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Ajusshi! Popular Veteran Actors You May Recognize But Don’t Actually Know

How many do you recognize? Very few Western asian drama viewers discuss the veteran actors who are popular domestically and who are no less important in shaping our viewer experience than that new kid on the Asian entertainment block. I think it’s time to shed a light on these actors who are both highly recognizable and yet maintain a low public profile than their young, idol actor counterparts. You can usually see these ajusshi* take on supporting characters (but sometimes they are the main roles): the father, head of a group, wealthy merchant, the emperor, the evil prime minister, a funny robot engineer.

Kou Zhen Hai  寇振海

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Kuranosuke Sasaki 佐々木蔵之介

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Shen Bao Ping 沈保平

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Kim Gab Soo 김갑수

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Yue Yao Li 岳跃利

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Gong Fang Min 公方敏

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Anthony Wong

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Zhang Tie Lin 张铁林

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*AJUSSHI: A Korean term that literally means something like “Uncle”, and refers to an older man; perhaps some of these veteran actors should be considered OJISAN/grandpa haha… some are in their 50s.

This list include veteran actors I personally like to see onscreen. What are your faves?

Best of this year’s Super Boy performances (videos)

Been covering China’s Super Boy singing competition on Underrated Gems, introduction to Super BoysTop 20 Top 10. Too lazy to catch up on the show? From the competition so far, these 8 performances were the highlights for me.
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Most infectious: Yu Tian performs “Zi You Zi Zai” In less than one minute – Everyone get a ‘beautiful high’. No drugs involved 😉

What a story! Unique points for this guy: Wang Jing, performs “I Can CHUA”

Can you not tear up after hearing this? I broke my replay button. (just kid! there’s no replay button on laptop, silly) Liu Junyu brings us a Meteor Garden favorite “The Love You Want” Read More…

Super Boy’s Top 10 – Who Actually Made it?! Well our adorable alien boy sure did.

Top 10 is revealed Friday night (in China time)! 7 out of the 10 I predicted actually got in! You can say my prediction is magic. Or the ten finalists just give off bupingfan* star power and singing quality. Surprising that Yu Menglong hasn’t been brushed off the list yet with his barely-passable voice, not that I mind, I mean the guy is quite some eye candy and definitely looks like a classmate I know.

It's clickable! Sorry Zuo Li, we couldn't fit you on the pic (it is indeed top 10)

It’s clickable! Sorry Zuo Li, we couldn’t fit you on the pic (it is indeed top 10)

  1. 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu: He is dubbed the “Alien” superboy. After watching his perf, “some artists, I would buy their CDs to listen at home, for you, I would buy a ticket to see you at a live concert” – Chen Kun (judge)
  2. 于湉 Yu Tian: This Tianjin-native who studied in Canada is good at jazz stuff. Infectious voice and a powerful stage presence.
  3. 贾盛强 Jia Sheng Qiang: Little Q may be a country bumpkin, short, and unattractive, but he’s got the voice. And original guitar songs. 
  4. 宁桓宇 Ning Huanyu: Ning is a prodigy at music school. Arrogrant but has gotten better after Chen Kun gave him at caution at the preliminaries. 
  5. 白举纲 Bai Jugang: Kid’s got a pure face and beautiful, honest voice. I think he’s going to be number one. 
  6. 张阳阳 Zhang Yang Yang: Can you believe this babyface graduated from police school?! I can’t. 
  7. 欧豪 Ou Hao: If he didn’t choose that rap song, he probably wouldn’t make it. People just like his badboy image. -_- Yes, I’m bitter. Fan Shiqi could’ve had his spot. 
  8. 于朦胧 Yu Menglong: Like I said, he’s just a decent singer and has quite a nice, modest personality. Very easy on the eyes though.
  9. 左立 Zuo Li: He’s kind of…boring. What got him famously known as the fiancee of “Ms. Xiong” doesn’t cut it for me.
  10. 饶威 Rao Wei: “I want to be the Chinese Justin Bieber!” Watch out for this guy, boys and girls.

