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  1. Nirvana in Fire II (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-50) (End) (China Version) Nirvana in Fire II (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-50) (End) (China Version) Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Liu Hao Ran (Actor) | Tong Li Ya (Actor) | Zhang Bo
    Nirvana in Wind
    April 23, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    On Douban, China's largest peer film review ratings site, the 2015 period series Nirvana in Fire tops all Chinese TV dramas with a score of 9.1. Out of over 200,000 ratings, Nirvana in Fire earned five stars from over 70% of users, and four or five stars by over 90%. Those are staggering numbers for a local recent production and a reflection of the near universal acclaim for the drama from critics and everyday audiences alike. Nirvana in Fire essentially captured lightning in a bottle with its sublime script, cast and production values that reached an appreciative audience. Two years later, Nirvana in Fire II: The Wind Blows in Changlin arrives with a story set several decades after the... [read more]
  2. WJSN Mini Album Vol. 4 - Dream Your Dream (Blue Version) WJSN Mini Album Vol. 4 - Dream Your Dream (Blue Version) WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
    A mature spin on WJSN's fantasy sound
    April 23, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Concepts are important marketing hooks in the K-pop scene. To keep fresh, many singers try different concepts from time to time, but these one-off gimmicks can't help them establish their own styles. Cosmic Girls (WJSN) is the rare exception that has seriously developed their dreamy concept into a trademark spacey sound. Last year, the girls took on a cheerleading concept for Happy Moment but failed to maintain their original cosmic tone. Returning with their fourth mini-album Dream Your Dream, they rediscover their ethereal vibe and blend it with different genres to explore more refreshing sounds. Love has been a recurring theme in WJSN's songs, but this album's title track "Dreams Come... [read more]
  3. BTOB: Jung Il Hoon Mini Album - Big Wave (Random Version) BTOB: Jung Il Hoon Mini Album - Big Wave (Random Version) Jung Il Hoon (BTOB)
    Jung Il Hoon's hip-hop cocktail
    March 29, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    I'm not a BTOB fan but some of their songs are always on my playlist. One thing those songs hold in common is that they are all created by member Jung Il Hoon. The rapper plays a pivotal role in developing BTOB's groovy and funky side, which is especially notable in Movie, "Love Drunk" and Neverland. The young producer further explores his idiosyncratic hip-hop style in his surprise solo debut Big Wave. "Fancy Shoes" (Track 2), which was released under last year's Piece of BTOB project, is an exemplary track that displays the rapper's musical taste. The smooth-sounding yet bouncy song starts with an impressive samba-influenced electric guitar melody adorned with dreamlike vocal... [read more]
  4. If - Mata Aetara - (SINGLE+ DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) If - Mata Aetara - (SINGLE+ DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version) DAY6
    DAY6's Japanese debut
    March 28, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When Korean idols advance into the Japanese music market, they almost always start out by remaking Korean hits. This is understandably the safest route as it requires less investment and leverages songs that are already familiar to Japanese K-pop fans. The notable exception to this standard remake strategy is JYP Entertainment. Both 2PM and GOT7 debuted in Japan with original singles, and Twice's first Japanese single was an original song. Following in the footsteps of their labelmates, DAY6 debuts in Japan with the original single If -Mata Aetara-. As one of the few (instrument-playing) bands in the K-pop idol industry, DAY6 has consistently put out quality self-produced music since... [read more]
  5. Circle (2017) (DVD) (Ep.1-12) (End) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Circle (2017) (DVD) (Ep.1-12) (End) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Kim Kang Woo (Actor) | Yeo Jin Gu (Actor) | Gong Seung Yeon (Actor) | Lee Gi Kwang (Actor)
    Brave New World of Korean sci-fi
    March 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When Circle began airing in May 2017, it wasn't very clear where exactly this drama would be going considering its story would involve two worlds, two time periods, two brothers, murders and an alien. Is it really possible for a 12-episode original series to pack in this much stuff and not be a hot mess? Somehow, Circle makes it all work in thrilling and thought-provoking manner. For most of the series, Circle splits each episode into two equally compelling halves. The first part of each episode, titled Beta Project, is set in the present day and follows Yeo Jin Gu as college student Kim Woo Jin. The harried youth has a troubled twin brother, Bum Kyoon (Ahn Woo Yeon), who has been obsessed... [read more]
