Monthly Archives: October 2011
Hey guys. Today is another edition of Asian Watcher. I’m sorry if you will now start to see the depths of what I know about Asia, but I pretty much have no idea what to feature but what I see online. SNSD’s (a.k.a. So Nyeu Shi Dae or Girl’s Generation) The Boys just launched and so I decided to do a review. I am not a big fan of Girl’s Generation, but it has been a while since they launched a song out. Besides, I loved the video teasers that I watched yesterday. It took a step away from the aegyo (cute) image that Girl’s Generation usually had.
The Boys is the title track of SNSD’s Third Album. Now, if I’m not mistaken, they released a Korean Version and an English version. I did not want to watch the English version today because it might totally ruin the perspective I have of the Korean version. SNSD is not exactly the best English speakers out there. More so, their management company SM Entertainment has a reputation for ruining the English language of their artists. For instance, just check out Super Junior‘s Mr. Simple. The opening line was, “Because I naughty, naughty”. See? Totally did not make sense.
I love the album cover! It’s so extreme! I love extreme which is probably the reason why I love Narsha of Brown Eyed Girls in Bbi Ri Bba Bba.
Anyhow, the album cover and the teaser photos did a much better job the Super Junior’s Mr. Simple photo teasers. One reason is that the cover, photo teasers and video had a connection. Thematically, I think Girl’s Generation is speaking women empowerment, which was portrayed well in the video. Here’s the vid.
The Good Points
I totally am in-love with the dance. It’s not a dance one would easily remember, but it’s something that suits the girls very much. They have also improved in terms of singing.
Their sense of style is also a lot better than Super Junior. Don’t hate me okay, because I love Super Junior a lot too, but when I saw how they looked, I wanted to search their stylist and torture him/her to death. Anyways, I am loving orange top that Sooyoung has on and Seohyun’s purple lace dress. I love lace!
I also loved the make-up of the girls! I think I might even attempt (READ HERE: ATTEMPT) to recreate some of their looks. Koreans are generally good-skinned people, and the Korean beauty of all nine girls shone through the video. Here is a complete screenshot of their glamorous looks. This is all glittery and sparkly and totally cool.
For those of you who do not know this group, let me break it down for you really quick. Top left is Jessica. She’s my all-time favorite member because she’ sweet and her voice is so angelic. To her right is Taeyeon. She’s the leader and pretty much the power voice of the group. Second row left is Tiffany. I have a girl crush on this gal’s eye-smile. Next to her is Sunny, who is very childish and cute, and who seems to have transformed to a short-haired gal in this video. Love the hair! Third row left is Seohyun. She’s the youngest. She’s innocent and charming. Next to her is Hyoyeon. This girl can dance her butt of all day and she’s still going to amaze you. Fourth row left is Sooyoung. I think she’s very pretty, don’t you think. She’s also a great dancer. I have a girl-crush on this gal too. Next to her is Yoona. Yoona is dorky and fun and she’s really pretty popular among the boys because she’s pretty. Last but not least is Yuri. Yuri’s body is voluptuous. She’s totally my favorite in this video.
Here are my ultimate favorite shots favorite shots.
Order in picture Top-Bottom, Left-Right (Jessica, Yuri, Sooyoung, Taeyeon, Yoona, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Seohyun)
Points I think can be improved
The video was not something I would’ve fallen in love with the first time I saw it, but like Mr. Simple, it kind of grows on me. The video did not have a story though, which I look for in most videos I watch. A story does not necessarily need to be clear, but it has to be evident. In the video, you will see a bunch of girls dancing around and singing and staring at the camera with all fierceness. If there is a story, I am completely confused. If you want to know what I mean by video with a story, see this review I created about Brown Eyed Girl’s video Sixth Sense here.
When I first saw the video and heard the song along with it, I remembered Super Junior’s Mr. Simple and A-cha.
I don’t know if it’s because they’re from the same entertainment company, but the sound of The Boys was a lot similar to the sound of Super Junior’s songs. Maybe the same composer? I don’t know. Another similar thing is the opening sequence before the song actually starts. All the same with Super Junior, the video does not also have a story.
I also know that some Sones (official fanclub name) might hate me for this, but I think Yoona is overrated. She appears a lot in the video even during the parts that she’s not singing. Yoona is a lot pretty, but when you focus on her a lot in SNSD’s videos, you start to grow tired of her. I saw less of Hyoyeon. She is so underrated. I think she deserves more than two or three shots.
