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Monday, 29 August 2011

So you wanna be like Visual Kei?

The GazettE, a popular Jrock Band

Have you ever wanted to look a little bit... Different? Wanted to completely and utterly stand out from the crowd? If Visual Kei is your thing, then here's some cheap and easy suggestions on how to achieve your own unique Visual Kei look. Remember, the biggest thing about this style is that it should be completely unique to you. It's no good simply cosplaying a band member you like and wearing it as your own style. Be brave, be wild, and just go for it! That is how Visual Kei was born, and that it is how it should live.

The Eyes

Visual Kei loves eyes! They are an open palette to paint as crazy or as simple design as you want. They are the key to your uniqueness, and your own design. This is the section where there really are no rules. Contacts or no contains, mega heavy eyeliner or nothing at all - everything goes.

Cheap and easy to use!

Top tip! ---  I find jewel stickers a great and cool addition to add below along the cheek below the eye - they are cheap, don't require any glue, and they can come off easily when you want to remove them!

Miyavi shaved his eyebrows.
 What is common though is for Visual Kei artists to shave their eyebrows.
Now I personally don't recommend this, because when you're older you might regret having to draw in your eyebrows all the time or having to trim them to stop it going really bushy.

The Hair

Arguably the most important aspect of Visual Kei! There are some rules you have to consider if you want Visual Kei hair.

Rule N#1 --- Must have some kind of extreme-ness.
Rule N#2 --- No Visual Kei hair obeys the laws of gravity.
Rule N#3 --- If you don't use any kind of hair spray, you're doing it wrong.

Bou, ex-member of An Cafe. He generally has more
of an Oshare Kei style, a sub genre of Visual Kei.
 Despite these rules you can be pretty flexible with this. Visual Kei hair is open to any colour, (as well as any ethnicity, as all good things should be!) so you don't have to dye your hair if you don't want to. Then again, if wild streaks are your kind of thing, GO FOR IT! It'll scream Visual Kei. Wigs and hair extensions are completely fine! Darker colours such as blacks, reds, browns, and purples tend to be a common in Visual Kei. But blond is also big, just take Bou for example (right), or Reita from The GazettE. Generally the use of lighter colours in hair as well as clothing, nails, and everything else is called Oshare Kei instead of Visual Kei.

If you'd like a little inspiration with hair, check out my earlier blog post, Visual Kei Hairstyles, which could inspire you.

Also remember that Visual Kei hair is for boys and girls, so don't feel that you have to make compromises because of your gender!

The Gear

Sometimes in the fashion world of Visual Kei, clothing and accessories get so mixed together they truly become One. I'm not going to break that bond, but instead list a few things Visual Kei'ers have done in the past. I hope it inspires you. Some of this will be pretty obvious.

    What can be certain is that the Versailles love their gear!
  • Chains - Any kind of chain, as as many as you want!
  • Hats - This can be anything, to paper hats, to top hats, to mini Gothic Lolita hats
  • Spikes
  • Ties - These can be ordinary ties to very Visual Kei ones like this!
  • Buttons of all sorts
  • Goggles and glasses
  • Eye contacts
  • Hair clips, head bands, bows, etc
  • Bandages
  • Hand bands
  • Feathers
  • Collar shirts
  • Coats. Lots and lots of coats.
  • Studded jackets
  • Long black boots
  • Trainers & multi coloured laces
  • Wristbands
  • Tattoos / fake and otherwise.
  • Ripped material jackets, shirts, skirts, trousers
  • Chokers, necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings
  • Tights, leggings
  • Gloves, arm-warmers
  • Zips, usually far more than needed!
  • Pockets
  • Masks
  • Piercings
  • Victorian/Edwardian style clothing and accessories
  • Futuristic style clothing & accessories
  • Wigs, hair extensions
  • Pocket watches
  • Ruffles
  • Belts
Of course, in the real world of Visual Kei this list would be far more bigger! Hope you enjoyed the post, thank you for reading!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Yellow Kokoro, Part 2

Minus the two posts before, I've had a little bit of a gap in blogging recently, and I'd just like to mention that recently I've managed to get a place in university! I'm overjoyed, and I will be writing even more for now on to try and improve the quality of my writing. So that means more blogs on Yellow Kokoro! Yay!

My first aim is to achieve around 100 total page views by the end of September. Tough challenge, but I made it onto UCAS so anything's possible.

Other updates:
First poll results...
What do you like the most?
  2 (50%)
  2 (50%)
  1 (25%)
  0 (0%)
  1 (25%)

There's a new poll added, please make sure to vote so I know my page views aren't coming from zombies~~ <3

The Hallyu Garden is beginning to wilt. // [ Kpop post ]

I have been a big fan of kpop for quite sometime, and I have watched the rise and fall of TVXQ, enjoyed reading Allkpop and moaned about it's bias, loved the selection of new rookie bands yet now, perhaps, resent them.

