Monday, September 15, 2014


It's that time of the year again. Today, I am celebrating the existence of 5 of my most favorite people in the world. No, it's not that they share birthdays, rather today marks the anniversary of the formation of an amazing friendship and a group who will become so close to my heart.


15 years ago, aboard a cruise ship in Honolulu, Hawaii, these 5 individuals -merely unsuspecting teenagers back then- made their debut and promised to create a storm throughout the world. 2 of them weren't exactly happy about being blindsided into forming a group and were actually thinking of quitting. Thank God they didn't!!! Arashi won't be the Arashi as we know today if even one member is different. 

And what do you know, they're still here 15 years later and still going strong. Only a handful in the idol world has achieved such milestone as being in the business for 15 years. Sure they have their own share of scandals, declining success, low sales but they shouldered on with smiles on their faces and worked even harder. As Sho said, they "took a detour" but absolutely "didn't take any shortcuts" to be where they are now and they're proud of that. 

The stories surrounding the so called "dark years" of Arashi are quite heartbreaking for a fan. I can't even begin to imagine how that must've felt for them. But no matter how difficult it became for them, they didn't quit. They just holed themselves in Riida's room and discussed what they must do for Arashi's future. 

There are also countless of stories out there about Arashi helping people during hard times, curing them from depression and even saving them from suicide. Though thankfully I have never reached that point in my life, I can truly say that Arashi is like a happy pill. Their songs give warm feelings and their shows are like a burst of happiness. I can never watch any of their variety shows without smiling and laughing. It never fails to lift my mood. 

I don't know what is it about these people. They're idols unlike any other in the world. The idol world nowadays is populated with perfect and flawless looking people (with heartfelt thanks to their 'doctors') who sing and dance so alike they all look like robots. But Arashi look like your ordinary people and there are a lot of times when they don't act like idols. These are the people who are so enthusiastic about a lot of things and are willing to wear pantyhose on their heads, nipple shirts and do outrageous stuff like sail a boat totally made of paper (or leaves) across Tokyo Bay or fly on a giant kite. But these stuff are what makes them different and what makes them fun.

However, that's not to say that these guys don't take their job as entertainers seriously coz they sure as hell do. They're very hands on especially during their concerts. Each member participates in planning and has a role in concert production: choreographer, rapper, merchandise designer, songwriter,and concert master. Watching an Arashi concert is a very personal experience because it's really them who makes it. I have never seen one in person but based on their concert DVDs, it must've been overwhelming during live.

But it's a well known fact that what the fans most love about Arashi is how much they love each other. Arashi is very much known because of their bond, their harmony and their extraordinary kinship that is "halfway between best friends and brothers." According to Aiba, "People always say we’re really close, but that’s really the norm. It’s a bond that can neither be called friendship or kinship, but a new genre that can only be called “Arashi.” These people who are totally different from one another and most probably won't even become friends if they're not thrown together by Johnny Kitagawa have reached their 15th year without a single fight between them. It's amazing. During their 12th year, I remember they were asked if it's true that they haven't fought since they were formed, these are what they said:

"Because the five of us all really love Arashi!" - Aiba
"Everyone's considerate and we understand each other." -Jun
"I can't remember any time that out opinions have clashed." -Nino 
"If we ever did fight, we'd probably end up laughing." -Ohno
"It's a result of us respecting and accepting each other." -Sho

As this question has been repeated a lot of times, Sho and Jun also answered this by saying that "there's a gentle, slow-paced atmosphere in the group, probably because of Ohno and Aiba's presence."

Arashi wouldn't be Arashi if even one of them is missing.

So, Arashi - thank you for never giving up, for holding on, for working hard, for being awesome, for being dorks, and most of all, thank you for existing. (Though I guess, I have also Johnny Kitagawa to be thankful for that last bit.)

As usual, I'm ending this post with the words that I've been saying (and writing and tweeting) every time during their anniversary: 

I may not have been with you from the very start but I will be with you forever. No matter what happens. Until the end.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Veronica Mars is going META!!!

It's been announced way back that Veronica Mars will be getting a spin off web-series. It will be starring Ryan Hansen as a version of himself trying to get his very own Dick Casablancas series on air. 

Last August 12, we finally learned more about the series, Play It Again, Dick, including the casts and it's airing date.

I set up a notification alert every time the creator and major casts of Veronica Mars tweet (see how obsessed I am? Lol) and early morning yesterday, at 4am, this is what woke me up. (obviously, I live on the other side of the world)


I was still very sleepy but when I read that, I felt like I was jolted awake. 

A lot of VM alums will be in the spinoff series and most of them are playing 2 characters: a version of themselves and their original characters in the show. But there are also some like Ryan Devlin who will be playing as himself and… wait for it…

Duncan Kane!

