Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Another year, another round of awesomeness that is 2011.

1. MAHJONG PARTY! (Written 12th February, 2011)
Awesome fun with awesome friends with an awesome game and you get a completely awesome time. Throw in a couple of references to The Legend of Koizumi and it doesn't get any better than this.

2. Anime of the Year: Toradora!, Angel Beats!, Puella Magi Modoka Magica, Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (Written 30th December, 2011)
Toradora! was a nice show, with Taiga being adorable and all. Angel Beats! was clearly the heart-breaking anime of the year, and it came with great music to boot. Puella Magi Modoka Magica was the mind-blowing anime of the year, with a completely crazy ending that made it legendary. Index and Railgun sold me with the great character designs and enormous amounts of cute girls (Himegami!), hilarious side characters (Kuroko LOL) and a kickass universe which combined magic and science.

3. Anime Festival Asia 2011 (Written 30th December, 2011)
I am slowing seeping into the world of anime. My first AFA was a blast. From authentic cosplays to amazing artwork and awesome interviews with seiyuus and MIRAI SUENAGA AND HER ORANGENESS to THE NYAN-NYAN PERCENT OCCUPYING AFA and awesome concerts with LiSA. Best weekend ever.

4. Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention 2011 (Written 30th December, 2011)
Still not worthy of ComiCon; nevertheless I had a great time and an awesome discount on Civil War trade paperbacks. I also got an autograph from Steve Ditko, CEO of DC Comics, while wearing an Iron Man shirt. Most awkward moment EVER. And also photo with a Black Cat cosplayer, that was priceless.

5. World Building (Written 30th December, 2011)
So Hui Jun and Xi Min thought it would be a good idea to create a world together. Needless to say, it was. I loved using information and ideas across all my areas of knowledge, to contribute to everything from history to politics, magic particles to illusioned golems. The world-building is definitely going to continue, and we'll see where our imaginations take us.

6. Selling my Soul to 9Gag (Written 30th December, 2011)
9Gag is possibly one of the most unobtrusive websites that slowly gained popularity over the year, and I am proud to admit that I was suckered into it from (near) the beginning. I now proudly boast a wide range of knowledge about almost every Internet meme alive, which probably contributes to my Forever Alone status. (Look it up!)

7. The Extremely Dumb News Agency (Written 30th December, 2011)
I started writing spoof articles about current evens a la the Onion this year, and I even started a Facebook page on which to publish them from. It's mostly died down now, since I'm getting pretty lazy (and I haven't been having many good ideas), but there was a bunch of good satire there. Archives, archives; where'd I put the archives?

8. The Genius of Terry Pratchett (Written 30th December, 2011)
So I borrowed a bunch of Pratchett's books from Juzzie this year, and I tore through them (not literally) and I found that HE IS HILARIOUS. I read one of them long ago (The Fifth Elephant, if I remember correctly) when I was sixteen, and I didn't get it. But now I do! And it's hilarious! And witty! And an accurate satire of human nature and the world around us! Very, very well done, Mr. Pratchett, my hat's off to you.

9. The Team Fortress 2 Experience (Written 30th December, 2011)
This is definitely the Game of the Year. I was amazed when it was released Free to Play sometime in July, and I was amazed that it could run on my computer. Since then I've spent a few hundred hours firing oversized rocket launchers and dragon-tipped flamethrowers. It's a really fun game, with no steep learning curve and a bunch of fun game modes; just watch out for spies.

10. GEP Christmas/New Year Gathering (Written 30th December, 2011)
This was a nice time where most of us got together for what might have been the last time in our lives. It was nice to see people who have been friends for the past six years, some even more, come together for a large gathering, barbequeing food and having the most typical gift exchange ever. Hopefully there'll be more of these gatherings in the future!

The Year in Entertainment

Anime: Toradora!; Angel Beats!; Needless; Puella Magi Modoka Magica, Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun; Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below

For most of the anime, see #2 above. Needless was okay, mostly a fanservice show, but there was one HILARIOUSLY AWESOME part somewhere in ep. 18 or 19, where Adam Blade shouts that HE IS ALREADY IN PARADISE. That was seriously the best part of the whole show. Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below was made by the same guy who made 5 centimetres per second, and it's freaking sad too, and also really creepy, in a way.

Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Inception; Captain America: The First Avenger; Thor; 3 Idiots (DVD), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Pirates was awesome, as always. A movie with Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow cannot go wrong. Inception was mind-blowing. Captain America was good, but it looked too much like a designed prequel for The Avengers (I STILL CANNOT WAIT). Thor was okay, but a bit awkward when I realised that Valhalla was actually multiracial. Loki was quite well-portrayed, though. 3 Idiots is a Bollywood movie, and it was great. I wouldn't mind watching it again, but I know all the plot twists already. This is a must-recommended. Sherlock Holmes was awesome; I didn't watch the first one but I really love how they portrayed his logical thought and deductive reasoning in the slow-motion shots; it really shows off the Sherlock Holmes' playing-a-few-steps-into-the-future characteristic.

Books: Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy; Terry Pratchett's Equal Rites, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Witches Abroad, Interesting Times, Men At Arms, Mort, Guards! Guards, Moving Pictures; Marvel's Civil War series; Philip Reeve's Fever Crumb trilogy: Fever Crumb, A Web of Air, Scrivener's Moon

I re-read His Dark Materials this year and it was as good as ever; maybe even better. I picked up a lot more from the second reading, more of the allusions and symbolism. The ending still broke my heart though. Terry Pratchett re-introduced me to his fantastic and satirical Discworld, which is brilliant in every way imaginable (and in some unimaginable ways as well). I got a few more Civil War books this year too, and the whole crossover event was very well executed around the whole Marvel universe. I picked up Scrivener's Moon only a few weeks ago and loved it. Reeve sure knows how to put a universe together. It also surprised me that he revealed his main character to have homosexual leanings, which was unthinkable for a book aimed at British teenagers, but it was very well-executed.

