the past few years, I found the commercials to be more fun to watch than the game itself.
So why the Steelers you ask? Since I have no affiliation or bias towards either, I’m forced to find some irrational reason to pick a side to win. Every sports fan does this. My reason, which readers of this Asian Media blog may be able to relate to is because the Steelers have three (or 2.5 depending on your math) Asian players on their team, Troy Polamalu, Heinz Ward, and Chris Kemoeatu. Polamalu and Ward aren’t just role players; they’re flat-out super stars at their positions. Polamalu in particular is one of the best if not the best Safety in the NFL right now next to Ed Reed of course. Arizona has a couple of Asians in Deuce Lutui and Pago Togafau but 3 is greater than 2 in most cases. Also Lutui and Togafau are replacement level players. More »
When I was in elementary school, I was introduced to what I consider the spiciest and the most unconventional snack ever. Crushed uncooked ramen, sprinkled with its sauce (soup base powder) was seriously something that made up my childhood and my middle school years with my friends. As I grew older, I’d occasionally have some — the last being about a year ago? — but I never really heard about it around me any more, so I thought it was a trend that died out. However, that trend still lives on since I read this blog entry, which mentions the Bbusheo Bbusheo, which is seriously disgusting and not the same as grabbing Shin Ramen and Ansung Tang Myun.
. . . Great, now I want go buy a bag and have some snack that will give me some zest to my life, hahaha! To end this entry, I must thank Korea Melon for reminding me that such snack exists and for allowing me to go down nostalgia lane.
In season one of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the roles were pretty much defined when it came to good and evil: all elements that weren’t fire and the Fire Nation, respectively. Despite Zuko being exiled from the Fire Nation, he was pretty much running amok all over the globe, obsessively chasing the Aang Gang in order to redeem himself. However, knowing that there were two solid seasons to follow, I had suspicions that Zuko was much more than he seemed—perhaps a Byronic hero of sorts—and season two teased this out well. More than that, it confirms that Aang and Zuko are much more alike than traditional storytelling would have us think: they’re two heads of a coin spinning along parallel roads to the same destination. More »
We are three episodes into Randy Jackson’s ABDC, and thus far, it has failed to deliver its promise on being the most challenging season. Seven crews are left competing to be the best of the nation, and tonight’s test had the groups dancing to Britney Spears inspired choreography. Assisted by Britney choreographer Andre Fuentes, the first two teams were announced to place for next week’s top five. More »
Because of last week’s inane and lackluster challenge, I was prepared to resign to a downhill series of challenges. I mean, Britney Spears? I know she’s trying to revive her career and all, but it doesn’t make a Britney Spears challenge seem like anything more than an extreme product placement. Well, that said, it pretty much is a hamfisted attempt at promoting the exiled princess of pop, but I have to say, the challenges this week were pretty cool. More than that, this challenge finally gave the crews the chance to incorporate sex appeal and playful sass into their performances (technically, Fly Khicks do this every week, but you know what I mean). More »
If I were a Bollywood movie right now, I would be promoting myself like it was going out of style…in the U.S. In the wake of *Slumdog Millionaire’s success, Chandni Chowk to China is trying to do just that, while introducing a new genre of film to the whole world: Bollywood Kung-fu. Can this be good? Who knows. All I can tell you is that it stars Bollywood’s biggest action star, Akshay Kumar and Gordon Liu. The story is about a lowly restaurant veggie cutter (Kumar) who is somehow mistaken as the reincarnation of a Chinese war hero. If you’re confused, don’t worry—I was lost at ‘Bollywood Kungfu.’ Judging from the trailer, it has all the Bollywood film accouterments: singing, dancing, romance, comedy, probably a scene where the leads almost kiss and kung-fu moves. Behold: More »
Manhwa, by the way, is a blanket term for Korean comics, comic books (aka mangas), and animated cartoons. Moving on. According to Korea Times, “[t]he Korea Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA) will hold the 2009 Korean Comics Special Exhibition Feb. 2-7 at the Korean Culture Centre in Paris, France, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the genre”.
