Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Its been a busy week since I'm currently on course, hence the failure to update the previous week. Too much has been happening since then till around end this week, so there really isn't much motivation to write, especially when I get home relatively late these days. Not to mention the traffic these days are so terrible I'm frustrated most of the time due to either jams or congestion. Some of my relatives were in town from half way round the world to attend my sister's wedding, and pictured in the 2 photos you see here is Trisha, my 8 year old cousin from New York. It's the first time I've actually seen her, but what's cool is that we hit off like old pals due to similar interests, and perhaps language as my other relatives mostly spoke to her in cantonese, which I fail at. Her English might possibly be better than mine, but thanks to years of exposure to Hollywood media I can hold my own with American slang. Trisha constantly has her Ipod Nano and Nintendo DS around her, and I helped her to clear a few levels of Super Mario DS too, explaining to her in the meantime that I beat the original Super Mario Bros on the NES back when I was her age.

As for my sister's wedding, it was simply put one of the most glamorous and well planned weddings I've ever attended. Summer and Xavier spent months planning it, and it was executely flawlessly. From the free sms to screen messaging service to the costume party, video and live singing to the disco session after the dinner, everything was perfect. The door gift for each guest was a CD with a song they wrote, composed, and performed, all done professionally in a studio. There was free beer, a best message contest, a best dressed costume contest, and so much more. Among the costumed guests were Robin Hood, Captain Hook, Hercules and his girl, a pink mermaid, and so much more. Really amazing. And since they're leaving to Sweden for 3 years next week, many wished for a made-in-Sweden baby from them. From Sean and Mabel, do take care and please send pictures and update us back home often. Don't worry about home too much, and mum would be pleased with another grandchild. :)

Cleared the Upper Intermediate Japanese Language class 2 weeks ago, and sad to say our new teacher Sawada Chiaki sensei only taught us for 1 module before having to leave us. Well, it was good news really. Not that she wasn't a good teacher. She wasn't very experienced (I think she's around my age actually), but it was really interesting talking to her as she speaks real fast and treats us like native speakers. She's leaving us because she's pregnant, and will be leaving Singapore for her hometown in Japan to rest and concentrate on being a good mother-to-be. We wish her all the best, and hope that she'll bring a lively baby back from Japan and pay us a visit soon! For the rest of us taking JLPT2, ganbatte!

Next week marks the opening of the 2 Tokusatsu movies from Kamen Rider Kiva and Engine Sentai Go-Onger. Both series are nearly the mid point now, and the good news is that I'm still not giving up on either series. Kiva, however, is quite a disappointment. The story doesn't really pick up even after so long, and the only reason why I'm still watching is due to half of the plot, which talk about the events from 1986. I'm curious as to how the events in the past take place and shape the future, but on the other hand the plot in 2008 suck so much I'd rather skip them altogether if possible. Hopefully the movie is better but I really doubt so. On the other hand, Go-Onger is also facing a stump in the story, and if there is no progression within the next few episodes things will start to go downhill too. At least there are still things to look forward to in the upcoming few episodes.

High-King (ハイ・キング) is a Japanese idol group within Hello! Project. The group was created to promote Morning Musume's upcoming rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, titled Cinderella the Musical (シンデレラ the ミュージカル). Their sound is said to have an R&B feel, and the members include Tanaka Reina & Takahashi Ai (from Morning Musume)Shimizu Saki (from Berryz Kobou), Yajima Maimi (from ℃-ute), and Maeda Yuuka (from Hello Pro Egg). The group is made up of members from other Hello! Project groups. It is unknown whether this group will be a temporary unit, or will continue to produce singles after the musical. The High-King leader is currently Reina. Check out the PV for C\C (Cinderella\Complex) here.

The new trailer for the Ultraman Brothers movie has also just been released. Things are looking good and I'm resisting an urge to pre-order the DVD from Amazon Japan. Good thing is that if I pre-order, I can watch the movie ahead of people outside of Japan, but bad thing is that I'll need to watch the movie without any subs and that can be quite distracting.... That's it for this week. I'll end off with one of the funniest videos I've watched recently. Do make sure you've watched the Dark Knight before watching this though. Ja!

