Sunday, September 30, 2007


Alright! It's been a while since the last entry, but I've finally took some new pics to show, especially of Misa and new member Kiki too. Friends who came over recently were exclaiming how big Misa has grown. Well, I didn't really notice because I see her everyday, but by comparing some of the older pics I'd realise that yeah she's really getting bigger. Still damn cute though. Kiki's been putting on weight too. Must be all the good food we've been providing to the both of them.
We spent Sunday morning with my family members, and we visited one of the popular chinese dim sum restaurants in Tampines. Although it was a late breakfast, we were so full that we almost skipped dinner entirely. After the meal, we went browsing through the department stores and I got the following stuff:
A set of Ultraman keychains! 7 of the Ultramen were in the set, and they were based on the Ultraman Mebius movie, so you'd find the 5 brothers including Ultraman Mebius and Zoffy. It was a rather super deformed version of their normal counterparts, and very kawaii. However, I need to find a place to hang these as they can't stand by their own in my cabinet. I haven't bought any stuff in recent months, and this would make a perfect addition to my collection.
More SD goodness in the form of the Kamen Riders from Den-O. I've got the previous few sets from Kabuto, and these will make good additions to the current riders that I own. I didn't get the entire set though. There were 2 boxes, of Ryoutaro in human form and also Den-O on a bike (similar to the one in the Kabuto set). As far as I'm concerned, I have a no ningen (人間 human)and no kaiju (怪獣 monster) rule in my cabinet. Haha~
Misa was suffering from a mite problem previously, and we didn't want Kiki to catch it, so we decided to purchase one of those lotions for her to solve the problem once and for her. I read that the mange mites weren't particularly vicious and harmful, but still we wanted her to be squeaky clean. Thus, we applied the lotion on her, made her smell bad for an entire night, and gave the 2 of them a bath the next day. And amazingly, the mites were gone after just 1 treatment. You can check out the video below, which shows the 2 of them getting the hair dryer treatment. Kiki tends to squeeze under Misa, to take cover from the hair dryer. Clever, but Misa doesn't appreciate it much some times.......

I've gotten a request from a friend recently, to help create a video montage for their wedding ceremony. It's the first time I've agreed on it, seeing that I've got some experience with some work related media clips. Thus, I've began to familiarise myself with some video editing software instead of using Flash this time. Here's what I created as a trial. I did it in one sitting, and it was my first attempt at using Premiere. I know that there's something wrong with the audio near the midpoint, but I'm too lazy to re-encode the video and to upload it all over again. Ha~

I'm currently addicted to a certain PSP game. For fans of the Final Fantasy series, I'm sure that you have played Final Fantasy VII, hailed as many as the best role playing game ever. Although the original FFVII is already over a decade old, it still has a large following of fans. The series has many spin off games and movies, including Dirge of Cereberus, FFVII: Last Order, Advent Children, and this one for the PSP, called Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. To prepare myself for the game, I even rewatched Last Order, and went to gamefaqs to re-read the plot for FFVII. The plot of the original game was full of interesting twists and revelations, so much so that the average non-FF fan who watched Advent Children would be totally confused. To start with, Crisis Core isn't a sequel to FFVII, but a prequel. The main character Zack, isn't a new character. He appeared in the original FFVII, and was only a memory who appeared in Cloud's flashbacks. Cloud had an identity crisis, and somehow mixed up his memories with those of Zack's. Things get more complicated, and I was really glad I updated myself again with the plot, or else the entire story wouldn't make much sense.

Sadly, the English version of the game won't be out until next year, so I'll have to make do with the Japanese version now. Here's where my Japanese knowledge comes in handy. I still can't connect with the cut scenes and dialogue fully, but I have no problems with all the in game menus and reading all the commands as well as the configurations. I'm current at level 33 with Zack, and spending time upgrading my gear and materia. I'll definately get the English version once it releases next year, as this has proved to be one of the best games for the PSP yet.

Season 2 of the Heroes premiered early this week. And it was worth the wait. I was so glad to see Hiro again, albeit stuck in the 17th century of feudal Japan. Most of the characters from season 1 are back, including new characters who have demonstrated unhumanly powers. Will definately be keeping a close watch on the series, and hopefully the series will be able to retain my interest, unlike Lost which really lost me at season 3 onwards.

The 5th ranger appears, and with that the story has been taken to a whole new level. Again, this is the first sentai series which I've followed over 30 episodes. I tried to get into Boukenger last year, but some of the guys in the team were such turn offs that I deleted all the episodes which I've downloaded in the span of a few months. Gekirangers are more fun, and although it's more kiddy than Kamen Rider, the show's very fun and is full of interesting characters, as well as erm.... animals. The characters in the show are all masters in certain types of animal based skills, and as the story goes, 10 such humans were changed into animals after going over the limit with their powers.

The animal kensei fighting on the side of the good guys (Jyuuken) include (here goes): a cat, a bat, an elephant, a gorilla, a penguin, a shark, and a gazelle. They even have names which take a pun at movie stars.... the shark is named Shakie Chan (Jackie Chan), the bat named Bat Li (Jet Li). the penguin named Michelle Peng (Michelle Yeoh), the gorilla named Gory Yen (Corey Yuen), etc. Sounds dumb, and it's worse that it sounds. Still, it's good entertainment material. Well at least for me.

It's been a long week for me, but at least the lighting at the end of the tunnel is shining dimly. Our trip to Tokyo is almost a month away, and Mabel's getting so excited she's already began packing. I'm still not getting the mood yet, probably because October's going to be another busy month for me. But well, I've got my sights ready on some of the must-visit places, so I'm not too worried about the itinerary.... yet. Till next time, ja! Ending off with my fave song at the moment, Egao by Matsuura Aya.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Forgive my reusing of old Tokyo pictures. There are a few reasons though. Firstly, we're really excited because it's just 6 more weeks to go before we embark on our yearly Japan trip. I've decided that we should try and visit Japan yearly, and we're even thinking of our trip to Hokkaido in 2008. Second reason and more importantly, is that we're running out of new photos.... Haven't been that camera trigger happy recently.

I bought the DVD version of the recently released Spider-man 3 movie. It came along with a A1 sized poster, so I'm thinking of where to place it. Anyway, I watched the movie all over again, and some how..... I'm gettting pissed about it all over again, and with that comes another ranting and bitching session here. I'm a big Spidey fan and I loved the sequel a few years back. I'm not going to say much, but I had some hopes for the DVD release, and was praying that they're put in some of the deleted scenes which we saw in some of the trailers and tv-spots. Here's 3 of my biggest complaints and why I'm disappointed with the movie.

1. When Peter wore the black suit and turned defeated Sandman, he felt something wrong with him, and when he looked into the mirror, he was shocked by something. In the Tv-spots, it was revealed that he saw Venom in the mirror reflections. This, to my dismay, was taken out from the final cut of the movie. I thought that this was a bad move, and have no idea why the producers did it. Probably they wanted Venom to be a "surprise" and not spoil the viewers. I thought the other way round. The viewers need to see Peter realising that Venom was growing within him. That's why he took off the suit. Thus, when Brock would eventually become Venom, Peter would be shocked to realised that HE created Venom, and the thing he feared the most became a reality. But the lack of this particular scene meant that Peter has never seen Venom before, and the impact of meeting Venom within Brock is significantly reduced. This alone is my biggest rant of the entire movie.

2. Why did Peter go to the church? To get a religion? After being rejected by MJ and realising that he's not who he used to be, he puts on his black costume and goes to a church? Doesn't make much sense to me. After all, he has been taking off his suit everyday..... right? Can't he try to take off his suit at home first? Why a church? And Brock's at the same place at the same time too. The pacing in the movie doesn't make sense at this point. In the Spider-man animated series, Spidey realised that the symbiote was taking over him, because he nearly killed the Rhino. He understood that the symbiote was alive, and was preventing him from taking it off. That's why he headed to the church, after learning that the symbiote was weak against sound and ultrasonic waves. A better explaination in the movie would have been much better, for example Spidey ignoring the lives of some innocent civilians or almost killing some lowly thugs.

3) Venom again. He should have been handled more properly. I don't mind Topher Grace being Venom. I just wanted Venom to say to Spidey: "Do you remember what you did to US?" The symbiote needed to show its own personality, which was totally lacking in the show. I can go on and on, but I guess nothing's going to change, and that perhaps no Spider-man 4 is good news.

Tales from Earthsea (ゲド戦記, Gedo Senki, loosely Ged's War Chronicles) is a feature anime film from Studio Ghibli, released in Japan on July 29, 2006, to be distributed in the USA by Walt Disney Pictures and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. It was directed by first-timer Gorō Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki. The movie is loosely based on a combination of plots and characters from the third and fourth books of the Earthsea series. I've just bought this DVD along with Spidey 3, and I think I enjoyed this better. At least it was less aggravating to sit through. The show shares a few similarities with Spirited Away. What's up with real names and dragons disguised as humans? Anyway, I felt that the previous Ghibli films were better, as this one didn't really leave a very deep impression. Could be one of the reasons why Hayao Miyazaki initially didn't want approve of his son, Goro Miyazaki to direct this project. For more information about this Ghibli produced movie, you can check out this site.

I've started reading the Claymore manga, after I learned that the anime is ending in 2 episodes time and that since the manga is yet to be completed, the anime is getting its own exclusive ending. I've read most of the manga up till the point where the anime starts to diverge, and I'll be holding off the rest because I'm afraid of spoiling what ever's coming up next in the anime. So far, me and Mabel are really enjoying the series, and although she's a few epsiodes behind me she's going to catch up once the series completes. She's the type who rather watches 10 episodes at one go then just 1 per week. I'd rather do the same, but the anime ends with a cliff hanger every week so it's hard to resist some times..... I've been looking for the English translated manga, and I've only found a few issues at Kinokuniya. For those who know where I can get the volumes from the first onwards, do leave me a message..... thanks~

Asami Konno rejoined the Hello Project Gatas team after almost a year of absence to participate in its debut single "Narihajimeta Koi no Bell"; it is still unknown whether she will join the team to play futsal again. Ongaku Gatas (音楽ガッタス) is a spin off shuffle group which consists of some of the more popular Gatas team members. They include: 吉澤 ひとみ, 石川 梨華, 里田 まい, 紺野 あさ美, 是永 美記, 能登 有沙, 真野 恵里菜, 仙石 みなみ, 澤田 由梨, 武藤 水華 (ハロプロエッグ). It's good to see ex-morning musume members Yoshizawa Hitomi, Konno Asami and Ishikawa Rika together again, but I can't say much for the rest of the never been seen before faces, from Hello Project Eggs. The single is more or less a scheme to cash in on the Gatas popularity. But still, the single sounds good and is catchy, although the chorus part with the "ahhh" can get a little annoying. Here's the PV, so enjoy!

Ultraseven X (ウルトラセブンX) is the 21st entry in the Tsuburaya Productions' long-running Ultra Series. It is a revival and 40th Anniversary series of the 1967 classic Ultra Seven, and will be the first in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultra hero series to be produced for an adult audience. The show is scheduled to air from October 5, 2007 at midnight. The targeted demographic is also changing for the new show. For the majority of the series run over the last four decades, the shows have been designed as either afternoon family programming or early morning kids shows. The first major change occured during Tsuburaya’s Ultra N Project, where ULTRAMAN NEXUS had been designed as a prime-time series, but eventually aired early Saturday mornings once the network got cold feet. While the film makers say ULTRAMAN NEXUS was eventually made for both an adult and child audience, ULTRASEVEN X is being produced for adults alone and will be broadcast from midnight. This follows a growing trend of late-night special effects programming in Japan, such as GARO , SH15UYA and LION MARU G. I'm not a fan of the new Seven, and he feels more like the original Seven on steroids. I'd rather they design a new hero, similar to Ultra Seven 21. Anyway, the series begins next month so we're see how it fares soon. The 5th (perhaps last) Gekiranger finally appears in the series. No, it's not Geki White, but Geki Chopper. Kinda dumb for a name, but he looks kinda cool. Using a Rhino motif, Geki Chopper uses Karate as his preferred kind of Martial Arts. Similiar to Geki Violet, who uses the Muay Thai style. Not much is known currently, but I'll be posting up videos of his debut fight pretty soon.
The 5 members of Jyuken Sentai: Gekirangers. Will there be more members? The previous few series introduced side characters, so I'm wondering if this series will do the same. After all, there are still a few human characters from the opposing side, which still have a chance of defecting (like in the movie).

The Masked Rider: The NEXT website has been updated with a new introduction to the characters slated to appear in the movie. They include the Shocker Riders, along with the 2 main villians, Scissors Jaguar and Chainsaw Lizard. Yes, 2 more dumb names from the world of Tokusatsu. They look fairly decent though, and also better than those from the first movie. Do check out the website, and check out the link to the trailer if you haven't done so already.
While I await for the release of the Den-O and Gekiranger movies, I'm also stocking up on cash for the purchase of the figures. Haven' been spending anything on my collection of late, so I figure I have a hell of a backlog to settle once I start buying the figures. Well, it's good to save up anyway. Till the next post, ja~

Sunday, September 09, 2007

People’s Action Figures Party: Ultraman vs Odex

It seems that after 2 weeks, the events from the People's Action Figures Party have finally got heads turning, both locally and overseas. Although not reported in the local media, the following report appeared on Reuters. Here is the report:

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A protest action by a group of Singaporeans with Japanese anime figurines such as the 5-inch tall Ultramen, robots and monsters with placards met some real-life police in the city-state.

A handful of fans of Japanese anime had turned up at a Singapore public park on August 25 with armfuls of the toys to protest against a clampdown on Internet downloading of anime material by Singapore animation distributor Odex.

The incident was not reported in the local press, but pictures and accounts have started circulating on many blogs and political Web sites.

"The police didn't stop us from what we wanted to do. But their being there was enough to intimidate," the event's organiser -- who only wanted to be known by his online moniker Zer0 -- told Reuters by telephone.
He added that police -- who had four anti-riot vans at the scene -- also took down the anime fans' particulars and that they were filmed by plainclothes policemen. A police spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment.

Public protests are rare in Singapore, where outdoor demonstrations are banned and any public gathering of more than four people requires a permit.

The report led me to think of the possible backlashes which may follow, due to this sudden exposure. Even local blogger Mr. Brown has followed up on the news. But naturally, the focus on the readers would be why would 4 anti-riot vans be activated, and not on the illegal downloads or on the Odex lawsuits. With the shift of focus, I'm not too sure if this was what was intially intended. The original intention of the PAFP was to make a statement against what Odex was doing, and not to challenge the law. I'm hoping that people will remember that, and see the real reason why the figures were gathered. For more details and the full story on the event, you can check out Zero's blog entry, or Otakurean. I'll try and keep track of the news reports, and see how the public reacts to the news through various forums too.

"Life is a long path to a goal. Drop your heavy luggage and enjoy walking with your hands empty."

Tendou Souji, Kamen Rider Kabuto

Friday, September 07, 2007


Well, no updates for the past 2 weeks due to work piling up on my desk. It's been a really hectic period for me, due to numerous key events in the work place which required my attention. And the arrows keep on flying, one after another as if trying to chain into a record breaking combo. This coming weekend is the first in 3 weeks where I do not have to work. Still, it beats not having anything to do, and at least there is the all important job satisfaction that comes along with each assignment. Not much, but it's there. :)

One of the major taskings was the Army Open House 2007, which officially ended on Monday this week. I was one of the presenters, and it wasn't easy maintaining a smile for 5 continous days and explaining the same thing over and over again. But I did get to meet interesting people, and also some old friends who paid me a visit. Mabel also got the chance to step into the place I work in. She made me breakfast, and thankfully for her I did not need to work on an empty stomach.

She also got her chance to fire the SAR 21 using live rounds, and also got to see the various urban operation demonstrations which I didn't have the chance to go even though I was there. Most of the time I'm giving out souvenirs or explaining about my systems. I would have loved to be walking around and enjoying myself in bermudas and sandals, but being part of the working committee does have its perks, such as having my own parking lot. :)
I read that guinea pigs were social animals and thrive best in the company of others. Feeling that Misa was lonely and she needed a friend, we bought Kiki. Behold! The latest member into our household. Kiki's just 7 weeks old, and is obviously smaller than Misa. I was concerned about a few issues, namely whether Misa was able to accept a new friend into her territory, and whether Kiki could even survive the night. Initially, I wanted them to orientate to each other so I placed them on the floor, and they were pretty intrigued by each other, and were sniffing here and there. My fears were confirmed after Kiki entered the cage. Misa didn't like the idea of having another sharing her bowl and toilet, let alone food and water. She began to attack Kiki, and Kiki could only cry for help. Her cries broke our hearts, and I spent a good hour trying to ensure that they get along, and also tried to "neutralise" the cage so that Misa could accept her.

