The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie: The Rebellion Story February 10, 2014


It’s actually pretty rare for me to do reviews for Anime movies, because I have a very different scale for them, I’m a lot more lenient and forgiving to the mistakes Anime may have made, as compared to a live action movie.

However, this movie really had me stunned for a really long time after watching it, so I had to write a post about it.

Still, this movie will not be like my other review, it’ll be more of my ramblings about this movie.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica(I’m just gonna type Madoka Magica from now on) is a very popular Anime, that experiments and challenges the concept of the Mahou Shojo(Magical girls) genre, it also deals with teenage girls’ emotions and feelings in a very believable and relatable manner.

It’s a series that makes you think it’s something, but turns out to be a completely different thing, and I guarantee you, it’s a pleasant surprise.

This movie is the third instalment for the series’ movie trilogy, all new events and storyline, also, the grand finale.

At first I thought this movie is going to be a happy conclusion of the whole series, something that marks the end of this journey, that we can contently tuck it into our collection folder and move on.

And… I was wrong, so very wrong.

I really should have expected it considering that was exactly what I felt when I first watched the Anime series, expecting rainbows and butterflies, but what I got was me looking down at my chest to see my heart shatter into a thousand pieces.

I love the visual in the entire series, when the magical girls are fighting against their enemies, the visual design for the enemies is shown in a very classical, dark fairytale kinda design.

It’s one of the reason why I love Anime, even despite of being someone who studies film, and kinda do a little bit of Animation here and there.

Anime dares to go beyond the norm, the only animated movie that was nominated for the Oscar in the last 10 years that actually made me feel that it was being bold and dared to reach beyond the limits of the norms for it’s visual design, is Coraline.

However anyone who watched more than 5 different Anime in a year, can tell you that, experimenting and reaching beyond what is expected of them, is a pretty typical thing in Anime.

Madoka Magica is a solid example of that, it’s not the best animated movie ever, it can’t be compared to Miyazaki’s films, but the effort put into it to make this movie, this entire series, special, is greatly commendable.

Another thing I’d like to talk about, is how the movie deals with emotions of the characters.

For a series centered around the topic of ‘hope’ and ‘despair’, you’d expect melodramatic plots of teenage girls crying over boys, and you’d get exactly NOT that.

Not sure about the male audience, but as a female, there’s a lot of things the characters go through in this series, that I can relate really well to.

Even for the ultimate despair, you can feel the character’s last shred of hope disappearing in front of your eyes, you feel for them.

Which was why when a character does a really terrible thing, you don’t completely hate them, because you knew how much pain they were going through, and so you forgive them a little bit for the bad things they do.

The character Kyubey, despite our ultimate hatred towards him, I actually really like his existence in the series.

He is the existence that sees a picture so big, he can’t be bothered to care for the smaller pictures. It makes him a cruel existence that exploits and manipulates teenage girls, for the greater good that only he know about.

The only reason why Kyubey is cruel and cold blooded to us, is because we don’t see what he sees.

We relate to the magical girls easily, they’re humans, they have emotions, we have emotions, we can sympathize with people who experience the same thing as us.

But for Kyubey, he is bigger than us, his goal is to maintain stability in the universe, we would probably never be given such a huge responsibility, so we can never understand his actions, which makes him look like an asshole.

When you really think about it, he’s just doing his job, to make sure this entire universe still exist.

That doesn’t mean I like him though, I still hate him.

The ending of this movie, is what made this movie complete.

It’s shocking and heart wrenching, but in a way, it’s not completely unexpected or unreasonable.

Following the lives of these girls, there’s a part of you that will eventually realise that, this is exactly what is gonna happen.

All the things every character did, were logical, and all these actions, eventually leads up to the climax of this story.

I love the direction they took with this, it’s a great decision, it breaks my heart, but that just means they succeeded in achieving what this series is striving for.

What is frustrating me about this movie, is whether will there be a sequel.

The ending left you at a point, that if this is the final end, it will be despair for the fans forever, it can actually be considered a bad ending, a tragedy. It leaves you empty, they take away what we hold preciously and throws it in the shredder, when reminded of this series again, a void will always appear within ourselves.

However, if there is gonna be a sequel, it would drive the whole series back up to a different direction, a hopeful inspiring story that will etched onto the memories of the fans for a really long time, giving the audience a complete conclusion. It will become a classic, something that does not die off even with the test of time.

In conclusion, The Rebellion Story is a perfect movie for the trilogy, however, I won’t consider it an actual ending to the story.

