Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Tale of the Train Man, and his Hermes

How true is this story, where a hapless geeky guy likes this young and beautiful lady, and decides to change himself for the better in order to woo her? What a touching premise right? :)

Densha Otoko (The Train Man), is the tale of a young, geeky salaryman (Yamada Tsuyoshi, aged 23) who suddenly finds his life changed when he meets the beautiful Aoyama Saori (acted out by the amazing Itoh Misaki) in a train. In his attempt to stop a drunken old man from harassing her, he earns her gratitude and she gives her thanks by sending him a pair of Hermes cup. Touched, he is encouraged by his online friends (From an online forum no less!) to ask her out and to get to know her better...

So thus began a heart-warming tale where the lovable 'loser' (actually he is not, just that the rest of the society don't treat him nicely at all) began to groom himself and learn to interact with members of the opposite sex calmly. Initially he is beset by so much bad luck, then things began to pick up from there.

However, there are many obstacles he has to overcome, from improving his self-confidence, to grooming, to even dealing with Saori's friends and family. He even had to overcome his over-dependence on the advices of his online friends because when it comes to the crunch, he must stand up and make decisions by himself.

Why do I like the show? Although I am only halfway done with the series (There are 11 episodes, the other half I will try to borrow from Eugene), each episodes have its good point. Witness the shameless usage of the Star Wars Imperial music to announce the arrival of Saori's 'evil' best friend. Or his adventure into Shibuya. Or even the funny scene where he tries to learn how to surf (Saori thinks he is into surfing when he meant web-surfing)

See what I mean? Hehe...

It's an inspiring show. I realises that in a way, each of us have obstacles to overcome. Whether it is a fear of women (-_-;;) or fear of commitment (Haha) or even lack of self-confidence, we have our own Waterloos to fight. I know that somehow the story is too good to be true, but who knows.. maybe it will encourage some of us to take that crucial step forward. :)

Rating: 8/10

Thursday, September 15, 2005

An Advent Children Review

The long awaited sequel to what was probably the most popular console RPG game ever, Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children took place 2 years after the Lifestream managed to stop Meteor from destroying the world. Cloud Strife, now a 'delivery man', is haunted by his past specifically the fact that he is unable to save Aeris (or Aerith) from dying at Sephiroth's hand. And as you all will know, Sephiroth was eventually defeated by Cloud in a final battle that decided who is truly stronger...

Unfortunately things never gotten better after that, so Cloud and his friends continue to search for clues to unravel a new problem known as Geostigma. And that is when all the troubles began...

You know, after waiting for a long time to see what Square-Enix have done to address the remaining issues left after completing FF7, you may think that the movie will answer everything that you have ever wanted to ask. Sadly, this is not the case as the movie is more focused on Cloud, his antagonists (Kadaj and gang), and his own unresolved past.

First, the bad things about the movie. Does Square-Enix ever realise that a good intro is a must? The thing about the first 1/2 hour is that I was literally have a bad feeling about the show, and even thought that they have screwed up big time. The speech by Kadaj at Ajit when he was talking to the children is a real ear-sore to me. And the thing about the voice acting overall is that they are competent but not really fantastic.

The length of the show was also short (1 hour 30 minutes+, excluding the credits), so some parts of the show seem rushed. It would help a lot to have a longer length to cover everything... but I think maybe they want to have an excuse to make another FF7 movie? XD

The other characters who showed up are mostly there as supporting casts and not everyone got equal screen-time. Yuffie rocks, Cid should spew some more colourful words, Barret should have used his Catastrophe, Vincent's cloak is amazing, Tifa is hot, and Cait Sith... where's the big guy? :P Red XIII only spoke once!!!!

Another thing that I noticed but it may not be a bad point is that the style of the movie really tends to follow the general Japanese movie style. Its pretty hard to describe but even a non-fan will sense that the show is made in Japan (It's true anyway haha). Humour-wise, I am not sure which is funnier, the victory theme in the handphone, or Rude's spare specs :P

Now, onto the best part of the film. The battles between Cloud and his enemies are truly to behold. He moves and fights like the unreal warrior that he is, dodging bullets and swords as if it was nothing. From the initial battle at the intro, to the eye-catching battle at Midgar City, to the fast and furious bike race, everything an action fan wanted, it is there.

Of course the thing about the animation during the battles is that it looks really unnatural. Some parts are realistic but that's about it... then again this is Final Fantasy no? :D

And... let's not talk about the grand climax that everyone is waiting for. And Cloud's got a surprise for all of us yeah? ;)

FF7:AC is not a perfect film. Compared with a lot of classical, animated, and modern masterpieces, it is hard to say that it is the best film ever made. However, it is better than all the game-movie conversions so far (Better than FF: The Spirits Within) and I guess most of us FF fans will forgive the flaws (Yes, even the ho-hum beginning).

Cloud Strife. He fights for the people who believe in him. That is what makes him stronger. And that is how I feel too :)

8.5/10 (Minus 1 point for the beginning -_-;;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Gate Has Opened...

It took me a while to get a hold of myself. Even until now, my mind is clouded with many things. Perhaps it is best to forget about them for the time being... but my feelings for her remained unabated.

That being said, I recently dropped by Suntec to attend the World Cyber Games 2005 - Singapore National Finals. I met so many of my friends there! The cosplayers, the Unreal Tournament gang, the guys from HWZ/Gameaxis, Spikeout, even Lord Angelus was there! I was actually there to support some of my friends who are taking part in the cosplay competition and also the Halo 2 tournament (Cheng Kai's KnS team).

Among the games being played, there were DOTA, CS: Source, Need For Speed: Underground 2 , Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne, and many more. It looks just like any other normal gaming event. I was hoping that the grand final will be more exciting.. XD

Anyway, back to cosplay. I took a lot of photos, and made some new friends in the process. Some of the cosplayers are really good, especially Maria and Mafuyu.

Lenne the Hunter. Beware her Double Strafing!

Eileen (left) and witch_cat XD

Luel flashing her .. cards.

Yes, Eugene's the man.. he's seen with some babes recently :P

Jodie aka TJ, posing when she should be taking pics instead.. :P

Kula... w00t.

Thanks to Ash for the pic ^_^


Ahhh!!!!! David took this photo of the famous Cassandra Ng!!!!!!!! *nosebleeds*

The event ended happily with the rest of going to Meridien for some nice Korean food! ^_^

* Recently had an enjoyable dinner with Ashley. Talked about work, life, and yes, the ultimate dream ... to have an unforgettable road trip from San Francisco to New York!!! Yeah.. she's back due to some complications with her job, but I am sure she will bounce back soon :)

* Read in the news that some bloggers are being arrested for defamatory and racist remarks on their blogs. Guess a lot of people will be cautious in what they wrote.. except for Rockson Takumi Tan that is.. haha! (

* My sister's birthday is tomorrow!!!! Happy Birthday!!!! XD

* Got the ticket liao from my company (1 free ticket per person):

* FF7:AC is coming out this week. Enuff said.

Well that's all for now! Time to hit the books again.....