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Sunday, April 5, 2009

all good things must come to an end...

no, im not talking about me being here, im talking about the grand culmination of Gundam 00.

i watched the last episode last week, and DAMN, it was good. this is the first time i've watched a whole Gundam series before it gets released in the West (Gundam X and Turn A Gundam dont count; they're NEVER gonna get released in english. Gundam 00 season one is already being aired in the US i believe) but it was so totally worth the hunting around for a place that streamed it online for free.

the series was big and bold, the first Gundam series to be shown in two seasons. The plot twists and turns were fast and exciting, the action and animation were beautiful (fun fact: unlike many previous Gundam shows that re-use alot of stock footage *coughSEEDDESTINYcough*, Gundam 00 didnt use ANY. not even for launch sequences. how cool is that?!)
this show, honestly, got better and better with each episode. i would watch one as soon as it was released and then lament that i'd have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for the next one! i was genuinely glued to my screen, on the edge of my seat. pure epicness...

The story line was fast paced, the characters were well written, the music was cool, the mecha designs were, admittedly, a little unconventional but they grew on you pretty quickly. and this all boiled down into the final two episodes, a lightning fast series of final battles with the very last battle between the Exia (the protagonist's Gundam from season one) and the 0 Gundam (whose design is a homage to the very original RX-78 Gundam from the original 1979 TV series). incredibly exciting stuff. and of course, next year in 2010, there will be a Gundam 00 movie released! and that will be the end of the 00 saga. it was pretty epic, and whatever Gundam comes next will have to work pretty hard to beat it!

of course, i do have one complaint. more of a niggle really.


last year when Season One finished, i had Macross Frontier to tide me over through the summer until 00 season two started up. but Macross Frontier was a single season only... there's no great (mecha) anime being released at the moment. T.T true, i am currently downloading ZZ Gundam, but its no comparison to 00 Gundam... ZZ is notorious for being one of the worst Gundam series ever. i could re-watch Turn A or Gundam X, or i could finally get off my butt, get a new DVD player and watch the original SEED, or Wing or UC shows again... i guess im gonna haveta do that. ^^;

and of course, we're only half-way through the second season of Shugo Chara...its no mecha show, but it should tide me over for another 25 episodes... :q

and i still have several models i wanna pick up. most notably 1/144 Seravee Gundam, 1/144 GN Archer and 1/144 0 Gundam. and might pick up a few more along the way. ^^

so yeah...i think im gonna be fine. heck, i might even get round to doing a bit more of my Original Gundam fictions. who knows?

well, thats all from me today. oh, to answer your question, Bunraku, i believe that picture was taken after my assistant manager's 3rd or 4th bucket of beer, though it quite easliy could have been taken when he was cold sober...he's that kind of guy. ^^;

well, thats all from me. till next time! (apologies for a post filled with nothing but Gundam...i'll try and think of more interesting things for the next few posts)

"Gundam Exia. Setsuna F Seiei. CLEARING A PATH TO THE FUTURE!"

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

two days from now tomorrow will be yesterday
heya folks. ;p

again, another quiet week. i dont think i really should bother updating you with my life, nothing much ever happens.

well, i suppose thats not really true. i went out on thursday night because my assistant manager is leaving us on monday, so we all went to this sports bar in London and ordered beer buckets and chicken wings. it was actually a really fun night out. til the kareoke started...some of the singers were good, but some were plain awful. we room and the music and singing was being piped to us through a sound system. fortunatly we got the staff to switch it off. XD

Cam the Kiwi A.K.A Scoopy Pigeon. dont ask.

This is my assistant manager by the way. we're gonna miss him. XD

we're getting a new assistant manager (to go with our new store manager XD ) within the next month or so. apparently one of our colleagues knows the new assistant manager and she is supposedly a bitch. i guess i'll find out sooner or later...

yesterday i went out with two of my work colleagues and we went and got ice cream. it was kinda fun. this place was italian, and they did desserts that looked like italian food. so they had ice cream dishes that looked like spaggheti and pizza and tagliatele (sp? :q ) it was kinda cool, but i stuck with "Black Forest" cup, which was an ice cream version of a Black Forest Gateux. good stuff. ^^

earlier this week i watched "The Girl who Leapt Through Time", and, Unlike "Origins" which i reviewed last week, i was impressed! its a really cute story about a girl who acquires the ability to leap through time (are you with me so far?) and goes around doing selfish little acts to make her life better. she soon discovers that going back and changing the past, even in little ways, has a big effect on the future. she tries to correct these effects, and things go from bad to worse. and then she discovers she only has a limited number of jumps...

