Feature Foto #5

Today's feature photo is this picture of the many Ojizo-sama statues at Kaikōzan Jishōin Hase-dera (海光山慈照院長谷寺), known simply as Hasedera ("Hase Temple") in Hase, Kamakura. Many folks think these little statues are cute and charming, and they are, but in fact the symbolism behind them makes their presence a bit sad and tragic. Ojizo-sama is the buddhist god who guards the souls of children who have died before their parents, especially those who were miscarried, still-born or aborted. On a brighter note, Ojizo-sama is also honoured when children survive life threaten illnesses. The fact that we see SO many here (and this only a small portion of the numerous statues honoured here) is a sobering reminder of how many families have endured this kind of tragedy.

If you have Google Earth, download Hasedera's place marker.


Ohhh No! Mobile phones on airplanes

Mobile phone use is now officially supported and permitted on commercial airline flights for the first time on UK's Ryan Air. The news is not particularly shocking but I do think this is an absolutely horrible idea. Mobile phone users, *particularly* in the West use absolutely NO phone etiquette whatsoever and the selfish and intrusive nature of mobile phone calls in public is now going to make the already-uncomfortable experience of economy-class airline travel much, much worse.

For people like me that already have a lot of trouble sleeping on airplanes, the chance of getting some rest is now less likely than ever. What a disappointment. I hate mobile phone users; I really do-- especially my fellow westerners who are total f&%cking irritating jerks when talking on their damn phones.

Read about this on The Telegraph website.


Film Pick - Boku no kanojo wa saibôgu

My recent film pick is an enchanting film called 僕の彼女はサイボーグ (Boku no kanojo wa saibôgu). This translates into "My girlfriend is a Cyborg," but was given the title, "Cyborg She" for the English-language translation. It's about a lonely and geeky fellow named Jiro, played by Koide Keisuke (小出 恵介), who on his birthday ends up meeting the girl of his dreams, who is played by super-cute actress Ayase Haruka (綾瀬 はるか). As the two get to know each other, Jiro comes to learn that his new girlfriend is actually a time-traveling, super-human Cyborg from the future whose life is already well-intertwined with his in ways that he will only come to learn in time.

Honestly, I thought this movie was absolutely delightful. All the essential elements of special-effects-enhanced sci-fi, tear-inducing drama and heart-warming love story were blended seamlessly into a wonderful film that was a joy to watch and drew its audience into the story quite easily. Critics of the movie might scoff at the seemingly unrealistic and sometimes paradoxical storyline development, but I don't think that realism was a goal that this writer-director was striving to reach. Instead I saw this movie as a refreshing, unique and thoughtful new approach to the story of a relationship between man and woman. Korean director Kwak Jae-young did something that is rarely accomplished successfully-- he meaningfully combined well-made time travel science fiction with a dramatic sub-plot based in meaningful family tradition into a very charming love story with fascinating and unexpected plot-twists, exciting adventures and multiple, parallel endings!

The other aspect of the film that really pulled this story together is the way actors Koide and Ayase and carried their roles perfectly. Their natural on-screen chemistry really made the unusual story come to life in a way that makes the movie a truly fetching experience for their audience. These two make a great acting pair and work together to make their relationship in this film into something believable and convincing, despite the extraordinary circumstances that brought them together.

I have to admit that I had my reservations about this movie going into it, but I was totally captivated very soon after it started and found myself enjoying every minute of it. I definitely recommend this wonderful film to movie fans of all varieties who want to enjoy a fresh twist on the tried-and-true. This is a great movie for dates, I might add, but it would certainly make for a nice relaxing evening at home, too. Check it out and see what I'm saying for yourself!


Some new Code Geass figures!

In my post today I want to show you some more of my figures from Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス〜反逆のルルーシュ). This nice set of figures go together perfectly, of course. What I'm showing you here is the Offshoot Lancelot (ランスロット) Knightmare Frame and Kururugi Suzaku (枢木 スザク) from the Bandai Code Geass R2 EX-PORTRAITS series. Mecha and pilot. I am quite happy to have these on display in my collection. I think their sizes and designs make them go together perfectly.

These figures were lots of fun to buy! The Lancelot came from Asobit City in Akihabara (秋葉原) and Suzaku came from the Kotobukiya (コトブキヤ) shop, also in Akihabara. Yes, that was a fun day indeed, and I have nice memories associated with these kool figures!