Thursday, August 7, 2014

Oooh! Summer is here!

Yeah, I know it's already summer before August. Just that this post is so belated I'm going to apologize and give virtual ice cream mochi that I just made yesterday.

I would love to update the blog every now and then but real life comes and pokes its head almost constantly these days.

So... instead of posting the summary of Junketsu Kareshi <9>, I'm being kind of lazy and sick again so I'm just going to review some anime going on this Summer 2014.

1) Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
- This one really is my favorite this season! I'm not joking. Catchy music, satirical story line, funny yet somewhat realistic (in my opinion) at times, and it managed to make me look forward to Sundays here when I can enjoy it among others! If you haven't watched it already, I highly recommend it!

2) Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
- The story is a bit slow and they understandably couldn't stuff everything from the LN despite stretching a couple of episodes to fit each volume. However, I'm actually looking forward to how they are going to play out the Yokohama Soren-hen. It's my favorite arc by far and volume 7 is among my favorite, so I hope they will do justice to it.

3) Kuroshitsuji - Book of Circus
- Been waiting for this arc! Finally they're taking more from the manga instead of that boring 2nd season... since when did Ciel become a demon? The last time I checked (read: lastest chapter), he's still human. Back to this, I love how cheeky Sebastian is in one of the early episodes. Plus, I think this arc is quite faithful to the manga so I'm loving it so far.

4) Psycho-Pass re-edit
- Awesome. Good. Great. All those missing scenes now put into these 1-hour episodes (11 of them?) are like diamonds to me. The extras complements the already existing episodes and make them great. If you're into the philosophers and thinkers mentioned in the series, more are mentioned all thanks to the inclusion of the cut scenes.

5) Ao Haru Ride
- I think I'd prefer the manga more but I'm just going to stick to this just in case. Although I'm not sure why the lead girl irritates me but I'll ignore that feeling and see if I can hold out. It's good though. Just as I thought one Mary-sue might appear, the author douses me with cold water. Much thanks.

6) Free! Eternal Summer
- Since I followed the 1st season, I decided, heck why not?
Yeah, it's okay. Haru as usual being emotionless most of the time but with another character sowing some dark emotions, it's all good. Really. Otherwise, how on earth would I be able to withstand another Gou maniac (brothers too!) and Gou's pursuit of abs and muscles?

7) Barakamon
- It's funny but it also makes you think about certain things in life. Example: people always look up, but they rarely look down. It's true in a way. It's a gem so it might be worth your while.

Others I'm following and may review in future:
- Aldnoah Zero
- Tokyo Ghoul (must watch!)
- Hanayamata
- Glasslip
- DRAMAtical Murder
- Akame ga Kill!
- Persona 4: The Golden Animation
- Rail Wars!
- Re:_Hamatora
- Zankyou no Terror

Summer 2014 proves to be a really good season for anime. The songs played for these anime are good too and some may even be better than its anime. Right now, I'm stuck on this: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun OP1 - Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai. It's so catchy my brain wouldn't let go of it.

So until next time. Ja ne!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hey, it's the end of March!


I don't know how I survived these 3 months and with this recurring illness... but I am really grateful for it. Thank God for that.

So!

I can say I have officially worked for 3 months come Monday. So I'm planning on reading up 'A Bear Called Paddington' for the kids. Now I'm on a mission: Find the book and finish it before Wednesday. I am absolutely serious!

Instead, I had a bad headache trying to find the book. Usually I can look up from genre and then author and voila! In fact, I think I have a better time looking for books at the Japanese section. So I ended up buying Junketsu Kareshi volume 8 純血+彼氏 <8>.

The only thing I have to say is (spoilers - please highlight):

Eriya, you really, really have issues.

My thoughts about Eriya in this volume is that he feels entitled, possibly jealous of Aki and he really has no care for others except himself.

What I could get from the volume is that Eriya has had a couple of pureblood slaves like Kana and he'll never be satisfied until he gets Kana. I might be wrong but that's the impression I had.

