Infinite – The Origin

Hooray! It finally arrived!

It took a while as I ordered it through my favourite kpop store in Sydney – seeing as they actually offered a pre-order 🙂

The only bad thing is that it doesn’t fit on my Infinite shelf 😦 Sorry ‘Man in Love’ you got spined so that I could at least partially display my new goodies.

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Alas, it looks as though Infinite’s comeback may be pushed back to the end of June or July – but that’s OK! I can wait (and possibly add on another shelf so that I get more room. Infinite really need 2 shelves rather than their current 1.5 – they have to share half a shelf with B.A.P)

This is a really beautiful album though – it’s very tactile and well put together.

My inner print nerd thrilled all over the presentation – it has so many elements that I absolutely adore, but most of the time could never talk clients into going for due to the extreme expense in the assembly stage. A lot of these are hand assembled at the end, as a machine can’t be purposed for a one-off project.

Infinite’s previous albums are all fairly generic (in terms of their print and assembly) – not to say that they aren’t beautiful (aka full of photos of cute boys), but this album is a real step up. It reminds me of their ‘Second Invasion’ concert box with all the black and fitted insides. I really appreciate how they have tied the album’s concept – instrumental, stripped back versions of their songs – into the album artwork. It feels classy and like a classical music boxed collection.

20cm x 20cm x 8cm (approx)

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The box has a faux leather finish and is blind embossed with the origin logo on the front (centered) and upper left corner on the reverse. The blind emboss smooths the leather finish to a shine and is used to great effect as the writing. This theme carries through the rest of the album styling.

I love that it’s also hinged!

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The construction of the box is very clever – nice thick 600ums card with a matt black covering with all corners mitred to fit perfectly. I really like the slight overhang of the backing which finishes off the deep box halves.

The inner box lining on the right hand side is gold and holds the CD and booklet. When the box is closed, this inner gold lining also shows at the gap. The ribbon is a nice touch, to help you lift everything out as it’s a snug fit.

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The booklet has a wraparound black 240gsm card cover which is blind embossed with spot UV finish on the front, reverse and spine. It’s great to see that it’s actually notch bound rather than perfect bound, so the booklet pages are nice and secure. You would need to ‘crack’ the spine if you were intending to read and play the sheet music with the booklet laid flat. I have no musical ability whatsoever (though that doesn’t stop me belting out songs slightly off key), so this booklet will remain a lovely curiosity for me.

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The 88 page insides of the booklet are printed on a cream 140gsm stock that has a slightly coated finish. It’s nice and smooth to the touch and gives an ‘old manuscript’ feel which is apropos, seeing as the booklet is the sheet music for the songs. I’m also fairly certain that these are also scans of handwritten sheet music, as there isn’t any of the usual font giveaways 🙂 All text is printed in black or with a halftone black screen. (gotta save those costs somewhere – though I lament the lack of cute boys)

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The three CD’s are presented mounted within a gateway foldout on the same lovely heavyweight 600ums card from the box that has also been wrapped in the same lighter paper weight black matte stock. The emboss and spot UV highlight used for the logo and text is very subtle, but beautiful. The CD’s are White, Black and Gold each representing a different theme with 10 tracks on each CD. White for their ballads, Black for their more powerful songs and Gold for their signature dance tracks.

This album is perfect for brainwashing any non k-pop fans among your friends, as you could totally play it as background music at say, a dinner party and when someone mentions “I like this tune, what is it?” you can sit them down and launch straight into “Let me tell you about 7 hot boys who are really talented…” (and possibly have flash cards with pictures of hotness / cuteness on hand and all the MV’s cued up on your TV)

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Best of all; you could, if you choose, present these in a triptych out of the box, as it will stand upright. Which I would totally do, if I had that extra shelving unit *budgets for later in the year*

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At the base of the inner box is a black foam lining with a gold medallion inset. It has ‘since 2010’ the new logo and ‘INFINITE’ embossed, surrounded by laurel leaves and a decorative border. I see what you did there SM – yes I do *cough just like TVXQ! Tense *cough* Medallions being the ‘in’ thing right now. 🙂

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All in all, I’m super pleased with this purchase. My only regret is that I don’t currently have room to display it properly!

