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26 December 2019 @ 11:41 pm
Because I like to keep track of these things, here's a list of all the Japanese-related things I've read and/or watched. Maybe I'll colour code it. XD

AnimeAnoHana [Complete]
Bleach [Series ongoing, but stopped watching]
Durarara!! [Complete]
Darker than Black [Complete]
Eden of the East [Complete]
Evangelion [Complete]
Fullmetal Alchemist [Complete]
Fullmetal Achemist: Brotherhood [Series complete, haven't finished watching]
Gunslinger Girl [S1]
Ikki Tousen [All but OVAs and recent seasons]
K-ON! [Complete]
Mai-Hime [Complete]
Naruto [Series ongoing, but stopped watching]
Ouran High Host Club [Complete]
Sailor Moon [S1 and 2 in English, S3 in Japanese]
Vampire Knight [S1 only]
MangaAlice Quartet [Complete]
Azumanga Daioh [Complete]
Bakuman [Current]
Berserk [Dabbled; not really into it.]
Bleach [Current]
Bloody Cross [Current]
Cardcaptor Sakura [Complete]
Darker than Black -- Shikkoku no Hana [Complete]
Durarara!! [Current]
Fullmetal Alchemist [Complete]
Gintama [Read a few, gag manga's not really my thing]
Goong [Stopped reading]
Gunslinger Girl [Current]
Ikki Tousen [Stopped reading]
K-ON! [Stopped after Uni arc started]
Nodame Cantabile [Complete]
Pandora Hearts [Current]
Perfect Girl Evolution [Current]
Say I Love You [Current]
Soul Eater [Current]
Switch Girl [Current]
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia [Current]
Until Death Do Us Part [Current]
Usagi Drop [Complete]
The World Only God Knows [Not really my thing either]
Vampire Knight [Stopped reading]
Yozakura Quartet [Current]
Movies5cm per Second
All About Lily Chou Chou
Assault Girls
The Backdancers
The Bandage Club
Battle Royale
The Cat Returns
Confessions of a Teenage Amnesiac
Cyborg Girl
Eden of the East
Evangelion - The Rebuild
Fish Story
The Girl who Leapt Through Time
Grave of the Fireflies
Hana and Alice
Happy Family Plan
Honey and Clover
How to Date an Otaku Girl
Howl's Moving Castle
Kiki's Delivery Service
Last Quarter
Linda! Linda! Linda!
The Longest Night in Shanghai
Love Exposure
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Mononoke Hime
My Darling is a Foreigner
The Native Duck, the Foreign Duck and God in the Coin Locker
NANA (1 and 2)
Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge
Nodame Cantabile
Norwegian Wood
One Million Yen and the Nigimushi Woman
Only Yesterday
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
The Rainbow Song
Scrap Heaven
The Seaside Motel
Serial Dad
Sex is No Laughing Matter (Don't Laugh At My Romance)
Shodo Girls
The Sky Crawlers
Spirited Away
Summer Wars
Swing Girls
Tales from Earthsea
Tenshi no Koi
Time Traveller
Tofu Kouzo
Tokyo Girl
Tokyo Marble Chocolate
Umi ga Kikoeru
Warau Mikaeru (Archangels)
What Girls Want
Whisper of the Heart
Women Play Twice
Hana Yori Dango
Here is Greenwood
Love Shuffle
Majo Saiban
Nodame Cantabile
Sunao ni Naranakute -Hard to Say I Love You-
Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu -The Reason Why I Can't Find My Love-
Music -- Solo artistsShiina Ringo
Utada Hikaru
Music -- BandsAbingdon Boys School
Porno Graffitti
Sukima Switch
Tokyo Jihen

All I can conclude with is that I have a lot of time on my hands. ^^;
14 February 2012 @ 12:10 am
Musings on manga as a medium, with a side of spoilers, spoilers and more spoilers, cut for your courtesy.

So today I caught up on Yu Aida's Gunslinger Girl. This is a series that has been on my radar since seeing its trailer on the original FMA dvd box set I borrowed from a friend in my last year (I think?) of high school in 2008. I watched the first season, got hooked, saw the artwork for the second season and decided to stay away. I didn't start reading the manga until I got unto uni, and although the art style was different, I was immediately struck by the power of the manga.

