Thursday, September 30, 2010

Escape to Virtual Reality where all your problems and stress disappear: Virtual Game Addiction

We all deal with stress differently, I like to listen to music to tune out from the world, in a story I did a few weeks ago Japanese people like to watch Jellyfish because it results in a compound being released in saliva that promotes relaxation. I don’t know what this compound is; I still can’t find the scientific paper on this. Another way to relieve stress or at least escape it (for a while) is to play virtual world computer games like second life. These role playing games can be highly addictive to some and it seems the more they play the more they retreat in to this virtual world.

People can create their desired life in this virtual world. Kim Myung, a 20 year old student was under intense pressure from his parents to get in to university, but he failed the university entrance exams. Kim gradually retreated in to the virtual world where he can feel invincible there. He’ll spend countless hours in front of the computer screen, he became so addicted that he played from 8am until midnight for more than four months. He gained 5 kilos during this time and he only survived on 2 minute noodles.

Experts describe South Korea as home to the world’s most extreme gamer culture. I thought that title belonged to Japan, but I guess that title has been passed on to South Korea. In April 2006, the South Korean government launched a game addiction hotline. In 2002, a treatment centre for video addicts was opened. Hundreds of private hospitals and psychiatric clinics have opened units to treat this serious problem.

Statistics from 2006 estimated that 2.4 percent of the population from 9 to 39 are believed to be suffering from game addiction. Another 10 percent were found to be ‘borderline cases’, this is defined as an obsession with playing electronic games to a point of being sleep deprived, it disrupts daily life and loosing a grip on reality. These feelings are usually coupled with a sense of withdrawal when they don’t play the games and depression. ‘Borderline cases’ sound quite severe, think about how extreme the symptoms are for gaming addicts.

The situation is so severe that in 2005, 10 South Koreans (mostly in their teens or twenties) died from game addiction related causes. Most of the deaths were attributed to a disruption in blood circulation caused by sitting in a single, cramped position for too long termed ‘economy class syndrome’.

Experts say, gaming itself is not the problem, like anything else it is about excessive use. More cases of game addiction are being reported in industrialised nations, particularly the US and Japan. South Korea has been identified as the epicentre of the problem.

Many young South Koreans face massive educational pressures that far exceed those endured by their peers in other countries. An easy escape from this is to play video games especially online, interactive role playing games. These games allow players to interact with other players online. Online games are hot in South Korea because South Korea is the most wired nation in the world. In 2006 nearly 70 percent of households had superfast broadband connections, compared to 45 percent of Japanese and 33 percent of Americans.

Mental health counselling carries a heavy stigma in South Korea. It is hard to get the sufferers the help they require. The society needs to talk about this issue more openly so people can identify the problem and get the help they need.

Ref: Washington Post, 2006

JPOP Princess Utada Hikaru Joins Twitter

This year is a huge year for Utada Hikaru, she announced that at the end of the year she will be taking a break from the entertainment business. She said she doesn’t know how long she’ll be gone for but she said it’s time that she go explore other things. Before the end of the year she’ll be releasing a new compilation CD that will include some new songs. She’ll be doing some special tours in Japan! And exciting news, she has gotten the twitter bug and officially joined.

Now you can follow her tweets everyday. She tweets in Japanese and English. She tweets a lot with her fans. If you want to tell her how much you love her music do so now before she goes on hiatus.

In one tweet she describes her breakfast which sounded so tasty. She had a traditional Japanese breakfast. I had a traditional Japanese breakfast in Japan! It was so delicious and incredibly filling. The size of the meal was fit for lunch or dinner. There was rice, soup, miso soup, salmon, seaweed… yumm… Follow Utada on twitter!

Rain's TV Drama 'Fugitive' debuts with high ratings

Rain’s new TV Dramedy ‘Fugitive’ made its debut in Korea yesterday with awesome ratings, 20.7%! That's a brilliant start for the show and it will be great to see if they can maintain this high rating! I think it can with its stellar cast that includes Lee Na Young, Lee Jung Jin, Daniel Henney and its extensive shooting locations that include Korea, Japan, China, Thailand! It has potential to be one of the best korean TV dramas.

I can’t wait to watch it because Rain is in it. His one of my favourite actors because he takes risks in his role choices and that is evident with the film ‘I’m a cyborg and that’s ok’, where he plays a mental patient in the hospital. That film didn’t do well at the box office but he proud of his work in that film because it meant something to him. Rain will star in one more movie before he commences his compulsory military service next year. Every Korean male has to serve for two years, Rain will be out of the spotlight for two whole years. I think all of his fans will miss him dearly. Including me =O

Daylight savings notice

Remember this weekend due to daylight savings we lose 1 precious hour on Sunday. So Melbournians & Sydney Siders turn your clocks and watches one hour forward.

The rocky road to the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010

The Delhi Commonwealth Games begin this weekend on Sunday… It is actually a HUGE weekend for sports! We’ve also got the re-play of the AFL grand final and also the NRL grand final. Sport fans will be glued to the tele this weekend.

