AFA 2009 Pics: The Big Guns

Well, here we have the Perfect Grades and the welcome statue of Gundam area…

This is the welcoming statue, when you first enter the AFA area.

RX-78 Gundam, MK II, and Zeta Gundam in all their Perfect Grade glory.

Strike Gundam, Wing Zero Custom, Zaku II, and Char’s Zaku.

New kids on the block, Astray Red Frame PG, and 00 Raiser. (which has just been released quite recently)

Still editing the rest, wait pls, hahaha… meanwhile do check on the other toy blogger links on the right side of my blog ^_^ C ya…

AFA 2009: Our initial “feedbacks”

In case you guys are not in the loop within Japanese culture world, in Singapore starting today ends tomorrow is Anime Festival Asia 2009. This is the second year that they actually have this kind of festival with the one being last year. (well, duh…) This festival’s goal is to… euh… *open site* celebrate all things related to Japanese animation and popular culture. *o* Yeah…

Anyway, I was there with my friend, and therefore today’s review will be done in two person view, with me and 00, of course 😀

Me: So my first impression when we first got in, there’s this really friendly guy from Bandai greeting us…

00: He’s doing the leaflet thingy, actually, eh?

Me: Yeah, the leaflet thingy… Anyway, my first impression of the AFA is actually kinda good, because I saw a biga*s Gundam statue. And anything with a Gundam is good news for me.

00: And the Gundam is actually kind of the main attraction there, Bandai is going all out on this Gundam thing. They set up this huge spot just to display all the Gundam merchandises and also for the BAKUC.

Me: Here’s the thing, the Bandai site is good and all that, but the others are kinda… none. There’s nothing that really appeals to me. The Gundam stall is “overrun” by Takashimaya that of course, holds Takashimaya style pricing (20% sale after they top up the price in the first place). The good news is, for those of you who is a fans of the vinyl line of kamen rider, they’re putting it on sale for 5SGD only.

00: Plus there’s this limited editions vinyl toys like Shin Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider ZX.

Me: Ah, yes. After all the flare in Bandai, there’s actually nothing interests me at all.

00: Here’s what happened, the point of coming to AFA, asides from looking for a good deal to buy some new plamo kit, is to actually hear news about new anime which is coming out. The only new anime that we heard was Gundam Unicorn and Freedom Formula. How about the rest then? None.  Not even the slightest news about such new anime like Needless, Nyaan Koi, Bakemonogatari, or even Kamen Rider W and no news at all on any of the Sentai.

Me: Which to us is kinda weird. This year’s AFA focus more on moe-blob anime, cosplay, and the infamous Moe moe kyun café which doesn’t interest me at all. And while we’re on that topic, how come I see some dude taking pictures using their own camera just because they know some of the maid? So, if you know each other, you can break the rule, eh?

00: Yeah, if only Tieria agrees to be one of the maid…

Me: Euh… that’s kinda different.

00: Oh, so no chance of me knowing anyone then…

Me: Sort of…. Well, here’s my overall pointers, if you’re into cosplay, moe-blob, maids, and Gundam, please do visit AFA 2009, they’re the place for you. As for me, I’m only into the Gundam and a few of the cosplayer. I mean, the only moe anime that I watch is only K-on and that’s because I used to be in a band, so I know how crappy it is to build a band from scratch. Hahaha. Other than that, I’ll stick to 3D, thank you. My haul from AFA 2009? Squat. I didn’t get anything from it, probably due to the number of bloggers, or due to the amount of American style comics, I actually thinks that STGCC kinda pwned AFA this year. (on the side note, I actually met Dennis there, hahaha, getting anything, man?) And yes, I just lost my 15SGD to go inside and shoved by those retards with huge arse camera. My advice to all that bring huge cameras there, LOOK TO YOUR F*CK*N SURROUNDING, DIMWIT. JUST BECAUSE YOUR CAMERA COST MORE THAN MY SALARY DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN STEP ON MY TOE, BRUSH MY SHOULDER, THEN STARE AT ME LIKE BRAINLESS SEAWEED! AND MOVE YOUR ARSE AFTER TAKING PICTURE, JUST BECAUSE YOUR CAMERA IS HUGE DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN BLOCK THE VIEW OF OTHERS.

Yep, they do irritate me that much. You don’t like it, suck it up. There’s a norm out there and this world revolves around it to make a great society. Well, here’s a few pointer from me…

If you’re there:

  • Check on the Bandai stall, they’re super cool.
  • There’s a lot of cosplayer, starting from Naruto to some whatshisface anime.
  • Swords and guns are for sale! The one permitted by the SPF, of course, not to worry.
  • Moe blobs and the merchandises… including those freaky cards with the little girls pictures on it.

