Updates + THE CHOICE [Nicholas Sparks] Overview

~Hanamuke no Merodii,

Hi. It’s been a while since I’ve written on ya. I just want to say that being on vacation is a blast! Half truth, half lie. Haha. But what matters most is that I got my much needed rest. It was way too quiet in the province than in the city. But I still felt the holidays and the yuletide season. And now? It’s gone.. XD Back to reality… Aaaargh.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa, Sevilla, and Fiorentina remained at the top four of their respective leagues! ^^ (all 4th to be precise, haha) However, I really hope that Ashley Young won’t go to Real Madrid. I also hope that Tottenham, Schalke, Werder Bremen, and Roma all move a little higher in their respective league tables.

In the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Hornets are doing quite well in their respective conferences. Mike Bibby has somehow retained his Sacramento days while Chris Paul is still IMO the best PG in the league right now.

I also played Personal 2: Eternal Punishment the whole vacation long. Haha. It’s actually a good PS1 RPG game that is as enjoyable as Suikoden II. I really recommend it to all gamers and RPG enthusiasts. In line with this, I will soon watch Persona [anime].

As for anime, I will ASAP catch up with Clannad: After Story, Chaos;Head, and Ef: A Tale of Melodies. I will also watch Perfect Blue and Paranoia Agent. Argh so many things to watch with so little free time at hand. XD

As for my novel, I will continue writing it, but not as dedicated as before. I will update chapters indefinitely now, because of my hectic schedule. XD Probably a chapter a week, at most 2 or 3. It depends upon the situation really. At least for now, Lonely Road has already reached 16 chapters. I’m very happy for that. ^^

I bought myself the best Christmas present to myself this yuletide season – a new keyboard! ^^ It’s absolutely wonderful and I like it. Though it’s just Casio, I still love it. ^^ I can finally finish playing One More Time, One More Chance and Your Hand in Mine. I think I’ll finish River Flows in You as well. ^^ Yeah! Good luck to me!

Also, I’m still waiting for the next releases of Jyukai and/or Aimmy. ^^ Sigh.. Manami has such a wonderful voice. I just don’t get tired listening to her the whole day!

OMG. She's so beautiful... ^^

OMG. She's so beautiful... ^^

The Choice – Nicholas Sparks

A wonderful, heart-melting, touching story written yet again by Nicholas Sparks. In case you don’t know him, he is the writer of Message in A Bottle, The Notebook, and A Walk to Remember – all played in major motion pictures. It answers the ultimate question of “How far would you go in the name of love.”

A story about young love but adult persons, I never thought that I’d enjoy reading it. At first, I thought it was just a plain story-telling adventure of a man in search of love. But as the chapters progress, it amazes me more and more. And I mean, more! It is unbelievably, wonderfully told! Really a page-turner. I couldn’t imagine I could shed a tear by reading a book.

I recommend it to people of all ages. ^^

Ever

ef ~A Tale of Melodies~ Ep.1

ef ~A Tale of Melodies~ Ep.1

The first episode is not a disappointment. In fact, I love it, really. This ef series really is one of those anime that will leave you a very good impression right at the very start.

It will certainly give you at least 3 or 4 mixed feelings in just 24 minutes of air time – and to think that this is just an opener. I’m really looking forward the next episodes and ’til the end.

Finally, (to those who haven’t played the game) we can see the story arcs of Yuu and Yuko (the mystery persons from Memories).

Overall, the animation is good just like the first series, the voice acting ain’t that bad, and the anticipation level is high. Let’s hope this unfolds another epic series. n_n

Finding my True Self: A Dream + A Short Review on Byousoku 5 cm + In Relation to My Life

I overslept a while ago. As I woke up, I noticed that the small hand of the clock was about to reach 12. It was already noon when I regained my consciousness from a very deep slumber – a slumber so happy that I can almost touch it – like a reality.

I had a dream. A dream about her. Again. We finally met. She was smiling – a smile I’ve never seen for more than 3 years now. The smile that I was searching for all this time. The smile that filled my life once. I approached her as she approach me. We had a nice time together while walking and sharing some stories. But I never noticed how it ended. It’s like one day you’re here and wham! You’re gone again.

Despite that, I feel like I’ve seen her in reality again. It was like she was so close to me that it was that very moment I was looking for all this time – even though it’s a dream. And so, I finally decided to watch 5 cm/sec. And wow! I MEAN WOW! To my surprise, it was like patterned to my real life. Almost as exact as it can get. Not only that, the future it held could be my future too (Comparisons to be discussed later on). And so, here’s Byousoku 5 cm:

13:51:02

18 Aug 08

Byousoku 5 cm

5 centimeters per second – this is the estimated speed that a sakura petal falls to the ground. In this three-episode movie, the separation of the petal from the tree is greatly explored. Why did the petal have to leave the tree and where will the petal drop off? Will the distance between the tree and the sakura petal have any significance at all? This is a chain of short stories about love, people, time, space, distance, longing, memories, and pain. These are the everyday struggles that we, human beings, don’t seem to notice until one day, the most important things in our lives will be gone.

