Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I'm on a bus...

Still watching the Olympics, but I am having trouble staying tuned. This is mainly because of the commentators. A lot of the commentary is done by personalities rather than experts, especially with the free to air television (thank goodness I have pay television). But I am also having trouble because of the timezone. Although live action starts at 6pm Australian time, the good events and medal events also don't start until about 1am AEST. Also, my hopes of Australia doing will are continuously shattered as someone from somewhere else always seems to be better on the day. Oh well, there is still many more days and many chances for the Aussies to claim victory.

Yesterday also saw me use a bus for the first time in ages, so now I present to you the first ever BUS CHRONICLES entry. I boarded the bus expecting a fairly uneventful journey, but I was wrong. On the way to my destination a little old lady thought the best method to hail the bus was to stand in the middle of the road to attract the driver's attention. Although she did move before the bus would have hit her, I was rather dumbfounded as to why she would stand in the middle of the road to start with. On my return from running my errands on the bus, two girls who appeared to be 13/14 years of age sat behind me. They cracked the shits and started yelling for the bus to, and I quote "stop stopping". Clearly they don't understand the concept of the bus, and clearly also need to go back to school, as being a Monday, they were obviously wagging, they need all the help they can get. Nearing the end of my journey, the bus stopped at a stop about 250m from the train station. A gentlemen sitting in the back of the bus started screaming how this other guy getting on the bus was a 'dead set wanker' and 'fat c***' for not walking the 250m to the train station and board the bus there. This same gentlemen proceeded to deboard the bus at the very next stop, only about 100m from the train station. Oh the Irony. Thus ending my journey on the bus.

In other news, I got attacked by a bat today...at work. Considering I work for a catering company, it is probably one of the last things I expect when I go to work. So I was working, minding my own business, when a bird like creature descended from the rafters of the factory I was working a function for. This creature started circle me from above. At first I didn't mind because it was posing no real threat to me. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this creature was in fact a bat, at which point I still really didn't mind, until it started swooping me multiple times, like a magpie before finding it's exit route and escaping. 

In terms of reading, I am currently attempting to read Trinity Blood, but I may give up because I am finding it difficult to get into, probably because it is kind of similar to Angel Sanctuary, which I just read 20 volumes of, except instead of Angels and Demons, it is about Humans and Vampires.

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

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Angel Sanctuary Part Two

After everyone has returned from hell, we move onto the longest and probably most major arc of the series. I will call it the Sevothtarte arc. This arc had really started in the previous arc because he is the reason why Gabriel's soul is asleep/missing. Upon returning to his own body, Setsuna realises Sara's soul as the group plan to head to heaven. With the help of Zaphkiel, Setsuna is able to get into heaven under the pretence of helping Zaphkiel with his rebellion army. Zaphkiel makes a brief appearence earlier in the series when he stops Setsuna from committing suicide. Setsuna says he is willing to help Zaphkiel playing the part of the Messiah for the Amina Mundi (the rebel army) but later abandons them in search of Sara/Gabriel. In the meantime, Sara befriends Raphael and her servant while in confinement as is able to escape with the help of some rebels under the ruse of merchants. Sara and Setsuna, both disguised, unknowingly miss each other as Sara runs away and Setsuna travels towards Sevothtarte's mansion. Setsuna is caught by Sevonthtarte's guards but chooses to jump of the mansion, which would normally mean death, however managed to survive due to a passing "cloud whale". He manages get back to base where Zaphkiel is, where he admits that he accounted for what Setsuna would and did do. They are then raided, Sara goes back with Sevonthtarte and Zaphkiel takes a bullet for Setsuna, because it is revealed that he is the the only one who can change the future of Heaven and Earth.

Still in the same arc, I can't remember at what point, but Rocial reappears and fights with Setsuna. In the process he manages to awaken Alexial within him, and rips two of the three wings and gouge out Setsuna's left eye, leaving him critically injured. Also, due to the death of Lucifer/Kira (human embodiment of Lucifer) hell has collapsed which also lead to heaven and hell colliding. In the meanwhile Sevonthtarte begins his two pronged torture: 1.torture of Zaphkiel for his insubordination and leading the rebel forces 2.Placing Gabriel/Sara under trial with the intent of execution.

With the trial, Sevonthtarte accuses Sara/Gabriel of 'committing the sin of incest with her blood born brother during her reincarnation'. Rociel in the meantime uses the left eye of Setsuna he gouged out to offer Setsuna a view of the trial, which he is in the midst of trying to stop. Sevonthtarte continues the trial and accusses Sara of the crimes, which she cannot deny because of a medicine she drank prior to the trial which disabled her ability to speak. Sevonthtarte then presents evidence, a hologram Rahael (who also doubles as a physician) revealing that Sara was pregnant with Setsuna's child upon her death as a human (Raphael later admits that this was false and was said only to please Sevonthtarte). Just as it seems that Sara/Gabriel will be found guilty, Uriel arrives, and reveals that the real Sevonthtarte is probably dead. This effectively leads to the trial being dismissed.

