Mar. 6th, 2017 11:41 pm
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Marathoned it over four days. My heart. I cannot imagine waiting for it an episode per week. The tension would kill me. I feel so lucky to get to watch it at once and then go backread all the forums and relive all the squee.

I love that it's about someone trying to find his confidence again and someone trying to find his inspiration again. I love the tender unfolding of their relationship. I love the gorgeous ice skating. I love the opening theme. I love that there are no bad guys, only people struggling with their own fears and doubts. I love how much it surprises us, over and over.

Now that I've finished it:

(1) I want to throw my money at DVDs and CDs but where are the English releases?!!

(2) I'm really hungry for katsudon.

I'm almost afraid to watch Season 2 when it comes out because Season 1 was just so good.

"No matter what the real world thinks of this work, in the world of this work you will not be discriminated for what you love. I will definitely protect that kind of world." - Mitsuro Kubo
meteordust: (kujaku)
In March, I went to the second ever Room 801, a yaoi and yuri convention, held this time in Parramatta. I had an awesome time last year, and this year did not disappoint.

Highlights included:

* Informative panel sessions on acquiring yaoi and yuri content legally, making your own visual novel using the Ren'Py engine, and how to get into publishing ebooks.

* Interesting panel discussions about sports manga (overreading meaning onto text, and emotional declarations like "I will protect you!" and "I will stay by your side forever!"), texts that might be fujoshi bait (need tangible characters and deep emotional connections between them, not just appealing on a superficial level), and yuri (ships based on canon and ships based on subtext inspire different feelings, and the forbidden feeling of doujinshi makes it more enticing).

* A Let's Play of a gay dating sim called Coming Out On Top, about a young college guy who decides to come out to his housemates, and then begins the big adventure of dating. Charming and hilarious.

* The Saturday night swap meet. A relaxing place to hang out, while the AMV screening played.

I came home with the comic "Yuri Reversal" by Kittyhawk, an adorable Boxfox by Mamath, and a whole bunch of recs for series to check out.

I also bought a copy of Coming Out On Top and spent the next week obsessively playing it. I haven't really played a visual novel before, and it was surprisingly addictive, especially trying to get all the endings (good, bad, and bizarre). The characters were delightful and the illustrations were hot.


Mar. 6th, 2014 11:55 pm
meteordust: (kujaku)
* It is, not surprisingly, rather difficult to Google for 'free anime'. Even adding the exclamation mark.

* Success!

* So I, uh, kind of marathoned the whole season in one day.

* Everyone who said it was really, really good: you were right.

* I can't help being amused that it was Australia where Rin went to train. And I'm a little sad that he didn't come back with a love of Tim Tams or a phobia of huntsmen or anything else apart from non-country-specific angst.

* I know it's been renewed for a second season, but I'm not sure how I feel about that. There are some shows where the first season is about the most important and dramatic story of the character's life, and forms a complete and satisfying arc. And later seasons just can't match up. (See Veronica Mars or Heroes or Revenge.) I do love the characters, so I'll probably check it out, hoping it won't turn into an endless swimming battles shounen anime.
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I should be asleep by now. But then again, I should have been home over an hour ago, too.

Anyway. At this year's Japanese Film Festival, the one must-see movie for me was the live action Rurouni Kenshin. I watched the anime series back in the day, and retain fond memories of how cool and dramatic and fun it was.

So, the movie?


The original series shifted in tone between serious drama and light comedy, and the movie captured that beautifully. And the casting! They got it right. How you get real life actors who look exactly like these characters, I don't know. They all played their parts brilliantly. And the story did a great job of bringing together the characters in ways that worked and gave them each a chance to shine, and having a plot that showed off the action and highlighted the themes.

It was cool and dramatic and fun.

You could tell the audience was made up of fans. There were cheers whenever a beloved character appeared for the first time, and there was applause at the start and the end. But I have no idea if there was any bonus material in the closing credits - I was too busy running out the door to Town Hall station.

The ranty bit (ie why I am awake and online):

The movie was delayed by almost an hour, which is very poor form for an 8:30 PM movie. During the second half, I kept wondering, "When do the trains stop running on weeknights?" and "I hope this isn't a three hour movie."

It turned out to be only two hours long, but that was still enough for me to miss the last train home by ten minutes. I ended up catching another line, and having to take a taxi the rest of the way, which cost as much as the movie ticket had. I'm sure I wasn't the only one affected.

(PS. It was great to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] kawak and [livejournal.com profile] fluffyduck and [livejournal.com profile] evilhayama at the screening. I hope you guys made it home okay.)

(PPS. And what do you know, in my inbox has arrived an Event Cinemas feedback survey. I think I'll be making use of that.)
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Just a heads up that the programme and schedule are now up.