There's something I love about manga as a storytelling medium. It's almost equal parts visuals and text, but like any other visual form like a film, what isn't said, or shown is just as important as what is not -- and all of these things are even more deliberately considered and scrutinised to be crammed into just 20 pages.

Panel size, angles, shading, the positioning of text, blank boxes, 'air scratches', speed lines, sound effects ... everything seems to just compound into a heady mix of images and words which, if balanced with a strong story and solid characters, produces some powerful effects.

The story of Gunslinger Girl started out as more of an action story, with cool cyborg assassins -- young girls 'rehabilitated' by a well-funded organisation called the Social Welfare Agency in Italy (at the forefront of medical technology) -- who could go from talking about killing people in one second to tea parties the next, and their relationships with each other and their handlers. As a pair, they were called 'fratello' or, siblings. With strong political agendas directing their missions against right wing terrorists, the series established each fratello and their backstory amongst battles and also quiet moments.

Towards (what I am assuming is) the end of the series, Giacomo (the criminal who staged the Croce Affair) returns in an all out assault against the SWA, allied with the terrorist factions around Italy seeking to create a Five Republican state, where many of the stories of the fratello reach full circle -- although there are others to be unfolded.

Spoilers ahoy!Collapse )

With its violence and darker themes, Gunslinger Girl is definitely a seinen series. I'd recommend it for love of drama, action, complex characters as well as a strong political overtone, for those who like it. The art is a little bit touch and go at times, with funny angles and sometimes the men look a little too rough in style for my liking (and a far cry from the somewhat ethereal and beautiful cyborg assassins), but the pacing is good and the story is incredibly emotional. It wasn't a favourite before but it definitely is now for some aforementioned reasons. I'll be on the lookout for translated tankobons.

In unrelated news, I have been crying non-stop all night.
26 April 2011 @ 09:39 pm
And I lost my data. T.T 

So, writing Syndicate up again (for the third time!) is taking longer than anticipated, seeing as I HAVE NO TIME. TT.TT A semi-hiatus then?
Mood:: pissed offpissed off
04 February 2011 @ 03:39 am
Yes, well. Since I haven't really got much to do lately, I have decided! to put up thoughts on movies I've watched over the past year or so. Some of these are quite silly, and others have actually become my favourite films, but we'll get to that as we go along. Firstly, the movie that inspired this: The Seaside Motel.

It's a kind of comedic drama; a slice of life kind of film taking place at a motel set in the rural mountains (let the characters point out how obviously wrong that is!) where the four rooms and their occupants do their own thing but their paths are hopelessly intertwined just because it's a movie (slash manga).

There's a plethora of characters, lots of oddballs and a few squicky sleazes. There's the man with erectile dysfunction and his bored, super jealous wife. This story goes quickly from laughs to a shallow ... feh ... but with a bizarrely touching conclusion which is nonetheless soured by the somewhat conclusion of what I see is the main story -- the call girl and the cosmetics salesman. Ahh, Ikuta Toma (feeling the love hearts floating?) seriously, though, I think there's a lot of tension between them. It's cute and he's adorkable, and the charming Candy is no match (and vice versa!). The other main story is about an indebted gambler hiding out with his girlfriend from his debt collectors (old Yakuza friends, no less) and there's a healthy injection of unconventional but nonetheless squeamish torture scenes, treachery and the inevitable Stockholm's Syndrome. Finally, and the flattest of all, is the man who manipulates his cabaret girl lady friend into sex with ironic and hilarious results.

Overall, it's quite entertaining. I identify with the gambler's girlfriend, Rui, if only for the love of cats. XD But onto the spoilerific stuff.

