Friday, December 14, 2007

Going on Hiatus.

I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!!! The day has finally arrived, after months of stressful planning and anxious waiting, I'M FINALLY GOING TO THE HOLY LAND!!! This will be the last official posting for the next 25-26 days, but might pop some posts up during the trip if I manage to find/have the time to get onto the net.

All preparations are finally complete, and will be leaving on tonight on the 2035h flight to Narita via Bangkok. Why the transit flight some may ask, but if you could save S$300 per person using this arrangement, who wouldn't? Having S$300 more to buy MORE anime merchandises is what all otakus/anybody would do.

Hours to the departure, I still have my fears and worries, but there's not much I can do for now but to only pray for the best. No matter what happen (missing luggage, missing cousin/friend), I'm still continuing and determined to make this trip a total success!

It's sad though, having to say goodbye to my weekly dosage of anime episodes for these upcoming 24 days, having to miss my Kotomi going "Nandeyane", or Chiaki going "Bakayarou", or Shana-tan's "Uruchai x3" (SHE NEEDS MORE AIRTIME!!), Haruka onee-sama, Reika-Ojou sama, Amu-chan :D, mass bacteria and many many more!!!! (Tada onna no ko bakari! hehe) Doubt I'll have the time to watch the episodes on TV, as we'll be having early nights and mornings so I'll miss their time slots. I don't even really know which channel they're showing on nor the times.

At the end of this trip, expect to see about S$1,500 to S$2,000 worth of anime goods in my room, and yes I'm going insane. It's not everyday that one would get to go to Japan, unless you stay in Japan itself, so just cut me some slack here. Once I'm back, I'll be sure to take a photograph of all the loot I would have gathered in Japan, and also include all the loots I currently possess since I started my first purchase 3 years ago, though it's mainly magazines (MEGAMI) and manga series, with the occasional music cds. Might throw in a picture of my room too, mainly to showcase (or show-off) my lovely Kotori (from Da Capo) towel hanging just above my bed. It sure is good to have your own personal room, since you can decorate it in whichever way you want, though whenever "normal folks" visit my room they just go o.O??, while fellow anime lovers would bask in the radiance of an anime haven that radiates throughout the room.

Will only be back on 7th Jan08 at around evening time, and hopefully I'll not be lazy and do a post then. Until next time, Signing Out.

Note: It was Cosafe's 1st Anniversary on the 12th Dec night, but due to finishing up on preparations I could not go down to take a look at the cosplay event. Thankfully there's others who did and have coverage of the place, which can be found at bj0rN's site and Zenical's site. And I also just noticed that I'll be missing this year's EOY @ Expo (been attending for the past 2 years), but truthfully I doubt I'll be missing much. Comiket > EOY hands down for sure I believe. Maybe once I finish up NS and go into NTU, would get to know/meet up with other SG animebloggers, or mainly those in the anime scene/community in SG.

Note 2: Ahhhh my MEGAMI and Dengeki Hime January copies didn't reach me in time before I leave for Japan, was so hoping for them to reach first. I feel sad.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Further Updates on Japan.

Over the past few days I had been writing a few possible posts for the blog in a small notebook (130 x 90mm), even one that spans about 11 pages long (for those who know how's my handwriting is like would know it's really small so the content is lots), but doesn't seem to be the right time to do a post on it, and I don't think I would be posting it since it's just long. Maybe when I get back from Japan, do some editing to it and then post it up. See how it goes.

Spent the whole day today adding more information into the itinerary, information on how to get to the attractions, reconfirming train timings, choosing the best route to take for minimum waste of time, updating Doujin Circles' booths for Comiket, printing of maps (those which I could find, but not much) for navigation and packing my bags for the trip. 2 x long sleeves shirts and 1 x pants still not dry, but should be ready by tomorrow. Everything else is more or less ready accounted for, including charging of the batteries for cameras (1 DSLR + 1 compact)/handphone/zen vision, separating the yen into multiple piles and kept in different locations and making sure I have the Air Tickets and the 21 days JR Railpass in my bag.