The arts and the animation of the series is really visually stunning. The staff really made a wonderful job to make it look as real as possible. The voice acting weren’t bad also, as the emotions can also be felt in the tone and how the speech was delivered. Although the movie is quite short (only three episodes), it is self-sufficient in a sense that it conveyed everything it holds. All the possibilities and the amazing potentials it brought out were realized in the end in a good manner. The conclusion, half expected-half not (although it favors me that the conclusion be the one I expected), was really good.

The three episodes were all connected to each other as it brings about the main theme of the story – moving on. The past is the past and what is important now is living on with the present.

Takaki Tono never really realized this until the final seconds of the movie when he though he saw Akari again across the railroads (where he never really did confirmed it because of the trains passing by). Their relationship started at a good pace and a good foundation – friendship. But as time goes, this relationship grows further, eventually surpassing friendship itself and moving on towards love.

The first deeply emotional scene was when Takaki and Akari met again after nearly 1 year being separated since the end of middle school. Takaki arrived at the station they were supposed to meet more than 4 hours later because of the delays in the train stations due to a strong  blizzard. As soon as Akari saw Takaki, Akari teared – of joy, surprise, and probably the disappearance of disappointment, fear, doubt, and worries. They shared stories of immeasurable amount as they went to sleep together.

But before they slept, Takaki and Akari kissed – and this changed the view of Takaki, and as well as Akari. They knew that it was because of that moment, they would never see each other again. Everything would be different from now on. Now why is that? One, because friendship ends and probably, love starts. Second, it would be very hard for love to survive in such a scenario lacking time for each other. Their true enemies are time and distance. Takaki said that he would call and he would write, but that may never be enough. Love needs nurturing and this could not be done in its full form without the presence of the other.

So the next morning, as they woke up, Takaki left the station. Akari never gave the letter she was suppose to give Takaki while Takaki’s letter for Akari also never reached her (because he accidentally dropped the letter in one of the stations, causing the letter to fly into emptiness).

The story continues in the second episode where Takaki is now in high school where he met Kanae Sumida, a friend of his. Takaki doesn’t know that Kanae had fallen for him – but this is a fact that will never reach Takaki. Although at one point in the story, Kanae was centimeters away from confessing to Takaki about her love for him, she hesitated. And in the end, she never got to tell him the truth that she had been keeping to herself (and to some of her friends). Why?

Because she knew that she was not the one Takaki is looking at. Everytime Kanae would look at Takaki, he seems to be looking at a far away distance where he seems to be waiting for someone. This alone let Kanae feel that maybe, just maybe, she was not the one for him – aside from the fact that Kanae always sees Takaki sending a message through his phone (although Takaki never really sends any of those messages to anyone – he just types then and then deletes it afterwards).

So in the end of that day, Kanae just rested in her bed, crying of pain, because she knew, that even though she will not tell Takaki the truth and that Takaki will be with someone else, she will still continue to love Takaki as much as yesterday or even greater tomorrow than any of the previous days.

The story concluded in the final episode that is self-entitled. Kanae, Akari, and Takaki lived their own lives according to the path they have chosen. Takaki became a computer programmer while Akari was engaged to another man. Takaki had a girlfriend but the movie never really explored on this much. The last episode was shown with just a set of clips – of the past and the present – together with a very beautiful and masterful song One More Time, One More Chance. THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE IN ANIME EVER, together with the song. IT IS ADVISED THAT YOU WATCH THIS SCENCE AT LEAST TWICE. One for the lyrics of the song, and the other at least once for the clips shown, as it gives a ton of info in the story.

In the end, Takaki was shown wandering around that same area where he and Akari last met at the end of middle school. As he crossed the railroads, he also crossed a woman and after crossing the railroad he thought to himself, “I know deep inside and I can feel that this woman would also look back at me as I will look back at her”. And as Takaki looks back at the woman, two trains pass by the railroads and as soon as the view clears up, the woman was not there anymore. This is the highlight of the story. How? Because as soon as she sees that the woman was never there anymore, he knew that he had moved on, because he smiled. The woman was strongly hinted as Akari, though there was no confirmation. But then, he smiled, turned around, and walked his way as the present would continue on its path. The way cleared up for him and it was just up for him to run and follow that woman to confirm and to see for himself. But, and a very big but, he did not. He had the choice. And he chose the better one.

