Chuang 2021 – Episode 1 Impressions & Favourite Trainees

Chuang 2021, also known as Produce Camp 2021, is a Chinese trainee survival competition. This year is different because they are aiming to form an international group. That being said, a handful of the trainees are from overseas. This year, they will form an 11-member boy group. Episode 1 is nearly five hours with two parts.

You can watch it on the official WeTV website, app, and official YouTube channels. You can vote daily on the WeTV app.

Chuang 2021 - new posters - Asian Entertainment - allkpop forums

A bit of information about me: I’ve watched Chuang 2019 and Chuang 2020.

There has never been so many international trainees. I thought it was cool that everyone had an ear piece and listened to interpretations in real-time. I wonder if this was just for the first episode, or if it will continue like that for the rest of the show. I don’t think it is realistic to have the live interpretations for the entirety of the show (i.e. during practices) so it will be interesting to see how the trainees interact with one another.

I also thought the cultural exchanges were interesting. Chinese trainee shows are generally quite positive and wholesome, despite it being a survival show. I can’t wait to see the friendships that blossom. Episode 1 already showed us some beautiful moments (*ahem* Santa and Liu Yu hahaha).

Mentors are also very important in a show. Personally, I really like Zhou Shen, Nene, and Zhou Zhennan.

On a side note: I’m also watching Youth With You Season 3 on the IQ website. I might write a reaction post.


Okay, here are my favourite Chuang 2021 trainees thus far (not in order):

Santa – From Japan; 3x House Dance World Champion. He got 100% of the votes from the mentors and trainees in the first episode. There is no doubt at all about his dancing skills. I want to hear more of his singing or rap, especially in Chinese. I love his attitude.

Liu Yu – He looks beautiful in hanfu, but most of all, I love how much he respects the hanfu. He said that when he is wearing it, he has to be composed and not act super excited.

Mika – From Hawaii; half Japanese and half American. He is a member of Intersection, which sang songs for the anime, Fruits Basket and Black Clover. I definitely see Mika in the final lineup. He acts very respectful and his voice is so beautiful.

Lin Mo – I love his voice. Although Lin Mo was the most popular trainee prior to the show, he still needs to work hard because the trainees are so talented this year.

Zhou Keyu – He speaks English very well, which is an asset. I think he’s an all-rounder. One of my favourites. I think he will make it to the final lineup.

Kazuma – Half Japanese and half American; also a member of Intersection. He sings Chinese songs very well. It’s very clear.

Liu Zhang – I love his rap. I think his apology was sincere and he obviously supports his fellow peers so I definitely think he has changed.

NINE – From Thailand. So adorable! NINE is one of my favourites for sure. I cannot believe that he and Patrick learned Chinese in three months. As a Chinese speaker, I can understand both of them. They must be very intelligent because they learned a hard language, sing, and dance so quickly. I’ve actually watched 2 Moons, but not season 2. I will watch it now for NINE. Hahaha.

Oscar – One of my favourites. He can also speak English. I think he will make it to the final lineup and become one of the main rappers.

I also like Rikimaru, Wu Yuheng, Patrick, AMU, Yu Yang, Zeng Hanjiang, and Bo Yuan. I think Zeng Hanjiang is more suitable to be a solo artist, though… but we shall see.

Many of the Japanese, American, and European trainees haven’t performed yet. My list will probably change as the show progresses. I don’t have a bias yet, but my top three right now are Oscar, NINE, and Zhou Keyu.

A song I like – 楊宇騰YU《水藍色情人Blue Lover》

I started a new Taiwanese drama called No. 1 For You today and I’m almost done watching it. It happens to all the shows I love – Once I start something good, I will finish it as fast as I can. I think I’ll make a list of the shows I’ve binged and post it on the blog. The drama is a BL, by the way. Both main leads are very attractive.

Anyway, I loved one of the songs in the drama. Then I found out that the actor that plays the main character (Shu Yi) sang the song. I also found out that he is half-Japanese and is fluent in it. In the drama, Shu Yi sometimes talks in Japanese, so this makes more sense.

