Saturday, September 26, 2009

A very long letter in the form of a book...

Title: Stolen - a letter to my captor

Author: Lucy Christopher

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Hello again! it's been more than a month since I last posted something here (its not that somebody's counting though >.<) Anyway this time, instead of reviewing on my beloved anime I decided to do a review on a very nice book which I stumbled upon when I went to the bookstore ^^.

So, as described, the book title is Stolen - a letter to my captor written by Lucy Christopher. The genre was mystery/thriller, although I have no idea which part of it was mysterious or even thrilling. Anyway, this story was written in the point of view of Gemma Toombs, a sixteen year old teenager from London who was kidnapped at the airport when she was on vacation with her parents. She was taken from the Bangkok airport to Australia under her consciousness since she was drugged by her abductor, Tyler MacFarlane.

When she woke up, Gemma found out that she was taken to a middle of nowhere in an Australian desert where Ty, (what the guy introduced himself to Gemma earlier at the airport) had built with his own hands a wooden cabin which he had planned to live there with gemma for the rest of their lives. Of course as any other sane person would do is to freak out and struggled to get away from the kidnapper. Gemma tried to escape countless times but was futile.

Gemma was not some random girl to Ty. He had known her since he was ten only Gemma doesn't remember about their encounters. Ty had been there, almost like her guardian angel (or just plain stalker). Until one night, a friend of Gemma who had a crush on her planned to rape her but was scared away by Ty. That was when he decided he needed to save Gemma from all the city dangers and dragged her to the outbacks.

It was hell, trapped in the vast land of nothing but red sand and heat but eventually, Gemma got used to it and she got used to Ty. She got to know him better and the reason of his actions. Still, Gemma preferred being in her usual environment. Tyler agreed that if in four months she still doesn't feel at home he'll take her back. The story takes a turn when one day after Gemma was bitten by a snake and in order to save her life, Ty took her back to civilization risking his own neck to the authorities. She was safe, he turned himself in and Gemma struggled with her feelings. Life without Ty in the city will never be the same.

It was all written in a letter (the whole book to be exact) beginning from the time they met at the airport until the last alphabet that Gemma wrote while waiting for the trial in which she held the power either to help release Ty from the conviction or to return to her old life.

Overall, I think this is a very good book. 90% of the setting was in the Australian Outback. The author took me into the scenery in detail. The red sand, the heat, the desert life and also how feelings developed between the main characters. I like the way it was written in different perspective than most other books usually have.

The author was telling us to broaden our horizon. Sometimes being in our comfort zone is not the best thing and love make people do irrational things. This novel is suitable for teenagers who is looking for their own identity. Gemma will grow up and thank Ty for giving her the opportunity to see the world with better eyes.

A/N: One of the rarest book that able to make me cry.

disclaimer: Credits to the author ^^

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Tick on My To-Do List

This semester I'm taking a subject on Interpersonal Skills and Leadership which require us (me and my group mates) to make a poster of our Idol. We decided to take Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister as our model (actually, I'm the one who made that choice for them since I respected him so much and I was a little bit of a pushover in that decision). Anyway, they all agree and the problem solved. So last Saturday, August 1st, Tun Dr. Mahathir attended a forum as a speaker that was held in the National University of Malaysia (UKM) where I was in. I took the opportunity to get more information as well as snatch a few photos for my group project (since I had a morning class that day and I was nearby DECTAR). Here's what I and my parner-in-crime managed to capture ^^v

Details of the forum

I like this pic coz it matches the background ^^

Tun Dr. Mahathir was really friendly though the people were pushy and impatient

I managed to get an autograph from him ^^v it was hectic and I didn't even get to shake his hand but it was all worth it ^___^

I had always been a big fan of him since I was a little girl and a chance of meeting him is not something an ordinary person like me can get everyday. Seeing him in person is one of my dream and it had came true. I will treasure the moment forever and of course put that signature in a frame ^^!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Letters from the Past

I went to my dad's house yesterday to pick up my stuff that he brought back here. Since he's retiring next week and had to move out from the quarters he lived, I have to gather my stuff before he throw them out with other unnecessary things.

The most important thing number 1. is a box full of soft toys that my oneesan and I had collected since we were toddlers. We couldn't give it away since each of them had their story behind it ^^v. Box number 2 is my collection of junks. People may see it as junks, but for me they were all the memories of my younger days.

When I opened the box earlier this afternoon, I saw a tin box inside where I had kept my most cherished item in my life - some letters that my friends sent to me when I was living far away from them.

There are only 6 letters, but they have kept me going all the while when I was struggling alone at a new place

This was from my first best friend ^^v she was the one who made me realize how wonderful the world of anime is

This was from the same person. She would've made a great mangaka. Check out her blog - krrow.blogspot ^^v!

This one is from my one and only best guy friend! I owed him a lot. Even now still ^^v

Haha! This is the longest letter I have ever received! This came from my second best friend (because I met her later than my first one!) She drew a lot of chibi characters inside. -sigh- maybe I only meant to write and not to draw as well as they did >.<

All of these letters were sent to me about 4 years ago, when I was in my final year of high school. I cried, I laughed, I felt envious yet I felt relieved knowing that I'm still at the back of their mind. At that time, I was having trouble adapting to the new place, the new life and their letters - word by word had drove me strong to face the day after the other.

Those letters from the past really meant to me and I can never throw them away even if they turn into pieces of junks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Than Just a Butler...

Title: Kuroshitsuji

Creator: Toboso Yana

Genre: Supernatural

My Rating: ****"

Set in the Victorian Era in London, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) is a story of 12 years old Ciel Phantomhive who made a contract with a demon to serve and protect him until he fulfilled his mission as an exchange for his soul. He named the demon Sebastian Michaelis who posed as his butler. On the surface, Sebastian act as a perfect butler with no flaws at all in carrying his duties. His job includes waking Ciel up in the morning, dress him up, tying his shoelaces, prepare breakfast and so on until he put him to bed at night. Behind the scene, he's more to Ciel's bodyguard since in reality, the Phantomhive family served the Queen as the 'eye' of the underground world.

Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis

As the Queen's 'dog', Ciel devoted his full loyalty towards the royalty despite the fact that his parents were killed by the Queen's people. Ciel and Sebastian took on villains from the underground world (underground world here means mafias, drug dealers and so on, not the other underground world where demon dwells) as ordered by the Queen and he slowly meet his purpose which is finding the truth about the misfortune that fallen onto his family.

Sebastian and Ciel in disguise in order to find out the identity of a possible 'Jack the Ripper' that terrorize London

This anime is a must watch!!! Although some facts (if you're obsessed with Sebastian) are hard to bear, this anime is no doubt one of the best I've seen. [Spoiler Alert!!!] First of all, from the beginning its already set that this anime wont have a happy ending because it is already stated that the contract between Ciel and Sebastian will be over once Ciel get his revenge therefore will surrender his soul to be devoured by the demon in disguise, Sebastian. Putting that aside, the whole story itself is wonderful and no one will get bored with the ongoing suspense and humor. I always like to give compliments to the minor characters because they too, play important roles in making this such an amazing anime. The 4 additional employees of the Phantomhive family; Bard the cook who always burn down the kitchen, Meirin the klutz maid, Vinny the cute gardener with extra powerful strength and chibi Tanaka-san sure cracked me up with their quirks.

"Akumade shitsuji desukara..."

There are some points that I'm not fond of (it doesn't have anything to do with the anime, its just that my taste is hard to satisfy). Of course I would prefer a sweet ending (I have to admit, that I cried - who wouldn't when a cute 13 years old boy's soul are eaten?!). Even though its just an anime, you can feel the emotions. By the way, be prepared to hate the main villain (in my case, I dont hate the alter-ego; I love bad guys after all! KYAA!!!). All in all, I have a very good time watching this. There's only 24 episodes, so it can be finished in half a day. Get ready with some tissues or a handkerchief if you're super sensitive when you watch the ending ^^v

"I'm one hell of a butler..."

disclaimer: thanks to the mangaka who created this wonderful masterpiece. I don't own anything except for the first picture!

p/s: reviews are only for leisure purpose and to fill my free time. thanks for reading and do leave your comments ^^v

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Tennis Supremacy

Title: Tennis no Oujisama (The Prince of Tennis)

Creator: Konomi Takeshi

Genre: Shounen/Sports/School/Comedy

My Rating: ****

TeniPuri (short version of Tennis Prince) basically progressed around Echizen Ryoma, a first year who attended the Seishun Gakuen (Seigaku) and joined the tennis club. To make the short story long (hehehe), his father, Echizen Nanjirou was a tennis pro who suddenly disappear from the tennis world. Ryoma's dream at the beginning of the anime was to beat his own father (who he had never won against). After the experience he went through with the Seigaku team and the memories he built with them, Ryoma finally found a new dream, which is to be the best player in the world.

Seigaku regulars before the captain, Tezuka Kunimitsu injured his left shoulder

top left: Echizen Ryoma, Momoshiro Takeshi a.k.a momochan, Kikumaru Eiji, Fuji Syusuke

below left: Kawamura Takashi, Kaidoh Kaoru, VC. Oishi Syuichirou, Capt. Tezuka Kunimitsu

Happy Times ^^v

This anime had been aired a very long time ago but I never get the chance to watch it until now. I finished 178 episodes in a week! Just imagine how torturing it would be if I were to follow the television airtime. The anime was very nice and good for people who took tennis. But it doesn't mean that those who doesn't like tennis shouldn't watch this. Though most of the times they were talking about tennis, the humor and the plot are very good too. What's more, the characters differs in their personalities which create a unique atmosphere in the anime.

Ryoma and Tezuka Buchou (Japanese for Captain) are somewhat similar in their coldness but Tezuka is mature and very grown up while Ryoma is a bit childish and reckless. There's Inui, who's like a mad scientist always creating bizarre drinks such as Aozu and Akazu. Fuku Buchou (Vice Captain) Oishi as the members put it, the 'okaasan' or mother of the Seigaku team. He worries about the team member's welfare all the time. Kikumaru Eiji is the only one who I think suited the image of a 15 years old school boy. He has cute ways of saying words for example saying "mango, mango" when apologizing (it sounds almost like 'gomen, gomen' when saying it backwards - gomen is sorry in Japanese) and he ends his sentence with 'nyaa' most of the times ( he's portrayed as a cat in the chibi version). Kawamura Takashi is a very peculiar character. I wonder if a person like him exist. When he holds a racket (it also works with badminton racket if if I'm not mistaken) his gentle personality changed and he shout English words like 'burning', 'baby', and 'come on'. Kaidoh Kaoru and Momoshiro Takeshi are rivals from the start. The two will fight whenever fire sparks between them. Kaidoh makes snake-like sound 'fshuu' when he breathes which is hillarious but gave me goosebumps at the beginning (snakes are not my thing). Momo-chan is the closest to Ryoma since they have the same hobby- eating. Lastly, the tennis prodigy, Fuji Syusuke. He appears as an elegant and mysterious person, even the other regulars having hard time figuring him out. He loves drinking Inui's special juice but after having a taste of Aozu, he collapse which was a big surprise to the others. In one of the episodes, he admitted that despite he likes drinking Inui's juice, he loves watching people suffer more.