Back to the Commonwealth games. This year’s games have garnered a lot of negativity from the press in its lead up with safety concerns, infrastructural issues, hygiene in the athletes’ village… Building projects were behind schedule with many facilities still incomplete with only days until the Commonwealth games begin. An estimate of $3.16 billion was spent on this event and India hoped to overshadow China’s brilliant Olympic game. They haven’t made such an impressive start.

There were so many issues with the athlete’s village, they found a snake in there this week and the condition of some rooms were horribly unhygienic. Some countries stated that this accommodation were ‘uninhabitable’ so they organised their own accommodation. Some of the better rooms were shown on TV and they were ok, quite standard rooms, it looked like a three star hotel accommodation. It had all the basic requirements, nothing flash. Organisers made a reference to the ‘cleanliness’ reports and stated that 60-70% of the residences were completed and everything else would be finished in the next 36 hours. A large team of cleaners were sent in the village to make the place sparkly clean.

The athletes have started arriving this week, yesterday the Aussie swim team landed in India. They looked really happy at the airport, because of that I’ve started to feel some enthusiasm about these games. Prior to that, there were so many concerns and issues about these games that it was hard to get behind it.

Security fears has resulted in many high profile athletes making the tough decision of pulling out of these games. I can’t imagine how hard that decision would be: it takes years of preparation, training for these major sporting events, then they have to qualify for the national team, when they make the team it is their goal to do themselves and their country proud at the games. Some prominent Aussie athletes won’t be competing, I wonder if they will still watch the games or would it be too difficult for them to. I don’t know if they would think, I wish I could be there competing too.

DFAT (Dpt. Of Foreign Affairs) has issued the new warning of security of at the Games, saying terrorist attacks could happen at any time with little or no warning. Indian authorities are on high alert and they aim to provide a safe games for the everyone at the games.
The opening ceremony will air this Sunday, and it is a huge opportunity for India to showcase their culture to the world. Unlike the build up to the games, I hope this runs smoothly with no bumps in the road. The opening ceremony is so important because it inspires the athletes and gets everyone excited about the games. I wonder what they have up their sleeve, will the event be as epic as China’s Olympic opening ceremony? China’s opening and closing ceremony were brilliant. You can’t describe it any other way, it was truly brilliant.

I hope the Dehli Commonwealth games are safe and runs smoothly for everyone.
Of course I hope the Aussies dominate on the medals tally. Australia usually does since, America and China are not part of the Commonwealth lol.

Ref:, abc news

Friday, September 24, 2010

CherriiPOP Music show 24/9/10 playlist

Thanks for listening to CherriiPOP! I hope you guys had fun listening! Here is the playlist =D

Son Dambi - db Rider
2NE1 - Can't nobody
FT Island - I hope
Andy Lau - I miss you
Michelle and Vickie - Independence
Perfume - Electro world
Leo Ku & Cecillia Cheung - Until i fall in love
Mirium - Simple Love
Shim Mina - Answer the phone

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Odd things I saws… Novel flavoured Snacks, Japan

In Japan, I love going to the convenient store because there are so many cool flavours for snack foods that we just don’t get in Australia!

They have cucumber flavoured Pepsi? I think that will be really refreshing. Yoghurt flavoured Pepsi??? I can’t imaging tasting that, yoghurt have a slightly sour taste so I think that’ll be really odd. A new flavour of Pepsi will be released exclusively in Japan Soon, Pepsi Mont Blanc… that sounds highly indulgent! Another interesting flavour is Red Bean Pepsi... I should go on a Pepsi binge next time I go to Japan.

We move on to Kit Kats… Kit Kats here are just plain chocolate that covers wafers. In Japan they have banana flavoured Kit Kat, cherry blossom, it’s crazy! Looking at all the varieties, you feel like Charlie at the Chocolate Factory.

I’ve posted up photos on our facebook page www. so have a look. And if you seen an odd flavoured snack post up your photos on our facebook page! I’d love to share them!

Charice makes her debut on GLEE

Speaking of incredible talented singers, Charice the Filipino singing sensation made her debut on the popular dramedy show GLEE this week. It was the first ep for season 2 of Glee. She plays Sunshine an exchanged student with a powerful voice. Rachel (head of glee club) gets insecure and she sabotages Sunshine’s chances of joining Glee club. Charice really stole the show when she sang, she trumped everyone on the show will her extraordinary voice. I love the outfits that she wore, it was very cute! She even had a Hello Kitty Bag! I can’t wait to see how her storyline unfolds.

There were lot of Asian jokes in this ep and I thought it was hilarious. Two of the glee members are Asian so they had jokes about Asian Camp for little Kids that are good with technology, another joke about how tight the Asian community is and if something happens in it, the whole community will know. So True! I love GLEE! I’m a total Gleek!

Next week’s show is all about Britney Spears! I idolised her during highschool! I know all the words to her hit songs, I can’t wait until next week’s show!

Tell CherriiPOP what you thought of Charice’s debut on Glee!!