I wish everyone could give this trilogy a chance, and look beyond the fact that it’s Anime.

That’s all, and I’d really like to thank my friend BPRX(Cosplay Meme’s page admin) for helping me buy the tickets for this movie, I’m terrible at booking tickets for limited showings, without his help I wouldn’t be able to have such a great experience watching this movie on the big screen.

Rating: 10/10 – Well designed, well planned, a movie that is here because of the success of the franchise, but not here just for the money.

 

The AFA 2012 Experience November 13, 2012


For those of you who are looking for a detailed coverage of the event, unfortunately, this post will not be the one.(Sorry =w=lll)

This post will be talking about my thoughts and feelings about the planning of the event and everything.

First off, for those of you who had went to the previous AFA, you should know that AFA had always been held at Suntec, however due to the renovation at Suntec this year they had to find an alternative location.

Compared to Suntec, Expo’s convention halls seemed to be much bigger, the halls didn’t get too crowded to the stage you could barely walk.
However, unlike Suntec, Expo have fewer food outlet choices, some of the toilets can be crowded all the time.

The cosplayers attending the event greatly appreciated the open space in Hall 7 that’s kindly given to them as a place to slack and just laze around and get their photos taken.
Once again, as most of you know, back at Suntec it was the level 3, however level 3 may not always be available, so this time they did an awesome job at giving the cosplayers a comfort zone.

That was my thoughts about the event area.

Let me just give you guys an idea what exactly can I talk about in this post.

I bought the stage tickets for both days, but barely watched anything except the cosplay competitions.

I didn’t attend the Madoka movie nor the Anisong concert.

Neither did I join the queue to buy any merchandise or get into the maid/butler cafe.

Why? Because I’m broke. 8D

I’ll most likely be speaking from a cosplayer’s point of view, regarding how cosplay friendly AFA is getting.

I went to the event at about 12pm on both days, programs at the stage would have started already.

I went to the Expo hall 1-6 area to change, and it was a disaster.

The aunties attending other conventions were getting impatient with the cosplayers, the toilet was small, and easily crowded.

Note, this doesn’t only happen during AFA.

Expo’s toilet are almost always crowded.(I know because I like going there for book sales or IT show once in a while)

I’m not quite sure about the toilets WITHIN hall 7 and 8, since I only got in there after 4pm, when most cosplayers would have all been ready.

However the toilets within hall 7 and 8 are not that upgraded, and even smaller.

On the other hand, actually, Suntec Convention Center’s toilet isn’t any better. So, this isn’t exactly a complaint to AFA’s organizing team, but to Expo and Suntec.

Upgrade your damn toilets, trust me it’ll be appreciated.

The flow inside the convention halls were smooth, not as crowded as last year at Suntec.

Every booth is worth stopping at and spent some time checking out their cool stuff.

It’s a rather stress free environment, there was this karaoke booth that’s really fun, though I didn’t try but my friends did, and they enjoyed it a lot.

As we all know the SAO booth’s merchandise were sold out within a day, and K products was selling fast too.

This year they brought along a lot of famous cosplayers, some of which we are familiar with, some of which we know of, some of which we don’t…

Gotta be honest on this one, but there’s just too many guest cosplayers to the stage their value gets kinda degraded.

Remember when it was just Kaname? That was the time when he was treated like a real star.

However, this year, because of all the famous cosplayers around the world, it wasn’t so special…

Of course, all of them are awesome, I really love their cosplays.

It’s just the way they were presented to the audiences.

Anyway, the singles competition was awesome, I think it was like a gathering of all the best cosplayers of the day on stage.

Congrats to the Saber cosplayer from Philippines, sorry I didn’t catch your name, but if you’re reading this, I just want to let you know that my friends who absolutely loves Saber loved your cosplay to the maximum.

The Regional Cosplay Competition was just as awesome, enjoyed watching all the performances.

Congratulation to Team Singapore, Section 8‘s Shinji and Raistlin who was the champion, and everyone who had worked hard along with them to achieve this result.

I remember seeing on facebook about AFA publishing the competition requirement way too late to the stage they had to rush everything.

Hopefully next year AFA will improve on that.

For the two days I was cosplaying as Asakura Ryoko from Haruhi Suzumiya’s Melancholy, and Nagae Iku from Touhou Project.

Like most people would have said, most event are better on Sunday, and that is true for me during AFA.

