Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tsubasa Chronicle and other series tid bits

I am into season 2 of Tsubasa (Episode 27 and beyond is season 2), and am starting to enjoy it. More and more time is being spent in each world and character development is doing very well despite my original fears.

The lead Syaoran has something dark in his past which the story line seems to be avoiding for the moment, while Princess Sakura as quickly come to life and towards the end of Season 1 she was pulling her wait and adding to the show and at the start Season 2 she is taking a lead role when a race sponsor's president decides that Sakura is the right role model to take part in her race.

Incidentally this president's name is Tomoyo which clashes unmistakably with Card Captor Sakura and it clicked to me when she wanted to a costume for Sakura's final race:

Tsubasa Chronicle Sakura Tomoyo

I took this shot to draw distinct similarities between Tsubasa Chronicle Season 2 episode 1 and Card Captor Sakura, in which Sakura does the action hero and Tomoyo does the filming and the wardrobe work for Sakura.
Alas they hit similar roles in an alternate universe in Season 2 of Tsubasa Chronicle.

Tsubasa Chronicle Sakura Tomoyo 2

Well I am downloading the rest of Season 2 (which is not licensed by the way) and I have high hopes for it. I will keep you updated.

Smallville is taking a break till mid March and this next episode IS the big one - Lex Luthor and Lana Lang's Marriage! Will Clark intervene (will he even show up!) or will Lana realize that Lex is pulling the wool over her eyes? Or is it finally going to end and will Chloe get a change with Clark? Who knows, but I can't wait.

Prison Break is available from about 3:30am GMT today so will be worth the wait guys!

Meanwhile I have been catching up with Inuyasha the manga.
It has reached about chapter 490 and in December celebrated 10 years of Inuyasha! Shame the Anime stopped in 2003 (4 years),

the plot has progressed quit a fair bit and a few characters have died on the way too.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Champions League roundup

I know I don't blog much about the footballing world but this week was so good that it was worth breaking my silence.

Following the craziness that was Lille vs Man United, I decided to watch the Barcelona v Liverpool match because not only are Barca worth watching at any time but Liverpool are my favorites to spoil anyone's party in europe especially away from home (Arsenal are a close second).

Liverpool displayed immovable away form to win the Champions League back in 2005 and Barcelona were the irresistible form on their way to the 2006 Champions League title so this was going to be a blockbuster.

And sure as hell it was, Liverpool did the job of containing Barca for 80 odd minutes and beating them in their own back yard - kudos to the scousers.

I am of course a long time Manchester United fan, and I won't be giving the Liverpool any more credit until after we play them at Anfield in a week's time. After that I will sit down and watch Barca attack like never before when they visit Liverpool to try and overturn their 2-1 deficit from the home leg.

Here was a nice Nou Camp photo I found on flickr from bcnsimpson

Nou Camp before the match

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Smallville DVD Sets

I don't know why but many people have different opinions about the "Superman - The Early Years" AKA Smallville.

I have been watching it on and off during seasons 1 to 4 and watched most of seasons 5 and 6 and I really like the show.

So much so that when I watched some episodes of season 1 on youtube I decided to buy seasons 1 and 2 on DVD.

Fortunately Amazon.co.uk have a special price on seasons 1 and 2 at about £17 each, which is good considering Tesco's DVD site had them up for that price and then put them back up to about £40. The other seasons are priced at about £25 each.

I have been busy filling up my spare time watching these and enjoying looking at the Smallville kids before they eventually grew up into what they are now.

Smallville Seasons 1 and 2 DVD
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Small Anime update for this week

Got through the first 10 or so episodes of Tsubasa Chronicle, and the basically our main guy - Syaoran who takes part in historical digs in the path of his deceased father and there is his childhood sweetheart Princess Sakura. Fate takes a turn for the worst and Sakura loses her soul and her memories in the form of "feathers" across different dimensions. In order to keep Sakura alive and return her to her former self Syaoran takes her on a journey to recover them and is joined up by Fai and Kurogane who have arrived in the same world due to alternate fates.

The story follows the team as they recover all the feathers from a certain dimension before they are allowed to move onto the next - which means it is impossible to get bored of the surrounding and the characters since they are constantly changing - this might be a challenge in terms of character development, we will have to wait and see.

