Kero-chan Check! – Episode 5: Is That Really a Panda?

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Episode 5: Is That Really a Panda?

We’re back after our unexpected break!

There’s a totally cute toy shop opening in Tomoeda, but it seems the shop owner as a troubled past. The panda toy from her shop keeps getting “stolen” from people’s homes and ending up back at the shop. This causes the owner, Maki, to have to move her shop to another town. Luckily magical girls are totally common/helpful and Sakura is on the case.

You can find us on Podbean and iTunes.

We are on Twitter as well at @kerochanpod.

Thanks for reading/listening!

New project! New podcast!

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You may or may not know that I’ve dabbled in podcasting before with my fellow NYAN folks at Not Your Average Netizens . I’ve also really been getting into listening to other podcasts like The Nerdist and Dear Hank and John. But lately I’ve been especially obsessed with Love and Justice: A Super Serious Sailor Moon Podcast. Holy cow! Funny ladies talking about one of my favorite anime/shows ever? Hell yes!

So I was inspired to start my own podcast with my bestie Stefanie. We became friends freshman year in high school over the works of CLAMP (and other manga), and one of our favorites was Card Captor Sakura. So that became the inspiration for our podcast – Kero-chan Check! – A Cardcaptor Sakura Podcast. 🙂 We only have 3 episodes out so far, but we’ve been trying to record every week so get material out. If you live anime, magical girls, and podcasts (c’mon, who doesn’t?) then give us a listen.

You can find us on Podbean and iTunes.

Listen to the 1st episode on Podbean

We (mostly me) are on Twitter as well at @kerochanpod.

Thanks for reading/listening!

NYAN – Best of 2015

Well, 2015 is past us, 2016 is here. So some of us at NYAN did a 2015 best of show to wrap things up.

Before the show I went to look at all the releases that came out last year and, holy cow, there was a lot! So many I forgot about. I had a hard time choosing my best-ofs and I probably left too many out. Also Tim noticed my SHINee bias which I was somewhat oblivious to haha. I’ll try to branch out more.

We also played a little Cards Against Humanity a la Kpop (from KSoul Magazine). We’ll have to add to the deck in the future because I think it could be a funny/silly thing to play once in a while.

Thank you all for listening! I know not everyone agrees with the people on the podcast, and we have strong opinions, but thank you for keeping an open mind. The great thing about this community is that there are so many fans and so many groups/singers to be a fan of. We may not all love the same people, but hopefully we can listen to each other and appreciate different view points. 🙂

Cheers to 2016!

Rest Stops in Korea

At the end of last month I went on vacation back to Korea. It was super fun and waaaay too short.

I filmed this video on a whim my 2nd day back. I had planned to rent a WiFi egg (portable router), but what I didn’t know is that you can only rent them at the airports. I, for some reason, had it in my head I could go to a cell phone shop or something. Nope. So the day after I flew in I actually went back to Incheon airport to rent the egg. Korea has more places with Wifi compared to, say, Japan, but it’s not everywhere so having an egg is super helpful.

So anyway I took the bus back which is cheaper than the train, but takes a little longer. And most of the time the buses will stop at these rest stops. The only exceptions are when a) the ride isn’t very long or b) when it’s a very late bus. Usually when I would take the bus back from Incheon to Daejeon after flying in late at night the bus doesn’t make pit stops.

The rest stops in Korea are pretty much the same everywhere. There are a couple exceptions for ones that are particularly big or have some shops or a bigger food court. But all the basic ones are the same – some bathrooms, a small food court, a convenience store, and other small food shops like Dunkin’ Donuts and shops that sell things like 호두과자 (hodu-kwaja) – a sweet bread/cookie with walnuts and, sometimes, red bean paste. Also there’s almost always a little stand selling weird odds-and-ends and trot music lol.

Not a bad place to stretch your legs!

F(x) “4 Walls” Spazz Podcast with NYAN

I’m happy I get to share a new (and hopefully reoccurring) project with all of you! I recorded my first podcast with the fine people of Not Your Average Netizens yesterday.

We spazzed over f(x)’s “4 Walls” – both the MV and album. I think Shannon conveyed all da feels best lol. I don’t often get to spaz with people over Kpop so I’m not as vocal as I could be.

Thank you, Ashe and Shannon, for having me. I’m looking forward to having the chance to record more with my fellow fans.

2014 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I think I had quite a nice year! Look at all those readers!

I want to thank all you guys so much for reading my blog and watching my videos. I really do appreciate it.

Here’s hoping 2015 is even better. Happy New Year to you all!

Preparing for a fan sign event

Hey all!

Happy Lunar New Year. 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

I’m here with a few tips for my fellow Kpop fans out there. I’ve been to a few fan sign events now and I thought I’d impart some small bits of advice to y’all.