Go ahead and read it. I don't know if anyone has translated it so ... yeah.
The positive thing about this volume is that at least the mangaka has brought up the momentum. I hope it will be as interesting, if not more in future volumes. =)

We'll see when it comes to that yeah? Until next time!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Surpise! Book haul for March. ^^

Books are peculiar things. They can make you happy, sad, amused, angry, frustrated and so many emotions you never thought you could feel. I once cried while reading 'The Happy Prince'. And books, they have a different story altogether about how they came to be. Sometimes the titles were born from a whim, the books may be written out of desperation, the prose created out of anger and ideas may have come from hope. Books are such treasures that we sometimes have yet to discover the diamond buried in it.
I finally met my friend, Nithiya since we finished college and started working. We're both kind of like 'teachers' now. We both teach kids. We also love books. A trip or meetup at KLCC is never complete without a making a stop (note: looong stop) at Kinokuniya.

So today, there were so many books that caught our interest. If we could, I think we would have bought all the books in the store. I'm serious. We're serial book lovers.

I had to hold myself back. Here's what I bought:
1) Manga: Shitsuren Chocolatier (or rather, my friend paid for it as my birthday present)
2) Light novel: Tokyo Ravens 3 - Chimera Dance
3) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

aaand! heads up!

4) Junketsu Kareshi 純血+彼氏 Vol. 7 (Yes! You read right!)

I bought 'I Capture the Castle' because it was recommended at the store for writers with writers block. I've yet to see if it's true. (Rating: TBA)

As for Tokyo Ravens LN, I'm buying one book a month. Thanks to my friend, Jian, I didn't have to buy the 2nd book. hehe. I love you. Seriously. (Rating: *****)

I was actually reading Shitsuren Chocolatier while stuck in traffic. Seems interesting. Might follow this one! ^^b Thumbs up! (Rating: *****)

It's been a while since I read Junketsu Kareshi. I actually lost interest in it, but thanks to the cover of volume 7 depicting Eriya and Aki together, I bought it. I am well aware that it's actually time for volume 9 now but really, I fell out of love with it. I'm trying to get back to it... and so I hope the mangaka will make it more interesting.

Here's a pretty spoiler from the volume 7 (please highlight):
(START SPOILER)
Eriya and Aki had a 'conversation'. Earlier, Aki told Kana that he loved her too. Because Kana confessed to Aki that she loves him (upset that Aki's 'fiance' was all over him and Aki was cool with it). So when Aki turned up with Kana in his arms and called out Eriya on the school's rooftop (Eriya enrolled in the same school), Eriya said that Aki was being mean. I didn't pay attention to their conversation but the last page mentioned Eriya saying that the 3 of them are finally together.

Just one thing: Aki, please make up your mind. I get it. You're kinda like the figure that has a precarious situation and lower vampires and other nobles might take every opportunity to bring you down. But please don't play with Kana's heart. You're handsome. But Eriya and Jin are too. 
(END OF SPOILER)

That said, I'm giving Junketsu Kareshi vol.7 the rating: ****

I'm giving this volume a chance because Eriya is now in it. Seems interesting. Hopefully, the mangaka will keep up the momentum and then, there may be a chance of 4.5 stars.

Anyhow... time for me to get back to real life. Work. Work. Work. Responsibility calls.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Happy (belated) Chinese New Year!

I've been meaning to post a Chinese New Year greeting here but I've been so busy with work. Honestly, I go home, sleep, wake up, go to work. Repeat 5 times a week. I'm teaching new classes lately and it's taking some time to assimilate and getting to know the kids.

Anyhow,

HAVE A WONDERFUL AND PROSPEROUS YEAR OF THE HORSE! ^^b

Here's a bit of a trivia for today:
23 years ago, I was born on the 1st day of the Year of the Goat. So every year, I make it a point to celebrate Chinese New Year on top of my birthday. Each year, it'll be only about 2 weeks apart. Way to make the most of it! hahaha

What's even more wonderful is that I am always blessed with oranges each year during Chinese New Year until my Gregorian calendar birthday.

How great is that!

So here's to taking a break from anime/manga/LN posts. (and I think JLPT results will be posted to my house sometime soon. O_O )

and of course,

Thank you for your support! Celebrating more than 3,000 visits to this blog by giving all of you virtual mandarin oranges! I'll definitely post more manga/LN summary when I have time.

Until then, ja ne!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Comic Fiesta 2013 Day 1 & 2

The annual ACG event of the year has reached an unprecedented close to 40,000 attendance! Congratulations to Comic Fiesta committee as managing that big a crowd really couldn't be easy. Kudos!

This year, the event was held on 21 & 22 December 2013. Despite having pre-ordered tickets, I went to the event late. On both days. Which means I did not get the loot bags we normally get upon entering. Which means I felt sad (still do). Which also means I don't have the booklet to scan this time =( (But that's okay. Karyee has pictures of the schedule ^^)

On both days, I entered at around noon.

Explanation:
Day 1: There was a career fest that I promised my mom I would go to
Day 2: My parents and my brother were busy with their Singapore trip so I looked after the house for a bit and finished some work before going out

Which is why I have asked and obtained the kind permission of my CF Nakama, Karyee so that I can post her pictures here too!

So!
DAY 1
Credits: Karyee

Nothing much happened, except the confusing queue and directions got me in pretty later than I should have. I mean, I was there at around 11am but a misdirection had me waiting outside at a queue meant for normal tickets and half an hour later, I got fed up and asked someone else and was finally pointed to the right direction and claimed my tickets:

I really, really love their ticket design

Since I missed the countdown, I didn't have to squeeze myself in this:

Look at the crowd queuing! It's not even the main entrance!
Credits: Karyee

Which I'm glad for, but sad too.

I was in a rush, to be honest. The only thing I did on that day was drop by Kyu-erien(キューエリエン)'s booth to buy her stuff (as support and I like her stuff anyway) and to see her cosplay, in addition to watching the group cosplay competition. And hang out with CF nakama.

I missed out on this:

Awesome intro! Credits: Karyee

Comic Fiesta gets even more epic each year. Big names coming in this year such as Ikkyu-sensei, Vofan, Yuegene Fay and the returning ones like Redjuice (famous for Guilty Crown), Danny Choo (Culture Japan) and many others. ^^



So here are the schedules for those 2 days:

Credits: Karyee

Credits: Karyee
< (Left) Of course, it's not Comic Fiesta without Coffytiam!

And here's the main stage for CF2013! (Below)

Credits: Karyee














They even have an epic trailer. Please go here to view it. It is awesome.


I don't have pictures of the group cosplay photo taken by myself but here's the loot I got from Kyu-erien(キューエリエン) on Day 1 =)


It's going to be necessary for me to put this at my door prior to recording/dubbing sessions

However, the only photo of a cosplayer on that day that I managed to get was the first picture I took on that day:

Rilakkuma!
Isn't he just soo huggable!

Anyway, I was rushing on that day so I left after group cosplay competition. I heard Danny Choo talking during his slot at 3.30pm though. =)

Just a fun fact: I wore a complete formal on this day. With blazer. It was for the potential interview. Some people might have thought I was trying to cosplay a character. Haha. Either that, or someone might have thought I was sneaking off work attending CF. =P

Credits: Karyee
Since I missed out on quite a lot and didn't take much pictures despite being there, my CF nakama, Karyee, allowed me to post the pictures she took on that day. *Standing ovation, all applause!*
Credits: Karyee

< (Left) This awesome intro to the group cosplay competition just got the excitement mounting.

And these were the judges! (Look right) >







The group cosplay wasn't really memorable but I salute them for trying their best. They're braver than me! (See below)  

Some of the group cosplays. Credits: Karyee

I didn't stay back for the rest since I went to PWTC instead. Ya know, career and all that. pffft. haha

So now we're on to Day 2. (Notice that I didn't cover the performance? I'll do that at the end of the post).


