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Nobunaga Concerto. posted at 2:03 PM

Assalamualaikum.

Hai, semee! (sebut ala-ala Siti Sifir)

Pejam celik, pejam celik, it has been almost a year I didn't update my blog. Kind of an amazing feat for me, The Vain Empress herself who used to make at least a post a month previously, regardless of the content of the post. 

I really do want to update you guys about my life and whatever things that I found interesting, I really do. It's just that I have this occupying illness in my mind, you see. This inconspicuous thing embedded in me, my mental writer's bloc--

(Malas, cakap je laaa!)

Gahhhh! So, yes. I am pemalas liddat.

So! Sticking with the usual "Amal-style", instead of updating my followers with whoever schmucks I met or whatever shiet I did all this year, today, I decided to review the new addition of my Ani-Colle 「アニコレ」i.e. Anime Collection!

Introducing Nobunaga Concerto!(信長協奏曲 lit. Nobunaga Kontseruto



Nobunaga Concerto is an anime series detailed on the journey of one Saburou, a normal, textbook-juggler highschooler who suddenly time-slipped into the Sengoku Jidai period (The Warring States Period) of Japan, some 400 years ago. There, he found himself encountered the young Oda Nobunaga, who, by coincidence, has his exact same  physical features (or, should it be the other way round..?)

Anyway! Oda Nobunaga asked Saburou to take his place, as Oda Nobunaga has a weak body and could not, in such physical state, at that material time, be fit to inherit the Oda family. Saburou agreed, since, of course, when you found someone mounted a horse, dressed in Jidaigeki garb, spoke in feudal language, handed you one awesome-looking wakizashi, the first thing you'll say is "Sureeeeee!"

Sheesh. I wish to kick some sense into Saburou's head.

Who is Oda Nobunaga you asked meeee? 

You see, Oda Nobunaga is a powerful, let me put some emphasis; A POWERFUL samurai warlord of Japan in the late 16th century, who initiated the unification of Japan before his efforts later consolidated by his successors. You see, prior to the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan is a country torn by strife, so every territory were usually governed by a warlord. Nobunaga, an amazing warfare tactician with his own hands, took to unite these separate territories into a country that we know today-- Japan. 

Japanese history, especially during Sengoku Jidai is intricate, hence rather difficult to understand, but I reaaaaally advised you to at least learn a bit about the history of Oda Nobunaga. Masing-masing ada smartphone whaat. Google sudeh. History won't disappoint yuuuuuu!

However, I initially watched Nobunaga Concerto with the expectation of seeing the infamous Oda Nobunaga time-slipped into the current world and found a newfound interest being a conductor in a concerto. I genuinely thought the series will be a mash of Chonmage Purin X Nodame Cantabile-- since the the title kinda indicated the series to be as such. 

But I was wrong!

Evidently, "Concerto" in this particular case is not the usual definition of "Concerto". "Concerto" in Nobunaga Concerto pretty much depicts the a abstract definition, I guess. Since, if you analyze the tactics employed by Nobunaga in his quest to unify Japan, they were all contrasting movements akin to the literal definition of "Concerto".

Tak sampai mungkin point aku di atas. Aku merepek mungkin. Kah!

This anime (originally manga of the same title by Ishii Ayumi-sama serialized in Shogakukan) is actually the gem of the year. Initially, I thought this could be some cheaply-produced anime, since the animation is bad. I mean, VERY BAD. It IS bad according to the current Japanese animation standard.


*Jangan marah, Saburou/Nobunaga. Kebenaran itu pahit.

For me, it looks like an animation juxtaposed in between some sort of cheap, CGI-laden with very flat 2D animation. The characters designs were somehow weird, and the art style is questionable, but I found the movements were pretty natural. (This comes from someone who could not even recognise a legit animation software. Me.) But I wonder whether this is intentional on the part of FujiTV as the producers. 

Or maybe they just didn't have money. Who knows.