There are too many flowers in the Hallyu Garden. They all look the same. They all do the same. And because of this, the garden is beginning to wilt.

Lee Soo, CEO of SM Entertainment and the slave contracts.
Hallyu Whaaa?

First of all, I should perhaps explain what I mean about the Hallyu Garden. For those of you who do not know, the Hallyu Wave is the most widely accepted term for the hugely growing entertainment buisness in South Korea. Korean pop and dramas have spread world wide, and tourism has also grown considerably because of this.

I refer to the Hallyu Garden as the whole logistics of the Hallyu Wave. It doesn't just refer to the the kpop stars or actors, but also to the CEOs of the entertainment industry, such as Lee Soo of SM Entertainment. The Hallyu Garden has everybody involved in the wave inside. The beautiful flowers of the truly talented stars, and the dark wrath and thorns of Lee Soo, and other CEOs.

So what exactly has happened?

Lets start with the rookie bands.

There has been a lot of new rookie groups lately, and I mean A LOT. So much, even Allkpop doesn't know what to say about them anymore. These three -- nothing truly against them, I'm sure they'll be err, 'oh so talented'. But these bands are by no near as creative as the ones last year, and far less than the year before that. What we see here, is the creation of generic bands. Furthermore, the creation of Evil.

Yes. That's right.

Because I am afraid of english-reading neitizens, I'm making a reference to bands who are unoriginal, not nessecarly the ones above. But seriously, some of the names... 'Chocolat', and even worse 'Boyz'.

The Older Bands...

It really should be mentioned that this stench of unoriginality has swept towards our beloved older bands too. Single after single... Style after style... Ever heard of the saying been there done that? The Hallyu version is been there, done that, wore this, got the album to prove it. I really don't want to name any bands but seriously kpop...  Stop with the 'cash crop single'. It's killing your precious wave.

The Celebrities

Kpop is also becoming like British and American celebritizm. -Face palm- <-- So elegant.
Not only that, but the Hallyu personality only comes in 5 flavours. Here's a typical kpop boy band. Think how many you can link this too.

The Sexy Leader - This guy is usually meant to be the sexiest guy in the band, and usually the most popular. He is tall, and isn't always very cute at all, but he's dang sexy. If there are occasions to be cute however, he has been trained very well to master the oh so unoriginal face of cuteness.

The Girly One - This guy should be a girl. He has more make up than the average girl, he cares about his looks - especially his skin and face. This type is so surprisingly common that (look away now neitizens!) either 1/4 of the kpop population are gay, or at least 1/2 of these girly guys are putting it on.


The Cutie - You've always got your cute guy. Either the shortest, or the youngest. He delibrately tries to act cute, poses, and tries to make the crowd go 'awww'. Some may try to out-cute him, only to make this guy go even cuter.

The Loner - This guy is less likely to smile, tries to act tough, and always thinks he's hot for doing it. More common in dramas than in bands, but he's snuck his way into kpop.

The Reject - This sad little guy is clumsy or stupid or both. Sometimes he's the cute one. Usually he's the worst at English, having the most fobby of all accents. Sometimes he has some kind of 'ugly but cute' feature, such as his head is a little differently shaped from the rest, or his teeth are from a crocodile or whatever. More and more often, this persona is becoming common.

The Corruption

And finally, the corruption.
The corruption is all the chaos that big cat companies in South Korea are causing by using Slave Contracts which pay these stars, these beautiful flowers - very, very minimal salaries. There have been so much more scandals that have happened recently, and to be less left wing (blaming on the big industries all the time) I'll blame the fans too. That's right. The fans are tearing the Hallyu Garden apart. They are far too obsessive, treating all their favourite idols like a Korean Justin Beiber. It's just scary. The glory and beauty that made kpop so special is fading away.

I don't want my Hallyu Garden to wilt. Please, can someone spray a little bit of fresh breeze inside?

Doctor Who Series 6 Review

I told you they'd be Doctor Who in this blog somewhere...
Didn't intend for this post to be so late...

It seems like forever since the first part of Series 6 has ended, and what a cliffhanger it's ended on too, if anyone actually understood it. I think I did but we're about to find out. Here's an episode by episode series 6 review.

Episode #1 The Impossible Astronaut

Episode number one was set to be the steady foundation of an explosive series. The beginning of yet another mad and exciting plot thought up by Steven Moffat. It was meant to be a sturdy introduction of things to come in the Doctor Whoiverese.
But it just made me incredibly confused.

I'll try and explain this in non-spoiler terms.
Random astronaut says hi to Old Matt Smith.
Bad stuff happens.
Then Young Matt Smith comes and the whole scene is pretty much forgotten, and moves on to a new random plot for the rest of the episode.

That was most likely the worst summary of what happened ever but...

Geeking Out

The whole thing was rather confusing, and dramatic. When confusion and drama collides all you get is LAME.
Hear that Steven Moffat.
Confusion + Drama = LAME.
However, the rest of the episode IS much better, and I enjoyed the dialogue here. With many thanks from PlanetClaire...