If you're a VM fan then you know Ryan played the rapist Mercer Hayes and Duncan Kane was played by Teddy Dunn who apparently has now left showbiz and become a lawyer. In this spinoff however, Ryan will return not as Mercer Hayes but Duncan Kane.

I honestly laughed when I read that and it made me even more curious. But then again, I reached the end of that BuzzFeed article and learned that in Ryan Hansen's show, Jason Dohring lost his role (ahem, Logan Echolls) to some "flamboyant choreographer." And not only that, the series will also feature The CW's president Mark Pedowitz and the head of development, Thom Sherman.

So frakin' meta.

BuzzFeed's right. It was a lot to process. But… okay, confession time: I love it when shows go a bit meta. I really do. I find it so much fun. Case in point: Supernatural. They have these few episodes (I think once every season), where they go meta - from spoofing the show and other tv shows, from acknowledging fanfiction (and Wincest!) and even transporting to another dimension where they are working as actors in a show called Supernatural. 

So much fun. 

So, yeah, this spinoff which was reported to have only 8 episodes is extremely meta. And I'm so in!

Play It Again, Dick will premiere on September 15 on CW Seed.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

feeling inspired about "shipping"

So, yesterday I stumbled upon this post on tumblr:

Obviously, we're not talking about the process of transporting goods here (though the poster tagged that joke above.) To those not familiar, shipping is also a term used in fandoms and it came from the word relationship (or worship). Wikipedia describes it as "the belief of two people, usually fictional, to be in a romantic relationship. It is considered a general term for fans' emotional involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction."

Long before I knew the term shipping, I was already doing this with characters from books, anime and TV shows. That's why I was so in love with the quote and it inspired me to create some photo edits using it.

I've downloaded a few pictures of couples over the internet and I started editing them and I made these initially:


The problem is once I've made them, I don't know which one to pick and to post. I decided I needed help and asked my friends and my sister to vote which one they like. At first, they have different votes and I even made a collage of the pictures if that would make their choices easier.

For the first 2 collages, the only difference is the font color while the 3rd one is in sepia tone. I kinda like it but since I like them all (again!), I asked my friends if they prefer the collage or the single pics only. Single pics won.

Final choices for the singles are #2 and #4. I decided to go with #2 because of what Rach said, that she likes the tone of #4 but didn't think it was lovey-dovey enough. And well, shipping is all about love.

So that's what I posted on tumblr and instagram together with below caption:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

updates... updates...

Yesterday, I received an email from my domain registrar that the domain name for this blog is up for auto-renewal by May. That kinda jolted me and made me remember that I'm paying for this site and I haven't updated in months. 

Well, as usual, the reason is just that I've been really busy. More so than usual. Last February, I moved to another country and until now I'm still adjusting. New people, new environment, new language, new customs and rules to adhere to - yes, still adjusting. 

I've also started my new job and that's additional adjustment. Some of my job duties are way different from my previous job so I'm learning the basics. I'm just glad though that my co-workers are really nice and are helping me get through it.

Last March, I was so deeply engrossed in one fandom. Maybe you've seen the countdown on the top of my blog. It was special. Fans of the TV show waited years to get this movie and we even helped fund it. Yes, I'm a proud backer. The Veronica Mars movie premiered last March 14 and I spent weeks before that following the creator and the actors while they do promotions (interviews and stuff) for the movie. Once the movie premiered, I was still way too busy checking social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr and just sharing everything. From every piece of news to every appearance and reading every review. Not to mention losing sleep voting for every single voting poll out there that features Veronica Mars. 

A few days after the movie was out, the first book of the Veronica Mars series came out. I was so excited for this and I ended up getting 4 versions of this book: paperback, kindle, playbook, and audiobook. It was also the first time I've read a book while simultaneously listening to the audiobook. It was kinda surreal to be honest. It was even made more special with the fact that it was Kristen Bell narrating the book. Veronica Mars herself.

Currently now, on the job front, I'm not that busy anymore. What's keeping me quite busy are the tons of TV shows I'm watching plus the books I'm reading plus keeping up with all the updates from Twitter plus Tumblr.  But I do hope to post updates from time to time to keep this blog active. We'll see.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Boys Before Friends Episode 1

Obviously, this is a couple of weeks late. Honestly, I was having second thoughts whether to post a review or not but since I'm writing this now, we know which side won that internal argument.

I've mentioned before that I'm still curious about this series so I am still keeping up to date with the development. Another reason is, I'm the kind of Hana Yori Dango fan who like it so much that I've seen every adaptation there is of this manga. Yes, even the unlicensed Chinese version. 

