Sunday, August 27, 2006


Another year, another Half Marathon. This year I went with Mabel, as well as good friends Simon and Zann. The girls didn't run and waited for us at a restaurant. Simon and I went for the full 21km, and came back to the girls limping from the finishing line. I've got a bad timing this year, due to the fact that I walked the last 5km due to cramps which were so bad I can't straighten my legs at all and had to stop by the side of the road many times. One of the reasons for my cramps was that the route this year was a busy one, and ladden with many pit stops in the form of traffic lights, in the Chinatown area as well as the Orchard area. My first cramp attack came at the 15km mark, and I knew I was a goner as every year the cramps gave me a bad time. Well, there's always next year to train for. And I was a little relieved too that I'm forced to give up on the 42km marathon due to an overseas attachment during the period of time.

Mabel drove us home as both Simon and me were not in the best condition to drive. It was her first time on the expressways and although she was a bit nervous, she still got the 4 of us home in 1 piece, which were more than I could wish for. I spent the rest of the day sleeping and trying to reduced the possibilities of the cramps coming back to me in the next few days. And yah, you can see the 2 Ultras on my dash board in this pic (Ultraman and Ultraman Tiga).

As many of you guys know, the new Transformers movie has released some pictures on the transformers which will be in the movie. It's gotten a lot of flak from the fanboys as it's nothing like the G1 Transformer series which director Michael Bay has promised to deliver. You can see the pictures over at this thread in the Gotwoot forums. So far only Optimus Prime looks relatively ok while the rest of the designs are pretty awful, especially Megatron. Click on the link and decide for yourself. To me, the only true Prime and Megatron are the ones in the G1 series, voiced by Peter Cullen and Frank Weller.

I've went on a Ghibli movie frenzy this week and watched Kiki's Delivery serice (魔女の宅急便) as well as Princess Mononoke ( もののけ姫). Kiki's Delivery Service was one of those feel good type of movie, but didn't really leave a lasting impression in my mind. Here's a short synopsis of the movie from wiki: The story is set in the fictional European country of Carikia, apparently on the Mediterranean (Kiki mentions flying south to the sea). Witches are real, but their population is dwindling, so the custom is for a witch to leave home at thirteen and spend a year living on her own, earning her living by her witchcraft skills. Kiki settles in the beautiful seaside island city of Koriko, and after initially finding it difficult to adjust to the pace of life, starts a delivery service that takes advantage of her ability to fly. Kiki experiences several setbacks such as slow business, misplaced merchandise, rude customers and illness. She also has to deal with her loneliness, worries, and homesickness.

However, Princess Mononoke really caught me by surprise. How did it take me so long before I finally took out this amazing movie and put the disc into my DVD player?! It's really an amazing piece of art, with an intriguing plot as well as fabulous visuals. It has now replaced Spirited Away as the number 1 Ghibli movie for me. I might be 9 years older that the people who saw it back in 1997, but this movie is timeless. Thumbs up for me and I would highly recommend it to the rest of the people, along with other famous classics such as Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies. Here's another short writeup from wiki: Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫 Mononoke Hime) is a Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki and was first released in Japan on July 12, 1997 and in the U.S. on October 29, 1999 in select cities and on November 26, 1999. Roger Ebert soon placed the movie sixth on his top ten movies of 1999 [1]. Mononoke also became the highest grossing movie in Japan until Titanic took over the spot several months later. Overall, Mononoke is the second most popular anime movie in Japan, next to 2001's Spirited Away, also by Miyazaki. It is rated PG-12 in Japan, and PG-13 in the U.S. for images of violence and gore. It is a jidaigeki set in late Muromachi period of Japan, and centers on the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans who need its resources, as seen by the outsider Ashitaka.

