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  1. 52Hz, I Love You (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 52Hz, I Love You (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Suming (Actor) | Ball Chuang (Actor) | Mify Chen (Actor) | Xiao Yu (Actor)
    Wei Te Sheng's first musical
    September 13, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Music played a big role in Wei Te Sheng's 2007 breakout blockbuster Cape No. 7 that launched him to prominence. After two historical sagas, he goes back to music with the full-fledged musical feature 52Hz, I Love You. The airy, whimsical Taipei-set romance weaves together several threads on Valentine's Day. Sandrine Pinna and Nana Lee begin the film with a cameo pitch for marriage equality as a lesbian couple participating in a mass wedding event organized by the city. Lin Ching Tai and Cyndi Chao, meanwhile, represent the older subset with an odd encounter on the subway. The two main parings, however, are Mify Chen and Suming as a long-time couple on the rocks, though the latter doesn't... [read more]
  2. Block B: Zico Mini Album Vol. 2 - Television (Special Edition) (CD + DVD) (Limited Edition) Block B: Zico Mini Album Vol. 2 - Television (Special Edition) (CD + DVD) (Limited Edition) Zico (Block B)
    An artist, not an idol
    September 8, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In Korea, the gap between the mainstream and underground hip-hop scenes can be wide. Underground rappers can freely rap about provocative and political topics, but such sensitive content is usually restricted in mainstream media. The difference between the two fields inevitably develops into arguments over the authenticity of hip-hop in the pop scene. Idol rappers naturally become the target of some underground rappers, as Zico is well aware. In the past, the Block B leader has been accused of faking hip-hop for money and taking advantage of his large fandom in the underground scene. However, he shrugs off all the hostile comments and proves himself as a genuine hip-hop musician in his... [read more]
  3. The Anthem Of The Heart (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) The Anthem Of The Heart (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Nagai Tatsuyuki (Director)
    Silence is not golden
    August 31, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Once upon a time, there was a chatty little girl with a vivid imagination who saw her father leaving the "castle" on the hill with another woman. She tells her mom, not realizing the significance of her words, and her parents soon divorce. Both her dad and mom tell her that she's too much of a chatterbox, and so does the egg fairy that casts a curse on her so that she can no longer hurt with her words. Produced by A-1 Pictures, the gentle animated drama Anthem of the Heart begins like a fairy tale, the kind with a dark undertone and a cautionary lesson for children. But this cruel fairy tale continues into adolescence for protagonist Naruse Jun. Every time she talks, her stomach begins to... [read more]
  4. Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Blu-ray) (Full Slip Outcase + Elite Case + Note + OST CD + Postcard) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Blu-ray) (Full Slip Outcase + Elite Case + Note + OST CD + Postcard) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) Kang Dong Won (Actor) | Kim Hee Won (Actor) | Kwon Hae Hyo (Actor) | Um Tae Goo (Actor)
    Castaway of time
    August 28, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Director Um Tae Hwa made his feature debut in 2013 with the oddly compelling and kinetic low-budget indie INGtoogi: The Battle of Internet Trolls about keyboard warriors escalating internet spats to real-world fighting. For his sophomore feature, he goes in a different direction with the flawed but interesting fantasy drama Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned starring Kang Dong Won. The mysterious story begins with a group of four kids, including Su Rin (Shin Eun Soo) and Sung Min, sneaking off to the forest, entering a strange cave, and discovering a goblin's egg that can stop time. Su Rin, who is in the cave when the boys crack the egg outside, emerges to find that her friends have... [read more]
  5. Girls' Generation Vol. 6 - Holiday Night (Random Version) Girls' Generation Vol. 6 - Holiday Night (Random Version) Girls' Generation
    Tenth anniversary party of Girls' Generation
    August 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Amid the wave of disbandment of iconic girl groups like 2NE1, Sistar and Wonder Girls, Girls' Generation continues to reign over the K-pop world with their sixth full-length album Holiday Night. In keeping with their ever-changing music style, the group experiments with more retro sounds in their tenth anniversary release. The group shows off their girl power in the funky disco jam Girls Are Back (Track 1), in which they confidently announce their comeback. The glamorous anniversary party continues in the double title tracks All Night (Track 2) and Holiday (Track 3). The disco anthem All Night is a sophisticated blend of 80s synth sounds, modern trap beats and a sparkling electronic tune.... [read more]
