Thursday, January 31, 2008
The real reason for the gaaaaaarrrrghhhhh up there is because I am unsure whether I will be able to attend GACC.
1. Transport. The committee is organizing a bus service, but it leaves at KL Sentral, that means I will have to get from Bukit Jalil----> Sentral via train, then take the bus to MMU in Melaka, then the same way back. orz
2. Uni. I'd be just 1 week into my first semester, screwing up is something I do not want to do. >.<
I'm in despair!!!!!! The weight of this decision has left me in despair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For details, GACC will be held on 1 and 2 March at MMU, Melaka. It's the Next Big Thing after CF, so true fest-goers will not miss it out. Also, Kurogane is studying at MMU so there's a good chance I'll get to meet him again!!!! :D Along with other Malaysian animebloggers and figure traders.
Seiyuu appearance is on the second day (2 March) afternoon, so I'll at least try to attend that. If not......TTATT *cries a river and drowns the whole world*
But enough with that!!! Yesterday while randomly checking my less-frequented folders, I stumbled upon a Blood+ review that I have no recollection whatsoever of. o_O
Ok, ignore the fact that it's extremely long-winded and amateurish, the shock here is I can't remember ever writing it. It's like, huh? A review? Cool. Who wrote it. Mmmm...the writing style is familiar...then *splat* shit hits the fan and I realize I wrote it. Like OMG.
Now I know why anime like Kanon are possible. It is easy to scoff at the amnesia theme that anime is so fond of portraying, without realizing how real it can be.
Anyway for anyone who's interested, this is the review, though I made so many noobish mistakes and it's awfully embarassing. My writing hasn't improved either. -__-
I remember reading a review about Blood+ once, way before I starting watching it. I can’t remember what it was exactly but I remember the word ‘hyped’. So I assumed it would be a Gundam Seed type anime- 50 eps, current-fashion animation and a lot of mixed reviews. This is my very first vampire anime (I’d never even watched Hellsing or Tsukihime) so whether Blood+ was just another cliché of its’ genre, I can’t really say. I’ll let the seasoned vampire-themed lovers voice their opinions.
Enough senseless babble. Here’s the summary, if you’re interested.
Throughout the passage of time and the shifts in backgrounds, a particular war continues to leave its mark on history, extending its influence into the modern world. There are two major groups involved in the ensuring war. The first group consists of monsters known as Chiropterans who can change their appearances into that of human beings. They are actually immortals who feed on the blood of the living. The second group is an organisation known as the "Red Shield", formed to track down these monsters and exterminate them. Otonashi Saya is a high-school girl who lives a peaceful life with her family. The only problem is, she has no recollections of her life beyond that of the past year. However, her happy life will be destroyed by an event that will lead her to her destined fate.
(taken from ANN)
Err…so basically it looks a lot like your average sword-wielding chick, with Chiropterans- aka monsters as the bad guys, and…..a couple of conspiracies. The whole plot can get quite confusing, eg I got a bit baffled at the whole Chiroptera/Chevalier thing, and how they are made. So the sisters’ (Saya and Diva) blood crystallizes each other. And chiroptera were ‘born’ of their ‘mothers’ (though I don’t see a connection.) The use of curious phrases like ‘stopped one’s time’ and ‘overcoming your blood’ kinda made me paused the show for a bit to recollect all the floating bits of information I’d gained. Plotholes were aloof, I was in the dark for some time, and had to make a few deductions on my own. That was a minus.
The rest of the story was steady, unravelling at just the right pace. I particularly liked the way they slowly let bits of Saya’s past out, till we got the full picture. From the
The cast of characters is quite strong; we have our protagonists- Saya, Kai, Haji and Red Shield; the bad guys- at first the chiroptera, then Diva’s chevaliers, then Diva herself (the classic anime bad guy chronology- lowest ranking/weakest bad guys at the beginning all the way to the top bad guy towards the end of the series). The Sif were an interesting bunch, as well as very sad, but in the end it kinda worked out (girl’s death causes confusion, they patch it up, emo/cool bishies die peacefully, kid survives.) And..I was surprised the way Kai and Riku had such a huge amount of character development and screentime, especially Kai. I thought once George was dead, Kai and Riku would merely be the cheerleading bystanders (like Saya’s best friend Kaori) with no relevance to further plot advancement. I was wrong. Kai plays a major part post timeskip. Yes, there’s a timeskip of only one year, but Kai looked like he’d aged 5 years. Hunting chiroptera is mean business.
