The GUMSHIP 100: Asian Men of the Year 2012

Published On December 3, 2012 | By Dave | articles, features

100. Hyesung Oh aka Asian Guy Dancing at Obama Headquarters (Civilian)

In 2012, everybody was doing PSY’s invisible horse dance. Everybody but this dude. Upon hearing news that Barack Obama was re-elected, this guy busted out the mad wiggly version of Kanye’s jerk-lean from the “Gold Digger” video. He only took a small break to straighten out the flag and display it proudly in front of the camera. USA! USA! Some of you were embarassed, but don’t be. This is hero shit. From now on, whenever you’re sad, lonely, and all out of hope, think of Asian Guy Dancing at Obama Headquarters. He’ll be dancing. Always dancing. -Dave

 

99. Han Sol Kim (Civilian)

Han Sol Kim is the grandson of the late Kim Jong-il and the nephew of the current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. He’s also got the thick frame glasses, earrings, and probably wants to know how Naruto will end. Basically, he’s a normal kid despite the family ties. He came into the public eye when it was discovered he had a Facebook profile and was attending school at The United World College in Mostar. This year, he agreed to do an interview and expressed his desire for peace and reunification for the Koreas. He may never acquire any power to make that a reality but seeing a member of the royal family (however removed) express these thoughts felt like a step in the right direction. -Dave

 

98. Guy Who Punched Racist Comedian (Civilian)

A video of a comedian making ‘ching chong’ jokes went viral this year because he literally got punched off the stage. Personally, I don’t think dude is racist (just a fail comedian) and some of you are convinced this was staged, but even so, someone got knocked for telling those tired jokes, and everyone bore witness. So even though we don’t condone violence here, especially at a comedy event, when it happened? EL OH EL. -Dave

 

97. Andy Zhang (Golfer)

Imagine playing on the same field as Tiger Woods while going through puberty. At age 14, Andy Zhang did exactly that, making history as the youngest United States Open competitor. I know, what a precocious brat! But when it came to game time, he placed 146th out of 156. Disappointing, I know. But the young homie has time! We’ll be watching to see how this story develops as he hopes to follow in the footsteps of successful Chinese golfer Feng Shanshan (LPGA champ). 14, cotdamn! -Dave

 

96. Mike Sui (Comedian)

People love impressions and there’s no better evidence than the success of Mike Sui. In a nine minute clip called “12 Beijingers”, Sui portrays several different stereotypes, sitting at a bar, just choppin’ it up. To his surprise, the clip went viral and he found his followers on Sina Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) had multiplied a hundred-fold. Sui has used the success to bag hosting gigs, endorsements with Puma and Nescafe, and even star in Fearless, think Chinese version of Step Up. With all the new fans, there are definitely those who think Sui is a cornball. But Sui embraces those terms and hopes to make self-deprecation, which doesn’t really exist in Chinese humor, a thing. -Dave

95. Daniel Chong aka Kid Who Drank Piss (Civilian)

If you ever wished there was an Asian Bear Grylls, UC San Diego student Daniel Chong might be the closest thing to it. After being arrested during a drug raid, the college man was detained, questioned, and then left in a cell for five days without food and water! Under those conditions, he hallucinated and went into real life Man vs Wild mode, drinking his own urine to stay alive! After the ordeal was over, he turned around and golden-showered his captors with a $20 million lawsuit. Splashy splash! -Dave

 

94. Ryan “The Filipino Champ” Ramirez (Gamer)

Some people become doctors or lawyers. Others achieve greatness in finance or politics. The Filipino champ simply chooses to be God-Like, aided by the stretchiness of Dhalsim’s four limbs, while crushing opponents to earn legitimate OG status in the world of gaming. As the 2012 Evolution Championship Series Marvel vs. Capcom 1st place finisher, ladies & gents, there’s really no questioning Ryan’s joystick skills- wild pause. -Mug

 

93. Jinbo (Singer / Producer)

Seoul-raised singer-songwriter Jinbo has successfully absorbed the freakish tendencies of West Coast troubadours, and unleashed a series of outputs that are uniquely refreshing. While his previous releases Afterwork, Mind Combined, and Ill Jeanz have all garnered critical praise in his native Korea, this year’s KRNB, made the indie mainstay a commodity amongst critics and bloggers internationally. The album, which includes reinterpretations of both present (Girls Generation) and past k-pop records (Solid), has been listed as one of the country’s best releases of the year. 2013 will only shed more light on this multifaceted one-man musical force. -Jaeki

 

