Poet of Fall

Antique Bakery (anime)

Posted in Review by vien88 on February 17, 2009

One day I randomly lurked for pics and suddenly found an interesting pic of a dude in chef costume with another dude in waiter costume. It was tagged, “Antique Bakery”.

I found the manga and read it…and got fascinated seeing four handsome men working in a western cake store. EMPAT jejaka tampan dalam satu kedai. Mana tak heaven tuh *___*. Mana ada kedai bakery kat midvalley bagi servis camtuh! It’s like a meido cafe for women; cakes served by really hot guys. DO WANT. Ahhaah lagi best masa scene… 4 orang did this natural pose masa customer datang. Terus jatuh hati customer (pompuan) tuh, sampai sanggup bayar lebih nak beli cake >O<. But the manga translation is not finished yet… so I decided to watch the Jdrama first, but the Jdrama tak habis download. And next my dream come true cos I found the anime!

The anime excluded a few unneccessary things, and presented the story in a slightly different way. Plotline is the same I think (lama tak baca manga), but the way it was presented agak membosankan. Jdrama lagi syok tengok interaksi dengan customer… but kalo bab character relationship, aku prefer yang dalam anime. Cos agak… slashable ahyahyahya… >///>. Hanya ada 12 episod, and it ended up with the main character finally accepting reality. Aiks… camtu je. There wasn’t a huge ‘bang’ that made them wanna move on although there is a certain climax. Yang tak brapa bagi impact sgt pon.

Character Analysis tiem

1. Tachibana Keiichiro

  • 30+ dude yang kaya raya for ‘some reason’ decided to open a small cake house decorated with antique furnitures. He had a stable carreer before this in a huge company, but when he decided to open this shop, his parents did not protest. Cam manja sangat kat dia je lol. Okay… the anime didn’t exactly show a solid reason why he sungguh2 wanna open this shop so that’s kind of a minus point. In the manga, he took extra lessons with the genius pattisier to hafal all the ingredients of each pastries. Ironically, he doesn’t fancy cakes… he fears cake, more like it.. for ‘some reason’. And for ‘some reason’, dia agak homophobic. And he has this awesome salesman skills that can attract customers (especially women), I think I myself would be a victim >0<.

2. Ono Yuusuke

  • Unshamefully introduced himself as “devilish gay” to Tachibana, just to warn him that his weird charm had cause a lot of trouble in his previous jobs. Even straight men can fall for him, so he fears getting fired because of his weird aura. Lucky him, his charm takde efek kat Tachibana. And actually, he used to be in love with Tachibana during high school but was heartlessly rejected (cos of the ‘some reason’ Tachibana has). Since then he…start… going out with… different kind of men… and end up… susah nak interact dengan perempuan >///>. Anyways, I like the anime Ono cos he has more character and naughty thoughts… while Ono in the Jdrama is agak expressionless and boring.

3. Kanda Eiji

  • A former light-weight boxer champion… who just had to quit his boxing carreer, and immediately went to work as pattisier in the cake house. Why? Cos he likes cake!s Dia siap merayu kat Ono nak jadi apprentice, and lucky for both of them (and tachibana), Eiji is not Ono’s type XD. Dalam manga cakap Ono tak minat dia cos Ono tak minat younger guys. Anyways… he’s the cutest among the four, both in anime/manga and Jdrama. Eiji appears to be very enthustiastic about becoming a pattisier… but in the Jdrama we are able to see his kesungguhan even more. Since cakes are secong to boxing, he’d do anything to get back into the ring.

4. Kobayakawa Chikage

  • Tachibana’s childhood friend, a son of Tachibana’s housekeeper. Although he is older than his “young master” (Tachibana), dia agak dumb… tapi he’s a reliable company for Tachibana, as a kid till his adult years. He’s the only guy Tachibana can hug (awww), and he was always by his waka‘s side ever since… the ‘some reason’ thingy. Sampai la besar dia riso kan waka nye. Ohahahha >///< He’s sweet, naive but really clumsy. And.. and… he kinda sanggup tolong some 40 year old woman to become pregnant >_>. Yeap, he may not look like it, but he is a dad already. Oyes, important point lupe… dia pakai sunglasses. He needs it cos he has bad eyesight or sensitive eyes ke hape. Jdrama version – he’s goddamn handsomuuu~  Both in anime/manga and Jdrama, he’s just an adorable adult… Honestly, I’d like to see more of him with Tachibana *blushes*

Animation wise… a bad combo of 2D and 3D animasi but i put that aside of course. Opening theme is kinda funky for an antique themed show, but that’s okay. BGM is not that memorable, yang paling aku ingat is probably the cover of a classical song. And some… pipe organ track.

Erm not much to say for a very short series… Maybe I can review more about the Jdrama. Hmm, I wonder if I can find the Kdrama version of Antique.. >w<

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Hetalia : When countries are paired up…

Posted in Review by vien88 on January 31, 2009

WTF..??

Actually, the title should be.. Hetalia, countries personified.

So what’s with the cute pic vulpie…? i dunno, it reminds me of those moe girl pics. Which often made me go…ewwww… But this one is EPICLY CUTE cos…they’re all MEN (and a few women). And this story…is about history….*dozes off* zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. NOT!

Axis Powers Hetalia (by Hidekazu Himaruya), a popular webcomic (among the girls apparently), which is about world’s history told in a way where the countries are the characters in human form. Interestingly, the character relationships are based on how the particular countries relate to each other in real life; allies? Enemies? Conquered? All is told in a funny way in APH. Amazing how they portrayed England and America to be brothers at first, and America grew so big, they ended up being seperated. Same goes for China and Japan (lol at the ‘Kanji’ comic strip). So if you’re tired of learning history by the wall of text method, I assure you, you WILL enjoy learning history through a wall of illustrations.

The artwork, however, doesn’t look as professional as your favourite manga or doujinshi’s style. As most of the comic strips are drawn in a scribbly and doodley way (reminds me of deady’s style). But in certain most important parts of the history, the comic is drawn with more details and effort. The webcomics are seperated into main storylines and extra stories; it ain’t neccessary to read them in order. One problem is sometimes it’s hard to differ from one character to another (I often got confused with England and Russia, Spain and South Italy…the author purposely made Canada and USA look almost similar but at least I can still differentiate). Otherwise, everything..ish just soooo cute! >w<

for those who are interested, I have only one warning:

BL ALERT!

Truth be told, I never expect to see so many of them in APH, but I did suspect since a lot of my ‘fangirling’ friends are crazy of APH… and I tried my best to innocently think it’s just full of bishies…. but I have no regrets. =D  I’m happy to have discovered this webcomic. The day I first read it becomes the day I instantly become a fan of APH. Yesterday, to be precise. …well, of course the main reason is…becos…y’know~ Like my title says… “when countries are paired up” *snickers*…. Hoyeahhh it definitely set my fangirl mode on; it kept me rolling on the bed giggling. >o<  That aside, I think homophobes can enjoy it as well…just for the lulz. I find myself laughing out loud from each substory to another. Worry not, some parts may appear to be romantic but it will end up getting the bubbles burst. And hetero couples DO exist too.

Man… I really can’t get enough of APH. So I urgently looked for the anime… which is supposed to be released this month… as I lurk and lurk around…

I love you Feliciano (italy)!!

I love you Feliciano (italy)!!