The song is not something that would easily grow on you, but I think given the fact that SNSD is a total performing group with great coordination and perseverance, I think The Boys would be topping the charts for sure.
It’s not the best video, but if I am to decide, this is by far my most favorite video of Girl’s Generation. It’s sexy, it’s edgy, it’s fierce and it’s awesome. I simply love it.
If I were to rate it in the Worried Bunny style, I’d give it 4.5 out of 5 bunnies. :3
Okay, I have some fangirling to do so I leave it to you guys to decide whether you liked the video or not. Please let me know through the comments. You can be as honest as possible. Who knows, SM Entertainment might be reading this and they would start planning how to do a better job. A better job means better songs and videos, and that’s what we want, right?
P.S. Hey guys, guess what? Yuri is my favorite this time. She’s really sexy. I think I have a girl-crush on her. OMO….
© 2011 ieatspciynoodles.wordpress.com * All images belong to rightful owners * Screenshots made by author using snapshot option * Screenshots are from SNSD’s Official The Boys music video.
I recently saw this commercial at the local Asian channel (Red Channel) about a movie. When I looked closely, I saw Kazuki Katou!
If you did not know who Kazuki Katou was, you are just missing one of the most handsome and talented guy in the world! I first encountered him through Dream Live 3. A classmate loves Japanese stuff and when I told her how I loved Prince of Tennis, she gave me Dream Live 3. Dream Live 3 is a live staging of Prince of Tennis. It’s like Prince of Tennis Musical Edition. Now, my favorite character from Prince of Tennis is Atobe, the rich, handsome and full-of-himself Captain of Hyotei Gakuen. It just so happened that Kazuki Katou was playing Atobe!
Although I don’t really like tall, dark and handsome, Kazuki Katou falls under the category. He’s an extremely cool person in real life too. What actually made him really attractive to me is his voice.
This is my favorite song of him. Anyways, enough with the Kazuki Katou thing. For my first Asian Watcher, I will feature Days With You.
Days With You is a Japanese movie. The main character is Natsuki, played by Toda Erika (same girl who played Amane Misa in Death Note) and Sota, played by Kazuki Kato.
The movie was directed by Amiy Mori. Although I don’t really know this person well, I think the direction of the movie was good because I liked the shots a lot and the effects were simple and clean. The movie aired in 20009.
There were actually three characters in focus in the movie. Besides Natsuki and Sota, there’s Daiki, Natsuki’s younger brother who suffers from Autism.
The story started with the three of them young inside a planetarium. Daiki has a really vast knowledge of stars and they try to point out stars in the sky. He has no disorder during this time yet (or maybe he has, but it isn’t prominent yet). Sota is leaving for Canada soon and promises Natsuki that when he comes back, he would marry her. He gives her this plastic toy ring and says that it’s their engagement ring.
After 11 years, Sota returns. Natsuki sort of does not like to talk to him because he stopped sending letters to her a long time. Daiki’s case is severe. Their dad died on Daiki’s birthday, which sort of made him worse. What’s incredible though is his ability to memorize star locations, names and features.
Sota tries to befriend the siblings again, and so he creates a Christmas Party for them. He is now a film major in Tokyo. When things with Natsuki was already going fine, he decides to bring her on a date on her birthday. He does not make it because he is sick with tumor. Natsuki finds out and was devastated.
In the end Sota dies, but Natsuki was able to bring him to a town to watch at the Meteor Shower. He was extremely happy before he died.
The movie is the typical sad love story. What made it special was the stars I think. The connection to the celestial entity can be seen a lot in the movie. The opening was in a planetarium. The ending was in a Planetarium. The good scenes were also in the Planetarium, if not it involves the sky.
It was just a feel good movie. I was a little touched, but I did not cry my eyes out or anything. It was not anything serious that you need to think about it, which I think was good considering that I had to watch it before sleeping.
The acting was good too. Toda Erika and Kazuki Katou are two of the most exceptional actors in Japan, so I expected them both to do good, and they did. Some reviews thought the music was not that good, but I thought it was. Acclaimed singer Thelma Aoyama contributed to the soundtrack. Of course, Kazuki Katou also sang.
It’s not an exceptional movie, but according to sources, this is the director’s first movie. I think she’s in for a great career if it was. The shots were really professional.
If you guys get you hands on this, don’t let it slip you! It’s a good movie to watch!
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Until next review!
Your Asian Watcher,
©2011 ieatspicynoodles.com * All images belong to their rightful owners. I do not own anything except the text.
