JLPT Season 2

By bluemist on August 15th, 2008

This season… the stakes are higher… well not exactly.

I’m aiming for the JLPT3 this coming December. After my little victory last year with JLPT4, I seem to have a measure of where I am now in the hopes of living the Japanese Dream (?). Why not level 2? That one is downright impossible right now. There is indeed a huge gap of skill between level 3 and 2, something which would be addressed by 2010 when the test format will be revised.

This won’t be as smooth a ride as last time. With me losing some of my knowledge and not being able to immerse myself in Japan during this past year, things will be tough without proper training. Any kind of entertainment (anime, manga, game, drama) won’t be enough. I should start reading textbooks, and hope to find someone to converse with in Japanese.

And this is one test I really want to pass, as this is related to my career path right now. I may have been airing some of my work complaints on Twitter, and to tell the truth, I want to resign and find a better job. I don’t know if attaining a bit more Japanese proficiency can help in my CV credentials, especially if the companies I’m applying to don’t care about that. But hopefully, this would say to employers that “this guy can achieve something”…

…or would it backfire? “This guy is an otaku.” lolz. Hope not.

The Forgotten

By bluemist on August 13th, 2008

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I am looking through my own blog archives now and then, and reading them as well. I have quite a case of amnesia when it comes to old anime series after all. Interestingly enough, I had touched upon a few anime/manga series that I have actually forgotten or dropped. So I went on a little trip down memory lane and see what’s up with those old stuff.
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Cool and Spicy vs. Just Plain Spice

By bluemist on August 4th, 2008

Shugo Chara 43 was awesome. So awesome, I don’t know how they can top this afterwards. With the season ender fast approaching, the anime almost reaching the latest manga stories, and the announcement for yet another year, who knows what kind of Shugo Chara we’ll see next. Some rumblings around the blogosphere about how this will ruin Shugo Chara because of filler, or about how happy they are that there will be more anime, or about how happy they are that there are more fillers, or maybe even about how happy they are that it will be ruined because there will be more anime and fillers, or maybe even about how happy they are that some people are catfighting about it, etc. Sometimes fangirls are scary, but then again I am too… I’m a “non-girl” fangirl.

So just a short snippet at this. If Cardcaptor Sakura managed to have awesome fillers, why not Shugo Chara? Full Moon wo Sagashite anime totally strayed from the manga plot, and that’s still an awesome anime right? Heck, argue that Ojamajo Doremi is 95% filler, but that’s the best (IMO) mahou shoujo around. So let’s give those filler anime producers a shot at it before bashing around. But then again, I got reminded about how I stopped watching Pretty Cure after a string of non-interesting episodes, and I have a similar experience with Mermaid Melody. And we do already have examples of a string of average fillers within Shugo Chara itself.

What keeps me entertained about shoujo anime are primarily the characters first. The stories mostly become secondary to me. This is where most filler anime makers get it wrong. In fillers, they always invent new and original characters that just disappear after 1 freaking episode. Almost every shoujo anime has that kind of inclination, whether it’s based on a manga or not. For a show mostly for kids, that seems to produce unnecessary clutter. You are made to care about new characters, only to realize you’ll probably never hear about them again. What about doing the CCS way, make a entirely filler character (Meilin) that’s ALWAYS THERE? Almost integral to the story (Shaoran’s fiance and cousin), and many episodes related to her? Or why not build upon existing characters? Ojamajo Doremi succeeded in that arena.

So, with 50 or so episodes more for the next season, why not take advantage of already-established characters, filler or otherwise? I’m sure they’ll find more stories about Rima’s ongoing family problem. More antics of that Indian Prince whose name escapes me. Kukai’s childhood friend returns? Or maybe a sub-arc with Utau getting pitted against that beautiful celebrity who got married to Amu’s cousin? Remember the ballerina? The love rival? And how the heck did Nikaidou became just a mere happy smily teacher after his super-dark chara arc? I was half-expecting him to pop up being the cool pillar of sleazy looks when he may come face-to-face with Easter. Finally, I noticed Yaya is still under-established. How did she get her chara-nari without much backstory aside from her relationship with her baby brother?

And as a kicker, I thought the whole point of Shugo Chara is finding your naritai jibun/would-be selves? Reaching your dreams and aspirations? “Character Development” is the point, and somehow it shines whenever the manga story is in full gear, and dims when it comes to fillers. It looks like I’m still divided over the topic, so I’ll end this with Utau and Amu-chan’s awesomeness.

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If you ask me, Utau WINS over Amu-chan in this one. Seraphic Charm is the awesomest chara-nari, and none of Amu-chan’s 6 crazy variations can top that. Amu-chan can only muster to carry a helicopter, while Utau cleanses a thousand X Charas. I may not approve of the siscon (or maybe I do?), but if Amu is Cool and Spicy, Utau is… er… I can’t think of any, so let’s just go with:

SHUGOI!

Hinano’s RenAi Blogger

By bluemist on August 2nd, 2008

RenAi Blogger

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I’m not usually into doujin visual novel games but this one’s different. I mean, female anibloggers as bishoujo game charas? Where do I sign up?
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Da Capo: Kanae Kudou

By bluemist on August 1st, 2008

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It’s… a… TRAP!

Kudou-kun, Da Capo’s resident crossdresser. I have a weird enough penchant for characters of this type (no I’m not going Brokeback on myself), mostly because you can really only do this in fiction. In real life, I have not seen any convincing crossdresser that would fool me into thinking that he/she is actually of the opposite sex.

And with Kudou having given basically NO love in Da Capo Second Season at all, I decided to give his… I mean her scenario a quick run.

Disclaimer: I’ll be addressing Kudou as a guy at first, and then a girl afterwards accordingly when Junichi finds out about it.

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