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  1. The Poet and The Boy (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) The Poet and The Boy (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) Yang Ik Joon (Actor) | Jung Ga Ram (Actor) | Jeon Hye Jin (Actor) | Kim Sung Kyun
    Genuine love without lust
    September 19, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    It's hard to believe that The Poet and The Boy, which won Best Screenplay at the Busan Film Critics Awards and the Women in Film Korea Awards, is only the feature debut of director Kim Yang Hee. In the film, married poet Mr. Hyeon (Yang Ik Joon) finds inspiration and infatuation in attractive young man Se Yoon (Jung Ga Ram) who works at a donut shop near his home. There are many questions about whether Mr. Hyeon and Se Yoon are truly in love or not. Rather than giving an exact answer, Kim Yang Hee shows the parallel between the backgrounds of the two and their surrounding characters. Mr. Hyeon is out of ideas and teased by other poets for writing vague and lame poems. With his wife (Jeon... [read more]
  2. NCT DREAM Mini Album Vol. 2 - We Go Up NCT DREAM Mini Album Vol. 2 - We Go Up NCT Dream
    Teen power overload!
    September 10, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Time flies. It's hard to believe that NCT Dream is already two years old. I still remember how I was all excited while waiting for Chewing Gum to be released, and the young and adorable boys in the music video just seem like yesterday to me. Go from NCT 2018 Empathy marked the beginning of the group's transformation from the cute and energetic boys in We Young to chic and swaggy teens. Now the teenage subunit returns with the brand new hip-hop-style record We Go Up! Written by Kenzie and Mark, urban hip-hop track We Go Up (Track 1) serves as the title track for this album. The tempo, hooks and roaring and bell sounds make the whole song more addictive. The song's lyrics, in short, say "Let... [read more]
  3. Mirai no Theme / Uta no Kisha (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Mirai no Theme / Uta no Kisha (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Yamashita Tatsuro
    Music from Mirai, Sounds from the Past
    September 6, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When I first heard Yamashita Tatsuro's latest single, I smiled at the singer-songwriter's timeless ability to write new songs that sound like old songs. At the time, I had not yet watched Hosoda Mamoru's animated feature film Mirai for which the songs were made. After watching Mirai, I now smile at the songs for capturing the sentiments of the film so perfectly in melody form. Yamashita previously created the beautiful theme song Bokura no Natsu no Yume for Hosoda's 2009 film Summer Wars (an acoustic live version of that song is included on this single). For Mirai, he made the theme song Mirai no Theme ("Theme of Mirai") and ending theme Uta no Kisha ("Music Train"), which are delightful... [read more]
  4. Modern Tragedy Modern Tragedy Joanna Wang (Singer)
    Slice-of-life drama in pop rock jams
    August 31, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Joanna Wang swept many awards as a newcomer with her first album in 2008. Though her debut became a massive hit, she frankly stated that the whole album was designed and created under "business considerations" and not what she really wanted. Starting from her second album Joanna & Wang Ruo-lin, she has expressed her own style of music on her own terms. Modern Tragedy is Joanna's latest album with songs all written and composed by the singer-songwriter. It was my first time listening to her and the tracklist attracted me with its funny long titles. As Joanna puts it, every sad story has its value; we just have to embrace it. Let's enjoy some 90s pop rock in her new album! Modern Tragedy... [read more]
  5. Goodbye Mr. Loser (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Goodbye Mr. Loser (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Ma Li (Actor) | Shen Teng (Actor) | Yin Zheng (Actor) | Ai Lun (Actor)
    From Mr. Loser to Mr. Billionaire
    August 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Since opening last month, Yan Fei and Peng Damo's comedy Hello Mr. Billionaire starring Shen Teng has grossed around 2.5 billion yuan to storm into China's top ten grossing films of all time. This is the third time in as many years that a Shen Teng film has broken into the top ten of China's rapidly refreshing box-office records, following 2017's Never Say Die and 2015's Goodbye Mr. Loser. In a mere three years, Shen Teng has gone from a mainly stage and skit actor into a household name and box-office force. The film that started it all is the sleeper hit Goodbye Mr. Loser. In 2015, directors Yan Fei and Peng Damo, star Shen Teng and other members of the Beijing theater troupe Mahua Fun Age... [read more]