…I discovered that nationalistic groups in Korea protested against its launch by making an online petition, based on the allegations that their country was portrayed in an offensive manner, despite the fact that the anime did not even include Korea. The matter was taken up in the National Assembly in Korea, where the series was denounced as “equivalent to criminal conduct”. These allegations were supported, bizarrely enough, using a mixture of manipulated comic strips and, even more preoccupying, using fanart (that is, illustrations and drawings made by fans, as opposed to official artwork. ( source: http://community.livejournal.com/hetalia/583853.html? )

OMGWTF?? The broadcast is cancelled!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dammit… what a disappointment! I’m soooo looking forward to seeing them (you-know-what) animated! Zetsubo Shitta!! *do the despair pose*

So the fans now are doing Petition! (click to support, ONEGAISHIMAAAAAAAAASU)

Oyeah, for those who are interested, here’s the index for the comic strips – Axis Powers Hetalia. If you like it, do join the petition. If you don’t… or even if you’re not interested..just…. just freakin sign the petition!! *clasps hands together* do it for me pleeeeeaaasseee~* *sparkly eyes* onegaiii orz…orz orz   >.<

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BECK/Mongolian Chop Squad

Posted in Music, Review by vien88 on January 31, 2009

As promised after the end of reading Bremen, I decided to resume my consumption of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. I used to read the manga…but then, I feel like I wanted to quickly go through the story, I watch the anime instead. Cos I have only one week of holiday with assignments to finish (which I have not done yet!). Reading the manga might slow me down (as it has been..) because of the connection. And also, by watching the anime you get to know how the songs sound like.

Unfortunately, I found way to many English versions of BECK in Youtube. It’s not like the English version is bad, but somehow it made the anime seem kinda slow and boring. It wasn’t until I reach episode 20+ when I accidentally found the Japanese version argh! So I previewed the first Episode of Japanese version (with English subs), well, at least it has more ‘life’ to their expressions.

Storywise…it’s pretty much realistic. You don’t get to see the loser for a main character instantly become talented musician. Instead, we get to see how he slowly improves in playing the guitar. Which took him about one year to actually master. Impressive… There’s no GAR in the story…as you can see the person who was initially enthustiastic about forming the ultimate band almost gave up, but thanks to the protagonist persistence (and awesome lyrics + vocals), the band made it big.

When it comes to romance, too bad there was a lack of expression (i dunno if it’s bcos of the dub or the low quality of an animation), so I couldn’t feel what the characters feel… jealous? Shy? Embarrassed? Awkward..? I dunno…sure it’s no shojo genre, but still… this part should give a lot of impact.

Another thing… the author seem to have a grudge against bubble-gum pop, visual kei (or anything bishie-licious) and metal. Well, I have to say I that I agree, but that’s a lil bit of a one-sided opinion. I mean, oh well…maybe cos I like visual kei…not only because they’re pretty, but their songs are not that bad. But in BECK, the author purposely showed a bad example of pretty boy rock band ahaha XD

The band name was named after a dog called BECK….

Probably the only thing that is unrealistic...

BECK or Mongolian Chop Squad known in the USA is a five-piece rock band, the members are;

  • Yukio “Koyuki” Tanaka – The protagonist and also the last member for BECK. He plays the second guitar and takes the role of the vocalist for slower songs. He started off as a nobody…until he met Ryusuke Minami, his life changed as he got himself involved in music. He learned how to play the guitar from an old ex-olympic swimmer (also his swimming instructor). He had a crush on a childhood friend, but was merely an unrequited love as she thinks of him as a little brother.Later, he developed a relationship with Ryusuke’s younger sister. Koyuki may seem like a typical coward, but he’s different from Kobayakawa Sena (Eyeshield 21) – he has a strong determination and even dared himself to perform on stage..alone.
  • Ryusuke “Ray” Minami – The founder of the band, the lead guitarist and the owner of Beck (the dog). He first met Koyuki when Koyuki saved Beck from a bunch of rowdy kids. Ryusuke lent Koyuki one of his guitars which eventually becomes the cause of all the trouble. But if that didn’t happen, there’s no amazing Beck as you see to the end. He’s close friends with one of the band members of “The Dying Breed” (hails from USA). Ryusuke is the one night stand type of guy, and though he went out with random girls, the band is always his top priority. Unless it’s about the rock band or music, he doesn’t care much about other people… nor about being friends. His favourite guitar, Prudence (or Lucille in the manga) has her own backstory.
  • Yoshiyuki Taira – The bassist and the first person to be recruited into Ryusuke’s band. I don’t see much of his character in the anime, but he’s the most rational person among the five. He even questioned Ryusuke’s decision about taking in two newbies into the band and doubts their skillfulness. He’s too good of a bassist that Ryusuke and his rival fought over him.
  • Tsunemi Chiba – The vocalist for fast-paced songs (and rap) and also the one responsible for naming the band, after staring at the dog for a few moments. Taira agreed to join Ryusuke only if Chiba is recruited as well. Chiba is loud and crazy! But ironically, he’s the class president and also the top student in his high school. To my surprise, he’s like the protective big brother type, where he voluntarily dealt with anyone who bullies Koyuki.
  • Yuji “Saku” Sakurai – The drummer, who joined the band along with Koyuki. When Koyuki suffers a massive silent treatment by the school bully, he was the only one who talked to Koyuki (since he’s a transfer student, he probably had no idea what was going on lol). He’s a strong character, he didn’t feel threatened when the bullies confront him for talking to Koyuki. And..yeah… he’s the only person who stick with Koyuki all the way… >///>

Other characters…malas nak citer ahahah. go here la… List of Beck characters

Cos i wanna talk about their music. Er…i’m not much of a fan of random rapping (In terms of Rock + Hip-hop, I only like Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda’s rap cos they make sense) so most of their fast paced songs aren’t my cup of tea. But I’m currently addicted to Like a Foojin, By Her and Brainstorm. As for their slower songs, I dunno why they remind me of some…local indie band..or issit Indon band? I’m confused… but yeah, they do remind me of either one. It would be a turn of if it wasn’t for their lyrics. Srsly, i notice Japanese songs have much more beautiful lyrics than English songs and Malay/Indon. Er…of course I may not understand Japanese, but when I read the translations, I simply fell in love.

The Opening theme, HIT IN THE USA by Beat Crusaders is a worthy song as an intro for each episode. I don’t get tired of listening to it. So…I downloaded some of the BECK songs that i like… and was a lil disappointed that the Japanese versions had a lot of mispronunciations that slightly made the song go bad. So I lurked for the English versions, which sounded a lot better.

Okay, I can’t hold back anymore. I love this song (below)!! This is the English version of Slip Out (Little more than before) – vocals by Greg Ayres. Lyrics and mucis by Takuma (but the English version altered a few lines). My first impression of the song is… “omg…rock jiwang lulz…”. But listening to it while reading the lyrics, I think it has a powerful general message that I think everyone should indulge to. =)


I don’t know since when I changed to such a cold, cold-hearted guy
I have to thaw this frozen, icy, lonely heart of mine,
I like being wrapped with warmness more than anything else for sure
I’m gonna make my coming days and fill them with laughter and joy

I let myself down but being crueler than I thought I would be
I’m just a loser learning to care for the soul inside of me
I don’t give my heart to no one cause I don’t wanna waste my time
I tried to love this loneliness to slip out from where it hides.