"Let's run away ..."Collapse )

Otherwise, I do like the way some of these scenes were filmed -- when certain characters wake up, for instance, the Vaseline is working overtime, creating a nice, soft blur to everything except their face. Also enhances the unashamed romance XD. Costuming really suited each character; from the yakuza in bold black and white stripes to our dolled up, yoga-loving, germaphobe cabaret girl. I have noooo complaints about the otherwise unremarkable soundtrack. :D 

I can't work with a numeric scale so I'll just say this -- know, basically, what you're getting into. I like it but it's surprisingly unpredictable at times, like when you think you know how tall the step is but you end up falling anyway. Like life.
Mood:: tiredtired
30 November 2010 @ 02:29 pm
TL's to do list of doom:

1. Study kanji. You heard me.
2. Bake bake bake bake bake...
3. Make a bag of some description, for uni
4. Make a skirt for a cosplay costume. Damn.
5. Finish BlazBlue
6. Finish Evelina (after two years)
7. Finish Atonement
8. Wriiiiite fanfiction. XD
9. What Would Jin Do? Meme
10. Finish 'Here is Greenwood' manga
11. Finish 'Ikki Tousen'
12. Icony goodness
13. Translate Bloody Cross
14. Read Soul Eater
15. Evangelion marathon!
16. Finish FMA:Brotherhood
17. Watch Zhao Wei movies. lol.

Anything else?
Mood:: cheerfulcheerful
05 August 2010 @ 11:07 pm
Q: Character Who Would Be Your Band-Mate if You Were in a Band

Ooh, this is funny. Personally... I would love to be in a band like SID (of course, the appeal would drop if there was a girl in it haha) or SCANDAL. I'm in love with Shinji, guitarist, from Sid and I think that Mami and Haruna are my favourite SCANDAL members (lead guitarist, vocalist/guitarist, respectively).

In that vein... who seems kind of enigmatic and cool and stylish, like Shinji? Hisagi Shuuhei.
You know you want me...   No wai!

There's definite potential there.
If I was in a band like SCANDAL... [lol ShoujoS OP!!!]

Mami, I think, has a not-so-secret ero side to her - she's said it on TV in an interview, and it comes out when she's on stage, singing Tokyo with the rest of the band haha. (Striking poses, etc)... but on topic. Who's kind of cool, and seems like she'd be amazing in a band?
The Queen Bee
Sui Feng. xD

04 August 2010 @ 11:21 pm
Q: Character with your favorite uniform/outfit

Well, every one wears the shihakushou (?) or the school uniform, but some characters do vary. I have to say, though, that I love Yadomaru Lisa because she wears the seifuku haha. Of the Visoreds... ah! Cirucci Thunderwitch~!
I wouldn't wear it, obviously,  but I do like her design in general - it's like... lolita-esque, and I always love purple haha. I like how feminine she looks when she wears it, and long gloves are always, you know, classy. xD

Day Twenty-Three: Favourite Character (Opposite gender to #1): Kurosaki Ichigo
Day Twenty-Five: Character Who Would Be Your Band-Mate if You Were in a Band: Hisagi Shuuhei (Boyband!) or Sui Feng (Girlband)

Thirty Days of Bleach
Mood:: lethargiclethargic
Music:: Sukima Switch - Kanade
04 August 2010 @ 11:03 pm
Q: Favourite Character (Opposite gender to #1)

This is actually kind of hard. I don't have a particular favourite male character... for some reason. I like bits and pieces of everyone, but I think I'll have to say that Kurosaki Ichigo is my favourite male character, in terms of personality, design and story. There's something about that massive hero complex... xD. Urahara Kisuke is a close second, followed my Hirako Shinji.

Day Twenty-Two: Another OTP: Muguruma Kensei/ Yadomaru Lisa
Day Twenty-Four: Character with your favorite uniform/outfit: Cirucci Thunderwitch

Thirty Days of Bleach
02 August 2010 @ 11:59 pm
Q: Another OTP

This one's very, very, very easy. Ichigo/Orihime! Muguruma Kensei/Yadomaru Lisa.

They immediately caught my attention when they were first introduced. They interacted a fair bit, although not as much as Shinji and Hiyori,  but, I have a feeling that Kubo's original intentions for the pair have changed over time. I still wonder why he chose to use Lisa and Kensei at that time (when Ichigo was doing his Hollow training)... I wonder what their theme songs are. Perhaps we'll find out with the Unmasked character book xD.

