Category Archives: Japanese

Awesome gifts

The best way to start off the working week (I don’t start on Monday but on Wednesday) is with gifts from far away.

Remember my friend that I was proud of? Well, she came back from South Korea and she brought goodies with her. I kindly asked her to buy me anything! There are a lot of websites that mention the best souvenirs one can buy from South Korea, but I didn’t want her to waste her vacation on running around for souvenirs. So anything was fine with me.

I gave her 50 RON, which is about ₩14825 KRW (I really didn’t have much to spare at that time). She came back with a cute pair of socks (which I will never wear), a pencil case, a face mask and, of course, a key charm.

Gifts

The pencil case I will actually use it for my cables and small electronics (like my mp3 player, USB stick, and so on). The key charm I added it to a pouch that I received as a gift from another friend 2 years ago (when she traveled to Greece) and the face mask will be used on a special “me time” occasion.

That’s not all. There are more gifts. Yes, I call them gifts even if I paid for them. I can gift myself from time to time, can’t I?

It’s been a month since I placed the order for these 2 beauties. Truthfully, it was worth the wait and the money. I just picked up the first 2 volumes from “Real” by Takehiko Inoue.

Real by Takehiko Inoue

This might not seem much, but for me it means the world to be able to indulge myself in my hobbies. It gives me a boost whenever I go to work. After all, we shouldn’t work just to make a living but also to enjoy a little bit of life.

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Patrick from Spongebob

As a bonus, this little gift was from Johnny from our trip to Brasov

Kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

Is this kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova in the news at the same time?!?

What year is it? It feels like I’m back in 2009? It seems way too familiar.

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Back in 2009 the Wonder Girls were in the news because SunMi was leaving the group to finish her education and Sun was getting married. It was really big news back then, first of all because the Wonder Girls were trying to break the American market, and second because they were the top girl group in kpop.

Wonder Girls with SunMikpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

I admit I was really heartbroken back then, because I really loved them (as a group, as individuals, for their songs and concept).

Now, Sun is officially withdrawing from the group to focus on her married life and SoHee because she is pursuing an acting career. The Wonder Girls will be left with 4 members for their comeback (I’m guessing no new members will be added this time!). It’s great to see SunMi back with the others and it’s even more awesome to see them make a comeback. But, Sun was the voice behind Wonder Girls (I know there’s still YeEun and SunMi with great vocals) and SoHee was the charm.

The teasers for the Wonder Girls comeback have started coming out. The concept is incredibly different from the vintage/retro/cute concepts they had before. I’m guessing it was time for them to grow up and show the kpop scene that they’ve matured. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect just by watching SunMi teaser.

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Then we have the long awaited Korean comeback for T-ara. Ever since the incident with Hwayoung, the girls of T-ara have been more or less inactive on the Korean scene. But, they were busy promoting abroad, either in China or Japan. Their popularity hasn’t decreased at all. IMO they are one of the top Korean groups. They are versatile, talented (both in singing and in acting) and have that thing that very few idols have: staying power.

kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

They will be making a comeback at the beginning of August. Around the same time as the Wonder Girls.

Back in 2009, they were really hitting it big with one of my favorite songs: Time To Love. This was a collaboration with the guys from Supernova.

I would LOVE to see another collaboration between the two groups. While, Supernova is almost unknown on the Korean scene, they are pretty active and famous in Japan. They are one of the first Korean groups to break the Japanese market, make it big and keep their fame. They are also pretty low profile and I haven’t heard any scandal regarding them. They are like the perfect boy group.

kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

They will be making an appearance at a very important event this year, and they will also have a Japanese comeback in September.

As usual, it’s really hard to keep an eye on Supernova. The only way you can keep track of them is by visiting the fan cafes or the fan forums. The news websites, rarely mention them. Which is a pity!

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This truly feels like a kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova for me. Makes me feel nostalgic actually. My 3 favorite groups are in the news (some are getting more attention than the others), but it feels great nonetheless.

Real by Takehiko Inoue

~ Real by Takehiko Inoue ~

Sometimes, mindlessly browsing on the Internet can take you places. In my case, it lead me to Real by Takehiko Inoue.

Real by Takehiko Inoue.

I cannot find words to describe it. All I can say is that I’m hooked. It’s actually one of those manga’s that I just have to own.

Real (Japanese: リアル Hepburn: Riaru?, stylized as REAL) is a manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue that deals with wheelchair basketball. It has been serialized in Weekly Young Jump since 1999, with the chapters collected into 14 tankōbon volumes to date by Shueisha. By 2013, the first 12 volumes had sold over 14 million copies in Japan alone.[1]

Although not as popular as Inoue’s Slam Dunk, Real is a more serious take on basketball with more character development in a realistic setting. It is also aimed at a more mature audiences, being a seinen manga series serialized in Weekly Young Jump.

Source: Wikipedia

It’s also one manga that will find it’s place into my bookshelves. It’s been 4 years now since I’ve bought any manga’s. I convinced myself that it was just a phase that will pass away if I don’t fuel it. After all, there are so many websites out there where you can read them for free. But, it’s not the same.

This is something that I cannot just let it slip away. I know Real by Takehiko Inoue it’s an ongoing series, 13 volumes being published till today. I know I will have to hurry to buy the volumes before they go out of print (on MangaShop.ro) but I’m willing to give up on other things just to have it.