Project Lotus – Finalists begin intense 6 week training in Hong Kong

The search for Asia’s answer to the Spice Girls is getting close to the end. Project Lotus announced and posted up photos of the lucky finalists, whom are currently in Hong Kong for the final stages of the competition.

There were so many talented girls that there are actually 27 finalists from 5 countries. Originally they wanted 5 girls from each country and every week they would eliminate girls from each country until 5 girls are left. I’ve posted up the photos of the finalists up on Facebook, congrats to all the girls! What an incredible opportunity they have to work with Grammy award winning producers, songwriters, get a recording contract and be launched worldwide!

Every part of this intense Hong Kong training/auditioning period is being filmed and it will be made in to a reality TV show scheduled to air early next year. By the end of October, the group will be found and they will start recording there first album in the UK. There album will be out as soon as the reality TV show has finished airing. There schedule has all been planned for the girls, now it comes to the hard part finding the girls. It must be really tough for the judges in Hong Kong at the moment.

Project Lotus have been making lots of announcements this week. Announcing who the finalists were! Having a concert where the lucky girls get to perform for a live audience for the first time! The concert is held tonight in Hong Kong! Good luck girls! Also on Project Lotus's facebook, the posted a vid of the girls singing. Do you guys like what you hear?

Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night

The little independent film ‘Paranormal Activity’ which was made with a tiny budget of 11,000USD was a huge hit at the box office. Have you seen it? It was hyped up as one of the scariest films ever made. I’m a real chicken, I don’t like scary movies at all. When I see a scary movie, it ruins my sleep for days on end. I did go see ‘Paranormal Activity’ at the theatres, my thinking was, how scary could it be? It was made with very little money, so they couldn’t use special effects in the film… so I thought I would be safe. How wrong was I!! That film messes with your head, it’s doesn’t show scary bits but the audience can imagine it and I think that is worse. That film was psychologically damaging to me. LOL!

Well, the Japanese are the masters of scary and horror are re-making this film and it’s called ‘Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night’. I would never want to watch this film. I think it will be awfully frightening. Paranormal 2: Tokyo Night will be released in Japan on Nov 20. If you love a scare definitely watch this one. This film revolves around a brother and a sister.

The US is also releasing a sequel to Paranormal Activity. Yeah! Paranormal Activity will have 2 sequels. The US version will hit theatres on Oct 22 in the USA. This movie has a healthier budget so it will be more terrifying experience. The trailer has been playing in the theatres and they have been freaking out the audience!

Scary movie fans – be sure to watch these movies when they come out. Me… I have to pass.

Hallyu Star Jang Dong-Gun’s Hollywood Debut

Hallyu star Jang Dong-Gun will be making his long awaited Hollywood movie debut this December. The film ‘Warrior’s way’ was shelved away since 2008 when it finished production, the issue was they had trouble finding investors and distributors. The fate of the film looked dim until Relativity Media picked up the distribution rights to the 45 million dollar film in August this year. The film will finally see the light of day with its limited nationwide release in December.

Jang Dong-Gun is following in the footsteps of Rain, Lee Byung Hun starring in Hollywood Films! Rain has starred in ‘Speed Racer’ and ‘Ninja Assassin’. Lee Byung Hun has starred in ‘When the Rain Comes’ and ‘GI Joe’. It is exciting that Hallyu star Jang Dong-Gun is taking on Hollywood too. Reading the synopsis of ‘Warrior’s Way’ reminds me of Tom Cruise’s ‘The Last Samurai’ where there is a blend of two cultures. In ‘Warrior’s Way’ there is a clash between assassins and western cowboys. The film also stars Kate Bosworth and our Aussie Geoffrey Rush. No release date has been set for Australia. I think they want to see how it goes in USA first before they consider opening it up in other countries. Like Ninja Assassin, it did average in the US so in the end it wasn’t released in Australia and the film went straight to DVD. I hope it does well!

Reality TV Shows in South Korea

Reality TV Shows: we have no shortage of them. We’ve got heaps of singing competitions on every channel, then there are cooking battles, model searches… We don’t need anymore of these shows but they keep popping up. I have lost interest in these shows!!!! However, in South Korea they have some really novel reality TV shows that I find oddly interesting.

Pic of Lettuce Couple in 'We Got Married'

Let’s start with a show called ‘We Got Married’, as the name suggests it’s about newlyweds. Don’t be so quick to judge, the show doesn’t follow ordinary couples that just got hitched. That’ll be too ordinary. They actually follow celebrities, the show is nothing like the US reality show ‘Newlyweds’ starring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Let me run through the premise of the ‘We Got Married’. They randomly pair up celebrities together (A List Celebs), then they have a mock wedding and begin a pseudo marriage for the cameras that follow them everywhere. Each week they have to complete tasks together like do a photoshoots... Top Korean celebrities have participated in this show for a few months, they can choose to leave the show when they want to. They learn each other habits, have little arguments… It is a warm fuzzy, humorous family show. It’s not wild or vulgar. I’ve watched some episodes about the ‘Lettuce couple’ a cute nickname coined by fans for couple Hwang Bo and Kim Hyun Joong. They made an interesting couple to watch because Hwang Bo is quite outspoken and not girly. Kim Hyun Joong has a blunt sense of humor and his not gallant. They had some really funny moments on camera, like their last night on the show Joong did something out of character and corny just for his wifey. He decided to make a good-bye video. While he was working on his costume through the night he fell asleep, hunched over sitting on the ground. It was very funny. They cried in the last episode because they were so sad that their time together was over. It’s really nice funny show, check it out.

