alexandral: (Art - Alexander Rodchenko mother)
LJ: I am really pleased with the speed LJ is working. EVERYTHING IS FLYING. I can't stop commenting and writing because finally LJ IS WORKING FAST FOR ME. I might take all my annoyed ranting back and wait for LJ to fix the issues with default comment title and other things because my main problem with it (speed and reliability) is fixed. EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I still can't believe it and almost want to pinch myself: "Is this real? LJ is working so fast! And I haven't had an error in the last 48 hours, not even one!"

I did log a support request re: default comment title and spellchecker, though. I saw a LJ news post saying these things will be fixed. We will see.

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia: I loved the episode until the ending happened. spoiler ) I am still not pleased.

Walking Dead: I have finished all available episodes of the season 2 and I am having a terrible imaginary crush on Daryl. He is like a version of Sandor Clegane with a crossbow. My open plea to the creators of the show: "Dear creators of Walking Dead! Please do not kill off Daryl anytime soon".

Anime: I am watching tons of anime at the moment. I would appreciate any recommendations!
My anime favourites, just few of them:

Monster (I haven't expected so much depth in anime)
Shiki (so scary it is good)
Ergo proxy (mind-bending and gorgeous)
Hellsing (really REALLY loved it)
Trinity Blood (my favourite anime song)
Trigun and Cowboy beebob - great old-school anime.

Suits: I have finished 12 episodes of "Suits" in one day. I am still off on holidays. I enjoyed watching, but I didn't feel any depth to be honest and the love triangle part (and the way the character of Rachel was developed in the show) didn't feel right for me at all ..

Warehouse 13 is still lovely. Now they even have a DOG (I love dogs).

Ojakgyo Brothers: I have also watched 38 episodes of "Ojakgyo Brothers" in two days and I am crushing so much on Joo Won it hurts. Also - Uee is such a surprise, I really like her character.

I should stop commenting and posting excessively and do something else. :D
alexandral: (Art - Bauer - thoughtful troll)
My daughter and I finally got to the good parts in Bleach (Arrancar downfall arc: begins with episode 266). The problem with Bleach is that when it is good it is really good, but when it is bad (and by bad I mean filler episodes) it is bad. Sometimes you have go through 30-40 filler arc episodes where nothing happens. Some other anime I know only have 20 episodes full of fun and character development so imagine 35 episodes of no character development to speak of! But after that, quite unexpectedly, in the episode 266 it all just becomes excellent to the point of fantastic. We both had to literally hold on to the end of our seats watching the battle of giants: Ichigo turns into a Hollow monster and defeats the Arrancar number 4 Ulquiorra in his resurrection form. It was wonderful! The speed! The gorgeous artwork! The emotional intensity! The depth! I was ready to give up on Bleach just 10 episodes ago, and how glad I am that I didn't! In fact, I probably would have stopped watching if it was just me, but my daughter is a fine little completist , so we continue.

Pictures )

Quick note about romantic relationships in Bleach:

I must admit that there is not too many romantic relationships in Bleach that I hold dear to my heart, especially not any involving Ichigo who continues to be a male version of Mary Sue. The guy is too prefect for me to actually imagine him liking anyone in romantic sense. But someone has to defeat Aizen. But I must say: Noriaki Kubo is a tease. At the beginning of the series, I was sure he was aiming for Ichigo and Rukia to be together. Now, I am not so sure anymore. Orihime and Ichigo seem to have great chemistry in the recent storylines. No wonder Bleach fandom is known for it's ship wars: the author doesn't seem to have made his own mind! Or may be he doesn't care. I certainly don't.
alexandral: (ASOIF -Sansa/Sandor from Winterfell webs)
For some reason, I seem to continue to be off my favourite drug, namely Korean drama. No matter what Korean drama I try recently , I can't shake that "I have seen this all befoooooooooore!" feeling. I am also watching a number of Western shows, (with various degrees of enjoyment). Surprisingly, I am beginning to really LIKE the USA version of "Being Human". It is as simple as this: The original UK two-part pilot was Gothy, but the UK "Being Human" itself turned into a version of "East Enders" with supernatural characters. Now, the USA version of "Being Human"is back to being quite Gothy and heart-breaking, and add to this Sam Witwer's good looks. I am not obsessing or anything, but this show has a great potential.