Sorrow is what I hate but it’s grown my sensations
Regrets taught me how to make any hard decisions
Peace is always by my side but I’ve never felt it once
Love is not a word reserved only for the sweet romance

Well, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared to death
And I’m scared to keep on going on my way
Well, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared to death
And I’ll tell myself I’m special till the end

Recalling my torn, broken, aching heart of these long days
And all the memories I wanted to forget for making waves
Recalling, breaking, aching, crying, making sure I see
And I take all and grin at my future on the way.

So far…this is one of the few songs I dared myself to sing out loud (because I usually never do).

I shud consider reading the manga…cos the ending is not so satisfactory. D:

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Persona 4!!

Posted in Review by vien88 on January 26, 2009

You know, I tried hard to finish Persona 4 from the middle of December to before new year starts. But failed. But now I proudly announce that I HAVE FINISHED THE GAME! ❤

And now for some reviews.. :3

Persona 4

Persona 4

Firstly, a brief summary about the game…

A city boy (whom I named “Rui Akita” after one of my Original characters. In the official manga, he is called Seta Souji…so allow me to call him that from now on) was sent by his parents to a rural town called Inaba to live with his uncle. Not because he was punished for being a delinquent or anything…his parents had to work overseas or something like that. Kekurangan kasih sayang..I know, but at least almost everyone he acquainted with in Inaba loves him.

Coincidently, as soon as he started living in this small town, a murder happened. Then along came another… somehow it has a connection with the TV. The urban legend says that you’ll see your ‘soulmate’ when you watch the TV screen with the power off at midnight as it rains. However, what you thought was fun turns out to be something much worse than nasty.

This game is not a mere RPG… it’s a role play + mystery + dating sim game! you don’t see that everyday… well, maybe except for Persona 3 – minus the mystery part. What I can say is P4 is like a drastic improvisation of P3, and it’s not such a bad thing. Cos you may not actually see how the improvisation part works because P4 seems so fresh…!

Now the gameplay..let’s start with the battle system. Again, like in P3, the battle system was introduce rather late unlike most RPGs. That was kinda disappointing because I’d rather go through some tutorials first than enduring through a series of teen flick moments. But then, the system awesum-ness erased that first impression. The ONE MORE thing made some sense at least, All-Out attack is as fun as ever (In P3, it gets boring as the game progresses)…and the best part is… YOUR PARTY MEMBERS ARE VERY HELPFUL! ❤  In P3, your party members can be really stupid cos they had to depend on Artificial Intelligence. P4 characters not only depend on AI, but we can also give direct commands to them (No more uneccessary Mind Charges for you…). Honestly, this ‘helping out each other’ really makes the battle more interesting…and makes everyone look more realistic.

The ‘Dating Sims’ part… Social Link, also a culture taken from P3. You can interact with a bunch of characters with associated Arcana (tarot cards) to make your Personae stronger. I failed to max out everyone’s social link though, but I feel kinda guilty for not interacting with everyone because all the characters are freakin’ interesting compared to those of P3. (yes, i compare with P3 a lot for some reason) They are not too cliche, complex and needed to be handle with care (silap cakap sikit then it’s REVERSE for you). At least this time you can actually choose your girlfriend than automatically become a couple with girls who love you although you don’t really like them (in p3)

Just like previous Shin Megami Tensei games, P4 is back with the Lunar system… or the Calender. This is when you can train yourself to organize your schedule lol. Because… certain big bosses needed to be defeated before a particular date…but this time it is determined by the wheather. P4 is more realistic in terms of wheather, cos it may be sunny, cloudy, rainy and foggy. You have to frequently check the forecast so that you’re not too late to…er…save people XD. or else…GAME OVER!

As a mystery game, there’ll be a point where you have to choose the correct answer/option in order to move on. Depending on your choices, you may get bad ending, normal ending and true ending (i actually saw all 3 and restart till i get the good one XD).

This time you can do more stuff around town than just eating at a diner…you can also play with some rusty dials during the rain! NOW THAT IS FUN!! =___=    ….no the fun part is you get to take on some part time jobs! Social link + Money + status increase! it’s a 3 in 1 process >3. Other than that… you can also go fishing! Wow…so much activity to do…so little time. He’s lucky he can do more stuff than becoming a lazy-ass like Arisato Minato (P3 Protagonist) =P

Story Analysis

It’s nothing like your Final Fantasy RPG where you go through an epic plot and epic battles etc. It’s like..you going to school following a consistent daily routine. But somewhere in between normal teenagers activities, you get to have a dungeon adventure INSIDE the TV. But in order to hang out inside the TV world, you have to become a nerd.. I mean, you gotta wear some anti-fog pair of spectacles. It should clear you vision… heck, I am Meganekko myself. (and the best part is that I played this game using a flat-screen TV like theirs XD). Like I said earlier, the story revolves around the urban legend about the TV.

Then here comes some mystery… we seriously have NO IDEA what is going on, who was behind it, why is it happening, where is it gonna lead to and how does things work (but if you play P3, you may get the idea). In P3, there are already recorded explanations about the ‘other world’, the shadows and the Personae. But here, the characters are discovering things on their own without a need of professional help. Intriguing. And what makes P4 more loveable is that we have no idea who the bad guys are. Is it this guy? Or that guy? So many twists makes P4 an interactive detective novel with a speck of supernatural stuff.

Relationships with playable and non-playable characters are a hell lot better than the previous game. No more cheezyness and nuisance. My personal fave character to social link with is the main character’s cousin, Nanako. I usually dislike little girl petty problems, but Nanako seems like she’s in between childish and mature stage that makes it acceptable for me. Most of the cutscenes involving Nanako have a huge impact. Huge enough to make me wanna wail like a hungry baby. In conclusion, I love Nanako.

When it comes towards the end, I honestly feel like I don’t have the will to finish this game. It’s not because of fear of the final boss, but it’s just that I love this game so much I don’t want it to end! I feel like I still need lotsa things to do as the protagonist before the game ends (like maxing out all social links and doing more part-time jobs). When the game ends, meh…it was unsatisfactory. I wanted to see more…maybe something like what each of the individuals do. But the ending went by just like THAT.

i’m gonna play this game again. Period.

on to some character analysis…

The Characters

The Protagonist

The Protagonist. The strong and silent type ;3, just like the previous main characters. Like those before him, he is the ‘wild card’ who can use more than one Personae. His initial Persona is Izanagi (in the pic behind him), taken from the Japanese mythology… and the game actually took a lil bit of reference from the original myth. Including…Izanami.

Yosuke Hanamura – your comic relief character, equivalent to Junpei (P3)… no, actually, he is MUCH better than Junpei! Junpei is just funny and useless except in battles, but Yosuke is not only amusing but also very productive in this mystery solving business. Aaaand he’s your BEST best friend to ever have~ As a son of some big shopping mall manager (JUNES!), he’s often the victim of a couple of lazy-ass employees and a subject of anti-Junes’ gossip. Enough of that…the part that annoys me the most about him is the fact that he is somewhat ‘necrophilic’ lol! In battle, he’s pretty much as useful as Junpei but I depended more on his magic.

His Persona is Jiraiya… no, it has nothing to do with that dead Sannin in Naruto. Really. In fact, both Jiraiya from Naruto and P4 were adapted from Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari, a Japanese folktale. Jiraiya is a ninja who can shapeshift into a giant toad. I guess that explains the frog-like design of the Persona. After the social link with him is maxed, Jiraiya evolved into Susano-o, the Shinto god of the sea and storms (is it me, or did the design just remind you sooo much of Viral from Gurren Lagann??)