The boy band MBLAQ got their own reality TV show called “Kim Suro’s Prestigious University Class”. This show documented the 5 members trying to get a place at the prestigious Seoul University. To get a place they have to pass the University’s entrance exam. It might be interesting if USA did a version of this show and have wild teen celebrities study like crazy to get in to Harvard or Yale. The show followed the boys studying and studying and more studying. Of course all the fans and viewers want to see the boys succeed after following their journey and watching all of their efforts. When the results came out… all five of them failed their entrance exams. Clearly from the result you can see the show isn’t rigged and I imagine the boys would find the result especially embarrassing when it was aired on national TV. I wonder how their parents reacted? Poor guys. Hope they get better luck next time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

CherriiPOP 17/9/10 Playlist

Thanks for tuning in! Happy Moon Festival too! I'll be eating lots of moon cakes this weekend (^_^ )^ Here is our playlist

Son Dambi - Crazy
Mai Kuraki - Beautiful
Anna Tsuchiya - Rose
Big Bang - Make Love
Utada Hikaru - Take 5
Mika Nakashima - Orion
Rain - Still Believe
Kelly Chen - Unwritten
Speed - Yubiwa

Odd Things I Saw... Take-away Fried Bees, South Korea

When I was in Korea visiting a temple, at the exit at the bottom of the hill there were small food stores and gift shops on the side of the road. A gentleman from my tour group bought some take-away fried bees because it was so novel! He didn't eat it, but he had fun showing it to everyone on the bus. The only person that ate it was our local tour guide. She said she ate it quite a lot. The bees come in a take-away cup and you get a tooth pick to eat the fried bees. I took so many photos of them! It was the first time I saw Fried bees!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

South Korea TV Stations set out new regulations for costumes on music programs

The VMAs aired on TV this week, and all the talk is about Lady GaGa’s controversial meat dress. She knows how to stir up people. I read that the dress is made of heavy duty fabric, then another source wrote that it was made from real meat… I don’t think it would be real meat, if it was it would have a repulsive small being at room temperature for a number of hours… No one would want to get close to her. Lady Gaga and other American artists are pushing the boundaries in fashion and this seems to translate to wearing less and less clothing. A lot of these artists would not be able to wear there costumes on Korean music shows because they are deemed to sexually suggestive.

Clothing censorship has been put in place on Korean music shows in a bid to reduce raunchiness in artists performances. The artists most affected by these regulations are female singers. The music show ‘Inkigayo’s’ regulations include bans on tops that reveal too much cleavage, exposure of the belly button, wearing white shorts under mini skits. There is a double standard because guys can perform topless, showing off there belly button and pecs so that is sexually suggestive. They should impose bans on what guys wear so the regulations are fair amongst the genders.

Fans have commented that these regulations take away the artist’s freedom of speech and creativity. I think wearing a bit more fabric won’t affect their freedom of speech or creativity that much.

We all know sex sells, but it’s time to use other tactics to sell… like focus on talent.

My Top 5 Action Female Stars! I love watching girls kick butt on screen

With all the hype for the new action show Nikita starring Maggie Q. I started to think who my fave female action stars are. So here is my list:

1. Michelle Yeoh

2. Uma Thurman

3. Angelina Jolie

4. Maggie Q

5. Lucy Liu

Michelle Yeoh did crazy stunts in films she starred in with Jackie Chan. In one movie, she rode a motorcycle on a moving train! No stunt double, no rigging. I watched her talk about that stunt in an interview and if my memory is correct, she broke her leg as a result (I watched that interview a number of years ago, I'm not sure which show it was on). When you're starring with Jackie Chan The biggest action star in Asia, the bar set for doing stunts is out of this world and you have to step up to it. Michelle certainly has. She's awesome! She's was also a Bond Girl!

Who are your favourite female action stars?

Plastic Surgery: Double eyelid surgery, the quest to fit the beauty mould

In today’s society, we are hounded with images of the ‘ideal beauty’ type. These images are splashed on magazine covers, fashion billboards, make up ads, music videos… you cannot escape it. The ‘beauty mould’ they sell include: pouty lips, big eyes, thin nose, big breasts, big bottom, small waist, flat stomach, small thighs… the list is endless.

