Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BoA's Back!

I remember way back when when BoA made her debut. I was starting to get active on the K-pop site Soompi, and people were posting translations of articles from Korea. BoA is a member of SM Entertainment. About the time she debuted, one of Korea's hottest boy bands, H.O.T, broke up (or was breaking up, can't clearly remember). H.O.T was an SM Entertainment group and (female) H.O.T fans focused in on BoA as the reason for the break up.

Soon after her debut in Korea, she was ferried off to Japan for her Japanese debut. She had a lot of success there with Valenti, Listen to My Heart, No 1, Kiseki and more. This was in the early 2000s. K-pop as a phenomenon was limited to the "Korean Wave" in Japan...which was really just Winter Sonata (a Korean drama starring Bae Yong-jun, part of a larger series with different stories and actors that cover the other three seasons).

In the early 2000s, it was said that she was more popular in Japan than Korea. Indeed, a number of her Korean songs at that time were the Japanese songs translated into Korean. While I wouldn't call myself a super fan by any stretch of the imagination, I have followed BoA throughout her career and have cheered her on. 

Recently, I was reading an article on Soompi about her newest Japanese single. When I clicked to watch the music video, I was surprised at how much she'd changed!




She looks like a totally different person! Well, people grow up and change, but I thought I was watching some random girl lip-sync to BoA's song! The song is nice, her dance moves are (as always) the bomb and she looks great. But, I can't help missing the "Valenti"-era BoA! Check out Valenti and her newest video "Shout It Out!" below.


Shout It Out


Thursday, January 16, 2014

misc. links

Just a few links for the week...

1. I know that JET Program hopefuls are getting ready for their interviews. If you are hoping to be a CIR, check out my write-up about the interview here and here.
If you have questions, please leave them on this blog, since I don't visit the other one that often!

And wow, the CIR interview blog is on the first page for google searches! w00t! Of course, there aren't that many people who are CIRs, so, there's only so much to choose from...

2. Are you a non-Japanese girl interested in dating Japanese men? Well, a Japanese guy has an AMA on reddit. There are less than 100 comments, which points to how biased r/japan is to the males. 

3. My friend just posted this article to his facebook page. Japan will be taxing foreign downloads from 2015. Probably because the government is a bunch of dicks. Have I done any "foreign downloads?" No. But, that doesn't mean that I think it's not a dick move. 

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's a New Year!

Happy 2014!

I only had a brief break at the end of the year. Most of that time was spent trying to clean my apartment, trying to finish up buying Xmas presents and trying to decide what to do with my life.

For the first time EVER!!! I bought a "fukubukuro!" Fukubukuro (福袋), or "Lucky Bags," are mystery bags filled with random shit that Japanese retailers sell between January 1st and 5th. The bags are usually filled with a meh variety of items, and sometimes you get "lucky" and score a great deal. The prices range from 1000 yen to over 100,000yen! 

Fukubukuro attract a huge amount of people out into the cold. The best way to think about it is Xmas meets Black Friday; you've got great (for Japan) deals, limited items and the chance of getting something great! People line up at least a week or two before New Year's in front of the Apple store. Their fukubukuro are hit (AirMac?) or miss (ipod shuffle) at 36,000 yen.

Anyways. I went and got myself a fukubukuro.




I wanted something that wasn't too expensive and that had something that I could probably use. Which is why I bought this revlon fukubukuro. Increasingly, stores have a display so people can see what's in the bag before they buy it. 




Typically what's in the bag works out to more than what you pay for it. So, at least you can feel like you got a good deal. Three types of lipsticks, with the brown one making my lips look super ashy. I guess if I was going for an extreme look it'd be cool. Neon yellow nail polish...yellow is not the favorite color of the average person, but it turned out OK. Haven't tested the foundation (darker because I'm not uber-pale!), but the age defying powder was nice enough.

Since I'm on the topic of makeup, I figured I'd show some of the stuff I got from Sephora last year:




Marc Jacobs blush and nail polish. I don't know why I chose that brown color. It must have looked better online. 

The nail polish was a bit of a fail, but the blush was OK!




It comes in its own little bag and the case is smaller than Chanel, but then again, it's not holding the brush.




The color I got was a little brighter than Chanel. No way to test online. I'm just glad that I didn't fuck up and regret it! Totally recommend! Easy to put on. The brush is soft. The color holds up well....and this has nothing to do with Japan!