Announcement: Geographical Realignment

November 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 2 Comments
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Come on over already!

Well, that’s it. The new site is finally up! What are you waiting for? Head on over to aprilius20.com. That’s where I’ll be posting from now. All old posts, and 99% of the comments have been sent on ahead. There are still some bugs and issues to work out, such as which plugins to get, Japanese text being reproduced as ‘???’ (Really need help on this one), etc, but it’s more or less fine. This site isn’t dead, though. I’ll have to figure out what I want to do with it. I guess it’ll stay as a sort of historical monument, haha.

Bad Weather

October 5, 2009 at 12:51 am | Posted in Thoughts | 25 Comments
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Boo.

Boo.

This is a delayed post. ‘Delayed’, as in ‘should have been completed a month ago, published a month ago, forgotten a month ago’ delayed. As for the introductory picture, don’t worry, I’m not feeling suicidal. I’m far too irrationally rational- or rationally irrational, whichever one you prefer- to even contemplate doing such a thing. Hence, boo. Continue Reading Bad Weather…

Announcement: Out With It.

September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 13 Comments
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Back to the bookies- no, books

Back to the bookies- no, books

After hours of futilely attempting to access the online exam results checker (I no longer have the energy to rant about how useless the University’s web-designers are) only to be greeted with a cheerful ‘Error 404’ or be redirected to the insipid site map, I finally made it in.

It was a bit of an anti-climax. It’s not that deep-down I secretly wished for a string of red marks, but after all the fantasies I’ve entertained during this three month long holiday of ditching all my responsibilities, whether familial or financial, and heading overseas for some travel-therapy, whether by plucking kiwis in Zealand or feeding horses in Kyrgyzstan… ah well.

I qualified for the second year, and that’s what’s important. I failed one subject, Public Law, the one subject I thought I liked until up to the moment when I sat writing essays for it in the exam hall thinking, ‘how could they have made something that had so much potential for being fun into something as drab as this?’ and promptly decided to commit suicide by choosing to attempt the most difficult question available.

What’s really funny is that I passed the other subject I thought I’d fail, Criminal Law. I really couldn’t stand the subject, perhaps more so than the others. On the other end of the spectrum, I obtained a (Supposedly) respectable score of 53 for Contract Law, my highest score for all four papers.

It’s actually a good thing that I failed Public, though. There isn’t that much to cram, after all. The referral exam will be in October, I think. That’s enough time to study for it- $%&* isn’t that one month away?! For the love of &%$#*…… alright, calm down. Easy does it. Looks like I’ll have to hit the books now, so good-bye, although I don’t think I’ll be ‘away’ as much as I should.

Of Ill Omens and Pointlessly Delightful Gossip

August 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 6 Comments

It arrived one or two weeks ago, out of nowhere, without warning, without welcome, like a rain of fresh toothy tuna. Not that tuna fell out of the sky here. Whatever, I’m rambling, I know. The ‘thing’ that ‘arrived’ was a prophetic sign in the form of a newspaper advertisement- my old college, that funny little building above a bank where I did my A-Levels before moving on to another funny little building situated on a row of brothels; gleefully announcing their ownership of a student who had the higher score in the world for the University of London’s Law degree. Jolly good. How nice for her.

It hit me seconds later, as these things tend to do. Note: If it was fresh tuna, now, you wouldn’t even have seconds to think- how it was relevant to me. It could only mean one thing: that those sadistic old fogeys (Presumably) in London (But more likely vacationing in the Bahamas) were done with marking our exam papers. It had to come, sooner or later. But I’d really come to love this sedentary limbo I’ve been in for the past two-three months.

As I’ve probably mentioned several posts back, I wasn’t too happy with how the exam went. I exited irritated, annoyed, vaguely violent and frighteningly hungry, but without much mood for anything. That said, I consider myself quite lucky (Trying to think positively here) for having something else to take my mind of the thought of the soon-to-be-released results: This picture, which I found in an online forum:

SRZ-1008

SRZ-1008

Continue Reading Of Ill Omens and Pointlessly Delightful Gossip…

Eden of the East

August 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 12 Comments

I don’t really know what I was expecting out of Eden of the East (Higashi no Eden). At any rate, I don’t remember any pertinent preconceptions I might have had regarding it. Perhaps I was worried that it wouldn’t be able to cover much ground, given it’s short run, a mere 11 episodes- too long for an original video animation (OVA), too short for an animated drama with such a wealth of directions to explore. Continue Reading Eden of the East…

A milestone of sorts.