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Usually these kinds of events happen through CD stores. You’ll have to check the stores website or look on your favorite group’s fan cafe to see when these things happen. In Daejeon there’s only 1 store that handles fan signs and that’s Synnara. I try to check it once or twice a week to see if anything’s up. We’re not a very popular city so we don’t get lots of groups coming through here. Seoul is obviously #1. Other than that it’s Busan, Incheon, and Daegu.

So your first step is getting the CD. Most of these events are held via lottery. For every CD you buy you get a chance to be picked to attend. I’ve seen fans buy several copies (over 10!) just to have a chance. I almost never buy more than 1. If the group is a new (or “nugu”) group than it’s just first come, first served. When I saw History last year that’s how it was, but this year it was a lottery. I think, though, as a foreigner you have a better shot. I’m not saying it’s a for sure thing, but I have a feeling that they may have a set number of non-Koreans that they allow in so that it’s fair (we are outnumbered after all).

Let’s say you got in — congrats! Now what?

1) Check the location

The event may be at the CD store, but it might be elsewhere as well. In Daejeon, Synnara is pretty small. Of all the ones I’ve been to only 2 have been at the actual store. So make sure you’re in the right place. Also make sure whether you have to stop at the store first. When the event is somewhat far from the store then they pass out the seating numbers at the location. However, when it’s been close by, but not at the store, then I had to stop at the store to get my seating number.

2) Proper clothes

Depending on location and time of the year you want to be prepared. Is it gonna rain? Be swelteringly hot? Freezing cold? Of course you’ll want to look nice when you finally get up in front of your idol, but be ready for the weather as well.

3) CD

This should be obvious, but don’t forget the CD! I almost did that one time. >.> They only sign the CD that you bought.

4) Post-It notes

This is optional. I only did this for the first time for History a couple weeks ago. You may choose to write one or all the members a question on a post-it note and tuck it in the booklet. I was drawing blanks so I looked up a few examples online for other groups. It’s usually silly stuff anyway. For example I wrote things like “Who is the funniest member?” and “What do you think about foreign girls? ^^”. I’m not sure this is allowed for every group so take a look around at other fans while you’re lined up and see what they’re doing.

Also it helps to write your name on a Post-It and stick it on the CD. Then you don’t have to waste time spelling out your name for every member. Whether you write it in English or Korean it doesn’t really matter. I’ve never had a problem with people copying English.

5) Gifts/letters

Again, this is optional. I’ve only done this a few times. I wrote letters for 3 groups – U-KISS, FT Island, and History. I only gave a gift one time (Dokyun from History). I’d recommend doing this ahead of time, but I have also done this while waiting in line. My Korean isn’t great, but I can write enough for a basic sort of letter — My name is…. I’m from…. I like you because…. etc etc.

In most cases they aren’t going to look at your gift right away. It sort of depends what it is. They may take a peek and ask about it and say “thank you”. Sometimes fans bring silly gifts like ribbon headbands (for boys) or toys and the group may or may not play around with them right there. If the managers/staff are being nice they’ll let them. In my case, I found FT Island to be the best ‘cuz they kinda just did whatever they wanted haha.

6) Pens/markers

If you plan on writing your notes on the day of then you’ll need these. Even if you’re not sure it’s nice to have them on-hand. You never know when a fellow fan will be in need of something. I’ve borrowed pens and scissors from other fans on a couple occasions.

7) Camera

Not a necessity, but I think we can all agree we want some visual memories of the events. I have a pretty nice camera (SONY NEX-5), but nothing compares to seeing the hardcore fans pull out their DSLRs with crazy big lenses. O.O I’m so jealous… They get really good shots! Don’t despair if you don’t have one of these paparazzi cameras. Those fans are most likely putting them up on fan sites or the fan cafes anyway.

8) Snacks/water

You never know how long these things are gonna last. You’re probably going to be sitting for a minimum 1-2 hours depending on how early you show up. I try to at least have a bottle of water on-hand. Something like a granola bar or cookies isn’t a bad idea either.

Now as for language, well, I can’t say there isn’t a barrier if you don’t speak Korean. I have an awkward time most of the time. It’s part nerves and part Korean ability. But really I’ve found most idols can say things like, “What is your name?” and “Where are you from?” in English. It’s something, right? And I think that they’re pretty glad to see their foreign fan base anyway, so you being there is a bonus for them. So don’t worry too much. I actually found I had the easiest time (besides when there were English speakers) when I had prepared the post-it notes. It gave me a topic that I had sorta thought about so I could make a few vague comments about it.

Also try not to be discouraged if the staff moves you along as a fast pace. Sometimes the groups are really busy and they have to adhere to schedules. It’s kinda sad when you don’t have enough time to talk, but just being there is a pretty lucky thing! Enjoy the time you have even if it’s a bit short.

I hope if you come to Korea that you get to experience one of these events. 🙂

Who is the group you’d most like to see? If you could give a gift to your favorite member, who would you give it to and what would it be? I’m curious!

Laters ~ !