Month: August 2021

Entertainment

‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ Episode 1: Dimple Couple

Will "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" stars Shin Min-a and Kim Seon-ho become the best K-drama love team of 2021?
The dentist and the jack-of-all-trades. Image credit: Netflix

Will “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” stars Shin Min-a and Kim Seon-ho become the best K-drama love team of 2021? A lot of fans seem to think so, as they have been swooning over the pair whom they have dubbed the “Dimple Couple” even before “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” premiered on Netflix on Aug. 28. The first episode certainly didn’t disappoint, and in fact the rom-com from tvN premiered at No. 1 in its time slot across all cable channels in South Korea, with an average nationwide rating of 6.8%. Of course, since this is a K-drama, the first meeting between their characters in this premiere wasn’t exactly a romantic one.

“Thank you. But did you only find one of them? I’m truly thankful, but have you seen the other shoe? I wore them for the first time today. They were expensive. Since you’ve already found this, could you help me find the other one?” Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a) asks Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho) when he goes ashore after surfing and gives her the shoe he found floating because she left them near the water.

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Gaming

Thai esports team Bacon Time partners with Doritos

Thai professional esports team Bacon Time, which emerged victorious in the finals of Arena of Valor's Realm of Valor Pro League 2021 Summer tournament, has partnered with PepsiCo's Doritos to create brand awareness among the millennial generation in Thailand. Image credit: Ampverse
Image credit: Ampverse

Thai professional esports team Bacon Time, which emerged victorious in the finals of Arena of Valor‘s Realm of Valor Pro League 2021 Summer tournament, has partnered with PepsiCo’s Doritos to create brand awareness among the millennial generation in Thailand. The Thai esports team is part of the portfolio of leading global teams owned and operated by Singapore-based esports company Ampverse.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to be working with a brand that truly understands their community. Bacon Time authentically engages with their fans and their social media leverage to connect with consumers. This level of authenticity is exactly what we are looking for. Sharing the same personality and target audience, this partnership was a natural fit for us,” said Doritos Brand Manager Arisara Taksavaja in a press statement.

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Entertainment

Lisa sets new record with 700K pre-orders worldwide

Just four days after since pre-orders started on Aug. 26, "LALISA", the solo debut album of BLACKPINK main dancer and lead rapper Lisa, has already surpassed 700,000 stock pre-orders worldwide as of Aug. 30. Image credit: YG Entertainment
Image credit: YG Entertainment

Just four days since pre-orders started on Aug. 26, “LALISA”, the solo debut album of BLACKPINK main dancer and lead rapper Lisa, has surpassed 700,000 stock pre-orders worldwide as of Aug. 30. This is already a new record for a female K-pop soloist.

The album title comes from the Thai name of Lisa, whose full name is Lalisa Manoban. Her birth name was actually Pranpriya, but she changed it to Lalisa, which means “one who is praised”, after a fortune teller told her it would bring her prosperity. On Aug. 29, her agency YG Entertainment unveiled the title poster, revealing that the title track is also called “LALISA”.

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Entertainment, Geek Culture

‘Raised by Wolves’: Will religion affect human survival?

Mother (Amanda Collin) is an android whose mission is to start a new human civilization in "Raised by Wolves". Image credit: Coco Van Oppens/Warner Media
Mother (Amanda Collin) is one of the two androids whose mission is to start a new human civilization in ‘Raised by Wolves’. Image credit: Coco Van Oppens/Warner Media

In “Raised by Wolves”, Earth has been destroyed because of a devastating religious war waged by the Mithraic, the followers of the deity Sol. The last group left opposing them in this war, the atheists, have sent two androids to the exoplanet Kepler-22b to start a human colony and found a new atheist human civilization that would avoid the same mistakes. Meanwhile, the Mithraic have also sent a space ark where the chosen have been placed in stasis pods to survive the long journey to Kepler-22b.