The Doctor: Swear to me. Swear to me on something that matters.
Amy: Fish fingers and custard.
The Doctor: My life your hands, Amelia Pond.

"The Doctor: Mr. President. That child just told you every you need to know, but you weren't listening. Never mind, though, 'cause the answer's yes. I'll take the case. Fellas, the guns? Really? I just walked into the highest security office in the United States, parked a big blue box on the rug. You think you can just shoot me?
River stepping out of the TARDIS: They're Americans!
The Doctor: Don't shoot! Definitely no shooting."

 Loved it.
 In particular, I really liked Canton for some reason that I struggle to put my finger on. I thought he was a great character. Down to earth, funny, friendly face. Great acting there Mark Sheppard.

The monstersThe monsters in this episode were basically the cousins of the Weeping Angels first seen in Don't Blink. Instead of losing your head though, you only lose your memory. Not so bad, but still rather spooky as you can't exactly remember why you have so many numbers on your arm.

Overall the episode was alright. I really disliked the beginning, but the episode got better as it went along. Dear Moffat, giving us questions is fine. Giving us far too many questions at once is a little too much to digest. And this episode was a cliff hanger too...

Episode #2 Day of the Moon

Lots and lots of complicated timey-wimey things happened in this episode than the average human being will struggle to understand.

Perfect prisons. More Silence. And more confusion.

It's not even worth reviewing, as it's pretty much exactly the same as episode #1. I'm starting to miss Russel T Davies at this point.

Episode #3 The Curse of the Black Spot

This episode was REALLY good. I'll continue the summing up tradition.
The ending wasn't the best but WHO CARES. This seemed like the first 'proper' episode of the series.

The Siren.
There aren't many monsters in Doctor Who that one could fall in love with. The Siren is one of those exceptions. Her alien, mystical melody is enchanting and her blue (and red) aura is awesome. The fact that she happens to be marking the crew with an evil dark black spot makes her all the more intruging. I'm pretty sure The Doctor prefers bad girls anyway.

Finally a 'proper' episode in the series. The story was good. The action was good. The cast was good. And, come on, Amy with a cutlass? Priceless.

Episode #4 The Doctor's Wife

This is when the real treasure of Steven Moffat comes to life. No more pirates, but a new lass called the TARDIS. The dialogue is hilarious.

Idris: Did you ever wonder why I chose you all those years ago?
The Doctor: I chose you. You were unlocked.
Idris: Of course I was. I wanted to see the universe, so I stole a Time Lord and I ran away. And you were the only one mad enough.

The Doctor: Do you have a name?
Idris: Seven hundred years and finally he asks.
The Doctor: What do I call you?
Idris: What do you call me? Sexy.
The Doctor: Only when we're alone.
Idris: We are alone.
The Doctor: Oh. Come on then, Sexy

Amy Pond: She's the Tardis?
The Eleventh Doctor: And she's a woman! She's a woman and she's the Tardis.
Amy Pond: Did you wish really hard?
[raises eyebrow at The Doctor]
The Eleventh Doctor: Shut up! Not like that...
Idris/Tardis: Hello, I'm sexy.
The Eleventh Doctor: Still shut up. 

I could quote all day. Thanks IMDB for the quotes.

I had to look up the actual 'monsters' for this episode, as I really couldn't remember. They must have left -that much- of an impact. Unfortunatly, my research didn't get me that far. All I can say is that I think it was something to do with the planet or something...

The episode was a good one-off with a very nice dialogue script. Some of it was a little too far out, but overall it was great to watch.

Episode #5 The Rebel Flesh and Episode #6 The Almost People

So we had two great episodes.
And then we get this.
Oh dear.

What I want to talk about first is the great, complex emotion between the "Almost People" or Gangers as they called themselves, and the "real" people. It was cleverly made into one of those cliché 'clone' debates for the audience. That in itself was a good thing, until the ending when the father died and the other, not real father replaces him. Did I spoil that? Oh dang. But don't worry, the episodes weren't that great anyway. That particular event was annoying, but not as annoying as the cliffhanger in episode 6.

Suddenly, Moffat's love of giving us questions comes back to haunt us.
And it hurts the heart.

The reason the episodes stink is because they don't actually -end-. There is no clear beginning, middle and end like in episode 3 and 4. Episode 5 and 6 are just a large blur, that leak into the finale, and spoil it, like getting a weak bitter gravy on your trifle.

The 'gangers' I suppose.


Episode #7 A Good Man Goes to War

A lot of things happened in this episode - and just incase you haven't happened to watch it yet - I'll try not to spoil it.

Lorna Bucket - played by Christina Chong
This character was interesting, and it was really annoying how her story suddenly... Stopped. I found her interesting but it was the famous Unanswered Question Time which ruined her completely. Damn you script writers...

I'm going to skim over the episode because I was so disappointed. The story was far too complicated.
River's story is revealed, but because of this, it only gives even MORE questions.