Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ramblings 29/9/05 and Younha

Been working past 2 days. Went straight to bed at 8pm and woke up at 1am. Now its 3 am and I can't sleep. I'll probably get into sleeping mood around 5 or 6 but the question is whether I can be woken up by two alarm clocks? Hope there'll be more work for me next week. Fingers crossed.....

Thanks to amrayu, managed to get the name of the second song: Kokoro no Usagi which came out in 99 or something like that. I definitely will be looking more non-cheesy Shinohara Tomoe songs.

Been listening to Younha, another Korean singing in Japanese. (picture above) However, she has two things that separate her from Boa and other Korean girls:

1) She plays the piano.
2) She's probably the first Korean actress/singer I've seen without straight, long hair.

Here's the mp3 of her song Motto Futari De that came out in July.

I'm definitely interested to see her perform live, perhaps backed up with a guitar.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Help me identify these songs

Since I already posted this on I might as well put it on my blog since I'm a feed of The songs are from girlpop factory 03 and the name of the songs are on the screenshots. I think one of the singers is Shinohara Tomoe.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

The mp3 of the songs can be downloaded here:

Edit: Found the names of the songs. Thanks to amrayu and mizune and sarki from jpopmusic.

The first song is Omoi no hanataba by Matsumoto Eiko and the second song is Kokoro no Usagi by Shinohara Tomoe. Thanks for the help!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sayonara Densha!

Finally its time to say goodbye to Densha. Let's get my gripes with the 1 hour 10 minutes last ep out of the way:

- First 14 minutes is just a bloody recap (I got sick of animes cause of the bloody recapping)
- Two musical interludes after that.
- Two 'climaxes' between Densha and Hermes which is one climax too much.
- Too much crying and the goodbye was too long.

My fav parts of final:

+ Sakurai-san's plan backfiring again. They need to cast him as the villian in another comedy. The actor is pure comedy gold.
+ Densha 'not being able to see' without his contacts, lol.
+ JinakamaMisuzu victims' club!
+ Hermes!!!!!!!!

Hermes is so moe!

Sakurai-san getting pawned by Densha, lol. He's get the funniest facial expression ever!

Yubi wa! Lan Evo tachi! Hermes! Come back!

Densha and Hermes doing the otona no kiss, lol.

Damn, looks like the wife from Slow Dance. Can this be the first jdorama cross over ever?

Sakurai-san rallying fellow victims of Jinkama Misuzu.

My final screencap of Hermes. Itoh Misaki may not be that good of an actress but goddamn is she hot........

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Densha Otoko the movie

If there's any other certainty in life besides death and taxes, it's that after watching the Densha Otaku dorama, the movie won't be as good. After all, the dorama had 11 episodes to build up the characters and their relationships.Nevertheless, I was eager to watch to movie, (which came out before the dorama) and set my expectations really low.

Yamada Takayuki in otaku mode. No one can stammer as well as Itoh Atsushi, lol.

Is this the face of a bloody otoku who can't get chicks? He's freaking Kunimi Hiro ffs. If he can't get chicks then I'm fucked.

Hhhmm, Natakani Miki........

If there's one word to describe the movie, it would be 'melancholic'. Its a more 'realistic' look at the densha story but it has two major weak points. Firstly, Yamada Takayuki does not make a convincing otaku/underdog. If your main protagonist looks like the guys who starred in the Sekachu and H2 doramas and there's no 'villian', it hard to be sympathetic to his cause.

Secondly, Hermes is as mysterious a character as the dorama. It worked for the dorama because she's more of a symbol and Itoh Misaki can't really act. But this is Nakatani Miki playing Hermes goddamit! Plus the fact that Nakatani Miki is clearly older brings the added older woman - younger guy dimension to the relationship which the movie did not really explore.

The running time of 1 1/2 hours is too short and an extra 20 minutes of developing Hermes would have done wonders. I guess my desire to see a more developed Hermes stems from the fact that Yamada Takayuki does not make a convincing main character and the story is told purely from his point of view.

Will I get ever get bored of posting Shiraishi Miho pics? Nah........

