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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Anime: Okusama wa Joshikousei (My Wife is a High School Girl)



Background:
Asami Onohara is a 17-yr old high school student with a secret. Unbeknownst to even her closest friends, she is already married. And her husband is her physics teacher Kyousuke Ichimaru. Even though they are married, they are prohibited from having sex till after Asami's high school graduation, much to her dismay (she wants to do it sooo bad). This was one of the conditions of Asami's father who still doesn't accept the marriage.

Twist:
No plot twist. Its an anime for light viewing.

In a Nutshell:
Its a love story of two individuals who are restrained from being intimate with one another because of the "public eye", on how their relationship is viewed as a taboo both from a social and cultural standpoint.

Afterthought:
A "sort of" dramatic romance story with some comedy sprinkled around to lighten up the deep moments within the series, usually on times that their secret is about to be exposed. Most of the times its the hardships of Asami on restraining herself and keeping all the love that she feels for Ichimaru inside.

Asami is unable to go through the various things a normal high school girl her age would, because she wants to become a wife worthy of her husband. In the other hand, Ichimaru is sometimes troubled on how to act and proceed with their relationship, while fighting off being approached and tempted by a lot of women his age. The series is a rollercoaster of "what da hell" s and "what da fug!!!" as you go along the daily hindrances and grief the couple encounters in their life of living together.

There is no back story on why and how they got married in the first place, unlike "Onegai Teacher", which has the same student-teacher-married-in-secret plot. It really leaves out a lot on how they got into that situation.

And Asami's character design is too voluptuous for a 17 yr old. A 5 foot built with boobs and ass that can rival any women that tempts her man. And the running stint within the series where she always fantasizing of finally having sex with Ichimaru.

Each episode is divided into 2 chapters, and are boring at times, but must be a treat for love sick teeners out there who fantasize of being lovers with their teachers. And its has a very annoying opening theme... I dunno why but it sometimes gets on my nerves.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Anime: Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru


Background:
Love is pretty much ruined for Kidou Eita, an ordinary highschool student when his parents split up with new lovers and left their only son behind. He then steels himself up, concentrates only in studying and refuses to be trapped in the unnecessary ploy called "love".

Twist:
Eita's world is turned into a battlefield when fellow "love-hater" Natsukawa Masuzu, the popular white-skinned, silver haired beauty, blackmails him to be her "fake" boyfriend. As word gets around school about the new couple, various childhood friends that developed and harbored feelings for him for the longest time comes out of the woodwork.

In a Nutshell:
A harem ploy filled with mind-fuck circumstances between Eita and Masuzu that leaves you wondering which is real, which is fake. A dive into various philosophical premises that challenges what it takes to really be in love.
Afterthought:
First off, won't Eita's parents be in jail by now for what they did? If not for his kind-hearted fujoshi-like aunt who took over taking care of him.

Nicely animated, with good character design and development. The theme was a bit heavy at the beginning of the series (due to Masuzu's mind games), but the middle part becomes lighter, with each of the character's background story explored, leaving nothing unresolved.

A very serious theme is inserted into the story near the end of the series as it turns out that Masuzu's made-up life of lies led her to develop bi-polar disorder. Almost appearing that she is "broken" (as Eita puts it).

The recurring plot device used in the story reminds me of the hentai-anime "Otohime", where a young boy gave a promised to marry the 4 fairy princesses who were his childhood friends.






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Anime: Kampfer


Background:
Kampfer are girls with special abilities respective of their weapons (gun, blade, chained weapon or elemental summoning ability) who are chosen by a race of aliens called "Moderators" to fight to the death.

Twist:
Natsuru Senou is an ordinary highschool guy who one day woke up as a girl as he was chosen to be a Kampfer (although he is a guy). When another Kampfer is present, or he needs to use his ability, he transforms into a girl.

In a Nutshell:
A sexy-cute yuri fan service if I ever seen one. There's a lot of girl-on-girl turn ons and harem ploy (but in this case, all of them are girls, with the main "girl" Natsuru as the harem master). A confusing, gender-bending love story for the un-initiated...but a light hearted treat for yuri fans.

Afterthought:
Very nice character design and animation. A lot of inside jokes about "seiyuu" actors in the beginning of the series that might tend to alienate those not closely following seiyuu actors.

A lot of exagerrated circumstances that, thinking about getting into the same in the real world, would seem too much.

Only the main character's backstory are developed, leaving you to wonder what happened to the other supporting characters.

