Archive for the ‘Light’ Category

No longer an anime fan

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I’m no longer an anime fan.

I have no excuses.

I’m an anime fan has-been. I don’t have Internet right now, so all I do is read books and go to work. Being a medical doctor is harsh. There’s really little time for anything else than duty, and that sucks.

I still love anime, though. I saw the first episode of Psycho-Pass and was quite impressed with it. I honestly miss my analyses on Tatami Galaxy, however – or my excursions on Code Geass years ago. I want to have an Internet connection, but I have to make do with reading instead. All I can do now is go online at certain times, and that really doesn’t bode well for anime watching. Currently, I am taking back my life, trying to decimate the backlogs of novels to read.

Anime should be next. I’m quite hopeful, but I need an Internet connection to do that. It’s frustrating.

Rants from a Moribund Man: the Powerpoint pen

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Yesterday, I had so much to say about different things. I guess after running on a day and a half without sleep, what I had to say condensed itself a bit. Perhaps these may simply be rants, but I hope it makes sense to someone who’s reading it.

I developed a recent hobby after saving for and purchasing a rare Casio console roughly three years ago. After receiving the item I bought on eBay, I was exposed to its beauty and madness. I honestly still wish to purchase certain items, although I’m still sane enough that I can hold myself back from emptying my savings on an obsolete video game system.

I think my last chance was with someone who sells these systems with a fair price. That’s extremely rare, but it is possible when the magic of video game collection fades to become mere embers dovetails with the pragmatism of saving space and breaking even. I found someone like that who had sold a rare cartridge of a rare system for a fair, even cheap price, but sadly he hasn’t replied recently and I really don’t have much time to wait anymore.

I could try and return to pining for tees but then again a lot of the good ones still end up very expensive, and I get outbid most of the time. One tee that I kept on my watch list ended up selling for 50 dollars. That’s as expensive as brand new original Adidas shirts. I tried looking for alternatives. I’m just searching for stuff to bid for to transform boredom into pining.

And I found it in ballpens.

I had initially sought to purchase a Parker Jotter in violet, as that’s my favorite color, but then the curious part of me managed to end up interested in a Papermate Powerpoint. Currently, that’s what I’m bidding for. I never said it was sane, but people in such tiring and stressful situations such as I need something to run to aside from their friends and family. I have my chess and my video game collections. Seeing that both have slowly been taken away from me because of a lack of free time shared with friends, I decided to go with the name that was eponymous to an office program that has so many uses for a medical student. I’m hoping that I could win the bidding so I’ll probably increase my bid a bit more, but if I lose I will simply stop and look for other alternatives. Here’s hoping get to bid for a cheaper one.

I was interested in the pen because of its ability to write in any position, but I was interested primarily because of its amusing videos despite the pen’s age. Here’s one among them:

At the end of it all at least I’m no longer spending thousands on extremely obsolete video game systems. It saves me a lot more money, so I have to find even cheaper alternatives.

(Yes, it’s obvious that I didn’t even have energy to edit my sentences properly. Forgive me.)

Two sides of a different coin: the Spectra of writing

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This write-up is not remotely related to anime. But then, as I’ve already paid for my hosting dues, I think I should be given a bit more free rein in the topics I’d like to broach. Although I will never say that I lost my love for anime, I have to admit that my mind has been weighed upon by things rather removed from anime. These two write-ups are relatively polished drafts of mine that address certain thoughts that have pressed upon me over the course of the past month. I’ve had a lot more drafts, but these two seem to be the better ones.

I wrote the two articles on the same topic but tried to be light-hearted in one, and grave in the other. I’m not sure whether this made the intended effect, but publishing it somewhere (anywhere!) would at least give me some closure regarding it. I’m sometimes consumed in the things I’ve overly passionate about, and if I didn’t put an end on it I would probably give ten more renditions on the same topic (not that I haven’t already written ten different renditions).

I hope you guys enjoy this artistic experiment. If not, then forgive me. I do know I’m repeating myself. 😛 (more…)

Chess and regrets

Monday, November 14th, 2011

School wasn’t supposed to start last week: it was, after all, time for our University Sportsfest, and to allow students to focus purely on the friendly competition classes were suspended. The information was disseminated to our dean, however, a day before classes started. It was thus unavoidable that we had to have classes: doctors follow a rigid schedule, and to have an absence of classes during the week was going to make that a certainty.