From left: Tezuka, Fuji, Kaidoh, Kawamura, Oishi, Kikumaru, Momoshiro & Inui

On Skateboard: Duh, Echizen Ryoma

I dont have much complain about this anime but for from the looks of it, only Ryoma and Eiji looked their age (bear in mind that they are junior high schoolers). Tezuka looked and acted as if he's at least 17 years old. Same with the other third years. And some minor characters who are also junior high schoolers even looked like old men (ie. Kabaji from Hyoutei Gakuen). Some tennis techniques are 'out of this world' but I don't want to say more than I have coz I don't play tennis. So all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with this anime. It cracked me up, made me sobbed, and kept me going till the last episode. Banzai for the creator ^^v!

Disclaimer: Do not own anything except the words in length ^^v

p/s: reviews are for leisure purpose only. Thanks for reading and please leave your comments!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Puss in Mailbox

It's embarrassing, but I reached my goal

Don't laugh but this is not a joke to me. Today, my mom left the door open and my kitties got out then went into the elevator. She managed to catch one of them but the other went missing (and where am I when all this happen? I was still in bed). I searched high and low all over this 9 floor apartment where we live. After I went crazy looking for my 2 and half months old Moko, I resorted to what my sister told me to do - make a poster. So I did. the result was like the above. Why are there 3 different positions? Position 1 is to show that he's wearing a red collar. Position 2 is a full shot of his body and position 3 is supposed to be his face (but its hard to see 'cause his face is 'pitch' black! muahaha)

My sister told me to include a reward, which I though was unnecessary (come on, it wont hurt to do something without wanting a reward in return). So, the story continued as I went to look for it once again. I bumped into two girls, who're looking for their cat as well. We went on the 'adventure' together but no luck. I left it all to fate and went back home hoping that someone will call me if they see my cat.

As I was surfing the net (after not feeling like doing so for a while), my mobile phone (which was always by my side) gave a very (VERY) short rang. It was an unknown number and its was only a missed call. I had my hope high. I gave the number a call, but terminate it after a couple of rings because I thought it could be a prank call from some kids who saw my missing cat poster. The same number called again and I picked it up. It was music to my ears when the person calling said that he spotted my cat. I told him to hang on to it while I rushed to the scene.

When he said 'mailbox', I thought that my cat had wandered around the parking basement and got tired then rested at the corner where the mailbox were. I never expected that my cat would be IN the MAILBOX!!! Relieved + surprised, the two gentlemen who informed me about my cat tried to pick the mailbox (there's around 50 mailboxes there - its an apartment, what do you expect?). I told them I'd go check whether there's anyone home (based on the address on the mailbox - the person lives at the same floor as I am) but no luck. The 2 gentlemen walked away as I thanked them. Though my cat was still TRAPPED in the MAILBOX, I dont think I should vandalize someone else's property (though who's SMART idea was it to put a CAT in a MAILBOX!!!)

I decided to wait for the owner of the mailbox. It was somewhat embarrassing standing by the wall when my cat is wailing while people were going in and out of the elevator (he's been trapped there without food or water for more than SIX hours, who wouldn't?!). I can't just stand and wait. The structure of the mailbox were kind of loose so I can pull the steel out to make some room for my cat to go through. He's wasn't being co-operative with me. Then I found out that he could move from one mailbox to another (some space for him to slip into the mailbox beside).

I got him out from the second mailbox from the left at the bottom row

Is it really true that black cat means bad luck? I think mine is a pretty lucky one. He slipped into a mailbox which the one on top was unlocked. So now, more space for him to go through. I pulled out the loose structure of the mailbox adding the space from the unlocked one above, I pulled him out with my other hand. It was hard, and I almost gave up because I didn't want to hurt him. I gave him instructions (in Japanese - but I doubt he would understand even if its in English) and OUT he goes!! I was thinking a little bit punishment would be a good reminder, but I was so happy that I hugged him instead (that cat is reaaaallly lucky I didn't wrap him in my wrath).

Home Sweet Home

So, that was the end of The Advanture of Puss in Mailbox. I don't think I'd let ANY of them to go out for a day of adventure EVER again!

p/s: the person who locked Moko in the mailbox was lucky he didn't leave him any thank you 'gift' ^^v

Friday, May 22, 2009

One 'Hell' of an Anime

Title: Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

Producer: Aniplex & Studio Deen

Genre: Supernatural/Angst

My ratings: ***

After the prequel and sequel came the final part of the Jigoku Shoujo trilogy- Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae. Well, I dont think I need to explain much since most people know how the story goes. A person who holds a grudge and accessed the 'Jigoku Tsusshin' at midnight then enter the name of the person they begrudge will be given a 'wara ningyo' (vodoo doll) by Enma Ai, the Jigoku Shoujo(Hell Girl). If the person pulls the red string on the doll, the person they begrudge upon will be send to hell immediately. However, they too will go to hell after they die.

Yamawaro in straw doll form - kiro no wara ningyoo (yellow vodoo doll)

In Mitsuganae, there are new additions to the main characters. A boy called Yamawaro became Enma Ai's new assistant apart from the regulars Wanyudo, Hone Onna and Ichimoku Ren. Not to forget the obnoxious Kikuri is there too but this time I'm giving her presence a credit for giving the anime a slight humor. A girl named Mikage Yuzuki, a junior high school girl became the host for the jigoku shoujo after Ai entered her body. Because of that, every time Ai need to send someone to hell, she will be released from Yuzuki's body as if she's a butterfly breaking free from a cocoon (I mean literally).

scenes from Jugoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

-In the second frame, Ichimoku Ren was the one holding the mop and the naked boy is Yamawaro

- The next frame was Hone onna with the cocktail drink

- The very first victim sent to hell is the school teacher in the next frame

- In the last row of the first collumn was how Ai released herself from Yuzuki's back, like a cocoon

I'm not telling about the rest of the story, you have to find out yourselves. For me, this is the first and the last time I will watch this anime. I think the first and second series is better than this third one. Most of the time I skipped the time Ai make the deal with people who accessed the Jigoku Tsusshin and how she break free from Yuzuki's body. Its the same every episode. The grudge is getting more and more insane every time which made me sick. There are quite a few of shoujo ai element between Yuzuki and Ai as well as a few other minor characters so this is definitely not the anime for me.

