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Sunday, 18 January 2009


I find it amusing that I got more or less 70 hits just by using the name of my new gundam kits as the title of my last post. Speaking of which, next up on my ordering list would be the 1/144 Gadessa(Because they haven't come out with the 1/100 size yet), Gundam markers and a 1/100 Cherudim. That's totaling at about $120 right but hopefully the currency exchange gets better by mid feb. And hopefully the gundam markers that I want won't be sold out again by then either.

The first two weeks of school has finally ended and tomorrow shall begin the third one. Not really looking forward to it even though the classes are easier to get through this year. I predict that I will only have one afternoon off after school this week so hopefully I won't be felled by the snooze demons so I can finish off the new anime that I have stockpiled in my laptop. Between school and translating manga, I'm finding a hard time to get the motivation to watch the new series for the winter 2009 anime season. I seem to be getting faster at translating too. It used to take me seven hours to translate a monthly manga but now it only takes me four. Sadly I don't it'll get much faster than that since I spent more time typing than I did looking up kanji. Still, I have to take pride that I may be a "first" for this country.

Yesterday, the graduation ceremony for last year's batch of students was held and I learnt something amusing about my mentality. Someone defined the reason I have for doing things that other people consider noble or courteous is something very few people actually do things for. Basically, he told me that there were three different categories in Islam that people can be categorized into based on why they do good deeds: 1) They do good things because they sincerely felt like doing it 2) The fear of divine retribution motivates them to do good things 3) They want to be praised for doing such things by others.

Apparently, I'm in the first category while he believes that he himself and others are in the second. Those of who can actually remember what the term is for that category should also know where that places me. That little fact amuses me to no end.

I can see why most people would be in the second but there's no way I can be such a person. Not anymore at least, I've already decided who I wanted to be years ago and as I am now, it's impossible for me to go back to that. I feel I wouldn't be able to have any respect for myself if I did. The reason for that is that I simply want to take responsibility for my actions. I find it silly to blame someone else for what I did just as much as I find it to do something because society wants you to. That's the reason I find it stupid to blame the devil for indulging in acts of evil. I'll even put up a disclaimer: the devil did not have anything to do with my pranks, I am 100% solely responsible for the what was done. I do deeds of nobility and acts of evil simply because I felt like doing them. I also happen to feel quite annoyed when someone praises me for doing stuff I find easy to do, it feels disgusting to be praised for doing something that I hardly put any effort into.

I've always wanted to be a person who's completely at ease and honest with himself. I'm almost there but not quite yet. I also want to be as GAR a person as I can be but that's quite tricky when I prefer to use indirect methods to solve problems. I still have a couple of issues I'm not comfortable having. I'll have to deal with them in time but for now I simply have to bide my time until I feel that I am prepared to do so.

I knew that the way my mind works isn't common but at the same time it isn't actually abnormal. I'm aware of my self and my surroundings to an extent that I can't be insane but the ideas that I have in my head are also things that very few people my age actually think about. Heck, I doubt there are that many people who are three times my age that have actually considered them as a possiblities worth exploring. Shame that most people perceive reality by denying things rather consider their potential.

I've often considered that everyone has different masks to show others when interacting with. I also make masks for myself to use but lately I've been feeling less and less inclined to put on such masks. It's pretty much why I find myself capable of making such fearlessly audacious remarks right now. Not pre-typed by the way, I just wrote this on a whim. Also, I find myself incapable of putting on my masks very well when I can't actually see the person I'm talking to. Apparently, my friend told me that what I said in a chatroom two years ago during an international school online competition of sorts was blatantly rude and somewhat unmerciful to those who read it despite it being logically true. This would mean that my ability to respond to people is more related to my instincts rather than my personality. A useful ability I must say. Saying the right things at the right time is very useful for getting out of trouble. (I have an evil smirk on my face right now)

In any case I suppose that other than when I'm alone by myself, I always have a mask on. A mask for my family, a mask for my relatives, a mask for my superiors, a mask for strangers, a mask for my juniors, a mask for competitions, a mask for colleagues and a mask for my friends. Interchanging these masks between each other may seem very stressful but I hardly feel stressed at all since it really does seem to be instinctive for me.

