Sunday, October 28, 2007


Finally, the stressful period of work is over. For the past 2 weeks or so, I've only been able to reach home around 10pm, and thus there hasn't been enough time to even surf the net, let alone update the blog. No new pictures to post, but what you see here is a picture taken last year at Sensoji Temple, Asakusa. The obasan in the picture was very friendly, and introduced us to the different products she was selling. It turned out that she was also featured in one of the guide books I bought, so I'm going to bring it along and get her to sign on it this time. Haha.... I can't get a Japanese celebrity so being the next best thing she'll have to make do. Perhaphs she'll give us another discount this year. :)

Met the other friends from Ultraman Lah last week, at Swisshotel for a sumptious buffet lunch. It's been a while since me and Mabel last linked up with them, mostly due to some clashes in timing previously due to work and other commitments. I've also collected my orders from Sze Huat, and I've chalked up over $100 worth of figures from him. All of them are from the hero series, and are from either the Kamen Rider Den-O series or from Jyuken Sentai: Gekirangers. It feels great to add more figures into my current collection, but also a little heart pain to lose so much money at one go over little plastic masked men. Well, it's a passion and one not to be given up so easily. However, a fellow Ultraman Lah member and one of the most enthusiastic collector in Singapore recently decided to let go of his collection. Adryan's reason: having woke up one morning and just decided that his collection was taking away too much time and space, and he had to let it go. His feelings after selling away 3/4 of his collection: "refreshing". Check out the before and after pics:
Hailed as one of the best collection of Ultraman and Kamen Rider figures in Singapore, Adryan's collection was an amazing one. Visitors would always be awe struck by the sheer amount of figures, and also many rare figures which he managed to get his hands on through trips to Japan or from Yahoo auctions. Thankfully I had the chance to visit his place a few years ago, and it was a very memorable and enjoyable visit.
Now that he's decided to sell away most of his collection and just focus on a few select collection lines, he's got more time and money to focus on his other passion: painting. Although this event barely concerns me, but as a fellow collector I feel some what saddened by his decision. I don't think I'll ever give up on my collection. Maybe I'll change my focus like what I did with my Gundam figures, but I bet no one would would to buy my figures anyway. :P
I'm still playing Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I've finished over 72% of the missions, which are getting so hard now it's pretty ridiculous. Even with my stats it's still difficult to clear the missions now. The game is still amazingly addictive, and I'll most probably buy the American version once it's out. In the mean time, I'll be aiming to get the Ultimania guide in Kinokuniya once I see it. Yes the guide's in Jap, but it'll help me in figuring out how to get the best stats to clear those darn remaining missions. Here's a clip of the ending sequence, with the song "Why" from Ayaka. Sad ending, but most people who've played FFVII would know how the game would end. Remember to check out the sequence after the ending credits, which lead up to the first scene from FFVII.

I've just bought the 2 disc collectors edition of the Transformers DVD. Having watched the movie again now, I've realised that as much as I can nitpick at the little details of the movie, Michael Bay has managed to retain most of the things a Transformers movie should have, and most of the fans should be happy. The second disc contains lotsa goodies, but I've yet to check them out yet. One thing I don't really like about the special edition is the cover. It shows Prime's face on one side and Megatron's on the other. Simple and nice, but some how I prefer the normal edition's cover, which is the same as the movie poster, with Prime, Megatron, and Bumble Bee's faces in the foreground set upon a background of Earth from space. I'm even thinking about getting the regular version just for the cover. Hmmm...... maybe it's a conspiracy. Anyway, the second movie is about to get a release date, so hopefully we'll get more details soon.