Chie Satonaka – A cheerful tomboy who sincerely wants to protect her best friend, Yukiko…and the guy she likes. >///> Well, my first impression of her was… “what an annoying bitch”. But the more I learn about her, the more I like her. Mainly…because she sorta reminds me of myself…in a way. So for that reason alone, I made the protagonist choose her as a girlfriend… also because…I hate all those wimpy female stereotypes (actually, most of the girls in p4 are okay). I think a strong and independent girl like Chie deserves to be loved too! In battle, I don’t favour her much because of her weak magic. Depending on physical attacks doesn’t help much either as it sacrifices your HP a lot.

Her initial persona is Tomoe, what I can find about ‘tomoe’ is that it’s a Japanese abstract design that look like a swirl..or more like 3 commas forming a circle. Example; SHARINGAN. Because of Chie’s love for Kung Fu, not only does she uses Kung Fu moves (i wonder where she take martial art classes..), even Tomoe’s outfit reminds you of Bruce Lee’s. When her Social Link is maxed, Tomoe evolves into Suzuka Gongen. Too bad I can’t find info on that right now D:

Yukiko Amagi – She is popular at school, but she unconciously rejected boys who pursue her. But I don’t see anything interesting in her other than just being a plain pretty face. Getting to know her better, she’s not your stereotype ‘lady’. When she gets into a laughing fit then she’s unstoppable! But all the way through the game, I still think she can be rather boring. Yet I’m glad that there are cutscenes that shows her immature side where she sulked because of Teddie’s mischievousness XD. I usually use her as the healer in battle.

Her initial Persona is Konohana-sakuya…and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE DESIGN in spite of being pink and flowery. I love the way she calls “Konohana-Sakuya!” whenever she summons her persona. Anyways, Konohana-Sakuya, in Japanese myth is the blossom princess and also an avatar of delicate earthly life. Although ‘Yukiko’ means ‘Snow Child’, her elemental attribute is fire. Her persona evolves into Amaterasu, the Shinto goddess of the sun. Amaterasu’s main colour is yellow…but I guess the game stressed out her Sun-goddessness so much it kinda blinded my eye whenever she is summoned (belum cerita Horus lagi!).

Kanji Tatsumi – He is my wallpaper in my laptop and handphone…because… I LOVE HIM <3. He is a misunderstood rebel, who has a soft heart. I mean, don’t be fooled by the skull print on his shirt, but he’s an artistic fella. A male tsundere…? Almost gay i tell ya… and he’s like a cute lil brother to the main character. To see him blush is just PRICELESS. That’s it! He made it to my top fave male character list! But as a character, he’s kind of an airhead and prefers to do things with his fist… not as thoughtful as Yosuke. And I’m glad to know he’s the type of guy who likes girls with a bit masculinity in her. In battle, I prefer using Kanji over Chie when it comes to physical assault. I notice Kanji stores Higher HP for the sake of his Physical attacks.

His initial persona is Take-Mikazuchi; Also from Japanese myth – One of the sons of Okuninushi. When Amatsukamis decided to increase their influence on the earth, they sent Takemikazuchi to conquer Takeminakata. Take-Mikazuchi’s design looks like some punk mecha with skeleton design. After that, it will evolve to Rokuten Maoh… no information found yet. But one thing is for sure… it reminds me sooo much of Gurren Lagann XD

Teddie – P4 mascot! It’s a myseterious being that look like some mascot suit that you’ll find inside the TV world. He doesn’t look like a bear to me…but he refers himself as a bear named Teddie (“Figures”, said Yosuke XD). Teddie is cuter than Koromaru (P3) and at least has a big role than just being a side-character pet. And wait till you see his..human form O__o (Tamaki from Ouran anyone?). Some special cutscenes with Teddie are so touching that it almost made me cry. KUDOS Atlus, you made the game a genius! Back to Teddie, he supports the characters in battle by memorizing the shadow’s weaknesses, but he’s even more useful in the battlefield. Well, cos you guys get some major healing magic for the first time.

Initial Persona – Kintoki Douji was taken from a Japanese folklore’s folk hero called Kintaro. Kintaro is said to weild a tomahawk axe, and that explains why the persona design is holding a tomahawk missle. His persona will then evolve to Kamui. Kamui is the Ainu (a tribe somewhere in northen Japan) word for spiritual divine being in their mythology.

Rise Kujikawa – A former teen idol, now working at her grandmother’s tofu shop. She doesn’t seem ditzy during the first meet, nor is she ever ditzy as we get to know her. But as expected by judging from her looks, she’s a cheeky one. Somehow I think she’s a lot better character than Yukari (P3). And as a support party member, replacing Teddie, she’s wayyy much better than Fuuka (P3), in terms of speech, voice and personality.

Her persona is Himiko, a shaman queen of Yamataikoku in ancient Japan during the 248 AD. Since she is in charge of scanning the TV world and shadow’s weakness, the design consisted of… a satelite. LOL. Okay that kinda makes sense if you ask me XD. Then let’s add up TWO more satelites when the persona evolve in to Kanzeon, the Goddess of Mercy in Taoist mythology (i believe she made appearences in Journey to the West).

Naoto Shirogane – How am I supposed to avoid spoiler to describe this person?? Geez…this is the so called ‘detective prince’ that only talks in literature language despite of being young..younger than the main character even. Coming from a family of detective, Naoto-kun’s whole life is dedicated to making deductions (lol am I making any sense here?). This is another exotic character that I admire cos Naoto is very much UNlike any other typical characters – only the speech style and intonation are turn-offs. In battle, at least the persona does not have any weakness, but too bad it lacks magic. However the non-elemental magic can cause a lot of damage to a particular shadow. Otherwise, more or less not too helpful as a party member.

This person’s persona is called Sukuna-Hikona, the Japanese deity of Medicine. After maxing out the social link, the persona evolves to Yamato Takeru (the Brave of Yamato). This is a title given to a prince of Osu who defeated his enemies in his father’s name. When he died he turned into a white bird, hence the appearence of the Persona. Both Sukuna-Hikona and Yamato Takeru are designed to be small, just like the person who weilds it.

Soundtrack!!

Okay, this is my favourite part~

Overall, I love the soundtracks! Comparing with P3 (again!), I’m more satisfied with P4’s background music. P3 has too much funk and techno, they bleed my ears all the way. Can’t believe I managed to endure it. I have several faves in P3 soundtrack especially Subeto no hito no Tamashii no Tatakai, played during the final battle. It’s so epic! That is where P4 final battle failed to compete with…lol weird… orchestra song =__=.

Just like P3’s Kimi no Kioku, I’m also in love with P4’s Never More.

So anyways, at least P4’s music is nice to listen to. Each dungeon has their own type of music too, and different kind of melody.

….i think that’s all. I spent a lot of time writing this crap lol. Goodnight… I’m off to watch some anime!

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Bremen

Posted in Review by vien88 on January 25, 2009

Follow-up from the Gakupo Kamui post, where I mentioned about 4 Original Characters that haunted my brain who are dying to be drawn out… I discussed with a friend of mine to come up with their band name and all. That’s when she introduced me to Bremen manga by Haruto Umezawa. It was in the local’s Kreko magazine, but I wasn’t aware of the mag’s existence back then.