Now, we have the American version - Boys Before Friends. Production-wise, it is already different. This adaptation will not be backed up by any network. It will be shown online through Viki and their official website (and apparently, Youtube too).

In line with that, I know I will be expecting a different feel to it. I've seen a couple of webseries and they actually do feel different. I also know that since they don't have a huge budget, I shouldn't be expecting a lot. But, the people behind this project claim to be fans of the original work so I'm also hoping that they'll do everything they can to give justice since they are fans themselves. So, I dived in to the pilot episode with an open mind. 

Below are my major comments (I think they are gripes, actually) of the episode. If any of the staff happen to stumble upon this, I hope they'll take this as constructive criticism.

  • I've seen a couple of shots/scenes that seem out of place. It felt like they were put there as fillers. I did not get the purpose.
  • Lighting and the audio. Seriously, the audio was so bad that I had to keep the arrow of my mouse on the volume. It goes from normal to high to really low that I have to strain my ears to hear what they were saying.
  • The F4 are so mellow, they are not scary and seriously, why is Liam sporting a George Washington-esque hairstyle?
  • The acting was awkward. I know almost all of them do not have a lot of acting experience. I do hope they improve.
  • I do get the "six months later" and "two months ago" part but the editing was a bit sloppy, no wonder a lot of people were confused. And did they actually used the same footage of Zoey when she went for audition?
  • It's a school and there should be students but a lot of scenes only have a handful of students walking by. They should get a couple more extras. 
  • I know Claude Racine was re-casted but for this purpose, I'm also gonna review her. Acting-wise, I think she did okay although a bit awkward and it came out a bit too strong at times that it doesn't show the essence of Makino's character. I also know she's a professional dancer and a choreographer so I know she can dance but for some reason, her dancing here did nothing for me. So, what was it? I'm not sure if the problem was the choreography or because sometimes, the dance moves did not fit the music that was used. I think she was either dancing to a different music while filming or dancing to no music at all; and then they just lay over the music during editing.

    A couple of things that I like though:
    • I like the opening scene. When they were showing the different places, it really looked promising there. 
    • I like the theme song. Hook Up Hotline by Wordsmith.
    • I like that it is a multi-racial cast.
    • I like that they gave Zoey a passion which is dancing. This is one of the things I also liked in the Korean version. Jandi in there have swimming as her passion. Atleast, her world doesn't revolve around the F4 guys.
    • The F4 vs Z3 thing was obviously their addition to the story and I like that they gave Zoey friends who have her back and willing to get revenge for her.

    We'll see if they will improve in the next episodes.

    *pics from Google

    Veronica Mars Theatrical Trailer

    6 years.

    6 damn long years when even though the fans desperately crave for it and the creator and lead actress obviously want it to happen, despite all the talks and articles appearing on different websites, it felt like it was a long shot.

    All those years waiting for the continuation of this beloved series, I've immersed myself in the world of fanfiction. There are a lot of talented writers in the VM world and there are also a lot of stories out there which I would like to think how the story would end. But of course, the thirst to see how Rob Thomas would really end this story is always there. Despite all the lovely fanfiction, that thirst never goes away.

    That's why it still feels like a dream to know that we're really having a Veronica Mars movie. There a couple of times where I would visit certain websites who are featuring an article about it and I would see the comments of people saying stuff like, "what is this show? I haven't heard of this. Why are they making a movie out of a lowly rated TV series like this?"

    That's okay. I get where they are coming from. But this is exactly what a cult TV show is like. Most of the time it is underrated but will have dedicated fans online. (Not to mention that it is actually a well written and smart show.) The Veronica Mars fandom has persisted and now we're having a movie made possible by fans for fans! (Plus books, don't forget the book series! Gah.)

    I've been vocal in tumblr and twitter that I loathed the last video they released - the one depicting the "love triangle." Thankfully, this one is a whole lot better.

    Some comments about the trailer:

    • "The Perfect Man" - I think a lot of people had a LOT to say about this and that discussion has been going on for years so I won't say anything anymore. But seriously, perfect? *rolls eyes*
    • There is a major character missing from this trailer and I'm not sure if it was him on that picture that was shown in flash.
    • The line "Nine years of radio silence and yet I still kinda knew I could count on you." Why do I feel that this just wasn't Logan Echolls talking to Veronica Mars? It felt like it was the Veronica Mars world talking to the fans. Though it's not 9 years after when they launched the Kickstarter project, I think as fans, we have proven that we are always here for Veronica Mars. =)
    • Umm, I think I actually cried while watching the trailer. Haha. It feels so shallow thinking about it now. But yeah, I did.
    Is it March yet?

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