Monday, May 28, 2007

honey & clover

Honey & Clover (Anime)

I give this anime series (a manga adaptation) 4.5 stars. For both seasons.

Watched the 1st season on Animax. The DVD is already available in places like Poh Kim.

A warning though: This is NOT an action anime. Unless you think that the constant squabbling between themselves are pretty-action packed.

This anime is about a bunch of students in a fictional art college that is based on Musashino Art University, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo.

It has drama, comedy and romance all rolled in one. There's this constant mystery that hovered in the background of season 1 and you only get the answers if you faithfully proceed to follow up on season 2.

Not to worry though. The zany characters and the interesting storyline will keep you wanting more as each episode ends. And there's always that mystery to keep you intrugued.

It helps that each character looks good and there are these occasional watercolour backgrounds that are simply eye-catching.

There are the usual love triangles, school issues (them being art students, it's usually the creative block that bug them), work issues (after they graduate), family issues (there's hardly a mention of this till I almost assumed some of them to be orphans). You see how they visit places that truly exist like this theme park with the hee-yuge ferris wheel. You see how they gather for celebrations.

Talk about celebrations, this is one anime which got away with the characters having celebrated Christmas THRICE in the 1st season alone. The 1st season alone spanned over a period of 3 years. In 24 episodes.

What drew me to this anime is how (almost) real the characters can be. You may not realise it but there's a bit of ourselves in each of them. There are happy/hilarious moments and there are (really) sad/heartbreaking ones. Sad smiles and happy tears.

Guys DO cry in here, ok.

The last episode is really, really saaaad..!

Heck, I even know of guys who watch this anime and cried too!
Quote: "...Wow this was such a powerful episode. I cried ( I am male) hahahaha.."

Problem with the one on Animax is that they show the dubbed version. Problem with the dubbed version is that they tend to edit the actual dialogue to fit the conversation. It may not always be accurate. I did not realised how much I missed until I caught the 2nd season on another medium.

The other medium played the original version - with subtitles. I realised that I've been betrayed by the spoken English voices of the characters. And the dialogue is definitely less corny/cheesy. It actually has definite depth and meaning. And best of all, they subtitled the songs too!

The songs are very happy-sounding, believe me. Very upbeat and catchy. Who would have thought that the lyrics are as depressing as they can get? I can never see this anime in the same light again. It's almost an oxymoron!

My gripe is that the 2nd season could have been longer. True, the stroyline flowed just like in the manga (comic) but they could spread the story over more episodes. 12 is a tad short for a more pleasant watch, seriously.

For more info:

My fave Honey & Clover link - this guy gave part synopsis/part review for each episode (except the last... hmmpf!):

Sunday, May 20, 2007

soccer at chijmes

soccer @ c.h.i.j.m.e.s

Met up with the usual suspects - Khama & Bas. Kai's outta' picture this time. The plan was just to hang out. Then Bas and myself, we realised that the FA Cup final will be on (we dun take much notice initially cos' both Man U & Chelsea ain't really 'our teams').

I've cautioned Bas the Chijmes might be packed and we may have trouble finding space if we didn't hurry. He only said, "Relax. I've been there before and it's not that bad." Then I reminded him that it's the FINALS that we're watching. He told me to chill.


So why was I NOT surprised to see that Chijmes looked like a freakin carnival, what with those joints showing the match having NO unoccupied table and the basement was converted into a sorta' bazaar?

10 mins before it start, we contemplated that we will not stand for 2hrs and head out for this sports joint near Bas's office. We knew it's bad news when we saw a line of people outside the place.

"Heck it. Let's get back to Chijmes, Better than nothing."

Stood outside Cosafe Maid Cafe, where the cute waitresses don the colonial maid's outfit, cosplay-style.

The match just started and we decide not to budge. Khama pushed aside a planter box and the 3 of us just sat at these little steps by the alfresco dining area. The view's not bad.

And I think they used HDtv. The clarity's superb!

I do feel kinda out-of-place upon realising that I am the ONLY girl there watching the match for the love of the game itself and not to accompany my boyfriend.

