A “Heaven-Piercing” Anime

Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

Okay, I admit I was not fond of the genre “mecha” in Japanese anime culture. But that’s going to change now.

Mecha, linguistically taken from the word “mechanical”, is a distinctive genre in Japanese anime that is about walking vehicles or robots, usually controlled by human pilots. This division in anime zooms in to the use of advanced technology in a futuristic place, so the setting of plot accounts for its fantastic and futuristic elements. Mecha anime is also classified as shounen anime, such as Gundam Seed Destiny that caters to male audience, but there might be romantic and funny touches that females might also like and thus, some of these anime shows are classified as shoujo, like Fullmetal Panic and Vision of Escaflowne.

I’m fond of computer games nowadays, role playing games more often than not, so it was easy for me to appreciate the mecha genre in anime now. Human-sized robots, humanoids, or human-controlled machines are popular subjects for games these days, and I’m one of those who really enjoy them. Probably because of the real time strategy feature in them.

If you love a game that’s a spin off from a much popular anime, then you’ll surely love Gurren Lagann too. Classified as a mecha, Gurren Lagann also has a game developed by Konami, in Nintendo DS platform. The anime is currently aired on Animax Asia but its original run was on April 2007, directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi based from the manga written by Kazuki Nakashima. It’s also known as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which literally means “Heaven-Piercing Gurren Lagann.” It was animated by studio Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami.

It’s currently aired every Monday at 12:00AM or 5:30AM and encore replays every Sunday at 4:30PM. Well, I usually visit the TV Guide to get hold of some anime schedules because I don’t want to miss an episode. If that’s the case then there’s always anime on the internet. What’s good about the anime is the fact that it’s able to blend adventure, comedy, drama and mecha in one show. Hurrah!

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This is Why I Tweet

I’ve been addicted to Twitter these past few months. I can send 18 tweets per day; when I used to send only a single tweet when I was still a newbie.

The thing about Twitter is *initially* it’s not really that overwhelming and it’s as simple as sending short text messages online to your so-called legions, who are your own followers. It’s not like there’s built-in multi-applications in there – for one thing, the only way to customize your page is through changing the Twitter template or background. The rest of the fun like Twitpic or longer notes like NotePub can be incorporated through shortened links to get past through the 140-character count.

But why do I like Twitter, even better, say, than Facebook or Plurk?

The thing about Twitter is that it’s very simple. It doesn’t demand too much for you, just ‘tweet’ what’s happening around you and then that’s it. It’s free, it’s text-based, it’s so short it doesn’t take too much of your time scrolling down through tweets of your favorite people, whom you follow. It’s the new gateway for news, gossips and it’s probably the easiest and the fastest information highway – it’s like reading through headlines, one-liner rib ticklers, or nuggets of wisdom.

And there are lots of *role-players* in there, which I find really amusing. Have your read Leo Tolstoy’s tweets? You can follow him @leotolstoy and see what are his tweets like. Some interesting famous people and figures I follow are the following:

1. @tinybuddha – for short dozes of Buddha’s thoughts

2. @alberteinstein – “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

3.  @gandhi_bot – Mahatma Gandhi’s tweets

4.  @dostoyevsky – Russian novelist and writer of Crime and Punishment!

5.  @sfreud – I’m not really a fan of Sigmund Freud, but just to see what kind of tweets he is sending…

6.  @holdencaulfield – the celebrated and one of the famous literary characters, created by JD Salinger in Catcher in the Rye

7.  @batman – Batman at Gotham.  But he’s so busy saving the city he doesn’t tweet that much

8.  @Socrates – LOL. the Greek philosopher

9.  @jesuschrist – doesn’t tweet in English

10.  @Jose_P_Rizal – the Philippine national hero on Twitter. 🙂

11.  @LdeLioncourt @lestat_lebrat @LestatQuotes – anything that concerns with the Vampire Lestat

12.  @mortal_passion – Louis de Pointe du Lac (wooo!)

It’s really amusing. To read their tweets.

For the meantime, LET ME KNOW who are the other interesting people there are to follow.  SHOUT out your suggestions here!

Bye bye!

8.

