Paradise Kiss

If you have read Ai Yazawa’s manga Gokinjo Monogatari and you happen to love it, then probably you would also enjoy the semi-sequel of this work – Paradise Kiss.  Paradise Kiss, or ParaKiss, is an original 5-volume manga written by Yazawa, and has been adapted into a 12-episode anime produced by Aniplex and Studio Madhouse.  I’ve seen the anime in Animax, who broadcast the series and widely distributed it and it was so amazing.

The protagonist of the story is Yukari Hayazaka, also nicknamed Caroline, a highschool student who is already bored with her life driven by routines, thus, when she meets the Parakiss crew, she models for them and decides to stop her review for the university entrance examinations.  She matures little by little through her relationship with George Koizumi, a chic and handsome university student, and a fashion designer.  George designs Yukari’s outfit when she models for them, or for anybody else.  Along with the Parakiss crew are Miwako Sakarada a cute and childlike university student who fondly calls Yukari ‘Caroline’ a lot and Arashi Nagase, the punk, rock and hardcore guy who is a band member and Miwako’s girlfriend.  The mother figure of the Parakiss crew is none other than Daisuke “Isabella” Yamamoto, but she is actually a crossdresser.

But one character that I will not forget in this anime is Hiroyuki Tokumori, Yukari’s classmate – a handsome, appealing, silent and intelligent young man, who always looks out for Yukari and concern for her studies. In the first part of the anime, Hiroyuki is the object of Yukari’s affection, but her emotions shifts to George when she meets him.  I like Hiroyuki because his character reminds me of my highschool crush (and I still like that guy) – both are intelligent in the first place.  *giggles

Oh yeah, too much for digressions.

Not to forget the theme songs of the anime – Lonely in Gorgeous performed by Tommy February6 is the opening theme, and Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand is the ending theme.

If you really love fashion, you’ll fall in love with this anime. J

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Emma: A Victorian Romance

Emma

Emma

It was a pity that I didn’t have the chance to finish watching a Cinderella-like story of Emma: A Victorian Romance in Animax.  It was first aired on the channel when I was still in high school, and because the evening schedule wasn’t just fit for my schedule, I didn’t have the chance to watch the later episodes.  The storyline was great though, very heartwarming but still, it’s no good to think that still I haven’t had the chance to watch it.  I only watched a few good earlier episodes.  I also watched the continuation of the anime via YouTube but I was too broke at that time.  In short, I just don’t have the chance.

Now that I’m starting downloading a few manga copies of my own choice I stumbled upon the manga version of Emma and I was perfectly happy to download and finally finished the whole story! I was so delighted, it was a very good story, mind you, and sometimes I think about the romantic story in my serious, so-called reflection moments.  Ha! I just like the character of William Jounes and I also like Hakim too! I think Hakim is much more appealing to me, though his ‘girls’ are kind of disturbing.  Then again, I think I’ll prefer Will.

The story was about the maid Emma, who came to work with the retired live-in governess and widowed Kelly Stowner. One day, William Jounes, who was Kelly Stowner’s former student, visited her.  There he bumped into Emma, and fell in love with her.  But William is the oldest son of the noble family of Jounes, and her father Richard already decided that his son would marry Eleanor Campbell, who was a daughter of a viscount.  And then, the conflict starts here.

But I’m not spilling out the whole story here though, I would like you to read it yourself because it’s a very nice manga.

Probably by far, the most dramatic page in the manga.

Probably by far, the most dramatic page in the manga.

The manga series was written by Kaoru Mori.  I would like to thank Iihan Translation Group for coming up with a good manga release such as this and Stoptazmo as well for the distribution.  I’m so happy and would like to thank personally the people who were involved with this manga project especially to

the translators whispers and mogura;

to by_request for a good editing job;

to squeeks and jedi_vader20 for the distribution;

to the quality checker boke;

to !waha.06×36 for providing the raw volumes;

and to the scanners winny and anonymous!  I saw your names in the manga copy that I have.  Thanks a lot guys, you rock!

The manga has a total of 52 chapters in 7 volumes, so its not really painstaking to read it.  Besides, it’s all worth it.

Hello 2009!

New Year’s Day! And I welcome the coming of the year 2009, and at the same time, I’m totally thankful for what really happened last year – whether it’s terrible or delightful, still they constituted lots of memories worth recalling in moments when you feel sentimental.

I usually do a year-end special blog posts here, but this time I’d be brief. Lol. Let’s see if I can, though I can’t promise.

Year 2008 marks a year full of new challenges – in blogging, in school, and in my personal indulgences. Haha. I’m in my second year, second semester in the university when the year started, taking difficult and challenging subjects like biotech and major creative writing subjects. The year extended in my third year, second semester, where there seemed to be a lot of things to write for class requirements.

I also watched cool anime shows this year 2008 that definitely moved me, which included Bokura ga Ita, Honey and Clover Season II, La Corda D’Oro Primo Passo, School Rumble, Kekkaishi, Darker than Black, Emma season II and many many more!

Wordworth

Wordworth

After a major Christmas vacation in year 2007, class resumed again, and the class started with a discussion of a poem by William Wordsworth, “The World is Too Much With Us.” I wouldn’t forget this one because it’s one of my favorite poems, and we discussed it at the start of the school year 2008 in our British Literature II class. Lots of things happened in January 2008: I found out that Adrian actually came back [can’t specify much detail here], and more exams and reports to face after the academic hiatus. Le Chevalier D’Eon anime ended with a very weird resolution – if that was really a resolution of some sort. I remember taking a painstaking biotech exams and presenting my Starlink Controversy report in class. We also had badminton sessions in Downtown since the Atrium is being renovated – that’s why the Badminton PE class had to go Downtown to finally start the tournament. It was tiring and expensive to go there, but I learned to familiarize with some places here in the city, even though there were frequent close accidents in the streets and more nerve-racking experiences while riding public vehicles.

Then came the Love Month February, which is as usual, very difficult to deal with because I casually get emotional during this time of the year. The month started with the usual painstaking Pregistration period for next semester’s subjects. I also managed to gather all the remaining courage I had here to add AD in my friendster (lol).

The Sandman

The Sandman

There were frequent library sessions because of the looming workload for my major subjects. I also passed my biotech exam, and I realized that it was worth to stay up late at night to labor hard for it. We continued to read interesting poems and short stories in my literature classes, and start writing our own in our first creative class. I’m so happy because I was able to read the story “The Sandman” by ETA Hoffman in my Criticisms II class, and that is why I considered the story as one of my personal favorites. The course program had the usual art performance entitled “Sinews of Syllables” which is a night of poetry, dance, music, etc., and we also had our exhibit about our course program itself.

Lots of reflections happened in the month of March. Probably because the semester is close to ending and it’s time to really get on the move and get myself serious to finish the pile of workloads. This time I attended my first ever poetry workshop, along with my batchmates. So I began to reflect basically on any thing, and trying to see poetry in them: mothballs, noodles, tattoos, etc. We had a Feminism exhibit during this time, since it was Women’s Month. We also had our Jap class end-party – having completed the four Japanese Continue reading

Twilight The Movie and The Hottest Predator

Edward Cullen - Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson is considered to be the hottest predator there is today. I think that he is really good in portraying the role as a vampire. As we have already seen Pattinson in his ultra good, excellent and kind Hufflepuff boy in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – here in the Twilight movie, his fascinating vampiric nature will be revealed.

Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory

Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory

I still remember the time when I’m still reading the Harry Potter series and I thought that Cedric’s character is really interesting. Now that I just finished the Twilight, the actual pull of interest in actually that intense, especially for the fact that I could visualize Pattinson more and his wild side in Twilight .

Well to get to know Edward more – he’s born really just a normal kid with the full name Edward Anthony Masen Cullen on June 20, 1901. Sort of a century year old guy if you ask me. But he actually died of Spanish influenza when he was 17, and thanks to Carlisle, the super appealing boy has restored his self as an immortal vampire. So Edward is just this hostile boy in class, but he is actually interested in playing baseball and piano, and you get the idea that he enjoys riding fast cars. He also loves classical music (go figure! he’s actually old! just kidding… ) He’s special abilities include reading minds of people, except Bella Swan, the female protagonist of the movie

Closer Look on Edward

Closer Look on Edward

He is never known to have any romantic relationship for over a century, not until she meets Bella Swan. Actually he felt the desire to bite her the moment he notices her, and he actually went to Alaska to unwind with this ‘unnatural’ behavior (as his family doesn’t feed on humans) but he came back, eventually to Forks. There he began to talk with Bella more, and he fell in love with Bella. And the feeling was mutual because the mortal Bella is head over heels in love with him too! Oh great.

Edward knew for a fact that it is an obvious risk to be with Bella, as he didn’t want to bite her accidentally, and the fact that he could never change the truth that he was a vampire. But life goes on with the two, and Bella loves Edward in whatever form that he is, and well, much much more conflicts will arise regarding this set-up. But you have to read the entire series for the rest or this. Or chill with the upcoming movie, which will premiere on November 21 this year.

The Twilight movie was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, produced by Twilight Prod. and distributed by Summit Entertainment. It is classified as a romantic-fantasy film, which stars Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan. Twilight soundtracks include Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, Full Moon by Black Ghosts, Decode by Paramore, Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park, and many more.

Beijing Water Cube

The 2008 Summer Olympics Games will be hosted by China, and probably that’s why this big-time country is building state-of-the-art and unique buildings for the event. One of this is my personal favorite: the Beijing National Aquatics Center, which is also known as the Beijing Water Cube, because of its structural design similarity as that of the soap bubbles. Cute huh? I saw this feature in National Geographic Channel, Made in China.

Continue reading

Looking Into the Future

I saw National Geographic Channel’s feature about Nostradamus in Nostradamus: Is it Real and was utterly surprised to saw the same topic again in Discovery channel in Nostradamus: the Truth at least two days after. It was weird, but maybe that’s how competition goes. Ha-ha!

Well, almost everybody knows about Nostradamus, who was extremely famous for his prophecies. It was said that his book of prophecies was sold in very large numbers, and widely circulated all over the world. In both features, they tried to present if these prophecies were really real, or just purely coincidental. His glimpses to the fate of mankind were mostly depressing views of the world, written in different language of French, in a style that depicted clearly the raw visions of his mind.

To give you a background story about how I got acquainted with Nostradamus, I was told off when I was 10 to get ready for the end of the world. Whoah! I was really scared back then, because in that coming year (that was 1999), there would be complete darkness to hover all over the world and widespread hunger where the King of Terror would descend to the Earth. We all panicked there, (hehe, the kids in the neighborhood and old people) about the coming of what we believed as The Judgment Day. But nothing happened. There was no darkness for the coming years, there was no such thing as end of the world (though there was still widespread hunger in other parts of the world and a few eclipses) but still life went on. Now, its year 2008, and everything is running in its usual course. So what the heck just happened at that time?

Did Nostradamus make a very grave mistake OR did we make a huge mistake in interpreting his prophecies?

***

A famous historical event that we can associate with Nostradamus is about Catherine d’Medici and King Henry II ofFrance. Catherine read the book of prophecies of Nostradamus, and summoned him to look into her king’s fate. And Nostradamus predicted the death of her husband – a one quatrain that troubled the queen that tells about King Henry II’s death. And it did happen. It was said that that was the first time that Nostradamus successfully looked into the future.

But there was more: the predictions about the Great Fire of London in 1666, the rise of Hitler, the atomic bombs dropped inHiroshimaandNagasaki, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Although there were seemingly perfect matches, science does not support it. Although many people believe that Nostradamus might have acquired divine inspiration or paranormal abilities, scientists still believe that it is utterly nonsense.

There were also few misinterpretations of the prophecies, some dates written in the quatrains were recalculated, and we cannot deny the fact that because of manual ‘publishing’ of the prophecies, people involved might constantly and unintentionally change the words which only added errors. Then, the original quatrain might have been misprinted by hand, and this is also because of the mistranslation of Nostradamus’s complicated French. He was so careful in anything that he said in the prophecy because of the height of the Inquisition.

