Anime review #3: unlikely greats

Posted in anime & manga with tags , on February 4, 2009 by freakychinaman

I know a lot of people have started to get sick of all the anime posts, but I’ve been spending most of my time writing up a research report so I only have limited brain power for this, just be grateful there’s anything new at all.

Ouran High School Host Club: 10/10

Haruhi, a girl from the grass-roots gains a scholarship to Ouran High, a prestigous school for the extremely wealthy. In some unusual circumstances she is mistaken for a guy and was forced into the Ouran High Host Club where a whole bunch of weird and wacky things happen and everyone besides the 2 on the right fall for her.

The so called ‘host club’ is pretty much a high class male escort service, and why so many girls hang out there all the time is a mystery. The girls also seem to get turned on by everything… if only girls I know were that easy… Anyways, as screwed up as everything sounds, it’s a really good show and quite hilarious. It’s mainly for girls so there are a few cheezy bits but I can live with it, and it’s not the whole “I love you, you love me, let’s cry a lot” type so don’t worry. [though you could end up with the phrase “kiss kiss fall in love” stuck in your head from the intro song…]

Busou Renkin: 8.5/10

The show is about a war between alchemist warriors and the homunculus (beings created by alchemy). The human warriors can only kill the homunculus using ‘busou renkin’, which sort of means ‘battle alchemy’, which are weapons with special powers and take shape depending on their users.

The theme and the elements seem a bit cliche, but the story turns out pretty well and the characters develop pretty well and most characters have more dimension in their personalities than “I must save my friends” or “I will destroy soul society, which apparently isn’t a real world”. It’s got a good balance between constant action and comedy, something I find quite essential these days. The fights are well animated and you don’t get the dragonball Z fighting where giant beams get fired and everything just disappears.

Can’t really think of any others that fit this catergory, so I’ll leave it at that.

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Don’t eat where you pee I always say… :

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Anime Review #2

Posted in anime & manga with tags , , on December 8, 2008 by freakychinaman

I showed the good ones last time, so I thought I’d show some that I think aren’t that good (you’d notice they still have a moderate rating, because I just won’t finish a show if it really sucked that bad..).

Gundam Seed: 5/10

Ok, this isn’t that bad a show by itself at the beginning, but the lack of an original story and a bunch of gundams that pretty much look the same is just very annoying. The Jap voice acting also makes people want to hurl their remotes at the screen when the guys cry… seriously, it sounds like a gagged cat trying to swallow cotton… The lack of originality also goes on later in the sequel: Gundam Seed destiny, where ‘freedom’ gundam is upgraded to ‘strike freedom’, and ‘justice’ gundam to ‘infinite justice’… fuck… and the whole “we have secretly been developing all these weapons, we just haven’t been bothered to bring them out when we needed them, and waited until someone came to steal them”… (seriously, almost all the suits the main characters use are stolen from somewhere…). The animators also get very cheap and lazy, and they just keep replaying stock footage over and over and over again… which I reckon they might as well not put it in at all… but they did gain a few more points from the music, which I think is great (TM Revolution FTW!!!).

Bleach: 4/10

This show started out very well admittedly, I liked the concept and the first ark was awesome. But like all shows that drag on for too long and producers just want to squeeze as much out of a successful show as possible, the stories have started to drag and repeat (ie “WHAT IS THIS CRAZY RIATSU?!” “I am a new powerful enemy that can easily crush you, but I think I’ll play around with you first” “omg! he flashed across me and cut my shoulder, BANKAI!!!” “omg! there’s no possible way that you could’ve beaten me, but logic doesn’t work here, I die now!”… whatever, you get the point). The animators here are just lazy to begin with, and the fight scenes or comprized of constant weapons locks and teleportation, the only cool thing is the revealling of the special abilities (i.e. it’s boring after that…), and even that’s getting a bit unoriginal, having Ichigo’s bankai being a less stylish sword with even more flashing around… The planning of the show also adds to the disappointment, with about 20% of the run time dedicated to recaps… in which not that much has happened in the first place… just lots of talking with their weapons out… The movies aren’t great, just extra long episodes without even improving the artwork… feels like dragonball Z all over again…

