Archive for January, 2009

Toradora – 17: When Mercury retrogrades

Friday, January 30th, 2009

The key to understanding this episode is through its title. At first it may initially seem nonsensical, but Mercury retrograding is very relevant, especially in astrology. It is true that astrology is not a science; however, it is also true that astrology was utilized for thousands of years to explain human behavior and natural occurrences.

And the ball falls.

And the ball drops.

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Ga-Rei -Zero-: my favorite anime of 2008 so far

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

For most of the year, I have not watched much anime. I have said this before. However, in the final quarter of the year (the fall season, that is), I decided to pick up as many series as possible: I wanted to catch up, and so I decided to follow a significant amount of anime. I still have much faith in Toradora, but as it stands it remains unfinished: there is a good chance of its undoing in the later episodes. Ga-Rei Zero, however, has already finished. As it stands, at least for me, Ga-Rei Zero is the best anime of 2008. Not only did it surprise me with a totally out-of-left-field first episode (unless killing all the primary characters wasn’t): it was also good until the very end.

A face of beauty, and a face of tragedy

A face of beauty, and a face of tragedy

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On fan-made anime: excellence in mediocrity

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I have lost the will to read for the past month. I guess that my body has remained lethargic: studying has been especially difficult these past few weeks. After coming out of the disease, I really didn’t and don’t want to do much. I don’t even have the fortitude or patience to draft my posts properly: all you’ve basically seen the past month were primarily knee-jerk reflexes and essays of reaction. I realized I haven’t even finished a novel in twenty days, and that’s a very big thing for me. I’m trying to change this; hopefully, this post will be better.

Hoshi no Kioku

Hoshi no Kioku

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Toradora 16: Transcendent friendship

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

I’m getting nearer and nearer to conclusively (and without hesitation) placing ToraDora as one of the best series of 2009. As much as I love rooting for Ami, episode 16 was a reminder that as a story and as a character study ToraDora is both moving and pathos-invoking. Many revelations abounded the episode, both implicit and explicit. Taiga discovered that Kitamura loved Sumire; Sumire realized her love for Kitamura, with Taiga’s violent help; Minori is subtly exposed by Ami as having feelings beyond friendship for Ryuuji; Ami was also hurt, and the reason why is still a mystery for me. (more…)

A reflection on reminiscence

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

At times, reminiscence, despite everything, provides enough of a stimulus to coerce action. Like an intruder in the dust, its specter appears to different people at certain points in their lives, and this triggers irrational acts. What do I mean? I also quite don’t know.

This Manabi is cute. I think I'd be less averse to watching that series if I saw 17 year old girls instead of 17 year old girls looking like 10.

This Manabi is cute. I think I'd be less averse to watching that series if I saw 17 year old girls instead of 17 year old girls looking like 10.

For the past few days, however, I have been watching Gun-doh Musashi and downloading anime with the use of TorrentStorm. Both objects, while totally different from one another (it should be enough to note that one is an anime series and the other is a torrent client), share the fact that I have liked them in the past for no strong reason whatsoever. When it was last updated in 2005, I was primarily using BitComet and BitTornado. Aside from the fact that these two torrent clients were consistently updated, they also possessed significant advantages over TorrentStorm: the two clients maximized the use of my Internet connection (which wasn’t much). The efficiency of the two clients of TorrentStorm, however, could be perceived in the fact that I could never attain a constant 25 KB/s with TorrentStorm which I could with BitComet and BitTornado (I was on a 256kbps connection back then).

Three years hence, little has changed. TorrentStorm stopped development on 2005: it does not possess DHT; it cannot host trackerless torrents; and it still couldn’t download at optimum speeds, compared to the newly improved BitComet, or the light but heavyweight uTorrent. Because I was fond of the program back then, however, I am using it once more, and I like using it (especially for torrents which are not that exigent for me to complete). There isn’t logical progression in that decision: whereas the same torrent hadn’t gone beyond 5 KB/s with TorrentStorm, it hovered between 55 KB/s and 60 KB/s with BitComet. Yet I still am using TorrentStorm and will use it at times.

The reason is that reminiscence, in all my reflection, doesn’t have to be rational. As humans we cling to the memories we cherish in our past and try to review them and experience them once more. The simple design, the simple logo and the memories I had in using TorrentStorm were quite enough to trigger in me using and experiencing the client once more. This time, however, I have been enjoying its use more thoroughly. Perhaps the same could be said with Gun-doh Musashi: it is quite undeniable that its budget was very low, even for an anime series. There are still frames; most characters, even Musashi, are badly animated; the animation is often out of sync with the Japanese dubbing. While nigh intolerable, I’m at the last (troll)subbed episode. Despite everything, I enjoyed laughing at the bad animation and the horrible subbing. It’s not something most people could do, but it’s something that reminded me to lower my expectations in most things so that I will never be disappointed. In conclusion, memory is quite a powerful thing; perhaps this is why some people can only live in the past.

ToraDora – 15: The beginning of the end, or the shafting of Ami?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Let’s make one thing clear first: I don’t read the novels of ToraDora, and I have no plans until the series is over. I don’t want my impressions on the wonderful anime series muddied by what I would have read in the novels: the anime is different from the novels, and that is simply that. Having said that, I wanted to know why people decried the recent episode, so I both did some questioning and some research (the answers that were given to me). (more…)

REVIEW: The Sound and the Fury (1959)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

The Sound and the Fury, written by William Faulkner, is universally acclaimed to be one of the best novels ever written by an American. It’s also recognized to be one of the best books of the twentieth century. Its intricate construction and its well-written streams of consciousness underlie a tragedy so total and so complete because the Compson members are unable and unwilling to love one another. From the man-child Benjy, to the selfish Jason, the family is torn from within because they remain inflexible in the face of cataclysmic change. Each of the featured characters end up tragic in their own unique way; it is arguable, however, that the least sympathetic tragedy among them was Jason’s. His tragedy, compared to Quentin’s and Benjy’s isn’t a moral tragedy: the novel itself suggests that Jason is extremely amoral and immoral, that he cannot love beyond a miserly notion for money. His tragedy was the most physical as compared to the torturous mental disintegration of Quentin and Benjy’s permanent entrapment into the mind of a retard. His was a tragedy he himself could rectify. Ultimately, his tragedy was that of an utter resistance to empathy and positive change.

This was the original film poster.

This was the original film poster.

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Toradora 14: the best filler episode ever

Friday, January 9th, 2009

First, a bit of an update: I haven’t been able to update for the past few days because I was admitted to a hospital (for the very first time) due to amebiasis with moderate dehydration. I thought I was already all right because my stomach didn’t hurt during the first of January, but I also learned that amebiasis could mask itself or be latent when stomach spasms came out strong early morning the next day. I’m grateful for all the caring friends who have visited me, and also those who have wished me well. I’m currently trying to completely recover from the disease; the disease took a lot out of me, which was why I was recommended four days of rest.

I doubt she'll remain a mediator for long

I doubt she'll remain a mediator for long...

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