Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Limit Cycle without a limit of it's nonsense

4th November 2008, Tuesday

So my 30th birthday went on like any day at work, personally I had not much desire to celebrate on a work day, let alone on a Monday of a 5-days long work week.
But it end with a sour note when I lost my classy hard-back casing for my Shure plug-in earphones.
I had left it on the front compartment of my slingbag which was cramped with whatever gadgets been housed there.
It might had dropped off while I was proceeding to plug my earphones into my iPod while rummaging through the bag for it.
The venue is most likely to be in the MRT station platform and I could had not taken noticed of a hefty hard case dropping off the bag due to the mad rush of commuters at that hour.
When I realized it was lost when I got home it was too late...it surely spoiled the evening and perhaps the next few days for me.
I mean it is just a casing as the missus had stressed but surely it was a part of the package which warrant that high price for the earphones.... it would surely serve to protect the precarious woofer when I am walking about, knowing how badly I tend to handle my properties.
One more good reason to replace a 3 year old Edwin bag I bought from my 2005 Japan trip with valcro tearing off, the inner waterproof lining peeling off and capacity just not enough to keep my everyday tools and seems to be the cause of the spoilage of some of my past gadgets (esp the headphones)

Last Wednesday, me and the guys headed down to the National Art Musuem for this year's edition of the Animation Nation.
After the fun we had last year, we just couldn't give this a miss when the schedule was out early last month.
There were only a handful of features which caught our eyes and with the introduction of a nbew venue of Fusionopolis, the guys weren't too interested in traveling down to such obscure location as Bouna Vista (although I had to be here almost everyday).
The only slot which suited everyone was on Wednesday evening with a double feature beginning with "Piano no Mori (The Piano's Forest)" at 7, followed by Studio 4C's "Genius Party" compilation.

I nearly couldn't reach on time due to bad judgement by taking the bus once again but in the end TW who claimed he would reach at 6.45 was the very last to appear and more importantly is the one getting the tickets from his art scene friend who made the booking.

It was full house once again for this Madhouse Studios 2007 production which adapted from Isshiki Makoto's manga series.
The movie was directed by Kojima Masayuki who was a story artist in several renowed anime series like "Gokusen", "Trinity Blood" and "Gungrave".
We made ourselves comfortable at the bottom right corner of the audience stand which though can be strain on the neck after the show, wasn't too bad a location.
Most importantly we didn't became a nusiance we usually are to too many fellow audiences.
The story entales the encounter of a rather bland goody-too-shoe Tokyo lad by the name Amamiya of who had to stayed in the countryside with his mother (very bland herself who turn out to be a man-hungry auntie as the show develops) to take care ofhis ailing grandma.
Well basically there was a myth that a spiritual entity was responsible to play a piano in the middle of the dense forest.
It turned to be a shoddy classmate of his, Ichinose Kai who had been playing the unplayable piano all along.
Kai-kun (yes I tried to acknowledge when the characters called out that name) was born a natural talented pianist who can play by ear but lack the technique...
Then in come their music teacher, Ajino who was a dashing pianist who had the world on his feet until a traffic accident tore his left arm badly. (more known as "zombie" by his students which we joked as "djombie" like in "The Last Guy PV")
When he found out that Kai was able to play that piano in the forest which turn out to be his custom piano, he was determined to teach him which led to the 2 protagonists meeting in a region final of a national piano competition.

A simple anime without fancy art work, CG or action moves, but the story was tight with mostly likeable characters.
Ueto Aya who was the seiyuu behind Kai did a nice job though still rough on the edges.
Throughout the show TW and myself kept sniggling at how Ajino's unrequittal interest to mentor Kai into his protege with annuedos underlying he might be a pedophilic teacher afterall.
Then how he tried to hook up with Kai's sexy hostess mother...
The appearance of aggressive competitor...the "benjo hime (toilet princess)" Takako (gotta love that name) also spice up the show with the name "Wendy" at the tip of our tongues after that
Last but not least,, we were rooting for contestant No. 46 who precedes Kai, a certain Sasaki Maiko....

After a short interval, we ushered back to the auditorium for the "Genius Party"...This time round we chose the last row in the center block and once again our aura work with no one except for a lone weird Caucasian lady who had the audacity to sit beside Pepsi as the wild ride begins.

"Genius Party" I supposed is Studio 4 C (with their recent take on Detroit Metal City anime series surely hot on my must-watch list)'s clandestine for their artistic people to put up short animated features of what their creative juices can conjure up.
There was a pretty lengthy opening sequence by Fukushima Atsuko highlights how the creative soul of the geniuses are being sucked into this collective feature...or might be an advertisement for X-box with the signature green X-Logo on the cranium of those earthly spherical figures.