August 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 8 Comments
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Cow cow

Cow cow

Well, I’ve reached a milestone of sorts, and didn’t notice it at all. What milestone would that be, you ask. Well, this blog has just gone past the 10,000 hits mark, whatever that means- I can’t tell the difference between hits, page views, and all that techno jargon, so what does it matter, really? Not much. But a milestone is a milestone, and who can blame me if I feel like celebrating? Continue Reading A milestone of sorts….

Stupidity, naiveté, and how I sleep at night

July 29, 2009 at 3:17 am | Posted in Thoughts | 4 Comments
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Randomness

Randomness

Another ‘random dump’ post. As such, the image has absolutely nothing to do with the title of the post, or it’s contents. Here’s the source, though, if you like it. The original caption for the image goes something like ‘I wouldn’t like it if someone like this turned up on my doorstep’. Continue Reading Stupidity, naiveté, and how I sleep at night…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: How Harry Lost his Lobster

July 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 10 Comments
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HP and the Half-Blood Prince

Summer Fashion Trends... Not.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve watched the movie. Before I begin let me just say that I am not a Potter maniac, never mind the fact that I lined up with a friend outside a bookstore for a few hours at 2 in the morning for the book premiere (I planned to get an autographed copy for free, and auction it off). I don’t like the magic in HP. There are no earth-shattering magical duels, as in the Magic: the Gathering series, nor a sense of charming harmony between natural forces as in Ursula Le Guin‘s Earthsea quartet. No, what you get is a bunch of overgrown kids swishing little sticks and muttering strange Latin words. Continue Reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: How Harry Lost his Lobster…

DaiCon ’09: Not so ‘Dai'(大) after all

July 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Outings | 25 Comments
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Figures

Figures on Display

Um, well. Here’s a convention report. This is probably the first time I’m doing this. For some reason all the photos turned out a little blurry, and I’m still a little mad about it. The main highlight of the event was a concert by Chihara Minori (茅原実里), a seiyuu most famous for her role as ‘Keanu-Reeves-is-a-baby-next-to-me-Nagato-Yuki‘. No, I didn’t go for it, because the tickets cost a bomb, and I’m rather low on gunpowder at the moment.

So what did I do really? Rather, ask what I hoped I’d be able to do, the answer being: walk in, and exit with a crate of cheap Japanese manga. After all the local conventions I’ve attended, I really should have expected this- there was just one stall selling local doujin. Not interested, sorrriee~ Other countries seem to have it better. Coco, from uh, Canada, I think- managed to get some Japanese manga. Singapore will be having it’s ‘Anime Festival Asia’ soon, which, from what I gather, is a pretty big event….  those lucky Southerners(>,<)

We (I went with two high school pals) were greeted with a booklet containing the usual dull speeches, an event schedule, rules, etc… and a small box, which I thought was some sort of mint. Yay, something to munch on. Feeling the need to bite on something a while after that, I fished it out of my bag and found out that it was really toothpaste. Like, whaaaat?

The exhibition hall looked rather… empty. We made one round and headed for the maid cafe. Question: what is the purpose of a maid cafe? Answer: It’s for guys to flirt with maids, and be called goshujinsama (Master) upon entering. The other two were hungry and just made a beeline for a table. As for me, I was feeling rather glum after surveying the stalls.

To Heart

To Heart

Made a heart out of a serviette for no entire reason. On second thought, maybe it was to perplex the maid-waitresses. I had an ‘American breakfast’ and coffee. The ‘Am. breakfast’ consisted of scrambled egg, two cheap sausages, two slices of toast, potatoe wedges, and this strange, hard, chewy, oily thing- I should have taken a picture of it. Oh well, too late for that now. The coffee was nice, but coffee is almost always nice anyway. The only people who make bad coffee are those who hate coffee- so says my supreme wisdom, which is currently distorted by hunger. Hey, it was a long drive=,=

More wandering after that. The KKnM stall was supposed to be good, and apparently it had a long, long, line on day one (Yesterday)- they seemed to be doing quite well today too. We had a peek at it- mugs were priced at RM40, T-shirts at around RM100 a piece- maybe I should upload an audio recording of me screaming in ultrasound (Which you can’t hear anyway)- we ran off.