Still reeling from the effects of the run this morning, so will leave it at here for now. Thankfully it's an off day tomorrow, so I can finally take this chance to do some revision for my Japanese class (haven't been doing homework for the past few months already). Until the next post, keep running and do leave a message/suggestion/complaint in my tagbox! Ja~

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Driving around and losing my way does have its advantages some times. We managed to snap this picture of Mabel and Kelly on a gigantic banner, on the Great Eastern Building while zapping around town. Mabel herself was rather shocked the first time she saw it, but was pretty happy for the rest of the day :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ultraman Mebius Gaiden - Hikari Saga II

The second installment to the Ultraman Mebius Gaiden - Hikari Saga has been released this week. I've also managed to work out a English translation SRT file (with reference from Chinese sub group 奥特の国's work). I try my best to work out the Japanese translation, and use the Chinese subs to ensure I'm not too far off. Please forgive me if I've made any translation errors as I'm still only at JLPT level 3.

Click here to download the srt file. I recommend BSplayer for the best viewing experience due to the font settings. Alternatively you can also use VLC player or any other sub titled enabled viewer.

If you like what I've done, do give me your support by leaving a comment on this blog entry. It gives me a good indication of how I'm doing and I would appreciate it greatly. I will try my best to provide the translations for the upcoming Saga III as well. Thanks!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Arrival of our new ride!

Sorry for yet another late update guys. Been feeling rather lazy lately and tired after another hectic week at work. Still having that holiday mood I guess. Main news for this week: we've gotten our yellow Jazz last weekend! I've been driving around quite a bit this 1 week, and have gotten back most of the confidence lost during this 3 and a half years period of not diving. I'm still not very good at parking (though it's slowing coming back to me now), and I suck at navigation on the drive. It took me over an hour to get to my Japanese school last week. I had to stop and refer to my street directory twice, and even went in and out of the ERP twice before I finally got there. Almost gave up half way and was tempted to head for home instead.

Having a car means driving Mrs. Goh around more often to places she wants to do more shopping. We've already went for fireworks viewing, buffet dinner, and 2 trips to Ikea these few days. Bought a hell lot of stuff for our upcoming new flat. And yes, that reminds me.... we've finally gotten the keys! The apartment's very windy and has a good view, though it seems a little small, but all new HDB flats aren't too big as well. Have already met up with our designer again, and will post pics of our new nest once we've get the ball rolling on finalising the design. Too bad we can't start early due to Mabel insisting that the good brothers on holiday during the lunar 7th month might take refuge and refuse to leave when the holiday season ends.

We've also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this week. Nothing special as we've already went for our second honeymoon to Tokyo last week. Just ate sushi (yeah hard to relate to non japanese stuff of late), and went home for an early rest. Bought some cleaning stuff for our car, but havent really gave her a good wash though we've been cleaning her twice to prevent the layer of dust that is accumulating. So far we're very satisfield with our Jazz, and I've also decorated the interior with what else but more Ultraman figures. 3 to be exact: 1 Ultra Teddy by the side, and SD Ultraman and SD Ultraman Tiga in the middle. Will post pics up soon!

Matsuura Aya (松浦亜弥) and Fujimoto Miki (藤本美貴 ) are the latest sub unit formed in Hello! Project. The name of this new unit is called "GAM", which stands for Great Aya & Miki. Their first single to be released on 13/09/2006 is titled "Thanks!", and the PV has already been released. Like many other tracks penned by none other than Tsunku himself, it's a insanely catchy song and it's been playing inside my head for the whole 2 days since I've seen the PV. Miki seems to have lost weight while Aya seems a littly flabby....

Can't wait for the single to be released so I can upload it to my Ipod and play it in my car while travelling to work. I've provided a link to the PV here, so do check out Ayaya and Mikitty's funky and groovy moves! *Update on other H!P news: the 8th Morning Musume auditions have officially began!

Finally got my hands on Gouten, Makai Knight Garo's horse from the hit series Garo. I've been wanting to get this for quite some time already, but needed to save up as it costs about $100. It was selling at a good price in Japan when we were there, but I didn't get it as it was pretty big and bulky and would take up too much luggage space. I was quite worried when I heard that it was almost sold out in Singapore, and luckily I managed to find 1 last one while combing China Square on National Day. Mabel wasn't really pleased at all when I found it...

