Monday, November 20, 2006

Review -> Scrapped Princess

I was going to do a review of Desire, an absolutely wonderful hentai game that I've just finished. However, something a lot more wonderful and heart-filling stumbled across my way. No, I'm not talking about the recently downloaded Final Fantasy XII that I'm currently playing, though that's really awesome too. I'm talking about this 2003 anime which I've been wanting to download and finally had the time to do it. There may be some spoilers in the review, though not any direct ones, only through comparison; I hope that you can forgive me (I felt like I needed to make that statement). So, let's start!

Full Title: Scrapped Princess
Structure: TV series - 24 episodes
Personal Comment: This anime has got it all!
Favourite Quote: Way too many to add here!

Plot (10/10): That's right, you've read the score correctly! The Casull family: Raquel, Shannon and Pacifica are on the run. A prophecy from the almighty Lord Mauser declares that Pacifica is "the poison that will the destroy the world" when she turns sixteen. Her foster brother and sister swear to protect her against the entire kingdom of Leinwan and against the followers of the Mauser faith. It starts out as a simple high fantasy story, but hastily turns from that into a truly unique experience. Spoiler warning: To put it simply, this anime is a perfect combination of Black Company, Final Fantasy, The Matrix and Dark City. I have never seen such a good blend of techno-fantasy. Most of it is implemented through Clarke's Third Law. Spoilers end here.

Characters (10/10):
What?! Max score again?! YES!!! And that's because the characters re so complex and well detailed that you'll have the impression of them being alive. Everyone has a hidden agenda and is torn between difficult choices. Loyal subjects who are tired of warring betray their king and those who are "evil-spirited" shall not turn upon seeing someone they care about suffer. People hide behind superficial faces while they endure pain deep inside. Trust is gained through hardship and even those tied by blood can turn to betrayal. The epic nature of the story keeps main characters from dying... all the more shocking when you really see that some are not coming back. Character design was made by Takahiro Komori (responsable for Cowboy Bebop... maybe it was his influence that the episode titles include a form of music, much like the aforementioned classic.) Let me just mention some of the seiyu (voice actors): Fumiko Orikasa (Celas Victoria from Hellsing, Hikari from Haibane Renmei) is Pacifica Casull, Shinichiro Miki (Kurz Weber from Full Metal Panic!, Mullin Shetland from Last Exile) is Shannon Casull, Sayaka Ohara (Kimura-sensei's wife from Azumanga Daioh, Alicia Florence from Aria the Animation) is Raquel Casull, Ayako Kawasumi (Osaka from Azumanga Web Daaioh, Kanako Ohno from Genshiken, Nomura Miu from Piano) is Winia Chester, Daisuke Ono (Yukito Kunisaki from Air) is Kidaf Gilott, Yuki Matsuoka (Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, Arumi Asahina from Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Nana from Elfen Lief) is Seness Lulu Giat, Kaori Mizuhashi (Integra Hellsing child from Hellsing, Mercredi from Kiddy Grade) is Zefiris.

Approach (8/10): There are a few flaws about the approach of the anime. Even if you admit that the themes themselves are not original, the way they are presented is unique. The problems are as follows: 1. The humour, although diminished halfway through the series, persists until the very end. You will not see the stupid gap that you experience during Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and you will forget about the humour due to the high immersion into the story, nevertheless, I believe less comic relief would have been better; 2. Most of the greater plot is revealed about halfway through the series, which I believe is bad. If they had kept ambiguity until the very end, it would have conferred a lot more suspense.

Visuals & Music (10/10): Perfect visuals. High quality , though not that of newer anime, but the scale of it all is truly epic with Sauer, the capital of Leinwan, resembling the White City from Tolkien's novels. The costumes are truly magnificent, making a visible difference between noble and commoner. Facial expressions are detailed and special effects are stunning. Music is extremely appropriate, whether it reflects the strings of bards or the tense orchestra accompanied battles. Responsable for this great musical theme is Hikaru Nanase, who made the music for the Azumanga Daioh characters.

Overall (38/40): Watch this anime! If not for the few flaws in approach, I would rate this as high as Neon Genesis Evangelion, and that's me, the NGE-obsessed freak talking!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

OM Live!

It's been almost a week now, but I haven't thought about writing a post concerning the concert I attended last Sunday.

