Every time I see articles about young Asian actors leaving behind their “flower boy” roles for more “manly” characters, I feel some kind of way. Such articles act like attractiveness and masculinity cannot go hand it hand. They might if their authors were watching what I watch.
That moment when you realize that the guy you liked in that J-drama you flew through is the guy you like in that K-drama you are nowhere near finishing. I really liked Masaharu Fukuyama in Galileo: his lack of a sense of humor, his crazy hobbies, his quirky way of solving crimes. I don’t know physics professors who roll like that, tho. I kinda thought I had seen him in something else, but couldn’t remember. Then, it hit me! He is in Ryomaden! I guess it’s time to dust off the samurai sword!
Despite the regular insistence that it is disposable and only for teenagers, K-pop has managed to have several groups and artists attain veteran status. Over time, these artists develop their image and sound in ways that also embrace their beginnings.
Dramatic music. Shadowy settings. Mysterious villains. This can only mean one thing: a moody K-drama! I love my romantic comedies, sageuks and melodramas, but I have a special place in my heart for the police story, especially the “special task force,” the detectives-not-detectives, the “we don’t exist” teams found in K-dramas. More importantly, I love their dramatic, moody male leads.
There is no reason why anyone should get this worked up over an anime volleyball tournament!
While they may have been “Flightless Crows,” the Karasuno volleyball team are now owning that court. Who knew there could be so much trash talk in volleyball? It’s amazing that these guys can even be on a team, given their radically different personalities and their sketchy coach. Yet, they are steadily making progress through the tournament. Fly, Karasuno!
It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for. In World Trigger, HQ Director Shinoda Masafumi is a Border executive who comes off as the voice of reason when Director Kido looks like he’s going off the deep end. You barely remember he’s there. Sure, at the beginning, we hear whispers of Shinoda being the most powerful Agent with a normal trigger, but you’re not really paying attention to that. That is, until the Second Neighbor Invasion and it’s all hands on deck. Then you remember that he trained Kei Tachikawa, the best swordsman in Border. Then you see why he earned the nickname “Tiger of Border.” Shinoda isn’t just a good warrior, he’s a smart one. Battle on, Shinoda!
We all watch K-dramas to see the actors we like, but if you’ve watched enough K-dramas, you may have noticed that certain actors frequently show up in strong supporting roles. As a result, some actors gain a reputation for playing good guys, and others gain a reputation for portraying punks. Here are some of my favorite K-drama actors who play characters to love and loathe!
And not in a good way. Dude, we GET IT! You are carrying a grudge because someone killed your girlfriend. I like how at the beginning we are reminded that this is a fictional work. Of course it is, because no one could be as angsty as Cha Gun Woo (Kim Bum) in real life! He’s more upset than the girlfriend’s brother. And this stunt in Episode 9? That would get you more than kicked off the team. And here I was just about to forgive you for that unflattering haircut and straggly facial hair!
Friendship and teamwork is epic in the anime World Trigger! It shows that even when aliens are attacking your city, you need friends to have your back.
“Change” is from g.o.d’s 하늘속으로/Into the Sky album.
Listen, I know life is rough as a princess in a K-drama. You’re just trying to dodge all the palace intrigue. Sometimes, you end up on the wrong end of the stick and are forced to leave. But Jungmyung (Lee Yun Hee) needs to pull herself yourself together in Hwajung/Splendid Politics!
Team Leader Jang Moo Won (Park Sung Woong) is holding it down and too cool for school in Hidden Identity. If he told me I could fly a plane or do brain surgery, I would totally believe it. Now, if we could only get Cha Gun Woo (Kim Bum) to smile, it would be all good!
Allow me to elaborate. You see this look? Yes, THIS LOOK!! That look is the epitome of, “whatever.” It doesn’t matter what the situation is. He’s so cool about it! Pressure from the higher-ups? Whatever. Team members in danger? Whatever. Staring down some thugs in a junkyard? WHATEVER! Team Leader Jang can handle it!
He also believes in his team members. He trusts that they are handling things. In return, they trust Team Leader Jang, even when it doesn’t look too good for him. Teamwork!
The only thing better than going into a battle for all that is good and right is having your significant other with you. Time for my favorite battle couples!
As we all know, dance is a central part of K-pop. I’ve written about choreography in K-pop in Dancing in the Street: Choreography in K-pop before. I’ve also created an exhibit in my K-pop history project, Hallyu Harmony, on choreography and the large K-pop group. Here’s a peek!
While the choreography is often a crucial part of the official music video, the dance versions and practice dance videos keep the focus on dance by stripping down, often eliminating distractions such as props and dynamic lighting. Super Junior’s “Devil” and APeace’s “Loverboy” are shot against stark, white backgrounds. . . .
To read more, go to Star Array: Dance and the Large K-pop Group!
Ever so often, I like to share what’s on heavy rotation on my iPod. It isn’t always the newest thing, or the most popular thing, but for some reason this is the stuff that I’m grooving to. It’s just what I like, and some info about it. Maybe you might like it too. Today, it’s “Rally Go Round” by Lisa.
What I’m Listening To
Why I Like It
This song fits the frenetic pace of the anime Nisekoi! One boy, several girls and a mysterious locket.
Ever so often, I like to share what’s on heavy rotation on my iPod. It isn’t always the newest thing, or the most popular thing, but for some reason this is the stuff that I’m grooving to. I make no distinction between idol and non-idol K-pop, popular and obscure, mainstream and indie. It’s just what I like, and some info about it. Maybe you might like it too. Today, it’s “결혼하지마 [Don’t Marry]” by Fly to the Sky.
What I’m Listening To
Who Does It
Fly to the Sky is a veteran K-pop duo. While the group began as an idol group which played on the good looks of its members, it developed into a group that showcased the talented vocals of Hwanhee and Brian Joo. This track comes from the duo’s 2007 album, No Limitations.
Why I Like It
This song is Exhibit A for why a lot of fans like K-pop: the music. Without even knowing the lyrics, and even the title, the emotional energy of the vocals is clear, and complemented by the sparse instrumentation.