Thursday, August 11, 2011

My descent into the fandom

Back in 2003, after years of only patronizing telenovelas coming from South America, the Philippines opened its doors to Asian dramas. ABS-CBN, a major tv network, decided to buy rights to air Meteor Garden in the country. Despite it being placed in an afternoon time slot, its ratings were so high, everyone talked about it. Needless to say, Meteor Garden became a huge hit – it became a phenomenon. It also opened my eyes to Asian dramas in general.
I watched any Asian drama that I can get my hands on. Be it Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean or Japanese. I have a special love for Japanese dramas because not only it reminds me of animes (which are a long time obsession of mine) but because they are shorter and always a lot funnier.
One day, I decided to watch Gokusen. I like the premise of the series. A young woman coming from a Yakuza family becomes a teacher of the most notorious and rebellious students of a private school. And then I saw Sawada Shin and I was a goner. He’s the hottest and coolest guy I’ve ever seen and all I can think of is how can I make this person my husband. I’d like to dedicate my whole life to him. But then Gokusen 1 ended and I was majorly disappointed that Gokusen II didn’t have him as one of the casts.
If I can’t get more of Sawada Shin then I’ll get more of the actor who played him. I’ve found Kimi wa Petto and although he doesn’t look like the Sawada Shin I knew, I was taken in by him nonetheless. Momo is the cutest ever. I’d like to have him as a pet too.
After watching Kimi wa Petto, I was even more determined to know all aboutMatsumoto Jun. I learned he is a part of this group called, Arashi, but I didn’t pay too much attention to that. More than anything, I just wanted another drama of him.
And then, voila! I heard the news that he will be playing Doumyoji Tsukasa in the Japanese live action adaptation of Hana Yori Dango. I am a huge fan of the Hana Yori Dango franchise, I’ve started with Meteor Garden then the anime then the manga itself. So just imagine my surprise at that news. My fandom is colliding(And that is like a dream come true for any fan).
As soon as it was available online, I ordered a DVD of the series. I enjoyed and loved it so much. I didn’t expect Matsujun to act like that, he was so good! He was amazing! Sawada Shin will be just my lover, Momo will still be my pet and Tsukasa will now become my husband. Haha.
While I was watching the series, I was taken in by the theme song. I was like, “wow, this is pretty cool. I need to have an MP3 of this song.” So I researched for it and found out that it was “Wish” and it was sung by Matsujun’s group, “Arashi.”
I downloaded the promotional video and it was so cute. So Christmas-y however, I couldn’t decipher very much the other members. Not only I was focusing on Jun too much, the PV was a bit blurred too. Then I proceed on looking for their other videos and stumbled upon their very first video, A-RA-SHI. They were young, vibrant and I really like the song. Next up, I found Jun’s solo in their 2004 concert, “La Familia.” This video did it for me. This is Jun’s best performance not to mention, best song that (as I found out later) he wrote himself. The other members showed up near the end of his performance and he pointed at them while singing the line “my friends…” I find that really sweet and when I look at the other members, I realized that they’re cute too.
I started listening to their songs, started to get to know the members, memorize the lyrics of their songs. I even spent 2 days listening to one song and getting their voices ingrained to my brain. So that when I listen, I will know who sang this line and that line. I watch their variety programs and was forever trapped in the fandom.
The rest is, as what they say, history. Arashi sank their claws into me and I’ve never been more glad and proud and happy to get to know such an amazing group. Because of them, I also got to meet a lot of people. Strangers who eventually became real life friends.
I may never get to meet them in real life but their influence on me was so great, I’ll carry it for the rest of my life.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

