their best era without a doubt

Yes, I see the rebirth symbolism. No, I don’t think that it means the end of 1D.

Obviously, Harry wants to grow with this project, present himself in a new light with the public. A lot of the symbolism we’ve seen so far – emerging from water, sunrise/set, “Sign of the Times”, the sheer drama of the promo – indicates a maturation, a moving on from the past. But wouldn’t that be what anyone who has been in Harry’s situation would want? For the last seven years, he’s had an image that isn’t true to who he is forced upon him. If he’s going to counter that image and show who he really is, it has to be a radical shift. Especially for people who only give him 3 seconds of thought before reaching a conclusion and moving on to the next thing to cross their timeline. But while marketing needs to be blunt, obvious, Harry himself is capable of complexity, nuance, balance. I think it does a disservice to him to reduce his complexity to a marketing message that is aimed primarily at those who don’t know him.

Growing up, maturing, coming into your own doesn’t require disposing everything from your past. It’s about holding onto the parts that work for your future and putting away childish things. And I think that while Harry considers the shallow, womanizer image to be a childish thing, I don’t think he thinks his bandmates or the collective, matured creativity they have yet to share to be a childish thing. Nothing he’s ever said has indicated that. The image he has to wrestle with comes from how he was marketed – not from his bandmates or their experiences as a unit. Harry has never said anything to indicate that 1D is something he wants to move past or set away as a childish thing. Like any curious, intelligent, creative young person, Harry – and Louis, Niall, and Liam – wants to grab hold of everything he can and figure out which parts fit his mature self. Change happens. Change is good. Change is stimulating. Change doesn’t mean forgetting the past. All of them will change and grow. 

I know we haven’t heard from Harry directly on the topic, but the others have reassured us time and again that 1D has a future. I know they lie, but they lie when they can’t tell the truth and hedging/avoiding would essentially give away the truth. When asked about anyone leaving the band before Zayn’s departure, they couldn’t say anything other than a definitive “No” or it would be an effective “Yes.” Hedging wouldn’t have worked. But it would work in this situation. “We’re all just focused on our own work right now. We will have to see how we feel in the future.” “I really hope so, but we needed a break. We can’t make any decisions right now.” etc. But they didn’t do that; they clearly said that 1D would be back. And we haven’t heard much from Harry on anything, which I think is part of his effort to establish a dramatic shift in his image, so his silence on the matter doesn’t really tell us much. I can’t imagine the others would be so definitive if they knew that ¼ was intending to move on without them. 

I once thought that announcing firm future plans for the band would be the best so that they can do their solo work without the doubts hanging over their heads. I think I was wrong about this being best – to announce future band plans would place a limit on the time possible to devote to their solo projects and would make it seem like those projects aren’t as important and are just gap fillers. I don’t think they want that. I think they want it all – to have full, fruitful solo careers and then take what they’ve learned and how they’ve grown into a new era as a band, as a team. They were kids when 1D started; they need/want to grow up now. Their growth was stunted in the factory-produced boyband under the old regime. I am sure that contractual issues shape the way it has to happen, but I think these solo projects are their chance to grow and discover who they are as artists and people. That doesn’t mean leaving behind the good parts from a not totally great experience. Maturity is being able to separate the childish things from those that shape who you are going forward.

So I know there is this head cannon (or maybe actual cannon, who knows) that James and Lily were going to make up with Sev and possibly make him Godfather to the next baby, but I call BULLSHIT! No way in living hell was James Potter making Severus the Godfather of the next baby. And it isn’t because of the rivalry or childhood fights. it’s because the next Godfather was going to be Remus. no way he chooses Snape over Moony. THINK ABOUT IT. this is the guy that he decided to become and animagus for, at 12 YEARS OLD. he was his BEST FRIEND, because we all know Sirius was his declared boyfriend, and he was DEFINITELY WITHOUT A DOUBT THE NEXT GODFATHER. and then Wormtail, and then possibly Severus…

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I was in high school during the early 90s. It was the height of the grunge era, but me, I spent most of that time obsessed with Queen. I taped the Concert for Life off of MTV in 1992, and spent that summer literally watching at least part of it every single day. George Michael was, without a doubt, the #1 highlight of the whole concert. He did three songs with Queen, culminating in this, a contender for best live musical performance I’ve ever seen, period. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched/listened to this version of the song. Possibly even more than the original Queen version.