Also, I am back to my Anime Love. Among anime I enjoyed this winter were "Blood of the Reprimanded Hound" and "Shiki". "Shiki" is an absolute gem, a vampire story but with depth, realism and scary factor I have never expected to find in anime. I LOVED it. I missed a chance to post about Shiki, but I think better later than never : Any fans of anime and any fans of vampire finction, watch "Shiki". It is fantabulous.

"Blood of the Reprimanded Hound" is based on a computer game, and this shows. It is about young guys fighting to death in a fantasy city so that they can be crowed as the King of the Game or Il-re, with drugs, male bonds and all such things. I was in a mood to watch a weird anime with young guys killing each other, so I enjoyed "Blood of reprimanded hound" quite a bit, especially the art. This is not an anime you can watch with your 11-year old, though, but the same goes for "Shiki".

Yesterday I started "Ergo Proxy" and this anime is definitely something I am going to love. I have only watched 2 episodes, but the anime already mentioned great philosophers and sent me a "Beauty and the Beast" vibe. And besides, the art is gorgeous, unusual and gloomy:

More Ergo Proxy art )

The only sad thing is, the anime is only 23 episodes long, so it won't last too long. My anime-knowledgeable friends! Can you recommend anything like "Ergo proxy" (more the merrier)??????? Please????????
alexandral: (Photos - Summer - mushrooms)
I have been really busy at work, with statistical returns and new academic conferencing systems. I am also reading like mad recently, but not everything I am reading is good and wholesome. Let’s face it – I probably don’t have too much taste. I have been watching few things as well:

Western shows:
Fringe – I don’t like to see Peter with the other-Olivia! Seeing them together makes my toes curl!
Haven – Audrey/Nathan forever! I am watching this with my daughter.
Lost Girl – my guilty pleasure of the season. Bisexual succubus, friends with benefits, forces of dark and light. Everything seems to be written specially for meeeeeeeeee.
Merlin – great family show, something BBC is so good at. Good show all around, my daughter loves it so we have to watch it.
Nikita – seems to bore me into sleep. I have dropped it, but might return if it ever gets better.
Sons of Anarchy – still need to finish the awesome second season
Spirited – the last episode is out, I must finish this. I feel doom and gloom approaching.
Supernatural – So far this season doesn’t seem to know where it is going , but I am committed to watching because my daughter loves it. We both were really glad to see Castiel again.
Terriers – my not-guilty love of this season
Vampire diaries – Both my daughter and I still think that Elena/Stefan are dead boring together, but the Werewolves are yummy.

Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) season 2 – season 2 as it often happens is much better than season 1, and much darker. But I miss the macabre fun of the season 1 a little.
Darker than black – very interesting, but I am not sure where this all is going yet.
Wallflower (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge or perfect Girl Evolution): we have finally finished it. Great fun , but so hyper that it can make anyone's had spin!
Witch Hunter Robin – I am ploughing through this as it is supposed to be classic, but my attention keeps wondering.

Asian drama:
My girl-friend is a Gumiho: is lovely. I am finally beginning to understand the attraction of Lee Seung Ki. He is really well-suited to comical roles. He is so goofy but at the same time so cute!
alexandral: (Vampire Knight - Close your eyes)
At the moment, I don't seem to be able to get out of my Asian drama void as nothing seems to call to me strongly enough to sit down and watch, although I am watching few Western shows - "Haven", "Vampire Diaries", "Merlin", "Spirited". My daughter seems to have reached the age of being able to watch things together and this makes a lot of difference, hence my solid following of "Vampire diaries" and "Merlin". I have also finished few anime series in the last couple of months, but nothing really exciting.

The best series among the recently watched is probably "Kuroshitsuji", or "Black butler". I had noticed the series a while ago, with immediately cheery reaction of "oh, demon butler! This can be .. interesting" , but still, when the series hit me (like a tonne of bricks), I was totally unprepared. It seems anime is the only place in the world where you can have such an outlandish , strange story like Kuroshitsuji and where it still can make sense. Demon Butler? Working for a 12-year boy who has sold his soul to the demon in question in exchange for an opportunity to avenge the murder of his parents? This is not even the beginning of it! If you decide to watch this series, prepare to never be able to view the good old England is the same way again. Queen Victoria as part-zombie! Curry contests! The Hound of the Baskervilles , a fire-breathing shape shifter! Hermaphroditic angel! Old nursery rhymes used in a creepy way (I think nursery rhymes are very creepy anyways) ! Shinigami (also hermaphroditic) with a chainsaw!