putting the sci-fi aside, this basically is a romance comedy, but its handled really well, and the time-travel element is really well incoporated, which just makes it all the more believable. There's good character development, and the script is well written, with a very interesting plot twist near the end.

the character designs are good (thanks to the designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, whose other works include the infamous "Neon Genesis Evangelion" character designs and manga) and the scenes and locations are beautifully rendered by Nizo Yamamoto, a studio ghibli art director. my only nit pick, and its more of a quirk than a complaint, is that NONE of the characters ever cast a shadow on themselves...the characters are in flat colours. it doesnt detract from the animation, in fact it gives it a unique feel.

the film is cute, funny (the way Matoko, the titular time-traveller, appears rolling uncontrollably from out of nowhere after she time travels is hilarious) and yet suprisingly subtle and grounded when it comes to the characters and the emotion within the film. it is very well handled, and definitely a film you should see at least once. a very good film.

*pauses in blog writing to go and eat croissants with jam*

mmm.. yummy

its my mum's birthday today. she and my dad are going up to london today to go to this Music Hall Open Day thing, which is nice.

anyways, im gonna finish this off with the last batch of Gundam pictures that i have at the moment...

Full shield options

The Cherudim Gundam (left) is the one im showcasing, along with its predecessor unit, The Gundam Dynames (the model of which i got last year)

The Dynames was piloted by Neil Dylandy, who got killed in the first season, and the Cherudim is piloted by his twin brother, Lyle Dylandy. awfully convienient for the animators!

The Cherudim and Dynames are sniper gundams. i much prefer the Dynames design to the newer Cherudim design. i actually hated the Cherudim when i first saw it, but i have to admit...its grown on me! as a model kit, the number of gimmicks it has is amazing!

i prefer the dynames pistols and beam saber cobo to the multi-function pistols of the cherudim too, but again, the concept has grown on me!

one of the main differences between Dynames and the Cherudim is the Dynames Mobile armour option, the GN ARMS Type-D. the GN ARMS was destroyed in the first season, but the Cherudim wouldn't have been able to use it anyway. despite the fact that they both have the same GN DRIVE, the dynames mounts it in the torso like the rest of the third generation gundams, which allows it to plug into the GN ARMS. the cherudim mounts its GN drive on its bum. once again, the second season gundams have GN drives in weird places.

the GN ARMS is my biggest 1/144 model to date
the anti ship cannons alone, when extended, are over 30 cms long!

the coolest feature of the Cherudim are it's Mobile Bits, which are remote controlled units that are attached to the Cherudim's shoulder, knees and GN Drive normally.

Cherudim Gundam, Sniping the Targets!

The bits are controlled by the onboard Haro unit, and they can be used either as a defensive shield or as a remote offensive weapon. each bit mounts a GN beam cannon, and when all the bits combine, they form a more powerful GN beam launcher. unfortunatly the transparent stand included with the kit doesnt give you the offensive option, only the ability to create different shield patterns. its still cool though!

the GN sniper rifle can fold in half and be used as a beam sub machine gun

and thats all my Gundam piccies for now. the final episode of Gundam 00 aired in Japan last night, i am patiently waiting for the sub to be released...i should be able to see it by monday evening, and then i'll give you guys the review of Gundam 00 in its entirety, though i can probably tell you now...its awesome. in so many different ways. XD

i still wanna get the Seravee Gundam model kit, and i might try to pick up the GN Archer and the Seraphim Gundam too if they become available. im rapidly running out of space (and flight stands) for my 00 models though!!!

well, till next time!!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

if you are reading this, you qualify for a cookie. to claim your baked treat, go to the nearest place that does cookies and buy/steal one!
not that i condone stealing... :q

anyhoo, tis another short(ish) update from me.

its fairly quiet in my life at the moment, not much worth talking about.

i just gave myself a hickey...i have no idea why... 0_o

the other day i bought two anime movies on DVD. i got "Origin: Spirits of the Past" and "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time."

i havent watched "The girl" yet, but i watched "Origins" the other day, to to be frank, i was disappointed with it.

