Thursday, November 1, 2012


Zetsuen no Tempest.

Watch it because its opening sequence is so fine. I cannot get enough of it. Period.

The song is titled 'Spirit Inspiration', sung by Nothing's Carved In Stone. And yes, it's a J-rock band. I wouldn't have guessed (sorry). Of course, it not only has a rockin' opening sequence, it has brilliant quality animation, a suspenseful storyline so far, and great characters of depth.

Just watch it anyway. Anime Fall Season 2012, you have brought me unprecedented joy with so many fabulous titles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wow. Wow. Wow.

It has to be the first time since I'd followed that many anime titles. It's beyond belief! But I have to say, this season's anime offerings are mad. Just brilliantly mad. Been loving almost all the titles I chose to follow, and there are a few stand-outs so far. It's still early days though, but since I am such a chin chai person, I'm not too fussed if they fail to impress towards the end, really.

* * * * * *


Love uniforms. Period.

THE GRAPHICS! Spaz-a-lot.

Certain things that stood out immediately.
1. The graphics. Phwoar.
2. Fluid animation. Different camera angles. Loved it.
3. Pace of episode 1. Bang, bang, bang. Cool intros of major characters (and seiyuus).
4. Opening song by Angela - instant winner.

* * * * * *

 Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is a very funny anime which speaks dearly to my heart. In many ways, I can relate to Shizuku, who was first introduced as a girl who only liked to study, and had perfectly no interest in anyone else - either as friends or love interests. But that's where our similarities end, because she's absolutely studious and fastidious in her schoolwork. The Ace. And well, sadly I wished I was like that too.

Then along comes Haru, our very eccentric male protagonist. He hates school because he was wronged by the system once, and he has the weirdest inclinations towards being random and destructive. Bringing a chicken to school, hello!? But b'cos he was different and did not subscribe to the normal etiquettes, fears and insecurities, he treated Shizuku in a way that forced her to re-look her life values - all of which were forged when she was growing up. I can totally relate to that. And so, this anime brings loads of laughter, but also hits home with regards to changing yourself, your values and attitudes to people around you, and perhaps frighteningly but rewardingly, opening yourself up to people.

* * * * * *

Other titles I'm watching include:

1. Sukitte ii na yo
2. Shin Sekai Yori (another masterpiece, but CREEPY beyond relief)
3. Kami-sama no Hajimemashita
4. Code-Breaker
5. Psycho-Pass (pretty good potential)
6. Robotics;Notes (really trying to tamper my unreasonable expectation on it, b'cos of Steins;Gate)
7. Zetsuen no Tempest (lovely stuff - almost K-like and interesting plot so far)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Sometimes, I do love the printed materials rather than anime. Classic. =)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Drool, drool, drool

On Saturday, I drove a friend to buy her first car at the dealer which I bought my first car - 4 years ago.

This was what she got.

I was SO close to trading in my Yaris Sedan for this baby. It's the Prius C i-Tech, and I am in a mad love affair with it. My friend ordered the Aqua after deciding she really liked it better than the Silver Pearl she originally went with. Heart over mind, my friends!

During the test drive, I directed my friend to go around Lysterfield, which was comfortably empty so that she could get used to the notion of driving. When I took over, it was the beginning of a romance. Loved the quietness, loved the dashboard, loved the look and size. Sigh. I am not going to upgrade to a newer car in the next few years, so I'll simply look wistfully at it, and be shameless enough to keep hitch-riding in my friend's car for a long time to come. =P

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The current anime season is wrapping up and I'm sad. I have been enjoying the ones which I am following dutifully, so it's almost like saying goodbye to a nice person you'd just met and starting to know better.

妖狐×僕 SS
Initially, I thought I'd watch Inu x Boku SS 'just for fun'. Turns out it is the secret winner on my list. It helped that the female protagonist was someone who sounded curt and arrogant, but was actually a kind and sensitive soul who had real problems relating to people. Tsundere! Then we have the male protagonist who is her 'Secret Service Agent', and adores her from head to toe. Always smiley, never a bad word, impeccable and efficient. Of course, it's never the true story, and the recent episode this week revealed his tragic history and his inability to feel. Both of them are way too cute together, and their scenes make me huff and puff because I squeal endlessly, i.e. "Kyaaaaa! Kawaii!" The anime has a delightful cast of characters and a splendid grasp on comical and emotional takes. A real surprise for most of us really. I also did a spoiler unto myself when I checked out a fanvid on Nico Nico Douga, because it comprised of a thousand pages from its manga. That was a FAIL moment for someone who should have known better, but well, mangas usually convey the same characters more intensely, so it was then that I really started diggin' it.
Who can resist a man who seems so harmless, innocent, put-together and polite ... but actually also has a very dark and possessive side to him when it comes to the girl he adores? In real life, it isn't attractive, but in anime, it's seductive. Ha.
My nose just bled. I DIED and went to heaven. The hottest male butlers from Inu x Boku SS and Kuroshitsuji coming together on one page? HNNNG.
Miketsukami: Riricho-sama, I am your dog