Needless to say, I liked the series. The art is particular wonderful, with very well defined characters and backgrounds.

Some of the pictures: Sebastian the demon butler and the rest )

The ending song, wonderfully weird and dreamy: Read more... )

There is also a second season, I can't wait to watch it!
alexandral: (Vampire Knight - Zero)
I don't think I post much about this, but ever since I have watched the anime, "Vampire Knight" has been my big manga obsession. I have bought all volumes available in the UK (under pretext of buying them for my daughter) and I have been following the current developments from the online sources.

There have been some very interesting developments lately: Spoilers )
alexandral: (Photos - Wolf in very cold winter)

I am head-over-the-heels in love with this. This is either a feminist dream or a dream of a high-school-age boy. I take is as a feminist dream. The anime is ALL ABOUT GIRLS with special powers, or Claymores, and their fight against monsters, or Yoma. It doesn't give us just one awesome main herouine (Claire) but also many others who are equally awesome and have various awesome specialities. It is a bit like "Bleach", only much shorter, doesn't have any male characters worthy of any notice whatsoever (apart from Clair's little friend Raki) and has lots and lots of gore and limbs cut off (and re-attached) in a very artistic manner in every episode. I fell in love with the gorgeous gothic animation and with the story that doesn't revolve around male/female sexual tension but instead is about different types of love and friendship and caring for each other. I am on the episode 18 now but I have spoiled myself for the ending already.

I must say I am disappointed that Spoilers )

The video of the opening sequence is below (not spoilery); the title sequence and the anime itself is so Joan of Arc. Please also notice the twin Goddesses of Love:

alexandral: (BSG - democracy)
I have spent the most of yesterday sleeping and my head is as good as new. Thank you so much for get better wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many good things happening in the fandom life! Very-very shortly, as I am swamped with various RL things:

1.BSG!!!!!!!!!! I love you, everything is forgiven and I promise a complete re-watch.
- Gaius, I forgive you too.
- Tigh, I love you. Beyond measure.
- Lee, I love you and I always have.
One more spoilery question )

Please , if you don't mind, link me to any interesting discussions about the episode 4.10.

2. Trigun is one of be the best anime I have seen so far. Vash is a spiky-haired twin of Father Abel from "Trinity Blood". I tried to watch this some time ago, but in a very bad copy. How much difference a dubbing made right can do to your viewing pleasure! I am adoring it to bits and if you don't see me for a couple of days this is because I am watching "Trigun".

3. Powerful Opponents I finished it in a fast mode and I think I have my own thoughts on the ending. But they aren't happy.

4. Iljimae: Where are the subs?? I am missing Shi Hoo!!!!
alexandral: (Vampire Knight - Close your eyes)
I must say huge "thank you" to all of you who recommended "Trinity Blood". This one was clearly written for me. I have almost finished it, and the only bad thing so far is it's 24 episodes length. I think I would have liked 3 or 4 seasons of this. Anime goodness abounds:

- Angels! Fighting the enemies of humanity with big sickles rusted with blood!
- Eternal battles between good and evil!
- Cain and Abel! Father Abel in particular, as a model exemplar of a tortured conflicted hero with a dark past. Also he turnes into an angel by will and wears glasses in his human form!
- Abel has a beautiful platonic OTP with a nun/future queen of humanity Sister Ester!
- Vampires, but not so much in blood-sucking way as in different species of humanity way.
- Animation and the music score that make it all feel like The Phantom of the Opera set in the future.
- GORGEOUS ending song. I am usually not a fan of Japanese and Korean music, but this song just got under my skin.

Ending sequence and the title song, My Broken Wings. Father Abel and Sister Ester

I know this will not remain forever
However, it's beautiful
Your eyes, hands and you warm smile
They're my treasure
It's hard to forget
I wish there was a solution
Don't spend your time in confusion
I will turn back now and spread...

My broken wings still strong enough to cross the ocean with
My broken wings, how far should I go drifting in the wind?
Higher and higher in the light...
And my broken wings still strong enough to cross the ocean with
My broken wings, how far should I go drifting in the wind?
Across the sky, just keep on flying...
alexandral: (Day Watch - Oh My!)
"Vampire Knight" is still constantly on my mind. The new episode will be out on the 5th of May so I have to wait. ** sigh **. In the mean time I am very much in anime mood and I would love any recommendations of your favourite anime. I haven't seen too many, only "Ayashi No Ceres" and "Wolf's rain" . Both were excellent and I loved both. I intend to finish the latter during these holidays.

