Sunday, April 30, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was satisfying beyond my expectations so I could not wait to be surprised similarly with the sequel. Of course I was not as excited for this as compared to the Avengers and I did not realise that the movie was already out on Thursday. I used a free movie ticket from Cathay to watch it tonight. That is quite interesting since I watched the first movie using free Gold Class ticket. Haha..

There is not much to talk about the story because I don't think there is really much about the story. In fact, I really think the story is disappointing as it is not about the saving the world from a cosmic danger. Yes Ego can destroy the whole world if he is successful but I feel that the movie is more about saving Star Lord from his crazy father and for the Guardians of the Galaxy to escape the exploding planet. It is CG everywhere that even the fights and action scenes are not that exciting. There is a bit more touching moments but for most parts of the movies, members of the Guardians are separated and have little screen time together.

Despite the poor story and the relatively little screen time of the characters together, I enjoyed the movie so much because the jokes are really hilarious. Unlike the first movie that seems to use a lot of 'ass' and 'dick' to drive the joke, this time the jokes are my kind: the mean, sharp, and acerbic kind of jokes. The whole cinema was laughing heartily so definitely I am not messed up for enjoying the kind of jokes: calling people ugly, calling people disgusting, calling people beautiful 'only in the inside', and many more. The jokes make everything enjoyable enough for me to even consider watching this again, despite the rather weak plot. Interesting eh?

The movie is quite generous with 5 after ending credit scenes. Baby Groot is so cute and funny in this movie. Now that he is shown as a teenager in one of the after ending credit scene, I am wondering if there will be a volume 3 and it will still be as funny.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Best of Rimi Natsukawa Live in Singapore

So this is a second Japanese artiste concert that I attended after AAA last year. But this is definitely the first one of that a solo artiste and more importantly, it fulfills my dream of attending a sitting down concert. Haha..

The concert was held at The Star Theatre, Star Visa, which is the same place as FF Distant Worlds so I am sort of familiar with the location. Unlike Distant Worlds, only the first level is used. I bought the ticket in January and it was not so popular (but the concert turned out to be quite full yesterday). I was considering about getting a box seat but because I kept hesitating and was not familiar with the system, I ended up with a seat on a second row. The box seat was actually not sold but was 'reserved' when I was playing around. It was not time out yet so by the time I wanted to buy, that box seat was unavailable. Sianz.. Anyway it turned out to be not a bad thing because it felt like sitting in the first row because there is no other seat in front of me. The front most row is shorter than my row. So yeah, that is a really good VIP experience. There were moments that I think she was looking and waving at me. Haha..

The concert was 1 hour and 30 minutes including the encore and it started 15 minutes later than the stated start time 8pm. I was worried that a solo singer concert would be boring but this concert proved me wrong. Despite the modest stage backdrop (few cloth drapes from ceilings being shone with lights of different colour), musical accompaniment of only 1 piano and 1 gu-zheng (though Rimi will occasionally play her guitar-like instrument that I don't know the name), the concert experience was mindblowing. That shows how amazing Rimi's singing prowess is. Her voice sounds exactly the same as her recordings or videos that I watch on youtube and her long notes were stable without going off tune.

Nothing was unexpected for the song choices with basically the songs which are familiar for the audience. It is nice that she sang a few Mandarin and English songs too. For the last two songs, audience were asked to stand up, clap a long, and do the Okinawan dance hand movements dubbed as: sliding the window to the left, sliding the window to the right, lifting a shutter up, and pulling a shutter down. Lol.

Initially I felt a bit out of place/era as the audience was mostly uncle and aunties. The good thing with the audience was they were very appreciative although I think it was too much as they were clapping at every pause in the middle of the song. There was not any inappropriate shouting, screaming, and cheering. On the flip side, they were sort of not responsive when asked to stand and do the Okinawan dance hand movements.

I bought the $168 VIP ticket and that entitled me to Meet & Greet session at the end of the concert. I was quite disappointed that there was no photo taking session or any souvenir :( However, we were not rushed when we shook hands and interacted with Rimi so that was pretty nice. My Japanese is still poor so I could not say things in Japanese. I only said in English that I hope next year she will hold a concert again in Singapore.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Metres away from death

Today I had a reminder that life is short and to be enjoyed. At lunch time, it was very windy and started to rain. I was waiting at the roadside for a chance to jaywalk when a big bark of tree dropped from the sky about 2-3 metres away from where I stood. It hit the road with a loud thud and broke into few pieces. If that bark fell on me.. I don't know if my umbrella would help to protect me or worsen my demise. Surprisingly I was not shocked or scared about it. I guess it helps to be prepared to die anytime lol. Seriously the whole road is lined with trees. At any point of time, barks could be falling from any trees at any part of the road.