  6. Super Junior-D&E Mini Album Vol. 2 - Bout You (D&E Version) Super Junior-D&E Mini Album Vol. 2 - Bout You (D&E Version) Super Junior-D&E | Lee Dong Hae (Super Junior) | Eun Hyuk (Super Junior) | Super Junior
    Groovy hip-hop style of the funky D&E
    August 20, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Super Junior-D&E, formed by Dong Hae and Eun Hyuk, is certainly one of the most successful subunits in K-pop. After releasing The Beat Goes On in 2015, the duo went on a three-year hiatus due to the members' military enlistment. Unlike the usual D&E or SuJu styles, their new unit album 'Bout You brings a groovy hip-hop style. Apart from NCT, it is rare for artists under SM Entertainment to release a primarily hip-hop album. From hip-hop to R&B and even ballad, 'Bout You is packed with eight songs of various genres and styles. D&E falls in love at first sight and makes a sweet confession in title track "'Bout You" (Track 1). Produced by Dong Hae and J-dub, the trap song is enhanced by... [read more]
  7. Wake Up Season 1 & 2 (DVD) (PTS TV Drama) (Taiwan Version) Wake Up Season 1 & 2 (DVD) (PTS TV Drama) (Taiwan Version) Tiffany Hsu (Actor) | Huang Jian Wei (Actor) | Chris Wu (Actor) | Lego Lee
    Life, death and medicine
    August 20, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Aired in 2015, the first season of Taiwan mini-series Wake Up swept multiple awards at the Golden Bell Awards with its brooding yet riveting story of a weary anesthesiologist framed for malpractice amid a bigger medical conspiracy. Two years later, the series returned with similar themes and wider-reaching conflicts in an ambitiously complex tangle of medical procedural, human drama, crime suspense and socially conscious drama. Compared to the first season's lean six-episode run, Wake Up 2 doubles its length to 13 episodes, and more than doubles the production budget and cast. The first season's main cast of Huang Jian Wei, Tiffany Hsu, Chris Wu and Michael Huang all return, but in... [read more]
  8. Red Velvet Summer Mini Album - Summer Magic (Random Cover) (First Press Limited Edition) Red Velvet Summer Mini Album - Summer Magic (Random Cover) (First Press Limited Edition) Red Velvet
    Retro summer queens return
    August 13, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Red Velvet is famous for changing between "red concept" and "velvet concept" in their albums. Last year, they reached great success with their summer release Red Flavor, which achieved their best chart results since debut. Putting aside the chic style of Bad Boy and Peek-a-boo, the group returns with a charming and joyful image in Summer Magic. With 8-bit games getting popular again recently, the producers combine this element into the pop dance title track Power Up (Track 1). 8-bit sounds serve as the hook for the uptempo song, which makes it cuter and more fun. The catchy tune and addictive "ba-banana-ba-ba-banana-nana" stayed in my mind for days. Red Velvet swept the digital music charts... [read more]
  9. BTOB Mini Album Vol. 11 - THIS IS US (SEE Version) BTOB Mini Album Vol. 11 - THIS IS US (SEE Version) BTOB
    This is us, this is BTOB
    August 6, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Considered one of the underrated idol groups of K-pop, BTOB always surprises the audience with their hidden composing skills and vocal talents. Starting from their debut album, the group members co-composed their album tracks and participated in rap-making and writing lyrics. Back in 2014, BTOB's Christmas release The Winter's Tale marked their first time using a self-composed song as the title track for a comeback. For their last album Brother Act, the title song Missing You was co-produced by Hyun Sik and ranked high in various music charts. This summer, BTOB put aside their usual melancholic style and returned with a unique summer vibe in This Is Us. BTOB's 11th mini album This Is Us... [read more]
  10. The Outlaws (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) The Outlaws (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Ma Dong Seok (Actor) | Yoon Kye Sang (Actor) | Jo Jae Yoon (Actor) | Choi Gwi Hwa (Actor)
    Ma Dong Seok vs Gangsters
