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  1. SSAK3 Special Album Package (Special Edition) SSAK3 Special Album Package (Special Edition) SSAK3 | Yoo Jae Suk | Rain (Jung Ji Hoon) | Lee Hyo Ri
    Thanks for saving summer 2020!
    August 14, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Just when I was ranting about how there haven't been a lot of seasonal songs in recent months, SSAK3 arrived to save my summer playlist with their special album! After debuting as trot singer Yoo San Seul, Yoo Jae Suk took on another challenge through the program Hangout With Yoo: form a summer co-ed project group with Lee Hyo Ri and Rain. It's chemistry overload when these three top stars collide! The superstars "re-debut" with new stage names to match the group's retro concept, with Yoo Jae Suk as U-Doragon, Lee Hyo Ri as Linda G and Rain as B-Ryong. They've dominated music charts with their upbeat newtro title single "Beach Again" (Track 1), which gives off 90s nostalgia on top of chill... [read more]
  2. (G)I-DLE Single Album Vol. 1 - DUMDi DUMDi (Night Version) (G)I-DLE Single Album Vol. 1 - DUMDi DUMDi (Night Version) (G)I-DLE
    Turn up my summer!
    August 14, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    After going all fierce and wild in Lion and Oh my god, (G)I-DLE shows a more cheerful and bright side with their addictive summer bop DUMDi DUMDi and i'M THE TREND! Turn up your summer with (G)I-DLE's summer anthem DUMDi DUMDi (Track 1)! As the group's first-ever summer comeback, DUMDi DUMDi spreads the passionate, refreshing and youthful feelings of summer love in the tropical pop dance number with strong Moombahton beats. Despite the style of the song departing quite a lot from their previous sounds, leader So Yeon has made another hit again collaborating with Pop Time, who took part in PSY's I LUV IT and Block B's Very Good. Minnie and Yuqi's husky tones and strong vocals stand out the... [read more]
  3. Miyamoto (2019) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Miyamoto (2019) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Ikematsu Sosuke (Actor) | Aoi Yu (Actor) | Iura Arata (Actor) | Pierre Taki (Actor)
    The volatile world of Miyamoto
    July 31, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Oftentimes when TV dramas get a feature film sequel, the film starts out with some kind of recap or introductory context for viewers who don't know or don't remember the events of the TV drama. Mariko Tetsuya's Miyamoto does no such favors for its audience. Based on Arai Hideki's 90s seinen manga about a stationery salesman, the film plops audiences right into the midst of the eponymous hero's seemingly mundane yet overwhelmingly messy life. A roughed-up-looking Miyamoto (Ikematsu Sosuke, at his jittery best) is going through the ritual of visiting the parents to inform them of his planned marriage with girlfriend Yasuko (Aoi Yu), who is expecting. This disorienting feeling of being dropped... [read more]
  4. Tousaku  (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Tousaku (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Yorushika
    The Man Who Steals Music
    July 31, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Awarded Best New Artist at the 34th Gold Disc Awards, Yorushika was one of last year's greatest music discoveries. The duo formed by producer n-buna and vocalist suis released two excellent albums in 2019, That's Why I Gave Up on Music and Elma, that told an interconnected story. This year, they're back with a new musical story in Tousaku. Most musicians would probably stay far away from the word Plagiarism, but Yorushika made it the title and theme of their third full album. Plagiarism's main character is a "man who steals music." Using music to tell a story of the emotional tempest and destructive impulses of its main character, the album also explores and challenges what creating and... [read more]
  5. Sparrow Sparrow Li Rong Hao (Singer)
    Small but strong, fragile but tenacious
    July 31, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    If I have to choose ten best C-pop albums of the past decade, Li Ronghao's 2018 hit Ear would definitely be on my list. After a two-year wait, the top Chinese singer-songwriter finally blesses our ears with another self-written, self-produced, self-arranged and self-mixed record Sparrow! Sparrow revolves around the different relationships and emotions we encounter in everyday life, accompanied by Li's signature band-sound music. "Sparrow" (Track 1) caught my ear with just the first verse. The title single uses a "sparrow" to reflect on humanity – being "small but strong, fragile but tenacious" while living in this busy, ever-changing world. When listening to this song, I really get the... [read more]
  6. SF9 Mini Album Vol. 8 - 9loryUS (Random Version) SF9 Mini Album Vol. 8 - 9loryUS (Random Version) SF9
    Dancing in the Summer Breeze
    July 30, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Miss those days when digital music charts were full of K-pop summer anthems ? This summer, we have SF9 who comes back with a bright, fresh yet chic style in 9loryUS! "The summer fragrance is making me dance! Bang Bang Bang! Let's giddy up, giddy up, giddy up now!" Composed by FNC's founder Han Sung Ho and RBW's Kim Do Hoon, "Summer Breeze" (Track 1) gives off summer energy in a mix of house beats and synth sounds accompanied by acoustic guitar melody. Han Sung Ho is also the main lyricist of the song along with N.Flying's Seung Hyub, Young Bin and Zu Ho. This summer bop is catchy, uplifting and addictive. It totally makes me want to dance in the summer breeze! What makes a summer jam isn't... [read more]
  7. Secret Zoo (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Korea Version) Secret Zoo (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Korea Version) Kang So Ra (Actor) | Kim Sung Oh (Actor) | Ahn Jae Hong (Actor) | Park Young Kyu (Actor)
    Who needs animals when you have animal suits?