Hermes!!!!!!!!If I could erase my memories of the dorama I think I would have enjoyed the moviea lot more. Its just that the dorama is so good that that any other intepretation seems like a pretender.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Matsuura Aya - Ki ga stukeba anata

After more than half a year since her last single, Ayaya has finally released 'Ki ga stukeba anata'. This is Ayaya's second advertisement song after the very memorable 'ne~e'. Unfortuanately, the PV is is made up of the ads for the tea drink that came out some time ago and just feels more like an extended tea promotion video than a music video.

Overly blatant product placing can be very intrusive and be a turn off, like the car in Gambatte Ikkimashoi. Props should be given minimal attention so as not to distract from the actors, IMHO no matter how much money they pay.

The song has a catchy chorus but somehow is a pretty forgettable song. I'm hesitant to grab the live performances but word is they're pretty good. Hope Ayaya's next single is upbeat, crazy and comes out before next year. Check out the song here:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tifa = Hirosue Ryoko ?????

Ok, I was rewatching the actions scenes of FFVII: Advent Children when at the 1 hour 13 minutes and 12 seconds mark, Tifa broke into a smile which only one actress in the world does: the Hirosue Ryoko 'neko' smile!

Notice the lips slightly curving up into a neko (cat like) smile.

I could not believe this, was I delusional? I decided to look through the Tifa parts to see whether there was any more Hirosue Ryoko-like expressions. Lo and behold, Tifa was smiling like Hirosue Ryoko during the part she was talking to Marlene, right before her battle.

At 1:24:24, Tifa sorta does a tilt head back determined look similar to you know who. I rewinded again. Maybe I've been smoking too many cigarettes.........


Hirosue far off look. Too lazy to find one with her head tilting up.

Is Akiramike crazy? Has his Hirosue Ryoko obsession finally made him lose his marbles? Are people at Square Hirosue Ryoko fans as well as is this just mere coincidence? Some people at D-addicts seem to have made this realisation as well. If I'm crazy, at least I'm not alone. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Densha Otoko eps 9 and 10

warning: SPOILERS! If you are even half an otaku, you owe yourself to watch this jdorama!

Misaki Itoh cosplaying as a french maid. Somehow it doesn't fit her. And why is it called 'french' maid? Did the French invent it? If they did, millions of otakus are forever grateful to them.

Aah, what a good day of dorama watching. Just finished watching the last episodes of Gambatte Ikkimashoi and Dragon Zakura. Anyway on to Densha Otoko.

Sakurai-san's preferred image of Hermes. The guy has a serious lolita complex, lol. IMO, kawaii cosplays do not fit Hermes.

Episode 9 sees Densha going on an akihabara date with Hermes. It seems Densha plays Z-ism Ken in Street Fighter Zero 3. Either that or he didn't want to use his super abusable V-ism Sakura. Hermes might get the wrong idea and think he had a school girl complex.

Densha buts in and sort of settles the issue between Hermes parents, despite the valiant attempts of Sakurai-san. I thought they would save it for the end.

Shiraishi Miho laying the smackdown on Densha. I just love it when the Imperial March comes on. Hhmm, she's got nice legs.

Here she is again draging Hermes' brother down know-your-role boulevard and checking him into smackdown hotel.

Shiraishi Miho attempting to rape Densha in ep 10. Yes, you read that right. You can see her slapping Densha to soften or should I say harden him up! This is the first time I've heard a guy scream yamete in bed, lol. Gambarre Densha.

Koide Saori!!!!!!!!! She's in ep 10!!!!!!!! Does that mean she won't show up in ep 11? :(

More Koide Saori! I demand a Koede Saori spin off drama: Anime Seiyuu! Then they can do Seiyuus dressing up as characters their voicing!

The main story for ep 10 is Hermes finding out about the message board Densha frequents. Its great to see the other board members band together in the real world to help Densha. She judges him without reading the contents of the board based on misinformation from the brother. I don't really mind since its just a way to lengthen the story and they've managed to keep it very entertaining. Plus the family seems to have a tendency to rush to conclusions quickly.