The song made me cry. It’s the perfect song for this drama.

I’ve already reached both my follower and blog hit goals, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with this blog. I just really like the song, so I wanted to blog about it. I think that’s the direction I will take… to share the things I like and a bit about my life. 🙂 Thank you.

My Favourite Opening and Ending Songs of 2020

Obviously, I haven’t listened to every OP and ED of 2020. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

My Favourite Openings

忘言歌 Song of Words Unsaid by 赵磊 Zhao Lei (Chuan Shu Zijiu Zhinan / The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System)

This is a Chinese song. I’m a huge fan of the series (novel and donghua). I also really like the singer.

No Separation by Jeff Chang (Heaven Official’s Blessing)

This is the series I am currently obsessed with! It’s a Chinese series by the same creator of Scumbag System (above) and Mo Dao Zu Shi. I think this opening has the best art.

Chiisana Hibi by flumpool (Kakushigoto)

I am a huge fan of flumpool.

Great Pretender OP by Yutaka Yamada (Great Pretender)

I’ve blogged about one of my favourite composers, Yutaka Yamada. He also composed the music for Tokyo Ghoul, which speaks to how versatile his music is. Great Pretender is amazing anime.

Dying Wish by 畠中 祐 (Moriarty the Patriot)

This song grew on me. I didn’t have a strong opinion of it at first but now I love it. Moriarty the Patriot was an amazing anime.

My Favourite Endings

籠の中に鳥 Kago no Naka ni Tori by ユアネス yourness (Sing “Yesterday” for Me)

In a recent post, I shared that this is one of my favourite songs.

SLUMP by Stray Kids (Tower of God)

I prefer the Korean version, maybe because they are a Korean group. I think it’s great that the show used songs from a Kpop group. After all, it is an adaptation of a Korean webtoon.

Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO by ALI (Jujutsu Kaisen)

This song is amazing. It is catchy and chill. I really like the animation here too. I’m really enjoying Jujutsu Kaisen right now. It’s kind of like a mix of Demon Slayer and Parasyte.

Other Side by MIYAVI (ID:Invaded)

ID:Invaded was a good anime. The concept is similar to the game, AI: The Somnium Files.


Do you like any of these songs? What are your favourite openings and endings of 2020?

My Favourite Songs (2020)

I’ve decided to blog about my favourite songs every few years or so, starting with this year. ~Potentially every year if there is a big difference.~ Then, in a few years, I can see how much I’ve changed! That’s one of the reasons for this blog’s existence, after all.

Japanese Songs

Kago no Naka ni Tori 籠の中に鳥 by yourness (Sing “Yesterday” for Me OST)

I didn’t finish the anime because I didn’t like the direction it took despite it having a strong first episode (Click for my first impressions post here). The song makes me feel relaxed and comfortable~

Zanzou by flumpool (Bloody Monday Season 2 OST)

I first listened to this song in 2010 when Bloody Monday Season 2 came out! I’ve blogged about my favourite flumpool songs. You can read it here.

Chinese Songs

如果雨之後 The Chaos After You by Eric Chou 周興哲

I’ve actually never watched the music video. I just listen to a bunch of Eric Chou’s Chinese songs on Spotify hahaha. He was my top artist of 2020 (Click here for my Spotify Wrapped 2020 post).

Animal World 動物世界 by Joker Xue 薛之謙

I’ve interpreted the song’s lyrics in an older post. It’s touches upon Darwinism and selfishness. You can read it here.

Wu Ji 无羁 by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo (The Untamed OST)

I’ve written about my thoughts on this song in my collaboration post with Elle (Click here to read it). The two main actors in the drama sing this song together. This is their song.

Just Cared Too Much 只是太在意 by Ning Huan Yu (Guardian OST)

Out of the songs on this list, this is my favourite right now.

Time of Flight 時間飛行 by Bai Yu 白宇 and Zhu Yilong 朱一龍 (Guardian OST)

Guardian has its flaws but the casting of the two main leads was perfect. This drama introduced me to Bai Yu and Zhu Yilong. This is their song.

