Friday, May 31, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen (2013)

Legend of Lu Zhen

the story followed Luzhen, a young girl from a wealthy pottery merchant family. she was well-versed with her father's business and loved dearly by her father. when she was targeted by her stepmother, her father was killed and she was said to be the killer. eventually she escaped into the palace as a trainee. to avenge her father's death, she had to rise through the ranks for a position of Prime Minister. as she fell for the second prince Gaozhan, the odds were stacked against them and further complicated by the jealousy from princess Huanyun who married his brother Gaoyan, the king.

with all the threats and sabotages, there were never a dull moment as the drama progressed and we followed Luzhen's growth as a politician. she had to navigate through plenty of traps created by different people throughout her different ranks just to stop her from being even more successful. due to her intelligence, she got through the mess just fine, sometimes with the help of good people, sometimes even from her foes. even their love story had to be anything but smooth sailing. every time the duo got together, things only got heated up, soon they would get discouraged by a certain situation only to get back together again.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki (2013)
劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 エンデュミオンの奇蹟

Endymion no Kiseki

the story took place in Academy City. just before the completion of the space elevator Endymion, Kamijou and Index came across a level zero esper named Arisa. before they were able to figure much out about her, the magicians started attacking Academy City. they soon found out that the magicians were after Arisa. while a leader named Shattoaura was instructed to lead an army against the attack, the friends learned that Arisa was in fact the key that brewed the war between Magic and Science.

like all of the previous sequels of the series, the movie was equally entertaining as well as action packed. the story started out with the everyday lives of a group of friends. things started to change after they knew about Arisa, a seemingly normal girl that held the biggest secret of all. despite the terrifying powers these youngsters had, they had such normal sides of them that made the show both intense as well as hilarious at the same time.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hand Me Down (2012)

Hand Me Down

Liz was a 14-years-old that spent her whole life protecting her younger sister Jaime. once a seemingly perfect family, her father started hitting their mother the moment she refused to give her money for boozes. after their divorce, her mother got together with an ex-convict that assaulted women. he continued to taunt Liz and harassed her until she was sent to live with Aunt Tammy in another town. despite being free from her stepfather's sexual harassment, Liz found it difficult to feel safe anymore.

the first half of the book was awfully depressing as i felt like i was being harassed as well. the urge to fight back was as strong as throwing the book down. but as i forced myself through the pages, the changes that happened when Liz was thrown into Aunt Tammy's life, or even Aunt Deborah's life. each of these household was different but decent in their own ways. the conflict remained until she finally revealed the truth and was finally given a real home. there was a memorable fight near the end of the book, which turned out to be extremely satisfying and made the suffering of going through the first half of the book absolutely worthwhile.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kagaku na Yatsura (2013)

Kagaku na Yatsura

the story followed a high school boy named Haruki and his high school friends Airi and Ayana. Airi was a cyborg girl while Ayana was a half-dog girl. the 2 girls often went into the extreme with science, which often got Haruki in troubles.

the OVA was only 1-episode long with plenty of absurdity, very much like Seikon no Qwaser (2010) only with a high school backdrop. the plot was rather straightforward as the girls got Haruki into situations that all required the girls to get him out as well. with only 1 episode, there weren't much depth or character development possible.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Fast & Furious 6

Dom and his crew had scattered across the globe after their last success mission. however, they struggled silently with the peaceful lives of theirs, unable to feel the satisfaction of being alive. like an answer to their prayers, Hobbs appeared, offering them a job to catch Shaw, who led a dangerous group of skilled mercenary. one of the member in Shaw's team was Letty, Dom's lover who everyone thought was dead, showed up having no memories.

this installment focused on a terrorist threat instead of racing. despite the changes, the film still featured cars. there were little pleasure in races, but still enough to satisfy especially with the aids of astounding action sequences. danger and death appeared at unexpected timing that left one gasping and surprised with the twists of events. there were even funny moments that drew a laugh or two. the ability of its members being able to create great atmospheres was impressive, especially the cooperation and banters.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blood-C: The Last Dark (2012)
劇場版 ブラッドシー ザ ラスト ダーク