Where should I start? It was a concert held by Negura Bunget to promote their new album entitled OM. For those who don't know, Negura Bunget is a Romanian folk black metal band. What is this? Folk black metal? You heard me right! What makes it so special? Well, for starters, they have specific sounds which capture the beauty of Romanian folk. Any rocker who likes Gheorghe Zamfir is going to love Negura Bunget. :D

One thing that I found amazing was the use of a bucium during some of the songs. Actually, the whole concert started out with the sound of this Romanian Alpenhorn. As the keyboards played in the background you could feel the whole place being filled with electricity. It was incredible!

Also, the band really transmitted a weird sensation of folk through their style. They are truly unique. I guess that's why they have an international reputation. My favourite song was Hora Soarelui (cool title, huh?).

Also, the band was very friendly. Each member gave me not one, but two autographs, one on the ticket and one on a poster, which were handed out for free, by the way. You also got a free beer for the ticket. How cool is that? I'm not a fan of black metal (people know that I prefer heavy metal), but this was a great experience.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Party! (PARTY!!!)

Note: When reading this post, all present should shout the words in brackets, just like you do when you say King Torg. (ALL HAIL KING TORG!!!)

This post is somewhat overdue, but I couldn't help it, my network connection was very poor yesterday. With that said...

It's been a month since I started university in Cluj and we finally inaugurated my room in the bording house with a well deserved party! (PARTY!!!) We had a lot of people and before I continue I would like to thank everyone for coming (in order of appearance): Andrei, Gabor, Sheri, Endi, Kinga, Pete, Zsiga (pleaase excuse me in case I forgot someone).

We played MtG and even cooked some food, although not without the implicit issues of trying to cook a good meal in a bording house. In the spirit of Kintaro Oe, I will say that "I've learnt so much!" First of which is that food doesn't grow on trees (except for apples... but that's not real food). You need all sorts of shitty ingredients to make good food, ingredients which Endi thought I had around and I assumed he brought with himself. However, since everyone was extremely hungry, the majority of the people (meaning everyone except Endi) thought the food was good. The amount of food we made was huge and we all got seconds and even had left-overs for breakfast the next day. It was awesome!

Noone seemed to miss the booze, but I'll make sure to have some for next time. Also, I promise to arrange a Booster Draft for the next party. (PARTY!!!) I just hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did and will come again. Thanks again guys! It was a great party. (PARTY!!!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Windows 98 is the worst operating system ever!

"Windows 98 este cel mai prost sistem de operare dintre toate care exista!"... yep, that's what my teacher said. He's a respectable and knowledgable person, so I tend to believe him. He also described in detail how "Unfortunately, Windows stopped being good after version 3.11" and "Windows started becoming more and more unstable, culminating with Windows 98".

I'm thinking just how bad it could have been, for a university professor to give such declarations. I personally liked it more than 95, but he said that its colours attracted people more than its predecessor. However, he claims that computer magazines ("Real computer magazines, not magazines with photos of computers in them") declared Windows 98 a complete failure. It was funny to see him so passionate about telling us just how bad Windows 98 was, considering the fact that he is always very calm and precise.

He ended his lecture by saying that he is looking forward to seeing what Windows Vista will be like and mentioning that next lecture he will be talking about Unix-based operating systems , saying "Now those are real operating systems" (Peet is smiling now).

Out of curiosity, I took the liberty of looking up Windows Vista on Wikipedia. There were some interesting features there, I must admit, but the one that really caught my eye was a related article about "hybrid drives". Here is the link:

I'm looking forward to comments (especially from the Dungeons-And-Stuff group).


PS: Until next time, keep your systems Windows-free with "format.exe". "format.exe", the biztos solution!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Review -> Air

Finally, after some time, I manage to get down to updating the blog. Some time has passed since my last post and it is high time I did something about that. I'm not going to go on telling you all about the student life which I've just started, but I'm going to give you some reviews of the latest anime I've seen (in case the context didn't speak for itself, we're talking about more than one anime here). I'll give you the first one now, and the second one hopefully in about a day or two. Also, I'm going to change the rating system a bit, making it more harsh mostly. I'm not going to rerate the old reviews, but you should probably just extract around 2-5 points. So, here goes:

Full Title: Air
Structure: TV series - 26 episodes + Special - 2 episodes + Movie
Personal Comment: A story full of mystery, magic, friendship, trust, love and the sky.
Favourite Quote: "On the other side of this sky, there is a girl with wings."

