Joining an official K-Pop fanclub might seem like an odd thing to do as an International based fan – particularly as most of the benefits of being a member only apply to events and concerts that are held in Korea – but it’s another way to support a group while getting a nifty card with your name on it that you can flash to prove you’re a literal die-hard card-carrying member!
This year, I decided that I’d sign up for as many of my groups as I could – Sure it’s a total indulgence, but it’s fun at the same time. Typically, fans tend to only join one fanclub – but I love so many groups and I have no problem at all supporting all of them at the same time! (Though October is going to kill me as it’s a month of back to back comebacks for boy groups that I adore and love and I can’t choose between them and will be torn for who to support the most for music shows…)
K-Pop groups usually have specific sign-up periods for their official fanclubs (generally a 2 week window of time) once a year (and sometimes not even that!! SHINee open your registration again already!!). Depending on the group, sign-ups may be via the official Daum cafe, an email address, via the record company website, or through a third party website. It used to be very difficult for a fan not based in Korea to join, as you’d often need a Korean postal address, or even a Korean SSN (Social Security Number) and the whole process was in Korean (as you’d expect) But these days, recognising that the Hallyu wave has brought the world to their door, more and more groups are adding an ‘International Fan’ option.
Once you have registered and paid, your membership is then valid for one year. Typically the benefits include:
Instant level-up in the Daum fancafe so that you have earlier access to behind the scenes photos, messages from members etc. This is really great for me, because I’m a total lurker when it comes to the fancafes, as my Korean fluency is still pretty sketchy and I slightly hyperventilate at the thought of having to write a post in order to accumulate participation points.
Early access to purchase concert tickets or concert ticket lotteries
Participation in a fansign or fanmeeting event
Preferential access for things like music programs during comeback schedules
Special fanclub goods that often come with messages from your group
A card with your name and membership number on it
Some groups don’t extend all of these benefits to international fans, so if you’re joining to have access to a fansign/fanmeeting for when you’re in Korea, be sure to read the fine print! And these benefits only apply to concerts and events held in Korea during the year that your membership is valid; if your group comes to your country, being a member will not give you early access to tickets. To take advantage of the benefits while in Korea, you’ll need to be able to navigate the fan cafe & understand some Korean to find out dates, times and the application process for fanmeetings, or be a whizz with google translate (or be like me and stalk Tumblr tags for helpful people who write tutorials on how to do things!) And even then, nothing is guaranteed!
Recruitment notices are posted in the fancafe and you might get a cute youtube video notice as well – you just need to keep your eyes peeled (or stalk Tumblr tags or Facebook groups)
So far this year, I have joined the following fanclubs: The costs are in Australian dollars and each membership works out to about $60-80 once shipping is factored in. Most of these were super easy to sign up for, as the third party website that they used (Interpark) had an option in English and accepted foreign credit cards. The hardest part is joining the fancafe and applying for your level up LOL!
BAP – $38 plus separate shipping costs that we didn’t find out about until it was too late 😦 So alas we never got the fan goods 2PM – $35 plus $25 shipping costs – came with card and box of fan goods (pin set, bookmark, postcards) Teen Top – $28 plus $17 shipping – card only – you can buy the fangoods ‘Angel Box’ separately without being a member Infinite – $36 plus $35 shipping – came with card, postcard and light-stick EXO – Free, online only registration, no direct benefits GOT7 – $38 plus $29 shipping – came with card and box set of fan goods (stickers, postcards, card holder) VIXX – $27 plus $29 shipping (made separately via international bank transfer, so the fees were HUGE) will come with card and goods
Infinite had their 4th fanclub recruitment for Inspirits earlier this year. It was all handled through Interpark, who also helpfully added shipping costs automatically, so required no effort whatsoever!
2 months after the sign-up I received a package via DHL. It was a pretty hefty box and I was surprised as during sign-up the ‘fan goods’ weren’t actually listed – we just knew it would be something.
Much to my joy, it was the new lightstick of GIANTNESS!
We also got our card as well as a postcard with printed signatures and messages. It was all super cute, but I was mostly excited about the lightstick. Buying one of these and paying shipping costs more than the fanclub membership itself, so this was a win for me!
The lightstick is really pretty – and has a cut-out on the top in the shape of the logo, so when it lights up it casts the same shape – so clever! So now I’m armed with an official lightstick for the next Infinite concert that we go to!
