Welcome to Part 2 of the March 2012 edition of Soshified Spotlight.

Just like every other month, we’re once again highlighting a regular member in Part 1, and a Soshified staff member in Part 2.

In Part 1, we featured parkseonyang, who has a very strong interest in Korean culture even though he’s from Singapore. In Part 2, we’re featuring Akino_Makoto, or Mako. Mako is a Soshified uploader, one of those unsung heroes who searches the depths of the internet for those random Girls’ Generation videos that we all enjoy. A native of New England, Mako has a wide variety of interests, including gaming, running a TaeNy website, helping non-Asian SONEs save money on Girls’ Generation goods, appearing on DJ Cesca’s radio show, and eating cookies.


What is your first name?

Mako. It’s actually short for Makoto, which really isn’t my actual first name, either. If you know it, don’t tell~

How did you find out about Soshified and why did you decide to join?

Google is kinda really awesome? At the time, I was a big f(x) fan, and I wanted to catch up with Invincible Youth to know what the show was about before watching the episodes with Victoria. I clicked onto this “Soshified” site, which had a really cool airport layout. That really impressed me since I hadn’t seen anything like it and probably influenced me to join more than the subbed videos did, haha.

How did you come up with your screen name?

“Mako” was already taken (sad face), so I just settled for the fake name I’ve assumed in order to ninja all over the Internet, unknown.

How did you decide on the screenname Akino_Makoto to ninja all over the internet? Was there a Japanese influence?

Yeap, there was a Japanese influence. Even before I was into all of this K-Pop stuff, I was a fan of Japanese entertainment. I tried to learn the language, so I ended up buying a few books to serve as learning material. At the same time, I was going through a crisis where I absolutely disliked my name and didn’t want anyone to refer to me by that name. I decided to search for names that meant something like “sincere” or “honest” (since I’m pompous enough to believe I’m one of those things), and when I found none that I liked, I turned to my Japanese books to find what “sincere” was in Japanese. Turns out, it was “makoto,” which was funny because that’s the name of one of the Sailor Moon characters. The character’s full name is Kino Makoto, which seems to flow together nicely; however, ninjaing as a Sailor Moon character is kinda weird, so I looked for pretty names. In the end, I chose “akino” because it means “autumn field,” and that makes me think of pretty things. I then shortened it down to just “Mako,” which is any entirely different story, though.

Where are you originally from, and where do you currently reside (city and country for both)?

I haven’t gone very far, which is probably why I don’t have a passport. I was born in the United States in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. For those who have never heard about it, it’s roughly an hour and a half west of Boston. I’m currently living in Providence, Rhode Island, which is an hour south of Boston.

If we were visiting you where you live for one day, where would you take us? Why are these places so significant?

Whether or not you like history or going outside, historic Newport, Rhode Island is a place everyone has to see before they die. The mansions are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before; there are about five or six (maybe more) mansions that you can tour, and it really takes you back. They’re absolutely beautiful inside and out, and they sell these delicious cookies at the shops in each mansion (I’m a cookie addict). There’s also this really beautiful stretch of scenery known as the Cliff Walk. It’s basically 3.5 miles of nothing but the most beautiful nature sites as you walk along the ocean. If you’re gonna go, I’d recommend going in late October/early November. It may be slightly cold then, but the autumn foliage adds a certain je ne sais quoi to it.

Tell us a little about your life. What do you do full time and in your free time?

I’m a full-time culinary student by day, an expert zombie hunter by night… and early morning… and, I guess, sometimes day, too. Unfortunately, tuition for culinary school is too high, so I’ll soon attempt to create my own major at UMass Amherst (hopefully). In the meantime, I’ll continue hunting zombies, composing songs (and later trashing them), holding fansite/bulk orders for SONE in North America, and other fun things like that.

You say you live in Providence but you go to school in Amherst. How far is Providence from Amherst? Do you commute to school everyday, or is Providence your permanent residence but you stay in Amherst during the school year?

Heheh, it’s all so confusing! The reality is actually the other way around. I currently go to school in Providence, but my permanent residence is in Springfield, which is about 45 minutes south of Amherst. I’ll be moving back home next year and taking the bus to Amherst.

So you’re trying to design a culinary major at UMass Amherst?

No. I’ve come to realize that I absolutely dislike culinary arts; I’m just not cut out for it. Instead, I plan on creating a major that both prepares me to live in Korea for a year and helps me to ready myself to own a business. My future goal is to have a Spanish/Korean fusion restaurant.

What’s the most interesting thing about you and/or that has ever happened to you?