I have to say though, I think my mask for my friends might be one that I show most of myself with. It's still not one that people can see through though. It'd take a genius psychologist to figure out just who I am exactly. Even with truth serums, I can tell the truth in such a way that nothing will actually be told. But I suppose I could give people hints if they ask me the right questions. My amusement is higher on my list of priorities than my safety is and they're both top priorities for me. I find myself unable to lie about such things when discussing them amuses me. I once took a test to see what kind of evil I was and it says that I am a trickster. I almost got affably evil though, a changed answer or two would have gotten me that title. I do have to say that the test was right. I am definitely a trickster who appreciates good tricks regardless of which end of the trick I'm on.

To end things, I shall say that I have recently discovered Sket dance. From the name I thought it was going to be one of those generic shonen series but turned out to be closer to a slice of life comedy. Aside from the various jokes about other manga series in it, I also love the characters. Particularly switch. He earned my respect with this particular joke in the manga because of the sheer audacity. Here's to a good manga!

Friday, 9 January 2009

School and my new Astraea and 00 Raiser

School's started up again and damn it really feels different this year compared to before. It's not just the knowledge that this will be my last year in school, the disappearing act that most of the guys take 5 minutes before classes start is very odd. It's weird seeing so many people move all at once to get to class early. I guess the UIC people made a pact or something before school started because when I talked about it with those who weren't members, we all thought that it was weird. I even heard some girls talk about this strange change in their daily migration and they were just as perplexed as I was. Seriously, it's quite unnerving.

With the new year came a change in my line-up of teachers. Everyone except Cikgu Farid got replaced and all of them have different teaching methods from their predecessors. It's nice to have a change of pace, hopefully they won't want to have regular extra classes this year.

Yesterday had a pleasant surprise for me as they reanimated the anime club from its death at the closing ceremony of 2005. I wanted to spend my CCA periods this year with something relaxing so I chose this. I'm sure I'm going to be very busy this year so having 1.5 hours of school time to spend on one of my hobbies seemed like a smart idea.

As you can tell by the title of this post, I have finally acquired my much long awaited 00 raiser set and it does not disappoint. It was only days before that I also got Astraea in Miri and both of them prove to be very well designed. I was quite amazed to see that all the Boulevard stores in Miri werenow selling gundams as well, including the latest models. One even had a display case to show what some of the models looked like when they're finished. After seeing that, my desire to buy an avalanche exia has plunged because of the clumsily designed GN buster sword. My next one will probably be a GN ARMS Type E, Gadessa or 1/100 Cherudim along with a set of Gundam Markers.

The Astraea is quite amazing. The design actually a lot more futuristic than exia which is somewhat annoying considering that Exia is the suit's successor. The GN Sword its armed with is also a lot cooler than exia's one and its leg's a very flexible. I can even put it int a split pose.

My 00 Raiser set box was goddamned (I payed 20 dollars more than i had to initially because of the damn economic crisis) expensive but it was more than worth it. It came with three things: The 00 Gundam, The 0 Raiser and the limited edition Sparkling Green Celestial Being display stand. It also came with a catalog for upcoming models. The entire set is amazingly detailed and every this fits perfectly. It's also capable of some awesome poses even when the 00 gundam isn't docked with the 0 Raiser. I take pride in knowing that I may very well be the only person in Brunei to own this model. I do have a problem with joints in the GN Drives' attached parts though. They can't maintain holding up the docked Raiser wings without drooping down so I'll have to modify it somehow to increase the friction.

All of my 1/100 scale 00 models

To end this I'll leave you with a pic of the recently announced 11th incarnation of the doctor. Personally, I think this guy looks damn creepy in that pose and it really makes me wonder what the series is going to be like in the fifth season. He's a much better choice than David Morrisey though, Steven Moffat "blown away" by his audition so that's good. With a doctor who reminds me of Voldemort and the guy who came up with some of the creepiest monsters in doctor who as the new executive producer, the fifth season is probably going to scare away a lot of kids. Looking forward to it in 2010.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Bye 2008, Hello 2009!