The episode ends with Hermes finally sitting down to read the board. However, this begs the question: what's in store for the final episode which will supposedly run at 1 1/2 hours?

What kind of misunderstanding/obstacle can the writers conjure up to make the final ep exciting? A dorama can only be as good as its last ep. 101 Proposals is one damn good dorama but the ending part is so bad that it nearly spoils the whole thing.

For sure Sakurai-san will be the main obstacle in the final ep and I have faith that he will come up with a stupid plan, only for it to backfire in his face. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

FFVII: Advent Children review

OMG, I can't believe I just watched Advent Children. Square should have done this long ago instead of that crap called The Spirits Within which cost over $100 mil.

For those who don't know, Advent Children is the continuation of the game Final Fantasy VII which was released a long time ago but still fresh in the mind of many gamers. However the movie does a bad job of reintroducing the characters and plot so ppl who are unfamiliar with the game may be a bit lost.

Cloud ready to kick some ass. The way he uses his sword(s) is just brilliant!

Actually the plot is nothing much to speak of, similar to those Japanese special effect action movies like Casshern. I don't understand why these type of movies must have:

a) Have lots of unexplained things

b) stylistic characters trying to sound philosophical but coming across like people who have escaped from mental institutions.

Luckily, this movie is not about plot. Nope, Advent Children is basically an action movie and the action is beautiful. Its everything that Matrix 2 and 3 tried to be but couldn't. Of course its easier to let your imagination run wild when working with CG instead of actors but then its not like Matrix 2 and 3 did not have tons of (fake) CG characters.

Yes you heard me right, we get to see Cloud and gang do moves that Neo can only dream about.

Hhmm, Tifa looks a bit like Rinoa from FFVIII, with slightly bigger oppai, IMHO. (not pictured, see last pic)

Of special mention are Tifa's fight scenes and the group fight, both of which I wish were longer. There's nothing like seeing a group of heroes gang-banging a super powerful boss.

Shot from Tifa's fight scene.

Vincent, Tifa and Cid ready to layeth the smackdown. Too bad they hardly get to do any. :(

Didn't I watch you die at the end of the 1st disc many years ago? Stop haunting me, goddammit!

Group shot of the gang. Red XIII is at the bottom right and can't be seen. Notice Cait Sith being held by Marlene and Tifa's "ahem" assets. She could fit right in Dead or Alive.

I got goosebumps just hearing FFVII music during the movie and they've even worked out an ingenious way to get the victory music in. Another great thing was revisiting places from the game like Aeris' flower garden. Everything in this movie is top notch (except for plot) and I really urge everyone to go see it. This movie is every otaku's wet dream (that doesn't involve nurses or maids) and I would love to see this on the big screen.

Its easier to complain about a movie than to praise it and my euphoria from watching the movie is fading so here are my little nitpicks:

1) No chocobos! WTF? They figured a way to get a Moogle cameo but not Chocobos????????

2) Too much Cloud. Why not give the other characters some side quest to do? Rude and Reno got more screentime than the others. Who gives a fuck about those two?

3) Where's the gwahahaha/muahahahaha dude?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Jdorama review: Dragon Zakura ep 2-7

After a slow beginning Dragon Zakura is picking up and is proving to be a very entertaining dorama.

Nagasawa Masami seems to be getting hotter the more I watch the series......

The main plot for the middle of the series is Sakuragi (Hiroshi Abe) bringing in teachers to teach the special class. Oni sensei is really funny with his long beard and kendo stick as well as the english teacher who runs a Filipino bar. Too bad the other two don't get much air time.

Another part of the series that I enjoy is that they show you 'techniques' for their studying. I totally agree with reading manga to study history. Problem is there's probably a lot of historical inaccuracies in there. As I've said before, wtf did Onizuka and Yankumi ever teach their students anyway.

Sometimes the 'techniques' feel a bit preachy and cliched but its what makes this series different from GTO and Gokusen. Also there's not much teacher solving student's problems like Kinpachi sensei, rather Sakuragi uses the students' problems to 'control' them.