Special bonus – my ultimate bias Sunggyu posing (as only he can) with this glorious piece of merch!
I’m back – after a break of many moons! And there is so much kpop to talk about! I’ll have to restrain myself to albums and singles that I have actually bought (which is still like… 30 things! OMG… so many posts to make…)
I’ll kick it off with my strong contender for song of the year…
Anytime Infinite has a comeback makes me a happy fangirl, so the very moment that they announced a repackage for ‘Season 2’ I had a countdown clock in place. Not that we had to wait long at all, as this promotion followed quickly on the heels of ‘Last Romeo’. ‘Back’ is certainly my favourite song of the year so far – and that’s fending off some very stiff competition in what has been a very good year of songs and concepts from all the groups that I follow and collect.
I might be a tad biased (Infinite being my second favourite group and home to my ultimate bias Sunggyu) but this is a solid song full of the familiar Infinite sound and excellent vocals. It starts with a slow buildup, steadily moving towards the drop where the full orchestral sound kicks in and it gallops along from there. Best of all, there’s some great line distribution in this song – everyone has something – and for a 7 member group that’s pretty good! This has had heavy rotation on my i-Pod and playlists and the more I listen to it, the more that I love it.
MV Moments (Performance Version)
The initial release of the MV was the story version, which features Infinite showing up to a gang fight to rescue Sunggyu’s sister armed with questionable items (an umbrella for Sungjong… really???) and receiving a pretty thorough beat down before they rally for a final showdown. It’s fairly stylised violence, but I still find it pretty hard to watch – even though I know it’s not real. I don’t know… it just makes me uncomfortable. I also have a hard time watching similar themed MVs and tend to minimise the screen / bail entirely as soon as blood appears (see: BAP ‘One Shot’, VIXX ‘Voodo Doll’, and the MV that cannot be watched ever again ever: MYNAME ‘Baby I’m Sorry’). Death and violence just aren’t my jam. So although I absolutely ADORED the song and watched every single live performance, I only watched the actual MV about 3 or 4 times. I can only watch Sunggyu being beaten in the head with a baseball bat so many times…
So it was a great relief when Woolim released the ‘Performance Version’ aka the version that focuses on the dance. Infinite has impeccable choreography as always – but it can be hard to focus on it for live stages and even in MV versions because of the camera cuts. It’s a real feat to be able to pull off a 7 member dance that has knife-like precision and is also interesting to watch.
I really love the mirrored movements in the opening here – it’s clever as well as visually striking! Of course I’ve decided to focus on my ultimate bias here (who is looking FINE)
Can You Save Me?
As the song picks up the pace, the dance also pulls the members into formation. I like how they all circle each other slightly too.
Back Back Back Back Back
Body rolls… always a fave! This one is subtle (if you can call a body roll subtle) but I love it! The second one is more obvious, but I like the focus on L here 😀
Infinite are known for their precision and this dance is no exception. It’s an odd mixture of fast and slow, but the high energy points are really great!
Normally part of the rap-line, Dongwoo has a vocal part and he nails it! (My squee was heard from miles away when we first listened to this)
Not only do I love this dance move, but it’s a whole line for Sungyeol!
돌아와줘(Please Come Back)
As we reach the climax of the song, the line formation here really looks great!
I Say Save Me
And it ends perfectly as well!
One thing that I have LOVED about Infinite’s albums this year for both Korea and Japan is how consistent they have been with their branding and packaging carrying across several years of albums and mini-albums. ‘Season 2’ was an exact mirror of their first album, with the same style slip cover and format. And now ‘Be Back’, the repackage, is also a mirror of the first album’s repackage ‘Paradise’ with the same envelope style casing! It’s a small detail, but the print nerd in me loves it!
My version of the album also came with 2 x posters. I have to laugh, because that makes 5 posters for this round of promotions and I can’t even choose which one to display – I may just have to rotate them in and out as the mood grabs me. There can never be enough Infinite on my walls!
The outer packaging is printed on silver card with an emboss and spot UV highlight, die cut and folded into an envelope. It’s a clever way to make everything look like a present that you can unwrap. The image on the front is also version A of the poster (possibly my fave version). This is also a pretty big album! It takes up some serious shelf real estate when on display.