Plot (7/10): It's really hard to give points here. It depends how many such anime you've seen. It starts out as your basic "traveller comes to town and helps everybody with their problems", but it rapidly evolves beyond that. Kunisaki Yukito is a travelling entertainer, who uses his magic to animate a little doll. With this act, he travels worldwide in search of a "girl with wings" in legacy of her mother. Upon arriving in a small town, where many strange girls become candidates for Yukito's search, he tries to find out who the true goal of his quest is and fabulous adventures begin.

Characters (9/10): The characters are splendid! It is the thing which gets a strong grip on you and makes you scream for more. You really get attached to the characters and empathise with them on such a level that you truly share their joy and suffering alike. Each one of them is unique and complex, but also consistent. They are all covered thoroughly and their attitude provokes many moments of laughter.

Approach (9/10): If I cut the rating of the plot, I had to give 9/10 for the approach. The atmosphere is great! It is a perfect concentration of comic relief, giving you opportunity to giggle at Misuzu's mishaps and childish nature, laugh at Kono's weird attitude, shudder at Minagi's ultra-formal dialect and amuse at Yukito's irony-filled remarks. However, all of this does not ruin the more serious scenes and the series goes as far as successfully making you cry at times. The three story arcs of the series are impressive, giving birth to the two-episode special (which I haven't seen, by the way, much like I haven't seen the movie either). It's entertaining throughout its full 13 episode length.

Visuals & Music (8/10): The visuals are splendid, especially in the more heart-filling scenes. Also, the music is extremely appropriate. To those who have seen Onegai! Teacher or Onegai! Twins, the musical effect is very similar. Sudden crescendoes and modern instrumentality accompany even the dramatic moments of the series.

Overall (33/40): Overall, it is an anime worth watching. It gives you a warm feeling inside and is also good for first-timers and especially recommended for the romantic types among you. One small note, though this is a personal opinion: the title may not be what it had been intended to be during development. I believe the title Air is only a mistranslation (frequent occurrence). I believe this because the last episode's title is also translated Air, while the Japanese word used is "sora", which would translate into Sky, which I would personally find more appropriate.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Game Consoles - The Tool of Satan!

Many people use game consoles. Whether Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, kids and grown-ups alike spend a lot of time in front of the TV playing their favourite games. However, they are oblivious to the pure evil that these game consoles feed into our very soul. No, I'm not talking about violence, nudity or bad language. I'm not talking about rasist or satanic content. I'm talking about the way these games eat away at your nerves and devour your brain cells!

Thanks to my loving brother, we now own a Playstation 2. My first experience playing it occured two days ago. The game - God of War. I'm not going to detail the content of the game. I must say, it is an awesome game and it is the best action/adventure game I've played till this moment. Though the story seems like it has no link whatsoever with real Greek mythology, the game is really brutal, the atmosphere is tense and dark, and it gives every Crimsonland fan a warm fuzzy feeling inside (despite not having an Ion Cannon or Gauss Shotgun, the Blades of Chaos this guy uses are pretty cool). Enough about the game, let me tell you about my experience. I have to mention that we didn't buy a memory card for our console. This means we couldn't save the game, and had to finish it out of one go (thank you for the many checkpoints; if not for them, I would have gone mad). After playing the game nine hours strait on Friday from about 9:00 pm until 6:00 am the next day and not finishing the game, I had to restart from scratch on Saturday at about 7:00 pm and played it until 3:00 am the next, finally conquering the game. I drew two conclusions after beating the game:

1. The most important accessory for a Playstation is the memory card! This is true. It is more important than the controller. I mean it! not being able to take a break for nine hours is Hell!!!

2. Game consoles are designed to break you! Mentally and physically! After the first session, I woke up the next day with blisters on my thumbs... And game developers aren't satisfied with that. They also give you a playmat for those dancing and jumping games, so you end up with cramps. Not to mention microphones for sing-alongs and karaoke, so you lose your voice. And not only that, but they also have ray gun whatevers, to make sure your fingers aren't working as they should the next day... And when we thought it'd end there, some people come up with this whole new thing they call 'Wii' (Wii? How gay is that?), which is garanteed to make your elbows ache after the first three hours of play.

So, in the end, do you doubt that game consoles and console games are the tools of Satan? I think not!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Long time, no post!

Hello world!

Finally after numerous adventures I'm home and safe and can continue posting this blog you all love so much (I hope). So, let me relate the happenings of the past three weeks (I have no excuse for not writing before these... sorry).

