Friday, July 18, 2003

Deja Vu

I get home again at 5 am. Tired, weak and exhausted, I still have to cram homework.


What kept me at school until early evening yesterday was the fact that we were required to watch a movie for history. Unfortunately, it was in Spanish. Without subtitles. And this Spanish lady explained the film to us before we began watching it. Unfortunately, it was difficult understanding her because of her Spanish accent on English words.

Read more!

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Can't Stand the Smoke

Instead of being on duty at the Comicol booth, here I am at the computer lab, because I couldn't stand all the smoke coming from the booth beside us, namely from the Psych org.

I don't know why of all the orgs, it's the psychology one that smokes. A lot.

And I forgot to bring my handkerchief of all days...

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Since here I am with unlimimited access to broadband Internet, I've managed to visit most of the people in my links, which is a rarity considering how much my list has grown, among other things.

And of course, I'm surprised that there are broken links, major changes that friends underwent, and of course, of how much less some people have been keeping in touch, whether it's blogging, email, or even the phone.

Not that I've been responsible myself. There's so much I want to do but things like school have been taking up. And my immersion is next week too.

Late Once More

Will probably be away from the computer for the next twenty four hours, since a lot is keeping me preoccupied. Will probably end up at school until 7 pm because of a film we're required to watch for history, then I'll have to pass by ADB/Ink and Stone to see if the D&D 3.5 books have arrived, and lastly, there's Jobert's campaign until the wee hours of the morning.

So Much to Say So Much Forgotten


Read more!
13 Hours at School

Mainly because I was with my carpool, and he had a date, and when we finally got to the car, we discovered the lights were on and had to wait for his brother coming from DLSU to brave the traffic of Makati and EDSA.

Fortunately for me, it's not the first time I was faced with a discharged car battery. Long experiences in carpooling have taught me patience. Unfortunately, we weren't able to look for someone who had wires to jumpstart the car and we really had to wait until 8:30 for the other car to arrive.

Ragnarok Convention

Well, Level Up Games is having their convention on September 13 at the Glorietta Activity Center. It's official. And they're starting their line of campus tours...

The Most Expensive Diploma in Recto is...

That of Ateneo. Not because they're smarter, but rather their diplomas don't follow the standard size.

On a side note, apparently, the most popular forgery is the blessing of the pope. Ironically, lots of forgeries in the area are being done by Muslims...

To Get Comicol Members

Well, I essentially bribed (with books!) Liana from LitSoc. And Allen followed suit.

On a side note, a lot of people in Creative Writing are enlisting in Comicol.

Read more!

Monday, July 14, 2003

It's Just Annoying

When blogger eats up your post about your entire 30-minute tirade about fantasy anime.

A Revised, Shortened Version

What got me into this in the first place was when I met Vin at Comic Quest since it was on the way to meeting Athene, whom I gave a bunch of blank CD-Rs (because she's cute and kind and... burning me copies of Prince of Tennis).

The conversation was going around the lines of getting Elbert into RPGs when it shifted to getting Dean into anime, specifically the fantasy genre. Of course it would have been easy if it weren't for the condition of it being "pure fantasy" and not having any mecha or technology involved.

Before I go on, I'd like to clarify my stand as an anime fan. Just because I'm one does not mean I like all anime. Anime is just like any other medium out there; there's a bunch of crap. With something like 40+ episodes airing every week in Japan, I wish all of them were good. But as it is, we're lucky if a dozen of them are watchable.

Therefor, I like anime not because of all its shows but rather because of the rare jewels that pop up consistently (consistent in the fact that every year, there's a few shows that are actually good). And sometimes, these rare gems are enough to redeem the genres they represent. Emphasis on sometimes.

Occassionally, I like anime not because it stimulates the brain cells but merely for the fact that it's a guilty pleasure. Some call it eye candy, others brainless fun. I watch it, I like it.

The Really Really Shortened Tirade

Fantasy anime has its roots with Osamu Tezuka's Ribon no Kishi, which is not only a proponent of fantasy but of strong female protagonists as well.

However, the real foray into the fantasy genre was when D&D managed to reach Japan. Its influence can be seen in the popular 1988 OAV Record of the Lodoss War (RotLW), which was based on an existing D&D campaign. The show would later be adapted into a 26-episode TV series a decade later, mainly due to the fact that a) it was a time when the Japanese ran out of ideas and decided to adapt for TV popular OAVs like Shadow Skill and Yamamoto Yohko, and b), because the campaign the show was based on wasn't really finished during the OAV production process and this was a viable way to serialize their exploits.

RotLW was the pinnacle of fantasy anime and would soon be the standard with which future fantasy anime would be measured against.

Of course RotLW was originally a transcript of the D&D campaign that managed to get serialized in a magazine. This would soon spawn the publication of various fantasy fiction that eventually got serialized in magazines (especially Dragon, not to be confused with Wizard of the Coasts's D&D magazine of the same name). These magazines would then be the source for future anime/manga fantasy titles such as Slayers, Ruins Explorers, Shadow Skill, and Sorcerous Stabber Orphen.

