Dreaming of Dancing Burritos


Manga Review: Saint Young Men (aka Jesus is a weeaboo)
May 26, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: anime-related, fangirl, lolwut, manga review, random, review



…or, what if God (and Buddha) was one of us.

If you’re still familiar with one-hit wonder Joan Osbourne’s If God Was One of Us, then you may have played around with that thought. Did you imagine the earthbound Jesus as the  holier version of King Midas, who turned everything he touched into gold? Did His footsteps turn the hot asphalt He walked on into holy ground? Was He even remotely human, in every sense of the word?

What if He was just chillin’ in a rented studio apartment, with Buddha as his roomie?

In Nakamura Hikaru’s Saint Young Men, two of the poster men of religion, Jesus Christ and Buddha, decide to take a break from their work and descend into Japan (surprise, surprise) for good old R&R. They rent an apartment, and judging by Buddha’s stricken reaction at Jesus’ exorbitant purchases, they’re also restricted to a certain budget. Will they enjoy their vacation? Maybe, if only their divinity wasn’t in the way.

Contrary to the Jesus Christ in every Christian’s minds, Nakamura’s rendition of the Son of God is incredibly human and a tad carefree, to the point of being a bit out-of-character at first glance. To Japanese highschool girls who catch glimpse of Him buying food in the nearest kombini, He is that Johnny Depp-lookalike who has a penchant for the Shinsen-gumi. He owns a Vaio, and is a J-dorama blogger who makes sure His reviews come out the same day that the episodes get aired – and His blog gets thousands of hits per day.

Tl;dr, Jesus is a weeaboo, just like us.


On the other hand, Buddha of Saint Young Men is truer to the Buddhist doctrine as the man who has discovered the Middle Way (the path between the two extremes of hedonism and self-mortification): he is temperate, scolds Jesus for squandering their limited vacation allowance on needless luxuries like a beginner’s clay modeling kit, and a full set of Shinsen-gumi cosplay, and absolutely loathes the extreme sensation of riding the rollercoaster. But he finds it in himself to become a Leah Dizon fan.

As expected of a manga of this genre, Saint Young Men pokes a small jab at its protagonists, putting Christianity and Buddhism in a humorous light. The manga even goes so far as to “reveal” that the fabled Baptism in the Jordan River was not a proof of Jesus’ divinity more than a show of John the Baptist’s great compassion, and that the white dove that descended from the heavens was the Father Himself, inquiring about the welfare of His slightly aquaphobic Son.

Jesus’ addiction to blogging was also explained as a manifestation of his desire for an audience; whether or not this translates to craving attention depends on the readers. I myself know that this isn’t always the case.

One of the bigger questions about this manga is whether or not Nakamura’s Jesus was too out of character. Is He, really? Jesus of the Bible was capable of playing truant as a kid to show His wits (or youthful presumptuousness?) off to them pesky old men; He certainly was cheeky enough to make His unbelieving disciple to touch his wounds just to show that he was that same person who died on the cross. 

He was also human enough to wreak havoc on the merchants in His Father’s temple – but this manga series does not emphasize His righteous anger (an error which will be righted in this particular sidestory).

One of the more obvious reasons why this obscure title shines is its irreverent handling of subject matter, yet never straying far from what could be the entire point of this manga series: Jesus (and Buddha, depending on your beliefs) was once human, just like us. Does it follow, then, that mere humans can transcend humanity and become divine?

Another point being, of course, that people of varying beliefs can hang out with each other and become roomies. It’ll be wonderful if that other religious figure (hint: turbans) made an appearance, but we all know what would probably ensue. Denmark knows .

Of course, this seems to be lost in the more orthodox lot of believers and those too narrow-minded to appreciate the message behind the satirical comedy that is practically on the same level as Cromartie High and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (thanks to its tasteful placement of cameos like that one God of the New World).

While the manga has reportedly been received warmly by the Christian and Catholic populations in Japan, the manga a good ice breaker between people of Christianity and Buddhism – and by extension, Shintoism – it’s obvious how people from the more fundamental Christian countries will take this gem: all fire and brimstone. And it’s sad, really.

For those who missed the scanlation link: Saint Young Men

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Anime First Impressions: Ristorante Paradiso
April 28, 2009, 2:53 am
Filed under: anime review, anime-related, fangirl, first impressions, review
Before I proceed, let it be known that I never liked harem anime of any sort, be it the conventional harem or a reverse one. There are two exceptions though: Kyou Kara Maoh and this one, Ristorante Paradiso.

(…I’d like to explain why my exceptions are a bit…well, strange, but that’s besides the point.)

Here’s the gist: A young woman named Nicoletta searches for her estranged mother, and finds herself in a popular restaurant in Rome, staffed by a group of bespectacled, older gentlemen who, despite their age, seem to attract a number of fans of the female persuation.