This album was released with a limited qty of 30,000 units and sold out the preorder almost as soon as it was announced. If you’re looking to purchase it, you might have to try e-bay or scour the internet for a seller with stock.

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Celebrate!

Happy Birthday Aimee!!

(and your 10 year gap twins Youngmin and Kwangmin from Boyfriend too!)

Of course I now have the perfect excuse to spam our Kakao chat with as many cute Onew pictures as I can find all day tomorrow 🙂 This will of course, be an extreme hardship, especially as Onew has perfected the extremely dorky moment on camera *sigh* If Sunggyu weren’t my ultimate bias, Onew would come pretty close…

 

Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah yeah yeah!

Me: I’ve got a kpop lyric stuck in my head and can’t figure out the song.
It’s very unhelpful cos it goes “Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah yeah yeah!”

Aimee: Kekekeke
I feel like I know the song
LOL

Me: It’s a boy band
Also my Korean homework is soooo hard
I like have to make an actual effort
*sad Gayoon umbrella emoji*

Emily: You have Alphabet’s ‘Surprise Party’ stuck in your head
😀

Me: OMG I doooooooooo
*Henry Loveheart emoji*

Aimee: Bingo!
Kekekeke

Me: Such a cute song!

—-

Kakao Chat, Tuesday April 23, 2014

—-

Aish! Emily has the best kpop lyric sense in the history of EVER – especially considering my super vague “it went doo dooo doooo do do do do” esque clues…

But this is totally a super cute song and was the perfect song to do homework-of-doom transcribing to. Seeing a wall of hangul to translate was a bit daunting, but once I got into it I was actually fairly surprised at how little I had to double check to see if I had it right – go me!

My girlfriends are also really good at figuring out the MV from equally vague descriptions like ‘the one with lots of cute boys on a boat with stripey shirts’

Which is TOTALLY ZE:A’s “Watch Out”

Cubic

Hong Kong gangster meets smart schoolgirl – she’s in debt to him for a million dollars thanks to her deadbeat dad. Highjinks and gunfights with a side of totally inappropriate age gap romance ensue!

So far, I have breezed through 6 of the 16 episodes in this series. It’s a pretty uncomplicated watch – and has a bunch of drama tropes and cliches crammed into it.

Fair warning though – it’s pretty low budget and I will totally admit to fast forwarding through the blah blah gangster politics and ENDLESS stare-athons at times (I swear to God, it’s filmed just like a soap opera, complete with dramatic pauses and significant glances – hehehe)

This series is available on Viki for livestreaming and has been fansubbed. Yay!

I will recommend it for people who want to watch something different to a KDrama and who aren’t looking for a deep plot.

Series Synopsis

Ruithainark’s father borrows money from a notorious Hong Kong Gangster Lin Lan Ser, but when the time comes to repay the debt he can’t. He agrees to fulfil the agreement where if he couldn’t repay it, he would send his oldest daughter as collateral. But instead of sending Nanthaka, he replaces her with the younger sister. Lin Lan Ser was expecting a beautiful girl – not the ‘ugly duckling’ he ended up with. He agrees to have Ruithainark work to repay the debt, even as he has his henchmen out searching for the other sister. But the more he spends time with Ruithainark, the more he is intrigued by her unique way of looking at the world and the way that she won’t submit to him at all…

Main Characters

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.19.50 PMRuithainark

Our intrepid heroine! She’s kind of a bit klutzy and a ‘diamond in the rough’ having been compared to her beautiful older sister for her entire life. After finding herself  indebted to Lui Lan Ser (because her dad ran off and substituted her as collateral instead of her sister) she has to work it off. Cheerful and optimistic (yep, total Candy Girl) her greatest strength is her ability to adapt to any situation and to memorise information quickly. Reluctant sparks fly between her captor and herself, she’s warily drawn to him even as she tells herself that she hates him.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.26.17 PMLin Lan Ser

