Monthly Archives: June 2012

008. TGI Friday!

Woo Hoo it’s Friday!

The weekend is here! 🙂

Not much going on this weekend. Annie and I are going to attempt to make Kalbi Burgers, with kimchi relish! Hopefully, they turn out to be delicious and we can blog about them! 🙂

That’s it for now! Going to start the weekend. Hope you have a great one yourself! 🙂

Here is a a little afternoon treat!










Hugs & Kimchi,


007. ⎡パパドル!⎦/ “Idol Papa”

It’s been a while!  I’ve been pretty busy with work, but now I want to hunker down and get a post out.

So, first I want to say that I recently watched the first episode of Nishikido Ryo’s latest drama, “Papa wa Idoru” (a remake of “Mama wa Idoru”, a 1987 drama starring female idol Nakayama Miho).  But first let me tell you a little story…

Ryo says, “Let’s go!”

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006. Happy First Day of Summer!

Today is the first day of Summer 2012! Yay!

In honor of the first day of Summer, I have this song on repeat!

I know this song was released last year. But it’s so fun and it’s a perfect song to kick off the summer! 🙂

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005. Maeda Atsuko’s New Single!

Almost a year after releasing her 1st single, AKB 48’s Maeda Atsuko has released her 2nd single, “君は僕だ”(kimi wa boku da). There are 3 different versions that you can purchase this single on. All 3 “Acts” come with a CD and DVD. The CD of course has 君は僕だ,右肩, and a 3rd song that varies between the different Acts. The DVD has the promotion video for the single, the dramatic version of the promotion video, and a bonus clip that varies depending on which version you buy. I decided on Act 1 for myself. The 3rd single on Act 1 is 遠回り and the bonus clip on the DVD was the making for 君は僕だ.

君は僕だ PV

君は僕だ PV

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004. T-ARA’s “Jewelry Box” Album

The K-Pop idol group T-ARA just released their debut Japanese album on June 6, 2012. I had caught wind of this release and pre-ordered my limited edition copy on the CD Japan website.

I actually received my copy on my doorstep on the 7th, along with my Arashi, “Your Eyes” copy. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely was not expecting what I received. I ordered the “Diamond” limited edition, as opposed to the “Sapphire” limited edition. I was thinking along the lines… Diamonds > Sapphire, so I will go with the Diamond Edition. I didn’t realize that the Diamond edition would come as an actual Jewelry box. Silly me, if I had only read the full description on the website. Oh well. I am sort of bummed that I didn’t get the Sapphire Edition instead, just because it would take up less space on my shelf and because I will never use the jewelry box.

CD Cover

T-ARA “Jewelry Box” Diamond Limited Edition

The Diamond Edition comes with a DVD that has their Xmas performance in Osaka. One thing I really like about T-ARA is their performances. They are always so fun to watch, so the DVD was a treat. The CD had all their popular releases, but in Japanese instead of Korean. This is kind of where Annie and I differ in opinions. We both love K-Pop, but she would rather them just sing in Korean. I admittedly don’t mind hearing their songs translated into a Japanese version. Sometimes it’s almost helpful because I understand some of the translation. Annie is very good at picking up other languages and is big on pronunciation. Me, not so much… Japanese is not my first language and nor am I fluent enough to hear the difference between “foreign and local” singing accents in a language that is not my own.

Jewelry Box CD Case

Since I opened this, this CD has been playing in my car non-stop. People must look over at me when I’m driving around the Bay Area with strange looks. I’m stuck on “BoPeep BoPeep” and “Lovey Dovey”. 🙂

Here is the track listing for “Jewelry Box”. For all 3 editions (Diamond, Sapphire, and Pearl) the track listing is the same. The only thing that varies is whether or not it comes with a DVD (Pearl Edition does not come with a DVD) and if it does come with a DVD, which extra is included on the DVD.

1. “Bo Peep Bo Peep” (Japanese version)
2. “Yayaya” (Japanese version)
3. “Weironi” (Japanese version) 
4. “Keep Out”
5. “Apple is A” (Japanese version)
6. “T.T.L ~Time to Love~” (Japanese version)
7. “Roly-Poly” (Japanese version)
8. “LOVE ME! ~Anata no Sei de Kurisou~” (Japanese version) 
9. “Kojinmaru~Uso~” (Japanese version) 
10. “Breaking Heart ~Watashi ga Totemo Itakute” (Japanese version) 
11. “Cry Cry” (Japanese version)
12. “Lovey-Dovey” (Japanese version)

Overall, I pretty satisfied with this purchase. Since I opened this, this CD has been playing in my car non-stop. People must look get me strange looks when they seeing me singing along and doing the hand gestures of “Bo Peep Bo Peep” :P. My current obsession on this CD is, “Bo Peep Bo Peep” and “Lovey Dovey”. 🙂

Diamond Limited Edition Set

Hugs & Kimchi,


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003. AKB48’s 4th Senbatsu Election

Konnichiwa, Kelli desu!