Blood-C: The Last Dark

the story took place in a world where minors were enforced with curfews and youth were given little freedom. the youngsters continued to fight for their own freedom through underground methods, against Fumito, a man with great influence in the political world. one rebellious group was called Sirrut, they used the internet as their weapon to find out more about Fumito. at the same time, they learned about the Tower, which was the secret organization that engaged in human experimentation.

for this movie, Saya returned as the martial art vampire-girl with a mission. she was always entertaining to look at, especially when she needed to face powerful enemy such as Fumito. the familiarity was welcoming. the new characters created an atmosphere that could be considered lighthearted if compared to its dark plot. the introduction of Mana had us felt relatable to the whole storyline just as Saya dropped in to spice the adventure up.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Slide #2: Impostor (2013)


after Zane's death, Vee continued to relive the last moments of his life by having nightmares about the crash. just when she thought everything would soon go back to normal, she started losing consciousness and waking up at a completely different place. she began suspecting that someone was sliding into her, taking control over her body. when Scott was found dead at the bottom of the cliff, Vee had zoned out and found herself staring at his lifeless body when she came to. as things had gotten more and more serious, Vee had to find out soon who slide into her before things got further out of control.

with the involvement of Vee's runaway-aunt Lydia, mysterious Diane and Anna, the development possibility got so much more wider than the first installment. however, i was pleased when getting to the point where the culprit was non of the expected person, nor was the situation as sinister as it seemed. everything was wrapped up beautifully in the end, with a rare amount of teary moments to make it perfect.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Joshiraku (2012)


the story followed the everyday lives of a group of 5 girls who were Rakugo (落語) comedians. they did and talked about random things, which often reached an unusual or hilarious conclusions that wandered far from the initial topic.

at first glance, the series was just another comedy created by following the lives of 5 girls. however it wasn't the typical type. every girl had a certain disorder that made them so different from one another. but together they stood out, especially with the help of dialogues, the outcome was absolutely hilarious. there were plenty of reference or parodies, thus a certain amount of knowledge were required.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Not Suitable for Children (2012)

Not Suitable for Children

Jonah was a playboy who often organized parties with his housemates. one day being mentioned about having a lump, he consulted the doctor only to know what he had to overgo a surgery where he will be infertile from there onward. having one month until the surgery, he was desperate to find someone to have a baby with. together with Stevie, his housemate, they searched for a perfect mother for his baby.

the film was straightforward and entertaining. there were plenty of awkward moments to laugh at, but at the same time showed Jonah's desperation. he was easy to relate to, making one feel pity towards his situation yet can't help feeling that he deserved it for being a playboy. Stevie however, was an absolutely lovable character. she was influenced but doesn't lack the enthusiasm. the decision she made was daring but definitely understandable.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SKET Dance OVA (2013)


the 1-episode OVA of the series came bundled with the 29th Volume of the Manga (漫画). it followed the Sket Dance Club member - Yusuke, Hime, and Kazuyoshi, as they tried to assist those who came to them for help. for this episode, Shinba approached the Sket Dance to voiced out a plan for Saaya to get paired up with her love interest. despite the usual mysterious start, the Sket Dance always managed to make everything enjoyable until the truth was finally out. for this very episode, supporting characters were given much spotlight to standout. overall, it was like any other episode of the series, being hilarious and absolutely entertaining.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Slide #1: Slide (2012)


while everyone believed that Vee was a narcoleptic, it was just a front. instead of falling asleep uncontrollably, she was actually passed out while sliding into somebody else's mind and experiencing the world through that person's eyes. her sliding problem had gotten worst these days, especially when she slide into someone who held a bloody knife while standing over Sophie's slashed body. Vee's younger sister, Mattie were best friends with Sophie and Amber. when Amber was killed soon after, Vee had to do everything to protect her sister.

