Archive for the ‘Serious’ Category
The first anime I watched after Psycho-Pass wasn’t some classic or critically-acclaimed series.
It was Infinite Stratos 2.
After all this time, I’m still in love with Charlotte Dunois. I love a beautiful, smart, and demure lady. Whereas all the others are passive-aggressive toward Ichika, Charlotte has been consistent with her emotions for Ichika.
I’d love to meet a girl like her.
For the past few weeks I have been borderline anal with regard to English grammar. Mere peccadilloes seem to incur my wrath. As I reflected on my thoughts, I’ve grown to realize that my anger was uncalled for. To remind myself of my fallibility, I have decided to brush up on my English grammar. This serves a two-fold purpose: first, I can sublimate my irrational anger towards the procurement of knowledge; second, by reading about wise people and their works that reflect their wisdom, I become humbled as I am reminded that I still have much to learn about the synthesis of perfect sentences.
My plan has been mostly successful: instead of being angry at others, I have directed my energies to honing my ability to speak and write in English. I’ve also realized that I had no right to judge other people’s inability to speak or write proper English seeing that I still have much to improve on.
Anyway, the book was great: despite the age of Samuel Johnson’s hortations, the work still brims with wry wit and humor. I find that his descriptions of the letter ‘Y,’ then considered a vowel, to be quite funny: ‘Y is a vowel, which, as Quintilian observes of one of the Roman letters, we might want without inconvenience, but that we have it.’
Johnson has this to say about adjectives: ‘[t]he comparison of adjectives is very uncertain, and being much regulated by commodiousness of utterance, or agreeableness of sound is not easily reduced to rules.’
While a lot of the rules and observations regarding English grammar still apply today, the asides to me were more entertaining and offered a colorful picture of what the English language was at that time. It may not be as successful nowadays as a guide for grammar, but the book is enlightening as a zeitgeist of the English language during that time.
I figured that I’m just going to write whatever comes into my mind. Although I do still want to get back to anime, it’s quite difficult with 24-hour duties every three days, and the board examinations at the back of my mind. I have been studying reviewers over the past month so that once the boards do arrive, I’d at least feel competent enough and know enough to pass.
I’ve recently been a stickler for English grammar, especially because I find it quite grating to see people use English as if they were smart yet butcher the language violently. As a result, I’ve tried to be more careful with what I write online. (If I do make mistakes, feel free to call them to my attention, as I will address them as promptly as I can.)
That’s essentially it. I’m currently reading some Nick Hornby: after months of reading classics and medical books, it’s a bit refreshing to read crisp, humorous writing. I hope I can finish the book today, barring any deluge of obstetric patients.
In great examples of media that feature an opposition of ideals, the villain (or antagonist) is just as important as the hero. The Dark Knight is one of the more recent examples of this: although Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman was cerebral and well-acted, it was undoubtedly Heath Ledger’s Joker who stole the show. He was irrational, brutal, and yet extremely effective. I even sincerely believe that as far as villains go, his was the best (and consequently, the worst): most people would agree, as he had won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. An actor portraying a supervillain winning an Oscar was unprecedented, yet most people were in approbation of the choice. The Dark Knight was nominated as one of the best pictures of 2008, and is recognized by many to be one of the best, if not the best superhero film of all time.
Psycho-Pass possesses the same dynamic: in a futuristic world that is half-Neuromancer and half-1984 (as Makishima connotes), crime is prevented before it has even occurred. The series undeniably borrowed elements from The Minority Report (written by Philip K. Dick, and also alluded to by Makishima) as well. The story begins relatively innocently, with an intelligent rookie joining the Public Security Bureau. As the crimes progress in severity and brutality, however, the idea that a mastermind acts as a puppet-master to all the heinous crimes recently committed surfaces. As the story unfolds, he was a familiar figure in Kougami Shinya’s past (the Batman of this series).
Makishima (or the Joker) is a bit of an anarchist, although like Joker he enjoys destruction in and of itself. The whole series is essentially a cat-and-mouse game between these two characters. Like The Minority Report, however, the Sibyl System that holds together the society that everyone currently enjoys actually comes from dubious sources. The question of ‘free will’ looms over the characters, and like Louis Salinger of 2009′s International, Kougami has to go beyond what is defined to be ‘law’ in their place to actually enforce justice.
I love the literary allusions, from Rousseau, Kierkegaard, Foucault, and even Jeremy Bentham. Is it truly all right to sacrifice one man for the good of mankind? Is he not a human being all the same? The series offers no easy answers, and the ending, while by no means surprising, is actually a revisit of the themes that pervaded Nolan’s Dark Knight: sometimes, the only ones who could dispense justice are the ones that go beyond the law.