Christmas Broke and Must-Do’s Over the Break

Christmas break doesn’t necessary mean you have all the money, because in the first place, you are not in school and so you don’t have the usual allowance for your day-today expenses. Same situation where I’m in now – when I usually spent an ordinary day surfing the net, reading and watching TV in the house, surviving on a few crackers and mom’s cooking.  I don’t fancy going out either because I don’t have the money, so it’s enough for me to surf the net and look out what’s happening in the outside world.  Then again, (come to think of it) I’ve got lots to do over the holiday season which has nothing to do with Christmas and New Year celebrations, but something to do with academics and school.

Okay, as usual I’m making lists again.  Here’s one, my must-do’s over the Christmas Break:

1.  Read Jarhead by Anthony Swofford – As what Enterntainment Weekly claimed, it’s “… a brutally honest memoir…” and I agreed to that statement by the time I’ve read the first few pages.  Anyway I’m reading this memoir for my Creative Nonfiction class where I’m going to present a sort-of book report for the class.  I highly recommend this book, very searing and funny at times.  This one rocks.

2.  Write preface for my creative thesis – Probably the most important thing to do over the break – confront my thesis.  Well, the creative preface would mean sharing my writing experiences and the writing process, the process of revision and my take on the whole literature.  Not to forget, the thematic concept, the unifying principle for my stories.   Mind you, it’s not that easy, and to tell you the truth, I’m still groping on what to write and how to write this one.

3. Read The Odyssey – not necessarily required, but why not read the next reading material in advance?

4.  Write reaction paper about a paper about Rizal – totally complicated the way I put it but just to sum things up, it’s like that.

5.  Write a reflection paper about kinds of thinking species for my philosophy class

6. Make a report about Thailand – this one’s for my Southeast Asian literature class.

So I think that’s it.  Anyway, that’s what I remember as of the moment.

Wishing you happy holidays! 🙂

Things That I Got This Christmas

Whew! Christmas! This is why I love the season very much. I get to received some stuff.

So these are the things that I got this Christmas:

1. a new pair of jeans from sister

2. a thick blue green jacket from brother (forced him to give the jacket)

3. 2 pink hello kitty hair clips from sister

4. a usb mouse from myself

5. The Odyssey study guide book from mom

Cute things. But the gifts made me happy because I was not expecting them.

Happy holidays!

Golden Glitters

bullion coinI love coins.   Rather than bills.  Even though more or less coins are generally considered as cheaper in terms of value, still one good thing that you appreciate in them is the fact that they stay for a longer time (compared to bills, of course). Which makes coins in general, ideal for collection to some people.  You see, there’s a kind of history that is associated in coins – faces of notable men in history or unique insignias of any country.  True enough, coins carry a sense of regalia and rarity in them.

An example of a notable coin worth having is what they call bullion coins. Bullion coins are popular among coin collectors and enthusiasts because of its regal features and designs, coupled with special historical significance that are engraved on the metal.  A bullion coin is what the coin collectors call, “a precious metal.”  Simply put, these coins are widely stored and distributed, and extremely in demand in the market. Continue reading

A Random Memory

When I was in highschool you could say I am not the kind of person who would deliberately study for an exam or pep myself for a short quiz. Especially if it’s math. I used to be an average student who gets enough amount of sleep and rest.  I didn’t even depend on tight schedules, or routines, or even priorities.  I could say that I am more goal-oriented as of the moment now that I am in college.

Highschool.  They say it was the best time of your academic life.  The smell of first love, the feel of youthful vibrance.  This is the time when it feels like everything is opening up, blossoms up to whole new possibilties of growing up.  And I agree with all these things.  High school is definitely unforgettable.  Continue reading

Twitter Diaries

Because it’s semestral break already, I’ve been reading my favorite books (which includes collections of stories by Lorrie Moore, Kathe Koja and Nadine Gordimer), watching anime shows (Inuyasha: The Final Act, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and tweeting on Twitter.  Anything to unwind myself. But most of the time I really tweet a lot. 