Imagine sombody took "Princess Mononoke" and "Nausicaa Valley of the Wind", mixed them together, added a smattering of other Ghibli films and then under cooked the whole concotion...thats kinda like what watching Origins is like. The story-line is good. The concepts are good. the visuals are lush. the music is pretty good. the character designs are pretty standard but locations are inspired. but the whole thing just doesnt mesh. there is no character development, the plot line is convoluted and rushed, some parts of it are just simply not explained and are superfluous to the story.

it really is a shame, cuz the whole thing just bursts with potential. the ecological message is a good one, but like the rest of the movie, it just seems forced through. "Origins" would have benefitted from being made into an OVA or a short anime series (12 episodes should suffice) in order to fully work out the little kinks and faults that it has as a movie. the flims strongest points are some certain scenes where the visuals are amazing (the opening credits scene is incredibly powerful), the landscapes and locations of the dystopian world in which the story is set (one scene sees the protagonist doing salavage work in an old mall...which is on its side, and he's coming in from the top.) and the opening and ending songs are beautiful and haunting. its not enough to make this movie worth purchasing, but if its showing somewhere for free, it might be worth a look-see, just cuz tiny little bits of it are actually really well done.

i hope "The Girl" does not disappoint like "Origins" did.

thats all i really wanted to say today. im gonna leave off with more Gundam pictures. ^^

The GN-XIII has become one of my favourite standard mobile suits
GN-XIII, ESF colours

GN-XIIIs are fitted with a GN drive like the Gundams are, but they are fake drives which produce toxic red GN particles
i would totally want to pilot one of these if it wasnt for the toxic GN particles
the head on the model is restricted in movement, but otherwise its pretty poseable
the GN lance/rifle como is definitely one of the more interesting weapons of Gundam 00

and pictures of my Arios Gundam, along with my slightly older Kyrios Gundam

The Arios (right) is the successor unit to the Kyrios (left)...i personally prefer the Kyrios

The Kyrios (left) and the Arios (right) both use the same GN drive, but whereas the Kyrios mounts the GN drive in the torso like all the other 3rd generation Gundams, the Arios mounts it between the legs in the groin area...its a mobile suit powered by its crotch... -_-;;;

i do like the Arios' hidden machine cannons, but the blade claw of the Kyrios was a helluva lot scarier
a better view there

The Arios' shoulder joint on the HG model is really weird...its designed the way it is for the transformation capability, but it totally restricts the movement of the arm...

again, i prefer the Kyrios' mobile armour mode

Despite the damaged leg from construction, i managed to transform the Arios into its Mobile Armour mode...

mimicing the Kyrios' claw, but the Arios amps it up in size. its only available in MA mode though

size comparison between the Arios and the Unicorn

Arios' MA mode is roughly the same size as my 1/100 MG Unicorn Gundam, which, considering the Unicorn is one of the biggest MGs i own, is pretty impressive!

and thats it for today. i have one more batch to show you guys, but i'll leave it till next time.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All along the watch tower~
"Watchtower" by Hendrix or Bob Dylan...i couldnt work it out...

so i went to see "Watchmen" yesterday. it was a really good movie, though i hear its really close to the book so if you read the book, you aint gonna be very suprised (in fact, you may even be disappointed) by the movie. i havent read the book, only bits of it, so i was therefore utterly enthralled by the movie.

at a bladder-busting 2 hours and 40 minutes (pee before you go in), its a tad long, but if you like superhero movies, this one will blow your mind.

i dont really wanna spoil it, and its too complicated to explain without giving too much away.
the characters are deep and complex, and the final outcome is twisted and leaves you wondering if it was right or not. again, i can't delve too deep without spoiling the plot, but you do end up wondering if that the end solution was indeed heroic, despite appearances.

my favourite character is Rorschach who, despite being a sociopath, is a pretty cool character. i think his mask is pretty awesome, and my favourite line in the movie comes after he's been arrested and thrown in jail. he's in line to get lunch and he's surrounded by all these guys who he's put in jail himself. one prisoner tries to attack Rorschach with a knife, but Rorschach breaks the prisoners hand with a metal lunch tray and then grabs a pan full of boiling oil and dumps it on his head.
As Rorschach is apprehended by the guards and dragged away, he screams at the prisoners

