Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #49

D-D-D-Daaaaang, look at that Digest! I wanna read dat! DIGEST TIME!

Have you had your fill of Digest this week?


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Enveloped by this Rainie Love... (Rewind Review)

All thoughts and opinions regarding the song, singer and music video are all my own and no one else's. If you don't like what I have to say, then simple: DON'T READ IT!

After reviewing Michael Wong's Tong Hua, I was in the mood to listen to another Chinese song that I like a lot and, once upon a time, listened to on a constant loop. There are times where I will listen to it again, but with songs like Tong Hua and the one that I will be looking at today, you really need to be in the right mood.

... Well, I'm in the right mood, so let's take a look at Yu Ai by Rainie Yang, shall we?

Yu Ai, or Rainie Love, is from Rainie Yang's fifth Mandarin studio album, and was released on January 1st 2010. Within the album there are a few insert songs that are featured in the drama Hi My Sweetheart which Rainie starred in alongside Show Luo, a man who I am sure you all know I pine after. Yu Ai just so happens to be one of those songs from Hi My Sweetheart, being the ending theme of the drama and all.

And that is basically how I found out about this song. I genuinely enjoyed Hi My Sweetheart despite never finishing it (Why? WHY DID I STOP?), and I liked all of the songs that were a part of the drama, so of course I went ahead and found out more about the song that was playing that I liked, and that eventually lead me to the PV for Yu Ai, and really, it is quite sad... or at least it is to me. I enjoy it, and looking at Tong Hua really made me want to revisit this video because of how beautifully saddening I find it... however beautiful something sad can be, that is.

So, chit-chat out of the way, let's take a look at the beauty of Rainie Yang's Yu Ai, also known as Rainie Love...

Who woulda thunk it, rain, in a PV about... well, er, rain.

You know, I usually hang my washing out to dry on a washing line, but hey... I'm all for conserving water this way, too!

Wait... what? No, Rainie, no!!! Don't do a Britney Everytime on me!

I already watched you die in Ai Mei, don't go dying on me here either!

I feel like there should be a fish swimming in that little bag of rainwater...

Okay, no wonder you went under the water, you fell asleep! Didn't anyone ever tell you that going to sleep in a bath is pretty darned dangerous, girl?

... I wouldn't be caught dead walking outside in those kind of heels for fear of impaling someone#s foot, let alone outside in the RAIN!!!

Also; D'AWWWW!!!! Young love <3

Rainie: "Gehehehehe... I got his wallet...~"

And again... D'AWWWWW!!!! <3

Oh look, decent footwear, and just perfect for the rainy weather! YAY!

Awww, why thank you! No idea what kind of flower they are, but thanks anyway!

Rainie: "zzzzz..."

Oh, do they smell sweet, Rainie? Maybe I'll like these flowers, then...

I swear, Rainie seems to fall asleep everywhere in this video. The bath, smelling the flowers, in bed...

I have a feeling that if I were to go and collect rain water here in England, not only would I get a lot, but I would also be given plenty of funny looks from passers by because it would look like I was a bit of a nutter...

Rainie: "zzz...."

This is basically me when I have to listen to One Two Three. Rocking back and forth, slowly... wanting to kill it with fire... lots and lots of fire...

Is it not a bit perverse to draw one in one's sleep? Looky here, I'm using fancy words and wording

Also, I want that house. There is something about glass that is appealing... though also pretty damn inconvenient for things like baths and, er, bedroom activities...

Now, if you could see this screen cap clearly, which we can't because this PV is available in the gloriously high format of 480p, then you would notice that she is actually crying.

... Yeah, I know. All of those sad emotions are starting to kick in... damnit!

I actually do this in the rain sometimes because it's just so damn refreshing, ya know?

Rainie... what did he do to you?

... That is a heck of a lot of water o-O This girl gets thirsty...

Or she just really likes water.

Okay, I love her hair like that, and I love her dress.

NOM! Cake <3

Holy heck, what did that guy do to you Rainie!? If he broke up with you, then I will go and break his legs for him! -shakes fist angrily-

Happy memories mixed with sadness does not generally work out, especially if the object of that happiness is also the object of your sadness... ;______;

The feels, guys... this scene really makes me sad because Rainie looks so damn heartbroken and like she just wants to give up...

Wait, Rainie...? No, not the water... NOT THE RAIN WATER!!!