Once unfolded, you have the CD mounted and recessed into black foam-core (I really love that they have the logo on EVERYTHING as well – sidenote, Infinite do an iteration of their logo for every album and I quite like this one – it’s a bit more feminine which works well with the ongoing ‘Last Romeo’ theme). Instead of a photocard, you get a giant postcard (random member) printed in colour on the same silver card as the outer packaging. Yay Woohyun! And in this first press edition, 2 x photobooks.
The Special Edition photobook is full of candid behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Back’ MV shoot. Lots of great photos and the paper is a good weight (not cheap feeling).
The standard photobook is also great – the paper is a pearlised finish, so it gives the photos a slightly dreamy quality. Fans of the group will appreciate the many pages in both books – the repackage is significantly different enough from the original album to justify having both in your collection.
The repackage album has the same tracks as ‘Season 2’ but with the extra songs ‘Back’ and ‘Diamond’. Because it’s such a pretty looking album, this is my current facing outward on display showpiece for Infinite. I was super happy with this purchase and with the whole promotion cycle.
‘I want you back back back back back’
And as a bonus – the amazing dance practice video! The choreography for this dance was, as I mentioned, thoroughly ON POINT. Though Sunggyu obviously did not get the memo about wearing tight pants…
So, I added a whole heap to my collection in July – blame the perfect storm of a lot of releases in both Japan and Korea, some items that FINALLY arrived from June, and my birthday allowing me to indulge…
Somehow it adds up to like 21 things – no wonder my shelves are in crisis mode and I’m living on potatoes!
(which continue to bankrupt me because I can’t stay away from them and they aren’t cheap compared to Korean albums AT ALL)
Infinite – Last Romeo – Type A and Standard First Press Editions (single)
VIXX – Darkest Angels – Version A (album)
SHINee – Lucky Star – First Press Limited and Standard Editions (single)
I got all 3 versions of Infinite both versions of SHINee and restrained myself to only one of VIXX and covered these in a previous post. Basically they are all amazing OMG!
BTS – Boy in Luv – Standard Edition (single)
BTS have really put in an effort for their Japanese market this year, releasing all of their Korean hits as singles. I collect this group, so this was an auto buy for me. I decided on the standard edition because I wanted a photocard! Their record company releases the full PV on youtube, so I didn’t feel the need to get the DVD version. Again this is a standard CD with lyrics sheet insert – nothing too exciting so essentially it’s a big excuse to get a photocard.
The CD has 3 singles from their latest Korean album – “Boy in Luv” “N.O” and “Just One Day”. Their Japanese is pretty cute, not awful but a bit shaky in some spots. I’m hoping that at some point they will release some original songs in Japan *crosses fingers*
UKISS – Love on U – CD/DVD combo (single)
Congrats U-KISS! I finally cracked and ordered a Japan single… This is of course inviting disaster, because now I’ll feel the need to collect the rest of them and I had resisted so well up until now! I justified it because:
1) I really liked the song (yay all the Kevin and Soohyun!)
2) Jun.. and I can totes collect everything post Jun right?
3) I knew the behind the scenes video would be AMAZING
The CD has the single “Love on U” and B Side “Feel It” both of which I liked a lot. UKISS are in my top 5 for a reason! They both have an R&B feel and have gone on my Japan playlist. Alas no photocard or photobook – just a lyrics sheet insert.
The DVD has the full PV (hooray! Avex are sucky and only ever upload short versions to YouTube) as well as the AMAZING behind the scenes video. Ahhhh so many Jun feels! The boys have about the same level of Japanese that I do (ie. basic and high school level) so I had no problems understanding everything. Not that you really need subs to enjoy the ridiculous amount of cute…
Boyfriend – Start Up – CD/DVD Version A First Press Limited (single)
Ugh… so much cute! I officially locked in these boys at #9 in my top 1o this month (waaaah only one more slot free, and I need to TARDIS, like, at least 30 groups into it). This was a really cute PV – which I made many gifs from! Clearly the single was also on my buy list.
This comes with a super cute mini photobook with lyrics as well as a CD sized postcard. I got Hot Boyfriend Leader Donghyun! Yay! I have a few of his postcards now. The single “Start Up” and B side “DO-DO-DO” are both bright happy j-pop songs and quite typical of Boyfriend’s Japan discography
Boyfriend – Seventh Color – CD/DVD Limited Edition (album)
And I was very good and bought only one version of this! Which was hard as they all had slightly different bonus tracks and photobooks too! I shall covet Aimee’s extra HMV version when I visit next month. I loved the title track “Here” from this – the short version was released almost a month ahead of the album, so I had plenty of time to anticipate it. Ahhhh so many cute moments in the PV as well! (all the GIFs!)