  6. Heize Mini Album (Normal Edition) Heize Mini Album (Normal Edition) Heize
    Love and vulnerability
    March 23, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Last year, Heize used rain as a symbol for the successful mini-album /// (You, Clouds, Rain). The aesthetics of nature reappear in the singer-songwriter's fourth release Wish & Wind, which adopts the motif of wind to depict the sorrow of breaking up with a loved one. The excitement of Jenga games comes from the uncertainty as to when the Jenga tower will collapse. However, for Heize, Jenga is like a distressing love game. In the title track Jenga (Track 1), the narrator's anxiety over a fragile relationship is visualized by using the metaphor of a badly built Jenga tower as her wounded heart. Heavy grooves are brought to the playful jazz number, which creates a cool, swinging retro vibe for... [read more]
  7. BoA Mini Album Vol. 1 - ONE SHOT, TWO SHOT BoA Mini Album Vol. 1 - ONE SHOT, TWO SHOT BoA
    BoA's new sonic sphere
    March 9, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Every year, numerous newcomers pop up in the K-pop scene. To survive in the music battlefield, all singers – no matter how experienced or successful they are – have to adapt to their fans' ever-changing music tastes or they will be forgotten. Well aware of this harsh reality, BoA keeps surprising fans with trendsetting music and dancing that have established her as an undefeatable pop diva. After achieving an artistic breakthrough in 2015 with her first self-produced album Kiss My Lips, the songstress invents a new sonic sphere for her music cocktail One Shot, Two Shot. The deep house jam One Shot, Two Shot (Track 1) follows the dreamy and sensual vibe of Kiss My Lips. In the muted opening,... [read more]
  8. Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-27) (End) (China Version) Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-27) (End) (China Version) Elvis Han (Actor) | Sebrina Chen (Actor) | Landy Li (Actor) | Ian Wang (Actor)
    Wu Xin is still good the second time around
    February 28, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 has one undeniable shortcoming common to sequels: it's not as good as its predecessor. However, that doesn't mean it's not good. Wu Xin 2 picks up the adventures of Elvis Han's demon-exorcising immortal some two decades after he has lost memories of the events and people from the first season of the supernatural period fantasy series. Continuing the cycle of his endless wanderings, the good-natured Wu Xin resets with new encounters, exorcisms and enemies. Along with the reset, the supporting cast also sees some changes. Sebrina Chen, Ian Wang and Mike D'Angelo return, but Gina Jin and Zhang Ruoyun do not, which does hurt the cast appeal. Landy Li joins as Wu... [read more]
  9. Orange (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Orange (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Yamazaki Kento (Actor) | Tsuchiya Tao (Actor) | Sakurada Dori (Actor) | Ryusei Ryo (Actor)
    Not another shojo teen romance
    February 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    It's easy to group Orange in with all the other light and fluffy shojo manga-based teen romances, especially since it even stars the genre's current two most prolific representatives, Yamazaki Kento and Tsuchiya Tao. Indeed, Orange, based on Takano Ichigo's manga, does have many typical elements of the genre, including a core group of friends, crushes and familiar youth film rites and imagery like sports day, summer festival, fireworks and cherry blossoms. However, more than a story of young love and friendship, Orange is a story about coping with feelings of guilt, loss and depression. Tsuchiya Tao plays high school sophomore Naho who suddenly finds a letter from her future self in her... [read more]
  10. Our Shining Days (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Our Shining Days (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Peng Yu Chang (Actor) | Xu Lu (Actor) | Geng Le | Eason Chan
    The sound of dreams
    February 27, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In many Chinese communities, people tend to learn classical western music because traditional Chinese music is often thought to be old-fashioned. Pitting traditional music against classical music, the teen romcom Our Shining Days revives the image of Chinese music and reminds people of their initial dreams. Chen Jing (Xu Lu, Tribe and Empires: Storm of Prophecy) is an optimistic yet aimless music student who plays the yangqin, a traditional hammered dulcimer. To impress her love interest Wang Wen (Luo Mingjie), a cold and supercilious piano major, Jing recruits her buddy Li You (Peng Yuchang, Go Princess Go) and a group of cosplay-loving outcasts to form a traditional music ensemble. Since... [read more]