Mabel also found her Hard Gay Tomy toy over at Mike's place at Lucky Chinatown (picture coutesy of pinkertonchew from the Ultraman Lah forum). She's been a fan of Sumitani Razor Ramon since I showed her some Hard Gay clips (subbed by Bakafish) on youtube. For your info, Hard Gay has nothing to do with porn and he's a Japanese comedian who does outrages acts to the general public. Anyway, we've had quite some fun with this toy and I'm sure she'll show this toy to who ever visits our flat in the future. :)

As I've mentioned previously, been feeling tired + lazy (deadly combo) lately, and will stop here for the time being. To check back soon, as I will at the very least try and update once every week. More if there's interesting stuff to share, or releases from H!P. Less if I'm being taxed more at work, or training up for the coming Army Half Marathon. Till the next update, take care and check back soon!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


We're finally back home in Singapore after spending 5 days and 4 nights in Tokyo. And as promised, here is the major update, along with some of the pics we've taken over at the Land of the rising sun. Although we've failed to reach the target of 500 photos, we've manged to get nearly 400 photos which I must say are of a higher quality than last's year's, which consisted of many snapshots at toilet bowls, posters, etc. And without further ado, I bring to you..... Sean & Mabel's Adventures in Tokyo!

Day 1
We left home for the airport at around 3am in the morning. Went for a short coffee break and linked up with the rest from the Ultraman Lah forum, namely Tony and Veron, Chis and Wendy, and the "Feels great to be single" guys Chris (Beth) and Alex, as well as Dennis and his family. The rest of the guys, Derek, Adryan, and Ryan would be coming later in a few days time.

We then took the Skyliner line to Nippongi, where we then transited to the JR Line to Ikebukuro. It was still quite a walk to the ryokkan (traditional Japanese inn), especially with Mabel giving me a work out by putting 2 large mineral water bottles in the luggage. Imagine my shock when I realised these where the reason the luggauge was friggin' heavy. Anyway, the inn was rather cosy, and although we shared a common bathroom on each floor, it was pretty convenient and really very clean. For it's price, it was a very good deal and most of the other tenants there were also either from Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Singapore as the landlandy was from Taiwan. We were also introduced to Tony's taiwanese friends, Ah Xing and Ah Fang. They were really friendly, and we clicked instantly due to our common hobbies and interest.

We checked in around 4pm and the guys were in a hurry as the ULFES Special Night concert starts admission at 5pm. We didn't even have enough time for a shower, and made our way to Sunshine City. It was so rushed we were practically running, though we still made some time to take a few pictures at the giant Mebius figure standing guard in front of the Plaza.

The event was great. We got to see many of the classic Ultraman actors, though I was a littly sad there wasn't much interaction between them and the audience. And as the whole interview was in Japanese, we had to make out what they were saying through signs and the occasional video in between. Too bad there weren't any Mebius actors/actresses there. Sigh. But the live stage show was awesome.

Had dinner at Wendy's, a fast food restaurant. Good service and extremely polite customer service impressed us a lot, and although we had to clear our own tray and rubbish unlike in Singapore where we can make the place as dirty as we can and wait for the cleaner, the Japanese make it their own responsibility to clear up their own mess after every meal. Ii desu ne?

I didn't have much luck with the UFO catcher when I was trying to get Kon, a character from the popular anime series Bleach. The game went for 100 yen per try, and after some tries I gave up. An onlooking Mabel then took over despite my pleas telling her not to waste money. And to my shock she got 2 Kons on her first try! What luck! I couldn't believe it, but some times this girl amazes me.

With newly found pride and feeling like a milliion bucks, she went on the next amusement centre. For me, I felt diminished and wanting to bring back something too, I changed around 2500yen worth of coins..... Sadly all my attempts were futile and what pissed me off was that Mabel got another one! This time she spent a few more attempts, but still she managed to snatch a furry Stich soft toy from another machine. Argh..... don't waste money liao lah.

Day 2

We kicked off day 2 with a hearty breakfast at Matsuya, before we headed off to Ultraman Festival. We were dressed in our special Ultraman Lah red tees, which were specially printed for this trip. Mabel was intially reluctant to put it on, till she gave in to pressure from me and wore it over her top (so she can take it off at the earliest possible chance). There were a lot of people at the entrance, and the queue was so long it stretched all the way to the side stairs! We even took a photo with the staff at the end of the queue:

Escalator along Sunshine City

We've taken so many photos with Ultramen and other Ultra related stuff I'm stuck for choice as to what to upload for this blog. Simply too many to be posted up, so I'm gonna go for some which I think are more interesting. Will upload more to my flikr online photo albums, so you can head there for more!