But this is my take: the language that Nostradamus used in his prophecy is ambiguous, generally, and this vagueness, I personally think, is responsible for the increase of probabilities. What I think is that he was not looking into the future, but referring back to historical past events, knowing that the astronomical patterns involved in his passion for astrology, would always follow the same historical pattern.


Honey and Clover Manga

I finished downloading the manga Honey and Clover, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the continuing chapters in season 2. Probably, the Shoujo Magic hasn’t finished scanlating it, well, no wonder, it is hard to translate such difficult series.

However, if you have the full copy of the season 2 (and so on) scanlated manga, please let me know! I only got three chapter- scanlated copies of the volume two, that is from chapters 10-12, but since it is still ongoing (whatever happened, please do continue Shoujo Magic!) I’m still waiting here!

I love the Honey and Clover manga. And I’ve also seen its season 1 and 2 anime version that premiered on Animax. However, I haven’t seen yet the live action series (or is it movie?).

I made a summary out of the season one Honey and Clover manga because I love it so much. If you planned to read the manga and wishes not to get spoiled here, DON’T READ BEYOND THIS because it might Continue reading

Where Are We Heading?

After I took an Astronomy subject in high school, I was plagued with terrible questions about the earth, the sun, or any heavenly bodies. I think that’s normal. But I was also preoccupied whether someday in the future all inhabitants in the earth can cruise in the nearby planet (Mars, probably) and stay there for a week or two. I would love that.

I watched an episode in NASA channel entitled Destination Tomorrow. It was interesting because space scientists are working to investigate suitable landing sites in Mars that are scientifically interesting and potential for proofs of interest. NASA developed the MRO, or the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (I dunno if I got the words right but it sounded just like that) to look for potential landing sites in case there would be success of human flights at Mars in the near future.

The MRO has high resolution cameras to produce high profile detailed pictures which will be evaluated to search for potential sites. It has also telescopic cameras to capture the planet’s surface features by photographing the planet. In this way, the scientists can relay and send information by communication platform for robotic missions and about the weather patterns in Mars. In this way the space scientists can also look for water. By its self surface radar, they would know the weather patterns, and any detailed information to expand the knowledge about the planet.

MRO would took seven months to journey to Mars and 27 months to orbit it.


Dr. Faustus

 

“If we say that we have no sin
We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
–Faustus to himself, Dr. Faustus

 

 

No one can deny Dr. Faustus remains to be one of Christopher Marlowe’s famous plays. Personally, I think the play The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus is far better than any plays of Shakespeare and can be equated with the standards of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.

The story is about Dr. Faustus, a famous scholar in Wittenberg, whose obsession was to know more, and whose passion geared towards studying necromancy, or conjuration of the spirits of the dead. While he was still in his study, the good angel and the bad angel went to him. The good angel persuaded him to stop his ambition to become a necromancy practitioner and fear God, while the bad angel persuaded him that by studying necromancy he could be rich and powerful above all. Things got really dark when Faustus told Mephistopheles that he was ready to surrender his soul to his master Lucifer in exchange of luxurious life and power for 24 years. And so, Faustus made a pact with Lucifer, and for 24 years he traveled the world with evil in his mind. Some of these were drugging the Pope’s ministers with a sleeping potion, convincing the Pope to condemn a man named Bruno, performing annoying tricks to some people, and most of all, condemning the existence of God.

After 24 years, Lucifer and Mephistopheles were now ready to take Faustus’s soul. Although throughout the play he was bothered with repentance and fear of damnation, it was in the end that he finally realized the folly of his actions. But it was already too late for him.

What’s good about Dr. Faustus is that Marlowe incorporated the conflict of the good and evil in the form of good angel and bad angel, and this conflict became Faustus’s internal struggle. But due to his insatiable desires and thirst for more knowledge and supreme power, Faustus is bound to be damned. The readers would feel his moments of contrition, but since he always ended up choosing evil in the end, then we also feel that he should be doomed. He was too driven with greed and ambition.