I have to confess that I couldn’t help but cringe while writing the above paragraph. But no, this isn’t the same cringe as the Dragonball Evolution-type of cringe. Rather, this is a cringe of guilt. As in “this is horribly wrong but I like it so much” cringe.

Ristorante Paradiso’s characters are well thought-out and the cast makes for a promising brand of interaction. There’s spunky, impatient Nicoletta and her seemingly self-serving mother, Olga, who tries hard to make things appear A-OK to her husband all the while trying to patch things up with daughter in the most roundabout way possible thanks to her (typical) womanly pride.

Of course, the central characters – the gentlemanly staff of the restaurtant whose Italian name escapes me – are as interesting as your usual reverse harem cast of males, and a lot more.

But nevermind the entire restaurant staff, most viewers are interested with Nicoletta and the elderly waiter she’s crushing on, Claudio. It’s that one facet of the show that can potentially overshadow a lot of other things going on in the series. The producers know this fact very well too: the preview for Episode 2 already shows an aroused Nicoletta struggling to (gasp) undress a shocked yet submissive Claudio. Yes, cue another guilty cringe coming.

I’d like to rave more about it, but suffice it to say that the series kicked-off nicely. Sharing the same smooth, silky ambience of Bartender, Ristorante Paradiso may very well be that one guilty pleasure that merits a space in the typical anime viewer’s hard drive, but never quite show off to other enthusiasts.


I ♥ Japan.
April 22, 2009, 7:51 am
Filed under: anime-related, awesome, random
I knew that Japan wouldn’t fail me. They do have Happy Turdlets.

Me: I wonder what the creator’s explanation about the Happy Turdlets getting flushed? I mean, they look like they’re recurring characters.
Me: after getting flushed in one of the 4komas, do they just get fished out of the septic tank to make another appearance?
Me: or do they get reincarnated by getting pooped into life again?
Me: is flushing tantamount to death?
Ryan: I…don’t know @__@
Ryan: So many questions @__@
Me: but the answers are so few D:



Dragonball: Evolution movie impressions
April 11, 2009, 3:29 pm
Filed under: anime-related, fangirl, first impressions, gross, lolwut, rage, review


Work Time Fun. Or, my mind-numbing work playlist.
March 14, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: anime-related, gaems, music, office

For some reason I can’t load imeem’s main page at work, but I can open links to specific music or playlists in imeem.

Huh. I’ll just post my playlist here to make things easier for me in terms of applying general audio anaesthesia during work, and to give those interested a glimpse of what kind of music I listen to.

Someone said that the mix of songs in all of my playlists makes her nauseous for some reason…maybe its because they had some Korn in them.

Work Time Blargh



Play-Asia shipment review (Part One): Dissidia soda, Castlevania "7 Alucard Figure, Gundam 00 wafers, Space Invaders headset (black), Lion Ramune Candy

Receiving a parcel notice from the local post is a moment for having mixed emotions. There is elation, of course, coming from the knowledge that YES MY LONG-AWAITED PACKAGE FROM PLAY-ASIA IS THERE AND IS WAITING TO BE PICKED UP IN THE POST. I apologize for my use of caps, but attempting to express my joy otherwise is an exercise in futility.

On the other hand, picking up the package means that I’m forced to go through one of the worst public transportation routes I have ever undertaken ever since I started commuting between my first (crap) job in Quezon City and my Las Pinas home, and that’s saying a lot.

The commute to the post office involves two uncomfortable tricycle rides where somehow 5 people magically fit in a single tricyle. Yes, that includes one of said people almost sitting on the lap of another. In addition to that, my trek to the post office somehow always take place on a scorching hot day; certainly not helping ease the fact that I have to walk on hot concrete for several minutes somewhere in between rides. It’s a modern-day Penitensya before the Easter Egg Hunt.

In any case, here’s what I claimed from the post a few days before my birthday:

Clockwise from top-left: Dissidia Final Fantasy Potion (Chaos), NECA Castlevania Action Figure “7 Alucard, Lion Ramune Candy and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 2nd Phase Character Card with Chocolate Wafer, Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Headset Black

I got sorely burned with this particular shipment. I guess I got too complacent with not getting taxed to hell and back with my local customs office (as it should be; I never order anything extravagant online and I make it a point not to let one package exceed $US 50) that I never thought they’d consider a pair of headphones as an electronics item. What happened? my US$ 34.80 package got taxed with “duties” worth 1,000. That’s an additional US$ 20. Burn.

On to the actual contents:

The Dissidia potion I got is decorated with Final Fantasy IV’s Cecil Harvey and the bad guy Golbez(a). I have no idea how it tastes, though I read somewhere that the soda is Muscat Grape-flavored. Having consumed a couple of other Final Fantasy-branded sodas before, I think I can forgo the taste test and safely say that this Dissidia drink is no different; most probably tasting like carbonated piss with a handful of ascorbic acid tabs thrown in.

