Saturday, January 03, 2004

Animax Lineup

For January:

GTO, Chobits, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Cyborg Kurochan, Lum, Getbackers, Astroboy, Nobody's Girl, Ultra Maniac, DT Eightron, Texhnolize, Ailes Grise.

For February:

Clamp Campus Detectives, Gene Shaft, .hack//sign, Cyborg 009, Wolf's Rain, Stratos 4, Saber Marionette J, Daigunder.


I was cramming the fiction story I needed to submit for Monday and then I just realized one thing. For me, writing fiction is a strain. After writing a paragraph or two, I suddenly want to postpone writing the succeeding paragraphs. Which is a sharp contrast when I write here in my blog, my reviews, essays, feature articles, even nonfiction and fanfic. For the latter, I find it relaxing and I want to go on and on and on until I finish. Of course what mystifies me is why this is the case, at least for nonfiction and fanfiction, since they do share some of the elements in fiction. Maybe it's characterization-- the characters in nonfiction and fanfics are already established and I know who they are, while in my fiction pieces, I honestly barely know them. Another part is exposition and description, both of which are far from my strongest points. With fanfiction, you already assume that your readers know most of the qualities of your character (since they are popular characters) and whatever deviant description you give them is just to enhance or differentiate an already established image.

On Fanfic Writing

Actually, I'm only written on fanfic. And in the tradition of most fanfics, it's one of those to be continued stories wherein the continuation actually hasn't been written. And strangely enough, I think one of the reasons I didn't really get into fanfic writing is the fact that I'm quite faithful to the characterizations presented in the canon material. I mean let's face it: fanfics are mostly comprised of what-ifs or wish-fulfillment scenarios. While some fanfics can be faithful to the show/novel/comic/movie they're based on, there's an actual difference in at least one aspect of the characters which the fanfic writer inserts. For example, a sexual pair in the Star Trek fanfic universe is the Kirk slash Spock. While the writer might portray Kirk and Spock in a consistent way they've been acting on the TV episodes and the movies, the Kirk slash Spock shifts the perhaps exagerrated male bonding to an actual romantic relationship, which is actually far from what the creators intended, or is inconsistent with the text (when I speak of text, I mean the episodes or the movie). Of course the actual pairing of the two happens through either the what-if scenario (what if Kirk actually had feelings for Spock), or the wish-fulfillment scenario (they had a moment in that scene... they must be a couple! [when in truth, it's the misinterpreted bonding of one person to another]). Another example is in Gundam Wing, where a lot of people really want to pair up the pilots of the show. And personally, I see that all there is to it is exagerrated male bonding but no sexual tension or interest whatsoever among the male cast. I mean females can be close to each other but you don't see us guys screaming lesbian (well, at least most guys don't). In contrast to Yu Yu Hakusho where the creator did actually hint at something going on between Hiei and Kurama, but was never actualized in the series. Never mind the fact that he probably inserted the sexual innuendo between the two male characters to please fans, but at least the Hiei x Kurama pair makes more sense that the Gundam Wing pairings many fanfic writers want to portray.

Not that I'm saying writing all these fanfics are wrong, but I guess when you go start reading fanfics, one should expect that the reality portrayed in those stories is different (whether slightly different or majorly different) as to what is actually portrayed from the text they were based on. Of course my writing style is (or at least I'd like to think it is) that I tend to be more faithful to the original text, hence defeating the what-if or wish-fulfillment scenarios many fanfic readers are looking for in their fanfics.

Read more!

Friday, January 02, 2004


Here's some last-minute links that popped up before the end of last year:

For the book fan, here's a column about how book awards might affect us readers. The link popped up in Gaiman's blog but the site is actually a place I regularly visit for my author interviews (to Vern and Daimira, you might want to hear Goodkind ramble on in person).

For you RPG gamers, Sean K. Reynolds has a breakdown of RPG players, which is informative (guess what end of the spectrum I belong?).

Comic fans can enjoy this link on the best comic book covers for 2003. I'm sure there'll be discussion with what you like and don't like. (Watch out for the high bandwidth consumption!)

And here's an article on the effects of the Oscar for animated feature affected the industry, mainly chosen because I really want to put in an anime link and all of the good (and juicy) articles on anime that I know of are either 1) old, 2) defunct (which means they're not in circulation anymore), or 3) not really that good (which means I'm settling for something related but worth something).

Read more!

Thursday, January 01, 2004

You Learn Something New Every Day

Started off the year with a visit to George Optical for my eye check-up which I've delayed for the past nine months.