"You people don't understand. I'm not locked in here with you! you're locked in here with me!"

awesome. love the movie. the other characters are pretty cool too, and the i really like the dark sense of humour that the story has. the fight scenes are fantastic, and some scenes are brutal. the music is good, lots of 80's classics.

go see. its a good movie. unless you've read the book. then its probably just a condensed version.

other then that, not much happening with me. i had all weekend off, then i worked on monday and had yesterday and today off...which means im probably gonna work through till next wednesday or something stupid. bleah.

currently working on a project of my own. its taking me a while, but i should have the first parts up within a week or two.


more Gundam piccies!!

the green swirls are a nice effect
its an interesting design

StarGazer Gundam...probably the first ever Gundam not designed as a weapon (although it was still used as one). I really like this Gundam, even though the ONA (Original Net Animation) wasn't that great. the SD kit is a great kit too.

my first fav gundam

SD Deathscythe! despite it being one of my fav Gundams from Wing, i've never really liked the model kits that were produced for it...

its a pretty good kit...the missle hatches open and everything!

SD Heavyarms!

i was disappointed that they didnt include a gimmick to open the engines

SD Tallgeese...one of my favourite non-Gundam mobile suits.

thats all for today...but no worries...i got plenty more where that came from!!! ha ha ha!!

till next time folks!

Dan Dreiberg: [referring to the exit tunnel] There's a maintenance hatch that will let you out two blocks north.

Rorschach: I remember. I used to come here often back when we were partners.

Dan Dreiberg: Just like the good old days. Hey whatever happened to them?

Rorschach: [as he walks down the tunnel] You quit.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009


heya folks. or anyone. anyone out there? whatevs.

its been another quiet week overall.

biggest news this week is that my boss at work, Paul, is leaving us to transfer to another store. this was insanely short notice. :q he's decided he wants to spend more time getting outside and doing stuff like ride his mountain bike etc, which you cant really do in central london easily. so he's moving out to Biggin Hill and he'll be the manager of the Orpington store, which is close to where i do my Kung Fu Stick classes on a Sunday. in all fairness, Orpington store is a lot closer to me then Covent Garden store, where i work at the mo, is. but i wouldnt wanna work in Orpington...its such a dull place. i much prefer the hustle and bustle (and conviently located manga shops) of London. ^^

so we'll be getting a new manager on Monday. i dont him apart from what other people have said (he used to be a manager at another store) and he seems to be alright, but i guess i wont really know until i meet the guy. could be a case of "better the devil you know" or it could turn out that he's really and alrite guy. we'll see.

went to Orbital Manga and bought some manga (funnily enough) the other day. One of them is Appleseed vol 4, which i've been waiting for a while now. thats my regular dose of Shirow Masamune topped up. XD

the other thing i bought was an impulse buy. its a large graphic novel (in terms of paper size, the actual volume size isnt very great) called "Orange". Its by a man called "Benjamin" (which is a psudonym, it seems to be a chinese manga-ka) and the whole thing seems to have been done in Adobe Painter or something similar. its very bright and colourful, with no defined line art per se... i cant really explain it. its about a schoolgirl named Orange, who decides to kill herself, but is inadvertantly stopped by a drunk named Dashu. the rest of the novel is a glance at Orange's life, her non-relationship with Dashu
and her feelings about this world. The whole narrative and art work is chaotic and surreal, with no total linear plot line, and it all comes twisting around until the violent end.

Despite the vibrant and abstract art, you can always work out what everything (almost) is the panel, and some of the faces are rendered with amazing accuracy...more photo-realistic than manga stlyed. the art work helps enhance the feel of the city that Orange lives in, it accentuates the heart beat of the city, the pulse of millions of people doing their own thing, and yet also captures the lonliness and isolation of the protagonist, lost in a sea of souls. anyone who's spent a significant amount of time in a big city will empathise with this sensation and the final perspective of Orange's dilemma comes from a suprising source. the resulting epiphany is harsh.

