Reviews written by SarangAsianMusic
Hot Young Bloods (DVD) (2-Disc) (First Press Edition) (Korea Version)(3)Our Price: US$32.99List: US$42.99Save: US$10.00 (23%)February 24, 2015 Easily one of my favorites!
This movie has a lot of mixed reviews amongst the korean community (Older male generation loves it and reminds them of their childhood, while younger females don't get the humor), but as a foreigner watching the film, this easily became one of my favorite korean comedy films. This is one role I am happy Lee Jong Suk took into consideration.
This movie has just the right mixture of hilarity, realism, and humanity. It mixes the everyday misunderstandings between people (school bullies, love interests, even family) during that timeframe, but really pushes the funny side of it before the reality of how tragic it can really be hits you. You'll be laughing one minute, and then solemn the next.
I also love the film locations and hair styles. It really takes you back into that timeframe. :)
Kim Jae Joong - 2013 Kim Jae Joong Grand Finale Live Concert and Fan Meeting IN JAPAN (3DVD + Photobook) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
Kim Jae Joong - 2013 Kim Jae Joong Grand Finale Live Concert and Fan Meeting IN JAPAN (3DVD + Photobook) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 1, 3(1)Our Price: US$81.99List: US$106.99Save: US$25.00 (23%)February 24, 2015 Great to own before Jaejoong serves his military time!
As a graphic designer by trade, I'm always looking forward to seeing CJes' packaging techniques for JYJ products. This was no disappointment! Lovely packaging & excellent print quality on the photobook/photocards.
As for the actual DVDs, I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD. I don't often watch fanmeetings because I find it boring seeing fans make artists do things they don't want to do, but JJ has this sense of humor that just makes my day. His sarcasm with the MC had me in stitches and his honesty about what he did and did not want to answer really makes me love him more. He doesn't hide what he's feeling from his face regarding questions.
I loved the songs he chose to sing for the concert portion however, he did not seem to be in top vocal condition like the previous MINE fanmeeting. Maybe it's because he didn't sleep the night before and rumor has it that he was sick before this meeting. But he still gave it his all! :D
Overall, a gorgeous addition to my JYJ/TVXQ collection.
JAPONESQUE (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version)4 people found this review helpful
March 4, 2012 Outstanding Comeback!
This album more than exceeded my expectations. It has just the right balance of ballads and dance tracks. This makes me a bit reminiscent of the line up in her Kingdom album. The music video line up tells a story just like it did during her Kingdom era.
Though I am no big fan of American styled music videos (like with Lay Down and V.I.P.), no one can argue that Kuu kicks major butt and knows exactly what she's doing, so I can't feel upset about it. She looks amazing. I absolutely adore her playfulness in ESCALATE when she's dancing.
I'm tempted to buy all the versions, because I truly want to support this album for her. I feel as if she felt truly inspired in this album and I feel a taste of her creative spirit once again. Dejavu was an okay album for me, but I don't feel she was as in it. Even the visuals for the Dejavu album didn't scream a theme she's into. Dejavu felt more fashion influenced. When Kuu's inspired, there's usually a theme involved like in the Kingdom and Trick eras.
Though I'm not sure if we can expected a tour of this anytime soon due to Kuu's pregnancy (wishing her all the best), this album will definitely keep me satisfied until she's back in action on the live stage.
Departures - Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)
Departures - Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version) DVD Region 2(1)Our Price: US$18.25February 17, 2012 Lovely :)
I received this package very quickly. The fastest shipping yet from yesasia. They must have definitely had this item in stock. :D
As for the cd itself, I love how the first press editions of Japanese cds just feel different. From the feel of the plastic case to the quality of the paper used in the booklet, this item screams limited edition.
The album comes with 2 booklets, a limited edition Inori card, and the paper wrapping around the outside of the album is actually a sticker. One booklet contains the lyrics and the other has information and drawings about Inori.
