Shattered Dimensions

Lately I can’t stop playing Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions on my PS3. It has received some mixed reviews (most of them are high though) and I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played! Of course my obsession that I mentioned in an earlier post is a large part of that…but nevertheless I hold on to my opinion. They really crammed all sorts of Spidey celebs into the game, I mean Stan Lee is the actual narrator, could it get any better!?

The use of different voice actors from the animated Spider-Man series for each of the Spider-Men was also a BRILLIANT idea, not to mention the actual voice actors! Neil Patrick Harris as the Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 are really my favorites. I feel bad only leaving one of the Spidey voice actors out, but Spider-ManNoir is slightly… boring. He does a good job, but as my friend said… what’s the point of all that huffing and moaning while jumping around? 
Sure, real people make those kinds of noises, but Spider-Man is NOT an ordinary person. I’m not saying that Spider-Man doesn’t feel pain or never runs out of stamina but does EVERY jump have to equal a massive “URGH”? And yes, I’m exaggerating but still, it’s unnecessary.

As for when the voice actors actually voiced Spider-Man in the tv-series, here’s a list: Neil Patrick Harris voiced the wall-crawler in “Spider-Man: The New Animated Series” in 2003; Josh Keaton was the voice of Spider-Man in “The Spectacular Spider-Man” from 2008-2009; Dan Gilvezan starred in “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” from 1981-1983; and Christopher Daniel Barnes voiced the iconic Super Hero in “Spider-Man,” the 1994 series.

I might make a new, review-ish, post when I have finished the game. I shall have to wait and see!

But for now I really ought to sleep, tomorrow will be a semi-big day since I’ll be checking out a university in a nearby city. I also need to sleep more in order to look alert when I’ll finally start working for real in the local GAME store in a few days. I can’t believe I landed a job there, it’s the best job I could have hoped for, and I haven’t even finished high school! Starting tomorrow I will have to study all the new releases and top selling games so I can give accurate descriptions and tips. I feel like I need to extend my preferred gaming genres when I look at the bestsellers…

Posted in Entertainment, Games, Hanakiyo, Marvel, PlayStation 3, Super Heroes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Age of the Amazing Spider-Man

I must admit that I have always had a thing for Super Heroes. They are just pure awesomeness. And with Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and other ground breaking comic creators giving them life and also getting people to relate to them, in a sense the Heroes truly have saved the world. At least with their colorful presences!
I am especially obsessed with the Spider-Man franchise. I can’t say that I am particularly original since my obsession came to it’s peak through the Spider-Man movies and games but I have been reading the original comic and some of the new ones too. Better late than never, as they say!

The relatively recent unveiling of the Amazing Spider-Man reboot has left me in a state of ambivalence. All I can say for certain is that I shall ultimately have to wait for the movie which will premiere on July 3rd 2012 to ascertain my opinions. However, I can state some of them even though they will probably change in time.

For starters I’m not quite sure about the actors. Seeing as how the movie depicts the characters before the events in the earlier Spider-Man movies, it might be unfair to compare them but I still have trouble seeing Andrew Garfield (from the Social Network) as the new web-slinger in tights. I couldn’t agree more with the picture below, Tobey always looked great in that Spidey outfit! When it comes to Emma Stone taking up the role as Gwen Stacy, at first I was slightly shocked. She just doesn’t look like the Gwen I see in my imagination I guess, but then again, maybe she’ll stun me with her skills in portraying the character. She dyed her hair for the role and her new look just strengthened my first impression of her not looking like the character but maybe I’m alone on this point of view? And hellowww, Rhys Ifans (Spike from Notting Hill!)as Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard? Wow. Totally unexpected. I think he’ll be quite memorable! Some of the other actors that have been revealed are Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and as Aunt May we see Sally Field. They are really interesting choices and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Again, I have difficulties seeing them portraying the characters as I only relate them to other movies and series, but I always have this problem with new movies. The “curse” of great actors will always be people mixing up their roles. Or maybe liking one of their roles so much that they can’t bear to see them act as anyone else. Come to think of it, actors sure have a whole lot of problems…

I do think Emma looks awfully cute in her new look! I didn’t at first but now I do. Who can blame me? Well, at least when she doesn’t have too much make-up on. Otherwise I think she’s in danger of looking like any other blonde. And I somehow think some of her facial expressions and other inexplicable things make her seem a bit harsh. Gwen is generally depicted as a really sweet girl as far as I know. But I might be going out on a limb here, being an actor means portraying characters that sometimes are very different from oneself so we’ll see how she fares.

I have also found several other pictures from the reboot set and some of which are truly hilarious. Take a peek below.

Seriously, track pants!? I never                  CROTCH ATTAAAACK-*blergh*
thought I’d see this picture.

