Monday, 26 May 2014

Breaking News: Alice is graduating from ClariS

Let's take a break from all the anime reviews as I bring to you some pretty surprising news from Japan. Firstly, Japan won the Thomas Cup this year. Secondly, it seems like Alice will be graduating from the idol unit ClariS.

Clara + Alice = ClariS
I've been a fan of ClariS for a few years now. If you haven't already knew ClariS, they are a group of Japanese pop duo consisting of two high school girls Clara and Alice (not their real name, of course) from Hokkaido. ClariS is most notable for singing the opening and sometimes ending themes for Oreimo, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, and for the most recent one, Nisekoi. ClariS is among the most humble and down-to-earth pop idol that you can ever find anywhere on Earth. There's a reason why they call themselves Clara and Alice, and the fact that pretty much no one has ever or will ever see them in real life. These two girls are high school students, and since their debut back in 2010, they probably realized that they are going to be in the limelight someday and that can be pretty distracting. So, in order for them to focus better on schoolwork, they choose to perform anonymously with only pseudonyms and anime artwork as a representative of themselves. I mean... Nobody does that, but they became the first who did.

Well, it's pretty clear that these girls are pretty serious when it comes to school work. As it appears, the pressure of being very popular is still evident even after their effort in concealing their identity. As a result, Alice, one of the members of Claris, sent us a short piece of letter just recently.



It is translated as follow:-

"I Alice, in order to concentrate on schoolwork, after this 3rd Album 'PARTY TIME' will be graduating from ClariS.

To all our fans, staff, administrators and those working behind the scenes, since our debut 3 and a half years ago, you have made my world full of dreams and happiness. This has been such a wonderful time in my life that I will treasure.

For such a long time, thank you for your support."
(Translated by someone else)

In order words, it appears that Alice the bright Sun will be leaving the ClariS group pretty soon. That's what she meant by graduating if you haven't catch on. Well, what can I say? I will definitely be missing them very much. It's not a good feeling losing one of your favorite idols that you have come to love and respect, but I guess it is for her good and she definitely has my blessing as one of her big fan. ClariS won't be complete without riS, but I do hope they will continue making more songs in the future. Godspeed Alice-san, and all the best in your studies and the pursuit of your dream and future! We love you Alice! We love you too Clara! We love you ClariS!!! \(T^T)/

Anime Review: Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth

Hi again. So, like I mentioned earlier I had been catching up with a few anime recently and I happen to discover that the Persona 3 movie that we've been waiting for is finally out. To be honest I wasn't having a high expectation about this movie given how disappointing Persona 4 anime was along with every other game-turn-anime anime that ever existed. Oh no, I just reminded myself of the dreadful Tales of the Abyss! Anyway, I couldn't resist the urge to update my blog with yet another review so here goes.

For all you non-P3 gamers out there, nope... he didn't die.
Title: Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth

Genre: Mystery

What is it about: You'll know exactly what is it about if you played that game. If you haven't, please get yourself a PSP and play it. I couldn't quite explain what is it about because it's quite complicated, but trust me, the game is seriously awesome.

My review: Alas, I was right for not having high hopes for this movie. Before I continue my review, I just want to let you know that I'm actually a big fan of Persona 3 and 4 and I am an avid gamer of both these games. Previously, I had also written a review of the Persona 4 anime. You can check it out here. After all that mockery of an amazing game, they dare make a Persona 4 Golden version of the anime and a 3-part series of Persona 3 with Spring of Birth being the first.

Persona 3 is a really great game, and a long one at that. What this movie tries to do is to summarize the entire game in a series of movies, which in my opinion is not the wisest thing to do. Okay, maybe it's fair for the non-P3 gamers who probably wanted this. The problem is, as much as they want to turn the game into an anime, they somewhat failed in that regard. The anime still looked like a game, only it is playing itself. As a result, certain things may seem rather confusing for those who never played the game before. For example, the calendar system. They should have done away with that and work on a better flow of time instead. This is why for every game especially the long ones, trying to summarizing into short anime or movies just isn't going to work. Also, they could at least do better with the graphics. I am already unimpressed by the graphics in the cutscenes of the game itself. Using the same graphics and character design in an entire anime is just not right. I just don't feel comfortable watching this anime.

So, who does this anime is intended for? The fans of Persona 3 who never played the game? Very rarely I  there is any I tell you. The game came out way before the anime and I bet everyone who watches this anime has at least played the game. Or maybe just an anime fan who haven't played the game? Maybe, but in this regard they could have at least make this anime more anime-like, less game-like and ultimately less-confusing for those who are new to the Persona series. So the ones that they pretty much ignored are those who had actually played the game. If you had actually played the game, the entire anime is pretty much pointless as you already know exactly what is it about and what is going to happen. In that sense, a majority of us will be disappointed with this movie. As this is only the first part of the trilogy, this movie kinda ends in the middle of nowhere. I can tell even I haven't actually finished watching it, though I did scheme through the most parts of this movie.

