About

Asian Culture enthusiast, J-Entertainment enthusiast, Korean Pop Music Enthusiast, South Asian Film Enthusiast.

All of the above is just me trying to find a way to say that I like East Asian Entertainment and have a guilty pleasure for bollywood movies in a manner that is much more sophisticated than I actually am.

I started this blog because I realised that I have a lot of thoughts, most of them useless and trivial, but some of them are useless and trivial and require their own post. Just kidding. But there’s definitely something validating about having your own space for those not-really-private but still sort-of-personal stuff. I use the word “like” a lot in real life too, so I find that people just tend to take me more seriously when I type things.

In the real world, I’m currently an undergraduate engineering student whose greatest writing achievements include receiving the highest Band result in HSC English back in High School, and the one time I wrote this article for a local newspaper on feminism and proceeded to get a lot of angry messages directed at me on Facebook.

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Also followed you here from seoubeats. I’m sure you don’t know who I am, since I almost never post. Reader, not writer ^_^ But I’ve been hoping to get an objective opinion about something for a long time (well ok, a few weeks, but that’s a long time for me) and none of my friends follow k-pop. Actually, some of them probably don’t know what that is. They’re mostly Lady Gaga fans. And I really don’t want to ask any elfs since most of them are still in denial mode. “Oppas will go do their duty to their country and reunite after 8 years and we elfs will be waiting for them forever and ever!” Never mind that they’ll average 35? 34? 36? by then and who really wants to see a 35 year old idol group? … got sidetracked sorry. So what I was wondering about is, where do you see the individual members going after this? And by that I mostly mean KRYSD. Heechul, Leetuk, Shingdong, Eunhyuk will be in variety shows, Siwon acting, and I’ve mostly forgotten about Kangin and Kibum, but the most vocally talented members of the group also seem to be the least in the spotlight. Do you think SM will keep KRY together as a unit even after SuJu splits up? How about Sungmin? He’s practically invisible except when together with the other members promoting. Will there be a place for him in the entertainment industry after the split? Not so worried about Donghae: with his face he’ll have a role for a while. In case you can’t tell, my bias list is Yesung > Kyuhyun/Ryeowook > Donghae/Sungmin > rest of SuJu, so I’ve worried for a while that many of them will fade from the scene. and that would make me VERY sad.

    Oh, and since I’m actually in writing mode today, and since I really did read your blogs (the ones that are of groups I’m interested in) I thought I’d comment on some things here and make a REALLY long post instead of lots of small ones. Firstly, Ryeowook. I agree with you about his voice. My preference is also for the tenors, and his is amazing. Don’t ask me about Yesung – he’s an anomaly. I mostly listened to chinese pop music (c-pop? is there such a term?) before discovering k-pop, and Terry Lin and Yang Pei An were my favorites then. Especially Yang Pei An’s voice. That pure, clear, bell-like tone is what sells an artist to me. I think my main problem with baritones and basses is that even at the climax of the songs, it really doesn’t FEEL like a climax, because, well, they’re still singing really low. So you’re not alone in your preference. Just wanted to point that out. And I think Sungmin would be higher on my list because his voice shares some of those qualities, except for the fact that he really does sound like a chipmunk with autotune. It has a weird mechanical whine to it that makes it a bit unpleasant to my ears. Only with autotune! but considering how autotuned their songs are, that qualifier actually matters a lot.

    I had more to say (about A-Cha and Perfection and U-Kiss! surprise!) but I just looked at my screen and realized I’ve already written you a small essay. So I’ll stop now. I’m NOT expecting a reply as long as this. But your thoughts on my question would be awsome if you have the time. :)

    • Hey there! Haha, I actually do remember you ;D Not really from my article comments, but you wrote that comment about Zhou Mi and how narrow minded Chinese ELF are which I liked. You should comment more, we love deep comments! And you look like you have a lot to say :)

      And you’re underestimating my type-happy skills — I bet you I’ll probably out-write you with my reply *cracks knuckles*

      That’s a good question, I find it sad that the less talented members are probably going to be the ones that’ll be all up in our faces. But what can you do? *sigh* Anyway, KRYSD’s future from my objective perspective (or as objective as one can be):

      Well, although the notion of Super Junior being together forever is very… cute? It’s obviously not going to happen (they might reunite every five years and release a single or something, who knows?), and I doubt most ELF tweenies will still be into them by the time they’re all back from the military anyway.