My mum said perhaps an angel helped me. That's possible. Whatever it is, I am still thankful to God. Wah piang, not funny if really the thing dropped on me and I got hospitalised and suffered. If straight away go to heaven I don't mind.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Movies on plane

As promised, I finally am able to set aside time to write about the movies that I watched on the few flights I took in the past month.
Golden Orchestra
Chizuru Koyama moved to a new town as a new teacher. She was inspired by a local orchestra but instead of joining the professional Umegaoka Philharmonic Orchestra, she ended up registering for the amateurish Umegaoka Symphonic Orchestra whose members consist of local elderly who are happy with their achievements when at practice they can play further than the previous practice. Despite wanting to quit, Chizuru ends up as the conductor as the original conductor fell ill and eventually Chizuru helps the Symphonic Orchestra to hold a performance at local concert hall.

The plot is not too different from any other music + comedy genre: unexpected help from a famed maestro right up to small gimmicks. With the original conductor always carries a screwdriver with a light (as his day job is an electrician), I could already tell that there would be black out during the concern and that screwdriver will be used as the conducting baton and the electricity would be back on during the climax of the piece. One thing fresh about this is that we began with a group of elderly who could not play properly but the movie is not about turning them into suddenly good players. They actually are able to play quite well in their younger days, just that nowadays, they are losing their skills or something along that line. With proper conducting and training, they could get their mojo back. The orchestra is able to recruit new and young members and that is how they get enough members to hold a performance. So it is not the usual "We leave this sinking orchestra and we shall return when it is showing a promise of resurrection" members.

Honestly the beginning is rather draggy and I was so tempted to just switch movies. I am glad I did not as the piece that they play for their performance is quite good. Can't recall the title or the tune now but it is one of the more recognised classical pieces. I will update with the title if I can even find it. Lol.
Gold Medal Man
Senichi Akita won a sprint race in a sports meet in elementary school. That first gold medal and the taste of victory drove him to join every other competitions (fish catching, shouting with loudest volume, drawing) and he came out number 1 in all. His luck did not continue as he went to secondary school and high school. Yet he never loses hope to be number 1 again as he grows into adulthood.

I am sort of cheated when I read the synopsis that began with "Senichi Akita was born in 1964 when the whole nation was excited with Tokyo hosting the olympics" as I was expecting that this was going to be an inspiring real life story of an athlete. Nope.. none of that is correct as the movie turns out to be just a random awful comedy which is not even funny. In fact, the plot gets repeated in the middle: after everything seems to be going down, Senichi gets a second chance when he is stranded and survived on an island using all the skills that earned him gold medals in his elementary school: catching fish, shouting loudly, drawing) but after a short stint as a popular motivator from his experience, things get worse again. Anyway, I think it is a waste of time to watch this.
Maki Eda is the typical career woman in an advertisement agency who hates vegetables out of anger for her father's decision to open a farm. After drinking too much, she ends up moving and sharing a place with Nagisa Katayama who is a strict vegetarian. Nagisa also happens to be gay so no hanky panky in the house. Nagisa helps Maki with all her vegetable issue: from working to create an advertisement for bitter gourd (wth -_-) and mending her relationship with her parents after she ran away from home/her father's farm while Maki helps Nagisa to overcome his guilt over his brother's death.

This is considered a romantic comedy but there is nothing romantic since Nagisa remains gay and Maki remains single and the comedy portion is only gay overtone slapsticks surrounding Nagisa. The plot is weak and while issues pertaining to Maki are settled, issues surrounding Nagisa remains unclear. Again, it is another movie that I think is a waste of time. In fact, most of the time, my eyes wondered to the screen of the passenger sitting diagonally in front of me who was watching Kimi no Na Wa.

I guess I am really running out of interesting Japanese movie to watch from in-flight entertainment system. Perhaps tomorrow I should just re-watch Fantastic Beasts.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Failed holiday plans

Nihongo revision: not achieved
Gunpla building: not achieved
Project research: not achieved
Enough rest: not achieved

Basically I did not achieve most of the things that I planned to do during this holiday :( All because of e-passport and visa waiver to Japan which basically wiped out 5 working days. I hate to go out, even for meals, when I am holidaying at home so it was wasting my time having to go out for 3 consecutive days last week just to have meals. Haiz.. It does not matter how long the actual meal takes but as long as it involves going out, at least half a day would be gone.