Bremen Manga

Bremen Manga

So I lurked for the info…and discovered they took their name from a fairy tale called “Town Musicians of Bremen”, and I remember it was one of my childhood favourites. It’s about an an old rooster, an old cat, an old dog, and an old donkey who aspires to become a band of musicians and also beat the crap out of a band of thieves. Thus, I decided to give it a read. Only 84 chapters, it wasn’t that bad. Managed to finish it in less than a week…well, for ideas and inspirations sake. (one reason is I lack the knowledge of music stuff, despite of being educated with a particular musical instrument before).

“Rock”, “Freedom” and “Fist-fights” are the themes. I love the storyline and how they met each other. Not much explanation about music stuff though, except for the drumset. But oh well, who cares? the story is more important. But the author could’ve included the lyrics for their song to give more impact. Without them, I was somewhat in the dark throughout the reading process. Throughout the story, the band members dealt with several side characters’ problems and challenges… er…for, character development’s sake?

Town Musicians of Bremen Statue

Like the original Town Musicians of Bremen, the character had to deal with a number of bad-guys throughout their road to fame. Why they call themselves Bremen? It’s becase each of the members represents each of the musicians of Bremen..

  • Hino Reiji -> the Rooster due to his mohawk. Despite of looking badass with the mohawk, and also becoming rebellious towards his father, he is actually a nice kid. See how courteous he is in the train! That kinda moved me somehow. btw, he’s the lead gutarist and the lyricist (i wish he was given more justice with his writing skills)
  • Kasuga Romio -> apparently, he is the main protagonist. He suffers amnesia and walks about like a stray dog…thus, he is the DOG. He doesn’t care much of finding out about who he was and his past, instead he moves on like nothing actually happened. He’s not just the vocalist who magically touches people’s hearts, but he is also the ‘catalyst’ of the band. Without him, Bremen wouldn’t have existed.
  • Hayama Ryo -> The sexy drummer Ganguro ‘girl’ that moves like a cat. Well, actually…Ryo is an OKAMA *runs from incoming 40 cm heel drop* (his signature move). Calling him an Okama enrages him and that’s the only time you’d see his manly side (but calling him a she-man is fine -_-;; ). But then, most of the time, he plays the damsel in distress… and seems to have a crush on Romio…? ❤
  • Fujii Ran -> The bassist. So awesum that he can make people who consume butterfly dust drug go extremely wild! But he decided to quit from doing that kind of evil deed as it strays away from sincerely loving music. He may look like an emo, but he’s the most mature person in the group. He dreams to own a Ferrari F-40, and that make him the ‘slow donkey’ who looks up to the ‘fast horse’.

However, the story ended with some science fiction crap which I personally think was steering away from the main point. Although it has something to do with Romio’s past, but it was too bizzare for a music themed story (the butterfly dust was more than enough). At least the ending wasn’t too draggy. Too much brawling is kinda annoying too, but i guess it needed some shonen spice along the way. I wish most of the fights makes sense. That aside, Bremen is an entertaining manga. it’s worth the read XD

Now… I should consider to resume reading BECK :3

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My CF08 Story V: Doujin Reviews

Posted in Life, Review by vien88 on December 25, 2008

<must add pic later>

ehh…omg…there’s a 5th “My CF-8 Story” series?? Oh yea…i just remembered that I need to do reviews!

I didn’t buy much this year. Most of the ones I bought are over RM10. And the rest of the money went to transportation and meals. At the end of the day, I had RM17 in my pocket. I began with around RM150 ringgit. This is the only time I shop like hell… only stuff regarding otaku… i shop like hell. I don’t shop like hell for clothes during sales like other girls do.

I just finished reading all the doujins I bought from CF today. And gee i kinda regret not buying YonGumi’s new issue… D=

oh don’t limit yer thoughts to doujin = H. that’s like saying anime = H (lol Kosmo!). Malaysia have doujin and doujinshika too, but we are not allowed to sell anything too horny.

I shall review it and recommend the ones I have read.

Final Fantasy Omnibus by Thingamajica

-personally I think this one is the best among this year’s collection. As the title said, it’s a Final Fantasy doujinshi. But…as usual… FFVII – FFX stuff. FF6 and below has no love.. D: (therefore, I will make one for dissidia next year). Anyways…it’s a compilation of about 5 comics. I love the drawings, they looks so professional… so much better than Japanese manga. From their drawing I sorta saw some Malaysian Manga style identity. There’s a prelude of Final Fantasy X comic which tells a story about the Zanarkand War 1000 years before the game. The storyline is well written and really suits the flashback scenes in FFX-2. If you find it difficult to understand what was going on between Shuyin and Lenne, i suggest you read this one. I can say it’s my fave… the rest are cool too~

Fazuu #3 by Fazuu

– I was looking forward to Ayez‘s comic but it looks like she didn’t manage to do one… lol. But I’m quite happy to see Without Motive by kitsune-sin again. The story is about a guy with a pretty face, who moved out from his home to be independent (more like trying to get away from his pervert dad lol). Unfortunately for him, he rented a room in an apartment which is full of girls. Harem anyone? Think again… like what the title says… the story is totally ‘without motive’. From a dude who yearns to confess to this pretty ‘girl’ in his school to a random adventure in a demon world O__o. How f*cked up is that…but that what makes this story unique. Seriously…it’s not something you see everyday. The only negative part is that the panels are pretty confusing…

EXDEE by Graveyard Studio

– I like the emo rabbit story. It’s so cute…and so simple…Kelzero is showing a significant improvement in his drawings. Congrats to him! I like Jid & Ri pirates as well…and it leaves a cliffhanger at the end…dammit… how did a pirate end up with a random girl?? i wanna know more!!

Dream #5 by DreamTeam

– Hwaha…reviewing my own zine. Oh well, since I have not read my teammate’s comic, I might as well just review them. Neo_Emphasis and Sidewinder made a few Guardians comic and the spin-off. Mecha themed… yeah, we barely see mecha in CF anymore. if you need more mecha then buy our stuff cos my boss will draw a lot of them. Unlike his homophillic teammates lol. Again he made another awesome story…but I forgot to offer my proofreading service so there were a few grammar mistakes in the dialog. And also, the comics are a bit confusing… and then there’s HEEragizawa’s Supernatural fancomic…well, basically is a Supernatural spin-off. She’s great at realism but has still so much room for improvement. Last but not least…damn those epic 4komas by VulpineNinja. I assure you, I make yer guts burst into pieces and fragments – that’s my signature ninja skill. Yay… oh one thing I am not satisfied with my boss’ editing is the made-up dialogs and plagiarism pics. Oh why did he do that D:. that is so wrong… we had no idea that he was doing this. I know it’s just for fun but… For your info… i wasn’t playing Dirge of Cerberus or even cursing Shelke T_T. And I don’t…curse like that…(i have my own style). Looks like i need to point my dagger at my boss’ neck to stop him from repeating this hweheh…

gya… whoever who bought dream 5 (or our previous issues), you can leave your review here. PLEASE.

Below is the reviews for BL doujin. FANGIRL MODE BEWARE. Read at your own risk, skip if you please.