If you are Guilty Crown fan, this is a definite must have. This single is well worth the money due to it's special features and I love the different versions of Inori's songs from the animated TV series. :)
Girls' Generation (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)3 people found this review helpful
January 31, 2012 So much better than Korean albums
My one question is why can't Girls' Generations albums in Korea sound more like this? I have mentioned this before, but SNSD tends to have GREAT promotional songs, but their songs on the albums always tend to lack energy for me. For the most part, their non-promotional songs sound too sugary, bubblegumish... :(
However, this Japanese album has MANY songs outside of the promotional tracks that sound great. The non-promotional tracks can even BE promotional tracks. 'you-aholic', 'let it rain', and 'the great escape' are personal favorites, but the rest are still extremely good and all received at least a 4/5 from me.
I wish that SM would encourage more R&B tracks for their korean albums instead of cutesy little girlish songs.
There is more talent to be explored outside of looks.
namie amuro LIVE STYLE 2011 (Japan Version)January 31, 2012 Best choreography yet
I usually always enjoy Namie Amuro's concerts. Her concerts are extremely vigorous in a sense that she performs so many songs in a row with little to no breaks in between. For the most part all of her songs are fast paced dance songs and she only has one ballad stream at the middle of the concert and at the end. 90% of the concert is so intense and keeps you on your feet.
Namie's stages are never large or extravagant like Ayumi or Kumi, but she never fails to impress me with her energy and devotion to the performance itself. Namie isn't one to perform a lot on TV Shows or go on Variety Shows, but this just makes her concerts more appealing.
I also want to commend the choreography in this tour. I don't know if her team has a new choreographer or what but the dancing is truly impressive. Many songs have revamped dance routines that bring more energy to the songs than when they were performed on her Past < Future Tour.
P.S. It's was also a treat to see the African American dancer that's usually in her music videos (Naked, Fast Car, etc...) actually perform on stage. It's a bit awkward to see other nationalities dance to asian pop, but he really knows what's he's doing and adds some interesting flair to the show.
TONE (Jacket C)(Japan Version)3 people found this review helpful
October 23, 2011 Definitely a new TONE :)
Really wasn’t expecting this. The current YUNHO/CHANGMIN duo-version of TVXQ has been very hardcore with their latest singles. I was kinda expecting this album to be the same way, but I was so surprised at the variety of genres in the non-promotional tracks.
The new non-promotional tracks (not on previous singles) that really caught my attention were I Think U Know, Back to Tomorrow, Duet, and Thank you my girl.
Though ‘I Think U Know’ is definitely a dance track, it’s still different from mainstream pop. The backing trance beat can compete with some of the best techno artists like ‘capsule.’ However, TVXQ adds in their own flare to make the song their own. Changmin simply owns the high backing vocals and chorus. Yunho owns all the verses and digitized raps. However, I love how both members are versatile in swapping parts. I was a little wary from seeing so many songs with Changmin doing all the singing and Yunho just rapping. Both of them are perfectly balanced in this song.
‘Back to Tomorrow’ is a combination of a potential ballad and slow r&b/borderline pop. It’s really different from anything I’ve heard from them before.
'Duet' is also nice to listen to. It's just the right song for a drive on a sunny day. 'Thank you my girl' is really interesting mix of the orchestra pieve 'canon in d' and pop. :)
All the other tracks outside of what was already released and mentioned here received 4/5 from me. Maybe I just need to get used to hearing different styles by these two. :)
JYJ - 3hree Voices ll Photo Story (Photobook + DVD) (International Version)(1)Our Price: US$46.99List: US$61.99Save: US$15.00 (24%)8 people found this review helpful
October 23, 2011 Really Nice :)
I recieved mine last week. I love how small this photobook is. It fits nicely between my hands and the book is a clothed hardcover book. The photos are really nice and go well with the white space on the pages. Me being a Graphic Designer, I really appreacite the overall design aesthetics of the book.