"Orange" is published by Tokyopop, and its worth a look through, even if you dont buy it. it's one of those stories that require a couple of read-throughs to "get it", but it was worth it. i kinda enjoyed it, and it was an interesting break from the regualr manga that i normally read. keep an eye out for it.

i've got nothing else to say today. im gonna leave you with more pictures of Gundam models. im gonna photgraph my new Gundam models later this week and put them up too, so be prepared...lotsa Gundams coming your way. ^^ these are some of my older models...

Gundam 00 models:

Zwei is my favourite Throne varient, and the Space type is my favourite Tieren varient
Gundam Throne Zwei vs a Tieren Space Type

the Nadleeh is armed with the GN short blade and long blade from my Gundam Exia Kit.

Union Flag Graham Acre Custom and Gundam Nadleeh

the flag custom is too dark in this picture.
Kyrios is an awesome Gundam

Gundam Kyrios attacking a Union Overflag

this has to be my biggest model to date
you can also buy a GN ARMS type E, but it's not as cool

GN ARMS-D with Gundam Dynames. the kit came with a 1/144 scale Dynames anyway, but i havent got round to making that yet, seeing as i already owned the Dynames. The GN-ARMS is a huge kit, but to be totally honest, i only bought it cuz i wanted the beam pistols that came with it to give to my Dynames. ^^;;;;;

and here are my Martian Successor Nadesico kits:

this is my favourite Aestivalis frame

Aestivalis Flight frame

this came as a huge kit which had three Zero-G frames in it.

Zero-G Aestivalis Izumi Custom

The Akutski custom is a pretty sweet frame

Akutski Custom and Hikaru's Zero G Frames.

the artillery frame is meant to be black and grey...i have no idea why bandai molded it in that browny-red-purple colour...its hideous!

Heavy Artillery Frame with Ryoko's Custom assualt pit. One of the big gimmicks with these models is that you can swap the Assault Pits (the cockpit and head) between the different frames, like they do in the anime. I havent made Ryoko's Zero-G frame up yet, but i think i prefer her Assualt pit in the Artillery Frame better than the default head that came with it. :q

and thats enough mecha from me today...but dont worry folks! i have The Cherudim Gundam, Arios Gundam, SD StarGazer, SD HeavyArms, SD Deathsythe and SD Tallgeese all waiting for you. XD (run for the hills!!!)

and when i finally get the Seravee, i'll probably show you that too!!! bwa ha ha ha ha!!!!


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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

aimo aimo neder rushe, noina miria endea protea, fotomi... koko wa attaka na umi dayo
heya folks. i know its been a while. ^^;;

so what's up with me? not a lot to be fair. just going through the motions.

i went up to London last week (on a non-work related excursion) to see what vaccinations i need for my upcoming trip later this year to parts of the world. good news is that i have most of the vaccinations already in my system, and just need booster shots to get them up to speed. bad news is i cant confirm that two of them are still effective, and will need to sort out a blood test at some point, yet another thing to do before the end of may. :q

the other bad news is that i WILL actually have to go to the embassy this year to get my J1 visa. >.< stupid embassy, changing the rules.


other then that, not much. we got a couple of new girls starting at work last week. Harriet and Ewa (pronounced Eva or Evva or Eeva or something) and both of them are pretty cool. the funniest thing is that they both have worked for some of the other big name outdoor stores on our street. My store is fairly new on the street, only being open about a year. but also on this street are a bunch of other Outdoor Pursuit stores. two of the biggest ones are "Elis Brigham" and "Field and Trek". Harriet used to work for "Field and Trek" and Ewa used to work for "Elis Brigham." and now they both work for Cotswolds, the "new kids" on the block. XD although, to be fair Cotswolds as a company has een around for ages. its just our branch thats particualrly new.

anyway, i found that amusing, that we're clearly a better place to work then some of the other similar stores around. XD

i have a bit of a cold coming on at the moment...not fun. it makes kung fu a lot harder to do if you CANT BREATHE. ^^;;

been rewatching some of my older animes recently, including Zone of the Enders and Getbackers... im working my way through ZOE at the moment, and then will get back (geddit?) to GetBackers later. im just at the beginning of the Limitless Fortress arc (which is three volumes and 15 episodes long, so i need to be able to spend a lot of time on that...)