Until next time!

My Spotify Wrapped 2020

Click HERE to see My Spotify Wrapped 2019 post.

Another year, another music update. I’ll say this again: Spotify does not have all of the music I like.

The last one is Bai Yu. Spotify only has a few of his songs. Joker Xue, Jay Chou, and JJ Lin are still on the list but their rankings have changed.

Three of the five are from The Untamed soundtrack, hahaha. The fourth singer is Zhou Shen. All of these songs are in Chinese.

It says I’ve listened to Spotify for 33k minutes this year, which is close to my 2018 and 2019 numbers. If we add other music, I’m guessing the true number is around 40-45k minutes.

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The Appeal of Chinese Singing Competitions & Survival Shows

A bit of information about me: In 2018, I was invested in Singer 2018, which is a singing competition for professional and well-established singers. It took place in China.

Earlier this year, I was super invested in Chuang 2020, a girls trainee survival show that took place in China. The 7-member group, BonBon Girls 303, was formed. I voted every day when it aired.

I’ve also watched a boys trainee survival show called Chuang 2019. The 11-member band, R1SE, was formed. I’m currently watching Super Vocal Season One, which is a singing competition for opera and musical singers.

Each episode is around two hours and the finales are around four hours. Two hours for one episode is not enough, by the way. There’s so much content that gets left out. You can probably tell that I like these types of shows.

Why, though? Note: A lot of these reasons are applicable to non-Chinese singing competitions.

1) TO WATCH THE CONTESTANTS WE LOVE

A lot of the contestants already have established fanbases. I watched Singer 2018 for Hua Chenyu and I watched Chuang 2020 for Chen Zhuoxuan, Nene, and Joyce Chu. I’m watching Super Vocal for Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga.

2) TO DISCOVER TALENTED ARTISTS

I became a fan of Zhao Lei, Zhou Zhennan, and Liu Ye after I watched Chuang 2019.

3) FOR THE FRIENDSHIPS

Although these are competitions, there are moments of beautiful friendship between the contestants. In Chuang 2020, Nene cried because she was afraid that Wu Yalu was going to be eliminated. Nene had a secure ranking but the one she was worried about was her best friend. Liu Xiening and Xu Yiyang’s friendship was touching, too.

In Super Vocal, Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga’s friendship started from when they were roommates during their university years.

4) TO FEEL INSPIRED

The contestants are hard-working and determined to achieve their goals. I know I felt inspired when I watched this scene in Super Vocal:

The contestants have to face a lot of challenges during the show, too. Although it’s challenging for them and entertaining for us, it pushes them to learn and grow as artists.

5) FOR THE MUSIC

All the contestants are talented! Since these are singing shows, there’s obviously beautiful singing involved! Sometimes there’s rap, dance, and musical instruments too, depending on the show. Not only do they sing, they sometimes rearrange the music (Singer 2018, Super Vocal), write the music, and create the choreography (Chuang 2019). The art of performing in front of an audience is important as well as selecting the right song.

It’s entertaining!

6) TO APPRECIATE NEW MUSIC GENRES AND SONGS

Prior to watching Singer 2018, I didn’t really appreciate Chinese folk music. I changed my mind after I learned more about it and saw the hard work behind the scenes.

7) TO LEARN NEW THINGS

I’ve liked songs from musicals and opera for many years, but I didn’t know the meaning behind some of the songs. In Super Vocal, they explain the story behind the song.

8) YOU GET TO PARTICIPATE

This one is for survival competitions that involve voting. It’s exciting to support your favourites. There’s a reason to vote for them: So that they can debut (This depends on the show).

When Chuang 2020 aired, I had something to look forward every week.


Do you see why I like Chinese singing competitions now?

My Favourite Songs & Performances by R1SE

R1SE is an 11-member boy band that was formed at the end of the Chinese trainee survival show, Chuang 2019. The 11 members secured the most votes and thus, R1SE was created. They are popular in China but they aren’t as well-known internationally. I suspect this has to do with the lack of translated content. The Chuang episodes on YouTube don’t even have English subtitles. They deserve more recognition!