Miketsukami: Or you can kill me if I am a lousy agent
Riricho: Uwah, what do I say? First time I'd seen him in casual clothes.
The rest of us fangirls moaned. I am weak agst glasses. Weak.
Yes, here it comes! 10 episodes into it, and we see Miketsukami revealing a diff side to him.
He's jealous and sarcastic now. How does he make it so incredibly sexy, esp after a shower? The possessive look he gave whilst kissing Riricho's hand was spine-tinglingly good.
Something bewilderingly attractive about men who seem nice, but suddenly becomes all serious.
Manga version FTW. Saw that in the anime, but somehow, the same scene is sharper and sexier here. It's the gawd-damn suit, I just know. -breathes heavily-
Manga version of the anime cliffhanger which I just saw and totally went BERSERK. Gotta wait for next week. Argh.
So sad that the anime series is rounding up soon. SOB. Need to start on its manga to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

* * * * *
Nisemonogatari is the sequel to Bakemonogatari. And I chose to watch Nise since it was running this season. No idea what to expect since I didn't watch Bake, so I certainly didn't know what hit me.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Like, I think it has got to be one of the greatest titles I'd watched. It's really clever, it plays with words like no tomorrow, and it has the most interesting cinematography. The quality of the animation is flawless. The whole series is brimming with symbolism, symbolism, symbolism. You blink and you lose a pun. It is awfully dialogue-heavy, and I mean it. Many times, I have had to read reviews just to see if I missed out on something. I totally think the Japanese will appreciate this on a different level than non-Japanese speakers.

It is definitely NOT for the uninitiated. It's not something non-anime fans will warm up to in a hurry, and even this series has taken me on a whole new level. Unanimous conclusion from all fans though - we totally think it is KICKARSE. And yes, it has many sexual innuendos because the male protagonist is somewhat lustful like all other boys of his age, but he is the epitome of justice and stands up for anyone regardless. Selfless and so likeable. And that's how you get the ladies, everyone. Admittedly, the studio animated the fanservice scenes pretty good. I totally enjoyed them even as a female, seriously. I squealed "Omigosh omigosh omigosh!" so many times I lost count.

Nise is actually watchable by itself, but you'll be seeing all these characters who already know each other from the get-go, so you will be wondering what their stories are. Since I ended up liking the style and story-telling of Nise, I dug out my portable hdd to look for Bake. I saw it amongst the numerous anime series that Ling transferred to me, and then proceeded to devour everything, only to realise it was missing the last few episodes! I was so pooped because I had to download the rest. Still waiting for one ep to finish. Quuuuuick!

Kaiki doing the mind***k with Karen - one of the best dialogues about real vs fake.
Philosophy-heavy, as the entire anime series is all about. If interested, you can read the light novels where the anime series are adapted from, but they will be cheemology.
Became accustomed to seeing 'very interesting' poses from all the characters.
Koyomi: Karen, you're strong but a 'fake' strong
Karen: I'm already in love with you, onii-chan
And she is a 'kai' - an oddity. The Japanese uses the kanji 怪 and it features prominently as the running theme of the anime series, and how Koyomi tries to help everyone despite being a 'kai' himself.
Apt usage of 怪 in the name of one who breeds 'kai' in the environment and people. Great soundtrack too.
Love, love, love the artistry in the series. Really hits home.
Koyomi does a splat. This is not the most gory scene of all, oh no no no.
A queen of all 'Kai's - Shinobu, an ancient powerful vampire in chibi form, and so CUTE!
Shinobu graduating from cute since the last few thousand eps to THIS HOT PIECE OF ARSE. But why only in the last episode? -cries- Whilst I was screaming the house down, I knew everyone else watching it was too. Reading the reviews later confirmed it.
Kanbaru completely throws Koyomi off-track with her random nakedness, and I always laugh heartedly.
Such a visual treat for the eyes. Can't fangirl enough.
ATTENTION. This entire scene is now burnt into the Hall of Anime Epic Moments. One will never look at a toothbrush in the same way again. I know I can't. It will be talked about for generations to come. We have all agreed it should be.
Karen: You're not heavy, you're my elder brother. There's something pressing agst the back of my head tho-
Koyomi: PUT ME DOWN! 