the book was an extremely fast read. despite the initial confusion, the moment i started experiencing Vee's slides, it became clear what the main attraction of its plot was. it was so captivating i found myself compelled towards her ability to restrain herself from going into everyone's head. the mystery of suicides and murders kept the edge on, making it difficult to not feel curious towards each of the suspicious characters and possible motives.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (2012)

Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki

the story started with Hana falling in love with Ookami, a werewolf. after getting married, Hana gave birth to Yuki, her daughter born on a snowy day, and Ame, her son born on a rainy day. the four lived a quiet life in the corner of the city with the intention of concealing the existence of their werewolf-children. but when Ookami suddenly died, Hana decided to move to a rural area to raise her children alone.

without human intervention, Hana lived a happy live with her children. as Yuki and Ame grew older, they began going their separate ways. despite the nonstop conflicts during these processes, Hana eventually came to accept what her children did with their lives. the movie was rather common if not for their unusual mix of genres. unlike most standalone anime movie, this movie was compactly filled and absolutely fast paced.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chasing Rainbows (2011)

Chasing Rainbows

a series of events rocked Bernie's world mercilessly. after the death of their first child, her husband Ryan left her for another woman he impregnated; it was followed by her father's sudden death, leaving behind brokenhearted family members; then her best friend Diane announced an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 41. she found herself quitting her job for a change and fell through the coming months stumbling through these events over and over again.

the book was an absolute fast read! Bernie was no stranger to loss and heartache, but as she struggle through these pains, she soon found her turning point once she decided to face reality. Bernie was a character very easy to relate to, her life not much different from us yet so very different. with some very heavy matters, the book was surprisingly uplifting and enjoyable. it was funny yet so very heartbreaking, and can be easily finished reading in one sitting.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

劇場版 Tiger & Bunny Movie 1: The Beginning (2012)

The Beginning

the movie was put together and based on the first 2-episodes of the Tiger & Bunny (2011) series, with additional scenes. it was quite a letdown to know that there weren't new storyline for the series. fortunately, it did give so much more contents than its original first 2-episodes, mixing new materials with the old, making it seemed like an almost new experience for us. the delicious part was exploring Kotetsu internal struggle with the lost of his wife. instead of filling his character with anguish, he was shed some light, which made him relatable and easily drew sympathetic feelings towards him. side characters were also given more air-time in this installment, which was extremely enjoyable as they were so many unique characters under those beautiful armors.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Road to Mercy (2012)

The Road to Mercy

Josh was a Christian singer who married Bethany. the story started with Bethany preparing cookies, welcoming Josh home from his tour. however, after feeling a tremendous headache, she fainted in her kitchen only to be discovered later by their neighbor Alex. she was rushed to the hospital, where Josh arrived not long after. they were given terrible news regarding Beth's recent headaches. it was caused by her carotid artery. due to its danger, surgery was out of the question. it could only depend on Beth's healing ability, especially when they discovered that she was also pregnant with their first child.

after reading pages into the book only did i realize that i picked a Christian book to read. not being a huge fan of religious books, i instinctively wanted to put the book down. but after a second thought, i decided to finish it since i was in fact, the one picking it out. fortunately, the book was an easy-read. there were plenty of over-elaborated moments that made me skipped lines, but in overall, the dramas made the book very enjoyable. as for the predictability of the storyline, it was obvious that everything had to end perfectly since it was God's reputation that it held.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Toshokan Sensou: Kakumei no Tsubasa (2012)
図書館戦争 革命のつばさ

Kakumei no Tsubasa

the story started out with Iku and Dojo receiving an emergency call during their date. their current duty was to protect Kurato, an author from the terror attack. at the same time, the relationship between the Librarians and the Media committee was also worsening.