The story line is hard to understand sometimes and the reason for a person to send another person to hell can be very vague. This is not an anime you want to watch if you wanted to get your mind off something. The message this anime trying to convey is heavy and to be able to understand it a person need to think critically. It's actually very good seeing that it reflected the world we lived in today. I only recommend Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae to those who are looking for inspiration or need a food for thought. The moral values are there, its just that this anime is not for fun. Be prepared to be angry with the characters ^^v

disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Jigoku Shoujo trilogy.

p/s: reviews and comments are for leisure purposes. Happy Reading ^^v

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Workaholic Blues

Title: Hinotori Hataraki Man

Creator: Moyoco Anno

Genre: Drama/Slice of Life

My Ratings: ***

This anime main character is 28 years old woman named Matsukata Hiroko. She's an editor for a magazine called shukan JIDAI and is a total workaholic who will go into a 'working man' mode (working man is a direct translation of 'hataraki man') to get her job done. She is very passionate about her career. However, because of her busy schedule, her life is turning upside down. Her boyfriend of 4 years, 28 years old Yamashiro Shinji were as much as a workaholic as she is. This has created a crisis in their relationship.

Matsukata Hiroko

This anime portrayed the struggle of a working women and also shows the support of people such as Matsukata's desk-editor and her co-workers as well as her boyfriend. Overall, its an 'ok' anime. The humor is not really there, conflicts aren't that heavy, nothing much about the romance (accept that its clear that Matsukata Hiroko is in a relationship). There is no fantasy depicted unlike the usual anime theme. I would recommend this anime to those who is not a hardcore fan (those who like to watch drama, this would be good). All in all, I didn't regret buying this anime (since I bought it half-price anyway) and I dont dislike it. The message is quite clear and direct to the point.

disclaimer: I do not own any part of Hinotori Hataraki Man except for the picture of the DVD (and also the DVD in the picture) that I bought with my own money ^^v

p/s: The review is for leisure purpose and only my POV. Thanks for reading ^^v

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Whoever Said School is Boring?

Title: Ouran Koukou Hosuto Kurabu (Ouran High School Host Club)

Creator: Hatori Bisco

Genre: Romantic comedy/shoujo

My Rating: *****

Ouran Koukou Hosuto Kurabu revolve around Fujioka Haruhi, a 15 year old girl. She entered the prestigious high school under a scholarship but because of her family low income, she could n't afford to buy the school uniform so she wear slacks and polo shirt instead. Because of her appearance (short hair, flat chested and wardrobe malfunction) she was mistaken for a boy. She stumbled across the Third Music Room which serves as the Host Club in the school when she was looking for a place to study. There, she met six good looking ace students (all male and came from rich and influenced family) who are the club members. She accidentally knocked down an antique vase costs about 8 000 000 Yen when she was trying to get away from them. Ootori Kyouya, who acts as the manager of the host club calculated the damage and the only way she could pay them back is to serve as their servant.

Things took a turn when the guys; Suou Tamaki (the president of the host club a.k.a otoosan/father), Ootori Kyouya (the manager/financial advisor a.k.a okaasan/mother), the Hitachiin twins Hikaru and Kaoru, Haninozuka Mitsukuni a.k.a Honey and his cousin Morinozuka Takashi gave Haruhi a change of school uniform (basically its Tamaki's doing). Tamaki thought that Haruhi have a charater to be a host. Haruhi agreed to the idea in order to pay back the debt she owed the club. The first to discover about Haruhi's true gender was Kyouya, followed by the twins, Honey, Mori and lastly Tamaki. Overall, the anime shows about how their friendship grows and how Haruhi affects the boys' life and vice versa. Its obvious that the main love attraction would be between Haruhi and Tamaki, but the Hitachiin twins also discovered romantic feelings for her. However, the youngest of the twins, Kaoru gave up his feelings for Haruhi because of his brother, Hikaru. Anyway, the anime didn't end up with any confession from anybody.

From Far Left: Morinozuka Takashi, Ootori Kyouya, Suou Tamaki, Hitachiin twins, and the shortest is Haninozuka 'Honey' Mitsukuni.

Sitting Down: Fujioka Haruhi

From my point of view, this is a good anime. Its very humorous, very relaxing and the storyline is easy to understand. Most of the time, a heroine of an anime would be a cry-baby, girly or weak and somewhat a 'damsel in distress'. Haruhi does not have that kind of personality, that is why I like her character. The supporting characters also have different kinds of personality which give the anime various prospects. There's a little essence of shounen-ai and shoujo ai, but its a very subtle one for humor purpose only. I think its a very fun anime to watch and I enjoyed it very much ^^v

disclaimer: I dont own Ouran Koukou Hosuto Kurabu and any other images related to it (except for the DVD photo that I took myself. THAT really belonged to me)

p/s: All the comments are for leisure purpose and just my point of view. Thanks for reading ^^v

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Confession of an Animeholic

Before I start with my reviews on the anime DVDs, I think I should start with a little bit of my anime history. To begin with, I was a late bloomer (hoho, in anime that is). Back when my friends were obsessed with Naruto, Saiyuki and other anime, I was still interested with kiddies stuff like Crayon Shin Chan (still am), Doraemon, and Mojako. But I was always into Japanese stuff. I love the language, the food and also the culture. Up until I was 16, the number of anime that Ive watched can be counted with only one hand.