Gangster / Mob Leader who is also a school principal of sorts (yeah… drama logic has it as his cover job – making SENSE goes out the window). He’s your typical cold hearted hero who doesn’t believe in love and is protecting his position from all the backstabby gang partners who also want to become the boss. He enjoys exchanging barbs with Ruithainark, even as he dismisses her as ‘just a schoolgirl’. The age gap is unclear, but he’s got to be in his early 30’s and she’s like 16…

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.18.46 PMJonsing

Lan Ser’s trusty right hand man – who has a pretty severe dress sense – he’s always in that changshan shirt! He’s sympathetic to Ruithainark and helps her a bit behind the scenes. I totally think he has a crush on Mei Jin and ship it at the moment 😛

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.15.49 PMMei Jin

Lan Ser’s mistress / paid actress pretending to be his mistress, but is totally in love with him. Yeah… it’s complicated with the two of them. She has the potential to morph into the classic bitchy second lead who will set out to destroy her rival, but I’m hoping she’ll just fall in love with Jongsing.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.21.31 PMDanny

Ruithainark’s BFF at school who happens to be the son of a Gun smuggler – but he’s totally cute and doomed to fall in love and have his puppy heart all crushed. I can see it coming a mile away. *sigh* Anyway, he’s adorable.

26 in Korean Age

Me: 26;

Aimee: *Onew ‘Huh?’ sticker*

Me: Well that was weird
Maybe it represents my ideal age for a boy toy

Aimee: Kekekekeke

Emily: Well Gyu is 26 in Korean age…
ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Me: It’s fate then.

Kakao Chat Sunday 6 April 2014

Weird typos! I make them all the time… Not to mention my phone’s autocorrect obsession with turning ‘and’ into ‘abs’ – I have to say that makes for some extremely funny messages at times.

As an aside – I am LOVING the new SHINee stickers – thanks Kakao! Wah so adorable! Especially Onew! I now have an extreme abundance of idol stickers to use in Kakao – but they totally need to add more to the store 주세요! Especially Infinite and Super Junior.

March Aquisitions

aka – ALL the Japan releases…

I seriously love HMV Japan – because their shipping is SUPER fast – even to my location which is the back of beyond in terms of getting mail. YesAsia’s packages are funneled to WA via the black hole that is Chullora in NSW, which is so ass-backwards roundabout in terms of shipping geography… the packages do a backtrack. For international readers, Perth is actually closer to Singapore than it is to Sydney. I swear, sometimes they sit there for 8 days, mocking me via the tracking number. What are you doing with my Kpops Chullora? I am possibly on some kind of watchlist after some of the more questionable albums that have come to me in the past year or so (yes, I’m taking about you, Teen Top Class “Addition” with your highly suggestive bathroom pictures and that poster that will never ever see the light of day – Chunji… you kill me, you really do…)

So March had some great albums! And I pretty much bought all of them. *hangs head* – some of these were released in Feb – but bundled with early March releases to save shipping costs.

Pictured are:

TVXQ! “Tree” – Jacket Version B

Their 7th Japanese Studio Album. After a lot of deliberation, I went with Jacket B – which has the dark suits and autumn theme. The album comes with a square postcard with both members, a small photobooklet with lyrics, as well as a DVD. There are several singles that have been previously released on the album, but the new songs are just gorgeous. I really love ‘Tree of Life’, but then again I adore all of their ballads as it is. The DVD has some great goodies too!

Donghae & Eunhyuk “Ride Me”

Their first Japanese Album! These two are a very playful and fun combo. The songs are pretty upbeat dance songs and are fun to sing along to. The album is enclosed in a surrounding sleeve (CD size), has a small photobook with lyrics and comes with a photo card (I got Donghae!) The DVD has their PVs and a making of film.

