Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (るろうに剣心 京都大火編) - Mixed Feelings, and a Disturbing Malaysian Cinema Experience

Well, it's been some time since I've touched anything Kenshin related. The last one was of course the first live action adaptation back in 2012- or was it the Shin Kyoto Hen (New Kyoto Arc) OVA? I couldn't recall, so I did some digging. Facts don't lie, but they do surprise: I did publish a post on Shin Kyoto Hen, but did not cover the 2012 movie at all, despite finding it to be a realistic if somewhat (un)faithful adaptation of the original manga- a solid adaptation topped only by the Gyakuten Saiban movie (here).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Japanese Film Festival 2014: Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

What is this, the 11th year in a row that I've been to the Japanese Film Festival in KL? It doesn't feel like much time has elapsed since the last one- it has been a year since the tenth festival, and also a year since my post on it- time is moving frighteningly fast. One year ago I was somewhat disappointed that they did not show Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises), but true to the organizers' past form in successfully bringing over major new films, here it is in 2014. Ghibli movies are big events, of course, so I suppose it shouldn't have been a surprise to have it screened here at some point.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Japan Again: Climbing up the Tourism Social Ladder - From Floors to Futons to Skyscrapers (2014)

Preface: I had originally flirted with the idea of writing this post as a series of haikus/senryuus for each amusing, pleasant, and irksome event that occurred on this trip, thinking that I would save a lot of time (on word count), but it didn't take long for me to remember that composing indirect poetry is much more time consuming than a detailed step-by-step forensic recollection. Laziness saves the day again. Without further ado, please enjoy the following Massive Wall of Text.

I wasn't too keen on this trip, having been to Japan in December last year and again in March this year, but hey, who am I to thwack a gift horse on the snout (please ignore my uncalled for bastardization of the proverb). "Guide" is my profession within the family (examples of titles held by others are Pianist, Artist, etc.). I'm quite glad that I avoided being gifted the title "Lawyer", despite having a Bachelor's in the field (though I don't have any particular bias against the profession, mind you). Funnily enough I have never been called by what I actually do, probably because it's a mouthful to say- Recruiter, Headhunter- or legal dealer in persons, if you so prefer. Enough of that, though. To tie the two items together- though I am as almost always the designated Guide, having been to Japan twice in a short period, I really didn't have much of an idea of where to go or what to do. This wasn't helped much by the majority of the group not being very interested in what people usually go to Japan for- onsen, (traditional and otaku) culture, history, the red light districts... ahem. Moving on:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Maleficent (2014): On Love, Child Welfare, and Awkward -nomics

6th June 2014 marks the day where I finally worked up the courage to pay money to watch a Disney movie in a cinema. Actually that's a lie, since I did pay to watch Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. I've been somewhat biased against Disney movies for years- I am of the impression that Disney films are mostly Western Bollywood musicals with fluffy and happy (throughout or eventually) plots. For a recent and popular example, let's take a short peek at Frozen. I considered watching it (briefly), but was put off by the constant singing and the fact that there's a little ugly talking snowman in it- call me racist (or speciesist?) but I'm not a big fan of snowmen, the only exception being the twisted ones in Calvin & Hobbes. I wasn't even interested in listening to the hit song Let it Go- something about it grates my nerves (though I've yet to listen to the entire song- so color me biased). Heck, the only thing I somewhat enjoy about the movie Frozen is that every time I do a "Which Frozen Character Are You Quiz", I get Elsa. Enough of that however- chew on my thoughts on Disney's Sleeping Beauty remake/retelling, Maleficent.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

CNY 2014, Vienna: Disinterested Foreigners, Dead Pianists, and yet more Schnitzel.

If you're a charitable sort of person, or if you're the type that enjoys picking up on irreverent factual tidbits and annoying helpless people, there's a lot to feel sorry for the Viennese. In case you're wondering, German is the official language in Austria, and once in the capital you'll only see 'Vienna' in English text. Everywhere else, it's 'Wien', and the people living there are called 'Wiener'- interestingly enough the Germans saw fit to name a sausage after them (Viennese have the sense not to use the term- they call it 'frankfurter' instead, according to Wikipedia). On a vastly larger scale, most people either think Austria is either a province of Germany, or hear 'Australia' instead. The latter point can be applied to Australians as well, I guess. Anyway, after Munich, Vienna- the second destination on our trip.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gundam Build Fighters (2013): Winner of the Marketing Plan of the Year Award

It is probably fair to say that the Gundam fandom was split into two factions (again) with the announcement of the 13th television series, Gundam Build Fighter (GBF). Coming right after the show known as a masterpiece, or amusing experiment, or travesty against history known as Gundam Age- the positive side of me can't help but feel that animation house Sunrise used GBF as a platform to give the finger to all their noisy fans believers. The more cynical part of me feels that they are using GBF as a giant marketing ploy... For once, both of us are probably right (judgment courtesy of the third impartial me). Without further ado- on with the obligatory summary.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tokyo 2014 (Again): Minor Repetition and Leftover Observations

I'll admit that I found myself rather surprised at being in Tokyo again, just two short months after my last brief stay there. For some reason (I never got around to asking why me), I was selected to accompany my manager on a business trip to Tokyo, to attend a sort of overseas work expo, where recruitment agencies from across Southeast Asia would set up booth to interview prospective job applicants.