Things to avoid:

  • Irresponsible kids with huge camera.
  • Stupid passerby that thinks in front of camera is the best path and they think that they’re photogenic, where they’re actually crapogenic.
  • Breaking the rules in the maid café, unless you knew some of them actually, cos rules are made for public and that excludes friends.
  • Cosplayer with huge props. I got my nose pocked by Nimwit and Dimwit’s keyboard from Vocaloid after I bought my ticket, no words from them. (you know, the wunder blond twins that can sing like two little girls?)

And that’s all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go to the electronic fair next hall, I hear they sell TV for a really good price. Ciao.

Side note: The electronics fair really do sells TVs for a very good price. I bought one. A 2 SGD ice cream, I mean, not the TV. Haha.

Model Kit Review: RX-78-2 30th Anniversary SP

I’m fine, 00, thanks, and I hope the readers as well ^_^ Oh, and I see you bring RX-78-2 G30 with you. Lemme give a brief intro then.

That kit is HGUC RX-78-2 30th Anniversary special, and was released to celebrate the opening of 1/1 Gundam statue in Tokyo a few months back. This kit was made exactly like the statue including some lining here and there on the body frame to show that this is the exact replica.

Aside from the weapons that you can get if you purchase the first release of RX78, they also add Gundam’s famous morning star. All that’s left now is the beam javelin, eh? However they do not give any beam saber effect. The beam saber effect that you see in the photo was taken from 0 Gundam.

Action articulation wise, the movement of the joints are good, not as agile as 00 gundam or 0 gundam but the mobility is still there. So, you can still get the feel of RX78 as an agile close combat mobile suit.

Yes, we kinda get the idea there, 00. Oh, one note, the beam saber and hilt is from 0 Gundam, I kinda snatched it, coz I put them nearby anyway, hahaha.

Now, let’s compare between the first generation and G30:

Just hold still… So you can see the design comparison between the 2. Somehow I feel that G30’s face looks more like the anime, whaddaya think guys?

The thruster design looks more like Nu Gundam’s thruster in a simplified form, btw. (and my friend pointed out it looks like Hazel Gundam as well… not so sure about this, tho~ )

Okay, okay, stop bickering… why don’t you show us your morning star, G30.

Yes, the chain is a real chain. (for those of you who’s wondering… ^_^ )

Um…

C ya, G30! Well, anyway, that’s all for this review. Overall, the kit is an enjoyable HGUC to start with. And FYI, I start my HGUC with RX78-2 a few years back ^^ One thing you want to take into consideration is the lining process. I did it wrongly using pencil instead of gundam marker. And the flash is not helping either -_-;;

Oh, btw, please give an input on the photo result. I was playing with the light in my room… ok, I just changed the light bulb 😀 So, flash (this post) or no flash (previous photo)? That is the question ^^

Ciao.

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Model Kit Showcase: RX-78 Gundam

Yo, ‘sup there, 00 Gundam?

Oh hi, RX 78-2… ^_^
True, for those of you who’s a bit rusty on Gundam history, RX-78-2 is the first Gundam, and to prove that he’s the first, his design is simple, and he didn’t have any name but Gundam (compared to Strike, Turn A, Zeta, or 00 Gundam…)

Ooooh… now G3 is designed to be suitable for space combat. However, 78-2 himself already seems to excel in all situation thanks to Mr. Amuro Ray ^_^;
Euh… I thought you say one… Well, anyway, G30 actually stands for Gundam’s 30th anniversary, and this model kit is actually a replica of the 1/1 Gundam statue in Japan. (mental note: do a review on RX-78-2-G30)

Whoa… If one Gundam can alter war outcome, wonder what 3 Gundams can do? 😀

Well, c ya around, guys. Ciao.

Toku-series review: Kamen Rider W (double)

Now, this review is actually by request, and I will try my best to do a review on this series while listening to some country music to lift up my creativity… that and also the kids downstairs is getting pretty noisy. Let’s begin our hard-boiled adventure, shall we?

Story:
The setting of Kamen Rider W is in a fictional city called fuuto. The opening scene shows us that our main characters are united after Shotaro (a.k.a. the detective) saved Philippe (a.k.a. the google) after Shotaro’s boss was shot by the enemies that was holding Philippe in a something that looks like a stasis tube. Fast forward a few… I forgot. Things are going the way it was supposed to be with Shotaro continuing his boss’ footsteps by continuing the detective agency.
So what’s the catch? Our Kamen Rider can’t be just there to catch some petty thief or fight a normal human murderer, right? Well you’re correct, while fuuto city is supposed to be a very peaceful city, there’s a family (Sonozaki family, btw) that sells Gaia Memory to people with grudges so that they can transform into this monstrous thing called Dopant.
Now, I can’t tell you much about the story at this point, because… well… it’s still ongoing and last time I checked my supernatural abilities is limited to predicting where’s the aloe vera in my apple juice. However, from the 9 episodes that have aired, I think that Kamen Rider Double has a solid storyline compared to few of their predecessors. It’s not really a joke Kamen Rider like Ryoutaro of Den-O, it’s not really that serious like Akiyama Ren of Knight, so in the balance point of it. Besides, they’re two detectives in one after all. (Boku-tachi wa futari de hitori no tantei-sa…) Hehehe.