The only good thing about the frequent travelling is that I am able to hatch my pokemon eggs. Yes.. who in the right mind is still playing Pokemon Go nowadays? Lol.. I even bought $30 worth of incubators to hatch those eggs. Ooops.. Prior to this, I had not spent any money for Pokemon Go. Birthday present is my excuse for this indiscretion. Oh well.. Haha.. I got a 10km egg and although it did not become Snorlax, at least I got an Aerodactyl which is my first catch.

Let me just share my visa waiver experience. Yesterday I reached the embassy at about 915am and I got queue no 91 with 40+ people ahead of me in the queue. Wew.. the official start time is 830 and it was already that crowded. It took about 1 hour 15 minutes of queueing so I think it was not too bad.

Today was the collection. Collection time starts at 1330pm and I decided to arrive earlier at 1300pm. The queue outside the embassy was already damn freaking long! By the time I took a queue number, I had 50+ people ahead of me in the queue. My goodness... I left the embassy by 1430pm. Japanese are known for their punctuality so I was surprised that the queue did not start moving from 1330pm. It could be due to street demonstration that occurred in front of the embassy! OMG!! Never I imagine that I will ever experience a street demonstration live in front of my eyes! It is one of the things that usually viewed or heard via the media. Anyway it was about some Japanese company and retrenchment so the atmosphere was okay and unlike those anti-government demonstrations. The funny thing was there were more policemen to secure the location than the actual number of people demonstrating. Lol.. And those of us who queue seem to be totally unperturbed by the demonstration. People were taking photos and enjoying the music played in between the oration. I guess we are already immune to it having read/watched/heard about street demonstration daily.

So after this experience, I better make the most out of the visa waiver. Instead of going to Japan once a year, I should aim for twice a year for the next 3 years. Lol.. (Excuse me.. where does the money come from?). Subsequently, I will pay travel agency to help me settle this. Rp 100000 is worth it than spending my time. In fact, the 2 breads and 1 TWG tea that I had for lunch out of desperation already cost me almost Rp 100000. Add the petrol and my time, definitely paying Rp 100000 is worth it. The reason why I am not using travel agency is because tomorrow is Good Friday. I did not want to take the risk if the travel agency is late in getting my passport back, I would not be able to fly back to Singapore on Sunday. Not that I mind.. really.. :p

Last week Ryu Studio is opening a Naruto statue pre-order. Ryu Studio is a new company based in Malaysia and currently its license is only for Asia region. Thus the limited edition statue has a high chance to sky rocket in price just like Tsume's statues at their beginning. Naruto is sold at 750USD and with 600 limited edition. For item with packaging weight 20kg, I prefer to buy from a local shop than to bear the risk of damage upon shipping. However, there is no distributor in SG. That may not be a bad thing as my room is full. There is only one distributor in Indonesia and its location happened to be near to my home. After asking all the questions, I was really tempted to buy. I was about to see if there were more new pictures during the PO opening date but before it happened, the shop informed me that item was sold out. Oh well.. I guess that is money saved and I don't need to think of storage headache. I am not a fan of Naruto and was considering this solely for investment purpose. Although it will be a challenge to sell 20kg item overseas anyway and it is a gamble with regards to quality since this is a new company.

Still about toys, I realise that the toy price at Multi is cheaper than when I buy in Singapore :( The difference is up to 15-20% which is significant :( Haiz.. I knew about this because of the Kotobukiya exclusive Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist) ArtFX J. I did not bat an eye when they initially released Edward Elric and Roy Mustang. But this exclusive version comes with 2 faces, 2 bodies, and base which includes Alphonse! Definitely not to be missed. Since I am in Jakarta with poor access to paypal, I decided to explore local toy shop and that's how I found the cheaper prices, even after considering the member preorder prices in Singapore. I don't know since when this happens or I am just poor with my research but I remember that prices for toys used to be higher in Jakarta and hence I usually buy from Singapore.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hitting the big 3x

From 19 to 20: "Yay I am big boy now"
From 29 to 30: "FML.. so old liao.. what have I done with my life!"

I just can't deny that I am feeling old and really old that birthday is no longer enjoyable. That is exactly the same sentiment that I had last year.

But seriously, I feel so inadequate with my own life. Finance: not even 100k in my bank account and no house. Work: nil achievement. Relationship: still single and happy. Overseas experience: not many and not something comparable to many others.

Life used to be simple that I used to be happy showing off my collections or gaming achievements. But now, owning X number of anime figures or Y number of anime artbooks or spending $ZZZ for both are not considered life achievement that I can be proud of. Like it or not, the fact that I am looking for something bigger as an achievement in my life simply means that I am already thinking like an old person going for retirement or going to die and hence the life goal is about legacy. So yeah, not a really happy birthday to me.