Anyhow, what I like about them is that they seem to have things quite... straightforward. He's a no-nonsense manly man, and she's got a wicked mind, and wears a seifuku. But they are my first 'adult' ship in anime fandom to date - most of my other OTPs do tend to be a little younger (eg: NejiTen, IchiRuki (well, she's older, but anyhow)) - and there's just something about them that seems to click, moreso than something like Kensei/Mashiro - which I think is adorable. However, note the difference; Kensei/Lisa is hot and spells sexual tension haha. Remember the 'quality bantering' page I brought up in the 'camping' theme? That whole moment, where she says, 'You can't act like you're not interested (in porn/perverted things)', to which he has zero response screams shippery haha.

I like that... they seem to be capable of being equals. At least in mind. Physically, there's little chance of that, but I do believe that the fact that Tousen runs the division without delegating any responsibilities to Shuuhei is a bit of a possible hint of how Kensei ran the squad, back in the day. After all, Mashiro would have no chance in hell of running a division on her own, unlike someone like Nanao - or Lisa, who was depicted with files/a book when Kubo did the TBTP arc. So Kensei runs his own show, but Lisa can do it on the sly xD.

I like that they complement each other - not as closely as Ichigo and Rukia, for instance - but it's there. She's more of a mid-range fighter, whereas Kensei is a very close range fighter.

Lisa: Haguro Tonbo [Iron drink Dragonfly]
Kensei: Tekken Tachikaze [Iron Fist Earth Severing Wind]

I'm an idiot, I know. But they seem to have such amazing chemistry, regardless of this 'Kensei rescues Mashiro' business. I hope they're alive...

Day Twenty One: Character You’d Have in Your Party if You were in a Role Playing Game: Aizen Sousuke

Day Twenty-Three: Favourite Character (Opposite gender to #1): Kurosaki Ichigo

Thirty Days of Bleach
01 August 2010 @ 05:06 pm
Q: Character You’d Have in Your Party if You were in a Role Playing Game

Oh, this one's easy. The big bad himself, Sousuke Aizen. He makes winning easy! I'd hate him of course. I do like female characters, though... so Shihouin Yoruichi comes in a clooose second... tied with Neliel Tu Oderschvank. xD Morita-san voiced Tidus from Final Fantasy X, though... and I think when it comes to practicality, no one beats Urahara Kisuke. Genius. Badass. So gorgeous!

Day Twenty: Character You Wouldn’t Mind Having as Your Butler/Maid: Ulquiorra Cifer
Day Twenty-Two: Another OTP (Guess again! haha): Muguruma Kensei/ Yadomaru Lisa

Thirty Days of Bleach
Mood:: rushedrushed
31 July 2010 @ 10:34 pm
Q: Character You Wouldn’t Mind Having as Your Butler/Maid

Well, this is kind of tricky. Ability wise, I'd say Yamada Hanatarou. The kid's a little slow, but he gets everything done, is polite, doesn't back chat, and has other benefits like healing. So he'd double as a maid-nurse. Not a nursemaid. Although that is an idea...

For entertainment value... oh, it's too hard. There are so many people who would make this all kinds of hilarious. Kenpachi, Byakuya, Urahara or Grimmjow! for starters... But I think I'll have to officially choose Ulquiorra Cifer. Because he is gorgeous, refined, efficient and knows how to really make your guests feel welcome in your home /sarcasm. I wish I had cool pictures to show you haha.

Day Nineteen: Character You'd Like to go to Karaoke With: Matsumoto Rangiku
Day Twenty One: Character You’d Have in Your Party if You were in a Role Playing Game: Aizen Sousuke

Thirty Days of Bleach
Mood:: ditzyditzy
Music:: Oasis - Listen Up
31 July 2010 @ 06:58 pm
Q: Character You'd Like to go to Karaoke With

I didn't need to dwell much on this. In a toss up between the ever hilarial Matsumoto Rangiku, and the somewhat devious Shihouin Yoruichi... Rangiku wins, because she can drink like a fish and apparently really knows how to let her hair out. She never ties it up. xD 

Although, that spread of the nakama at karaoke is bloody adorable. I can't find it right now, but I'll find it again... some day.