*bupingfan (不平凡): above the usual, different from the masses

Were there any singers you liked in particular? One of my faves was Fan Shiqi. Menglong made it to top 10 but not my ShiQi?! Well at least he is fighting on YY for a fan-revival-of-eliminated-Super-Boys. In the meanwhile, you can enjoy his recent hosting gig where he’s temporarily replaced the guy normally covering the Olympic games SuperBoy competition.

5 Wacky Japanese Drama Plotlines You Won’t Believe Existed

You are about to get an introduction to the wonderful strange world of jdrama. They sometimes make you question your own ethics. Mind-boggling, life-altering, works the human mind…surely these praising comments aren’t about story with incest, a man-pet, a witch teacher or a frightening psycho who runs a game show. Well, maybe they are. Oh, and if you still can’t distinguish Japanese TV series from Chinese and Korean productions, go here. *edit: took out Kimi Wa Petto & made an adjustment to the title

1. Secret is about a mother who uses her daughter’s body to make love with her husband. That’s not something you see on tv everyday. 10823589_bb3e6a0ba743be0-1

Well…The story involves a married couple, where the wife dies but her spirit ends up inside the couple’s daughter (Shida). That makes it a little better right? At least you know she doesn’t do it on purpose.

The powerful performances by Shida Mirai and Kuranosuke made this series so addictive but tear away at your guts. A normal family literally rips apart after a strange train accident which leaves the wife dead and the daughter in a coma. When the father arrives at the hospital, his daughter wakes up and tells her she is his wife…

2. Face it, Queen of the Classroom is what really makes you terrified for school days.

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A new school year begins at Hanzaki Elementary School and there’s a new mysterious teacher named Maya Akutsu (Yuki Amami) in grade 6, class 3. Meanwhile, Kazumi Kanda (Mirai Shida) is now entering the 6th grade and filled with excitement about the new school year. Kazumi also has Maya Akutsu as her new homeroom teacher.

The students in grade 6, class 3 quickly realize that Maya Akutsu never smiles at them and treats them mercilessly. Students are not even allowed to use the bathroom during class time. Maya places a high emphasis on test scores and gives pop quizzes every week. Students who receive the lowest scores, become almost like her slaves as they must perform odd jobs in the classroom. Kazumi quickly falls into the crosshairs of Kazumi Kanda.

A year 1 year battle then ensues between Maya Akutsu, who rules her classroom like a queen, and the students of grade 6.

3. Facemaker takes a whole new meaning to “facing a new life”. It escalades from girl, you need some tweaking to girl, you need a new identity!

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A doctor who specializes in changing a woman’s fate by letting her choose another lady’s face to take on.

Dr. Kirishima (Masaru Nagai) is a genius plastic surgeon who gives his patients brand new lives. A woman named Kayoko Shimano (Tamae Ando) enters a plastic surgery office and tells the receptionist she wants to change into an entirely different person. Kayoko was recently dumped by her boyfriend and she believes he dumped her because of her looks. The receptionist tells Kayoko to go to the basement of the clinic. When Kayako arrives at the basement office she sees Dr. Kirishima. Dr. Kirishima listens to Kayoko’s story and then takes out a collections of masks and places them on the table. He tells her to choose the one she likes best … Source: Asianwiki

The concept is quite sickening but original right? Basically like extreme plastic surgery (except the lesson here isn’t this) where you stitch someone else’s face onto your own.

4. Byakuyako starts with a boy falling in love with a girl, but then the boy kills his own father and the girl kills her own mother. This might surprise you, but this is one of Japan’s famous television series and has later spurned a Korean film adaptation.