It’s a brilliant series that has restored my faith in anime once more. It’s been a while since I truly wrote about anime, and while not as special to me as Tatami Galaxy, Psycho-Pass is a great anime to watch, to think about, and to enjoy.
I think the only point I was a bit turned off by Shark was when Yi Soo finally found out the truth behind his father. His breakdown, or ‘heroic blue screen of death,’ was a bit over-the-top and funny. Other than that the series was, at least for me, quite a well-planned series. I can only compare the show to movies like The International and The Parallax View: similar to both those films, Shark doesn’t really have a happy ending. Realistically speaking, however, I think that’s what happens when one tries to take down a person in the highest echelons of society: one must wade in the muck, and at times get dirty, to drag that person down to justice. Without really breaking any laws (other than his initial spark with Jung Man Chul), he dived deep into the mud and yet never really strayed again toward murder until Chairman Jo was caught. He still couldn’t escape Jo’s power, however.
Do I think it’s a fitting conclusion for him? No, because Kim Nam-gil is a great actor and I could really empathize with Yi Soo’s search for balance and justice. Realistically speaking, however, he was going to be incarcerated for murder; he would have had to still die for the sake of Yi Hyeon if he was going to save her. I have much respect for the show because they used ‘autoimmune hepatitis’ as a disease entity. We had one small-group discussion regarding that disease, and no one in our class got it right. It’s a bitch of a disease because of its protean manifestations: when I speak of protean, I pertain to non-specific signs and symptoms that may be confused with diseases which are more obvious. These are examples such as fatigue and malaise. When it comes to the point of Yi Hyeon (and we’ve been introduced ever since the earlier episodes that it wasn’t really just starting), it may have been a progressive disease that led to cirrhosis. Complications of cirrhosis include coagulopathy, which means that clotting is impaired. I think Yi Hyeon’s encephalopathy was reflected by her persistent loss of consciousness in the car. I’m no gastroenterologist, but the show was pretty accurate with the disease they chose and its manifestations: in intractable cases of hepatitis, liver transplantation is the only answer.
It was undeniable that he was going to give his life up for the sake of his sibling; he was already willing to pay for what his father had done, but most of the affected people (even Yi Soo) had moved on from the past and essentially just sought justice.
I don’t find the non-love story between Yi Soo and Hae Woo to be tacky, essentially because as a rational man, Yi Soo never really took advantage of Hae Woo as regards to her emotions toward him. He loved her, and that was reciprocated, but he never even dared to have sex with her even though it was obvious that she wanted it despite the fact that she was married. He wanted her near him, but it never really got beyond his kisses and hugs. The status quo in the love triangle was essentially maintained: Joon Young loved Hae Woo even though he knew she still loved Yi Soo all those years. I doubt whether they’d still have a child after all that but only time will tell. She probably wouldn’t betray her love for Yi Soo again, though.
It’s not as complicated and as intelligent as Joseon X-Files, but it’s one of the better dramas I’ve seen. The foreshadowing was well-done, the intricate exchanges and the chess game between Chairman Jo and Yi Soo were properly thought of for the most part. There’s just a little bit missing, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed in it. I loved how Yi Soo tried to pay for the sins of his parents after he realizes he was deeper in the muck than he initially imagined, and made peace with the people his father victimized. I like it better than the brutality of Devil, and it certainly had more closure than that series, although of course I wished for the more hopeful light of Resurrection. I wasn’t disappointed with what I watched, though: in the end Yi Soo became someone I could really cheer on because he did it his way, and did the right thing.
First, about two days ago, I read (or more accurately) skimmed through Thesaurus of Book Digests, looking for new novels to read: I’m not very much fond of plays, and while I can appreciate well-written poetry, I’m partial toward the art of prose. Out of the 800 pages I was able to single out seven works:
1. Hyperion – Friedrich Holderlin
2. Man’s Fate – Andre Malraux
3. Meek Heritage – F. E. Sillanpaa
4. Pepita Jimenez – Juan Valera
5. The Vortex – Jose Eustacio Rivera
6. Nonsense Novels – Stephen Leacock
7. The Wandering Jew – Eugene Sue
After realizing that The Wandering Jew was more than a thousand pages long, I scratched it out from my to-read list, and realized that aside from Man’s Fate (after careful searching on eBay and other online book marketplaces), the other novels were out-of-print. Most unforgivably expensive is Rivera’s La Voragine (The Vortex), which would cost me $80 if I ever planned to obtain it. The rest are within my spending capabilities, although they would still cost me more than run-of-the-mill popular novels. I hope to buy one novel for the each of the succeeding months: perhaps The Vortex may be the last among them.