Yes, why can’t he look like the real Spider-Man?? It is sure to improve with the added CG and filters once we see some actual movie footage and it just might look awesome. I must admit that I like the first picture that was released (as seen at the top of the post) but still. He just ain’t the real thing. Not yet at least.

And I always liked how they changed the web-shooters from the comic to Spider-Man actually releasing the “web fluid” with his wrist, something that they haven’t changed in the reboot, as seen in more detail in the picture to the right. But hey, they look awesome so no harm done really, and staying true to the original is something that many movies never do so kudos for that.

The original posts contain a lot more pictures and can be found here regarding Spider-Man‘s web-shooter failings and the second post can be found here, which deals with Spidey’s crotch attack. The posts are hosted on the awesome website NerdReactor, which updates with all sorts of information on the new Amazing Spider-Man, and other “Geek-Culture News” as their headline says. So go check them out unless you already have! I shall conclude with a last picture of Spider-Man. I think it portrays “epic” quite well. I’m guessing he’s either extremely happy or there’s a gun pointing at him!

Posted in Entertainment, Marvel, Movies, Super Heroes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I have completely lost all my energy in the updating of my blog. I keep finding all sorts of things to write about, yet none of them seems to coincide with the actual theme of my blog. What I think I have to do is either focus on the theme I chose from the start, which is East Asian music and media, or to combine it with my other interests such as my (slightly unhealthy) interest in gaming. I think I will do the latter, since I feel that it’s more important that the blog breathes personality rather than one blog post every week, which is basically what has happened until now. Temporarily, at the very least, this blog shall have a Hanakiyo theme rather than a confined East Asian music theme. I might have to change my mind later again though, but isn’t that what blogging is essentially about? After all, blogs have to be incessantly changed and customized in order to evolve.


Posted in Blog, Hanakiyo, Music | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Language Skills of East Asian Artists

I started to philosophize about something that might have been revealed by the title of this post, and the reason for it was a video of BIG BANG advertising for something or other. This is not something new, seeing as how they’re often featured in various commercials and since I blog about them perhaps a liiiittle too much BUT this time it’s different. They actually speak in Japanese. It’s not the first time, they actually do it quite a lot, and yet I personally think the result is just hilarious. Why?  T.O.P looks amazingly amused and the others put such emphasis on the words that they just make it even more obvious that they’re not all that comfortable having to speak in the language from the land of the Rising Sun. Still, they did do a solid job and there’s no apparent pronunciation mistakes.

After I watched the video I realized that the video is proof of something that I have thought about from time to time, that Koreans are pretty damn good with languages. The way that they pronounce Korean might be what makes it so easy for them to make other languages sound good with so little effort. I very rarely hear Koreans with awful English or Japanese. Many Koreans actually use their language pronunciation skills to their advantage and produces their albums in countless versions where they sing in different languages, sometimes English, Korean, Japanese AND Chinese! Yet, most of these artists only learn these languages enough to be able to pronounce them correctly and maybe enough phrases to please their fans.
Occasionally though, there are the artists who are fluent or spend time learning the languages well. Off the top of my head I can think of two examples, BoA and 宇多田ヒカル(Utada Hikaru).

BoA rarely sings her songs in English (though she has done it a few times) but she has spent a lot of time learning to speak both Japanese and Chinese. This has expanded her record sales greatly since she can perform just about as well in all three languages.

Utada Hikaru
sings in Japanese and English, and she does it exceptionally well, partly because of her American heritage. She was brought up in America by Japanese parents and then moved to Japan later on, but not until she was already established in the music business through her release of an American album under a different artist name when she was only in her teens. When she came to Japan she started anew under the name Utada Hikaru and started to sings mainly in Japanese.
She made a HUGE success in Asia and internationally as well (to an extent) and then she returned to America in order to release new albums in English under the name of UTADA. Whew. I can barely even grasp the amount of work artists has to put in. I don’t think this phenomena is occurs as often in Western society. Why is that? I think all artists could benefit from learning multiple languages so that they can reach a wider audience. Although, sometimes it’s better to just stick to what one knows best. This is probably the reason why the expression Engrish was invented… After all, confusing “L” and “R” doesn’t sound too good when it comes to English. This very phenomena has caused my name to take on some pretty strange meanings, and I distinctly remember my Chinese teacher laughing at me because of this. Good thing I love food, since the meaning for Sara in Chinese is salad, and it also means plate in Japanese. Perfect.

Posted in Chinese, Entertainment, Japanese, Korean, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Distortion of the Capital City of Prague.