Chocolate Fantasy by Various Artists (Gnil, Taciturnic and Tofuji)

– Overall, I’m a little disappointed with this Final Fantasy yaoi anthology. But I have to say that the best one is FOCUS, a Squall x Seifer comic. Although Squall may be OOC here, but the sweetness in the..ahem… epic kiss is just too awesome. It tells a story of what happen before the intro in FFVIII. yay~. The next comic, CHOCOLAT is about Reno x Rufus. Hmm, I think this can be done better with proper writing/plotting. I just can’t detect what is wrong…but it definitely didn’t make me erm… giggle while I read. note that if I manage to giggle girlishly (which is freakin’ rare) or smile that means the BL is good eheh… reno doesn’t look much like Reno. His hair needs some adjustment. Lastly…REMEMBERANCE… a Vincent x Sephiroth comic. I personally dislike this paring, but if the author writes the plot nicely I may be able to accept it… but the plot jsut sound a bit too typical. Even the angst didn’t work too well. And seriously…there seem to be no effort in the drawing..

Caramella by Various Artists

– Too many artists to list. Too many links to list. But allow me to review ’em. For a BL comic, this one is definitely better than the previous one. There are 2 sessions, morning session (read from left to right) and afternoon session (read from right to left). The first comic in morning session is a little confusing… cos i find it hard to differentiate the uke and seme due to the almost similar character design. @_@. My fave would be the afternoon session’s first comic, BELONG by kiDChan (omg!! *worship worship*). it’s just…so…. CUTE! *squeal*. Cos there’s this adorable shota <3, he managed to escape from the seme’s punch by just…crying…ehe~. And Cold Day by Terra isreally funny and cute too,

“dear you, I did so many things just bcoz I wanna make friends with you. Don’t you think I am interesting enough to kill your boredom? ❤

from interesting me.

p/s: I’m not gay”

LOL XD <333

and the illustrations are just…HEAVENLY! *nosebleeds*

and therefore i am inspired to…uh…do what they did…ehe~ just need the motivation… >w<

okaiii that’s about it. till next time.

*kyaa! kyaa! away~*

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Los dan Faun : When GetBackers go Wonky

Posted in Review by vien88 on December 4, 2008

Los & Faun

Los & Faun

Alkisah seorang rubah yang ingin lepak bersama rakan-rakan otakunya; Mizakichi dan Choco-tan menonton wayang. Pada mulanya kami cadang nak tengok ‘Twilight’ – didapati cerita itu dapat review yang negatif, maka kami randomly decide to watch Los dan Faun arahan Afdlin Shauki. Antara pelakon2 yang terlibat dalam filem ini ialah Hans Isaac (hah kau lagi), Adlin Aman Ramli (o hai daulat tuanku), Erra Fazira (terkejut gak aku dia pon nyibuk), Ida Nerina (congrats menang tempat ke-3 dlm Amazing Race Asia. Malaysia BOLEH!), AC Mizal (kau lagi?!?!?!) dan pengarah itu sendiri.

Choco-tan berjaya tarik aku tengok filem Melayu ini dengan menggunakan keyword “Get Backers”. Bukan akuk minat pon citer tu, tapi aku penah tengok/baca sikit2. macam interesting. Dah bila dia cakap camtu aku dapat sense ada aura anime. Cilok GB pon cilok la. Harap tak disappointing.

Awal2 cerita sudah ada babak Ecchi, that reminds me of the typical anime pervert character. Aku agak terkejut dengan sifat terbuka filem ini tapi aku boleh terima ini sebagai suatu pembaharuan. Takyah la lagi lawak basi yang sudah pon basi. Anyway, alkisah dua orang sahabat baik yang bernama Carlos Rodriguez (Hans Isaac) dan Ahmad Faun bin Sulaiman (Adlin Aman Ramli) yang datang dari kampung untuk mencari kerja di… bandar KL la, mana lagi >_>. Perwatakan yang agak kontra memeriahkan lagi keadaan (IMO wajib bagi cerita yang memfokuskan 2 orang watak utama); Los adalah kaki pompuan yang agak ceria tetapi sengal manakala Faun adalah jenis yang terus terang, garang dan serius.

Faun entah macam mana terjumpa dengan bakatnya untuk ‘trace back’ jejak langkah orang semasa berkerja dengan Los di sesuatu kedai… kedai sejenis baju. Ahem. Faun menggunakan bakat ini untuk mencari barang yang tercicir oleh pengurus kedai itu (yang telahpun pecat diorang akibat sikap yang terlalu berterus terang lol). Los pula mengambil peluang ini untuk membuat agensi ‘mencari barang yang hilang’. Banyak kejayaan dicapai, tapi babak ni terlalu pendek bagi aku.

Kemudian masuk lah ke plot utama, di mana Puan Jasmin (Erra Fazira) memanggil agensi mereka ini untuk mencari barang berharga yang dipakai oleh arwah suaminya, Soffarudin Al Sogood/Soffar Sogood (Afdlin Shauki) sebelum meninggal dunia. Kahaha, di sini kita nampak watak male tsundere si Faun masa jatuh hati dengan janda ni. Sungguhpun begitu, Faun masih dapat kekalkan perwatakan cool dia. Sepanjang filem ini juga, nampak sangatlah Los ni pemangkin bagi ‘kemajuan’ Faun. Walaupun dia macam bengong, dia yang bawa Faun sekali ke KL, dia yang come up with the idea of this agensi dan dia juga yang bersemangat teruskan misi semasa Faun hampir putus asa. (whoops did i smell BL >///> )

Ok aku taknak bagi spoiler… tapi dalam citer ni, agak banyak parody. From filem parodies to advertisement ones. Not to forget randomly appearing kungfu moves! Yang paling best dalam citer ni lawak gay dan Brokeback Mountain! XD Lawak cam aku kata tadi, sume fresh2 belaka. Aku rasa lakonan kali ni lagi hebat daripada ‘Baik punya Cilok’. Yang kureng maybe dari segi babak romantik, tapi mungkin ada baiknya sebab citer ni bukan bertemakan cinta kalo ye pon. Cuma background music agak annoying. Satu lagi yang kureng maybe masa ending, explanation diluahkan secara kelam-kabut. Scene kantoi pon… one of a kind hwahah tak dramatic. it’s like… lolwhut?

And there’s this dramatic pembantu rumah character… well, she looks pretty normal but I admit she’s cute. I think she would look Moe if she is dressed in French Maid costume instead of normal ones. Really. Celup omputih guy did well with his southern accent slang “What the hell are ya sayin’ man??” and his partner gave speech the way politicians do. Pengarah filem is the ‘dead’ villain, and… well, there are freakin’ many twists in here that may confuse you if you don’t pay attention (especially the “who’s the real villain” part). So I have to say the storyline is well-written… and the script too. No more baku2 yeohhh… ah i remember another thing. BGM for ‘Los and Faun’ theme sounds a lil typical tho.

Overall, I see it like a fcuked up version of GB, in a good way. It is one of the best Malay films I’ve seen after KAMI the movie. Satisfactory but not disappointing ^^. Go watch it for a good laugh.

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Ketenangan dalam Kesengsaraan

Posted in Review by vien88 on November 19, 2008

Bila anda dalam kesengsaraan, boleh tak anda bertenang?

Apa maksud di sebalik frasa ini? Jadi aku fikir balik time aku tengah sengsara dahulu… hmm… tenang ke aku. Aku tau jiwa aku tak tenang, kalo tengok muka tak tahu la. Tapi si tiram kata muka aku still nampak sedih, walaupun aku cuba sedaya upaya untuk senyum dan gelak. Aku pun cuba sedaya upaya untuk tenangkan diri.