What I am saying is that they should have shown us something else something new. I don't mind them giving an introduction of what Persona 3 is all about, but not to the extent that it is basically ripping off the entire game. It could have appealed to gamers and non-gamers alike, and at the same time telling the non-gamers "Hey, if you wanna know the whole background of the story, go play the game.". Yes, they could have easily kill two birds with one gunshot on the head. Jk!

Rating: 2/10

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Anime Review: Nisekoi

I apologize for not updating my blog frequently. If you have been following me, you might have noticed that my university is trying its hardest to keep me busy. Because of that, I haven't been watching anime lately. But now my seriously-packed timetable is beginning to subside a little as finals is quick approaching - a calm before the storm. So I did what I do best: watching anime.

Pika pika Chitoge :3
Title: Nisekoi (Fake Love)

Genre: Romantic comedy

What is it about: Mainly about a guy forced to be in a relationship with a girl in order to stop a war from breaking out, though both of them hate each other. Then things became a little more complicated (and annoying).

My review: Nao Toyama is back once again as Karen Kujo- I mean Kirisaki Chitoge, a half-American half-Japanese blonde girl who speaks English with Japanese accent. Well, to be fair to her she did improve a lot since Kiniro Mosaic. I applaud her for even trying to speak in English. It's actually pretty entertaining. Also, the two amazing Kanas has return as well: Kana Hanazawa and Kana Asumi, alongside their kawaii-ness. To be honest, I haven't actually finished watching this anime. I currently stopped at episode 16 out of 20 and quite frankly I've pretty much lost most of my motivations to continue. I wouldn't even have made it this far if it wasn't for the fact that Nao Toyama and Kana Hanazawa is voicing two of the main characters in this anime.

Make no mistake however, I didn't necessarily hate this anime. I just thought it could be much better than it is. I will be addressing the problems with Nisekoi in a bit,  but first let me tell you why I liked this anime. In fact, I really love this anime after watching the first few episodes. Nisekoi has got the most awesome first episode ever, one that actually made me ROFLMAO. This anime opens by showing off the main character, Raku Ichijo's cooking skills which is very impressive and fun to watch but you'll never get to see it ever again. He is actually the son of a yakuza that for an organized criminal society is pretty non-threatening. Then we are introduced to Chitoge Kirisaki, daughter of a rival yakuza group who after an unfortunate misadventure, came to hate Raku. Finally at then ending of the same episode, both of them are forced to be couples. Their reaction to that are totally priceless!

This anime is funny and dramatic at the same time. I really liked where it is going and I kind of expected the anime to take a turn to become a tearjerker instead. I don't know why, but I think that would be cool. I always loved funny yet meaningful anime. However, to my disappointment, such is not the case and the anime is beginning to abandon its mission as one long major storyline, but instead focusing on small meaningless humour and a side story which doesn't make much sense. There's no more drama, just the anime's failing attempts to make you laugh which results in too much repetition of events and too much cliche. The main-character-in-deep-shit-in-the-hot-spring-after-some-idiot-swap-the-gender-sign cliche, I've seen that many times. There was a time in the beginning of the series where the two got so pissed off that they had a huge argument and Raku actually yelled at Chitoge. Well, those days are over and I really miss it. What we've got instead is the introduction of more and more characters that we don't give a damn so that Nisekoi can be a mindless harem anime.

The storyline is also became weird after the first few episodes. Instead of focusing on the yakuza brawl or the accidental couple, Nisekoi chose to focus on the small side story where the Raku made a promise to a girl 10 years ago to marry her. He couldn't remember who she was or how she looked like. All he know is he has a pendant with a lock and the girl he made the promise to holds the key to that lock. What's weirder is that the girl whom he made the promise to might actually be Raku's classmate and crush, Onodera because she had in possession of a key. Onodera also remembered only that she made a promise with a guy 10 years ago but don't know who he is and how he looked like. She only know she has a key. As if the storyline is not weird enough, more candidates of the mysterious Raku's promised girl are introduced including Chitoge. Same sh*t, Chitoge only remembered she made a promise 10 years ago but doesn't remember bla bla bla. She had another different-looking key. Oh, suddenly everybody knew everybody in this anime one way or another. To everybody's annoyance, yet another girl is introduced to potentially be the girl in question because she had yet another key. Damn, what's with this anime and keys?!

The main storyline which is interesting, dramatic, funny and fun to watch pretty much died at this point. What we get to see instead is the characters' stupidity in countless misunderstandings. Yes, I get it that Raku has a crush on Onodera. When they are together, they are excited. I get it. But this anime is really trying to over-exaggerate stuff by showing us scenes that are pretty much pointless and intended solely  to make you laugh. It worked at first, but after showing the same crap like a billion times, I'm getting real tired of it. Also, it is plainly obvious that Raku likes Onodera and Onodera likes Raku. Just bloody confess already! They had so many opportunities to do so, yet the anime is busy trying to show us how excited or nervous they are before some stupid stuff happen and they lost the chance to confess. And the cycle goes on and on. There is really nothing left to see anymore.