Have I told you how much I LOVE Veronica Mars???
Not yet?
Oh well, now you know.
Okay, seriously, I was thinking of writing a sort-of review for this show but Im having a hard time doing so. First, it’s because I am so damn late in the game that, what is there I can say that hasn’t been said already by the others? You see, Veronica Mars ran for 3 seasons from 2004-2007.  That’s more than 4 years ago already! Actually, I knew about Veronica Mars way before. I know it was shown in the local cable channel here in my country. I distinctively remember catching a scene from the show that got me really interested but since school life was hectic then (and I was following Charmed and Smallville), I wasn’t able to pick the show up.
Fast forward to 4 years later and I just finished watching the 3rd season DVD ofPsych (which I also really love, by the way) and find myself looking for another show to watch. I have lots of DVDs waiting to be watched (American, Japanese, Chinese and Korean series) but since I just finished Psych which has a detective theme on it, I was craving for some more detective stuff (or sorta kinda like it). I watched the first episode of The Mentalist (heard so much about it – how it has some similarities with Psych, etc.), but the pilot didn’t grip me the way Psych’s first episode did so I dropped it – for now. Of course, I will give it another go some other time.
Then I remembered Veronica Mars. So there I went, bought all DVDs, curled up in my bed one night and started watching.
The pilot episode blew me away. I would love to tell you why and how it did but I think this guy, Dan, had explained it better when he called it the “Greatest Pilot Ever.”
So being just recently watched Veronica Mars is my first reason. The second one and definitely the bigger reason why I’m having a hard time writing a review about it, is because I can NEVER give this show justice – no matter how much I want to. I want to write a review that will make the reader see what an amazing show Veronica Mars is but I’m no where near good enough to be able to pull that off. So yeah, I don’t know if I’ll write a review – maybe not, but I will definitely talk about it (more like gush about it, I think).
You know, there is a reason why this show is critically acclaimed, why LA WeeklyChicago Sun TimesThe PhoenixThe Village VoiceTimeThe Seattle and others gave positive reviews about it.
There’s also a reason why Joss Whedon (screenwriter, director, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator) called it the “Best.Show.Ever,” and saying that “These guys know what they’re doing on a level that intimidates me. It’s the Harry Potter of shows.”; why Kevin Smith (screenwriter, film producer, director) loved it and wrote about it on his blog saying that Veronica Mars is “hands-down, the best show on television right now, and proof that TV can be far better than cinema.“; why Stephen King (multi-awarded author) went asking on his EW articlewhy is Veronica Mars so good? It bears little resemblance to life as I know it, but I can’t take my eyes off the damn thing.
As much as I would love to enumerate the reasons why, I’d like it better if you just watch the series. I read one reviewer said, “If you’ve never watched Veronica Mars, then you are missing out on a very important part of television history.” And I agree with her (or him, I don’t exactly know).
And since good television is hard to come by these days, just do yourself a favor and try watching season 1.

As a bonus, I’m embedding this awesome tribute video for Veronica Mars that was recently posted on Youtube. It’s EPIC.

*pics from Google

Friday, April 1, 2011

This entry is all about Logan (and LoVe, of course)

He is his school’s “obligatory psychotic jackass.” Yes, he can be a good friend but once you crossed over his bad side, be warned, for he will torment you every single day. He’s a freakin’ asshole that he will not think twice of swinging a crowbar and bashing your headlights. Yeah, he is like that.
“And let’s not forget Logan Echolls.
Every school has an obligatory psychotic jackass.
He’s ours.”

But what exactly drives this person to be this kind of jackass? People may think he is living a privileged life but if you look closely, this seemingly perfect life is full of cracks – cracks so huge that it can crash anybody’s world. His girlfriend died. His mother jumped off a bridge and took her own life. His long abusive father is an adulterer and a murderer. Now, he is Logan, a tormented and tortured soul. Yes, he is damaged, but is he damaged beyond repair? Is he an un-reformable bad boy?

“And then, there’s bachelor number three. He’s got it all. Motive. Access.
Looks like an evil-doer, smells like an evil-doer.
But surprisingly, not so much.”

In his crazy life, he met Veronica – the person he loves the most. He was his girlfriend’s best friend and he was her boyfriend’s best friend. They were The Fab Four. But Lilly’s death changed everything. He started to hate her but, he cannot hate her forever and ended up falling in love with her.
But life is not always colorful in LoVe-Land for these two star-crossed lovers are so opposite that they clash most of the time. You just can’t combine Logan’s learned hedonism with Veronica’s unrealistic expectations and trust issues.
“And you know what? I’m not built to stand on the sidelines. And I think we have a choice.
I think we can take a tough, but survivable amount of pain now…or stay together and deal with unbearable pain later. So I vote for the pain now.
But I’m always here… if you need anything.
But you never need anything.”

They get together and have a few months of contentment but once the veil is lifted, reality smacks them hard in the face and they break up. Too jaded for each other, too broken for anyone else. Can’t trust each other, can’t love anyone else, can’t be alone. How can you even begin to describe a relationship like this? I have no idea.

But one thing’s for sure , their relationship is EPIC.

Logan: I thought our story was epic, you know, you and me.
Veronica: Epic how?
Logan: Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. Epic.
Veronica: Come on. Ruined lives? Bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?
Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.

A shout-out to the adorable, charming, gorgeous and talented Jason Dohring – the person who brought us Logan Echolls and the person who made “psychotic jackass” looked so appealing.

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