Pathetic camwhore photo in the toilet ;____;

Saturday was so-so, my wig was in a mess, I took a while to search for the stage area, very few photos taken, couldn’t meet up with my friend who was doing Haruhi…

Awesome shot by Symple AndMeek, probably gonna end up on my dA if I get the high res >w<

Sunday was better, I was solo-ing as Nagae Iku, one of the Touhou characters which I started liking after a friend introduced her to me.

A lot of Touhou fans came to me and shared their love for Touhou with me, totally awesome.

When I was leaving the stage area, a friend(which I didn’t recognise, sorry) and his friends were screaming “IKU! IKU!! IKU!!!”, that was the moment when you realise that Iku’s name is just awesome.

A reader of the blog came to me and told me he was following my blog, have to give you a special mention because you totally made my day.

Ended both days with dinner at the fast food joints outside Expo area, saw lots of cute puppies because of the pets convention going on that weekend.

Things I wish could be improved…

Mainly for the stage area, during the RCC, when a team is performing, they need the screen on stage to be turned into the animation/video they’ve made.

But, the small screen for the audiences sitting at the back area is turned into the animation too.

The thing is, we can see the big screen on stage perfectly, but it is the humans who are performing that we can’t see.

For me, who is 170cm tall with heels, it was still okay, but for my friends who are slightly shorter, even when they’re standing up they can’t see much.

So… next year, maybe they could disconnect the two screens for a short moment, and just connect it to the camera who will be focused on the cosplayers who are performing.

That’s all I can complaint, this year’s AFA is indeed organized well, they’re getting the hang of it after 5 years of holding the event.

Of course we would also appreciate a cheaper ticket price, but I suppose that’s not very possible at the rate they’re going.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the event too, and if you couldn’t go for it, there is always next year!

Maybe, just maybe, AFA will soon come to your country too! Since they have been moving to Indonesia and Malaysia, there is a chance they will soon start holding the event at other Asian countries too.

Also, for my other readers, if you happen to see me during any events, don’t be shy to say hi to me, I’m a friendly person and I definitely won’t kidnap you and sell you away~

Coverage of Cosplay by Photographers I Really Like:

Some of the following albums still need updating from the photographers who are processing the photos~ Please be patient~

8bit Wonderland Day 2 / Day 3

Black Rabbit Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Brian Lim Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Shiro Ang PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

A.R.C. PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

 

 

Shinryaku! Ika Musume Review December 22, 2010

Filed under: Anime,Reviews — Zakito @ 5:40 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

*I gave up on the other cosplay post cause I lost my inspiration half way.=___=

Seriously, why is Naruto getting so many sequels when this Anime ends so fast?

I like comedies, I have to admit no matter how suckish a comedy movie’s IMDB rating is, if it’s a comedy and it’s worth laughing towards, I’ll still give a try.

In Ika Musume, there isn’t much fan service, just a collection of Moe-factors and presenting it in a everyday-life format.

I hate fan service Animes, in those Anime all you are watching, are the same routine of some Moe girls running around accidentally/purposely showing their body.

Perhaps it’s just disturbing to me cause I’m female, though I was fine when I watch Sekirei actually.

Oh I forgot, a short introduction about this Anime:

[A squid girl named Ika Musume vows to conquer humanity as revenge for its pollution of the ocean. Her first task is to make the Lemon beach house, owned by the Aizawa sisters, her base of operations. However, when she accidentally breaks a hole in their wall, she is forced to work as a waitress to pay off the damages.]

Wikipedia’s always your best mate. LOL

Of course Ika Musume is not considered S-ranked, or anything close, it’s too simple and down to Earth to be compared to those like Code Gease, Evagelion or Haruhi.

But no doubt, they made the right choice to make Ika Musume an Anime.

I remember I read somewhere, when it was first broadcasted, it was very low-ranked, only very few viewers…Nothing compared to Ore No Imouto or Bakuman.

But then after a few weeks, it actually became number 1.

Not surprising though, after all we all need a break from those Anime which follows a certain storyline, those that we need to wait patiently for the next episode to know what’s gonna happen next…

Without a very attractive character design, without a very thrilling storyline, without fan service, Ika Musume still stood strong as one of the most popular new Anime…

Of course Ika Musume is no doubt extrmely cute, and I bet if Mini Ika Musume can enter Sai Moe next year she could at least make it up till 3 rounds.

If you say that you don't like Mini Ika Musume, I'm gonna say that you're gay

I’m hoping for a second season, some say it’s confirmed(not officially), by just looking at the popularity of it, but who knows.

Also, if they sell the Manga in Comics Connection I’m gonna buy it for sure.

 

 
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