Ensue one passionate scene where she's just like 'FUCK THE WATER!!!'

Rainie... ;_______;

Oh wait, she's putting more rain water in glasses? Okay...

This girl has some weird ways to get over a breakup...

I just noticed that there is a lot of white... I'm guessing that this signifies happier times, and the dark toned clothes she wears are meant to express the pain she is suffering?

Rainie, sweety... there are plenty more fish in the sea, you know?

... Okay, so you're just going to hug your little jar of water? Alright...

I do love Rainie's hair like this, it's so gorgeous. Then again, Rainie is a gorgeous human being anyway.

I actually want to do this to my own Umbrella one day, but first I need to buy one...

"I believe that I will see the beauty of the Rainbow..." (English translation from the song itself)

Wait... aren't those the headphones that Rainie wears in this music video? Also, that field...

The Anniversary of him leaving you, Rainie?

Wait... what?

What? What's happening? Rainie?

... Oh shit. I know what's going on...

... NO!!!! No no no no no ;______; Rainie... he... he didn't break up with you, did he? He...

... Oh shit, I just realised something; Rainie is wearing pearls (I hate this dress by the way, that shoulder...) and my mother had always told me to 'never wear pearls on my wedding day, because they symbolise sorrow and tears'.

... Rainie is crying, and she is in sorrow. How did I not see this!?

Rainie: "I walked forward on this path beside now, and now I walk back without you by my side..."

I actually also picked up on how they were walking together one way, and only Rainie walking back when re-watching this as well. It's weird what you pick up on when after you decide to watch something after so long, you know?

... Ho--- I mean my good Lor--...

He died... I, er... well, when I originally watched this I actually did not see that one coming...

And guess what? That's the spot where he was standing with the headphones, and those are the flowers he liked... This PV sure does like foreshadowing and making things relevant...

Rainie: "If I'm not at home, then I am in the rain..."

Much like Michael Wong's Tong Hua, it has been a while since I last looked at this song, but after going back to Tong Hua I really felt the strong desire to review Yu Ai and to just listen to it to just experience the song all over again, and I realised that I really missed listening to this beautiful piece of music by Rainie Yang. There was a time where I could not stop listening to it, and now here I am wishing that I had listened to it more.

For me Yu Ai, or Rainie Love, is an absolutely beautiful song that represents the loss of a loved one well in both the video and the song. The song itself translates to a story about a person who has lost their loved one, and finds that the only way they can cope is by being in the rain. The rain for them is a source of comfort and a source of courage because it blurs everything, and the rain cries with them through their pain. The person who has lost their loved one does not want to see anything clearly, which is why they prefer the rain, because rain is not clear, and so they hope that the rain will continue because it is the rain that gives them the courage to go on whilst other days when it is not raining, they give up and retreat away, not wanting to face their reality that their loved one has gone.

I only just started to read the English lyrics now, however I have looked at them in the past too, but now that I know the meaning of the lyrics, the video is so much more understandable; there are times where you see her inside, when it's a clear day, and she is basically retreating to the indoors so that she doesn't have to face the reality that her lover has gone. Every time she is inside, there is something that she remembers - a happier time - and she becomes sad. Every time she is in the rain though, we mostly see her collecting rain. We do see some memories, but not once do we see her break down and cry or lose control of her emotions when she is outside in the rain; it is only ever in the house where she feels the most pain. I never realised until now that the lyrics were so closely connected to the video, but I am happy that I actually decided to take a look into the lyrics and what they meant, because it helps me to understand everything a lot better.

So the video itself; as I said in the pic spam, when I first watched this video I actually thought that the boyfriend had left her before it came to light that he had actually died, and that their day in the rain indicated the day that he had told her about what was wrong with him. When I finished the video, I think that I cried. I was not ready for the grave to appear, I had prepared myself for a scene where it showed she had left him, but instead we see that he is no longer around... and that made me really sad, and I felt terrible for thinking that her pain had been caused by a breakup. But, looking back now, I think that this was what made me like the PV more; the fact that it lead me to believe something else, and it turned into something totally different. I had expected one thing, but it turned out to be something else, and so I felt double the emotion because it was unexpected and worse than what I had imagined.

There are also other things that I never noticed when I first watched this that I picked up on after watching the video for the purpose of this review, such as the pearls on her dress. Of course I had always known that the pearls were there, but it wasn't until a certain scene popped up that I remembered that my mother had told me that pearls represented sorrow, and after researching, I have also found out that pearls are seen as tears as well. Seeing her wear the pearls on that dress makes a lot more sense to me now as a viewer, because at one point I probably thought that the dress was not needed, especially that horrible giant shoulder, but now I see that they are there to represent her sorrow. Also, the scene with the rainbow; there is a part of the lyrics that talk about how the person suffering believes they will see the beauty of the rainbow after the rain has fallen, and there is a scene that shows Rainie's lover in a field wearing headphones. Later on, we see the field again, but instead of the lover standing there, there is a wooden grave. I believe that that part represents her coming to terms with what has happened, and she finally goes to see him even though it isn't raining, essentially meaning that she has seen the beauty of the rainbow now that her sorrow has passed and she has moved on and accepted that this is how her life is now.

I think that the video fits the video perfectly now that I have a better understanding of it all; Yu Ai shows the sadness and the struggle of someone who has lost a loved one, and how they find comfort in the rain because they feel that it represents their emotions better than any other weather pattern. Rainie's performance here is also beautiful, her expressions and the way she portrays her character is received well when I watch the video. If she cries, I feel like crying, and when she looks happy I can't help but feel happy as well, and I think that that helps the video and makes it great. It makes it more personal, and you really feel like Rainie is suffering in the scenes where she looks like she is at a loss with what to do.

It is a sad video, one which was beautifully structured and shot. I think that whoever directed this did an amazing job, because the emotions were portrayed beautifully, and the end of the video shocked me with what really happened between Rainie and her lover. I love that it's misleading in a way, and I love that it shows the struggle of a woman in love who has lost her lover and can only find comfort in the rain. It express sadness and anger perfectly, and how happy memories can be the cause of our sadness when the one who brought us happiness has gone. It's a great video, one that was done well and one that I will continue to love no matter how old it is, or how little I listen to it.

I hope that the rain will continue to pour
this secret of my rainy love
will last forever
I believe that I will
see the beauty of the rainbow...


PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: April 24th, 2013

Okay! Musume Digest #48

Let's DIGEST!!! What will we find in this week's Digest today?

This Week in News...

Changes! Petit Milady song previews! Triple Maimi? Solo singles announced for AKS soloists! BiS to reveal new members in their next single! Single Covers released, and MORE!!!

Jump Break!

The Bitter Sweet Fairy Tale... Michael Wong's 'Tong Hua' (Rewind Review)

All feels and opinions are my own. Let the opinions flow, Chimians...

I am an avid J-pop lover, no lie, but sometimes I do enjoy dabbling in another language's music from time to time. This is a rarity, as rare as it is for me to listen to English or Korean music, but when it happens, I generally end up loving that song. There is something about J-op that is undeniably infectious, but there is something about certain Chinese songs that make me absolutely adore them.

Michael Wong's Tong Hua is one of those songs.

I found this song sometime last year when I was looking for sad music video's; Sometimes I feel the need to go for sadder story lines, and this one just so happened to pop up, though I mostly looked at it because of the song name: Fairy Tale.

Tong Hua, which translates to Fairy Tale, is from Michael Wong's third album of the same name that was released on January 21st, 2005 - over 7 years ago. This is, apparently, Michael Wong's best selling album, going straight to Number 1 and gaining him a lot more recognition thanks to the title track's popularity. In fact, I would gamble a guess that this is his most recognisable song, considering it was still in the top Karaoke charts of 2012 and he sang it again in 2008 instead of another song he was meant to sing, which just so happened to be It's A Small World for Disney Land Hong Kong. I don't blame anyone for wanting Tong Hua though... It's A Small World is a horrible song.

But other than being a beautiful song, Tong Hua has an undeniably beautiful music video to accompany it, one which has made me cry multiple times, and has really made me fall in love with this song. So, do you want to take a look at this Fairy Tale with me?

I love Piano's, you know? I can't play one, but they are so romantic, so sentimental, so personal...

... I really wish that I had learned to play the piano.

Wong: "OMG m8 i is soooo nrvs. ))))))));"

No phone's in the theatre!

Thank you, now... START PLAYING!!!