Which anime caught my eye? Rurouni Kenshin! That was when I accidentally switched on the television and couldn't get my eyes off of it. From then on, I never missed any episodes. Gradually, I begin to love the anime songs. I remembered when a friend of mine who had long into anime before I did said to me through the phone; "If you starting to like the anime songs, you'll fall in love with the anime soon". And she was right. Ever since that day, my love (or some people would put it harshly as 'addiction') had increased rapidly. I love reading manga, watching anime and listen to the anime songs.

So far I have collected at least 40 anime series and at least 60 manga in less than 3 years. In total, I have spent more than RM700 to buy all the DVDs that was in the posting before. And here's the catch, I bought it all with my own money!!! Never once I borrowed from anybody (accept the fact that my money was the allowances I get monthly >.<>

Some people might think I'm weird or stupid or anything (and they can have their own opinion) but I think my investment on those stuff is worth it. Why do I say so? When people think anime is for kids, well they're not. The content are not really suitable for kids under 13 and some contents are only suitable for those over 18. Depending on the genre of the anime, it can really change our mod. Sometimes when I watch an anime, I was laughing at the first part of the series and cry at the ending. Though its just animation and merely fantasy, anime can leave a big impact on people, not just me. So shed the shallow minded thoughts about anime and try watching one. I suggest to start watching the lighter genre with daily life drama background like Ghost Hunt, Itazura na Kiss or Slam Dunk!

I don't think I will stop loving anime in the near future. Anime had been a great help for me when I needed to relax and have fun. I do go out with friends and soend time with my family. despite the claim that I am an otaku (people who have no life other than indulging themselves with anime and manga). I didn't fail any subjects (so far) even though I spend my waking ours thinking about anime. I memorized all hiragana (Japanese alphabets) thanks to watching anime and I can also understand a little Japanese. If someone think that anime is a total waste, they are totally wrong.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Love of My Life

These are My Anime DVD collections... But the number of anime that I have watched are MORE than this...

The First 3, from left: Ouran Koukou Hosuto Kurabu *****, Gakuen Heaven *****, Kyo Kara Maou *****

First Line, From Left: Junjou Romantica 1& 2 *****, Itazura na Kiss *****, Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuutsu ***

Second Line: Nabari no Ou ****, Sukisho ***, Antique Bakery **", Angel's Feather OVA**

Third Line: Tactics ***, Slam Dunk the movie ****", Moryou no Hako *, Ayatsuri Sakon *

Last Line: Hataraki Man ***", Monochrome Factor ****", Fruits Basket ***, Kyo Kara Maou OVA ****"

First Line, From Left: Ghost Hunt *****, Lovely Complex *****, Yamato NadeshikoShichi Henge a.k.a The Wallflower ****, Midori no Hibi ****

Second Line, From Left: Loveless **", Slam Dunk ****", Mushi-shi *, Jigoku Shoujo & Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori ***"

Last Line: Gensoumaden Saiyuki ***", Weisz Kreuz *, Gintama ***", Tennis no Oujisama a.k.a Prince of Tennis ***

These are those that are also in my collectionbut I haven't got the time to watch it. So during this holiday, I'm going to finish it all...

From Top Left: Kyo Kara Maou season 3, Natsume Yuujincho & Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

From Top Left: D Gray Man 1, 2 &3, Nodame Cantabile & Devil May Cry

Starting with this one...


p/s: Wonder what's up with the colored crystals? hehe... Just for decoration purposes only...It would be bland with the black background which is the Japanese table in my room ^^v

p/s/s: Next Chapter - reviews for all the anime I watched!!!

P/s/s/s: Wonder why I put * at the end of some of the anime titles? Its the rating I gave according to my taste. The highest is ***** and some marked " which means half a star ^^v

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hole in Head

There's still two papers left for my final exam and its the hardest ones. One of it of course language in ICT, which part of the reasons why I started this blog...well, as people can see so far what the subject acquire in this blog is quite fun and interesting. But, the exam is not at all!!!so, I'm trying hard to get as much of information into my head by understanding all the notes I've printed out for the exam...At 8.30 am tomorrow, I have to put down all the notes and by 10.30am I will walk out from the exam hall and no turning back.

So right now, I'm going to stop writing and focus on reading. Yes, reading. If only I can absorb all the information like a sponge...I think there's really a big hole in my head 'coz nothing I read gets into my mind >.<

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trying to Grow Up

Just recently I realized that I need to do things on my own rather than waiting for people to make decision for me. I always depend on older people or more experienced ones like my older sister or my friends. Its time to handle things my way.

It seems that its rather late to finally have my own identity or personality. Well, its better now than never. There are some things that occured lately that made me realized I don't act my age. I know I can never give up my love fo manga or anime, despite how people think its a child's play. But that's an another issue, anime and manga was made for teens and young adults, not little kids.

I'm thinking how do adults handle things? Do they go through it over conflicts like fighting with friends or discuss things over face to face or maybe just ignore the issue and go straight to the next one. I did all of that. Sometimes it works, most of it dont. Is this a process of growing up? When I'm tired of facing problems, I just felt like packing my bags and go for a vacation (except the fact that the only place I can afford to go to is either to my mom's or dad's place - which I don't think I can get a peace of mind either). Though there is a part of me that wanted to crush the things around me and tell people to buzz off, I stick my foot on the ground and take it to my face knowing that if I run, the problems will come after me. So, does that make me a grown up then?

There are a lot of things in life that I cant quite figure out yet because in still in the middle of learning. Yes, life is a process of learning and I do it by making mistakes. Mistakes are good, but only if we learn by not making the same ones over and over. I want to act like how people my age are supposed to but only because suits me not because I suit it. Being a teenager is hard, I haven't completed the stage yet, but learning on how to be a better young adult will prepare me for the challenges and obstacles in life. I guess its ok if I'm not as mature as other people or I dont act my age, as long as what I learn now will guide my through my life. So, I wont try to grow up, but I will learn on how to be a grown up ^^v

Monday, April 6, 2009

Posting 6: Quest of Questions...