    July 27, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Though director Son Jae Gon has a very short filmography considering his many years in the industry, he definitely has a knack for comedy of the slightly eccentric variety. Departing from the darker mystery elements of his previous My Scary Girl and Villain and Widow, Secret Zoo is a total family-friendly charmer. Though the film may be about as substantial as its menagerie of fake animals, you're sure to have a fun time at Secret Zoo. Ahn Jae Hong plays scrappy lawyer Kang Tae Soo who's been doing thankless temp work for a large law firm in hopes of landing himself a full position. The law firm's sketchy president asks him to be the proxy director of a failing zoo that was recently... [read more]
  8. AB6IX EP Album Vol. 2 - VIVID (Random Version) AB6IX EP Album Vol. 2 - VIVID (Random Version) AB6IX
    Vivid colors of AB6IX
    July 10, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    From Breathe to Blind For Love, AB6IX has mainly been exploring the deep house genre along with a subtly dark concept. A year after their debut, the boys show their energetic sides with some vivid sounds and styles. Rebooting in a four-member lineup, AB6IX brightens up your mood with their second mini-album Vivid! Jeon Woong, Dong Hyun, Woo Jin and Dae Hwi become your K-pop sweethearts in their upbeat title track "The Answer" (Track 3)! Produced by Zico, "The Answer" complements funk pop beats with lyrics about wishing a crush would give them "the answer." Lighthearted, vibrant and uplifting, both the song and its music video unveil the members' sweet and cute sides that totally suit their... [read more]
  9. Pentagon Vol. 1 - Universe : The Black Hall (Upside Version) Pentagon Vol. 1 - Universe : The Black Hall (Upside Version) Pentagon
    They're the new Basquiat!
    June 30, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    This year's Road to Kingdom was so much harsher than last year's Queendom. Despite there being no live audience in the studio, the groups made use of the I-shaped stage to present large-scale, versatile and inventive performances. All seven teams did well and gained more recognition that was much deserved. While watching the program, I began to fall for Pentagon's on- and off-stage charms and talents. They may be known more for their quirky image and upbeat sounds in previous releases, but Universe: The Black Hall will introduce you to a very different side of them that may make your jaw drop. From a pool of over 800 tracks, Universe: The Black Hall gathers 11 catchy and addictive songs,... [read more]
  10. Hospital Playlist OST (Kihno KiT Album) (Random Version) Hospital Playlist OST (Kihno KiT Album) (Random Version) Korean TV Series Soundtrack | Yoo Yeon Seok | Whee In (Mamamoo) | Lee So Ra
    A trip down memory lane
    June 30, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Two years after Prison Playbook and four years after Reply 1988, we finally get to watch another masterpiece created by director Shin Won Ho and screenwriter Lee Woo Jung – Hospital Playlist! It's the same formula, rhythm and vibe as their previous series, but one never gets bored of the warm stories that resonate, the witty lines that make us laugh, and the viral original soundtrack that gets stuck in our heads. The slice-of-life comedy-drama is about five old friends who start to work in the same hospital, and how their friendship continues to bloom in their 40s. Besides starring in the drama, the five leads each picked up a musical instrument in order to form a band in the series, with... [read more]
  11. Children of the Sea (2019) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Children of the Sea (2019) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Morisaki Win | Hisaishi Joe | Ashida Mana | Inagaki Goro
    A beautiful and confounding aquatic odyssey
    June 30, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Despite the title, the young protagonists and the pretty animation of sea animals, Watanabe Ayumu's Children of the Sea is probably not something you'd show your children. Based on Igarashi Daisuke's manga Kaiji no Kodomo, the confounding animated fantasy feature is from Studio 4°C, the makers of Tekkon Kinkreet, Mind Game and Harmony. The film starts out like a sensitive story about discovering friendship and the wonders of the ocean – and gradually morphs into a mind-blowing meditation on the meaning and mysteries of life itself. Children of the Sea begins with protagonist Ruka getting into a fight at soccer practice and being forced out of her summer club activity. The moody girl then... [read more]