... Oh shit o-O

And here is the opening, and let's just say this; that place is pretty damn small but HEY, who really gives a damn at this point? There's a piano there, that's why we won't give a damn!

Oh no, it's...

The sexy-pouty-pissy-fit-I-want-help FACE!!!

Wong: "Life is awesome... not."

Geez, Wong, cheer up a bit o-O I know the song is sad and all, but seriously man...

Wong: "Hello, boobs..."

I see him staring, though who could blame him?

Girl: "......."

She does not look pleased, and seriously now, is that bottle meant to represent a certain something?

Wong: "Boooooobs..."
Girl: "MICHAEL!"

... And now I know why he is called Wong.

Wong's expressions are about as diverse as Kristen Stewart's are...

I'm being serious here.

Oh okay, good... the good stuff... -gets cam-corder-

Not gonna lie, this scene was really passionate. Then again, The Wong was going for her boobs to begin with, so of course he's gonna get it on with her.

He is no longer Kristen Stewart's match

Wong: "Holy fu---"
Girl: "What? But it isn't meant to come out of my nose!!!"

Looks like someone's been playing with face paints.

Girl: "Hahaha..."

I don't like blood... it makes me feel weird...

Doctor: "... You're not pregnant."
Michael: "... Are you really a doctor?"

Oh look! A NO SMOKING advertisement! Quit now!!! :D Fuck it, do what ya want

Oh, we're back in the concert hall? Nice.

Wait... Wong, don't leave her... Wong, I feel bad about this...

SHIT, NO! Wong, don't just sit there, do... well, do something!!!

If J-drama well, one has taught me anything, it is to never trust hats.

SEE!? WHAT DID I SAY? Damnit, Koizora!!! -cries-

... And shit just got real. The feels guys, the feels... -clutches heart, wherever it may be-

And now I know why his emotion is non-existent in this ;______; I feel ya bro, I feel ya... </3

Holy fu--- no no no...

Wong: "Don't go..."

Please hang in there, woman I don't know... he is there for you...

What? What is it, Doc?

... No. Not that face.

That face just says it all... and yes, my heart breaks, even if he does look emotionless. The eyes, though... the eyes say it all.

Girl: "Michael..."

What is she saying? I am so sad now... no... ;____; He loves you...

Wait, what? The phone... Oh my gosh, the phone!!!

Sing, Michael... sing your heart out! She's listening!!! She is listening to you, to your song you wrote together!

That face of pure delight and happiness... ah, so beautiful...

It's beautiful, isn't it? The song he wrote for you... the song that is yours and his. I would cry, too.

The emotions... Michael... The Wong... ;____;


Damnit, PV producers! Why make her die on the last note!? WHY, I SAY!?

I am going to gander a guess that that is actually her ghost?

Oh look, flashbacks, memories...

Very fond memories, indeed...

... ;______; the feels, guys.

Girl: "I love you..."

Rest in Peace, and listen to him sing you this song again...

When the whole world was ignoring me

Only you would stay by my side...

Okay, so... yeah, a night has passed since I began writing this post. I was really tired and knew that, if I were to stay awake to finish this post off, I would think it was garbage and hate it. Luckily I decided to sleep and now I can finish this post off, yay!

So that final bit from my pic spam is actually an English translation (as accurate as it may be, who knows?) from the PV itself; there's a little bit of dialogue in this video, not much though, but when you know what it means, you get quite saddened by the video more than you want to. Okay, so the video itself is really sad, but I think that adding that dialogue makes me want to cry more, and honestly... yeah, I cry more when I watch the video and know just what the girl is saying to him before she dies, or what she is thinking. It's heart breaking in a way, especially this bit that she says during the scene where he runs with her body in his arms after her collapse:

Will you remember me
For a long time?
When you think of me...
Be Happy!

How sad is that? It's extremely touching to hear those words (in Chinese, of course) from her and just makes the video that much more wonderful to watch. I fee so sad when she says it, but I guess that is what helps me to like the video more... it's heart-wrenching really, and sadly the video with the English translation isn't up any more (damn copyright and all that jazz...), but luckily I had saved the English translation for the Dialogue to use in a fanfiction, as weird as that is to say... haha.