So many things had I wanted to do when in Japan, but couldn't due to time constraint. Would have loved to go on a Lucky☆Star Pilgrimage like Zyl, or actively look for the scenes from Byousoku 5cm like windbell, though I might find some as I'll still be around the Shibuya and Shinjuku area. Oh well, as a consolation, I'll be doing a small "pilgrimage" when I'm in Kyoto, checked the address but not sure how to make my way there, will do my best though!! (Since there's only 3 of us, let's omit Miyuki when taking the photos I guess . Sorry to the Miyuki fans out there!!)I think a few of my friends, and many people out there just can't understand why we otakus exist, and why we go to the extend of visiting "places" related to them. For me, I want to try experiencing the supposed "atmosphere" of just being at a certain location, and relating it to a show one would had loved. And mainly, I CAN'T RESIST CUTE THINGS!! I'll just go KYUU~!! whenever I see something cute and just have the urge to hug it. I love collecting stuff toys and all those cutey items, and anime also vastly contain the cute moe factor that just makes me wanting more. People might say it's an escape from reality, but I think I'm coping just as well in the real world as in the virtual world. Or let's just put it that there's a certain romance in anime that only some people can appreciate.
I do get this once a while when I'm just so into it.
When planning for this trip, I didn't know where I wanted to be to spend the New Year at. To truely experience New Year in Japan, it has got to be going with the crowds and be at a shrine/temple, but the problem was I didn't know which shrine to be at! Eventually I narrowed them down to the Meiji Shrine @ Harajuku, or the Senso-ji @ Asakusa, though would had preferred going down to Kyoto to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, but due to Comiket I'm stuck in Tokyo. I still haven't chose which to go for New Year, will do so when I'm there. Might even choose another shrine in the end who knows? Need one with cute shrine maidens ^^. What started out as a "backpacking" trip, has changed to one which is just like a tour, just without the tour guide. Being a first time planner, and first time going to Japan, I dare not take the risk of "let's hop here and there and see where we end up!" and getting lost, or worse, not having a roof over our head in the middle of winter, and I wanted to go Comiket so badly that the schedule had to work around it. Also including the fact that I wanted to be in Tokyo when it's Christmas, it sure was a hard time to plan with these constraints.

I had also heard that quite a few places also don't allow photo-taking, but being just a trigger-happy person with one, I'll try to find ways to do so. Worse come to worse when they come up to me, there's always this reasoning ^^.Did I ever mention how much I love Lucky Star?? Looking at all the screenshots I'm sure you do now hehe. Signing out ^^.

Note: I'm still not sure whether to pack the "Starfish-shaped Ear Muffs" into my bag cause it's just sooooo cute!! I swear it's Fuuko's influence!! (For those who don't know who's Fuuko, go watch Clannad. ^^)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Japan Trip Status Update.

Lack of posts and it's not due to being lazy!! A long needed break today after a weekend of which mainly involves me moving around and never being at home. Having friends coming back/visiting SG all within a span of a few days can be seriously taxing.

I'm more or less set and ready for the Japan trip, only left packing the new clothes that I had bought over the weekend once they're dry. I'm actually lacking in actual lessons (20 2hr lessons of Elementary4 Japanese), no JLPT under my belt, usage of the language in an actual conversation, but with my only comfort being able to understand (70-80%?) of the language when watching raws of JDramas and animes. I'm not sure if this is enough, but that's all I got for this trip. Would like to maybe do a JLPT3 next year and hopefully get a JLPT1 when I finish my University (I'll be entering into NTU next year as a second year student in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Stream, so I should finish by 2011)

Right now while doing this post, whenever I need to think of what to type, I'll just alt+tab and be reconfirming all the train timings using hyperdia. But to make sure they're totally correct, I still intend to buy a rail-timetable when I arrive this Saturday. I just hope that whatever that I had planned stays that way, so my efforts would not go to waste. Doing all of the other final checks too.

First on my shopping list has got to be the catalog for Comiket73, after all it's the biggest highlight for this trip. I've already checked, double-checked, triple-checked the Doujin Circles allocated booths that I have high-priority on, and just praying the amount that I'm setting aside is enough for all the goods I intend to get. Being a first-timer, I'm actually not sure of what I'm supposed to do, besides all the information that I had gathered from other fellow bloggers who had attended Comiket before. I do know that the event starts at 1000h, but is reaching Ariake at around 0900h late? Or should I be even earlier? Sadly there was not much information relating to "what's a good time to start queuing for a earlier entrance". After all I'm S'porean and yes I'm kiasu too. Gotta catch them (doujins) all!! And I've decided not to do a write up on the rest of the shopping list cause it's too long. (Laziness bug strikes again!)

I'm like this now!Hope I don't end up like this lol. Love Kagami-sama + Tsukasa!!
My wallet is surely going to feel lonely too after Comiket.