i've also, interestingly enough, started re-reading through my old "Animorphs" collection of books...its an insanely simple read, but the story is really good...its like hanging out with old friends. ^^ i never got round to finishing the series...maybe i'll do that some day. or not.

i made up my new Gundam figures the other week. im pretty happy with them, although the leg of my Arios Gundam SNAPPED when i tried to attach the leg to the model. i glued it back together, but now im wary that it will fall apart every time i try to pose it. this makes me especially annoyed because Arios is a transforming Gundam, and the leg movement is vital to the transofrmation. argh!

i've also been practising on my harmonica a little bit. i can now play AIMO on the harmonica, which is from Macross Frontier. i'll post the original version below, but they also do a version in the TV series where one of the characters play it on the harmonica. and now i can too! yay. i also wanna learn the tas for the same song, but up a key to match the alternate version of the song.

this is aimo:

out of the new anime series i am currently watching, Gundam 00 is turning out to be the best. The story seriously keeps getting better and better with each episode. we're almost at the end of it all, with about 5 or 6 episodes remaining. i cant wait to see how it all finishes up!

speaking of Gundam 00, here's a few pictures of my 00 Gundam model i got a while back. i will also post up images of my new models at some point in the future...

this Gundam's abilities are insane

Twin GN drive

i dont like the weapons as much as i liked Exia's, but they're still cool

despite having beam sabres, i have yet to see the 00 use them

just look at that poseability!!

gotta be one of my most poseable, most advanced models ever. well, for a 1/144 scale at least...

well, thats it from me today.

catch y'all later!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

will attempt to make up my Gundam models today...have been so busy all week, i havent had the chance yet!

so anyhoo, its been a quiet week...i mean REAL quiet...even work has been more boring than usual. and thats no mean feat.

although, having said that, a colleague of mine quite rightly pointed out that he'd rather be working in the store than in an office all day, and i agree. so there are some benefits to my job. :q

i have a whole run of crazy dreams this week. the best one was monday night, which involved Luna (my scooter), a road trip, some fighter jets, a Mini (a car), and a buncha policemen. i wont go into details, cuz its a very long winded and crazy dream, but i rather enjoyed it! ha ha.

also had a pretty good Gundam dream this week, which is nice, cuz contrary to popular belief, i dont dream of Gundam very often... XP

last night i went out drinking with a few people from work. Cam (assistant manager), Dave L, Rob and Angela (new girl). we went to the Coal Hole, which is pretty much opposite the road the store is on, and we did what the newspapers recommended we do that day, that is, binge and bitch. apparently binge drinking at the end of the week whilst letting off steam is a very good way to relieve tension and stress in the body. go fig.

anyway, it was quite an enjoyable evening, which ended in me downing a pint of ale in one go.



anyway, i managed to make it home in one piece and in bed without throwing up. AND i woke up without a hangover, so life is good! (okay, maybe a mild hangover, but barely worth mentioning)

the funniest thing (sorta) that occured this week happened on monday. we were discussing tax self assesment forms (as you do) cuz Dave L has to fill out one due to the fact he owns stocks. Considering the current economic climate, we were discussing what the best thing to invest in would be, and we eventually narrowed it down to three industries:

1: Porn
2: Booze
3: Arms (weapon technology)

so we went online and checked the FTSE and NYSE and sure enough, although having dropped in the last few months (just like everybody else) stock prices in Playboy Enterprises Inc. and LockheedMartin are still pretty strong.

we reasoned this because we figured porn, booze and arms were the corner stones of any civilised society (tongue in cheek) and that even if the world comes to an end, the post apocalyptic world will still have booze, porn and arms.

this lead to my ultimate conclusion (and ultimate point of this long winded story) that when the End comes, all that will be left over will be Drunk Playboy Bunnies in Fighter Jets.

which leaves a very satisfying and amusing mental image.

thank you for allowing me to waste your time with that anecdote.

thats all from me today. i'll update with something more crazy and otaku-ish next time.

ta ta fer now!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

awuu~ another week in paradise.
hi folks. its been another week here in Darke Land, and not much is up, to be honest.