This is a CD sized release with a slipcover. The photobooklet is SUPER adorable as well with lots of cute pics. I got Minwoo as my postcard (cute maknae of cuteness) as well as Donghyun as a magnet from HMV (OMG I want like all 6 of them SO BADLY). Being a full album there are a lot of tracks to cover! Boyfriend also release completely original songs in Japan, so it’s extra impressive that they are promoting two almost polar opposite concepts at the same time in two different countries. My crush on Donghyun continues apace (I looooove his vocals!), so it’s hard to choose a favourite track. They’re all cute and bright pop songs though.
Next year I am determined to go to a concert for this group – preferably in Japan so I can really go to town and fit in with the crying fangirls.
BAP – Unplugged (mini album)
Yay! It finally came! (mostly because I bundled it with other Kpop released much later). The poster is also adorable, so I need to find room for it somewhere. This had a gorgeous photobook – it’s styled a bit like a photo album with “polaroids” from a trip to London – all with a completely hipster instagram filter applied to them! I got a Zelo photocard and died from happiness (my bias!)
I liked this MV and single. It’s certainly a departure from their better known style, but it was a lot of fun. And all that cute aegyo didn’t make me completely fall in love with it immediately or anything like that…
JJCC (Double JC) At First – Signed edition all members (single)
More Rookies! But technically a present (Thanks Aimee!!) I liked this debut a lot, it’s a great laid back track and has had a fair bit of play on my 2014 playlist. I have side-eyed a few of the member names (Simba… Prince Mak…) but I am sure that they will grow on me. They have a fair bit of potential as they are backed by Jackie Chan, so I look forward to their follow up (hopefully soon)
Eric Nam – Ooh Ooh – signed edition (single)
Another one that FINALLY arrived. I love Eric a lot – probably because we watch his show ASC every week and he’s such a great host. He and Kevin (from UKISS) have a great bromance going! Apart from that, the track is super cute and catchy and definitely fun to dance along to! It has a great brass big band swing feel and has an ear worm chorus as well.
We got this one as an MNet Meet and Greet. Eric read my message out and made my day! Aimee fared even better and got like a whole conversation as a reply to her ‘Come to Australia please!’ comment.
The single has a mini photobook with cute pics and also came with a photo postcard.
Beast – Good Luck – Version A and B (mini album)
Sooooo don’t judge that I got both of these… One was a birthday present! Technically this is the same album, just both versions. However they are COMPLETELY different, in fact they open in opposite directions – a small detail that I really appreciated. Both photobooks are HUGE and filled with pics from their dual photoshoot concepts. I finally had a photocard double up with Hyunseung in both albums, but have since traded one for Hot Leader Doojoon.
As with all Beast albums, it’s really beautifully presented and constructed. My inner print nerd had a lot of fun going through it all. I might slightly prefer the black version, despite my bias having some decidedly derp photos!
I really loved all the tracks on this mini album (well done to Junhyung with the composing and lyrics) but best of all they included “Sad Movie” as a Korean release! I nearly cried when they performed it as their goodbye stage on all the shows because it’s one of my most favourite of their Japan tracks.
MBLAQ – Broken – signed edition all members (mini album)
This took AGES to get here. But I finally have my super hot MBLAQ boys! Hooray! There’s a lot of eye candy in this photobook. I have a bit of a thing for suited up hotness and this comeback is definitely in my Top 10 so far this year. Joon was my photocard (more cheering! yay my bias!!)
The album also takes up a fair bit of shelf real estate – being gigantic OMG. I had to spine all of their other albums and shift Ajax to another shelf to fit this in. But saying that it’s also a nicely presented album with a box case, perspex CD plate and perfect bound photobook. Bonus Joonie evison advert insert – abs are always appreciated!!
I liked all the tracks on the CD too – it’s a really great album to put on in the background if I have work to do. I feel like they have really matured vocally – and the added hotness for this comeback was a bonus. (Seungho, you really levelled up! Well done!)