Day Eighteen: Character You Wouldn't Mind Having As A Parent: Ukitake Juushiro
Day Twenty: Character You Wouldn’t Mind Having as Your Butler/Maid: Ulquiorra Cifer

Thirty Days of Bleach

Mood:: nerdynerdy
30 July 2010 @ 10:41 am
Wow, I'm actually getting behind in this haha.

Q: Character You Wouldn't Mind Having As A Parent

This is kind of tricky, considering that, well, most adults in Bleach aren't really well adjusted, in some manner. I might say Unohana Taichou - but then, she's fucking freaky when she wants to be. Seriously, she makes guys from the eleventh squad look like a bunch of wusses. So, there's no lying to someone like her... she kind of reminds me of my mum sometimes haha.

But, no, it'd have to be Ukitake Juushiro. He's so lovely, I think. The prolonged illness is a drag, but he does seem to be a very well-rounded paternal figure for his squad. Even look at the way he handled his zanpakutou... or Lilynette. That's my answer for today. xD

Day Seventeen: Your OTP: Ichigo/Rukia
Day Nineteen: Character You'd Like to go to Karaoke With: Matsumoto Rangiku

Thirty Days of Bleach
Mood:: groggygroggy
29 July 2010 @ 12:37 am
Q: Your OTP (One True Pairing)

Oh come on now... [internet gave up after a while, so you'll have to guess what I'm talking about haha]
Juice box, done beautifully in the anime - I still squee over it. It's such a simple gesture, but... so adorable, in some way.


Lockstep. The slow motion shot... how deep an impression these words left on Ichigo still resonate throughout the manga, even now, years later - to the point where Ichigo can recite this same speech, almost word for word. It just shows how much he can depend on her for comfort - not pity.

"I don't need these emotions."//Goodbye. This was something that impressed me in the anime. I kept watching it as she said, "Jealousy, friendship, love... I don't need any of these things." And I was thinking, at that point, that Rukia knows full well that she could fall in love with Ichigo. It wouldn't have been brought up otherwise. That farewell, through tears and rain... just heartbreaking. The fact that she had to kick him away was a tearjerker - she had to hurt him, physically, and tear his heart out to save him, if only for a few more moments... or so she thought.

Those are my lines. Rukia reciting stories of the real world to Hanatarou - the way that she spoke about him, and only him, says volumes. Ichigo's reaction is similarly telling. He remembers these incidents as well, and perhaps looks upon them with the same emotions. She could have talked about anything - missing her childhood, wondering what had happened to Renji...

I can't look at you. The bridge scene, in which he flies up to rescue her, but walks right past her. It makes my heart stop. It's such a beautifully tense moment, and then he steps in, heroic and manly to save her. Of course, Rukia won't sit back and swallow this turn of events without a fight.

You're really here. After saying thank yous, and a final goodbye, Ichigo appears with a phoenix hot on his tail. It was breath-taking and romantic.

The rain stopped. A farewell at sunset. He understands that he can't be selfish and demand that she go home with him, because he knows that Rukia now has family to turn to in Soul Society. She needs time to heal.

Yeah, I'm really here. The window appearance. It was such a spectacular reunion, I loved it.

The man in my heart. I don't need to say much else. I watched this episode a few times over. Also for the music. xD

This is home. The family's reaction to Rukia's official presence is priceless.

And I stopped breathing. Who can forget Trifle?

You're not alone. Rukia finally catches up to Ichigo in his personal battle with Grimmjow... and afterwards takes him to see the Visoreds, and stays by his side at home.

If only to stand at your side. Ichigo doesn't want to separate from the others... or is it Rukia? I loved the way Renji stepped in, and the way that Rukia doesn't stand back at all.

Reunion. Their big moment after Ichigo's fall on the dome. I love how she saw straight through him.

... Fade to Black, I Call Your Name.

Glow. [I'm so glad I met you]

... They're the reason why I continue to love Bleach. I have hope for IchiRuki. I love the chemistry.... absolutely gorgeous.

Day Sixteen: Character You wouldn't mind prancing naked for you: Hisagi Shuuhei
Day Eighteen: Character You Wouldn't Mind Having As A Parent: Ukitake Juushiro

Thirty Days of Bleach
Mood:: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Music:: Sid - Rain