I have been a fixture in the university chess competitions for the past three years. Aside from the fact that I was champion for my first two years in medicine, I just love playing chess. This year, however, I was beaten by a freshman: he ended up representing the first board in our round-robin competitions, and I didn’t mind that. I played second board last year as well, even when there were no other players on our team except me and my friend Kenneth.

It was honestly exhilarating. The previous two years I competed were merely excursions, especially because it wasn’t even a competition: I couldn’t even compete, because I was going solo in a team competition. Although I had good results, it didn’t translate to the record. The same happened last year: we were glad to have gleaned even just one point from it, because that one point was hard-earned. Of course, we lost horribly.

This year was different. The freshmen are a talented crew, and their representatives in chess are very good players. We were in the running for second place up to the very last battle, which unfortunately ended up in a draw because I lost. We needed a win I couldn’t give our team, and for that I was disappointed in myself. Finishing fourth place is no joke, however, and it was the best competition I have had for the past three years. Even though I had three losses, I had one of the best wins I ever had in my life, and that’s something no one could ever take away from me. Still, it would have been nice to be second or third and have a banner I could parade and be proud of. But at +6 -3 =1, there’s really nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, I do recognize I fell a little short. When it was over I lost a bit of sleep just turning the game over and over again in my mind, hoping that I could have seen the mate coming, or hoping I could have moved better. There are just some things I could never change, and that’s one of them.

I actually think I still haven’t got over it, despite how perky I’m feeling nowadays. School’s already in its second week, and I still really haven’t even read any one page of my books. I don’t know why there’s this feeling of lethargy, but I think I just want to get medical school over with. I don’t even know if I’d pass that exam I just took, although I will try my best to make up for it the following week.

I haven’t watched anime over the weekend. I should change that.

A few thoughts on rubbing alcohol

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

I have never stopped writing; it’s just that I’m not really following many anime this season and the two that I follow don’t really need any writing about at that. I mean, other than some comments on a unique character such as Charlotte, there isn’t much to talk about. I mainly watch anime for entertainment during this time, although I’ll look into Madoka, since people I have a high opinion of seem to recommend it to me. I already have the first episode. 🙂

I still have some issues with esoteric beauty products and eBay, but I’m slowly weaning myself (hopefully never to be sucked back into stupidity). Here’s a recent write-up regarding my idiosyncratic nature. I hope I will become more creative in the future rather than just feature a permutation of myself, but here goes.

On Alcohol

「As her arrived from San Miguel he crossed the street to the nearby pharmacy and looked into the items sold. As it was a pharmacy that catered to the lower socioeconomic classes it was filled with generic drugs and local medicinal products. He saw a brand of alcohol he had never seen before: its brand name was Gentle Care alcohol. He bought one bottle and a local version of the well-known Vicks’ Vaporub.

He walked to the jeepney stop beside the Jaro cathedral and waited for a jeepney to his apartment. He chose a jeep that was nearly full as although he had to deal with being packed like a sardine it was certain to go faster since it did not have any more passengers to pick up. Like any businessman jeepney drivers seek to maximize their income: going fast with a full jeep is the optimal way to do it. After he paid for the fare he opened the alcohol and used some of it on his hands. He smiled when he discovered it was fragrant. He also opened the medicinal rub and thought it smelled like petroleum jelly more than menthol. It wasn’t malodorous, but it wasn’t fragrant. He would have thrown it but the economist in him prevented him from doing so: after all, he did spend some money on it. Like with many juvenile purchases, he simply sought to use it up as quickly as he could.

Upon entering his bedroom he was met with 80s video games underneath and on top of his double-decker bed as there was no one using the upper tier. He used up part of the alcohol he bought once again.

His alcohol dwindled as the days passed, and this was sped up with his friends asking for some. He sought to replenish his supply with the same brand despite knowing that it was probably going to be the last bottle of that brand he was going to see in his life, and so he decided to use up the last drops of his second bottle with a bang: he decided to have an alcohol bath, and he did. He then turned the alcohol bottle into a piggy-bank as remembrance for having used that brand.」

And in case you guys were wondering whether this is a true story or a cool story,

Sometimes I hate myself.

I was so bored with studying I kept on thinking about how I used up my rubbing alcohol and wrote that last week. I should watch more anime. Don’t worry, my next post would be less of a reflective catharsis than a proper write-up.