      KRY staying together is a possibility — but I don’t think it’ll happen. They might still be a subgroup, and they might release songs together every once in a while. But all three of the KRY boys have spoken about solo careers, and I genuinely do believe they’d be more concentrated on themselves as solo acts than as a group- – and really, who could blame them?

      I think Yesung and Kyuhyun both have a good chance at finding very successful solo careers in the future (especially Kyuhyun, with his recent pimpage and popularity, even in China. And the fact everyone loves his voice). They’ve both established themselves as being some of the most talented singers in the industry, and they’ve both had experience as MCs and in the variety field. So they may still be lurking around shows or such to promote their work, they might even get MC-ing gigs. And to be honest, there are times I feel like SM is setting them up (particularly Kyuhyun) for a solo career. As in, they’re giving them enough momentum before pushing them off the nest so they can fly.

      Ryeowook… If he works hard enough, I feel that he too, could find a solo career. But I don’t think he’ll find success easy to the same extent as Yesung and Kyuhyun. One thing is, his voice is either love it, or hate it. And from what I’ve seen, most people don’t like it. Though I’ve heard in Korea they really dig voices like Ryeowook’s (meesung voices, or sweet voices), so who knows. Aside from that, there’s the fact Ryeowook is rather timid on shows. I know he’s some sort of wild beast inside, but on variety he’s very reserved. And although the consensus is that he’s a great singer, he doesn’t have the same establishment that Kyu or Yesung have. I mean, how often do you see Ryeowook in ‘top 10 singers’ polls? That could be a hindrance to kick-starting his career– his general shyness and lack of experience in the variety field. SM themselves don’t really seem to be doing much to expose him to the public either. Which is sad, since he’s my favourite vocalist. ):

      Sungmin… hmm. I like his voice (when he sings how I want him to sing), and think he’s good singer, but not so amazing/great/fantastic that it’ll render him a successful solo career. And he’s a wallflower on shows anyway, so, meh. I don’t really think he’ll be in the entertainment industry, at least not the mainstream one. He’s an educated man, so he could probably take over his Dad’s business or something. Although — I think Sungmin does want a long-term future involving music — which is why, as you probably know, he’s been trying really hard and investing a lot of his time into musicals. And he’s said himself it’s something he wants to do as a career and not as a short stint. So, he may not be able to rely on it completely, but I think he does have a future as a musical actor if he keeps on trying. His recent nomination as ‘Best Male Rookie’ at the Korean Musical Awards, although he didn’t win, did give me some hope he MAY be able to find a place in the musical industry based on things other than star power. He is talented, and I do think he can go places if he puts his mind to it (like with everything he does).

      Ironically, Donghae is the member of SJ who to me, has a big fat question mark concerning his post Super Junior career. Yeah, he’s VERY good looking, but unlike Siwon, he’s not that well-known amongst the mainstream public. And, honestly, I LOVE his voice, and urm, even though he’s not an amazing singer like KRY (I don’t even think he’s as good as Sungmin), I do feel like he could have a solo career simply due to the timber of his voice, as well as his charisma. Like, he has a lot of showmanship/stage presence, very good looking, and he sings RnB very well. He could have probably had a very Taeyang-ish solo career. BUT, as well all know, there’s the issue about his terrible, terrible live singing. And although he doesn’t get too much flack now, I have a feeling that if he went solo, the netizens would go at his throat. And he doesn’t seem to be working towards that kind of solo career anyway, so, who knows. Other than that, he seems to really like acting a lot. So he could possibly find a career in acting if he works hard enough :) Or you know, he could settle down and be a father, like he’s always said he wanted to do.

      And aah, we have similar biases ;P Mine are Yesung/Sungmin > Ryeowook > Donghae. But don’t worry! I’m pretty certain Super Junior won’t be the last you see of KRY for sure! And if Sungmin/Donghae do choose to pursue entertainment orientated careers then, although Sungmin may not be in the limelight, there’ll always be fan cams of him doing musicals. And who knows, your favourite drama may even star Donghae one day!