And I got really self-conscious when Khama told me that this certain Mtv VJ was at the table next to us.

And something funny happened throughout the game. The climax of which was that when Didier Drogbar scored towards the end of the extra time. Bas and I were the ONLY TWO who stood up and cheered.

Yes, my fren. We were seated in the wrong camp!!

In fact, we were SURROUNDED BY MAN U FANS. When we stood up, I saw only a handful of Chelsea fans and they're wayyy at the other side. And I also saw just how many Man U jerseys there were around us. I got so nervous I can't stop laughing.

All around us, it was silent. DEAD SILENCE. I remarked as I nudged him when he kept on chiding the Man U players. "Ermm, Bas. This time I'm very sure we're at the wrong side."

Like, HELLO??!

Before they even gave the cup, we had already left. You should see the way some guys stared glared at us. They were still very very quiet (maybe still reeling from the shock). And Bas ACTUALLY got the cheek to go up to that certain VJ (who's a definite Man U fan, by the way), shook his hand and said, "Hey, I'm sorry, man!" before walking off.

Ok, to clear some air, let me say this: Bas and I are NOT Chelsea fans (we do find Murinho's antics cute, though). We're Liverpool and Arsenal fans, respectively. But we got this common dislike for Man U, despite us respecting them, hence the support for Chelsea.

Get that?

Oh, speaking of Liverpool:

.. the owner of this car is one lucky bloke.

Whichever way the game goes, he'll still be a happy man.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

langkawi 07

langkawi 0605-0905

I got no time to make a proper entry bout the trip. My bad.

Frankly, despite it being my 1st trip with my family in 10 years, it just doesn't leave much of an impact on me. Maybe I haven't gotten over Hong Kong, that's why....

Just take a look at the pics - if you're interested, that is.

**click on the pics to get to the album**

Gunung Mat Cincang cable car ride.

Pantai Tengah.

Pulau Beras Basah.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

back from langkawi

okay, i'm back...

...Since Wednesday evening, actually.

But I've been busy nursing this slight cold and ...erm... how do I put it..?

Well... I finally manage to finish watching yet another box-set of Korean drama.

A pretty old one, actually (2004).
The title is: IRELAND. Yes, the country.

Lee Na Young as Lee Joong-ah
Hyun Bin as Kang Gook
Kim Min Joon as Lee Jae-bok
Kim Min Jung as Han Shi-yeon

This is one weird korean drama. Weird with a capital W.


Weird not just beacause it's different from the typical korean dramas out there. Compare it to other types of dramas and it'll still be weird. Well, maybe except for the French ones...

The storyline is weird. The plot is weird. The characters are weird. The dialogue is weird. The ending is odd. Just odd.

And it didn't garner that much fans (except for those who watch only to swoon after Hyun Bin).

But I LOVE it!

Cos' it reminds me so much of those good arty-farty foreign movies (think Gus Van Sant) that I've watched.

The oddball characters with their quirky dialogues. Those times when I have to rewind the scenes because I just don't get what they're trying to convey.

Those times when I almost wrote notes because watching this was reminiscent of those good old days during literature classes in school. Where we analysed characters, storylines and dialogues for god-knows-what.

Sure there are crying scenes. The guys cry, as usual. The ladies, well... It's different for them. They practically WAILED. And sobbed. LOUDLY. Distorted facial expressions are encouraged.

Lee Na-Young & Hyun Bin? They looked so good as a couple. Just too bad, they're not meant to be.

And this series have this oh-so-slight inclination towards homosexuality. Very very slight. But it does affect the ending, though.

The thing that baffled me. Why isit called Ireland? There's not much mention of that country. The only person who was filmed being there was just Lee Na-Young. And...?

But I admit that the gorgeous Irish countryside makes for great cinematography.

Okay, next entry will be about my trip. I think. IfI found another box set to watch, then maybe the trip will be blogged about sometime next week.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

jangan pandang belakang

Jangan Pandang Belakang....
huh? kenapa...?

If I had known, I 'd watch something else at the theatres. In my opinion, the fright level for this movie is just lukewarm. Tepid even.