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For today’s Anything Asian, I feature one of my favorite foods in the world – Ube! I cooked this with my dad today! :3
Ube or Ubeng Halaya as it is also popularly called is a traditional desert of the Filipino family. It is very popular in events and celebrations of the family. Ube is made from Purple Yam (which gives it the natural purple color). For those of you who did not know what Purple Yam is, it is a tuberous root veggie that grows under the soil. It has a brownish outer layer when pulled out of the soil, but when you peel its skin, you get a light to dark purple color. It is widely known to be used in many desserts. Because it is abundant here in the Philippines, we have varieties of uses for it. We have Ube Ice Cream, Ube cake (so heavenly!), Ube tarts, Ube in bread rolls, and many other pastries. The most popular Ube dish is the Ube Halaya, which is taking the Purple Yam and combining it with milk.
Ube is one of the family recipes that we have mastered over the years. My grandfather was quite a popular cook back in his days and this is one of the special treats that he cooks very well. My grandmother also knew how to cook it, and so she passed her knowledge to all her children, including my dad. My dad is a great cook – not nearly as good as my mom, but he is still very good.
Cooking Ube Halaya is not easy. I only tried one time cooking it and my arms hurt for two days after that. This is the reason why my dad always tells me that we should do it together. It can be sort of a father-daughter bonding. For this week’s Anything Asian, I’d like to share with you the family recipe, and tips on how to cook your Ubeng Halaya like a pro.
You will need the following ingredients:
*Purple Yam (Ube)
For the measurements of the ingredients, I honestly don’t know how big a serving size is. All I know is that for every kilogram of purple yam, you must have 250 ml of Evaporated milk and about 400 ml of condensed milk. You also have to have around 1/8 kg of sugar. You can actually do what you want with the taste. Adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
You will need the following tools:
*A big pot
*A large mixing bowl
*A small grater (a cheese grater would be good)
*a large not-very shallow pan
If you are a large sucker for Ubeng Halaya like our family is, you would need big mixing bowls for your desert. We bought 2 kg of Purple Yam. Here’s the cooking instruction:
1. Wash the Purple Yams until they are clean of dirt. Fill a big pot with water and place the Yams inside. They have to be fully submerged. Don’t peel the yam even if you want to. The flavor would be lost in the water.
2. Boil the yam until tender. You may test the tenderness with a fork. If the outer layer is very soft, it is very likely that the yam is cooked inside. It does not matter even if you overcook it since you would be mashing it anyway.
3. Allow the yams to cool for at least 15-20 minutes. When they are not too hot to be touched anymore, you may start peeling them. Peel the outer layer including the roots sticking out. You have to make sure you take out all roots or my dad says when you eat it, you would have a very itchy feeling in your throat.
4. Using a fine grater, grate the yams into a large mixing bowl. The finer the grater you use, the finer the texture of the finished yams would be.
5. Mix in the other ingredients. Mix well. We sometimes add cheese to make the mixture tastier and creamier, but if you don’t want it, that’s fine. If you want more accuracy in mixing, use an electric mixer. Adjust the flavor to how sweet you want it. You have to make it sweeter than what you want it to be because when you heat the mixture again, it will slightly lose its sweetness.
6. Put the mixture in a not very shallow pan. Perhaps something as deep as a wok. Fire it in medium to low heat. Watch your heat because the mixture easily burns.
7. Give it a really good mix every 10 seconds or so. Make sure you are mixing to the depths of the mixture to avoid sticking and burning.WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK.
8. Mix it until it gets to your desired stickiness. My dad and I like it slightly sticky so we gave the ones we cooked today around 45 minutes to an hour.
9. The last step is about putting it on a container. Before you put it on a container, glaze the container with butter to prevent it from sticking. Some Filipinos (especially if the Ube is going to be served in a big Fiesta) put it on banana leaves to prevent sticking. My dad and I used Plain Unsalted Butter, but you can use any butter you want. I just want plain butter so it would not affect the taste of the Ube.
Enjoy your Ube! Some people add Toasted Shaved Coconut on top, but I like it really plain and simple. I hope you guys try this recipe. It’s a really nice recipe from the Philippines. If you ever get to Philippines, try this sweet treat. It’s good to use as a jam too!
Till the next recipe,
© 2011 ieatspicynoodles.wordpress.com Images are not owned by me. Dividers are either from dollicrave.com or cherrybam.com. Other images have citations.