DAY 2
Credits: Karyee

One word to describe Day 2.

AWESOME!

I didn't have a problem with the queue this time. Improved from Day 1. Much relief, thank you!

For the first time, I stayed until around 6pm since my family's off in Singapore enjoying the USS.

Pictures galore!

< (Left) I got this from Mori Mori booth. This is a phone strap of my zodiac. She has lots of other cool stuff and I would really like to own her Steins;Gate items. Perhaps next time!

I got this for free. They were giving these away so I'm gonna give it to Jian since she couldn't make it this year. (Right) >




This is my CF nakama, Karyee. She's good at drawing.
She's also the one taking most of the pictures I am unable to take
and therefore has given me permission to post here. ^^b
Here's a closer look at her drawing:

Isn't she talented?! Me is jelly (Bad grammar intended).

I haven't been drawing for quite some time so all I managed was the bad chibi you see in the picture giving an eye to her pretty fairy (or a pixie?). I'm bad at it but I'm slowly improving. I'm getting better at photoshop painting, though.

Which reminds me that I promised Karyee I would digitally paint this doodle of hers (which she did while we took a break. haha).

I like this drawing. Once I finish my assigned work,
my brain's screaming to draw something. Suenaga Mirai, to be specific.
First, I need to paint this.
Anyway, the following are snapshots of the solo cosplay competition. It was hilarious!

I love the Assassin's Creed cosplayer, Altair. Death by song indeed!

This one is Altair in his first skit. He was singing a song for his Maria.
Then, the finals for solo.

Altair unlocking achievement: Killing 100 bunnies - With a song, apparently.
Credits: Karyee
Altair clutching a bunny on his left and playing his guitar, ending his song with: "Oh bunny, the man who killed all your friends with a song ... is right next to you". Rabbit died.

As the emcees say, 'It's CF. Nothing makes sense.'

I totally agree!

*clutches stomach, rolling in laughter because of his creativity* (I am sad because I love bunnies though).

So the rest of the solo cosplayers in the competition are here:


By the way, the Assassin's Creed cosplayer won. ^^

If you want to catch it (or missed it and want to watch it), watch part of it here.

Did I mention we had Thor and Loki in the house? Only my friend had a picture of Thor only.


Credits: Karyee
As for the rest of Day 2, it was all about taking pictures with some cosplayers. Was it my imagination or did more cosplayers turn up this year on Day 2?

Credits: Karyee
*I'm gushing over Mephistopheles*
I cropped some so that I didn't appear in them. Haha.

And I took the opportunity to take pictures of the displays =)
(Karyee's are included)

A collection of nenderoids, etc. available on display at CF2013.
Some credit goes to Karyee since I compiled hers with my photos.

Before I ended the day, I managed to snap a photo with Danny Choo himself! He was very friendly and sporting about it.

Finally! After so long ^^
Thank you, Danny Choo!
And that was the end of my CF2013 experience.


BUT WAIT!

I promised to cover some performances didn't I?

Alright, I really, really enjoyed the performance this time 'round. 
The usual and we have a new one: One Piece!

Here are snippets of the performances:

*I will upload here once I have time to edit the videos. They're upside down at the moment. For now, I have to focus on editing, translating and dubbing videos assigned before my deadline. Job calls.*

I didn't get to record the whole thing, so if you want, you can catch it on YouTube. I'll be nice enough to provide some of the links =P All these links DO NOT BELONG TO ME. I am only providing them to you so you can easily find them. Please open them on a separate window, please.

This link is obtained from and is available on
Harmonia ACG YouTube account.
Be sure to check them out!

The band One Piece performed quite well. They're an amateur Japanese band. Had fun with this one. =)

They sang songs from One Piece. Please support the uploader 
by visiting his youtube and watching it there.

