Korean F4 meet Japanese fans

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Boys Before Flowers main cast from left:
Kim Bum, Lee Min-ho, Kim Joon & Kim Hyun-joong
meet their fans from Japan

7th March, 2009 – Seoul

The Korean Flower Boys (F4) met with Japanese fans on Saturday. It was the day they found out fellow co-star Jang Ja-yeon had committed suicide. Even though their mood was somber, the boys needed to suck it in and meet with fans who came from Japan. The fans were naturally very excited to see the Korean F4.

Since the event was planned well ahead of time, the boys had to meet and greet their fans. Arriving for the meeting a little late, Kim Hyun-joong apologized for their tardiness and greeted the fans in Japanese — much to the delight of those present.

At the fan meeting, they also talked about the accidents Kim Bum and actress Gu Hye-sun experienced while filming. Kim Bum explained that he was in two accidents and Gu Hye-sun was in an accident that caused a wound in her face and they had to stop filming last week.

He also commented about the death of Jang Ja-yeon — the cast and crew of Boys Before Flowers production team are crushed with sorrow but they still need to continue.

Source & pics credit:

Read more Boys Before Flowers entries on K-popped!

Kingdom of the Wind (Episode 13 – 16)

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Lady Yeon has two men after her, but one same expression

Lady Yeon (Choi Jung Won) — the heroin in the drama has two men vying for her affections but one unchanging expression throughout the drama. When Muhyul confesses that he likes her and his heart aches to see her, she gives him that look (view pic above). When she is told her father Tak Rok was framed and murdered, she gives the sad puppy look (view pic above). When Dojin tells her he will take care of her — view pic above. Well, you get my drift.

At a time when the foundation of each character’s relationship is being laid out, i would expect to be more involved with their budding romance. Here, i don’t feel for Muhyul and Yeon nor do i hinge towards Yeon and Dojin ending up together either. It’s just too bland.

Who will end up with Yeon? Dojin or Muhyul?
Who will be in her heart?


Yeon arrives at the cave where Muhyul lays unconscious and drenched in sweat. She chokes down tears and treats Muhyul’s wounds while the merchant Mahwang and Maro looks on.

When Mahwang leaves to get some herbs needed to treat Muhyul, Yeon tells Maro that some slave traders captured her and sold her to the merchant. That’s how she ended with Mahwang.

Yeon arrives to save Muhyul’s life again…

Meanwhile, Baeguek asks Dojin if he recognizes the two men who kidnapped Prince Yeojin. Reluctantly Dojin acknowledges them explaining that they were formerly Black Shadows. Baeguek assigns Dojin to find them.

Muhyul and Yeon manage to find some time to talk heart to heart. Muhyul shared about Prince Haemyeong‘s death and how he harboured so much vengeance for King Yuri. Yeon, who was a witness at Haemyeong’s death, confirmed that King Yuri didn’t want his son to die and was in anguish when Haemyeong took his own life.

Muhyul misses Prince Haemyeong –
the only brother he had. Yeon comforts him.

Muhyul finds Hye Ap at the palace grounds in the dead of the night and requests to seek audience with King Yuri.

Muhyul asks the King for forgiveness and offers his services to become a spy for Goguryeo. The King hesitates as this is a very dangerous task. King Yuri wants to cut all ties with his son Muhyul but he doesn’t want him to die! Hye Ap talks the King into accepting Muhyul’s offer. Maro and Muhyul will return to Buyeo as Goguryeo spies.

Baeguek brings Dojin to meet Prince Yeojin and the Empress and assures them that the Buyeo soldiers who kidnapped the Prince will be found. The very skilled Dojin will look for them. Dojin was also introduced to Princess Seryu and he dueled with her. During the sparring practice, Princess Seryu saw the necklace Muhyul gave to Dojin. She asked Dojin how he got the necklace and he lied that a Biryu clan mate gave it to him. Princess Seryu told him that she gave the necklace to her brother a long time ago.