Cosplayers

Cosplayers

A group of cosplayers posing for the cameras. A curse on the blurriness  which fouled all of today’s photos. Grrr. We got bored, and decided to leave- stopped by at some outdoor food stalls. Disappointment and boredom suddenly decided to have tea and left irritation behind- I decided that I didn’t drive all the way there just for lunch, and we turned back towards the hall to take photos with some of the cosplayers.

Back in the hall, we spotted a stormtrooper surrounded by puny backwater planet peons. I think it must have been Wise Freeman from dannychoo.com. Decided that I’d go and say hi after completing my mission, but when I was done the trooper was nowhere to be seen. We scoured the hall looking for him, but he’d vanished. T.T

Pink Cosplayer

Diced Bunny

I suppose I should have struck a similar pose… but I was probably too busy thinking ‘crap my bag’s gonna get in the way’- it’s happened too many times in the past, but this seems to be one mistake that I never learn from. Good thing it didn’t pull down my shirt this time.

Diced Bunny 2

Diced Bunny 2

Geoff’s turn. He looks similarly stoned- maybe he’s thinking ‘My girlfriend is gonna kill me if she sees this photo- damage control, damage control… don’t pose. Yeah, that’s it, don’t pose…’

Miko and Curls

Miko and Curls

I admit, I have no idea who they were cosplaying as. No matter, though- someone is bound to answer this for me. So to end this- DaiCon wasn’t that ‘Dai’ (Big) at all, as mentioned in the title. But then again that could have been because it was Day 2. Nah, that’s no excuse. In any case there wasn’t any Japanese manga. My photos all ended up blurry, which is really my camera’s problem. Dreaming Artemis has plenty more for you to gawk at. Come to think of it, I really wouldn’t mind if there was only one stall and all they sold was cheap Japanese manga. Oh, why do I even bother. If only BookOff would open an outlet here…

P.S: Apparently something interesting happened a few hours after we left. No, I’m not commenting on it. Hungry (Again) people have no opinions.

Gundam 00: Gravure Idols, Rock Bands, and Scrap Metal

July 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 14 Comments
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Tierias photobook

Tieria's Gravure Debut

For this post, I will be conducting a dissertation on the art of cross-dressing without ending up looking like a certain idiotic former soldier-turned-butler. I shall begin with the basics of makeup…” Oh shut up, Tieria. He’s one of the main characters in the series I’ll be ‘reviewing’ today… I wonder where he snuck in from. Ah well. Just try to ignore him…

Gundam 00 is about… why bother. Eat some wiki:

The series is set in 2307 AD. As a result of the depletion of fossil fuels, humanity had to search for a new source of power. The power was found in the form of massive arrays of solar power collectors orbiting the Earth, and supported by three orbital elevators, each one serving one of the three “power blocs” on the planet, namely UNION, controlling the region surrounding North America, Human Reform League (人類革新連盟; jinrui kakushin renmei), consisting of ChinaRussia and India, and AEU, which controls mainland Europe.[9]

With this nearly inexhaustible source of energy benefiting only the major powers and their allies, constant warfare erupts around the globe among minor countries for fuels and energy. Countries that once economically relied on the sale of fossil fuels have plunged into poverty. Some even believe that solar energy threatened the “promised land of God”, resulting in the 20-year Solar Wars. This chaos led to the formation of a private military organization, called Celestial Being (ソレスタルビーイング), dedicated to eradicating war and uniting humanity through the use of four humanoid machines called Gundams.[1][3] Mobile Suit Gundam 00 follows four mobile suit pilots termed Gundam Meisters ガンダムマイスター), sided with Celestial Being. The main protagonist is 16-year old Setsuna F Seiei (刹那・F・セイエイ?), a quiet, taciturn young man who grew up in the war-torn Krugis Republic. He pilots the GN-001 Gundam Exia, a high mobility mobile suit effective in melee combat.[10][11]

