Monday, March 19, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 2018
K-POP MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
|Credit: Image Link|
Title Track: Bboom Bboom
Honestly, this group never truly intrigued me especially since they debuted in that cluster hell year of debuts. But never would I have thought that the girl from the Tropicana commercial, that became such a meme, was a member of this group and literally gave the defibrillator shock and attention that they needed for this comeback. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at how catchy the song is and how much fun the video was to watch. The instrumental is the star here. It made the song as interesting and fun as it is. The slight rap break caught me off guard because they went kinda hard considering how sassy and fun the song was going. I really like it. It might be one of my favorite transition breaks for a girl group song in a while. The MV was a lot of fun. Instead of your standard 'dance the choreography in a box room', it was an infomercial style program video that had bits of class and sophistication in that rotating circle scene. They definitely wanted your attention and they got it BUT without overloading the senses. Everything complimented each other from the music matching the scenes to the members performance in acting out the infomercial scenes. Definitely is great way for Momoland to start of the year.
Members that caught my eyes (no particular order):
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Item Name: Love Live! Sunshine!! - Rubber Strap Kimi no Kokoro wa Kagayaiteru kai? 9 version pack box
Order date: May 5th, 2017
Initial Cost: 4,130 Yen
Shipping Method: EMS
Payment Method: PayPal
As of that date payment was not submitted yet. Basically you are putting in a request for the item before you pay for it. Also, the shipping amount is not included. Only the method.
May 6th: email received with shipping amount and total order cost. Also informed that I had until the 13th to submit payment or order will be canceled.
NB: they send payment reminders via email.
Payment submitted: May 9th, 2017
Shipping: 2, 000 Yen
Cost: 6, 130 Yen
NB2: Costs are in Yen/JPY
Item shipped: May 10th, 2017
Sadly, I lost all the pictures I had taken on my work phone of them. I will try to update this with actually images of the items sometime soon.
+ International availability of items (a lot of the series I want to purchase merchandise from are 'Ship within Japan Only' so I'm really happy Love Live items can be shipped overseas)
+ Numerous Shipping methods/ Choices for Shipping Method
+ Large range of Merchandise
+/- User friendly site: this is an iffy for me as initial ventures to this site confused me to no end. But I have since gotten used to the site but still need to master it.
+/- Shipping time: honestly, I'm neutral on this. I don't go out of my way to get a purchase instantaneously nor at snail's pace. To get speedy shipping you gotten pay a bit while cheaper shipping is slower it is also risky due to company's not taking responsibility for lost packages and sometimes damaged packaging. As long as I can get my packages in 2 to 4 weeks from shipping date I'm cool.
- Shipping fee initially unknown: this is the biggest annoyance for me. When you place an order, you only have an idea of the price of the item based on the Shipping Method page info they provide and/ info gained from previous purchases from AmiAmi or anything purchases from Asian merchandising sites.
- 'Shipping within Japan only' Availability: this one is something that I have no choice but to accept. That is just how the industry in Japan works. I know there are ways to order these types of items i.e. via proxy services or having someone with a Japanese address to order and ship them to you (personal/business requesting) but I'm personally not comfortable with those kind of services yet.
Overall Rating: Recommended
I would continue to order from AmiAmi for any Anime merchandise but I do suggest doing proper research on any and all (or as many you can find) anime merchandise selling store since each has their own pricing, shipping, range of products and international shipping availability.
If there is anything that you would like to know that I did not mention, don't hesitate to ask.
Hope this was helpful and has made your journey to ordering from AmiAmi easier.
Till next time!
Take care and May the Lord God keep you through 2018!
Monday, January 1, 2018
2017 has come and gone. Honestly, this has been one of the most memorable years to date for me, whether for good or bad.
2017 brought a lot of changes to my life. Some include getting my first job, getting my first credit card for building credit, the ups and downs of working especially as a woman in the technology field, purchasing my first Kpop CDs, finding and going to 2 salons that deal with natural hair, believe or not but finally getting and working out my health insurance to the point that I have some basic understanding of the system and much more.
But some of those changes were, and still are, hard to deal with: dealing and working with people of all backgrounds, actually seeing that I have numbed myself to the Lord's influence and presence in my life to survive, learning that you really are alone regardless of the social activities one does, that being optimistic and positive in a cynical world is physically, emotionally and mentally draining to the point that you want to give up but out of sheer stubbornness you don't, that I have a very weak resolve in regards to my interior design classes and furthering my knowledge in my IT career and some other stuff that isn't coming to mind yet.