Of course found out today that in addition to not having 20/20 vision, I have astigmatism. Before, there was a disparity between the grades of my left and right eye. They're both equal now but it seems I've traded off one disparity with another.

Anyone who's visited an optomestrist knows that judging the appropriate grade for one's vision is not an exact science. It involves trial and error, as well as the subjective judgement of the one needing glasses. Unequal grades just make it all the more harder, especially with astigmatism, where you need not only find the right requirements for the individual eye but in conjunction with the other eye as well.

And since my regular "kuliti" keeps me from wearing contact lenses, I now have to clean my eyelids using a special solution that involves Johnson's Baby Shampoo.


It looks like the New Year is far from compatible with out free blog host.

Read more!

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

How One Should Not Start the New Year

I've done some (actually a lot) things in my life wherein people would question my sanity. Such as walking from Ateneo to Greenhills. The new year has just started and looks like I'm already up to no good.

New Year in the Philippines is full of fireworks. While it is a feast to the eyes, it burns my lungs as fast as being trapped in a karaoke bar full of smokers. And just as loud too. Wanting to escape from it all (and believe me, my room is no help, because it's not airtight), I decided to leave some time past midnight in search of a "peaceful place".

Unfortunately no such place exists.

At least no place cheap (I could always follow the advice of Elbert and rent a hotel room somewhere but I'm broke and I didn't really receive a lot of money this Christmas and New Year.)

The roads I passed by were hazard areas (and it is New Year, so you shouldn't expect it to be different). Dodging fireworks exploding in front of you and holding my breath long enough to get pass through the clouds of smoke, I find that all the coffee shops are closed. Well, Mister Donut was actually open since it had its lights on, but the only people inside were the staff who appeared to be celebrating. While I might possibly enter it, a stalker blends with the crowd but there isn't a crowd to speak of. I'd stick out like a sore thumb, the weird guy with a book hanging out in a coffee shop all alone during New Year.

The other shop that was open was the gas station with its radio speakers set to high, but everywhere else were explosions and the people setting them afire (or cleaning up the mess). The fireworks display was amazing, unless you happen to be under the falling sparks or right beside the explosions (at least I'm not the one cleaning up after). So yes, it was quite tense walking back home at post-New Year's eve.

At least I spent New Year's differently from last year. And for the first time, I finally saw Richard Gomez and his wife, despite being neighbors with them for the past few years.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Movies in the Philippines

I think one thing Filipinos can appreciate is how cheap our movies are here, compared to first-world countries (i.e. USA, Japan). There, a ticket costs around P500 ($10.00). Here, it's one tenth of that price. Sure, the theater might not be that great (if you want reserved seats and THX, the price doubles) and you're always at risk from the censorship of the MTRCB (strangely enough, our TV censorship is more lenient compared to the US) but overall, it's a cheaper experience. And besides, it's only probably here that the crowd finds sexual innunedo among the male cast of Lord of the Rings.

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, just found out that Return of the King won't be showing in Japan until late February (and you thought the Manila Film Fest was horrible).

Kill Bill, on the other hand, will finally see the light of day in January (one month before part 2 releases in the states).

Read more!

Monday, December 29, 2003


It's not really unexpected that I have homework over the Christmas break. Unfortunately, it happens to be an essay that needs to have footnotes (which means research). Of course Christmas break is probably the worst time to do research, mainly because all the libraries are closed.

Mind you, the book I needed isn't here not because of foresight. When I went to the library, the one copy already got borrowed and isn't due until Jan. 5. While I can stalk the library on Monday until it gets returned, there are two reasons for doing that to be ineffective: 1) as if the person borrowing it would return it on Jan. 5, much less at 7:30 am in the morning, and 2) even if it did get returned on Monday, it won't be on the shelves until the next day.

So here I am, scouring Metro Manila, in search of Joel Migdal's two books, State in Society and Strong States Weak Societies..., to no avail. (*hint for some stranger reading this blog to loan me a copy*)

Craziest Places to Meet Up

Met up yesterday with some of my friends who used to host anime screenings at U.P. Unfortunately, the meeting place was "fountain in Greenbelt". It reminds me of that incident when my friend told me to meet up at Jolibee in Robinson's Galleria, which would have been fine except for the fact that there's three branches of Jolibee. Also find out that there's a new branch of Starbucks inside Glorietta, when it already has one near the cinema.

Test Run

Well, the 24-hour anime channel Animax will be having its test run of Skycable this Jan. 1 at channel 26.

Read more!