Friday, May 29, 2015

The Wind Rises: A short review


I went into this movie pretty much blind since all I knew about it was that it was about airplanes.  Eventually I discovered that the movie takes place during the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and around WWII when engineers were creating the kamikaze fighter plane (Mitsubishi A6M Zero).

I noticed similarities this film shared with Howl's Moving Castle in the way the planes and their sound effects were used.  The planes sounded alive; I was wondering if an actual person made the sound effects of the planes.  The earthquake also seemed like a living creature.

Any scenes of war's destruction were hauntingly metaphorical which I appreciated because instead of distracting, it complimented the movie's focus: creativity and passion of flight.

I usually like the move to make as much sense in context as possible and since "The Wind Rises" takes place in Japan, I would watch in in Japanese.  Alas, subtitles weren't really working too well for me so I watched it in English.
I actually didn't mind the English voice acting and I thought the English voice of Jiro suited him quite well being calm, quiet, and soothing.  It must've been because Joseph Gordon Levitt lent his voice and he can do no wrong in my world.  I also thought Jiro's friend Honjo's voice actor fit his character with him being more of a snarky/blunt kind of guy. The comically short and sharp-tongued boss Kurokawa was voiced by Martin Short and I think he did a great job with his role. His angry/shrill voice just molded so well with Kurokawa's expressions and the end result was hilarious.

The themes of the movie revolved around WWII and obviously those are touchy subjects that would be treaded carefully.  I think Ghibli succeeded in making this film ultimately poignant.  Yes, there were scattered scenes of lightheartedness, but the underlying fact of the matter is that this movie takes place during a war and even though engineers wanted to create beautiful flying machines, these machines would eventually end up as tools of war.  The characters liked to make a point of this in their dialogue many times.

I enjoyed how the story alternated between gains and losses caused by love, war, progress, and natural disaster.  There are some people that might sum up this movie as being rather depressing.  I was close to label it this way.  But thinking back, it's more of a mixture and the main thing I took from the movie was that technological progress will happen even if these creations will be used in destructive ways.  It appears that the movie was trying to get the message across that engineers of the time were not trying to create warplanes for killing.  They were passionate inventors who only wanted to create the best planes possible and to advance technology past limitations.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Starting summer with an unexpected rainy season

It's been a little over a weeks since the first semester of the college program finished.  I'm happy to say that I passed and I'll be moving on to the second semester in the fall. \ ("^ v ^") /  I'm sad that some of my classmates didn't make it to the next semester; I hope they can figure out a new path in their lives and new opportunities.

Before this semester ended, I tried getting a summer job applying online and although I got an interview, I realized that because of my school situation, I'm not the most ideal candidate for many jobs.  Fall semester will start in a few months requiring my full-time commitment and because I would probably have to quit after a few months well...  it decreases my desirability by a lot.

I recently texted my manager from a previous job, begging politely informing her of my new found summer availability.  She hasn't texted me back but it's only been a few days and in my experience, she only texts back when she has a valid response.  I hope they have extra hours this summer.

The weather has been very rainy/cloudy.  Kind of like Seattle weather actually and it's really been bringing my mood down! D:  I'm not exaggerating.  This weather has been persisting for weeks without end.  When was the last time I saw a blue sky?..  I can't remember. 

I've been somewhat of a nerd and have been getting some reading assignments done for next semester.  It's been going slow but at least I'm reading the damn book, right? lol  If only reading textbooks was as easy and fast as reading good fiction...

Of course, anime watching is a given and I finally finished Psycho Pass 2!  It was pretty awesome but did not meet the caliber of the first season.  And I don't really think it's because of the absence of Kougami.  Maybe it's because the wrong side characters were emphasized, leaving out greater, untapped potential from others *cough* Ginoza *cough*.  Btw, Ginoza got so hot in this season!  Character development at its best. 

Drools

I think I should try finishing Guilty Crown but it's been so boring for the first few episodes!  I need more patience with these things.  I hear really great reviews about it but if I can't get through the first few eps....  

Oh yeah, something exciting that's happening this summer is that my youngest cousin will finally visit us from Hawaii and my grandma is going to be moving in with us!!  I'm very excited because I've always felt somewhat lonely with our family out here with no other relatives and we'll finally have more family here.  I'm feeling very optimistic about this because my grandma has been lonely, living on her own for so long and only seeing family (even when they're all living on the same island) a handful of times a month.  So maybe she'll be happier here with us and having someone with her most of the time.  Maybe her health will improve!

Now I can show off my cooking skills by making her all kinds of food.  XD

With Grams moving here, my parents are making some renovations around the house (like the bathroom) which is also exciting. 

I started outlining/coloring some old drawing of Ash and Pikachu.  I liked creating the tree.  Maybe I'll do more practice with tree coloring.  It's more fun than I thought. 


I'm no longer pursing a career in the arts but I still find myself enjoying it.  I've been going through old drawings and adding color to them.  That was one of my big problems.  I would always start on a project but give up on it too soon and leave it as a rough, unfinished drawing.

I can't think of much more to talk about...  I got this really kawaii mug from mom recently.  She knows my taste too well. 


I hope everyone else is enjoying their summer.  I hate hot weather but with with all these cloudy and rainy days, I'm actually wishing for some sunshine. o( > ^ < )o