Wednesday, 30 May 2012

You can tell I'm on Break

There will be a lot of talking about cars and driving today! Don’t worry, I know nothing about cars either, this is just about car related incidents! Lately, my dad and I have been sharing a car. It kind of gets annoying because when he needs it to go to work, it means that I am stranded in the house for the day, which can get rather boring at times. I mean, does anyone have one of those days where you want to do something but can’t? I seem to have those, and it is always when I don’t have a car. Anyways, moving on, I think my dad deliberately drives the car just enough so the fuel light doesn’t come on, so when I use it, less than 5 minutes after starting the car, I have to pull into a petrol station because there is no petrol left. I swear this happens every time. Then once I am done, he drives the car and the cycle repeats itself. My bank account is in pain because of this. 


Still on cars, I was driving home today, when suddenly some man starts beeping his horn, indicating that he wants to overtake me. I don’t have an issue with people overtaking me, because I laugh at them knowing that eventually they will get done for speeding, but this guy wanted to overtake me on a one lane each way street. Needless to say, because it is only one lane, it is highly illegal, and when the man was overtaking me, he looked over and made some obscene gestures at me to make me look like a bad driver. I will re-iterate that I was going the speed limit. To make this guy more of an a-hole, this happened during school hour’s school zone. Obviously, he was in such a hurry that the safety of primary school children is less important than getting home. Honestly, and I know this is harsh, but if people like that crash their cars, I don’t have any sympathy for them because they way they drive endangering others just so they can get home 30 seconds faster, then they deserves some form of punishment.


Okay, enough ranting and moving on. I have read Goshimei Desu by Shinjo Mayu. It is a nice little 3 chapter story and may I say, it is refreshing from her previous serializations. The male lead Kiriya/Yamada doesn’t attempt to sexually assault anyone! And the female lead, Miharu actually has some guts to stand up for what she believes in. This was the one I was waiting for and it’s kind of sad that it only is three chapters. The story is both funny, yet serious. It is about Yamada, who moved to Tokyo and started working at a host club under the name Kiriya. One day, he is going on a work related date, only to be meeting a child who claims that he is the father of. The mother runs of with no trace of her to be found and trouble endures when Miharu surprises them with a visit from Nagasaki. Anyway, it is a light-hearted insight on a very serious issue and all in all a quite enjoyable read.


I also read Datte Suki nan Damon by Yoshizumi Wataru (Marmalade Boy). I quite like the mangaka’s work, as a lot of it takes a different approach to the typical shoujo relationships and this one is no exception. A short series at 2 volumes complete, the majority of the series is focused on the relationship between Moka and Yoshi and how Yoshi begins to overcome his ‘disease’ of only liking girls who have boyfriends and losing interest once they are single again. The characters are very standard, by that I mean that they aren’t as memorable as other series that I have read. The art is amazing, as usually is the case with this mangaka and a nice short read for anyone who may be interested.


I also went and watched The Dictator starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Anna Faris. Despite the controversy his films seem to create, I am quite a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen’s work. Doing a degree in Media Studies, I have learnt that his ability to create characters and turn the characters into celebrities to some degree in their own right (the actual term is ‘celeactors’). He is like the Barry Humphries of gen Y (for those of you who don’t know, Barry Humphries creates Dame Edna and many other characters). The comedy in the film is very slapstick and I overall like how the film turned a major issue in current society and put the comedic spin on it.

Anyways, that's about it for now, until next time :)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What Happens When I Have Free Time

Hello again! I wish that I could jump forward in time. Not too far, just far enough so I would have already completed my exams. Oh, how I hate exams. Due to my timetable, I am able to dedicate two hours a day of study, which in my opinion is two hours longer than what I find ideal.