Well, the first two of the aforementioned three weeks concern my being a madrich ('instructor', for those who are not familiar with the term... or 'counsellor', as the USA group called it) at the camp whose logo you can see on the left. I've been a chanich (participant) at this camp for six years in a row and this was my first time as a madrich. I must say, it is completely different. While your occupations as a chanich include: eating, swimming, dancing, singing, hanging out, breaking the camp rules and just annoying your madrichim (the plural of madrich) in any way you can; the being a madrich is way different. At first, you have to be responsable for all those brats who enjoy annoying you and defying curfew hours (this means drawing your Magma Minigun - those who played Alien Shooter know what this baby can do - and wreaking havoc is out of the question, though it probably would have been fun). Besides that, you spend all your free time (even the little free time you've got) in the computer room, not surfing the net, but translating material for activities. The fun begins when some of the madrichim from other countries start screwing with you by not respecting the schedule or room reservations...

There is a very pleasant part of being a madrich though. You get really close to some of the chanichim (actually to most of them... the only ones left out are the troublemakers), and it warms your heart to see them work hard on a project or being very active during a programme. I've had a few such joys, but it was worth it. The only word I can find to define what it was like being a madrich would be: FLCL (what are you looking at? What did you expect me to say?).

After the camp, I've spent some time in Bucharest and Ploiesti. Now that was Exciting. I can't stop myself from braging, so I'll just have to mention that, despite David saying I'm not good at playing MTG, I finished second, out of 6 players, at a draft they held in Ploiesti (in your face!).

I'll finish short for now, but I'll hopefully update more frequently now that I'm home.

Goodbye world!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Well, this is a NO POST! It means that I haven't posted anything for a long time for various reasons and I just feel the need to write something here without actually having anything to write.

Also, I've uploaded a random image and added a comment. These two things have nothing to do with each other.



Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Magic Pencil Creative Writing Contest

Since I haven't posted for long, I decided to search through my earlier creations (since I have no recent ones due to lack of time) and stumbled upon my entry to the Magic Pencil Creative Writing Contest from two years ago, which got me first place in the county. The tale had to have been based on a painting entitled Snow White by Angela Barrett (the one posted) and had to be no longer then 1000 words. Well, I used elements from Magic: The Gathering and it had 996 words + 3 words in the title. Here's the story:

Touch of Nature

All was silent in that peaceful night. The darkness of the forest eagerly engulfed the spirits lurking within it, and caressed all living creature in a delightful harmony. The entire meadow bloomed with joy at the touch of the moonbeams on the smiling canopies up above. The slow breeze easily moved along the trunks of trees and crevices of rocks and embalmed everything in the scent of oak. Animals all around, from the smallest squirrels playfully gathering their acorns, to the fiercest of wolves gathering to nourish themselves, fed upon this crystalline fluid of freshness, which invigorated all those that tasted it.

Deep within this silence, a young girl lay in the heart of the wood. For three days she had been searching the forest for a way out, not knowing that all this time she had only been driving deeper into nature. Even her crying stopped at the presence of the caressing night. She now slept in the middle of the meadow, the soft moss comforting her. She was not in the forest anymore; she was as far away from it, as the forest was from the outside world. She roamed freely through her own dreamlands, hoping the forest might go away by the time she woke up, and she could once again see her family. She dreamt of this, and she smiled while dreaming. She imagined herself back at the cottage; she saw her father carrying her on his back, and she saw her mother kissing her on the forehead with a sunlit smile. She imagined all her friends and all the times she had had so much fun playing with them. And while she kept on dreaming, she was unaware of those gathering in the meadow around her…

Tonight was the forty-seventh full moon of the year, and all the spirits of the wood gathered to discuss about the intrusion of this human girl in the sanctity of the forest. And so, the eldest of spirits was first to arrive; a great glow appeared in the meadow and all the winds were drawn to it and all the trees bowed their branches to its command. And from this glow sprouted flowers and beauty, and everything close to it started to bloom. Rivers sprang forth from its bowels and all the animals smiled upon seeing it. And the glow took the shape of creation… and this was Genesis.

Then, the trees united their trunks, and from them came the second spirit. Moss spread and algae from ponds gathered in a single place. And in that place, every living thing found power and might. And it gave a great sound that was heard throughout the forest, and all that heard it shuddered. And everything green, the trees, the moss, the leaves, the grass, united at the call of this spirit. And all of these took the shape of a boar as huge as the sky, and under its feet, the ground shook… and this was Growth.