I guess if you’re in Paris vicinity, go check it out! Personally, I’m not a fan of Korean manhwa (I’ve been Japanised too much), but it has its merits! One day, I’ll get into them. I did like Demon Diary if that counts, haha. But 100 years? Wow. I obviously do not know my Korean manhwa history!
“The world of mental illness is hidden behind a curtain,” says Kazuhiro Soda. The Japanese filmmaker’s second feature documentary, MENTAL, is a fascinating peek behind that curtain. Mental illness is terrifying for anyone who suffers from it. But mental patients in Japan have even more to contend with, as society shuns them and the government politicizes their care. Sit in on my talk with Soda, and have your consciousness raised.
Mental recently won Best Documentary at Pusan Film Festival and Dubai Film Festival, and is slated to play at Berlin Film Festival the first week in February. Mental is cinema verite—a filmmaking method whereby the director finds and records actual events, without prompting or scripting the participants. It was the ideal means to meet the variegated personalities of Chorale Okayama, an outpatient mental clinic in Japan. Soda interspersed observation and interviews of mental patients, staff, volunteers, and home mental health aides. He elaborated on his process in the Director’s Statement: More »
There’s no shortage of events this week to kick off Year of the Ox. For New Yorkers, we highly recommend “From Underground to Independent: New Cinema from China” at the China Institute this Friday night, Jan 30. There’ll be two film screenings and Q&A with filmmakers in the growing Chinese indie film scene. SAN YUAN LI and DIGITAL UNDERGROUND IN THE PRC will be presented in conjunction with dGenerate Films. More »
Your Miniplayer, the first mp3 player I bought with my cash wad, Long I researched for a player not cursed with the name iPod.
Emoji icons, the Japanese style emoticons used in messages are super popular in the Japanese mobile market. So popular in fact that people love to accuse weak iPhone sales in Japan because the iPhone can’t use emoji. Personally, I chalk it up to the fact that in Japan the iPhone isn’t so forward-thinking a phone. After all, the iPhone also has only one screen, no video chat, no 3.2+ megapixel camera, no live TV capabilities, Wow I really want a Japanese cell phone, I mean… the point is some people think it’s no emoji that’s kept iPhone back in Japan. Well, emoji has arrived! And you don’t need to be in Japan to get it! More »
Gadgets are fun but what makes them even better are the idols that model along side with them.
Korea and Japan are probably the most well known gadget makers in addition to the cutest models. Not only are they drop dead gorgeous, but they make the cutest little faces for you.
As such, the following are a few of my favorite gadget idols. Who is your favorite? More »
What do Acer, Asus, MSI, and Samsung have in common? 1) They are Asian companies. 2) They are the “leading” manufacturers of netbooks. (I’d include HP, but they aren’t Asian, hahaha.)
I only discovered these netbooks just recently, about a month and a half ago. I discovered that netbooks are really small laptops that are capable of running an OS but aren’t really powerful like a laptop. In other words, you can check your email, browse the net, and yadadada with a netbook, but it isn’t meant for doing some high-powered stuff like laptop gaming and graphic designing, though you could. More »
People often ask me what’s the best part about my job. There are quite a few answers I can give, but one that is high on my list is finding and getting to know talented people. Even better, finding talented people with a passion for something. You all know Ningin Anime blogger/NBA Analyst/Game Reviewer, Jerry Chen. What you might not know about him is his deep passion and knowledge of gadgets. Not only do we value people like that highly, but we also reward them with their own website.
Today, I would like to introduce to you ZiggyTek.com, our newest sister site, dedicated to all the gadget lovers, gearheads, technophiles, audiophiles, shutterbugs, early adopters, and other cool but geeky people. Jerry will be joined by new bloggers, Lora Kolodny, Peter Chin, Jack Chen, and Lam Chau. More »
To my surprise, World of Warcraft celebrated Chinese New Years yesterday. It turns out they’re more Asian friendly than I could’ve ever imagined.
Walking around the town where the festival was held, I noticed that the NPCs (non player character) were selling Korean food: steamed mandu, bean soup, rice cake and kimchi. I definitely had a couple since IRL I can’t eat any. How sad!
I wonder if there’s sushi or pho in other towns.