The DVD is great. It's located at the back of the book. It's also great that it's region free and comes with many different subs. It's nice to have footage of them on a disc. ^^
The Photocards are printed on extremely nice paper and on the back of the cards are interviews of each member and each is translated into korean, japanese, chinese, and english. I really love how the translations keep getting better. :)
I would also like to compliment CJes for their packaging. I love how almost everything I order for them comes in a nice box that I can keep using to protect my merchandise.
Kanno Yoko Collection Album Space Bio Charge (Japan Version)(2)September 1, 2011 A Must Have!
This is one of the most perfect Yoko Kanno collections I have seen all in one package. I love nearly ALL of her works, but they've always all been on separate soundtracks relevant to their anime series. However, this collection is the excellent balance of all of her greatest works in different anime series. You'll find familiar pieces from famous animes such as Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell, and Arjuna.
If you are a fan of Bandai anime, you'll want this collection. Not only are her instrumental works here, but some of the most famous vocalist collaboration work is on this album. (Steve Conte, Origa, The Seatbelts, Maaya Sakamoto, Gabriela Robin, and more.)
P.S. The biggest treat for me was obtaining The Garden of Everything duet by Maaya Sakamoto and Steve Conte. This song is the perfect blend of two of anime's best and most familiar vocalists.
Sunny Hill Mini Album Vol. 1 - Midnight CircusSeptember 1, 2011 Creative
I immediately fell in love with the concept behind Midnight Circus, and it's just an added bonus that the vocalist are excellent and extremely talented. They sound amazing live and the stage concept just draws you in. It's hard for amazing vocal talent to be promoted well in korea if they don't have killer "looks". I love how this group doesn't seem to have a must be "hot" image. They do clean up well on stage, but you can clearly see that the vocals come first in their performances.
hen it comes to the non-promotional tracks, Puppetry is my favorite track on this mini album. It has the perfect balance of acoustics and R&B. This is a song I can't help but listen to countless times once its played once. I love how all the singers compliment each other.
Superstar (SINGLE+DVD)(Japan Version)2 people found this review helpful
September 1, 2011 Groovy :)
I actually fell in love with the B-side track "I don't know" before hearing the main title, "Superstar".
I was convinced that "I don't know" was the promotional track, so I was a little sad when it wasn't. However, the dancing arrangement in "Superstar" made me see the reason why. The showmanship is more appealing, however, I still feel that the B-side track has better musical arrangement.
"I don't know" has a really catchy beat (similar to artists like Prince). I love Changmin's voice alterations throughout the song. A low alto verse leading into the climax of a high soprano chorus. The arrangement is so appealing to me and it's perfect for Changmin's singing voice and range. Yunho compliments really well with the low verses and his rap parts in the chorus. :)
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (DVD) (Japan Version)September 1, 2011 Great, but not perfect. :)
I absolutely love the entire idea behind this film. The plot, storyline, and music choice all fit in perfectly. However, some of the actor choices just did not fit the role enough for me. The main character played by Horikita Maki was not emotional enough for me. I felt that her facial expressions did not successfully express what she was going through. The point in the film near the end when she bursts into the newspaper room, emotional due to a friend leaving, was the one point where I felt she let go as an actress and actually fell into the part. The main characters father is a perfect example of good acting. I really related to him in the film.
Secondly, I wish the english was a bit better. The lines could have been practiced more. I have been watching japanese films for years and have heard better english than this. I watch these films without subs and I can understand the japanese better than the english!
However, I do love the concepts shown in this film. I love the development of the boys the main character encounters. This movie deals with everything from boyfriends to friends to sex and even depression. The music choice was also excellent and went well with each scene it was placed in. I would love to get the soundtrack for this film.
Overall, this is a movie I love watching over and over again. The story carries more meaning for me than its shortcomings. :)
Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. (DVD) (US Version)(1)September 1, 2011 Amazing new tale!
This part of the EVA Rebuild movie series takes a slightly different turn from the original TV series. There are new characters, news angels (with different no. from the series), as well as events from the series revamped in different ways. I find this a little appealing since EVA 1.11 stayed so close to the TV series that it just felt like I was watching the series but in more high definition.
