Friday, January 23

New Vids

Among the VCDs I picked up yesterday were several Japanese films; A couple of Lone Wolf and Cub movies, the original JUON video, and of course, the inevitable sequel to the controversial Battle Royale, entitled Battle Royale 2: Requiem.
The Lone Wolf and Cub films are a cult hit among samurai fans everywhere, telling about the adventures of Itto Ogami, a master swordsman and former royal executioner and vassal. After being betrayed by the machinations of the evil Yagyu clan, Ogami loses his rank, wife and lands. All he has left is his sword (and incomparable skill in wielding it), his son Daigoro and a relentless thirst for vengeance that will not end until the evil and poweful Retsudo Yagyu is dead. Ogami then wanders the land with his son, pushing a baby cart and selling his invincible blade for the right price. Along the way he faces other assassins, various femme fatales and warriors, and of course, hirelings of the Yagyu family. Lots of swordfights, blood, drama and heartbreak as only samurai theater can give.

While most people here in Manila have probably seen JUON, or The Grudge, on the big screen, the first release was a video movie that has not been widely released. This first video is generally touted as having better frights and atmosphere than the theatrical release, and has the distinction of featuring a young Japanese actress named Chiaki Kuriyama in it's cast. Yep, Go Go's in this one, but it looks like balls and chains are of no use against ghosts...

And finally, Battle Royale 2 takes place 3 years after the end of the first movie. Shuya Nanahara, one of the two survivors from the first film, has now become a feared and wanted terrorist, the leader of the infamous Wild Seven. Shuya and his comrades have declared war on the adults and Japanese government who hold the BR tournament, and they're not shy about shedding a lot of blood along the way. In fact, the movie starts with a distinctly familiar scene of twin skyscrapers collapsing...
Yep, BR2 is more of a terrorist/war story than the first movie, and has some disturbing shades of recent world events that involve Al Qaeda and Iraq. Of course there's still lots of young high school kids with explosives around their necks, lots of deaths and drama, and the odd cameo. I've heard some bad things about BR2, but I'm willing to give it a fair watch before anything.

Hope I can enjoy these new titles soon. Reviews to be posted when possible. Heh.
Big Spender

These days I've been going around and buying stuff like crazy. At the end of the day I always seem to come home with a big plastic bag full of stuff, and perhaps at least two-thirds of the things I get I don't usually appreciate until much later. I've accumulated a ton of magazines, comics DVDs and anime VCDs that I haven't even begun to get into yet. Last week it was comics. This week, I'm back to VCDs and DVDs. I even dabbled in spending my money online at eBay.
Gosh, you'd think I was a millionaire or something... but then, to be fair the stuff I spend on individually aren't much. And they're really stuff I like and will like once I actually get to look at them a second time or so.

I guess it all hails back to my childhood. (cue weird flashback special effects...)

I was a quiet, nice kid. Really. I didn't really make a fuss. Never really cried unless I fell down from at least one story, and I always made do with what I had. So it was only when my parents began to notice my shoes had holes or my pencil was pretty much ground down to the eraser, they'd ask if I needed new stuff.
We weren't poor, really. We were always well-fed, lived in nice houses in nice neighborhoods. We were well-to-do... but it was impressed on me that we weren't rich. I didn't think that I could ask my mom to buy me a toy unless it was my birthday or Christmas. So usually I'd just stare and long for stuff in silence.

It of course lasted into my school years. I'd see my classmates bring their Transformers toys to school and turn green with envy. I had action figures, yes, but never the 'In' toys at the time. So, I would just stare and long. I pined for a Starscream... or any of those cool Decepticon planes. I'd pine for Go Bots, G.I. Joes... anything.
In High School, I lusted particularly for a book-bound Crisis On Infinite Earths collection (Yes, sacrilege), and eventually bought it from my classmate to the sum of three hundred pesos. It doesn't seem like a big sum now, but to a kid who didn't have any source of money except baon, it was HUGE. To get it, I borrowed money from my sister and brother. In the end though, when my mom found out I had made a 'loan', she ORDERED that we NEVER do it again until we had paying jobs. I didn't have to pay back the loan, and we didn't speak of it at all after. As for the Crisis comics, I think my brother lent it to someone who never returned it. Oh well.

And so, today.
I've got a paying job, which pretty much lets me spend every now and then. I don't have a family yet, nor do I pay rent. Of my on-hand cash, I use about .0000000001 for clothes. Which leaves MOST of my money for stuff that I want. ANYTHING. It's so cool.
But it's not like I'd just walk into any store and start buying out all the Transformer toys in sight. My heart today loves comics, anime, games and comics, anime, games. Throw in the odd doo-dad or shirt or cellphone or DVD and you've got me.
It's a very dangerous thing to be an impulse buyer like me, but I think it's pretty healthy. I don't gamble, or smoke, or drink (alcohol), so whatever I get is direct into eye candy, mind-fucks and instant gratification. Which complements in keeping me my minimally-stressed, usually cool and calm, always optimistic (though often tired) and MAD self.

Can money buy me happiness? Yep, I have to say it does. Little bits, which taken in doses is quite nice. But of course, people to share these things with every now and then make the circle complete.

And now I have to go off and see if there are any new thingamajigs and thingamabobs to splurge my cash on around...

Thursday, January 22

K.I.A. does Kill Bill

Agent K takes on the Demonic 88.

Here's the latest artwork for K.I.A. submitted in. It's by Michael Seludo, one of the artists behind the cool indie comic Atomic Underground, which won Best Independent Comic in the first C3Con. His inspiration is of course the Kill Bill Volume 1 finale in the House of Blue Leaves. Darn cool.
As February comes in, more and more pinups from our K.I.A. Hit List should be coming in. Can't wait to see them all. WOOHOO!!!

Wednesday, January 21

SX in the City


It's the latest mobile phone out there now. Looking even chunkier and wider than the recently-released Nokia 6600, the Siemens SX1 comes with tons of features, including an MP3 Player, integrated camera and camcorder, full messaging and connectivity, games and Heaven knows what else. The unconventional design finds most of the buttons on the sides, instead of just in the center; that's what those segmented plates are there for, and NOT because the SX1 was forged by the smiths of Gondor. Heh.
Anyway, this little monster comes at the wonderfully reachable price of about 30K. GAH! Well, it surely doesn't have as many cool pop polyphonics as any Nokia model, but the MP3 Player is cool, as well as having a gaggle of other nice features. Something to consider if you're hankering for a new phone but not going for the PDA-combo P8 or P900.

Tuesday, January 20

The EVIL Doll

I... am... here...

Here's a look at a Doll Fie, a super-detailed, anatomically-correct and expensive collectible plaything from Japan. It's basically a little Bishonen figure that comes with real clothing and shoes, accessories, realistic hair and liquidy-glass eyes. CREEPY!!! My officemate Joey has been obsessing about getting a doll like this for weeks, and then incredibly she WINS one in a Lottery. The doll was shipped from Japan to here, and arrived in a big box.

I can feel the thing watching... I know it's EVIL and it wants to take over. I am pretty sure at night the thing crawls out of its box, goes out and buys crispy wantons from the Mini Stop...

EVIL Doll!!! EVIL!!!


Evil Doll is now in control...

The first 24-hour anime channel is now on the air. English-dubbed children's fare and fun programs in the daytime, while english-subtitled shows with more mature content will air at primetime to late night. And when I mean mature, I mean mature. You have to hand it to the channel that it doesn't censor much, it seems. Stuff like underwear being thrown around in Great Teacher Onizuka is retained, as well as some slightly risque moments in the otherwise-sweet and comedic Chobits. The lineup is pretty diverse, with cool stuff for me like Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex and the buddy-prettyboy action show, Getbackers. And it looks like the lineup will improve as this channel gets more into it's groove.
WOW. Anime ALL the time. Who'd ever thought this was possible? YEEEEBBAAAAA!!!
The 'E' in Ebay stands for...

... EVIL!!!

This whirlpool of merchandise, temptation and odds and ends has finally sunken it's claws into me. I made some tries during the week for some items. Lost a couple of them, won a couple. DAMN it's fun. And expensive. Gotta control myself. Or I might end up buying something really stupid. But DAMN it's fun...

I've just gotten off a three-day long trek of work. This wouldn't be half bad if it weren't for the fact that two of those three days included the weekend. I spend Saturday and Sunday at the office, working on ads, writing copy, guzzling down countless cans of coke, eating convenience-store fare and writing more copy.
I missed of course the usual trek to Greenhills, so any new anime, dvd or game will have to wait till later this week. I missed the recently-concluded New Worlds 2 Sci-Fi Convention at Rockwell, where Carl, Budjette, Gerry, David Hontiveros and others joined Ringers, Trekkies, X-philes, Slayers gamers and what have you. I would have gone and sold copies of Angel Ace Next if I could have. Would have wanted to see the events. I would have wanted to see the cosplayers- apparently among the crowds of jedi and Matrix wannabees there were some gems, such as a six-foot tall Sauron, the Matrix APU from the C3Con and a girl dressed as Maya from the Anito PC game (whose skimpy outfit won her first place).
Would have wanted to have just sat down and chatted with the Komikero crew, sold a few copies of Angel Ace Next and whatever.
Oh well. Tired. Got stuff to do. Cover art to finish. Pages to start. An anthology to keep moving. And yes, ads to be thought up. It's a living.

Sunday, January 18

Phlogged In

I've got a Phlog!

Which is a Photo-Log on the Web. I can now post photos there from my handy-dandy cameraphone. Stuff that I wouldn't post here in the blog. Just odds and ends. And maybe the odd celebrity or UFO sighting. Ghost pics. Whatever. Satisfying the inner voyeur in each of us. Heh.

Visit the MAD Phlogger!

Nothing there yet, I guess. But there will be. Soon.

Okay, back to work...
Weekend Warriors

I'm at the office right now, the same way that I was at the office yesterday. Work spilled into the weekend and it looks like that I won't even be able to take a break immediately after the hullaballoo is done. Hopefully after all this madness is over, I can take a couple of days off later this week. Or I will go nuts. MAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!