Kuragehime: the barriers of reality

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I’ve never wavered when I said the anime to watch this fall season is Kuragehime, even when people were saying that Panty and Stocking was the fall show. After seeing the first episode, I really think I’m right. People have already mentioned its similarity with Kimi ni Todoke, although in contrast to that this possesses a more realistic bent: there may be iridescent facial expressions, but there isn’t a plethora of sparkles and bubbles that characterize the shoujo genre. Instead of a reticent and misunderstood yet beautiful lady, there’s Tsukimi, who’s great at drawing, yet is not quite as beautiful. She isn’t as socially disconnected as Sawako is (explained by her understanding that the social beings, ‘princesses,’ are just altogether from a different world as she is), but she seems to be just as nice. [If you guys have ever heard of Janis Ian’s At 17, I recommend you listen to it. I think it’s more apt as OP than Chatmonchy’s song. The video is below.]

[I learned the truth at seventeen: that love was meant for beauty queens … ]

Like Sawako, however, she is quite reclusive: she is a lover of jellyfish, and she is quite lucky to be with persons with focused, passionate interests (read: otaku). They all look like social misfits, with Tsukimi being the least abnormal-looking among them. She nevertheless struggles with the normal social rigors people face in their daily lives: going to a popular spot (Shibuya) is a chore for her. Life normally went on until she saw an Aurelia jellyfish admixed with spotted jellies: knowing that the substances that Aurelia secrete usually kill spotted jellies fast, she tried to rectify the situation but failed due to her nature. She was helped by someone who seemed to be a beautiful princess, but in reality was a handsome transvestite.

I’m not fond of doing summaries. I can honestly say, however, that it was the most interesting first episode among the anime I have seen aired this season, and it caters to me particularly: it is focused on characters that are both unique and open to development; it represents the beauty and sadness of reality; and it values character interactions.

I don’t think Tsukimi is an ugly girl. When someone mentioned that Kuragehime was the mongrel of Ugly Betty and Kimi ni Todoke, I think he was more in the right than in the wrong: I frankly don’t think Tsukimi is an ugly girl, although she has to deal with societal withdrawal and issues of letting go. Among the different boarders of their fangirl apartment, she’s the one who looks the most decent among them. I think she could even be pretty, and the transvestite will probably help her in that journey to self-acceptance in the same vein that she will help him accept him and the rest of the boarders for who they are. I’m not saying she’s going to be a fashion model, but her mother was pretty attractive.

She isn't bad-looking.

She isn't bad-looking.

I can’t wait for the next episode: this may not be rife with symbolism like Tatami Galaxy, but even from just the first episode its emotional thrust is palpable, and that’s really just what I need. I didn’t like the OP as much as their Shangri-la ED from Hataraki Man, but it was decent. The ED by Sambomaster was awesome.

Anime Love Hardcore: good songs made great

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

We cannot deny that music is always an integral part of anime. The best anime series often have great music in them. Tastes for music, however, differ from person to person, and in that sense I’m pretty much open-minded. I have appreciation for the various kinds of music, from slow and pensive mellow, to uppity and happy rock. When I was thus given a chance by Pete of Diskowarp Records to review an album with techno remixes of popular anime songs, I was happy to oblige him. I have a fondness for well-rendered remixes, especially if the remixes are more upbeat techno or electronica renditions of their original songs: I preferred Kamisama no Iutoori’s Z80 remix than its original version, after all.

Rock on.

Rock on.

Overall, I think the album deserves to be bought because of two songs: Sobakasu and Moonlight Densetsu. The rest of the album contains good renditions of their respective classic anime songs, but these two are in my opinion the best remixes of these seminal songs. I didn’t expect Sobakasu was capable of being remixed into something more happy hardcore, since it was already, in and of itself, pretty upbeat. Pete and the album have done so successfully, in my opinion, and it’s pretty difficult to believe that the singer is a foreigner, because she hits the notes very well, and it complements the entire song.

In addition to that, I think the album’s Moonlight Densetsu is the best remix of the song, even trumping that of Nana Kitade’s. It’s really just upbeat and was successfully transitioned into a very upbeat song. I thought the original Moonlight Densetsu was great, don’t get me wrong, but the remix is just the kind of song I want to dance to any time of the day. It really picks one up, and is really just a great song. The same singer (Diana Garnett) rendered the song, and she hit the notes very well.

The rest of the album are made up of decent to good songs, but these two take the cake for awesomeness. The album was able to successfully recreate two great songs, made it totally different, and so much better. I would rate it an 8.5/10 overall, and a certain BUY. More information about the album can be found here.

