Archive for December, 2008

A brief update: Toradora 13 and current exploits

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Well, I finally got back home to Davao, and it has been a great stay with my aunt and uncle in Manila. I’ve finally experienced some haute couture dining; I’ve done quite a good amount of reading (finished Faulkner’s Flags in the Dust and Virgil’s Aeneid); plus, I was given a Le Clezio novel as a gift! I had a great time despite my initial fiasco.

Yes, I admit, she is very attractive and while I still root for Ami I don't mind who ends up with who, really.

Yes, I admit, she is very attractive and while I still root for Ami I don't mind who ends up with who, really.

The thirteenth installment of Toradora was nothing less than awesome (again). Since I have had a bad case of seafood poisoning, I am currently running a high fever and some slight stomach spasms, so I won’t be as detailed as I previously have been. The episode has been quite a revelation, though: Minori finally sees Ryuuji’s dedication and caring friendship for Taiga, and it brings them closer (to the extent of her not needing a facade when they talked [‘I’m speaking normally?’]; Taiga finally sees something beyond mere camaraderie from Ryuuji as well. She finally has become aware of his existence as more than a partner: when Kitamura invited to dance with her, she no longer blushed, and she didn’t even stutter. She still tries her best to pair them up together, but there is a look of a subtle melancholy when she realizes she has to go away from both of them: it appears when she hugs Minori, and again when she’s alone before Kitamura asks her.

Anyway, I hope you guys have a happy new year.

I’m really needing your help guys, and this time it’s for real.

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I got left by my plane to Davao, and I’m currently alone here in Manila. I admit, it could only have been my fault, and I blame no one else except myself. I have obtained another plane to Davao, luckily, but I will go home much later: I will go home on December 29. Having stressed my family, I sought to pay for the ticket myself, and I would need 1500 pesos to do that. I came up with an idea, and no, it doesn’t involve begging. I’m pretty sure there are some readers of this blog from near Quezon City, Philippines; since I’m trying to build up the money to pay for the ticket, I’d just sell what books I have left here in the dormitory. I can assure you that while they’re used, they are of good condition (except for one which is brand-new); in addition to that, I won’t charge exorbitantly for them.

1) Intruder in the Dust – William Faulkner – 150 pesos

Remember To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee? This novel is akin to that story, but it is of course written with Faulkner’s serpentine prose and his own twists. Lucas Beauchamp is an African-American and a likely suspect in the murder of someone in Yoknapatawpha County. Everyone is doubting him because aside from the fact that he’s black, he’s also a disrespectful and impolite person. A teenager is left the only one with hints to his innocence, and he tries to transcend the prejudice of the South during that time and clear Lucas’s name as well.

2) A Fable – William Faulkner – 150 pesos

Winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, A Fable is a moving tale of a young corporal and his twelve followers in not joining an ordered attack. The tension between old and the new, of pragmatism and idealism, usually tackled by Faulkner’s contemporary, Ernest Hemingway, is tackled by Faulkner in this tale. This novel is unique because Faulkner doesn’t write about the Old South: he wrote about a then-contemporary condition, and a drama of consciences.

3) The Unvanquished – William Faulkner – 150 pesos

Argued by some critics to be part of Faulkner’s Big Four, this loose novel tells vignettes of a young Bayard Sartoris. The novel is a bildungsroman: Bayard Sartoris, at different ages, is featured in the different vignettes. It focuses on the Sartoris’s code of personal responsibility and courage that stand for the best of the Old South’s traditions. Unlike most Faulkner novels, this one is redemptive, and arguably one of the best Faulkner novels that I have read.

4) The Town and The Mansion – William Faulkner – 300 pesos

These two novels are part of the Snopes trilogy. Flem Snopes, the central character in the trilogy, has already arrived at his peak during The Town; his family will face its downfall in The Mansion. The Hamlet isn’t really necessary in following these two novels (it was the first part of the trilogy). Uncharacteristically loose, The Hamlet told stories about Yoknapatawpha County’s residents, and was more a collection of vignettes than a novel.

5) The Aeneid – Virgil – 100 pesos

I initially planned to read this because of Daniel’s recommendations; however, need is pressing and I deem I could find another copy later when I’m more financially solvent and when I’m less stressed. It’s a tale of Aeneas, and his journey to the promised land in Italy, facing many difficulties such as a jealous lover, Dido. This is highly recommended for the buffs of Greek Mythology.

6) The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce – 150 pesos

This novel is the most accessible novel of James Joyce chronicling his bildungsroman from a baby to his epiphany of silence, exile, and unbelief. From a very young child, to a devout Catholic teenager, to a rebellious adult with a creed of silence, exile, and unbelief, James Joyce chronicles his development in a semi-autobiographical novel.

7) Finnegans Wake – James Joyce – 300 pesos

I’m quite unwilling to part with this novel, to be honest. This is the most textually challenging and most difficult to analyze book that I have ever read. While I value Joyce’s intricate genius in this one, I’m just really sad that I’m not as intelligent as him, because I barely understood anything. Whereas Ulysses was his book of the day, this was his book of the night.

8 ) Dream of Fair to Middling Women – Samuel Beckett – 500 pesos

This is brand-new, unopened from even its plastic (you can even see the original price at 539 pesos). This was the first novel of Samuel Beckett (known later for his masterpieces Waiting for Godot and Molloy/ Malone Dies/ The Unnameable). It tells the tale of Belacqua struggling with his love for two women, Smeralda-Rima and Alba. One could compare and see the development of Samuel Beckett as a writer in this tale.

9) Likha – Ed. Benilda Santos – 70 pesos

This is a collection of essays from different prominent Filipino authors.

10) The Dynamics of Change – 100 pesos

This is a funny and quirky look on the future … back then, during the 1960s. People were somewhat right, but mostly wrong!

11) Dubliners – James Joyce – 200 pesos

This is the short story collection that helped established Joyce as one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century. James Joyce described the scope of life from simple tales of sexual awakening to the haunting, and extremely beautiful The Dead, where through the change singing of a song the husband learns of a long-ago romance in his wife’s life – and what a beautiful romance it was.

You may contact me on the cellphone at 09064924735, or at e-mail at Michael.David.Sy AT gmail.com. I don’t think this constitutes as begging (I hope).

P.S. In case you think I’m trolling, I really love William Faulkner and wouldn’t sell him had I other options. I, at least, want to go home for New Year. Oh well, guess I can watch anime freely right now. :/

EDIT: I found some more books that may be to your liking.

An e-mail reply: what I believe regarding Lelouch’s life

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Greetings Michael, first of all I would like to thank you for all the time and effort you gave in creating the Lelouch is alive blog, it definatly had an impact on the way people viewed the entire series. As we all know Okouchi made a few statements about Lelouch and his death. However there are many people who find some contradictions in his explanations for instance, the Nunnaly seeing through people’s hearts thing along with C.C.’s explanation. I think at the very least we should agree that the Nunnaly seeing through people’s hearts thing has been proven false in the first season and even in the second season it barely had any instances of that whatsoever. Besides, there is no way she can gain such an extraordinary power in a one year timeskip. As for C.C.’s explanation, Okouchi says “She talks about how the Geass is supposed to bring loneliness, yet Lelouch proves this wrong. With the knowledge that Lelouch does not hate her for giving him the Geass, she is now able to express her true feelings” Well, we all know C.C. never had a problem with expressing herself, she was miserable because she was lonely the entire time and now she’s happy that she’s all alone again? Seems far fetched to me. I could elaborate deeply on this topic but I won’t because Zongetsu and I explained it multiple times in your other blogs. Well anyways, I just want you to know that there are still many fans who support all the statements that you made in your Lulu alive blog despite what Okouchi’s words and they haven’t lost their conviction of Lulu being alive. I heard that you succumbed to the Lelouch dead camp, but I just want you to know that your statements have opened many doors and out of the ashes of your beliefs came a new blog which gives a thorough analysis of the entire series that correlates to Lelouch being alive. Here’s the link of the analysis http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=54714. Well thanks again for creating the blog, it enabled many people view this series from a different perspective and your efforts of creating the blog was not invane.
Sincerely,
Geass101

Someone e-mailed me regarding my beliefs in Code Geass; he (or she) is a consistent commentator of this blog, and I appreciate his comments, especially on the posts on debating whether Lelouch died or not. First and foremost, I’m an avid supporter of Lelouch being alive, even despite the fact that the ‘authors’ have claimed him as being dead.

‘The author is dead.’

We will make our own assumptions regarding what we saw or have seen, and in my heart of hearts I have faith that he is living. Otherwise, it will simply be far too tragic for me.

So, Geass101, thank you for the e-mail that you’ve sent me. I appreciate it, and (still) have faith that Lelouch is still alive.

Toradora 11: the fatherless pain

Friday, December 12th, 2008

The eleventh installment of ToraDora! wasn’t as stellar as its previous episode. Nevertheless, it still remains to be a tour-de-force, especially towards the end of the episode.