In front of the promotional poster for the upcoming movie

Making poses in front of Ultraman Max, Ultraman Nexus & Ultraman Legend

Joining into the family with Father of Ultra, Ultraman Taro, & Mother of Ultra

Taking a picture with Ultra 7, my fave when I was still a kid!

Us with current fave Ultra: Ultraman Nexus!

There are still a lot of pictures, and I think I've taken with all the Ultras which were there. Too bad I only managed to take pictures with Ultra 7 and Ultraman Nexus . The items on display at the festival were mostly retro and classic stuff, and many of them brought back old memories. Good stuff, and I certainly hope to revisit ULFES again to take more pics with the Ultras.

Next stop: Bandai Museum at Mitsudo!

Me playing scissors-paper-stone with Alien Baltan.... and didn't win! Argh~

Mabel striking a pose with Kamen Rider Faiz and Kamen Rider Kaixa

Imitating Tendou from Kamen Rider Kabuto

Mabel with the 1st ever sentai team: Himitsu Sentai GoRanger

Me with Mazinger Z and a 1:1 Gundam!

Here you see my overall haul from both Ulfes and Bandai Museum. Not too much once you compare to the rest of the guys whom are going to send their stuff back. I've got for myself various Ultra related merchandise for my upcoming flat as well, such as the blue Ultraman dustbin you see on the right. But don't be tricked by the pictures, as most of them are free posters/fliers and not books or magazines. I've took loads of these free fliers back and even bought a plastic file just so I can prevent Mabel from damaging them.

Day 3

We spent the entire day 3 in the many shopping centres in Odaiba. There were countless shopping malls around that area, and although many of them are expensive designer labels, we still managed to take pictures of many interesting stuff there and even visited one of the TV studios there. And by this point in time, our legs were already aching from all that walking.... Well, it's not often we get to see Miss Liberty in Japan, so can't waste time complaining!

Taking a picture with one of the TV Station anime characters

Hosts for a kid's show on Japanese TV!

Took pictures with Astroboy and Totoro inside one of the retro districts

Our next car? Dream on.....

We also took this opportunity to board the highest ferris wheel in the world. The night scenery was fabulous, and it was a pity we couldn't capture any nice pics with our camera due to the lightning. We could even see the fireworks over at Asakusa temple (it was a hanabi festival there), the rainbow bridge, and even Tokyo Tower. Great atmosphere and although it was a pricey ride, we definately enjoyed the magnificent bird's eye view of Tokyo.

We had another go at the UFO machines over at Odaiba. My eye caught a Kamen Rider The Bee Banpresto figure which I've wanted for some time. I tried over 2000 yen worth and every time I missed it by just a tiny bit. It was frustrating to say the least. Damn Japanese are so smart to suck away our precious money...... Then Mabel came along again, and got for herself a pirate Stich on her first try for 100 yen! That's around $1.30 SGD! Arghhhhhhh!!! I had her go for a couple of times more to get for me my Rider but I suspect she missed on purpose..... She also tried exchanging it for a one-eyed pirate version with the staff but was rejected. Somehow she flipped the black hat around and turned it into a hard gay version, which she was pretty pleased with.

Day 4

This was the busiest day of the trip in Tokyo. We went to 4 places: Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka in the morning, Akihabara in the noon time, and then Asakusa temple in the evening, and lastly back to Sunshine City in the night for our dinner, as well as for some last minute shopping. We were dressed in traditional yukata clothing for this day, and it was pretty weird walking around town in this gear. We were joined by Chris and Wendy who also joined in the fun in wearing yukatas. It was hillarious watching the girls realise in horror they had put on the yukata wrongly. It was supposed to be worn right over left and instead they had done it the opposite way. They realised people were noticing them and thus headed straight to the toilet at Mitaka to correct their mistake. Pure comedy gold. Haha~ Any obachan even pulled Mabel from behind her and straightened her yukata for her. Luckily I explained were from abroad, and that she was pretty friendly.
Studio Ghibi is the animation company responsible for iconic animation movies such as My Neighbour Totoro, Hotaru no hoka, and of course the recent releases which gained recognition in the US, such as Spirited Away and Howl's moving castle. The museum is situated in the more rural part of the city where lush greenary is abound every where and a beautiful park is within sight.

