Friday, October 30, 2009

[Fanart] Mytho and Kraehe

Recent RL happenings are giving me stress worse than the one I always have during school days. They're driving me mad and reducing my OL time (though I do log in secretly for a few minutes to get rid of ennui and...well, stress.). Good thing I can occupy myself with art and anime marathon--they are very good stress relievers. It's Princess Tutu I last re-watched and I decided to at least make fanarts for it since I've been in the fandom for so long and I haven't contributed anything. XD

So here you go. It's the pantless chibi Prince Mytho and chibi Princess Kraehe. I'm a bit dissatisfied about the Mytho drawing..I think it doesn't look like the real thing. :l

  Prince Mytho Chibi   Princess Kraehe Chibi

I tried to draw them in the storybook style used in the beginning of each episode, but I think I failed in doing that. XD I got to improve my shading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

[Review] The Time Traveler's Wife

Henry was twenty-eight years when he first met the twenty-year-old Clare. Clare, however, had met a thirty-six-year-old Henry when she was six, and they were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. It’s quite confusing and utterly unbelievable, but not in Audrey Niffeneger’s ground-breaking debut novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife.
An unconventional love story, this is perhaps one of the most twisted romances (in a good way) that I have read. The idea about time travel in literature existed ages ago, but this novel turned out to be surprisingly original. I have been a fan of works classified under sci-fi so I liked the main driving force and framework—the genetic Chrono-Displacement disorder—but considering the author’s exceptional prowess, I must say that even those who are not fans of the said genre will like this.
I think the “magic” that the author has is that she can make everyone in her pages teem with life, be it a main or just a supporting character who appeared just once. You’ll never see flat characters here—no clich├ęd interpretation of any kind. For instance, the main characters: Henry DeTamble doesn't have a very likable personality, as induced by his frequent comings and goings. He's not able to establish deep relationship with people who he doesn't meet often during his time hegiras. He is interpreted as simply a human with a disorder, with foibles and shortcomings, but is in himself a hero without being a "Prince Charming" stereotype of today. While Clare Abshire often compares herself to The Odyssey's Penelope as she waits for Henry, she isn't one to be counted as a woman who *just* waits. No, she doesn't act as a damsel in distress--she has her own way of fending for herself and fighting for what she feels.
Niffenegger managed to make the story flow smoothly, not letting her audience get lost inspite of the confusing nature of her chosen theme.  Every scene charges along at a gallop. Her prose is not florid, but shows enough imagery so the reader can picture out the scenes vividly. Her tone is almost journalistic.
She used alternating first person points of view, so the readers are given access to feelings and thoughts of both the main characters, establishing an instant rapport. That, in my opinion, is one of the most important characteristics of a good novel: its ability to draw in those that are reading it.
Over all, I say this is an excellent work. I almost can’t believe that it is Niffeneger’s first novel. The foreshadowing, the course of's all laid out properly. She is able to discuss time, love, loss, patience, destiny, free will, and a lot of other philosophical issues without making the whole thing soporific. A spellbinding tale of two star-crossed lovers, this 500-page book is certainly worth reading.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Addiction and Theraphy in one: Gundam Wing

Fourteen years after its first airing in Japan, I'm still an avid fangirl of Gundam Wing. Not so many people can understand my 'obsession' for it---sometimes I think even I myself don't know why.

It's actually my father who got me to watch it, when he asked me to come over and watch Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz with him (still in VHS format at that time). I was readily drawn to Mariemaia Khushrenada, the seven-year-old despot-wanna-be in the movie. For some reason, she reminds me of President Arroyo (perhaps because of the character's role--my ten-year-old self referred to Mariemaia as a 'president'---and of course, because of the *coughs* height). I secured CD's and DVD's after I watched the flick, and what happened next, you can figure out.

The main story goes like this, as told by the narrator: "With high expectations, human beings leave Earth to begin a new life in space colonies. However, the United Earth Sphere Alliance gains great military powers, and soon seizes control of one colony after another in the name of Justice and Peace. The year is After Colony 195. Operation Meteor: in a move to counter the Alliance's tyranny, rebel citizens of certain colonies scheme to bring new arsenals to the Earth, disguising them as shooting stars. However, the Alliance headquarters catches on to this operation."

These "shooting stars" are Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner, and Chang Wufei, in their respective Gundams. They are fifteen-year-old boys with a mission to destroy OZ and to avenge the death of the original Heero Yuy, a pacifist-leader of the colonists who was assassinated back in AC 175.

Anyone who thought this anime is just all about the mecha battles designed for boys is awfully wrong. All in all, Gundam Wing is a political anime---battles of beliefs and ideologies about peace and war, intensified by their use of the era's modern weapons. I learned a lot from this show; I grew up with the characters as they realize their worth in a world that underestimates them.


Relena Peacecraft/Darlian, the main female protagonist of the show, drastically changes from being a somewhat spoiled girl to a responsible leader (and Queen of the World--at 15!). Suicidal Heero regains his will to live, not only because he realizes the importance of life, but also because he has something to live for now *hints at love interests*. Duo, who gives himself the name God of Death, lives believing not everybody who comes near him is fated to die; Trowa learns that he should continue living because he has a home to go to with people who cares for him; Quatre learns to forgive himself and not to deny his own kindness; Wufei realizes that while he believes he needs to find "justice" on his own, he still has comrades who are willing to help him.

Occasionally I rewatch my favorite episodes; sometimes, especially during long weekends or semestral breaks, I have whole series marathon. Every now and then I publish fanfiction, my OTP being QuatrexDorothy (I'll post something about them next time). This is my addiction for 10 years...and it's still not showing any signs of petering out.

Ironically, this is my therapy, too. Sometimes real life happenings can be too complicated and...well, a little too tiring. Watching GW, writing fanfics, browsing for pictures...they can all serve as a stress reliever for me. I don't forget offline commitments of course; there are things that require my attention irl, and I make it a point not to ignore them.

Luckily, I can nimbly juggle my OL and RL worlds. XD