Temporary Intermission

Wow I haven’t blogged for so long that I’m starting to get rusty at it, language-wise and all; but then I have been exposed to nothing but numbers over the last 2 months. Anyhow, perhaps in this moment of peace I should give an update as to what’s been happening since the absence of my presence here. The exam timetable was released and I completely devastated to find that I had 3 exams over two days (just this past Tuesday and Wednesday). I had my hardest two exams on Tuesday (which was the real setback) and my least important one the following day. In total, those 3 tests came to a total of 185% of my final marks. So in the span of 26 hours I had obtained nearly 2 courses worth of marks, how sad.

 

So for the last few weeks especially I have been stressing over how to manage that foreboding flow of exams; I (tried to) study day and night but even so I wasn’t as productive as I would’ve liked to be. I realized towards the end of last week, that temperature played a factor in my concentration. Clearly, the colder it was, the shorter my attention span was. But it was too late to reconcile for that at that point, so I made with what little time I had left and did my best.

 

My marks this semester will be at their lowest yet; but then again, second year courses are more challenging than first year ones, so it comes to no surprise that the amount of effort required for this semester should be double that of last year’s. I’ll pass, but sadly I’ll have to let go of my ambition to get the same level of marks as in high school. But that’s life.

 

Amongst other things that have distracted me while studying, the following are the top 2:

 

AnimeNFO

AnimeNFO is an online Japanese radio broadcasting from either Europe or South America (not specific I know, the point is that it’s not from Japan) which broadcasts all sorts of Japanese music 24/7. I found the site while I was at work, and wanted some anime music to listen to. The music they play is completely user requested and offers everyone a chance to hear something new (even if it’s a really old song), which is the point of a radio. This site sort of re-lit my passion for Jap music because of just how fun the site was. Below is a screenshot of what the site page looks like:

 

AnimeNfo Radio V2 -- Your BEST source for Anime and Japanese music!_1276822076094

What’s good about the site is that it shows you the playlist, including current song, upcoming songs and recently played songs, plus the album art. That’s useful information because the thing people hate about the radio is hearing a good song but not knowing what it’s called or who it’s by. This way, once I come across a good song I’ll be able to find out what it’s called (and promptly obtain it via the Internet haha!)

 

The site also allows you to rate the songs that get played, and hence gives you a rough indication on how everyone has been reacting to that particular song. There’s also the option to add songs to your personal favourite list, but that’s only available after you donate money to them or rate a total of 500 songs, whichever comes first. Ah the joys of combining anime and radio together.

 

Check it out at: https://www.animenfo.com/

 

 

Angel Beats!

The last anime series I picked up just as semester ended was Angel Beats!. I hadn’t realized it at the time but it was actually the biggest thing hitting Japan at the moment. Anyway, the series is about a bunch of teenagers who have died and are taken to purgatory (the setting is a high school), where they are meant to live a satisfying life that they otherwise were unable to obtain while they were actually alive (hence dying as youth). The characters, on the other hand, recall how horrible their lives were and instead of trying to find satisfaction in purgatory, seek to rebel against god for the injustice that he has committed on them.

 

vlcsnap-2010-06-17-21h25m47s27

 

The series provides a wonderful balance between action, comedy, and especially the deep down personal side of the story, as each character talks about the way they died. It’s that last aspect that sort of appealed to me. And this is the second time that an anime has made me legitimately cry; the first was “Voices of a Distant Star”. Anyway here’s the scene that made me cry:

 

 

Yui, the pink-haired girl, was my favourite character, mostly due to her cuteness, which was probably why I cried haha!

 

The anime is really popular and appealing also due to the fact that they’ve marketed it really well. Music has been a really strong point of this anime, the opening and ending theme hit no. 3 on the Oricon charts in its first week, as well as a number of other songs listed under the band name “Girls Dead Monster”. Wacko name for a band yeah; but three of their songs also hit the charts that same week, they ranked like below 10. But as you can see, a single anime managed to secure 4 slots of the Japanese music charts in a single week, now that’s popularity. The band technically exists within the anime itself, but they did make a real version of the band, using the same singer. Here is their first PV and also the song I’ve been obsessed over for a while now:

 

Looks like I’ve gotten back into Jap music now; probably push aside the K-Pop a bit. I realise now that the major appeal that J-Pop has to me is the strong vocals combined with an equally strong bass, makes for awesome music!

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