From reading my posts, I'm sure I give the impression of one who do lots of planning, making sure everything goes as planned. The answer? Yes, I do prefer making sure of everything, after all this is the first time I'm actually doing the planning for a holiday, and the first time I'm going on a trip which will last more than 21 days. This trip spans from 15th Dec to 7th Jan, a grandtotal of 24 days, visiting quite a few cities, Hokkaido (Hakodate, Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Asahikawa, Niseko), Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. I'm totally excited and can't wait to depart this Friday night!!!

Planning for this trip started back in mid-July, after hearing that 3 of my cousins were going Europe for 25 days, and they invited me. However the dates they had chosen was ones that I didn't have enough leave to cover (I'm still doing National Service). I had one more cousin from the group though, who didn't want to go but wanted to travel somewhere else, and he did mentioned something about Japan, and that just triggered the spark in me to plan this trip for him (nah it's mainly for myself!!!). Another friend of mine was also interested, so this trip consists of us 3, and the fact that we're all into anime allows me to make this trip slightly more orientated for anime! Cheers for more trips to Akihabara + 3 days of Comiket!! Even trips to Nakano Broadway, Otome Street (Yes I know it's more for BL stuff but there's Lashinbang nearby, courtesy to Windbell) and Nipponbashi in Osaka. Introduction to the few "Sacred Places" thanks to Lucky Star!! Too bad no Kichijoji and Osu in Nagoya planned for this trip lol.

However, from the experience gained from planning this trip, I don't plan to do another one for quite a while. The amount of stress that builds up when planning which cities to go, how long to spend in each city, how to move to/around the cities, what to do when things goes wrong, accommodations, air tickets..... it just rushes to your brain!! I've had nights where I would have nightmares of the trip, like forgetting the money, missing crucial trains (Night train Tokyo - Aomori and back), forgetting important documents... just mentioning some of the few which I've had. The worries just compounds more and more, but don't intend to mention them in case Calvin kills me for giving him more worries when he reads this post.

The shopping list for the trip just keeps growing by the day, to the point I really doubt the amount that I'm bringing would be sufficient unless I remove the purchase of the lower-priority products which I can surely get back in SG (eg. manga series). But, if all else fails and I decide to burst my budget (which I'm already doing by at least 1.5k SGD), there's always the Credit Card!! I do wonder if there's any UOB ATMs in Japan so that I can withdraw money from them (not sure if I can anyway).

It's funny though. I started this post with the intention to talk about other stuff, but in the end I'm just ranting about my Japan trip so much that I just changed the topic and do one dedicated to it. I really pray and hope everything goes has planned and not like what happened to this post (sudden change). I'll do up another post after this but will only publish it tomorrow, letting you readers to absorb the mass page of text here. Until then signing out!

Note: Thank god for Blogger's draft saving abilities. I thought I lost the whole post when I accidentally clicked the BACK icon. Would have had no intention to redo the whole post lol.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Anime Figurine Check List!!

I'm sure as most of you know I'm an anime lover. But in recent times, with slightly more cash on hand, I've lost to the Dark Side and have started to collect Figurines. So far none of them has arrived as they're only being released next year, but I have already pre-ordered them so when they are released, they're shipped to my house and will begin their term of moe~fying my room. Now on to the figures!!

This is my first ever figurine "purchase" which was made back in September, but sadly would only come in March08 as it has a end-Feb release date.1/8 Scale of Sawatari Makoto from Kanon, Maker: Max Factory
Retails for 5,800 Yen
More pictures at Good Smile.

A month later, in October, my second "purchase". Will also arrive only in March08, end-Feb release date. Well I would say these could be considered my birthday presents ^^.1/8 Scale of Shana from Shakugan no Shana, Maker: Kotobukiya
Retails for 5,040 Yen
More pictures at Hobby Stock.

Then came mid November. This figurine was already on the pre-order list for quite a while (since September), and not sure whether I would be able to get my hands on it. But still placed an order on it. Hopefully I would be able to get it. If it does goes through, this would be the first figurine to grace my room as it's set for a Jan08 release, so will have it by February. Sadly I couldn't get hold of the limited edition white version of this figure so the original would just have to do. 1/8 Scale of Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière Bustier Version from Zero no Tsukaima, Maker: Alter
Retails for 5,040 Yen
More pictures at Hobby Stock.