    August 2, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Helmed by first-time writer-director Kang Yoon Sung, The Outlaws is based on a real-life gang war and police mop-up operation that occurred in Seoul's de facto Chinatown district of Garibong in 2007. The real-world origin of the story adds to the grit and appeal of this no-nonsense crime action thriller. In a role that is basically tailor-made for him, Ma Dong Seok plays tough-as-nails, straight-talking violent-crimes detective Ma Seok Do, who really does not appreciate the sudden nuisance of a turf war breaking out in his district. Cut from the old-school fabric of street-smart policing, Detective Ma maintains familiar relations with locals and mob bosses, and doesn't hesitate to break... [read more]
  11. Nobody Island Nobody Island everfor (Singer)
    In search of lost times
    July 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    The retro trend has grown substantially in everything from fashion to furniture, and the craze for vintage nostalgia has also hit the Taiwan music scene. To develop a fresh retro sound, indie band Freckles' guitarist Sue Wei An has spent years experimenting with different styles, such as garage, nu disco, dub, ska and chill-out music. The musician showcases his pioneering spirit in Nobody Island released under the name of his new band Everfor, which includes his brother Sue Wei Bo on bass, Heartones' Du Yi Xiu on guitar and former FLUX member Li Liang Ying on drums. Inspired by his hometown of Tamsui in New Taipei City, the album captures the relaxing mood of the seaside city. Strumming the... [read more]
  12. Sung Si Kyung Vol. 6 (Reissue) Sung Si Kyung Vol. 6 (Reissue) Sung Si Kyung
    Delicate voice of the Korean music scene
    July 30, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    If you are a fan of K-Dramas, you've probably heard his dulcet voice before. From Secret Garden to My Love From The Star, ballad singer Sung Si Kyung has sung numerous soundtrack songs for hit dramas and movies. Known as Korea's "King of Ballads," he expresses every song in his uniquely velvety and sweet voice. In recent years, the singer has shone as a host of various entertainment programs like Non-Summit and Battle Trip. I have been a super fangirl of Sung Si Kyung since I heard his remake of Seo Tai Ji and Boys' To You in the Reply 1994 drama OST. Among all the singles and albums he has released, his sixth full-length album Here In My Heart tops my list. Here In My Heart was the last... [read more]
  13. Mary and the Witch's Flower (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Mary and the Witch's Flower (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Mitsushima Hikari | Sugisaki Hana | Yonebayashi Hiromasa (Director) | Kohinata Fumiyo
    Almost Ghibli
    July 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    After Studio Ghibli shuttered its filmmaking arm in 2014, veteran producer Nishimura Yoshiaki founded the new animation house Studio Ponoc with the help of other key Ghibli alumni, most notably Yonebayashi Hiromasa. In its thirty-year history, besides Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao, Studio Ghibli has only had two other in-house directors with more than one feature film credit: Yonebayashi and Miyazaki Goro. As the rare Miyazaki protégé to gain directing reins, Yonebayashi seemed to be Studio Ghibli's future when he stepped out with The Borrower Arrietty in 2010. Though Nishimura and Yonebayashi are no longer with Studio Ghibli, they have brought the themes and aesthetics that they spent... [read more]
  14. Psychic Kusuo (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Psychic Kusuo (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Yamazaki Kento | Hashimoto Kanna | Fukuda Yuichi (Director) | Uchida Yuki
    With great power comes great exasperation
    July 11, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Between Gintama and Gintama 2, director Fukuda Yuichi found time to adapt Aso Shuichi's The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., another manga about a reluctant smart-talking hero with distinctly colored hair. Fukuda translates the physical comedy, deadpan humor and general ridiculousness of the gag manga into an appropriately over-the-top live-action high school comedy about the misadventures of Psychic Kusuo. Prolific young actor Yamazaki Kento takes on yet another manga adaptation, but like with the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable adaptation, Psychic Kusuo sees him expanding beyond the shojo manga heartthrob fare that has been his bread and butter in the last few years. As the... [read more]
  15. 2xxx! - Life+unconsciousness 2xxx! - Life+unconsciousness 2xxx!