The most interesting thing that has ever happened to me? Hmm… I’m probably gonna get bricked or something since I repeat these same stories over and over again, but it’s as if all of the luck I could have had in my life was saved up for these three moments. When SNSD were in NYC last October, I had an elevator moment with Taeyeon. She and I exchanged a few words, and I pretty much died inside. About an hour-ish later, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, and Yoona got on the same elevator I was in. It stalled for a second, which was a heart-stopping moment that made me realize I could be stuck on an elevator with SNSD. (More details on that experience here.)

My most recent encounter happened while SNSD were back in NYC during the end of January/early February. I had just come down from my room and sat in the lobby to hang out with a few SONE who were hanging out there. A few minutes later, Seohyun exited one of the three elevators and stood near one of the pillars in the lobby. At first, she wasn’t really busy, so those I was sitting with walked towards her to ask for her autograph; however, she received a phone call, so everyone backed down. After a few minutes, Seohyun moved to the leftmost pillar that stood in front of the first elevator. I decided that waiting in the lobby was kinda boring, and because I had to go to the bank, I got up to get the money I left in my hotel room. I pressed the elevator button and stood in front of the third elevator, the one that was furthest from Seohyun; I didn’t really want to invade her territory or anything. However, as if it was fate, the door to the first elevator opened, and the hotel staff guarding that elevator beckoned to me to enter it. As I walked over, one of SM’s hired security people jumped out in front of me. I’m not sure what he imagined my intentions were, but I stood there, shocked, until he said “go,” and I got on the elevator. Some random lady got on, and then Seohyun was ushered into the elevator. I simply stood there while laughing internally at the crazy circumstances that surround me and elevators. Seohyun was still on the phone at the time, so I kept quiet. It wasn’t until she reached her floor that she got off the phone, so I said “bye~” She turned around, seemingly shocked, but she smiled, said “bye,” and waved.

For people who are first meeting you (like most of us), how would you describe yourself?

Hello stranger…s~ Umm, as embarrassing and silly as it may seem, a lot of people say my personality reminds them of Taeyeon. I’ve legit had people tweet me and tell me, “it’s scary how much you remind me of Taengoo,” and my closest friend claims that I’m “Taeyeon incarnate” (because we all know the real one’s just a figment of our imaginations). So, I guess, if I were to describe myself, it would be something along the lines of how Taeyeon presents herself to the public… dorky, strange, reserved, yet caring, and all of that good stuff. If you’ve heard me on SSF radio before, you know that I have an “ahjumma laugh”, too, so that doesn’t help with getting away from the comparisons. Too bad I can’t imitate her overwhelming cuteness.

Tell us some things that most people don’t know about you that you think they should.

I’m left-handed *gaspshockhorror*! Actually, the things I can do with my left hand are limited because I had to learn to do a lot of things with my right hand. I guess that makes me ambidextrous?

Oh, and I’m exactly 12 days younger than Taeyeon. March birthdays FTW!

Is there anything big in your life that you’re working on? (This can be related to school, career, hobbies, family, friends, etc.)

Besides spending my days on the streets, begging for money so that I can fly to South Korea to see Sunny in “Catch Me If You Can”?

Back in October, I opened up an International fan community for Taeyeon and Tiffany, which I then revamped and re-opened on January 1, 2012. Right now, I’m working towards giving the site life in terms of adding new features and content, and making the site more user-friendly and maybe even a little original. Unlike individual member International fansites that have come and gone, we have a fairly nice-sized community (over 600 members in two months) that is becoming more and more active as the site grows. We’ve recently received an upsurge of registrations after Taeyeon and Seohyun joined Tiffany as MCs of Music Core. I wonder why… /sarcasm.

Staff members, including myself, have also been in attendance to most of the recent International events have attended or have held, so you may see videos or photos of anything from NYC events to Music Bank Paris to 2ndAsia Tour in Bangkok tagged with “Eternally Yours”. The next big thing, for me, at least, is to save up for the next location(s) the girls will appear within the US.

What are your interests outside of Girls’ Generation?

HDU IMPLY THERE IS SUCH A THING?!!! I feel that I spend most of my money on things relating to the girls that I don’t have money for anything else.

Bad joke aside; I spend most of my time surrounded by music. I’m always singing or humming something, and over the last 8 years, I’ve picked up a number of instruments. This helped me attain an appreciation for singer-songwriters, a lot of which you can find in K-indie. I love K-indie, particularly Standing Egg and 10cm. If you haven’t heard about them (tsk tsk), I recommend Standing Egg’s “Comfortable Relationship”. You can enjoy my favorite 10cm song while watching the Taeyeon fancam I took at LIVE! With Kelly. ^^

How did you first become a fan of Girls’ Generation?