Created by Aaron Guzikowski with Ridley Scott as executive producer (Scott also directed the first two episodes), the HBO Max Original “Raised by Wolves” is a brilliant sci-fi drama series. It boasts intelligent writing, stunning visuals, and awesome performances, especially by the Danish actress Amanda Collin, who plays the android called Mother. It also stars Travis Fimmel, in case you’re a fan of Ragnar in “Vikings”. What’s great about “Raised by Wolves” is that it doesn’t spell out or simplify things. Worldbuilding doesn’t come at the expense of character and story development. The series also takes a nuanced look at the conflict between religion and atheism, and the difference between human and artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the series only makes one thing clear: whether she’s a human or an android, never mess with a mother who is protecting her children.

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Gaming

MPL-PH Season 8 kicks off with ONIC PH vs Echo

MOONTON Games and Smart Communications have teamed up again for Season 8 of MPL-PH, the country’s largest mobile esports league. Image credit: Smart Communications
Image credit: Smart Communications

MOONTON Games and Smart Communications have teamed up again for Season 8 of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Philippines (MPL-PH), the country’s largest mobile esports league. MPL-PH Season 8 starts on Aug. 27 with the match between ONIC PH and Echo Philippines (formerly Aura PH) at 6 PM Philippine Standard Time.

As the official telco partner of MPL-PH Season 8, Smart will enable fans to watch the action-packed matches on Smart’s Facebook page. Fans can also expect exciting promos, skin giveaways, exclusive updates, and freebies. Eight teams are set to duke it out in a round-robin format for a shot at the championship. Apart from ONIC PH and Echo Philippines, these teams include Blacklist International, Bren Esports, RSG PH, Nexplay Evos (formerly Nexplay Esports), TNC Pro Team (formerly Work Auster Force), and Smart Omega.

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Entertainment

‘D.P.’ series to tackle military service in South Korea

L-R: Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-kyun, Son Suk-ku, Han Jun-hee, and Jung Hae-in of "D.P." Image credit: Netflix
L-R: Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-kyun, Son Suk-ku, Han Jun-hee, and Jung Hae-in. Image credit: Netflix

Based on a popular webtoon, “D.P.” is now a Netflix Original Series that will shed light on the mental torment and growth that young men experience in South Korea. That webtoon by Kim Bo-tong, who also collaborated on the screenplay, garnered over 10 million views for its realistic portrayal of the brutal violence and human rights violations committed in the military.

“This was something I really wanted to tell the story of, so for 5-6 years I wanted to bring this webtoon onto the screen. What was most important for me was what kind of stories could be portrayed through this series. Young men in their early 20s all go serve in the military and I think people can really resonate with the story and put themselves in the shoes of the characters,” said “D.P.” director Han Jun-hee during the Netflix APAC press briefing.

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Entertainment

BTS and Billboard: Why punish K-pop fans for passion?

"Butter" by BTS spent nine non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Image credit: Big Hit Music
Image credit: Big Hit Music

I’m not even a fan of BTS — I’m a BLINK — but I’ve read the Billboard article and find the allegations of chart manipulation ridiculous. What’s worse is that obviously when Billboard planned this magazine, it’s with the expectation that fans of the world’s biggest boy band — known as ARMY — would buy lots of copies. No wonder the hashtag #BillboardApologizeToBTS has been trending on Twitter.

It’s ironic because it’s Billboard which created the metrics for its Hot 100 chart, where the BTS single “Butter” made history by spending nine non-consecutive weeks as the No. 1 song. To slam ARMY for physical album sales and digital downloads is ridiculous, because they are actually buying instead of just streaming or listening on the radio. It shows the difference between the South Korean and US music industry, and the passion of K-pop fans compared to the followers of Western artists. It’s the fans of Western artists that Billboard should be asking: why aren’t YOU as passionate?

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Entertainment

Lisa solo album ‘LALISA’ now available for pre-order

The first Lisa solo album, "LALISA", which has black and gold versions, is now available for pre-order on YG Select and Ktown4u. Image credit: YG Entertainment
Image credit: YG Entertainment

The first Lisa solo album, “LALISA”, which has black and gold versions, is now available for pre-order on YG Select and Ktown4u. Apart from the black and gold versions for the CD edition, the highly anticipated Lisa solo album will also be available as a KiT album and a limited edition vinyl LP.

