a K h o

Archive for May 2008

what makes a book a good read? what defines its content to be exceptionally awe-inspiring? what story can bind you from beginning till end, leaving you deep in thought once the last page is turned?

i’ve read books. lots of them. but Terry Goodkind’s “Wizard’s First Rule” is by far my most favorite read. it is just simply superb. and i’ve read it again and again. and i still love it to this day. suddenly, i remember myself watching The Lion King like 10 times (and more). it’s like that. an obsession. truly a masterpiece.

if anyone would ask me what is my favorite book, this will be it. it’s fantasy at it’s best.

and imagine me being ecstatic when i found out that Sam Raimi, the guy who gave us the awesome Spider-Man 1-2-3 movies will be producing a TV series for this book!!!


the couple in this poster are just temporary till they cast the right people. they suck so don’t bother about it.

OMG! i’m on a natural high. please don’t fcuk up the casting for Richard and Kahlan, the two central characters of the book. pretty please. casting the wrong people will just kill the show. i already have this mental imagery of how Richard and Kahlan should look like – beautifully noble. i hope they get the chemistry right. nothing sucks more than watching two awkward people playing lovey-dovey when they just don’t click on screen. ah, i’m worried, scared and tremendously excited. anticipating the arrival of this TV show.

i found out about the TV show when i was searching for information on the final book, the 10th book currently released and on sale now. titled “Confessor”, i was in town today and discovered it on the shelves. my hands were just itching to buy it. however, being newly released, it’s only available in hardcover. i just hate it when i come across a book i want to get but they don’t have it in softcover. got to be patient.

meanwhile, being the naughty IT guy that i am, i went pdf hunting for it instead. muahahaha. lo and behold, i have myself an electronic copy for my weekend enjoyment. shhh. it’s okay right? i mean i do intend to buy the book later anyway. so it’s not cheating to read first and buy later ya?

so umm yeah. i love this series. and i’m finally going to find out the conclusion of this whole gobsmackingly long story of 10 books to date. it’s been a satisfying read all the way and i’m devoting this weekend to digest the final chapter – peacefully, serenely, alone. the only problem is that i’ll be doing my reading on the screen (and not on my soft comfy all so welcoming bed). *sigh*

now i shall excuse myself…for a book is waiting for me.

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Iriya’s Sky, Summer of the UFOs is about a chance meeting between Naoyuki Asaba and Kana Iriya on the last day of summer break, how two people fell in love and ultimately are *gasp* separated due to circumstances. yes, this is going to be a sad love story. sniff.

well, the story is about a girl named Iriya (duh!) who pilots a sophisticated plane to protect humankind against aliens. however, as a result of flying the nifty gadget, her health deteriorates as she starts to experience occasional nosebleeds and blackouts. there is speculation of a final battle approaching and it is ultimately up to her to hold off the invasion.

Asaba first encountered her at his school’s swimming pool when he sneaked in during the last day of his summer break. he ended up teaching her how to swim. the next day, Iriya transfers into his class as the new school term begins. and thus, the plot thickens.

hey wait a minute, this show reminds me a lot like Saikano.
there’s the cute but shy girl – check.
kind hearted but feeling helpless guy – check.
girl as weapon of last resort – check.
evident of a love-triangle scenario – check.
tragic and unclear ending – check.
too many similarities between them. but the best thing about that is that they’re both a good watch. granted Saikano is much better in my opinion.

the show centers mostly on the relationship between Iriya and Asaba rather than the invasion itself. there is also one very beautiful scene where after the school festival, the bonfire dance scene, Asaba is dancing alone upon an open field while in the background, Iriya is flying her plane in sync with him before going off to do battle against aliens.

Iriya’s only 6 episodes in length but everything weaves together pretty well and the final episode basically ties everything together nicely. however, at times i was disoriented with the flashbacks and trying to figure out what the show is hinting at, but later i found out that this show really does not require much thinking. it’s just a sit back and watch it kind of show because everything will eventually be explained.

avoid if you don’t like sad endings.

Battle Programmer Shirase (BPS) is an ecchi comedy anime which had 5 story arcs spanning across 15 episodes of 12 minutes each. it’s rather short and the show itself felt more like a preview than anything else as it was unfortunately discontinued. no idea why they stopped it as i found it quite hilarious and enjoyable. it’s definitely not a serious anime and should be taken lightly.