After the failure of the trial, Sevonthtarte tortures Zaphkiel by performing the 'wing drop' (ripping out the wings of an angel) which would lead to a slow and painful death. After the revelations at the trial and Zaphkiel's history with Sevonthtarte, is is revealed that Sevonthtarte is Layla, a former research scientist who was violated (raped) for knowing too much about Heaven's secrets. Layla is then branded a fallen angel as sex (let alone rape) is an unforgivable sin in heaven. She then takes on the identity of Sevonthtarte after he dies in the battle between heaven and hell. Layla, under disguise, slowly killed anyone who had to do with her past, Zaphkiel being the last. After the wingdrop, Zaphkiel slowly goes crazy, basically becoming a zombie before dying. At this point Metatron, the true ruler of heaven in the absence of God (God has been MIA for centuries) is struggling as his twin brother Sandalphon, who doesn't have a body as such begins to take over his conciousness. During the demise of Sevonthtarte, Sandalphon decides that Sevonthtarte (Layla) would make a good surrogate mother for a body for Sandalphon. Sandalphon impregnates Sevonthtarte, but with little success as she later commits suicide.

Moving on the the final arc of the story, Rocial takes over where Sevonthtarte left off, becoming the effective ruler of heaven. He decides he wants to get into the highest level of heaven where God, Adam Kadmon and Alexial who is imprisoned in Eden are. Setsuna and co also try to do the same to not only stop Rocial, but also to save the Earth from the apocalypse. At the same time, Sandalphon disguises himself as Setsuna to try his plan on Sara which not only succeeds, but also leaves her unable to tell the real Setsuna from the 'monster' Setsuna. Setsuna decides to end this all by going to the highest level of Heaven. Thanks to a 'reincarnate' of Lucifer (looks like him, but his memories before death are gone), both parties are successful in breaking the barrier into heaven. Rocial/Lucifer fight Setsuna in Eden, where the body of the orignal Alexial is. It is at this point that Setsuna once again, fully awakens as the organic angel Alexial. Both parties then head for the tower where God and Adam Kadmon are.

Once inside, Rocial asks god that if he really loved his children, then he should let them end them suffering of never ending life. Setsuna and Lucifer then proceed to kill god, which turns out to be nothing but a projected image of what they expected god to be. It is then revealed that Adam Kadmon has been trying to avoid God's plan of destoying the Earth by confining him within the tower. The archangels (Michael, Uriel, with the assistance of Kurai substituting for both Raphael who is injured and Gabriel, who has returned to her state of slumber) seal the powers of Adam Kadmon, thus sealing the powers of God. At this point, Rocial is dying. He finally realises that Alexial sealed herself in Eden to protect him, and dies, giving his power to Setsuna, which gives him 6 wings (which only Adam Kadmon has). In the meanwhile, Sara breaks the stronghold Sandalphon has on her, and with God's powers sealed, Setsuna is able to defeat God, thus ending the war in heaven. This allows everything to return to how it was before the demolition the awakening of Alexial, with the angels in heaven returning to a life free of dictatorship, and Sara and Setsuna, returning to Earth with the flow of time resuming. The End.

There! 20 volumes done! Um...It's a lot to comprehend that is all I have to say. With the characters, even though he is the villain for the majority of the series, I quite like Rocial! He has an unhealthy obsession with his sister, which leads him to mimic her facial expresions so they even look alike! Well he does look feminine! Here are some shots!

 I kind of like his warped personality, I think that is what makes him such a great Villian

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

Angel Sanctuary and Olympics

Oh my Tacos!! The Olympics have finally started and I am so happy. I have already become a recluse for the next few weeks, as living in Australia, all the best stuff is in the middle of the night. However this is not a problem for me seeing as I am usually up all hours of the morning anyway. A few kudos I have to say, Congratulations to the Women's 4x100 Swimming Relay Team, for not only winning Australia's first medal of 2012, but also Australia's first Gold medal, what a great strike rate. And I also have to say congratulations to Vinokurov from Khazakstan for winning the road race before he retires at the end of the year. A gold medal is a great way to end any career. People were a bit disappointed when he one because he was caught and banned for 2 years for returning a positive drug test, but unless he turns in positive samples at the Olympics then I think there is nothing wrong with it.