George Michael was an absolute pop music superstar. 

Wild Pink | Wizard Of Loneliness

This album is a thoroughly astounding piece of work, and is without a doubt the best music I’ve heard so far this year. Bursting with energy in places and in others a well-held restraint, every song on the New York-rockers’ album breathes with a depth of spirit and life experience. It helps, too, that it brings with it the best parts of turn-of-the-century indie/alt rock (a favorite era of mine) and stands firmly in 2017. If you were a fan of last years’ Pinegrove album, or at any time got along with Death Cab or JEW (back in the day) or even American Football, consider this record a gift.

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RAYMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (1999)

a 3-D animated children’s television series featuring the French video game hero Rayman. Created by Ubisoft and based on the Rayman adventure game series, the show was originally in French but was dubbed into various languages for foreign countries. Ubisoft was able to produce only four episodes and never managed to broadcast its episodes in the United States.

Why was it forgotten?: VERY VERY LITTLE EXPOSURE DESPITE THE POPULARITY OF THE CHARACTER

I wanted to take some time to burn through some requests and suggestions since people have been sending me great forgotten cartoons but this called out to me… Ever since I discovered this show’s very existence I just had to feature it. It’s a series that despite my personal taboo of featuring something based on a well known franchise it is without a doubt one of the most painfully forgotten animated features I’ve ever seen.

I have to talk about it, plain and simple.

Now, Rayman, what can you say about Rayman other than his franchise is one of the most beloved video games by many who grew up during the Playstation/Saturn/0Nintendo 64 era. His games were surreal, fantastical, and not to mention were damn good platformers in both the 2D and 3D realm. Some would even make the claim that the second game in the mainline series The Great Escape is the best 3D platformer of all time.

He hasn’t had much luck in recent years though. He did star in the mini-game collection Raving Rabbids but he was quickly pushed out of the spotlight in favor of the titular Rabbids characters.

For those at home wondering, yes, and again, yes, that feeling of disgust in the pit of your gut that there’s something very wrong here is wholly justified. And for those wondering further, yes, the Rabbids were in fact the starting point for the trend of babbling, annoying, random cutesy creatures.

In other words, these things are inspired by the Rabbids

Any way, an attempt was made to put Rayman back in the limelight with the phenomenal 2D platformers, Origins and Legends but he’s not quite as big as he used to be.

No one is these days, the only video game mascots that even people who don’t play video games might recognize these days is Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Pikachu, and Steve from Minecraft.

With that long winded over-explanation out of the way let’s actually get to the cartoon itself. Back in 1999, Ubisoft commissioned a cartoon at the height of Rayman popularity to help promote The Great Escape and it quickly came and went. Why, well unfortunately because it wasn’t very good, plain and simple. The writing is incredibly bad, none of the jokes are very funny, and it’s pretty boring to sit through once the novelty of Rayman being in a cartoon wears off.

It’s weird how this is a cartoon featuring Rayman and the antagonist from The Great Escape yet  there’s no other characters that make an appearance. Seriously, there’s no Globox, no Ly, no Murphy, no Teensies, not even anyone from the first game like Bzzit, Betilla the Fairy, or even the best character in the series, the Magician. The setting and tone is also incredibly far removed from the game so it’s like– I can tell they were trying to make the series its own sort of self-contained thing like a Rayman side-story but to not have much that people loved from the games just makes it doomed to fail.

I will give this series some credit, it looks marvelous! For something that was sleighted to be an animated series made for television in 1999 the animation, and art design is fantastic. Rayman looks, and moves like how you would expect him to, the other characters look nice, and the backgrounds are nicely detailed and generally have a lot going on. You’d be surprised how even today, people who work in 3D animation have trouble making their backgrounds and back drops interesting and not dead. It’s as though sometimes 3D animators forget they’re working with another dimension so they make scenes feel empty and dull.

I feel like this series could’ve been better if it had more characters we recognized, and had a lighter tone to its story because this certainly doesn’t feel like Rayman to me.