92. National Film Society (Director / Producer)

The National Film Society sounds official as hell but it’s actually just two dudes, Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco, who really like film. This year they shared their love of the medium through a series of offbeat vlogs and interviews, got down with PBS on a partnership, and raised over $30,000 to produce an original series that pays tribute to Awesome Asian Bad Guys. My bad, did we say the National Film Society only sounds official? These guys are the real deal. Look forward to Awesome Asian Bad Guys in the next year. -Dave

 

91. Akira Nakai (Tuner)

Ever seen an old school “bugeye” Porsche 911 (930, 964, 993 chassis) with wide ass fender flares, deep-dish wheels wrapped with meaty tires, and a dope paint color? If not, check out the Porsche tuner Akira Nakai’s amazing body work on them juicy Porsche 911s. Nakai-san, who is the sole owner and founder of RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB), incorporates Japanese and European tuning elements and actually works on each of his customer cars himself. The crazy RWB Porsche hype is creeping up slowly around the world, and the price for the tuning packages are unbelievably crazy. Rest assured, though. Nakai-san is included in the package price to build the car. -Steve Jin

90. Andy Nakatani (Translator / Editor)

If you google Andy Nakatani, you’ll see many of your favorite mangas (Hikaru no Go, Case Closed, The Law of Ueki, and One Piece) listed under his name. That’s because he’s a translator and for all of us who can’t read Japanese, he’s doing important work! Nakatani is also Editor-in-Chief over at Shonen Jump Alpha and this year, his team launched a digital subscription service that’s accessible on our phones, tablets, and computers. This is a big deal especially when they have announced that new chapters will be released simultaneously with Japan. -Dave

Check out Shonen Jump Alpha here

 

89. AJ Rafael (Singer)

This dude is generally just a nice guy. I’m 100% positive he helps old women across the street and rescues cats stuck in trees on his spare time. When he’s not achieving legend status for his good Samaritan-like exploits however, AJ is busy receiving Grammy nominations, hitting 91 million views on YouTube, and collaborating with everyone’s favorite lost boy, Dante Basco, on a movie based on his latest album Red Roses. Rufio! Rufio! I’m sure we’ll be “hooked” once the movie drops. Heh. -MUG

 

88. Mu Pan (Artist)

Do you want to see a yakuza gangster with his pants down in front of a computer? How about a three-headed Bruce Lee swatting Astroboy with his fist and choking out Ultraman in the other? Influenced by manga and folk art, Taiwanese artist, Mu Pan, creates some of the ruggedest images you’ll ever see. He unleashed a gang of new pieces this year, through art shows including “The Ace is Wild” and “Way of the Dog” and through his own blog. -Dave

 

 

87. CS Lee (Actor)

 

CS Lee is the new poster boy for pervy Asian lab geeks everywhere, He is best known for his role as Vince Masuka on Showtime’s hit program, “Dexter.” Aside from being “Asian-Level Nice” at science, his characters animated sense of raunchiness would make a wide eyed Hentai mami blush. -MUG

 

86. Anygma (Rapper)

As the founder and president of the first Filipino rap battle league, better known as Flip Top, Anygma has brought global notoriety to an otherwise underrepresented South East Asian rap scene. Garnering nods from its Canadian and American counterparts, King of the Dot & Grind Time, Flip Top has amassed over one hundred millions views on YouTube this year alone, arguably becoming the most popular battle league worldwide. -MUG

 

85. Alexander Spit (Rapper / Producer)

The San Francisco native has been doing this rapper slash producer thing for a minute now, accumulating buzz in 2009, with backing from streetwear brand The Hundreds. This year, Spit and his mustache was featured on Complex’s The 50 Best Albums of 2012 List for his beat tape Mansions and as one of their 25 New Producers to Watch Out For. To cap things off, he signed with Decon Records, home to producer The Alchemist. Co-signs aside, the music is experimental but it knocks! Look out for A Breathtaking Trip to that Otherside in the next year. Oh, the places you’ll go! -Dave

 

84. Kevin Lee (Founder of Sol Republic)

Beats by Dre is now a household name and Kevin Lee was instrumental in making that happen. He’s the son of Monster founder and CEO, Noel Lee, and he oversaw the partnership between Beats and Monster. After making pops proud, Lee decided to strike out on his own and create Sol Republic, a line of headphones with detachable earphones and an interchangeable headband to increase its durability. So far, tastemakers like Steve Aoki and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps are among its biggest fans. Looks like someone forgot about Dre and it’s all good. -Dave

 

83. Hari Kondabolu (Comedian)

Comedian Hari Kondabolu’s act is smart, hilariously condescending (to the folks in his anecdotes), and full of unlikely pairings like race and chocolate or religion and Back to the Future. Huh, what? It’s a good time. In 2012, he brought his brand of comedy on the road, on TV (CONAN), and more TV as a writer on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. His most notable contributions to the show are his rants, speaking on behalf of the Indian-American community. Christopher Columbus? Apu (from The Simpsons)? Finally. Anybody can get it. -Dave