Shanghai Dragon by Kawamori Shoji
Kawamori is most famous for the mecha design of those Macross series and it showed with this neo-futuristic show about beings from outer space found their messiah in a mucus-dripping Chinese kid... The 2 space soldiers had to put their lives on the line to protect the kid from being slaughtered by some mechanical minions much like those Geckos in Metal Gear Solid.
In the end with his new magical pen, mucus boy save the day though mediocrely...
A lot of homage paid to his mecha specialty plus some classic tokusatsu shit like Kamen Rider which the boy transformed for a while (which got the weird Caucasian lady beside us in a laughing fit)...My over the top comments about the shocker ans kaijuus his TV hero is fighting got some disgruntled looks from those kids in front of us...love the mock Chinese version of the Rider song!
Also love the way they force Japanese seiyuus to try their best articulate themselves as native Chinese speaking people.

Deathtic 4 by Shimura Kenji
A spoof of Fantastic 4? Not quite
A fully CG feature with a strong European Gothic Macabre style about a land of zombies (djombies) where the stench of death was like Chanel No. 5
The protaganist then found a living frog from a warp zone and sought help from these 3 strange "heroes" from his school... A fat guy with a paper bag on his head and always fart, a human torch like character who tends to fizzle and an aquatic being complete with mask and water tank.
Together this 4 unlikely heroes were on mission to return the frog back to its world while not being captured by the police which are really living papsicans with pacifiers on toddler's tricycle...
It's so madcap, we can't help laughing our ass off...yes the Caucasian lady as well...
And like Shanghai Dragon, the Japanese seiyuus were force to regurgitate liveless French lines from their scripts...

Doorbell by Fukuyama Koji
What if there are more than one you... and it is ruining your life...
With the most butt-ugly characters since Initial D, this creepy tale from the crypt talks about how the lead had problem getting rid of replicas of himself from taking away his existence from everyone who knows him...
Pretty non-chalant shit with a creepy wrinkled "ba-ba (grandma)" out from nowhere...but it's still not the worst

Limit Cycle by Futamura Hideki or we affectionately known as Butamura
20 minutes of real quality crap about all his useless thoughts mish-mashed into a torture show meant for the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
Done in the arty-farty 80s pop art style which Andy Warhol would get high watching, it just follow this Jame Dean look alike guy talking about anything and everything possible while keep repeating himself and yearning to cliimbgb the Tokyo Tower
For a while I thought TW was well mesmerized by the art style till all 4 of us snapped and I'm sure the rest of the crowd got restless of this piece of crap as we applauded vociferously at the end of the torturous 20 minute...
Really admire the subber who had to endure it all and put up whatever shit the narrator narrates..sometime with an interchange of voices...
Well if you are really that bored, you can catch it here...You had been warned.

Happy Machine by Yuasa Masaaki
We needed salvation after Limit Cycle and with a name like Happy Machine, you would think you'll at least get some...not exactly
It was kind of depressing with this toddler being trapped in a world where he is on his own...making weird creature friends including one that eats flies and move when farted as well as a plant-like creature who survive by drinking our baby friend's urine.
However it did sort of relates the whole back to basic ideology that if we mistreat our earth we would be trapped into a zone without all our safeguards or luxury items...
It stated that it'll be continued but guess none of us care much for that.

Baby Blue by Watanabe Shinichiro
Salvation finally comes in the final clip by the guy who brought us Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.
A classic "ah jun ge" story we had been craving the whole night relates a guy leaving his home and school in Tokyo, asked his childhood lady friend to go skip school and go on a road trip to Shounan (famous for the beach).
Throughout the road trip, there were flashback of their past like how they managed to snag a grenade from a military base.
Their wayward adventure to Shounan saw them boarding the wrong train to Hakone, having a bicycle race witb a patrol police and encountering a gang of Bosozouku who tried to get fresh with our heroine before the hero blew their vehicles with the grenade.
They finally reach the seaside by sun rise and the romance started to gush in like the waves hitting the shore except the guy had to go and the girl had a boyfriend.
Classic Watanabe stuff with quirky storyline and beautiful background art and up tempo action scene seen in the chase scene.

It was near 11.30pm by the 2nd show ended, and while all smitten by Baby Blue, it was the dreadful Limit Cycle that was the main topic especially when CS nearly lost his cool half way through it all.

Another great time with my buddies in the midst of this Singapore FIlm Society-organized event which we will look forward come 2009.

Japanese word of the day: 限界 ~gen-kai~(Limit) Even for our standard, there should be a limit to crap but obviously Butamura doesn't know that.

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