One of my guilty pleasures just happens to be AKB48. I find their music to be “fun”, but it’s not the reason I’m one of their fans. Before I watched their first documentary, I saw AKB as a massive group of girls who wanted to be cute. That’s it. I thought nothing more or nothing less of them. It wasn’t until I watched the documentary that I realized each of the girls has a unique personality. A couple of the members appealed to me in a “I want to be your ‘best friend forever'” type of way. The first one to really catch my attention was Oshima Yuko. Her tomboy nature, is very refreshing to watch in Japanese pop culture. I realize that she is not the only idol in Japan like this, but I like the fact that she can be girly with AKB and feel like she can also “hang with the guys”. The point of this post is not to express of my “sismance” about Yuko, but to actually talk about this year Senbatsu Election ranking.

On June 6th, 2012 was AKB48’s 4th Senbatsu Election ranking. Another side-note, I noticed that ranking idols is somewhat common in Japanese pop culture. I am sure here in America we rank our idols in our mind, but never address it publicly. Could you imagine if the Pussycat Dolls had a public fan ranking for its members? They probably would’ve broken up the next day.

Okay, focus Kelli! Focus!

This year’s election was interesting, in that Maeda Atsuko was not in participation. Earlier this year, she announced that she’ll be “graduating” from AKB48 within the year. Noticeably one of the fan favorites, I feel like her absence changed up the feel of this year’s election. You would think, one member leaves everyone just moves up one place. Not the case. I already had a feeling with Maeda gone, Oshima Yuko would be #1. It’s only natural, since she was #1 in the 2nd election and came in #2 in the 1st and 3rd election. What I didn’t expect, but wasn’t terribly surprised by, is Watanabe Mayu’s #2 ranking. In previous elections, she hovered around the #4 and #5 spot. I should have known she would be moving up because of her growing popularity and the recent release of her solo work. So now that Mayu is #2 and Yuko is #1 – will Mayu be the new Atsuko? I guess we will have to see.

The complete ranking can be found here. Google + did a post each of the girl’s speeches, but only for a limited time until June 8th. I didn’t watch them all because I don’t have that kind of attention span. I enjoyed Kashiwagi Yuki’s speech because out of the ones I watched, she was the only one who didn’t cry. I also really enjoyed Miyazawa Sae’s speech. And of course I enjoyed Oshima Yuko’s speech. I think, I enjoyed Yuko’s just because Maeda came on stage to congratulate her. Maeda is in my top 10, so I needless to say I’m super sad she’s graduating from the group.

If you’re a fan of AKB48 and had your own ranking, who would be in your top 10? My top 10 would be:

10. Fujie Reina
9. Itano Tomomi
8.Takahashi Minami
7. Sashihara Rino
6. Shinoda Mariko
5. Matsui Jurina
4. Watanabe Mayu
3. Akimoto Sayaka
2. Miyazawa Sae
1. Oshima Yuko

I would explain why, but then this post would be a  novel and Annie would kill me. So I’m just going to leave it like this. As the winner of the General Election, Yuko will be the center of the 27th single. I hope this single will be as good as “Heavy Rotation”. Omedetou Oshima-san! 🙂

Hugs & Kimchi,


Here is Yuko’s inauguration speech. And English dubbed version is also available on the AKB48 Youtube channel.

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002B. FANIME CONVENTION 2012 – SAN JOSE, CA – 5.25-5.28

Annie here 🙂

So, as Kelli said in post# 002A, we went to Fanime for a day a couple of weeks ago.  We had a great time, though our experiences were very different.  Kelli’d never been to an anime convention before, and I’d been to Anime Central once before.  On top of that, of the two of us I’m the more knowledgable about anime/manga because of the time I’d spent in college watching/reading.  So I at least knew what to expect, while Kelli went in with more of general idea.

First of all, the culture’s a bit different from ACen’s.  To be honest, not that many Asians live in the Midwest, and so a majority of the convention-goers then had been predominantly white (though it may have changed since then – after all, I went in 2007, so it’s been 5 years).  Fanime has a much larger Asian American attendance rate since it’s based in NorCal.  And while you wouldn’t think that would change the vibe of the convention since it’s more about the collective love of anime/manga, it kind of did.  It felt like there was a lot less mistaken stereotyping of Japanese culture, which I think some American otaku are in the guilty of doing.  Also, it seemed like there was a broader representation of women…but I think that speaks more to anime/manga becoming more popular among girls in general now rather than there being more girls into it on the West Coast than in the Midwest.

