Thursday, March 31, 2005

Happy Birthday!!!

Totally forgot this yesterday because of Mai-HiME 25, but yesterday,the 30th of March, was the 29th birthday of Ayako Kawasumi, prolific seiyuu in the Japanese anime industry particularly famous for her roles as Fuu(Samurai Champloo), Mahoro(Mahoromatic), Chikane Himemiya(Kannazuki no Miko,couldn't resist that.:),Ruriko Ikusawa(Gatekeepers) and much more.

She's one of my favourite seiyuu's and I'd like to take the chance here to wish her a very Happy Birthday and continued success in her future ventures.

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General : Of Bells,Legends and Curses.

After reading the other blogs on Mai HiME 25, I neglected to mention of the legend of Kiyohime, Shizuru's Child.Sunrise actually did homage to this legend in MH 25 with the trapped-in-bell-Natsuki scene.

In Japanese folklore, Kiyohime was the daughter of an innkeeper.One day, a young and handsome monk came to stay in her inn and she was instantly attracted to him.But being monks and all, he can't accept her feelings and ran away.Kiyohime chased after him until they reached a river where she turned into a serpent to cross the river. The monk hid himself under a bell but Kiyohime wrapped herself around the bell and they both died from the heat her lust which melted the bell(wow).

I didn't spot it at first as I've only read a shallow summary from Athena's Blog. But it's fun to see that Sunrise is putting in references in the anime.Kagtsuchi, Mai's Child also has a legend of it's own which goes like this:

"Kagutsuchi burned his mother, Izanami,to death when she gave birth to him as he was the god of fire(ouch). In a fit of rage,his father, Izanagi, chopped him(double ouch) into 8 pieces from which 8 mountain gods sprung out from his body and 8 other gods from his blood."

I would really wonder if Sunrise might incorparate this legend in to the final battle, maybe Kagutsuchi getting owned by Mikoto's "Excaliborg Lite"(from Momotato) and he suddenly revives with 8 more copies? It would be extremely funny or cheesy I guess.Anyways, about 12 hours more for MH 26 to come out in Japan, so let's keep out fingers crossed for a nice ending eh?

On to other matters, I had an extremely funny experience playing my Necro last night.I was already Lvl 23,.clearing out Tal Rasha's fake tombs, which have gotten considerably harder, due to the ungodly amount of monsters behind each door. I swear, I can never run out of corpses to explode or revive.Confuse is godly in v1.10.Having the monsters beat each other up is always better than hitting my "pets" right?

Anyways, after clearing off all the tombs, I set off for Duriel.I reached him easily with all my "pets" and as expected, he massacred all my skels in one shot. At that point, panic was setting in as Amplify Damage sucks. In my desperation, I hit the Iron Maiden hotkey and cursed him with it and suddenly I have inspiration. I kept summoning out Clay Golems and ran around his chamber luring him to hit my golem while I kept Iron Maiden on. Surprisingly, after about 10 rounds, I killed him with his "own" damage,LOL.

I'm never gonna go boss fighting without Iron Maiden again :).

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mai HiME 25 :Towards the Time of Fate

Watch Status: Subbed (yesy)

After 5 days of waiting and bad connections, I finally downloaded MH 25.Ahh... the sweet fruits of labour.Well, off with the crap and on to the summary/review.

I'll start of with a few comments on Yesy's subs.The font and typesetting were quite good but the translation of the OP and ED need some grammer checking.Other than that, I guess that's really good for a speedsub as I don't find any major errors.

The episode starts off with Chie and Aoi bidding a tearful farewell to Mai. It seems that the whole school has been evacuated leaving only the HiME's behind.Chie says that they like her and Mai says she'd be touched if Chie was a boy instead.Chie reminds Mai that Tate is the one she loves though, triggering a painful reminder of Tate's death. This part really shows the strong friendship that has been forged between Mai, Chie and Aoi(although we don't get to see it) as we see that the train is empty meaning that's the last train to leave.The scene zooms out with the Hime Hoshi already almost reaching the Earth.

Next, Natsuki and the Sakomizu-sensei are at the cliff where Natsuki's mother died with Natsuki getting in terms with the fact that her mother sold her off to Searrs.

Natsuki:Maybe, because people have something precious, they make mistakes and get lost.
Sakomizu:Maybe so. Fujino-san...she... fell in love with you, that's why she did such things.
Natsuki:Then I don't want to know what "love" is.
Sakomizu:But, it's because people have that they are able to live on.