The list made me realize only one thing: I guess I am a bit more than merely peculiar with my book choices. I did skim through a Thesaurus of Book Digests so that alone is already telling. I plan to read Marcel Proust next, because I don’t think I can properly assess either my dislike or like for him if I never even read through a single work of his.
Second, I am surprised that I like Jane Eyre as much as I do. But then, its Wikipedia entry says that ‘Charlotte Brontë has been called the “first historian of the private consciousness” and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust.’ Before Joyce went mad with Finnegans Wake, his writing was excellent, intelligent, and introspective – I found certain similarities between his Portrait of an Artist and Jane Eyre’s explication of herself.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised now.
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.
I know I shouldn’t be feeling so down. For better or for worse, I am graduating tomorrow from Medicine. Three years of challenging study, a year of hell, and I am at the precipice of graduation. All I am feeling, however, is relief. It’s not really even happiness: I’ve never had something akin to love for Medicine, or even passion, and yet I’m literally only a day away from being officially a doctor of it.
I guess I’ve never expected to be awarded anything. Obviously, I know that I haven’t been the best clinical clerk in any department. Two weeks ago, however, I was told by the intern-in-charge for Internal Medicine that I belonged to the top ten after she tallied our cumulative scores. I mean, she wouldn’t have called to congratulate me or enumerate the names of those that belonged. Since we went through a lot together, I trusted her congratulations and expected to be recognized during the Graduation Ball.
It all fell apart yesterday, however. I think nothing was going to come out of it when the sixth-best intern was called and I still wasn’t called up. That’s what I hate, you know – false confidence. I mean, when you say something wrong, I think you should own up unless it’s understandable that doing so would destroy one’s life. I’ve always tried to say sorry when I recognize that I’m in the wrong, but always kept silent whenever I know I’m right, or actually stuck to my guns. I guess it was bad for me to be confident on something still in the future, but I thought the egg was as good as hatched.
I guess I just wished to be told beforehand that I wouldn’t probably receive any award and that she had made a mistake because I made my parents and relatives rely on me. I know it’s a small, insignificant token but at least I wanted to show something for all their support. I most definitely know that I did what I could to survive internship even though I don’t even have any love for medicine. I’ve had to eat my words, and I probably will do so again and again, and it irritates me.
Should I not have trusted, then?
She was our intern-in-charge. She wouldn’t have twirled me around her finger given the hell that we overcame together. I guess there are just some things I would never know about. I’m still going to graduate tomorrow, anyway. I just hope I won’t disappoint my aunt who came simply because I was going to graduate.
I wish we were rich, because I want to be a writer. I want to study more about the people I admire in literature, and create that one novel that would solidify my reputation for the rest of my life. But since we’re poor and I try to be a proper child to my parents, I guess being sidetracked by medicine would be all right. I’ve studied for four years to be knowledgeable enough – I don’t think I should stop now. I want to be a decent doctor that I could help my family, but this will never be my passion.
I just want to write. As long as I don’t live like a beggar, I think I can manage. It would be a good thing if I could find a beautiful lady with feline eyes and a sharp mind to love me, but if that’s not feasible I think I would be all right anyway.
It’s not that I don’t have money: I do, but I don’t want to overspend, even if it is for an occasion. A few days ago had been my birthday, and I bought a few items online: I bought a vintage Pilot ballpen, an Ico pen that looks a lot like a Parker Jotter and wearing my favorite color, and Sigismund Krzhizhanovsky’s ’7 Stories.’ The three probably cost me about 2,000 pesos, although I didn’t have any regrets since they would probably be among the last items I would purchase here in Iloilo. After all, God willing, I’d be going to General Santos City later this April to start my post-graduate internship.
There was another novel that had seeped into my mind, however, and it was Flannery O’Connor’s [The] Violent Bear It Away. I’ve read a good amount of O’Connor’s short stories and am impressed with her work. I think, however, that it was just the purplish cover of a previous edition that invited me to purchase it. (Of course the novel has literary merit: Flannery O’Connor is considered to be one of the best Gothic writers of our time, and a good number of critics consider The Violent Bear It Away to be her best work.)
To make a long, tedious story short, I bought the novel at nearly 1,000 pesos, and that was my gift to myself. While I may get these books by the last week of March at the earliest, I want to read the books that I’ve bought and a birthday, I believe, is a cause good enough for the purchases I’ve made. I’m up to 3,000 pesos spent, now, but I still have 800 more in surplus, if ever anything else comes to mind. I’m pretty sure that I’m good with those four items, however. I hope none of them get lost in the mail.