Top Banner

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 3 - Winter Semester + Goodies

So a semester and 3 weeks into university, I finally seem to be finding my groove.

Stocked up for winter
Everything seems to be going well so far. I'm keeping up with readings, doing practice questions every now and again, but most importantly, I've finally found time for anime. Being able to watch 2 episodes almost every day during my commute has really helped me in catching up with a bunch of series that were on my backlog (including: Witch Hunter Robin, Ore no Imouto, Highschool of the Dead, Gosick, TTGL...).
Recently, I finished Witch Hunter Robin (as you've seen in a previous post), HOTD and I'm working my way through Gosick, so expect a review pretty soon. 
     Another thing I've been doing is finding and gathering all the goodies I can get to last me at least a few weeks though this semester as picture above. My inventory includes:

4 x ValNature Roasted Amond Bars
9 x Small Pocky Packets
1 x Reg. Pocky
1 x Empty Pringles Can =P
3 x Biscotti dipped in cholocate
1 x Milk Chocolate Candy
1 x Lotte Fruito Gum
1 x Atkins Adv. Bar
4 x NutriGrain Bar
1 x PreSk8 Energy Drink
1 x Nestle Instant Coffee
8 x Stride Gum
2 x Trident Splash Gum

A lengthy list, but I'll probably have to restock soon as I'm munching on Pocky like crazy.

For this post, I'm going to bring back something I did way back when I started the blog in May/June, which were reviews on foreign confectionery goods, mainly Japanese goodies. (You can ready them by clicking the links below)

This time, I review a Japanese Milk Coffee Candy from Tokuno. I picked up this piece from a local Asian market instead of ordering from J-list this time.

How can you go wrong with anything coffee for university students?
Well apparently, you can. The flavour and aroma of the candy is nothing mind blowing; it taste like any other coffee candy I've tried before. The "milk" aspect on the candy didn't really add or take away from the candy either. But my biggest pet peeve about this candy was the texture of it when it starts to dissolve. From the picture above, it's basically a puck shaped candy, but once it starts dissolving, cracks develop on it and the texture of the candy becomes awkward. For the Asian readers, it feels like dried scallops (pictured below). 

Anyways, this is not one I can recommend, so I'll just suggest people to stick with whatever coffee candy you regularly buy, and stay away from this one.

What did you crave during your university/college studies? Do you like coffee candy? Any preference to a brand? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you guys soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

The second, long awaited FMA movie finally makes its Canadian theatrical debut in Canada.

Debuted on Jan. 15, and will be back on the 19th for an encore viewing
Yesterday marked the Canadian debut of FMA: The Sacred Star of Milos (excluding the "private" subbed viewing in 2011). For those of you that missed it yesterday, certain cineplex theaters will have an encore viewing on Jan. 19. The movie made its first appearance in Japan during June of 2011.
     Well yesterday, the anime club at UTSC went out and watched this movie, and being the FMA fan that I am, I also tagged along. The movie seems to take place before the finale of FMA:B, but also taking place in its own universe thus having no real continuity with FMA:B. The movie plays more like a side-plot to the main story of FMA. Most of the animation seems to follow the same style with the main series, although the eyes seemed to be much more defined and coloured a bit differently in the movie. We watched this movie dubbed, and as usual, Mignogna and Dismuke did an amazing job. However, the voice actor for the leader of the "Black Bats", Miranda (done by Shelley Calene Black) felt very monotone and scripted, offering no flow with her delivery. Now I'm not sure if that was the intended effect, but for me, it wasn't too appealing.
     As always, no spoilers will be given with any anime-related post I write up. The movie revolves around a fugitive that has broken out of an Amestris prison, even through this prisoner's sentence was due soon. The fugitive also seems to be able to use some new type of alchemy. Ed and Al are assigned to track down the fugitive. Ed and Al's search lead them to Table City, Creta where they meet Julia who reveals the story behind Creta and Milos.
     My synopsis ends there, much shorter than I'd like it to be, mostly because if I say anymore, it will detract from the movie. Not because it's suspenseful, but because it was very predictable. The felt more like an OVA and had no reason to really be on the big screens. It's also disappointing that Hiromu Arakawa did not take part as a staff member in the movie (she did the manga for FMA). If you're also expecting lots of Mustang, Hawkeye and Armstrong action, you'll also be fairly disappointed as their screen time is next to nothing. Now I'm not saying this was a terrible movie; the movie just felt underwhelming when compared to the animated tv series.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images & videos, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

Have you watched the movie yet? If so, what do you think of it? For those that watched it but haven't seen the original series, what did you think of it? What do you think of FMA in general? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Witch Hunt!

Hopefully everyone's winter break went well and year got off to a good start. Hopefully, I can find my groove after by first semester of school so I can make regular blog posts again. (School starts on the 9th!)
Well, back to your regular programming and a promised post (from 2 posts back), an anime related post.

A "childhood" anime for me

    For all the local readers, you might have heard of YTV (a Canadian youth entertainment TV channel) that used to (and still does to some extent) broadcast many cartoons, teen targeted comedy shows and at one point, anime. Let's go back to late 2002, which is when Witch Hunter Robin ran (for 26 episodes). Well back then, YTV used to have a late night anime focused programming which included: Zatch Bell, GIST: SAC, Reboot, Samurai Jack, Witch Hunter Robin and much more. I remembered that I had to stay up to the wee hours of the night (well, it was late for me back then) just to catch a glimpse of these shows. I was much more young back then and I don't think I understood anything that was going on when I was watching Witch Hunter Robin but what I do remember was that YTV was notorious for airing older episodes. Sometimes, they would do reruns, and other times, out of no where, they just air a random episode which made it near impossible for me to follow any series. Before actually being able to watch it, this "Witch Hunter Robin" show always remained a mystery to me, almost like a show characterized by "the one that got away".
     Well, let's skip to 2011/2012 where I finally watched the series. The first thing I noticed was the unique character design and the art style of the show. The style truly held up, and aged very well. Now veering off topic a bit, I am not the biggest fan of episodic/"monster of the week" shows. I might complete a series that runs like this, but it is very unlikely that I would watch a sequel that would follow this format. But Witch Hunter Robin did follow a "monster of the week" format, but strangely enough, I wasn't bothered at all by it. The show had a nice flow to  it (almost like a CSI style, where every episodes they work on a new case and there are small segments where we get to see relationships and drama between the main characters develop).
     Well, Witch Hunter Robin initially revolves around Robin, a "craft-user" (who is a person that can utilize special powers) who is sent to STN-J the Japanese child branch organization of SOLOMAN. We don't learn much about either of the organizations except that STN-J focuses on monitoring "seeds" (which are people that have dormant witch/craft powers) and on hunting witches that actively utilize their powers. Note that the existance of witches is kept from the general public, thus the operations of STN-J appear unknown/mysterious to the general population.
    The hunters that work for STN-J mainly include: Robin Sena, Amon, Haruto Sakaki, Michael Lee, Miho Karasuma and Yurkio Dojima. I won't really discuss about each character as they're pretty much cut and paste characters (at least for the first half of the series). As mentioned before, the series takes on a case each episodes, for about the first half of the series. We get little character development until after the first half where we find out the motives of each character and of the organizations (which I will not spoil).
     All in all, this show felt very satisfying, even if I didn't have the urge to dig this series up just to see what it was about. The art style, and surprising plot (although other may disagree) really made it for me.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images & videos, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

If you watched Witch Hunter Robin, what was your opinion of it? Any childhood shows you'd like to revisit today? How was your New Years? Let me know in the comments below!