It is obvious that I am deep in the KPOP and JPOP fandoms (and even deeper in their various sub-fandoms), but these are not the only fandoms that pulled me under. This blog is Japanese and Korean (and sometimes Chinese) entertainment focused; I rarely talk about my other interests and how I got involved with them.
My interest in anime began at a very young age (probably around six years old). Every day after school, I used to sit in front of the television and watch a bunch of daytime cartoons on my local cable station. Two of these cartoons included “Rurouni Kenshin” (Samurai X) and “Cardcaptor Sakura”. I was so fascinated by these shows. They were different from the usual cartoons that I watched. I looked forward to seeing new episodes daily. As I grew older, I began to understand more about the concept of anime and began looking at more shows like “Full Metal Alchemist”, “Inuyasha” and “Naruto”. Sooner or later, I was hooked on anime. I watched a lot of magical, romance and shoujo anime. I recently wrote a post about my favourite anime series, which you can check out here.
I confess that since getting into KPOP and dramas, I have not been watching as much as anime as I used to, but I still pretty much love it.
My love for JPOP originated from anime. The anime that I watched at home was often English or Spanish dubbed, but the opening and ending songs were still in Japanese. I was so intrigued by this music, and when I was old enough to use a computer I started looking up the music from anime. I began branching out and started listening to music from other Japanese artists. This is how my obsession with JPOP began.
Before discovering Hello Project music, I listened to artists such as Ikimonogakari, AAA, Ellegarden, Wakeshima Kanon, Kitade Nana, Namie Amuro, Suzuki Ami and more. Just like a lot of my favourite Japanese artists, I discovered Hello Project through an anime, Shugo Chara. The first Hello Project group I was introduced to was Buono. The song that captured my heart was “Rottara Rottara”. I enjoyed many of Buono’s songs for the anime from the start, but this song is the one that led me to look up more information about the group. Through my research, I realized that Buono was part of a bigger organization called Hello Project. I started listening to music from other groups, such as Berryz Kobo and C-ute. My interest in Morning Musume piqued much later. Today, I enjoy all things Hello Project. Hello Project is a big part of my life, and I actually like it more than KPOP music, which is why many of my posts are Hello Project related.
My interest in KPOP came from JPOP. It was like a cascading effect. In 2009, I was looking at Japanese music videos on YouTube, when I saw BoA’s “Eat You Up” in my recommendations. Although the song was in English, I was mesmerized by BoA’s light voice and sharp dance moves. I looked up so more of her songs and realized that she was a Korean pop artist. Around that time 2NE1 just released their pre-debut collaboration song with Big Bang called “Lollipop”. I instantly fell for this song and the members of 2NE1. Through more research of the genre, I started getting into SM Entertainment groups like Girls Generation, SHINee, TVXQ and Super Junior. However, during this time I still had a greater affinity for JPOP. After a couple of years, KPOP started to appeal to me more than JPOP and I started branching out to other groups, especially rookie groups.
Today, I try to be open-minded and try to listen to all the songs from different groups. I try not to be company-biased, but I do admit that a lot of my favourite groups come from the “Big 3” entertainment companies. However, these days I am getting bored quite easily because a lot of songs and concepts are beginning to sound and look the same.
I am also a HUGE WWE fan. This obsession also had an early start in my life, and it was all because of my father’s influence. Since I was very young, my father and I used to watch wrestling every chance that we got. My mother was never really happy about this because she did not particularly like her only daughter watching violent shows, but my father often ignored her frowned countenance. Now that I think back, it was really strange because I got banned from watching cartoons like “Cat Dog”, “Cow and Chicken”, “Courage, the Cowardly Dog” and “Ed, Edd and Eddy” because my parents thought that they were not educational shows, but I still got to watch wrestling. I am not complaining though (laughs).
I had my favourite wrestlers like Stone Cold, The Rock, Jeff Hardy, Triple H, Edge and The Undertaker. Today, my favourites are Roman Reigns, Shaemus, Randy Orton, The Usos, Dean Ambrose and Naomi. Even at that young age, I knew that the fights were fake and scripted. I mean, come on, I wasn’t dumb. The fact that the company changed its name to World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT meant something, but I still enjoyed watching it. Unfortunately, I don’t watch it as much as I used to because of my busy schedule, but my dad never fails to call me and update me on the events in the wrestling world.