Since R1SE is a temporary group, they have less than a year left. I still think this is worth writing about because they have some amazing performances.

You’ve probably listened to their songs if you have watched Mo Dao Zu Shi, The King’s Avatar live-action, or Scumbag System.

R1SE Photos (3 of 5) | Last.fm

1. R1SE – 少年如故《魔道祖师 Mo Dao Zu Shi》

This is the third ending of Mo Dao Zu Shi. Five of the members sing it. They are Zhao Lei, Ren Hao, Liu Ye, He Luoluo, and Zhai Xiaowen.

2. R1SE – 荣耀的战场 《全职高手 The King’s Avatar》

Most of their videos on YouTube are in Chinese.

3. R1SE 赵磊 Zhao Lei – 忘言歌 Song of Words Unsaid《Scumbag System》 

Zhao Lei is one of my favourite members. Scumbag System is actually airing right now. You can watch the episodes legally on YouTube. They have English subtitles! The CGI rubbed me the wrong way at first but I quickly got used to it. The story is by the creator of Mo Dao Zu Shi. I recommend it.

4. R1SE – 曜

This is their live performance of . They’re amazing in this one! The chorus is catchy.

5. R1SE – 中国话

The original song is sung by the Taiwanese girl group, S.H.E. In this live performance, they added Chinese opera and rap. It’s cool that they combined these different genres. This is one of my favourite performances of theirs. At the end of the performance, they pulled out nunchucks like?? Wah.

I love Zhao Lei’s opera in the beginning and Zhang Yanqi’s rap @2:57.

6. R1SE – YOU

This is the practice video version of YOU. This song is more focused on vocals. I love Liu Ye’s vocals the most in this one. He’s also my favourite member.

7. R1SE 翟潇闻、赵磊 – Forever Young

This is Zhai Xiaowen and Zhao Lei’s live performance of Forever Young. The original song is sung by another singer but I actually prefer their cover. They are the main vocals of the group.

8. 创造营2019(宝藏男友、蜕变、滨河东路、EMP、Fireman、敢、青春纪念册、创造101)- 蜕变

This is a performance from Chuang 2019. Only two members of R1SE are in this one (Zhou Zhennan and Zhao Lei). This is my favourite performance from the show. Zhou Zhennan, the one who secured first place in all the episodes, is amazing in this one. Not only is his rap great, but his vocals are perfect @2:50. This song isn’t really his style either, which makes it even more impressive.

9. R1SE+SNH48 – Y’all Don’t Touch It

I like this performance but I think R1SE does a better job than the girls… I think Ren Hao, Liu Ye, and Zhou Zhennan’s visuals pop out in this one. Ren Hao is the one in the beginning and Liu Ye appears at @1:40.

Runner-up songs and performances: 梦在黎明破晓时 and Blue Bird (Yes, the Naruto opening).


I hope that you’ll check out R1SE’s songs. It’s a shame that they aren’t promoted to international audiences. That’s why us fans are pulling our weight in hopes that someone out there will be interested!

My Top 5 Songs by Yutaka Yamada

I was surprised to read about Yutaka Yamada’s works because I realized I liked his music from different anime but didn’t know it. Suddenly, it all made sense.

1. Glassy Sky (Tokyo Ghoul)

Tokyo Ghoul gets a lot of hate for being a bad anime adaptation. I like Tokyo Ghoul a lot but I’ve realized it’s because of the soundtrack.

Glassy Sky helps me fall asleep. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve listened to it.

2. Promise (Death Note: Light Up the New World)

This is from the live-action film, Death Note: Light Up the New World. I watched the film in June 2017. This song inspired me to draw this:

3. On My Own (Tokyo Ghoul)

I rarely listen to English songs too.

4. Licht und Schatten (Tokyo Ghoul)

5. Great Pretender Opening

This song is a very different from what you would hear in Tokyo Ghoul. I was surprised to learn that it was composed by Yutaka Yamada. He’s insanely talented.