Age: Nothing to hide, I'm 20 going on 21

Tutorial Group: 3

Lecturer: Associate professor Dr. Datin Norizan Abd. Razak

Do you enjoy Blogging: Yes and No. Yes is because I love writing and I like surfing the net therefore I can do both with blogging. The reason I say no is because some of the posting in my blog is academic based which actually I'm not 100% against it. Its just some of the tasks are too hard and I dont have much interest it.

Benefit of Blogging: Dont know where to start. Based on my experience, there are quite a lot. I have been practicing my writing here as well as few other websites. I can tell my writing has improved. At the same time, I'm practicing the speed of my writing and its really fun to type fast. I'm also able to use English frequent when blogging since most of the websites on line used commands in English. All in all, blogging is good ^^v

Do you need more assistance?: Nopety nope. I think I'm pretty much keeping it simple as possible. However, there are some sections that I need to try out and sometimes need a friend to teach me on how to use it.

Memorable/Favorite topic: Hmm...dont think I have any...One thing though, I love all the title of my postings. (Not to brag or anything) I think the titles of my postings so far is one of a kind compared to my other fellow coursemates ^^. Whats more, every posting title has it own catch phrase and a picture that is symbolic to it ^^v

Advantages: I mentioned above, improve my writing, improve my English command, opportunities to express oneself etc, etc...

Disadvantages: Not really...

Continuing blogging: Most definitely! I always wanted to start blogging. This is just the jumpstart. I will keep on writing (but mainly on the topics I'm interestic in, maybe no more academic stuff but hard to say for now) I hope I have time to manage!

Blogging improve writing?: Yuppies!

Blogging for the next batch: I vote YES! I know some of the tasks are hard, but its a part of the learning process. I think it should be continued for the next batch who will be taking this course.

Recommend blogging: I'll help them to set up their blogs if I have to! Blogging is fun, everyone (who have lots to say) should create their own blog!

So there we go, the end of the sixth posting...I have fun this time ^^v

Friday, March 27, 2009

Posting 5: Concor-dance?

I learn a lot of new words this semester. Concordance is one of them. And yes, I never knew what is the meaning of it until just recently. What runs through my mind right now is millions of unfamiliar words and I feel like banging my head with my laptop. This is making me dizzy >.< After hours of searching and using different methods, I finally found 2 articles (and I'm so happy that it almost-emphasize on the word 'almost' moved me to tears T_T hehe). Anyway, even though it may sound that I'm having a hard time, I'm determined to do my best for the sake of learning and also, my grades depend on it (sorry Datin, just trying to be honest here ^^). So here I am with the fifth posting. I hope I managed to fulfill the task requirement ^^v

Go here for the first article

What I can summarize from this article is that concordance is used by literary and linguist scholars basically to analyze texts. Concordance simply look for the exact word that we were looking for and rule out any other insignificant details. Concordance help students and teachers in language learning as a base for grammatical and language guidance at the same time aranging the texts that we analyze in a better order.

Go here for the second article

From here I concluded that concordance functions as an arrangement of words in alphabetical order. It also helps to explain the word in each context that is possible to be used from the original text that the word came from. Concordance is often used for language and linguistic studies however it can also be used in other fields such as computer programming. Concordance is useful at studying any texts, especially in leterature where it will show how many times the word appear in the text. in this case, concordance locate the words that we were looking for as well as keep us on the right track when doing text analysis.

From my point of view, concordance is beneficial to language learning and language teachers. For language learning, concordance is useful because the concordancer will explain the word we choose in different aspects and usage. A person who is learning a language will understand better about how to use the word in various context. It can also enhances one's grammar and other language prospective. The same goes for language teachers. In the first article I read that teachers uses the concordance as a tool to help their student in learning the language. The teachers' work would be much easier with concordance because the student can try using the concordancer by themselves. This way, the teacher can focus more on other areas and the learning become more efficient. Language teachers also can explain better with the help of concordance as they use it to give a clearer view on their teachings. In short, concordance can be a two way tool for learners and teachers in language for managing lingustics and literary tasks.

Posting 4: Can I CALL You?

I finally get to my fourth posting. What we were assigned to do this time is go to UKM Tun Sri Lanang Library and get information from the databases subscribed there. To be honest, it was a little bit tricky because I'm not used to searching in the databases and look for the things that I'm not familiar with. Anyway, I managed to complete the task and here I am, starting the fourth posting.

First of all, I'm going to share a tiny bit of information about EBSCOHost, one of the database that we were told to look for. From what I understand, EBSCOHost is one of the database that were used by many of education institution around the world for educational resources such as journals, academic materials and many more. It is very convenient for research purposes and for information regarding various subjects.

Library and Information Science Abstracts or better known as LISA Net is a database full of references in Information Sciences. LISA Net provide a lot of abstracts from articles, journals and many other materials for various academic uses. This database have many collections from countries around the world.

After searching for a while, I managed to get the articles on one of the topic we have to choose which is Computer Assisted Language Learning or CALL. I found both of these articles in EBSCOHost.

The first article is a review by Pius ten Hacken from the Swansea University on a book entitled "Errors and Intelligence in Computer-Assisted language Learning: Parsers and Pedagogues" written by Trude Heift and Mathias Schulze. the author of the article summarized that the documentations on CALL include a lot of articles that people would categorize as having no relation to any areas about COmputational Linguistics. The author gives a full overview on the book and explains the contents of each chapter and also the errors that he found made by the creators of the book. The author of this article states that despite the obvious errors that the book has, the book is very helpful for those who is in the CALL field.