Branching out of the Asian music industry, I am also a big fan of Paramore. I cannot remember what was my first Paramore song, but I know that my interest in them piqued during my “rock/pop punk” phase at the beginning of secondary school. That phase may have died down near the end of my secondary school life, but I still very much love the group and their music. I cannot explain what it is that makes me like them. It may be their symbolic lyrics; the amazing instrumentals or Hayley’s powerful voice, whatever has made me addicted to this group has been doing a good job for many years.
My current favourite album from the group is “The Riot”, and my favourite song is “Fences”. Not even their most recent album can top the excellence of “The Riot”. I can guarantee you that I know almost all the words to every song on that album.
I haven’t gotten the opportunity to see them live as yet, but it is definitely on my bucket list!
Fall Out Boy
The first Fall Out Boy song I heard was “Thnks fr th mmrs”. I heard it on the radio while I was in the car heading to a bazaar with a friend. Someone lent me their “Infinity on High” album, and with that I hopelessly fell in love with Fall Out Boy’s music. I started listening to some of their older songs and tried to learn as much as I can about the members. Pete Wentz was my favourite (Patrick succeeded his position after their reunion in 2013). It was probably the first time that the lead singer wasn’t my favourite member, but then Pete Wentz married Ashlee Simpson and broke my heart (LOL).
Fall Out Boy’s lyrics and song names often confused me, but that did not stop me from liking their songs. “Infinity on High” and “Folie A Deux” are currently tied for my favourite album spot, but “The Takes Over, The Breaks Over” is definitely my favourite song.
Panic! At the Disco
I am starting to see a trend in the type of music I listen to outside JPOP and KPOP, but yes, I am also a big fan of Panic! At the Disco. I am also super excited for their upcoming album! The first song I heard from this group was “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies”. I begged my dad to get me the “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” album after hearing the song. Unfortunately, I did not get it, but I did get their “Pretty Odd” album and it was just as good. “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” will always be my favourite song from the group since it was my first, but “Nine in the Afternoon” and “That Green Gentleman” are not that far behind.
I do admit that I slightly lost interest in them for a while between the “Vices and Virtues” and “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” eras (although I do love “The Ballad of Mona Lisa”, “Miss Jackson”, and “This is Gospel”), but my fascination was renewed with their recent releases and announcement of a new album.
Continuing on the alternative rock scene, Marianas Trench first caught my attention while I was watching “Video on Trial”. Lead vocalist, Josh Ramsay, was on the show while they were reviewing his music video, ‘Shaketramp”. The music video was so strange, but the song was so addictive! I remember lying in bed and listening to the song over and over, learning the lyrics before I fell asleep. I started listening to all their other songs, bought all their albums and even got my best friend addicted to them.
I still really love their music. My favourite song from them is “Cross My Heart”, but I am in LOVE with their latest album “Astoria”. I wanted to cry while listening to that album. It was so mesmerizing, especially since the lyrics were all written from personal experiences that Josh faced. I am hoping to see them on tour when they come back to Canada next year.
Pretty Little Liars
I remember my friends trying to get me to watch this show when it just started airing. I refused each time, until one day, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. Somehow, I fell for the show and its characters. Mysteries always enchant me. I always have fun trying to guess who “A” was and the romance and dynamic characters were also a plus. Aria is my favourite liar, while Caleb is my favourite guy.
I am excited for the new season, but I believe that this show has been going on for way too long. I think that the production team is unnecessarily dragging things out. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the show, but even good things must come to an end before they get too boring.
I do admit that my incentive for watching this show was Ian Somerhalder. I mean, how can I resist that gorgeous face and devilish grin? I guess I also have a thing for the vampire and supernatural genre. It is a very interesting show that keeps me on the edge of my seat with every episode, and even though it is a fictional story, I feel like I can relate to the characters in many ways. I think this is the main reason why I love this show so much.
This is another show that has been going on for a while, to the point that even the lead female actress left the show! I would not be surprised if the series ends soon, especially with the increasing popularity of its spin-off, “The Originals”. I have not been up to the date with “The Originals”, but a lot of my friends are telling me that it is a great show, so hopefully I will catch up on it in my spare time!
That’s all the fandoms that I am currently drowning in! Tell me about some of your interests in the comment section below!