Music: Sam Tsui; Christina Grimmie; Owl City; Girls Dead Monster (and by extension LiSA); fripSide (specifically the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun openings, only my railgun and Level 5 -Judgement-)

No big shakes in the music department; Sam Tsui is a great singer who has the charisma to make it big in the American music industry. And because of his duet with Christine Grimmie (Just a Dream), I was introduced to her as well, and she's really cute and has a nice voice. I also discovered the awesomeness that is Owl City's Adam Young: the way he plays with words in his lyrics are amazing. Take a look at the bridge of Plant Life and you'll see what I mean. And the Railgun openings are stuck in my head. That is all.

Games: Team Fortess 2; War Metal: Tyrant; Dragon Nest; Borderlands; Poxnora; Portal; Portal 2

Tyrant is quite fun; I've been following it with Juzzie for a while. I like how they manage to make a simple concept of cards fighting cards so complicated on so many levels. Dragon Nest was my MMORPG for this year, and I found it great, a very well-done action MMO; but ultimately I found that I don't really like chasing quest chains and waiting for parties. Borderlands I got from Boey; it's quite fun with the mix of FPS and RPG elements. Poxnora is a turn-based strategy game that JX intro-ed me some time back but couldn't run properly on my computer then. It works now, and I find it very intriguing. Portal was released for free for a short period of time this year and I managed to get it, and Kyle gave me Portal 2 in December, which was great. We're almost done with the co-op mode; just the advanced levels left. Wheatley is HILARIOUS.

That's it for 2011. Apocalypse year 2012, here we come!

The end, one way or another,
The Edna Man

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Word

The disciples shuffled silently into the sacred place. Around them, the towering shelves rustled with the pages of a thousand hallowed tomes. The altar was bathed in a soft, yellow light from the small frosted lamps; for candles were not allowed, and no-one was heretical enough to bring in a naked flame.

It was cold. The disciples were glad of their thick hooded robes, which kept them warm. The more restless ones shifted around nervously, occasionally glancing towards the altar, which was bare save for the podium with one of the Holy Books.

As last, the Head Librarian arrived. Immediately, the congregation was silent. The Head Librarian did not like loud noises in the sanctum. He was an elderly man, and he slowly made his way up the small flight of stairs until he stood at the podium. He cast a knowing eye upon the crowd before him, seeing the hundreds of faces looking up at him anxiously, expectant.

Smiling slightly, he reached into an inner pocket and withdrew the ceremonial reading glasses, placing them upon his crooked nose. Then he opened the Holy Book, and in a thin, wavering voice, began to read.

"The Book of Merriam-Webster, section P, entry 243," he read. "Perspicacity, noun, one: keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment; penetration. Two: archaic, keen vision. Origin: 1540-50, earlier perspicacite, Late Latin..."


Just an idea. Influenced a bit by Philip Reeve and his Mortal Engines universe, of which Scrivener's Moon I have just finished reading. He is an amazing writer with an amazing world, and he better finish writing the next book soon.

The definition is taken from The entry number is made up. No slights on religion were made in this short story. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental...

"The Future is something that sneaks up on us while we are busy doing other things."
The Edna Man

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forever Alone

So as I was eating my solitary dinner in Takshimaya this evening, I had an idea for a for a short movie.

It's about this guy who has this shirt. It's a simple shirt with the words "DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?" printed across the front. He wears it everywhere. (He's quite desperate.) He goes about doing his daily routine for most of the short (2-3 minute) clip, while people pass him by every day. Then right at the end, a girl with a shirt with the word "YES" printed on it says hi to him. The film ends.

My god I am lonely.
The Edna Man

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Certain Emotional Review

I've just finished watching To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, following both seasons of To Aru Majutsu no Index, which I have to say are both awesome.

Both shows, set in the same universe, have a huge number of characters. I think the creators did a really good job with the character designs, because they're all distinguishable and unique in their own way. I thought the frog-faced doctor, the Heaven Canceller, was hilarious, and even more so when Misaka mistook him for a real-life Gekota (which I'm guessing means frog, or something). I liked Index, Misaka 10032, and Himegami Aisa, and Last Order, who are all adorable, and Misaka Mokoto herself, of course. Kuroko Shirai is FREAKING HILARIOUS. Saten Ruiko has a really nice voice (actress).

What I liked about Index was the way they merged magic and science. It's a very interesting system, and like the universe itself, was quite well-balanced. The graphics for both were amazingly well done. Loved all the magic circles and battle nuns and crystal ships and everything. The world was complete and cohesive, with nary a plot hole anywhere. That's my kind of universe.

Railgun ended nicely, which gave me that heart-accelerant feeling that I now associate with brilliant stories. When I was done, I thought it was a bit demoralising to realise that I don't have that kind of really close friend, the kind that you can call up during guard duty to talk without feeling like you're bothering them. But my friends are awesome in their own other ways, so I don't think I should be complaining. Besides, they're all not girls, so.

And there still isn't any Index season 3 or Railgun season 2.

Such misfortune.
The Edna Man

Saturday, December 03, 2011


There's this problem with people. They seem to think that they're entitled to things, even when they're not. They think that all their supposed hard work is supposed to pay off in the end, that they get their dues, and what they're owed. They don't imagine for a moment, that perhaps they are not worth the rewards, that they came up short, that they are not worthy to hold the titles and accolades which they demand.

And that is how the world works. And that is why the world is never happy.
The Edna Man