Sydney: 17 November - 27 November
Melbourne: 29 November - 6 December
Other cities: see schedule

Highlights include:

Arriety (the new Studio Ghibli movie)
Space Battleship Yamato (live action Star Blazers!)
Buddha: The Great Departure (based on the Osamu Tezuka manga)

Tickets go on sale on 20 October.
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It's been over ten years since I first saw Eva, and it blew me away, like it did many other people. And now Gainax is retelling it - for the nth time - for a new audience.

So a couple of days back I went to see Evangelion 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone at the Japanese Film Festival, along with [livejournal.com profile] leenabeans, [livejournal.com profile] hopexd, [livejournal.com profile] kawak, Sempai and friend. It was weird to settle back in the cinema and realise that this was how I first saw Eva too - not on TV, but huge on the screen of a darkened theatre, surrounded by countless other fans.

And how was this new incarnation?

I liked it. I'd recommend it, to both old fans and new viewers. (Unless you didn't like Eva the first time around. In which case, there's nothing to change your mind.) The plot is largely the same, but effectively streamlined, with enough new material added to make it worth seeing. All the drama and comedy of the original series, and the character moments interspersed with the action sequences, and Shinji reminding us why he got a rep for being whiny ("I must not run away. I must not run away."), and the full bloody primal fury of an Eva unleashed. And the music, damn, it still gets me right there, each track triggering a memory. And the animation is all bright and shiny with the last decade of advances and a budget that hopefully ensures the last movie won't be some random photomontage again.

I couldn't help laughing at the appearance of [spoiler] at the end of the movie, because way to go Gainax, that's not opportunistic fanservice at all. But I am looking forward to the next few movies, [spoiler] or not, and to see where this path takes us.
meteordust: (Default)
Heads up, it's on again, in a couple of the Australian capital cities:


The one movie I definitely want to see is:

Evangelion 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone
Tuesday 9 December 2008, 6:00 PM
Greater Union, George Street, Sydney

Anyone else interested? If so, please let me know. I'll be buying tickets on Monday.

(Note: The movie is described in the brochure as "the first installment in a planned quadrilogy". ARGH! QUADRILOGY IS NOT A #&@% WORD!)
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There is a live action drama of Here Is Greenwood! Why have I not heard of this before today? Do you guys know anything about it? Should I run back to that DVD shop in Chinatown on Monday and grab a copy?

ETA: Actually, I may not have to wait till Monday. Whee!

SMASH! 2008

Aug. 7th, 2008 12:33 am
meteordust: (Default)
So SMASH! is in its sophomore year, and showing no signs of slump. Very healthy turnout when I went on Saturday, hordes of cosplayers and artists and enthusiastic young folk and even a good swathe of the old crowd. Sometimes it's good just to hang out and let the carnival swirl around you.

There was one event I had to check out though - the interview with guest of honour Hidenobu Kiuchi, the first Japanese seiyuu to attend a convention on these shores. The interviewer seemed inexperienced with bilingual interviewing and did a few awkward things, like ask questions using long and convoluted sentences, and engage in patter aimed primarily at the audience, which made things hard for the translator. But it kind of smoothed out towards the end. The questions were mostly general - how did you get your start, what's the recording process like, etc - but the audience was enthusiastic and the mood positive.

The interview was followed by a live dubbing session, in which Kiuchi performed his lines as various scenes from his anime were played. It was interesting to witness the differences between the roles and how he modulated his voice for each one. Plus bonus audience participation in the supporting roles, which was entertaining.

I went easy on the shopping this time - just picked up some cute Bleach bookmarks and an even cuter postcard with two lovely guys kissing and the caption "The closet is for clothes."

The day seemed to pass too quickly, and I wonder if SMASH! will eventually become a full weekend event. In any case, I'm sure it will be back next year, and all the fans with it.
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Supanova is the one convention I never miss. Highlights this year were the talks by Nicholas Brendon and Lani Tupu, and the amazing Tsubasa cosplay group. Got to catch up with friends, and also picked up a bunch of comics from Artists' Alley. My absolute favourite is Jessica McLeod's Ghost Farm, the story of a lonely vampire who goes to a ghost farm to obtain a companion. Simply adorable.
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I remember that day, ten years ago, in that packed out classroom in the Quadrangle Building, when these three guys stood up in front of us and proposed to start an anime club. In years to come, they would be known as the Founders, and the club as AnimeUNSW.

Memories )


Aug. 20th, 2007 11:33 pm
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Went to SMASH! on the weekend - the first con I've been to in nearly a year. It had a pretty good turnout - hundreds of people, it seemed - and it was affirming to see so many fans gathered together and having a good time. It was also kind of nostalgic being back at UNSW and hanging at the Roundhouse. I caught a couple of the events, but for the most part I was content to relax and enjoy catching up with friends. I ended up doing a bit more shopping than I originally intended, and came away with a swag of comics and stuff. (I have to mention RAE's Cabin Boys, which is quite possibly *the* best title ever for a yaoi comic, especially when you factor in the barechested pirates on the cover.)
meteordust: (kujaku)
One month from today, it will be the 10th anniversary of the founding of AnimeUNSW.

