2013 Media Map: Music (Part 7)

Though I am probably the last person I’d peg to fall into the K-pop fandom, in so many ways, K-pop is the perfect fandom for me. I love fanfic. I hoard information. I obsess. I like boys. K-pop has a lot of boys. A lot of them are smoking hot. Last time I showed you some of the bad boys I got into, and this time we take on the sexy sexxiness and the cutie cutie-cles and also some princely manliness of some of these boy bands. Oh, there are also boys in bands. *wiggles pervy noona brows*

*cue the opening riffs of Air's "Sexy Boy"*

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So. Finally we have reached the end of my 2013 Media Map for Music. It was a big year for musical discoveries. I listened to more groups than the ones I actually included in all seven parts of this map but chose not to include them so we will have more to talk about when they make bigger comebacks this year. I thought of cutting Part 7 into at least two more parts but screw brevity! We are already two weeks into the new year - I should already be looking to the new stuff that's been coming out since the first week! My predictions for music consumption this year? Lots more from these groups and idols that I have gotten to know and love, plus a few surprises from nugu (rookie) groups both female and male! Looking forward to being wow'ed and delighted by what Hallyu has to offer, as well as deepening my knowledge and appreciation of this amazing musical genre. I got into the fandom pretty deep in 2013, but I'm sensing there's a whole lot more to be explored in the coming year. I'm not done with you yet, K-pop.


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2013 Media Map: Music (Part 6)

Sometimes in K-pop , song titles, concepts and styles overlap. I looked into A LOT of boybands in 2013 and because I found "commonalities" between several of these groups, I've chunked some of them in my mind into specific tiers. This one tackles the boy-groups that start with the letter “B”.

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Next time - sexy sexxiness, cutie cutie-cles and princely manliness.

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2013 Media Map - Music (Part 2)

This is a repost from last week, with a couple of eras added to this version. I listened to a lot of K-pop in 2013, and forgot to add these in!

Well hey I am on a roll and attempting to get things done by the time the clock strikes 2014! Music was a huge force in my 2013, and if you came from this post onto this one, yay! Moving along my music timeline…

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Part 3 tackles The Era to End All Eras - EXO.

2013 Media Map - Music (Part 4)

It took me a while before I got curious about any of the girl groups or any of the female artists in K-pop. I've come to observe that non K-pop fans were usually quicker to become biased toward girl groups rather than the boy bands. My theory is that non K-pop fans find it less embarrassing to admit liking the girl groups over the boy bands. The consensus is typically - "I can't take the boys seriously."(Who said you were supposed to?) Would this imply that the level of cuteness, sexiness and exaggeration in fashion styling is something that is expected towards female acts, but when applied to their male counterparts invites suspicion?

Have a think on that non K-pop fans.

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Part 5 brings the boybands (who are not EXO) that caught my attention!

2013 Media Map - Music (Part 3)

K-pop fans over on Tumblr kept mentioning this group whose comeback was so long overdue that it was becoming a running joke among them.

But first, a "comeback" refers to any new track from a K-pop group or solo act that has already officially "debuted", or has already been introduced to the K-pop market. Comebacks are a big deal, and crucial to a group or act's continued success. A comeback is typically composed of the following:

1. the single being promoted
2. the group's concept or overall styling for the promotion of the song
3. the stage, or the performance of the song on music charts shows
4. the teaser video of the song (or, if we're lucky, the whole album), usually fifteen to sixty seconds long
5. the MV, or music video of the single being promoted

Other components of a group's comeback may also include:

6. guestings/interviews on other variety shows on T.V and radio
7. own variety/reality show being developed
8. product tie-ups and endorsements
9. magazine interviews and spreads
10. event appearances (i.e. fashion shows)

Items 1-5 are integral to any comeback, but items 6-10 usually follow after some type of success has already been achieved. Success in this case means that the song (and by virtue, album) being promoted is performing well sales-wise.

One last thing about comebacks - the turnover for comebacks is very quick and fast-paced. A comeback that takes too long to materialize (more than six months without anything new to promote, and the fandom gets very antsy for new material) can break the momentum of a group, especially if the group is relatively new to the industry. There is always a demand for newness that constantly requires to be filled in K-pop. It's a lot like "Showgirls" in that sense - with new groups debuting all the time in K-pop, there's always someone younger and hungrier coming down from behind you on the stairs.

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Part 4 will continue...

2013 Media Map - Music (Part 1)

Hoo boy this is going to be a big one right here. I expect many of the videos/pics/gifs that will be included here just may be included in other Media Maps for 2013 because there needs to be a more localized map for this topic.

