JFong's Adventures

Anime and manga enthusiast, whilst finding a foothold in life.

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Friday, 11 October 2019

October 11, 2019

Week 112 Update: Tense

My shoulder aches are back and it's been going on for a few days. One reason I can think of is my sitting posture, but I'm trying to fix that problem and hopefully the shoulder aches will relieve itself. Another possible reason is that I gained a lot of weight recently, and I need to be more mindful of what I eat. I've been recently binging on food so I'm setting myself a "diet" where I reduce binging slowly.

Overwatch has also been boring, but I got back into Hearthstone again due to their Halloween event, since I love playing dual class arena. Something new like this always make the games different and more enjoyable. I also have been watching a bit more anime, but I haven't been enjoying too much due to my shoulder aches. Furthermore, I still got one more exam in my semester before my end-of-semester exams in a couple of days, so I'll need to focus on that. Thus, there may be no anime/manga review this weekend, but I'll try my best to get one out. 

Anyway, it's amazing that I kept this blog relatively active for so long, since I started this blog because i was bored and I usually lose that drive after a few weeks. For me, this blog is a way to relax and to vent out my thoughts. It's never good to keep all the thoughts in your head for too long. Anyway, thank you for reading and hope to see you in the future.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

October 06, 2019

Manga Review: Bougyaku no Kokekko (Absolute Letdown)

I don't usually read manga as regularly as I watch anime, but when I do, I usually binge read a completed series. Bougyaku no Kokekko was one of the manga that caught my attention, and since it was a horror manga, I took a chance with it without looking at the reviews before reading it. Unfortunately, Bougyaku no Kokekko has a cool concept, but the characters and story is terrible. 

Bougyaku no Kokekko involves characters that are set in a normal world, where adults are suddenly turned into monster chickens.  The story never explains why it happens and I wanted to know why it happens. I guess the shock factor is more important than explanation for the people involved in this manga. Without spoiling too much, our protagonists are a bunch of teenage and child orphans, who have to survive against the monster chickens. What I extremely dislike in this manga is how tense moments or climaxes are downplayed immediately as soon as they are resolved. By doing so, it results in disengagement of readers. 

What I somewhat dislike is another aspect of the story. Apparently the antagonist is breeding chickens and then making them forcefully impregnate human females to create "perfect humans". Whilst I feel disgusted in these scenes, I can understand that the author wanted to shock the readers. The conclusion of the series is also open-ended, but that is to be expected for apocalypse-like scenarios. However, the phenomenons behind the story (people turning into chicken when they become adults) were never explained. The art is one of the good aspects of this series, but the art can occasionally look sloppy or weird.
Overall, I would recommend readers from reading this series, since you aren't going to get anything meaningful in this series. However, if you want to experience the bad so that you can differentiate from the good, Bougyaku no Kokekko is not a long series. It is only 56 chapters long, and the chapters are 10 pages or more. Nevertheless, Bougyaku no Kokekko is a series I will definitely never go back, and it's a series where it is better to leave it buried.

Overall Score: (4/10)
Story: 3/10
Characters: 4/10
Art: 6/10
Enjoyment: 3/10

Saturday, 5 October 2019

October 05, 2019

Week 111 Update: A Momentary Abatement

Right now, I'm in my university's one week break, where I'll be back to uni in 3 days. It's nice to have a break since I can catch up with university content that I'm been behind on, and I still got so much to catch up on. It's why I forgot to write this weekly update on time, even though I had it in my mind since a few days ago. I caught up on a lot of anime too during this period, but I have writer's block so I don't feel extremely motivated to write a review. I also get tired of games now, and only playing if I want to do something different to get my mind running.

One thing I've been consistently enjoying is manga, and reading the weekly series, Kingdom and One Piece. Can't wait for the big break at the end of the year so I can binge read more manga. There may be another post again today or tomorrow for a manga or an anime review, but I can't guarantee it. Anyway, back to studying...

Sunday, 29 September 2019

September 29, 2019

Anime Movie Review & Ending Explained: Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (Another Superb Mari Okada Film)

When you see P.A. Works, most people would associate the anime with wondrous beauty in its artstyle and that certainly holds true for Maquia. P.A. Works has been from the trend of having a good series one season, then having a poor/average one the next season. I'm not really sure why, but perhaps it's due to the adaptation of original series. As we all know, most original series never pan out well. Maquia, however, is a unique case to the library of original series works, despite being a movie. When I saw Mari Okada as the director and writer of this series, I knew that this was going to be something special, and special it was.

The movie was a beautiful series and was paced very well despite having many timeskips. Maquia probably has the most timeskips I seen in a movie, but that was one of the main aspects of the movie. The importance of time was prevalent, perhaps less so from our protagonist - Maquia. There were many other themes regarding human relationships and qualities, and that was one aspect that Mari Okada always did well in movies she directed.

Ending Scene Speculations:
After the credits, the audience is treated with a stillshot of the last Renato and the surviving group of Iorph who are living in the restored village. We also see a prominent individual with red hair, who we speculate to be Leilia's daughter, Medmel. This theory makes sense and it would be a wholesome one, since we can assume that Medmel eventually reunited with her mother again. I'm sure there are many theories out and about, regarding who the other individuals are within the photo. According to an interview with Mari Okada from IGN, the setting was "many, many years later", but that doesn't really close off any theories since Iorphs live a long time, so the theory that the picture depicts Leilia and Maquia and other survivors, could hold true.