On another note Bleach is up to episode 114 in Japan and Ichigo is reunited with Rukia, Renji and co in his home town as they prepare for their next fight with the Arrancar. Rukia reveals that she knows about Ichigo's fear about his inner Hallow and if he wishes to stop it gaining possession over him then he will have to gain more strength in order to crush it. Toshiro fears that if Eizen has assembled 10 or more of these "captain class" Menos and converted them to Arrancar then it is more then likely the Soul Society will fall. In the final scene Eizen reveals that there are possibly 20 such Menos already assembled!

An interesting and well maintained site I spotted today was Do As Infinity ::Do the Web:: who have info on Do As Infinity who did a few ending tracks to Inuyasha. They also have a separate site for Tomika Van and her solo exploits. There is also a online player to preview any of DOI's tracks and even links to DOI material on Yes Asia's Shopping site.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Orange Days

By chance I realised I had downloaded Orange Days (J-TV Sub) awhile ago onto my USB drive and not got around to watching it.

For those who don't know Orange Days is almost legendary in terms of popularity and features a awesome collection of hot young talent!

Here is the intro from jdorama.com & wiki.d-addicts.com.

"Kai Yuuki (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is in his senior year at university studying social welfare psychology. At present, he is in the middle of job-hunting season. He is finding it difficult with no job offers so far.
One day, he meets a girl who is playing violin in the campus. She is Sae Hagio (Kou Shibasaki). In marked contrast to her beautiful tone and attractive looks, her personality is somewhat impertinent. And to top it off, she communicates through very vulgar sign language.
Four years ago, she lost the most important thing for a violinist - her hearing. As a result Sae closed off her inner self from the outside world.
Kai finds himself on a date with Sae, in place of his best friend. Unexpectedly, he comes into contact with Sae's private side.
Love, job-hunting, friendship... Setting a campus in spring as a dorama's backdrop, it's the start of a glittering youth drama."

CAST (courtesy of D-Addicts Drama Wiki):

  • Tsumabuki Satoshi (Lunch no Joou, IWGP) as Yuuki Kai
  • Shibasaki Kou as Hagio Sae
  • Narimiya Hiroki (Gokusen, Stand Up!!) as Aida Shohei
  • Shiraishi Miho (Sapuri, Densha Otoko) as Ozawa Akane
  • Eita (Lunch no Joou, Sapuri) as Yashima Keita
  • Konishi Manami (Hotman, Churasan, Ruri no Shima) as Takagi Maho


    So allot of big promising talent there and bags of quality acting awaits.
    Only shame is that the subs fly past so you and end up hitting pause and rewinding because you blinked and missing part of what was said, that and the translation to the opening 2-3 minutes is a bit confusing.

    Orange Days Episode 1 Thumbnails

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    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Tsubasa Chronicle - This month's anime

    I finally managed to watch the entire episode 1 of Tsubasa Chronicle which Parv had given me like 8 months ago!
    I have finally been bitten by the bug and I will watch it this month, but I am safe in the knowledge that I won't have to wait a week for every 20 minute episode. Hit the picture for screens from episode 1.
    Anime style bears a striking resemblance to Card Captor Sakura and shares some timelines/dimensions with xxxholic.
    Tsubasa Chronicle ep1

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    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Latest update for the whole week

    Well sorry if the last 2 updates were long, I have been ill since Monday so I was unable to post - well that and I got my OEM copy of Vista Ultimate edition along with my WD 500GB SATA Raid Edition drive and also a 2GB Corsair Flash USB drive (should help alleviate the fact I only have 1GB of Ram for Vista, you can use USB FLASH drives as a "smart cache" to replace the use of disk swap space).

    mobile camera 130WD 500GB REVista Ultimate Edition OEM

    So while I was sick I went about doing a separate install for Vista on my new upgraded D: drive....
    It installed OK no issues, but XP didn't boot...

    Now I am almost back to fully operational with XP, and almost recovered from the flu too.

    Not to mention heavy snow fall on Thursday Morning (yes snow in London?)

    Snow in London

    Recently I started watching a new J-Drama called Style! Yes this is a drama which has the most useless story/background ever.

    The main lead is a man who gets his way with women and is extremely good at his job in the commercial dept of a department mega store called "Harrys". His transfer to New York falls through when he woos the wrong women (the daughter of one of the major investors in the business) and he ends up being in charge of a project which was originally his brain child - the personal shopper project. He is put in charge of a bunch of individuals from around the store and even one person off the street.