  12. Hadaka no Kokoro (Japan Version) Hadaka no Kokoro (Japan Version) Aimyon
    Aimyon's heart-baring ballad
    June 29, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Aimyon got her break in 2018 with the singles Marigold and Konya Kono Mama, which both went platinum digitally. Her singles after that, like Haru no Hi and Her Blue Sky, mainly followed a similar style of catchy and refreshing guitar-driven pop rock. The singer-songwriter's latest Hadaka no Kokoro ("Naked Heart"), however, is a bit different as it's her first ballad single. Aimyon actually wrote "Naked Heart" back in 2017, and she especially chose this older work to be her tenth single and her theme song for the TV drama My Housekeeper, Mr. Nagisa. The song's clean and soothing melody is introduced with simple piano chords, and then enriched with a gentle blend of string, percussion and... [read more]
  13. NCT DREAM TOUR "THE DREAM SHOW" Concert Photobook & Live Album (Korea Version) NCT DREAM TOUR "THE DREAM SHOW" Concert Photobook & Live Album (Korea Version) NCT Dream
    Dear Dream
    June 24, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    After a three-year ride, NCT Dream was supposed to face a huge lineup change with Renjun, Jeno, Hae Chan and Jae Min's graduation this year. Back in November 2019, they held their first concert tour The Dream Show, which became a sea of tears just from the thought that it was their last OT6 concert. Thankfully, SM Entertainment decided to keep them as a rotational unit with Mark rejoining the team. Though the concert unfortunately doesn't include Mark, The Dream Show still represents and records the remarkable three-year journey of NCT Dream. From their bubblegum pop debut single Chewing Gum to their 2019 hit BOOM, NCT Dream pretty much performed all their songs released over the past three... [read more]
  14. Men On The Dragon (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Men On The Dragon (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Francis Ng (Actor) | Nancy Wu (Actor) | Kenny Wong (Actor) | Liu Jun Jiang (Actor)
    A slice of Hong Kong midlife
    June 24, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    With this year's dragon boat races cancelled due to the pandemic, it's time to revisit the 2018 film Men on the Dragon instead for the Dragon Boat Festival. A critical and commercial hit in Hong Kong, Sunny Chan's comedy-drama follows four ordinary men facing midlife crises who invigorate their lives through dragon boat racing. Francis Ng is at his natural best as the affable, unmotivated Lung who works for a broadband service provider. He and his co-workers Suk Yi (theater actor Poon Chan Leung) and William (Weeds on Fire's Tony Wu) fulfill your general expectations of those tech-support guys who show up late to set up your internet. Lung holds an obvious torch for his neighbor Coral (TVB... [read more]
  15. MAJOR IN MINOR MAJOR IN MINOR Terence Lam (Singer)
    Major talent in Cantopop
    June 1, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    If you're one of those C-pop lovers who looks over the credits whenever you listen to a song, Terence Lam (Lam Ka Him) would not sound unfamiliar. Pakho Chau's "One Step Closer," JW's breakout hit "Contradictory Life," JW and James Wu's duet "So It's Because We're Deeply in Love," Yoga Lin's "Vulnerable," Joey Yung's "Science of Heart"… These are just some of Terence Lam's long list of credited tracks. The Cantopop songwriter now shows us more of his music talent in his singing debut. What's so special about Terence Lam is not merely his composing skills, but also his vocal timbre that reminds me of 90s and early 2000s Hong Kong singers. Free of overly polished vocal techniques, his unique,... [read more]
  16. The Cave (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Cave (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Ekawat Niratvorapanya (Actor) | Jim Warny (Actor) | James Edward Holley (Actor) | Jumpa Saenprom (Actor)
    The Thai cave rescue mission