TRIVIA

  •  a total of thirteen episodes were planned, but after the fourth episode was completed, the show was canceled, due to poor writing and lack of funds despite being funded by the government of Quebec, Canada, and they were aired in very few countries in Europe, notably France, Germany and the Netherlands
  • The fifth, unfinished episode was to be called “My Fair LacMac,” earning much fan speculation about the episode’s content. This episode was almost done in production, but it had to stop at the last minute.
  • Although very rare, the Rayman animated series is available on VHS and DVD. An English-dubbed VHS was released in theUnited States, while a French one can be found in France and Belgium. A DVD is also available, but only in France.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

One of the most jarring things about this series in my opinion is how in the English dub, Rayman is voiced by superstar voice actor Billy West and his performance is probably the best part of the series. It makes me wish Billy West was the official voice actor for Rayman but alas. What’s so weird about is he gives Rayman a kinda North Eastern United States accent which makes him sound more like a New Yorker than Fry from Futurama.

Blimey, what a world we live in.

A Few Love Lessons Brought by Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell:

1. Being in love is being too familiar with details.

~That morning, in English, Park noticed that Eleanor’s hair came to a soft red point on the back of her neck.

That afternoon, in history, Eleanor noticed that Park chewed on his pencil when he was thinking.~

Being able to ride within the POVs of both of these lovers, I’ve discovered more about the “how” part of falling romantically in love. If the heart’s so sincere in carrying that emotion, a person just can’t help to study every characteristic and feature and every ambiguous detail affixed to the love interest. It was as if a guy wanted to complete this certain puzzle so much that he solved it a countless times, even if at first it’s like it didn’t want to be solved. But he tried so much that he accomplished it, finally. He was so in love with it that he memorized every complex puzzle piece.

2. Love can intensify if mixed with music.

~Best of all, she had Park’s songs in her head– and in her chest, somehow.~

One of my favorite things about the book is the clear attachment of music– another connection the two head-over-heels-in-love misfits shared, without doubt. I felt that can’t-be-stopped giddiness every time I read these lines narrating on how they admired and awed for different songs in various eras and genres. I admit, I am not familiar with most of the songs mentioned (therefore a research must be accomplished soon), but just knowing the fact that every beat they heard in a three-minute rock song made their bus ride chinwags a whole lot better, I felt the strong musical bond, as well.

3. Love brings out the idea of emotional incompleteness. 

~“I don’t even think I even breathe when we’re not together. Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath.”~

A funny part about this paramount feeling is that you just feel anxious and lacking whenever the person you’re in love with is heaps of miles away from you. And then sometimes you realize that you had never really experienced this kind of incompleteness when you still hadn’t met the person, and now that this person’s a part of your world, everything just gets really strange. Sometimes you feel as if you’re searching for something you’ve been desperately needing, even if the first place, in the first parts of your living, you never even yearned.

4. We become a factory of beautiful words and metaphors when we are in love.

~Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.~

Playful indeed is love, that even a person so cold and reserved and quiet and seemingly socially dull can have the ability to produce so much profound musings. Park’s thoughts were somewhat tear-jerkers for me– I mean, man, how amazing it is when you dive inside the in-love-guy’s mind, and you discover so much beauty in his words? Boys who get to create metaphors are just so gush-worthy.

5. Love can be so awkward, and it’s perfectly okay.

~“Hi,” Eleanor said.

“Hi,” he breathed.

She giggled.

“What?” he said.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Hi.”~

The awkwardness inclined with love is just so precious because it means that love is not a pretentious thing. Being awkward is just being you, being sincere with yourself, and I think, there will always be a person who can fit with the kind of awkwardness you have. I’ve loved so many ill at ease moments in the novel– the way they got so uneasy and embarrassed with each other just brought so much flowing figurative hearts all over the place. The book was so true, it was in the real world-zone. I felt like I belonged to the book, for I have the similar bag of awkwardness myself.

6. Crazy, crazier, craziest– popular levels of love.

~When she saw Park standing at the bus stop on Monday morning, she started giggling. Seriously, giggling like a cartoon character… When their cheeks get all red.~

We all got to admit this one, alright– everything is just so “I can’t help it,”. It feels so human, period.

