Overdue Reviews: Battle of the boy bands!

Hello gorgeous people of the world!

I’m back! Well, after some LJ withdrawal I suppose. It’s not that I wasn’t updated with the goings-on of Lala fandom land, life just happens. You don’t know how long I’ve stared at my computer with the blinking cursor sort of hypnotizing me while I try to come up with something to say just to get me started.

I don’t know. I guess there are a lot of things that come with age (here goes the granny talk). The days of my excessive fangirling days feel like lightyears ago. I remember when I would stay up until 3 in the morning downloading songs/videos or watching series over youtube or crunchy, only realizing that I’ve been in front of my laptop for a good four, five hours, only getting up to get a drink or go to the loo. I used to finish a TV series in like, 3 days! At least the Japanese ones, Kdramas just go on forever! Nothing went past me. If I liked an artist or a boy band I would watch their interviews, behind-the-scenes, making-ofs and even some random stuff. But I did like rebutting the comments of some dumbass fan opinions (delusional, die-hard, annoying ones) just for fun, lol. Dang. Had I TOO MUCH time on my hands or what! In the middle of the night while I was watching a concert I wondered if I was the only one in the world doing that – surely there was some other fangirl/boy out there who was doing the same thing as I was… Do you have any similar fangirl extreme experience?

Anyways, I just said that I can’t get started, now I can’t stop blabbing! On to my otherwise late reviews! First up!

KAT-TUN VS. TOHOSHINKI

I don’t even know why this was even a contest. Sometime ago there was a clamor among the two groups’ fans when it was said that they would release their new singles at the same time. We all know that Johnny boys practically own the industry, and eats up the airtime of every other artist who gets in their way. The boys are simply everywhere. But talent-wise Toho wins. With DBSK’s newly transformed sexy selves in Mirotic and Wrong Number I was sure Toho would win hands down. I mean, against KAT-TUN’s false sense of sexiness, that is. BUT LO, AND BEHOLD. Survivor happened.

I was dumbfounded to say the least. I actually checked the date when the video was released. Surely this was NOT the 90’s tooty fruity boyband trying-to-be-cool era?? It was an intergalactic mess of an alter-universe with a bunch of guys, I dunno, trying to save the world in a spaceship or probably plotting to destroy human race, as well as their career perhaps. I remembered NEWS’ Nippon video, where the boys were flailing around in outer space in space suits. Toho looks almost like them, even the dancing – and Nippon was way back when Yamapi was like 13 or 14? and Tegoshi was like 10 or something, LOL. The Toho guys went wayyy back.

NEWS goffin’ trio: "You got owned bitches!"

Nippon space ages ago. The quality of this pic and the vid actually looks more modern than Toho’s.

Earth to Tohoshinki…. Please come back to Earth…

Flail here, flail there. Flail everywhere!

Okay, I’m not saying Toho tries to be like JE, it’s just a big stepdown is all I’m saying. I LOVE the boys but it’s like they try to mold themselves into the dominant Japanese trend when for sure with Japan’s diverse musical and image tastes, with a talent like theirs they will still make it big…

I always believed that Toho and DBSK are two different entities. Back in Korea, the boys are made to look like manwhores whose songs ooze with sexual inuendo (I got you, under my skin… You’re my slave) but when they get to Japan it’s like major overhaul. Not that one is better than the other, but identity crisis much?

Bolero I thought was pretty good. Micky finally getting some well-deserved screen time. With a surpising duet with Yunho who never was considered as really a "singer" in the group.

Yamapi Code Blue hair actually looks good on the boys.

Speaking of Yamapi…

Is it just me or does Kim Hyun Joong of BOF looking every bit like Yamapi (Proposal daisakusen era) these days? Or maybe I just miss Pi so much. Can you see the resemblance?

Jaejoong tries to give emotion to the song.


OR NOT.

Then there was Kiss the Baby Sky…

It was pretty much like Bolero but only Part 2. Put 5 guys in an abandoned set, have them sing while looking contemplatively far beyond, with misty eyes and hopeful smiles, with random back up dancers and a couple put in for effect – there you go, a new music video.

Micky: "Yo! You know what I’m talking about baby… Nyeahaha just tryinah sing…"

Sounds like their single "O" when Micky said, "Yo, Yunho, let’s try some noise bit…" Huhhh.