Then, light flooded nature at the arrival of the third spirit. The moon exploded and filled the meadow with a drunken glitter. The stars gathered to sing at the presence of light in the darkness. And flowers also gathered to give their oath to this third spirit so great and bright. And luminous creatures, guided by fireflies span around the magical white shower. And from all this luminance stepped out a glowing purple light in the shape of a woman… and this was Beauty.

And then, the meadow was filled with the stench of death, for the fourth spirit was to arrive. Corpses started to move and black ink coloured the crystalline ponds. Misery came and filled the living creatures gathered around the meadow. From the crevices of rocks and from holes in the ground, dirt and mud and ooze gathered in a black symphony of disgust. And all sorts of horrible things, ghastly smells and nauseating sights melded together and approached the meadow. And all these took no shape, but formed a single body: a sickening hue, a walking pile of ooze… and this was Filth.

And they all danced around the young human girl, which was completely oblivious to the magical workings of nature around her. And so, faced with a hard decision, the spirits started their meeting…

‘What shall happen to the human?’ asked Genesis, its voice sounding powerfully throughout the woods.
‘She must be destroyed!’ yelled Filth.
‘She is an impediment to the good of the forest!’ howled Growth.
‘No!’ interrupted Beauty. ‘Look at her. She is a mere child. There is no wrong in this world that she can cause us’.
‘She bears the seed of evil. Within her burst the flames that drive all humankind. She is the razor of the chainsaw!’ screamed Filth in a revolted manner.
‘Her mind houses none of these thoughts. Please, listen to me’, begged Beauty. ‘You do not understand her. She has long passed Genesis, forgotten her birth. She has not yet seen Growth, as the rock sees not the wind. She is untouched by Filth, as is the sky by the ants. But her heart is of the purest, and her soul is filled with Beauty. I can feel myself vibrating through her every thought. I guarantee she will do no harm to us. Please, let her live…’
‘So be it’, decided Genesis.

Soon the dew of morning filled all the silent meadow, and when the sunbeams kissed her face she opened her lucky eyes to see in front of her the wood, the whispers of the river, the freshness of the dawn. And beside her stood a pack of wolves, beautiful as the silver strands of silk woven into a warm web. And they ran, and she followed them, not knowing why, not knowing where, until she reached the clearing and saw her parents’ cottage. And she looked back, and tears filled her eyes, and she felt the touch of nature, deep within her heart.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Childhood's End

Yesterday, I officially finished high school. How should I describe it? "It arouses a bittersweet, almost heartbreaking fondness" (10 points for those who recognise this quote... I just love easter eggs).

I must admit that it wasn't as I had expected it to be. I thought it would be less emotional. However, you could feel something hanging in the atmosphere. I still keep sighing because of it...

I feel speechless. Those ideas I keep pourring into these posts just don't seem to come... You could say that I feel touched...

I believe that I still couldn't come to grasp it. I mean, life without going to school in the morning? That's impossible! Not seeing my friends and teachers every day? No way! Still, it is a truth I must come to accept in time (and comprehend, first of all).

I can't believe it, I just can't seem to get it right. The words won't come out... I'll just leave it at that. For those who know what I mean, they'll understand, for the rest, I hope this post won't sound too stupid...

PS: I would appreciate to see my fellow graduates' comments here...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Review -> Full Metal Panic!

I've spent the last 3 days watching the 3 series of Full Metal Panic, and I was impressed, shocked, disappointed and driven to tears (due to laughter, of course). If you know which episodes to leave out and which scenes to skip, it becomes a fascinating anime. I'll make a parallel review of the 3 series.

Full Title: Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid
Structure: TV series - 26 episodes
TV series - 17 episodes
TV series - 13 episodes + OVA - 1 episode
Personal Comment: If you know which episodes to leave out and which scenes to skip, it becomes a fascinating anime.

Plot (4/5; 3/5; 4/5): Well, it's a bit more than your average mecha anime... Sergeant Sousuke Sagara is part of a mercenary organisation called Mithril and is the pilot of an Arm Slave (AS for short), one of those giant robots. Nothing out of the ordinary here. He is 16... still nothing much. However, he is assigned to infiltrate a school (because he's the only one appropriate to do it, both in terms of age and skill) and protect a girl, named Kaname Chidori. This turns his military life all around, as it introduces him to something completely foreign to his understanding... personal life. However, things get really wild when Kaname is targeted by a terrorist organisation and Sousuke's mission proves to be more than just playtime. The second series is a less serious one. It's a spin-off of the first one and explores the relationship between Sousuke and Kaname and their daily school life (a great amount of stress is placed on Sousuke's inability to adapt to normal life and the way he handles situations). The third series is a sequel to the first and continues the military story of Sousuke and Mithril, not without the serious involvement of Kaname. The twists in each of the two real series are quite interesting, and they keep you attached to the screen.

