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Review: Samurai X Live Action Movie (Rurouni Kenshin)

I watched Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie last Wednesday. I couldn’t sleep well the day before and I have been raving about watching it on the opening day. I was so happy that SM Cinema decided to disperse the showing through most of the cinemas in the Philippines.

Anyways, I got to the mall really early. The movie is to start at 1PM and I got there around 11AM. Thinking that it would be too much of a big hit (it is a pretty popular anime in the Philippines), I decided to visit the cinema early and buy the ticket. I was denied by the sales person.  (✖╭╮✖) She said she’d sell at 12:30. I really did come back at 12:30.

I really loved this live action movie! I had high hopes about it because the trailer is really exciting! I was not disappointed at all. I was literally on the edge of my seat while watching. Thrilling sword fights, creative word play and clever camera work are some of the things you can expect the movie. For me, the best thing about the live action movie is the casting. I couldn’t put it any better, but whoever the casting director is, he/she must know and love Rurouni Kenshin to death!

Takeru Satoh was casted as Kenshin Himura. I couldn’t possibly select anyone more suitable for Kenshin. He has a subtle humorous personality, and his smile is amazing. Plus, in certain angles he looks like Kamenashi Kazuya-kun. I really loved his acting as well. He’s such a natural. And he’s so cute! Kyaaa!~  (*≧▽≦)

Emi Takei takes on the role of Kaoru Kamiya. I’m not sure she got Kaoru’s strong-willed personality the best, but Kaoru is kind-hearted and pretty and she expresses both gracefully.

Taketo Tanaka acts as Yahiko Myojin. Out of all the cast, this is one I’m disappointed with. Yahiko is extremely pushy and annoying, and this kid isn’t. Maybe he needs more screen time?

Munetaka Aoki plays Sanosuke Sagara. Sugoi! He’s really great! I think he got the headstrong Sanada really well! I also think he really trained for the look as he’s so muscular during the film (which is one of the features of a street fighter). He also handled Sanada’s weapon really well.

Yu Aoi plays Megumi Takani. Among the casts, I think she is the most suited to her character. She plays flirty and carefree but caring and worried about life. She’s extremely pretty (and Megumi is really pretty) and she acts really well!

Yosuke Eguchi plays Hajime Saito. Although in the anime, he appeared later on, he had a lot of screen time in the live action.

Koji Kikkawa plays Udo Jine. He’s a really great actor and his scenes with Takeru-san are so intense. Out of all the actors who played villain, he’s the one I most anticipated. He played the bloodthirsty Jine really well.

All in all, I highly recommend you watch this movie. I don’t think there is a single boring second in the movie. Rumors stated that there is set to be a second movie, and I am fervently hoping there would be! I hope they would get to use the Shishio arc!

I highly recommend this movie to you guys. If it is available in your country, you should definitely watch it on the big screen. There is also a blu-ray DVD release no later than the end of this year too. I am looking to buy the original dvd rather than just download.

Until next movie.

Andy :3

P.S. Watch out for Otaku Girl Episode 13 this weekend. 

 

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Nearly Christmas!

It’s that time of the year again. Honestly, I’m not sure whether I still like Christmas or not. I guess as you grow older, you come to like it less and less. Anyone here feeling this weird as I am? ヽ(ー_ー )ノ

Christmas used to be a really nice holiday. I really liked that for at least three months or so a year, the weather is nicely cold and I can bundle up (I like winter clothing) a bit even in a tropical country like the Philippines. However, it hasn’t been that way lately. It feels as if it’s summer and I cannot even wear a blazer to class since the airconditioning cannot make up for the heat.

I never really had a lot of gifts so I guess I’m not expecting any this year either. It’s always better to not expect. (; ̄д ̄)Still, I do have a wishlist. Since I cannot count on anyone to give me these gifts (of course! you guys are not responsible for me!), I will count on the Lord to miraculously shower them upon me (or I could just save up and buy them myself).

Andy’s Wishlist 

1. World peace (I’m not being a philanthropist here or anything, i just think a little peace and quiet never did anyone bad)

2. More books at our library. our university library is amazing. It holds so many new books and many that are targeted at my course. However, I wish to have more fiction books. I borrowed a lot for this long weekend and I think if I continue borrowing five a week, I will finish the entire literature section before the end of the year. Please make my library more amazing!