Jigoku Shoujo 4/10

Once again, another show that had a good original concept. The gist of it is people can log onto a website, type in the person they hate, and if they accept you they will come to you and give you a doll that you can use to drag that person down to hell, only catch is that after you death you will go to hell too. The artwork is decent and great music, unfortunately the stories were very restricted, having individual stories per episode ( save the last 3 or so) with a very linear progression, you know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen and almost when as well (the girl says the same lines every episode! the voice actor probably just had to come in for half a day to do all her recordings for the entire show!). The artwork was good except it didn’t go far enough to make it scary and didn’t have any impressive special effects, which was a big theme in it; the fundemental philosophies and plots are very shallow and it’s just single-mindedly pushing the concept of “revenge is bad”. More of a kiddy show really, heck I’d prefer pokemon over this… great music though…(like… intro and ending…)

Real myth busters: penile length and shoe size!

Posted in humor, random, science with tags , on December 2, 2008 by freakychinaman

Just some random stuff a lecturer brought up in a lecture once, looked it up and… hey, what do you know!

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 🙂

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.

gayjujitsu

[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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Camera angle fighting

Posted in martial arts, rant with tags , , , on October 9, 2008 by freakychinaman

Ok, I just watched the bourne supremacy and I almost got motion sickness. Not just because of the constant car chases, and going in and out of buildings; but the stupid camera angle fighting.

Camera angle fighting is when there’s a fight scene of some sort and the screen keeps swapping to a bunch of cameras that seem to be held by people with Parkinson’s!

Ok, this is how fights use to be like on the big screen:

This is how it is now:

Seeing that the acting in most of these films aren’t important nor any good anyway, might as well get some that can fight, at least that’s easier to find. (seriously, Jacky Chan can’t act… and fuck, Hollywood killed him too… But I’ll talk about that later)

don’t sympathize to socialize

Posted in personal, random, rant on October 5, 2008 by freakychinaman

[this has nothing to do with the post, but it seemed a bit dull without a picture………. and by the way this is from ‘the perry bible fellowship’, freakin’ awesome comic strips. Have the link on the side panel]

People don’t, and never will, consider me as a sympathetic person (which is why I sucked at my behavioural studies courses since they wanted me to feel sorry for everyone…), my defense is that in almost all cases where someone’s not happy, I either a) can’t do anything about it; b) they just want attention; c) I just don’t care about that person.

The father of a friend of mine passed away recently and I struggled for a while thinking of something I can say and do for her… but I couldn’t. I mean… saying things like “cheer up” “don’t be sad” is seriously what I think you say when you want to break an awkward silence and not want to sound like you don’t care. In the end, has anyone told you to cheer up and you suddenly do? (unless you were unhappy about that person not talking to you) Anything religious is a bit hypocritical for me (it’s also very lame). Anything else that’s at all constructive I believe you should say in person, trust me saying “I’ll always be there for you, XXOO” on facebook is a bit pathetic (not to mention you sound like a total dick + the nice happy DP on the side….).

Then there are the attention seekers… Im pretty sure I ranted about these before but I’ll do it again. These are the people that are always telling you how crap their life is (eg telling you they got a really bad mark and you know they’re just waiting for you to say “that’s not too bad, I got a shitty mark too”); as well as those people that explain to you the motive behind everything they do as if it’s all for the greater good….. I hate these people, how I see it, truly smart and nice people don’t go around telling people about it, and if you really feel unhappy, you won’t have the mood to put it on your MSN name.

About the people I don’t care about….. well… what more can be said? I just don’t care! I may know you, I might like you as a person, and I might even be related to you, But if I don’t care it’s not like you can convince me. To care for someone is a type of love (at least you need a form of it): so you just do; you can’t tell me why I have to and why I shouldn’t.

If something bad happens to someone and you can’t change it, they’re bound to be sad; and telling them not to be is… well….. denying their humanity. The only thing you can really do is make them comfortable until they can get over it… or helping them take revenge depending on the cause of the problem.

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Kids, stop trying to balance on those wooden posts……

(*warning: image below may disturb some pansies and kids not convince of what I just said*)

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