Sunday, August 31, 2008

21km と10km が走ったばかりです~

Phew, the lack of updates recently speaks volume for how busy I've become the past few weeks. Above you see me and Mabel, just after I completed my 10km run in the Nike+ Human race. There were altogether around 11 thousand participants in Singapore, and I was lost in a sea of red at the starting point. There was hardly any space to warm up at all, and being squeezed together with so many people was rather uncomfortable. Boy was I relieved when the race was finally flagged off. 10km was rather short compared to the half marathon which I just completed the week before. I've been running quite a bit lately, and was rather happy to have clocked one of my best timings in the Army Half Marathon in recent years. Sure it's not my best timing, but I've been really lousy the past few years and being able to cut nearly an hour was really satisfying.
The pictures that you see here are from the yet to be released 1/60 Fully Transformable VF-1J (Piloted by Hikaru Ichijyo) with Super Parts (1/60 完全変形 VF-1J 一条輝機 with スーパーパーツ). It costs around 13440 yen, and will be released this October. Compared to the 1/48 version, this is of course smaller and doesn't pack as much intricate details or the smaller moving parts such as the wing flaps. Having said that, the model still looks very detailed and special attention is put in for the transformation, which sets it apart from its predecessors.
The optional super parts can be removed if you'd very much just prefer the normal version like me. I'm very tempted to take out my air brush and redo the entire paint job, but that is only if I'm confident of making it better. I'd at least try and do some modifications using paint markers to make it more realistic. There is a stand available too, and most probably I'll be using it as a display in the shelf and not touch it very often. I wonder when I'll get myself one of those 1/48 versions....
Buono! (ボーノ) Italian language adjective for 'good', more specifically when used to imply food possesses a pleasant palate, is a Hello! Project unit consisting of three Hello! Project members: Momoko Tsugunaga and Miyabi Natsuyaki from Berryz Kobo, and Airi Suzuki from °C-ute. I've been listening to their new single called "Gachinko de Ikou!" (ガチンコでいこう!), and can't get the part about "Don't mind don't mind!" out of my head. Nice melody, so do take a look at their PV here:
Received my bandai figures of Ultra Seven and Ultraman Leo recently, and will be following up with the rest of the series pretty soon. Finally made some space on my self for this incoming series which is rather big compared to the rest of my collection. Haven't been buying too much Ultraman stuff lately so this will be a welcomed addition. On the other side of the collection, I'd welcome a new S.I.C series from Kamen Rider Den-O. Just the first of a series which I'm sure will include the rest of the forms as well as Zeronos, I will have to make more space at least within my Den-O section for them. I love the S.I.C series and will definately be keeping my eyes out for the rest of the series. Lastly, I've also added another item to my Kamen Rider Head displays. Kamen Rider X is the latest to be released, and I believe Kiva will be the next one. Not too soon, I hope. Thank god they're cheap though.
Kamen Rider Ixa from the Kiva series recently received a form upgrade. Since I talked about Kiva's upgrade in a previous blog post, I'll also link the video of his first appearance here. The Climax Deka movie has also been released recently. I thought it was ok, but the lack of punch of the show is made up for with the imagins back together and creating chaos like before on the Den Liner.

On the topic of the imagins and Den-O, the success and popularity of the series has prompted the creators to make yet another movie based on the characters. This is the 3rd movie of the franchise, and the most any rider series has been based on. And of course I'm thrilled. Den-O is my fave series of all. It's popularity in Japan speaks volume for its success, which Kiva can only hope to emulate. I thought the plot in Den-O, while lacking in some areas and raised plot holes, showed growth of the characters, from Ryoutaro to all of the imagins. Something which the other riders lacked in the other series. The story was more or less complete, although I will have to admit Kai was irritating and served only to conclude the series on a high for the imagins to form Den-O's strongest form.

Still, the memorable characters does it for me, and of course, I understand that everyone has different tastes and likings. However, I don't really like Kiva due to the lead character. Never would I thought that he would be wimpier and weaker than even Ryoutaro. That puts me off a little. The story however, keeps things fresh with the events from 86. I'd agree whole heartedly that Otoya is the best thing in Kiva.
On more tokusatsu related stuff, you would never have guessed who added me on Facebook last week. It's none other than Mark Musashi! Mark is a Wushu martial artist and a stuntman/actor, having major roles in a few Japanese Tokusatsu series. Best known for his role as the mysterious murderer named Piece in the live-action drama Sh15uya, Mark was most recently seen in Cutie Honey The Live as Duke Seiya Anthony Watari IV, a bilingual gentleman in the service of the organization Panther Claw. He was Kodama in the cult hit series Garo, and was the suit actor for Zero too. He was also the suit actor for Kamen Rider 2 in Kamen Rider: The First. He has participated in several Wushu competition championships and he has done motion capture for several video games, such as Dino Crisis 3, Resident Evil Outbreak, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. I loved his role in Garo and Cutey Honey, so I was really happy to be able to speak to him on Facebook. Hopefully we'll be able to see Mark in another kick ass show from Japan or America soon! Check out a clip featuring Mark here:
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed tells the story of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, code-named "Starkiller" but born Galen Marek, as he hunts down the Jedi remaining after Emperor Palpatine orders them killed. Set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the story explores the aftermath of the Great Jedi Purge as well as the rise of Darth Vader. The events of The Force Unleashed are "pivotal" in Darth Vader's history and development as a character, and offer illumination into other characters from A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. I've played the demo a few times and it seems to have potential. Not totally sold on getting the game yet, but I'm keeping tabs on this one.
That's all for this update. September's not a very free month for me so I'm not sure when would be the next time I'll update. I really wanna say wake me up when September ends, but I guess any sleep at all would be very much appreciated. Still, you gotta make the best out of life, even during such low spirited periods. Until then, cya on Facebook. Ja!
Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Saturday, August 16, 2008