I first registered on Twitter last year, exactly September 11, 2008 after I heard about Ashton Krutcher’s deal against CNN Breaking News to be the first one to reach the 1 million follower count.  I was really fascinated how Twitter works so I thought I might try this site. That time I just acquired my Facebook account so it was a full blast cyber life.  Ever since then I considered myself as a Twitter addict. 

Twitter became my online diary willing to be shared to other people  in few words, every day, and in any instance. I was able to speak up my mind about anything under the sun.  So in just a year, it’s no surprise that I came up with 7,578 updates (as of October 28, 2009, 4:53 pm) and of course, still counting. 

Follow me @khareen. Have a good day!

Future Cars

I just watched Discovery Channel’s episode on Future Cars, and I’m so amazed on the car designers’ visions of the future. The feature presented the sort of ‘brand new DNA’ for automobiles, wherein there is a convergence of revolutionary technology and artistry for the cars in the future. How would you react on a future car that has no engines, no drivers, no limits and no steering wheel? I think this one is so amazing, indeed, the future never ceases to surprise us.

So what would they look like? The cars. For one thing, the shape is different, but it doesn’t defy the conventions, after all, according to Tom Peters, ‘if you understand classic design, then you’ll understand future design’. Right. There is that unusual blend of form and function and convenient fluid efficiency. The visibility is unpredictable, converging high fashion and high technology. I think these changes are so cool – the car upgrades, model changes, the idea of ‘no-steering-wheel’ – and probably just joysticks to manipulate the car. The GM gathered all the best car designers to design on that skateboard: no engine, and petroleum-free, wherein these designers can attach different shape bodies, attach car parts in different positions – well, to put it simply, they can do anything above the skateboard. The designers came out with really unique revolutionary ideas.

The idea that the future car would be ‘drive by wire’ thus eliminating mechanical linkages and is flexible, totally interests me. Not only that – the future car would have minimum weight and perfect aerodynamics, low resistance mobility, and very efficient. Moreover, the cars would have totally different wheels – new wheels that would eliminate the potential ‘flats’.

I just love the show. So cool!

Future Guns

Just recently I watched an episode in the Discovery Channel featuring future weapons, this time, it’s all about guns.   Guns, not in sense associated with violence, but guns that are used in the current revolutionized law enforcement systems in the first world countries.  They are called “directed energy weapons” – amazing stun guns and laser guns. 

For that episode they presented two kinds of revolutionized guns.  The first one is the laser gun which aims to disable, distract, disorient one’s ability (used ideally in vehicles and in any checkpoint); to obscure the driver’s vision, giving him a momentary and temporary inability to focus.  The second one is the stun-strike wireless stun gun that fires a bolt of light, with a static energy of 200,000 volts! Gosh, it perfectly captures, as they say, the “natural psyche of lightning”. 

So you might ask, How are they used?

We all know that the use of technology, in any form, in any kind, reduces the stress.  In this context, using technology one can gain control of the situation without any kind of casualties.  Perfect for police and law enforcement officers. 

But future weapons and gadgets like these are not only limited to the very concept of lasers and lightning.  Soundwaves can also be a vital strategic combat loudspeaker against intruders.  The effective acoustic weapon, I say.  Using long ranged acoustic device such as “LRAD” (which is surprisingly and amazingly 10,000 times louder than usual, in 155 decibels) is enough to disable the focus of the attacker.  Simply put, it’s like a punch in the eardrum and believe me, it’s going to cause you more than great severe discomfort. 

But future weapons like these must be used the way they were idealized of course.  🙂 In a good way. 

Have a pleasant afternoon.

School Rumble and my Attraction to Harima

If you love an ultra funny anime with totally crazy characters, then you’ll surely love School Rumble! It’s one of my latest addictions currently – I just finished watching the anime version in Hero channel and I’m still downloading the manga version.  It’s a pity the anime version doesn’t seem to conclude just yet, and I still haven’t watched the OVAs! huhuhuhu.  It’s a romance comedy (and at some point, comedic-tragic) but I assure you that this one is very very amusing.

Tenma Tsukamoto

Tenma Tsukamoto

Tenma Tsukamoto

Tenma Tsukamoto

Tsukamoto Tenma

“The reason Karasuma-kun doesn’t know about my feelings, is because I’ve never done anything about it.  That’s it – I’LL CONFESS!”