 

82. Toshiyuki Kubooka & Ichiro Okouchi (Director / Writer)

Kentaro Miura’s Berserk is one of the greatest and longest-running mangas ever made. The first volume was published in 1990 and it eventually spawned a critically acclaimed anime version. Since then, Miura has continued to bless fans with volume upon volume of gratuitous demon slaughter by the (massive!) sword of series’ main character, Guts. But no one could have predicted that not one, but three new films, all released within a year and change. You gotta give it up to Director Toshiyuki Kubooka and Writer Ichiro Okouchi for pulling that off. And extra points for making the final chapter in the trilogy NC-17. Fans have been waiting for that gruesome finale and these guys intend to give it to them in all its glory. -Dave

 

81. Daewon Song (Skater)

Pro skater Daewon Song is known to love eating donuts, but this year, he definitely got his bread up. His clothing brand, Matix, was acquired by Westlife Distribution, and he dropped a thirteenth signature shoe with DVS. But don’t get it twisted, Song isn’t hanging up the board for a business suit anytime soon. For his part in Almost’s 5-Incher, dude is skating trees and rocks. Trees and fucking rocks, bro. Even with over two decades as a pro, he’s still having fun with it, straight shreddin’. -Dave

80. Seoul Sausage (TV Stars / Entrepeneur)

After Korilla BBQ got disqualified last season for cheating, you can’t blame us for having reservations about another Asian contestant on The Great Food Truck Race. But right from the first episode on to the last, LA-based Seoul Sausage dominated and restored the feeling. Also, the idea to create fried rice balls and kalbi dogs against their final opponents (who served waffles and pasta)? Genius. The best part was knowing the truck was driven by three regular Koreans who are generally normal people; no dancing, no plastic surgery, no stereotypes. They just make dope food. Seoul Sausage continued the tradition of Asians owning the shit out of the food truck industry. -Kevin

 

79. Daigo Saito (Driver)

This crazy 4-door lover first gained his fame in 2010, when he completed an insane “jump” drift during Round 5 of the Japanese D1 Grand Prix (D1GP). The 2008 D1GP Champion expanded his fame in America by winning both the Championship and Rookie of the Year titles in Formula Drift’s 2012 season. Saito-san would be a perfect family man as he loves to drift 4-door sedans and recklessly (and shamelessly) whips around the ass of the notorious “Rich MILFs’ car,” the Lexus SC430. -Steve Jin

 

78. Andrew Thomas Huang (Director)

Back in 2007, Andrew Thomas Huang released Doll Face, a short that caught the eye of Lost director JJ Abrams (a pretty big deal). But the young director never rushed into anything, opting to find the right subject matter instead. In 2012, he found his topic in Solipsist and told that story through an amazing combination of paint, props, puppetry, and CGI. The hard work paid off and he snagged the 2012 Special Jury Prize for Short Film at Slamdance among other prestigious awards. But that’s not all. He received a phone call from Bjork’s people which resulted in the strange, yet infinitely mesmerizing music video for “Mutual Core”. Music video of the year? -Dave

 

77. Wang Shu (Architect)

Wang Shu is a master at his craft. He applies older techniques and traditional material to create structures of modernity, all while staying environmentally conscious. Achievements include covering the roofs of Xingshan Campus buildings with over two million tiles from demolished houses. It’s that forward-thinking and consideration for the environment that made him the first Chinese recipient of the Pritzker Prize (basically the nobel prize for architects). -Dave

 

76. Takeru Sato (Actor)

Takeru Sato is quickly becoming the go-to guy for live action movies of classic anime series. He first gained recognition for his role on Kamen Rider Den-O (think OG Power Rangers) and then in 2010, he played Koyuki of the Mongolian Chop Squad for the live-adaptation of anime classic, Beck. This year, he caught his biggest break yet, playing Himura Kenshin, the wandering samurai. With his boyish but serious look, the casting was spot on, and Sato earned rave reviews for both his ability to slay and to “Oro?”. For an anime-to-film adaptation that could’ve gone so wrong, Rurouni Kenshin is a stand-alone, and Sato is largely to thank. -Dave

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About The Author

founded Gumship in 2012 to document the Asian American experience through culture, lifestyle and entertainment. When he's not blogging, he creates music as the rapper Rekstizzy. Hobbies include ramen, fried chicken, and pizza. If he could eat all three at the same time, the joy in his heart would cause him to levitate off the floor in a spiral motion.