Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HedgeZero at Headstock Bar

A few days ago,we were invited by Sir Ferdie to play at a place called Headstock Bar. He used to get us for Club Dread before, but I heard he moved on to manage band events for this particular place.

Although its the first time I came to know about this place, I heard they've been around for quite some time.

What I like about this bar is the spaciousness. The stage is spacious. The band can really move around, with enough space for a 7-piece band. The round shaped stage is so placed that the intersection of Araneta Ave. and Quezon Ave. is set as the background. Aside for the billiard table the entrance, there are two spaces for the patrons. There's the main hall, in front of the stage, and a balcony facing the road. Its the same area setup as Mag:net at Global City, but Headstock has greater accessibility to these areas since there are sliding glass partitions to the balcony...which can also convert the setting to an open air event.

I love their sound equipment...amps, monitors and all. Its here that I was able to recreate the bass sound that I really wanted without buying an active bass. Mad props also to Sir Ferdie's mixing. The stage lighting would need a little work though. I was blinded by the LED spotlight the whole gig.

With reasonably priced beer and pica picas, I like hanging around that place even after our slot, its a shame we arrived late because of our work. The first band was nice enough to stay around for our set.

If you get the change to drop by, you got to try the Mojos. Its thinly sliced with a nice salty breading and a hint of spiciness (I ended up buying 2 plates which I consumed by myself). It goes well with the beer that they serve ice cold.

I hope to go there again sometime.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strike Witches

I finally got my hands on a complete series of Strike Witches. I saw an episode long time ago but I wasn't able to follow up on it. It was sort of an interesting story which made me decide to view it.

In the story, the year is 1939, a group of girls from different parts of the world with supernatural abilities are banded together to form the 501st Joint Fighter wing to help fight off the invasion of a mysterious alien race called the Neuroi. Taking to the skies like the fighter planes of the previous world war, they are equipped with leg-mounted 'Striker Units' that, not only gives them the ability to fly, but also amplifies their magical abilities. They fight to ward off further invasion and retake the land theylost, only to find that the real threat, the more frightening enemy, comes from within the human race.

(the girls in their fragger formation)

Although the characters are based on outstanding fighter pilots from history, the names of the countries are changed. For example; Japan is known as Fuso, Germany is Karlsland, USA is Liberion, and so on.

(beach side phones: very convenient)

Watching every episode, I can't help but think that this series is one big fan service after another. Young, nubile, petite girls, wearing military upper garments but wearing only panties and bloomers as lower garments, showing off their crotch and camel toes most of the time (wait a tick...15 yr old girls with camel toes? they must be doing some mean ecchi things to each other in their dorms). Almost all types of moe and anime flags are present in the series. Even a hint of lesbian inclination and feeling out each other's boobs. By the way, all sizes and types are represented. I think these are made to keep viewers glued to the series. But I do like their approach on character development as each member of the group tells their own story.

(air crash bags: very comfy)

Lolitas with heavy equipment and large guns? I've seen this formula before. Its like Gunslinger Girl with wings...and a slightly lighter overtones.

Good animation and character development, but this series is just good as a light viewing selection.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Macross Frontier

Just in time for its 25th anniversary, comes the latest in the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross series entitled 'Macross Frontier'. In this series, after almost being annahilated in the first Zentradi war, humanity began sending out colony fleets to make sure that the human race survives even if in another planet. As they move further from the Solar system, they encounter another alien life form called Vajra.

The series centers around kabuki actor turned fighter pilot Alto Saotome, Galactic idol Sheryl Nome, and the Interdimensional Cinderella Ranka Lee. The story follows the formula common in the Macross saga of a intergalactic space war musical with an underlying human interest story, in this case, the love story between the three main characters.

It was amusing to see that various aspects of the other Macross series are integrated in the story. As if creating a 'full circle' like feel for many Macross fans.

The overall feel of the series is like the first Macross series. With the Sheryl-Alto-Ranka love triangle story which can be likened to that of Misa-Hikaru-Minmay's but with a more open, unresolved ending. Its also that Ranka has the same name origin and aspiration as Minmay. Also, the story of Macross Zero is used as a movie in which Alto, who plays Shin, and Ranka, who potrays Mao, stars in. And nearing the final battle, the X-1 Ghost from the Macross Plus series is used in combat, but utilized like fins from a psy-commu system from the Gundam fame.

As it turns out, the voices of Sheryl and Ranka emit a certain fold-wave, that affects the Vajra. Its like their mating song, which the Vajra undergo once every ten thousand years. But wait, I thought the Queen is the one responsible for propagating their species? Then what do they need their mating song for?

(my fave character in the series, Captain Klang of the Pixie Squad)

Over all, the story, animation, mecha design are superb. And with the CGI battle scenes given the cell animation touch along with the catchy songs written for the series, I never get tired watching this part of the Macross saga.