Onto Angel Sanctuary by Yuki Kaori, I finally finished it, and I am glad I stuck with it and finished reading it. It is pretty violent, a lot of the characters die, and there are a lot of moments where I sat there with absolutely no clue what was going on. The story is about Setsuna and Sara, who are brother and sister. The first few volumes set up the story, where Setsuna is told that he is a reincarnation of the organic angel Alexial who hold the key to stopping the impending apocalypse that will destroy Earth.  At this point, one of the Antagonists, Rocial, the inorganic Angel and Alexial's twin brother awakens after being sealed within the Earth for centuries. Rocial immediately starts to look for his sister in order to fulfill his plan. During this time, Setsuna and Sara decide to act on their incestuous feelings for one another (yes, it is an incest series) by running away. They decide to return home, but on the way back, they encounter Katan, one of Rocial's servants (more like hitman). They try to kill Setsuna in order to kill Alexial who is dormant inside him and continue the cycle that all of Alexial's reincarnations suffer a short life and painful death, however, Sara breaks this cycle and changes the future by covering for Setsuna, being killed herself.At this point, Alexial awakens within Setsuna, causing a large scale demolition of the world. Adam Kadmon, the Holy Hermit, through an astral projection, descends to Earth to freeze time in order to delay and hopefully avoid the apocalypse.

The next arc is how Setsuna puts himself in a state of temporary death (basically he committed suicide) to battle through the ghouls of Hades in order to reclaim Sara's soul and bringing her back to life. Once in Hades, he meets  Katou, a senpai who was killed by Setsuna through a series of events. Together they battle through Hades until they find Uriel, the angel of Earth (element, not the planet) who works there on the reincarnation process. He informs Katou and Setsuna that and Angel from heaven has already claimed her soul and taken it with him. This means Setsuna must return to Earth before his body ends temporary death and actually dies, however just before he returns, an accident causes the sword in him to be removed, meaning his temporary death ends, leaving Setsuna's body in a state of permanent death. Fortunately, Setsuna's soul transfers into Alexial's original body.

The next arc follows two stories. The first is Kirai, an evil princess (evil is species of demon, not the adjective) who falls in love with Setsuna. This part of the arc deals with her feelings for Setsuna and what she would do for him to ensure his happiness. Kirai ultimately chooses to sacrifice her freedom and marry the demon lord Lucifer in order to give Setsuna a chance to return to his original body. The second part of this story is how Setsuna goes to hell to get Kirai back, because he believes everyone should be happy. The other part of the arc focuses on Sara's soul awakening in heaven, being heard by Metatron who has the ability to read dreams. Eventually, Sara's soul finds it's way into Gabriel, the angel of water who had been in a state of slumber for many centuries. The two tangents of the story meet up when Gabriel/Sara, along with the wind and fire angels, Raphael and Michael help fuse Setsuna's spirit back into his original body after he and Kirai return from hell.

Anyway, I think I will leave it there and continue another time, but that's about it, until next time :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Nothing Much Doing

So, I'm still waiting for the start of the Olympics, seems it can't come quick enough. In the meantime, I have had very little entertainment, well, not completely, like 99% of people, I have seen the new batman movie. I must say, without spoiling it for the few people who haven't seen it, it is surprisingly good. You know when your friends see a movie before you and they build it up about how good it is and then when you see it, it doesn't live up to the expectation that your friends made you believe it was? Yeah, that totally didn't happen, it was as awesome as everyone says it was. Also without giving away too much again, I think that after the release of the Superman movie in 2013 (yes, because the last one was just oh so successful, anyone even remember the guy who played Superman in that one, I sure don't) that the producers of these films will probably look at expanding the batman series by making a film about Robin. I don't know, the ending was kind of open from that perspective, leaving the possibility that perhaps in the future, there will be more movies in the franchise.

So other than batman, my life has been kind of dull. I mean, I am still working heaps, which means my bank account can't complain! In terms of Angel Sanctuary, I am only half way, or 10 volumes through. It is quite a slow read, it does have a lot of text and the plot line is somewhat complex and intricate so it takes a while to read a chapter. I am kind of getting what is happening at the moment, but still a bit confusing. I feel that the main story has kind of been overtaken by the sub plot at the moment, the main story being Setsuna's quest to search heaven and hell for the soul of his sister Sara, but for the last 2-3 volumes it has been  more about Kirai, who has been assisting Setsuna and her story. I guess this is her arc, but it's still going, and for not even being a protagonist as such, I feel 20 chapters is way too long. The arc also doesn't look like it is going to end anytime soon either. Oh well, nothing I can do to change the story.

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

Monday, 23 July 2012

Withdrawl Symptons

Now that the Tour de France has ended, my night times no longer have any decent sport for me to watch...until Friday when the Olympics start. I know complaining on the lack of sport which will last 4 and a half days is pointless, but I have no idea what I used to watch at this time a night. After the Olympics end and the US open has been played in August, I will be seriously screwed. At that point I might just crawl into a hole for the next 8 months until Wimbledon 2013 starts.

