Monday, February 23, 2009

3 GREAT @NiMe'S watched recently..

Grave of the Fireflies

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

My Neighbour Totoro

Recently watched 3 animes worth mentions.

Currently I'm on a quest to watch the most popular/acclaimed animes of our times. I've got a list of 100 from

I'm slowly vetting through the titles & select those that i find interesting and will reccomend those that i find to my taste.

Grave of the Fireflies (from wikipedia)
- MUST WATCH.. I nearly cried..(not exactly my normal reaction to animes)

Taking place toward the end of World War II in Japan, Grave of the Fireflies is the tale of the relationship between two orphaned children, Seita (清太) and his younger sister Setsuko (節子). The children lose their mother in the firebombing of Kobe, and their father in service to the Imperial Japanese Navy, and as a result they are forced to try to survive amidst widespread famine and the callous indifference of their countrymen (some of whom are their own extended family members).

The movie begins in Sannomiya Station, and shows the second main character: Seita, dying from starvation there in rags. A janitor comes and digs through his things, and finds a candy tin, containing Setsuko's ashes. He throws it out, and from there springs the spirit of Setsuko, Seita and a group of fireflies. The two spirits provide narrative throughout the story. The film is, in effect, an extended flashback to Japan, at the end of World War II during the Kobe firebombings. Setsuko and Seita, the two siblings, are left to secure the house and their belongings, allowing their mother, suffering from a heart complaint to proceed to a bomb shelter. They are caught off-guard by a batch of bombs dropped in their vicinity, although they survive unscathed. Their mother, however, is caught in the air raid and dies from burn wounds. Having nowhere else to go, Setsuko and Seita go to live with their aunt, and write letters to their father. On the second day that they stay there, Seita goes out to get the left over supplies which he had buried in the ground to preserve before the bombing which killed their mother. He gives all of it to his aunt, but hides a small tin of fruit drops. This tin of fruit drops later proves a recurrent icon in the film. Following cruelty from their aunt, who gives them barely enough food, insults them and sells their mother's kimonos for rice, which she keeps for herself, Seita and Setsuko finally decide to go and live in an old, abandoned bomb shelter. Gradually, they begin to run out of rice, and Seita is forced to steal food from local farmers. When Seita is eventually caught stealing, he is unable to feed Setsuko enough before she begins to starve. In desperation, Seita removes all the money from their mother's bank account, when he learns of his father's death. He buys a large quantity of food, and rushes back to the shelter, where he finds Setsuko hallucinating. She is sucking marbles which she believes are fruit drops and offers him 'rice balls' which are really only made out of mud. Finally, she dies of starvation. Seita cremates her, using supplies donated to him by a farmer and leaves her ashes in the fruit tin, which he carries with his father's photograph, until his death on September 21, 1945.

At the end of the film, the spirits of Seita and Setsuko are seen—no longer raggedy and etiolated but healthy and well-dressed—sitting side by side as they look down on the modern-day city of Kobe.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (from wikipedia)
- The time travel & LOVE brings back some memories about a Korean movie i watched if I'm not mistaken it was called My Sassy Girl (starring
Cha Tae-Hyun and (Jun Ji-hyun) .
Makoto Konno (Riisa Naka/Emily Hirst), a girl attending high school in Tokyo's shitamachi, realizes she has the power to go back in time and re-do things (called a "time-leap") when she impossibly avoids a fatal accident at a train crossing one day.

Bewildered, she consults with her aunt (Sachie Hara/Saffron Henderson) throughout the film, who then implies that she is the protagonist (Kazuko Yoshiyama) from the original novel. At first, Makoto uses her power extravagantly to avoid being tardy and to get perfect grades on tests, and even relive a single karaoke session for about ten hours. However, things begin to turn bad as she discovers how her actions can adversely affect others.

Makoto ends up using up more of her leaps to recklessly prevent undesirable situations from happening, including an awkward confession of love from her best friend Chiaki Mamiya (Takuya Ishida/Andrew Francis). Eventually she discovers a numbered tattoo on her arm which counts down with each leap. She determines that the tattoo indicates that she can only leap through time a limited number of times. With only a few time leaps left, she attempts to make things right for everyone, but impulsively uses her final leap to prevent a phone call from Chiaki asking if she knows about time-leaping. As a result, she is unable to prevent her friend Kōsuke Tsuda (Mitsutaka Itakura/Alex Zahara) and his girlfriend from being killed in the accident at the train crossing that Makoto was originally involved in. As Makoto watches the accident in horror, time suddenly stops.

Chiaki reveals that he is a traveller from the future and leapt through time in order to see a painting being restored by Makoto's aunt, as it has been destroyed in the future. While walking in the frozen city, Chiaki hints that his original era occurs after a world wide catastrophe decimates mankind. He then reveals that he has used his final leap to prevent Kōsuke's accident and has stopped time only to explain to Makoto what the consequences will be. Having revealed his origins and the source of the item that allowed Makoto to leap through time, and being unable to return to his time period, Chiaki must disappear. Makoto realizes too late that she loves him as well.