the romantic development between Iku and Dojo blossomed in this installment and was very satisfying. the story still followed the major plot of its original series Toshokan Sensou (2008) and served as a direct sequel. action wise, it was greatly enhanced visually. the pace was even, not even dragging when nothing much was happening. overall, it was an entertaining movie, especially to those who was originally familiarized with its characters.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Legend of Yang Guifei (2010)

The Legend of Yang Guifei

the story followed the life of Yuhuan. during childhood, she lived a poor but happy life with her parents. after they were hunt down and her mother dead, she went on a journey with her father just to stay alive. unfortunately his father became fatally wounded while protecting Yuhuan, who was also ill. at that moment, they ran into Libai who was travelling. her father requested for Libai to look after his daughter before he fell dead in the wilderness. Yuhuan was brought to a relative's house, where she was treated as a slave. she later entered the palace by chance and got to know the Emperor of her time.

having the story followed Yuhuan since her childhood buildup our feelings and empathy towards her as she slowly became an adult. it felt like we knew who she really was as she struggle through her life being a slave and being married into the palace. her love for music drew the Emperor's attention, who was also obsessed with music. he created chances just for the duo to meet, yet brought unnecessary problems for her to endure as well. it was an interesting if not extreme life to live, where being alive meant everything.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Berserk Ougon Jidaihen III: Kourin (2013)
ベルセルク 黄金時代篇Ⅲ 降臨


Guts was a strong fighter with little direction in his life. he was hired to fight one battle after another. everything changed after he met with Griffith, and the duo became best friends. Griffith was a charismatic man who led a band of army. Casca who was originally in the band, struggle to accept Guts and his influences to those around him. Griffith continued to lead them to victory that brought them power in order to reach his mysterious goals.

this final and third installment of Berserk (2012-2013) movie completed the Golden Age arc and move into the Eclipse arc. in this installment, Guts left the band while Griffith was captured. a year later Guts returned to save Griffith, who was left with little glory of what they had achieved back then. the storytelling was rushed but enough to satisfy curious hearts. it was entertaining and fulfilling compared to its previous 2 movies. at the end of the film, it was clear that a new storyline will be coming soon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thirst #5: The Sacred Veil (2013)

The Sacred Veil

Sita had been a vampire for 5000 years. having infinite memory, every moment and experience stuck with her, including everyone that she loved, everyone that she killed, they became a part of her forever. strangely, the part where she was held prison by a group of madmen was lost to her. while she frantically tried to recall, she and her friends need to search for a sacred artifact - a sacred Veil that might hold the key to mankind's salvation.

like all the other books in the Thirst (2009-2013) series, the book started out fast-paced and ended with an overwhelming sensation. its only letdown was the middle part, where it most definitely had to be dragging or even boring. for this installment, Sita had to recall her past during her imprisonment, where she was tortured and had the Jews burned alive in front of her. all that just for her cooperation. part of it was interesting to know, but the other half were meaningless with when names thrown all over the page, the book instantly got overloaded and tiresome. fortunately the overall experience of Sita was interesting, for she was such a unique and lovable character.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Pitch Perfect

Beca was a freshman at Barden University, popular for their a Capella group; one formed by the guys name the Treblemakers, another by the girls the Barden Bellas. with Aubrey as their team leader, the Bellas struggled to be perfect and consistent. but when the Treblemakers became more and more creative, the Bellas had to get out of their comfort zone and try something different to win the competition.

the film was extremely entertaining as it involved much singing. the only downside was its cheesy romance, being completely unbelievable and impossible to relate to. back to the film, despite being the bad guy and going against Beca, Aubrey turned out was a much more lovable character than Beca, who was the main cast. the film has wonderful vocals and dancing, and especially personality. each of the girls stood out and was so hilarious under the spotlight, making the film so much fun and entertaining.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Garden of Stones (2013)