I feel like I have been finding myself throughout these few years, this year being the epitome of this: who I am as a fallen human and who I am as a struggling Christian. This year has pushed me to see that I've been favoring and leaning towards one side over the other. It's the side that I should not identify with. I find that the more I strive to learn more about people, their differences and history, I move away from the original reason as to WHY I wanted that knowledge. I wanted that knowledge and form of understanding to be able to reach people in groups that are often ignored, forgotten or demonized for the sake of doing that and due to lack of understanding of said groups. I believe I always need to remember the origin of my desire for pursuing that knowledge or I'll continue to fall deeper into that nonchalant worldly 'Christian' mindset and attitude.
This blog was created for me to express myself. As a Christian. As an Japanese/South Korean entertainment fan. As a student of life and design. As a young black woman who does not fit the stereotypical mold of either category. But during these 12 months my life has been a literal rollercoaster and the ride has not ended. I want to start fresh. To go back to the pure and innocent purpose and reasoning for this blog like journal: to express myself without worry. Not to be the next 9to5 (technically it's 8to5 for me but I digress) that can make it of off blogging full time. Not for clicks nor Fame. But to interact with people who are similar to me; who resonate or can relate to what I say; have similar beliefs, hobbies and whatnots like me; to challenge me to grow in my faith and as a person; possibly one day to create a simple and connected community where we can communicate, share and discuss ideas, opinions without molds separating us.
I want to simplify my life. I have gone out of my way to complicate it for absolutely no reason. I want to work on evaluating what I bring into my life, my space, my mind and my body. I want to make decisive choices. I want to fight against my unhealthy habits. I want to fight against my fears. I want be pushed to my limit so I can create another limit only to push it again. I want to get out of my comfort and fight for what I need to be doing.
I have a lot I want to do but I will not let it overcome me. Take it slow. Breathe. Look around you. Let what you see be your mission for growth and discipline. I hope that this year regardless of what happens, the good, the bad, the joyful, the terrible, that you will not give up. That you will fight for what God has in store for you. That you will live life to it's fullest potential.
Happy New Year.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
I'll try to do better so let's get straight to it.
Comeback title: Good night
My Rating - MV: 3.5/5
Two singles and they are definitely on my 'to look out for' list.
Dreamcatcher are back with 'Good Night'. MV wise it continues the story told in their debut track 'Chase Me'. What's the story about?......umm....I know there's witchcraft and magic stuff in it......after that I have no clue. But the music is what's important and they continue to drum up my interest. Rock and idol groups? Not that many but Dreamcatcher are definitely changing that especially in the female group department. Amazing instrumentals and backing track that you can let loose and rock out to. Choreography is a standout. It's still your 'perfectionized' (is that a word? I doubt it but we'll roll with it) dance moves but it's actually dancing and not just posing and feminine style seductive movements. Sorry, I suck at these descriptions but you'll get it when you see it. Vocals are complementary and not washed out or made weirdly cute. It's just a hardcore rock idol girl group. And it's awesome.
'my wallet is ready! it is LIT!' by chibiJ 2017
Solo debut title track: "Ni Na No" (니나노) (featuring Flowsik)
My Rating - MV: 4/5
THE SOLO ALBUM THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN OUT YEARS AGO!!
I am being overly excited but this is really something that Minzy deserved.
I have been waiting for years for Minzy to get solo work while she was in YG and for those of you who followed 2NE1 you know how that turned out. Well, now she's in a new company and is now a solo artist with her debut track Ni Na No" (니나노) featuring Flowsick. First, Congratulations Minzy for this is an amazing feat to reach. I love the instrumental and backing track. It has that slight club and pop tone going for it and I have been leaning towards it lately as I get older. Minzy's voice is not over powered and performs very nicely. The choreography is not over the top and matches the smooth and slightly sultry tone of the song. This song and MV is quite tame compared to what I expected. But then I realized while watching the MV, that this is most likely the real grown up Minzy that she wanted to showcase. All I've known is the image that YG entertainment had for her and seeing this side of her is exciting and refreshing. MV was entertaining. Didn't really have a plot but showcased her dancing and how gorgeous she is. Like YG.....why you keep her from traditional feminine clothes. Dang.
Please give her full album a listen on Spotify. It's really good especially for a solo artist debut one.
Oh My Girl
Comeback title: Coloring Book (thumbs up)
My Rating - MV: 3.5/5
OMG are back again with 'Coloring Book' and continue to fill one of the holes in my K-pop girl group heart (Thanks 2nd gen disbandments :'( ). Coloring Book continues to showcase OMG's signature style (or what I see it as) . High energy. Great choreography. Bright colors. Appealing aesthetics (*cough*Mimi*cough*Bini). The song has some elements of their previous releases e.g. Cupid (marching band sound/feel) and Liar Liar (high tones and energy). The MV was pretty interesting due the literal incorporation of splattering paint all over the walls and themselves that were stark white. This is also the 2nd set of activities that member JinE will be absent from. I am truly impressed and happy that WM Entertainment is taking her anorexia seriously and are looking for long term treatment. I look forward to seeing her on the stage again or if she chooses not too I will not be heart broken as I'll know it'll be in her best interest.
