Archive for November, 2008

Anime Reviews #1

Posted in anime & manga with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by freakychinaman

Been watching a fair few shows lately (downloaded so much I ran out of quota and had to suffer 10 days of dial up speed…), so I thought I’d do an entry here for the otaku’s.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion: 10/10

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One of the best shows I’ve seen. The basic storyline is set in a parallel universe where Japan has been invaded by Britannia, which was the leading world power at the time. Lelouch (dude in the middle), a former prince of Britannia whose identity is kept a secret due to political problems in the royal family, one day meets C.C. (green hair), who gives him the power of absolute command over anyone that comes into eye contact with him. He then leads a rebellion against Britannia etc etc.

The story is very good, sort of a cross between deathnote (with a lot of tactics and psychological manipulations, and Lelouch also reminds me of Light) and gundam seed (with the whole ‘best friends killing each other because they’re on opposite sides and they get their friends killed”, as well as the giant robots, which have freaking awesome designs), with a lot of philosophies I tend to agree with, and a plot that’s not too linear and you could keep guessing what happens next. Has a lot of melancholy and love scenes that I find very touching, and the use of vocal music is great. The battles are great, not just constant laser spamming and stock footage, and you actually see them fight. The character designs are very dynamic and you don’t get many of those morons or bitches that annoy you so much you want to put a bullet through there heads…

Only thing that made me enjoy it less was the fact that the first season ended on a cliffhanger, so I had to wait for ages to find out what happens afterwards. And the whole plot about killing god, I sort of got the gist of it but I still didn’t really get it, if someone could tell me it’ll be great.

Lucky Star: 10/10

(I know it may seem like I’m giving these out too easily, but then again I wouldn’t be writing a review for the tons of anime I watch unless it’s really good or really crap)

A very cutesy, heart-warming show. Doesn’t really have a storyline, just a whole lot of random pop culture references and gags. The shows follows the lives of Konata (Blue), Tsukasa (far left), Kagami (center purple), and Miyuki (far right, pretty much covered, sorry I can’t be bothered getting a better pic), and several more others with very different and funny personalities, involving tons of anime and manga references (such as code geass, gundam, keroro, Initial D etc), as well as other references we tend to relate to like how to eat ice cream and procrastinating habits 😛

This show is a great laugh and there’s bound to be something in there for everyone, although it’s a lot more fun if you know a lot about anime and manga and Japanese culture in general (heck, even I don’t get all the references in there…). It”s suitable for all ages and it’s not totally a chick flick, so guys can watch it without having to become insecure about their sexuality. It’s relatively short, only 24 episodes, with 1 OVA which I found pretty weak, only an extra long episode and didn’t really concentrate much on the characters (so more like situation gags). An especially good show when you just want something to kill some time or just don’t want to concentrate on anything.

Hellsing Ultimate: 9.5/10

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Pretty much my all time favourite show so far, both anime and manga…. but why doesn’t is have full marks? Because Kouta Hirano is a lazy bastard!!!! and it takes him 2 months to publish a chapter in the manga and like 3 to finish an episode in the anime! and that pisses me off so I took off half a mark for it.

The storyline is set in modern day where vampires and other monsters are still threatening people. And it is the job of the Hellsing agency, founded by the original Dr Abraham Van Hellsing, to exterminate them. Their greatest weapon: none other than Dracula himself (who was tamed and is now called Alucard… and if you don’t get it it’s ‘dracula’ spelt backwards….). The story unfolds and ultimately leads to the involvement of the Vatican and a legion of undead Nazis, and a hell of a lot of blood and guts… seriously, that by itself is worth watching already! Of course, this is a bit sadistic and definitely not suitable for children.

People, please don’t get it wrong, there was a previously censored Hellsing anime that was directed by someone else and didn’t at all follow the original manga story, and it totally sucked. The new OVA has great artwork with a good mix of CGI effects. This shows takes things to the extreme, from the abilities and personalities of the characters, to the amount of blood and gore you can fit into a single scene. I always say, if you are an immortal who is invicible, act like it, be arrogant and dramatic, don’t go “you can’t hurt me, but I’m gona go through the effort of trying to defend myself anyway!” This is an epic show that pushes how insane the world can be, and heck, actually made Christianity interesting (made John Paul sounds like a bad ass!… not like I don’t like the old him…).

….. and you know what? I can’t think of a crap show I’ve watched lately, so I’ll end it at that 🙂

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The Deadlier the Better?

Posted in martial arts with tags , , on November 28, 2008 by freakychinaman

People nowadays with some basic knowledge of martial arts like to find out which is the best martial art to do, and I’ve heard more than once muay thai/ thai boxing because it’s so brutal and deadly; but just because it’s the most deadly (merely making a point with an example, don’t spam me with “NOO! MUAY THAI IS NOT THE MOST DEADLY!!! YOU SUCK!!!!” and the technicalities of whether muay thai is effective…) does it mean it’s the most effective? Take this into context of a fight (and I’ve used this in a previous entry but I’ll save everyone the trouble of finding it), just because your hits will take my head off doesn’t mean it will land. And sometimes Thai boxers really don’t have much of a concept of self-preservation, so unless you have a medic standing by every time you fight and a few months to rest afterwards, it’s not too effective if you want to live long.

Another point I also like to stress these days is that even if this guy is trying to mug you, breaking his arm will probably land you in jail, not to mention in most cases in the modern world it’ll be something a lot less serious, like a drunk trying to pick a fight at a club or someone’s bullying you at school. A karate sempai once told me that we train to be technicians, learn to control ourselves and others, be able to do just enough to achieve our goal… and also able to go a bit further if we may so wish. A good example to illustrate is in wrestling and grappling type techniques, which is why you see stuff like judo and jujitsu (the “ju” meaning gentle/soft) is very common in police and military training (or their version of it), not saying it’s limited to that, it can also be things like pressure points and weak spots, how to avoid injuries etc.

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[I know it doesn’t aid my claims, but I can’t see me doing a jujitsu post so I might as well put it here for the sake of it… and I am well aware of the differences in spelling, but it’s Japanese to English, technically none of them are right anyway, so bite me.]

I’m currently learning Goju Karate right now (I have the link up on the panel if you want to look into it), and a reason I’ve been liking it so much is we do a good mixture of the hard (ie strikes and hard blocks) and soft (ie grapples, ground fighting, parrying-type blocks etc), thus the term Goju (“go” = hard/violent; and ju as above… although I would admit some of the stuff we do aren’t part of the usual curriculum, because I’m sure not all schools do ground fighting…). This gives me a greater arsenal to utilize in different situations and I can play smart at times that I might not want to play tough (being an average Asian dude in a western society, it’s more than likely gona be the case).

[Anyways, it’s been a long time since I did an entry, had exams a while back so I also stopped training for 2 weeks, finally got back 2 weeks ago but in the first 10 minutes or so I got a patella/knee cap dislocation on my left knee from doing waza kumite (technique sparring)…. which was pretty sad since I don’t really know how I managed it, all I remember was being taken down… either way, Im out of action for at least 2 more weeks before I can train properly again…]

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Apocalypse or blessing?

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