Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Want A Gazillion-Bajillion Wishes!

fairly oddparentsFairly Oddparents -- Wouldn't it be nice to have fairy godparents who can grant your every wish, no matter how many and with no strings attached? I'd probably wish for everything I can think of and maybe make some things (and people) disappear too while in the process. That would be more than super.

Which brings me to today's TV show review. Meet Timmy Turner - a 10-year-old who must probably be the unluckiest kid in Dimmsdale. His buckteeth always gets noticed and he always gets picked on by the neighborhood bully. Then his parents almost always ignore him and leave him at home with the vile babysitter, Vicky, whose life's primary purpose seems to be to torture Timmy.

Due to Timmy's unfortunate life, two fairy godparents were sent to him from Fairyland. So why is the title Fairly Oddparents? That's because they're odd, no other reason. Cosmo, the green-haired fairy, is always in space, so it's up to his wife, Wanda, the pink-haired one, to bring him back. Since no one is supposed to find out about them, Cosmo and Wanda usually transform into various objects or animals so they can freely go with Timmy.

The Fairly Oddparents follows no single storyline, meaning it's more or less random, but there are some occurrences where you had to have seen some earlier episodes and such. Although even if you didn't, the 30-minute cartoon would still be funny. Sometimes, one word can leave me laughing throughout the whole show and after, as I keep remembering it. Oh and it's also funny how Timmy gets tortured by Vicky. I know it's mean, but it makes me laugh.

I love this one song from The Fairly Oddparents, so I'll share it with you!

Icky Vicky

V! I! C-K-Y!
The sound of her name makes the little kids cry

Hey Vicky!
You're so so icky
Just the thought of bein' round you
Makes me oh, so sicky

Hey Vicky
Won't you please explain
How you get so much enjoyment
Outta causing kids pain?

A chick who's just plain mean
A sour sweet sixteen
She a fire-breathing dragon
In a pair of black jeans!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You Are Totally Clueless!

cluelessClueless -- I remember my friend introducing Clueless to me because I was, and still am, a hair short of being clueless about chick-flicks. Surprisingly enough, I didn't get bored nor clueless while watching it. I even ended up watching the movie several times before returning the tape to my friend.

Clueless is about a 15-year-old Beverly Hills girl named Cher (Alicia Silverstone) who is known to be all about herself, shopping and boys. She is popular because of these, as well as her beauty and wealth, and she was happy with it until her ex-stepbrother, Josh, comes into the picture. He always teases her about being an airhead so she decides that she wants to be known for being an intelligent person and a do-gooder too.

She starts by hooking up two of her teachers and therefore escaping that C and turning it into an A that will make Cher's dad proud. Then she meets Tai, who looks like someone who just came from a farm. Cher decides that Tai will be her project. She changes Tai into someone who will be popular and true enough, Tai becomes popular...more popular than Cher. As with teenagers, this starts fights and all. Cher realizes that she's not that popular anymore and that she's in love with her ex-stepbrother, Josh.

Clueless, despite the fact that it came out on 1995, made famous a type of speech that is still used today. Words like "What-ever!", "Postal", "Like" and "Barf" were made popular by the movie and by the way it was used by Cher and her friends. A new type of trend was also introduced during that time that can still be seen these days. Also, the use of cellphones that was highlighted in the movie pushed the gadget into a state of necessity.

Alicia Silverstone gave justice to Cher's character and it really fit her well. The movie itself is lighthearted and funny. It isn't one of those generic teen movies today that all have the same plot and dry humor. You definitely won't go clueless with Clueless!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Simple Life Isn't So Simple After All

the simple lifeThe Simple Life -- Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie would definitely die if they were left alone without cash, credit cards, cellphone, cars and all those stuff that rich people have. How is that possible? If you watch their "reality tv" stint together, The Simple Life, you'll understand what I mean.

The Simple Life basically throws Paris and Nicole into different common jobs every episode. They have to do those jobs without the accessories that they use every single day (money and credit cards included). Their jobs vary from farm work to cleaning to working as fast food servers.

I always try to watch The Simple Life whenever I can, not because I'm a fan of Paris or Nicole or the Paris-Nicole tandem, but because it cracks me up and makes me realize how lucky I am not to be that pampered. Hehe watching rich people doing something that they weren't raised to do is funny.

If you don't mind watching two rich (some claim "intellectually challenged" - for the sake of political correctness) girls trying to do the work that us common people do, commit mistakes that only common children do, then by all means, watch The Simple Life and have a wheeeee! time in front of the TV.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Immortal Highlander

highlander"Here we are, born to be kings we're the princes of the universe..."

Highlander -- Awesome, awesome show. I was so obsessed with Highlander when I was growing up. I enjoyed the fact that the characters are immortal and you can't kill them off unless you slice their heads clean off their necks. They can only be killed by fellow immortals, and at times, by accident, some mortals manage to do the job.

The Highlander series revolves around Duncan MacLeod, the protagonist of the story. Born on Scotland in 1592, he is, indeed, an immortal. I like his sword, a katana, given to him by some Japanese dude some 200 years ago (we're on the Highlander timeline here).

The fight scenes are really awesome and can get pretty long too. I never got bored though. The sword fights are usually from different disciplines so you get to see a bit of everything - from Asian to European, etc. Then when one of them successfully slices the head of his opponent off, the winner absorbs all of the loser's powers with a lightning bolt. It would be pretty lucky if you're an amateur immortal and you accidentally kill one of the veteran immortals hehe...

Oh and the opening song of Highlander, as quoted above, is a single entitled "Princes of the Universe" by Queen.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Once Upon a Forest (1993)

once upon a forestOnce Upon a Forest -- This is one of my favorite animated movies when I was a kid. It's funny and heartwarming and the story just grows on you when you watch it. Also, Once Upon a Forest' s characters are really cute!

The main characters of Once Upon a Forest are the ones on the picture to your left.

First there's Cornelius, a badger who is known to be the wisest in Dapplewood (the forest where they live in). He is responsible for teaching the Furlings, the baby-kid animals, all about the forest and the dangers outside the forest. Cornelius also likes to invent flying machines..

Then there's Michelle. She's a very very cute and sweet little badger who happens to be Cornelius' niece. Michelle's parents died in a gas accident in the forest which is why Cornelius is taking care of her. She is very fond of her uncle and she's always curious about everything.

Edgar is a little mole that is brilliant yet his brilliance can be surpassed by his shyness and oftentimes, he is not too courageous either. Although even if he acts this way, he still knows when to stand up against other people: when his friends get caught in a bit of a jam.

Then we have Abigail. She is a woodmouse who seems to act like a tomboy since she's so adventurous, with spunk but she cares for her friends a lot. Oh and obviously, because of her character and age, she is the leader of the Furlings.

Lastly, there's the hedgehog called Russell. He comes from a very big family so they have lots of food all the time. That's probably the reason why he loves eating so much and why he grows really fat.

The story? Uhmmm... Once Upon a Time is basically just a story of a bunch of forest animals who called their forest, Dapplewood. They were always taught to avoid the humans since they were the ones who were destroying the forest and killing off the families of the animals. One day, these gases were released into the forest and somehow Michelle, Cornelius' niece, inhaled them and got sick. The Furlings that Cornelius taught wanted to save Michelle so they built one of Cornelius' flying machines to get to the mountain that has the flower which can cure Michelle. Once Upon a Forest is a story of how three brave Furlings were able to save their friend and their home from those who want to destroy it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Creepiest kid-show ever!

teletubbiesTeletubbies -- These four aliens are probably the creepiest kid-show hosts I've ever seen. I'm over my teenage years but they still creep me out. Okay, they scare me. To the point that I've had nightmares about them.

If you think you're too mature for kid-shows and you have no idea as to who these four "creatures" on the picture are, they're called Teletubbies. They are individually known and color-coordinated as:

Tinky Winky - (male) violet
Dipsy - (male) green
Laa-Laa - (female) yellow
Po - (female) red

They live in a dome called Tubbytronic Superdome. These Teletubbies have screens on their tummies that can be used as television sets. Also, the place where they live is almost always sunny. Oh yeah, the sun. Whoever saw a sun that has a laughing baby head right at the middle of it?? Anyway, these characters imitate toddlers - the age group that they cater - from proportions of their bodies to actions and manner of speaking.

Oh there's also a controversy surrounding the Teletubbies. I do not wish to elaborate on this one, except that they have been seen as promoters of homosexuality. Well, watch and judge them for yourselves. Oh, before you let your kids watch this, try to watch it on your own first. Just in case =)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Open the Shijintenshou......

fushigi yuugi, fushigi yugiFushigi Yuugi -- This is my top 1 favorite anime ever! I fell in love with Fushigi Yuugi's story and characters since the first time I saw it. It has drama, romance, action, comedy, adventure and mystery rolled into one 52-episode animation series!

I already mentioned that Fushigi Yuugi is a 52-episode anime. The series was taken from the 18-volume manga by Watase Yuu. The story that was in the series are taken
from volumes 1-13 of the manga: the real FY story arc. Volumes 14-18, the Tenkou arc, is the storyline for the second FY OVA. The story arcs of the three Fushigi Yuugi OVAs:

FY OVA I - happens within the arc of the series
FY OVA II - happens after the series
FY OVA III - happens 10 years after the second OVA

What is Fushigi Yuugi all about?
Fushigi Yuugi is the story of a girl, Miaka, who one day visits the library with her best friend, Yui. Miaka then wanders off to the restricted section as she tries to find a red bird that caught her attention. Yui finds Miaka in the restricted section when a book suddenly falls open in front of them from one of the shelves. The title of the book was "Shijintenshou"...

As soon as they start reading the Shijintenshou (Yui was reading because Miaka can't read Chinese characters), the both get sucked in the book by a red light and find themselves in ancient China. They meet a group of slave drivers who were about to take them away but they get saved by a mysterious man with a mark on his forehead. Then Yui and Miaka go back to the real world just as they were thanking the man. Soon enough, Miaka enters the book again, finds out that she is in a country called Hongnan (Konan) and is promising the young emperor of the country to become the Priestess of Suzaku...and that's how Fushigi Yuugi starts. If I continue more than that, I'll end up telling the whole story.

Fushigi Yuugi was influenced by ancient Chinese myths. Shijintenshou translates to "The Universe of the Four Gods". These four gods are the ruler of the North, South, East and West and their powers are based on the four basic elements: ice, fire, wood and water respectively. These gods have 7 constellations each under them (28 known constellations of the ancient times have been divided into 4). Oh and these gods are represented in animal form too.

For a breakdown of the gods and their constellations:

Genbu (direction: north, element: ice, animal: white tiger) - Uruki, Tomite, Hatsui, Namame, Hikitsu, Inami and Urumiya
Suzaku (direction: south, element: fire, animal: phoenix) - Tamahome, Hotohori, Nuriko, Chichiri, Tasuki, Mitsukake and Chiriko
Byakko (direction: east, element: wood, animal: reptile) - Tokaki, Subaru, Tatara, Kokie, Amefuri, Karasuki and Toroki
Seiryu (direction: west, element: water, animal: dragon) - Nakago, Amiboshi, Suboshi, Soi, Ashitare, Tomo and Miboshi
I'm hoping that that tempts you enough to watch Fushigi Yuugi. Honestly, it's something that girls would like more although I've had guy friends who liked the story as well. It's a feel-good anime. You'll cry with them, laugh with them and the characters (and story) really grow on you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

O castitatis lilium...

Elfen Lied -- This has definitely got to be one of the goriest, saddest and most twisted anime I've ever seen.

What is Elfen Lied?
Elfen Lied is an anime/manga created by Okamoto Rin. The story revolves around a Diclonius named Lucy who was stranded in an island inn where she washed up after being hit on the head by a sniper's bullet. The hit caused her to have split personality disorder, her other "self" was called Nyu by Kouta and Yuka - the people who found her. Nyu's appearance causes Kouta to remember events from his past that seemed to be buried so deep that he forgot about them while the lab where Lucy escaped from ordered a man-hunt for her.

What is a "Diclonius"?
A Diclonius is a mutated human. You can tell them apart from other humans because they have horns on their heads that resemble cat ears. A diclonius possesses telekinetic powers that they can use through their "vectors".

What are "Vectors"?
Vectors represent a diclonius' power. They are like invisible hands surrounding the diclonius. They seem invisible because they move at speeds that the eyes cannot keep track of.

How does this post's title relate to Elfen Lied?
The title is taken from Elfen Lied's opening song, "Lilium". It's a Latin song, btw.

Elfen Lied is not recommended for those who are under 18 and those who have weak hearts and stomach. That's because a lot of killings happen and they are represented quite graphically. Nude and torture scenes are present too. I did like Elfen Lied though. Putting the violence aside, it's a sad story, especially Nana (another diclonius) who wanted to be accepted by the man she calls her father. It's tragic too...

Which is why if you're over 18, has a strong heart and tummy, watch Elfen Lied.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sound of Music (1965)

the sound of musicThe Sound of Music -- I don't think a lot of people would remember Sound of Music, especially if you grew up during the 90s beyond. It's one of my favorite musicals ever!!

The Sound of Music revolved around Maria (a nun-to-be) who was assigned to be the governess of Captain Von Trapp's seven children. The Von Trapp household became dull and without color when the children's mother died. Maria fixed that when she taught the children how to sing -- causing Captain Von Trapp to forget about his feelings for the Baroness (his current girlfriend) and fall in love with Maria.

Oh yeah, the setting is Austria, before the World War II started.

Probably the most popular song in The Sound of Music would be "Do-Re-Mi". Ohohoho don't tell me you don't know that song... Everyone learned their do-re-mis through that song! Well, everyone after 1965, that is. You still don't know it? Tsk tsk.. I'll give you a bit of a preview then:

Do - a deer, a female deer
Re - a drop of golden sun
Mi - a name I call myself
Fa - a long, long way to run
Sol - a needle pulling thread
La - a note to follow sol
Ti - a drink with jam and bread...

Erm.. does it ring a bell now? Of course it should! That's what I've been saying since a while ago. Anyway, I'll just leave everyone with The Sound of Music's list of songs so you can listen more because the songs are just lovely. Watch the musical too!! You won't regret sitting for two hours!! Promise!!

Maria - "The Sound of Music"
The Nuns - "Maria"
Maria - "I Have Confidence"
Rolf and Liesl - "Sixteen Going on Seventeen"
Maria and Liesl - "Sixteen Goin' on Seventeen"
Maria - "My Favorite Things"
Maria and the Children - "Do-Re-Mi"
Maria and the Children - "The Lonely Goatherd"
The Children - "So Long, Farewell"
Mother Abbess - "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"
Maria and the Captain - "Something Good"
The Captain - "Edelweiss"
... - "How can love survive?"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kung Pow - Enter the Fist: Steve Oedekerk (2002)

kung pow enter the fist"I-It's bad.. It's..It's wrong.. It's...badong!"

Kung Pow -- I'm not really sure about the popularity of this movie because most of the people I ask about this aren't even aware of it.

Anyway, Kung Pow is one of the best martial art-parody movies ever! The movie stars Steve Oedekerk (yeah, try saying that 10 times as fast as you can). He's also Kung Pow's director and writer.

Kung Pow was taken from a 1977 Hong Kong action movie called Tiger and Crane Fist. It was dubbed to become a comedy and Oedekerk was inserted over the main character.

For the plot (don't worry, I won't reveal that much.. I'm too lazy to write the whole plot. Oh and I don't want to spoil your fun ^^): Oedekerk's character is known as "The Chosen One" - he is the Chosen One because of the face on his tongue (refer to picture). The Evil Empire wanted to get rid of Chosen One so they send a guy named Master Pain (and several henchmen) to kill Chosen and his family. As expected, Chosen survives.

So Chosen grows up and looks for the dojo of Master Tang. He finally finds it and takes refuge there. He meets Wimp Lo who swears to beat Chosen and Ling, a female resident of the dojo who fancies Chosen. Then Master Pain comes to town to visit the mayor and he shows off his strength. Oh and he also announces that he will change his name from Master Pain to Master Betty. He fails to recognize Chosen, but of course, as the story develops, they will face each other and encounter many, many, many deaths (and tons upon tons of laughter).

Okay.. That's my version of Kung Pow's summary. Overall, I'm giving Kung Pow a 10/10 rating. Why? Well, watch it and you'll see why (and you'll also see how knocked up my brain is). The bad dubbing, obvious CG, intended puns, hazy picture and weirdness all around contribute to the beauty of Kung Pow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Azumanga Daioh

azumanga daiohAzumanga Daioh -- Meet Yomi, Sakaki, Kagura, Tomo, Osaka and Chiyo. Six high school girls whose daily antics will never fail to give you a good laugh. They're crazy, gullible, absent-minded...and uhm...plain stupid.

Azumanga Daioh is based on a 4-
volume manga (Japanese comics) by Azuma Kiyohiko. The series has 26 episodes but each episode is divided into 5 mini episodes. Azumanga Daioh doesn't really follow any story. In a general sense, it just shows the lives of six girls during their high school years. It starts when they're in their first year of high school and ends with their graduation - well..when they were accepted in different collages.

I'll tell you a bit about the major characters:

Yomi - she can't stop eating but she's always on a diet. Yomi's always aggravated by her friend since junior high, Tomo.
Tomo - she wants to be the best in everything but her stupidity always messes things up. She's loud, annoying and thick-skinned too.
Kagura - what she lacks in brains, she makes up through sports. She's second to Sakaki in terms of athleticism.
Sakaki - she's reserved, admired not only by boys but
by girls too. Sakaki's the best in sports in their whole school and she's secretly obsessed with anything cute.
Osaka - her head is always up in the clouds. Osaka has a different view of the world, she spouts randomness at any given time, she sucks at studying and sports...but that makes her, IMO, the funniest character.
Chiyo - she's a 10-year-old genius who skipped grades and is now a high school student. Chiyo is still a child despite the level of her brain, she's always cute in whatever she does, and she owns a big dog that she rides on the back - Tadakichi-san.

azumanga daioh kimura
Other characters:
Kaoru - she has the biggest crush on Sakaki but unfortunately, Kimura fancies her.
Yukari - she's the girls' homeroom teacher. She's an adult version on Tomo and she gave Chiyo a trauma.
Nyamo - she's the school's PE teacher and Yukari's friend (and rival). Students like Nyamo better than Yukari in terms of personality.
Kimura - he's the only male cast and the school's literature teacher. He loves high school girls and is open about him being perverted.

You should watch Azumanga Daioh because I promise you won't regret it at all. It might even become one of your favorite anime series! It's funny and it's a good way to relax and have a good time, by yourself or with your friends. I also have to admit, the things Osaka blurts sometimes sound so witty, she might just be a genius too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Lazy Town

lazy townLazy Town -- You'd probably be aware of Lazy Town if:

1) You're a kid who likes Nickelodeon,
2) You like watching kids' shows or
3) You like small, underage girls (or lolita, as they call it)

Anyway, there's not much plot with Lazy Town. Simply put, Stephanie (the pink-haired human girl) moves to Lazy Town and she meets different people and befriends them. Oh..did I say people? I meant puppets. She befriends puppets.

There are only three human characters in Lazy Town. There's Stephanie, Sportacus (the sporty guy dressed in blue) and Robbie Rotten (the guy with the chin that rivals Leno). The puppets are unimportant. You guys don't have to know them.

I used to watch Lazy Town whenever I'd catch it on Nick. Then I realized that the characters in Lazy Town all seem to have eaten a kilo of sugar each before every episode. They're all hyperactive! Watching them jump everywhere tires me out. The songs are really addictive though. The ones that they sing are the types that get stuck inside your head and no matter what you do, you'd be hearing...

Bing bang diggly dong
First thing that I say after I wake up
Bing bang diggly dong
I say those words before I go to sleep

...erm... You'd be hearing that all day long!

Well, watch Lazy Town. Even if they're all hyperactive and they sing songs that are hard to forget, Lazy Town is still amusing, even for a 22-year old like me. (Oh mind you, I'm a girl and I don't like lolis.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


macgyverMacGyver -- MacGyver was aired back in 1985 until 1992 so a lot of kids today probably don't remember the show. Heck, I think a lot of people born in the 80s only have a vague idea about MacGyver because 1) it's not a cartoon show and 2) it's something Daddy would watch.

Who is this guy? (He's the one with the mullet, btw.) MacGuyver - also the title of the show - is a hero. Hero in the sense that he rescues people, towns, etc. Yeah, he's a typical "hero"...or so you think. MacGuyver can do all his heroic stunts with the least amount of weapons. No, he doesn't do martial arts. Give him a lightbulb and he can go through any door using that as a lock pick. That's the kind of "hero" he is. MacGyver can turn any ordinary object into a weapon or a tool that can help him save himself and others from critical danger.

Did I mention he's afraid of heights?

If you're looking for some clean and action-packed adventure series, then you're looking for MacGyver. You won't be left asking for more, plus, it's a great Do-It-Yourself (DIY) guide show. So when you watch MacGyver, be sure to get your pen and paper ready to take down notes so you'll know what to do to save yourself the next time you get stuck at the bottom of a 1000-ft. well with a bomb that's about to go off in 20 seconds and all you have with you is a pair of toothpicks, 3 pieces of marshmallow and dog poo.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ringu - Ring (1998)

ring, ringu, sadakoRing -- I know a lot of people like scary movies. I love them too and I love getting scared like hell.

One of the top three scariest movies of all time for me is the original Ring (Ringu). I got scared senseless when I watched this in the cinemas with my cousin (she even cut me with her nails when she clung onto me when she got scared).

I'm sure a lot of people have seen Ring and got scared too when they watched. Although for those (un?)fortunate enough who refused to watch the movie when they heard their family and friends talking about it, I will (as usual) give a super concise gist of the story (of the Japanese version).

Okay. So there's this reporter whose cousin died mysteriously. She finds out that the death was caused after the cousin watched a video tape a week before she died. The reporter, who knew about the tape beforehand but dismissed it as an urban legend until she finds out about her cousin, was able to get a copy of the tape. Of course, there won't be anything else left for the movie if the reporter didn't let her curiosity get the better of
her and avoid watching the tape. So naturally, the reporter watches the video, gets a call that she'll die in 7 days, and gets all frantic trying to avoid her untimely death. She calls her ex-husband to help her save her life. End of super-concise gist (without giving away spoilers).

For those of you who have seen the movie, I guess you can relate to the things written in the next few
ring, ringu, sadako sentences...

After I watched the movie, I had to cover my TV set with thick cloths and boards. Not only that, I couldn't watch TV for a week. I also couldn't go out of my room at night alone, not even when I'm super hungry or thirsty (good thing the bathroom's adjoined to my room). Okay, a lot of you might think I took things to the extreme but, the movie scared me shit.

Well, it's better to see for yourselves what I mean. Watch it...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Tales from the Darkside

tales from the darkside"The Darkside is always there waiting for us to enter; waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight."

Tales from the Darkside -- If you like all those horror and sci-fi stories, I think Tales from the Darkside is perfect for you. It's considered a relative of the Twilight Zone because of the morbid, but sometimes funny, episodes. The stories that are featured in the show are based from books by famous horror-genre authors like Stephen King and stars actors from the 40s-50s era.

I really wouldn't want to spoil Tales from the Darkside for eager viewers, so let me just give you a list of the best-rated episodes in the 4 seasons that it was aired:

Season 1:
Episode 7: Slippage
Episode 8: Inside the Closet
Episode 10: A Case of the Stubborns
Episode 14: Anniversary Dinner
Episode 22: Bigalow's Last Smoke

Season 2:
Episode 28: Parlor Floor Front
Episode 29: Halloween Candy
Episode 34: Ursa Minor
Episode 44: A Choice of Dreams
Episode 47: Fear of Floating

Season 3:
Episode 48: The Casavin Curse
Episode 49: The Circus
Episode 53: The Geezenstacks
Episode 57: Baker's Dozen
Episode 58: Deliver Us from Goodness
Episode 59: Seasons of Belief
Episode 61: The Milkman Cometh
Episode 65: Everybody Needs a Little Love
Episode 67: The Social Climber

Season 4:
Episode 74: The Moth
Episode 75: No Strings
Episode 77: The Yattering and Jack
Episode 79: Sorry, Right Number
Episode 84: The Cutty Black Sow
Episode 85: Do Not Open This Box
Episode 86: Family Reunion
Episode 89: Barter

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Lost Gospel: Would you believe it?

lost gospel of judas, national geographicThe Lost Gospel of Judas -- If someone presents to you a document that would most likely disprove your beliefs, would you accept it?

National Geographic's The Lost Gospel of Judas created waves of both excitement and anxiety when it was shown as a prime time feature. This documentary is about, well, Judas' gospel, which was found in a Coptic codex back in the 1970s.

It is common knowledge that the four disciples all called Judas a traitor to Jesus, having betrayed the latter to the Romans in exchange for money.
The gospel of Judas refutes the four New Testament gospels that are compiled in today's Bibles since it is written there that Judas was only obeying Jesus' orders.