Speaking of the Tour de France, courtesy of the SBS coverage, I had to sit through the most painful montage of footage of Bradley Wiggins and his yellow jersey and his awful sideburns accompanied to the worst song ever made=Yellow by Coldplay. I wish I could unsee/unhear this

In terms of other stuff, nothing much has happened lately, other than plenty of working and a night in which I vaguely remember watching the Lion King while intoxicated, just so I could sing a long to the songs...for the record, I actually don't drink all that much, mainly because I am a broke uni student

In terms of reading, I have been reading Angel Sanctuary, which is taking a bloody long time! It's just a lazy 20 volumes long, which I am only up to volume 6, to be honest I would be surprised if I finish it before the end of this week. Thus far, I have found it rather confusing because there are so many characters, and because of the storyline, a lot of them look like each other, so half the time I have no clue what I am even reading. It is quite a mature read, it has a lot of religious context (such as the concept of heaven and hell and sinning) war and incest (an interesting trio combination if you ask me). I did find the first few volumes painfully boring to read and nearly gave up, but it does get a lot more interesting after the first story arc ends, which is about 2-3 volumes in.

Anyway, that is about it for now, a rather short update, until next time :)

Friday, 20 July 2012

New Look and the Usual

Hey, so I have recently changed the look of my blog, although very minimally. I am so happy now that my blog is purple, I wanted it purple stripes from the start, but didn't know how to change the colour until recently! I also changed the header photo along the top to Hitsune Miku, not so much because I am a fan, but the picture is 100% my style so I just had to have it!

Because I have had a lot of work lately, I really haven't had much off time. But in the meantime, I have read the first 9 chapters of Bitou Lollipop by Iketani Rikako, the mangaka of the currently popular series six half. The manga is complete at 7 volumes in Japanese, but only the 9 chapters are so far in English. It follows the story of Madoka. After her parents win the 100 million yen lottery, they decide to quit their jobs and try to become doctors. This forces Madoka, who refuses to go with them to board with the Asagi family. Made welcomed at first to keep up appearances, Madoka quickly learns that she is not welcomed by 'Asagi mama' who tries to minimize all contact between herself and Madoka. Madoka quickly meets and befriends Tomoe, Asagi mama's son, who often comes to visit because the room Madoka currently lives in is where Tomoe hides his manga and dvds from his mum. Soon after, they decide to go out, but have difficulty with the dynamics of the relationship due to their ages (Tomoe is 2-3 years younger). In the meanwhile, Madoka's parents are struggling to stay together, living seperately because her mother can't stand her husband's slow learning pace. By the end of chapter 9 the father has gone missing, but it is suspected that he has run away with another woman. There is another male character who is a love rival, but he is into the mum, and I know in the end, thanks to spoilers ;) she ends up with Tomoe anyway, so I didn't pay much attention to him. I love the art, I have always been a fan of Iketani's style because it is so different. I'm looking forward to more in the future :)

I have also read Heaven by Aya Oda. It's a cute little two volume story, and it is complete in both English and Japanese. I really shouldn't call it cute though because the story does deal with going to 'heaven' through taking one's life. The story begins with Rion, grief stricken after the sudden death of her parents and how she has found herself at the edge of a cliff contemplating to join them (suicide). Before she acts on her thoughts, Tenri convinces her that going to heaven won't solve anything. Tenri is the heir (i guess) to the nearby hot-spring inn. Rion follows Tenri back to the inn where she meets both Kakeru and Jiang. Rion quickly learns that the inn is the 'gateway to heaven, and that both Kakeru and Jiang don't feel the will to live. Rion quickly develops feelings for Tenri, who opens who options as to what she can live for and shortly after, they get married so Tenri can become her legal guardian as her aunt declares her burdensome. It is quickly revealed that Tenri was abandoned at the cliff where he met Rion and that Tenri also loves his sister, who has been missing for more than 6 months. Despite this, Rion is adamant that she can make Tenri happy and that she will stay by his side. Towards the end of the story, Kakeru and Jiang have once again found their desire to live, allowing them to start to pursue their dreams. Kaori, Tenri's sister also returns causing uncertainty within Rion, who believes Tenri will return to his sister's side. Tenri then confesses that he in fact does love Rion, but if she doesn't believe him then they might as well just meet again in heaven. At this point, Tenri jumps from the cliff (it wasn't so much a suicide attempt as it was a test of fate, to see if they were meant to together). Tenri survives and when he recovers, he asks Rion again to marry him (this time for the right reasons) and they live together with the others at the inn. I found a massive plothole and I just can't ignore it. If Tenri was abandoned, then he would have no blood relation to his 'sister', Kaori, so therefore there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't have tried to pursue a relationship with her. I'm just saying!