Living on the present and then not regretting what was over. This is what I like about the story. A lesson which I wish I had learned eons ago. Now, I’m confined in this entity called time and now I’m trapped. From the movie, I can clearly see my life and myself as Takaki.

In a sense, let’s just recall my memories. I have also been in love with someone in high school. Though she knew what I felt, I never really got the chance of what I really felt, say the intensity or whatever. But the point is that, I never told her. Then, we got separated. Their family moved to a farther place, so we only exchanged thoughts through text messaging. Back in the later parts of high school, I also had a girlfriend (and still is up to now) where she also fell in love with me as I fall in love with her too. But at times, she always talks to me about how she was inappropriate for me and that how I would be happy with someone else. Why? Because I’m also looking at a distant, far away place. I’m also waiting for someone to return.

And now, it’s been more than 3 years since we haven’t met face to face. It is only in dreams that I can talk to her and see her. But that’s ok. At least there’s a chance.

This truly contradicts my perspectives – the fact that Takaki lived with the present. I can’t even think about that. I’m still trapped by the past. A moment that has passed and I was carried away with it. Takaki had no regrets while I had mine – because he has something which I don’t have, or have not found yet – and that is courage. The courage to move and live in the present and be satisfied. Unlike in ef ~A Tale of Memories~, there are memories which we don’t want to forget. Yes, I do not want to forget those memories with her, but heck, those memories will never come to life again, nor will there be a conclusion to it, unless everything gets cleared up in the near future. And I need the courage to do that. In Fate/stay night, Shiro could eventually forget Saber’s tangible everythings, but not the fact that someday, she loved Saber. And now, here in Byousoku 5 cm, Takaki lived with it, and continued on the path that he has chosen. Akari also lived the life she chose.

The excellent metaphor of the petals and us human beings gave Byousoku 5 cm something to think about. As the petals drop 5 cm per second, we human beings are also unaware that we drift apart from each other at a slow rate. But in fact, this is not that important. What’s important is the time it takes for this drifting to take place. It doesn’t matter if a petal drops for 5 cm per second, or a space shuttle to travel at 5 kilometers per hour – the time it takes to travel makes the distance wider. The longer time it takes, the farther you distance from the other. This will leave you with a lot of pain to deal with. And although other people are ready to help, support, and love you, you will be covered with the pain. It will be like a barrier that will prevent you from waking up to reality and be constantly trapped in the time where now, you regret the most.

As for me, I hope I find the way to live the life I chose, or the life that was here, destined for me. It’s like, something is so unclear.

Oh wait, now I get it. It just passed my head just now. I NOW KNOW why I am feeling like this right now. In ef ~A Tale of Memories~, I can strongly relate to Kei Shindou. Why Kei? Because she is in so much pain. A pain caused by the unclear feelings of Hirono for her. Hirono never told Kei what he really felt, until Kei finally understood that it was just sisterly and brotherly love and that the feelings she had for him is at wrong place. After that, Kei was contented with what the situation is, and Hirono then chose to love Miyako.

Like Kei, I really don’t know on what ground I am currently standing at. Because, she never told me. I know she knew what I felt, but she in fact, come to think of it, never ever told me what her feelings are or were all these time. Now I know – because I don’t know.

So overall, I gave this movie a rating of 9.7 and relational rating of 10. If you haven’t watched this movie yet, then you are definitely missing something. This movie is one of the best anime movie ever made.

One More Time, One More Chance
Lyrics and Vocals: Masayoshi Yamazaki
Arrangement: Toshiyuki Mori

Koreijou nani wo ushinaeba kokoro wa yurusareru no
Dore hodo no itami naraba mou ichido kimi ni aeru
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzake atta jikan yo

Kuichigau toki wa itsumo boku ga saki ni oreta ne
Wagamama na seikaku ga naosara itoshiku saseta
One more chance kioku ni ashi wo torarete
One more chance tsugi no basho wo erabenai

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Mukai no HOOMU rojiura no mado
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Negai ga moshimo kanau nara ima sugu kimi no moto e
Dekinai koto wa mou nanimo nai
Subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

Sabishisa magirasu dake nara
Dare demo ii hazu na no ni
Hoshi ga ochisou na yoru dakara
Jibun wo itsuwarenai
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzake atta jikan yo

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Kousaten demo yume no naka demo
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
Atarashii asa korekara no boku
Ienakatta suki to iu kotoba mo

Natsu no omoide ga mawaru fui ni kieta kodou

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Akegata no machi sakuragichou de
Konna toko ni kuru hazu mo nai no ni
Negai ga moshimo kanau nara ima sugu kimi no moto e
Dekinai koto wa mou nanimo nai
Subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no kakera wo
Tabisaki no mise shinbun no sumi
Konna toko ni aru hazu mo nai no ni
Kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
Atarashii asa kore kara no boku
Ienakatta suki to iu kotoba mo