As mentioned earlier, 2013 was my year to expand my horizons as a fangirl. I deliberately set out to find the road to K-pop without really intending to stay very long, but when I finally let myself in discovered that I was really freeing myself from former prejudices that prevented me from doing certain things. In a very real and profound way, the music I listened to in 2013 became more than just iTunes playlist fodder, but a positive and life-changing force that made my year not just tolerable, but in many ways, quite wonderful.

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Whew - told you guys this was gonna be a huge post!

2013 - The Year of The Fangirl

Happy December 31, everyone! I'm thinking of putting up my annual Media Maps for Books, Movies, Music and Torrent Boyfriends like I've done for the last couple of years, and that might go up a little bit later. To be honest, I finished reading less books than the ones I actually bought and you'll see why in a bit. I figured this is as good a time as any to take stock of the past year and recount moments that made 2013 the year it was because it was CUHRAHAYZAY. When I did this for 2012, chunks of the year came up blank with the really good parts standing out against a blah background. I'm happy to say that while 2013 was not an easy year, it was definitely way more packed and memorable than the previous one.

Remember when the world was supposed to end late last year? Yep, 2013 kicked off with cosmic effects off of that phenomenon with personal paradigms shifting, shifting, SHIFTING. I certainly felt it with the eschewing of many attitudes and frequencies of thought. Some shifts were radical and drastic, almost happening overnight. However, others were more of a process. I noticed that the biggest shifts had me returning to *cue the Enigma track and the music video of the horses running across the frame backwards* innocence. My biggest driver for 2013 was PLAY.

"Stay open, stay playful" was the best piece of advice I received at the beginning of the year, and using this as my guiding principle has led me to unexpected and exciting directions I never thought I'd take. The tail-end of 2012 had already given me a peek of what was to come in the next 365 days, and it was an exciting preview!

Fandom has always been a large part of my personal life, but as much as I loved to immerse myself in new information, absorb the passion and study the cultures of specific fandoms, my fandoms have always been more of a solitary endeavor than a social one. A firm (Groucho) Marxist when it came to socializing, my shell was a tough one to crack even from the inside. 2013 brought welcome changes in the way I approached fandom, and inadvertently brought on more positive effects in my life.

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To feels! To friendship! To fandom! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Media Map 2012: Torrent Boyfriends - PART 1

This year I had two major celebrity crushes. Most of the media I consumed this year were influenced by these guys. Movies, TV series, music, random video clips - if they made it, I found it. I watched it, listened to it, fangirled over it, shipped it, slashed it, reloaded it, tweeted about it, got affected by it, had my world rocked by it. I took sick leaves so I could fangirl all day. Devoted gigabytes to folders containing photos, mp3's and videos. Opened numerous tabs containing simultaneous Google searches. Sometimes my laptop would even break down and the beach ball of death would appear. If either of them asked me to marry them, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

If I had to use Western references or pegs, I would liken the one to being the Mark Darcy-type and the other to the Daniel Cleaver-type. (Both are from "Bridget Jones's Diary".) Heh. That goes to show how old I am and how dated my references are, but the comparison seems apt. To use Japanese dating/relationship terminology, one is an "M-type" and one is an alpha "S-type" to end all S-types. Whatever you think that means, that's what it means.

torrent boyfriend 1

Sakai Masato is my Mark Darcy M-type Torrent Boyfriend. He is the Master of the Smize! I briefly made mention of him when I was mapping out my favorite 2011 media. I first saw him in the film, "Golden Slumber" which was one of my top films last year. Since then, he has slow-burned his way into my fangirl heart. He has been called "the finest actor of his generation" (!!!) Theater-trained in Waseda University, Sakai Masato has appeared in many doramas and movies throughout his career. He often plays charming, brainy, bookish types in films. One reviewer goes so far to say that no matter what role he takes on, you can always see him thinking. I like that.

Sakai Masato Movies I Watched in 2012:
1. "The Chef of the South Pole" - I think this is the role that did it for me, fangirl-wise. He was just too damn adorable not to like in this slice-of-life flick.

2. "The Triumphant Return of General Rouge" - Also previously blogged about. Boy just looked so good here. Plus, that oral fixation!

3. "The Two in Tracksuits" - in which he plays a cuckolded husband spending summer vacay with his dad in a cabin in the woods.

4. "MY S.O. Has Got Depression" - teaming up with Miyazaki Aoi again as a married couple (also again). This movie broke my heart.

5. "Kabe Otoko" ("The Wall Man") - my least favorite movie of his.

6. "The Legacy of the Sun" - plays a soldier in WWII tasked to oversee an insidious plot to hide Yamashita's treasure with the help of a group of high school girls. Pretty heavy, Doc.