It' s officially the new year (We have 3 more years to live if you believe that the world ends on December 21st 2012. These Doomday dates keep popping up don't they?) in here in Brunei and I'm happy to say that it's raining right now. My favorite type of weather is rain, especially when it's in the right amount. So far the new year has started off good but that also means that school will be hear in four (Damn!) more days.

While most of the people I know are happy that the holidays will be over soon, I'm not. I was so goddamn busy during the holidays that the only time I laid around doing nothing was the first week of the holidays. The rest was spent on helping with my cousin's wedding, staying at my grandpa's, filming video evidence (anyone who wants to see it has to see me directly cause the others aren't comfortable with posting it online) of ghosts/demons, several parties, watching movies at the mall, translating hundreds of pages of manga, walking to the end of the Tutong sand spit and taking driving lessons. A great holiday if you ask me but it'll take at least another week before I get sick of it.

What I planned on doing but ended up not doing were the parkour filming that was planned and the building of my 00 Raiser set which has to wait until school starts again so I can pick it up. Looking forward to that seeing as the reviews for that set are quite positive. As for the parkour, my skills are intact and have added a few new tricks i can do with a pole. Mifune's figthing style from Soul Eater isn't as impossible as I thought seeing as the trick to it is quite simple though that doesn't make it that much easier to put it into practical use.

As you can see, I've cleaned up my blog and changed the banner which I may change again since it feels like it's missing something. I've also added some more songs to my music player at the top and I hope you enjoy them. I've also added a list of sites that I get most of my info from. The anime blogs that I posted up should give more or less half of the shows for each new anime season, the online stores are sites where you can order stuff from japan particulary gundam model kits, crunchyroll is a video site like youtube specialising in anime (for those of you who are still unaware that Naruto will no longer be subbed by dattebayo, you'll probably be visitng this site every week) and the Animesuki forums are a set of forums dedicated to anime discussion. The rest are pretty much news sites that pick up tidbits of info on various things but I have to warn you that Sankaku Complex is NFSW (Not Safe For Work) and you have to be careful on that site despite it having some interesting articles.

Right now, I'm going to post up the my top 10 anime of 2008

10. Kannagi
This was directed by the guy who directed the first 4 episodes of lucky star but got sacked later. I'm still not sure why though or even if he feels bitter towards it considering that the cameo's from Kyoani productions showed up here and there in series. The cameo's didn't even seem the least bit spiteful so i guess he's moved on enough to poke fun at the matter. When he directed Lucky star, I figured that timing jokes was where he needed to develop more but it seems that there were other reasons for his sacking. As I saw through Kannagi, he's definitely on the level of a director but what he's done isn't particularly outstanding. It's solid but not quite memorable. It's funny, well animated and the pacing is quite good but I can't say that it's going to go down as one of the best despite what fanboys may say. (Honestly I'm somewhat biased against it because of the community of Kannagi fanboys in Japan, they were being quite stupid just because of something that happened in the manga.) But it's

9. xxxHoLIC Kei
This series showed me some interesting things about japanese folklore and myths. It's a shame that Brunei doesn't have as many legends as the elevens do. This was quite a thought provoking series with high stats all around except for the conclusion of the Kohane arc which I thought was a let down considering how good the rest of the series. The characters are very interesting and I'm glad that they saved the Himawari arc for the last bit of the series. Very nicely done overall by production I.G.

8. Code Geass R2
This had to be the most spectacular and most epic anime in years. Concept, animation, music and characters were as amazing as the plot twists that came in game breaking sizes. I can't think of any other anime that had me guessing so much at what was going to happen the next and I never got them right. I swear to god I had my mouth wide open whenever they had something epic come up. Especially at lelouch's awesome moment of crowning which was also doubled as a crowning moment of awesome. This series is practically one crowning moment of awesome after another all the way. It really was that epic a series. Especially if you overlook the silly plot holes along the way. To add to that, they've recently said that they're not entirely done with the franchise just yet so here's hoping to another season.