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Rena \r(e)-na\レナ: pronounced REE-nah. It is of Hebrew origin, and means "a joyous melody". In Greek the meaning of Rena is "peace". That's the name we've decided to give to our yet to be born daughter. The name is actually inspired from fictional character Yanase Rena (ヤナセ・レナ) from the Ultraman Tiga series, as well as Tanaka Reina (田中れいな), currently H!P artist. I like it a lot, and the meaning of a joyous melody sounds absolutely delightful to me and Mabel as well. Mabel's 5 months pregnant now, and just 4 more months to go before we get to see Rena.
I just confirmed my running shirt size online for the upcoming Nike+ Human race. Come August 31, Singapore will join 23 other cities in a one-of-a-kind 'human race'. Nike is putting together a mammoth running event that will see an estimated one million participants running 10 kilometres each. The series of runs held across 24 cities across the globe is called "The Nike+ Human Race 10K", and 10,000 places have been reserved for Singaporeans, with every individual runner receiving a Nike T-shirt with a unique number emblazoned on the front. I'm still waiting for my number so I can go try my luck in 4D.

I just downloaded a demo from the Playstation network of the upcoming game: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm. The demo allows you to play as Naruto Uzumaki and Kakashi Hatake, and also allows the player to choose either the English or the Japanese voicecasts. I only played the very first 2 games in this series, but I also played the first one on the PSP too. It was fun at first, but watching the same moves again and again was really boring. So far, the demo has impressed me a lot and is pretty good, due to the fact that it's in total 3D and you really do move like a ninja, jumping around, spinning, and throwing shurikens at the same time. Good stuff, and I will be looking foward to more information on the game. Hopefully I'll hear more good stuff and get myself this game when it gets released in October.

A new teaser poster of the upcoming Dragonball movie has been shown in Japan. It features actor Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds, The Invisible, Lost television series), who stars as Son Goku, in his familiar orange gi complete with the kanji for kame ("turtle" for his mentor Master Roshi or Kame Sennin) on his back. He holds up a dragonball (most probably the 4 star dragonball), which is glowing with energy. The poster's Japanese text reads : "The legend comes to life." The new poster also adds the following text: "Opens worldwide at maximum speed on March 13, 2009." Looks awesome, although the colour of the pants needs some getting used to. So far, most of the pics featuring Chatwin look fantastic, so hopefully we'll get to see scans of the other characters or even better a teaser trailer soon. There is also news of a new anime short featuring Dragonball characters coming soon, so perhaps I'll post more pics on that when news arrive.

We were at the gala premiere of the movie "The Dark Knight", and got to see the movie 1 day ahead of everyone else in Singapore. Security was tight, and no handphones were allowed. The guards came and informed us to deposit our phones at the counters while we were queing up for the show (it was free seating), and I decided to put our phones back in the car instead, which was a good choice because you should have seen the queue at the end of the movie where people were trying to get their phones back, and we were the first few to drive home.

On the 2 and a half hour long movie, I thought it was pretty good, but not Ironman good. The characters were very nicely thought out, especially the Joker and Harvey Dent, which I thought were far more interesting than Batman himself. There were a lot of memorable lines in the movie from the Joker too, my fave being: "I'm like a dog chasing cars. Even if I caught it I wouldn't know what to do with it." The 1 complaint I have of the movie is that it seems to be really fragmented at times. One scene we see Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent leaving in a policecar together, the next scene they're tied up with barrels of oil and explosives surrounding them. Joker's thugs and explovives seem to come from an infinite source, and can blow an entire building to pieces (room by room) withing a very short time for planning. Well, it's still a good movie and of course I'd get the DVD.

Kamen Rider Kiva gains his new Emperor form this week, and it even comes with a squeakily annoying add on on his arm. Voiced by the same guy who did Bae in last year's Gekirangers, I've come to hate his voice with a passion. Shame too, as the new form looks pretty cool too. The Climax Deka movie's been released recently, along with some net episodes of Kiva and Go-ongers. Hopefully I'll post some scenes next update.
That's it for this update. Short, but important as it includes an update on Rena, as well as the first time where I reveal her name. Do tell me how you feel but leaving a comment. Until next time, ja!
Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Just visited the Hokkaido fair which is being held at Tampines Mall, and boy was it packed. You'd never have imagined the queue that was leading a few rounds within the display stands, just to buy freshly made cream puffs and cakes. Me and Mabel managed to squeeze between the hordes of people, and got for ourselves some food stuff, such as ramen and Japanese fishcakes. A Japanese auntie even gave me a discount, for speaking to her in Japanese. She winked and put her finger to her mouth, while returning me the change for a crab flavoured fishcake which costs over $5. Most of the things were pretty expensive, but it's pretty natural since it would be hard to get such authentic stuff in Singapore. We did a fair bit of shopping around the entire day, and got some interesting stuff too. Mabel bought more baby stuff, more or less orientated to girls clothings, though I still prefer to remain neutral since the confirmation will only come next month. I'm ok with either a girl or a boy, since to me health will be the important issue.
We bought a small miniture model of the Honda Fit, yellow colour too. It required some assembly, and needed 4 AAA batteries to power up the car and the infra-red sensor. Pretty cool, since I was able to drive the mini-Jazz around my living room. It makes for a great display too, since it's now sitting on top of our shoe rack. I also finally got the latest Ultimate Solid set for the Ultraman series, and thankfully I'm still on track having collected all previous installments. They're really detailed, hence the higher than normal pricing....