History – Desire (mini album)
I have already expressed my adoration for the title track “Psycho” MV. The album is also a great addition to my collection as I love me a box style case! It’s also huge, but I forgive that because they included such a great photobook. I really appreciate that they took the styling and the concept to the nth degree here. There’s some really clever photos here that have a decidedly unhinged and obsessive feel to them. Yijeong has this great photo where it has been scratched out in a spiralling pattern around his eye *shivers*
The songs are also great – all centered around ‘Desire’ I really like 태양은 없다 (There’s No Sun) and Blue Moon. This group have really fantastic vocals and I pretty much added the entire album to my faves list.
Boyfriend – Obsession – Signed Edition Hyunseong (mini album)
Soooo lots of Boyfriend this month! This time their Korean comeback which it feels like I was waiting FOREVER for. We got 2 MVs and dance practices out of this mini album and a bajillion amazing live stages, so I was a very happy fangirl.
This mini album is a nice addition to my now extensive Boyfriend shelf. It’s the standard mini-album configuration with the photobook affixed to the inner left and the CD on the right, no photocard but a group postcard was included. I’m not a huge fan of the hip hop styling in the photobook, but I will console myself with the Hot Boyfriend Leader implied abs on page 5.
I did love this comeback though. It’s a slight change in direction vocally for them and I’m not at all opposed to them growing and changing as a group. My fave track was ‘Alarm’ which I just adore.
VIXX – VIXX box (DVD and goods)
Damn you VIXX! *shakes fist* Thank goodness it was my birthday otherwise I really could not have justified buying this! I’m glad that I did though, because it was crammed with all sorts of goodies that a hardcore fan of the group (like me!) will really adore.
Pin Set – that will never come out of the wrapper LOL like all my other pin sets
Photocards – too big for my holders, will have to work on a solution to this
Giant Postcards – soooo many – where will I put them all???
Diary Planner with stickers – can be adapted to any year. Not sure if I will use this as I plan on getting more end of year calendars which also come with planners but I love all the cute pics!
I love how it’s all put together as well – the box has some neat compartments. I’m a bit of a bad fangirl and haven’t watched the DVD yet – I have this MASSIVE backlog of Dramas and cute reality shows to get through first!
VIXX – Voodoo DVD set (DVD and goods)
This was bundled with the VIXX box and as I had neglected to buy it when it first came out (and regretted it) I was pretty happy to be able to add this without significantly breaking the bank.
This came with some postcards and has a fab additional photobook as well. The DVD is also in my ‘to be watched’ queue!
My Updated Current Stats! *shame*
Albums – 270
DVD Concerts etc– 18
Photobooks and Other – 9
Posters – 127
Photocards – too many… (LIES! there is no such thing as too many)
The best kind of birthday present is one that you give to yourself.
Japan K-Pop releases in early July just happened to have the best ever combination of groups releasing within days of each other, so I bundled them together into one delivery of awesome!
I buy my Japan K-Pop through HMV – not only do they have an extensive and thorough catalog, their shipping is SUPER fast and always supremely well packaged. I’ve never had a bent or damaged CD yet. They might be slightly more expensive than CD-Japan, however I earn a lot pf points with them that I redeem to cover the shipping of subsequent orders… This is how my never-ending stream of deliveries is justified… Japan is bankrupting me I swear!
So yes, I absolutely bought all versions of SHINee and Infinite and restricted myself to just one of VIXX (though I am now VERY tempted to add the group version to another order).
Apologies for the photos – it’s late at night and I’m working at the moment. Boo having to earn money to fund this addiction!
SHINee – Lucky Star – Standard Edition
Also known as the cutest single EVER!
The standard edition is a CD-sized album. It comes with a photocard (1 of 6 random) and postcard (1 of 6 random). I got Taemin and Onew!
Inside is a small photobooklet with 12 pages of images and lyrics – it’s head shots of all group members posing super cutely and some group shots as well. For those wondering – YES they are different to the Limited Edition.
The CD has the single ‘Lucky Star’ and B-side ‘Bounce’
SHINee – Lucky Star – First Press Limited Edition
This was seriously so adorable! The limited edition is a DVD sized release with a perspex slip cover (printed with stars – sooooo cute!). It also comes with a postcard (1 of 6 random) and photocard (1 of 6 random). I got Onew and Key! Inside is a 28pp photobooklet and case with a CD and DVD.