FT Island “Beautiful” – Jacket Version A

I usually buy version B – for the DVD’s – but I wanted another photocard and I’m super happy that I got my bias Jonghoon! This is a gorgeous single though – I REALLY like one of the B sides “On My Way” because there’s lots of Jaejin! FT Island have really really great Japanese discography so this one is a must for fans.

B1A4 “2”

Their second Japanese Album! YAY! So there are a few Japanese versions of some of their better known Korean songs – which is weird to listen to for me – because I can sing along better in Japanese but I want to belt out the Korean – hehehe. I do like their original Japanese songs quite a bit though. This album was a bit light on in terms of extras with a small photobook mostly in B&W because of the concept but the DVD has the full PV of ‘What’s Up?’ and OMFG *nosebleed* it’s even more ridiculously cute than the original and has super cute behind the scenes as well. No English subs -but you don’t really need them. 🙂

Boyfriend “My Avatar” – Jacket Version B

*more nosebleeding cuteness* So yes… I totally collect Boyfriend because they are so cute and adorable that I can’t even deal with them. I’d like to point out that the Hot Leader is an ’89 liner and thus brings the average age up to an almost legal pass. The single comes with a mini photobook and lyrics as well as a square postcard. I got Kwangmin! The DVD is super adorable as it’s basically Boyfriend competing with each other in mini games like bowling and table tennis and generally being super cute. Their Japanese is pretty fluent seeing as they promote a lot there. No English subs, but you’ll be too busy staring starry eyed at the adorable on your screen.

MYNAME “Five Stars”

OMG YES FINALLY! Their first full length Japanese Album. This group are hugely underrated in Korea, but are growing in popularity. I’m a bit obsessed with pretty much everything that they have released because their songs are great. There are a few Japanese versions of Korean songs ‘Baby I’m Sorry’ and ‘Girlfriend’ but the rest are original songs. My favourite tracks are ‘Stars’ and ‘Your Answer’. The DVD has the full PV’s for ‘Shirayuki’ and ‘FFY’ as well as a making of for ‘FFY’ and best of all – AN ENTIRE CONCERT! This is definitely an album worth getting. HMV included a bonus postcard photo!

Toheart “First Mini Album”

Yay SHINfinite are finally a thing! This is a sub-unit collaboration  between SHINee’s Key and Infinite’s Woohyun who are besties in real life as well. This mini album is really super adorable and has 2 photobooks of nosebleed inducing squee cuteness. It’s beautifully packaged too, making my inner print-design soul thrill at all the spot UV highlighting. The album comes with a photocard (I got Woohyun!) and 6 tracks on the CD. I’m super biased and can’t be at all objective because this whole concept thrilled me from the moment it was announced. Favourite track: ‘You’re My Lady’

TVXQ! “Susuri” – Tense Repackage

Soooo technically I already own Tense (Red Version), so this is just being gratuitous to add to my collection. But! it’s completely different and has additional tracks (LOL I can totes justify it!). My inner print-nerd loves this because the packaging is amazing as well. SM Town are really loving that spot UV finish on everything. Best of all, it comes with a TVXQ! themed deck of cards that I will totally bring with me to all future Failboat meets so we can squee over all the cute pics of Changmin and Yunho. Also ‘Susuri’ was a great track!

BtoB “뛰뛰빵빵” – Beep Beep – 4th Mini Album

Signed by all members! Yay! This album has a GIGANTIC photobook of cuteness. And again, I’m hugely biased with this group because I adore and love them and own everything they’ve ever released (kekeke). Hyunsik as a coffee barista made my day though. I really like the ‘Hello Mello’ track on the CD and shock of shocks – Peniel has lines!! BtoB are a quirky style boyband, but if you watch any of their variety shows you will quickly grow to love them. Their vocal line is also really talented!