7. Love is about saying the right words in the right time. (if possible, perfect time.)

~He regretted saying it. Not because it wasn’t true. He loved her. Of course he did. There was nothing else to explain… everything Park felt. But he hadn’t meant to tell her like that. So soon. And over the phone.~

For me, saying those three words are not just perfect for candlelight dinners or under the moonlight and shooting stars rooftop dates– it will be perfect according to our own perception of perfect. In a lighter sense, we need not to be reckless with the words with release; we have to think thoroughly first and be prepared for the possible grand turn of events right after those three words get to escape out of the mouth.

—-

I was (and still am) absolutely in love with this book and it’s probably so much more obvious now. How about you, guys? Any insights and reactions? I’d love to hear from you.

xx 

[Soompi] Looking Back: The Best of Super Junior’s Non-Title Tracks | 151110

On November 6th, 2015 legendary boy band Super Junior celebrated their 10th anniversary. Although there are now many K-pop groups popular around the globe, Super Junior has been one of the most influential groups in the industry. From their debut song to their most recent release, the talented group has cranked out one hit after another. Since we already know their greatest hits, let’s celebrate their ten, amazing years in the music industry by looking back at some of the group’s best non-title tracks ever!

Watch VID -> “You Are The One” – 2005

Coming off their debut album “Twins,” this song was recorded when Super Junior had only 12 members. With the original name of “Super Junior 05,” almost all of the members had previous experience in acting, radio, modeling, etc. SM Entertainment chose these members with the intent of raising them to be well-rounded entertainers, not just singers. With time, Super Junior became so successful in various entertainment fields that other companies soon followed suit and began training their artists to be actors and MCs as well. From day one however, the group showed that they weren’t going to be just a dance group, but that they had serious vocal skills as well.

Watch VID ->“Hate U, Love U” – 2007
After the addition of the group’s final member, Cho Kyuhyun, Super Junior dropped the “05″ from their name and released their second studio album. Although the lead track off “Don’t Don” involved an edgier concept, the album and subsequent repackage were actually full of a variety of genres, including multiple ballads. Most of these slower songs like “Marry U” and “Hate U, Love U” became fan favorites and are still performed at their concerts today.

Watch VID -> “Heartquake” – 2009

Super Junior’s third studio album “Sorry, Sorry” proved to be the release which launched the group to international stardom, bringing them both critical and commercial success. It also proved to be an important hit for K-pop as well, going viral and therefore setting the stage for other artists to follow. Although the lead track featured an upbeat tempo and easy-to-follow lyrics, the group also found success with the non-title tracks which leaned towards contemporary dance and R&B sounds. Super Junior went on to win their first Grand Prize Award (Disk Daesang) at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards.

Watch VID -> “Shake It Up” – 2010
Although Super Junior soon experienced major changes with the departure of two members, their next album became an even bigger success, selling even more copies than they had of “Sorry, Sorry.” SM Entertainment said that “Bonamana,” the group’s fourth studio album, was the “completion of the SJ Funky genre” and that the group would continue to pursue this genre for their future recordings. The title track was another huge hit, staying at the No. 1 position on one music chart for an astonishing 61 consecutive weeks! Similar to their past releases though, they enjoyed playing with a variety of genres on non-title tracks. They ranged from  beautiful ballads such as “Coagulation” to fun, medium tempo pop songs like “Shake It Up.”

Watch VID -> “Superman” – 2011

“Mr. Simple,” Super Junior’s fifth studio album, was released in 2011 and went on to become their best-selling album of all-time. Their previous hit “Bonamana” was still holding the No. 1 position on several charts, so with the release of “Mr. Simple,” they soon pushed their own album to second place as they ranked No. 1 yet again. The album went on to win Album of the Year at the Seoul Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards, as well as the Popularity Award, MSN Japan Award and their second Grand Prize award at the 26th Golden Disk Awards in Japan. Perhaps the most memorable non-title track from the album, “Superman” and its lyrics became something of a theme song for Super Junior.