But this series has an amazing array of voice actors. In a way or another, it contributes so much to the story and kind of function to conceal the glaring defects in the animation. Another good point that I found is that the music adapted into the series gave amazing eargasm. Seriously.  This "Fukagyaku Replace" by MY FIRST STORY!



Trivia: Hiro the Vocalist of MY FIRST STORY is the younger brother of Taka from ONE OK ROCK. 

Not only the ED is awesome, I found the whole musical accompaniment to the series is good. Almost as good as Rurouni Kenshin's soundtrack. Masaru Yokoyama (Music Director) is da man! 

So, for me, the anime is 4 out of 5! I found my self kept on watching and rewatching the episodes. I could not get enough, simply put. I learn a lot from this series, and I enjoy each and every moment Saburou's on the screen. Saburou, even though for the fact that he was only a nisemono (fake) Nobunaga, tried his hardest to make sure that his actions did not depart from history. At the same time, he did not lose his modern charm and teenage naivete. He never adopt feudal language in his words or got lost into Oda Nobunaga characteristics. He stays true to himself, the common high schooler  during the entire series. 

* I found him cool, even though he's the type of guy that I'll avoid during high school.

I think that's amazing. (i.e. He is voiced by Miyano Mamoru-sama. There are more than a few occasions that I  melted due to Mamo's voice. Damn.)

Oh yeah! Did I tell you Oguri Shun did the narration. Yessss. THE Oguri Shun. He's playing the live-action drama of Nobunaga Concerto as well!


*Haha. Comel Oguri Shun, walaupun sudah bergelar bapak orang.


So! Please do give this animation a chance. This underdog might as well surprise you. *wink!*

4/5!

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Tonbi. posted at 9:57 PM

Assalamualaikum.


Ecece. Tak penah dibuat aku ni tetibe ghajen update blog. Tebiat plak Amalina, dah pehal? Sorry ye rakan-rakan. Actually takde lah penting mana pun post aku kali ni. Cuma ada satu drama yang aku rasa sesuai dikongsikan bersama rakan dan taulan untuk kita ambil pengajaran bersama (my cheesy attempt to speak in proper standard BM usually ended up sounding like a tacky RTM's Public Service Announcement)

So!

This izzit! TONBI!


^official poster. Starring Uchino Masaaki, Saito Takeru (insert silent kya! kya!)

Lama aku tak buat review drama kan? Last time YamaNade kot, around... 2009? Whoiyo. Lama tu. So, hopefully review kali ini eksklusiflah hendaknya. BAHAHAHAAA

^Tonbi correlation chart^

What does Tonbi means, you asked? (okay, fine, takde sapa pun tanya). "Tonbi" in Japanese is a type of hawk, specifically the Black Kite or Milvus migrans, a type of predator bird.  

Kacak kan?

When a Black Kite spread their wings on the sky, they definitely looks like kites. They are brooding, intimidating, but at the same time, their wings seemed to offer protection. I think this is why "Tonbi" is used as an imagery to signify the premise of the story.

Okay, kembali kepada root of the matter. Selalu sangat stray dari tajuk saya ni. Mintak maaf.

Tonbi, is a story of a father, Ichikawa Yasuo (Uchino Masaaki) who lost his wife when their son (Sato Takeru) was three years old. He took care of little Akira from kindergarten up to the University by himself and did not remarry. Basically, his life revolves around his son.

Same old premise? Here's the catch.

The thing is, Ichikawa Yasuo is an orphan himself. He never grew up with parents and never know how to raise a child. Quoting him, Ichikawa's idea of raising a child is: "A series of neverending misfortunes." On top of that, he's what the others call a village idiot--he's very loud, very brash, a brute and a slapdash--an absolutely not a husband of father material. Naturally, he faces numerous turbulence to raise a son as a single parent. 

However, Akira on the other hand did not inherit anything at all from his father. He's a well-groomed, restrained young man; a distinguished person. A complete antithesis of Yasuo's persona. 