Oh, look, there’re links and references everywhere- how convenient. Anyway, that was the summary for season one, which was pretty good, and had quite a few people roaring ‘We have an epic! Finally, something to take our minds off the memories of Code Geass!’ I thought that too, although I didn’t ‘roar’. Well, if a tree could roar…

That said, Gundam 00 just couldn’t surpass Code Geass. Although watching the Meisters pull of ridiculous missions was quite breathtaking, that was it, really. Character development was there, alright, but not nearly enough. Not to mention all the irritating idiot characters, like the Russian Bear’s son, Mr. Immortal and those who do nothing but waste precious screen time, mainly Princess of a Dry Country whose hobby is watching TV… of course, she has to sing. Ever since Macross, I suppose, every mecha show needs a songbird to liven things up. This time, however, it leaned more towards ‘oh shut up, you’re polluting the airwaves’.

Season two was supposed to be the epic lid on the cookie-filled jar. Sadly, someone had been pinching the contents even before it started. Come to think of it, season two mainly consisted of scenes of fighting, running, fighting, and running again. Um, hold on. Didn’t Gundam Seed follow the exact same pattern? Time to face the facts, people- the Gundam anime franchise is nothing more than an extraordinarily long commercial for the model kits. What’s worse is, the folks at Sunrise know this very well, and they don’t care one bit.

So really, what really made Gundam 00 so great for me? The answer may sound a little odd, considering the fact that I just trashed the singing Princess two paragraphs above. It’s the music, which was just gorgeous, excluding the Princess’s silly little act:

First up, Daybreak’s Bell (Lyrics), by the ever-so-hard-to-type-out-and-pronounce L’Arc~en~Ciel. We all know them, so I’ll just move on. This one was used as the first opening theme for season one. From the lyrics, it’s pretty clear that it’s an anti-war song, which fits into the serie’s theme perfectly.

After that, Wana (Lyrics) by The Back Horn. They look like a bunch of head-shaking nuts in the promotional video, but besides that, the song is excellent. That said, I didn’t pay it much attention at first, but it just grew on me. Like Daybreak’s Bell, it looks like another anti-war song. Weird, attractive lyrics worthy of comparison to Ali Project’s ending themes for Code Geass. Still can’t beat Ali in terms of lyrical insanity, though.

This one is just gorgeous: Ash Like Snow (Lyrics) by The Brilliant Green. Like The Back Horn, this was my first encounter with them, but unlike Wana, Ash Like Snow inspired me to go out and look for more of their music, and it was worth it.

Friends (Lyrics) by Stephanie. Never heard of her either, but this song was nice too. In contrast to the first two songs, this one, along with Ash Like Snow, somehow seems a lot… happier. The lyrics are definitely not as dark, anyway.

Now for season two’s songs. While all four theme songs from season one were absolutely gorgeous, season two was a slight disappointment. Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashimi (Lyrics, Listen) by UVERworld fell flat. Prototype (Lyrics, Listen) by Ishikawa Chiaki didn’t do it for me either.

Luckily, all was not lost. Maybe the director and producers grew some ears on the sides of their heads, but they returned to the audiosensory glory that was season one with the introduction of the following two songs:

…the first being Namida no Mukou (Lyrics) by Stereopony. Not that great, but still quite nice, and a refreshing hear after the previous two disasters.

And finally, Ito Yuna with Trust You (Lyrics). Hearing her voice in Gundam was a major surprise- actually, better than any plot twist that they could have thrown in. You hear that, Sunrise? Seriously, nothing else mattered anymore. I’m not a diehard  Yuna fan but this song was just… transcendental@.@

Tieria can have the rest, I don’t even feel like typing any further. I’m off to bed with Yuna in my ears. You still there after all this? Ah, you want a rating, no? Fine, here you go: 3.7/5 for both seasons. I don’t normally use decimals in my ratings, but I’ll make an exception for this one as I feel that (Never mind the music) season one was much better than season two. Nuff’ said. Still here? Then maybe you’d like to go here instead for some amusing episodic screenshot reviews of season two. Unless you’d rather listen to Tieria’s lecture.  I trust that it’ll be quite educational.

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