The only sad thing about visiting the Ghibli museum is that absolutely no photography is allowed within its building. The pics you see here are taken outside. So, only this character from Laputa, and a giant Totoro outside the ticket booth are available for people who want to take photos as mementos. Disappointing, as many of the exhibits in the museum were breath taking, especially for fans of the many movies that Studio Ghibli has produced.

Next destination: Akihabara! I've always wanted to visit Akiba after I've watched the popular drama series Densha Otoko. And really, there were lots of Otakus walking around there, taking pictures of cute cute cute girls on the roads who were doing advertising. There were many girls doing cosplays and even maid cafe promoters handing our fliers and vouchers too. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit a maid cafe (it was pretty expensive as well), as most of the time were spent looking for cheap bargains. I bought quite a bit of toys here, including the new PSP Ultraman Fighting Evolution game, which I hope to write a faq for soon.

We then proceeded on to Asakusa temple, where we got our lucky charms from last year. But unfortunately the temple was under renovation work, so we only managed to make our prayers there and didn't get any charms back. Well, I tried making my prayer in Japanese so hopefully I got my wishes understood. The street was as packed as usual, but this time we didn't have a time limit to meet and thus took our own sweet time to get more gifts back. Problem on hand: Too many friends/relatives/colleagues to get presents for, too little time/money.

I was mistaken as a Japanese halfway walking on the pavement, when 2 korean girls grabbed me by the arms and said they wanted to take photographs with me. I was pretty much shocked and Mabel too was surprised by my sudden popularity. I slowly explained to the 4 girls that I wasn't Japanese. They went "Singaporean?" but we went ahead with the photo taking session anyway. Luckily Mabel was invited to join in if not I would have needed a few stiches on the head and even the gods there couldn't save me.

Last stop for the day: Back to Sunshine City. We headed back to the ryokkan first to dump all our bags and changed to a more comfortable set of clothes. I wore my Hibiki shirt while Mabel wore back her lucky Stitch coloured jacket. Ate dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant with Chris and Wendy. Too bad it was already pretty late and most of the departmental stores were already closed by 9pm.

By chance of luck, we saw Sonic the hedgehog standing outside along the streets. And as usual, we grabbed him and took a picture before he could dash away.

Here are the rest of the items I've got from either Akihabara or Ghibli museum. Not much, but definately not as expensive if I can even find them in Singapore. Too bad we didn't have enough space to bring back more stuff, and that we spent too little time over in Akihabara. I also tried asking a maid cafe girl to take pictures with me but she said it was against their policy. Haiii..... well there's always the next time.

Day 5

We finally had a chance to take a group photo together on our last day before we return to Singapore. We were the first couple to leave, as the rest of them will be there for at least 2 more days. The picture with everybody is with the others, while my camera only took 2 separate ones, with all the guys and the other one with all the girls.

We didn't get to do much on the last day due to the fatigue that was build up the previous few days. We also had a good talk cock session in Chris and Alex's room the last night, and chatted till late in the night. We woke up pretty late, hence the blur expression and the uncombed hair. Well, it was time to leave soon.

Our last meal before heading to Narita Airport was at Mos Burger. There we stole 2 coasters, and had a big meal consisting of 2 burgers, fries, and nuggets. It was much better tasting that the ones in Singapore, in my opinion.

Alright! That's it for my Tokyo trip update! It's taken a fair bit of my time to edit and upload the pics here, so I hope you've enjoyed reading about our trip. We've had a lot of fun this time round, so any of you who wants to know more about going to Japan on a free and easy trip can just call or contact me. We've got quite a few lessons learnt which we can share. In the meantime, do leave a message or comment, and do visit my blog soon for another update coming up really soon! Take care and cya!