The second article that I found is about "The Multiple Roles of the Teacher in CALL" by Jia Yi-Dong. This article is mainly an overview and suggestions about teachers' roles in CALL. At the beginning, the author mentioned about the traditional role of teachers before CALL was introduced. In short, the author said that teachers are the heart of the classroom when it comes to learning especially in language. The author states that people misunderstood that when CALL is used as a medium to obtain better knowledge in language. teachers roles are no longer compulsory. However, this is not true since teachers responsibility multiplied when using CALL. For example, the teacher need to to supervise students, decide how much control the computer may have in the classroom and also to help students on how to initiate CALL. As a conclusion, the author thinks that the teachers' roles are crucial in CALL on the contrary of the belief that their positions are threatened.

From my point of view, I think both of the articles opened my eyes in CALL. From my understanding alone, I was easily mislead by the concept of CALL. At first, I thought CALL in basically using computer to do my assignments but after a lot of observation, now I finally understand that CALL is actually a kind of bridge that help me in improving my language learning through computer-based components. As for the teachers' roles in CALL, I agreed with the author of the articles that teachers play an important role in CALL. Without the guidance and instructions from teachers, students would be astray and would not be able to understand the significant of CALL. I could say I experienced first hand in this matter. Regardless of how advanced the technology is, we still need someone to assist us in doing things and who better to help us than a qualified teacher ^^

So in a nutshell, my assignment this time is not just another material to put up in my blog. Though I have to admit that I did not have any fun in completing this task >.<, I still gained a lot from it the fact that I understood better about the course syllabus and my do we have to do the tasks we wer given. Oh, and one more thing, I get the chance to practice my writing skills as well ^_^

Friday, March 20, 2009

Posting 3: Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Search Engines!

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light"
Dylan Thomas (1952)

Its 3 in the morning and I'm starting on my third posting (that explain why I choose the last 2 lines from Dylan Thomas' poem, I wont sleep till my job's one ^^.)

Anyway, as the title suggest, this post is about the search engines. I'm sure most people are very familiar with Google and Yahoo, but not many who knows the existence of Mamma metasearch and ERIC digest (I'm one of them obviously).

First of all, I'm not talking the usual Google search engine that we used frequently. I was talking about Google Scholar. Unlike Google search, Google scholar is more particular in searching for academic materials. Google Scholar has several features such as;

  • Search diverse sources from one convenient place
  • Find papers, abstracts and citation
  • Locate the complete paper through your library on the web
  • Learn about key papers in any area of reasearch
Click here for full details

Next is about Yahoo!. Through my observation, Yahoo! is a very common and wide ranged search engine. It serves the users in various ways such as searching for websites, images, news and many more. There is a lot of selection with Yahoo! Some of the features are;

  • Yahoo! answers
  • Yahoo! messanger
  • Yahoo! mail

This is the first time I've heard about Mamma metasearch. I like the tagline for this search engine which is the mother of all search engines. I was quite impressed with Mamma metasearch because it narrow down the number of sites from billions to only a couple of pages. Like any other search engines, Mamma offer searches on videos, shop, travel and etc.

I've also never heard of ERIC digest. What I've discovered about this search engine is that the former ERIC Clearinghouse system was eliminated due to inevitable circumstances. This site provide one way to acces the ERIC Digests education articles produced by the former ERIC Clearinghouse system. More info, find out more by clicking this.

Overall, there are some similarities as well as diferences among the four search engines. Google Scholar can be used to find specific articles regarding scholarly literature which makes it a more similar to ERIC Digest than Yahoo! or Mamma metasearch. However, Google scholar uses its own search engine while ERIC Digest uses Google as a searching tool.

Mamma metasearch and Yahoo! is similar because the two of the search engines provide various areas or fields such as videos, shops, etc, but Mamma metasearch are more refined in the searches unlike Yahoo! that gives billions of links as a feedback.

From my point of view, all the search engines work in their own way. I couldn't say which one is better than the other but for now, I think I'd stick to Google ^^.

Posting 2: To Write, or Not To Write?

This time I really, really past the due date because of my 'last minute work' attitude. I just dont know what to say and still a little bit blurry about the assignments. But that just sound like an excuse isn't it?

Anyway, back to the topic, how can blogging improve and enhance a blogger's writing skills? Well, I dont have strong facts to support me, but through my own blogging experience, it really help in improving my writing skills. For example, when I started blogging a while a go, I only write the things that crossed my mind. When I finished writing I would read the words that I wrote then double check everything. I found many grammar mistakes, spelling errors and all sorts of careless mistakes a person do when they were writing. That way, I can edit my posts until I'm satisfied with the way I'm writing.

Another way how a blogger can improve or enhance their writing skills is by the help of their follower or visitors that leave comments on their blogs. Sometimes if we're lucky enough, a person who happen to be very good in writing skills or any areas of language might be interested in what we write in our blog and give us advice on how to improve ourselves. If we're not that lucky (dont take what I say about luck seriously ^^) we still have friends who follow our blog (or have to, for the sake of the tasks, LOL). This way, we can use their help to guide us on blogging or ask them information regarding the tasks given. Its easier to point out other people's mistakes, thats why we need our friends to follow our blog so that they can tell us what we have done wrong ^_^v

In the first posting we had been given a choice of which type of reading we like. There is one about the incidental reading. Talking about incidental reading, we encounter a lot of articles and information on line while blogging. For instance, when we're searching for current news and affairs, we might stumble upon unpredictable information like what I found when I searched for article related to blogging. Click here for the URL.

I think the article is quite interesting because it is something very important when we are blogging. We should learn the terms such as blogosphere, moblog, blogware, etc. When we are blogging, we also need to know about the language terms that people use in the cyber world especially for someone who is a little bit slow in this kind of area (For example, me ~_~). Why should we learn about the blogging language? Not only we need to understand them as a guidance through our blogging tasks, but also to help us convey our message clearly. What I mean is, other professional bloggers would not understand what we're trying to convey if we use different terms that what they're used to. Get what I mean?