Watch VID -> “Rockstar” – 2012
The next year, Super Junior released their sixth studio album entitled “Sexy, Free & Single.” The lead track featured a dance routine by Devin Jamieson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. The song and music video once more brought them great commercial success, with the video reaching 1 million views in less than 12 hours. Although there are several great non-title tracks on this album, the one most popular with fans is “Rockstar,” due in part to their lively performances of this song at concerts. This album also went on to win Album of the Year at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and the Grand Prize at the Golden Disk Awards, making them the only SM group to ever win three prestigious Grand Prize Awards from the Golden Disk Awards. This also means they are tied for the most Grand Prize Awards ever won, alongside legendary singers Jo Sung Mo and Kim Gun Mo.

Watch VID ->“Shirt” – 2014
After a long-awaited comeback, Super Junior released their seventh studio album “Mamacita” in the fall of 2014. Perhaps as a response to their huge popularity in Latin and South American countries (where they were also the first K-pop artists to perform in many of those countries), the lead track and album  presented a very Latin-influenced concept. The music video, complete with bandits, bull-fighters, sheriffs, and more, presented Super Junior’s off-beat humor and adorable, dorky ways for which fans love them. With only three days of sales, the album took the No. 1 position on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. Billboard, among many others, released articles praising the album’s various musical styles and predicting it would take home Album of the Year. It went on to become the best-selling full album of 2014, out-selling their competitors by far.

Watch VID ->“Alright” – 2015
In honor of Super Junior’s 10th Anniversary, the group released a special album entitled “Devil.” In this album and subsequent repackage, all of Super Junior’s sub-units (with the exception of Super Junior- H) participated as well. Although my personal favorite non-title tracks are “Love At First Sight” and “You Got It,” I chose to highlight a song that shows exactly what has made Super Junior so popular throughout the years.

They are extremely talented artists, they have released one amazing song after another, they are very hard workers, and they truly love each other and work well together. As a result, they have wracked up an astonishing 176 Music Awards and 57 music show wins! However, part of their greatest secret for success lies in their genuine humility as artists and their sincere gratitude towards their fans. Numerous times they have stated that they feel so undeserving of the love and support from fans and often become so overwhelmed with gratitude onstage that they can’t hold back their tears. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the video below to see what most fans lovingly refer to as “typical SJ” behavior. Without a doubt, there is a special bond between Super Junior and their fans.

Whether it was as a rookie group winning the Best Newcomer Award back in 2005 or as legendary K-pop artists becoming the first Koreans to win a Teen Choice Award in 2015, these amazingly talented (and insanely gorgeous) guys have become one of the most influential and best-selling K-pop artists of all times. When their hit songs like “Sorry, Sorry” went viral, it helped to usher in the era of the Hallyu Wave around the globe.  It is because of artists like Super Junior, TVXQ, H.O.T and others that junior groups can now achieve international fame with much more ease. With the advent of hit songs like “Mr. Simple” and “Bonamana,” the doors opened up beyond Asia, and K-pop officially became the international craze that we know and love today.

We hope you enjoyed this look back at Super Junior’s career as we highlighted some of their best non-title tracks! What was your favorite Super Junior era? Were there other non-title tracks that should have been listed here instead? Have you ever seen Super Junior live? Did they perform any of these songs? Let us know in the comment section below!

lee1086 is a Soompi writer who admits her extremely biased opinion when it comes to Suju. If you’re ever curious (and in the mood for a super long story), ask her why she credits them with saving her life! Apart from her overboard love of Suju however, she is also a fan of 3rd Wave Music, BIGBANG, EXO, SHINEE, BTS, and more. When she is not watching the latest K-Drama or obsessing over the perfection of Lee Donghae, she is busy at church or hanging out with her family and friends.

besanii's Top Ten Favourite Fics of 2013

So, this is in response to an anon who asked about this a week or so ago - sorry it took so long!  I got sidetracked by a few other things on the side and then I had trouble picking ten.  Just ten.  It’s an incredibly difficult task!

My criteria for this top ten:

  • only one fic per author
  • must be a series/fic first published in 2013
  • must be E/R centric (obviously)
  • single fics (not series) must be completed

That being said, this is not a definitive list of ten - because we all know how much trouble it is for me to pick a favourite, and I have an entire tag full of My Favourites here (and I really wanted this to be a Top Fifty).

Without further ado, here is a list of my Top Ten Fics of 2013 (in no particular order):

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