I finally got a chance to watch Aladdin and the King of Thieves yesterday. I love the old school Disney movies, not so much the straight video films, but  I have this one  a shot, and I am glad I did, because I got to hear one of the best innuendo lines in Disney history thanks to the Genie “I thought the earth wasn’t meant to move until the honeymoon”. Watching many Disney classics, I have found that throughout history, they have endorsed different values. Sleeping beauty is an example. Although it would have been the norm when it was made to get married and have kids as early as possible, nowadays, it’s completely different. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyways, moving on! I have read Ubukawa Hajimete no Kare. It is complete in Japanese with 5 volumes, however only 5 chapters have been scanlated into English thus far. What can I say about it? The first chapter is very standard. We are interested to the main characters and the plot line. There are quite a few characters because it is a harem. It also uses the standard parents remarrying so Uri now has three brothers, who all happen to be bishounens and who all seem interested in her one way or another. But I found it frustrating to read, maybe because the main girl, Uri, changes crushes like one would change underwear. 5 chapters in, she has almost been raped twice by two different people, and has had two different crushes (the same people who tried to rape her) because she is too innocent and places way to much trust in people. Even though every her stepbrothers and best friend repeatedly warn her that boys in puberty will do stupid things regardless of how girls feel. It is pretty full on, so I think this is definitely more for mature readers, although it is currently a project of midnight scans, which focuses more on the mature serializations. Anyway I think if it had to come down to one guy Uri would end up with, my money is on Ryuu, because he is the first to kiss her (he has not attempted to rape her…yet) and in many shoujo mangas, the guy to kiss the girl first usually ends up together. 

I also read a nice one shot, even though I hate one shots, Oresama Kiss by Nagae Tomomi. Even though the status is ongoing, I have the feeling that is only a one shot. It’s pretty standard plot. Same scenario as before, the girl, Kana and the guy, Ryuo (very popular name in mangas) become step siblings through their parent’s remarriage. Kana finds out that her new brother is now the brother of is ‘unrequited love’, which she immediately assumes to be her sister, Hina because they go to the same university. Anyway, the plot unfolds and Kana gets upset when Hina takes Ryou to a wedding boutique in place of her fiancé` because he cancelled at the last minute and seems to be avoiding her. Kana becomes upset at her sister’s selfishness for making Ryou do something so painful. As Hina leaves to meet her fiancé` a psycho chick with a knife comes in trying to hurt Hina (the psycho chick is a stalker of her fiancé`). The fiancé` rushes in and explains everything. All seems well and good and then Ryou says that Hina isn’t his ‘unrequited love’ but its kana, and then they kiss and the end. As I said, pretty standard, had a bit of everything. Any, it’s a more condensed, laid back version of I’ll still love you tomorrow.

On the manga forums, I found the best quote in someone’s signature. Anyone who has read Shinjo Mayu’s work would understand. Although I enjoy her work, I find this rings true –

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."...unless you’re the main girl in a Shinjo Mayu manga. Then you will most definitely have an overly possessive boyfriend and will be sexually harassed and forcibly groped multiple times.

This is mainly true, except I had to add something to this “who also has a cat fetish”. I don’t know if it just me, but I find that true. I mean I find this the case in ‘Love Celeb’ and Haou Airen’ and to a lesser extent her other series. But regardless, I had a good laugh about it.

I’ve also read the scanlated chapters of Advent of Snow White of the Hell by Hwang Mi-Ri. See, this is what happens when I get too much free time! Anyway, I have to say I am loving it thus far. It is different from Hwang Mi-Ri’s other works. It’s not set in high school setting, it isn’t primarily about gang wars and the lead guy doesn’t seem to have anger management issues. The Female lead, whose name literally means ‘Happy Snow White’ is unbelievably stupid to the point of annoying, but other than that the characters are likeable. The story is set predominately in hell, after Snow White (Can’t remember her Korean name) travels to hell to save her father’s soul. Of course, there are demons, even the main guy, Taesan is one of the stongest demons in hell. I quite like how it isn’t the traditional view of fire and burning that hell is normally depicted as. I mean, when we are first taken to hell, we are taken to a place known as Aguido, which looks like a small country village from a couple of centuries ago. I am having a lot of fun with this one so far. It seems that the series is complete at 10 Volumes (short for a Hwang Mi-Ri series) so it looks like I have a lot to look forward to in this one, provided that they ever scanlate it.

Finally, (this is turning out to be an essay) I thought I would briefly mention some movies that I have recorded to my Foxtel which I plan to view once my exams are over. Most of them are Japanese and tragedies in one. The movies that I have recorded include Ichi, 20th Century Boys 1, 2 & 3 (the complete trilogy), Goemon and for some reason I have the 1996 version of Romeo + Juliet, you know the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. I watched the first 10 minutes of Romeo + Juliet today, and was pissing myself laughing. I reckon the gun fight at the gas station is the best start to a movie. Unfortunately, from memory, that was as good as it gets (I watched it like 7 years ago, so I can’t remember the rest of it).

