Archive for May, 2007

31
May
07

Darker Than Black (Episode 7)

I did not enjoy this particular episode, partly because the mood and theme of the story is different compared to the previous ones. This episode is more comical, which is good as an escape from the serious nature of the story. I hope this won’t continue on any longer. Otherwise Darker Than Black becomes less enjoyable, just like Black Cat. I truly like the original concept of the story as mysteries revolves around the Contractors and the secret Syndicate. It has a good solid frame for the storyboard, yet this episode is rather misleading than what it should turn out to be. I say this again, I hope this won’t continue on any longer.

Darker Than Black
The price for this vial is your life

Once on a rainy night, a man waiting on top of a roof when a Contractor came to him. In a flash he swap his body with the waiting man and the Contractor collapsed. The man whose body is possessed by the Contractor took out a vial of purple liquid and placed it into the Contractor’s jacket. He then stood on the roof railing before swapping back into his original body. The Contractor gained his consciousness, took out a handkerchief and sniffed it. That is obviously his remuneration. Later private detective Kurasawa Gai was seen smoking in his office of the Kurasawa Detective Agency. He complained about the rain season and talked about his job. Then came in a girl who is his partner Kiko. Seeing him the cigarette, she opened the window and commented the room is stinky. She then told Gai to get some job as they are accumulating unpaid bills. The doorbell rang and a lady called in. Looking through the peephole, Gai allowed her to get in. The lady is a widow in search for her lost beloved cat that she named Mii-chan. Although Gai did not mind accepting the job but he was reluctant to have a cat as his objective. However the widow offered ¥500,000, paid in advance. Kiko was thrilled by the offer and accepted the case, though she forcefully dragged Gai to that decision.
Continue reading ‘Darker Than Black (Episode 7)’

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28
May
07

Death Note Episode 32: Selection

Last week, I had expected that this week’s episode would be boring. Little that I knew I was wrong. I never thought it would be so exciting. In fact the moe factor of this episode is of course Mikami Teru. But what I want to point out is fresh background music that seemed stylish and perfectly suited for the reigning Kira – Mikami Teru. Counting down to only 5 more episodes, Death Note would probably ends with a bang.

Death Note
Killing by Death Note was never colourful and flashy as this one

So the episode started of with Mikami Teru executing the people of Kira’s Kingdom. Mikami is introduced as a boy with strong sense of justice, differentiating good from evil better than any average adult Japanese. However he had seen a lot of unhappiness in his life and faced death many times. On a normal day, he woke up through his morning routine. Inside the train, he saw a boy bullied by his friends. He pointed out that the truth he discovered since he was small that the world is either judged as evil or on the side of justice. In junior high school, he was the class representative and aimed for high goals for the class. But of course there are always people who oppose him. Whenever there is someone bullied in his class, little Mikami was there to help although he ended up being ragged in the end. Nevertheless he felt appreciated and happy when people thanked him for his deeds. This made me wanted to help people even more and his efforts paid off. In the end, he had strong support from his classmates.
Continue reading ‘Death Note Episode 32: Selection’

28
May
07

Weekend in Kota Kinabalu

So it has been a week since my trip to Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) with my family. It was my first trip there, so I was not really sure how Kota Kinabalu would really look like. For starter, I had the chance to visit Sabah during matriculation before but my dad refrained me to do so as he promised to bring the whole family there. Considering that I will get financial backing from my parents, I don’t mind to wait. But if I had known my dad better, he will always fulfill his promises after a long period of time. This promise he made to me nearly two years ago. Now that’s long. Same goes with my laptop, our home PC and other stuff he promised me.

Terminal Two KKIAArrived in Kota Kinabalu Anyway upon arrival, I was impressed of how beautiful Sabah is – this is judged from the aerial view of the city. At touchdown, I noticed Terminal One of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is a old rundown airport but is currently undergoing upgrading constructions. Our Airasia flight destination however is Terminal Two of KKIA – Sabah’s own Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). It looks very close to what we have in LCCT-KLIA, only smaller and somehow looked a little more modern. Then I realized the terminal is not passenger-friendly. There was not path or lane for the passengers to move from the plane into the terminal, unlike LCCT-KLIA that provides roofed pathway for the passengers. What’s worst is that it was about to rain at that time. What a letdown. Also as I had predicted, the interior of Terminal Two looked similar to Miri Airport and other airports constructed by Global Upline (as owned by Dato’ Ting Pek King). To the least, it looks comfortable and fully facilitated.

Terminal Two KKIATerminal Two, Kota Kinabalu International AirportSabah really gave me a good first impression. I was impressed of how beautiful and well planned Kota Kinabalu city is. For the record, Kota Kinabalu (KK) was declared its city status on the year 2000. 7 years passed and development is going well in KK. This made me rather disappointed with Kuching, which lacked proper development despite declared as city earlier on 1989 (if I am not mistaken). However nothing prepared me for the shocking truth about KK. Camouflaged by brisk modernization is the small size of the city centre. Even Miri city is bigger than KK. In fact, KK is back boned by only three main roads. The city develops along these roads. One good thing about this though is that all the main shopping malls of KK are all in walking distance. That equals to saving up the taxi fares. From one end is Wisma Merdeka, then to KK Plaza, then next to Centrepoint that is only opposite of Warisan Square (the latest mall in KK), and at the other end is Plaza Wawasan (Parkson is the main tenant of this mall).

KK PlazaKK Plaza

Le Meridien HotelLe Meridien Hotel and Warisan Square in the backgroundKK is also beautiful and scenic. Facing the South China Sea with overlooking islands, the view of the city seaside is breath-taking. But the sea has an unbearable stench. In regards to this, people always commented that many Filipinos and other illegal immigrants can be seen in KK, along with low level of cleanliness plus the rubbish scattering all around. Well I don’t see such sight. There were not many immigrants in KK and the city is reasonably clean. For me, Kuching city is cleaner, probably the cleanest in Malaysia. Nonetheless the waterfront of KK is spectacular, though more could be done. They should emulate the scenic Kuching Waterfront.

Scenery from KKThe view from the seafront of Kota Kinabalu

Scenery from KKMaze network of pedestrian bridge Among all the malls, Warisan Square is definitely my favourite. The obvious reason is not because it is new, but because it has the only Starbucks Coffee ever be found in the whole of Borneo. That’s right, Starbucks addict from Borneo. If you ever need an adequate dose excellent ice blended coffee (hazelnut mocha…), head over Warisan Square in KK. Another reason is my favourite clothing boutique is also there – Padini. Even better, it is a Padini Concept Store in Warisan Square. To my delight is a Quiksilver store nearby. I also like Quiksilver products but limited to their pants and flip-flops. In fact, other mid-range clothing label can be found in Warisan Square – Esprit, Island Shop and Salabianca. It didn’t matter. Starbucks and Padini are all that I need. So I got myself a great coffee (of course) and a new pair of jeans. But the spending spree did not stop there.

Warisan SquareWarisan SquareWe had visited Centrepoint, which is located behind Warisan Square. Coincidentally, Sony Fair was also held. I checked on the digital camera corner. Nearly got myself a new camera there but I contemplated with my decision. I dropped my intentions. I did not leave Centrepint empty-handed anyway. Got myself a new wallet. The next day, we headed to Plaza Wawasan. I shopped at Parkson and also made an unexpected purchase of a new watch. At this point, I have spent quite a fortune here. But what comes next left me jaw-dropped. My dad bought me a new digital camera – Nikon Coolpix S200. Not exactly what I had in mind but it fits the budget. Finally a digital camera of my own. After 36 hours of shopping and exploring around KK, we rested for our departure the next day. We never knew that we really needed that rest.

CentrepointInside Centrepoint, while Sony Fair was ongoingWe checked out quite late as we had an early breakfast. We left the hotel about 7.15 am while our MAS flight is 8.15 am. One hour to go. We rushed by taxi to the airport. I was surprised to see the state of the airport. I understand that the airport is under going reconstruction but it was simply hideous and not pleasant. We checked in just in time, not without a warning by the check-in officer. He told us to be aware of the 45 minute period for passenger check-in but he let us go. When we headed towards the departure hall, our names were announced by the airport authorities to proceed to the gate immediately. Heck! We were still stuck at the immigration counter. I rushed to the plane – my folks were behind me. I entered the plane and I felt that as though everyone inside the plane were waiting for us. Thought of a VIP or some sort. Thankfully the plane was not full, so I could ease myself despite the tensed moments earlier. Finally after one hour, we have reached home once again.