We then reach back to Mai, sitting in her class,sadly reliving all her memories.Natsuki comes in to find her and both of them have a heart-to-heart talk about school and learning while they walk around the desolate campus, looking at all the stuff they have missed doing.

Reito, or Kokuyou no Kimi(KNK), and Nagi, meanwhile, are discussing stuff. Nagi complains on not finding Miyu and Shizuru running berserk. Reito/KNK states that it's more interesting this way as this Festival is totally different from the ones before. Nagi says that he's changed but Reito/KNK denies it.Suddenly, Reito/KNK's charm glows and he clutches it in pain(hmm, strange) making Nagi ask if there's anything wrong but he denies it.

The following part is nicely done as we see all the characters having a last night of peace as a prelude to the following events tommorrow.Nicely done with a slow rendition of "Ensei"

The next day, Mai and Natsuki depart from their dorm. Before leaving, Natsuki prophetically says she'll not live through this and she entrusts everything to Mai.They part off gracefully as their last meeting.Reito/KNK, Mikoto and Nagi also make their moves as well with Reito/KNK stating that a new world will be made by him and his wife.

Mai meets up with Miyu on the way to the Kokuyougo. Miyu asks(threatens) Mai to reveal the entrance and also why she's here as her MIP is already gone.Mai answers that she just felt like doing it.Miyu looks back at her reactivation when Midori chose not to reset her memories and says that she doesn't understand them doing this.Miyu then proceeds to the Kokuyougo's entrance.

Natsuki and Shizuru then face off each other.One note here, they fought to the tune of "Tokiiro no Mai",quite funky and groovy.Artfully done :).The fight continues on with Miyu and Mikoto facing each other as well.Didn't expect Miyu to have so much different modes(and colours too).Kinda reminds me of GSD's Impulse's Variable TPA.Mikoto and Miyu's fight was quite nicely done although short.

Mai reaches soon after but Mikoto has brought the fight away from the place. Mai enters and has a conversation with Nagi(at his evilest) and they both head off.

Natsuki and Shizuru continue their fight.Shizuru reiterates that she'll make Natsuki hers no matter what.Natsuki summons Duran, who's gotten considerably bigger due to Natsuki's feeling of her most precious.

Nagi and Mai have reached the place where the pillars stand.Nagi explains everything and Mai goes around, reminiscing the lost HiME's. Nagi states there's an extra, meaning that someone has lost as well.Mai instantly thinks of Mikoto.

Natsuki and Shizuru's fight reach the remains of the church.Natsuki gets trapped in the falling bell and Shizuru takes the chance to capture Natsuki.Natsuki kisses Shizuru, surprising her, and states she can't have feelings like hers although she likes her.Natsuki orders Duran to shoot Kiyohime committing double suicide and they both disapper in a breeze of green sparks.

The pillars marking Shizuru and Natsuki rise up meaning that Mai is the sole survivor of the Festival and the gate to the Fuuka Shrine will open for her.Mai enters the door to the Kokuyougo. Nagi remarks that Mai is the best HiME he's seen from all the HiME's as she heads off.

Miyu arrives not long after Mai's departure. Miyu demands to go through but Nagi refuses.Mai reaches the Kokuyougo and is shocked by the changes.She notices Mashiro encased in a giant crystal.Reito/KNK explains the purpose of the Festival to her and says that Mai will be his wife instead and they will make a new world to replace the current rotten one.Mai refuses it.Reito/KNK asks if she hates him but no, she just feels sad for him.Reito/KNK challenges Mai to call on Kagutsuchi and defeat him eventhough her MIP's are gone.Mai retorts saying she still has feelings for Tate in her heart and summons Kagutsuchi.Mikoto suddenly appears with her Child as well.

Miyu and Nagi are still fighting. Miyu feels Alyssa's presence and activates her secret mode,suprising Nagi.She strikes her sword in the middle of the pillars and activates her Anti-Materializer at maximum causing an explosion and the show ends.

Mai-HiME continues to keep up with expectations with the fights and plot development.Enough is revealed but not too much to give the ending the final revelations(I hope).This episode is a fittingly done as a prelude to the final episode.I have to say that Natsuki has gotten more open now and smiles a lot more, too bad she double suicided with Shizuru,although it was quite expected I guess.Miyu almost stole the show with her fights and her attack modes.I WANT TO SEE HER OTHER MODES!!.

In all, I'm anxiously waiting for the ending which will be out tommorow, although, I'm going to have to watch it considerably later.I really hope that Sunrise will be able to keep up the great work they've done for Mai-HiME and make a fitting ending.The preview already hints that someone might die *coughmikotocough*.