Princess Seryu: I gave this necklace to my brother a long time ago.

Before leaving for Buyeo, Muhyul meets Yeon and gives her a wooden doll of herself which he carved.

At the Black Shadows camp, Muhyul and Maro play with fire and burn down the library which stores confidential reports, but not before stealing the most important of the Buyeo reports.


Muhyul and Maro escape the search for the culprit who burned down the Black Shadows library thanks to Maengwaeng. The evil Cheif Retainer comes to the Black Shadows camp to hand pick outstanding fighters to become King Daeso’s bodyguards. Muhyul and Maro make the elite team.

King Yuri is not afraid when he hears that the Biryu clan is against him. Instead, he wishes the ambitious clan (which has been scheming to overthrow the King since Episode 1) would openly fight him so he could get rid of them once and for all.

Dojin murders two of Baeguek’s men as they escourt him on a mission.

A stubborn Muhyul gets impatient and wants to kill King Daeso,even when the Cheif Retainer suspects Muhyul and Maro’s plan.

One night, as King Daeso dresses down as a commoner to reach out to his people, Muhyul shoots an arrow to his chest and injures the King.

The King cannot die!!!
King Daeso suffers an arrow through his chest

and the Chief Retainer threatens the poor physician
treating the King.

Meanwhile, Dojin visits the unconscious King. It is then that we find out Dojin was commissioned by King Daeso to go to Goguryeo and make that country his mother land – to drench himself in Goguryeo spirit, and to keep this a secret with the promise that one day, he will inherit the throne (Buyeo).

Muhyul: I killed King Daeso to avenge your father’s death.
Don’t worry, i will protect you now.

Muhyul seeks out his girlfriend Yeon and finds her at the sanitarium helping the sick and injured. He then tells her he shot an arrow to King Daeso’s heart avenging he murder of Yeon’s father, the late Wesaja.

Of course, a jealous looking Dojin catches them in an embrace.


Muhyul and Maro are immediately put to task to train a team of Goguryeo soldiers to become Buyeo spies. They impart their Black Shadows knowledge upon the troop.

Meanwhile, Dojin vows to Yeon that his life’s purpose is to make Yeon happy and to protect her!

Dojin: Let me protect you Yeon!
I don’t like you seeing that guy Muhyul.
I will protect you instead. You don’t need him!

Back in Buyeo, King Daeso regains consciousness (apparently it takes more than an arrow through his heart to kill the old King) and finds out that it was Muhyul and Maro who attempted to murder him.

Baeguek and the Lord of Yongdam (Prince Yeojin’s uncle) discovers that Muhyul and Maro are ex- Black Shadows and now, they are protected by Hye Ap. They capture Muhyul and Maro and forces them to talk and threatens to burn Muhyul with a hot metal rod.


Muhyul and Maro being tortured by Baeguek and Lord Yongdam

Is the Goguryeo Intelligence Bureau (headed by Hye Ap) conspiring with Buyeo? That’s what Baeguek and Lord Yongdam is accusing Hye Ap of. When Hye Ap refuses to reply, Baguek went over his head and asked his guards to tie Hye Ap and her followers up as well!

At the nick of time King Yuri, his consort and entourage arrives. King Yuri promptly orders Muhyul and Maro to be released. Hye Ap then explains that King Daeso’s injury was caused by these two ex-Black Shadows and they are now serving the Goguryeo Intelligence Bureau.

Young Prince Yeojin is also very fond of Muhyul and is pleased that Muhyul and Maro are now officially Goguryeo Intelligence Bureau soldiers.

Hye Ap urges King Yuri to accept Muhyul as his son but the King says it is not his time yet.

King Yuri:I can’t acknowledge that boy as prince, but i will keep an eye on him.

Hye Ap now has another confidant (besides King Yuri himself) who knows about Muhyul’s true identity — Changmunim is also in on the secret now. Both Hye Ap and Changmunim agree to prepare Muhyul as heir to the Goguryeo kingdom. They start educating Muhyul on the diplomatic scene, astronomy, geography, divination and more.

