Sunday, October 13, 2013

L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2 Review

As a fan of both Kim Myungsoo and photography, I couldn't wait for the sequel to L's Bravo Viewtiful! The official teaser revealed such an adorable and touching side of Myungsoo that shows when he has his camera.  I'd seem that Myungsoo would be very caring and detailed when putting together his photobook, so I knew the photos in his latest book would be just as beautiful and organized as the first.  Prepare yourself for a photo-heavy post!
I preordered L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2 from, and it has finally arrived!  This photo essay book was released on September 25th, and I received my copy 13 days after shipping on September 27th. I preordered this book because the first press release comes with a special notebook that I just had to have. The book and accompanying notebook arrived bundled in a plastic wrap, with a tight layer of bubble wrap, all placed snugly in a bubble wrap-lined waterproof envelope.
On the plastic wrap was a sticker of the retail price of the book, making it feel as if I really did buy a book rather than a Kpop item.
I was surprised that Kpoptown also included a Missha cream sample; all my previous purchases never came with such gifts!  This was definitely a nice incentive for me to order from Kpoptown again.
The layout of Part 2 is very similar to that of its prequel.  Myungsoo's now famous handwriting is on both the front and back covers, in a beautiful intended gold font.  Part 2 is written fancily so that the 'r' kind of blends in with the 'a' and 't' and the '2' has Myungsoo's signature swirl.  There is also a small dust jacket with a caricature of Myungsoo.  Of course it would have been cuter with an actual image of Myungsoo, but this style is more artsy and fits the book well.  The color scheme of Part 2 is also elegant and contrasts well with Part 1.  Part 2 looks glamorous as it is filled with creams and golds, whereas Part 1 was dramatic with black on black.
I love how this book was very well-thought out, with charming details that make this product extra special. For instance, the inside covers have intended golden font matching the title on the front cover.
Here is another example of the elegant color scheme and adorable layout.  At the beginning of each section are two pages like these.  The left has a cream punch tag-like design while the opposite page has an introduction written on a cream background.  The creamy color and punch tag remind me of a beautiful and timeless scrapbook.
This 205 page book is broken up into three chronological sections, similar to its prequel.  The sections are "The 1st 29 Days," "The 2nd 30 Days," and "The 3rd 30 Days," ranging from January 11, 2013 to April 10, 2013.  The first few pages include a prologue, profile of Myungsoo (an extended version from his first photo essay book), interview and essay book keyword.
L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2 has many beautiful photos that cover a variety of subjects.  Included are daily subjects (top left photo of a board game) like raindrops, furniture, toys and food.  He also has photos of tourist locations (top right photo), but shows these surroundings in a new perspective with different angles and bokeh.  Myungsoo also focuses on taking breathtaking scenic photography (bottom left photo), which are my most favorite photos from his collection.  The bottom right photo is a collection of touristy locations with some artistic bokeh.
Myungsoo also dedicates several pages to his family, making this book so much more personable.  His family looks so endearing and inviting (not to mention his brother is just as handsome...).
Besides these typical subjects that many photographers focus on, this photo essay book also includes many behind-the-scenes shots of idol L's events.  Some photos include the music video sets of "Love Blossom" (top left) and "Man in Love" (right), the New Challenge (bottom left) and Japanese full album photoshoots, as well as photos of Infinite during their Man in Love days.  Each photo is dated, documenting Myungsoo's daily travels and observations like a detailed journal.  Because there are dates for each photo, it's interesting to see the dates of filming certain music videos or commercial films and see how long it takes before they're officially released.
There are also photos of Infinite at their Rally Fan Meeting, NatuurPop CF (top left), K-Stars Wonderland photoshoot (bottom left), and the members just being themselves (right).  There is also a page of photos from the Idol Star Olympics held at the beginning of 2013!  Surprisingly there are many pages of the members just hanging out; I didn't expect so many photos of Infinite, not that I'm complaining!
Majority of the pages follow this format like in the photo above, which is of the first photo book meeting. This photo is from the coffee shop in L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 1 DVD!  Hehe, Myungsoo seems so hipster, working on photography at a coffee shop.  Most pages include a photo and a complementing essay.  Myungsoo also adds his boyish charms with cute doodles on the pages.
The Special Edition Book only comes with the first press release.  It's about half as thick as the photo essay book and just as high quality.  While this notebook is essentially a gift for buying a first press, it's such a nice product that it's well worth being a product on its own!  I'm so happy to have received this as an added bonus to L's Bravo Viewtiful.
At the first section of this notebook, Myungsoo dedicates a page or two to each member of Infinite.  He includes photos of the members during their Man in Love (Korean version) era and writes a note to each member.  I love seeing behind-the-scenes photos from the Man in Love music video!  There are other photos from the New Challenge photoshoot as well, like the photo below.
The remainder of the pages are either lined or blank, intended to be used as a notebook, and includes more photos from the Man in Love era.  I like how some of the photos are in black and white, mixing it up a bit. At the top of each page is also a header with "Special Edition," "Book," and "L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2" in Myungsoo's adorable handwriting.
In the back of the notebook are five sheets of perforated postcards.  There are three gorgeous postcards of Myungsoo, one of his cute illustrations, and six equally beautiful nature shots.  The backs of these postcards are blank and branded with the photo essay book logo.  I was surprised at how thick this extra notebook was, and seeing these postcards was an added bonus!  Though I'll never tear out these cards, it's nice to know that Myungsoo chose these photos specifically to use (if he did...).
I also ordered the matching unfolded poster, which arrived one day after the book itself.  As always from Kpoptown, my poster came rolled in a cardboard tube with metal lids and a thin layer of bubble wrap underneath each lid.  The dimensions are 53cm by 77cm (or 1.74' by 2.53').  I love the overall color scheme and Myungsoo's adorable handwriting, as well as the photos themselves.  I do believe he has some more interesting photos he could have chosen though (like the photos that were pre-released), and of course I wish his profile shot were bigger!  The dead white space to the right of Myungsoo drives me crazy, because they could have used that for another photo.  But overall, I'm happy to have another Myungsoo poster.

Overall, I love L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2!  The book and photos are high quality and I love seeing the world in Myungsoo's perspective.  I also like how this book captures the behind-the-scenes of Infinite and L, giving Inspirits a glimpse of idol life besides what fans usually see.  The special notebook is also a great supplement and I'm definitely satisfied that I capitalized on preordering to receive this first press edition! Lastly, the poster goes beautifully with my other Infinite posters and shows off my bias in an artful way.  L's Bravo Viewtiful Part 2 is very special and always makes me happy just thinking about it.

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