Story is crammed into the 12-episode series. I wish they developed that characters more, and their relationships with each other.

Weird dance moves by the main characters on the ending theme.






Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Naname Aya's Japan Surplus" at Shaw Blvd.




I have a habit of going to Japanese surplus goods store because even though they sell second hand goods, they are still in good quality...or some of them.

Situated beside the Honda center near the main gate of Brgy. San Antonio, is a small shop in #10 Shaw Blvd, called Naname Aya Trading Japan Surplus.

Aside the normal face of porcelain, clothes, bags and electronics, there are some hard to find items available.

Want your own video arcade? they got machines...working ones. small 12V LCD TV...some with dvd players. Camera lens (mostly Minolta and others... no such luck for Nikon or Canon) and toys.

They also got a huge selection of vintage audio players, recording devices, mixing boards (for sound engineering) guitars and the such.

I got myself a pair of leather boots for 400 pesos.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Album Review: "Stalemate Guards for Defiant Hearts" by Masha


"Stalemate Guards for Defiant Hearts" is the first album by local alternative rock band "Masha", set to be launched on Nov.7, 2014 at the B-Side Collective, Makati City.

The 10-track album presents songs, each with their own character...with words, sounds and grooves imbued with energy, intense emotion, paced like a story being told by a close friend sharing their closest secrets and thoughts.

It also helps that scattered within the songs are various hooks that makes you want to listen to it again and again. I know I did.

Aside from their previously released singles "Satellites" (my all time fave track) and "Cyanide", the band displays their musical and lyrical prowess through experimentation and playful arrangements, word play, and the like...never a dull moment.

Songs like "Ang Naghihintay sa Akin" and "Sa Paglalayag" are powerful rock-ballad inspired pieces that dabble into the heavier, melancholic spectrum of emotions. But hold on to your bleeding hearts, because there is the more heavier, more emotional "Kundiman", which I foresee to be the next anthem for the broken-hearted souls. And a seemingly 'western drama'-ish inspired "Stalemate Guards For Defiant Hearts", their title track, which seems to act like a prelude to the story of the whole album which is about to unfold to the listener.

These are balanced with some catchy, a-bit-lightly arranged songs like "Dirty Bones", "Alas Singko", reminiscent of the good old 90's pinoy rock with a more modern outlook.

Then there's the reggae-rock groove of "Keep an Open Eye", which they claim to be of a more happier tone, but still keeps that serious storey-telling tone.

And the more dynamic "Your Shame", whose arrangements and climaxes reminds me of the works by the Japanese band L'Arc n Ciel.

This is a definite "must not miss" for all you music lovers out there, and don't forget to come and join the fun at their album launch.





Thursday, September 18, 2014

False Apart releases their PV "Nothing's Left, Nothing's Right"

Pop-core rockers "False Apart" releases their video for the single "Nothing's Left, Nothing's Right".

Now, I didn't know them (kasi clueless ako) , on one of their gigs at Club Dredd, I thought they said "Falls Apart" (hey, isn't that a name of a metal band...ay Shadows Fall pala yun. Isn't that a name of an emo song). But their performance blew me away and I've been liking their music since.

The way the guitars playfully harmonizes (or counter harmonize...depending on the song) creates a layer of texture to their songs, which they also do with the vocals. This method of adding rhythmic accents reminds me of some of the alternative bands I've been into when I was in college.



Oh, and oi!!, they will be releasing their mini-album (mini-album? huh? is the cd smaller than usual? pwedeng gawing cute na keychain...ehehehehe...teka nasan na ba ako...)on November 15 (Saturday) 2014 at....uhhh..... tune in for more details.



PAWAAAAHHHH!!!!!!




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Masha's "Hello, Cyanide" single released


The guys from Masha are back with an even meaner, badder single entitled "Hello, Cyanide".

The cuss-infused, Eastern groove laced song still brings out the "Experimental Alternative" vibe that is Masha, but with a more "Incubus-Kula Shaker"- ish feel packaged in an arrangement that is distinctly OPM.

"Hello, Cyanide" has already being noticed and was featured in music sites such as Amplify.ph and Radio Republic.

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For those out there who are starting to dig the "Masha" sound, get ready for their long awaited album launch on Nov.7 at B-Side Collective. Along with rock acts such as Salt CircaKontra TiempoParadaKENYO and Twin Lobster!. 

And for the entrance fee of 200 pisetas, you also get a free beer (or drink) and a copy of their debut album "Stalemate Guards For Defiant Hearts".