The recent commercials featuring Tsuchiya Anna (土屋 アンナ) piqued my curiosity, and thus I went online and did some research on her. Apparently the album advertised on TV is a pretty old one. Not surprising, since Singapore rarely gets mainstream Japanese music and only selected artists from well known record companies get the nod here. More about Anna can be found here. Her album Strip Me is in Singapore now, and although released in Japan since 2006, I find it really good and reminds me a lot of Aikawa Nanase (相川 七瀬). Tracks such as Rose, Knock Down and Slap that Naughty Body shows her punk/rock side, which softer tracks such as Jane shows her being softer and more composed. All in all, good stuff and do check her out. Hopefully we'll hear more from other Japanese artists and not just outdated stuff a few years back.
Jumps SQ’s August issue has some new images from the upcoming Dragonall movie. You can see the rest of the images from the link here. Along with new scans, Goku (Justin Chatwin) is also seen in the original gi which was worn at the very beginning of Dragonball. This homage shows promise, and also means that we can get to see more stuff which was in the original anime series. From the very same magazine, here are some words from the cast: Justin Chatwin (Goku): "I am very honored to be able to play Goku. When I am playing gentle and loving Goku, I feel as if I am given energy from him. In the movie, I have a lot of great action scenes. After the movie is finished post production, I’ll get to see my Kamehameha appear on the screen, and I get very excited when I imagine that." Chow Yun-Fat (Master Roshi):
"On my career as an actor, it is my first time to play a manga character. Dragonball is read all over the world, have many hard core fans. I hope they won’t be disappointed by my acting (laugh). But to be honest with you, I’m totally satisfied with my performance as Master Roshi."

The 3rd trailer for the movie Great Decisive Battle! The Super 8 Ultra Brothers (大決戦!超ウルトラ8兄弟, Daikessen!) has been released a while back, along with some other events featured in its advertising campaign. With just 2 more months to go before the release in Japan, many of the figures and toys have already been shown and we can expect them to make their way to local shores soon. Check out the trailer here:
Even closer to the release dates are the movies based on this year's Super sentai and Kamen rider series. They are: Movie Edition: Kamen Rider Kiva: The King of Hell Castle (劇場版 仮面ライダーキバ 魔界城の王) and Engine Sentai Go-onger: Boom Boom! Bang Bang! GekijōBang!! (炎神戦隊ゴーオンジャー BUNBUN!BANBAN!劇場BANG!!). Yes, the titles are a bit of a handful. Both movies will premiere in Japan next month, and will be tied in with their respective series. And in tune with tradition, Kiva will be getting his form upgrade in his movie. Known as the Emperor form, he comes complete with new gear and a new cape, as shown in the picture on the right. There will also be movie exclusive characters, so we can expect EX versions of their models to be in stalls soon. Toei announced on its various official websites that there would be a series of short five-minute internet movies that are spin-offs of both The King of Hell Castle and Boom Boom! Bang Bang! GekijōBang!! to be accessed by a mobile phone service, so hopefully we'll be seeing them online soon too.
I managed to get 2 tickets for the preview screening of The Dark Knight from a close friend, so hopefully me and Mabel will find time off (its a weekday) to attend it. I've been avoiding a lot of the teaser stuff on the net, and I'm looking forward to the show. Frankly speaking, I like Batman but definately not as much as the Marvel heroes. I thought Batman Begins was good, but overrated by many of the reviewers on the net. To prepare myself for the movie, I even watched Batman: Gotham Knight. It comprises of a few short stories featuring Batman, drawn by different artists in distinctively different styles, ranging from American comics to Japanese anime. I actually feel asleep near the end, but it was probably due to fatigue than boredom. Will post my thoughts on the movie after the show.

We're also be going for the detailed scan of the baby in 2 weeks time, so hopefully everything's going to be fine, and once we confirm the gender I'll be posting up more information here. In the meantime, live still carries on as usual although I'll most probably be expecting a change of environment in work as I will be embarking on a command tour soon. It's all part of my road of advancement career wise, and I'm looking forward to it, although it will mean more busy times ahead. But then again, we all need to make the best use of whatever time that is given to us. So, until the next post, check back soon. Cya!
Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker