All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. No one else has influenced my opinion, and the same should go for everyone else. Do not influence, or allow yourself to be influenced, by someone's opinion, because then it is no longer yours...
I'm sorry about the delay in this post, which should have been up yesterday, but I got side-tracked from the PV's I found which released (or that I found) all of yesterday. I was gushing over 9nine's latest video, because I have been looking for the PV for ages, and finally found it on another uploader that I don't usually visit, but go there if even youku fails to have the PV's I want.
Anyway, enough of that, we need to continue with Request Week/Chronicles! It's time to begin a batch of someone else's requests! What will I listen to and experience today?
Sarah, who has the next set of requests that I will be focusing on, kindly ordered her requests for me, but also gave me quite a few more as optional suggestions (two made me laugh a lot, because I really was not expecting them!). There is quite a nice list there for her options, but I'm so thankful that she had a top three set out, or I would have been stuck with what to review! I struggled enough with the first few requests from both Nia and Mamba, even though there were five, because I liked most, or found some form of interest, in nearly all of the PV's that they requested. So thank you, Sarah!
So, first up on Sarah's list is the song MAMA by EXO. Sarah gave me the option of either reviewing EXO-M or EXO-K, as the song is sung by both groups, but as I compared Lucifer in both Japanese and Korean, I think that I'll pretty much do the same here, because with these two PV's, there is a connection which is very apparent when you watch both video's, so I do suggest that you guys watch them both if you have never seen them, because it's actually quite cool (kind of like Kono Chikyuu and Kare to Issho's connection, except that this is by far a lot cooler).
Now, before I ramble my way into the pic spam, I want to give a little explanation about EXO with the tiny bit of research that I have done. EXO is a group which is made up of twelve members who are separated into two sub-groups, EXO-K and EXO-M. EXO-K perform for the Korean audience, whilst EXO-M promote for the Chinese audience. MAMA is their debut single, and as you know by now, the two sub-groups performed this separately for their PV's, however they also perform it together.
Confused? Didn't think so. Anyway, let's take a look at EXO-K and EXO-M's MAMA, and see if we can compare the two and come to an overall conclusion, shall we?
The PV begins with a story...
Actually, it's a pretty epic story, because it basically ties the two sub-groups and the PV's together, allowing us to under stand the concept of the video a lot more than we probably would have without it.
Basically, the world has technically been split in two because of an evil force trying to kill the tree of life, and so there are two worlds and two suns, and the Legends of the story will walk these two different worlds before the Legends greet each other.
It also sounds like it has been narrated by Dumbledore!
... And here we are, with the... Monks of EXO?
Their chanting reminds me of a religious gathering. I'm not kidding... but it's cool, especially when it flows into the song itself.
Of course, both versions have different singers. This one is the cuter one, from EXO-M.
Stupid damn pop-up add on the official video... Ruining a cool moment...
Don't poke yourself in the eyes with those things, now.
Again... it's like the Rise of the Monks!!!
I see similarity~ Ooooh...
I have to say, I prefer EXO-K's (top pic) trousers, but honestly, the background reminds me of Otakebi Boy WAO, but a lot more realistic...
This guy likes popping up in random places, doesn't he?
EXO-M has quite a cute member, though he looks suspicious of the guy dressed in black...
Wait, is this Yin and Yang?
... Okay, so what's your power? Flowers? Are you Marluxia or something?
No denying that you have lightning. Wow, your fingers must be electric! ;D
This room looks a bit like a rose with the design pattern...
... But EXO-M really beat them in their alternative dance space, because this is awesome.
They have this one dance space which is the same in both video's, though. But it's cool, it ties it all together, right?
Is this the power of light?
IT'S THE WATER BENDER!!!!!
OH MY GOD IT'S A WHIRLWIND, QUICK, RUU---- Ooooh, pretty butterfly!!!
To be honest, I have no clue what his element is... Levitation? Picking up shiny balls?
His is, obviously, Earthquake!!! YES, he is a Groudon now.
Ice, duh. His heart hurts with the iciness...
Ice Ice Baby!
Hm, maybe it's just me, but these two seem connected somehow...
Dude, that's seriously cool... I actually really love the face paint and the words.
Oh yeah, like a Ballerina!!!
... My lord, he's quite nice to look at... though his voice scares me XD
Now you see me...
... And now me! Magcal!!!
... Seriously, I love effects like this. They always amaze me.
Yeah, he's quite sexy... >.>
... Stop crying for your mummy, guys, you're all grown men!... Or at least, you look like grown men o-O
It's the poooooooooooooooooower of LIFE! You've got to believe, in the power of life!