Things I particular like:

1. Fantasy or science fiction storylines.
2. Long and beautiful arcs.
2. Tortured but noble heroes.
3. Heroes in the process of redemption.
4. Star-crossed love stories, doomed romances, etc. etc.
5. Good endings. :D

Thing that don't particular interest me:

1. School stories. I am currently experiencing an overload with school stories. My school time happened too long ago.. (I know "Vampire Knight" starts in school, but..)
2. Slash.
alexandral: (Pink Panther - Armed and dangerous)
I will appreciate very much if you can lead me to places where one buys manga. Any bookshop? Amazon? Anything else? I have finished the episode 4 of "Vampire Knight" and this is so good I must read it all at once without waiting for subtitles or other pesky things.

Needless to say, the episode 4 was wonderful. Few scenes I have been re-watching in an obsessive manner since 6.00 p.m:

Scene N1: Zero is crying because spoilers )

Scene N2, spoilers )

Scene N3, spoilers )

PS: Oh, my! I must make icons of this!
alexandral: (Moonlight - Josef in the shadows)
I am having two days off work this week, Thursday and Friday. Thursday is a "polling" day at Sasha's school and Friday I just took for the company as the weather seems to be nice. We are going to swimming pool this afternoon and I spent the morning watching the first 3 episodes of the new anime made from popular manga, "Vampire Knight". A very good day so far.

Oh, vampire stories and me! I don't seem to get enough of them. "Vampire Knight" is very Twilight-ish so far : an elite school where vampire students study alongside human students, a young girl (Yuki) in love with a vampire who saved her from another vampire when she was a child, her childhood friend who is not quite human himself, mysteries and secrets.

My first impressions are similar to those I had with other anime : it is a very strange genre (at least, for me). Strangeness comes from a feeling of dismatch between pretty animation graphics that take you back to childhood and themes that are very dark even by your normal adult fiction standards. There is something in "Vampire Knight" that draws me in and holds there. :D So far I want to watch more of it.

But the "wrong OTP" bug strikes again and I am already too interested in Yuki's childhood friend, Zero. He is so gorgeously drawn and the combination of pale platinum hair and lavender eyes is outwordly.

More examples of beautifully animated Zero )

To keep it even, Yuki's saviour Kaname Kuran )

Things that are amusing: Saint Chocolate Day )
alexandral: (Goong - Happy)
"1 Percent of Anything"
Sweetest fluffiest drama which is promising to become my Korean "It started with a kiss" (with the Korean depth of emotions as additional plus). I have seen 6 episodes out of 26 so far.

He: Lee Jae-in (Kang Don Won) Young and successful businessman with some very cute temper issues.

She: Kim Da-hyun (Kim Jung Hwa) Bright and kind school teacher who helps older people on buses and is loyal to death to her friends. Plus she is adorably scatter-headed.

Story: Da-hyun meets Jae-in’s grandfather (a head of a powerful corporation) on a bus, gives him a seat and helps him to get to his late wife’s grave. And I don’t blame grandfather for he decides to bring his grandson and Da-hyun together, with the help of his death will. BTW, he is the same grandfather as in “My girl” and though he is quite a tough cookie in “1 percent of anything”, it feels from the very beginning that he really wants everyone’s best and adores Jae-in (in his way).

What is so wonderful so far : Much sparks and tantrums between the main couple, and OMPH! Some very cute secondary romantic pairings in sight.

Just look at this scene!! (episode 4) )

And as the drama develops and Jae-in starts to change he becomes unbearably cute. More Pictures )

And if this is not enough, (spoilers for the ending) )

Hana Yori Dango Is wonderful, I think this is the first Japanese drama after "Kurosagi" which really "gets" me. And I think this is mainly because of incredible powers of Hanazawa Rui who is beyond cool. How cool , just let me count: White clothes, graceful movements, mysterious demenour and heart-wrenching romantic storyline. Plus he reads books all the time. :D

Ayashi no Ceres I finished it, it gets all thumbs up from me (and Toya is my first and favourite anime character). Thank you [ profile] dangermousie and [ profile] meganbmoore for the rec. There were bits that disturbed me, spoilers )

PS Cross-posted in [ profile] dorama_chat, here
alexandral: (Howl's - Pretty place)
The world of anime is something that I was always passing by and thinking "this is interesting", because I love animated films since I can remember myself and though I can’t call myself very young anymore, this love stayed with me. I always welcome a chance to watch an animated film with my little daughter.