  11. INNER VOICE (EP) INNER VOICE (EP) Tang Siu Hau (Singer)
    February 23, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    What comes to your mind when you think of Tang Siu Hau? The singing competition The Voice or the theme song "Half a Cup of Water" from the 2010 TVB sitcom Some Day? It's hard to think of a third thing to represent Siu Hau because she was always underrated during her five years under TVB. After joining Vicky Fung and Victor Tse's Frenzi Music in 2015, her talents were discovered through various surprising singles including "Elegance and Vulgarity" and "Strength and Weakness." Taking audiences away from the depressive world of her debut EP, the mini-album Inner Voice explores the power of communication in mutual understanding and self-discovery. The first plug "Mixed" (Track 1) continues her... [read more]
  12. Doushite Koishite Konna (SINGLE+DVD) (Japan Version) Doushite Koishite Konna (SINGLE+DVD) (Japan Version) Uno Misako
    Uno Misako's refreshing solo debut
    February 20, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In the past several years, quite a few of the AAA members have branched out to solo music careers, with Nishijima Takahiro (Nissy) and Hidaka Mitsuhiro (Sky-Hi) being especially active as solo artists. Uno Misako now joins the solo ranks with her first official single Doushite Koishite Konna ("Why is Love Like This?"). Doushite Koishite Konna contrasts sweet melody and singing with Uno's self-penned melancholic lyrics about love and separation. The medium-tempo song is co-composed by Koudai Iwatsubo and Jazzin'park's Kubota Shingo, who also participated on Nissy's recent solo album Hocus Pocus2. The song's mellow arrangement brings a soul-freeing atmosphere to the song, particularly in the... [read more]
  13. Luna (2CD) Luna (2CD) AGA (Singer)
    Songs for nighttime loners
    January 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Sleepless nights may feel lonely, but they're the perfect time for introspection for people like AGA. Drawing from various genres like jazz, rock and hip-hop, the groovy musician's album Luna eloquently expresses the feeling of loneliness through stories of different lonely people and guides listeners to reconnect with their inner souls. The lead track 3AM (Track 1) creates a tranquil midnight with a very rich 90s R&B flavor. On top of a quiet piano melody fused with catchy drumbeats, the singer-songwriter sings about the internal conflict of a girl who struggles to break up with her lover. Rapper Ghost Style comforts the girl with his deep and gentle voice, which perfectly suits the smooth... [read more]
  14. Kassy Mini Album Vol. 1 Kassy Mini Album Vol. 1 Kassy
    Kassy's sonic journey to healing
    January 29, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Kassy made herself known as a rapper through the reality show Unpretty Rapstar 3 in 2016. However, I would rather call her a "rapping vocalist" because singing is her primary focus. In her first mini-album I Want Love, the R&B singer retains her groovy style while introducing new genres to depict a healing journey after breaking up with a loved one. The main plug "I Want Love" (Track 1) starts the album with a dramatic string melody that expresses the intense heat of love. The ardent mood simmers down when cool synth beats join the song. Kassy's confident and frank rap about the yearning for a past love enriches the appealing blend of electronica and classical music with a bold hip-hop... [read more]
  15. The Posterist: The Art Of Yuen Tai-Yung (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Posterist: The Art Of Yuen Tai-Yung (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Yuen Tai Yung | Hui See Wai (Director) | Kenny Bee Chung | Ma Wing Shing
    He who drew the stars
    January 24, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The name Yuen Tai Yung won't ring a bell for most people, but if you're a fan of 70s and 80s Hong Kong films, you'll recognize Yuen's artwork immediately. Yuen's distinctive and eye-catching illustrations graced the movie posters (and VCD/DVD covers) of hundreds of films from Hong Kong cinema's golden age. The self-taught artist was uncannily good at capturing the biggest stars of the day and the tone of action and comedy films. His poster artwork for Bruce Lee films emblazoned the martial arts superstar's name in bold block letters across the top and animated his stunning aura with muscles rippling and limbs flying. Meanwhile, his funny caricature-like drawings for Hui Brothers classics... [read more]
  16. C AllStar 2017 Live (2DVD + 2CD) C AllStar 2017 Live (2DVD + 2CD) C AllStar (Singer)
    Music and society