Two World's, One Legend...
Or 12... o-O
My god that looks awesome *^*
And so we're back to the monks...
... and the end of the video's! Say what?
Well, I would like to say that the story aspect of the video is really interesting. It was a great way to tie everything together as well as a great way of giving the audience, whether you are Korean, Chinese or English, an understanding of what we are about to watch in each video, and how all of this is basically one story of both EXO sub-groups finding out about each other and their powers. I do think that without the opening narration, I would be totally lost with the story itself and only find the differences between the two video's, and find them the same. But hearing the story in the beginning has helped me to see that, basically, these video's are certainly one in the same, but for the reason that both the groups are connected and so the video's and concepts have to be the same because it's within the story that connects the two groups as one whole group.
If that makes any sense, which I am pretty sure it doesn't.
Now after watching both PV's, I came to realise something which surprised me - I didn't notice any individual members in the group who really stood out to me, guys that I would pine over and follow to the ends of the Earth if I ever came back to this group at all after these requests are done, but I did instead find that I thoroughly enjoyed them as a group rather than individual beings, enjoying the PV for all it was worth without having to worry about eye candy or picking out someone as a distinct favourite. It's definitely weird, because I'm so used to finding girls or boys I like in PV's, and neglecting the rest, but here... well, it's a totally different matter, and that's for both video's.
As I said to Sarah, I have less focus on the individuals of this group, but I have more of an interest in the video itself.
The video, whilst there is no distinct plot to follow, is very fun to watch. It's dark and edgy, and shows quite a chaotic outlook of the world in a sense. In the beginning, it shows the gathering of the Legends, or the members of EXO, before we find ourselves watching the group as individuals find out their powers and who they really are, which ultimately leads them back together, hence the gathering in the beginning and towards the end. Throughout the video, we come to learn of their powers (though some I'm unsure of, like the flowers?) and, in the Korean version of the song, we come to realise how these guys are connected to each other by ways of their powers, such as the light finding its way to someone else from EXO-M via the mirror in the ice room. These individual scenes are pretty much us learning about the powers of the members, the powers that they are also learning about, and realising just how they are all connected as a group. It's really quite interesting, in my opinion, and very visually appealing.
You also have dance scenes, a common visual that we all need in a PV, and probably the most intense part of both video's for me. The dancing is really cool, and every time I watched it from both versions I felt a sense of excitement from how fluid and professional these guys seemed. Now, I was honestly surprised to realise that this was their debut single, because MAMA is pretty amazing, everyone looks and acts like they have been doing this for years, and these guys seem to really flow well together as well, so yeah, surprising that this is their debut, because it's pretty amazing. Then again, any dancing that is structured well and flows perfectly is amazing for me, because we all know that I watch Idols, and sometimes these girls go out of sync, so yeah...
But the dance is still amazing, and I love the intensity of it. It's pretty amazing how just a dance can make me feel excited and give me butterflies in my stomach, but EXO have done, and I have to say this is a pretty amazing group anyway, as a whole and not separate groups for different languages.
In all honesty, I think that I like both of the video's about the same, with the Korean one being a bit higher up for me, simply because it allows us to see the boys come together more than the Mandarin version does. We get to see how the boys connect to each other through their powers in EXO-K's version, and admittedly, a little bit more goes on in the Korean video. However, I do like both of the video's, but yes, the Korean version wins for the overall flow of the video and how much more it contains for me as a viewer.
The song though, is different. I actually prefer the Mandarin version, mostly because the vocals are softer and so much more likeable in my opinion. I actually like Mandarin songs, I have listened to a few over the course of my time as a wota, though Taiwanese music is more of my thing, but there's something about Chinese singers which is a lot more likeable, such as their gentle voices, that really appeals to me as a listener.
The Korean version of MAMA is good as well, don't get me wrong, but I find the Mandarin version so much more appealing and it's the one I have basically been listening to throughout this whole review, because I love how it sounds and how nice the vocals are in it. Everyone sounds amazing, and whilst their voices may not have the power that EXO-K have, I find it so much nicer to listen to as a song. However, I will say that EXO-K sounds a lot more passionate, and I put that down to mostly the force and power the singers put into the song, and it makes it sounds so amazing, it really does.
But yes, the clear winner for the song here is the Mandarin version. I like both versions, but not as equally as I like the PV's in a way. I have my preferences, I know, and I bet a lot of people love the Korean version, but for me guys, it's the Mandarin version of MAMA... sorry.
Take a look at them and see if you like... and enjoy, guys. Enjoy~
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: December 2nd, 2012
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: December 2nd, 2012