i guess the big news of this week is that we've hired some more staff for the store where i work. and, much to the delight of the male staff (which is pretty much everyone who works there) we've hired some female-type people! ;p seriously though, we only had two females on the rota. one would only work weekends, and the other would do one day a week. the rest of our approx twety-strong staff are male. its gets to you after a while, im just sayin'...

anyhoo, we hired four new girls. Anna, Catherine, Angela and Ana. Catherine is from Scotland, and she'll only be working saturdays. shes a pretty nice girl. Angela is from Canadia (i know i spelt it wrong, its a joke) and will be working almost full time. I havent really met Ana yet, i think she's from spain and will be working part time.

and Anna did the induction day and decided she wasnt "passionate enough for the job" and has quit already. which is a new record for us. shortest duration of employment ever. of course, everyone knows that "not passionate enough" equates to "this job is f***ing boring", which is fair enough.

so yah....newbies! and apparently we're going to be losing more people soon, which might mean MORE new peeps. we shall see.

I was having a bad day earlier this week. i woke up late, missed the train, had to get the next one and transfer at London Bridge station, got on the WRONG train and ended up at Blackfriars station instead of Charing Cross (my usual stop). fortunatly Blackfriars is on the District and Circle Line of the London Underground network, so i caught a Tube (metro/subway train) to where i was supposed to be, and then walked the rest of the way to work. i was about half an hour late.

i went out at lunch to buy the latest volume of the Black Lagoon manga series, and ended up buying three Gundam models as well. ^^;;; which is always good, but i had never really intended to buy these models in the first place... i suck. ^^;;;; still, Gundams work wonders for bad moods. XD

so yeah...been a not great week for me. it actually snowed that night as well, making the trip home difficult. fortunatly it didnt settle.

i've been re-reading the manga series "JUNK" this week, and its reignited my old flame for Transforming Super Heroes (along the lines of Power Rangers etc)
Junk itself is a pretty interesting twist on the "superhero" genre. a kid gets sent what basically amounts to a power suit and gets told he can do whatever he wants with it, so long as he submits data reports on the suits performance. Long story short, he goes on a selfish rampage in the first three or four volumes, but through his interactions of people he knows and people he meets, like another JUNK suit user, he undergoes a personal transformation, and ultimately becomes a better person. There are no real "enemies" to fight, that is to say, no "evil" presence in the book. no monsters or aliens or whatever. so the enemies that the tituar "last hero" has to face are the ones that block his path. who can be considered "good" people, depending on your perspective.

The manga strives to point out that the JUNK users arent "super-humans" but rather just regular Humans; that the JUNK suits really are nothing more than a metaphor than the shells people build around themselves to shut out the outside world, to shut out reality. and the true transformation here is not from Human to Super Human, but from your enclosed shut-off self into a self that is open and interacts as a part of society, someone who understands the world and their place in it. or something like that.

its a pretty good manga. its not my favourite style of art, but its clean and the visuals are pretty spectacular.

staying on the subject of super-heroes, i've taken to watching the new Kamen Rider series on youtube, Kamen Rider Decade. its still the sorta corny superhero show like power rangers was, but i like it. i mean, hey, my entire YOUTH was all about the Power Rangers, even if it was mostly rehashed footage of the original Japanese shows. Let's face it...who wouldn't want that kind of power? (especially when you're a kid...Power Rangers was pretty much the coolest thing in my life)

and maintaining the super hero theme one last time here, has anyone ever heard of the World SuperHero Registry? it can be found here:


its basically a list of active Real Life Super Heroes in the world today. these guys might not have special powers, but in their respective cities and towns, they are striving to make the world a better place. again, a little bit corny, and if you read some of their blogs, you might think they're a few notes short of a full symphony, but in a way they're doing what they think is right. and hey, i personally think some places could do with a few more of these guys.

so thats my two cents on superheroes for this week. ^^

i got noting else for ya. hope y'all had a great weekend.

till next time!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Iron Maiden.