Characters (3/5; 3/5; 4/5): Characters are not all that developed. You can see the relationships between them, the tension, of course, but they are no where close to any real character-focused anime. The two main characters are contoured nicely, but the secondary ones are left somewhere in the penumbra (not really in the dark though). However, this changes in the last series, where most focus befalls on the characters' feelings. [PS: Did I mention that there was a love triangle present in the series?]

Approach (4/5; 5/5; 3/5): The real series are quite disappointing, as they provide nothing out of the ordinary, I might say. Besides the interesting technology involved and the plot twists (which I've covered in the first pointing category), there is nothing special. Still, they deserve the points I gave them, due to a few minor details: in the first series, the political issues are quite nicely coloured, with a hint of criticism (e.g. after the resolution of a dispute between the US Military and Mithril, the US Military official openly decrees: "Don't forget who the police of the world are"); in the third series, there are some Evangelion-like impressions, though far from the real ones, they bring a smile to your face (e.g. Sousuke's inability to use his AS correctly and his exclamations of "I hate it" targeted towards the said AS). The second series, the comic one, on the other hand is absolutely fascinating. The last time I laughed so hard was after hearing Osaka's remarks in Azumanga Daioh! or seeing Haruko run Naota over in FLCL. What makes it so funny? Let me put it this way: have you ever thought about blowing something up because it's in the way, or using a knife to threaten cutting someone's fingers off in order to get the needed information, or planting mines around your stuff at the beach so you could go swim without having to watch over it? Well, that's exactly what Sousuke's doing all the time (followed by a beating issued by Kaname, much like the punishment Kintaro usually gets in Golden Boy). Also, this series is full of easter eggs :D

Visuals (5/5; 5/5; 5/5): GONZO! The CG blends well with the hand-drawn animation. No more comments here. Next...

Music (4/5; 4/5; 4/5): The music blends nicely with the action. Nothing special, but appropriate.

Overall (20/25; 20/25; 20/25): I find that the 3 series complete each other. First you see an interesting mecha anime, with a little added spice. Second, you find something related to that, giving you the opportunity to laugh your ass off, knowing that it won't spoil the seriousness of the series. Third, you find an extension that develops the emotions and deeper nature of the characters, filling the gap that had been left open. Though some scenes ruin the whole atmosphere (namely around the first quarter of the last episode of the third series), overall it's an anime worth watching.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Dear Deskmate, Adela!

NOTE: This post should have appeared on Wednesday, 07 June 2006, but due to server problems, it could only be published today.

At first, I was going to write about the fact that yesterday was 6.06.06, the Devil's Day as they called it, and that in a small town named Hell in the USA (where else?) they held a big festival and parades and shit like that. Then I thought: "Do I really want to write about human ignorance and stupidity?" I got disinterested (and kind of depressed) when I thought about it in-depth and realised that by talking about it (even criticising), I would only promote (maybe not the best word, let's say "spread" instead) this cheap culture (or unculture). If this is what Modern Man comes up with after two million years of evolution, if this is the result Homo Sapiens comes to, then I dare say we a well deserved extinction is due...

So, as soon as I abandoned this topic, I thought I would write about something closer to my heart. You may not know, but there is a custom here that when finishing high-school, you make an album with the photo of each classmate and they write you a goodbye message as a conclusion of the high-school years spent together and for you to remember them. When I was thinking of what to write about, I read my dear deskmate's message (and was touched by it... again) and thought that I just had to write about her (she'll kill me for this :D ).

So, this girl in the photo my deskmate (as you could have guessed by now). Her name is Adela-Roa Popescu. Her middle name is indeed strange (as you might have noticed) and has a long history of how she got it (I'm not going to detail here... anyway she is proud of it). As you can see, she is cute, but what you can't see is that she is kind. All that I can say is that I've enjoyed the three and a half years spent by her side in school (on her left, to be more exact... second desk, middle row).