Likes: Karasuma-san

Dislikes: spicy food

The anime series starts with Tenma Tsukamoto, the female protagonist, and his creative reflection of her feelings for Karasuma Ooji.  She tries persistently to confess her love for this stonefaced passive guy, but fails in the process.  While Tenma is busy thinking of her Karasuma, the anime’s male protagonist Harima Kenji, who is a delinquent, develops feelings for Tenma and tries to confess to her too, but Tenma fails to notice it.

Karasuma Ooji

Karasuma Ooji

Karasuma Ooji

“… … … … …”

Characteristic: He’s always spacing out by himself.

Hairstyle: It’s weird.

So it’s all about futile love confessions both for Tenma and Harima that made the anime really funny.  Although the real story revolves around them, still the anime isn’t just confine to them.  Other characters also complicate the whole story, like Tenma’s friend Sawachika Eri, who always ends up in embarrassing situations with Harima.  Later in the series, she develops feelings for him.

Harima Kenji

Harima Kenji

Harima Kenji

“A man in love must not disgrace himself.  Don’t think, FEEL.”

Favorite Person: Tsukamoto Tenma

Specialty: Fighting

Tenma’s youngest sister Yakumo is also associated with Harima because she was helping Harima in editing his manga.  She is a very reliable sister who always looks out for Tenma.  And lots of guys are attracted to her too.

Other friends of Tenma include Mikoto Suou who is a black belter in kenpo, and Takano Akira who is serious, perceptive, and mysterious.  Other characters include Haruki Hanai who falls in love for Yakumo, Nara Kentarou who’s love interest is Tenma, Osakabe Itoko a teacher and Harima’s cousin, Anegasaki Tae who falls in love with Harima and calls him “Hario”, Imadori Kyousuke a playboy who hooks up with many girls (with D-sizes) and falls for Mikoto, Ichijou Karen the wrestler who falls in love with Imadori, the foreigners Harry McKenzie and Lala Gonzales, and many many more!

My personal favorite character is Harima Kenji, (not Harry McKenzie, hehehe, although Harry is much more handsome though).  But Harima is better than Harry, I suppose.  It’s because he’s a very interesting guy who ends up either being understood (misunderstood moments: that he once confessed to Eri, or that he’s dating Yakumo) or some idiot who misunderstood, in any case, that his love Tenma has hidden feelings for him.

Yep, it’s literally “school rumble” if there is such elements as misunderstanding in a very amusing way.

The anime theme songs of School Rumble are the following, in season one: Scramble by Yui Horie (Eri) with UNSCANDAL, Umi no Otoko wa yo by Kikokumaru’s Man Chorus Group, Onna no Ko Otoko no Ko by Yuko Ogura, Hatenkou Robo Dojibiron’s Theme by Jūzō Nanba, School Rumble 4 Ever by Ami Koshimizu (Tenma), Hitomi Nabatame (Mikoto), Kaori Shimizu (Akira), and Yui Horie (Eri) and Ginga Ensen ’05 by Hiroki Takahashi (Harima Kenji); in season two: Sentimental Generation and Kono Namida ga Aru Kara by Ami Tokito, THE LAST CANDLE, and Futari wa Wasurechau by Tenma (Ami Koshimizu) and Yakumo (Mamiko Noto). 

The manga author is Jin Kobayashi and the manga is published by Kodansha.  I’m so happy that the manga series is still ongoing, with 273 chapters as of May 09, 2008, since its original run in 2002.  The manga is serialized in Shounen Magazine being classified as “shounen”, action-themed stories for boys, but don’t worry girls, this is the kind of manga that both girls and boys could enjoy.

The TV anime is directed by Shinji Takamatsu in cooperation with Studio Comet, FUNimation Entertainment, Revelation Films, Madman Entertainment and Tokyopop.  It was first aired on October 2004 in TV Tokyo network.

I’m still not finished downloading the manga yet, but I want to thank Y-Anime (http://yanime.com) and Akatsuki Manga (http://akatsukimanga.com) for coming up with the scanlations.  Thank you so much guys! (bow!)