7. Xam'd: Lost Memories
The broadcasting of this anime was actually delayed for a year or so since they couldn't find a timeslot to show it in japan so it premiered on the playstation network instead. The concept of this series is quite unique and every aspect of this anime balanced out so well that it doesn't make sense for it to be delayed. It's made by BONES so a high degree of quality is expected and since it was made by them, I wouldn't be surprised if they put it up on Animax this year seeing as they just put up Darker Than Black which I also enjoyed though I have to say that the last episode was somewhat lackluster for such a series.

6. Shikabane Hime Aka
This anime was based on a manga but they moved things around to accomodate the anime's pacing. That was a smart decision since I found that the first few chapters of the manga were rather bland. The best part of this anime are the characters and their relationships with each other since they're made to be quite likeable making this more than just a GAINAX action anime though those are good anyway especially in gurren lagann's case. The next season is coming right up and it's titled Shikabane Hime Kuro, hopefully that means that the story's going to get darker than it already is which would be good.

5. Birdy The Mighty ~ DECODE
The Dark Horse of the Summer 08 season. Just from the ridiculous name and the strange character design, most people wouldn't even bother watching this. At least not for the story if you get what I mean. I'm not most people though so I gave this series a chance and boy did it surprise me. The music particularly stood out for me. It was on the same level as Iwasaki Taku's compositions too. The first 3 episodes were very impressive in all aspects. The 4th and 5th not so much but they were there for filler and budget reasons. Everything after that was more or less the same quality as the first 3 episodes. The fight scene against the robot in the 10th episode was one of the best i've ever scene. Hopefully they'll put in a fight like that in the climax of the next season instead of the build up episodes.

4. Ga-rei Zero
This was the biggest surprise of the Fall 08 season and also one of the best for it. The first episode made it seem like your average high production "b-movie" anime but the twist at the end of the first episode was the clincher. At the end of the first episode, everyone who watched it all the way went "WTF?!". The weapons concept were both ridiculous and amazing(this is the only anime where you'll see someone use a suitcase as a weapon) It was a really smart move by this studio and I'll look forward to a sequel if they ever animate it. Hopefully they won't be completely faithful manga since it's not very impressive.

3. Clannad
I went through the game and I know how this one will turn out. I'm apparently regarded as a monster for not crying through several key points of the game though I did feel very bitter at the normal end of the game despite how beautiful it was. My favourite arc conclusion is Kotomi's arc which was incredibly powerful and touching in both the game and anime. Music, humor, animation and story are all well done in this series though the first eight (excluding 5&6) episodes of the second season were rather disappointing for me. The main drawback is that it doesn't intergrate all the characters properly and two of the story arcs from the game got shafted. Not that it really bothers me though, they did go through Tomoyo's arc in a special episode and I thought that Fujibayashi twins' arc was the worst arc out of all the main arcs. I have big expectations for the ending.

2. Toradora
My favourite part of this series is it's music. I don't just mean the ED song Vanilla Salt but it's BGM is very nice and suitable for the series. The characters are also a joy to watch with how well they're developed. Animation and story are also very well done and that's hardly a surprise considering that the guy who directed Honey and Clover is in charge of this. It's not quite as funny but it's still up there as one of J.C. Staff's best works.

1. Gundam 00
Very good music, action, story and concept. The battle scenes damn good and the designs for this season were extremely well done. It even has a masked man that goes by the name of MISTAH BUSHIDO! I can't remember ever watching any other mecha series where the mecha of the grunt units were actually a whole lot cooler than the protagonists' mecha. First the Overflag,

then the GN-X

and now it's the Gadessa(I am definitely getting this one).

The suits just keep getting cooler and cooler. It's a shame they couldn't intergrate Exia's aesthetics with the 00 while the rest of the suits improve in design but it makes sense considering the goal of the protagonists in the second season. I've watched the latest episodes over and over again because the fights were that good. I wonder what exactly they have planned for the finale since the most powerful suit has already made its debut with another 13 episodes to go.

That's it for my first post of 2009. I'll leave you all with an image of Mistah Bushido.

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