    May 31, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Remember the Thai boys soccer team that was trapped in a flooded cave? That was only two years ago, though it seems like an eternity has passed since. Even as the events were unfolding, we all knew that the Thai cave rescue would become a movie, because it was such an amazing, made-for-the-movies story. The question was more how it would be told onscreen and who would be telling it. After the rescue, the Thai government was very protective of the soccer team, and the rights to the boys' stories were granted to SK Global Entertainment with Netflix. Thai-born, British-raised director Tom Waller's The Cave is not so much about the boys trapped in the cave, but rather the mission to rescue the... [read more]
  17. Oh My Girl Mini Album Vol. 7 - NONSTOP (Random Version) Oh My Girl Mini Album Vol. 7 - NONSTOP (Random Version) OH MY GIRL
    Nonstop jamming
    May 28, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    As much as we may hate survival TV shows, we can't deny that these programs have successfully helped a lot of groups gain a bigger fanbase and wider audience. Thanks to Queendom, another underrated girl group has finally come into the public's view – it's Oh My Girl's time to shine! The girls always present great music matched with eye-catching concepts. This time, in their first comeback after Queendom, they turn into board game characters for their seventh mini-album Nonstop! The English title of lead single "Nonstop" (Track 1) might have you a bit confused about the theme, but it's actually about being "a little fluttered" by a friend and wondering if they will be friend-zoned.... [read more]
  18. H&D Mini Album Vol. 1 - SOULMATE (SOUL Version) H&D Mini Album Vol. 1 - SOULMATE (SOUL Version) H&D
    Hearty & Dope!
    May 28, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Han Gyul and Do Hyon, both from MBK Entertainment, have always been well loved for their polar opposite personalities, styles, interests, habits and more. Since the disbandment of X1, they've been promoting as the unit H&D for their fan meetings and singles, and even released their first mini-album Soulmate. The duo's album proves that H&D could stand not only for Han Gyul & Do Hyon, but also for the hearty and dope music style and stage presence that connect their contrasting characters! Who says people with different personalities can't be soulmates? Han Gyul and Do Hyon prove them wrong by together pulling off various styles of music, especially title tracks SOUL (Track 2) and Good Night... [read more]
  19. My Punch-Drunk Boxer (DVD) (Korea Version) My Punch-Drunk Boxer (DVD) (Korea Version) Um Tae Goo (Actor) | Hye Ri (Actor) | Lee Seol (Actor) | Choi Jun Young (Actor)
    Boxing meets pansori
    May 26, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    A disgraced, terminally ill boxer meets a girl and strives to return to the ring for a final bout. That may sound like a familiar inspirational sports melodrama formula, but writer-director Jung Hyuk Gi's My Punch-Drunk Boxer adds an offbeat tone and an unexpected musical element into the midst – pansori. Pansori is a traditional form of musical storytelling that is performed by a singer and a drummer. Im Kwon Taek famously depicted this Korean folk art form in his films Sopyonje and Beyond the Years. Bringing together two unlikely worlds, My Punch-Drunk Boxer introduces the curious concept of "pansori boxing." Protagonist Byeong Goo (Um Tae Goo) used to train by shadowboxing to the rhythm... [read more]
  20. The Untamed Original Soundtrack (OST) (China Version) The Untamed Original Soundtrack (OST) (China Version) Wang Yi Bo | TV Series Soundtrack | Xiao Zhan
    The Music of The Untamed
    April 30, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Good things come to those who wait. And by good things, I mean The Untamed soundtrack which I finally got my hands on last month. Though well over half a year has passed since The Untamed's broadcast in that summer of 2019, one simply does not forget about this drama. I could make a very long list of all the things great about this Chinese period fantasy series, and high up among those reasons would be the music. The Untamed's beautiful score was created by composer and pianist Lin Hai who fuses classical Chinese instruments and traditional styles into an RPG-worthy collection of epic battle songs and delicate, evocative numbers. Notably, music itself plays a role in the story of The... [read more]
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