Terminal One KKIAThe shabby condition of Terminal One KKIA Not to forget are my goodies from KK. I came to me that I spent well a lot for a weekend trip. Well it’s worthwhile. Overall KK is a must-visit city, probably not for the shopping or night scene. KK (or Sabah by whole) is a wonderful place to be when it comes to culture and natural wonders. I am committed that I will climb Mount Kinabalu when I return to KK once more.

My new digital cameraNikon Coolpix S200

Other new stuffNew wallet, new watch

26
May
07

Romeo x Juliet (Episode 6)

As we know it, Jordin Sparks is the new American Idol – as expected. People are shifting votes from Melinda to Jordin, leaving Blake as the unfortunate fellow. What I really like about the American Idol final is that we get to see Simon Cowell dressed up quite elegantly. Well that’s all for me about American Idol. As for the other final – the UEFA Champions League final, as predicted AC Milan won. Kudos to Inazaghi for his great goals. Sure enough Italians are the reigning world champions.

Pardon me for the late review for this episode. No thanks to procrastination, I only did this although I had this episode early this week. To add insult to injury, this is my second attempt of this review because the first one was lost while my laptop unexpectedly shutdown. The cause? Out of battery while my laptop was not plugged and I did not turned on the hibernate option for my power settings. Consequence? Lost this review and forced me to rewrite another one. Sigh! As far as the story goes, the plot tends to go on a downward path – indicating a boring story development. However the conclusion of this episode proved me wrong, in addition to an introduction of a new character Another particular difference in this episode is that posterized pencil-coloured effect for the freeze moments (I’ll show it later). It’s a notable feature – which is good.

Romeo x Juliet
The Red Whirlwind came to save the day

Lancelot clad in the Red Whirlwind suit, jumped onto the wooden cage in front of the crowd and demanded the soldiers to release the falsely accused prisoners as he offered himself to the authority. He told the Carabinieri (the soldiers) that they should pledge themselves to protect the people instead of harming them. This sparked a protest among the crowd. One of the standby archers lost it and shot at Lancelot. With that, Lord Cerimon agreed to set the prisoners free. However he wanted to kill the Red Whirlwind and unmask him before doing so. With a heroic gesture, Lancelot raised the fire arrow and said that the Red Whirlwind will vanish and a new hope will rise and asked to the people to keep faith onto their hopes for freedom. He then dropped the fire arrow into the oil-soaked straw below, engulfing a huge flame around him. Surely enough he is dead.
Continue reading ‘Romeo x Juliet (Episode 6)’

24
May
07

Night of the Finals

This will be quick. Very brief. I have a match to catch, you know what I mean.So it is the night of the finals. Two finals to be exact. Starting with the first one is the American Idol final. Now it’s down to two Seattle new found talents – Blake and Jordin. Who will win? Is that even a valid question? Personally I side for Jordin although my early favourite was Melinda who was voted out last week. Sadly enough, another great talent was lost. This is not the first time America did it though. There were a few from previous episode. Anwar Robinson, Chris Daughtry. Those are the names that I could have remembered. But voted out doesn’t mean it is the end of the road for them. For some, it is a breakthrough opportunity to kick start their singing career. Most of them did well, though some are blunders. Well back to the real topic here, I have supported Melinda all the way but her departure last week means it’s a goodbye. All that is left is my support (back up support as you can say) to Jordin. As for Melinda’s case, I partly blame Simon for it who had said Melinda is through to the next round. Oh Simon! You know that America loves to hate you and surely they won’t be listening to you. And on top of that, they want to prove you wrong! Enough said, this came be everybody’s game. Blake or Jordin? America, you will decide. One pathetic vote from Malaysia won’t count in American Idol, right? All I have to say is choose the best. Good luck to both of them.On another final is a football final. Specifically the UEFA Champions League final. To be more exact is Liverpool versus AC Milan. What can I say? As a fan of Arsenal, obviously I won’t side for Liverpool. Besides I believe Kaka is an extraordinary player and because of that, AC Milan deserves to win. AC Milan, kick Liverpool’s arses shoot your goal to victory!

24
May
07

Death Note Episode 31: Transfer

I am very late for my Death Note. Usually I give Death Note reviews on weekend but this time, due to unforseen circumstances and of course, my trip to Kota Kinabalu, I delayed this review for quite awhile now. What’s worse this is a backlog (urgh!) but rest assured, I have delivered.

Watching the episode number and the progress of the story, I was constantly reminded of close is the end for the best anime ever – Death Note. Believe me or not, I am writing this review while watching American Idol. About that one, I will blog it later. As for the episode this time, this has been another good one when Mikami is introduced. If you have read the manga, you will know how significant this character is to this story.And he is so cool – kind of reminds me of Yagami Light in some way. Despite being a good episode, I still go for the episode 28 as my favourite for this second arc of the story. Kudos to Madhouse, from animation to the drawing details, it is top notch quality – not surprising from Madhouse.

The episode begins with Mello just arrived at Tokyo airport while watching the live report from Demegawa who is leading a riot to the SPK headquarters. Light called to Near, suggesting him to retreat in a cynical tone. Actually they look comical in this conversation. Near’s suspicion on the second L as Kira grew even more but Light denied it as a false accusation. Near pressed on the team to the possibility that Kira is among them. Aizawa began to suspect on Light again as being Kira since L had also made the same accusation before. Back to the riot, it is gotten from wild to out of control. Near commented on them as useless and greedy. A member of SPK persuaded Near to withdraw immediately. Then Near decided to use the remaining inheritance of L and the SPK to carry out what appears to be Plan B for them. Outside in the chaotic crowd, money (and I’m referring to American dollar here) are flying all over the place. Light was shocked and not happy about this. With the crowd out of control and even Demegawa shifted his attention to the money, a shot of Near was impossible

Death Note
The crowd goes crazy for the money
Continue reading ‘Death Note Episode 31: Transfer’

22
May
07

Darker Than Black (Episode 6)

The story still kept me excited but not as exciting as Claymore that I am currently watching. On another note, I was reminding myself that the musics of Darker Than Black are composed by Yoko Kanno and I must say the style is definitely different. I can’t say that I like her works here. I actually preferred those that she had done for Ghost in the Shell rather than this one. But anyway she is not my favourite. In fact, my favourite is Yoshihisha Hirano who did for Death Note and Ouran High School Host Club. Those orchestra music never cease to amaze me. So about the episode this time, it is less exciting compared to the previous one but it does score on character development as some of Hei’s past is revealed. Not much but at least we get to know some background about him, which pretty much is shrouded in mystery. But the real mystery for me is the Syndicate, the secret organisation that Hei serves for.

Hei began interrogating Havoc about what had happened to herself, Amber and Pai when South America disappeared and he started to break her fingers. Tough treatment. He was really concerned about his sister, Pai. Havoc began to talk, saying that she is not Amber’s friends and that she do not know what had happened to the other two. She admitted about being in South America to carry out the Syndicate’s mission. However she did not know what had happened after that and the next thing she realised is that she is in an European countryside. She also had lost her powers and stayed there, away from the Syndicate. However Hei was not satisfied by her answer but Havoc insisted that she did not have the information that he seek. She added that once he entered into a contract, Contractors prioritize neither the organisations they serve for nor their ideologies but themselves. That is why Contractors are not subject to loyalty and that they will tell everything they know if questioned. Havoc pointed out that Hei is not a Contractor and yet he is the most brutal among those who serve the Syndicate, fearfully known as the Black Reaper (Black Shinigami). And that he is a Contractor now, she was surprised that he gets emotional over his sister. Hei was not happy to hear this and slapped her. After that she also indicated that his mental state is stable unlike a Moratorium or even doing his remuneration. With this, she questioned Hei whether he is a Contractor or not. Now here’s an interesting point. So far Hei does displayed his abilities matching to a Contractor. His real power is still unclear but I noticed he had shown more than one abilities. And if he really is not a Contractor, that will be even more interesting.

Darker Than Black
PSA from Darker Than Black: STOP domestic violence! Continue reading ‘Darker Than Black (Episode 6)’




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