Dec 18, 2008

“Even Though We are Apart” Complete Report
Part 1

Written by satovic
Originally posted on JOB & BSJ on Dec.15
translated by flowerbossa

(abridged with satovic's permission)

Yorobun annyong haseyo!

Ah, I must say that it’s been sometime since I had enjoyed myself as much as I did yesterday.
I was SOO happy!
It was SOO fabulous!
“Even Though We are Apart - Christmas with the Family” turned out to be an exciting event that was far better than I expected..

"Hey, I’m not going to an event that costs 6000 yen when YJ isn’t coming – in the first place, we're a bit TOO far apart if you ask me!"

Having these stingy thoughts, I had not bought a ticket for the show, but when I heard there was going to be a LIVE broadcast from Seoul, I got the sudden urge to see it - and thanks to a YJ chingu, I was able to get myself a ticket! If this live broadcast of YJ himself was not included, I still think 6300 yen is expensive, but with this live thing, it’s really worth it! In fact, I wish they did it every month!
It could be “A Chinese New Year with the Family” or “Chuseok with the Family”….whatever. If they did something like “Brought to you LIVE from the site of the shooting”, how happy we would be! Though it’s always great to have him come to Japan, I always get restless thinking about “where can he be at this moment?” and I also get this feeling that it would be bothersome for him to have us rush to the airport or hotel. So, I was actually able to enjoy myself more at ease with a live broadcast like this. The direction was good, and the professionalism of the show carried us into a world of dreams.

(Here, satovic warns us that she will give her “candid” comments on the event.)

I have to say that the event held at the Kyocera Dome in June was good only in the respect that YJ was actually there, but in terms of the staging… at the point the steel pipe stools were brought on stage, I realized with disappointment that the director of this show was not a dream maker. But this time around, considering everything from staging to the management of the whole show including ushering, I think this event deserves a high grade of 97 points.

Before I comment on the 97 percent that was fabulous, I will give my thoughts on the 3 percent that I had to take away, and that is on the chaotic management of how they led us before the performance. In order to enter the venue, an enormously LONG line encircled the dome, and there were some that had to wait as much as 2 hours to get in. But from some point, either because they increased the gates for entry, or opened up the entrance for the staff, a short cut was created for some who were able to get in passing by the people who were waiting in this long line. Because I reached the site just in time for the opening, I was able to get in through this route, and I’m sure that the people who had gone through the waiting thought “what was I doing for 2 hours?”

What surprised me this time was that I spotted a fair percentage of men in the audience. I would guess that some of the ladies from various areas of Japan came with their husbands. For those of us who have been family for 4 years, we could put up with this thinking “okay, here we go again…” because just about anything could happen at a Hanryu event, but I sympathize with the husbands who had to go through this treatment.

Next, about the photo exhibit that was supposed to be the other highlight of this event. Though I hear that the last 2 photos there were really gorgeous, because the photos of a Polaroid size contained in a glass case were exhibited in an office like space, the people were only able to go in in small numbers at a time, making it a very time consuming process. The way things were arranged makes one feel that the aim of the photo exhibit was not to “have the family enjoy it", but “to draw a bigger attendance by promoting the fact that there is going to be an exhibit”. Rather than this, why not display the photos on the outer circle of the long line having them face inwards so people in line can see them? Then the line will probably move faster with people wanting to see the next photo, and we can actually enjoy the time of the wait. Plus, because there would be security staff to watch over the line anyway, these people can watch over the photos too, and that would help save cost!

Because a portion of these photos were shown through a projector after the event, about a half of the audience who left their seats early were not able to see them, but those who noticed that they were being shown stayed to watch them. I thought that was a great idea in controlling crowd traffic so everyone will not rush to the exit at one time.

SO, now that I’ve gotten that out, let me rewind my cerebral video and we can start watching this fantastic event from the very beginning!

Alright, it’s now 5 to 5.
At a glance, the dome seems to be full, but the seats on both sides of mine were open, and I noticed 2 to 3 vacant seats in each row, which would probably mean the venue was about 95 percent full.

The stage was decorated with 5 illuminated objects in the shape of a Christmas tree. Because the smoke machine was placed on stage in a bare state, I had the bad feeling that this show was going to produced by the same production company as the pachinko promotion event. But the solemn sound of Christmas hymns sung by a male choir filled the dome, and I felt a pleasant sensation of the atmosphere warming up with the Christmas spirit. The person sitting on the left side of me was in a festive mood, wearing a santa hat with wings attached.

On stage was a very big screen, but there was also a 3 way monitor hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the dome, and we were able to enjoy a very clear image. They repeatedly ran CFs of Meganeichiba and the YJ Festival due to be aired on Skyperfect TV. YJ in the Skyperfect program looked really great, resembling the mood he is captured in between shootings.