Anyway, taking a look at the PV again after so long (not that long, though), I found a few things that I had never truly acknowledged when I first watched it, such as how bad Michael Wong is at portraying emotions (believe it or not, he actually acts too, which surprised me considering how terrible he is at it in this video) and how he was actually staring at her boobs in this video. I noticed it before, though at the time I think my innocence or extreme naivety (haha, me, innocent?) told me that he was worried for her heavy breathing. Well, nope... he was staring at her boobs. Nice.

The first half of the video is actually pretty normal in how it plays out; they're a couple who share a small apartment together, and move into a bigger one after the girlfriend yells at The Wong to help her move out. They then manage to finish moving a couch in, which proceeds with the scene of The Wong side-eyeing his girlfriends chest, before cutting to a scene where they watch a movie together. After some crying and such, she passionately kisses him and we see some emotion from The Wong! Or at least, we see extreme passion and a flurry of 'OMG kisses!' from him, which in a way was funny to see. But hey, he has emotion, who knew?

After that the video pretty much shows a downhill slide for them both in a way; She gets a nosebleed, and as my friend put it when I forced her to watch the video, 'From all the drama's I have watched, this tells me she has cancer' - and yes, she does. From the description of the video that I found on Ye Olde, Trustworthy Wikipedia, it states that Wong's girlfriend possibly has lung cancer, however they don't find this out until after she collapses. I want to throw in there that the scene where The Wong is frantically running out of the auditorium/theatre is probably the most frantic I have seen him in this entire video, and also the part where I really do think he put his all into it. He does look truly desperate, worried and scared, and it makes me feel scared watching him in that position, too.

Of course we know how the rest plays out; it's a bit like how Koizora was set out, in a way. She tells him to go and play the piano, and he gives her a phone to listen, and as she listens, she dies on the last note. I think that the worst part about the video is this, though; at the end he continues playing, her ghost or soul sitting beside him, and I really do not know if he knows that she has already died. Is he playing to try and keep her on the phone line? Is he playing because he knows? Or does he think that if he continues playing, she will still be there to listen? The thing is that we don't know, and that is truly saddening because you are unaware of what he is thinking at that point, and you don't know if he actually knows that she has died.

It's so so sad...

So any of my joking aside about this video, I do find it truly saddening. I think that, whilst Michael Wong didn't seem to portray emotions as effectively as he could have, he managed to portray those emotions in specific scenes where it was relevant and needed, such as the scene where he is holding onto his girlfriend after her collapse. I also think that his expression with piano playing, whilst restrained and pretty lacking, worked after you finished the video and realised that he was playing to his ill girlfriend who, at the time, was dying as she listened to him playing the piano; I don't think that I would be able to contain myself if I was doing that, I would have broken down and cried, so when  think about it, maybe he had no expression because he was trying to hold back and not cry, trying to be strong as he sang and played the piano; he could not convey his own feelings because of the situation he was in at the time, and so chose to not show anything at all, even if it meant that he looked like he would rather be somewhere else (which, I am sure, was actually the case).

This is a sad MV. It has it's funny moments, but it also has it's heartfelt moments, and I think that these combined kept the video quite realistic as you watch it. They start off with a normal relationship, but then things happen and Wong's girlfriend dies, and you truly feel like his world has fallen apart. It is a sad video, but I love it because it feels so personal and just looks so beautiful. I don't care about the acting abilities, I don't care that there is blood... I just like the video because it tells the story that needs to be told, and after watching it again I just can't help but think that I am a little in love with it.

I think that Michael Wong's Tong Hua PV is one of the reasons why I probably prefer Chinese music video's to Japanese Idol video's; the emotions are portrayed a lot better, and the emotion comes across well, and you really get a sense of realness when you watch them. I love Idol PV's, yes, but there are times where I just want to sit back and watch something with a storyline that is emotional uplifting or down right crushing, and to be honest I do not think that Idol PV's satisfy those needs or fill those holes... they're too cutesy at times, or don't fit the tone of the song (as proven by AKS).

This is a beautiful PV, and the song is just as beautiful, but when I think of Tong Hua, it is definitely the PV that sells it for me. I do not get as emotional when listening to the song like I do when watching the video, so for me the winner has to be the video, but honestly, Tong Hua on its own as a song is beautiful, breath-taking even... and Michael Wong has a gorgeous and pure voice that I could listen to over and over again.

All the feels for Tong Hua, a bitter sweet fairy tale to the end.

Let the feels flow, dear Chimians. Let them flow...