Garden of Stones

the story took place during the dark days of war, starting from a few days before and years after, leading behind its horrifying effects. Lucy was a normal 14-year-old, a Japanese-American that lived with her mother Miyako. they were among the other Japanese-Americans that were grouped to be moved out of their home, to the Manzanar camp while the war took place. together Miyako and Lucy endured the harsh living conditions that evolved around corruption and abuse. eventually it ruined Miyako, forcing her to make a difficult decision with the aim of freeing Lucy from these monsters.

i started reading the book not knowing that it was war-based, a genre that i never truly enjoyed. as the story evolved and the war signs came out, it was too late for me as i was too hooked to throw the book aside. the story was told in multiple perspectives, including Lucy's point of view from her younger days and her daughter, Patty's perspective in the future, before her marriage. while the dark years of war tainted those who survived, Lucy struggled with the circumstances with only the intention of surviving it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
えびてん 公立海老栖川高校天悶部 OAD (2013)


Noya just transferred to Ebisugawa High School. he had always been fascinated with space and decided to join the astronomy club. however, he mistakenly walked into a wrong room and landed him in a all female otaku club. while he noticed that the members acted weirdly, he didn't suspect himself for walking into a wrong club room. soon his life became strange surrounded by them.

the series reminded one of Seitokai no Ichizon (2009-2013) along with all the craziness. the plot was somewhat extreme, but remained interesting and entertaining until the very end. the club was random, its character random, while the club adviser was a cat. with all the serious anime around, this series was far from being anything like one would expect in an anime. despite looking like a harem anime, the main female character turned out to be a cross-dressing boy, which was hilarious when the truth surfaced.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Season of the Witch (2011)

Season of the Witch

Behmen and Felson were crusaders, serving god by killing everyone that defied Him. one day they returned home to find that the village was swept by the Black Plague, which they said was a witch's curse. the church commanded Behmen and Felson to transport the witch to a remote village, so the monks could perform a ritual to destroy the witch. together with a priest, a young knight, and a salesman that knew the way, the party set out to the village.

having watched so many fantasy movies, we assumed that the plot would be typical and within expectation. however, we were surprised to be completely absorbed into the storyline, enjoying the thrill and danger of their adventure. it was somewhat different, even a little exciting having things jumped out of nowhere and scaring us in a non-eerie way. the point that the party was weaker than the godly creatures made everything so much more believable and relatable, making us appreciate the film for being realistic.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Nekomonogatari Kuro (2012)

Nekomonogatari Kuro

Bakemonogatari (2009) started out as a surprise for many viewers. it was bold, different, so full of dialogues, yet so very addictive. its sequel: Nisemonogatari (2012) tried to follow its footstep but faltered slightly and failed to be as successful. Nekomonogatari (2012) however, brought back the spotlight and hit its target, it was just as good as its first sequel, and as satisfying.

like its previous sequels, this installment had little movement and many talking. yet whenever there was movement, it was so fluent it was mesmerizing to look at. the plot continued its supernatural events that continued to evolve and required solution from Araragi-kun. unfortunately the series only had 4 episodes, making it seemed more like a movie than series.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Inside Out Girl (2010)

Inside Out Girl

Rachel was an overprotective single mother of Janie and Dustin. Len was lawyer struggling with his disabled daughter Olivia. Olivia had Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), which caused her to have high verbal skill, but low social or visual skill. when the 2 adults got to know each other, Janie was horrified to find out that the most bullied girl in school was going to be her sister. while everyone was having trouble adjusting, Len found out that he had a tumor in his head, having only a few years left. desperate for someone to take care of Olivia after he died, he sought out perfect parents for his daughter.

the heartwarming, as well as heart-wrenching story circled around a special girl named Olivia. she reminded Rachel so much of the down syndrome daughter she gave up when she got pregnant at a younger age, and caused her to be filled with guilt often. Len helped her to move on bringing in Olivia into her life, it was like giving her a second chance. many times i found tears welled up in my eyes as i got absorbed into the story, completely influenced. it was definitely an awesome read.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Yama no Susume (2013)