Micky composed this song, perhaps over one two many bottles of soju because he sounded pretty intoxicated here, or he was probably sleepy or drank too much cough syrup like this guy…

[Note: Japan’s Finance minister appearing to be drunk at a press conference in Rome, slurring his words could barely stay awake as he tried to field reporters’ questions (He said he just drank cough syrup). He "stepped down" from his position afterwards. Or got fired, poor guy]

The other members didn’t stand out as much. With the exception of Junsu’s smiley adorkableness. Jaejoong just stood there looking pretty, no surprise about that, Changmin was just Changmin and Yunho and his spikey hair looked pretty good. Other than that, the song was GREAT. Good one, Micky. Just try to keep the booze down a few chugs next time.

Okay, now it’s time for KAT-TUN…

Sorry about that long ramble, it’s just that I kept things bottled up for so long, LOL.

If Micky starts things off with a little monologue, Koki does the same, except instead of sounding drunk, he just sounded incomprehensible.

Koki: "I not scared…* gibberish gibberish * I rescue you…"

Anyways, KAT-TUN, KAT-TUN… Not much of a drastic change, but definitely an upgrade by their standards. Lesser terrible clothes and lesser weird hairstyle for Koki. I’m surprised that most of the song was in English, but that doesn’t exactly mean that it’s a better song.

KAT-TUN, at least to me is the BADASS of all JE groups. Well, at least that’s what they try to be. They always go for the dark, gloomy concepts with a few of them actually succeeding to look cool. No Koki, not you. This time you get to see Jin’s greasy, long, curly hair, Kame’s still-penciled eyebrows, Nakamaru in a threesome dance, Ueda in a girl group, Juno doing a signature JE twirling dance beside a man five times his size and Koki (sorry when it comes to Koki all words just escape me) – it’s pure entertainment all rolled up in one.

This time the boys focus on their choreography, as 80 percent of the song was basically just an upbeat instrumental, with the breakdance segment practically taking up the whole video. It was a dance-athon! Kind of like Rain’s "Rainism" where he does the whole stick dance 4 minutes out of the 5 minute video. Each of the boys got to show off their dancing skills (or lack thereof) and some of the moves were just not in sync with the song, BUT their choreography has definitely improved.

The singing was er… not too bad, but their attempt at ascending vocalization especially before the chorus just grates on your nerves. Speaking of the chorus, sometimes you can hear other members sing "I don’t want to cry along…" when I suppose it’s "I don’t want to cry alone"? Forgive my weak hearing, but when it comes to KAT-TUN it really doesn’t matter. Nothing groundbreaking here but what’s good about KAT-TUN is that they’ve always been a bit consistent with their image. Even when they try a bit of rock, pop or a teeny weeny bit of RNB, they will always be the hip grinding, twirling (no, not Chinen’s level) boys of JE. And they did succeed in showing the feel of some battlefield and "rescue" concept.

But I have to say, Nakamaru just looks lost throughout the whole thing, he looks and acts so misplaced! What is up with that? Kame looks less creepy and actually looks good with shorter hair, Jin is, Idunno, he used to be my fave but this style is not working for him, he almost looks annoying somewhat, but Juno! Looking good! Pat on the back for you!

I won’t choose which group did better in this "battle" I guess both had their share of the good and the bad. Toho does better ballads or mellow songs in Japan I think whereas KAT-TUN never fails when it comes to their distinct JE-ness.

Let’s cast a vote, shall we? What do you think?

ON A SIDE NOTE, HERE’S WHAT I THINK ABOUT SUPER JUNIOR’S "SORRY SORRY"

I hate to say it, but I LOVED IT. I don’t know even half of the boys’ names with the exception of Ryeowook and Donghae, my personal faves. But overall what a step up from them! Kind of like if Toho went retrobackwards, these guys flash forwarded into MEN – and not the sissy girly boys they were before. They were usually the butt of jokes in the KPOP world but now I guess they got tired of being parodied so they decided to grow up.

I have a lot of peeves regarding some of the awkward dance steps but that can be easily overlooked. Sure, they went all Justin-Timberlakey on us but for some reason they succeeded in presenting that LESS IS MORE, an ironic feat considering their jinormous number. No more fluff! YAY!

Maybe I should start learning their names. Or better yet, maybe other boybands should do well and follow their lead. Wait, did I just say that?

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