Its official name is the Anime and Manga Society of the University of New South Wales, but nobody calls it that. To me personally, it will always be 'the club'. It was a big part of my life for a long time - through it, I made some wonderful friends, and had some amazing experiences, and of course watched lots of anime, which I was hugely passionate about.

Back then, the only other anime clubs in Sydney were JAUWS and SAS - the one based out west, and the other a small group of friends. The next closest club was down in Wollongong. SUAnime, Anime@UTS, AnimeMQ - none of these clubs yet existed. So AnimeUNSW became the main social hub for anime fans in metropolitan Sydney, its Friday night screenings regularly drawing not only uni students but high schoolers and fulltime workers - all come together to share their love of Japanese animation.

Kids these days! aka Uphill! Both ways! In the snow! )
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Just realised I mentioned the Infinity8lue concert earlier but never went into any detail about it.

I was as excited as everyone else when I heard that there would be a concert featuring music from the Studio Ghibli movies and the Final Fantasy games. I love the music from all of these, and the prospect of hearing it performed live, by a real orchestra...

For the most part, I enjoyed the concert, though I know a lot of people had complaints about aspects of the performances. The only things I really had issue with were the trumpet player, who obviously muffed some of his notes, and those of the vocalists who were almost inaudible. The guy who sang 'On Your Mark' did a great job, but as for 'Eyes On Me', I've heard it done much better at karaoke.

I liked the rest of it well enough though, and I liked the experience of watching the orchestra play and seeing how the different sections combined to bring a piece to life.

For me, the highlight was 'Liberi Fatali'. This is my favourite piece of Final Fantasy music ever. I remember the first time I saw the Final Fantasy VIII trailer - up there on the big screen in Mathews A, Squall and Seifer duelling as a chorus of voices rose to crescendo. The music filled the entire theatre. It was awesome.

Even taking into account my bias, I'd say that 'Liberi Fatali' was easily the best piece of the concert. It was worth the price of admission to hear it performed live.
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So. Things I've been up to lately:

* Saw Finding Nemo. It's a wonderful feeling to sit down to watch a movie and know you're going to enjoy it. With Pixar, you already know you're in good hands. From all the interviews - and from the quality of their work itself - they seem to genuinely care about their stories. One of the best things about Pixar is that their stories have heart - and they don't get heart confused with cheap sentimentality.

* Saw Pirates of the Carribbean. Very swashbuckly, surprisingly intelligent, and a lot of fun. How cool was Jack Sparrow? He had all the best lines, and his attitude just rocked. It was also interesting for me to see Orlando Bloom in a non-Legolas role for the first time. He did a decent job, although his character was a pretty standard noble-young-hero type. Jack Davenport from Ultraviolet was also in it, but I didn't recognise him in costume, only his name in the credits. The special effects for the pirates were pretty amazing - probably a far cry from the original Disney ride, which I actually went on once when I was little. The slashiness I'd heard about was rather light - still, I'm interested in seeing what the fanfic does with it.

* Heard back from Clarion South about my application. I didn't manage to get one of the seventeen places, but I've been put on the reserve list. I wasn't expecting to get in, so I'm pretty pleased I got as far as I did.

* Received my first ever rejection letter, for Original!Story. It's a milestone on the road to becoming a published writer, but I wish they'd given me more feedback than the very unhelpful form letter they sent. Ah well.

* Attended the AnimeUNSW AGM on Friday. One of the more interesting AGMs, I'll admit, being only the second time in the club's history that there's been more than one contender for a position. Six years now since the club started - bloody hell. We were dreaming about the fifth year anniversary once, and now even that's passed. It'll be ten years before we know it - but with all those fresh new faces joining the exec, I'm hopeful at the thought of reaching that ten year mark. I've met some of the best people in the world through this club, and made some unforgettable memories. I never could have imagined it, back when it all began.

* Saturday was spent at Magic Casements, the first ever speculative fiction festival held at the NSW Writers' Centre. The panels I attended were a bit of a mixed bag. The panel on sources of inspiration was kind of wishy-washy, as you'd expect from the topic, and it also looked like one of the scheduled panelists had piked out. The world-building panel, on the other hand, was excellent, with different approaches from each of the four authors on it. I'd had high hopes for the academic panel, after the Fantastic Fictions conference last year, but it turned out to be pretty dull. I did enjoy the panel on breaking into the business though, with several newcomers discussing their experiences. I also managed to catch up with some of the people in my writing group, who were involved in helping out with the festival.