Last but not least, a pre-order which I managed to psycho Calvin into getting it together with me, the latest craze in the "Otaku" world, Hatsune Miku Nendoroid. Mentioned before it's from Vocaloid 2, a singing synthesizer program. First time they are making a figurine which doesn't originate from an anime or manga. All I can say it's tooooooooo cute! Sadly it'll only grace my room in April08 as it is a March release. By the way Nendoroid figures are like super deformed version of the character just for clarification.Non Scale Hatsune Miku Nendoroid, Maker: GSC
Retails for 3,000 Yen
More pictures can be found at Good Smile or Mikatan Blog (a GSC employee).

Sadly I was too late for pre-ordering the Lucky Star Nendoroids, and am stabbing myself for not noticing much earlier. Actually, I couldn't find the pre-order on neither nor Play-Asia. Seems to be a Japan Exclusive release, though I didn't know KKnM was taking some pre-orders for it till I found the link this morning (seriously way tooooo late).

Most of these findings were from, a blogger who resides in Japan and brings some insights of the Japanese and Otaku culture. One of the best sites I've seen, and one which I visit about 3-4 times a day. There's also a RSS feed of his site on the right sideboard of this blog. Another RSS feed is of, which brings information of the latest gadgets and hi-tech toys from Akihabara in Tokyo Japan and in other Asian Countries. 2 Great sites, 2 RSS feed.

For those who are wondering where I got the Miku Clock from, it was also via You can get it at Miku Clock, but the site is in Japanese so not everyone might be able to navigate it. I actually used a online translator to translate the site to follow the steps to implement it onto this blog. I can't remember the steps and too lazy to do it again.

For those who after seeing these pictures of the figurines and plan to convert to the Dark Side, one note of advise to you, it's going to be a huge expenses unless you are able to control yourself. There are at least 4-6 other figures that I would love to get, but for now I need to save. However if temptation wins you over, there's always the right sideboard, scroll down to the Play-Asia link, click on it and go pre-order your phat loot there. Signing out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Outing - 1st Dec 2007

Late post. Intended for Sunday but just too lazy to get to it. My blog my pace ^^. Long Post Warning!!! 3 Parts of the day.

First off, as mentioned in my previous post, this day was the screening of Byousoku 5cm at National Museum's Theatre Gallery brought in by Animation Nation 2007. Had always wanted to watch an anime movie/film on the big screen, and I surely wasn't disappointed by this screening, it actually was beyond what i had hoped, though the seatings of the Theatre Gallery were slightly uncomfortable.

The animation of Byousoku 5cm was top-notch, smooth, beautiful and definitely mesmerising. As said in the previous post and I'll emphasize it again, Highly Recommended to watch! However, when watching it again, the ending does seem abit... rushed, and it gives a bittersweet feeling, making us realise that not everyone can have a happy ending. It all depends on the choices we make in life, and just a wrong turn can make it go really bad. But! It also depends on how each individual jump back from one's mistake, to once again take control of their lives, make that U-turn and once again try to obtain what one really wants in life.

Will start a rating system now, realised I didn't do one for the previous.
Byousoku 5cm Rating: 9/10
Demerit for the slight rush factor, the lack of closure on characters. Even though this could be the style of Makoto Shinkai, it doesn't really fall well with me, as I would prefer a better closure. Individual preference ^^". (Actually I wanted to give it a perfect score, but felt I shouldn't. So had to find a reason for the "demerit".)

Some photos from National Museum.Poster for Animation Nation 2007.Interesting signboard for "Slippery Floors"
Here comes the second part!! After finishing the show at about 1pm, I had to bring my cousin to get his shoes and some winter wear in preparation of our upcoming Japan trip. Long story short, National Museum --> Queenstown --> Marina Square non-stop in 4 hours. I swear this can be considered training for walking the streets of Japan lol. Once that was done, sent my cousin to the MRT station, and off I am to meet up another group of friends. At this moment it was around 4.45pm, but the meet up with that group was supposed to be at 6pm, and the earliest person that could arrive (had arranged to meet earlier since we were both already outside) was around 5.30pm.