Comeback title: "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"
My Rating - MV: 2/5
My initial listen and watch for this comeback left me feeling nonchalant and disengaged.
Now, after doing that again I can confidently say
that the MV made me have immense disdain for this song. The song is decent. Your standard kpop idol girl group song: right from the formulation to MV. It's not something I would want to spend my money because there are better cookie cutter idol songs that have a more interesting twist to them that make them interesting enough to not bore me. But the MV is such a low budget production that I felt bad for these girls. In a lot of the cut scenes they look like they are slightly cringing and some seem to be half-heartedly performing the choreography. The outfits were horrible. Seriously. Those dresses. Those cheerleader outfits......URGH!!! I know they don't have a large budget to splurge but an attempt would have been nice. I came hoping to get back into them but left solidified in my decision to not look out for them in the future. Sad as I was a fan of their debut track.
Comeback title: Palette
My rating - MV: 5/5
IU is back and continues to impress. I love seeing IU's growth as a woman, an adult and a musician. She seems to have found her sound and style as shown through 'Palette'. Smooth, jazzy, pop, slightly sultry. I can put more words but these really stood out to me. I love how the MV and the song lyrics are connected together telling the story of IU as she ages and matures. I was concerned about G-Dragon's part but was pleasantly surprised by how much his part fit in and made me think he was meant to be on this track. Everything was mellow but bright to me. An excitable mellow feel. The story of one's life as they mature from a baby adult to a mid tier one. The album is a pleasant and enjoyable listen. Never on the dull side. I highly recommend it.
Till next time.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
This edition is for March 2017 and it's a relatively quiet month (from my side that is). Let's get into it.
1. Produce 101 Season 2 a.k.a boy version a.k.a Scandals 101
Honestly, I wasn't sure what to think about the male version of this show when it was first announced. I wasn't surprised but not that all intrigued. All I could remember envisioning is all the horrible treatment the girls got but it was guys instead. However, that quickly changed after news broke about certain changes that would be applied to this version of Produce 101 e.g. the promotion time will be longer (..........HUH!!!!). That right there pissed me off but then things started happening and the damn show hadn't even started yet!!
You would think that the producers for the series would've learned their lesson from the debacle that was Season 1 (female version) but it seems they still have a long way to go. Who knows, this could be what they wanted to get even more viewers than last time. I mean people love gossip and scandals and it'll definitely get peoples attention.
NB: All listed below will not be in order of when the events happened!!
a) Contestant Han Jong Yeon left the who due to a controversy regarding rumors of him severely bullying a classmate when he was in elementary school (Soompi article link: Click Here)
b) 2 Contestants left due to health issues: first to leave was Kim Si Hyun then Nam Yoon Sung. (Soompi article links: Click Here and Here)
c) There were accusations of discrimination based on the ranks that the boys held. In a nutshell, higher ranks got to eat, shower and whatnot first while lower ranks got the scraps. (Kpopstarz article links: Click Here or Here)
d) There's also the issue of already established groups and/ members taking part in the show ( 4 members of Nu'est, a former ToppDogg member, 2 members formerly of HotShot). Please politely correct me if I have the wrong groups or # of members.
(Soompi related article link: Click Here)
e) And there's also reports of Mnet staff coercing participants into being quiet about the controversies that we out circulating in the media. In 'not so nice' ways. (Soompi article link: Click Here)
And all this before the dang show even airs. Congratulations Mnet, you continue to show the industry and its fan base how incompetent you are. At least netizens won't have to work to dig up info on you....I mean you are constantly digging a grave for yourselves with every new release. Is it that hard to go without avoidable scandals for once?........no?.......Okay!
I will be watching this season but not when they are released. I prefer to binge watch things so I'll be back once I've watch at least 3/4 subbed episodes.
2. T-ara: Final group album release in May and possible disbandment?
MBK CEO says 'nope!' and gives vague reasoning. As expected. But would you look at that......turns out it's true! Well, there goes all my 2nd gen groups...the ones who brought me into K-Pop. Sigh!!
3. Dal Shabet's Subin's solo music: PRECIOUS GEM!!
I am a huge fan of Dal Shabet especially with their later releases. It's such a shame the group has never gotten a firm hold in the industry. But that hasn't stopped Subin from doing what she's good at...and that is singing and producing music. Her works are hidden gems. I do warn that if you are not interested in quirky, indie, slower or slower pop mood type songs then her releases won't be your cup of tea. However, if they are definitely give her songs a listen. My first song by her was 'Flower' and I was smitten. I then binged listened to whatever was available on Spotify. Then proceeded to YouTube and found the MVs for some of releases e.g. Strawberry (beautifully shot).
