Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Mr. Perfect

There are just so many things I need to review. I've read several amazing books these past couple of months, and am watching a fantastic Taiwanese drama serial now. I know, I know. You're probably about to zone out now, assuming this is going to be some fangirl's rave. But the more I think about Absolute Darling's storyline, the more I'm moved by it.

Absolute Darling (or Absolute Boyfriend) is adapted from the Japanese manga Zettai Kareshi, and it's about this unlucky-in-love girl who orders a boyfriend tailor-made for herself to alleviate the loneliness. The boyfriend is a robot, a merchandise, that encompasses every trait and quality and feature the girl wants in a boyfriend. Hence the title. Night, the robot boyfriend, exists to love the girl (I'll just call her Fay from now on). But he gradually gains cognition, and is able to love and feel and think for himself. But as he gains cognition, his body physically breaks down. So Fay and Night's romance is doomed to fail. The ending, I've heard, is heartbreaking, and to be honest I'm looking forward to Jiro's performance. While before watching any of his works I reckoned him to be just a pretty face, after watching Superstar Express I was blown away by his acting.

Jiro in Superstar Express:

But I digress.

As I was saying, the more I think about the storyline for Absolute Darling, the more my heart breaks for Night. Robots are programmed to serve humans - in Night's case, just one human in particular - and humans do whatever they want with robots because they think robots don't feel anything. Absolute Darling questions what happens when a robot develops cognition and is able to think and feel, but is compelled to do what it is programmed to do anyway.

This scene is of Night resting in his room when Fay is sleeping.

Fay wakes up in the middle of the night and looks for Night because she doesn't want to sleep alone. It made me think, what would a robot do when the person he is meant to serve is sleeping? Does he rest? Stay up thinking about Fay? What does he feel? Is he ever lonely? Does he ever question his existence?

Maybe it's just the sight of Jiro, in all his heartbreaking perfection, sitting in the dark alone that makes me obsess this way.

And my obsession took me to Novena Square 2 last Sunday, where the Absolute Darling meet-and-greet took place. Jiro Wang, in the flesh! I could just die on the spot. This was my second time seeing him in the flesh, the first was when Fahrenheit came in December 2010 to promote their fourth album. He is every bit as divine as I remembered, and he knows how to work the crowd. Everyone went nuts for him, and he was so friendly to all the fans screaming his name. The group of girls next to me kept calling for his attention, and instead of getting annoyed or ignoring them (as some celebrities would), he always turned and smiled and waved at them. Well, us. I'm pretty sure he looked at me on one occasion. I even blew kisses. (Yes, I'm cringing at that memory.) It's unbecoming of me, and almost insanely embarrassing, but I can't help it. He's just so ... divine. Being there that day made me remember why I loved him in the first place. When he mentioned being at Square 2 the previous time with his Fahrenheit buddies, everyone screamed in nostalgia.

The event was slated to start at 3.30pm, but there were fans who'd been queuing (the first 120 in the queue get an autographed Absolute Darling poster and pictorial book) since the night before. I reached there at 1.30pm and the first level was already packed, so I headed to the Portuguese restaurant on the second floor to wait. Around me were other fangirls with their cameras and LED signboards and handmade placards ready. Conversations buzzed around Jiro Wang, Fahrenheit and other pop idols like Show Luo. I tried to focus on my Psycholinguistics notes but couldn't fight back a grin when the girls sighed over Jiro's photos. Next to me, a girl from Serangoon Junior College was trying equally hard to focus on her Physics homework while occasionally bobbing her head to the music playing downstairs (Fahrenheit's new song, Mr. Perfect, and Jiro's new single, Pretend We Never Loved).

I did feel kind of frivolous, joining these teenage girls as they cooed and gushed over a boy. And I have wondered what it is about pop idols that make us girls throw our rationality out the window. In fact, I wrote a play centred around a character who's obsessed about a pop idol before, if you remember. It's called Two Steps Behind You, where 21-year-old Becky is irrationally obsessed with self-absorbed pop idol Prince.

I'm not going to ponder about the psychological reasoning behind rabid celebrity obsession. I'm sure there are a lot of articulate and opinionated people out there who can come up with their theories on this matter, but this blog is not for that. On this blog, there's only this:

Isn't it just so catchy? I couldn't stop humming it for two whole days! Can't wait for Fahrenheit's fifth album!

And, finally:

If you pay attention to the lyrics of the latter, you'll find how heart-wrenching the song actually is. Paired with Jiro's voice, it's almost guaranteed to make you cry.

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