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When Ryoji finds out that the object of his father’s perversion is his first love, Yukiho, he kills him. To his horror, Yukiho’s mother forced her to do so to relieve their dire economic straits. Yukiho also retaliates in similar manner by staging a suicide for her mother as well as herself. It’s been 14 years since then and the boy that gave up everything and the girl that waged her life on the boy are struggling to continue to love each other. They grow up attempting to keep it secret and ride out the statute of limitations. In order to protect Yukiho, and improve her life, Ryoji enters the world of vice and dabbles in crimes to support her. Source: Dramawiki

5. The Quiz Show 2 is probably a psychological thriller anyways but still a damn creative one at that. And hey – I’m sure Arashi fans would still enjoy seeing two eye candies on one stage.

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When individuals accept the invitation to be a guest on The Quiz Show, they are told the ultimate prize is to have one dream- whatever it is- granted by the show’s producers. What they are not told is that when they sit down in the chair they will be facing questions asked by a mysterious young man that claims to know “everything” about them, nor are they prepared for how personal the questions suddenly become.

Can each guest make it through to the last challenge? Will their dreams really become a reality if they answer every question they are asked, no matter how far into their deepest secrets it digs?

Just what is the purpose of The Quiz Show? Source: Asianwiki

 

The torturous battle for China’s top 20 singers & predictions who will be the winners

Why Chinese singing competitions are a gamble. You toss out the pretty boys but then groom the ones who are left into “idol singers”. Since the Top 20 finalists are already determined, I will tell you 10 contestants who I predict will win in this year’s Super Boy. In less than 22 hours, we will see how many of my predictions came true.

Can you spot your favorites in the top 20 who are our finalists?

Can you spot your favorites who made the top20?

My Predictions for Top 10 Are (bolded are ones I personally hope will get in):

  1. 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu
  2. 宋伟 Song Wei
  3. 于湉 Yu Tian
  4. 贾盛强 Jia Sheng Qiang
  5. 宁桓宇 Ning Huanyu
  6. 白举纲 Bai Jugang
  7. 王启 Wang Qi
  8. 张阳阳 Zhang Yang Yang
  9. 欧豪 Ou Hao
  10. 范世琦 Fan Shiqi

By the way, the 10 finalists will be determined on July 26th! Mark your calendars if you think you’ll be tuning in (curiousity kills the cat).

Here are my favorites out of all the contestants (some who have already been eliminated and some are in the finalists):

于朦­胧, 刘俊宇,王博文, 王晶, 范世琦, 马晨, 谢彬彬, 魏一宁,杨洋,魏帅, 华晨宇, 何天宇

Super Boy Competitors Wei Yining and Liu Junyu With Their Many Similarities

I don’t know about you, but good singers can sing the hell out of a song and instill a flame in the heart that makes me want to listen to it over and over again. What makes me love a singer is when he is truly into his song and the stage merges with the artist himself.

As for Wei Yining and Liu Junyu, both are acquired tastes. I didn’t particularly like either even when everybody else was oohing and ahhing at their pretty boy faces. But then I heard Wei Yining sing and then Liu Junyu sing. Though these two are not the cream of the crop in terms of singing, they are sincere singers and it shows through their eyes and heartfelt emotions. And then Wei Yining covers the classic Romance in the Rain’s ending song… Oh my heart. LOL, but seriously, just that song immediately throws me into the romantic setting of Romance in the Rain.

So if you read til here, you might be wondering, what is so similar about these two? Let me tell you something interesting:

  1. they have both performed “Those Years” which is the theme song from You Are the Apple of My Eye, in fact, Liu even released a Cantonese single of said song before this year’s Super Boy competition!
  2. both were eliminated from the national round where the 66 singers compete for 20 spots (but are both participating in YY’s FuHuo ‘Revival’ which might bring them back in time for the top 5 competition; if you have a lot of fans/supporters, this should be a piece of cake…well maybe)
  3. both are fan favorites – something that stems from the fact that they’re pretty nice eye candy. Liu’s face looks like Chen Kun in his younger days. Wei’s face reminds me a lot of Jumei cosmetics CEO Chen Ou.

Tune in tomorrow for the official list on who our TOP 20 Finalists are – and who I predict will be in the top 10.