When women differ from the ‘mould’ they can grow up hating their features and turn to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ it. Example, Heidi Montag, a young naturally beautiful woman, celebrity cracked under society’s pressure to look good underwent 10 extreme plastic surgery procedures to completely transform herself to fit the ‘beauty mould’ and become Barbie. Her nose was thinned down, her boobs augmented, she got lipo, botox…

In Korea, common facial features are small eyes and flat noses. These features don’t fit the ‘mould’ either; they aren’t featured on the cover of glossy magazines. This results in women and even men turning to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ their features. It was estimated that 2.4 million Korean women aged 20-50 have received surgical or non surgical cosmetic procedure(s) in 2008. Plastic surgery has become common amongst South Koreans. It is a sign of wealth when people get plastic surgery. The most sought out procedure is double eyelid surgery. South Koreans religiously believe that bigger eyes are considered more beautiful and more superior to small eyes. They think small eyes have a ‘sleepy’ look hence, to them it is critical to get double eyelid surgery.

The technical name for double eyelid surgery is blepharoplasty. The surgery involves the creation of a crease above the eye by a scalpel or needle and thread, or the removal of bags and fats around the eyes. I checked out a South Korean Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic Website, called IAAN clinic ( They have a nice looking English website with photos of beautiful blonde Caucasian girls… Which screams out to Asian Girls that this is what you want to achieve! The price of eyelid surgery is 1,200USD. People are happy to pay this large sum for a crease in their eyelid.

Interestingly, parents also encourage their children to get plastic surgery. Teens as young as 14 years old are getting eyelid surgery. ‘Eye jobs’ have become a popular graduation gift from parents. There is another reason why there is so much emphasis to look good, many believe that it will give them an edge to succeed in their career. They believe that being attractive will give you better prospects… I’m not sure what it would be like to grow up worrying about your inherited features and being encouraged to get plastic surgery to change it.

Rain, one of the biggest entertainers in Asia has small eyes. When he was starting out, agents told him he was talented but he wasn’t good looking enough because of his small eyes so they rejected him. A lot of agents told him to get plastic surgery but he didn’t. I was watching and reading his interviews and I haven’t found out the reason why he did not get double eyelid surgery. I am still curious to find out why he didn’t get the surgery that everyone was endorsing as essential. Look at him now, he is considered one of the sexiest males in Asia. Rain has made the small eyes more acceptable in Asia and I think that is a positive message to everyone, to accept and love yourself the way you are.

Beauty isn’t a mould, it comes in all shapes and sizes and it should be better represented in the media.

Happy Moon Festival 2010

This weekend is Moon Festival Time, Happy Moon Festival to you and your family!

The Moon Festival is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people for over 3,000 years. The Moon Festival is held on the 15thd day of the eighth month in the Lunar Calender, which is around late September or Early October in the Solar Calender. This year, Moon Festival falls upon September 12. On this date the moon is at its roundest and fullest, it will be a very beautiful feature in the night sky.

Moon Festival is a time for family gatherings. The full round moon symbolises the reunion of the whole family. There are lots of ways to celebrate moon festival, having a feast with your family, going to festivals in your local city to watch dragon dances and carrying beautifully lit lanterns around at night when the moon is glowing. I have fond childhood memories of Moon Festival. My parents took me to the store to choose my lantern each year and we’ll go to the celebrations in the city. I always picked the pretty butterfly. I still love butterflies, I admire love the intricate patterns on their wings, its amazing artworks to me.

Another awesome thing about Moon Festival are moon cakes. Moon cakes are sweet dense cakes made with various fillings, lotus seed, red bean, nuts. In the centre of the cake there is a whole egg yolk, representing the full moon. It’s my favourite part of the cake, it’s really tasty. The cake is small, but you cannot eat it alone because it’s so dense and sweet. The moon cake is designed to be shared amongst the family so it would be cut in small pieces for everyone to enjoy. I love moon cakes so much, I can finish one all by myself… I have a very sweet tooth. There are lots of variations on moon cakes, if your not a fan of egg or nuts you can get just lotus seed ones.

Check out cool more photos of moon cakes at our facebook page
There are cool pics of hello kitty moon cake, and the largest moon cake ever made! Weighing in at 22.5 tonnes! Absolutely Gigantic!

Have a great Moon Festival this year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

CherriiPOP Music show 10/9/10 playlist

Thanks for listening to our show this week! Here are the awesome tracks we played

Sistar – Shady Girl
Kanjani8 – Osaka rainya blues
Supercell – Utakata Hanabi
Son Dambi – Bad boy
Wheesung – I thought to Marry
Boa – I did it for love
Mika Nakashima – Hitoiro
Jerry Yan – Freedom
Rain – W Song

“Nikita” starring Maggie Q debuts in the US

Movie action star Maggie Q made her TV debut in the US overnight in the much anticipated TV show ‘Nikita’. There is a lot of twitter buzz about the show, so many Maggie Q fans can’t wait for the show.

Maggie Q is a huge star movie star in Asia! But she is relatively unknown in the West even though she has starred in huge action pack blockbuster movies in the US; Mission Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard. Maggie Q was born and raised in Hawaii by a Polish-Irish father and Vietnamese mother; that accounts for her exotic and unique beauty. She started modelling at the age of 17. In an interview she gave to NY mag, she said that it was really hard getting jobs because of her unique look.