Having experienced the final days of summer vacation, they return to class once more. Not much occurs in the early minutes of the episode other than generally a preparation for the cultural festival. It was obvious (and remains to be) that Ryuuji was heavily affected by the words of Minori during the previous episode.

'Why am I getting more sensitive to things that you say?'

Why am I getting more sensitive to things that you say?

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Anime as time goes by …

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

I’ve never been used to going out of the house: after going to a mall for a short time (about 45 minutes) I went home and fell asleep. In these excursions which punctuate my home-oriented existence, it has slowly dawned on me that practically everything has been made commercialized. I remain contented most of the time because I control the urge to consume and to purchase; it is indubitable, however, that without self-mastery I would be nothing less than a dilettante.

I'll just post my friend's cute puppies.

I'll just post my friend's cute puppies.

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Toradora 10: hopefully an intensive analysis

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I was never fond of lengthy posts, but forgive me for this length as I have tons to say about the episode. Here goes.

A few months ago, I had difficulty not talking about Code Geass. The series was fabulous; it had a lot of mishaps that were made funny by their superfluity; and I rooted for an ending that never came to be (it was one of the few reasons why I still kept on watching the series).

This time, I have a difficulty not talking about ToraDora!. The reasons as to why, however, are extremely different: I kept on watching Code Geass R2 because I expected another improbable tragedy befalling Lelouch, but I keep on watching ToraDora! because after a long while a series has rekindled intense emotions I have only felt when I was watching Honey and Clover two years ago.

Between one and zero

Between one and zero

The tenth installment of this series remains to be as fresh, as intelligent, and as emotional as the episodes that directly preceded it. As viewers, we are not only introduced more to the true emotions that Ami harbors and also to the reality beneath Minori’s mask, even if only a glimpse. As what I did for the previous episodes of ToraDora!, I will no longer summarize the episode but posit my own perceptions and reactions as regards the occurrences I deem to be important this time around. (more…)

Saying hello once again: this advertisement brought to you by Dial Antibacterial Soap

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I purchased some Dial antibacterial soap yesterday. It had signs of age evident in the accumulation of the dirt on its cover, but it was one of a kind and I really wanted to use it. There was no rational foundation as regards my desire for the soap; it was purely an impulse. However, I really did need some hand soap as I didn’t have any available with me at that time. Dial has been a trusted brand for quite some time, so I bought one of its liquid hand soaps (in addition to be visually impressed with the soap’s cover). It was also the first time in about half a year where I unhesitatingly ate at McDonald’s twice in one day. While I am certain that what I did had negative effects, I just got back from a trip to the mountains. I neither had good food or good hand soap in there, and I wanted to experience those again.

I think the bottle looked like this, but with an older design.

I think the bottle looked like this, but with an older design.

So I bought that Dial antibacterial soap. Deprivation is very powerful as a motivation, as what was once taken for granted is now taken as if they were diamonds in the rough. (It’s a good thing I obeyed my father’s advice).

One of our theology subjects requires for students of that class to participate in the immersion. Immersion is the process of living with and the experience of the lives of the marginalized first-hand. I went to the outskirts of Capas, Tarlac, smack into the mountain range near Mount Pinatubo, the explosive volcano that caused an outburst of lahar. I lived with Aetas, indigenous people in our country. Life was pretty difficult: it was my very first time eating rice without any viands whatsoever, but it was an enlightening experience. In addition, I was able to wash in two natural bodies of water: I was able to wash in a natural pool as well as in a hot spring. It was my very first time visiting those places; at least I could say to myself that I have had gone somewhere (although still within the Philippines).

Im wearing a blue shirt, and I was carrying a sack of bananas harvested from a farm on top of the mountains. My shirt looks wet because I just came from the natural pool.

I'm wearing a blue shirt, and I was carrying a sack of bananas harvested from a farm on top of the mountains. My shirt looks wet because I just came from the natural pool.

I love being around once again. One gets to appreciate anime more when he’s away from it for quite some time. I love Toradora; I love writing; and I love this blog!

The complexity of Kawashima Ami

Monday, December 1st, 2008

It is undeniable that the focus of Toradora has always been on the romantic struggles of Taiga and Ryuuji. Even the title itself has been derived from their physical or actual similarities with their representative animals. I will talk about them, but I will also attempt to shed light on the reasons as to why I believe Toradora is an excellent show.

She looks even better than Ryoko.

She looks even better than Ryoko.

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