Tao Tsuchiya Tao Tsuchiya

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Tao Tsuchiya spills deets about Alice in Borderland S2

Coming This December

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It’s been almost two years since the first season premiere of popular Netflix series Alice in Borderland. Based on a manga of the same name, the story revolves around two people who found themselves in a dystopian version of Tokyo, and with a twist — they play real-life “games” in order to survive.

Season 1 ended with a very intriguing cliffhanger, and fans are left with more puzzle pieces to solve. 

Good news: the waiting game won’t be much longer because season 2 is finally coming this month! As special treat to fans, we got the chance to interview Tao Tsuchiya who plays Usagi in the series.

I personally love her badass, athletic physique in this live action adaptation. But compared to her character, she is actually kawaii in real life. It was a short but fun chat with her.

Without major spoilers, here’s what Tsuchiya revealed for the next season:

A more emotional and (possibly) romantic Usagi

In season 1, Usagi was introduced as an athletic, competent girl with a sad past. She competed in the games independently until she meets Arisu, played by actor Kento Yamazaki, who eventually becomes her ally.

During our interview, Tao Tsuchiya briefly mentioned about her character development, even experiencing the feeling of first love.

“Usagi, basically, has this feeling of disappointment towards society [in season 1], so she’s pretty much aloof. But in season 2 and by meeting Arisu, she cares about other people and then she has this feeling of first love. Usagi was in solitude, or she was alone, [but now], her scars starts to open up and she shows her vulnerability and anxiety and her doubts.”

Is the Arisu x Usagi ship finally sailing this time?

Big visual upgrade

Season 1 was a visual treat for the viewers. The overall effects were well thought of and brilliantly presented. As someone who’s been to Tokyo, I found it fascinating how they made the big city really look and feel like a true-to-life gaming arena.

Tsuchiya promises Season 2 will be more enjoyable because “the scales, technology and CGI are bigger. We created a world that we can’t imagine before, so the whole thing is a whole upgrade.”  Sounds exciting!

New games will be a balance between mind and physical

When asked about the nature of games in the upcoming season, Tsuchiya teases that half of the games will be about the mind, and half will be physical. According to her, there will be different portrayals in the mind games. The cast and crew enjoyed the back-and-forth participation to both kinds of games. 

She also teased about a game that will make her character understand the value of life. We wonder what it is about.

They try to be faithful to the manga version

Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki

Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki

For new fans, Alice in Borderland is based on a shōnen manga series written by Haro Aso, and the first season covered around the first 31 chapters. 

According to Tsuchiya, they try to be as faithful as possible to the manga. However, some elements have to be tweaked for better live action experience, most especially the facial expressions. 

With the manga having 64 chapters in total, season 2 is expected to cover the remaining 33.

They filmed season 2 will a calmer perspective

Alice and Borderland Season 1 was filmed during the onset of the pandemic, and Tsuchiya described it as quite stressful because of the uncertainties.

While season 2 is also filmed during the pandemic, protocols are eased up and the cast are more chill when filming this new season.

She also shared a few filming moments that had us smiling during the interview:

“There was a time where we were on the tallest building in Shibuya at five o’clock in the morning and the crew were obviously very sleepy at that time. But we actors were dressed in rags and were basically in a situation, or we looked like we were about to die any minute. But then at that moment, for whatever reason we burst out laughing and I’m sure the crew members didn’t understand why we were laughing that hard. There was a moment because you know it’s such a tough world that we are trying to portray. Maybe because of that, we just kind of thought it was inexplicable but that was the moment that we remember.”

Well, how fun was that!

Alice in Borderland Season 2 will be out on Netflix this December 22.

Entertainment

Disney+: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever streams February 1

Relive the MCU Phase 4 ender

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Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studio’s MCU Phase 4-ending film, will be available to stream on Disney+ starting on February 1.

Receiving generally good ratings, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captivated fans with the introduction of underwater kingdom Talokan in the Atlantic Ocean and its ruler, Namor.

The movie opened with the death of King T’Challa. It then focused on the events in Wakanda after, including how Shuri assumed the mantle of Black Panther.

The MCU’s 30th installment which sets up Phase 5 also highlighted the dynamic between the Wakandans and Talokanil. Both people were simply after protecting their respective nations from dangers as the film’s plot progressed.

A key art and a new TV spot are now available to download and share as well.

Coinciding with the movie’s availability on the streaming platform is the release of the Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast.

Episodes may be accessed via ProximityMedia.com starting on January 18.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop

It’s pretty… expensive

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Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

NewJeans is continuously making waves both in and out of South Korea. From their ultra-catchy songs, dance moves that are trending in TikTok and Instagram Reels, to reaching top charts in UK and US’ Billboard, there’s no surprise that homegrown tech brand LG Electronics partnered with these power rookies.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

LG just released the gram Style NewJeans Limited Edition! While this is an unfortunate news for Hanni (who is actually an iPhone), it’s actually a big step towards knowing NewJeans past the K-Pop hype (and by that you should stream Hype Boy).

Mini and Big Bunnies

This special edition LG Gram Style is available in two styles: Mini Bunny and Big Bunny.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s actually no stark difference between the two except for — you guessed it — the size of bunny decals on its lid. Either of the two, you will never get wrong choosing the bunny for your personal taste.

