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「Mini Review」 The Act of Killing (2012)

The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn and another simply credited as “anonymous Indonesian”. In the film, Oppenheimer invites the infamous Anwar Congo to re-create his experience of the 1965-66 Indonesian killings. Anwar Congo is a gangster who went from a ticket scalper selling black market movie theater tickets to leading the most notorious death squad in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia. Anwar’s actions that contributed to the anti-communist purge of more than 500,000 slain people, of which he is personally responsible for approximately 1,000, have made him a renowned figured and somewhat of a founding father of the right-wing paramilitary group, Pemuda Pancasila.

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「TV Series of the Week」 Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Book Three: Change) S03E01-E02 (Season Premiere)

I was expecting more of a drastic time-skip than a few weeks, but Book Three: Change picks up essentially right where Book Two: Spirits left off. Republic City is facing the tumultuous aftermath of the epic Harmonic Convergence face-off, with spirits and mystical vines alike spreading across town. With this, we have not only the brewing relationship between humans and the spirits (that they can’t even directly communicate with), but of course also the dynamic of the Avatar as the balance-restoring mediator. The season premiere brings back what can be considered The Legend of Korra’s greatest points, as well as its lowest points, in my opinion.

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「Web and Anime Design」 Blue-slide (Summer Wars)

For lack of better word and official name, blue-slide is the text-effect used in the opening credits of the anime film, Summer Wars, directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The sequence has a very simple yet very sleek palette consisting of three colors: black, blue and white. The effect itself too is modest yet finely engineered. The Japanese text, consisting, for the most part, of ideographic kanji characters, are positioned boldly in white text, similar to a header. Meanwhile, the lower Roman type is minuscule in comparison but appeals through its elegant aqua-blue color and more overly its animation in which the kerning between each letter is decremented, making the text seem as if it is “sliding” towards the left.

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「Visual Collection/Series Premiere」Akuma no Riddle #01. 「世界は□□に満ちている」

If there’s one thing to count Studio Diomedéa in for, it’s a nice execution of visual style. In the case of Akuma no Riddle, I’m apt to even say that the anime has a better visual presentation than the manga and its illustrations itself; and that is a damn rare thing to come by and definitely something I wish I could say for a lot of other series.

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LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII Collector’s Edition

The LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII Collector’s Edition features the collector box art with the exclusive design of the Japanese game cover, an 80 page hardcover artbook with work from character designer Tetsuya Nomura and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo, a silver embossed pocket watch, the Aerith Gainsborough “Midgar’s Flower Girl” DLC, and the game disc.

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FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster Collector’s Edition

Final Fantasy X is my favorite Final Fantasy game and my favorite game of all-time; I have yet to experience a more beautifully-woven story on an interactive console. And while I admit it’s the narrative of the game that enamors me much more than the game-play itself, when I got news of this remake more than ten years after the original release featuring remastered graphics, audio and mechanics of a new generation, the pre-order of the most expensive edition was a must. Here are a couple of photographs of the FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster Collector’s Edition that includes a full-size, 40 page artbook; the original soundtrack disc with over 100 tracks and six hours of music imported from Japan, inclusive of MP3 format download; five lithographs featuring artwork from the series; and of course the disc for both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. I figures there’s not much point in making this a proper product review, since the collector’s edition itself was a limited release. In lieu of perchance helping people with a potential purchase, this photo set will serve more as, well, photography.

 

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「Visual Collection/Series Premiere」Brynhildr in the Darkness #01. 「きみを待ちながら」

I can’t say Brynhildr in the Darkness is a particularly different and or unique series, but I also can’t say it seeps into the mold of the generic. Though in knowing that it comes from the same mind that authored Elfen Lied, I can say that it definitely flaunts some more traditional story-telling elements;

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「Game Review」 NANACA†CRASH!!

I’ve never considered myself a fan of the ongoing take-over of casual gaming, being a contrarian to just about every newly over-exposed, viral game of the year. But I think there’s something about the whole package that NANACA†CRASH!!, its history detached from that movement and my own history with it that justify its play and replay value.

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Persona 3 The Movie No. 1, Spring of Birth

「Mini Review」 Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 1, Spring of Birth

My guess is as good as anyone’s as to why Persona 4 got a TV anime series and anime movie adaptation before its video game predecessor (lest we forget the recently announced second TV anime series), but one thing I am sure of is that with Spring of Birth, and hopefully with the succeeding iterations in this Persona 3 trilogy, the wait was and will be definitely worth it. Simply put, Spring of Birth is a paragon of Japanese animation.

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「June 6th 2014」 Big Basin Redwoods State Park & Semperviren Falls

The incidences in which I spend my time of leisure outside the home are seldom; but when they do manage to transpire, I tend to, or at least try to tend to make them purposeful and complementary of a meaningful retrospection. This month’s outing was a hiking trip at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. A friend had clued me onto his plans for the day that comprised of this morning adventure followed by an evening One Republic concert in San Francisco. I vouched for the backpacking and opted out of the musicale because one, it was free, and two, it was a much more needed breath of fresh air after my two weeks of being indoors.

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「Mini Review」 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford represents almost all the aspects of film that I have gradually gravitated towards in recent years.

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