Also, I am very proud to say that my Disney renaissance collection is nearing completion. Now all I need is The Little Mermaid and Tarzan and my collection is complete!

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

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Good to be Home Part 2

First day back at work today, and what a day! We had a Christmas in July function which meant I got to work with our Elvis Impersonator. The highlight of my day was when I handed him his cuppacino and did the trademark 'thank you, thank you very much!' A good day was had by all.

Anyway, a bit more of my escapades on  my holiday, a friend and I went to the movies to see Seth MacFarlane's new film 'Ted'. I have to say, it was surprisingly good, almost like a live action Family Guy of sorts. Of course it stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, who voices Meg in family guy, but it also stars Seth MacFarlane as the voice of Ted. There are also a lot of cameo's by the voice actors of Family Guy including Patrick Warburton and Alex Borstein. It was definitely a good comedy, but at the same time, definitely not one for the kiddies, there is a lot of sexual innuendo and a lot of pop culture jokes. Anyway, I thought it was a good laugh and a film I would recommend.

That's about it in regards for my trip, so moving on to the usual, I have read Lemon Planet by Megumi Hazuki. So far, there is only three chapters scanlated and I have no idea how long the original is or if it it still ongoing in Japan. Anyway the story is about Karin, a high school student who has wanted nothing more than to become the bride of her childhood friend Saku. Saku has recently moved to attend university and has returned for summer vacation. Karin becomes anxious after Saku being away so long, as it seems that he has found a potential lover at his university. This causes Karin to inadvertently confess in public to Saku, saying that he should spend the summer to try to look at her as a woman. Saku tells Karin she should also stop looking at him as a childhood friend, as he may not be as kind as he seems. With only three chapters published thus far, that is about all that has happened. There is also Taku, the younger brother of Saku, I think he has a thing for Karin as well, so I think it will get quite messy, with the possibility of a love triangle. If that happens, I am going for Taku, because Saku is a jerk.

I have also read Evyione by Kim Young Hee. It is a Korean series, currently scanlated to the beginning of volume 6, and it has at least 9 volumes in Korean. Fundamentally it is the same storyline as the little mermaid with role reversals, so the female is a princess and the male is king of the mer-people. It is a lot more gruesome and mature themed than the Disney version I must say. The story starts of with the princess Evyione on a ship to celebrate her birthday. During the celebrations, a sea creature emerges and knocks several people, including Evyione into the see. The Mermaid King sees her and wants to make her his, so he asks the sea witch to allow him to live on the land. She does, but on the condition that 1. He will lose his voice 2. If he cannot win Evyione's love, then he will (it isn't said, but I think he will die). The merman goes through a painful transformation to take a human appearence and is found by Evyione in her mother's grave (it's like a monument). Evyione takes him back to the castle, where is considered a mute and a male prostitute given his appearance. From this point on, Yashin (the name given to the merman) learns to communicate through paper, and eventually becomes part of the royal guards in order to stay near Evyione, while Evyione goes through emotional turmoil as she struggles to understand her feelings for Yashin and her changing family circumstances (potential step-sibling who could take the throne, arranged marriage etc). Anyway, that's pretty much where the story is up to for now, it is quite interesting and I will certainly read new chapters when they are released.

Also, I have been watching the Tour de France, and I must say I am rather disappointed with the behavior of some people. I am sure that everyone knows about how tacks were thrown onto the road the other night. I was watching it on television, and I can not believe that there are people who are capable of endangering the safety of not only the participants of the Tour de France, but also the team  and race officials. All up, there was an estimated total of 48 flat tyres on cyclist bikes and team cars over the stage, with one rider even having to abandon due to an accident caused by the tacks. I am all about sportsmanship and this kind of behavior, probably done by a spectator is just in poor taste. It takes away the spectacle of the race by bringing the sport into disrepute.

I am glad to say that my footytips have gone back to form. I got 7 this week, and I am also a very happy chappy that my Sydney Swans remain first on the AFL ladder with a 50 point demolition of West Coast Eagles in Perth, no mean feat as the Eagles are one of the best teams when at their home ground. Is it time for another Premiership for the swans perhaps? I am hoping so!

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

Monday, 16 July 2012

Good to be Home Part 1

Ok, so instead of writing a massive entry, I have decided to write two shorter ones over two days...

Firstly, I must say it is good to be home! I missed my bed, the one I used while I was away may as well have been a slab of concrete, so I didn't get to relax through the pain the bed caused.

So for my holiday, I went to New South Wales where I use to live until I was 15 years old, so I have a lot of family and friends there. I got to see all my relatives and friends while I was there, so although it was very busy, I accomplished my goal of the holiday. So what did I do?