I don't know, but I'm feeling really sad watching this anime. It's an anime that I really liked, an anime that I actually recommended to my friend after watching a few episodes. Then it had to go and disappoint me. How very disappointing indeed. I hope the next few episodes would be a bit better at least. Hmm... Maybe I should watch Kiniro Mosaic to cheer myself up a bit. Karen Kujo anyone?

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman 2

I apologize for not writing any review for anime lately. I haven't been watching anime as I do not have that privilege of time. However, amidst all the pending assignments piling up on my desk, I did went to the cinema to watch The Amazing Spiderman 2. Honestly, I don't know what have I done.

Title: The Amazing Spiderman 2

What is it about: Spiderman, and how freaking amazing he is.

My review: I'm sorry to say, this movie just isn't worth my sacrifice and time. On that note, this movie has wasted so damn much of my time which I would rather spend it on doing my assignments or just sleep or hang out with friends or something. Around halfway through the movie, I already had to take out my mobile phone and go to Facebook just to prevent myself from being bored to death. Seriously, why did I even bother to watch a Spiderman movie? I mean, he's not exactly my favorite superhero and the past movies has been all but disappointing. Well, that's because the trailer for this movie actually looked good and very promising. And let's just say that I was utterly disappointed as I shall explain why.

Surprising enough, many people seems to enjoy this movie very much. Maybe because it's because this movie came the closest to the storyline in the comics. I never read the comics as I'm not a comic guy and I'm not a fan of Marvel (Maybe except Captain America). For the entire 3 hours of watching this movie, nothing much seems to make sense to me. Maybe they make sense for the comic readers, but certain for a layman like me. Some scenes also seem to take place just because the comic books dictate it, much like the scene where *ahem* you-know-who was killed off. It it wasn't for the comic books, that scene would have been pretty infuriating for fans. But now it's good because it obeys the order of the comics.

Also, remember I mentioned something about the trailer being promising? Well yeah, the trailer is nice, but the movie is not. That's because so many scenes in the trailer are not even in the movie! As a result, I felt extremely cheated. I think the complexity of the plot is seen much more in the trailer than in the movie itself. , but it didn't actually happen. So now everything just turns into a boring film trying to show off Spiderman's powers. Yes, Spiderman is powerful in this movie. He pretty much turned into Superman at this point. The  main villain is powerful too, but he's all too easily beaten by Spiderman. Speaking of the villain, Electro got his powers after being electrocuted by high-voltage wires. Kinda reminds you about how Peter Parker became Spiderman right? So anyone gets burned by fire becomes fireman? Jk.

The main villain in this movie is Electro, but I would rather he be known as an accidental villain. He's a villain simply because everyone around him has been an @$$hole to him (including Spiderman himself), and it just so happen he then pretty soon gain superpowers. Even after gaining (accidental) powers he wasn't exactly a villain yet, until yet another @$$hole piss him off and viola, we have Electro as the main villain. Honestly, I felt sorry for the villain much more than Spiderman for what he's being through. Also, I know that this is just a movie and that Spiderman's powers are just a fantasy and completely impossible to achieve in reality, I really dislike how this movie plays with some 8th grade science just to try to impress its audience. Yeah, maybe some magnetic stuffs will cancel of some electric stuffs. I don't know. Sounds familiar, but we didn't exactly pay attention in class. But I refuse to accept that a simple magnetic device at Spiderman's wrist are able to deflect electricity strong enough to light up the whole of New York. I could go on ranting about how unrealistic this movie is, but it would be an even greater waste of time than it already is.

Previously I mentioned that Electro is the main villain. In fact, I do mean that there are other villains beside Electro, and supposedly this is about Spiderman's 'greatest battle yet'. But Electro was defeated so easily that I didn't even realize it. Then there's Green Goblin, a product of Harry Osborne going crazy. Yeah, you know this already. Worse still, Green Goblin's appearance only lasts for at most 10 minutes in the whole of the 3 hour movie and the only motive of his appearance is for the advancement of plot to the 'right comical direction' (i.e. to kill you-know-who). After his job his done, he's no longer useful for the movie and just ends up being defeated by Spiderman. Roll credits.

Wait a minute, there is actually a THIRD VILLAIN, the Rhino (can he be any less useful than this?). Well, Rhino certainly holds the record for the shortest appearance time for a villain. He should be awarded a prize for that. I think he merely appeared for at most the final 2 minutes of the movie. Yes, this movie ends in a freaking cliffhanger in the middle of the fight between Rhino and Spiderman. Well, I guess you don't really have to watch the fight to know who will come out victorious. I mean, Spiderman did easily beat a guy with electric powers enough to light up a city (who can also teleport). What's a piece of scrap metal with guns to him?

Rating: 2/10