    January 22, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    While new groups keep popping up in Hong Kong, few of them can stand firm in the mainstream music world like C AllStar. Thanks to their compelling a cappella skills and realistic yet experimental music style, the vocal quartet quickly found a seat among numerous pop groups and rock bands in the Cantopop scene. However, the habitual collaboration between the four members has gradually become a comfort zone that stifles their creativity. Before going solo to find breakthroughs in their music careers, the C AllStar members inspire thinking about the future of Hong Kong and Cantopop in their farewell concert. Starting from the bossa nova debut song iSing to the EDM-style "Music Colony," C... [read more]
  17. Heart Attack (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Heart Attack (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Sunny Suwanmethanon (Actor) | Davika Hoorne (Actor) | Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (Director)
    You should get that looked at
    January 19, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The marketing visuals of Heart Attack would have you think that it is a cute romantic comedy of the type that GTH was very good at producing. However, the film's protagonist probably spends more time flirting with the medical meaning of the title than with the doctor he develops a crush on. Directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, the award-winning comedy-drama offers a hint of romance and a multitude of warning signs about the unhealthy workaholic lifestyles of urban professionals. Sunny Suwanmethanon is hilariously relatable as sloppy-looking freelance graphics designer Yoon, who's known as the best in the business. In order to keep that title and the jobs coming in, he must toil quickly... [read more]
  18. Bad Genius (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Bad Genius (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Teeradon Supapunpinyo (Actor) | Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Actor) | Eisaya Hosuwan (Actor) | Nattawut Poonpiriya (Director)
    Cruel truth behind exam cheating
    November 30, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Education is important for young people to acquire not only knowledge but also proper social and moral values. However, these values can easily vanish in a goal-oriented education system, under which cheating may become a "strategy" to score high marks in exams. Inspired by the large-scale exam-cheating scandal that happened in Thailand in 2014, director Nattawut Poonpiriya (Countdown) calls for serious reflection on the country's education system and social inequality in the mind-blowing high-school heist thriller Bad Genius. Played by model-turned-actress Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, math prodigy Lynn is admitted to a prestigious school on a scholarship thanks to her great academic... [read more]
  19. Teiichi no Kuni (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Teiichi no Kuni (Blu-ray) (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) Suda Masaki | Nomura Shuhei | Takeuchi Ryoma | Nagano Mei
    Politics As Usual: High School Edition
    November 29, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Back in 2013 when they were still on the cusp of stardom, Suda Masaki and Nomura Shuhei played ordinary immature students at an all-boys high school in The Daily Lives of High School Boys. Four years later, the two actors are back together as immature students of an all-boys high school, but this time they are political rivals. Based on the manga Teiichi no Kuni by Furuya Usamaru, Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High manages to be both wondrously stupid and sneakily smart as it colorfully conjures the facetiously entertaining world of an elite high school known to produce future politicians and bureaucrats. In what seems likes his umpteenth film of the year, Suda Masaki plays Teiichi, a... [read more]
  20. Size 9 (Limited Edition) Size 9 (Limited Edition) Jan Lamb (Singer)
    Hoping for the best for Hong Kong
    November 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    The frustration with Hong Kong's stressful lifestyle and stagnant music market has been growing in the city. By taking on various music genres, Jan Lamb revitalizes the monotonous Cantopop scene, and sends messages of hope and encouragement through the album Size 9. Cantopop enjoyed widespread popularity in Asia during the 1980s and 1990s, and the early 2000s also saw the successful emergence of superstars Joey Yung, Eason Chan and Twins. However, the industry started to decline in the recent decade as local listeners turned to more popular music from Taiwan and Korea. Hong Kong songwriters and singers also produced Mandarin songs to expand their markets. Hoping that the industry can revive... [read more]
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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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