YG Entertainment also announced the online fan signing event for those who will pre-order Lisa’s first single album. The agency unveiled the album title and launch date in a teaser poster published at 12 midnight Korean Standard Time (KST) on Aug. 26. “LALISA” will be released at 1 PM KST on Sept. 10.

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Entertainment, Geek Culture

Spider-Man beats Avengers with more views in 24 hours

Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Columbia Pictures’ ‘Spider-Man’: No Way Home’. Image credit: Columbia Pictures
Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Columbia Pictures’ ‘Spider-Man’: No Way Home’. Image credit: Columbia Pictures

The “Spider-Man: No Way Home” teaser trailer has lived up to its billing as the most anticipated one of all time by breaking the 24-hour all-time record for most global views. It generated 355.5 million trailer views, eclipsing the previous record holder, “Avengers: Endgame”, which drove 289 million views. It should be noted that it generated this record-breaking number of views despite a leaked trailer with unfinished visual effects spreading on social media on Aug. 23.

Amazingly, this new record is more than double that of views for the second trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, which hit 135 million views at the 24-hour mark. Not only that, but also the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” teaser trailer generated the largest 24-hour social media conversation volume of all-time with 4.5 million mentions globally.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

TUDUM: From iconic sound to 1st Netflix global fan event

Technology column header

TUDUM. That’s the first beat you hear whenever you watch a TV show or movie on Netflix, which I would argue has become as iconic a sound as the Nokia ringtone was for a previous age. After all, can you imagine how much worse the COVID-19 lockdown would be if we were stuck in our homes in a world without streaming? And let’s face it, without the success of Netflix, content owners like Disney and Warner Bros. wouldn’t have launched their own streaming platforms Disney+ and HBO Max, respectively. It was Netflix which took the risk by pivoting from delivering DVDs to launching a streaming platform, transforming the entertainment industry as much as Apple changed the music industry when it launched iTunes.

Now, the sound has become the inspiration for the streaming giant’s very first global fan event. TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event is a massive three-hour live stream that will bring together Netflix’s biggest stars and creators from all over the world on the virtual stage on Sept. 25.

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Science, Technology

P&G, EcoMatcher to tap blockchain for Forests for Good

P&G has partnered with social enterprise EcoMatcher to leverage blockchain technology for its Forests for Good campaign. Image credit: Procter & Gamble
Image credit: Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble Philippines (P&G) has partnered with social enterprise EcoMatcher to leverage blockchain technology for its Forests for Good campaign. Forests for Good is P&G’s campaign to actively protect nature by planting trees that help improve local ecosystems.

P&G will launch 12 pilot programs in 12 months across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region. The programs will make use of blockchain technology to ensure accountability, traceability, and scalability in sustainability. In the Philippines, P&G is piloting the tree-planting activities in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

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Entertainment, Gaming

Genshin Impact concert to be streamed worldwide Oct. 3

Genshin Impact, the popular action role-playing game from Shanghai-based miHoYo, will host its first global online concert on Oct. 3. Image credit: miHoYo
Image credit: miHoYo

Genshin Impact, the popular action role-playing game from Shanghai-based miHoYo, will host its first global online concert on Oct. 3. Announced on Aug. 26 at Gamescom 2021, GENSHIN CONCERT 2021 – Melodies of an Endless Journey will feature Genshin Impact music originally composed and produced by Yu-Peng Chen and HOYO-MiX. World-famous Belgian conductor Maestro Dirk Brossé — whom John Williams chose as Principal Conductor of the Star Wars in Concert World Tour — and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra will present the original soundtracks of Genshin Impact, while musicians from the US, South Korea, and other countries will deliver innovative interpretations of much-loved pieces with a mix of genres.

“We’ve been experimenting with varied cultural elements in Genshin Impact’s music in the past and present, and will continue to do so in the future,” Chen, composer and music producer of HOYO-MiX, said in a press statement.

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