A little note on this: I don’t want to buy books because I have no space in the house. My mom will toss them away! >___<

3. Anime Merch. I seriously need to show my anime love more. I need kawaii stuff so I am gonna hoard at the next anime convention if my money allows me to. I am looking to stock up some plushies. Even though there is a lack of space for books in the house, plushies can live. More Miffies!

4. An external drive. I recently bought (well, my dad paid about 75% of it) a 1TB external drive. With the rate of anime download (plus dramas, pictures, written work), I think I might fill the space up real quick. That’s why I never download a really high-res anime, since my small laptop cannot handle them anyway!

5. Laptop. Speaking of laptop, I have one I have been eyeing for months. May the heaven rain upon me a sponsor so I could finally get that scholarship and I would probably have the money to buy the freaking rust-colored, thin and highly-functional (with 750GB space) laptop!

6. A car. Specifically, a Ford Focus. Someone tagged me a photo of this car for sale on Facebook and I wanna stab the person with my cute bunny pen. Will you not rub salt on a very deep wound please?

7. A cat. Yeah… I probably will be allowed to have a cat when I move out of this house. My mom doesn’t like animals. Too bad, right?

8. Post-its. I have a big collection. Like really big. I’m looking to expand 3x this year.

At the moment, these are the only things that come to mind. But knowing me, I probably will be able to add something to the wishlist by just going to the mall. My ultimate wish is to be blessed with great health and a good sense of time management. I need to finish them blog posts! How about you guys? What sort of wishlist are you scheming? ψ(`∇´)ψ

Andy :3

P.S. I guess I still have the Christmas spirit since I did after all eat Bibingka and Kastañas already. They’re popular treats during the Christmas season in the Philippines.

Bibingka! It’s like pancakes.. only yummier! It has my favorite salted egg on top! :3

Kastañas. I just found out they’re actually called chesnuts in English. We have them roasted during the Christmas season.

~

*sigh* I wanna eat them now. Gotta bribe the parents to get them for me~

Christmas in Asia

It’s Christmas Eve!

It’s Christmas time and what better way to do an edition of Anything Asian than by discussing how Asians celebrate Christmas?

First of all, not everyone is Asia celebrate Christmas. Christmas is a Christian tradition, and while most Westerners (Europe, the Americas, etc) are practicing Christianity, most of Asia don’t. If I am correct, most people in Asia practice Buddhism, and it would not be surprising since Buddhism was born in Asia. Wait, just a minute. Wasn’t Christianity born in Asia too? Now, I’m confused.

Anyways, I’ll ponder on this serious matter some other time. For now, let’s see how Asians celebrate Christmas.

Philippines

Image from http://habangbuhayalive.blogspot.com/2010/12/pasko-nanaman-muli.html

Since I live in the Philippines, I do know how we celebrate Christmas as Filipinos. Philippines is the biggest Catholic country in all of Asia, so Christmas is a very prominent holiday in the country.

Loads of colorful Christmas lanterns, Simbang Gabi (Nine Church Masses from December 16-24, usually in the very early morning), foods like Bibingka and Puto Bumbong (exclusive every Christmas), children caroling in front of your house every night – these are just some of the highlights of Christmas in the Philippines. You still have your Christmas parties, but they do not usually happen on Christmas Eve, because December 24 usually marks the Noche Buena, or the Christmas Eve dinner, and the family must be together for this dinner. Filipinos have very close family ties, and the celebration of Christmas Eve together is a portrayal of the importance we give to family. 

Japan

Image from http://gakuranman.com/christmas-dating-in-japan/

From what I watched from Anime, Christmas in Japan is like a 2nd Valentine’s Day. The highlight usually would be for couples. Christmas is not a national holiday. People from Japan are usually Shintoists or Buddhists, so the celebration of Christmas is mostly for  commercial purposes. People still give gifts to people on Christmas, but unlike the Christian celebration in the Philippines, it mostly does not mean anything religious-related. 

