Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Notion of True Love

Darcy and Eliza wub wub

What is true love actually? To love unconditionally, in life and in death?

The answer to that differs in every culture i suspect. I have this opinion, that people, Asians especially (and because I'm Asian, so i can't say anything for western) are rooted in their culture and literature. It has shaped their sensibilities and sensitivities. I have noticed, in my own culture, we tend to have melodramas that end in death-usually stories about regret and redemption. I have yet to see a Christmas movie where people die horribly in the end (even Scrooge survived!)

Romeo x Juliet-the tragic star-crossed lovers


A typical tv movie in my country during major celebrations would involve people dying on their way to celebrate the holidays. I think this is rooted in what is taught to children. When we are in primary school, we are taught to write about something that is used, and in the end, when it has become damaged or lost its usefulness, it will be thrown away-A horrible thing to teach little kids isn’t it?

Desperate love is popular in Japan is because, my opinion purely, of Tale of Genji. Genji is a bishounen (which explains a lot about why bishies are valued there) who falls in love with his stepmother (who looks like his deceased mother). Because that love can never be, he becomes a womanizer. He eventually marries but still pursues his other affairs. He then raises a little girl, Murasaki, who looks like his stepmother and when she grows up, he marries her. Because he still marries another, Murasaki becomes a nun and dies. In regret, Genji too dies. You can see the root of unrequited love syndrome, the obsession towards lolicon and incest in manga.

The Chinese literature carries the story of Butterfly Lovers-a couple who could not marry each other because of difference in ranks and wealth. After the man is beaten to death, his grave is located on the path where the lady's wedding procession would pass through. Upon seeing the grave, it rains and the grave opens, and the lady throws herself inside. The grave closes, and they see two butterflies on the grave. This tells a lot about love in life and death. We could also refer to the tragic stories in Dreams of Red Chamber, Romance of 3 Kingdoms, Journey to the West and the Water Margin.

Lee Mong-ryong is Chun Hyang's 'sabangnim'-i love that word!

Koreans, i suspect has not so tragic love stories like Chun Hyung, who suffers because she refuses the advances of a lord, and as she is about to be executed, his husband arrives and saves her. They also have the legend of the filial daughter Sim Cheong who sacrificed herself for her father and is rewarded with her marriage to the Emperor.

Sita's fate is very sad, really

The same goes for India, I believe the scriptures Ramayana and Mahabrata influence the common sensibilities there you can see its evidence in their movies and if they have their own manga, it would show there too.

p/s: this is a reply i made in a forum about how the notion of love differs. :))

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tokyo Daikushu/Tokyo Air-Raid

I am a sucker for historical stories. I also love Japanese dramas-movies not so much, because I can’t stand them crying litres of tears. However, I love this two-part mini series.

Tokyo Daikushu, or Tokyo Air-Raid is essentially about The Bombing of Tokyo that happened in 1945. As a retaliation on the attack on the Pearl Harbour, America planned a strategic bombing. The aftermath of the bombing was so horrible it actually was condemned by other countries. And it also got the emperor to play his role in ending the war (don’t ask me what war, you should know)

To make the miniseries more interesting, they put love stories in the middle of the narration-I mean, who wants to see airplanes dropping of bombs (B29) and then people dying from being burned, people jumping off the Sumida bridge into the river to escape from the fire and the plague that manifested afterwards? Better watch the history channel LOL

Wikipedia stated that the American and Japanese data provided that 100 000 people died that night, a million injured and another million became homeless. But it might be more, because they were downplaying the numbers (war of attrition, of course)

So far we’ve only heard the glorified stories of Pearl Harbour, so Tokyo also made their depiction of how their people suffered too.  Being more Asians nonetheless, gave them an effective arsenal- emotion. In the midst of the love story, there is a story about a father’s love, a doctor’s unending devotion and innocent lives taken. Of course they picked the most talented thespians to act out, and that was my first attraction to it. Having Fujiwara Tatsuya and Horikita Maki together is like a wish come true. Oh, and the love story is not that melodramatic either. They are very polite and reserved just like how people in that time should act(^^#)

I love the main theme that is being carried out by this drama. It’s not blaming America nor pointing fingers at anyone-it’s just giving respects to the survivors of a period of time, when war destroyed everything. There is nothing more important than to be with people most important to you and to stay with them till the end.  It is true that in war, there are no winners. Everybody loses.

The most touching part was that Haruko, is a glass sculpture artist. She is still training with her dad when she lost him in an air raid. Hiroto, the Chief of Police’s son, stops her from going to her father who is trapped under the rubble of collapse. The whole building collapses, Haruko is saved but she hates Hiroto. They meet again a year later when Haruko, now a nurse, treats Hiroto, who suffers from a heart condition. They fall in love, and one night after Hiroto’s operation, Tokyo is bombed. 2/3 of the first episode is on the accounts of that night, where it rained fire and how both of them try to survive. The second episode is about how the survivors lived after the bombings, the continuing attacks that led to the surrender 5 months later.

