Conquer The Whole World

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I almost forgot about this song. Maybe it’s because I had gotten rid of it on my mp3 player already after putting certain songs on repeat for too long. However, this reminds me of their popularity overall. I wish it was like the song’s title that they could “conquer the whole world” with their accomplishments but I guess that was just wishful thinking. I think that it is a bonus that this group could harmonize with one another so well–unlike some other bands that do not sound that good together or would block one or two out with only two voices noticeable. In 183 Club’s case, you could not tell whose voice when they’re singing together because they could harmonize so well with each other. Their live was not that good (minus Jacky and Ehlo that is) at the beginning but it became better as a band as time passed.

I honestly thought that 183 Club would last longer than this. However, after having read several sources of information in regard to Jungiery Star and their management techniques, especially the famous manager–Sun De Rong, I am no longer surprised that 183 Club could fade away so fast. Although their fame was somewhat short-lived, I guess they still have many fans up until this day. I know they did not disband but having been short two members, they seem to have crumbled already.

Dwelling on the past is not really a good idea but just for old time’s sake, I’m going to discuss a bit about their individual talents. This is for fun (and it’s my opinion) so don’t take it to heart.

Ehlo Huang Yu Rong (黃玉榮) – Believe it or not, but I think that Ehlo has all–acting, singing, and dancing. He just doesn’t get the chance to shine yet–though he always manages to deliver his part in making a drama work. Perhaps because he is given supporting or minor roles that he has more experiences and the opportunity to work with the character developments for each, unlike the main characters who often possess the same type of personalities. He could make you laugh or cry or feel embarrassed or frustrated with his characters at times. Although the majority of the dramas he took part in required some degree of exaggerations he does it with this natural gist that makes you wonder. It’s like when he steps into his character, he’s that person. It is not because of the wardrobe and/or attire that he was given to go along with the roles either. But it is his portrayal that makes it convincing of his characters. (I rarely feel that way for actors nowadays anymore.)

His singing is no doubt good because he is able to carry a song and complement with the other members as see fit. He has a unique voice and really contributes a great deal for the band as an overall. His dancing has been praised by professionals so it shows that he has talent in that area. Ehlo’s weakness–which is so obvious because even his manager, Sun De Rong, would pick on it–is his confidence. However, I believe that it is because he is not given the right support and acknowledgment by J-Star that makes it worse. I do understand the amount of pressure he has to face if he is given the lead or other major roles but IF he does not get the opportunity to try, how would they know he cannot handle it?

Jacky Chu/Zhu Fan Gang (祝釩剛) – Jacky’s strongest point is his singing and there’s like this automatic acknowledgment about it. He is of course not perfect with it, but his constant acknowledgment of it and his willingness to seek help in improving it, not fearing criticism is very admirable. His live performance is unbelievably strong and he is able to sing a variety of songs with the right amount of emotions put in, making the song different yet not ruining it. He also has the ability to control his voice–unlike some so-called pro singers–when he sings and could lower his voice (because it is very strong and could block out the others) so that it complements with the other four. In other words, he could manipulate his voice as see fit in different songs, bringing out his own style in it. Dancing for him seems like a breeze for some reason. He might not be the best there is (since I’m looking at all possibilities) but probably because of his confidence and the ability to carry on that he could deliver with much natural and style when dancing.

As for acting, he does get better with each role he is given so I must say he does have potential in this department. He is like Ehlo in a way that because he is given those least admirable roles or just minor ones that’s why he also has a lot to work with. Every time he appears in a drama, you could see there’s a difference. You would not feel the clash of characters or personalities of that particular character that he’s trying to portray. Whether it was the loan shark debt collector slash gangster Ying from Heaven’s Wedding Gown or the love-driven, hot-headed Michael from Hi-Fly or the typical Mr. Popularity aka Michael who all the girls would cling to in school in Prince Turned Into Frog or the Love Saint Fei Nan Du from The Magicians of Love.

Johnny Yan Xing Shu (顏行書) – Fans or not, people often wonder what Johnny’s main purpose is in the band. Saying that he’s the least favorite among the band members is one thing, but saying he does not have talent is just plain extreme. I must say I was once confused as to what part he plays but when I understand more about J-Star’s operations, I begin to see the pieces falling into place. Johnny–extremely good at basketball hence his involvement in the basketball team thus long–may not be good in acting or singing or dancing, but he is a good leader. He’s the glue keeping everyone intact and in line for various reasons. There has to be someone sane enough to maintain them all, right? (Every one of the band members–even the not easily controlled Jacky–admits that Johnny’s a great leader and really respects him.) I blame the management people for not giving him more power as to how to handle the group’s goals thus making the band sink slowly into the pit of invisibility. (Jacky should only be partially blamed for it since 183 Club’s activity’s level as a band has already deteriorated to the point of excruciatingly painful to fans that Jacky’s expulsion could only be used as a scapegoat for the management’s inability to deal with the band’s activities and exposure as a group.)

Although many say he cannot act or sing, I think that it’s an exaggeration. I did not watch his earlier dramas but IF he did so poorly at first, I think somehow he did improve. It is not the best but it shows that he works hard and keeps it up with his efforts. His voice is unique–although not as strong as some others. He cannot dance–it’s a fact–and he’s often made fun of by the other members. Maybe it’s because he’s not as comfortable doing it as the others. However, he’s still capable of learning the steps gradually and tries his hardest.

Matthew Lin Ming Dao (明道) – Ming Dao–is NOT perfect–like most of his fans want to think. He does have a knack for acting and his passionate portrayal of different characters makes it admirable but he soon became type-casted into those rich guy roles. I like it better when he does not have those ‘perfect’ roles hence my favorite character that he portrayed is actually Yang Tian You from Angel Lover. Yang Tian You is just more of a guy next door image (differing from his other roles of the rich, arrogant guys). Tian You does have this smart mouth and somewhat silly behavior that reminds me of his character Tao Si from Legend of Star Apple but his background story and how his character became who he is, makes me like it more. Another reason why I like Yang Tian You more than the others is that he’s not invincible like it is often portrayed in the other ones (or what the script led us to believe) because he would often need guidance and help from his fellow colleagues within the Angel Lover Agency. He is simple-minded and is hard-working, hoping to accomplish something to fulfill his dream of earning enough money to provide for his family. (It sounds similar to some other typical character in another drama but with Ming Dao, I rather see this side of him more.) What gets more annoying with his rich guy role is that fans get overboard with it and tends to step on other characters (and possibly actors) to praise Ming Dao. Just because he is cast in that role, it does not mean he is perfect. Aside from being typecast, I think what I like about Ming Dao and his acting style is his ability to use his eyes and voice to act more than exaggerate his facial expressions. (Those exaggerations get on my nerves more if it is not done appropriately.) Ming Dao is known to talk very fast in dramas, especially in Angel Lover. His voice is his gift since it helps convey his emotions and his personalities of the characters he portrayed. (However, I could not say the same for his singing since I do not like his voice when he sings that much. I actually like Johnny’s voice more although Johnny’s kind of weak in the sense of the ability to control it.)

Talking about singing, sometimes, it’s funny how people could be mistaking Ming Dao’s voice for Jacky or vice versa. But I guess it happens because if you’re not really familiar with them, you could mistake it since they do sound similar when singing. However, Jacky has this huskiness to his voice that it’s undeniable. Also, Jacky’s voice is more powerful and could carry the high notes better while Ming Dao does better in mushy songs or those really soft ones. (“Affective Line” is different since that requires a lot of effort, changing from highs and lows, etc.) Dancing? Um…let’s just say he’s not the best at it since he does not pay attention enough. He could do it with proper training and time put in but if he’s given the moves on the dot, he would fail miserably. (This is the truth if you watch that one show with the guys passing on the dance moves to each other. This is also the reason why Jacky, Ehlo, and Sam are in front of most of their songs that required dancing.) Perhaps if Ming Dao would use those times he puts in to ‘look good’ to continue with his improvements on all levels, he could break out of the typical idol image since he still has a long way to go.

Sam Wang Shao Wei (王少偉) – Sam is one of those you can call an “all-round artist” because he could do a lot of things at the same time and because he’s so hardworking and passionate about his work. (It does not mean that the others aren’t but his personality reflects on his face and actions more than the others do.) But the fact that he could do all does not mean he is good at it. It’s just a matter of knowing how versus being good at it. At first, it seems like Sam’s really good at acting and is capable of showing his emotions really well, but if you watch carefully, you’ll see that he always uses the same techniques to show his emotions. You begin to realize that he is not that good as it seems. It’s just the roles that he is given. (I have watched the majority of his dramas.) I must admit I fall into his trap as well with his really good roles like in Westside Story or The Magicians of Love (just to give some examples). Sam has this habit of wrinkling his face and his morbid or sad look that tugs at your heart, giving him more sympathy for what his character has gone through. However, it is always the same type of expression. I could only give him credit for The Magicians of Love since he works a lot with trying to show his emotions through his eyes more than the facial expressions.

As for singing, um…let’s not even go there. Although I said I will be cruel with the criticism, I could not imagine the after-effects of fan bashing. (It gets super scary.) I already pointed out the typical formula of his acting. I wouldn’t want to get bashed for his singing skills either. (However, it boggles my mind that he’s in two bands but his vocal abilities haven’t improved that much. Or is it because he’s busy doing other things that he could not focus 100% on training with his singing?) His hosting is decent, depending on people’s taste of jokes, of course. To save the best for last, I must say that I really like his dancing style. It really shows because he has a knack for it. He could learn the moves and remembers it well. (In the same show mentioned above about how they had to learn the moves from the instructor and then teach it to the rest of the group, he did quite well until someone messed it up for him.) He’s very creative in terms of dancing since if you watch the BTS for the MVs, you could see how he tries to get in as many moves as he could with different varieties. Maybe it is his wanting to do everything that diverts his attention or prevents him from focusing on mastering all his skills.

What’s up next? I think that should be enough for now since I want to save other topics for future updates. The next subject? Not sure, I’ll think of something. But it could possibly be bonds and/or collaborations.

*All images were scanned by DTLCT

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