True to his words, Chiaki disappears when time begins again and Makoto is upset. As she tries to come to terms with losing him, she discovers that Chiaki's time-leap had inadvertently restored one time-leap to her: Chiaki had leapt back to before Makoto used her last leap. Makoto now leaps to the moment when she gained her powers, at which point Chiaki still has one remaining time-leap. She reveals everything that he told her in the future concerning who he is, the ability to leap through time, and his reasons for extending his stay in her time frame. Shortly before returning to his time period, Chiaki says he will wait for her in the future and Makoto replies that she will run towards it.

My Neighbour Totoro (from wikipedia)
- Enjoyable watch even for older children like me.. ;)
In 1958, a university professor and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move into an old house in rural Japan to be closer to the hospital where his wife is recovering from an illness. The daughters find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called soot sprites — small house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits leave.

While she is playing outside one day, the younger daughter, Mei, sees two white, rabbit-like ears in the grass. She follows the ears under the house where she discovers two small magical creatures, who lead her through a briar patch, and into the hollow of a large Camphor Laurel tree. She meets and befriends a larger version of the same kind of spirit, which identifies itself by a series of roars she interprets as "Totoro". Her father later tells her that this is the "keeper of the forest".

One rainy night the girls are waiting for their father's bus and grow worried when he does not arrive on the bus they expect him on. As they wait, Mei eventually falls asleep on Satsuki's back and Totoro appears beside them, allowing Satsuki to see him for the first time. He only has a leaf on his head for protection against the rain, so Satsuki offers him the umbrella she had taken along for her father. Totoro is delighted at both the shelter and the sounds made upon it by falling raindrops. In return he gives her a bundle of nuts and seeds. A bus-shaped giant cat halts at the stop, and Totoro boards it, taking the umbrella. Shortly after, their father’s bus arrives.

The girls plant the seeds. A few days later they awaken at midnight to find Totoro and his two miniature colleagues engaged in a ritual dance around the planted nuts and seeds. The girls join in, whereupon the seeds sprout and then grow into an enormous tree. Totoro takes his colleagues and the girls for a ride on a magical flying top. In the morning, the tree is gone, but the seeds have indeed sprouted.

Mei, believing her mother's condition has worsened, sets off on foot to the hospital and gets lost. Desperate to find her sister, Satsuki returns to the camphor laurel tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Delighted to be of assistance, he summons the Catbus, which rescues Mei, then whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in the hospital. The girls perch in a tree outside of the hospital to discover that she is doing well. They deliver an ear of corn that Mei believes will speed her mother's recovery, and then return home on the Catbus. When the Catbus departs, it fades away from the girls' sight.

The closing credits show Mei and Satsuki's mother returning home and feature scenes of Satsuki and Mei playing with other human children, with Totoro and his friends as unseen observers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A lazy afternoon @GaN's & 2 movies later!!

TWO interesting movies to watch..

Enjoysss!!! :D

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

IN support of Eli our lovely Selangor state EXCO & ADUN!!!

Courtesy of Mob's Crib


On the Perak FROG crisis!!!

ScreenCap of the game

I'm a Generation X'er tried & true... Those of you , you know who u are. U had the pleasure of having played with PC's that run on tape drive & TV, booting up in MS-DOS, 286-386 machines with 5.25" floppys & 4GB HDD's, What Windows???, moonbugs, xenon, leisure suite larry, police quest, kings quest, decathlon, karateka, bushido, etc, etc...

Anyways before i veer further off topic, i would jus like for us to remember an old game called FROGGER!!! Reflect on this game and maybe it will put some perspective on the frog situation in the Silver state... LOL..

For those who dunno about the gameplay, its a frog trying to cross the street & river while avoiding moving traffic & obstacles... if the frog gets hit or lands on the wrong place u die lo!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Of temples, tea & sakura..

A little town fair for the Tea Festival, sale of tea & hilltribe cultural shows.

My apologies for not updating my blog for quite awhile. I have been away & busy with looking for work and also enjoying the loooooooong holidays...

For NYE2008 i spent it at Mae Sa Long, a little hill village about 45minutes from Chiang Rai, Thailand. A different kinda NYE, as opposed to goin clubbin or reveling in the city. We spent NYE having a bbq & drinks in the little bamboo shed/platform right up front Shiao Shung & CheChe's house. Of course not to forget my favourite NYE activity setting off lanterns (though i think i was not sober enough to remember my camera at that time).. :D

Mae Sa Long was COLD!!! I think in the evenings it'd be like 16 degrees celsius. This area is largely populated by Chinese community, mostly descendants of the Kuomintang army from the time when the the Kuomintang & Communist were fighting in China. U still see those caligraphy words stuck on the wooden plank doors & red cloths hanging over the doorway.

The Thai Palace i believe had launched a project in this area to help the ppl residing here change their maincrop from poppy to chinese tea. Today this is a region with numerous tea plantations, surprisingly(or not) they grow chinese tea for export markets like Taiwan. Don't be surprised if u chance upon ppl speakin mandarin to each other... ;-)