I must admit, I was a little wary of the new character Mari (I'm a stickler for the original cast), but she's a bit too cool to hate. ^^() They did an amazing job with her character development because a lot of fans don't like "replacement" characters to invade the original story. Also, I love how Nagisa Kaworu has a bit of a larger role.
While the new graphics are awesome, I want long time EVA fans to know that there's so much more to these movies than that. When the creators used the word "rebuild", they meant it. I actually feel that they rebuilt their entire concept and took it to another level.
Excellent second installment. Cannot wait for part three!
Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone (DVD) (US Version)September 1, 2011 A new spin! :D
After waiting so long for "something" new with EVA, I was so happy when this project was announced. When they kept just re-releasing the series in platinum editions, I was really itching for something more. Man does Anno Hideaki ever deliver!
This is an amazing remake with everything from graphics to character development. I am glad it was decided to do this in movie installments. It makes long-time fans more accepting of slight changes in the storyline. If the entire series had been remade, I think the pressure of sticking to the original story would have been stifling for the director's creative ideas.
I also love how almost all of the american dub voice actors were called in for this project. I'm sure it must have been a bit tough since this series was released in the 1990's and EVA is now under FUNimation instead of ADV.
Summer Wars (DVD) (English Subtitled) (US Version)
Summer Wars (DVD) (English Subtitled) (US Version) DVD Region 1(2)Our Price: US$29.98September 1, 2011 Enchanting Piece :)
Though there's no magic in this movie at all, this story does an excellent job in making you feel like you're in a whole nother world. :) Summer Wars is the perfect balance between the real world and virtuality. The viewer can relate to both worlds and still feel grounded in both.
With tons of funny characters, amazing visuals, and the use of such a bright color palette, a heartfelt story that demonstrates the importance of family is told. Mamoru Hosoda has done an excellent job directing this piece. I feel this story can touch a person of any age. However, I also feel that while it may be appealing to young children, it may take them a while to truly understand some of the true morals and technology terms in the film.
I highly recommend this film whether you're into anime or not. If you can appreciate the childlike mindset of Miyazaki films or the emotionally serious themes of Makoto Shinkai's work, then this film is the perfect balance of both worlds.
It'll have you laughing one minute and then emotional the next since this story relates so well with real life.
Amazing work. The film awards are definitely well deserved :)
P.S. the english dubbed of this is actually pretty nice. It follows pretty close with the original japanese seiyuu.
Teen Top Single Album Vol. 2 - Transform7 people found this review helpful
March 3, 2011 Excellent comeback :)
While I really only like the main song on this single, this still gets 5 stars because the promotional song "Supa Luv" is GREAT! I really think Eric (Shinhwa) did a good job in training them for this single. Teen Top is something I think will stay for a while.
"Supa Luv" is a really catchy song that really seems suitable for these boys since they're so young and the choreography is so CUTE and amazingly skilled. I was a bit concerned about these boys debuting so young, but Shinhwa knows what they're doing and keeping it appropriate and fun at the same time.
So far so good, keep up the good work boys. You guys are talented and I look forward to them developing better vocals so their lives will be more solid. I'm sure that as they grow more talent will come forth. :)
Dejavu (Japan Version)1 people found this review helpful
March 3, 2011 Holy Smokes! My Diva is back! >_<
I have to admit that I wasn't really feeling my girl's last few singles, but this album is simple amazing! There are so many genre's from R&B to kumi's classic dive hip-hop sound, and even her cutie bubble pop sound. Every aspects of kumi's signature sounds is within this album and it's refereshing to have all of this in one package. :)
Out of the non-promotional tracks, "Passing By" immediately caught my ear and was on repeat for a while before I got to the rest of the album. The piano melody is gorgeous and the thumping beat brings the perfect rhythm to this R&B ballad. I love the balance between english and japanese. It flows so well and whoever is collaborating with her has a handsome voice and I hope that if this is performed live, he will be there as well. ^^
"Okay" was also a track that caught my ear. It has a electronica dance melody with an intense R&B beat that I totally see in a club scene. Her vocals are so smooth in this piece and also mixes english and japanese will in a way that makes sense.