Here are a few more links:

5 Minute Harmonia - Guren no Tsubasa [LIVE] @ Comic Fiesta 2013
LOVERIN TAMBURIN (I really loved this one!)
Ashita E No Sanka - Bin Yun & Shiomaru (Comic Fiesta 2013) (I really, really loved this one!)


There's also Livetune, which you can catch on YouTube also. I've embedded the YouTube video of ENDGAME Day 2 ft. Livetune here. You can open it on YouTube instead where you'll find CF2013 related videos. ;)


Here are some pictures of the performers:

Bin Yun & Shiomaru

One Piece

So that's it for Comic Fiesta 2013. Now I'm going back to work and hope to see all of you again next year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013: An eventful year (Literally!)

So I said 2013 has been eventful.

I meant it literally as many things went on this year.

2013 means many things to me:

1) The end of university life
2) Commencement ceremony of Class of 2013 in December
3) Worked briefly for a broadcast system company from August thru October while waiting for December
4) Sat for JLPT (despite not really studying for it - I'm a self-study candidate)
5) Went for an interview (then called for the second interview) and secured a job starting in 2014
6) First alumni reunion since graduating from university
7) The annual Comic Fiesta
8) and whatever I missed out. Which turns out to include the double wins I got from Animax. Thank you!!

I wrote about 1 & 2 in one post previously.
I'm not going to go into specifics about 3 & 4 (let's face it, it'll be a miracle -and awesome- if I passed it since I didn't do much studying and I didn't attend classes and neither did I hire a tutor).
5? It went pretty well. I had a non-generic interview and I felt like I was having a lengthy conversation with the GM instead. =)
However, my future post would include 6 and 7. Since 7 is the most recent, I've decided to tackle that first. Mainly because I had the most fun in CF for the first time as I got to enjoy the whole day instead of rushing about on Day 2 this year. So the vote for the next post goes to Comic Fiesta 2013 Days 1 and 2. Pictures galore! (although there are about 30 of them only. I'll try harder next year!)

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

UIU Malaysia, Graduating Class of 2013. "What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does."

The beginning of a new chapter of our lives. Before we knew it, another year has ended. Four years of university life has officially concluded. We'll then walk our own paths, carve our own future. When we walked down the path accompanied by the bagpipe, when we turned our tassels to the left, when we screamed 'Go Peacocks!' at the end of the valedictorian speech. When the valedictorian quoted Albus Dumbledore and almost made me cry at her anecdote. It shall always be etched into our memories. 



8th December 2013. Mine and my mates' commencement was scheduled for the afternoon session.

I guess two words could describe this moment: pride and happiness.

I am exceptionally proud to call myself a member of the vibrant gang of the graduating Class of 2013. I know I've officially ended my studies in August, but the commencement is held once a year. So, it was a major celebration for us. 

I would've cried, but I didn't. 

It felt final, but I won't let it.

Because we'll always stay connected to one another (Note: please reserve yumcha sessions!)

I could write about many things. How I've already got a job come January, how I spend my months post-college, pre-commencement working my butt off, etc etc. But I won't talk about those.

I will, however, write about our memories, about our day, about our lives.

The day before commencement, I attended the alumni reunion (Presidential Reception), mainly because I actually graduated in summer. The day prior to that, I attended the ADP annual dinner. Those were, to put it simply, the finals days of university life.

Things went a wee bit crazy at the ADP Annual Dinner 2013
So here's another photobomber. =P
The beautiful emcee, Phoebe.  You dressed up! ^^

I don't know what went into our minds...

Walking down that path during commencement made me wonder: In 20 years, nay 5 years from now, how will we look back at our lives, what do we think of the times we've spent together, was there any point of being where we were?

My friend, Joshua, rightly put it this way about commencement:
We're lucky because we could. 

Many others aren't as fortunate as us, to graduate and leave college with jobs. Many of us can't afford the extra penny to pay for fees to attend college, to attend commencement ceremonies that celebrate their achievements.