Bunyi ayat tu memang sangat kontra; “ketenangan” lepas tu “kesengsaraan”. Dua benda yang berbeza, dua perasaan yang berbeza, dua definisi yang berbeza. Namun bila fikir balik..cun gak ayat tu. Tapi bila first time jumpa… aku gelak!

Nak tahu mana kitorg jumpa?

Alkisah 3 orang bakal ahli fizik yang bosan hidup tanpa kuliah dan peperiksaan. Tujuan utama, sorang tu nak jumpa rakan sekolah menengah yang sudah sekian lama tak jumpa. Bosan pun ye jugak. Sorang lagi, dah memang tengah bosan! Sorang lagi…bak kata dia “aku ikut je” 😀

Malam tadi, kami bertiga berbincang topik rawak (atom bergerak secara rawak??) yang lawak gile dan sengal. Somehow aku TER-ajak diorang keluar tengok wayang. Bincang punya bincang, sebagai bakal ahli fizik kami tertarik dengan tajuk citer James Bond yang baru; “Quantum of Solace”. Tahun depan kitorang akan mengambil kursus Quantum Mechanics. Kehkeh. Oleh itu kami pon menonton filem ‘Jembon’ (malas nak eja bole x) terbaru tersebut.

Major turn-off bila tengok wayang, mesti ada sarikata dalam bahasa ibunda yang kadang-kala menterjemah perkataan/ayat Bahasa Inggeris yang kurasa “takyah translate pon takpe”. Hampir semua benda nak translate, sampai tajuk QUANTUM OF SOLACE pon nak translate… dalam Bahasa Melayu tajuknya jadi KETENANGAN DALAM KESENGSARAAN. Sebagai pelajar jurusan Fizik tahap universiti yang bakal mempelajari subjek kuantum, kami bertiga sahaja yang tergelak guling dalam panggung wayang tu (kalo kita dlm anime mungkin terjatuh nampak kaki je).

Aku meluncur ke website Dictionary.com untuk mencari definisi.

Untuk “Quantum”, inilah yang ku jumpa.
1. quantity or amount: the least quantum of evidence.
2. a particular amount.
3. a share or portion.
4. a large quantity; bulk.
5. Physics.
a. the smallest quantity of radiant energy, equal to Planck’s constant times the frequency of the associated radiation.
b. the fundamental unit of a quantized physical magnitude, as angular momentum.
–adjective
6. sudden and significant: a quantum increase in productivity.

Untuk “Solace” pula…
1. comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.
2. something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief: The minister’s visit was the dying man’s only solace.
–verb (used with object)
3. to comfort, console, or cheer (a person, oneself, the heart, etc.).
4. to alleviate or relieve (sorrow, distress, etc.).

….

So kiranya tajuk dalam Bahasa Melayu memberi definisi “Solace” je la. Kenapa tak Kuantum Ketenangan dalam Kesengsaraan? lol~~

uihh malasnye nak review… tapi aku celoteh sikit la pasal citer Jembon baru ni.

Walaupun aku tak minat En. Bond ni (sebab utama, tabiat suka one night stand), aku cadang nak tengok ni pun sebenarnya nak tengok tahap action hebat mana. Bukannya sebab tertarik dengan tajuk pon kahaha. So aku analisa dari awal sampai habis, tak tahu la kenapa aku rasa bosan dengan car chasing sequence sambil menembak2. Walaupun overused, klise ni wajib ada dalam setiap action movie. Truth be told, I don’t feel the thrill as I did when watching Eagle Eye. So kiranya, Eagle Eye > Quantum of Solace. Tapi QoS agak best berbanding dengan filem bond yang lepas2. Karakter development lebih mantap, dan tak terlalu fokus kat misi dan matlamat.

Heroin tak cun. Serious. Biasa je. Tambah mekap baru nampak cun. Heroin ni macam takde identiti yang memorable. Yang aku perasan belakang dia macam ada parut yang menggerunkan, tapi still tak malu nak tayang. Hmm Bond kali ni pulak kurang adegan ‘panas’, which is satisfactory cos aku tak suka tengok agen yang terergilababeng dengan kelemahan terhadap perempuan. Oh yea, tiada ‘cinta’ dalam citer James Bond, yang ada hanya ‘keperluan’. ahaks~

Aku suka cara dia bunuh orang dengan sempoi. Tu satu part yang best tentang Bond. And Daniel Craig’s eyes are so flourscent blue!! ❤  Don’t get me started with the body >///<

but seriously, citer nya tak bagi impact apa2 kat aku berbanding dengan… well. Dah ckp tadi. So aku malas nak review banyak sangat. Taktau apa nak tulis da.

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The Black Magician’s Trilogy: The Novice

Posted in Review by vien88 on November 2, 2008
Book Two

Book Two

Author: Trudi Canavan

Published: 2002

Publisher: Orbit

Imardin is a city of dark intrigues and deadly politics, where those who wield magic wield power. Into this established order has blundered a young street-girl with extraordinary magical gifts. Adopted by the Magician’s Guild, her life is changed forever – but for better or for worse?

Sonea knew that she’d face a tough time training within the Magician’s Guildbut she little realised the level of the animosity she would face from her fellow novices. The sons and daughters of the most powerful families in the realm, her classmates seem determined to see her fail – at whatever cost. But in accepting the protection of the guild’s high lord, Sonea may have embraced a far bleaker fate. For High Lord Akkarin harbours a secret that is far darker than his magician’s robes.

REVIEWS: (warning: may contain spoilers)

Now I’ll compare this school life with Ouran and Hana Yori Dango. A poor girl surrounded by a bunch of rich kids. Sonea gets bullied all the time because of her background. They blame her for trying to ruin the powerful families’ honour and even accused her for buying her way to Rothen’s guardianship.

Too bad rumours play quite an important role to the rules of the guild. This caused a lot more confusion and complications. Yet the bullies have motivated her to become more adventurous in finding secret passages and indirectly assisted her in improving her magical powers. And the High Lord used this excuse to take her under her wing, when the actual reason for doing that is totally different. Akkarin, though he seems to be around his 40s or slightly younger, I picture him to have a strong and clean face – like Johnny Depp – and with the extra powers he has, surely he could preserve his youthful physical appearance.

My dear Dannyl has increased his rank and became an ambassador to another country in the Allied lands. Administrator Lorlen used this advantage, and requested Dannyl to retrace Akkarin’s past – in order to learn how the ‘twist’ came to be. Dannyl willingly accepted this task, as gathering information seems to be a hobby to him. Thank goodness for me, it’s not another Harry Potter story – which focuses mostly in school, as we get to go for an adventure with Ambassador Dannyl. The fact that he met a young scholar intrigues me to read further. The fact that the scholar is actually a flamboyant pretty boy turns me on. >D

So erm… the reason why I decided to continue reading this trilogy is to find out the truth behind the ‘twist’ in the first book. It still remains a mystery but other things make me elect this one as one of my favourite novels ever. Sonea’s portrayal in this sequel may still lack personality as how she was like in the first book. But at least she didn’t went emo like Harry Potter did when people are condemning her. Nay, she doesn’t fight back, not because she was a coward. She knows well that revenge is not the answer, and she rather not use her powers to hurt others… or worse, killing unintentionally. Sonea is mature for her age, even when she’s angry, she tries her best to contain her temper. Sonea successfully made it in my list of most respected female characters (aka favourite laaa) alongside Erza of Fairy Tail and Mitsuru from Persona 3.