    • (cont…)

      I haven’t heard of any of those artists (and yes, the term is C-Pop), but I youtubed Yang Pei An, and I can definitely say that he has a beautiful voice — totally my type. Like, completely on the dot! It’s not as high or cold as Ryeowook, but you’re definitely right about the bell-like voice quality (which by the way, is a killer way to describe it). I’m so glad someone else understands my preference!! Haha. I just feel like tenors like Yang Pei An and Ryeowook are so much more… striking. Like they really hit you hard. Don’t get me wrong, Yesung and Kyuhyun are great singers, and they both have nice voices. But they just don’t stick out to me the way Ryeowook’s does.

      I don’t think Sungmin’s timbre is THAT similar to Ryeowook’s, but they are similar in the sense they both lean towards the higher end of the tenor spectrum. I actually like both their voices for different reasons, I don’t love Sungmin’s anywhere near as much as I love Ryeowook’s, but I still do like his voice for the gentle/grainy colour it has. Very distinct.

      Of course, that’s why I always add (when he sings how I want him to sing) whenever I talk about how I like Sungmin’s voice. Because you really can not forego the fact autotune makes him sound disgusting, because yeah, almost all of SJ’s recent title songs are auto tuned. I could handle it on Sorry Sorry, because the pre-chorus itself had a nice melody. And I could handle it on Bonamana, because once again, pre-chorus. But when he sings the verses of Mr. Simple/A-Cha, and some of the other songs on 5jib, I pretty much face palm. I think because his voice is grainy, it just turns out really painful and whiny auto tuned. >.o

      And, haha, write away. And feel free to ask me any questions you like! :) I enjoy answering them! And I told you so– I completely out-typed you ;P

  2. Thanks for replying :) It’s nice to hear what someone else’s views are. It’s odd how I somehow know no other k-pop fans even though I live in Toronto. For a minute there I was actually tempted to copy and past our posts into word just to see which is longer… then I remembered that word isn’t working for me right now. oh well. (Just looked again. I must conceed first place in the longest piece of writing competition to you ^_^)

    So, it’s true that I do have a lot to say. Mostly, I say it to myself in my head. I don’t particularly enjoy rabid fans jumping down my throat if I make the slightest criticism, and I think we all agree that k-pop fans are some of the most irrational ones out there.

    Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one to notice how SM seems to be really promoting Kyuhyun. It makes sense from a business sense. He’s already very popular (not sure about Korea or Japan but from what I can tell on Chinese and Taiwanese forums he’s one of their favorites) and he has the talent. And on screen in interviews and shows, he comes off as friendly and engaging, with just the right amount of humor mixed in to actually be interesting to watch.

    Really hope you’re right about Yesung though. It might be because he always mentions how he’s the least popular in Super Junior, but I really wasn’t sure if his fan base is strong enough to propel him towards a solo career. He has the voice for it, but does he have the fan support? And just a random aside, but have you noticed that in the Mr. Simple promotions, he’s always standing beside Leetuk? He’s going to be the oldest after Leetuk also enters the army, so it almost feels like SM is getting him ready to be the spokesman of the group once Leetuk is gone. Have I gone crazy? Am I reading too much into what could possibly be just random placement? I do hope it happens though. He will get much more exposure this way.

    Ryeowook really is very silent on shows, but I often think that’s because he’s essentially confined by the rest of the group. With the 3 Musketeers around, who else really gets a chance to talk? He did pretty well at least in that episode of Strong Heart. He definitely got more screen time than Sungmin for example. Although I’m not sure if it’s the kind of screen time he really should be aiming for… The only thing is, I don’t know if he has the confidence to pull off a performace like that if he wasn’t surrounded by the rest of SuJu. I somehow feel that if he was promoting as a solo artist, he might sit in one corner and only open his mouth when he is called upon to say something about the album he’s promoting. And you’re right about not seeing him in the top 10 singer lists. I feel like that’s one of the cases when it’s too bad 3 such great singers are in the same group. The problem is, if I was making a list like that, there’s no way I would put 3 people from the same group in. 3/10? Fans of all other groups will flip, especially considering how subjective those things are. Unfortunately, it’s all too likely to be Ryeowook who is removed in order to promote some semblance of fairness, just because he’s not as well known. I really think what SM needs to do is get him on a few episodes of Immortal Song 2. and then he really needs to win. Yeah, the pressure for him will be tremendous since both Yesung and Kyuhyun have already won. But he at least stands a fair chance, and it would be a very good way to prove to people who don’t knokw him that he deserves to be ranked together with the other two.