Despite being a holiday with the purpose of visiting friends and family, it turned more into a holiday about food, constantly going to cafe's and restaurants. I went with one of my friends to Max Brenner Chocolate Bar, and I can say it definitely filled it's purpose of selling chocolate! We both got a chocolate souffle, which I was kind of disappointed with, because as the name suggested, it was actually NOT a souffle, but more a pudding. It was a very heavy pudding, where as souffle's are meant to be light and fluffy. I am disappointed in this advertising. I also had with it the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate, and it was definitely thick, I am pretty sure it was just a glass of melted chocolate than an actual drink. That night, I went to dinner with my grandparents and the local golf club, as they do so every other Friday. I ordered a schnitzel, as nothing else on the menu really caught my interest (well the lunch menu did, but I can't have the lunch menu for dinner). What I got was a massive mountain of food stacked on a plate. Somehow I managed to complete my meal, however, I feel that I ate veal schnitzel rather than the promised chicken schnitzel.

The following day, I had lunch with my mother while we were out shopping together. It's one of our favourite cafe's and it certainly didn't disappoint us, especially because we got our meal for a cheaper than expected price :). That night, I went to Amigos, a Mexican restaurant with another friend before a night out on the town. We were taken to god knows where in the restaurant, past the kitchen and to the outside seated area (in the middle of winter). I ordered a tequila mockingbird cocktail, which was nice other than the fact that it was three quarters ice, and the meal I ordered was a chipotle chicken chimichunga, but unfortunately, I don't think that is what I got. What U got had the same look and texture as tuna, and it definitely was not chipotle like advertised.

Moving onto the Sunday, I had a 3 course lunch at my Aunt's house, which included a nice but hideous looking soup and some excellent desserts! I actually don't know what I ate during the meal, but I assume it wasn't poisoned or anything because clearly I am still alive. That night, me and my friends went for our traditional Hogsbreath dinner (we always go there when I am there). I decided to have the cheese burger in paradise, as I was sick of ordering chicken when I clearly was not getting chicken. It was nice, but I failed to eat my meal, because after all the food that was presented to me at lunch, there was just no way. At least it was moderately priced, so it didn't really matter.

Other escapades that happened while I was away included a night on the town with my friends. Compared to Melbourne, going out is comparably cheaper, and I love the the club we went to had 'gourmet' shooters and cocktails, something that usually isn't done in pure nightclubs and only in bars in Melbourne. I came across a wonderful liqueur called 'Vok' (I think that might be the brand of it) which is purple in colour and tastes like musticks, definitely the discovery of the night! Unfortunately, it was not all good, two people I was with decided to get into a 'cat fight' with other club-goers, resulting with them getting kicked out and us having to go look for them because one of my other friends became their purse minder. I don't understand the mentality of going to a club and looking for a fight, but these two girls I was with definitely went out with that mentality. I have a feeling that their pre drinks may have involved some illicit drugs, as their behavior was definitely unusual by anyone's standards.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Vacation Time

So just a quick update, but yeah, I am going on holiday for a few days. Nothing big, just to New South Wales, but that means that this will be the last update until around the 17th. 

Anyways, I have read a few short series. The first being Kimi wa Kirakira, which is complete at 5 chapters. It's a cute story about a girl who has no passion for anything in life. That is until she meets a fellow college student, who plays American Football for his college. This meeting reignites the girls passion for photography, which she developed before her parents divorce many years prior. The rest of the story is the development of the friendship between the two and how they both continue to follow their dreams. It's a nice story, but I felt that this had much potential to be a longer serialization. Oh well, no use crying.

I also have read Shiro no Eden, which is also complete at 4 volumes (16 chapters long). I thought that this was going to be a cute little love story. I can now say that I was wrong. The story is about Mashiro, a third year middle school student who is very withdrawn and unsociable as she fears that she may not be a good girl. With parents who constantly harrass her about her grades and why can't she be a good girl, she finds solace at a small cram school where Ai, a man who gives Mashiro magic candy, teaches. The two develop feelings for one another, however Ai denies he feels anything as it is revealed that he prostitutes himself in order to financially support the cram school. Finally when all seems resolved, Mashiro and Ai start a relationship only to find out that they are in fact, siblings!! The rest of the story deals with the taboo of an incestuous relationship. By this point, Ai decides to leave to search for his father who has been missing for several years. The story ends 10 years later, Ai still has not returned and no one has been contacted by him for over 3 years. Mashiro has since become a teacher, and has recently been transferred to a school on an island. It is then revealed that there is a cram school the same name as the one Ai taught at on the island. Mashiro finds the cram school to find that it indeed Ai. The two reunite after 10 years of seperation and it is assumed that they continue a relationship of some kind (whether it is as siblings or lovers is unknown).