One thing I really have to applaud about Blood+ is the music. Not just the OPs and EDs, the background music was superb. Most high-profile animation-perfect anime make the fatal mistake of overlooking the importance of background music. No matter how touching/shockng the scene, it brings little or no effect to the viewer if there was no appropriate BGM. Yes, I’ve seen good scenes get slaughtered by totally wrong background music. Like ‘happy mood’ music when a protagonist is getting kidnapped. Or jazz/blues music during a fight scene. But that’s another story. The BGM here was spectacular. Mostly orchestral, even with an opera voice (but that was just part of the anime), it brought out the right mood at the right times. I haven’t seen(heard) such fitting music since dubs. :P And believe me, having the right music at the right times makes a world of difference. The OPs and EDs were ok, above average, but my most favourite song out of the whole lot was Kararitsugu Koto by Hajime Chitose, which was one of the best songs I’ve heard in ages, after Yasashii Yoake by Yuki Kajiura. Well that’s my opinion anyways ^^U. And if you can, go to YouTube and look for the PV of Aozora no Namida by Hitomi Takahashi (1st OP). It’s goooood. :D
Animation wise, I’d say was *thumbs up*, anyway
I’d have expected no less from BONES, the studio that brought us Wolf’s Rain, Ouran High School Host Club, FullMetal Alchemist and Eureka 7 (Blood+ was animated by Prodcution I.G.!!!! Stupid, noob mistake there. Apologies to I.G. fans.) . There was no fancy CGIs (expect maybe for the eyecatchers) but all can do.
So, is it worth your bandwidth and time? (Again, to me) half the time I was ‘o_O’ and ‘huh’ and ‘what was that’ over plotholes the size of
Complete with ANN-style rating at the end. I seriously hope I didn't send it to them. orz
I take back what I said previously about the new season of GSG. Triela still rocks, even if she got KO'ed. Hilshar's not the only one who thinks she looks great in a suit. Waiting for next release...*coughtriadcough*
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
In a fit of boredom I conjured up a bunch of banners-- seeing that previously I have made zero attempt to add a touch of colour to the front page. I haven't quite decided on one yetm though. The Yuki banner is there as a trial (banner #1), besides it was my most favourite one. Comments and improvements for the rest are particularly welcome.
Vector by Ash Hikari, picture found at moe.imouto.org. Original image used for Gekisou promo poster.
Mushishi wallpaper found @ one of the imageboards
Yuki headphones picture stolen from RIUVA, the headphones fetishist
Vector by Hani-chan. Cover for Lucky Star Remix 002 (JAM Project+Seira fuku= LOL XD)
Hmmm. Might change/make new ones. This is more fun than I thought. :D
PS mendokuse.blogspot.com was already taken, by some Naruto manga reviewers. Check them out, they're not bad.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
In a week's time I'll be getting my physical P license. Thus, if anything goes wrong with the car, it is now both me and my brother's fault. He should be so glad I can now share the blame.
It's the truth innit? If the car's not running like how it should, it's definitely the kids' fault.
Anywayyyyyyyyyyyy.............................looking forward to hitting to roads for real, soon. :P
Monday, January 21, 2008
Dear Mr Elitist,
How are you? I hope you are taking better care of your mental health and not always just thinking how great you are compared to normal, ordinary folks. It is surely detrimental to your health. I know us noobs know naught about UART buffers and POP3, but we would appreciate it if you would sometimes think about the people who are actually grateful for your services and not take their thanks for granted.
Sure, some people only know how to present you with problems and at the end of the day shortchange you with the gratitude, but hey, isn't that life. Get used to it. I know you're frustrated that people keep treating you like a lowly tech guy, but your not the only one on this world who is feeling underappreciated. People don't care if a doctor successfully treated 99 patients, they only care for the one case of neglect and point fingers at the doctor. People also don't care if a politician did many good things during his time in office. One scandal and it's all over. It takes tremendous effort to be a good parent, but it is so easy to spot bad a one. Everyone has similar feelings, but real adults know how to deal with it. Lashing out at the normal 99.9999999% of us for being 'lesser in IT knowledge' is rather uncalled for.