But does that means that both of them will but heads and create conflicts? Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

That's the beauty of this drama. 

Akira, is a well-educated man, and he was NEVER embarrassed by his father. Bear in mind Yasuo is uneducated, a hotheaded village brute. Whilst most of the children are embarrassed by the antics of their parents, Akira was unexpectedly welcoming with his father's actions and reactions. It was especially touching for me to see. 

Tonbi somehow clutch my hands and drag me back to the right path. It kinda shows that I should not deviate myself from that path; I should be good to my parents, I should obey them, and respect them the way they are. Appreciate them.

Uchino Masaaki in this drama was exceptional. He played the role brilliantly with a dash of flair, making the melodrama not too overbearing and the comedy not too slapstick. The balance is amazing. 

Sato Takeru too has a great chemistry with his on-screen dad. I found it adorable whenever they share the screen.  Sato Takeru is my age, so I found it dubious on whether he could be convincing enough to tackle a more grown-up role. But boy, did he deliver! He's on his on Highway to Heaven to be a good actor, definitely. 

Plus! The whole setting of this drama is the Showa era, specifically circa 1960s to late 1990s. So there are no hand-phone scenes, staring-at-the-computer-screen scenes or any other gadgets linking to our era. Surprisingly, I found it refreshing! But be prepared for the horror of the 90s fashion choices -- turtlenecks, scrunchies, middle-parted hair, pleated pants, God, the lists are endless! But the production was meticulous enough to to replicate things to the core, and think they deserve an applause!


Mereka memang ada kimia!

4 out of 5!





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Socially. Awkward. Penguin. posted at 8:12 PM

Assalamualaikum.

We haven't seen each other in quite a long time. Both literally and figuratively speaking. I'm having the time of my life now (not!) being a pupil in chamber--meeting new people and all that shat.

Being a pupil in chamber is a thing, while the other is meeting new people and expanding your endless horizon of cliques and networks. Oh, such dread. Inasmuch that I didn't consider myself as a shy person, I'm definitely, most obviously, straight-at-the-dot: an introvert.

(c) Grant Snider.

My introvert-ness often causes confusion though. Most people think I'm a disdainful prick who appears to conduct herself snobbishly. I got that a lot from people. I'm so so so sooooorrry if I ever offend anybody, but it's just that I'm not good with people.
Well, I lied. Actually, I'M NOT GOOD AT ALL with people.

I tried hard (very HARD) to shake off all the nerves and anxiety whenever I found myself in a group of amiable people--but my attempts just fizzled. I do attempt to start the conversation, or play along with stale jokes just for the sake of not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings, or try to mingle in social gathering but--no. Flatly saying, every try didn't work out. I ended up making myself silly and confuse the other party. I received stares and gawks since I am so awkward. That makes me more depressed. It actually makes me feeling like digging a hole and bury myself until the party finishes.

That happened for quite sometime before I realized that I could never change this fact. I could never dive into a denial mode. But don't get me wrong. I never hate the fact that I am an introvert. I enjoy it, even. I love being myself (you have the liberty call me The Vain) and I don't mind spending 500 minutes alone distancing myself from people. 

But I do get envious with others who seemed to easily meet and greet new people as if it is normal. When you caught yourself entangled in Malaysian legal industry, you have to hold a friendly reputation. It's suicidal to give a cold vibe or a taut image. Both my boss my seniors are able to get friendly with other people in a click--such ease. I found it hard to follow the example, especially this kind.

I love working alone, and I hate interruption. The sound of people irks me. I find it extremely exhausting to deal with others, especially extroverts--they're supremely annoying. Parties are a burden. Partaking in small talks is a pain in the butt; honestly speaking. 

I wonder if there are any ways (not remedies) for me to adjust myself in this legal fraternity without masking myself with a fake smile. Can I be myself and greet people normally? Be more adventurous and meet new people sans the nerve-wrecking anxiety that almost kill me every time I tried to step outside the bubble?

