BECK (2010)

I had always thought I had gotten over my pretty Japanese boy phase and then comes the BECK live-action and has me in a fangirl frenzy.

Mizushima Hiro and Mukai Osamu. Mmmmm, boy. ♥
[photos from &]

BECK is about these five guys –Chiba (Vocals), Koyuki (Vocals, Guitars), Ryusuke (Lead Guitars), Taira (Bass) and Saku (Drums)– who form this band and are trying to make it big in the Japanese music scene.

Huh, there’s not a lot I can add to that to describe the plot. It’s mostly character driven, focusing on the band members’ relationships with one another.

This is the first anime live-action adaptation I’ve watched where the actors are just as, if not more attractive than their animated counterparts.

Case in point.

The movie was a pretty good adaptation of the series. Of course since it’s pressed for time, there wasn’t a lot of character growth and the relationships between the characters weren’t fleshed out as well in the animated series if fleshed out at all. The American characters look very cartoonish and border on stereotype, and I thought they mis-cast Maho. The actress (Kutsuna Shiori) was pretty, but she lacked the badass vibe animated/manga Maho had. The guy who played Chiba (Kiritani Kenta) was awesome though. He got all of Chiba’s quirks without looking forced.

BECK was a fun watch. I now feel like I have to rewatch the anime since it’s been years. I also feel the need to sing in a band again. I only wish they used some of the music in anime because it was so iconic of the show, so I leave you with the anime’s opening theme.

Rediscovering Honey and Clover

Because rainy weekends at home + re-watching Honey and Clover = ❤


I’ve long outgrown my anime phase, but it’s hard to ignore a series that hits you so close to home. It doesn’t help either that I was also still in art school when I first discovered it.

Honey and Clover (ハチミツとクローバー Hachimitsu to Kurōbā),  revolves around a group of friends at an Art College in Tokyo. There’s nothing fancy about it. There are no giant robots, no magic powers, no divine, epic battle between good and evil.  Instead, what you have is a great story about college life, existential angst (think Peanuts, but for 20-somethings), unrequited  (and sometimes requited) love,  and artists’ block.

I particularly love the art in this series. The scenes alternate from digitally coloured to watercolour and have this great subdued colour palette that uses mostly browns and pastels. The soundtrack’s pretty awesome too. I think the most refreshing thing about it is that the protagonists aren’t high school students. Despite the show’s focus on love and relationships, there’s no bullshit about first kisses and losing their virginity and boyfriend-girlfriend drama.

But what really, really hits the closest to home is Yamada.


I have never seen a character (anime or otherwise) that I see so much of myself in than Yamada Ayumi. It’s surreal.

hac_v04_p072-073click to enlarge

This scene in particular makes me cry everytime. EVERY DAMN TIME.

I’m still waiting for the rest of the series to finish downloading and watching as I go, so I will probably be a melty puddle of emotions for the next week or so. Do not disturb. Fear my estrogen.

Gake no Ue no Ponyo

I seem to be the only person left on the planet Earth that hasn’t watched, “Star Trek” yet. But I have watched “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” ( 崖の上のポニョ)

Loosely based on “The Little Mermaid”, Miyazaki’s latest film centers around a fish-girl who wants to become human after being rescued by 5-year old Sosuke. Ponyo’s sea magician father is against it, being human himself once.

I can’t really remember a lot about the plot because it’s not plot driven. It plays out a lot like the way a toddler would tell you a story. Maybe that was intentional, maybe not. It focuses more on the relationships between each character.

And the visuals. Oh, the visuals.

The character designs are a throwback to some of his older work and this whole film was drawn and coloured entirely by hand. The waves morphs into whales and fish and I wouldn’t mind having an ocean in my yard.

Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delvery Service and My Neighbour Totoro will still be my top Miyazaki picks, but Ponyo is definately worth watching.

So much for holiday plans…

It’ll be Easter in about 20 minutes. Which means it’s back to work on Monday.

Which means the long weekend’s over and I have:

-NOT read anything on my catch-up reading list.
-NOT drawn anything.

Good job, Gab. Instead, I spent these past few days downloading and watching, “Victorian Romance – Emma“.

I used to watch it on and off on Animax, but because I could never catch it regularly, I forgot about it.

Then Ate Cielo’s recent blog reminded me of it, hence the download frenzy.

I don’t understand why I can’t stand Jane Austen and Emily Bronte, but “Emma” has me bawling over its maid-falls-in-love-with-noble storyline.

All the makings of a harlequin romance novel, without the sex. Hahaha.