The theory that these are another generation of Iorph could also hold true too, but that seems a bit weird since a lot of the Renato died so quickly of the Red Curse. For me, it doesn't seem likely to be in the far future, so that's why I think the first theory is more likely. No matter what theory you support, this scene wasn't originally planned to be put into the film, but Mari Okada intervened and asked for it to be put in. A good decision indeed, Mari Okada. Very wholesome!
Loss, Death, Happiness, Love, Sacrifice - A Necessary Part of Life
The movie delves into human emotions that we all will encounter throughout our lives. This is even more so for our protagonist, Maquia, where time is the least of her worries, so she inevitably will encounter more of this hardships. As the movie progresses, we see the struggles and feelings that Maquia discovers as she tries to live her life with her adopted human child. Being an orphan, Maquia had to discover what was love and happiness for herself, as well as the harsh aspects of life - loss and death of friends. That is what makes this movie so engaging and relatable, despite the audience being completely different to Maquia. Everyone, no matter race, will experience these emotions, and it is our choice to control our emotions or let these emotions control us. 

At the end of the movie, we see a matured Maquia, who comes and visit the near dying Eriel many years later (her dying aged son). She accepts that loss of loved ones is a part of life, and that it was necessary to move on. Crying and mourning is necessary to prevent these emotions from penting up, and what's more important is that you don't delve on this loss, and that is what Maquia did. Furthermore, she understands that it was more important to cherish the happy times and the love she experienced with Eriel. We see this in the fast timelapse of what happened in the movie, and it was truly a heartfelt moment. There was no way you wouldn't tear up. 

What's even more interesting is that if you look into Mari Okada's previous works, her life experiences is translated into her works. I remember looking at the transcript for the interview regarding Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda (Anthem of the Heart), and the story was kind of based of her childhood where her parents went through a divorce and she was blamed for it. It shows that people who have survived through tough times can present to us the best of works involving this harsh aspects of our lives.

Overall, Maquia is an exceptional movie and I definitely recommend everyone to watch it. It seems like this movie went unnoticed for a while. I downloaded it a long time ago, but I never went about to watch it, because I usually don't watch movies unless I am wanting something different. There could be times where the story can get confusing or boring, but I found the movie paced generally well. The art is beautiful and the OSTs are pleasant on the ears.

Overall Score: 9.25/10
Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Art: 10/10
Sound: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

September 25, 2019

Week 110 Update: Essence of Life

You may wonder what that title means, but I recently watched the movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower blooms, and it was extremely good, but no surprise coming from Mari Okada. She's one of the best director/writers for movies involving human qualities and relationships, but that's probably partly due to her troubled past and you can see this from the Wiki and also from interviews about movies she has previously made. This knowledge acts value to these movies, because her experiences and how she perceived the world is translated into her works. And I'm sure many people with social anxiety or something can relate to this, since Mari Okada also had social anxiety during her childhood. I know many normal people can laugh at people with these problems, but anime is one of those things that motivate me to keep on going and for me to live. I probably grown tired of caring about what other people thinks of me nowadays.

I already got a brief outline of topics of what I will write for the review of the movie, but I still have an exam in 2 days, so I need to focus on that first before this review. Hopefully I can write it by this week, if not, it will be next week, depending on how I feel after the exam. There was so many thoughts and emotions in my head when I watched it and these still lingered after finishing the movie. Can't wait to let you netizens hear my thoughts on it.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

September 17, 2019

Week 108-109 Update: Overloaded with Assessment Every Week

Hey sorry guys for the lack of updates. I have been really busy recently as I have a major assessment every week for the past week. I even have one in a few days and another one the next week. However, I will be having one week university break soon, so I should be able to continue blogging as usual during that week and hopefully in future weeks too. Unfortunately, there will be no review post this week, but there may be on next week, since I had time to watch some anime. Furthermore, I sometimes have writer's block and it's hard for me to have that desire to write especially if I am busy already.

This will be a short update as I want to work my hardest to get the best mark I can. I already have disappointed myself in one of the exams I had in the previous weeks (marks are not out yet, but I don't think I did well) because I was sick. Goddamn it why did I have to be sick! Anyway, see you next week.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

September 04, 2019

Week 107 Update: Overload

While I am not that sick anymore (still got some phlegm in my throat and a bit of a runny nose), I am left with a "backlog" of uni work that I have to catch up with. Furthermore, there are also tests and assessments every week until the one week break that I have near October. This most likely means another long hiatus again until I get everything sorted. I haven't really gotten back into reading anime too much either. I have only watched one series so far since last week, so if I do have time, I may write about it.

It's kinda frustrating that I procrastinate/lose my concentration much easier now and this is perhaps due to me gaining weight and feeling "stressed". Once this semester ends, I definitely need to slowly start exercising again, like some light exercise for me to slowly lose weight. Anyway I need to continue to study for a test in 2 days time. Until next week, hope you have a good one.