Monday, June 30, 2014

Street Fighter Satire in the Pete Holmes Show

From the hilarious mind of Pete Holmes comes "Street Fighter Red Tape" where a rank-and-file worker tries to make sense about some of the "discrepancies" in the application of some of the most beloved characters from the arcade game Street Fighter. Whether ending up with thrash talking Blanka, or trying to hook up with Chun-Li, it makes up for a very funny web series you are bound to get hooked on.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Ingay sa Kalye


Want to be kept up to date with the latest in the local underground indie and punk scene? Now there is a fanzine out there that could give you the low down on the bands thats making wave right now in the underground scene.

"INGAY SA KALYE"

A monthly fanzine which has interviews and information relevant to the Pinoy underground indie band scene.

You can grab a copy at Middle Finger at Cartimar, Recto, or look for it on the next gig at your local venue.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Teeth: Live at Venice Piazza


For some, it was a chance to see what the hype is all about. For most, it was a chance to relive the golden days of Pinoy alternative music. First timers and long time fans alike gathered at Venice Piazza at McKinley Hills last June 7 to witness the live performance of Teeth, one of the most influential local rock act from the 90's.

The encore event was made possible by Megaworld and the establishments at Venice Piazza. Having missed the previous "long overdue" reunion event, this one was a pleasant rebound for a fan like me. Singing along to their hits like "Laklak", "Prinsesa", "Shooting Star" and with personal faves "Gubat", "Sorry", "Epekto" and such made me feel like being back at my senior years in highschool. Not hearing "Galit sa Mundo", "Chicharon" and "Dogs Can Fly" was a bit of a disappointment, though...but who cares...I got to see them again live after almost 19 years.

Teeth is remembered for giving a grungier edge to the pinoy rock alternative scene with their gritty music, down-to-earth rocker stage persona and lyrical hooks which anyone can relate to. While staying true to their roots, their works from their sophomore release onwards played on a more mature and experimental approach on hope and melancholy, at par with international indie rock acts at that time.




 
 
 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Deep Sleep releases "Master of Pain" video


Hardcore metal band "DeepSleep" just released the official video for their single "Master of Pain". Jef, Noiz, Al and Gerd shows off their mettle, along with their legions of fans and friends alike, in an intense 5 minute barrage of sonic and visual fuel for aggression.

 "Master of Pain" is also a featured single in the "Metal Meltdown" compilation album released by Queen of Pain Productions last year.





Sunday, March 9, 2014

National Geographic Channel and Fox Channel Philippines launches "COSMOS: A Space-Time Oddysey"


National Geographic Channel and FOX Channels invited media people and bloggers to the advance screening of the first episode of "COSMOS: A Space-Time Odyssey" last March 7 at the Mind Museum, Taguig City. It is the highly anticipated sequel to the "COSMOS: A Personal Voyage" series written and hosted by space visionary Carl Sagan back in the 1980's. The new series tackles how humans develop their concept of the laws of nature and their place in the universe, with contemporary ideas and theories aided with stunning visuals and powerful narratives. The series will kick-off on March 12 at 10pm simultaneously on National Geographic Channel and Fox Philippines.

The show is hosted by popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, known to "Big Bang Theory" fans as Raj's friend who apologetically faces off with the guilt-ridden Sheldon. Riding the "Ship of Imagination", he does a very powerful delivery of explaining various concepts and theories of cosmology and astrophysics that anyone with a basic knowledge of the universe can follow it.

I brought along my son to the event because he was going on and on for the past few weeks about how he's looking forward to an upcoming series called COSMOS on the NGC. We were both expecting a sort of symposium about the different concepts to be tackled by the series, but we were surprised as we were treated to cocktails, champagne, and a blissful selection of entrees and pastries by Bizu...in a setup like, as my son puts it, "a kind of party Tony Stark goes to". And when they said we were to watch the first episode at the auditorium, we both were freaking out.

The series also gives a more human side to science and discovery. Of passing the torch of imagination to fuel future thinkers and scientists. Like the story of Carl Sagan leading and sharing a path for Tyson. And how NGC broadened my horizons through their National Geographic Specials series in the 1990s, I hope the same would lead my son with COSMOS.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Anime: Dangan Ronpa

Based on the visual novel by Spike Chunsoft, its a more extreme modern twist into your typical "the butler did it in the dining room with the candle stick" dinner mystery theater.

 Certain visual and theme elements from the PSP game are also integrated to the anime.

The anime is truly a crazy mix. Its like having the animation production quality and direction of "Magister Magi Negima" (season 2) amped up with a lot of mixed cell and CGI animation on climaxes, with the moods of "Serial Experiments Lain", "Tantei Gakuen Q", "Scott Pilgrim", mashed with plot elements of "Saw", "Battle Royale" and "Ace Attorney" injected in your typical "who dunnit" detective drama. A real visual treat that teases the mind and leaves you begging for more.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anime: Gundam Build Fighters



This series must be taken from a GunPla-maniac or mecha-fanatic's wet dream. Imagine a world where there is a tournaments where Gundam models are pitted against one another. Well, you might say, there is that type of contest already called Build Tournaments. Hold your horses, in this world, that tournament brings those models to life, and engage on battles, on simulated battlegrounds, with laser beams, missiles and stuff that blows up, with you at the pilot's seat. Friggin amazing, don't you think?

This is the world of Sunrise's "Gundam Build Fighters", where GunPla enthusiasts, like the main protagonist, high school student Sei Iori, engage in tournaments where heavily costumized GunPla models are brought to life in an arena which emits "Plavsky particles" (a play into Minovsky particles) which only affects the plastics in GunPla models, brings them to life and also creates the battle environment and the weapon effects therein.

What I love about this series is there are mobile suits from various Gundam series, heavily modified and costumized, and going at it in very well animated and framed battle scenes (I think because the battle scenes are a bit short, so there are no repeat animations or redundant battle scenes and transformations reminiscent of Gundam SEED or Gundam 00).

Although most of the scenes are life-stuffs that I don't give much about, but as the series progresses, you come to care on why some battles or situations turn out the way they are.

Just can't wait till I have enough time to see the series through.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anime: Nobunagun

I got to hear about this series from the anime discussion group site I'm in. Interest perked by a fellow anime fan's pitch, I decided to give this budding series a shot.

Like he said, the beginning of the anime would fool you into thinking that this is a light, school-life based anime. Things twist around as the story's main protagonist, below average-wallflower type-military otaku-highschooler, Shio Ogura is caught in the middle of an invasion by evolutionary alien life-forms. She then becomes aware that she is a host of the E-Gene, the essence of outstanding individuals from history infused to a certain host of a future generation. The E-Gene also enhances the abilities of the host and materializes their weapon of choice.

The main concept in the series is about famous and outstanding individuals from world history that are reincarnated into hosts in the present day, with enhanced abilites and weapons that are associated with what that historical figure is known for. For example, Jack the Ripper's E-gene host has a large slasher blade, or Isaac Newton's host has a boot that amplifies or induces gravitational forces, etc.

It has an almost similar concept as Ikkitousen (with their megatamas and sharing the same fate and skill of the famous figures from the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" saga), mecha designs that reminds me of Metroid/ Bubblegum Crisis, and the fight scenes of Ninja Scroll all mashed up nicely, together with a kick-ass opening theme "Respect for the Dead Men" by Pay Money to My Pain, packed in this series that is guaranteed to drag you into their world.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Masha releases "Satellites"

Masha, which I think is one of the best sounding experimental alternative rock band to come out of the underground indie scene, has just released their single "Satellites".

Prolific artisan and vocalist, Alvin Aleria, together with guitarists Weak Domines and Paulo Rodriguez, bassist Chris Mercado, drummer Tobs Tobio and synth-sampler specialist Howie Manalaysay dishes out a sort of rock trippy song, leading the listener into a emotion packed ride reminiscent of Kula Shaker's droning grooves, the gritty guitars of Foo Fighters/ Deftones, Incubus' sound experimentation, all wrapped in good old pinoy style rock alternative.




Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anime: Strike Witches 2


I only got to know about the second installment of this series in one of my trips to Akihabara, seeing a huge "Strike Witches 2" promo at the side of a whole building. I took on the series with much excitement and hope. But unfortunately, I struggled to watch the first few episodes, and able to finish it a few months after.

Don't get me wrong, it has improved much with its 3D guided animation, more action from the naval forces, battle scenes that rivals Macross, new characters, etc. But there is no new twist or development in the story. Just more of the same old cutesy cutesy stuff, naive characters stayed naive (to think the girls would have known better by now, since they are now supposed to be "battle hardened"). And the new characters were not developed enough to make the viewer care about them. The character design was more unrestrained, showing off full frontal nudity unlike the first series, and more daring "fan service".

In the end, I was disappointed...musch like when I was disappointed with the second season of K-On.