Senjougahara: Don't you think I love you enough?
Koyomi: Isn't there another way to express your love for me as my girlfriend, besides telling me you'll kill me by sticking a pencil through my eye before committing suicide if I cheat on you? 

Da man : Araragi Koyomi. Every girl loves him, because they just do. And I do too.
How can you not love a man who will do anything for his family, his friends, and even strangers?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nendoroid Kaito: Cheerful Version!

It's a pretty funny title, but the word 'Kaito' automatically reins in my interest. Big time. I love the little blue-haired guy. He's so adorable, my goodness. The pre-sale orders are obviously closed (because there are a lot of fans out there who know these things and snap them up faster than SuJu concerts, I swear). Anyway, I'm too late so I think I'll starve off my desire to get one of it by looking at pictures instead. I can acquire dear Kaito somewhere else, but well, I think I shall be practical and adopt a calmer approach. Somehow.

 Liking the black attire + fans.

 OMG, look at that happy face. D'awwwwwww ~

This cracks me up for many reasons. Spastic to the max.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Steins;Gate - It's beautiful

Whilst reading all my usual blogs which review anime series (one of which is here), I realised everyone (including the readers) was consistently lamenting about the anime season which just ended in Japan - the Fall 2011 season. There were enough voices that got me curious. The message was consistent, over and over again, across 16 blogs (yes, I read that many). They were certain that the Fall season in 2011 had been the Absolute Best in a seriously long time, ever since a severely long drought of good anime series descended upon us.

So, I was determined to find out what the hype was. Well, because I'd stopped watching anime almost altogether because of said drought. In fact, when Mom came to stay with me, I decided that it was just for the best. I thought I wasn't actually missing much, probably. I would think about it from time to time, wondering how the anime season was going, but perhaps I felt weird not watching anime due to routine really.

And when Mom went home, I didn't feel the need to jump back onto the bandwagon immediately. I probably thought I got used to not watching anime, and even wondered whether I had grown out of it for good! But after some time, and out of boredom one day, I started reading all 16 blogs again. So yes, like I mentioned, Fall 2011 seemed to have hit a very rare jackpot because they presented varied series in different genres by all these directors and studios, and 90% of them were good. Like, seriously pow-wow good.

I started to read specific reviews of each title, mainly because I didn't feel like watching everything which Fall 2011 had to offer. Winter 2012 is still ongoing, and I have a few in mind. Just trying to catch up to a series is very time-consuming, so I have to make educated selections. After some investigations, I decided to settle on Steins;Gate.

I don't really know what to say about it. 

I feel as if I'm letting the series down if I don't navigate this right and find the appropriate words to describe it. It is that unique and groundbreaking that I am honoured to have watched it. I really want to find the writers and thank them for bringing something so intense into this world. I am full of gratitude to White Fox - the studio which adapted the game into this anime. Most adaptations are so rubbish that you become disillusioned eventually. The voice actors & actresses have really left their mark in this work. I think most people dismiss anime as silly or nonsensical entertainment, but sometimes, I pity them because they are simply missing out, and that's too bad for them.

I really want to say to everyone, "Go watch Steins;Gate! Nao!" I'll even force everyone if I have to. But somehow, a part of me don't really want to. I'm in that position where I have found something so good, so powerful and so magnificent that I can't afford anyone who doesn't really understand anime to watch it and not geddit. That would be a tragedy. I'm afraid that people won't see this series the way it should be seen and appreciated. It's not because it's full of anime lingo or that the story is so obscure that only 1 out of 5 will understand it. No, it's totally understandable by anyone, even non-anime fans. I just feel like I want to protect it, but yet I really want to share something this good. It's... it's about life, about mistakes, about pain, about choices, about decisions which will have grave consequences, about suffering, about love, about sacrifices, about selfishness.

It's about what happens when you play God.