It's been 8 years since we first met, on the eve of National Day. I booked out as a recruit, with no hair and pride to speak of. However, it was a fateful meeting on that day when I first met her. Never would I have expected on that day that 8 years after, I would be a father-to-be with her. To celebrate the event, Mabel told me that she would plan the day's activities. I promised her to take a day's off to accompany her, so off we went according to her schedule. To kick start the day, we went over to Shangri La hotel for a fantastic buffet lunch over at The Line. It was quite costly, and Mabel was upset by my constant whining about how expensive it was. Yes, I agree that money is spent to be spent, but when a glass of orange juice costs over $17 it's a bit hard to swallow, especially when I think of how many new games I can buy with that money. Well, we ate to our hearts' content, and then made our way to Marina Square for a short shopping session, followed by our first ever visit to The Singapore Flyer. It was a interesting ride, but nothing much to shout about as the surrounding scenery was pretty much full of construction sites at this point in time. We helped a Japanese couple to take a few pictures, and they returned the favour by doing the same. It seems that we are the last few people to take the Singapore Flyer which rotated facing the original way, as it was reported in the papers that they changed the direction of the rotation, after some advisors from expert Feng Shui masters. Well, whatever.

We were pretty much exhausted with all the walking around, and decided to head home for dinner instead of watching a movie. It was a long day, but one which we will remember for at least the next year, where I'm gonna have to think of how to top this year's anniversary celebrations.... Somewhere overseas perhaps?

The video I posted last week seems to have received some good feedback, so I decided to send it to Stomp. I'm not exactly a fan of Stomp due to the fact that I hated some of the articles and how they promote some negativity between Singaporeans and other close to the heart issues, but I see it as a good portal to share media and news around. I uploaded the movie onto the DIY Video segment, and hopefully I can win some thing there. :)
I haven't been buying much stuff lately, namely collecting on the Rider and Sentai hero box sets, along with smaller stuff like the candy toys or perhaps the miniture keychains. I'm also still collecting the Kamen Rider head displays, and got 4 of them last week when I visited Chinatown Square Central. Didn't plan to buy so much (actually I didn't know so many were released), but in the end decided to get them all just in case they get sold out before my next visit. So, on top of my previous collections which I imported or bought from Japan, I got Kamen Rider Stronger, Kuuga, Hibiki, and Super-1 this time. Had to clear some space for them, but they look great on my room TV console now. I just need to figure out how to make more space for the next series now.....

Some of the other hero series boxes were also released when I was there, but I didn't have enough cash at the point to get them. Thus, I decided to get the Go-on Wings figures instead: Go-on Gold and Go-on Silver, the pair of siblings from Engine Sentai Go-Onger. The rest of the figures I failed to get are from the Kiva series, which are more likely to make their way to other department stores, so I have a good chance of getting them from some other places instead. On the Go-onger series, the plot has been going downhill these weeks, with the emphasis based on comedy instead of the main storyline. Well, good thing is that it's still pretty entertaining. 2 episodes ago they were haunted by one of the main villians which they killed. There were some creepy scenes which I thought might make some Japanese babies lose their sleep, such as eyes in the forest, people with no faces, etc. Haha, and what a coincidence that it was shown during the Hungry Ghost Festival here. Wouldn't want Mabel watching this though (never thought I'd say that).Pic above: the main 4 guys get spooked by ghosts. Sousuke's (far left) expression is simply priceless. Check out the clip here too.

I posted the PV clip from High King with their single Cinderella Complex a few weeks ago. The song has really grown on me, and I've downloaded some of the other versions of the PV as well as the live performances too. I realised that Takahashi Ai (second from left) has really become a great dancer. Reina and her were awesome in the video, but I thought Ai stole the PV with her hat, although the spot light was mainly on Reina. The dance was awesome too, and hopefully we get more PVs from this particular choreographer. Do check out their dance shot PV:
Another new Jpop group has risen: The Possible (THE ポッシボー). I'm not too sure of this group's background, but I've seen their new PV from the single Ijiwaru Crazy Love (いじわる Crazy love). Sure the girls are not as pretty as the ones from Morning Musume or other H!P acts, but I thought the song was really catchy. Seems this single is being used as the opening theme for a current Japanese Drama. From the official site: "つんく♂が発足させたNICE GIRLプロジェクト!所属の岡田ロビン翔子、秋山ゆりか、橋本愛奈、諸塚香奈実、大瀬楓、後藤夕貴の6人組THE ポッシボー。08年4月発売の「家族への手紙」に続くメジャー第2弾シングル。" Hopefully we're learn more about this group soon, along with more great songs.

Yes, I've been really lazy with the updates lately. Work is going to get tougher till the end of the year, and I still have my JLPT 2 to worry about. I also just bought a book on 3D modelling which I hope to pick up, so there goes more of my personal time. Not forgetting that I'm still playing the PS3 late into the night and waking up with dark circles on certain days. Good thing is that Mabel's health has been great lately, and hopefully it will remain that way. Will leave you with a hillarious clip of the Imagins from last season's Kamen Rider Den-O, doing the poses from this season's sentai team. Back to my reading now, ja!

The original from Engine Sentai Go-onger:

The Imagin (from Kamen Rider Den-O) version:
Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sean & Mabel: 8 Years Together

We'll be celebrating our 8 years anniversary tomorrow, as well as our 4th wedding anniversary. We met in 2000, got engaged the year after, got married in 2004, and will be welcoming a new member of the family in December. To commemorate the event, I've made a video of photos taken the past 8 years. It's my biggest effort so far, since all the previous videos were done in a single siting. Hope you will like it as much as we do!!