I removed the toilet, changed the water dispenser locations, and introduced new items for them such as identical tissue boxes which they can hide in. They were pretty much ok after this, but whenever Kiki starts to roam around Misa would try and stalk her. I was pretty concerned, and in the end I placed the cage beside my bed so that I can stop any fights in the night. That was the plan. A few hours later I couldn't stand their sounds and took them outside. May the best pig win, and god speed to Kiki, I thought. Surprisingly, I didn't find a dead guinea the next morning, and they were on much better terms by nightfall. I bought new stuff for Kiki, and always ensured that they received equal amounts of treats. Now, they're getting along much better, although you're still see and hear the occasional scuffle. Will post some videos or more pics soon.
The trailer for the sequel to the Alien Vs Predator movie has just been released this week. Like many fans who were sore disappointed by the first movie, I didn't have high hopes for this one and really wanted it to do justice to the 2 franchises which were iconic in their own right. And whaddya know, this trailer was a knock out, and really looks to deliver. I'm really thrilled by it, and by the looks of it, this movie will fall under the R category due to its violent themes. Hopefully the Singapore censors don't go happy with the snipper fingers and the movie will remain faithful to the original cut. Here's the trailer on youtube. Alternatively, you can go to the official site for a much higher quality version.

A 13-part documentary on all the Final Fantasy games is being shown weekly on I've been downloading the videos weekly (yes it's free and comes in good quality), and its bringing back a sense of nostagia. It's been over a decade since I first played a Final Fantasy game, and back then I was immersed in the world of Final Fantasy VII, and I was captivated by the game..... its plot, characters, music, everything. This propelled me to play FF VI on an emulator, and I enjoyed it fully too. I then went on and played all subsequent FF games, except for XI which was a MMORPG. Sadly I didn't complete XII too because I've been too busy. My fave will always be FFX. The story between Tidus and Yuna was epic, and the way the plot unfolded was brilliant. It had an awesome soundtrack (which I bought), and memorable characters. I'd play the game again if I didn't have to work (win Toto).....

Jyuken Sentai: Gekirangers is turning out to be a fine series after all. This show is so much fun! Its awesome seeing how the characters develop in the series, and it can't hurt to introduce new rangers too. For the first time in all 31 years of Sentai history, we have a purple ranger. Geki Violet made his debut not too long ago, and he's based on a wolf motif who uses muay thai style martial arts. Although officially there isn't any reference to muay thai at all in the show, the suit design and the moves are a dead giveaway. Upcoming, expect to see a white ranger, using a rhino motif and uses Karate. What will they think of next..... anyway check out the henshin sequence of Geki Violet, along with his entrance pose and the new roll call sequence!

Kamen Rider Den-O is making a huge wave in Japanese culture as well. I've never seen a rider series parodied and referenced in so many other shows, and the popularity of this show is rising. Not surprising actually. This series has also became my fave Kamen Rider series in recently years, over taking Hibiki, Blade and Kabuto. As much as I detested the suit designs previously, I'm getting to love them now due to the show. The light hearted show has a lot of hillarious moments, and kudos to the stunt actors and Ryoutaro who were able to pull of the different personalities of the various imagins. Check out this scene here, where the 3 other imagins return to join Momotaros in combat. Gotta love the way Momo reacts, and the way he panics when the others appear on his body. "My face is peeling!" Hahaha! A new form is on the way, and from the first pics I felt that the suit is less than attractive, but in a similar way like the other suits, I'm pretty sure I'll grow to accept it.

I'm not too sure if I can find time to update next week, but I'll definately try. One of the reasons I don't update regularly is also the lack of photos and topics. Haven't been going around recently, so we're taking less pics. Having been watching any new movies or anime series, so less stuff to write about too. Well, I'll try and include any interesting stuff, but no promises. Until the next update, ja!