Just 3 this month.
See you next month! (Well, since this is late, so it'll be this weekend but you get it....right?)
Friday, April 14, 2017
- APRIL - April Story
- WJSN - "I Wish" (너에게 닿기를) 'From WJSN'
I really like the planetary themed concept they have going and I have liked every title track release except Momomo. "I Wish" is simple and sweet. Surprisingly I thought I wouldn't care about this group's releases as I only really know Exy and Yeonjung but with every release it's like they are luring me back to them. Sadly for me it's slowly but surely working. The song is simple and to the point, a sweet girly song with nothing extra. I like that. Going for something that simple and sweet is nothing bad. Hopefully they'll continue on this upward path because they have a nice concept that I hope starship utilizes properly.
- [CHINESE] Meng Jia - Single - 'Who's That Girl'
- CLC - Mini Album - "Hobgoblin" from 'CRYSTYLE'
CLC,CLC,CLC.......Cube.....what the hell are you doing?!?! WHY ARE YOU MAKING THEM INTO 4MINUTE 2.0?!?!? JUST WHY?!?!? It's not that the song is bad or anything but it's literally giving them a song that COULD'VE/WOULD'VE/ MOST LIKELY was a song designed with 4Minute in mind. I really wish Cube would've have stuck with their 'Pepe' image because that had a really nice and quirky sound that wasn't prevalent in the K-Pop scene when they debuted.
- I.O.I - Final Single - 'Downpour'
- 2NE1 - Final Single - 'GOOD BYE'
- Red Velvet - Mini Album - "Rookie"
The title track, "Rookie", is one that took me for a surprise roller coaster ride and I didn't know how to feel. The "Lookie Lookie" (obviously Rookie Rookie) sound irritated me at first but on my 2nd listen I was hooked. I have not stopped playing this track (and album) since it came out. It's another defining track for the combination of the 'Red' and 'Velvet' concept that worked for them with "Russian Roulette" and it's another plus in my bias group book. The production on this album shows how to utilize the vocals of the RV members and showcase in such a fun and captivating way. Looking forward to what else they come up with.
Song 4.5/5; MV 3.9/5.
- Wonder Girls - FINAL SINGLE - "Draw Me"
Well, an era has come to an end. After 10 years in the industry, with a few member changes, the Wonder Girls have officially disbanded. Honestly, it's not a surprise but with their last comeback that was winning awards and such I had some hope that things could've worked out. In the end, it didn't. However, it was a beautiful way to go out. They literally won 'Best Pop Song' at the 2017 Korean Music Awards for "Why so Lonely" and it's one of the best gifts they could've gotten to finalize their end as one of the greatest girl groups in K-Pop history. "Draw Me" is a simple and sweet goodbye to fans. Nothing more and nothing less. No video (which sucks) but song gets a 4/5 from me as it was pleasant enough to listen to it brought nothing new to the table of "solemn disbanding group" songs nor do I think I'll listen to it frequently (not up for 24/7 emotional distress!).
- BTS - Full Length Album - "WINGS: You Never Walk Alone"
Two of my best friends are avid fans of BTS and have been trying to convert me. It has yet to work but with each new release BTS has, I feel like that 'that day' is fast approaching. I listened to 'Spring Day' on Spotify before I watched the MV and I fell in love. The vocals, the harmonies, the instrumental, just everything about it I loved. It's a song I can see myself replaying for the foreseeable future. Same thing with 'Not Today'. Listened to the song on Spotify first then watched the MV at a later date. This song is a jam! It's hard and powerful! It makes you just want to get up and move. Not much for a MV as it's mostly their choreography (which is FIRE!!) but BTS never disappoints and this reissue of WINGS definitely shows that along with their musical growth.
- TWICE - Special Album - TWICEcoaster: LANE 2, "Knock Knock"
Song 4/5; Video: 4/5
- Lovelyz - 'WoW' from Full Length Album - "R U Ready"
Song:3.7/5; MV: 4/5 (quirky and fun especially the mini versions of themselves. So cute!)
- gugudan - A Girl Like Me from Mini Album "Act 2: Narcissus"
Song:4/5; MV: 3.7/5
This is a new segment I'm trying to do but I think I bit off more than I could chew as this is coming out 3 to 4 months late. I'm still tweaking it and hopefully by the middle of the year I can have a definite format down and a proper schedule.
Let me know your thoughts if you wanna let me know and till next time.
Take care and God bless!