Hey Darke-Fans. how was everyone's week?

as you may remember, it snowed last week. which meant i had the day off work. the snow has pretty much hung around all week, although it physically stopped snowing on tuesday, and by wednesday, all the settled stuff had turned into ice. so yeah, pretty much a week of slipping and sliding around. pretty much the whole country shut down on monday, but we were kinda sorta back to normal by wednesday. go fig.

oh, and apparently a lot of people made it into my work (where i failed). and, apparently, we sold a lot of sledges. ha ha!!

the rest of the week has been pretty boring and uneventful.

on thursday i bought some cheap manga from Forbidden Planet (of all places). i bought vol 8 of "The All New Adventures of Tenchi Muyo" for 2.99 (about 5 US Dollars) and a manga called "Metro Survive" for about the same. "Metro Survive" is a manga i saw somewhere else a month or two ago, and its a fairly simple story. Loser guy gets stuck doing overtime and then on the train ride home, the metro and the building above it collapse in a level 7 quake, and he has to band together with the other passengers in order to survive. The art is decent, and the story is good, but not normally something i'd pick up. but for some reason, i find the manga a really compelling read. something about the characters, the dialogue, the situation...it makes for a great read. its pretty short, only two volumes long, and its fairly fast paced too, but i'd recommend it to you guys, even if you just read it in-store! but seeing as it was cheap, i bought it this time round. XD

i also bought the animated movie "Vexille" for about 8 ($12-ish?). i really enjoyed the movie when i went to see it at the ICA, even though its more or less a rip-off of the Appleseed movies. the visuals are stunning though, and once again, it was going pretty cheap, so i figured "why not?"

i managed to finish my Steel Nation Finale this week and posted it on DeviantArt. the first part can be found here, there are links to the other parts on the site.

Start here

on saturday evening i went into London to attend a fairwell party for Marc, who is the admin guy at work. he has to go back to south africa, so we sent him out in style, "The Cotswold Way" (which involves a lot of alcohol and brownies)

the pub was actually a really nice pub in Hammersmith, which is west london. it was a bit of a trip to get there (and even more of a trip to get back, especially under the influence, if you catch my meaning) but worth it in the end. good times.

so anyway, that was my week. im gonna leave you with some pictures of the snow.

of course, when Darke goes and plays in the snow, he does things a little differently...

little zaku snowman!

with Gundam models of course!

abandoned in the snow

you dont get many opportunities like this, so i figured a mini photo shoot was in order

the house kinda spoils the realism shot here

this is one of my fav shots of the day

a low angle shot there for good measure

DarkeAngel. would like to pilot gundam. even in snow.

This is my absolute fav shot of the day. it came out really clear!

of course, i did some traditional snow-play as well...

some sort of creature?
a grotesque monument to the snow?
Its Venus De Milo, you venus de moron

i tried to make a snow venus de milo. it came out as something horribly grotedque and mishapen, more of a "Venus de Morbid"

still....i had fun. XD

well, till next time!!!

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Monday, February 2, 2009

its the deepest its been for 18 years

so today is officially a snow day. i have absconded from work (mostly because there is no feasible way to get into the city, and even if i do, it's entirely possible i wont be able to leave again...)
to bring you this blog, some comics, and then to go play in the snow...

it basically snowed a couple of times yesterday, and then at some point between 5 and 8 it settled...i turned round and looked out my window and everything had been covered. it literally happened behind my back. 0_o

otherwise, its been pretty boring recently...i did a lot of kung fu last week, and went to stick class yesterday, which was a lot of fun.

on saturday we had a "ski-weekend" at work, in which we had lots of promotions and offers on ski wear, and we had decorations and food and drink and a projector that was projecting stuff...or at least, it WAS. till, at some point during the day, somebody STOLE the projector.

i kid you not. it was pretty busy, but you woulda thought SOMEBODY would have noticed a person unplugging the projector and putting it into a bag... the security in our store SUCK. and before you say anything, i was downstairs in the boot department, so i woulda missed it if there was only one person in the whole store.... :q

so anyways, after work, my colleague, Hannah, invited me around to her house in Orpington to help her bake some stuff for the Sunday of the ski-weekend (we had ran out of food). i had nothing better to do, so i said yes. we went to my house, picked up my car and drove to her house. we watched Wall-E and baked cup-cakes and flapjacks.

Wall-E is an insanely cute movie. im just saying.

so thats pretty much it for me. im gonna go out and play in the snow. XD

but before i leave, here's a little CDD i couldn't resist doing...

eh. work with what you got, i say...

have a great day folks!!!

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