In line with what I posted last year, I shall also put the happy birthday wallpaper from AAA global fanclub. It is my 2nd time so I was not as surprised and excited as last year lol. Not to mention that this year's wallpaper is like 70% background.
Still a bad photoshop editing lol

Friday, April 7, 2017


I am hoping that updating drivers can help to prolong the life of my laptop. It seems that I am killing it faster. It crashed when installing the latest driver for the speaker and that resulted in the laptop unable to detect any speaker at all! This laptop is going to be entirely useless if it can no longer play music. I spent the whole day and night yesterday trying to uninstall, reinstall, and doing the things that internet suggests to overcome this audio problem to no avail.

I gave up last night and decided that this was really the end. Surprisingly, this morning the laptop detected the speaker again. It made me so happy. Something weird happened: when I shut it down and left it be for awhile, instead of quickly pulling the plug, it suddenly booted up on its own!! And because of that, when I switched it on again, the speaker problem came back! Sigh... Again surprisingly, tonight the speaker is working again. I don't know what happen but at least I am glad that the speaker could occasionally be detected. At least the laptop is not 100% dead yet T_T I am not going to waste my time over this speaker problem anymore.
I am done reading my second book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay. Usually books are turned into movies so it is quite interesting to read a book which is based on a movie. Not to mention that this perfectly describes everything that is shown and said in the movies. It is really an unique experience. I shall start with the movie making books soon.

I will also try to blog a bit more. I just back dated Haikyuu!! 3rd season this morning. I still want to write about A Silent Voice and Aozora Yell movies which I watched 2 weeks ago, as well as the 3 mediocre Japanese movies that I watched on my past few flights: Golden Orchestra, Gold Medal Man, and Bittersweet. Hmm...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


I'm home now and it is time to inject some life back to my dying laptop that can only be connected to the internet through cable. I think it really cannot make it: it takes 15 minutes to boot up and the bottom gets hot very quickly that I did not dare to leave it on overnight to play my lullaby. I guess that forces me to disconnect from the online world to enjoy my life.

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That is the first hardcopy book that I managed to read in I don't know how many years! Although I don't consider mangas, comics, and e-books as proper books, it is still quite sad. After all, before the internet era, I consider reading as my hobby. I shall take the chance to finish Fantastic Beast (the movie version) and its movie making books as well.
For a spoilers lover, it is quite a feat for me not to find out what the story is all about for this long. Haha.. I only know a little bit from Harry Potter wikia and I thought the new characters i.e the kids of the original Harry Potter characters are interesting enough. Nothing about the plot whatsoever. After reading the book and typing this, I realise that I share similar sentiments with many other readers: the story is quite horrible. I am quite surprised that the words that I am using to describe this is also similar: this is like a badly written FANFIC.

Not sure if I am older now but I sort of hate stories that involve time travel because of the butterfly effect thingy. Harry Potter did this in the Prisoners of Azkaban but when I read that, it was not that bad. In the Cursed Child, the time travel became a huge mess as it created alternate realities. I think Scorpius going back twice to the same moments just repair the mess is also quite ridiculous, although not impossible. Other than AU (alternate universe), the other fanfic-y aspect is the bromance between Albus and Scorpius. I am cool with 2 guys being good friends and all that but the descriptions of them hugging and touching each other make those moments rather gay awkward rather than about friendship moments. Seriously, there is nothing weird and awkward with guys being friends and they are hugging or touching each other. Okay touching sounds not right but I am referring to those normal friendship moments like pushing each other, punching each other on the arm/shoulder, or even putting arm around a friend are completely normal.

I also feel that half of the book is about revisiting those Harry Potter scenes that we are familiar with: Triwizard Tournament, Harry and the Dursleys, and the night when Voldemort killed James and Lily. Definitely there is not enough original story in the continuation of Harry Potter universe after book 7 that I am expecting. The ending is rather hanging and concludes the fanfic-y feel.

I am looking forward for this holiday because I want to apply for e-passport to get visa waiver to go to Japan. It turned out to be a mess. Lucky I called the travel agency first before going there because I was told that nowadays, travel agency cannot even expedite the process. Grr.. I am irritated with my sister. I already asked her to help me call on Monday and if she did that, I would already look for plan B. I am still lucky that this morning my friend was still waiting for his plane from Japan to be back and he managed to share with me his contact who helped him with his e-passport a few weeks ago. Giving personal information to a stranger and meeting this stranger tomorrow make me quite uncomfortable but I hope things will be smooth tomorrow to take a picture and to collect the e-passport on Tuesday.

I just want to rest and nua on my bed and having to get out of house to cut hair today and to go out of house for the passport and stuff are really irritating. Haiz... Tired..