She can be extremely enthusiastic at times and at those times her eyes light up and a beautiful smile covers her face... She can also give you "the look", so I recommend not upsetting her... She's funny and friendly and likes to hang out with her friends. Also, she is into movies (mostly romance, drama, comedy, but also enjoy a good thriller at times). As a side note, I've been slowly dragging her into the dark realm of anime... She has excellent taste when it comes to clothing and (as would any girl) likes shopping. No, let me rephrase, she loves shopping... something's not right... she's MAD about shopping (yes, I guess that captures it). She's also into being mentally and physically fit (she kept saying that if she were my mother, my schedule would be something like: math, push-ups, math, sit-ups, math... you get it). She's also into French [insert anything], such as: French movies, French music, French boys (i guess), French kiss (probably, no personal confirmation... if not Adela, then my girlfriend will certainly kill me) and so on. She intends to go to Cluj to university to study Medicine (gambatte!). Despite certain unfavourable circumstances (i.e. our Biology teacher being a complete idiot), I am extremely confident that she will manage... Also, she has a pre-emptive sixth sense you should be aware of and listen to (believe me, I know what I'm saying..)

I would like to end this post with a big "thank you", because I believe a great deal of the man I am today I owe her. Remember the movie Holy Man, with Eddie Murphy when he says "If you see this man, give him a hug, a big hug, because he needs it"? Well I can't say that (she'd definitely kill me), but I'll say this: "If you see this girl, give her a smile, not that she would need it, but as a token of my gratitude towards her."

Thank you for everything, Adela! (please don't kill me because of this post)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Shotaimen (First Meeting)

I was very determined yesterday to write something interesting in my blog. Howevcer, it was a dull day. I went to school, nothing interesting there, came home dead tired (because the day before yesterday I went to sleep quite late, due to a prolonged conversation with a friend of mine in the US, where, apparently, it was just 18:00). I then went to Math (boring again) and I came home wanting to get some rest. That's when I saw that I had 5 missed calls from Andrei (for those of you who don't know, Andrei is my Japanese teacher). I gave him a ring, he caled me back and said: "Come over fast, I have some Japanese people you need to meet!"

So, about 20 minitues later, after I got to Andrei's place, a really interesting meeting occurred. These were the first Japanese people I've met. Started with a polite: "Hajimemashite! Victor desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!" (I've always wanted to say that for real). Then they introduced themselves, Naru and Misako. They are friends of Andrei's teacher, who went to Japan and got married there (and probably lives happily there). She came to visit people here in Romania, so they came along.

The next few hours passed by, mostly involving Andrei's translation of my thoughts in their language, however, and I am very proud of myself for this, it wasn't all that necessary the other way around. I understood most of what they said (happi~!) We talked about anime (my favourite subject when it comes to Japanese), Japanese music, and differences between Japanese and Romanian culture (yep, there's a lot to talk about there...)

It was fun. I learnt a lot (and that's something awesome and fun, like Kintaro Oe would say.) One thing, not all Japanese are short. I must say, Naru is probably a basketball superstar in Japan, I mean, he was taller than us (and though I'm not the tallest person there is, Andrei is certainly tall enough to be a benchmark.) I also learnt that Megumi Hayashibara isn't all that famous in Japan. All in all, I loved the encounter (can hardly wait to have to do with Japanese again!)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Time for Some Ballet

Thanks to my Aunt Kati's benevolence, I went to see my first ballet yesterday. It was the ballet Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by the National Ballet of Moscow.

Sadly, I didn't have any photo to post (as you might know or not, the digicam is with my brother in France), though I searched the net, but found none on any Romanian site (even though I had the idea of taking an advert poster of the wall of the theatre and bring it home to scan it). I finally found this one, which is a photo of the same group performing the same ballet in Moscow.

I must say, as it was my first ballet, I was really impressed. I had a very good seat in the second row. Very interstingly, in the first row, just in front of me, was a small old man, who was some kind of choreographer or director of the group or whatever, but he knew every single move that was about to occur and made lively gestures to the ballet-dancers (he was really funny).
I found the ballet very expressive. A strange thing occurred to me, namely the fact that at it's origin, Romeo and Juliet is a play, which is all about words, and I've just seen a version which is about movement, mimicry, music, i.e. anything but words. However, I felt that it transmitted the essence of the story quite remarkably.