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Que sera, sera. posted at 11:48 AM

Assalamualaikum.

Weehu. Lama tak menjenguk. Dah berabuk dah blog ni. Nasib bawak feather duster bagai.

This is actually my first post in 2013. Talking about being a true-blue hipster, huh. Dah nak middle year baru tercanguk dpn laptop thinking about things to write. So many things had passed during the first half of the year. 

I finished LLB, graduated, attended the convocation, went to Vietnam, acquired pupillage placement, witnessed my brother's wedding and participated in my first (the nation's 13th and mostly marred with controversy) election.

Wow. And no way on earth I'm going to sum up every matters in one post. Let's take Paul McCartney's words by the heart. And just let them be, let them be. 

Actually, I do get inquiries and stuff, asking why didn't I blog much nowadays. Compared to before, my life is not drop dead boring or atrociously monotonous these times around (considering that pupillage managed to get my life "happening"), but it's just my choice not to chronicle everything to its tiniest detail like everybody does. Amongst my peers, I do hold a reputation being notoriously private by myself. Except with some, I don't find it necessary to share things that I consider secret with the world at large.

It's just not my style.

So, sticking to that, I'm not going to report the shenanigans happening around me, regardless how interesting or juicy they may be, if I think nothing good comes from it. 
After all, being modest, is sometimes important. 


But then, when exactly is the appropriate event for you to draw your "humility" line?



Current trend is that so many people are posting private stuff online-- they pour their hearts out, shares negativity and hatred, disseminate bull tattle-tale, and get easily convinced with doctored images on the net.



And that happens every single moment. As long as the internet exists.



For these people, the net seems to be a sanctum. In a sense, I do agree. Internet appears to be an utopia where everyone could speak with utmost freedom. But most of these people who speak like a warrior are shielding behind their keyboards. They try to champion what they think is right.



For me, trying to coerce people into believing what we believe is nonsense. You cannot force someone into believing into something. This is what I struggle to explain to all my friends who tries to convince me that their ideas are the best and I should take them as shining examples.



I'm not saying that whatever you had in mind is all bulls. At one point, you must be right. It's just that, when you try to impart your thoughts to someone else, you must also be ready to be rejected. Not everyone shares with you the same ideals.

And when people rejected your thoughts, don't respond with a disgust. People simply have a different interpretation or a different approach.


Differences are to be celebrated and respected. Why can't you respect someone else's opinion, when you yourself wish the same? When you think you are entitled to your opinion, so does everyone else. What makes others different than you?



I think, that's our current society really lacks nowadays. 

When we believe into something, we agree to it. 
We absorbed in it. 
We get extreme with it. 
We started to think, hey, this is the rightest way, but why don't A agree with me? 
Or, why did B try to deny the "truth"?


And then we try to convince A and B to agree with our ideas.

When A and B refused/failed to do so, we bash them, we subject them to mutiny, we demonize them.
What kind of society we're living in now? So, now we could not even get others to have their OWN thoughts on things?
People here and there, far and wide speaks about democracy rhetorically. But they failed to grasp the spirit of democracy by themselves.  


So, for me, that is where you draw the line.



Be modest. Don't be an extremist. Lead your life, your thoughts, your intuitions simply. Don't try to get others to think in the same lines with you when they are resisting to it. You can lay out your opinions in one issue without being repulsive or emotional. Be professional. Control your ego.

Be PATIENT. Be VERY PATIENT. If that could not work, take a chill pill and retreat. You know very well that anger kills. And most important of all, respect others. Aretha Franklin does give a nice advice once in a while.


After all, anybody would appreciate a slice of humble pie.




大和と春、なう。 posted at 5:00 PM

Assalamualaikum.

Howowow. I had refrained myself from writing for a looooong time.


I do wish to write and stuff, but I had such limited time since I was super busy and am occupied with tons of work so it somehow hampers my effort to chronicle my life. 'Sides, I didn't enjoy writing in little snippets of posts. It's annoyingly short, and I don't get the meaning of putting few words in one single post just to make sure that my blog doesn't seemed neglected. Besides I've done it once and I realized that I have no ability to execute it nicely-- so I just passed that.