  6. Yume Makase (Japan Version) Yume Makase (Japan Version) SOIL & "PIMP" SESSIONS
    Detective jazz
    August 24, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    This season, TBS is airing the quirky detective drama Hello Harinezumi, based on the eighties manga about a scrappy private investigator agency. The series' writer/director One Hitoshi has a great track record with music in past productions like Moteki and the 2014 detective drama River's Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha, and Hello Harinezumi is no exception. For River's Edge, it was Ego-Wrappin' that supplied the detective jazz sound. This time, it's jazz ensemble Soil & "Pimp" Sessions that created the outstanding music for the entire Hello Harinezumi soundtrack. The band collaborates with Radwimps' Noda Yojiro for the series' suave and classy theme song Yume Makase. The laidback jazz number... [read more]
  7. The Bacchus Lady (DVD) (Korea Version) The Bacchus Lady (DVD) (Korea Version) E J Yong (Director) | Yoon Yeo Jeong (Actor) | Yoon Kye Sang (Actor) | Jeon Moo Song (Actor)
    The Twilight Years
    August 21, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Bacchus is a popular South Korean energy drink brand that's similar to Red Bull. The term "Bacchus lady," however, carries far more loaded meaning, referring to aged prostitutes who sell the energy drinks along with sexual services. This phenomenon of elderly women who turn to prostitution in order to get by in their latter years, and the lonely clients who seek their company, serves as the subject of E J Yong's remarkable drama The Bacchus Lady. Respect for elders is known to be an important part of Korean culture, and there is still a widespread social expectation that adult children are to provide for their parents in old age. However, in an aging, changing Korea, just social... [read more]
  8. offonoff Vol. 1 - boy. (Normal Edition) offonoff Vol. 1 - boy. (Normal Edition) offonoff
    Futuristic groovers
    August 7, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Composed of singer-songwriting Colde and producer 0channel, offonoff is part of Dean's hip-hop crew Club Eskimo, which also includes singer-songwriters like Crush and Miso. Since their dreamy debut Mood launched on Soundcloud in 2015, the talented duo has enjoyed increasing popularity among futuristic music lovers. Recently recruited by Tablo's indie label HIGHGRND, they stay true to their raw music style and reveal people's innermost thoughts and emotions in their first full-length album boy. Love is the primary theme of this album. Comparing smoking to an addictive love, offonoff, Miso and Tablo capture the dreaminess and bittersweetness of a fleeting love in Cigarette (Track 2). Miso's... [read more]
  9. Love ☆ Queen (SINGLE + DVD + PHOTOBOOK) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Love ☆ Queen (SINGLE + DVD + PHOTOBOOK) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) E-girls
    The new-look E-girls
    July 31, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When LDH launched E-girls in 2011, the group was meant to be an entertainment project that gathered the members of Dream, Happiness and Flower. In actuality, over the last six years, this project group in name was more well-known and active than the official groups from which it drew members. In June, LDH restructured the organization chart of its girl groups by creating the new project collective of E.G.family and redesignating E-girls as a group under that umbrella. Besides the reshuffling, the E-girls member lineup was slimmed down to 11 with the exit of eight members including Ami. Less than two months since the announcement of the new changes, the 11-member E-girls start afresh with... [read more]
  10. Love and Other Things Love and Other Things Janice Vidal (Singer)
    The metamorphosis of Janice Vidal
    July 31, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    During her ten years under Leon Lai's label A Music, Janice Vidal released a number of hit ballads that brought her various music awards. However, her repetitive pop ballad style has deterred her from achieving greater success. After joining Warner Music, the singer restarts her career with a series of surprising songs that vary considerably in style. Expanding her music map, Janice rediscovers herself in the album Love and Other Stories. Janice expresses her determination to make a change in her first comeback single "Butterfly" (Track 5), a compelling mix of soft rock and R&B. By asking "Who are you?" in an uncanny violin-driven opening, the singer reveals her confusion about herself, her... [read more]