Or perhaps it is the praise you have been receiving of late, people commending on your wonderful (and marketable) way with computers. Perhaps it is getting to your head. I understand, as a child you were constantly receiving the short end of the stick, the scapegoat, the shadow, the underachiever. Vindication is sweet, but perhaps this was too much feel-good for you to handle. I suggest searching for an effective coping mechanism to deal with the incoming flood of adoration from us hapless IT-illiteratists. Otherwise it will take you over, like how fame has conquered Britney Spears.
Of course, I'm writing this letter with the assumption that your maturity will be able to deal with it. If not, then never mind. Have a change of mental diet. Soaking in the ambrosia of praise is fine, but I recommend some humble pie once in a while.
Have a nice day!
The uneducated peasant
I write this with one person in mind.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Quality's quite bad here, head to RC for a more high-res stream.
The PV for Stephanie's single Friends has made an appearance on Youtube. I was quite pleased, as I loved the TV size version that was used as the Gundam 00 ED2. Stephanie is another Japanese singer with oversea-living experience- along with the likes of Rie Fu, Crystal Kay and Heartsdales. Saves a lot of earache on the engrish IMO.
Anyway on the video. One thing, a music video should not be shot with the people doing the same things in the same place throughout the 3 or 4 minutes. No matter how novel the concept is, it will get tiring. In fact that's the easiest way to butcher a good filming scene. Having multiple microphones hanging in a grunge-looking warehouse is pretty cool, for about the first minute. After that the sequence is repititive, no matter how well other elements like lighting and wind were used. Also I think it would have been better to show the band in the background, given how prominent the instrumentation is in the music. Think YUI's Rolling Star PV, where her band was every bit part of the video (I love that PV to bits).
About Stephanie herself, she's said to have a 5-octave voice range, some sort of a Japanese Mariah Carey. After listening to some of her earlier singles, one of them being the famed Kimi ga aru kagiri, I don't doubt it. I'll give credit for her voice, which is not abusive of vibrato *coughayahiranocough* or airy. Though the vocals are only a small part of what made my enjoy the song, most of it going to the instrumentation, namely electric guitar. I might tab it out.
And now, sleep. -_-
Saturday, January 19, 2008
We're introduced to all the main characters-- Takemoto (Ikuta Toma), Hagu (Riko Narumi), Mayama (Osamu Mukai), Morita (Hiroki Narimiya), Yamada (Natsuki Harada),- then the secondary ones- senseis and widowed architects etc.
Screenshots, because screencaps do a lot more than lengthy paragraphs:
Toma looks the part fine, with his boyish looks. He played Takemoto out finely- the innocent student doing normal things like having fun with friends, getting bullied by said friends and falling in love.
(Before eiChi was a Toma fan I'd never heard of his name, and didn't even recognize him in the first episode of Hana Yori Dango season 2. Now everywhere I look, everyone's a Toma fan o_O.)
Riko Narumi is wonderful as Hagu too, but I feel that they should've casted a real 10-year-old (Hagu in the anime/manga looks that age). She just looks to old to be Hagu, even though she's only 15. Ouran's Honey-senpai is 17, but you never see a 17 year old cosplay Honey, right? He's always done by a real shota. But that aside, Narumi's performance as the shy, initially-withdrawn girl is simply excellant. That makes up for her looking least like her character.
Natsuki Harada as Yamada-- striking. Literally. I liked Yamada as a character because unlike most stuttering moe blobs she was able to stand up for herself without being tsundere or over-fanserviced. To see her come to life is a T_T moment.
Morita senpai, ah Morita senpai. The famous art talent fond of mischief, who is also everyone's Favourite Character, is played by Hiroki Narimiya. Though Narimiya looks least like the character he's playing, he's got Morita fleshed out like the wacky guy is there, he is real.