Hence, I had to wait to gather enough time and materials to construct a wholesome post. Wholesome, or long--any adjective you need to describe a fulfilling post. Something that satisfy me.

You know, life as a law student felt neverending. You are constantly glued to your workplace doing piles of works, and whilst undergoing dozens of tests. With a timetable that tense, I have to go out early as 6.30 a.m and went back home the latest, um, 4.00 a.m. maybe? I don't even had enough time to see the sun and get a natural tan you know.
My mother said my current lifestyle will make me fair and fat. T-T
Well, I AM pretty fat now -.-"


So what I need the most is a muse. A form of entertainment that would not dampen my days while cheering me up a little. 



And nothing cheer me the most than  ANIMEEE! 

*make rain dance with crooked move*


Actually you can get the hint from the title of my post: "大和と春、なう。/Yamato to Haru, Nau" which means what it meant; "Yamato and Haru, Now." Haha. Literal much. 



"Yamato" is Kurosawa Yamato from "好きっていいなよ/Sukitte ii na yo./Say "I love you."" while "Haru" is Yoshida Haru from "となりの怪物君/Tonari no Kaibutsukun/The Monster Next to Me". The main male protagonists in both animes who share equally charming looks! 



*FAN GIRL MODE: ON*


Yamato! He's a type of typical shoujo-manga guy who we ogle upon sight. He is the most popular student in his school, liked by many because of his personality (and looks too, of course, duh.).

Haru! he's the stoic-type person at a first glance but later episodes reveals his hidden child-like personality. Haru is portrayed as a rebellious-but-genius teen despite him being regularly skipping school. 


So, I (despite of having tons of works to be completed) am currently occupied with these two animes:  好きっていいなよ./Sukitte ii na yo. and となりの怪物君/Tonari no KaibutsukunI know, tak sedar diri much. But I DON'T CARE.



好きっていいなよ./Sukitte ii na yo. tells a story about one Tachibana Mei, an introvert girl who practically dislikes having friends. 

Mei! She's an anti-heroine, a current trend in shoujo mangas. Mei despised people, she distrusted her peers, had no friends since primary school and is soooo quiet that she basically didn't leave any impression. So it's just given that people envy her when she started to be close with Yamato. But one thing I like about Mei is her love of cats. Cats-lover joining tha' hood! *yow yow yow yow*


Okay, back to earth. 



So Yamato, the most popular guy basically attracted to Mei, the most un-popular girl in school. Cliche premise, huh? I thought so too. It all started when Mei accidentally hurts Yamato (with a roundhouse kick) which resulted Yamato being instantly attracted to her. He chased her since then, but further pursuits by Yamato was of to no avail. 

He greeted her everyday, gave him his numbers, but Mei just flatly rejected his offer of friendship.


OR IS SHE????



So this one day when Mei was on the way home from part-time job in local bakery, she was followed by a regular customer. *PANIC-MODE :ON* Realizing that she was being stalked, she enters a local konbini and called her mother, but she couldn't be reached. So panicked Mei had no choice but to call Yamato since she had no other entries in the phone--she basically had two contact numbers in her mobile phone--one is her mother's, while another is the bakery shop where she's part-timing.



Yamato then came to her rescue, and ward off the stalker with a weird solution. That is...?

WATCH IT BY YOURSELF!
Brohohoho *insert Mordney's laugh*


Guise, you know I don't spill the beans. Brohohohoho.



となりの怪物君/Tonari no Kaibutsukun meanwhile tells a story of one Mizutani Shizuku, a girl who cares nothing about others but her grades.