Other than that, the highlight of this laptop comes from its weight. From the brand itself, it’s just 999 grams — actually 23 grams lighter than the 2022 model. It also has the US military-graded MIL-STD 810H standard that passed seven (7) durability tests.

Powerful punch

The LG gram Style NewJeans isn’t slouching in performance. Just like a hopping bunny, it’s quite a powerful device for its size and heft.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Hardware specifications of these two Bunnies aren’t too far off — at least after making a side-by-side comparison of their spec sheets. Both styles come with an Intel Core i5-1340P under EVO Platform for lightweight ultrabooks plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It’s then paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of NVMe 4.0 SSD with an extra PCIe 4.0 slot for expandability.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Just like NewJeans‘ visuals, you can’t also go wrong with the visuals of this device. It has a 14″ low-reflective OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800), a 16:10 aspect ratio for wider screen real estate, and an improved 400nits brightness over last year’s 350.

Moreover, it supports 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for color-accurate goodness as well as VESA Certified DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 for deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Its 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support make it a full-on entertainment device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

One more highlight is its “Hidden Touchpad”. Instead of the usual rectangular trackpads, it’s highlighted by two halo lighting on its two sides dubbed as “Aurora White” paired with haptic feedback for that nice feeling when clicking.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

For ports, it has two (2) USB-C plus one (1) USB-A ports, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, earphones, amplifiers, and other audio peripherals.

Goodies for Bunnies

If you have actually reached this part, you’d know that you are not here for its powerful hardware, rather for the NewJeans styled-laptop. Aside from having that special laptop, there are more goodies that come with this device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Being one of the few Bunnies out there since NewJeans’ Attention, I was actually more excited when I saw the list. There’s a notebook pouch, cable strap, posters, sticker and stationery set.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s even a free NewJeans-style mouse with this cute vinyl-like mousepad. These are truly treats for Bunnies! The laptops even come with preloaded wallpapers and four icons in it.

Pricing and Availability

While the LG gram Style is light, the pricing isn’t. It’s a pretty laptop with a pretty expensive price. It retails for around KR₩ 2,700,000 — which is about US$ 2190 / SG$ 2675 / ₱119,513.

There’s no word on global availability but LG will hold a live event in Korea with NewJeans on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday) around 8PM KST (Korean Standard Time).

If you will participate during the live, a comment could help a participant win a specially-signed autograph from NewJeans or three winners of the Limited Edition Goods.

If you plan on buying the NewJeans’ limited edition laptop, there are more benefits other than having the Limited Edition Goods set such as 12 winners of NewJeans autographs.

But if you’re just opting to buy the regular LG gram Style without the NewJeans skin, it will still give you other perks such as a free LG gram mouse, Wiggle Wiggle goods package consisting of a notebook pouch, mousepad, and a cable strap, as well as a free 512GB microSD card.

More advanced purchase benefits are Intel software package, 2023 gram gift pack, and 5,000g Jammy points coupon.

Other common benefits include MelOn one-month free subscription, 10,000 membership points after writing a photo review after purchase, and 20 winners of two Helinox chairs and table set.

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Prime Video’s Drag Den Grand Finale all set

With Manila Luzon

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Prime Video’s Drag Den is upping the ante with a breathtaking finale concert  and a fabulous grand coronation night on January 26 at the SM Aura Samsung Hall.
No less than “Drag Lord” Manila Luzon is set to host the event that will see the top three contestants — NAIA, Shewarma, Maria Cristina– compete for the title of “Drag Supreme”. Cheering on the side are  other members of the “Drag Cartel” — OA, Aries Night, Barbie-Q, Pura Luka Vega, Lady Gagita with  “Drag Dealer” Nicole Cordoves, and “Drag Runner” Sassa Gurl.
Series creator and director Rod Singh could not express her gratitude enough for fans of Drag Den with Manila Luzon.
“For an inaugural season of a new show with a unique format, their level of support was way beyond our expectations. Aside from watching the show on Prime Video, these fans also watch our  viewing parties. They send tips and gifts to our queens,” said Rod Singh.

Manila Luzon x Drag Den

Singh also attributes the success of Drag Den with Manila Luzon to its presenter, Manila Luzon, who also served as executive producer. “Having Manila as our ‘Drag Lord’ is a blessing. She came when I almost gave up my dream of creating the show. She is very collaborative and I am very grateful that she also trusted me. It’s a relief to have a host like her because aside from her dedication to sharing her platform with Filipino Drag Queens, she is also very passionate about promoting our show,” Singh added, while noting that there have been viewing parties in New York and West Hollywood because of Manila Luzon and fans from around the world are very excited they can stream the show on Prime Video.
Produced by CS Studios, Singh and Antoinette Jadaone of Project 8 Projects, the exciting finale of Drag Den with Manila Luzon drops on January 26, 7 pm PHT, only on Prime Video.
For more updates on Drag Den with Manila Luzon, follow Prime Video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Youtube. Stream anywhere, anytime at primevideo.com or download the Prime Video app on Google Play, Apple Store, and Microsoft.
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