South Korea

Image from http://newshopper.sulekha.com/south-korea-christmas_photo_552356.htm

About a quarter of South Korea’s population are Christians. Although this is the case, I have seen many Korean idols promote Christmas albums and commercials. Christmas is treated according to what an individual thinks. Some people think it’s about charity, others a normal pace of life. South Koreans give gifts in different forms like any other races, and they also spend time with their family. However, Christmas celebration is not as extravagant as other national holidays like the Lunar New Year. 

Singapore

Image from http://hancheng-travel.blogspot.com/2008/11/singapore-christmas-at-tampines-mall.html

Singapore is a big shopping center, and during the Christmas season, establishments hold various sales and promos for consumers. Decorations are very extravagant, as if preparing for tourists to come. 

Indonesia and Malaysia

Image from http://tribune.com.pk/story/93747/indonesian-muslim-body-terms-christmas-cheer-excessive/

Malaysia and Indonesia are big Muslim countries. About less than 10% of the population comprise Christians, but Jesus is believed as a prophet by Muslims, so they also celebrate his birth, although not as festive as the Christian celebration. People decorate their homes and give gifts with one another too.

India

Image from http://www.kinkari.com/enews/Archive/Eng/eFFLV-news-Oct-08.html

Interestingly, Indians also celebrate Christmas, even if only 2% of the entire population are actual Christians. Because the country was colonized and influenced by the British government, even schools celebrate Christmas. Instead of the pine tree used in Christmas trees, Indians often decorate mango or banana trees. 

It is traditional for Indians to give gifts during this season, but unlike other countries, they are not only expected to give gifts to friends and family members, they also have to give to the unfortunate and the poor.

 

Bangladesh and Pakistan

Image from http://tlccarlson.blogspot.com/2011/01/christmas-in-nepal.html

Both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Christmas is know as the Great Day. In Pakistan, people celebrate Christmas by wearing new clothes, visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts. They also have to attend church on that day.

In Bangladesh, people cut banana trees and form arches using two trees. They build this as a special pathway to a church service. They put oil on these arches, so they sort of make a lighted way to the service. 

Israel

Image from http://www.treehugger.com/culture/israeli-artist-makes-christmas-tree-from-5480-recycled-plastic-bottles.html

Most Israelites are Jews, so they do not practice the celebration of Christmas. Hannukah, an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple. Christians living in Israel however, do pilgrimage along the places where Jesus Christ lived, most especially in Bethlehem where he was born.

China

Image from http://www.chinapictures.org/photo/chinese-festivals/holidays/40120115010546/

Decoration can be seen in China during the Christmas season, but as a country mainly practicing Taoism, the minority of Christians usually privately celebrate Christmas. Christianity is an oppressed religion in China, as it is a communist country, and some people have to secretly read the Bible (these events are told by my Pastors, I dunno if it still happens). This happens mainly on Mainland China. As for Hong Kong and Macau, they are wide tourist attractions, and they are as well-decorated as Singapore during the season.

That’s it for this edition of Anything Asian. No matter how you celebrate the holidays (or if you ever do), I hope you celebrate it with joy and love. Information on how people celebrate Christmas here might not be accurate. These are based on slight research and stocked knowledge.

Catch you guys soon! 

© 2011 ieatspicynoodles.wordpress.com * Images do not belong to me * they have proper citation and linking * jumping bunnies from dolliecrave.com

Anything Asian: Filipino Ube (Yummy Desert!)

For today’s Anything Asian, I feature one of my favorite foods in the world – Ube! I cooked this with my dad today! :3

purple yam - cooked

Image by k-ideas via Flickr

Ube or Ubeng Halaya as it is also popularly called is a traditional desert of the Filipino family. It is very popular in events and celebrations of the family. Ube is made from Purple Yam (which gives it the natural purple color).  For those of you who did not know what Purple Yam is, it is a tuberous root veggie that grows under the soil. It has a brownish outer layer when pulled out of the soil, but when you peel its skin, you get a light to dark purple color. It is widely known to be used in many desserts. Because it is abundant here in the Philippines, we have varieties of uses for it. We have Ube Ice Cream, Ube cake (so heavenly!), Ube tarts, Ube in bread rolls, and many other pastries. The most popular Ube dish is the Ube Halaya, which is taking the Purple Yam and combining it with milk.