The CD has the single ‘Lucky Star” and B-side ‘Bounce’ and the DVD has the full PV (yay!!) as well as a super adorable ‘making of’ featurette. This is not subbed in English, but you don’t really need a translation!
VIXX – Darkest Angels – A Edition (N) – First Press Limited
This album has 7 versions! One for each member and a group version. So hard to choose OMG! In the end I went with my bias N 🙂
This is a square album – slightly larger than a standard CD. It has a clear perspex slip case, CD/DVD case and 52pp booklet that has images from several of their Korean photoshoots for previous albums. It also came with a group postcard as well as a photocard (1 of 6 random). The photocard is the larger ‘Japan-size’ which juuuuust squeezes into a photo holder.
This is a full album with 16 tracks and the DVD contains 10 MVs (all Korean versions). This is an album release purely for the Japanese market – VIXX have not re-recorded their songs in Japanese, so there’s nothing new here. This is really only worthwhile if you like collecting!
Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Standard Edition First Press)
The Infinite albums are all exceptionally presented! The standard edition has a slip cover that has foiling and also comes with a photocard (1 of 8 random) I got Hoya! Again these are the larger type photocards.
The photobook is the ethereal white outfits where they all look like their floating or ascending 🙂
The CD has the title track ‘Last Romeo’ as well as ‘僕という人’ (Boku toiu Hito) and Nothing’s Over (Japanese Version)
Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Type A First Press Limited)
Suuuuuper pretty!! It’s about the same size as a DVD and comes with a 16pp photobook as well as a CD / DVD combo. The photobook slides into the left hand side and is hidden.
These photos are of the Japan outfits from the MV remake!
The DVD has the PV as well as a making of featurette
Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Type B First Press Limited)
This edition is AMAZING and it’s also absolutely HUGE as it’s A4 in size. *sobs* Infinite had to be re-shelved because of this! The gold foiling on the cover is a really lovely tounh
Edition B only has the single, but the 52pp photobook is absolutely gorgeous! This is from the same photoshoot as their second Korean album and it’s a very high quality print with lovely paper.
Me: OMG I know
Jongie… looks really good
I have conflicted feels about this
Emily: I know right!
Me: My cutie maknae has turned into a bit of a hottie
Emily: He’s done a bit of a TaeMANNNN
Me: DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL!
Kakao Chat – Wednesday 21 May, 2014
*sobbing forever* Noona can’t deal with this…
So Infinite’s ‘Last Romeo’ MV was released today! Here it is in all its awesome glory!
We may have stayed up late last night in hopes of a midnight release (one of the benefits of being one hour behind Seoul’s timezone is that I can livewatch shows – yay! Aimee and Emily were up at 1AM though…) alas no Infinite, but we did get surprise Japan Beast which was still awesome and squee worthy too!
So as I was deciding what to have for lunch today I refreshed my feed – just in case – and it was out!
My initial thoughts are that I really like the song. LOVE LOVE LOVE the dance and everyone looks super amazing in the MV – especially my ultimate bias Sunggyu (yeah with all the main parts too! aish I love his voice). The plot also sort of makes sense (for once in an Infinite MV!) and when I wasn’t staring at the artfully placed rips in Woohyun’s (and Gyu’s!!) pants I was mildly horrified at the casual destruction of so many books – although it did look very pretty.
I also approve of this mix of white lace romantic suits and the black leather (mmmmm).
Jongie however is looking a little bit too good… *mind breaks* This is my own fault for letting him brainwash me with all the constant rotating backgrounds of his cuteness on my laptop. I might have promoted him up my unofficial Infinite ranking to #3… (this never happened and if officially questioned he’s at #7).
Jongie 왜 did you have to do so.much.aegyo. right in front of me during OGS in Hiroshima so that I couldn’t even deal with it? *more sobbing*
This maknae is NOT ALLOWED to move into the ‘shouldn’t but I totally would’ pile of cute boys! He’s still pretty cute thankfully, but is definitely moving down the Taemin path of growing abs… WOE! *commence ugly crying*
P.S I really prefer this dark hair on him too – not that candy floss pink isn’t adorable…
P.P.S The whole album is also great *immediately adds all tracks to faves playlists*
brb, putting my graphic designer skills to good use by making a bajillion GIFs of this MV
In the past 24 hours I have ordered all my Japan releases for May and June – in 2 shipments for maximum KPop arrival density. It kind of killed me to take out Junho – but I can’t wait an extra week for SHINVIXXfinite goodness (kekeke). I’ll shift his single to another spree. It’s his fault that I’m hooked on Japan releases anyway as his first single was the first one I bought when we were in Japan (with SHINee Boys Meet U – both versions LOL) and it’s been a downhill trajectory since then. I swear I spend more on Japan releases than I do with Korean!