I had only 2 critical remarks:
1. I've always imagined Romeo to be a handsome lad, yet the dancer who played his part was a typical Russian guy (and on top of that, he had a horrbile face, even worse than the guy who plays the French musical comedy, though some consider that guy handsome, the French one, not this Russian one).
2. I believe many girl today (even those that have a great body) would want to be as thin as the one who played Juliet. I don't understand this trend... I mean, this girl, yes, she was thin, but her breats were practically growing inwards!!!
- to ease on these harsh comments, a friend of mine (whom you have read about three posts ago) said: "They might not be good looking, but they are talented." True enough. And I must admit, they had formidable leg muscles and nice asses as well ;)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Review -> Boys Be...

So, this is my first review (I hope there'll be a lot more to come). I've just finished this anime yesterday and a single thought went through my head when I tried to analyse it: "This anime is beautiful!"

Full Title: Boys Be...
Structure: TV series - 13 episodes
Personal Comment: This anime is beautiful!

Plot (4/5): Though it starts off as a typical high school romance anime, it quickly turns into an encompassing story about love, friendship, life and self. It mostly follows the destiny of the two main characters, Kyoichi and Chiharu, but also presents in significant detail the stories of their friends. The 13 episodes revolve around all these 6-8 characters, drawing you mystically into their universe, without that sense of "everything's about these two, there's noone else in the world..."

Characters (4/5): Because of the detail each character gets and the almost equal distribution of roles in the story, you can experience strong individualities. They start of as stereotypical figures, but quickly enter a state of confusion (typical at this age) and change into highly complex and realistic personalities.

Approach (5/5): The story winds into philosophical aspects of love and life. Dialogues are very touching and realistic. The overall sensation is a hidden trepidation that alternatively provokes satisfaction, anxiety, sorrow and amazement. The series follows the events across the span of a year, making close connections between emotions and nature (especially through the cycle of the seasons). Each episodes begins and ends with a philosophical proverb-like remark, which gives a sensation of grandeur to the series.

Visuals (5/5): A single word is enough to point out the excellent graphical element of the series: GONZO! GONZO is the animation studio responsable for many paragons of anime that delight us with their visual presentation (Desert Punk, Full Metal Panic!, Hellsing, Kiddy Grade, Last Exile, Trinity Blood). Also, there is a strong artistic touch in the visual effects, extremely appropriate for the series (such as a sketch drawing replacing the animation when two persons kiss, or the window frame slowly widening and disappearing revealing a beautiful landscape in accordance to the character's feelings).

Music (4/5): Though I haven't noticed a wide variety of songs, the main theme, which appears in every episodes, is a very pleasant and special one, which is equally appropriate for calm beginnings and ending as well as heartshaking culminating moments.

Overall (22/25): I haven't seen many true (as in non-magical) high school romance anime, but this is by far the best one I've experienced. It is a treat for all the girls out there, but well worth watching for the boys as well. A pounding story that grasps your heart and leaves a beautiful scar long after it's grip has faded.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Protector of Tyria

Ok, I will now disclose why I was so happy and which is my second reason for writing this blog (kind of).

There mioght be some of you who don't know, but I'm an addicted Guild Wars player. Guild Wars is a MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game -> quite a mouthful). With the release of the Guild Wars: Factions expansion set, players are rewarded for certain achievements with different titles. Some are easier to obtain, others are quite hard.

As you can see in the image, my character, Arkon Darksoul, has earned the Protector of Tyria Title. This means that I've completed all the missions and bonuses in Guild Wars: Prophecies (the original game). Though this might not sound as a big deal, it involves a lot of work (and game hours). Sometimes you just can't find an appropriate party for that painfully difficult bonus...

Some might argue that I shouldn't be all over a game like this, and that this entire post is nonsense, to them I say exactly the opposite: if I must "waste" a lot of time in front of the PC playing games, I might as well enjoy it's few pleasurable moments.

First Post

I've decided to create my own blog after having read that of my brother a lot. I thought it would be fun, so here goes (since I created an account on to comment my brother's posts, I thought I might as well post here).

I've chosen this particular day, 31 May, to start a blog out of 2 reasons:

1. It is the birthday of one of my dear friends, namely Ioana Mihalache (the girl in the middle of the picture). She is a very sweet, smart and kind girl, and deserves a mention in this blog. Happy Birthday, Ioana!

2. I have achieved something very important today, but I will talk about it more tomorrow (to insure I have topics to post, I will not exhaust them all today).

Those who know me can already imagine the possible future contents of this blog, so stay tuned and enjoy!