Dojin uses his uncomparable skills to kill two of King Yuri’s men

A masked Dojin goes on a killing spree – murdering two of Goguryeo’s top ranking officials, piercing them with a long skewer.

King Yuri is livid! Killing two of his most trusted men — men who had fought in battle with him for years and have gained his trust and even admiration? The murderer will be punished and Gungnae Fortress is shaken by this. The Biryu clan along with the other clans are summoned for questioning.

With Dojin’s help and the clue from the very precious necklace, Dojin, Baeguek and the Sangganim suspect that Muhyul could be the 3rd son of King Yuri.

King Yuri is worried and angry as he sees
dead ravens — hundreds of them at the palace courtyard.

Another bad omen plagues Goguryeo as dead livestock is found with the animals’ liver missing. Everyone is worried but Muhyul sets his mind to get to the bottom of this.

Muhyul fishes out a bag full of livestock liver from a bloody well — showing that the bad omen do not point to Goguryeo’s fall from the heavens but it was actually planted.

I found the answer!
Muhyul investigates the bad omens and
jumps into a bloody well

The dead livestock is just the beginning. Someone has been spreading a vicious rumour that the cursed dead prince — who should have died 20 years ago is still alive or has come back to avenge his past, causing these perils to Goguryeo.

King Yuri, upon hearing this is alarmed. Could this be merely a story or the very prophecy he feared is coming to pass?

Kingdom of the Wind (Episode 9 – 12)

Il Mare (2000)

Korean title: 시월애 (Shi-wo-rae)

What’s popping:

First of all, I’ve been spoilt by Hollywood’s 2006 remake – The Lake House (TLH), which stars my all-time fave actor Keanu Reeves…oh yeah, and there’s Sandra Bullock too :-P.

Now that I can make a comparison between the original Korean version and the Hollywood one, I see that Tinseltown’s version is more tightly-paced. However, there are certain details in TLH that didn’t gel (hit this link to read my “official” review of The Lake House).

I believe it has a lot to do with the period the movie is set in. The lack of modern technology to aid the communication between the leads is more believable in Il Mare (set in 1997/1998 and 1999/2000) than compared to the 21st century setting of Hollywood’s version.

Apart from that, that little inconsistency about the leads’ “shared” pet dog is also addressed in Il Mare with Sung-hyun (Lee Jeong-jae) saying that there’s a twist in time.

Details aside, viewers will be drawn into the “long-distance” romance between architect Sung-hyun and animation voice talent Eun-joo (Jeon Ji-hyun). Like in TLH, the pair exchanges letters through the special letterbox that allows them to bridge time. She lives in the year 2000, while he in 1998.

Selling point: ‘Yeah, it’s really convenient if you like swimming.
Just walk off the bridge.’

They soon confide in each other through their letters and naturally, a romance blossoms. Time is the only factor that prevents them from having a “real relationship”, thus the challenge comes in actually meeting one another.

Il Mare certainly takes its time to tell its love story. There are many quiet scenes in the flick, so much so that I managed to take a ‘lil nap mid-flick and still catch up later.

Size matters: ‘Hmm, I wonder if I can fit myself in there.’

Hollywood’s version jumbled things up a little, but it stays true to the gist of the story. Also, TLH took time to flesh out the rocky relationship between the male lead and his father…Il Mare just mentions it in passing.

I’m happy to report that the ending in the original Korean version isn’t as gloomy as I thought it would be. As I’ve said, I’ve been spoilt by Hollywood’s TLH so it’s unfortunate that the plot twist and surprise Il Mare has in store had no effect on me.

Nonetheless, both Jeon Ji-hyun and Lee Jeong-jae are good in their roles – two lonely people who by chance find each other across time and space. It’s a great romance with a touch of tragedy yet coupled with a whole lot of hope.