The promo / teaser lead-up for Japan releases isn’t as intense as the ones for Korea, but I’m always super excited about them, because I really really love so many Japanese tracks from my favourite groups. FT Island in particular seem to have a lot more freedom to write their own music, so their unique rock style really comes through.
It’s only a few this time, the bare minimum really…
Beast – Adrenaline (Standard) This sounds like it’s going to be an upbeat dance track, which makes me happy! I like something I can bop along to while I walk the dog (which is when I mostly listen to my kpop). I feel like this is going to be really catchy!
Boyfriend – Start Up! (First Press) *nosebleed* Well… this is the Boyfriend that I know and love – adorable and with OTT aegyo. Bonus Hot Leader Donghyun and Hyunseung looking rather fine too… Also check out the CUTE AS teaser!
FT Island – New Page (First Press A) A new album!! YES! (although I already own all the singles kekeke) I hope there will be some additional tracks as well, because I adore their Japan stuff so much OMG.
BTS – No More Dream (Standard) The MV hasn’t officially released yet – but it’s FANTASTIC! (search the youtubes…) I like it more than the Korean version! TVXQ! – Sweat / Answer (First Press) Only a jacket cover so far – but I can’t wait! Eeeeee! Infinite – Last Romeo Kimi ga Ireba Ii (First Press A, B and Normal) (why yes, I do need all 3) SHINee – Lucky Star (First Press and Standard) (yep, both of these too) Also with ADORABLE teaser that I have posted about
VIXX – Darkest Angels (First Press C – N cover) (stopped myself from adding more versions… just) This will be their debut album for Japan. This was announced yesterday so there’s nothing apart from the title and the fact that each member has their own cover, plus a normal version (presumably a group shot) as well. LOL already pre-ordered!
Aaaand Korea is also going to kill me with this ridiculous amount of groups releasing all close together… *sobbing* All groups that I happen to collect as well!
EXO – Overdose (K and M) – already out but I FAIL and am slow. Infinite – Season 2 – MV for ‘Last Romeo’ is releasing tonight! TOTALLY staying up until midnight for this 🙂
VIXX – Eternity The teaser pics are up on their official site, so I’m super excited already (Yay purple hair on Ravi!) Although the MV teaser has leaked already, I have managed to stop myself from looking at it. I already have a Giant Clocks playlist on YouTube so I think this may be a new addition. BTS – School Luv Affair (Special Edition) *cough* Even though I already have the album I want the repackage too! Boyfriend – TBA Beast – TBA UKISS – TBA Z:EA – TBA I’ve been sad and marked all the release dates in my diary to make sure that I don’t accidentally miss anything. So I’ve spent all my KPop money marked for 3 months on just one… *cross fingers that the World Cup will give me a bit of a break for June / July* I am supposedto be saving…
NO REGRETS! (Except my credit card statement and my overall bias list because my overwhelming love for all their music is threatening to overtake my top 5!)
So all the fruits of my CN Blue buying spree came to me midway though April – necessitating some pretty ruthless shelf re-arranging (which is what happens when you suddenly add like 8 albums of one particular group). It makes me a bit sad, because I like to display at least one album from each group facing outwards – but now due to the lack of space there are quite a few groups that are ‘spined’ 😦
I’ll just really have to add that other shelving unit – who cares that I won’t be able to shut my door! I can sacrifice for the Kpops!
Due to the sad events in Korea with the Sewol ferry accident, a lot of comebacks have been postponed, so understandably there hasn’t been a lot of activity in the KPop world this past month. I’ve chosen to bundle most things that were released in April with other albums due out in May / pick them up in person when I’m at the BAP concert in Melbourne next week.
New to my collection this month
‘Can’t Stop’ CN Blue – 5th Mini Album
Ahhh CN Blue – forever one of my first KPop loves! I loved the featured single ‘Can’t Stop’ as soon is it was released and especially loved having the boys all over the music shows as a part of their comeback promotions. Yonghwa does also get +10 hotness points for his live piano playing skills (not quite enough to make him my bias, but he’s a very close second).