Great Pretender is an amazing anime, by the way. You can read my impressions post here.


I was also surprised to learn that he did the soundtracks for Babylon, Vinland Saga, and the Inuyashiki live-action. I’ve been listening to his music on Spotify. Maybe I’ll have an updated list in the future. 🙂

Chuang 2020: My Thoughts on the Final Ranking

I’m very happy that Curley Gao won C position! She deserves it!

I’m also happy that Chen Zhuo Xuan and Nene made it in the final group. While they didn’t make the top 3, I’m glad that they still made it. I didn’t have any worries about Curley, Zhuo Xuan, or Nene not making the group because their rankings have always been within the top 7.

Still, I think that Zhuo Xuan and Nene deserve to be in the top 3. Zhuo Xuan’s performances in the final were amazing. She showed us a different side of her that we have never seen before. If she didn’t face so many setbacks and was able to show her full potential during the show, I believe she would have placed higher.

CHUANG 2020" Debuts 7 Member Girl Group, "BonBon Girls 303" | 三八姐姐

Ranks 1-6 were stable, but I was worried about rank 7. One moment it was Xu Yiyang and then the next moment it was Zhang Yifan. In the end, Yifan was rank 7 and Yiyang did not get to debut. There’s a lot of outrage on platforms everywhere: Weibo, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

I hear the difference between the votes was very small, so Yiyang had a chance. I personally voted for Yiyang. In terms of vocal and dance ability, I think that Yiyang is better.

There were also a couple of things that were off-putting about Yifan prior to the final. 1) Yifan saying that the group will carry her to victory and 2) Yifan saying that she cannot do it (yell a song lyric) and Yiyang encouraging her to do it. From these scenes, it looked like the group was babysitting Yifan when everyone had a lot on their plates already.

However, I also feel sad for Yifan for all the hate she is getting. A lot of netizens are saying that Yifan made it in the group because of her rich mom and because her company is huge. I don’t know if this is true or not. Even if she did win because of money, it’s not fair to direct the hate at her. Yifan still worked hard. It was others who voted for her.

I am sure that Yiyang will be successful, even though she didn’t make it in the group. I’m also sad that Liu Xiening is separated from Yiyang.

While Nene didn’t get to stay with Wu Yalu and her other close friends, she has the opportunity to become closer with Curley and the other girls.

My Favourite flumpool Songs

flumpool is a Japanese band. I’ve liked them since 2009! They did the theme songs for the 2008 Jdrama, Bloody Monday. In 2010, they did the theme song for Bloody Monday Season 2. flumpool’s new songs are still amazing. I love them soo much! I especially love Ryuta Yamamura. He’s the vocalist.

Another thing I like about flumpool is that they have songs in Chinese. I don’t know any other Japanese band or singer that have songs in Chinese. Ryuta recently posted a lot of videos of him speaking in Chinese and practising Chinese. He even asked fans to help him learn. T_T

Over the rain (2008)

This is the theme song for Bloody Monday.

残像 / Zanzou (2010)

This is the theme song for Bloody Monday Season 2.

花になれ / Hana ni Nare (2008)

I love the violin in the beginning! I can’t believe this song is from 2008.

証明 / Akashi (2011)

Ashin from the Taiwanese band, Mayday, wrote this song. This is one of flumpool’s Chinese songs. There is also a Japanese version. It’s so beautiful. T_T

HELP (Chinese ver.) (2020)

This came out just a few weeks ago! The Japanese version was released in 2019. I love it.

君に届け / Kimi ni Todoke (2010)

This was the theme song for the Japanese film, Kimi ni Todoke. It’s based on a shojo manga. I think this is one of their more popular songs.

素晴らしき嘘 / Subarashiki Uso (2020)

This is a new song from 2020. I love it.

明日への賛歌 / asu heno sanka

I think this is from 2014. I love the music video so much.

OAOA (2013)

flumpool sang a Japanese cover of Mayday’s 2011 song, OAOA.


These are my favourite flumpool songs. Please give them a listen, their songs are so good.