You know how most people find out about f(x) after being a fan of SNSD? For me, it’s the other way around. The whole “Krystal’s sister” thing made me curious, so I checked them out and liked what I heard.

Who is your favorite member and why?

Nawww, not this question! It’s OT9 forever, yo…

Okay, okay, fine, I’ll answer. Although most tend to think my bias is Taeyeon (why do you guys think that?!), Sunny is definitely my favourite. She has an amazing voice and superior amount of talents. I was actually glad to hear that she would be in a musical because she would be able to exercise her multitude of talents, and others would be able to see what she has to offer. She was just as cute and sweet as ever when I saw her in NYC. Her smile is warm and inviting, so much so that I’m still lost in the moment that occurred last month.

Why do you film Taeyeon fancams even though you’re Sunny biased?

I’m a horrible Sunshiner *sob*. The truth is that I do it for the fansite. I chose to have a Taeyeon/Tiffany fansite, so now I must suffer the consequences. The bright side is that Sunny is near Taeyeon a lot, so I was able to catch her in a few of my SMTown NYC cams. She’s also in my NYC fanmeeting cams since she sat next to TaeNy.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation song and MV and why?

My favourite song is, has been, and forever will be “Complete.” It’s a sweet song with a lot of meaning to me, as I tend to tie it in with the bond shared between SoShi and SONE.

My favourite MV is definitely “The Boys.” Although it was another “box” MV, the girls looked their best and their outfits were swagful. The choreography is all so BEASTLY… I love it! It could have done without the Cyndi Lauper hair on Seohyun, though.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation moment and why?

It may not be a particular moment, but I love it when the girls huddle together in a circle before performances and after having won an award. The OT9 bond is so beautiful, and these moments are little reminders of that.

How has Girls’ Generation impacted your life, in specific areas or even as a whole?

I never knew what it was like to starve out of a lack of money and to lose countless hours of sleep just to watch a 5-minute-long performance until I became a SONE.

On the bright side, becoming a fan has opened my eyes to the world. I used to only feel/think a certain way about humanity as a whole, but a few fans and even some of the girls have made me realize that there still are good people in the world who will do things for others without desiring anything in return. I’ve become a better person because of that.

What do you like most about Soshified, and why? Any section in particular you’re attracted to?

I really enjoy the sense of community that I’ve seen throughout the forums. Generally speaking, many members tend to get along with one another, and the conversations in sbox are always random and interesting. People helping other people always makes me feel warm, and I see a lot of that on Soshified.

In terms of which section I’m “attracted” to, I’m going to be really biased and say the Video Downloads section. We all want to see SoShi, don’t we? What better resource than the Video Downloads section, then? ^^ And I’m not just saying that because I’m on the Media team… (okay, yes, I am).

Why did you decide to join the Soshified staff, and why the particular job you have now?

I used to feel really disconnected with the SONE community and the latest SNSD goings-on. I didn’t know what was going on half of the time and making friends wasn’t that easy. I noticed that SSF was looking for someone who knew where to acquire the latest unsubbed videos and could upload them in a timely manner. I figured that if I did such a job, I’d be able to keep up with the latest SNSD news and such. I did my homework for a few weeks before applying, and luckily, I was accepted onto the team.

What exactly do you do? Do you enjoy this position? What do you like about it?

I’m what you call a “raw uploader.” This means that, as I stated in my previous answer, I find and upload unsubbed videos to the forums. On rare occasions, I also upload ripped audio clips.

I really do enjoy being a raw uploader. There are times when I’ve been asked by subbers to find or convert a particular video, which has brought me closer to members of that branch of SSF. I’ve also been asked by other members to find some random video, and I ended up uncovering precious radio boras that were seemingly lost forever. I’ve learned a lot about media, especially videos, and, thanks to Vin, I’ve become incredibly OCD.

How do you find these raw media files? Are they hard to track down?

Plenty of wit and cunning. By that, I mean that I use my working knowledge of Korean to track down torrents. There have even been times when I had to pretend to know Chinese just to get a file. Usually, if you know the date of the clip you’re looking for and its Korean name, you’re good to go. There are a few select sites made specifically for torrents, which is really awesome and makes searching simple.