Shizuku! She had no interest in nothing other than her books and logarithms. She put utter dislikes on boys (and other human beings) up until her homeroom teacher assigned her to pass a file of papers to Yoshida Haru, a practically non-existent boy (for the fact that he skips class so much that nobody remembers him) seated next to her in class.
Haru, being a person that wish for real friends took that as a cue that Shizuku's offering him friendship. And to Shizuku's dismay, he followed her persistently ever since!


Their inevitable meeting results in other encounters with new friends; and new experience to both Haru and Shizuku :)



Both Sukitte ii na yo. and Tonari no Kaibutsukun are mangas serialized in Desserts and were chosen together to have anime adaptation. Both too, are still an ongoing series, so I didn't know whether their story will follow the manga illustration per illustration or will depart from it--we shall see.



Well, putting away the current circumstances of my life, I came to a realization that I often feasts myself with constant squirms that I get from watching shoujo animes. Izzit just me, or shounen anime lacks originality nowadays? I mean, the theme and premise of shounen anime does get repetitive over time. Well, I am still equally drawn to shounen animes but currently, shoujo anime predominates my interest! Gaaaah! What the hell happened to me? *slaps self*



But really, personally, I fancy Tonari no Kaibutsukun over Sukitte ii nayo

It has more convincing premise, a solid character development and pretty nice art as well as good seiyuu choice. Sukitte ii na yo. meanwhile elaborates on a...well, blatantly said, CRAPPY idea and is too remote to be related to real life. I mean, HONESTLY, guise, do you really think that a hottie like Yamato could actually be interested on a plain-Jane? And after being injured from a roundhouse kick? You gotta be kidding be. Generally, no one could be that nice.
If someone kicked me, I'll retaliate with a choke slam.

The whole start itself is dubious and debatable so I don't reckon that something could actually sprout so convincingly after such shaky beginning. Besides, Yamato is portrayed with flawless characteristics; he's like an angel-- good looking, awesomely tall, have good hair that stay even in the most vicious wind and rain and on top of everything, he's super nice with prince charming-y attitude.


Gila tamak nak semua sifat Mahmudah!



It doesn't exudes sincerity or realness when I saw the storyline develop so shabbily. Pretty sad actually, since Mei is so relatable to everyone (if not everyone, I am, definitely) but Yamato's character seemed too far-fetched.

The only good thing that I can gush from his character is the fact that my all-time favourite seiyuu, Sakurai Takahiro lent his voice for Yamato!
But considering this series still save-able, I'll preserver and bear myself to watch it till the end. :)


On the other hand, Tonari no Kaibutsukun has everything that Sukitte ii na yo. lacks. Well, generally in art department maybe they had simpler character design comparing to Sukitte ii na yo. but I have nothing than praises for such amazing story.

Tonari no Kaibutsukun too is not a drag, it doesn't goes on and on and on and on with boring dialogues like some certain shoujo anime may tend to develop. I has pretty fast pace; sometimes a bit action-packed in some scenes, all in a good way. I totaaally love the way they construct the story. I fact, Haru had confessed to Shizuku on the first episode!
Wohoooow! I let a cat out of the bag. Oh, well. Just one cat. Won't let the rest out.


Haru's (he shared similar name and attitude with my Haru :P ) character too is AHMAZING! I love the way they put Haru as someone so invincible at one moment while on the other he turned to be pretty vulnerable. He is very animated (literally and figuratively), is a lively character complete with teenage angst and frustration.

Besides, he has a pet chicken nicknamed Nagoya. 

Haru and Nagoya. hahaha. Tak bole comel lagi?


BTW, both animes are my recommendation these times around. They let butterflies out of your belly and make you squirm because certain scenes exudes just pure cuteness!

But yeah, Tonari no Kaibutsukun > Sukitte ii na yo.
4.5/5 > 3.5/5


Have fun cooing while watching! XD



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Graaaaah. posted at 5:41 PM

Oh my, yukata is not kimono.

(T-T)

But I hate correcting people in front of others.

BUT!


Dayum. Super hawkward.

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Racketed heart. posted at 8:15 PM

There are days you just want to die and give up. Today is that day for me. 

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