I did my homework and read up on every bit of non-spoilers that I could find, in order to make up my mind about watching Steins;Gate or not. I knew I had to push through the first few episodes, which wouldn't make sense and the pacing would be slow. So, I tolerated. And the payoff was so worth it that I kinda feel... guilty for being able to watch something so gripping. The immediate thought I had after the final episode was, "Will I be able to watch any other anime series like this again?" And then I had to laugh because so many readers' comments for the finale said the exact same thing! Poor us. We savour the moment when we find something so invaluable, and yet it is accompanied by a tormenting thought that we may not get something so good again. Well, not for a very long time at least. I hope I'm wrong.

So, what's Steins;Gate?

Steins;Gate is about time travel. Yes, you have your usual culprits - time paradox, time leap, butterfly effect, alternative worlds, timelines etc. And unlike most time travel / sci-fi genre, this one isn't complicated. That's a nice touch already. You have the main character who self-proclaims to be a crazy scientist, and secondary characters who may appear to be the 'run-of-the-mill' ones, i.e. stereotypical. Well, I say that because if you'd watched anime as long as I have, you kinda know the formula to most series. Always hero with girl, or heroine with guy, or the tsunderes, the yanderes, the bespectacled sidekicks, the villains, the psychos... well, the same applies to movies and TV series yeah? So, I watched the first few episodes and thought, "Yep, I know them. Whatever".

But then, the pace really kicks in and I don't even realise it. It just does. It catches up to you like that. The main characters manage to invent a time machine, and initially, everything seems fine. Friends around them catch wind of the situation, and submit their requests to change something about their pasts. Strictly speaking, if we simply substituted that one change, then perhaps we can hypothesize that it wouldn't cause significant effects really. Anyway, without giving away too much of Steins;Gate, several of these requests which seemed quite harmless turned out to be very, very wrong.

It is when things go so awry that you realise the terrible consequences you have inflicted upon innocent people, who will most definitely be affected in ways you can never expect. We cannot anticipate the future, and even if you have changed one little thing in the past, it unleashes that well-documented Butterfly Effect. This happens because you cannot dictate what people will do and you cannot predict what people's choices are. Innocently thinking that everything remains exactly the same except for that one change you'd made is not going to work. I knew the story would focus on the consequences, but the real cherry topping of this series really derived from the characters who were embroiled into this. Can we really change what we have done? Can we then undo what we changed? Are we prepared to say sorry for a grievous damage we will cause to someone else because of a change? Will you forgive yourself even? Ultimately, can we cheat Fate? Layers and layers of human emotions, joy and grief. Absolutely moving.

The voice acting for all the characters have been spot-on. Yes, they have been funny and engaging, and you just have to laugh at Miyano Mamoru's take on our mad scientist, Okabe-san. Miyano has been one of my favourite voice actors for a while now, after all, who can forget how he animated Lighto-san in Death Note? But hearing him as Okabe has made me respect him. Many guys who usually prefer female voice actresses (of course) were totally surprised and impressed. They'd sat up and taken notice of him for the depth of the work he was capable of. Okabe's anguish, torture, hilarity, being plain crazy... Miyano has perfectly nailed each aspect, bringing him to life and making us connect with this 2D character. Making me cry, damnit. And of course, our veteran seiyuu-sama, Seki Tomokazu. He'd voiced all these major male characters, and then he voices the sidekick Daru, our 'supa haka' in this series. I didn't even know it was him until the credits rolled up! That was... brilliant beyond words.

The highlight is the level of maturity in the characters. Usually, you see one or two of them quite neglected. Not in this one. You see them struggling with hideous issues which are emotionally draining and morally challenging. What if you were made to choose between a lesser or a greater evil, neither being appealing anyway? What if you had to pick one who lives and one who dies, both of whom you love? What if you need to sacrifice everyone else's happiness in order to save a life? Everything in this anime series is not unnecessary. Things in the earlier episodes get picked up and explained in the latter ones, so that's really fulfilling and fun in its own way. It is time travel after all, so everything has its purpose for being there. There were a lot of theories floating around in discussions following the initial episodes, and I suppose my regret is not being able to participate in realtime when the series was being broadcasted. Sigh.

Right now, I still feel thunderstruck after watching Steins;Gate. In a way, I am glad that I got to see all 24 episodes without having to wait for a new one though. Fans were made to wait when the series was still running, and they were absolutely writhing for the next one each week, haha. I have absolutely no regrets watching such an intelligent series, which was well-executed with the perfect voice cast and filled with such emotional maturity. It was still peppered with some comedic anime-ish moments, but basically, I teared up at Okabe's efforts in time-looping endlessly to save someone, the torturous crossroads he was in, the frightening consequences of his power which basically gave him so much responsibility that it could crush his compassionate soul (with great power comes great responsibility, anyone?).