Apparently, Judas is Jesus' closest friend because Judas understands Jesus' reason for being on Earth. This being the reason, Jesus asked Judas to "free" him from the chains of a mortal body, an act that Christians know as the "betrayal of Jesus by Judas Escariot".

If you're a Christian, would you believe this? I think that the Lost Gospel of Judas shouldn't be dismissed because it gives modern-day Christians - laymen, clergymen and scholars alike - different views regarding early Christian beliefs and understanding. When I watched this documentary, I was provided an insight that is generally and totally different from what I've read in the Bible, but it didn't upset me or caused me to disbelieve the other gospels completely. Watching the special, The Lost Gospel of Judas, only made me want to look for a clearer and an open-minded understanding of my faith in order to fully grasp its meaning in my life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Who's afraid of the X-marked swordsman?

rurouni kenshin anime"The bluest sky is infinitely high and crystal clear..." - Gentatsu

Rurouni Kenshin -- If you're a fan of anime, that means you know what Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) is. I think almost everyone, fans or not, has seen Kenshin fight using his Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu technique. People have seen him encounter opponents that grow stronger with every episode like Saito Hajime of the Shinsengumi, Shinomori Aoshi of the Oniwabanshu and Shishio Makoto of the Juppongatana.

Er... If you have no idea what Rurouni Kenshin is, I'll give you a bit of an overview.

Rurouni Kenshin, also called Samurai X, is a manga series by Watsuki Nobuhiro that was animated in 1996. The story revolves around Himura Kenshin, a wanderer who is known as the greatest swordsman in Japan during the Edo period. He was an assassin of the bakufu (Japanese government) who wanted to atone for all the lives that he took. The anime (and manga) tells us what happens to Kenshin as he meets new friends and old enemies alike while trying to accept that his past is part of him.

There are also two Rurouni Kenshin OVAs: the "Tsuiokuhen" (Recollection) is about Kenshin's childhood
where he was found by his master, Hiko Seijuro, until he turns 18; the "Seisouhen" (Reflection) is about Kenshin and Kaoru's life years after the story of the series happens. A Rurouni Kenshin movie was also created called the "Ishin Shishi he no Requiem" (The Requiem of the Ishin Shishi) where Kenshin meets another samurai whose friend was slain by Kenshin when he was still an assassin. (I won't write about anything more than this because I might slip and give away spoilers.)

rurouni kenshin saitoRurouni Kenshin is a very good anime to watch if you're into Japanese history, well-drawn fight scenes, samurai, weapons, or just plain anime. I have to mention that the dialogues in Rurouni Kenshin are very deep and poetic and they reflect the period where the characters live in (an example being the quote I used to start this entry). Oh I also have to mention that most of the main characters in Rurouni Kenshin are based on real people who lived during the Edo period and not only the characters, but the historical events as well like the Shinsengumi, Saito, Okita, the Tokugawa era and the Meiji restoration among others.

Here's a list of my favorite Rurouni Kenshin characters:

  1. Saito Hajime - used to be part of the Shinsengumi and Kenshin's enemy; his character is based on a real Saito Hajime who was also part of the Shinsengumi
  2. Himura Kenshin - was known as "Hitokiri Battousai"; became a wanderer to try and atone for his sins
  3. Shinomori Aoshi - head of the Oniwabanshu who wanted to defeat Kenshin to gain the title of "strongest swordsman"
  4. Shishio Makoto - head of the Juppongatana; consumed with hatred for the government
  5. Hiko Seijuro - Kenshin's master; runs a sake business since he retired from being a Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu swordsman
  6. Soujiro Seta - one of Shishio's Juppongatana; learned how to keep smiling due to his past
  7. Muto Shougo - a Christian who claimed to be the second Messiah; knows Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu
Do watch Rurouni Kenshin. I've never heard of anyone not liking it even a bit. If you're going to watch it for the sake of watching it because you're an anime fan, then by all means, watch Rurouni Kenshin from episodes 1 to 98. However, if you're watching it because you want a brilliant anime to add to your list, I suggest you stop watching after the Kenshin and Amakusa Shougo episodes because the rest are bad fillers that, I admit, caused Rurouni Kenshin to be pulled out and discontinued. Despite this, it really is a great, great, great watch!