Ah, finally done. Sorry for the essay! Anyways, that’s all for now, until next time :)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Turning Back Time

Okay, so I have been thinking of cosplaying or dressing up for an actual picture of myself for this blog, but last night when I attacked my friend's Facebook page, I found a wonderful photo of myself at the 2011 Melbourne Zombie Shuffle. I didn't even know my friend took posted this awesome photo of me and I thought that I just had to use it, so here it is:

In case you couldn't guess, me and friends went with the oh so cliche`d 'schoolgirl zombie apocalypse' theme. I also found a good one from 2010 zombie shuffle where a friend and I went as 'dide and doom' which resulted in a lot of pictures ending up on FlickR:

Looking through my pictures, I realize that thanks to photographs, there are moments that I am less proud of because I look like a twat, but hey, it was always a lot of fun. Moving on....

Anyways, I have read (there are only two chapters translated so far) the manga series Gekka Mugentan and I have to say it is surprisingly similar to Black Bird. The differences between this and Black Bird are very minimal, for example, instead of tengus, it is werewolves, the werewolves have a village secluded in the mountains, and the leadership of the village is decided by who can 'copulate' (word they use) with the 'golden rule' who is a girl with a crescent moon birth mark on her chest. Also, in order to be with the golden rule, it has already been established that these werewolves will kill each other. The main difference is that the heroine kicks ass. I mean, she isn't some wimpy little girl who starts crying every 3 panels, words cannot describe my desire to smash my head in whenever she starts crying, you could almost make a game out of it. Anyways, it is just as smutty, if not more smutty than black bird, so if you are sensitive to those kind of scenes, then please, do not read, you have been warned!! Also, although I have said only two chapters have been released in English so far, it is quite a lengthy series, with 7 volumes and ongoing!

I have also been reading Hotaru no Hikari. This series is a Josei series, and good Josei series are rather hard to find (mainly because they are all oneshots or manga adaption of harlequin romance novels-how I hate onseshots) but this one is a real gem. 7 volumes have been scanlated thus far, the series quite lengthy at 15 volumes complete. I quite like the analogy of the 'dried fish' or 'himono onna' for the lead character, who is lazy, messy and has not been in a relationship for 5 years, in other words, chronically single.  It deals with issues such as the older woman-younger man relationship (hotaru is 3 years older than her boyfriend, that is, when she gets a boyfriend) as well as living with another man who is not your husband/de facto partner, which used to be looked down on upon society. Although I haven't found any reliable sources, I just know Hotaru's boyfriend Makoto is going to find out about her living arrangements with Takano bachou and then they will break up and in the end she will end up with bachou. I expect an appearance by Bachou's estranged wife (they are separated but there is nothing said about them being divorced) but in the end, they will end up together perhaps, because, due to dramatic irony, they don't realize that they already find it hard to live their lives separately anymore (as shown in chapters 27ish-36ish). 

Anyways, that is about it for now, until next time :)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

At last...

I had a very peaceful day today ^_^ For the first time in a good couple of months I had a day which required me to do absolutely nothing, and let me say, it was glorious. Although, in all seriously, come Monday I will be hitting the books for the next few weeks in order to pass my exams, but fear not! I will make time to update my blog as it helps me relax at times.

So my team, the Sydney Swans played today. Although they played in Melbourne this weekend, I did not venture to the game, as after my last experience left me freezing cold. Good thing I didn't go, as I would have been bitterly disappointed as they once again, lost in Melbourne. It seems that they can't win here. Also, I am trying to save my money for the moment, so going to the AFL will just have to wait!