Finally, the reason why I think blogging help to improve and enhance writing skills is that practice makes perfect. When we're writing our blogs continuously, we become accustomed to writing and the words flow smoothly. I used to only write short paragraphs when I started blogging, but now I can also write long ones (that's probably because I'm getting off topic again >.<) Blogging can become a writing practice therefore its a good exercise for language students. Besides, blogging can be quite fun and interesting (if we know how to use all the gadgets ^^) Anyway, I have proved my point here that blogging can improve blogger's writing skills. Dont believe me? Read my postings again after the semester ends, see if I will get better or worse.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Posting 1: Something to wear or more than that?

women's kimono
men's kimono

First Assignment!!!

The kimono has had a long history in Japan and the kimono has changed over time to reflect the society and culture of tha period.

During the Heian period (794-1185), the custom of elaborate layers of colored kimono robes became popular with Japanese women. Jun-Hitoe, twelve unlined robes were frequently worn with the sleeve edges and colars showing the shades of each kimono. Persons of the royal court sometimes wear up to sixteen kimono layers. During the Kamakura period of 1185-1133 with the rising influence of the military class and worriors, people had no patience or need for elaborate kimono. Practicality prevailed and during this period the kosode meaning small sleeve was introduced into the kimono.

In 1615, military leader Tokugawa moved the capital of Japan from Kyoto, where the emperor resided to Edo, the present Tokyo. Confucianism was adopted and hierarchy became the guiding principle where citizens were ranked based on their class. During the Edo period, people began to define their status by their kimono clothing. During this time, the greatest artistic accomplisments were made with the kimono.

After 1853, the US Navy sailed to Tokyo and the beginning of Japan's commercial industry was opened to the western world. Although Japanese people continued to wear kimono for another hundred years, the beginning of the end of this practice was near.

During the Meiji period of 1868-1912, women began working outside their homes and required different clothing to accommodate their work. The Japanese people developed techniques to compete with the machine woven cloth available from the west. Cloth from other parts of the world were bought to make the kimono and the clothing. During Taisho perios of 1912-1926, Tokyo suffered a devastating earthquake which leveled most of the homes. Many of the old kimono were lost at this time.

During the Showa period of 1926-1989, the Japanese government curtained silk production by taxing it to support the military buildup. Kimono design became less complex and the material was conserved. After World War II, as Japan's economy gradually recovered, kimono became even more affordable and were produced in greater quantities. Europe and America fashion ideas affected the kimono designs and motifs, but their shape remained the same. Kimono and obi colors changed with the season and with the age and status of the wearer.

To know more about kimono and instructions on how to wear them, go to this link:

I was doing a research on how to wear a kimono last couple of weeks for my assignment when I stumble upon the article above. Why a kimono? I have my own reasons for that. people around me should know that I am a fanatic when it comes to anything that related to Japan or Japanese culture but how I come to choose kimono as a topic is not only on a whim.

The fact that kimono is the traditional clothes of the Japanese is widely known but not many people really know about the history of it. The kimono is not only about the layers of clothing a person is wearing; it is about the steps on how to put it on. One of the reasons why I admire about the Japanese culture is their discipline and following the rules when doing something, and we can see that when putting on a kimono.

Putting on a kimono is not as simple as putting on Malay's baju kurung, Chinese's cheong sam or even Indian's saree. The very first layer of the kimono is a very thin plain cloth acts as a undergarment (besides the ones we already wear inside ^_^). Before putting on another layer of kimono, the wearer will put on a pair of white socks, called tabi. As far as I know, there is no other attire in the world that require the person who wears it to put on socks first before the whole outfit. The reason for this is because once a person completely dressed in a kimono, it would be very difficult to bend down to put on the socks. Next, another layer of the kimono called the nagajuban should be put on. However, due to the weather condition these days, they prefer to wear a simpler version or juban which is in the form of the juban colar because this is the only part of the layer that will be shown when the last kimono layer is worn. The final layer of kimono, which is the one with the beautiful motifs and designs is put on. One thing the wearer will have to make sure is that they have to wrap the left side of the kimono over the right side. If it is done the other way round, it is to dress up a corpse for a burial.

The kimono is not done just by putting on the layers of clothing. Like I mentioned earlier, wearing kimono is not as simple as how we pronounce it. Another essential thing for kimono is the belt, called obi. To put on obi, there is another sets of steps to follow. There is four types of sash to be wear with kimono. the first it the koshi-himo sash, then the date-jime sash. Next the obi sash and finally the obi-jime cord. All of the sash serve different purposes. Lastly, a kimono will not be complete without accessories like hair pins, geta slippers, etc.

It is quite confusing for those who is not familiar with kimono but this is part of the reason why I picked this article as my topic. We will never learn about other culture if we never take initiative to find out about it. There are issues about language barriers and limited source of information, but when there's a will, there's a way. What I can conclude from my research is that, when I was looking for all these informations, I learned about a lot of things. Of course, I gained more information about kimono in Japanese history and also learn on how to put on a kimono. However, the most valuable thing that I learn is that when we do anything, we have to follow the instructions and have a discipline when doing that. I used to be a person who usually did not pay attention to details when reading. But without reading carefully and follow the steps, I would be giving the wrong informations and mislead other people. Finally, in the aspects of language, I think reading and writing (or typing) makes me more alert on the mistakes I make throughout the process and it is hard to stop writing when I am in the mood of doing so ^^.

I categorize the article above as reading for information (but i also read on the instructions, could this be incidental reading as well???)

Monday, March 2, 2009

welcome to my blog

i've been wanting to create my own blog for quite some time and its finally done...well, its still under co. anyway, i welcome anyone to read it ^^