Next up is the “7 Alucard by US manufacturer NECA. Figmafags will most likely scoff at me getting a US-manufactured figure, but the awesome detail lovingly applied onto this awesome piece of plastic (from the flowing hair, manly cravat, carefully detail coat buckles, and the maddeningly intricate embroidery in the underside of his coat) is nothing short of [insert synonym to “awesome” here, I’m out of words].

While I wouldn’t give too much props to a manufacturer for doing something that they ought to have done in the first place, seeing such loving attention paid to a part that wouldn’t see light of day impressed me immensely. Seriously, I wouldn’t have noticed the beautiful patterns if it weren’t for me trying to see if I could disrobe the figure (and maybe fulfill that ten-year-long fangirl urge ebbing within).

I’d take more pictures, but I’m stuck with a crappy celphone camera and thus images will just get fuzzy whenever I attempt to take close-up shots.

Then we go now to Morinaga’s Gundam 00 wafers (or as Ryan would call them, the trap wafers). I thought of ordering one solely for the novelty of it; as much as I loved what I managed to watch of Gundam 00, I’m now really lukewarm towards anything pertaining to the series with the exception of the beautiful Miss Sumeragi.

For each pack you get a big piece of hazelnut-flavored wafer, a transparent plastic card and cardboard backing. I made the big mistake of disregarding the wafer as something that’s just chucked into the package so the item can be classified as a consumable item…until I took a bite out of it. No mistake about it, the wafer practically tastes like something made by Loacker: densely packed with delicious filling and not too flaky at all.

The cards that come inside each pack are not too shoddily made either: each are made of transparent plastic, making them good, sturdy bookmarkers. I’m not too keen on the card I got from my first pack, though:

I never liked Nena Trinity.

Since Ryan managed to get a taste of the heavenly wafers earlier, here’s his own review:

The Gundam 00 wafer is a strange, strange product. You’d think that something about giant robots with androgynous, mentally-ill pilots would have nothing to do with foodstuffs, but as always, we are reminded that Japan does not roll that way – hence we have this piece of surprisingly palatable wafery goodness emblazoned with the Gundam name. A name long sullied by Gundam seed, but a name nonetheless.

The foil pack contains two things: the wafer itself, a thin cardboard backing to make the package less prone to snapping in half/crumbling into pieces, and the collectible card. Okay, that’s three things, but I doubt you’d be buying this little baby for the second item. Unless you’re like me and like cardboard a tad bit too much.

The wafer is edible, the cardboard backing and the collectible card itself unfortunately is not.

In any case, the wafer, despite its rather dubious branding and packaging, is actually one of the best-tasting wafers out there. It’s dispensed in a pretty big size, the same size as a trading card – and it’s solid. You’ll be biting through solid layers of wafer and filling – none of the feathery, airy stuff you get at local stores – and you’ll be relishing every bite. It’s crispy, it’s tasty, and you better bet that it’s awesome with ice cream. You do not want to order just one or two of these babies. Order an entire box. It’s worth the money and the wait.

You heard the man.

The last two items in the shipment are the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary headset (black) and a couple of sticks of Lion Ramune candy. The headset is noteworthy solely because it’s the main reason why I got taxed heavily for the shipment. But that aside, it functions just as well as its pink cousin.

..and the Lion Ramune candy? The lemony hard candy fizzes in the mouth. Careful not to consume too many at once, or in a row, though: you don’t want to desensitize your tongue.

That’s part one of this shipment review – I received a couple of boxes from Play-Asia earlier today, and I’m going to blog it when I’m finally able.



Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop Hollywood adaptation
January 19, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: anime-related, rage

I’ll put this here before I comment any further:

No, I’m not dissing on Keanu himself, and I think that he’s a decent actor. Keanu was great as The Matrix’ Neo; he was good enough as Klaatu in the rather bland remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Should they give Spike Spiegel’s role to a guy who can only do one facial expression? Particularly, the 😐 face? I’m all for giving Keanu a chance (can’t do anything otherwise), but I got sorely burned with his portrayal of John Constantine, who was still his signature poker-faced man – only with shades of emo and a little dash of snark.

Anyway…sure, let Hollywood do its thing. They already spat and stepped on Dragonball; after a decent Street Fighter movie adaptation with Van Damme and Raul Julia in the early ’90s Hollywood decided to shit on the well-known IP properly by making Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li. They really can’t do any worse than that.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief, check this out:

Tobey Maguire in Robotech film; gets Smallville writers

I’ll keep my tongue (fingertips) in check until I see any trailers/screenshots. Oh yes, Hollywood is also planning on doing live action Akira (CUH-NEY-DUUUUUUH!!!) and Ninja Scroll. All’s good.

I’ll just stare at this gif to give me a little bit of happiness for a change:

Staring at tree frogs, for some reason, make me feel that all’s right in the world.

…I think Squirtle would have to say “Hello!” to a froggy neighbor sometime soon.