Anyway, this is about it for now, until next time :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Battling the Cold

If I havent't said it before, then I will say it now, but Melbourne is just way too cold during winter. I had to venture outside today and I deeply regret it. I wish summer would come, just not January, because January means the Australian Open here, and it always gets strangely hot for those two weeks.

Anyway, as previously mentioned, I have been reading and have now finished Handsome Girlfriend. My only criticism is the ending, but I tend to find a lot of Yoshizumi Wataru's works to be quite rushed and open ended. I think an extra chapter or two showing whether or not the characters succeeded in their chosen professions would have been nice because the end just leaves you assuming everything works out for everyone. Anyway the story begins with Mio and Ichiya at the beginning of beginning their respective careers. The most simple way to put this is that the story chronicles the two main characters relationship with each other and the relationships and bonds they develop with those around them who also work within the entertainment industry, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. What I did find confusing about the story is the timeline. I found it very confusing, because one minute they are 15, then next they are 17 and I am sitting there thinking, when did this happen? Anyway, it was a cute story none the less.

I have also read Sugar Princess by Nakajo Hisaya, which is "on hiatus" after two volumes. Firstly, the chapters are very short, only 20 pages long, which makes this a quick read, but because of this, I feel that the story lacks depth. Even though it is on hiatus, it doesn't mean it will ever be continued, which also is a problem because the end of the second volume is platformed for that story extension. Anyway, the story is about Maaya, a middle school girl who has never ice skated before. At the rink, where she skates for the first time, she catches the eye of a scout who encourages her to take it up as a sport. She agrees, meeting Shun, a high school student who is adament he will never skate pairs again. After the provisionary owner of the rink announces he plans to close down the rink, the condition is set that if Maaya and Shun are able to place at a local exhibition competition. They practice a routine that Shun did with his former pairs partner, his deceased sister Aya. By the time of the competition they are confident of placing in the competition, until the MD that contains their music for their routine goes missing. They quickly find a substitute MD and perform and place second in the competition, saiving the ice rink, until the provisionary owner claims that their lack of responsibility for losing the MD is unacceptable and that their deal is null and void. It is then that it is revealed the provisionary owner stole the MD to sabotage Maaya and Shun and then the real owner emerges saying he never intends to close the ice rink. The story is put on hiatus when it seems that Maaya and Shun will continue skating as a pair. Obviously you can see how this can be continued, as Maaya is still an amatuer and a bunch of professional skaters were introduced, clearly meant to becoming a major factor further along the story when Maaya and Shun become more elite in the ice skating world.

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

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Breaking Point

This week I have seriously considered dropping out of university. This is because the university I attend announced that it will be closing down the campus which I am currently attending. This basically ruins my plans for the next year, as I don't even know where I will be going to uni next year, hence I can't move out like I planned to later this year. The extra time that I will also need to travel to my new campus also limits my ability to work and make money to fund me moving out of home. The most frustrating part is that my university claims that the closure of the campus was needed for the growth of the university. Last time I checked, growth meant growing larger, not downsizing. Essentially, I pay thousands of dollars a year for my higher education to be flushed down the proverbial toilet. It gets worse though, those affected are offered counseling to deal with the transition. No offense, but counseling is going to do f*** all in this situation. Anyway, click >>HERE<< to read the entire article of false promises my uni offers. It's like finding out Santa isn't real all over again.

Moving on, I have read Youth Gone Wild by Lee Nicky. For anyone who doesn't know, this is actually a Taiwanese series, and by the same author as the currently popular series 'The One' so something a bit different. I found this quite enjoyable, it is about music, somehow I find that series about music are fairly enjoyable to read. Anyway, the story is about Ya-Ting, a girl who dreams of becoming a top entertainment manager and her quest to create and manage a band to international success. It chronicles the formation and development of 'The Death' and the barriers that they need to overcome not only to succeed in the local music market, but also on the international market, something that is still very difficult for Asian based musicians to achieve (with the exception of fan and niche audiences). I like how the series is somewhat realistic. It emphasizes the role the media plays in the promotion and demise of artists in the entertainment industry and the backstabbing nature of corporations in order to make more money and generate a greater status amongst society. I also like the references to iconic bands such as Guns 'n' Roses, U2 etc. One criticism I do have is the open ending. The story ends with the beginning of the new year, which is being celebrated by the main characters. I found out that at the time of publication, there was a possibility that a sequel to this series may have been commissioned, however, turns out there isn't, so that's it, slightly disappointed.