  11. Cycling Angels (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Cycling Angels (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Paul Chu (Director)
    The long ride home
    July 27, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In 2012, the Taiwan documentary Go Grandriders about the inspiring round-island motorbike trip of a group of senior citizens set a new local box office record for documentaries. Four years later, we make the round-island pilgrimage with riders from the opposite end of the age spectrum in Cycling Angels. The first film from director Paul Chu, Cycling Angels documents the 1,200 km cycling journey of a group of children from the Yunlin County Xinyi Orphanage, the youngest of whom was only eight years old. This great test of physical and mental endurance is taxing even for adults, let alone young children who have already been through too much for their age. But, as the orphanage director... [read more]
  12. Too Young to Die! (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Too Young to Die! (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Kamiki Ryunosuke | Kudo Kankuro (Director, Writer) | Nagase Tomoya | Ono Machiko
    Hell of a comedy
    July 25, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    It takes a certain kind of person to turn the tragic deaths of a busload of teenagers and the terrifying images of Japanese hell into an over-the-top comedy, and that person is Kudo Kankuro. The master of wacky, talky and strangely thoughtful comedies returns to the director's chair for his fourth feature film, Too Young to Die!, which may be his weirdest yet. Too Young to Die! begins with a bus full of high school kids meeting an untimely end on a field trip. Bratty protagonist Daisuke (Kamiki Ryunosuke) wakes up in "jigoku," a fiery Buddhist-based vision of hell in which sinners suffer in different levels of gruesome punishments. Horned demon Killer K (Nagase Tomoya), the leader of the... [read more]
  13. Princess Weiyoung (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-54) (End) (China Version) Princess Weiyoung (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-54) (End) (China Version) Vanness Wu (Actor) | Tiffany Tang (Actor) | Luo Jin (Actor) | Li Xin Ai (Actor)
    A meaningful twist on a revenge tale
    July 25, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    A typical Chinese palace drama, such as Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan and The Legend of Mi Yue, usually delivers a strong message of female empowerment and involves romance, power struggle, revenge and betrayal. To fit this type of dramatic plot, the protagonist is often designed to be a concubine's daughter who is destined to bring bad luck and becomes reluctantly embroiled in a fierce power fight with her once beloved sister. Despite its formulaic plot about the underdog tale of a brilliant and lionhearted fallen princess, Princess Weiyoung still possesses unique charms that kept me watching. In the original novel The Concubine's Daughter Is Poisonous, Li Weiyoung is the third child of... [read more]
  14. Beenzino - 24:26 (5th Anniversary Remaster Edition) Beenzino - 24:26 (5th Anniversary Remaster Edition) Beenzino
    Modern hip-hop classic
    July 14, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    During his Hot Clip days, Beenzino experimented with different genres to produce refreshing hip-hop sounds. After forming Jazzyfact with producer Shimmy Twice, he established his unique jazz rap style and soon became one of the most sought-after rappers in the music scene. The pioneering musician emerged as a soloist in 2012 with his first album 24:26, which has a significant influence on the development of Korean hip-hop. Breaking the convention of hip-hop music, the album is a groundbreaking release that deserves classic status. While the lead-off track Nike Shoes looks like an advert song for the sports brand, it's actually a breezy love song about Beenzino's ideal type. Primary's groovy... [read more]
  15. Peace Sign [Peace Ver.] (SINGLE+DVD)  (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Peace Sign [Peace Ver.] (SINGLE+DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Yonezu Kenshi
    Yonezu Kenshi's 2nd consecutive anime theme
    June 30, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    First finding popularity as a Vocaloid composer, Yonezu Kenshi has successfully elevated his music from Niconico to the mainstream thanks to his eminently listenable rock pop sound and some well-positioned tie-in collaborations. After scoring a hit earlier in the year with the March Comes in Like a Lion theme song Orion, the talented singer-songwriter climbs the chart again with another anime theme song single in Peace Sign, the exhilarating first opening for the second season of My Hero Academia. Written, composed and arranged by Yonezu, Peace Sign coasts on an uptempo melody and tight beats that quickly establish a free-wheeling feeling of exuberance and energy. The electric guitar-driven... [read more]