The plot:

Do you believe in Christmas miracles?

Eun-joo (Jeon Ji-hyun), who lives in a unique house by the sea moves to the city. She leaves a letter in the mailbox asking the next tenant to kindly forward her mails to her new address. It is Christmas of 1999.

Fixer: ‘Dang the handle’s broken again. Where’s my UHU glue?’

An architect named Sung-hyun receives the letter when he moves into the house and thinks Eun-joo’s letter is a joke. He’s the very first tenant of the house, which was built by his aunt. It is Christmas of 1997.

Nonetheles, the pair become pen friends, exchange a whole bunch of letters and soon fall in love. Setting a time to meet is a challenge as time and timing can be very cruel.

Watch it:

A friend lent us her VCD ;-). You can get your copy here!

Pics credit: HanCinema

More K-popped! Movie reviews here

Wheesung has Insomnia

Wheesung is set to stay up all night to unleash his version of Insomnia throughout Asia.

OK, ok, not really. The 27-year-old actually covered Craig David’s 2008 single Insomnia and his Korean version is set to drop in China as well as Hong Kong (apart from South Korea).

Insomniacs: Both Wheesung (left) and Craig David have Insomnia

On a lazy Sunday afternoon during a KBS Music Break, I caught Wheesung’s MV…and subsequently got hooked on the song. The MV showcased some nifty dance moves and the addictive hook replayed in a loop in my head after watching the video.

Wheesung wrote the Korean lyrics for the song. It is reported that the MV will be aired on both the MTV Asia and Channel V networks. Excellent!

I’ve also watched Craig David’s MV for the song and realised that Wheesung’s version is much better. Whoo hoo…

Come on now!

Feels like insomnia ah…ah…ah
Feels like insomnia ah…ah…ah
Feels like insomnia ah…ah…ah
Feels like insomnia ah…ah…ah

Source: Newsen

Wheesung says Love is Sweet 🙂

Pictures of Wheesung at home

Check out BoA’s Did It for Love MV

You’ll see BoA all-decked out in leather and dancing with a cane and chair. Whoo hoo…the girl’s giving Rain’s Magic Stick a run for its money :-P.

All leathered- up: BoA’s doing it for love

Hit the play button below for a sneak peek at the 23-year-old’s Did It For Love MV.

The South Korean singer is all set to drop her US debut album on March 17 simultaneously in the US, South Korea and Japan. The Did It For Love MV features singer/ songwriter/ record producer Sean Garrett and was directed by famed video director Joseph Khan.

What do you think of the MV?

BoA ‘Did It For Love’
BoA to slither into America

Boys Before Flowers’ Jang Ja-yeon commits suicide

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Jang Ja-yeon (27) chalks up another number for the
increasing cases of celebrity suicides in South Korea

This is really sad news to wake up to on a Sunday morning. Boys Before Flowers actress Jang Ja-yeon (27) committed suicide yesterday. You would recognize her in the popular drama as one of the Mean Girls trio (Jin-Sun-Mi) who would tease lead character Geum Jan-di in school.

Jang Ja-yeon had hanged herself at her apartment and was found dead on the evening of 07 March. Her older sister (whom Jang lived with) found the body. Her sister explained that Jang had suffered from depression and prior to her suicide had been staying inside her room for long periods of time more frequently, signaling perhaps that she was falling into deeper depression. About 10 years ago, Jang lost both parents in a car accident when she was in high school, and has lived with her sister ever since.

What could be the cause of her death? Officials have blamed that anonymous Internet slanderers are to blame of the celebrity suicides (most notably Choi Jin-sil) that preceded hers. Could she have gotten too much hate mail to handle when she played one of the mean girls in uber popular Boys Before Flowers?

Celebrity suicides in South Korea — we hope, is one trend that WILL STOP.