If I study for Todai, can I get her to interview me?

In ep 6, word of the special Todai class gets out and the media comes in to do a report on them. Sakuragi is pissed off with the inteference and everyone else just wants their 15 minutes of fame.

Another shot of the uber kawaii idol reporter. (Anyone know her name?)

Nice shot of Yazawa Shin's er.... legs. Too bad they're, I mean she's not in the dorama more.

Group shot of the legendary teachers. Oni sensei seems to have discarded his kendo stick...

Ep 7 ends with them taking a practice exam for Todai but with the previews for ep 8 and the fact that the series has a way to go, we know how they did.

Saeko with a fierce glare. She kinda reminds me of Otsuka Ai.

On the whole, this series is shaping to be a very watchable one. Its not great but it does the high school genre differently from the others that I'm not bored. Not to mention there's plenty of eye candy for all the sukebes out there.

Thanks to junkboy for uploading the series and PB Fansubs for subbing eps 1 and 2. On a related note, its a bit harder to understand the dialogue without subs but its still accessible for ppl with only know words and phrases like me.

It looks like Densha Otoko ep 10 will be airing in Japan on the 15th and will be an hour in length and the final 1 1/2 hour ep will air on the 22nd. Fingers crossed that the final two episodes are really good.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Graduation Songs

Well, now I'm truly back to being a jobless bum. Hope it won't be too long before I land my next job. At least now I've got time to catch up on my doramas and fix the bloody Blue Screen of Death.

I listen to a lot of Jpop (its practically the only thing I listen to nowadays) but I've never blogged about it. There's no artist or group today that I'm really crazy about/follow religiously about so its rather hard for me to blog about jpop news.

So this post's theme will be graduation/ sotsugyou songs. Anyone heard any bad graduation songs before? No idea why they're always so catchy. And WTF must they be about high school graduation? What about Uni graduation. Uni is the best time of one's life, not high school.

You can't drink in high school. Its harder to stay out and most people don't drive. Uni's all about freedom, skipping classes and playing all day. Maybe the reason there's no graduation songs for Uni is that its too sad. After uni, all one can look forward to is working like a dog for little pay and uncertainty of one's future.

Enough whinging from me. And no, I'm not going to upload the PVs as my upload is only 128. Please do not hotlink the mp3s. If you do so, you will have nightmares involving Tsunku.....

SPEED - My Graduation

Not on my playlist anymore (SPEED songs seem more like shouting the older you get) but its still a classic. I once tried singing it in a karaoke but its was remixed to a much slower version. :(

They're the first jpop group I went crazy for. This screencap is from the cheesy 'hurray for true love' part at the end. ugh. Still, Speed was really big in the mid 90s and anyone who doesn't know them should check this song out.

GAGAGASP - Sotsugyou

I think most non-Japanese jpop fans have never heard of GaGaGaSp. They're in interesting pop-rock group similar to Sambo Master. Give the song a try. Its loud, energetic and doesn't sound like your typical graduation song.

The drummer sorta looks like my dad, lol.

And what sotsugyou PV would be complete without your cute high school girl? The video is about the lead singer trying to confess/koukuhaku to this cute girl.

ZONE - Sotsugyou

One of my favourite Zone songs that I still listen to. God, how I miss Zone. Why did they have to break up? Why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Screencap of Mizuho playing drums. Chicks and drums/ guitars are cool, as are chicks and guns, chicks and fast cars and of course, chicks and chicks.

Another screencap of Mizuho with a sakura tree in the background. Can you guess who my favourite member is?

I think I've yet to get over the fact that Zone is gone. No other bandol (band+idol) can match them. Mi doesn't excite me and does anyone know what happened to Cheeze?

ASAMI ABE - Sotsugyou

Kawaii shot of Asami with a sakura type background. What is it with sotsugyou and sakura? Is it mandatory for Japanese schools to have at least one sakura tree in the compound?

Asami not shooting the ball incorrectly. I don't mind teaching her the correct technique for free, hehe. I'd even throw in lessons on how to post up. :)

Wish I had classmates as cute as them in highschool..........