    Now, I do also remember Sungmin saying on shows that he is very interested in musicals and would like to pursue it further if he has the opportunity. And you’re right that there will be fancams, etc. if that’s the path he chooses to take. It wouldn’t be quite the same as seeing professionally shot live performances on shows though. And there’d also be very few opportunities to hear him talk. I know you almost never hear him NOW, but at least we’ve heard enough to learn a few things. Like… he likes the taste of alcohol?

    When I mentioned Donghae’s looks, it was actually acting that I was thinking about. Acting skills can be learned, experience can be gained, but you either look hot on screen or you don’t. Yes, there’s plastic surgery, but that’s not really an option for already established entertainers – at least not anything major. or unless your name is Shingdong apparently. And I really don’t reel like he has the same passion for singing that the others do. Yes, I think he wants to be good at it and is still working to improve, but it doesn’t seem to drive him the way it drives the others. For example. All the SJM members performed solos in one of the shows they appeared on in Taiwan. Ryeowook, Kyuhyun, Sungmin sang. Donghae danced. Now, it could just be so there isn’t an overabundance of singing performances, but… Who knows, maybe the Taiwanese drama he and Siwon starred in will jump start his acting career. If it becomes popular enough in Asia he may receive other opportunities.

    I was really curious to see what clips you would’ve come up with if you tried to youtube Yang Pei An so I did it myself. I’m chinese so I’ve actually never tried the english terms before. If you were curious enough to look up more you can always try 楊培安 which will mostly like bring up more results. I’m glad we’re in complete agreement though :) They have the kind of voice that you can instantly pick out even if they were singing with a chorus. To me, it’s almost like the vocal equivalent of being struck by a hammer. It really catches my attention. Doesn’t hurt at all by the way lol. I even agree with you about Yesung and Kyuhyun’s voices except for the fact that I actually really like Yesung’s voice for some inexplicable reason. Normally I do not enjoy the hoarse, raspy tones, but his tone alone adds so much to a song… if he’s singing a tragedy. The problem is, the very uniqueness that makes Ryeowook and Yesung so distinctive is what makes them less versatile than Kyuhyun. Yesung will never be able to sing a bouncy, airy song full of happiness convincingly, and I don’t think Ryeowook would be very successful at The More I Love You. Still, their voices stick in my head. Kyuhyun is powerful and has range and technique, but… if I didn’t kinow it was him I’m listening to I’m not sure I’d be able to identify who’s singing.

    Sungmin… my first thought when I heard his solo part in Mr. Simple was “Damn, that guy sounds really congested”. Second thought: “OMG it’s Sungmin with autotune. *whimper*” WHY does SM do this to him?

    Since my goal today is to out-write you… I actually enjoy A-Cha a lot. The song, not the MV. I thought the flashing lights in the background was going to give me a seizure. And the weird magic things they were doing… the members have given lots of explanations on what A-Cha could mean but I’m pretty sure none of that was magic related. And what’s with that shaking special effect you get periodically through the whole MV? If it wasn’t for the fact I know SM can affort to redo a bad shot I would’ve thought there was something wrong with the camera. I guess the difference for the two of us is that I don’t try to listen to the music too deeply or try to analyze it. (kinda sad considering I took enough music theory to get me my grade 10 RCM certificate) If it has a melody and a rhythm that I find enjoyable, then I like it. And A-Cha has both. Plus, it’s loud and fast paced enough to keep me from falling asleep when I’m driving long distances :)

    Longer than you this time? ^_^ Oh and if you want me to stop bothering you just let me know– not too harshly though haha– and I’ll stop.

    • AAAH! I wrote the longest comment in reply to this and I lost it!! Don’t worry, I will reply to you! It just needs to wait until after my English assignment. But for now, I don’t mind your long comments at all, in fact, I enjoy them! You aren’t bothering me.

      So yeah, watch this space!

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