Osamu Mukai, who plays Mayama, looks so much like him if his picture was fed into those look-a-like meters the similiarity would be close to 100%. He's perfect I tell you. XD Character-wise, he's more playful than the Mayama I remembered in the anime, though.
Hanamoto-sensei only looks different. All else is intact. Oh, and yes his bike just got run over.
Rika, after the compulsory umbrella scene. Err....looks like auntie lah.
Takemoto's in lurrveeeee
Indians+Nihongo+Indian accent= more LOL than Russell Peters could have done.
What Takemoto got busted for.
Takemoto's legs....? (Hang on are those Nikes? He's supposed to be poor!!!!)
I know it's spring, but couldn't help feeling they were a bit extravagant with the sakura. The clean-up crew must have had quite a job.
And last but not least...
Mayama-san ga saiko desu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD
I've not seen the live-action movie so I can't compare things, and the drama does not strictly follow the anime, but to me it doesn't matter. I'm sold on this series, hopefully I'll be able to finish downloading the lot, unlike my static Nodame drama folder. -_-
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
-They murdered Gunslinger Girl arrgghhhh. The girls I used to love for their soft-spokeness and innocent obedience have fallen into the moe trap. It's not girl with guns anymore. It's chirpy happy lolis with guns, which does not fit the bill. Animation is just not as good. >.<
-Persona 1 didn't leave that huge an impression on me, but after the second episode I'm beginning to look more forward to each release.
-true tears---sola meets kimikiss? Anyway it's the standard bishoujo fare--girls everywhere with a very weird plot. Can do, but of I get pressed for time this will be the first to go.
-The medievil atmosphere in Spice and Wolf is magic. I love the music, I'm grabbing the OST as soon as the torrent comes out. Meanwhile Lawrence and Horo make an interesting combination, and there's Jun Fukuyama's voice for this season. :D
First the Mongolian model murder, then the sex tape scandal, now the Lingam judge fixing tape. The trend? All 3 of Malaysia's main political parties- UMNO, MCA and MIC have members who are in hot soup some way or other (some hotter than others). My brother speculates there's someone manipulating all this. Either way it makes fine nyoro~ material, even if the country is going to the dogs.
I don't know which is worse, disappearing five year olds or the opposite--'nice boat' crimes. I remember when I was a kid I would play with the neighbourhood kids in the evening. We'd frolic around backlanes and empty plots of land. I'd be home everyday at 6pm, on the dot, to shower and sit down for dinner. Now they can't blame kids for 'sitting in front of the TV all day' and 'not going out for some fresh air'. Times have changed.
I've read through an old copy of Grant's Atlas of Anatomy. That is a serious lot of
Macbook Air is gorgeous, but it's going at a not-so-gorgeous US$1799. Still, it's so........so......thin...!!!!! o_O (never mind there's only 80GB space). Damn I need to shake off this novelty.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
More importantly I'll be starting University real soon. I mean soon. I'm leaving for KL again on 23rd Feb. Problem is I haven't even found accomodation yet. IMU's hostels are all full and finding a suitable room is mission nearly impossible
The main thing though, is the course itself. MBBS. Medicine. Stereotypes will blind you to thinking meddies are all nerds with no life. But the stereotypes aren't wrong about one thing- the level of intelligence. Being all nerdy is one thing, being smart is another. The top-of-the-class people will tell you that they study smart and not study hard.
Somehow I find it difficult imagining myself reaching the clinical years of medicine with my sanity intact. To study medicine you have to be smart and I'm not. All my life I've just made above average at my best. My dwindling self-confidence, I believe, attributes to the time I was feeling like a complete loser for not getting a scholarship like all my friends. Spending an entire year with a class full (literally) of scholarship students neutralized the scholarship-disorder somewhat, but even now, hearing the words 'I got a scholarship' puts me in slight depression.
Meddies are smart, witty, sociable and mature. The type of people you like hanging out with. They are powerful writters, eloquent speakers and are extraordinarily good at their non-academic talents. They handle stress effectively. They say they didn't study but get First Class Honours. They make the Dean's list and everyone else green with envy. They know their shit but still play hard. They think far more rationally than a leaking Parliment full of politicians. In short, they are 1337.
Me? None of the above. I can't even write a simple blog post without numerous visits to dictionary.com.