Itsu demo sagashite shimau dokka ni kimi no egao wo
Kyuukou machi no fumikiri atari
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Inochi ga kurikaesu naraba nandomo kimi no moto e
Hoshii mono nado mou nanimo nai
Kimi no hoka ni taisetsu na mono nado

One More Time, One More Chance
Transliteration and translation: daike
Translation support: Emma
Translation edit: icie:

How much more do I have to lose, before my heart is forgiven?
How many more pains do I have to suffer, to meet you once again?
One more time, oh seasons, fade not
One more time, when we were messing around

Whenever we disagreed, I would always give in first
Your selfish nature made me love you even more
One more chance, the memories restrain my steps
One more chance, I cannot choose my next destination

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
On the opposite platform, in the windows along the lane
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If my wish were to come true, I would be at your side right away
There would be nothing I couldn’t do
I would put everything on the line and hold you tight
________________________________________
If I just wanted to avoid loneliness, anybody would have been enough.
Because the night looks like the stars will fall, I cannot lie to myself.
One more time, oh seasons, fade not.
One more time, when we were messing around

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
At a street crossing, in the midst of dreams
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If a miracle were to happen here, I would show you right away
The new morning, who I’ll be from now on
And the words I never said: “I love you.”
________________________________________
The memories of summer are revolving
The throbbing which suddenly disappeared

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
At dawn on the streets, at Sakuragi-cho
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If my wish were to come true, I would be at your side right away
There would be nothing I couldn’t do
I would put everything on the line and hold you tight

I’m always searching, for fragments of you to appear somewhere
At a traveller’s store, in the corner of newspaper,
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If a miracle were to happen here, I would show you right away
The new morning, who I’ll be from now on
And the words I never said: “I love you.”

I always end up looking for your smile, to appear somewhere
At the railroad crossing, waiting for the express to pass
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If our lives could be repeated, I would be at your side every time
I would want nothing else
Besides you, nothing else matters

Yeah, the lyrics of the song pierced my heart and tore it to pieces. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful. I can say the same for HER. Though you could never really be there…

P.S. Makoto Shinkai, you’re a genius!

The Place of Happiness: A Short Review on ef ~A Tale of Memories~

ef ~A Tale of Memories~ Introduction

07:51:10 PM

17 Aug 08

ef ~A Tale of Memories~

Euphoric Field – The place of happiness. A Tale of Memories revolves around a wish. Something everyone must have. And that in order to reach that, we must attach these wishes to the memories that we don’t want to forget.

A Tale of Memories is one of the best drama anime out there presented in its very own unique way. The story is told in 3 perspectives each having different scenarios from the other (actually, it was 4 – this fourth one is continually being inserted in some episodes while it was put to an end in the final seconds of the anime). Being unique means being presented in a really “psychological” way which will really make you think, “Why is it this way?”

To “not-fans” of slice of life-drama anime, this anime is a MUST NOT HAVE. I repeat – A MUST NOT HAVE. It contains heavy drama all throughout the story and an episode will most likely end the way it started – conversations that will unfold a character’s life. No action, no comedy inserts (unlike Clannad), and certainly, no fanservice. Everything has a connection with everything.

Though at first, the story is a bit confusing and there are MANY parts of the story that you wouldn’t understand by just watching it the first time – so rewatchability of the series is really high, as it will unfold unclear memories.

There were quite a lot of memories that I do not want to forget about the series, but the thing is that they are too many and this series really has reached the limits of a good bitter-sweet anime (although yes, it was a good ending! n_n).

Overall, ef ~A Tale of Memories~ deserves a rating of 9.5 for me. I’m just a sucker for good plots and storylines. The story will really keep you thinking “what will happen next”, or “damn, how come that didn’t happen?”, and with some twists and turns with the story. Sadly enough, I was able to relate to it again.

ef ~A Tale of Melodies~

Season 2 Announcement

Official Website

Promotional Video [Streaming]

And now, I have the answer why, after all these years, I can’t seem to find a way to forget you.

Because…

..

.

I do not want to

More Anime News

I’m highly anticipating Clannad 24 now. I have browsed for quite a while now and all I can see is the Clannad 24 [RAW], which I cannot understand. Gawd, help me to learn Japanese language pls…

Anyway, let’s hope the subs are coming out at most 20 hours from now. I’m so excited. This could be a good “introduction” to Clannad ~After Story~ as it ends Clannad.

Another rumor I got somewhere is that there will be a sequel to ~ef~ A Tale of Memories. It’s entitled something like ~ef~ A Tale of Melodies.

Official News Here.

Official Site Here.

Yey, another series to watch. ^^,