“At the time, they wanted blond hair and blue eyes. Or Asian celebrities”

After rounds of rejections she eventually went to Hong Kong hoping for better luck. Her fate changed when Jackie Chan recruited her and trained her to become the next generation of Hong Kong action stars. Next thing you know, she is one of the biggest movie stars in Hong Kong and she was getting hounded by the paps.

She felt like she was ‘suffocating’ she had no anonymity in Hong Kong.

“you’re incredibly recognisable wherever you go, I could never have a boyfriend. I couldn’t grocery shop for myself. I got very depressed by it.”

Maggie has more freedom in the west. Currently she is filming Nikita in Toronto and here she can do her own laundry, go to the market, drive to work.

This TV show is based on a French film called La Femme Nikita, it’s about a crook junkie that ends up being trained to be a killer by a nefarious organisation. This is the third interpretation of the film. In the 90’s, Aussie actress Peta Wilson starred in the TV show La Femme Nikita. I was a fan of that version, what I thought cool about that show was Peta Wilson had an Aussie accent in it.

Casting Maggie Q in this latest remake is a huge drawcard for the show. Being trained under one of the biggest action stars Jackie Chan, fans can sure expect lots of stunts carried out by the star herself.

“I owe it to my audience. And I’m not 70, so I might as well while I can.”

She’s one tough chick and I love watching girls kick butt on screen. I can’t wait for the show to come to Australia! It’ll air on Channel Go! No debut date has been announced yet. Keep an eye for it.

Odd things I Saw... Personal Automobiles in Japan

I was at Toyota world in Tokyo and they have really cool concept cars! I thought this single person automobile was pretty neat, I wouldn’t mind driving one around.

ITASHA! Pimp out your car with Anime

Last week on the show I was talking about Otaku, the obsession with Anime, Manga and video game characters. Just a recap, in serious cases of Otaku, men love their anime printed pillow cases so much that they marry it.

Itasha is a form of Otaku, this is when fans emblazon their cars with anime and manga images or stickers. This is their way of pimping out their car. The images are usually cute female characters! Japan is a Kawaii (Cute) Nation. Of course, they wouldn’t want to drive around with an ugly character on their car. It very different to Australia and USA, guys from here like to deck out their cars with body kits, huge spoilers, neon or xenon lights, they make their car more manly. So it gets you thinking… do you think cars with girl anime characters all over it, makes the car girly? I don’t think an Itasha car would be good at picking up girls.

Itasha means ‘painmobile’ in Japanese, this can be interpreted as ‘painfully embarrassing’ or ‘painful for the wallet’ due to the high costs people fork out to pimp their ride. Itasha is also a pun for Italian cars in Japanese. Itasha is a young phenomenon, the earliest known report of an Itasha car was around 5 years ago. The first Itasha based convention ‘Autosalone’ was held in 2007!

The Itasha phenomenon has also filtered through to motorsport events. The number of itasha cars competing in amateur and pro events are on the rise. These cars receive a lot of media attention in events. Looking at the photos, these cars are quite snazzy and eye-catching. I wouldn’t mind it my car was Itasha too. I would like to put Rock Lee, Naruto, Sasuke, Kakashi on it. Yup all boy anime characters LOL.

If you are still wrapping you heard around Itasha cars, get a hold of yourself because lots of supercars that cost hundreds-of-thousands of dollars been converted to ITASHA cars. Supercars are already striking cars, and when they have wide eyed teen girls wearing short skirts painted it looks, the expensive car looks like a novelty/show car. The anime pictures are so bright and colourful that all your focus is drawn to that and you don’t really notice the supercar until someone points out that, that car is a Lamborghini. I wonder what the Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson would think of these Itasha supercars… I have a feeling he will think they are an abomination!

Would you like to itasha your car? Which character would you put on it?

ITASHA has invaded TOP GEAR!!!! Hope you guys like my vid =)

I would love to drive around the pikachu car around Melb!


De-stress Japanese Style

Life gets more stressful as you get older, with rises in cost of living, pressures at work, children… It can get overwhelming at times! You really have to take care of yourself. There are lots of ways to de-stress, you can listen to music, go for a run. The Japanese have found unique ways to de-stress themselves and they pay big bucks for these methods.

Water is serene and calming, so being around water naturally de-stresses you. In Japan they take it one step further where people would sleep with fishes to relax themselves. It’s not what you think, people would pay $120 for the Enoshima Aquarium’s overnight relaxation program. The program includes a 45 minute massage session in a dimmed lit room where biofluorescent jellyfish swim along gently to relaxing music. Then people make themselves comfortable in a sleeping bag in front of the aquarium wall and watch the fishes and sea creatures swim around. Ikiko, a 30 year old company manager from Tokyo said “I feel totally relaxed, it’s like I’m floating in the tank with them. Reality feels so far away.”

If you don’t the idea of sleeping with the fishes then you can try animal therapy, where you can rent-a-pet. This service allows people to enjoy canine or feline companionship without the costs or hassle of pet ownership. It is a novel idea and a popular one because the number of rent-a-pet stores has increased dramatically across Japan. This idea could only work in Japan because the living space is small it doesn’t allow people to own pets, so I guess that is why people have embraced the rent-a-pet service. I can’t think of any other country where this idea would work. In Australia, people wouldn’t rent a pet. Another issue is, what happens if people get attached to the? Would it become harder to return the pet to the shop? Could that add stress?