Cast:
Here’s where things get a bit awkward. The main character is too pretty for a kamen rider. However, the thing is, he’s not the rider. Well, what I mean is, after the henshin part, he’s not really the dude behind the mask. Lemme make this clearer for you guys. For the good guys cast, we have:

Shotaro Hidari: The real detective in the Narumi Detective Agency. He’s an old fashioned detective in a way that he still uses a typewriter to write his findings report, and he does things the old fashioned way like asking questions, checking crime scenes, etc. This give a new breather after the barrage of CSI that we actually have one detective who doesn’t scan crime scene looking for spits or hair for DNA. As an actor, Renn Kiriyama portrays this character well that it gives a sense that Shotaro is a good detective but still, even the good ones needs an extra hand (or extra body, in this case) sometimes.

Philippe: He’s the google in the agency. He’s smart and he got access to universal library which contains all sorts of information regarding everything from murder to when did you last pick your nose. He is played by Masaki Suda. My first impression on him is, between Heisei Riders and Showa Riders, this guy is just way to pretty. Okay, probably Kiva can spar with him on a beauty contest, but really, Philippe is just too much a pretty boy. However, after watching him acting as a brainiac who doesn’t really have that much of an interest to real world, he shows promising acting, so we’ll see. (I still vote for the moment in Decade when the two Kotaro Minami show, tho~)

Narumi Akiko: Noisy. Annoying. Only needed to keep the balance between the duo. But you know, without akiko, probably this Rider series won’t have much of an eye candy. If she has accomplished something for Double, well… I didn’t hear that. (Atashi kiitenai...)

The Sonozaki family: Lemme make this short. Dad, evil. Older sister, possessive and a good business woman. Wakana/younger sister, pretty and princess-ish. Kirihiko, should be one of the anti-hero rider, more action, less nekkid. Cat, cool.

Sound:
The soundtrack of Kamen Rider Double is trying to sound between those old detectives themes and the new rhythmic modern music. And I gotta tell you, the W-B-X song is kinda cool, especially during the duo part, where they sing and answer each other. The only problem I have with the soundtrack is… IT’S DOUBLE U NOT DOUBLE!!!

Graphic:
Umm… not much I can say about this, coz the effect doesn’t really have that much difference since Decade or even Den-O. The CGIs have practically the same level of sophistication, and the Rider ambience is still there as well.

Tokusatsu value:
Okay, here’s another point that I need to point out. Remember those days when a Kamen Rider shout’s his final attack (hissatsu) so gallantly that you think the effect of the punch can split the earth, where actually it’s just a puny punch to the nose? Double don’t have that. In fact, my first impressions of them are like they’re telling us what they are going to do… instead of a full hearted JOOOOKERRRRR SMAAAAASHHH!!!! KABLOOOEEEEIII KABLAM WHAM SCHLAM PTOOEYY, we got Joker Smash~~~~~~ instead. That plus Philippe’s image might scare off some people in the first place. Oh, and also the mechanism of the henshin.

The belt works after both Shotaro and Philippe each wear their respective belts. However, the one transforming to Double is only Shotaro. Wondering what happened to Philippe? Well, the poor chap passes out. I know. That’s a pretty sucky position to be when a Dopant is in front of you and then you pass out just so that your soul can transform to be half of the Kamen Rider Double.

Conclusion:
With all the fuss about this rider, I recommend you guys that like tokusatsu to check this one out. It’s a good series, and up till now, it still interests me to watch the series without having that much of a question like Decade. (and we know that the questions left unanswered… until the movie.) What you can do if the first episode ticks you off, try to gather your guts and watch all the way to the third or fourth episode. You’ll like it after a while. I suppose that’ll be all. Ciao.

Movie Review Time: Pandorum

Poster:

What do you see in the poster? A dude that seemingly can change skin and move very fast while doing it, while his face is blurred and have a giant duct tape on his chest. While the image might remind some people of the movie Alien and its franchise, or Species for some… more skin-oriented people (oh yeah… 😀 ) the movie does not have any alien inside. In fact, there isn’t any scene involving skin changing at all. So, all and all, the poster for Singapore release is kinda focusing on this is what happened when you first wake up from hyper sleep, instead of this is what you get if you spend your ten bucks on the movie ticket.