So, before I’d gone to ACen, my roommate insisted we buy our passes ahead of time to avoid lines later.  It’s only after having gone to Fanime for a day that I realized how wise that was.  We waited in line at least an hour to register, and then another 20 minutes to pay, which is kind of crazy.  But it was worth it because I got to see Kelli’s reaction to things.  Her fascination with the cosplayers was fun to see, and I realized that her excitement over them made me feel nostalgic and rekindled my own fascination.  The amount of time and effort so many people put into their clothes was amazing.  Here’s a good example:

First, it’s pretty rare to see this character, Prince Ashitaka (of Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke”).  Maybe back when the movie had just been released it had been popular, but nowadays it’s a throwback…like trick-or-treating as Doug Funnie.  Plus, I think it’s more common for girls to want to cosplay as San, since it was more of a girl-power kind of movie.  The costume’s pretty awesome and I loved it!  But the great thing about anime conventions is that the attitude is sort of “anything goes”.  So we saw a couple of “Where’s Waldo”s roaming around, as well as South Park characters, Star Wars characters, myriad video game characters, and Adventure Time characters.

We hung around Stage Zero a lot, which I suppose to more seasoned convention goers might seem boring, but was just the right thing to do for a newbie like Kelli and a semi-newbie like myself.  We saw some audience-participation games going on to keep up a fun atmosphere in main lobby of the convention, plus the charity auction and the AMV awards.  AMVs are always so interesting to me, because it’s kind of like the mash-ups – taking things admittedly created by other people, breaking them apart, jumbling them up, and putting them back together artfully to entertain, inspire, and eventually draw out emotions from the audience.  I think it’s where great film editors are born.  Kelli posted her favorite from the show, so here’s mine:

It’s by Shin & Gunther’s AMVs 🙂  I’m a sucker for romance and the idea of fate is a sweet sort of idea that carries over in so many anime/manga.  I also love the song and even though I only vaguely know about the anime used, it pulled it together and let even people who don’t know the stories really enjoy it.

Anywho, that’s that 🙂  I enjoyed Fanime a lot, and can’t wait for next year!  I’m thinking about going as an Eito Ranger!  (Orange, of course – I ❤ Maru-chan.)

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002A. Fanime Convention 2012 – San Jose, CA – 5.25-5.28

Hi Kelli here!

Two weekends ago was the Fanime Convention! The convention whose slogan is “By Fans, For Fans”. For those who don’t know what Fanime is, it is an Anime Convention for enthusiasts of Anime and Asian pop culture. I have never been to one of these conventions before. And to be honest probably would have never imagined going until recently. I will admit, I was a little closed minded and misinformed about what this convention was. I thought, It’s for Anime lovers doing “Anime things”, whatever that means. I am not and have never really be interested in watching Anime or reading Manga, so I didn’t really have any interest in going. But I had a sudden change of heart and a growing curiosity that led me to go wait in the registration line on Sunday.

Art in Artist Alley

If you have never been to one of these conventions, the registration line is a trip all by itself. I was nervous at first, but I started to get really into seeing everyone cosplay. I was just amazed to see how much effort people put into their outfits. It was also exciting to  be able to identify some of the cosplays, especially since I don’t watch anime or read manga. So, Annie and I decided that if we go back next year, we are cosplaying! I haven’t figured out what I want to do yet, but have some ideas on the table.


The gaming room was an interesting experience. Mostly table top gaming and  video gaming. I originally had it in my mind that it was going to be a bunch of DDR battles. I know, worst stereo-typing ever. Stage Zero had plenty of entertainment to keep people’s interest. I got to see a charity auction, a couple of audience participation games and a Anime Music Video Awards ceremony. The Music Video part, was my favorite part, hands down. I never realized how beautifully edited some of these videos were. My favorite video, I must share, is “Skrillex MEP”. This was stuck in my head a couple of days after the convention. It even makes me want to start watching the Anime (“Highschool of the Dead”), just because.

So overall, I give the experience an A! I look forward to going back next year, but this time join in on the cosplay. Any ideas what I should go as?

– Hugs & Kimichi-

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001. ようこそ! 환영합니다! Welcome!

Kelli:  Hi!

Annie:  Yo yo!

Kelli:  Welcome to Hello Kimchi!  This is the place we’ve created to talk about Asian [American] stuff we try and discover around where we live and travel.  Also, to review resources and fun stuff we find online.

Annie:  Think of it as a sort of scrapbook with lots of critiques and experiential stories.  Maybe like Pinterest…but with less weddings and baby stuff.

Kelli:  Quick background – I’m not an “otaku” – neither in the Americanized sense of the word nor the actual Japanese cultural meaning…  But I recently developed an interest in Asian pop culture, through my dabbling in Asian pop music.

Annie: Out of the two of us, I guess I’m the closest to being an “otaku”…more in the Americanized sense of the word.  Well, rather than being and otaku, I think it’s more that I understand otakus.  I read manga (mainly shoujo and josei, but some others) and I used to watch some anime for a couple of years, though I don’t really do that anymore.  I, too, like Asian pop music and lived in Japan for a three years after school.

Kelli:  We’re not really outside the culture – I grew up in an Asian American household.

Annie:  And I grew up in an Asian immigrant household.

Kelli:  Anyway, we hope you have fun reading!

Annie:  And we hope we help you find some cool stuff to get into!

Kelli & Annie:  Hugs and kimchi!

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