Sometimes, tracking down a file can be difficult. There was one clip in particular that caught my attention; it was MBC Every1 Magazine1 “Same-sex Couples are the Celebrity Trend.” Which SNSD pairing was featured? TaeNy. As the hardcore Locksmith/TaeNy shipper that I am, I HAD to find that clip, but it was seemingly nowhere to be found. I search every Korean torrent site and even turned to Naver search, but I still couldn’t find it. I tossed my Korean resources aside and turned to my Chinese ones, and there it was, just sitting atop the first place I checked in its 480i glory.

What is your favorite project that you’ve ever been involved in?

I’m easily entertained, so when a lot of the SSF Subs videos uploaded to Mediafire were removed, a few uploaders and SSF members came together to restore as many as possible. As soon as a broken link was reported, someone worked on re-uploading the video. If you think about it in from a different perspective, it was something like a quest to find broken links, and, well, whenever you’re uploading, it becomes a game to see who can upload the fastest. We were able to restore most of the reported links, but then the whole SOPA thing occurred, and… yeah, I think you know what happened next.

Any interesting experiences when interacting with members?

Those two awkward moments when I learned that Roy is anti-Sunny and Neon is a magical zombie hunter.

I tend to do a bit of moderating in the Media section of the forums, and EVERY FRIGGEN TIME (almost) I close a post, the OP ends up PMing me to complain that I had no right to do what I did. There was one person in particular who wouldn’t give up and kept going on for days about the same issue. The thing I’ve learned about people is that, after a while, they’ll grow tired/bored of complaining and just give up.

Is there anything else about you that you would like to add?

For those of us living outside of Asia, the cost to obtain official merchandise and even fansite goods is insane. In order to lessen the burden, I manage With US SONE, which is a bulk ordering project for US/Canada/Mexico SONE (despite the name). You’re free to suggest a project if it isn’t already listed.

Oh, and can I give shout-outs? Big ups to the L4D2 Fatal Four crew… Ezie, Vi, XT… let’s pwn without getting pwned, okay? Also, a big shout out to all of the people who put up with and share my stressing, aka my eternally-taeny.net staff: Stephan, Haila, Nigle, Robert, Patrick, Brandon, Bryan, Sanjumma, Briana, Toks, Zen, Kriza, and the rest of you crazy kids. I refuse to leave out the rest of the L4D2 crew: Yoojin, Sicalegs, Kimmy, John, Bridgeen, Tommy, Geop, Neon, Roy, Forehead, Aces, and the others who have kept me up until noon. I can’t forget those I met in NYC: Billy, Jon, Lucy, Rich, backpack thief, Eric, Jack, and more… you guys made my week in the city very interesting. And lastly, to my Twitter/Skype/etc. peeps: Jeremy, Michael, Cesca, Soy, Rice, Derrin, Jared, other Nigel, Maltie, and whoever else I forgot… thank you for the exciting and scintillating mini-conversations you all have struck up with me. I love you guys (even if you don’t love me back). …Right-click-save for when I have to give an acceptance speech.

This was all probably TL;DR, so I’m sorry about that ):

Why did you decide to hold bulk orders for North American SONEs, and how does it work?

If there’s one thing SONE complain about, it’s the horrendous lack of money we have due to the amount of merchandise released. My wallet was also hurting due to the crazy mark-up some shops charge, so I took matters into my own hands.

Basically, I create a tumblr post and order form on Google Docs stating details of the new order. If someone is interested, they fill out the order form. Orders close on the deadline I set, and the money for the item(s) and EMS fee is then collected. I typically don’t collect a shipping fee until after I’ve received the items in order to provide the closest possible estimate without under or over-charging. The order gets placed; then, when the items are received, I have to weed through my list of orders to see if anyone as requested combined shipping. Combined shipping means that there’s another order coming in at another time, so I have to store away the merchandise that I’ve already received.

It’s not easy work, but I opt to do it before someone with bad intentions comes around. I wouldn’t know what to do if I knew fellow SONE were getting ripped off…

Will you be on Cesca’s show this week?

I tend to be on randomly, so you never know when I’ll be on-air! Even I don’t know when I’ll be on-air. Just listen, and if you hear ahjumma laughter or ear-shattering screaming, then you know that’s me.


Huge thanks goes out to Mako for participating in Soshified Spotlight this month. As usual, you can submit nominations for future Soshified Spotlights if you’d like to participate or if you’d like to get to know a fellow member better. Instructions on how to do so can be viewed at the Soshified Spotlight Solicitation announcement.

You can also read past Soshified Spotlights by clicking on the “Soshified Spotlight” tag below.

Compiled by: residentbenchwarmer@soshified
Videos by: [email protected]
Graphic by: cioco@soshified

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