Being an actualfax band who play instruments, it helps that they’re all total flower boys as well. The mini album has a nice photobook with loads of photos with the members looking pensive and dreamy in what I can only presume is an American city as well as wearing cute white sweaters and lounging around on beds (cue all the slash ficcers going crazy). It also came with a standup card with a randomly chosen member. I got Jonghyun (yay! my bias!). I like all the tracks on the CD too – so I’d definitely recommend buying if you’re a fan.
Also added to my collection from CN Blue:
First Step First Step + 1 – Thank You (OMG the photobook on this one… *dies*) Bluetory BlueLove Ear Fun Present (Japan Singles) Blue Moon Concert DVD
Now I can get collecting on all the Japan discography…
Hahahaha remember when I was all “I will never succumb to this group because a) hip hop b) super ridiculous member names I mean ‘Rap Monster’ ‘J-Hope’??? Please??? c) OMG there are so many underage members I’d be a pedo noona” *hollow and bitter laugh* Yeah… so the inevitable happened. Damn them and that catchy song we were singing all New Years with it’s ‘Such a liiiiiiaaaaaaar’ hook in the English. *sigh*. Also I blame Tumblr for like brainwashing me with gifs and picspam to the point where I somehow learned all their names by osmosis. Leading of course, to the infamous MV watching on gchat with the girls where I was putting my member identifying skills to the test with ‘Boy in Luv’ – AKA this MV
And I suddenly decided that I really really liked the cute one JongKook that reminded me a bit of Woohyun from Infinite. I believe that the words “He’s like a baby Woohyun” were uttered / typed followed by “I think I might make him my bias” and then “NOOOOOO BEC HE’S THE MAKNAE* NOOOOOO HE’S 15 OMG!” from Emily and then immense horror and a meltdown of epic proportions ensued (I COULD BE HIS MOTHER WAAAEEEEEE – technically a teenage mother but it could have happened), but it was too late *sobbing all over the place*.
*maknae = the youngest member
And that is how I came to have a ’97 liner in my bias list.
I will never again commit to a bias without checking profiles that list dates of birth. 🙂
Anyway this is a fab album with a HUUUUGE photobook and extra goodies (a sticker set and a bookmark. Yay I got J-Hope, who is technically over the age of 20) and they are well deserving of all those ‘Rookie of the Year’ titles they won last year.
Also added from BTS:
2 COOL 4 SKOOL O? R U L8 2?
Which also have some great goodies like posters, stickers and photocards. I’ll just live with myself somehow for making yet another maknae a bias…
‘Peter Pan’s Kiss’ – A-PRINCE
Move over ‘Boyfriend’ there’s a new cutie boy band that might just unseat you with the excessive display of aegyo. Yes – I have a problem… 😦
Also – they are in Pyjamas in the MV – I am helpless *cannot deal nosebleed* The teasers for this MV were hilarious as well – what’s not to like about cute boys being slapped in the face? A-PRINCE have a fab Youtube channel because they sub ALL their behind the scenes stuff in English and it’s all adorable as hell! This was a super cute single too.
Also added to my collection due to the overwhelming adorableness:
‘Mitaiken Future’ – FT Island
More Japan FT Island! (and they’re releasing yet another single later this month – not that I’ve already pre-ordered it or anything along with Boyfriend…)
This one is an upbeat and catchy song – I have version B of the album which includes a DVD of the MV and performances from their Freedom 2013 arena tour. I quite like the B sides on the single too – not that it’s hard – i do adore pretty much all of FT Island’s entire discography…
‘No Mercy’ B.A.P (Japan)
Awww yisss! My feeeels!!! (Due to going to their concert next week) One of my all time faves from this group as a Japan release. The MV was pretty good (seeing as I did gif-spam it)
I may have got ALL the concert goods on offer so I will have the whistle to go along with this song… (also because I can’t resist concert goodies, and you know a 1 in 5 shot at the high touch event.)
This was the limited edition version from Japan and the dog tags are a cute touch! The CD has a small photobook and a photocard (Yay Zelo! my other totally inappropriate maknae bias *more ugly sobbing*)
So only 16 albums added this month – not too bad (hehehehe)
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.
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)
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!
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.
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.
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)
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)
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*
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. 🙂
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.