At first, I wanted to go for Slam Dunk, also by Takehiko Inoue. But, there are some volumes that I can’t buy and I don’t like having incomplete series. I still hope to find volume 9 of Dr. Slump!

I’m 100% that I will not regret the effort and I will enjoy having a new addition to my small but precious collection. After all, Real by Takehiko Inoue is just brilliant and in a way fits my current tastes in manga, being a more mature manga.

Real by Takehiko Inoue

Hajime no Ippo

I’ve managed to finishHajime no Ippo” in 2 weeks!

Hajime no Ippo

My goal for this year was to go back to my roots. That means, taking time for myself and my hobbies. In the last few years I managed to build up a lot of stress and I’ve become really tired because of it (hence the 8 months break). I just couldn’t keep my personal time and work separated. This time, work shall be work (I will do my best to bring home the bacon or a part of it), and play time shall be play time.

So far, I’ve been watching Korean drama’s, I’ve stitched, watched Naruto (trying to catch up on everything I’ve missed), and even a few outings with some co-workers. But, I knew something was missing. That was reading manga’s!

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I’m so happy this (Hajime no Ippo) is an ongoing manga, otherwise I would’ve been really bummed out. I love this manga. It’s hilarious to say the least. Not only that, but the style has changed so much. It’s for the better as far as I’m concerned! It’s so awesome to see the characters grow along with the drawing style of the author.

hajime-no-ippo-1 hajime-no-ippo-5612915

The chapter that I’ve reached is called “Tiger Style” and it just stopped where things were getting so interesting. I know I shall have to wait a while before new chapters are released (even a longer time before I can start buying manga’s again), but I think it shall be worth the wait. After all, I can’t just leave it be when Sendou fight was just getting interesting.

While I wait for new chapters from Hajime no Ippo, I’m pondering what other manga’s I should read. Should I go for a completed series or for an ongoing one?

47 Ronin

I missed Keanu Reeves! This was a movie that I was waiting for since the moment they announced its release.

When you watch the trailer and see the posters everywhere and they look so awesome, it gets you so hipped up it’s insane. Heck, it was a full house. Seriously, the cinema was full! There was no place left empty and we were lucky we had reservations made from the day before.

It looks awesome right?!?

47 Ronin

Well, the posters LIE!!! The guy with the tattoos had 2-3 lines and only a 3 min screen time, yet he is on every freaking poster and has no importance whatsoever to the plot. He’s just there because his appearance is eye catching. The Demon also has a few scenes, but again he’s not important to the plot. In fact, they should’ve put Hiroyuki Sanada (who plays Oishi), Tadanobu Asano (who plays Lord Kira) or Ko Shibasaki (who plays Mika) on the posters. They had a bigger part in the story and it would’ve been fair to us, the watchers.

It wasn’t fair, because I was expecting this amazing movie with awesome action scenes. It never happened. It was so straight forward it was sad. They could’ve done so much with the story. I was actually thinking they had two good options: either go for the traditional Japanese way of storytelling (for example the amazing “Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa)  or they could’ve went full Hollywood and just add crazy action and amazing visuals. 

It wasn’t horrible, but it was not what they marketed. I do like watching trailers, but I feel this was the biggest deceit ever.

 

Oh well, I shall live…

Mission accomplished

I am pretty proud of myself today. Tired but proud.

I woke up this morning with just one thought: I need to clean. That’s what I did till now, I cleaned our two bedrooms and I managed to throw away so many useless things. I got rid of old bags, shoes, empty boxes and all the small things that we just didn’t need but were taking up space.

It’s amazing how many things just one person can collect over the years. And there was so much dust. It was everywhere, including on me. After I felt satisfied with the result (and when I was too tired to continue) I took a long bath. Somehow all the cleaning reminded me of a nice scene from a certain movie:

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Even if I only had one day off from work where I could relax, I don’t regret anything. I really needed to just clean and declutter our personal space. It was getting to the point where we didn’t have room for us to stay.

Plus I still have the afternoon free so I can just sit back and watch some TV. Overall, today was a good and productive day.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

I got feelings watching this movie. It’s amazing how many memories a simple Anime can bring back.

I missed Dragon Ball, that’s a fact. I’m very happy they released a new movie this year but my God it was so tame compared with the original series. No kinky jokes, no Bulma nudity, Vegeta was transformed into a wuss, Goku into an “idiot who only thinks about fighting” and the rest of the characters were there just as a background.

bOg

Then again its hard to make a good Dragon Ball movie since the fights take most of he screen time. As Johnny said, in this movie the first part is about Bills (The God of Destruction) eating different things while thinking about Super Saiyan God and the second part has the fight between Goku and Bills.

Still, it wasn’t bad.

It a was a good trip down the memory lane. The graphics were cool, but I seriously had a problem with Goku’s pink hair. Why pink? Why?

Oh well, at least the gave Vegeta and Bulma more importance. Yet, it didn’t feel like Vegeta and Bulma. I mean if Vegeta wanted to slap Goku, he would slap him. He wouldn’t command Bulma to slap him, no matter how scary she may be to Goku.

I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I love so much the original DB and DBZ, that anything after that kinda irritates me. Its fun to watch the new movies and all, then the inner geek in me comes out and starts complaining.

Don’t mind me, just watch and enjoy the movie.

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Source of gif and picture: Tumblr, Real Otaku Gamer,