So ALL the protagonists, died except Hiroto. He lives a long life, and at the present time, he receives a long lost present from Haruko, a glass swan made by her. In the past because she was still training, the glass swan has air bubbles in it (Haruko must blow into the glass melt to form a shape) so when the artist is not an expert, the air that she blows will be trapped inside the glass. Imagine how sad it is, to have a living momento of a person you loved the most, as if she is still alive TT T his reminds me of an episode in CSI, the detective treasures a beach ball blown by his wife, because he lost her in the 9/11 collapse. Because the air inside the ball is proof of her wife’s existence, though she’s no more…

Oh, and the background songs used are awesome. One is ‘Unnamed Song’ by UK Violet, and the other is Aisuru Hitoyo(Beloved One) by Masafumi Akigawa.

‘Unnamed Song’

~ I'm standing on the edge
And coming to my senses from a reverie
Never thought I would
Never thought I'd need to
Say goodbye I bid you farewell
My voiceless words are swaying the flame

I can't live without
I can't live without
I can't live without you
Here in the dark
Do you feel the rain over the pain
Give me the strength to seize the light
If I should find a way

I saw a dream you were flying in the sky
Without a fear
Never touched the ground
But never came to my side
I tried so hard to reach out for your hand
the ruthless wind kept your soul away

I can't live without
I can't give without
I can't breathe without you
Here in the world
Do you feel the rain
You said love takes no pain
With or without the sun
The lurid sky still tearing me apart

Will she let freedom reign over the pain
Give me the strength to believe the words that love will find a way

I can't live without
I can't give without you
Here in the world
Do you feel the rain over the pain
Give me the strength to believe the words that love will find a way

With or without the sun
I'll be and I won't say goodbye cause I...
I know I'll be with you ~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Librarians Annual Dinner 2010

Alhamdulillah, today we just had our 2010 Librarians Dinner at Jogoya Restaurant, Starhill. Though we faced a bit of traffic, it was soothing when we had our dinner running smoothly and deliciously. Jogoya Restaurant is a famous restaurant in one of the Starhill shop lots and it offers a variety of food of Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines. There are so many of them it’s impossible to count! (Something I learned when dealing with the management-they don’t even know how much food they prepared everyday!) It was situated on the second floor from the top but you could find it easily if you take the life straight to the floor-the catch is, every floor in Starhill is not numbered, but named! Mindboggling, I daresay but I kinda like it because I’m a language teacher and I am clumsy with numbers. So my passwords are mostly words, never numbers LOL . Back to Starhill, I remembered the bottom floor is named FEAST, the floor from the lobby of the JW Marriot is named INDULGENCE, and the top most floor is called MUSE. Pretty awesome aye!
                In Jogoya, the spread of food was badass awesome. There were so many kinds of sashimi and sushi, and everything you’ve ever seen in a Japanese drama is there (I GET TO EAT OOTORO I think, which is like the most expensive sashimi ever!). In simple words, SUGOIII! :3 The Chinese dishes were cool too. I had sea cucumber, a variety of dim sum, etc. There were also snails and other exotically named food that begged to be forgotten. The bbq section was more towards Japanese. I got to eat my favourite smoked unagi(eel) and other usual bbq meat. The western section offers everything like pasta, risotto, jacket potato and everything you could bake with cheese. They take special orders too like lamb chop and grilled fish. The dory fish and the Boston grilled fish were succulently mouth watering. And then there was the sweet and desert section-they offered cakes to jellies to mocha and muffins and cookies! I’ll never forget the taste of sweet strawberry mochi-there’s nothing like it ever! And the ice cream section was to die for! They offer, get this-HAGEN DAAZ! I ate chocolate, Belgian chocolate, coffee, dark chocolate, green tea, choc chip flavours! Incorrigible, ain’t it?
the girls queing before entering

Kak Milah sonyum :)

those naughties form 4s

ice cream and pasta

around the table

smile:  )

Prawn fried rice+chicken stir fried

from the BBQ Section

my sis's choice

lamb with mashed potato

Boston Grilled Fish

Coated Prawns

Pn Zu and Pn Norsham were the VIPs

mochi of 3 flavors, a coconut jelly and mint cake



Starhill from inside the elevator

LV-the bags here are priced more than my annual income @.@

sashimi and sushi!

             We started at 6.15pm and went home at 9.30pm. Jogoya usually allocates 2 hours per customer, but we got 4 hours-oh happiness indeed XXPPP.
In conclusion, I was glad we went there. At first I was hesitant but now I find is a memory worth treasuring <3

Sunday, November 7, 2010


OK, so Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri should like, marry each other NOW, LOL

It started in 2006 when the live action drama of Nodame commenced. Due to the overwhelming popularity, I checked it out and has been hooked ever since. Now it’s 2010, the manga had ended and after 2 Special Episodes that covered the Paris Chapter (Nodame Cantabile New Year's Special in Europe) and 2 movies: The Final Score.