For better or for worse, these titles were vastly different from the norm RotLW posed. For one thing, it was either spoofing the genre or had lots of comedy mixed in (such as Lina Inverse, a breastless sorceress, or Fam, a swordswoman/wizard who turns into a mouse whenever she uses magic). Serious fantasy became scarce and the fantasy/comedy genre became prevalent. More inventive shows include Bastard, which had names derived from Heavy Metal bands, and Those Who Hunt Elves, involving the quest of three humans to get home by asking elves to strip naked.

Not that these were the only proponents of fantasy at the time. Mecha fantasy was already existent with the show Dunbine and eventually Escaflowne. There's also the hentai satire Dragon Half and other anime which had fantasy settings as a backdrop.

Since we're talking about Japan, how can we not talk about video games? Whereas the West were still using pen and paper methods to play their RPGs, the Japanese converted this system to code and formed the basics of video game RPGs. Soon, video game RPGs were known as "interactive novels" and later adapted into anime titles. One such is Dragonquest, which is also done by Dragonball artist Akira Toriyama. Even anime with good production values such as Fire Emblem was nothing more than a 30-minute ad for its video game counterpart (which is why it has a rather "incomplete" ending... they want you to play the game).

Video game RPGs would also thrust the mecha concept into fantasy with Final Fantasy. The OAV Legend of the Crystals (a flop and should never be watched by anyone who plans to maintain respect for Final Fantasy) and TV series Final Fantasy Unlimited incorporated both technology and magic with its line of airships, gunblades, and other paraphernalia.

This is the point where popular fantasy in Japan got mixed into one of two categories: the fantasy/comedy type or the fantasy mixed with sci-fi. Even popular shows like Magic Knight Rayearth had epic fantasy but had the protagonists's avatars be huge robots. And Silent Mobius is the perfect example of futuristic fantasy as an earth in a post-apocalyptic setting is faced with magical demons and the only defense against it are psychic powers, powerful magic, a sentient demon-sword, and even hi-tech guns and androids.

The only exception to this rule seemed to be Hayao Miyazaki's theatrical features like Nausicaa, Mononoke Hime and the like. Then again, Hayao Miyazaki sells.

We could also go to the non-European fantasy like Heroic Legend of Arislan or Inu Yasha. Then there's fantasy that's thrown in with the other genres such as El Hazard, a typically shonen title with the male protagonist surrounded by lots of cute women, albeit in an Arabian Nights setting. On the other side of the spectrum, there's Fushigi Yuugi with Chinese lore and a mishmash of its history thrown in for good measure.

Lately, the latest evolution of fantasy in anime is the multimedia platform. Dot Hack, for example, is not only a video game but a manga and anime series as well. And each medium tells a different side of the story. You play the main character in the video game while the anime is sort of a meta-RPG show.

I don't think we'll see the likes of serious, epic, "pure" fantasy such as RotLW anytime soon but that isn't necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. Of course that also means tough luck for Dean... (or us, since we're the ones trying to get him into anime with those "no sci-fi" constraints)

And I Can't Beleive

I actually managed to somewhat reconstruct my entire post at a time when others would have given up.

Read more!
Children of Dune

I nearly had a dilemma taping the first part of Children of Dune especially considering that I didn't know if I'd get home by 9 pm because it was my cousin's birthday (my cousins, by the way, are the direct opposite of my family line: they're big, fat, and chubby). Moreover, I didn't know what channel it was showing since apparently, it wasn't on Cinemax.


Fansubs is what's referred to anime subtitled by fans and distributed so that other people can enjoy it. Six years ago, the only means to distribute fansubs was through mediums like VHS and VCD. Now with the prevalence of broadband Internet, it's available on web sites, chat channels, and people's hard drives. Fansubs are distributed nearly as much as viruses are. Once it's out, I don't think there's any chance you can eliminate all the copies.

Of course I was surprised when I got fansubs of Hikaru no Go and Saint Seiya OAV the other day since the quality of subtitles was good, especially considering it wasn't a commercial endeavor.

Lately though, I've been slowly trying to acquire more and more anime, and as much as I want to claim it's for my own sake, it's highly motivated by my crush (it's not who you think it is) since she's asking me to get Prince of Tennis as well as, uh, Meteor Garden 2.

Athene: Why the sudden interest in Prince of Tennis?

Me: Uh, it's for my crush, hehehe.

On a side note, Hikaru no Go and Saint Seiya were for friends, but since I'm the go-between, and one who has access to a CD Burner...

Thank God for friends who are nice enough to burn me CDs, even if it does take forever.

Father Takes an Interest in Me

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Well, dad got wind about me writing for Chinoy, the publication of the Fil-Chinese group in Ateneo. Right now, he asked me for a copy of what I wrote. And quite frankly, it's a far from flattering article since it's about a son (me) not being able to learn Chinese, which is what my parents wish of me (never mind the fact that when I ask them a certain Chinese word means, they go on a tirade but fail to give me the translation in the end).

Honestly, I don't know how he'll react.


Well, it's our orgs recruitment week. It's long hours of duty doing nothing but waiting. And it's in an atmosphere that's not conducive for me to concentrate or read, so I'm not productive. And all the cute students don't enlist in our org (they enlist in LitSoc, CompSat, ACOM, but not Comic Collective).

On a side note, I'm flattered that some who sign up do it because I'm there.

Not that tells me whether they'll be active in the org or not.

UP Book Fair

Well, it's this week so if there's any academic book that you haven't managed to obtain, now's a good time to do so...

Read more!