Seikimatsu Occult Academy: a snapshot of humanity

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I was and am unimpressed with most of the anime offerings this season. Among the shows I do follow, however, I think Occult Academy is one of the more entertaining series. There is little that is novel in this series: Maya is just another permutation of the tsun archetype, but it helps that she is empowered as a woman and is proactive as well. She is not someone most people would like, but she is someone most would respect.

She smiles in this scene.

She smiles in this scene.

One cannot deny the coarseness of her character: she is often violent and feisty. Yet it also cannot be denied that she has strength of character, plodding on her quest for truth despite the different obstacles laid out on her path. I have caught up with the latest episode, and I can say that the story became fluctuant when it no longer focused on Maya. To use a recent analogy, Maya is highly comparable with Evelyn Salt in the eponymous Salt: both are creative flights-of-fancy, but both are very entertaining primarily because both are carried by the strength of their corresponding female leads. Removing the focus on the central character would have made the examples mentioned both bores: Salt was smart enough to obviate this, but Occult Academy wasn’t. I think this was one of the major reasons that I thought the past three episodes were weak compared to the explosive and extremely enjoyable beginning. Instead of focusing on the tribulations of Maya towards her discovery of Nostradamus’s Key, it focused on characters like Bunmei and Kozue. The two are interesting, but it’s very difficult to emotionally connect with someone who is the sublimation of cowardice, and an apotheosis of stupidity.

I think most of Maya’s anger and vexations are justified: Bunmei really is a coward; he is also a self-aggrandizing bastard as he pursues the love of Mikaze. By displacing the focus from an admirable adolescent struggling with her father’s death and the impending end of the world, to a conceited coward whose only concern is himself, the series I feel went away from what made the viewers empathetic toward it in the first place. Most people can appreciate perseverance in the face of difficult odds; on the other hand, most people also hate overblown cowardice.

What a human scene.

What a human scene.

One of the best scenes of the show is that candid scene with Maya and the cellphone of Bunmei. Beneath all that forthrightness and doggedness still lay a teenager who wanted to look good and who liked to take pictures of herself. After her triumph against the supernatural during the first episode, it was still a nice glimpse into Maya for the viewers: one is reminded that while her visage reflects her knowledge and bitterness towards the occult and that while she is smart beyond her years, she is still a young woman. I loved that snapshot of humanity, because it colored Maya’s character a bit more.

The Tatami Galaxy: and I love her

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I have been silent for nearly a month, and this is because I have been focusing on our researches and on finishing Gundam ZZ. With that said, I think that silence ought to be broken only when one has something to say.

I have just finished watching the first episode of Tatami Galaxy (Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei), and I must say that I’m very impressed with its first episode. I won’t adjudge the series this early, seeing that doing that has failed me in the past, but I have always been a fan of both well-written bildungsroman and moral redemption, and this series is shaping up to be both this early on. It’s ostensibly a tale of someone who is lovelorn and takes it out on other people’s happiness, but at the same time it seems to be a tale of self-transcendence because of love. This trope (I’m pertaining to the former) is relatively common in literature, especially in classic literature (Wuthering Heights comes to mind), but it hasn’t been explored as much in anime series, or rather, hasn’t been focused much on.

At some time in our lives we have all been lovelorn, only it’s not always people who have broken our hearts. Sometimes, our favorite pet died; sometimes the friends we need at the critical mass of our lives aren’t there; sometimes it’s our own parents who have left us alone; and sometimes, it’s someone of the opposite sex that we have grown to treasure and love who do not love us back. There are loves that people lose because of their inaction, indecision, or both: this series makes us privy to the life of someone plagued with this ailment because of constant failure in the realm of love. The woman of his dreams is already right there, in front of him, and yet he cannot act because he is afraid.

That had been the story of my life.

Forging on

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I still have to control my fixations with archaic video games. I think it’s been going relatively well, but I’m still fixated with one video game system (Angelus knows, I believe). I also still have to improve upon my writing as a whole, seeing that peers of mine have adjudged a certain work of mine to be highly inadequate. It is difficult to transition into a life going away from video game fixation, but I am trying my best. Having seen the reality of what I desire has poured cold water on the fire of its intensity, but the embers are still there, flickering, and they still contain some heat.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Life never ceases to be a challenge, but that’s what makes it both painful and enjoyable at the same time. Despite all these persistent problems I am grateful to be alive and to have some people read these rants of mine. 🙂