SHINee “SHINee World – The First Concert”

Yay! It’s taken me a while to actually purchase this (this was technically released in 2012) but seeing as SHINee are my #1 favourite group it has been on my list for a while. This version has 2 x DVDs and a photobook of awesome. I really love this concert, so it’s been great to finally watch it on my big TV as opposed to youtube on my laptop 🙂 Also OMG they look so young… hehehe baby Taemin!

SHINee “SHINee Surprise Vacation”

And Thank you SM for releasing this on DVD and with English subs. This is the variety program that sent SHINee from extreme love to absolute obsessive love for me. Even booting Suju out of first place in my heart! (Much to the horror of Aimee and Emily! I reassure them that Suju are like my first love – forever looked on with pure affection!) I must confess that I have not yet watched this all the way though because it’s too adorable and I can’t deal with watching for long periods. Apparently the bonus disc has extended scenes of Jonghyun in the onsen (I was kakaoed a preview photo by someone) and I don’t think I can survive that.

Not Pictured – but also added

SHINee – 321 Normal Edition
BAP – One Shot (Japan Single)
BAP – Warrior (Japan Single)
BAP – No Mercy
BAP – First Sensibility (1st Album)
BTS – 2 Cool 4 Skool

—-

So March was somewhat expensive – but April is going to be a killer with the comebacks of so many groups – and the extreme buying spree that I may have gone on the other week…

FT Island

ft-island-the-mood

#3 FT Island

My gateway drug to Kpop! Thanks Hong Ki!

Kdramas are really to blame for my Kpop obsession… It all began with Japanese Manga, then live action adaptations of Manga, then JDrama then a sudden ‘hmmm Kdrama what’s this…’ and clicking that link on an online streaming site and before you know it, you’ve watched and downloaded 40 odd KDramas and have posted a 2TB hard drive to your friends in Melbourne in a blatant attempt to get them hooked along with short cracktastic summaries to explain what they were about. (Cross Dressing! Nuns! Boy Bands! A weird obsession with Pig-Rabbits!)

So really, “You’re Beautiful” is to blame.

Hong Ki (from FT Island) and Yonghwa (CN Blue) had supporting roles in this drama (and sang the OST as well!). And because we liked the songs in the drama so much, it wasn’t too much of a leap to then investigate their music as well.

For about a 3 month period, all I listened to was FT Island, CN Blue and OST’s from various dramas. Then we discovered Super Junior and SHINee and a few others (I may have totally downloaded ALL of UKISS and DBSK/TVXQ on my lonesome)… then we totally watched ALL the SuJu variety at one memorable New Years and at that point were fairly obsessed.

Then later, after successfully brainwashing Emily, Aimee gave me her collection of crack (aka Infinite and ALL the boy bands) after we went to CN Blue in Sydney. I was at this point holding out stubbornly *in denial* and only watching dramas, certain that I had all the Kpop I could possibly need. But then I listened to the Teen Top and well… gave in to cutie boys  which lead to several buying sprees online and by the time we went to Korea my album wishlist was 65 albums and counting. (LOL totally bought over 85, when I had intended to buy 35 tops!).

Which is a very roundabout way of saying that I absolutely love and adore FT Island.

My playlist (narrowed down) has 86 songs on it *despair* because they are one of the few groups where I will just wholesale add an entire album, because every single song is fantastic.

On our trip to Korea, we saw FT Island live in concert for their very special 6 year anniversary. The concert ‘FTHX’ celebrated with their new album, as well as several of their Japanese songs translated to Korean (I just about cried with happiness at this). We had an amazing night and if you squint very very hard at the DVD of the concert you might be able to make us out on the first floor balcony… (also HAHA we were totally interviewed by the Korean News Media as token foreigners. “FT Island 사랑해요 *cue cheesy heart signs from 3 obsessed fangirls*”).

FT Island have A LOT of albums and singles and are an actualfax band – in that they play their instruments! So in addition to having great songs, they’re also super talented. They’re also the very definition of a Flower Boy Band! The band name in full is actually “Five Treasure Island” because their CEO is on crack.

They’re currently (in 2014) destroying their image on FNC’s reality program ‘Cheondgdamdong 111’ along with label mates CN Blue. It’s a fun program to watch!

Fun Fact – Hongki went through a hair phase that can only be described as… not good, terribad, mullet with a side of how-about-no. There was much wailing & gnashing of teeth between us as we mourned for the cute hair that is ‘Five Treasure Box’. To the point where we joked, that if we happened to run into him, in an elevator in Seoul we would totally hold him down and do the world a favour with an impromptu hair cut. Alas… it was not to be – but at least it was confined to a ponytail for most of the concert.

At one point we may have joked that we would celebrate with cake on the day that he cut his hair.

Cue the fateful day and hilarious Kakao messages – complete with photos of cake were exchanged among the three of us. Aimee, may have even iced hers with ‘Happy Hong Ki cutting his hair day’

And thus, our cake for birthdays / memorable occasions tradition was born.

Members

jonghoonJonghoon
’90 Liner
Hot Leader & My Bias
Guitar & Keyboard

+10 hotness points for piano playing 🙂 *melts* I may have had a fangirl meltdown at the concert when he had the piano solo for ‘Severely’. I totally died when I spotted his cameo in the KMovie ‘You’re My Pet” – hehehe so cute!

 

 

hongkiHongki
’90 Liner
Main Vocal
Aimee’s Bias

Well I could listen to Hongki all day – and frequently do – that playlist is only 6 hours or so long… He’s also stealing my heart a bit in his drama role in ‘Bride of the Century’ because he does the cutest ever pout face.

 

 

jaejinJaejin
’91 Liner
Bass, Vocals
Emily’s Bias

Some of my favourite FT Island songs are the ones featuring Jaejin- he just has a really sweet voice that offsets Hongki perfectly.

 

 

seunghyunSeunghyun
’92 Liner
Guitar, Vocals

Seunghyun I don’t know much about! 미안해!!  but he is excellent eye candy 🙂 No – wait! He was totally in ‘Maknae Rebellion’ and was awesome!

 

 

 

minhwanMinhwan
’92 Liner
Drums

Technically the maknae! Awwww good thing he’s also a total cutie boy drummer. Minhwan also has a great singing voice – and has appeared in a few musicals.

 

 

Discography

FT Island release in Japan and in Korea in both languages.

I absolutely CANNOT narrow down any kind of top 10 for MV’s or songs *has nervous breakdown*, so instead will direct you to their YouTube playlists which play from their most recently released songs backwards. You won’t regret listening to them all… it’s only like 3 and a half-ish hours out of your life!

Korean FT Island Songs

Japanese FT Island Songs

According to my i-tunes, my most played songs are:

For Korea –
바래 (I Hope) – aish so cute!! Time travel and a super catchy song!

Bonus – 좋겠어 (I Wish) – because of Hot Leader being super hot here (also a great song!)

For Japan –
“You Are My Life” Sooooo much love for this song. Jaejin’s accompanying vocals are so sweet and Hong Ki puts in an emotional performance.

Bonus – Polar Star – do I know all the words – yes I do!! I love all their star themed songs (there are a few in both languages)

Albums I Own

Well, I am on a mission to collect them all – however there are quite a few that are out of print and thus SUPER expensive to track down in mint or near new condition. I am only missing 10! (OMG that’s a lot to go still). My Japan singles are all version B – so they come with a DVD rather than a photocard. The DVDs are fantastic, as they usually have the full PV as well as a concert performance.

ft-island-collectionKorea

Cross & Change
Five Treasure Box
The Return
Memory in FT Island
Grown Up
FTHX
The Mood (signed by Jonghoon)
FTHX (Concert DVD)

Japan

So Long, Au Revoir
20 (Twenty)
Rated-FT
The Singles Collection
Flower Rock
Brand New Days
Satisfaction
Let It Go
Distance
Neverland
Top Secret
You Are My Life
Beautiful
Mitaiken Future