Alien Vs Predator: Requiem is less than 2 months away now. A new hybrid alien is set to appear in the film, and it has features from the Predator race. This should make way for some interesting fights, and will most probably mean that we get to see more predator deaths. Another must see movie this December, and hopefully Singaporeans don't lose out with a censored version, since the movie is supposed to be rated R.
A new Ultraman movie has been announced, titled: "Great decisive battle! Super Ultra 8 Brothers". Strangely enough, it features Ultraman Tiga as the main Ultraman. For those who don't know, Ultraman Tiga is the first of the new age Ultramen, and was first shown on TV nearly 10 years ago after over 2 decades since the last Ultraman show. Storywise, Tiga and the original Ultra brothers take place in a totally different universe, and should not even co-exist. It would be interesting to see which new Ultra they're going to bring back, and how the story is going to link these 2 different universes together. Will be talking more about this movie here as more details get revealed.
Kamen Rider Den-O gets yet another form upgrade this week. It's called Liner form, and may well be Den-O's last and final form. What's different about Climax form, is that while all 4 imagins control Ryoutaro in Climax form (resulting in some hillarious situations where all 4 fight to control him), Ryoutaro remains in control while in Liner form. And we all know what a wuss he is without the imagins. Heck he even finds his own sword heavy.... Let's hope he can get to hold his own in the future alone. :)
Just started to watch this anime called "Bokurano" (ぼくらの). It's a very thought provoking series, and although it centres around children it's nothing about happy endings and feeling good. Rather, the show centres around death and impending doom most of the time. I've only watched 4 episodes and already 2 of the children have died. Here's a short introduction about the show: 15 children find a grotto by the sea. Deep within they discover working computers and later the owner, a man called Kokopelli. Kokopelli claimed to be a programmer working on a brand new game, in which a large robot has to defend the Earth against fifteen alien invasions. He persuades the children to test the game and sign a contract. All but one of them signs, a moment later they mysteriously awaken on the shore believing what happened was just a dream. That night, two giant robots appear suddenly by the beach. A small creature calling itself 'Dung Beetle', appears and claims to be their guide. It then teleports the children into the black robot. They find Kokopelli inside and controlling the black robot in order to defeat the enemy robot. He tells the children that they are on their own now and sends them back to the beach. Bokurano's stories tend to focus exclusively on one character - the next pilot. It starts with some background story on the character and their underlying motivations while building up to their battle. Takeshi Waku is the first pilot of the robot, which is named "Zearth" by Maki Ano. Upon winning the fight, Waku is accidentally 'knocked' into the sea by Jun Ushiro. The second pilot, Masaru "Kodama" Kodaka, dies unceremoniously after defeating Cancer. Coemushi explains to the children that Zearth runs on life force, and the cost of every victory would be the life of its pilot. The plot gets more and more interesting, and I'll be trying to catch up with this anime as soon as I can.

Ok! Just 5 more days before we take off for Tokyo! We've just began packing, and I'm in the midst of confirming the details and reservations through email and phone. I have some time to also refresh my Japanese too, since I'm also in the midst of my JLPT preparations. Here's a brief insight into our planned itinerary.

Day 1: Sunshine City, Ikebukuro

We'll only arrive in the hotel in the early afternoon. We don't really want to rush, so we'll only hang out near our hotel in the Ikebukuro area, where some of the highlights would include the Sunshine International Aquarium, Sunshine 60 Observation Deck, and also the many shopping centres in the area. Most probably we'll have dinner (perhaps supper) in the area before resting to get ready for the next day.

Day 2: Harajuku, Shibuya

We'll be spending the first half of the day in Harajuka, and then make our way to Shibuya via the subway trains. Various places to visit here would include: Meiji Shrine, Daiso Harajuku, Omotesando, Oriental Bazaar, Snoopy Town in Harajuku, and then Shibuya Mark City, Center Gai, Hachiko statue in Shibuya.

Day 3: Odaiba, Asakusa
Odaiba's more or less a shopping district, and is great spot for people who want to get designer labels. It is also here that you can get to see the mini version of the statue of liberty, along with the famous rainbow bridge as the back drop. The ferris wheel here is also another attraction we'd want to visit again. This time, my mission here would be to find the Rakuten jersey I've been wanting to import for quite some time now. Hopefully I'll be able to find it....

Day 4: Tsukiji, Tokyo Disney Land

Tsukiji Central Wholesale Market is a large wholesale market for fish, fruit and vegetables in central Tokyo. Tsukiji Market is best known as one of the world's largest fish markets, handling over 2,000 tons of marine products per day. Hopefully we can get to sample some of the freshest fish Japan has to offer. The rest of the day will be spent in Disney Land. Mabel plans to get as many snap shots with cartoon characters as possible, so you'll get to see whether she succeed or not once we get back. The theme around the park now centers around Halloween, so maybe we can get to dress up for the occasion too.

Day 5: Tokyo Tower, Akihabara, Ameyoko

Yes! I'm going to visit a real maid cafe this time round, so hopefully they'll allow photography. If not, pray that I don't get caught. Heh. Tokyo tower is another place I've been wanting to visit. Other attractions there in the vicinity include Zojoji Temple among a couple of tourist attractions. Lunch onwards will be spent in Akihabara, so I'll be trying to navigate the area amidst the crowd of otakus and maids. Pictures to come, surely.

For the evening, we'll be heading towards Ameyoko in the Ueno area. It's typically a night market selling Japanese food products. Most of the edible stuff we'll be bringing back will be from this area. We found a few good bargains last year, but still most of the things such as scallops don't come cheap. Still, a very exciting place to hunt for good food for the parents and relatives.

Day 6: Packing up ready to go

The last time will mainly be spent back in the hotel area, with perhaps breakfast and lunch in the Ikebukuro area and also spending our last yen on some last minute shopping. Another year, another trip. Even before we set off, we're already planning for a Hokkaido trip next year. Anyway, expect TONs of pictures when we get back. Wish us good luck! Ja!

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