I also love that "Anata dake ga" was included and not just "suki de x3" since it was my favorite song out of her recently released singles. :) The melodic tone in her voice is gorgeous...
Also, the last track "I Don't Love You !??" is very interesting. The beat is very different from what we've heard from her before... I love it! >_<
Over, a definite solid album as usual. Highly recommended :)
Storyteller (Japan Version)February 6, 2011 Excellent.
I have recently been introduced to the world of Vocaloid within the last few months and was lead to this associated artist through a friend. I must say that I immensely enjoyed this album as well as the amazing artwork that accompanies it. The artist who illustrates the albums do some amazing work. :)
Musicwise, I love the broad variety of genres that this album carries. It also helps that the singer has a lot of range, so songs from pop to hard rock and even to the slower ballads sound amazing.
This is a treat for Vocaloid and Nico Nico Douga singers, but this is also great for regular j-pop singers. I highly recommend this album and cannot wait for new releases by this vocalist.
P.S. I also love that a version of the Vocaloid song, "Spice", was recorded. This version definitely did the song justice. :)
JYJ ( JEJUNG / YUCHUN / JUNSU ) - The Beginning (Special Edition) + Folded Poster(39)Our Price: US$49.99List: US$64.99Save: US$15.00 (23%)2 people found this review helpful
November 21, 2010 Mind Blowing Packaging
So, I got my copy last week, and I must say it was worth the wait and the money. This is the largest CD case I've ever seen. The large box it comes in seems like a fortress for all the treats inside. :)
The T-shirt comes in folded in a bag, but it's a clear and silver bag that can open and close and has the JYJ logo on it, which means that it can be reused. The shirt itself is white with the 3 boys on it. Size wise, there is no size written, but I'd guess that its about a medium since its a little big on me.
The poster came folded and is pretty large compared to magazine insert posters. I'm quite satisfied with it. Inside the box, the CD level is first and underneath the tab is the photobook and then the paper wrapped 16 photocards. I absolutele LOVE the design of the book and the nice quality of the photos. Also, the serial number card included in the book is nice. Makes my album feel like one of a kind. :)
Music wise, I love the album. Its a nice start for an American debut, and though its not up to par with the American quality of music we listen to now, its heading in the right direction. I love how I don't feel any copied styles from other artist. It feels truly their own. My Top 3 songs would have to be Empty, Be My Girl, and I Can Soar. This album has an R&B quality that screams Jaejoong and Yoochun since both love that genre and Junsu adds the hype and soul to certain tracks. The remixes are quite nice as well.
Overall, the musical quality is great, bass was pumping! >o< I think the boys did a pretty good job with their english considering its their first time and they don't speak it fluently. Especially Junsu. I was quite surprised with his annunciation.
Good job JYJ! Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future!
2NE1 Vol. 1 - To Anyone5 people found this review helpful
October 18, 2010 It grows on you.
When I first heard this album, it was a bit of a let down because I was completely in love with their old sound.
I loved that 'Follow Me' was finally added to an album. It also included other promotional tracks released in sub member format like Park Bom's You&I and Mimzy&CL's Please Don't Go. When it comes down to the new promotional tracks, only 'Can't Nobody' immediately caught my attention with CL's fierce attitude and the MV was great. Only 'Apa /Slow' out of the non-promotional tracks impressed me. The vocal talent really shines in this track.
HOWEVER, now that it's been a while, I have kind of gotten used to their more techno/dance influenced music. 'Go Away' grew on my after seeing the performance because the MV totally ruined the song for me in the beginning. The MV is just... I can't put it into words. :( The same goes for 'Clap'. This song really grew on me after getting the MV out of my head.
Overall, for 2NE1 fans, this is definitely a treat with a new added spice. I still think this is worth the buy. :)