Story:

Pandorum is a disease. Explained as a paranoia syndrome that happens when you’re at space for too long, in Singapore we call it kiasu, but in space of course they have to put a lot of cool and weird names so that the movie sells such as hyper sleep instead of pigging off. The sign starts with your hand started shivering, you start to feel anxious, nose bleed, and then hallucinate things which is bad, not fairies and unicorns. The latter is not Pandorum, it’s called getting high. This Pandorum strikes the crew, or to be precise, the ship captain of this gigantic cargo ship called the Elysium causing a domino effect that cause the demise of most of the passengers because the crew does not have control of the ship anymore. Things got haywire with the appearance of some race of mutants that have adapt themselves to the ship environment they have high agility, brutal way of doing things, and amazing mad parkour skills. (This looks kinda fun for them, not for the human, of course) Our main characters’ goal? To turn on the damn light. Okay, I was just kidding, they’re supposed to turn on the main reactor so that the ship will have enough power to wake up the rest of the crew and hopefully, fight together then fly to safety. Now speaking about safety, the Elysium main goal is to reach this planet called Tarnis, which is a new planet that contains enough water and food to sustain human’s population. Oh, and btw, earth is a goner from the movie’s timeline.

(Score: 0.5 – While the story is actually good, there’s a fact that this movie is not focusing on the Pandorum itself, in fact what they focus more is how to kill the mutants and reach Tarnis. The Pandorum is just kinda in the way.)

Cast:

The cast played their part very well and they all look the part including our man Cung Le which stars as a Vietnamese ninja-ish cool dude that doesn’t speak English throughout the movie unlike some other franchise which gives impression that aliens are cool coz they still speak English whatever their race is.

Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid are also joining the cast as Corporal Bower and Liutenant Payton, respectively. Both of their acting are top notch in this movie picturing two dudes who just wake up from a hyper sleep and suffering from a mild amnesia and… guess what… Pandorum. The lives of the passenger kinda relies on these two individuals tho~
The richness of the cast is complete after the addition of two more surviving crew members Manh (Cung Le), the Vietnamese agriculture farmer that can slice and dice mutants like they’re made of tofu, and Nadia (Antje Traue), the German geneticist that tends to attack everyone on sight and still manage to look smoking hot while doing it.

(Score: 1 – As I was saying, the casts are rich, even if I consider the addition cast such as random dead guy one and random dead guy two. Heck, even the dead guys vary. 😀 )

Graphic:

Now this is the good part. This gigantic ship is gigantic! Okay okay, I know, I’m being redundant, but I’m trying to make a point here, and the ship is huuuuuuge and dark for most of the movies. Now, if you’ve seen some of hollywood’s movies, there’s no such thing as darkness but in this movie, dark means dark. As in you can’t see anything. Now, the ship interior is so big that after a while following Bower’s escapade from the rampaging mutants that looks like Gollum after 5 adrenaline jacks, you basically have no idea where you are or in this case where Bower and the crew are and my friend, that is a good thing.

(Score: 1 – huge ship filled with carnivorous jacked-up Gollum, FTW!)

Sound:

It’s silent. Really. The sound effect is kinda naturally there, and not some music on the background. In this movie, however, I don’t think you will even notice any song going on if there is one. You rather pay attention to some surprises on the corner or mutants or the ship’s power surge or Captain Jean Luc Picard. Ahem.

(Score: 1 – No sound actually… and that is just perfect. Otherwise, I will feel like watching the Phantom of The Opera: Space version)

Action/Thriller Factor:

Now now now, here is the good part. After a lot of Alien movie and alien vs predator and predator vs Ronald McDonalds or whatever, it’s definitely a breather to see this genre came back. Remember the chills anticipating what happens next? Remember the puzzled feeling when you know that 60,000 people just went missing? (okay, so it’s 59,998, but let’s not be picky, ok?) This is why I’m coming to watch the movie. The chill factor is just there and at the right amount. Oh, the action is done mostly in the dark, but you’ll surely feel immersed into the storyline. Did I mention that you’ll feel lost in the ship as well? Especially the first scene in the ventilation shaft, you’ll somehow be able to relate to Bower. He just woke up, now he gotta save the ship.

(Score: 1 – Cool action, cool mutant, cool ninja-ish action, cool stun gun, now tell me where the heck am I???)

Overall, the score will be 4.5/5. This movie is good, Christian Alvart really manage to bring back this kinda claustrophobic spaceship mutant attack genre a.k.a. space thriller. The uber best part of it is the ending actually… but I can’t say it here, hahaha, otherwise some of you will probably send ninja nendoroid to whack me while I’m asleep, hahaha. Ok ok, I’ll just stop now and let you guys comment on this 
Ciao.

Note: the ending is… okay okay!! Just kidding.