BPS is about a freelance programmer named Akira Shirase who is actually a talented computer hacker who lives alone near his niece’s house. he is often visited by Misao Amano, his niece who is a 6th grader. due to Shirase’s incredible computer skills, he is sought out by several high-ranking individuals to help out on sensitive computer-related issues to save Japan.

for people in the IT industry, this is definitely an interesting watch. but i’m not recommending this show for it’s tech-savvy-ness. i enjoyed it for it’s humor. you see, Shirase seems to accidentally get himself into compromising positions always involving a minor whenever an official happens to drop by. naturally, the official gets the wrong idea and starts to have this internal struggle with himself on weather to report the incident or turn a blind eye to it for the sake of saving Japan (with Shirase’s help). it’s just hilarious watching their facial expressions and how they go about to convince themselves to ignore it. i feel so sorry for them but it’s just so darn funny watching them in that situation. rofl.

the official will assume some ridiculously funny “position” was being played out and then goes into a speech about self-righteousness with himself, agonizing on his preference and self-worth before declaring that he must choose to let the incident go for the greater good.

here’s what goes on in the official’s head (as subtitled) upon discovering Shirase in the compromising position:

“No way…no way…to think that the partner for this important business arrangement…has such abnormal inclinations as these. I can’t believe he’s doing it with a child! I would prefer a woman with huge, firm breasts, like Isabel Adjani, but…but there’s nobody but this man with the necessary skills! If i don’t ignore the actions of my partner, there’ll be public scandal!

That’s right…These are Supralegal Measures. For the sake of my company, do i dare overlook the existence of an impious girl? This is awful, this is awful! Away from my hometown and separated from my mother! Would my mother accept a disgraced son into her house? What could cleanse the soul of I, Akazuki Kaoru? Let’s pretend I didn’t see.”

i’ve no idea who’s Isabel Adjani or what Supralegal Measures mean either. incidently, all the officials carries the same name of Akazuki Kaoru for some reason but their internal speech is more or less almost identically played out that way. poor guy. lol.

oh, there was one cool scene where Shirase manipulated three old satellites from space to crash into the ocean causing a tidal wave to sink an enemy ship. he lined them up so that the last satellite (using the first two to bear the brunt of the reentry heat) would not burn out when entering our earth’s atmosphere. ingenious.

besides that one scene, i only enjoyed BPS for it’s well delivered funny ecchi moments.

Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora or also known as Hantsuki is a short 6 episode love story between two hospitalized seventeen year olds.

Yūichi Ezaki is a high school student who is being treated for hepatitis A while Rika Akiba is suffering from a weak heart valve that has left her hospitalized throughout most of her life. they both met with the help of Akiko Tanizaki, a tough but caring nurse working at the hospital. Rika has a close relationship with her doctor Gorō Natsume, who has been looking out for her for more than 6 years.

Hantsuki is a sweet and at times, sad show. Rika starts off being very selfish and bossy towards Yūichi mainly due to her not having any other friends. she spends most of her time reading books instead.

Yūichi starts to develop feelings for Rika as they spend more time together. then of course the doctor comes along and tries to sabotage their relationship (due to a bit of jealously). the sad part of the show is that we will come to realize that Rika does not have long to live.

so it’s like boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl warms up to boy, boy finds out that girl does not have long to live. will boy decide to leave girl or continue to pursue her? aww heck, we know what he is going to do. but still, it’s a sad sad love story.

Hantsuki gave me a warm fuzzy feeling watching Yūichi and Rika’s budding relationship as Rika slowly warms up to Yūichi. it’s short, it’s sweet and it’s very heartwarming.

Canvas 2: Niji Iro no Sketch which translates to Canvas 2: Rainbow Colored Sketch is a romance anime based on a dating-sim game. two words best describe Canvas 2 ~ heartwarming and gratifying. it’s the kind of show that slowly grows on you as you watch along.

at first i felt the anime took too much time introducing and then constantly reminding us of the close bond between Kamikura Hiroki and Housen Elis, being only 24 episodes in length and devoting more than half of that screen time to showcase this fact. but then after finishing the anime, i understood the reasoning behind it. it’s not very exciting in the beginning, but things started to pick up after episode 12.

here’s an introduction taken from it’s wiki:

The series focuses on the lives of some students and teachers at Nadesico Academy both at school and their private lives. The main character of the series is Kamikura Hiroki, who lives with his younger cousin Elis. Hiroki is training to become a full-fledged art teacher while also trying to take care of Elis. When his childhood friend Kiri starts working at the school, drama begins to flare as he has to juggle his work, private life, and the feelings of these two important girls.

and that’s just a small offering of the whole story. the first episode starts off with a rejected confession by a childhood friend and then later introduce to us a tragic event leading to how Elis ended up staying with Hiroki. before the credits starts rolling, the childhood friend returns. all this drama in just one episode!

the guy of interest here is Kamikura Hiroki, the adviser and teacher-in-training of the art club. he is somewhat an artistic prodigy during high school but for some reason gave up drawing altogether. he’s aiming to be a teacher and has been taking care of Elis for a very long time.

Housen Elis is the younger cousin of Hiroki and a student at Nadesico Academy. she refers to Hiroki as oniichan and has a talent in art. her parents died in a car accident leaving her under Hiroki’s care. due to the incident, she fears the color red as it reminds her too much of blood.