    Surrealistic music about everyday struggles
    July 11, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    2xxx! first caught my attention with his futuristic works, such as Dean's Bonnie & Clyde and Heize's Shut Up & Groove. The producer examines the complex emotions of everyday life through his surrealistic music in his first album Life, which was released digitally in 2017. Composed of Life and the new instrumental EP unconsciousness, the album set Life+unconsciousness captures real-life emotions and serves as a guide to psychological growth. The spacey 170908myidea(intro)_3 (Track 1) leads into the heavy-hearted Girl, Interrupted (Track 2), which reveals a girl's complicated inner world. Accompanied by depressing keyboard tunes, Miso croons about the protagonist's struggles with her airy... [read more]
  16. Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura (Blu-ray) (Deluxe Edition) (Japan Version) Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura (Blu-ray) (Deluxe Edition) (Japan Version) Sakai Masato | Takahata Mitsuki | Kanbe Hiroshi | Ichikawa Mikako
    Always - Sunset on Kamakura
    June 28, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Yamazaki Takashi is the undisputed master of Japanese films that are simultaneously loaded with state-of-the-art special effects and old-fashioned nostalgia. After applying his visual effects expertise and palpable sentimentalism to wartime dramas Eternal Zero and Fueled, the Parasyte series and even Doraemon, the director circles back to the nostalgic works of mangaka Saigan Ryohei for Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura. Yamazaki is perhaps best known for his three adaptations of Saigan's long-running Always - Sunset on Third Street series. The blockbuster award-winning film franchise gently pushed the envelope of Japanese visual effects with stunning renditions of postwar Tokyo in the 1950s... [read more]
  17. Glass Garden (DVD) (Korea Version) Glass Garden (DVD) (Korea Version) Moon Geun Young (Actor) | Kim Tae Hoon (Actor) | Park Ji Soo (Actor) | Seo Tae Hwa (Actor)
    Humanity and nature
    June 28, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Human photosynthesis has recently been a hot topic in science. Rather than discussing the feasibility of this undeveloped technology, Glass Garden director Shin Su Won finds inspiration from the innovative research to look into humanity's deterioration in an unjust society. The magical realism romance casts new light on the relationship between humans and the environment. In the movie, Jae Yeon (Moon Geun Young, The Throne) puts theory into practice by experimenting with photosynthetic blood cells in hopes that people can one day generate oxygen and energy like plants. Since her research is an unprofitable long-term project, the budding scientist loses funding to rival Soo Hee (Park Ji Soo,... [read more]
  18. Because This Is My First Life (12DVD) (Outcase + Photobook + Special Book + Postcards) (Premium Limited Edition) (tvN TV Drama) (Korea Version) Because This Is My First Life (12DVD) (Outcase + Photobook + Special Book + Postcards) (Premium Limited Edition) (tvN TV Drama) (Korea Version) Lee Min Ki (Actor) | Jung So Min (Actor) | Park Byung Eun (Actor) | Esom (Actor)
    Marriage VS Single life
    June 19, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Due to housing and financial problems, many young people are forced to sacrifice their dreams and plans, such as getting married and having children. Solo living has become a new social norm that clashes with traditional views on marriage. tvN's Because This Is My First Life looks into this phenomenon through the eyes of people in their thirties, and inspires discussion on the value of marriage. Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min, My Father Is Strange), who graduated from a prestigious university, dreams of becoming a successful writer but she ends up working as a nameless assistant writer. Since her brother is about to be a father, she has no choice but to move out. She eventually moves into the... [read more]
  19. Ryuusei / Yakusoku (SINGLE+DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Ryuusei / Yakusoku (SINGLE+DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) Aoi Eir
    Aoi Eir makes strong return from hiatus
    June 14, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    After being on hiatus for all of 2017 for health reasons, Aoi Eir returns this year with her signature clear-voiced rock-flavored pop in her 14th double A-side single of Yakusoku and Ryuusei. Yakusoku ("Promise") was unveiled online in February to announce her return. Aoi co-wrote the soaring medium-tempo ballad with frequent collaborator Shigenaga Ryosuke, who also composed and arranged. From the first line, one can already tell that she poured her feelings during hiatus into the lyrics: "In the normalcy of daily life / I suddenly realized that I was singing." Aoi directs the song's simple and sincere message of longing and gratitude to the fans who waited for her and gave her strength to... [read more]
  20. Moments Moments Bianca Wu (Singer)
    The new sounds of jazz
    May 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Jazz has been slow to go mainstream in the pop-influenced music industry. The development of jazz encounters even greater obstacles in Hong Kong due to the musical tastes of local listeners. Though many Hong Kong singers, like Jacky Cheung and William So, have attempted to explore jazz, none of them seriously turned the groovy music into their own style. Well aware of the public's traditional views on jazz as old-fashioned music, Bianca Wu has made substantial headway in reinvigorating the jazz genre and introducing it to the Cantopop scene. In her 16th album Moments, the Canto-jazz pioneer finds a fresh approach to jazz by incorporating different musical sounds. "Sapphire Bowl" (Track 1)... [read more]
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