Monday, December 14, 2009

Otaku Fridge 2010

Didn't think it would come to this again, but this site has just moved homes. I began transfer in November of 2009, although it’s quite a slow, arduous process. Hey, I’m only one person working on migration (this sorta makes me think things were much easier when I was just FTPing HTML files instead of switching databases).

New layout, new server (Blogger, which I had been using for my Portfolio since 2005), and maybe a new life? The Otaku Fridge began with GeoCities and now it ends with…Google. At least for 2010. I hope this is the last database migration I’ll ever have to do. It’s exhausting!

Many of you will probably ask why I'm doing this yet again when I haven't been able to finish the initial migration from HTML to Wordpress for Otaku Fridge 2007.  Well, much as I loved tweaking the Wordpress content management system and testing its limits, it seems I have been remiss in tweaking the limits of my own wallet. 2009 was a year of life-altering events: Michael Jackson's untimely demise (plus Francis Magalona's, Cory Aquino's, David Carradine's, Patrick Swayze's, Farrah Fawcett's and Brittany Murphy's T.T), Typhoon Ondoy submerging so many of our cities, and the political unrest surrounding the fear that we'll once again be under Martial Law. I never imagined I could actually spend thousands of pesos on people (typhoon victims) that I am not related to and if you think about it, spending so much money on a hobby (maintaining my sites) seems suddenly trivial. So, as you can see, I'm finding a new home in a less sophisticated platform.  I feel like I've downgraded, technology-wise.  Still, the important thing remains: Blogger is free. Not to mention, it's in sync with the rest of my favorite Google applications.

You'll also notice that the adult anime section has been taken out of this site AGAIN.  It's just like having HN back, except I don't own the domain now. Heh.  My reasons for the separation is explained fully here.

2010, huh.  We're actually gearing towards the Otaku Fridge's 13th year and thinking about it now, this site actually launched my real career: from an anime fan with a passion for creating fan shrines, to a web designer, to a game developer, to a college professor (specializing in information design and game development), to a college's Assistant Director, and finally to someone who contributes to the animation and game development curricula of all schools under the Philippine Commission on Higher Education. That was quite a long leap from the simple teen-aged hobbyist I once was.  I may not be updating this site on a regular basis anymore, but it holds a special place in my heart. It not only helped me reach deep inside myself in order to extract my potentials but it also helped me reach out to those who dream of becoming animators and game designers/developers in the future.

So in ending 2009, I present you with its last review: Bleach Movie 1 - Memories of Nobody. Enjoy...while I whip up my first review for 2010. (That is, after I finish 4 PhD papers due next week.)

Written December 14, 2009 (edited December 31, 2009), for release on January 1, 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody

Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Supernatural
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 2006 Kubotite, Noriyuki Abe

Manga and Illustration Books
Video Game Shop
Toys & Accessories
Original Soundtrack
Everything Bleach Product Description:
After unidentified beings known as "Blanks" start popping up, they are soon followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan's leader is sending the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from annihilation?

Disc 2 Special Features Include:
* Inside Bleach The Movie
* Japanese Production Interviews
* US Theatrical Trailer
* Original Japanese Trailers
Also included: Original Japanese Movie Booklet (translated version)

Would sometimes feel like a filler episode. >>> by skysenshi
Fair warning for those who want an introduction to Bleach: this is not a movie you pick up without watching the series first. So I'll go ahead and assume that if you're reading this, you've already been immersed in the series and I don't have to copy-paste from my review of it.

I think there is something seriously wrong with me when a character that everybody seems to love (as evident in at least 16 out of 19 reviews I've read) isn't really doing much for me entertainment-wise. I'm talking about Senna, this movie's female protagonist. Senna is everything nice and sweet in a shoujo heroine: charming, talented, beautiful, bewildered and embodies the love-hope-courage triangle. Except this isn't shoujo. Bleach is a shounen title. It's made for -- you nailed it -- people that want lots and lots and lots of action and adventure. Or maybe that's just me, since a lot of guys/boys/men seemed to love Memories of Nobody despite the sap.

I want to see Ichigo and Rukia in battle, not weep with a girl I have not established a connection with. I have tons of shoujo and yaoi manga for those kinds of things so I don't think I need more in my shounen anime as well. Sure, Senna is this highly skilled mysterious Soul Reaper who can chase away aimlessly walking blank souls while walking nearly aimlessly herself. So what? Honestly, if the creators of Bleach wanted to make a really great movie, they could focus on some of the existing characters. You know, the ones that actually appear regularly on the show but we know very little of? This way, they could add value to the existing arcs without messing up the storyline (which, fortunately, Memories of Nobody did not taint).

I also wanted to watch the rest of the Soul Society captains in action. Unfortunately, like many popular series' OAV's and movies, this one suffers from too many character exposure with very little plot to go around. Well, there's a lot of plot, but it only made room for Ichigo and Senna. The rest became virtual handmaidens; again with the shoujo-esque arrangements...

Memories of Nobody isn't such a total waste, however. It's perfect for those who are after new fight sequences, Bankai showcases, and some lovely art and animation -- they get really much more detailed and fluid here. In addition, the music is wonderfully compelling, doing such a good job of highlighting goosebumps-inducing scenes. I suppose the team still did a good job (hey, animation is NOT EASY), even though this has the feel of a long filler episode.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 6; Characters 7; Sounds 9

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