Back to Jellyfish, it seems the Japanese really find Jellyfish very relaxing. Enoshima Aquarium marine biologists say their studies prove that observing the slow movements of jellyfish produces a compound in human saliva associated with human relaxation. Very interesting! What is this compound produced in human saliva that promotes relaxation? I wanted to find out more about their studies and so I went on a literature search, but I couldn’t find their study in any scientific journal. I’m not sure if their studies have been published yet. BUT I did come across an interesting study on jellyfish movement called ‘Calculation Model Of Jellyfish for Simulating the Propulsive Motion and the Pulsation of the Tentacles’. Researchers from The University of Tokyo, proposed a method for doing computational modelling of the jellyfish movement. They generate 3D jellyfish animation of the propulsive motion and pulsation of tentacles. They have some pretty cool graphics of their models in the article. Some interesting facts about Jellyfish, they have very little ability to swim using their own power, therefore they are classified as a plankton. Jellyfish have to move by voluntarily expanding and contracting the circular muscle which is running circularly on the edge of the jellyfish umbrella. The principles of their movement is simple, it contracts and expands. Due to the deformable nature of the jellyfish body, the motion of the whole body is very complex, fascinating and most difficult to model.

Back to de-stressing, they state that watching the slow movement of jellyfishes produces a compound in human saliva that results in relaxation. Well it got me thinking, if I watch the slow movement of grass growing would that result in the same effect of relaxation? During lunch time I stared at some grass and that just made me bored and not relaxed… The argument I am trying to make – is the relaxation effect caused by specifically watching jelly fish? How about a turtle? A snail? A worm? Maybe the scientists can research that next. I’m still curious to find out what compound is produced in human saliva that promotes relaxation. In Japan, they sell jellyfish home kits, where you can put baby jellyfish in a small tank and watch them move around.

In Australia, if you see a jellyfish at the beach you run in the opposite direction because their sting is so so painful! You don’t stare at its slow movement for relaxation. I’m not sure if this method would work for me! Knowing how dangerous jellyfish are – they wouldn’t help me to relax. Watching all their rays move slowly creeps me out. I just see poison, poison! Rather than this graceful water creature gliding in the water like a lava lamp.

Well, I don’t think any of these methods would help me de-stress. I like the idea of sleeping at the aquarium in front of the tank wall. But then… if a shark just swims by, the hairs of my neck would instinctively stand up. So I think I’d better stick to closing my eyes and listening to mellow music to de-stress. And occasionally eat a tub of ice cream =D

Reference: Washington Post

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cool CherriiPOP Video =D Tune in Fridays for our Awesome Show

Hope you guys enjoyed the video I made =D I had a lot of fun doing it - T

Friday, September 3, 2010

CherriiPOP Playlist - 3/9/10

Thanks for listening to CherriiPOP this week. I hope you enjoyed our ANIME SHOW! Have a great Father's day weekend, remember to spoil your dad this Sunday. Also enjoy the first Spring weekend!!!

Perfume - Voice
Lee Sun Hee- Fox Rain
Utada Hikaru - Nijiiro bus (Rainbow colored bus)
Chang Min Feat Lee Hyun - I was able to eat well
Perfume - Love the world
Arashi - To be free
Park Hyo Shin - I love you
Perfume - Edge

(Perfume's music is AWESOME for dancing!!)

odd things my friend saw…. Viagra flavoured ice cream, Singapore

This is a photo my friend took when she was holidaying in Singapore. They sell Viagra flavoured ice cream. This would probably be the most unusual ice cream flavour i have seen! I hope they don't sell it to children. Do you think this ice cream has the same therapeutic effects as the drug its named after? Interesting indeed. Well my favourite ice creaem flavour is actually durian and many people find that odd. But 'Viagra ice cream' takes the crown for being odd! Have you come across a weirder flavoured ice cream? If you have let us know and send in photos =) Post them on to our facebook page.

Virtual girlfriends, Men who love the 2D manga characters

It is hard finding true love… People try many things to find love, online dating, dating agencies, blind dates…There is another alternative, falling in love with a manga character. This may sound weird, in fact it is a bit weird but it has become increasingly more common in Japan where lonely men resort to dating virtual girlfriends.

These men find happiness dating their virtual girlfriends. They would take her out on dates to the beach or theme park, they go on road trips and even on romantic getaways. You may ask, how can they go on real dates when she’s virtual? The virtual girlfriend is actually a stuffed pillow case with the cute manga character printed on it. The virtual girlfriends are usually characters from popular manga, anime or video games.

Nisan, a 37 year old Japanese man considers his love for his pillow girlfriend the real deal. “Of course she’s my girlfriend, I have real feelings for her” he said. His love is, Nemu, a character from the PC video game ‘Da Capo’. Nemu is a teenager and she wears a tiny blue bikini and she has gold ribbons in her hair.

He takes Nemu around with him everywhere, to restaurants, karaoke… Just like any other dating couple. He is a complete gentleman to her, holding her gently when he carries her around, carefully places her in the restaurant booth. He is aware that other people find his behaviour rather odd “Some people don’t find this funny and it also takes up a lot of room” he said. Nisan has a total of 7 Nemu pillow covers, he buys them online or at conventions. They retail for $70 dollars. He loves Nemu so much that he could never part with her.

Loving a 2D character is called ‘otaku’ – the obsessive fandom of anima, manga and video games. There are different levels of otaku, in extreme cases like Nisan, they believe the characters are their girlfriends. In minor cases they might just have some romantic feelings for the characters but they do not go far as to date them. The rise in 2D love has been attributed in part to the tough time young people have in finding love in the real world. They simply give up searching for love in the 3D world and find love and happiness in the 2D world. Toru Honda, a 40 year old man, author and advocate for 2D love wrote “As long as long as you train your imagination, a 2D relationship is more passionate than a 3D one”. I guess that is true, the person has complete control of the relationship and can do whatever they want. Honda believes that “pure love is completely gone in the real world”. He goes on to say that for some people, they still have a chance of finding love in the 3D world. “I’m not saying that everyone should throw away hopes of real romance right away. I am simply saying that guys like me who have gotten to a point of no return can be happy living in 2D.”

There are a few things that need to be considered when choosing a pillow girlfriend, first the image quality then the type of material it is made out of. Of course, most importantly choosing the character you will fall in love with. Japanese men seem to like young anime school girls, is that a bit disturbing? These men find love in the 2D world so appealing because they are in control; they make all the rules in the relationship, which they can’t do in the real world. Some men like to go out with different characters during the week.

Interesting isn’t it? Is it healthy to live in the fantasy world like that? Life is full of ups and downs, if we could remove all the downs then life would be quite carefree but that isn’t reality. I wonder how the men would cope if they are faced with tough times, would they retreat in to the fantasy world even more and just cut off from the real world?

Well I hope all of the CherriiPOP listeners find true love in the 3D world!

SOURCE; The New York Times

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The art of COSPLAY

Cosplay is short for Costume roleplay, where anime and manga fans dress up as their favourite anime, manga characters. Cosplay is not limited to anime, people can dress up as JPop, JRock stars, characters from classic novels. The term cosplay was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi of the Japanese studio ‘Studio Hard’ while he attended the Los Angeles Science Fiction Worldcon in 1984. He was really impressed by the event and how fans wore costumes of there favourite characters.

Devoted cosplayers will copy every detail of the anime character they want to portray. From hair color, hair style, accessories like tools or armour. Not only do they get the appearance right, they also embody the character and act like them. Cosplay costumes can be bought. Lots of fans like to make their own outfit and they put in a lot of time and dedication to their outfit.

In Japan, you can find cosplayers at public events such as anime trade shows, cosplay parties or theme parks. Also it is normal for teen cosplayers to just roam around Harajuku district. Some workplaces that have cosplay uniforms e.g. in many cafes, waitresses are required to wear maid costumes.

Outside of Japan, cosplay is mainly done at large manga and anime conventions. Cosplay competitions are usually held at these conventions. Cosplay caught on with the rest of the world in the late 1990’s.

Aussies are also Cosplay enthusiasts. The largest anime convention ‘Manifest’ was held in Melbourne over a week ago is held for 3 days. It was held at Melbourne Showgrounds, it was previously held at Melb Uni. The huge event is run by a not-for-profit organisation Manifest Inc and is staffed entirely by passionate volunteers. You will discover all you want to know about anime at the convention! With cell painting workshops and drawing classes. You can by merchandise like dvds, anime plushies. And Cosplay Competitons! Check out my interview with a devoted cosplayer!

‘REEL ANIME 2010’ September 2-15, Nova Cinema, Carlton, Melbourne

This chocoblock anime movie fanfest is a must for all anime lovers!

Showcasing 5 AMAZING films:
1. Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone, (I LOVE EVANGELION!!!)
2. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance,
3. Summer Wars,
4. King of Thorn,
5. Redline,

With every festival pass purchased you will receive a FREEEEEE Collectors Anime Poster!!!!!!

They are also running a mind-blowing competition!!!!! Look at all the prizes you could win!


* 1 x Evangelion poster - One of a kind Evangelion 2.0 poster, signed by Evangelion creator HIDEKI ANNO!
* 1 x Evangelion 1.11: You are [not] alone DVD or Blu-Ray
* 1 x Neon Genesis Evangelion Platinum Series Complete Collection


* 1 x Summer Wars Poster (Limited Edition)
* 1 x Girl Who Leapt Through Time DVD
* 1 x Girl Who Leapt Through Time Manga


* 5 x Summer Wars posters
* 5 x King of Thorn posters

For details of the comp and to enter, click here

This AWESOME event is presented by Madman and Nova Cinema. For more info about the films or tickets, click here to visit Nova Cinema's website =D