Then there's other things like stress, pressure, exams, negative media and the unnerving thought of having someone's life in my hands. People have snapped for less. If there is anyone educated out there who still thinks being a doctor is all about riches and glamour, please go shoot yourself in the head--or at least burn your Grey's Anatomy DVDs.
しね く ださい.....
I just hope I'll be able to stick it out.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Don't mind Tsuruya either, I'm training her to be the host for the Malaysian version of The Chaser's War On Everything (it's great stuff).
Lol it was truly in a fit of madness we did this one. I'm sure LianYL is a great guy, and I like his BRSticks, but it was too good to resist. Hope he doesn't read this and flame me. XD
(EDIT: LianYL is not a 'great guy', he is actually a troll!!! The mind boggles.)
Winners for 11/01:
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai
Allelujah Haptism (meh)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
I'm getting lazy.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Excuse the blurry pictures, I am a photography
Indoors-- close up with macro. Tissue box in the background for height reference.
I seriously need some tips for photography-- all ye photography pros with SLRs are welcome to flood the comments with helpful tips.
And yup, that's the Friendship Park. Yakumon up next.
SaiGar winner for 10/01
Seto no Hanayome
Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai
Shades & Grenades
El Cazador de la Bruja
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone
Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Keiichi gets my vote for this one. Gomen ne Yuuichi. Shinji is emo and Allelujah is gay so Jean (the poor chap who was sentenced to 5 years for stealing a loaf of bread) gets my other vote. Noble is also gar.
Remember kids, stay away from anime!!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Spring had a wide variety of retail outlets previously unheard off in Kuching, like FOS, Starbucks (yeah I know KIA had it first but), Chicken Rice Shop and that lovely Apple outlet. Half the shops were not yet open for business, but I expect that's a normal thing for any new mall.
The queue of cars going in snaked out a good length at all enterences. The carpark, however, is impressive by Kuching standards. Colour coordination and a radio blaring though a muffled sound system, with traffic directors to boot. At the moment parking is free, until it stabilizes a bit. I wonder how long it'll take for us to familiarize with autopay though.
The first thing I noticed when walking in was a huge water feature that stretched up to the floors above. The second thing I noticed was a young boy swimming in the water below. In fact as I stood there gawking with the rest of the crowd that were sitting around the fountain, the boy proceeded to strip and enjoy the 'pool' like it was Matang Family Park, grinning gleefully at his own folly. Water got splashed everywhere. It was one of those moments where you can't decide to point and laugh or cry at our primitive mentality. My family and I then left for the mall's main attraction-- shops.
The first thing you will notice is the crowd. The second thing you will notice is also the crowd. The third thing you will notice is the crowdddd. Again. Being rushed, the building wasn't at its best- little things like stained tiles, unmoving escalators, along with other things like litter in the food courts, children playing with ornamental water features-- lowered the amazement level a little but not significantly.
All those bits aside, the interior design of the mall and individual shops is certainly impressive. At some point I felt like I was in a true KL mall.
We had a sort of lunch at Kenny Rogers, because everyone's eating pattern was different. Food was good but price was steep. Don't know how long they'll last, really. The first Kenny Rogers in Kuching was in Sarawak Plaza and it closed down after a year? Or so. Not to mention Boulevard also has Kenny Rogers. Competition, competition.
After that we walked around a bit, but not buying anything except groceries in the supermarket.
Supermarket was fully and wholly crammed with people. Damn everyone enjoyed good business today.
Obstructed movement-- and a lot of free samples.
We waited no less than 20 minutes to get to the payment counter.
Oh and the toilets deserved a special mention for automatic taps, which is cool. The floor was wet but at least it wasn't dirty (yet).
I met about a dozen people I knew in the 3 hours I was in the spring, most of them old friends. Kuching is still a small place.
Overall I was impressed with the modern architecture design and management that showed western professionalism. However I was less impressed by some of the antics of my fellow Kuchingnites, and I'm not just talking about the naked kid in the pool.
Pictures were all taken by my brother.
SaiGar 09/01 winners:
Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann
Darker Than BLACK
Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann
Seto no Hanayome
Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World
Katekyo Hitman Reborn