I'm so glad he is such a good boy, Okabe-san, and I feel so much pity for him because he'd seen so much sacrifice and felt so much anguish that his price is to shoulder everyone's pains and burdens, probably. Of course, since he can retain ALL his memories from every timeline he'd jumped or created. Imagine the loneliness. It's amazing to see the power of love, of forgiveness, of self-sacrifice, of wanting to be accepted, of wanting to be alive, to know that you are never alone, to know that you have friends who stand by you and give you a helping hand. I'd never connected with characters on this level which made me really feel what they felt, so I am glad to have had the chance to. I want that beautiful love he had - that mature, not over-the-top, sacrificial love that came from 2 people who truly understood each other, and because of that, decided to put their selfish desires aside. To have that level of understanding and love... in order to let the other go. To say goodbye. To make the right decision. No silly whiny stuff, although the buildup to their love was absolutely hilarious. That was how it captivated all of us. Their characters were so well-developed that we felt the effect more. Truly something of a masterpiece, and I have to say, these Japanese have done it again. Stop making me weep, seriously.

Well, I enjoyed the finale and I'm sorry it has ended (some time ago). It certainly has been a joyride even though I needed tissues and I laughed too loudly as well. Now I'm feeling sad and empty after bidding farewell to Steins;Gate, but not to worry, its movie is on its way! In the meantime, I shall explore some other series in Fall 2011. Because if it brought titles like Steins;Gate and Fate/Zero, my expectation of it is now ridiculously high.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fangirl 時間


I am so glad I got started on watching Fate/Zero before my studies begin at the end of Jan. Like, seriously. It just finished its run in Japan, in time for the Winter anime series to begin. I'm only beginning to catch up since Mom has returned to SG. Been reading up on my usual blogs with regards to reviews on this anime in the meantime, and zilch negative feedback. I had thought, "Well, it is the Fate/Stay Night franchise series, and there's an amazing following for this, so perhaps everyone's biased."

Can't be any further away from the truth. Fact is, I don't qualify as one of the followers because I didn't understand Fate/Stay Night and the alternative universes in other books, blablablah. But now I do, because of Fate/Zero. And the graphics are so mind-blowing that I think it has got to have one of the most beautiful moving pictures I'd seen in an anime. Like, ever. No, not including Makoto Shinkai's anime movies which had stunning details to the point of reality. Fate/Zero is just like that, except it's an anime series and not a movie. The storyline is finally slower, comprehensive and fleshes out all the missing bits from its predecessor.

For 1-2 years now, nothing has moved me enough to write a review, but I am finding that excitement again. Just beholding such intricate details, the 3Dness, the sharpness. Taking a picture of a paused scene the other day, someone questioned if I was watching anime because it looked like something shot in real life. It is not real! Just brilliant coloring, lighting, etc. It's so awesome that I have ceased to sound like a 31 year old, and beginning to lose all coherent words to express my admiration.

Even fighting scenes looked like something that jumped out from a video game. Realistic 3D movements, could feel the angle, the force, the impact. Can't ask for more. I even squealed at one point in a battle because it was so hard to contain my delight. It's just so epic that I can't not say anything about it.

Getting all the big ass seiyuus to voice the characters work for otakus like us too. It's like this extra delightful icing on a marvellous cake. Getting the queen of all musical composers, Kajiura Yuki to seal the deal with the soundtrack, no wonder every battle scene stirs to life.

Everyone's just raving about how we get so spoilt from this, we'll never watch any other anime with the same eye again. We can never revert. It's so true. Spoil me further.

Mom thought I should have gotten a cheaper TV, but man, I think it was worth Every. Single. Damn. Dime. Ohhh yeah, I'm definitely loving this.

LOOOVE the ending song, as it fits the glory and sadness of the Heroic Spirits when they were alive. And wait for the last bit where Saber fights in a war-torn / bloody swords setting. Visually beautiful. Video resolution not at its best, but it's still lovely. It makes me remember why I love anime, and why the Japanese will always strike a chord within me.

The first fight between Gilgamesh and Berserker. Watch at a higher resolution if you can, but the real thing was so jaw-dropping. I can watch this a thousand times and still think it's stylish. Even the background music was epic. You can even hear the crispness of each armour clink, earring movement, metal clashing. Can this get ANY better!?