Cery plays a minor role this time, merely as Sonea’s visitor. But here COMES A NEW CHALLENGER! Dorrien came into Sonea’s life, brings more vibrant colours to her surrounding. A son of Rothen, a compassionate healer assigned to entertain the former slum girl. Dorrien’s interest towards his father’s apprentice grows stronger as they get to know each other. But he knows Sonea’s still too young and may develop feelings for another novice. Looking at Dorrien and Sonea’s relationship, nostalgia swept through. Perhaps I have weaknesses with guys like Dorrien… I wished I could see more of him, but his responsibility gets in his way. I’m also half glad that Dorrien had to be away for a long time and it’s not all about joyful romanticism.

Back to Dannyl and his scholar assistant, Tayend. I’m delighted to see the naughty side of Dannyl. Tayend is such a tease! He automatically reminds me of Hisoka (Yami no Matsuei) and I find his behaviour extremely cute. So I dubbed him an uke, while Dannyl… a seme. Any idea where this is going? XD XD SHONEN-AIIIIIIIIIIII <333333 [those who have no idea what the heck this is… then please DO remain not knowing 8D ] I know I was freakin’ smiling from ear to ear reading about their adventure and relationship growth. Although their part is just a sub-story, they gave me more reason to keep loving this book. My favourite pairing list is updated! It’s as though the book knows I’m undergoing depression and this cheered me up! I love you Miss Canavan~

As for the ‘twist’, well… gotta wait till the next book. Oh yeah… Dannyl x Tayend FTW!

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The Black Magician’s Trilogy: The Magician’s Guild

Posted in Review by vien88 on November 2, 2008
Book One

Book One

Author: Trudi Canavan

Published: 2001

Publisher: Orbit

Each year the magician’s of Imardin gather to ‘purge’ the city streets of vagrants, urchin’s and miscreants. Masters of disciplines of magic knows that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

For as the mob are herded from the city, a young street girl, furious at the authorities treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at a shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconciousness.

It is an inconceivable act, and the guild’s worst fear has been realized – an untrained magicians is loose on the streets. She MUST be found, and quickly, before her uncontrolled powers unleashed forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

REVIEW: (warning: May contain spoilers!!)

If you’ve played FF7, you’ll get the idea of the conflict between the slum residence and the authorities (Shin-ra Co). The poor are discriminated so much that most turn into pickpockets and rascals (particularly the youths). Heads of criminal activities exist among them and they’re called “The Thieves”, but none of the leaders may cooperate with each other. However, they DO have underlings. Common people can ask for their assistance, but it is not wise to mess with them.

There is a huge gap between the poor and the rich. As far as I can recall, only children from the riches, who has magic potential, are allowed to join and study in the Magician’s Guild. I felt like I was fooled by the title, because throughout the story, the protagonist, Sonea, spends less time in the guild grounds. There are more ‘running’ than actually being educated with magic skills.

I like how the story is told in different point of views (although they’re still from third person view). Other than Sonea, scenes switch to a wise middle-aged magician Rothen and his former apprentice, Dannyl. Obviously, the story may lack suspense if told in such way, because (when in Sonea’s) POV you’re able to expect what might happen next. From the so-called villains POV (Rothen and Dannyl), we see their real reasons why they seek the street girl. Oh yeah, each POV is connected to each other.

I have to admit that the story is not THAT exciting. It’s not what I describe “unable to put the book down”, because I know I had a lot of break from reading the book. Like I said earlier, it’s the typical rich versus poor conflict, except that the riches attain the help of the magicians. You can try this book for simple light reading, to fill your time when you’re bored and have nothing to do. Just when I thought the story will have a simple good ending, a ‘twist’ finally emerge in the last few chapters. And this twist sparked my interest to buy the second book.

The author shows that there are both good guys and bad guys in the slum community and the magician’s guild itself. Yet each community thought the other were mere enemies. Particularly the poor, who views the magician’s as “evil” – for they mostly side the riches, follow the King’s orders and ask for a hell lot of money for Healing fee. Most of the magician’s thinks that the rascals of the slums are rebels without a cause, little do they think of what poverty may lead them to.

Geez, how i feel bored writing this. I decide to move on to character analysis now…

Sonea – The female protagonist of the story, an orphan whose mother died when she was young and her father went missing. She used to steal food with her gang, but stopped that habit after she lives with her aunt and uncle. Her magical potential was accidentally reveal during the ‘Purge’ and magician’s have been looking all over for her since then. Sonea doesn’t have much distinctive personality. So far in this book, what’s cool about her is that she crossdresses as a boy to avoid being harrassed by random men. XD

Harrin – Just when I thought he’d be the hero of the story, but nay. Yet he is indeed the leader of the gang Sonea was involved with. To him Sonea is just somewhat of a good friend, and he is attached to an innkeepers daughter so that he can become an heir to the inn.

Cery – Short for Ceryni (means…a small rodent in the world of Kyralia), he is indeed agile and as slick as a rat. I could say he is Sonea’s ‘hero’ for he’s the one who helped her escape most of the time. Another example of a ‘noble theif’ (just like Zidane from FF9, Locke from FF6, Balthier from FF12… and recently, Abu from KAMI), a person who commits crime but has a strong sense of friendship. He would do ANYTHING for Sonea… so, is there something going on between them?

Rothen – The first person who discovered Sonea’s potential from the accident during the ‘Purge’. This made him automatically deserved to become Sonea’s guardian – if she ever joins the guild. I could say that he is the stereotype wise mentor that almost each stories have. Formerly Dannyl’s guardian, he the only magician who believed in the younger Dannyl despite of the rumours. Cannot say much about him except that he is a very compassionate person…

Dannyl – I have to admit he is the most interesting character in the story. Why? Firstly, when he was young he was accused of being… well… gay. 8D But there wasn’t any proof, he had to suffer as an outcast throughout the years, but was adopted by Rothen as an apprentice anyway. He used to be a lazy student, but Rothen shaped him into a good magician who practices Alchemy. Another interesting bit, he dared himself to lose his honour as a magician by practicing espionage.He’s also an encyclopedia of rumours and his ability to gather information is an advantage for the guild in search of the untrained magician.

Fergun – Charming, but sinister. We all need a bad guy in every story, but I won’t put him in league with infamous villains. Let’s say… he’s the older version of Draco Malfoy, slightly less elegant than Lucius Malfoy. He’s the one who started the rumour of Dannyl’s ‘unusual’ interest, and has been foes with him till now. Even as an adult he lacks maturity, taking things a bit too far when fighting for Sonea’s guardianship.

Akkarin – The High Lord aka the Guild leader. Mysterious. Appears to be younger than Rothen yet seem to have powers not weilded by other magicians. Sixth sense? Mind reading? for he could tell that Sonea isn’t a rogue magician lurking in the slums. He has been friends and rivaled with the Guild administrator, Lorlen since young.

Faren – One of the Theives leader. Cery seeks his help in hiding Sonea’s whereabouts. He isn’t a Kylarian, but a Lonmar. Lonmar is known to have a strict belief, but this one is an exception. Faren is a criminal! And you so have to see his funny tricks against magicians lol!

There are other characters but these are the most apparent ones. I feel like this review isn’t that much exciting, which kind of reflect the book. But I like it anyway. And I do recommend you to read this, because more excitement is stored in the second book, The Novice! =D

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