7. "The Wonderful World of Captain Kuhio"

8. "Honey and Clover"- he plays the chain-smoking prof. Kyooo-hooot. Even the mangaka Chica Umino approves!

9. "The Climber's High"- it's rare seeing Sakai Masato lose his cool on-screen, but it happens here.

10. "After School" - Just when you think you know what's going on in this movie plot- and character-wise, the movie flips over your assumptions. I loved him here for his clueless/lost look.
after school captioned

Sakai Masato Doramas I Watched in 2012:

1. "Himitsu No Hanazono" - in which he plays 1/4 of a mangaka team pretending to be a female comic book artist. A no-brainer. Rockin the Cosby sweaters like sexx.

2. "Engine" - it ain't easy playing a support role to Takuya Kimura, the Brad Pitt of Japan:

3. "Shinsengumi!" - brain AND brawn. I'm so there.

4. "Atsuhime" - I love his on-screen chemistry with Miyazaki Aoi. Played the eccentric Shogun Iesada.

5. "Triangle" - didn't complete this dorama because it is fucking weird.

5. "Nankyoku Tairiku" - again playing a support role to KimuTaku. Age has leveled the playing field.

6. "Joker" - like "Dexter", but not. Also...

7. "Legal High" - a bit on the hammier side, but still very cute!

In 2013 - we will see him play an essential role in both the film and dorama adaptations of Fumi Yoshinaga's "Ooku". Actually, the dorama is already out at the moment, but I am still waiting for English subtitles for the film version. Can't pass up the chance to see him as an alternate universe Edo-era manwhore serving the female Shogun! Scandalous! Also, "Key of Life"!


Media Map 2012: Books

My forecast for reading habits this 2012 was spot-on! Got hooked on reading on my iPad. Purchases of actual printed books were reduced to more than half this year. Consumed a lot of manga.

Actual Printed Books Read:
"The Basic Eight" Daniel Handler
"Popped" Chinggay Labrador
"Popped 2" Chinggay Labrador
"Book of Changes" Kristen McKenna (incomplete)
"Sisterhood Everlasting" Ann Brashares (incomplete)
"Commando" Johnny Ramone (incomplete)
"The Best of Archie Comics"

Books Read on ePub:
"Rachel's Holiday" Marian Keyes
"Just Kids" Patti Smith
"The Devil All The time" Donald Ray Pollock
"Ring" Koji Suzuki
"Real World" Natsuo Kirino
"The Diving Pool" Yoko Ogawa
"The Housekeeper and the Professor" Yoko Ogawa
"Hotel Iris" Yoko Ogawa
"Dawn and the Older Boy" (the Babysitters Club) Ann M. Martin (Don't judge!)
"Claudia and the New Girl" (the Babysitter Club) Ann M. Martin
"IQ84" Haruki Murakami
"Zombie Spaceship Wasteland" Patton Oswalt

Actual Manga Read:
"Men of Tattoos" Aniya Yuiji
"Hot Steamy Glasses" Tatsumi Kaiya
"Manic Love" Satomi Yamagata
"Love Training" Tatsumi Kaiya
"Flutter" Momoko Tenzen

Manga Read on the iPad:
"Honey and Clover" Chica Umino
The Junji Ito Collection (a lot of short stories)
"Gyo" Junji Ito
"Uzumaki" Junji Ito
"Monster" Naoki Urasawa
"20th Century Boys" Naoki Urasawa
"Pluto" Naoki Urasawa
"Abandon the Old in Tokyo" Yoshihiro Tatsumi
"Antique Bakery" Fumi Yoshinaga
"Nana" Ai Yazawa (incomplete)
"Great Teacher Onizuka" Tohru Fujisawa
"Old Boy" Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi
"The Drifting Classroom" Kazuo Umezo
"The Walking Dead" (re-read from Vol 1-38 and then through to vol 104) Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard
"Nodame Cantabile" Tomoko Ninomiya (incomplete)
The Sandman Collection Volumes 1-9 (re-read) Neil Gaiman, "The Wake" (incomplete)
"Rurouni Kenshin" Nobuhiro Watsuki (incomplete)

Notable for 2012:

BL - BL (Boys' Love) is a genre that I keep coming back to on and off throughout the years, but this year marks my first legitimate BL manga purchases with the titles mentioned above.

Junji Ito - my favorite mangaka for 2012. I fangirled over him and other mangaka whose work I've mentioned above in a previous entry. I wish more Fumi Yoshinaga titles were licensed and translated to English.

The Walking Dead Vol 100 - Fucking traumatic. I almost don't want to continue on anymore after what happened here.

Naoki Urasawa - Brilliant.