We're lucky. Indeed we are.

For so many of us, we were told we couldn't do it. Only a select few believed in us - and guess what? We did it.

Lending Mr. Ismael Betancourt's words about learning: it doesn't end here (I put it here in my own words), not with just finishing a Bachelor's degree. (Wait 'till you do a Master or PhD - I certainly will!)

I believe so too.

Learning is a continuous process. You learn not only from academic institutions, but also from life itself.

Those 4 years have taught me so many things. From philosophy to research, from a rather shy person to a more outspoken one, from trudging the halls of academia alone to making meaningful friends. Most importantly, the role that support can bring from various sources. The meaning of standing up again when you've fallen so deep. The meaning of finding hope and happiness where you could and where it matters.

Dear friends,
I believe our journey doesn't end here. I believe our friendship doesn't end here.

The time we've spent will always leave a mark in our lives.

I would always remember proofreading papers, I would always remember the peers who were always so supportive and funny (and did such great jobs!), I will remember Joshua who pats my head occasionally and I'll never forget the people who always tried to fatten me up! You know who you all are!

[Insert more picture here once I get their permission! Haha]
Glad it made you laugh, Gita!
By dad's request, I've removed the family photos. Sorry.

And who could resist the macarons and cakes by this lovely girl? - my sis, ahem ahem

Oh and this girl (Fifi) stayed up all night with me while I worked on my final paper.

Remember how we raced to that 8am class? 
Remember how sleepy we were once evening class ended at 8pm?
All those sleepless nights for fundraising campaigns?
Sitting on the floor outside the exam halls, arriving much earlier to cram something last minute in hopes it'll stick?
Recording and editing videos for our assignments?
Rushing to the printers to get our newspaper/newsletter/reports printed and bound on time?
Double-checking, triple-checking group assignments?
Feeling nervous before our oral presentations/viva?
Getting funny participants and bemoaning the mountain of paper on the desk?
Getting nervous and cursing it when there's a pop quiz?
Eating in between classes, nervously checking the time...
Dreading a 14/20 for mid-terms despite it all...
And there are so much more that can be listed here...

Those are memories we will re-visit and we can't take back.

Also, I will always remember the encouraging instructors. It's a humbling experience to be under your guidance and tutelage. We went from knowing zero to actually knowing something. For that, we thank you.

By the way, Ms. Sam, thank you for leading PSYCH Club when you could, you guided us to your best ability despite your busy schedule.

And it is such irony that the book I was moved to pick post-commencement was this:

Cecilia Ahern's The Gift
Because not only does it sum up time as something to be shared, most importantly, it is time that we can't take back. We can't rewind the clock and redo our lives. If you could, what would you have done better?

As for right now, all that comes into my mind is this:
We are all connected -one action, even a small one, will trigger a course that we'll never predict. Sometimes one small deed seems trivial because you did it not for the rewards, yet you'll be reminded of it when someone else comes and bestows almost similar deeds to you. With time, we cannot bestow, we cannot give as a gift to another person like a pretty box with a tied bow as Cecilia Ahern wrote. It can, however, be shared. Things like going to the orphanage together, eating lunch/brunch/dinner/brunch together, watching a movie together, spending the day at the park together, or perhaps, browsing for books at the local bookstore together. Those are the times one should cherish.

A job can fire you, but guess what, families can too. Great words, Ms. Ahern. My parents, my siblings, my relatives, they are all my immediate families. However, the graduating class of 2013 and the rest of UIU community are also my family. We'll always be connected.

Cecilia Ahern, The Gift (2009),
"A lesson finds the common denominator and links us all together, like a chain. At the end of the chain dangles a clock, and on the face of the clock the passing of time is registered...each second makes its mark on every single person's life; comes and then goes, quietly disappearing without fanfare..."
So as the passage of time trickles when we often pay nary an attention to it, here's a quote from J.K. Rowling (through Rubeus Hagrid) about facing our future:
"What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does."  ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire