Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
About a month ago, I moved from Sydney, Australia, to Manila, Philippines. Having already lived abroad in Nagoya, Japan and had an incredible time, I am excited about the prospects of this new, vastly different country and the adventures I will have here, however the question I have been asking myself is, 'should I blog about it?'.
When I was young, I blogged about my life in Sydney, my feelings and friends and the things I was doing. It was therapeutic in some ways, but telling you all my secrets made me feel very vulnerable in a lot of others. Reading back on them, they are painfully angsty. Like reading a teenage girl's diary. Honestly, Internet, I don't know how you put up with me.
So I deleted and grew up a little and moved to Japan. Where I blogged only the most most fantastic, super-fun, narcissistic posts I could possibly come up with (barring the occasional emo moment) which wasn't difficult considering I was in Japan, or 'hometown' as it came to be known to me.
After a move back to Sydney, an attempt and failure to keep the same spirit from Japan alive in my life and blog meant that it was left to fester for months on end, occasionally coming back to life as I wrote shitty reviews, listened in on other people's conversations and decided to once again, but in a slightly different manner, bare all my secrets to anyone who cared to pay attention.
And now I'm in Manila, pondering the worth of putting it all down. I write, I mean, I'm a writer, so of course I write, but for now, I have no intention of putting any thoughts bigger than a tweet or a gauntlet into you. I hope you understand, I still want to be friends, but I'm no longer comfortable with the level of intimacy we've had in the past.
Thanks for everything,
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Byousoku 5 Centimetre sat in the back of my mind as something to watch for the better part of a year until finally watching it with my partner a few days ago. There are a couple of spoilers in this one.
The first thing I noticed about it was the realism. The incredible, intricate detail of Japanese life. It reminded me of an opinion I had held before spending time in Japan that the Japanese were influenced by anime, but in fact (clearly) it is the other way around. This anime is perfect, from the odd safety and politeness to the gleaming trains and platforms, to the towering cities and empty countryside. All of these aspects are so real that it actually hurts a little, and of course, the whole thing is an exercise in nostalgia, in painful remembrance, so it's fitting that the visuals would be breathtaking.
Like this one. To start the middle chapter, Cosmonaut. Set on an island, in a community style the likes of which I never experienced, this was an interesting foray into island life, surfing and a different kind of Japanese. The introduction of a mobile phone seemed perfect, and made it seem, in fact, as if the two lovers of the first chapter would be together forever.
Which of course made the actual ending utterly gut-poundingly sad. I have never in my whole life wanted two people to recognise each other more than I have in this one moment on the train tracks.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Just to refresh your memories, my plans with these 'reviews' is here. So, on to the behemoth of Haruhi!
Cosplay. I fucking love cosplay as I'm sure toon-fetishists the world over do, and in this sub-genre of Japanese culture, I particularly love the Haruhi cosplay. Not because of any particular love of Haruhi, though I do LOVE Haruhi, but because when I was there (I know, always harping on about the good ol' days) every second cosplayer was a Haruhi. So of course it has a special place in my heart. Add to this the school-girl fetishism and the oddly militant armband and Haruhi is a perfect cosplay wet dream.
The interesting thing about this is that it has very little (read: none bar the character's faces) relevance to the series. The series is set in high school, the characters are younger than they appear here and they're only involved in a band in one or two episodes and even then, it probably has more to do with Yuki's skills than anything else. But the point is that this well could be part of the series. This is a series in which, for the first eight episodes of the second season, viewers were forced to watch the same story eight times with only minor alterations (known as Endless Eight, this did nothing to harm the show's popularity as far as I can tell, a movie just opened in Japan after all). We've also been to space, back in time and in alternate dimensions, so this picture is a possibility, as is any picture, which is what makes this series so entertaining.
Hare Hare Yukai. Oh my God. This titles sequence was, for me, groundbreaking and means I will never, EVER abandon the fan-ranks of this show. EVER. I may have even practised this dance in the privacy of my own home in my own company. May definitely have. And it was awesome.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Matt, this is all for your benefit. I was reading Dark X-Men and all I could think about, literally ALL I could think about was slash.
I mean, this one may be a stretch and I know that two naked/semi-naked ripped men don't necessarily a gay pair make, but look at them. The reddish one (Venom)'s pose, like he's just been used and discarded by the leather-bound chesty Nate Grey..
And as for this one. God of War? Prancing in bondage gear? I'd say daddy bear but this is screaming cub to me.
Monday, January 11, 2010
On The Bus
Monday, January 4, 2010
I've been a little lax on the anime reviewing, but I am really enjoying myself, reliving some of the more poignant moments and sharing them with no-one/the Internet is actually quite satisfying.
Here goes the heartbreaking melancholy of Honey & Clover. This was recommended to me by Susu when we were both living in Japan (much like the amazing Twelve Kingdoms) but it took me a really long time to actually take her up on her advice. I am damn glad I did. Well, I'm torn actually. As you can see from the first image of wind-swept longing, this is a drama, it's one of the most effective and realistic dramas I have seen both in anime and in 'real' television/movies, revolving around a loose group of art school students and teachers over the course of about 4 or 5 years. The ups and downs and the odd static nature of their lives and emotions are so evocative that I found myself bawling multiple times over the course of the two series. Not least of which at the end, which,(without giving too much away) after much clover referencing, finally brings the honey portion of the title into clarity.
At the time I found the constant circular symbolism of ferris wheels and bicycles fascinating, and while in hindsight it could be seen as a little heavy-handed, it was still done with a great deal of poise. Most significantly were the awkward conversations centred around watching ferris wheels or being trapped with someone inside the capsule of one. Watching something endlessly turn while you stagnate in your own life is a little painful, and Honey & Clover encapsulated this.
A moment in the final arc of the second series after Takemoto and Hagu have been reunited. The unreciprocated love that Takemoto feels for Hagu is mirrored in that of Ayumi for Mayama and to a lesser extent in Hagu for Shinobu. This is after an almost unbelievable bicycle journey taken by Takemoto and just prior to the accident that befalls Hagu, and is a perfect axis for the series to turn on.
Monday, December 14, 2009
At Taylor Square
At Xmas Party