Tak seram, lah. Sungguh! In fact, Most of us in that theatre (full house) laughed a lot. Don't ask me why. We are weird like that.

There's just too many loopholes. Given the fact that this is director Ahmad Idham's first horror movie, I guess there's much left to be desired. It's more drama than horror, if you ask me. The first part was just sooo draggy. The ghost loooks funny and I swear I saw the wire that's used to 'fly' that thing.

In fact, I think the ghost looks like a 'hantu mat rock terlepas'. Was that a MALE ghost that I see??! I've seen scarier images on the posters of the metal bands that my bro love.

And I have some queries: *warning! spoilers ahead. those who have not watch and wants to, dun read on*

- if they managed to 'severe ties' with that ghost in the end, why the heck didn't they do it in the 1st place?

- jagung rebus bila tanam boleh tumbuh jadi pokok, ke? kalau budak2x nakal korek lobang tu, dia terlepas, lah eh?

- last part, dah penat terbang, dia merangkak pulak macam Sadako?

- macam mana Seri boleh bawak Darma balik kampung sorang2x? Terer, eh dia. Macam superwoman, lah!

- apasal benda tu boleh melekat kat tunang Darma, when in fact, it's Darma who should be the waris of that 'saka'?

- if that thing is in fact trapped INSIDE the bottle, why is it able to disturb people like it's OUTSIDE?

- the picture in the digital camera is pretty unnecessary. they involve that part in the synopsis, making it seem like a big issue in the movie - when it's not so.

- when he went back to his late fiancee's place for the 2nd time after her death, was he actually 'told' of what happened the night she died or was it shown only to explain to us - the audience??

- last but not least, apa kena mengena dengan the term, "Jangan Pandang Belakang??" That Darma ALWAYS looked back. And..???


I was sorely disappointed, to say the least. I had expected more. Maybe something like that Thai movie: "Shutter". Talk about that movie, the makers are coming up with a new one, about siamaese twins or more appropriately - one 1/2 of them called, "ALONE". Gonna check that out.

I love Thai horrors.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

fastest walkers

Singaporeans, we're the fastest walkers, liao!

As extracted from a YAHOO! News article: World's cities step up pace of life in fast lane

"... Pedestrians in Singapore were crowned the world's fastest movers, walking 30 percent faster than they did in the early 1990s.."

"Researchers in each city found a busy street with a wide, flat pavement, free from obstacles and sufficiently uncrowded to allow people to walk at their maximum speed. They then timed how long it took 35 people to walk 60 feet.

They only monitored adults on their own, and ignored anyone on a mobile phone conversation or struggling with shopping bags.

The times, in seconds, recorded in 32 cities across the world are listed below:
1) Singapore (Singapore): 10.55
2) Copenhagen (Denmark): 10.82
3) Madrid (Spain): 10.89
4) Guangzhou (China): 10.94
5) Dublin (Ireland): 11.03
6) Curitiba (Brazil): 11.13
7) Berlin (Germany): 11.16
8) New York (United States of America): 12.00
9) Utrecht (Netherlands): 12.04
10) Vienna (Austria): 12.06
11) Warsaw (Poland): 12.07
12) London (United Kingdom): 12.17
13) Zagreb (Croatia): 12.20
14) Prague (Czech Republic): 12.35
15) Wellington (New Zealand): 12.62
16) Paris (France): 12.65
17) Stockholm (Sweden): 12.75
18) Ljubljana (Slovenia): 12.76
19) Tokyo (Japan): 12.83
20) Ottawa (Canada): 13.72
21) Harare (Zimbabwe): 13.92
22) Sofia (Bulgaria): 13.96
23) Taipei (Taiwan): 14.00
24) Cairo (Egypt): 14.18
25) Sana'a (Yemen): 14.29
26) Bucharest (Romania): 14.36
27) Dubai (United Arab Emirates): 14.64
28) Damascus (Syria)
: 14.94
29) Amman (Jordan): 15.95
30) Bern (Switzerland): 17.37
31) Manama (Bahrain): 17.69
32) Blantyre (Malawi): 31.60