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Jang Ja-yeon played “Sunny”
(one of the three Mean Girls)
in Boys Before Flowers

Kim Ha-neul & Lee Jun-ki in Indonesia

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Lee Jun-ki and Kim Ha-neul in Indonesia with Vicky, Dimas & Putri

Actors Kim Ha-neul and Lee Jun-ki took a trip to Jakarta, Indonesia for a tvN cable TV show entitled World Love Special.

On the 11th February, Lee Jun Ki, Kim Ha Neul and the crew of cable channel tvN joined hands together with Good Neighbors, a world international relief organization, traveled to the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia

Kim and Lee made friends with the villagers particularly a family with three children, namely Vicky (9), Dimas (7) and Putri (11). The three children who live with their grandmother Rantes (70) survive by collecting rubbish from the neighbourhood dumping ground, recycling the waste (picking out things) to sell for money. The father of the children is currently missing.

The party donated 7.5 million won in funds, a classroom computer and basketball goalpost to the school where Vicky, Dimas and Putri goes to.

Lee Jun-ki took many photos during the trip and he said that he learned many things from the simple ways of the children. Lee also said that he hopes to return to this outreach and perhaps in future, sponsor a global village of poor children.

This television program will be broadcast in two parts on 21st and 28th March, 2009 respectively. It will be on tvN at 9pm (Seoul time).

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Lee Jun-ki and his Canon DSLR in Jakarta, Indonesia

Kim Ha-neul hanging out with local Indonesian kids

Lee Jun-ki bonding with one of the locals

Visiting the village market

Boys Before Flowers Anycall Haptic Pop CF

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The Flower Four promotes Anycall Haptic Pop
mobile phone. But where’s Lee Min-ho?
From left: Kim Joon, Kim Hyun-joong and Kim Bum.

The F4 boys minus Lee Min-ho, appear in the new Anycall Haptic Pop (햅틱팝) CF. Kim Bum, Kim Hyun-joong and Kim Joon are promoting the Haptic Pop SCH-W750, Samsung Electronic’s touch screen phone.

The CF was released to the public on 4th March with the theme “Index Finger Life” — notice that the boys work on everything with their index finger. With only your index finger, you can do almost anything on the new Anycall Haptic Pop touch screen mobile phone!

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The F4 boys show that you can paint, play the piano,
balance your
phone & dial with your index finger!

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I love this pic of Hyun-Joong drawing hearts on a
fogged up windshield with his index finger…

The advertisement industry is a buzz with talk that Samsung Electronics and LG Telecommunication, giants and rivals in the telecommunication business in South Korea are vying for the F4 to promote their products. Both Samsung and LG contacted the Flower Four (F4) to ink a contract with them.

Apparently Lee Min-ho had complications with his contract with LG and could not appear in this Samsung ad. So there, there’s why you have the F4 without their leader.

Click for a larger image, which you can use as a wallpaper

If pictures ain’t enough for you, check out the extended version of the ad, with NG below. Or view Version 1 and Version 2 of the Haptic Pop ads.

Source: ISplus

You might also want to check out:
THE HAPTIC SAGA: DBSK and SNSD get all tangled up

Seung-ri asks Why Did You Come to My House?

Big Bang’s Strong Baby Seung-ri (19) will be appearing in a movie entitled Why Did You Come to My House (not to be confused with the 2008 SBS drama of the same name).

Celluloid ambition: Singer-turned-actor

The movie also stars Kang Hye-jung and Park Hee-soon. The cast and film’s director Hwang Su-ah appeared to the press at 11am today (March 5) in Seoul.

Crowded house: From left: Seung-ri, Kang Hye-jung,
Park Hee-soon and director Hwan Su-ah

Seung-ri plays the first love of Kang Hye-jung’s character. The jilted lover then seeks revenge on Kang’s character in the flick.

Why Did You Come to My House is scheduled to be released early April 2009 in South Korea.

Clap, clap, clap, clap: Seung-ri stands tall and
proud as an actor

Strong baby: ‘Here, drink up, we don’t want you fainting from
dehydration half way through.’