    The cast is pretty light and easy on the eye, it is great to see Yuko Takeuchi (Lunch no Joou) as she adds nice comic humor.

    I am going to watch this series, it's great to see all the women bicker and team up against the lead male.


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    Upgrading the Western Digital Mybook

    I finally hit my 320GB limit (well almost) and didn't find any guides on the internet to help me so I am going to post the internet's only (possibly) guide with pictures on how to upgrade the Western Digital Mybook range (well I have the Pro version not Essential or Platinum or the new PRO II so don't blame me for any changes).

    Note: this is a SATA drive and uses the ATA style power connector (Molex).

    Firstly find the side where the button is located and you can wedge a flat screwdriver under the rubber seal to lever it off.
    Once it is clear you can lever the two plastic halves of the case and you can prize open the case and slide out the half with the button and the drive attached See picture 1.
    WD Mybook upgrade 1

    You need to remove the screws I have highlighted in blue to release the drive cage from the case. Next turn the case over and see picture 2.
    WD Mybook upgrade 2

    The electronics are located here, unscrew the screws in pink. Remove the Silver tape highlighted in green and notice the connector labeled 1, this is where the button board is connected which we need to remove to release both cages from the casing. See picture 3.
    WD Mybook upgrade 3

    Remove the Green arrow screws and pull the board off the free the drive. Remove the big screws from the sides of the drive and replace the drive with a SATA drive and screw back together, hard part is aligning the electronics cage with the drive cage so you can screw it back on and also there is a tight screw in picture 1 which could pose a problem.

    Remember to format the drive - if you want to keep it the same you need to format it as FAT32, which you will probably have to do BEFORE you put the drive in or CLONE the drives with GHOST or something I will leave you to decide.

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    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Weekly Drama review

    Sars funsubs have outdone themselves and released 3 episodes of Ikebukuro West Gate Park or IWGP for short.

    That completes the series which I class as drama with abit of murder and mystery rolled in. The main character Nagase Tomoya (My Boss My Hero and from the band TOKIO) as Makoto Majima portrays a guy in his late teens spending most of his life on the streets hanging out with his gangster friends and getting by without having to earn any money at all.

    He meets some new individuals in the first episode which leads to the death of his new girlfriend and thrusts him into a spiraling murder mystery which concludes in the final episode where you really feel for him as he ends up losing everything along the way.

    Another drama I am going to start downloading more of is HOTMAN which is a family drama starring Sorimachi Takashi as Furiya Enzo - who needs no introduction really (GTO, Cheap Love and Sengoku Jieitai). His mother happened to have kids from three/four other marriages and when she passes away and leaves her house and money to her eldest son Enzo he does the fatherly thing and provides shelter for his mother's other children too. That makes him the head of the household and also makes for complicated personal relationships with his "family". There are roles for lovely Yada Akiko (Last Christmas, Top Caster) as Kaneko Misuzu and also the cute Ichikawa Yui (Kurosagi, H2) as Furiya Hinata and even a later appearance of Sawajiri Erika (1 liter of tears, Taiyou no Uta). The episodes usually span about a week each and reveal allot about personalities of the individuals and also the shortcomings of the family. Well worth watching (there is also a series 2 out too) although the subbed version is a low quality VCD version so if anyone spots a better English subbed version please let me know.

    Smallville episode 13 was out today - a valentines special! Sounds corny I know, but there are some real plot twists and turns.
    And FINALLY Clark starts to tell Lana and Lex just how he feels about the whole Clark x Lana x Lex thing after he gets a dose of red kryptonite! Also a bizarre pairing of Louis and Clark!

    Prison Break episode 15 (I think) was really something! Just when you thought that they had to run out of ideas when Terrence Steadman killed himself they unload a bomb onto the "Company"s doorstep! Will Kellerman be swayed by the Presidents sweet talk? Wait and see...

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    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Western Digital 500GB Raid Edition

    I need a new hard drive to off load stuff for vista readiness.

    I spotted this review of 500GB drives over at xbit labs:


    Claims that WD's 500GB Cavier and RE drives are market leaders currently. I spotted a good price for the RE version at eBuyer:


    I think I will go for it together with a OEM copy of Vista Ultimate edition (Ultimate? Sounds like some fad from FF7 - Cloud's Ultimate Weapon...).

    Not sure if I should go 32bit or 64bit - I saw pictures over at engagdet that suggest you could get both with one serial key....


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