Monday, 29 September 2008

結婚できない男/The Man Who Can't Marry

Genre: Comedy
Language: Japanese

This is basically about the daily life of Kuwano Shinsuke, an eccentric architect. His relationships with the people around him, and just his normal behaviour cause for interesting episodes.

This was one of the first dramas I watched, and started my love for Abe Hiroshi. He is quite the funny guy. If you want something to be amused by, it's this show. No it isn't an idol-cliche-romance-dorama, it's just plain interesting. Don't be weirded out by the first episode though! (Ahaha I remember I was....) if you persevere it is really a fun show. I even watched this show with my mom, and a friend or two, when I was first trying to show the great world of Japan's TV to them.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Evolution Of Taste (in gaming)

In the beginning....

When I was a child, my brothers owned a sega. That opened my eyes to the world of gaming.

One Christmas (I think....) we were delighted to the gift of a N64 (still one of the best consoles, in my eyes). During those years with the N64 I discovered the joys of Harvest Moon, the farming sim game. I mean who wouldn't love picking turnips, wooing...uh...girls (they didn't have girl versions back then), and petting cows. I even got my first calluse from playing the N64 so much. (Haven't had one since that I'm aware of...)


As the years passed we found it was time to upgrade. We bought a gamecube, (also there was a short time with a playstation, but it was for only a week, when I rented it for my play Harvest Moon: Back to Nature....). To this day my gamecube sits rather forlorn and sad in the corner. The only games I really played on it were Harvest Moon, LOTRO, and Mario Party. I was never into those shoot-em ups or sports. Yuck x 200.

Ah consoles....I used to love you....before I met the internet. Plus consoles these days are far too expensive, I'm too much of a cheapskate to keep up.

These days I don't game as much as I used to. Back in my younger days I would play Puzzle Pirates, Age of Empires, Civilization....Now the only game I really play is LOTRO. (level 40 Elf Champion) Such a good game...Once again the main reason I'm not more into the MMORPG scene is the price. I mean the only reason I finally gave in to LOTRO was because it was on sale >_>;.....I highly recommend this game, in case anyone is looking for a new RPG. Perhaps one day I will do a post on it alone. Not today though.

Anyways, so what fond memories do others have of their gaming days? Now or past?

To this day I own 5 Harvest Moon titles (with the consoles to play them.)GBA: Friends of Mineral Town, More Friends of Mineral Town (girl version of afore mentioned), GC: A Wonderful Life, Another Wonderful Life (girl version of afore mentioned), and Songs of Happiness (includes option for boy or girl, seriously I think the suckiest Harvest Moon made...I've only played it a few times...). I even have the stuffed dog from pre-ordering one of them <3.

Random Note: One of the first reasons why I wanted to learn Japanese as a really young child was so I could get Harvest Moon before it was released in Canada (as it would first come out in Japan). haha...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

ごくせん/Gokusen: A brief review of 1,2 & 3

Genre: School Comedy
Language: Japanese

All three Gokusens revolve around a Yakuza teacher, Yamaguchi Kumiko. She always ends up teaching delinquents; and through the season the fellows of questionable repute are slowly changed, by "Yankumi" (her nickname).

Each episode follows the same outline: boys are accused of something they didn't do, Yankumi believes them, they get beaten up by a gang, Yankumi saves them and they learn an important moral.


I really enjoyed this series. I admit 1 & 3 were my favorite, I found 2 just a little too similar/boring for my tastes. Although like previously mentioned, they all have the same basic plot structure, which could perhaps become monotonous (as you can easily predict what will happen.)

The main difference between the 3 seasons is the students and teachers. Although the Vice-Principle/head teacher is the same in all of them. The chemistry that goes on between Yamaguchi sensei and Kojousensei is extremely funny. He is one of my favorite characters.

Main Re-Occurring Cast:

Nakama Yukie (pictured above)

Namase Katsuhisa

Utsui Ken

The main student actors are: (according to seasons)

Season 1

Matsumoto Jun

Season 2

Akanishi Jin

Kamenashi Kazuya

Season 3

Takaki Yuya

Miura Haruma
(I love his hair)

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Personal First!

Ah the smell of baking!

For the first time, I baked with no outside help whatsoever. Normally when I actually bother to cook or bake it's with someone else. I mean sure I've made the occasional no-bake cookies by myself...but otherwise I've been pretty dependent on people for help. Well no longer!

Above is a picture of one of my scones I made today. I even mushed it/kneaded it with my fingers (which is an accomplishment I assure you.) Though they differed slightly in the size department, the taste seemed un-effected.

With determination, reading abilities and a good recipe the previously thought impossible was brought to light! (I even filled the flour canister up, which weighs a ton!)

I feel so...independent now. Like I could cook rice and chicken and have them ready at the same time.....Actually I better not push it, last time I made chicken....well....lets just say Tandoori chicken will never be the same in my mind.

Anyways there is the amazing story for today, they were ほんとうにおいしかった! (Really very delicious) If you too want to experience the thrills of scone making, let me know! The recipe I have is great, whipping cream....vanilla.....stuff that's not in the average scone. Easy enough too!

If I can do it, you can to!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

ホタルノヒカリ/Hotaru no Hikari

Well I've decided to start doing a weekly, or perhaps monthly review of a show that I've watched or am watching. Perhaps for lack of interesting events in my life, as well as to inform you, the viewer. This weeks Dorama is Hotaru no Hikari!

Genre: Romance Comedy

The main story line is about a successful business women (played by Ayase Haruka), who at home is the total opposite of her work persona, as she's actually a slob/himono-onna (driedfish-woman); who prefers to drink beer on her porch, rather than go on dates. Somehow, her recently divorced boss (played by Fujiki Naohito) ends up moving in, which makes for some interesting moments. The show revolves around her life, love, and work.

I really liked this show, I thought it was rather funny. From what I can remember, as I watched this awhile ago, so don't take my word as exact..., it's well enough paced, and most episodes are enjoyable. Not SUPER romantic, more cute comedy.
I've seen a few shows with Fujiki Naohito, and it was nice to see him with a bigger role. It was the first time I saw a show with Ayase Haruka, she held up well enough I suppose, pretty too... Anyways, overall a good show.

P.S. I've started Korean lessons :D

Thursday, 11 September 2008

New Camera

Well when my exchange student left, I sent my camera to be fixed. As as soon as I would put batteries in it, I would only get maybe 5-10 photos before it shut off, saying I needed to change the batteries. This was not the first time I had sent it away either, not long after buying it my focus stopped working properly, so I had to get a new part for it.

Anyways this time it was "uneconomical" to fix it, therefore I was free to get a new one! Yay! I love warranties! The only thing being, was that my ol' Canon A540 was a good two years old, and my replacement was half the price! Ah with new cheaper technology my old $300 camera became worth only $150. Therefore I decided I may as well fork out some bucks to upgrade.

Still being too cheap to go up to an SLR, I went for a megazoom. Although the pickings were rather slim. As I am anti-sony, and pro-Canon. With only one Canon model present, I bought it, and the return lady gave me a bargain (i.e. she gave me my camera free....being $300 approx. the same price as my old one. So I only had to pay for my new warranty and my case.)

So I am officially the new owner of a S5 IS Canon PowerShot. Nothing too spectacular, but I'm pleased with it so far. Although the lensecap is a tad annoying, as it constantly falls off....

Oh and update on Korean lessons, I am now getting Korean lessons, in exchange for teaching Japanese. Fighting! Starts Sunday, will do my best :P.