Yama no Susume

Aoi and Hinata were childhood friends, but Aoi was afraid of heights and preferred indoor hobbies; while Hinata has a passion for mountain climbing. while they were younger, they used to watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain. now they decided to climb again in hopes of seeing the sunrise again. along the way, they met with new friends and learn more about mountain climbing.

with each episode only 3 minutes long, the series was surprisingly entertaining. there were plenty of character developments that made Aoi and Hinata such lovable characters and very easy to relate to. Aoi was often afraid and unsure of the situation, while Hinata would take bolder approach, helping and encouraging her forward.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Reconstructing Amelia (2013)

Reconstructing Amelia

Kate was a single mother who worked as a lawyer. despite her busy schedule, Amelia was a perfect daughter. one day, when she was having an important meeting with her clients, Kate received a call from Amelia's school, saying that Amelia had been cheating on papers, thus expelled and required Kate to bring her daughter home. Amelia was an intelligent and levelheaded girl that would never do something like that. but when she arrived at the school, she found out that Amelia was dead.

the story was told in many perspective of Kate's and Amelia's, including what happened before Amelia was found dead, along with Kate's own side of the story as she struggled to find out what happened to her daughter. it was such a heart-wrenching experience having to go through both Amelia's and Kate's challenges. despite the jumping timeline, the storyline was was captivating and mysterious that before long, i found myself following the breadcrumbs Amelia left behind, joining Kate on her journey to discover the truth. it was a painful journey even for us readers, where i uncontrollably shed many tears for them.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Senyu (2013)


the story took place in a world where an evil being called Satan ruled over the land through fear. he invaded the human world, along with his demon underlings, spreading madness and chaos everywhere. the king decided to send a hero to battle him. he declared to grant a title and great fortune to the one who defeated Satan. Alba and his attendant Ross too was part of the heroes that signed up for the quest.

despite the serious plot, the series was random and absolutely hilarious. it was visually simple yet very well drawn. like its plot, there were also no in depth character development. like Hetalia (2009-2013), the episodes were generally 5 minutes long. the series was unexpectedly addictive starting from the very first episode.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Skyfall (2012)


Bond's latest mission went wrong, causing agents around the world being exposed and the MI6 main office targeted. during the mission, M was forced to make a tough decision and it wavered Bond's loyalty towards her. it was later discovered that the man behind all these was a past agent named Silva. when Silva returned to threaten M, Bond had to aid and protect her from all harm.

as the James Bond films continued to progress, it became gradually ridiculous and unconvincing. the recent 2 Bond films that uses Daniel Craig had its own appeal, where a darker side of Bond was shown. unlike previous sequels where Bond was kept emotionally distance and mysterious at all time, this installment focused partly on his relationship with M, even revealing a small part of his past and childhood.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Tamako Market (2013)

Tamako Market

Tamako was a normal young girl whose family made mochi (餅) for generations. one day, she came across Dera, a talking bird that claimed to be a royal court attendant, who was in search of a bride for his master. after their encounter and falling in love with mochi, Dera decided to stay with Tamako and became part of her life.

there weren't much plot for the series to based upon. while Tamako was an adorable and obviously likable character, Dera was unfortunately irritating. the series revolved around new mochi that was made for different occasion, which was definitely informational for us who are always interested. while the story followed Tamako around her small community, it showed their everyday life in a simple yet heartwarming ways.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3

the world was slowly torn apart, led by a terrifying terrorist called the Mandarin. before Tony was able to do anything, his mansion was bombed down, destroyed by an enemy he made during his most successful days. now that his past came back to haunt him, he was pushed against the wall. he had to survive, putting his wit and machines together, while protecting those he held deary.

having watched all the previous sequels, this installment surprisingly turned out to be the best among the trio. having seen Tony in his greatest moments, seeing him now in the lowest point of his life became extremely engaging. he became relatable, more human than superhero. the humor was brilliant, often came unpredictably. there were also plenty of action and drama from its very beginning until the end. every change of scenarios was also absolutely entertaining.