1. X Across America
J-Rock seems be starting off strong this year with the news that X-Japan has signed with EMI Music, an American record label. With the news of X-Japan’s move to the United States last year this isn’t altogether surprising; however, this is, in my opinion, the best advancement of J-Rock in the US in a long time. Yoshiki, one of the founding members, has already presented himself as an ever present cosmopolitan VIP on red carpets, so now hopefully he and X-Japan can prove themselves evermore in the American music scene.
2. Weather Girls
I studied meteorology in college, and I learned really quickly that some of today’s meteorologists earn their title with a deep knowledge of the science behind weather. Others may have such folks working for them, but primarily they know how to look good in front of a camera. I think once you see a video of the Weather Girls that you’ll have no doubt their only talent is the latter. However, the amusement and cutness they provide makes each of their videos worthwhile to watch. If you are not yet familiar with these Weather Girls, who I expect to be an rising phenomena, then I’ll give you a brief rundown of what happens in their videos.
Each day a new video is released in English that covers the weather forecast of the day for either Taiwan or the US’s major cities. While you can certainly use this perhaps helpful information, the ‘treat’ of the video is the cute girl who dances, prances, and sometimes even hops around during the video. Instead of saying anything live we are instead to presume that the voice over narration provided is in fact the girl in the video. There are only seven girls, so naturally each girl gets a day that they represent. While I do find the girls on “Friday” and “Saturday”, Mini and Umi respectively, to be particularly pretty what keeps me coming back is the humorous dialogue. Janaury 14th for instance remains in my memory particularly because of Mini’s apparent interest in “being your pet lover”. Umi too keeps telling me I should invite her to a party, which sadly seems all too unrealistic a possibility. Donned in bunny suits, and filled to the brim with adorableness, I think it’s clear that these girls (or more likely the man behind the curtain) have found a unique way to be lovable, silly, and really teach you little to nothing about the weather. Can I fault them though? They’re wearing bunny suits.
3. Angry Birds
While I feel the Angry Birds phenomena is on the wane, I came a bit late to the game to begin with, so I feel I must still at least give my due thoughts later than never. If you don’t yet know what Angry Birds is it is quite simply a tower destruction style game where you slingshot birds from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen. On the right side of the map the birds are greeted with their oddly shaped opponents, sometimes holed up in a tower, or otherwise perhaps in hard to reach places. The limited plot of the story suggests these creatures have wronged the birds, and thus the birds slingshot suicide bombing themselves towards the enemy is apparently the natural retaliation.
While I cannot deny the addiction of this game, I actually was amazed that others caught on to if only because there have been many games developed that are quite similar to Angry Birds. Sure the propelled birds may have their own ‘special abilities’, but that’s standard of this type of game style. I will admit for the price this is one of the better of these games I’ve played, but overall really what is the difference? Perhaps its the birds back story? Perhaps its the birds fury? Or perhaps its just the silly name? All in all I stand as captivated as the rest of my feathery compatriots, and yet I still don’t know why. Alas I shall carry on and play till my Angry Birds heart heals.