I have also read Orange Marmalade by Seok-Woo, which is a Korean webtoon series updated weekly and currently ongoing. It is about a female vampire, Ma Ri, who must hide her identity in order to live discreetly amongst human society. She chooses that it is best to shut herself from interacting with others in order to protect herself after a horrible experience in the past. Thus far she has successfully concealed her identity after transferring to a new school, until her cover is nearly blown when she is enticed by the scent of Jae Min and his sweet blood and she attempts to bite his neck (sounds kind of wrong, but apparently his blood lures vampires lol). This is the start of a series of events which lead to Ma Ri to interact with others, eventually befriending a few of her classmates with whom she shares her secret with, while also developing feelings for Jae Min. The series deals with segregation in society, as known vampires are vanished from particular regions upon discovery. In terms of vampires, I find this a realistic scenario if this were an alternate reality, given the scenario that the vampires were suppressed by the humans, that they would slowly adapt to a point that they are indistinguishable from other humans as is the case in this series. Also, this is a webcomic, so the the entire thing is in colour, which i absolutely love!!

Currently, I have started reading Handsome Girlfriend by Yoshizumi Wataru. It is complete at 9 volumes in both English and Japanese. I have thus far just finished the first volume, so we'll see how that goes over the next few days.

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

Monday, 2 July 2012

Bludging at it's finest

Oh hey! I am happy to say that the past few days I have done some hardcore budging and man am I enjoying doing absolutely nothing. Well, not completely true, being a sports fan, I am currently up all hours at night channel surfing between Wimbledon and Tour de France, and soon, the Olympics. In some good news, I passed Semester One of Uni, including the nightmare that is accounting! I am so so so happy that I was able to pass accounting, given my 4am cram session the night before the exam :). Finally, my suffering has ended and I can look forward to the awesome subjects I have selected for my second semester.

Anyhow, I have read Kakan no Madonna by Saito Chiho. I must say, I quite like this mangaka's work, the plots are shoujo, however there is always unexpected plot turns which always ensures an interesting read. I remember reading Mou Hitori no Marionette, which deals with multiple personality disorders such as schizophrenia, which is something that not even the best novelists write about. Anyway, as for Kakan no Madonna, it is set in 16th century Italy in the era of Da Vinci and co, and focuses on Leonora, a girl who bears a striking resemblance to a painting Da Vinci painted ten years prior to the commencement of the story. Da Vinci is actually a character in the manga, so I found that rather interesting. Anyhow, the painting is a clue to a legend that involves a hidden sword and if found, the holder of the sword would become King of Italy. So Leonora goes on a journey to find the sword despite the fact that she is sought after many who wish to become the king, and meets and falls in love with the prince of Naples, Falco, despite the fact that originally, he had the same the purpose as others of becoming king. There is some factual accuracy to this story, as there is to some of Saito Chiho's other series. For example, one of the men after her in order to become king is Cesare Borgia. The series coincides with the demise of the Borgia family, which actually happened, look it up on Wikipedia. As I said, there are unexpected plot turns, some of which have quite adult themes (rape, murder etc) but overall it is a quite entertaining read. I am just waiting for the final few chapters to be scanlated so I can read the ending :)

I will also say I attempted to read Kirarin Revolution. I could only read the first six chapters because from that point onwards, the scans become of such poor quality that I can't stand it. I know I don't have any right to complain, but the English was so bad that I couldn't make sense of what was happening so I just gave up. The art is cute though, so it is easy on the eye!

In the meantime, I have read Taming the Cat Master by Han Yu Rang. The story is about an orphan girl Hye Sung, and how she is forced out of the orphanage to live with a stranger of the name of Kang Jae Young due to the will left by Kang Jae Young's deceased grandfather. At first, the two fight continuously as both are stubborn to admit defeat, although this animosity between the two also harbors a deeper, subconscious level of attraction, as Hye Sung unknowingly becomes jealous of the women around Kang Jae Young. Throughout the story, it is revealed what the contents of the will were, which was for Kang Jae Young and Hye Sung to marry in order for them to receive an inheritance. At first, Hye Sung rejects, but after a few humiliating encounters with Kang Jae Young's mother, Hye Sung agrees to the marriage out of spite for his mother. After a previous lover of Kang Jae Young hears the news, she becomes jealous that she has lost him to someone she deems unworthy, and plots a revenge that makes Hye Sung appear to be frivolous and unfaithful to Kang Jae Young that spirals way out of control to the point where Hye Sung is expelled from school. This plot by the former lover completely backfires as it acts as a catalyst for Hye Sung and Kang Jae Young as the attraction is brought to the surface. When there seems to be no way to solve the current crisis, Kang Jae Young's mother offers Hye Sung a lifeline to stop the crisis, on the condition she obeys the mother's wishes. Hye Sung agrees and the crisis dies down, then as expected, Kang Jae Young's mother asks Hye Sung to leave and to never contact them again. This is where the story kind of ends for now as scanlations are still going, the last volume was released by Blue Moon scans a few hours ago and I haven't had a chance to read it yet, so Ill do that when I have some time.

Anyways, next on the list is Youth Gone Wild, which I am really looking forward to, so watch this space!

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