I’ve seen a lot of Japanese dramas, and mostly the dramas that I watched are manga-related (cuz have u seen the ones based on novels? They are mostly for crying duhh) and so far no drama comes close to Nodame’s  Live Action. The actors, story and effects are good. And when the drama world is being barraged by Korean dramas, and Japanese drama is on the way out, a gem like this appeared.
NC tells the story of Noda Megumi, who learns piano at the academy. She falls for a cocky, cold aspiring conductor, Chiaki Shinichi, who actually lives next door to her apartment in Tokyo. He hates her of course, given her antiques and weird behavior, but as people say, love and hate are faces of the same coin. Chiaki is fascinated with Nodame’s extraordinary talent and as he tries to climb the ladder further, Nodame follows suit. Their relationship grows and Chiaki learns, through Nodame, to accept other people’s perfection and imperfections and not be a stuck up fish and Nodame overcomes her fears of entering piano competition and to elevate her talents and stop playing that idiotic fart song of hers. :3
So when Chiaki finally is cured of his phobia of flying and ocean by Nodame (you gotta see this, it was SO FUNNY LOLOL) he finally continues his studies overseas to France, and Nodame  too, since she is offered to study at the Conservatoire de Paris.

Basically about them in Paris, with Chiaki trying to win the prestigious competition for conductors and Nodame making her first, unofficial performance.

PART 1: About Tamaki becoming a conductor to the second’s best Orchestra but because of financial problems and the lack of discipline among the members, the orchestra seems doomed. How will Chiaki manage the orchestra and build his reputation?
PART 2: Nodame fears that Chiaki and she will drift apart since Chiaki has improved by leaps and bounds (plus the same thing happened to Stresseman and the Principal) She pushes herself to give her all in her debut concert with Stresseman but after that she loses the drive to continue because she is afraid she could never top the performance she had given. This of course, creates a rift between Chiaki and her, since Chiaki manages to continue. ..

The story, plot are funny. Nodame is so unique-she’s filthy, unkempt and bizarre. Chiaki is her exact opposite but he opens up for her. His ice cold heart is melted by her enduring and constant hardwork and perseverance.  Tamaki Hiroshi is gorgeous too (though he’s getting thinner and I really dislike it) You should hear Ueno Juri’s voice saying “mukyaaa,” when Nodame’s excited or “gyabo” when she’s bummed-it’s soo endearing <3
I also like classical musics (violin is my favourite) so the art in this series is like a bonus to me. I get to know Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, Razel, Brahms, and other scores. My favourite score is Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. And if all fails, at least you get to see a story of two beautiful people who complete each other mukyaaa     


The first time she realises she loves him <3

Chiaki is roped in as the conductor of S-Oke by Nodame


Nodame pretends to be Chiaki's wife in front of Son Rui, her contender in music and in love(or so she thought)

it's Chiaki vs Marlet-Oke Concertmaster

the couple looking serious
and this is when they are goofing around (well, Nodame for most of the time LOL)
Chiaki understands Nodame's inner turmoil
Nodame asking her teacher to let her go for competitions, but is rejected


the baka trio is back! Mine and Masumi visits Nodame in Paris

Kuroki and Tanya: So Much In Love

Mine and Kiyora: Love Across the Ocean

Chiaki spends nights teaching Nodame

Nodame's magnum opus with Maestro Stresseman, notice the brilliant purple dress!

Chiaki misses Nodame's harassment ROFL

She is confused no more *fireworks*

p/s: I've always wanted Tamaki Hiroshi to end up with Ueno Juri because you should
see the way he looks at her in the drama and movies, especially in the drama specials.
Or he is a very good actor *.*  ok, since Nodame is finished, can we have them act
together again? *is shot*

I like how he looked in the drama series better because he was not as thin as now :(

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Malam Gemala Puteri 2010

aka Form Five Farewell Dinner. This year we had it different than the past years cuz we had it in Renaissance Hotel at Jln Ampang/Sultan Ismail, and the VIP was Kebawah Duli Sultan Pahang..
with Shin Yi

the tablemates

The entertainers were Haiza, Erema, and Eja Bintang RTM-I dunno, don't ask me who they are

Tuanku Sultan singing 'My Way' XD

The gorgeous gift

All the form 5 students joined Tuanku on stage singing a list of songs like Joget Pahang, Yale Yale, I will Survive and a dangdut song by Haiza LOL

Puan Pengetua singing Yale Yale (what's that eh?)

the programme book

cute as a button Narini

Gorgeous Kak Zura and Kak Aliah in stunning baju kurungs

view from my table

The menu

Adress the king wisely-patik pacal-pacal sekelian ^^;

Kak Nil aka Dr Nil Farakh :D

Bad ass magnifique chandelier

what to sing when celebrating the king's birthday

English version LOL

Not clear but the king was going to cut his birthday cake

School present: a portrait of the king :DD        

The pics were not that good and clear cuz I used my hp instead of my cam.
The event started at 8.00pm and ended at 12.30am and I got lost on my
way to the hotel bummer >>