Despite being slightly tired, from not having enough sleep (does 5 hours count?) and the lack of food (didn't take lunch and breakfast was at 9am and that was just 2 slice of bread + a cup of choco milk) and including the shopping, I went to Kinokuniya at Takashimaya and went around walking, and scouting for the prices of manga/artbooks to take note of so that I'm able to estimate the amount I would be spending in Japan buying those. The prices at Kino@SG is nearly double the amount I would have pay for them in Japan, thus I plan to do all my purchases in Japan and ship them back. Even the shipping cost is way cheaper this method. Ignoring the rest of the things I did in Kino@SG, soon after at around 5.25pm, went to meet up with her.

What happened next? Let's just cut the story short. Went for more shopping since she wanted to get a dress, acted as her "fashion consultant", going from shop to shop. The other two individuals were late (as usual?), in which when they came was about 6.45-7pm. Dying from hunger yet? Not really, but close, and we still had to decide where to eat, and as usual it took us about 1 hour? What else happened in between? More shopping and walking from Wisma Atria --> Paragon --> Takashimaya. lol. period.

Eventually back at Takashimaya, we settled for dinner at Crystal Jade Ginseng Chicken BBQ, which serves Korean Cuisine, and with no mention of the multiple times we went up and down the escalator to decide which place to eat. Time check: 8.24pm. Well, they do say humans can go without food for about a week, what's 12 hours?

Looking through the menu with all the tempting pictures on display, we were at a loss to what to order, so we decided to just ask for a recommendation and we settled on a set package for 4 people.

One can choose whether you'll prefer to cook the food yourself or just ask the chefs to cook for you. In this case we decided to let the chefs work on the chicken and pork collars while we settle the beef and prime beef steak.
Prime Beef SteakSide Dishes which I can't remember what is what.Chicken, which was cooked by the chef.
Pork Collar, also cooked by the chef.1 hour 30mins later. The eventual damage done. S$153.25 Slightly on the high side for quality of food, but quantity makes up for it. We were surely full from the portion of food given. Rating: 6.5/10
Christmas Tree @ Takashimaya's Lobby
Ready for part 3? I'm actually tired from doing this blog post (2 hours since start). Stand up! Do some stretching!! Take deep breaths!!! Let's just get this done with, this part is going to be fast (At least I think it will be).

Finished with dinner, and having nothing planned to do after, we decided to watch a movie. Proceeded down to Cathay Cineleisure to watch Enchanted (P.S: Sorry Jason you were too late when you asked). Since the movie was at 12.15am, and time being 10.15pm, we had 2 hours to burn. What can one do in Orchard when shops are closed, stomachs full from dinner and tired legs? Dessert!! Sweets and Desserts goes into a different stomach!!

Took us a while to find a place to settle in, didn't know Orchard was still so crowded with so many people chilling in the cafes/diners. More walking about till we settled for Maestro Bistro in Cineleisure.

Waffle with Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Topped
with Nuts, Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Sauce.Banana Split.
Damage Done: S$25.20 Not worth it. Service was sub-standard, the waffle wasn't freshly hot, the banana in the split wasn't as fresh as what I would expect. Ice cream was standard no comments. To add on, they do not serve ice water. Big negative from me. Rating: 4.5/10
The only truely worthwhile purchases of the day.
I wanted to do a review on Enchanted, but just couldn't think of anything to write besides that it's filled with lots of laughter. That's about it I guess. Good film for the family and for its comedy. Click on the hyperlink on the movie's name for a description by yahoo!movies.

Enchanted Rating: 6.5/10
Worth watching for the laughter, not quite so for the overall plot. Sometimes I really felt like taking something hard and just hit my forehead continuous with it. It's just gets lame at times.

Here's some photos of the Christmas decorations along Orchard.
It's only 3 though lol.
End of day, reached home at about 3.45am, went to bed at around 4.30am to wrap up a long day. 8.30am - 4.30am with lots of walking around with 2x movies, you just don't get this very often. Well, just consider it as Japan walking training. Now look away from the computer, look at something far, relax your eyes before letting them wander back to this screen. Enjoy! Signing out.

Note 1: I had to wake up at 9.30am for church either way so that's another 5hours sleep. What a way to spend the weekend!! Thank goodness I'm on night shift this week so I'll be able to catch up on the fatigue.

Note 2: For food ratings, I'll try to separate the contents of the scoring system and not just posting of the overall rating eventually.

Note 3: Took me 3 hours for this post. Zzz... and Please leave more comments! It's depressing not to see any :( Or a simple note on the tagboard would do too!

Edit 5th Dec 2007: Sorry I had to change the photo of the "worthy purchases" as I didn't realised my name and NRIC being shown there. Have edited the photo and reposted.