Ube is one of the family recipes that we have mastered over the years. My grandfather was quite a popular cook back in his days and this is one of the special treats that he cooks very well. My grandmother also knew how to cook it, and so she passed her knowledge to all her children, including my dad. My dad is a great cook – not nearly as good as my mom, but he is still very good.

Ube halaya (Purple yam)

Image by dollierv via Flickr

Cooking Ube Halaya is not easy. I only tried one time cooking it and my arms hurt for two days after that. This is the reason why my dad always tells me that we should do it together. It can be sort of a father-daughter bonding. For this week’s Anything Asian, I’d like to share with you the family recipe, and tips on how to cook your Ubeng Halaya like a pro.

You will need the following ingredients:

*Purple Yam (Ube)

*Condensed Milk

*Evaporated Milk

*Sugar

*Unsalted Butter

For the measurements of the ingredients, I honestly don’t know how big a serving size is. All I know is that for every kilogram of purple yam, you must have 250 ml of Evaporated milk and about 400 ml of condensed milk. You also have to have around 1/8 kg of sugar. You can actually do what you want with the taste. Adjust the sweetness according to your preference.

You will need the following tools:

*A big pot

*A large mixing bowl

*A small grater (a cheese grater would be good)

*a spatula

*a large not-very shallow pan

*a ladle

If you are a large sucker for Ubeng Halaya like our family is, you would need big mixing bowls for your desert. We bought 2 kg of Purple Yam. Here’s the cooking instruction:

1. Wash the Purple Yams until they are clean of dirt. Fill a big pot with water and place the Yams inside. They have to be fully submerged. Don’t peel the yam even if you want to. The flavor would be lost in the water.

Sliced raw Hawaiian ube (purple yam). Photo ta...

Image via Wikipedia

2. Boil the yam until tender. You may test the tenderness with a fork. If the outer layer is very soft, it is very likely that the yam is cooked inside. It does not matter even if you overcook it since you would be mashing it anyway.

3. Allow the yams to cool for at least 15-20 minutes. When they are not too hot to be touched anymore, you may start peeling them. Peel the outer layer including the roots sticking out. You have to make sure you take out all roots or my dad says when you eat it, you would have a very itchy feeling in your throat.

4. Using a fine grater, grate the yams into a large mixing bowl. The finer the grater you use, the finer the texture of the finished yams would be.

5. Mix in the other ingredients. Mix well. We sometimes add cheese to make the mixture tastier and creamier, but if you don’t want it, that’s fine. If you want more accuracy in mixing, use an electric mixer. Adjust the flavor to how sweet you want it. You have to make it sweeter than what you want it to be because when you heat the mixture again, it will slightly lose its sweetness.

6. Put the mixture in a not very shallow pan. Perhaps something as deep as a wok. Fire it in medium to low heat. Watch your heat because the mixture easily burns.

7. Give it a really good mix every 10 seconds or so. Make sure you are mixing to the depths of the mixture to avoid sticking and burning.WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK.

8. Mix it until it gets to your desired stickiness. My dad and I like it slightly sticky so we gave the ones we cooked today around 45 minutes to an hour.

9. The last step is about putting it on a container. Before you put it on a container, glaze the container with butter to prevent it from sticking. Some Filipinos (especially if the Ube is going to be served in a big Fiesta) put it on banana leaves to prevent sticking. My dad and I used Plain Unsalted Butter, but you can use any butter you want. I just want plain butter so it would not affect the taste of the Ube.

Enjoy your Ube! Some people add Toasted Shaved Coconut on top, but I like it really plain and simple. I hope you guys try this recipe. It’s a really nice recipe from the Philippines. If you ever get to Philippines, try this sweet treat. It’s good to use as a jam too!

Till the next recipe,

Andy :x

© 2011 ieatspicynoodles.wordpress.com Images are not owned by me. Dividers are either from dollicrave.com or cherrybam.com. Other images have citations.


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