I have had the chance to read a few more manhwa series as well recently. I read Daddy Long Legs, and no it is not about the spider kind. It is a tragedy, and if you don't pay attention, you may get a bit lost, so to explain, I will most likely reveal spoilers. Sorry in advance. The story starts with Cha Young-Mi's employment at a radio station as a script writer, which just so happens to be her dream job. Turns out ever since her parents died in an accident, an anonymous person has been sponsoring the young girl so she can achieve her dream, their only contact being through snail mail. As the story progresses Young-Mi receives emails from a girl who's house she currently lives in, except the messages were sent a year ago with the intention of being received the following year (She assumes it is a girl for there is a massive portrait of her hanging in the main room). These emails serve as a journal for the girl and details of her unrequited love, who went oversees for medical reasons, in case she lost her memory as a result of the disease she has. The emails reveal also that the girl may only have a year to live. In the meanwhile, Young-Mi falls in love with a fellow colleague, Kim Joon-Hoo while also looking for her mysterious daddy long legs, who seems to be closer than he lets on. After a particular incident where a letter was answered (daddy long legs responded) but was never sent (because she never wrote an address) it is discovered that the director is her daddy long legs. After confronting the director, he admits that he is only a 'stand in' for the real daddy long legs, and that the real sponsor was originally Kim Joon-Hoo. The audience is then taken on a trip through Kim Joon-Hoo's memories and we find that he is owner of the house Young-Mi lives in, the sender of the emails, thus the person with the disease. At this point, Young-Mi and Joon-Hoo, who can't remember that he previosuly loved Young-Mi before his illness, reconcile at Young-Mi's favourite place (a park overlooking the town) only for Joon-Hoo to die next to her. After Joon-Hoo's death, Young-Mi finds the key to the attic, which turns out to be an office filled with sketches and notes about Young-Mi. At this point a ghost of Joon-Hoo appears (Young-Mi can't see it, but can feel his precence) that says he likes the smiling Young Mi the best. The story ends with Young-Mi saying that she is happy, but can't wait for the day when the two of them meet again. So yeah, that is about it, a bit long, but very confusing, I had to read the last few chapters twice to understand, but given that it is only two volumes in length, it is a nice, very well put together story and an enjoyable read. Everyone should get on it even if it isn't your cup of tea because this is such an amazing story.

I also read I Accept You, another Manhwa series, but this one is 6 volumes long. As far as Manhwa goes, this one is pretty standard. You have the two main characters, You have your gangs, your crazy stalker girl, the other guy who loves the stalker girl, another, totally unrelated girl, the dark hidden pasts etc. In short, there was simple, unlike Daddy Long Legs, which i felt had that depth. I Accept You definitely had it's moments, and  I still found it enjoyable, it's just that in comparison, for me it is no contest. However you like the works of great Manhwa artists such as Hwang Mi-Ri and Han Yu-Rang, then I feel that you will find that you will enjoy this series. 

For the record, I love Hwang Mi-Ri's and Han Yu-Rang's work, just a lot of their work has the whole gang/bad boy thing written into the plot. Also, I do read manga as well (a lot more than manhwa) but I have been reading a lot of manhwa lately because of my list. Basically, I have a list of the series that I wish to read, and to select the next series I will read, I number each series and then use a random number generator. I then match the random number generator with the number corresponding on the list and voila! It just so happens that a lot of Manwha numbers have come up recently :)

Anyway, a rather lengthy update I must say, but that is pretty much it for now, so until next time :)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Profound Analagy

After some profound thought, I have come to the conclusion that my phone service provider is no better than a needy girlfriend, you know, those ones who post the vague, attention seeking statuses on Facebook. And here is why:

1. My service provider is more than happy to extend my contract before it expires, but there is no chance of doing so before the expiry date. It is considered 'cheating' in the phone service world if I do this. To be completely reasonable though, I don't even get mobile reception at my house so why would I a) want to renew my contract to begin with, and b) there are better deals out there for me
2. It takes you for all you are worth, adding interest and GST to its already high maintenance costs
3. Like a clingy girlfriend, they constantly call you, asking for you to commit to a lifestyle that most cannot afford

Hence, as of the beginning of next month, my current service provider can consider itself dumped in favour of a more economical service.

Also, like everyone else, I am going to have a whinge about the weather. It's cold and it's wet and quite frankly I'd much rather stay in bed today, but unfortunately that is not going to happen.

Also, I have read Neck and Neck. Not a lot to say about it. Essentially it is 8 volumes of waiting for the lead chick to get with the other guy, which happens at the very end of the very last chapter. It was kind of all over the place. When someone was plotting against the heroine, all of a sudden the story line would jump to another tangent and jump back again 2 volumes later. The overall plot was decent, however the inconsistency of the story lost it for me :(

Anyways, that about it for now, hopefully next time, I won't be freezing when I update :)