Coming up! GSD 23 and AIR 12.

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General : Aftermath

This day, 1 week ago, my DSL was cut :(. I still remember the pain and anguish of waking up and trying to connect to the Net but instead getting the error message of invalid password.

1 week on and I'm still trying to salvage my life back to its former glory of broadband and anime watching. So far I've missed, MSN 11, MH 25,AMS 12, GSD 22, Mahoraba 12,Bleach 24 and much more else to list.I've only downloaded so far, MH 25 which is still stuck at 85% :p. I guess I'll be able to finish it today and GSD 22 in 2-3 days time.To think that this week is MH 26..... sob sob....

As for money making, so far I've only got U$1.01 from Adsense, which is quite good I guess considering that I've just made my blog for a week or so.well, U$24 to go heh.

Well, in the aftermath of DSL loss, I've tried to do stuff to spend my time on the comp while I make sure that my dial-up doesn't go disconnecting and other stuff that hampers the downloading process.

I've rediscovered Diablo 2, which I'm sure any self-respecting gamer would know about it.My affair with Diablo started off from Diablo I,which was one of the first games I'd played. I was quite hooked to it and I still remember how anxiously I waited and followed the news when the sequel was annouced. I still remember how excited was I whenever they revealed new character classes and skills, especially when they said that players could make potions from monster remains(Find Potion, Barbarian) which I thought was really cool(but turns out to be quite useless, LOL).

Anyways off with the history lesson.The last time I left Diablo 2:LOD, I was at v1.09 and didn't really get to play v1.10. This time, I downloaded 1.10 and found out it's really a free expansion pack to D2:LOD.The monsters are quite tough and improved already, making it much more fun to play already :)(for now, that is).

So far,in keeping up with my tradition for a new character every install(about 5 times already, including this time), I've made a Necromancer.Before this, I didn't really like the Necromancer because I thought his skills were pansy stuff and hard to use. But this time round, I find nothing more satisfying than having your own personal army killing off mosnters for you while you stand back and pick up the loot, occasionally casting curses to increase damage or make the monsters fight themselves(my favorite).My Necro, Shinikaze, has reached Lvl 20 for now, at the Arcane Sanctuary, having fun and kicking monster butts about. Ahh... how I like Confuse....

Well, for now, it's back to Diablo 2, while i wait for MH 25 to finish off in umm... round 2 hours I guess(and hope).

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

General : Status Report and Google's Adsense.

For those still visiting my blog, I sincerely apologize for the lack of updates. My anime downloading has basically got kaput due to the unreliability of my dial-up which frequently times-out, disconnects itself and just basically slow as hell. I used to get speeds of 6kb/s on it, now, I'll be lucky to even break 3kb/s. That basically beats the purpose of me using it to download anime, as by the time I've downloaded 1 episode, the next two episodes will be out already :P.

On another note, I've appiled and got Google's Adsense, which I hope will be able to support my broadband costs of U$ 25 a month(exchanged from local rates).To anybody visiting, I sincerely hope you'll click on at least 1 ad(which is on the bottom of the side bar below the tag board) or maybe use the Google Search bar on the bottom of my blog to help me out. In the meantime, I'm trying out various methods(short of crime) to pay my bills and get back my broadband. A big thanks to all who's still supporting me.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mai HiME : Vol.1 DVD Omake

The loss of broadband has hit me hard. I feel like losing an arm and leg already.It took me 2 HOURS just to download this :P which makes out to a ratio of roughly 1 hour to 1 minute(ouch).I'm thinking of appying for Google Adsense to offset costs and afford broadband myself, so if I do get Adsense, I hope some kind visitors will click on some ads to help me out ^_^ .

Anyways, off with the ranting. This was subbed by yesy, with the torrent up on Tokyotosho earlier today.It consists of 2 parts and is quite short at 2:17 minutes only.

The first part features Mai as she elaborates on how she got her first bra, which only means fanservice here ^_^ and we do get that, featuring both Chibi-mode Mai and herself in full glory ;). It's really like a radio drama with images though, as there's only 3 of them which are below ;).

The 2nd part is a hillarious ad on Fuuka Gakuen hosted by Mashiro and sprinkled with some "censored" footage of the various HiME-related events in the school.There's even a full-fledged advert at the end offering a class in "Killing monsters while putting love on the line" at the end, ROFL. Here's the screenies:

The ad was quite funny, especially when you get it :) . I'm more interested in the 2nd Omake featuring our resident Chikane-wannabe, Shizuru and Natsuki ;).

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