Kikyou Kiri is Hiroki’s childhood friend and the new P.E. teacher. she confessed her feelings to Hiroki back in high school but was rejected, not realizing the real reason behind it. she had stayed faithful since and is working up the courage to confess to him once more as adults.

the wiki link also describes a lot of detail for it’s supporting casts. what i do like about the show is how everyone is connected one way or another. the supporting casts has their own story to share and most times end up involving the main love-triangle characters.

in all honesty, i almost gave up half way through as i thought the show was getting predictable. i could tell which girl the guy is leaning heavily towards so i cheated a bit and went and find out what was the ending. boy did i guessed wrong. there is so much emotional balance on both girls that the outcome could have played out either way.

what really caught me by surprise is that this is the first anime i watched that had a happy ending and a sad ending. i’m not referring to the third party who didn’t get the guy either. the show ends the day after christmas and it’s like santa only granted one wish. confused? don’t be, it’ll make sense after you watch it.

Canvas 2 is like cooking soup. you got to let it simmer for a bit for it to end up really well. it’s not as good as the plot heavy Code Geass, or the adorable Aishiteruze Baby, but it is still just as sweet and enjoyable. it takes a while to get into, but the ending itself is worth the effort of sticking with it for a bit longer.

flying cherubs anyone? ;)

Paradise Kiss is just too cool to miss. if your a fan of Nana, you’ll definitely love Paradise Kiss, another creation by the genius Ai Yazawa. but what is Paradise Kiss (ParaKiss) about? well, if Nana is any indication of what greatness to expect, you’ll find that this show will not disappoint. however a word of caution, comparing ParaKiss to Nana is like comparing a Volkswagen to a Mercedes Benz. just because their production length is different really makes one stands out above the other. but that does not mean ParaKiss is bad. totally opposite. ParaKiss does hold it’s own charm. you can just think of it as a mini-version of Nana.

Lonely in Gorgeous by Tommy february6 (opening theme to Paradise Kiss)

ParaKiss lets you into the world of fashion design, interesting lifestyles, a bit of comedy and romance (of course) but underneath it all, you’ll discover that it’s really about the transformation of an average girl to professional model status.

Yukari is an average student who is going through a difficult phase in life, that which we all have to go through at one point or another i.e. the decision on what to do with our future. i’m sure we’ve all been asked a question of, where do we see ourselves in 3 to 5 years time – and have spent countless nights, days, months and years contemplating what to do. it’s that which makes us easy to relate to what Yukari is going through.

when your in a situation where going with the flow means a mundane routine, a chance encounter with quirky individuals with goals and ambitions can be an eye-opening experience. that’s exactly what happens when Yukari gets scouted as a fashion model for a college project. suddenly, her whole life just got a bit more interesting.

and with that kind of premise, i can definitely say girls will just love this show. however, ParaKiss is way too short. i can basically tell that a lot of stuff from the manga is probably not covered in the anime. however, even with it’s 12 episodes, the show doesn’t feel rushed. the pacing is just right and engaging enough to keep you interested. the ending covers all loose ends but could have been done better (if only they made it 26 episodes instead!) but it is the story that will indefinitely draw you in.

the characters are developed fairly well – we have Yukari Hayasaka, our main heroine – pretty but stubborn, George Koizumi a talented but egoistic fashion designer – sort of too cool for school kind of guy, Hiroyuki Tokumori is Yukari’s classmate – the handsome top student whom she has a crush on (potential love-triangle right there) and the rest can just be considered endearing supporting cast that brings the flavor of the show together.

actually, what got me really curious about this show from the start is from a review of it i stumbled upon where the “first time” scene between Yukari and George (refer picture above) was noted to be eerily realistic. the scene itself describes what goes on in a girl’s head during their “first time” experience. how educational.

anyway, what happens when you take out potential jealousy plot lines (which is probably covered in the manga) and side-character story developments? you get a straightforward love story about a girl breaking out of her shell and learning to take risk in pursuing her interest in life. lesson to learn from it – nothing happens if you don’t believe in yourself.

thus, ParaKiss is a good watch with a bittersweet ending. i only wished it could have been given more airtime. there is just so much potential for it to be another Nana.

the pictures shown here are all more or less taken from the web, too lazy to screen capture my own since these ones are already pretty cool.

actually after watching this series, i went to MPH (The Spring!) to try and purchase all 5 volumes of the manga (unfortunately the mini-MPH we have here sucks). i felt that Paradise Kiss warrants a read through to discover it’s rich content which is sadly not touched upon in the anime. still, it’s a solid watch and definitely worth the time.


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disclaimer

u can regard everything here as fiction, or fanfiction (me being my own fan haha), or messed up ramblings from the deranged mind of a guy in his midlife crisis. whatever. comment as u see fit. the brainless ones go to /purgatory, not that i'm saying ur a zombie. then again seeing as i'm not getting much sleep lately, i probably am one. that said, u'll realise that u can't take legal action against a zombie. cause we've gots diplomatic immuniteh. rawr.

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