Come five o’clock.

All of a sudden, even without a BGM, Kim Tei-ssi appeared on stage, and announced “…before we begin the show…”. We were mystified at first, but it turned out to be a presentation ceremony of a joint effort by Meganeichiba and YJ who together raised 10 million yen for a project to donate vaccine for the children of Nepal. When the amount 10 million yen was announced, the audience expressed a flicker of excitement and let out an “ahh~”. It is wonderful to see a company taking such initiatives. Doesn’t it make us proud to see wuri prince stand in front setting a good example? Kim Tei-ssi wore a black dress and short white bolero as if to cover her figure which has turned a bit plump after giving birth to a son recently, and from her voice, she seemed to have a cold. I was somewhat worried for her.

Then, the venue went dark, and with the image of fireworks on screen, a message from BOF was announced.

They said that after having their first event in June, they wanted to have one more family get together within this year. That’s right! With YJ only releasing a work only once in two years, if they don’t feed us with events like these, we will suffer from symptoms of withdrawl^^

And then on stage, Kang Yo Hwan –ssi made his entrance and started to sing the main theme “The Day You Come” from “Hotelier”. On the large screen, they started to show the scene where Donhyuk is jogging up hill.

“AAH, THIS SHOW is going to be a blast!”
I thought to myself.

Judging from the cut the director selected for the opening, it seemed that he knows the family’s taste and also that he had done his homework on the drama “Hotelier”. In the June event, it was very disappointing to see promotion clips from TWSSG in back of the orchestra’s live performance, which had no connection with the music.

But with this show it was different. For example, the airport scene where we were on the edge of our seats watching the two of them miss each other was connected from the highway scene where Donhyuk reads the e-mail; the last scene where the two reunite in the lobby was connected from the scene where the general manager is walking along side Jin Yeong … These cuts could not be created by someone who did not know the drama.

AND of COURSE, with that sexy cute pool scene and that nihilistic Donhyuk standing alone at the foot of the lighthouse included in the clip, this was indeed a “Hotelier Special” with the best of the scenes. Seeing that they only took up the famous scene in the hotel kitchen where Donhyuk forces Jin Yeong to kiss him with only a photo and that they did not include the exciting scene where he throws champagne against the wall, this may not have been a work by a “family”, but I thought it was satisfying enough as their intent of trying to please us was clear. It had been sometime since I was able to immerse myself in the world of “Hotelier”.

I had heard that Kang Yo Hwang had previously gone by the name of Kang Chul, and I was wondering if that meant that the hotel staff who went up on stage to sing the main theme and he were the same person. I had the impression that the actor playing the porter was tall and darkish with a square face, but the Kang Yo Hwan I saw singing yesterday was a fair guy with YJ like glasses, and he still seemed to have some boyishness left in him. After singing one song, he said hello in Japanese, and then called out, “now, I will like to introduce my hyeong (brother) to you. Bae Yong Joon-ssi!” He was calling out to Seoul. Who would have thought YJ would make his appearance so early in the show? I was so surprised!


bb said...

hi hi flowerbossa!

i was hoping... and praying... that someone (you...?) would try and bring this to us :p

but of course, i would never impose by asking, but i guess someone must have heard my prayers. thanks for starting the trans, and yea, don't worry, take your time. good stuff are worth waiting for, like satovic's work, like your translation work...

and yes, like wuri yong joon.

gosijo said...

Hello Flowerbossa-san,

I'm so glad you are translating Satovic-san's account of the Christmas event!

Eagerly awaiting the rest :-)

Also, Pallet's latest sketch is absolutely fantabulous!

Anonymous said...

Dear flowerbossa,

I have to confess that it was Me that told bb about the hilarious accounts of satovic on JOB. I even wrote to her, as I can't make it, to ask flowerbossa for translation, hehe. I'm so happy for every English speaking family.

Arigato ne!

cloud nine

bb said...

hee... actually satovic also told me she wrote such loooooong postings on JOB, and then when cloudnine told me how hilarious they are, and then flowerbossa herself told her how funny and interesting, i just knew. I HAD TO PRAY HARD SOMEONE WOULD DO THE KIND DEED OF TRANSLATING :p

p.s. and flowerbossa, hehe, advice heeded. shan't hold my breath :p

flowerbossa said...

Thank you for your kind comments ladies!

Santa Satovic worked hard before Christmas - who could resist delivering her sonmul to other parts of the world?

Please enjoy part 2^^


bb said...

sonmul! i like that word... hehe, i also like we seem to like dropping a korean word or two in our conversations :p