* Monday morning, at nine sharp, I rocked up to an address on Broadway in response to an ad in the paper. They were looking for hair models for a show - in exchange for lending your services for the day, you got a free cut and colour plus $150 worth of hair products. It was an interesting experience. They picked out eleven of us - ten girls and one guy. Most of the others were uni students, and a few were actually still in high school, which made me feel rather old. I was kind of nervous at first - I wanted a change, yeah, but my hair is probably my one vanity, and what if they wanted to crop it short and dye it lime green or something? They actually made far less radical changes than I'd expected, and it was kind of cool to get a haircut from a topnotch professional. I was there for twelve hours. Most of the day was spent waiting around - I remember thinking, this is probably what it's like to be an actor on a set. They had a professional makeup artist come in and work on us, and they picked out clothes for us to wear, and in the evening we had to get up on a catwalk in front of about seventy hair industry professionals while the organisers demonstrated their work and spoke vigorously about the issues affecting their field. (Undercharging for colour is a major one, apparently.)

* My room has, over the past few weeks, deteriorated into the worst state of disorder I can ever remember. Today I decided to tackle that problem. One of the things I found in my digging was the Madman anime sampler DVD from Manifest. As I was checking it out, I found not only the usual trailers but also a couple of sample first episodes. One of them was .hack//SIGN. Well, well. Some people I know, especially [livejournal.com profile] leenabeans, are really into this series. Now I can see why. The sampler DVD only had the dubbed version, but the pull of the story was strong enough to overcome my reservations. My experiences with RO also added another layer of appreciation. I don't know the names of all the characters yet, but I did recognise Subaru. Favourite moment was when the fuzzy yellow hippo creature - is *that* a puchigosu? - was bumping its nose into the wall. I nearly melted. So. Damn. Cute. I want one now - a lifesize one to hug and feed and ride everywhere.
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1. Finally got to see The Matrix Reloaded. I wasn't disappointed, but then again I had been keeping my expectations modest after the rather lukewarm reviews. I didn't mind the lack of plot - who's watching Matrix for the plot? - but the action sequences, while spectacular, dragged on too long. It's as though the makers were trying to pump each set piece for all it was worth, but only ended up pumping it dry. The ending was also clumsily done - they should have cut it a few minutes earlier. You know, after *that* scene. It would have made an awesome ending. Instead, we got something that looked like it was supposed to be a suspenseful cliffhanger, but just wasn't. Well, I guess we'll have to see what November brings.

2. Went to Con*descending on the long weekend. Had a lot of fun. Played one of the lords of Minas Tirith in the Middle-Earth freeform. Witnessed Eorl the Young, who in the histories is the founder of Rohan, decide to name his fledgling nation Eorlworld instead. Also played Jubilee in the X-Men freeform, which gave me an excuse to run around and be hyper. Got repeatedly hit on by Jean Grey, who was affected by Magneto's mind control. Or possibly not. And my team won a prize for one of the games we played! I've been going to RPG cons for years, but it's the first time I've won a prize. I usually skip out before prizegiving, once the last game ends. Maybe I should attend more often. Yeah, I know the game's the important thing, but still, I feel absurdly happy every time I see that shiny new trophy on my shelf.

3. I've started playing Ragnarok Online, hooked by other addicts who shall not be named. Although I used to MUSH a fair bit back in uni, this is the first MMORPG I have joined. It is is cute and addictive and I suspect it will eat up a lot of hours if I let it. My archer has reached level 16 and has started exploring the world beyond his village. Right now, I'm trying to work out which are good places to level up and which are good places to get killed.

4. I haven't been slacking off completely. Part 5 of Ties of Blood is done and is now at betaing. Woohoo. To those who have been waiting patiently for the next part to show up: I'm sorry it's taken so long, and I hope to have it up soon.

5. I haven't been able to spend much time on Smallville lately, which feels weird. It's been my primary fandom for over a year now, and it bothers me to be falling out of the loop. I'm behind with everyone's LiveJournals, and it's been over a fortnight since I last checked the Smallville Slash Archive. I used to visit everyday. (Yes, I realise that sounds sad. Why do you ask?) The last time I read a TWoP recap was months ago, although that may change now that the bastards at Channel Nine have taken Smallville off the air again. They even advertised 'Lineage' as the season finale, which is a fucking lie. It's episode seven, you morons! *Seven*!

6. Finally picked up my own copy of the Spirited Away DVD, after months of waiting for the official Australian release. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It broke box office records in Japan when it was released, it won this year's Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and it has replaced My Neighbour Totoro as my favourite ever Miyazaki movie. The thing I like best is the genuine sense of wonder it evokes. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to share it with everyone you know.


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