  16. Heize EP Album - /// Heize EP Album - /// Heize
    Love in the rain
    June 30, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Known for her distinctively soothing groove, Heize often expresses the feelings of exasperation and anger in a peacefully rebellious tone. Her anger gives way to sorrow and regret in her third mini-album ///, which uses rain to create different lyrical emotions. The sentimental singer-songwriter reveals the internal pain of separation in her deeply felt songs steeped in heartache, remorse and yearning. In the music video of "Don't Know You" (Track 1), Heize introduces 14 violent ways to lose a teddy bear, such as hitting, slapping and burning. The rapper's exaggerated portrayal of a dismissive girlfriend in the music video provides a heartbreaking contrast to the apologetic lyrics about the... [read more]
  17. NINAGAWA Macbeth (2015) (DVD) (Japan Version) NINAGAWA Macbeth (2015) (DVD) (Japan Version) Ninagawa Yukio | Ichimura Masachika | Tanaka Yuko | Hashimoto Satoshi
    Ninagawa's last Macbeth
    June 29, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Japan's foremost theater director Ninagawa Yukio passed away last May at the age of 80. The renowned director leaves behind a tremendous legacy as one of the world's most masterful and imaginative interpreters of Shakespeare, continuously transforming the Bard's classics into distinctly Japanese productions over a four-decade career that garnered wide acclaim at home and abroad. Boldly bearing the director's name right in the title, Ninagawa MacBeth was first staged to lukewarm reception in Tokyo in 1980. Five years later, it became his first Shakespeare production to travel to Europe, and from there on, Ninagawa would take the world by storm. Ninagawa MacBeth had several re-runs in Japan... [read more]
  18. Luck-Key (2DVD) (Normal Edition) (Korea Version) Luck-Key (2DVD) (Normal Edition) (Korea Version) Yu Hae Jin (Actor) | Lee Joon (Actor) | Lim Ji Yeon (Actor) | Lee Dong Hwi
    The key to success
    June 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    When I watched Uchida Kenji's Key of Life, I didn't realize that it was a comedy. The film is largely humorless in spite of the amusing idea of a suicidal man and a rich killer swapping lives after a hilarious soap accident. Director Lee Gae Byok makes a vast improvement on the story for a real comedy and redefines the meaning of success in his light-hearted and encouraging remake Luck-Key. Appearing as a frightening killer who calmly takes off his bloody raincoat and gloves after killing a man, Yu Hae Jin (Veteran) creates a terror-stricken atmosphere at the beginning of the comedy. The story's uneasiness turns bright when the infamous assassin Hyung Wook goes to a public bath where he... [read more]
  19. Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Zhou Xun (Actor) | Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Tshering Dorji (Actor) | Sadon Lhamo (Actor)
    The power and poison of anonymity
    June 26, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    What would you do if you were completely anonymous, such that nothing you do can be traced back to you? That is the alluring question posed in Tibetan lama Khyentse Norbu's eerie and intriguing Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait. Hema Hema opens rather unexpectedly in a night club with Chinese actress Zhou Xun, whose significance will not be known until the end of the film. The modern-day bookend then leads into the green mountains of Bhutan where a man puts on a mask and surrenders himself to the tribe hosting the (fictional) ritual at the heart of the film. Every 12 years, a group of participants are invited to take part in a ritual that lasts for 15 days in the mountains. The... [read more]
  20. He-R He-R Crowd Lu (Singer)
    No love, no life
    June 19, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Known for his brand of humor and optimism, Crowd Lu has created a bunch of light-hearted and energetic songs. However, as revealed during an interview in 2016, the sunny singer-songwriter was originally a passive child bullied by his classmates. Hoping to be loved, the little Crowd started to develop his own peculiar sense of humor. Sharing similar sentiments with the unassertive Hwa Jia from his family drama A Boy Named Flora A, the musician beautifully conveys the character's intense yearning for family love in the drama's theme songs He-R and Bin A Tsai. A Taiwanese word meaning "small fish," He-R (Track 1) is a poignant monologue of a lonely man who lives a peaceful life in a new city... [read more]
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