I guess something that draws me to animation films is that anything s possible. What can be conceived in one’s mind can be drawn and there is no limit to imagination. I have looked up in Wiki and it seems that the word “anime” is something used for Japanese animation. It is interesting, because I originally thought that the word “anime” is applied to animated series.

Japanese animation (or anime)
My first obsession with Japanese animation (or anime) happened at the age of 12 when I saw Japanese version of "Little Mermaid" and "Princes - swans" (adapted from "Wild Swans"). The graphical style was so different from anything I have seen before. Japanese animations seems to be less dynamic than the Disney one, but has a unique beauty in drawing figures and faces. And something else I liked very much too – Japanese version of "Little Mermaid" kept it’s original ending. And though I understand why Disney changed the ending of "Little Mermaid" and a part of me craves for the happy ending there, a part of me thinks "But this is not what Andersen wrote, HUH???".

As animated series go, I have seen "Trigun" last year and "Cowboy Beebop". I liked both of these series very much, but didn’t fall in obsessive kind love with them. May be I haven’t seen enough of “Trigun” for it's story to get developed deeper. Or may be like with many other things, I looked for a romantic relationship that can draw me in ..

"Ayashi no Ceres".
But I think now I have found something to fall in love obsessively and otherwise – "Ayashi no Ceres". It is very dark, very adult, it is mystical, it involves angels and it has a fantastic romantic story from the episode 1. I have already watched 6 episodes out of 24. :D. It is all about Aya and her brother Aki who on their 16 birthday find out that their family (Mikage) is a very special and terrible family of descendants from the celestial being (Ceres). On that same day when Aya discovers she is a curse for her family whom they want to wipe from the face of the planet, she also meets Toya, a guy working for Mikage family in a hope to recover his memories..

Original manga is drawn by Yu Watase, and anime is incredibly beautiful too, especially Toya (some spoilers) )

PS: Question
The only one thing worries me from the start – if Ceres is as powerful as she is, how did she manage to get into her predicament in the first place? Why didn’t she just make fisherman to tell her where her robe is???
alexandral: (Default)
Hana Yori Dango
This week was busy at work and my brain is dead (at least the part of it which normally functions) but so many exiting things are happening in the fictional world!!!! I wanted to post pictures of the latest Japanese drama which makes me smile and sigh at the same time – "Hana Yori Dango", but [ profile] meganbmoore have posted most excellent pictures already!!! Here.

Anime: "Fushigi Yuugi" vs "Ayashi No Ceres"
I also was thinking why don’t I watch anime and that I really love Hayao Miyazaki’s animation films (my absolute favourite is "Princess Mononoke"). But big Thank You to [ profile] meganbmoore and [ profile] dangermousie , they gave me some great recommendations. Now I am torn between "Fushigi Yuugi" and "Ayashi No Ceres", but I am really inclined to watch Ceres because it seems to be darker and have a huge weakness for dark moods and themes.

Bittersweet Life
I also have watched "Bittersweet life", film of Korean director Kim Ki-woon. ("A Tale of Two Sisters"). I enjoyed it much more then I thought I would and the same happened with “A Tale of Two Sisters”. Both are more then their genre implies – "A Tale of two sisters" is more then a simple horror movie and "Bittersweet life" is more then a simple action/revenge flick. May be it is all in the cinematography and noir elements which are done to the perfection, and may be in some intangible qualities which hang beyond the frames and colours. "Bittersweet life" is a tale of a lone gunman set in seedy places of Seoul. I was spell-bound by the music in this film - it was amazing, heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time.

This is my favourite scene: Main protagonist Sun-woo moves between two walls of light and into the darkness ahead.

One more amazing scene )

Dog Soldiers/ Kevin McKidd
On my wave of love for the HBO series "Rome" and for Lucius Vorenus in particular I watched "Dog Soldiers". It could have been a totally missable film if not for Kevin McKidd’s presence who played terribly efficient Pvt.Cooper. So it was not all that bad. :D. And I found a very stylish black-and white picture of Kevin McKidd!!!!

Picture of Kevin McKidd )

PS Nice weekend to you all!!!!!!!!!!!


alexandral: (Default)

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