Firstly, I feel that I have to explain my terribly long absence from the blog. It started with me forgetting my computer’s power cord some place or another and when I recovered it I…just didn’t update. Oh, how embarrassing. Well, writing cramp and laziness can occur on the best of blogs (lame excuse, I know). Seeing as how the introduction of brief explaining (sounds like the title to a novel….no? Is it just me?) to the post is over, I’ll start on the actual content of this post!

DistortPrague is more than just a capital city. It is also an underground band with the very same name as the capital of the Czech Republic. And when I say underground, I mean it in the sense of generally unknown to non-Japanese speakers. Or, well, at least they were underground up until their single Light Infection was featured as the opening theme in the anime Gintama. Despite this, the band is still relatively unknown to Japanese-loving westerners.

The band has also created a song called Distort, which is one of my favourite songs of all-time. Partly because it is damn good (obviously), but also because I feel that the sound and the feel of the band  is quite different compared to the surge of J-pop and similar genres we hear everyday. I like music that explores the boundaries of music-making, without sounding too experimental or too haphazard, and this one hits the spot. Listening to this song is equivalent to flying away from the troubles of everyday life to a world of one’s own, where the sound waves seem to evolve throughout the song until it finally reaches the chorus which sounds like a million fantasies all at once. Or maybe it’s just me. But that’s precisely the way I feel every time I listen to the song. I believe that some songs have the power to change life, if but for a few minutes. And to me, Distort is one of those songs.  The band does have a lot more songs of course, but I haven’t managed to find a song that is on the same level as Distort just yet. Until I do, here’s the previously OMG:ed song and music video. Oh, and do excuse the pun in the title of the post. Even though I thought I was being pretty shrewd.

Posted in Anime themes, Japanese, Music, Music Video | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Time Consuming World of Gaming

My recent purchase and borrowing of an unusually large quantity of games should have led to a period of severe anti-socializing. Instead it has lead me to barely spend any time at all playing them! It feels quite out of the ordinary. Since my boyfriend was kind enough (or lazy enough..?) to leave me his Xbox 360 for a while, I have borrowed tons of games for it as well.

Perhaps I am overwhelmed, my new PS3 Slim was well enough to make me overjoyed! I have started on some of the “new” Nintendo DS games though, including Kingdom Hearts : 358/2 Days and Disgaea DS. I have of course tried the new PS3 games as well, but somehow I don’t feel that sensation of not being able to stop playing it or wanting to go home all day in order to return to the world(s) I’m currently obsessed with. Below are two lists of the new (and not so new) games that I have bought and borrowed.

The games for NDS:

  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Disgaea DS
  • Cooking Mama
  • Pokémon HeartGold
  • ScribbleNauts

The list does look quite diverse, now that I look at it. As previously mentioned, I don’t really play ALL of them since I got them in a bundle of sorts, because I borrowed them.

As for the purchased PS3 games, they are as following…

  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
  • Blur
  • Prince of Persia
  • Start The Party! (for social reasons…)

DanteI have always loved the Final Fantasy and Naruto series, but due to my sometimes inexplicable personality I’m not playing them. Why? I feel as if I have to defend against my own sense of embarrassment… Especially since I couldn’t stop playing FF XII and the first Naruto: Ultimate Ninja.

Since I have 21 Xbox 360 games (probably more) I won’t list them, but I can mention a few, such as: Eternal Sonata (<3), BioShock, Burnout, Street Fighter 4, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja and Half-Life.

And I haven’t even mentioned the games I have had since earlier but have neglected to play!! I have no idea what I actually am spending my free time doing… Not homework, unfortunately.

The verdict is..I. Do. Not. Have. Time. And I’m in a DS period.


Posted in Entertainment, Hanakiyo, Japanese | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Japanese Way of Recreating

I think that Japanese people have a unique ability of taking things that already exist and recreate it into something new. The Yoshida Brothers have taken this ability to the next level.
The group consists of the two brothers Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida. They started playing the shamisen (a traditional Japanese instrument with three strings) at the age of five and they have since then become incredibly skilled with the instrument. Their sound is very special with a blend of genres such as rock, pop and traditional Japanese music, a mix that has evolved into a truly personalized style. They have won numerous awards and prizes like “Traditional Japanese Music Album Of The Year” and “30th Anniversary Of Normalization Of Japan-China Diplomatic Relations Commemorative Special Prize” (I think the prize itself should win an award for “Longest Prize Name”). When it comes to media and international fame, in 2007 they had their music featured in a Nintendo Wii commercial and they have performed throughout the world in countries such as Sweden (woohoo) and the U.S!

They are two of Japan’s most beloved artists. If you want to know why, check their videos out below!     o( ‘ w ‘)/\(‘ w ‘)o

Rising – the first song I heard with them!

KODO – this song really shows exactly how great they are with the shamisen!

Posted in Entertainment, Japanese, Music, Music Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments