Saturday, September 30, 2006

Barbie screening 2

Ooo yeah, mo-cap ballet dancers. A must for Barbie. Not bad at all! Argh I forgot to ask if the story is original. (It sure seems so.... unfortunately that means... lame.) The dresses move naturally. Good job on the rigging! The pajamas can be better, though. When perspective is compressed with long lens, it makes you feel like you're looking at a tapestry. In a few places, I had trouble telling what's actually 3D and what's cardboard cut-out.

However, it bugs me a lot when the sub-characters look way better then the main characters!! The best looking one is the villain aunt. She steals the show! The cheeks of the youngest princess... Laicie? (Lazy? ) look really stiff and swollen. (Yup, that's the way Matel wants it.) I guess the princesses and the guy have to look like the dolls, so they're really plastic. With the improvement on dress rigging, it doesn't make sense not to ditch the lumpy plastic hair. (Yup, Matel is the one to blame again.) Are they afraid of the CG version looking better than the real dolls?

Facial expressions are at the usual MFE level. The corners of some characters' mouths are too pointy, though. Don't like the overly emphasized glassy eyes of the cat and monkey. (Why do they always HAVE to have mascots like that? I hate annoying talking animals!) The movements of hands and wrists still have a lot of room for improvement.

Last but not least, the story. There are many signs that this is original.
  • The princesses act like contemporary girls.
  • Single-parent family.
  • There's no prince. The main princess marries a commoner at the end.
  • The villain is a stereotypical wicked stepmother. However, the king never marries her. He only signs a document to give her queen status near the end.
Then it never explains the relationship between the late queen and the magic garden. How did she predict the number and order of birth of her children? That's the key to opening the magic gate! Her own garden in the real world resembles the magic garden too. And the floor tiles also have to be in place before all of that.

Haha... I shouldn't be picking on it too much. After all it's made for kids so young, they don't care. But now, they'll want 12 dolls...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Barbie screening 1

Thanks for the ticket, Fung!

Mo-cap ballet dancers again, eh...? (^_^) "The 12 Dancing Princesses"? Never heard of this fairy tale. Looking forward to seeing the evolution of MFE!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Car cooks egg

Apparently it's hot enough inside a car to cook an egg...18381 B

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pinky Street DVDs

Finally watched them! As I said, I bought these for the dolls. So I don't care much about the DVDs. If it wasn't for the anime night, I'd probably never watch them. Don't expect much anyway.

Each disk contains one 15-minute episode. Yikes!! That's so expensive!! I can't believe I actually bought them!!! Aaaargh!!! (Regretting... regretting... regretting...)

Oh well, what's done is done. The episodes are standalone. Meaning, there's no episode order. (There are only 2 anyway.) The Sweet Saki angel DVD is about a girl who's a little boyish, but deep down in her heart, she wishes to be more girly. The Bitter Saki devil DVD is about a figure otaku university student who had a fight with his friend and feels too embarrassed to apologize.

About half of the episode is in 3DCG, after Saki takes the girl (or guy) to Pinky world. It's interesting to see the dolls in CG form. But... but they added fingers!!! Aaargh!!! Sigh... I guess that's necessary for acting. A lot of shots are recycled, and the camera work reused. Seems like they don't expect many people to buy both DVDs? The style and rendering aren't bad, though.

Behind the cuteness, there's the not-so-healthy message. It's "shop shop shop!!!" Sigh... what kind of messages are kids getting these days? Having bought these 2 DVDs, I'm guilty too. Sigh...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Falling--!!

Watch out!!! Oops... too late for Lacus.

Megahouse Haro Caplules part 1. Haha... their poses finally make sense. Taken in front of a store window in Richmond. I go to that store almost every week. These figurines have been in this state for months! But the week after this picture was taken, the store did a huge re-arranging and this falling scene no longer exist.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Push or Pull?

My dentist moved to a new office and this is the entrance of the building. I forgot to take a look at the other side of the handles. If it says "pull" than that means the doors were installed backwards... right???

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fighting robots

The way it moves is kind of cute!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Happy Dog"? (more parody)

Take a close look again. (Click for bigger picture.) Megahouse Take-home Ice-cream. This set has been discontinued soon after release. It was even wiped out from the company's web site, as if it was never made in the first place. Rumor says the parody offended some ice-cream company. Who knows.

And here's the review at my toy site.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Bullshit"?

Take a closer look... (click for bigger picture)
Haha... Actually these are from Megahouse candy toy "Import Market". The parody is awesome!!

Just wondering what the original name for this "bullshit" is. Looks like it's cheese or something.

Oops... forgot to post the review at my toy site... over here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Rotten girl"

I've been trying to dig into the mystery of the Rotten girl or fujoshi phenomenon for a while. "What's that?" You might ask. It's a Japanese slang for "female yaoi fans". This Japanese blog has a very interesting article on a book called Manga is Desire. There are some eye-opening observations and thoughts.

The heroines in shojo manga are usually ordinary girls. But they are depicted as "pretty" anyway. Girls project themselves onto the character. So, "I'm ordinary but I'm pretty". On the other hand, the hero in shonen manga, is usually a super hero.
  • Boys are raised to be "I'm better than ordinary" = single fixed identity.
  • Girls are raised to be ordinary but happy= multi-layered identity.
Girls can read boy's manga but if a boy reads girl's manga, he will be thought as "strange". It's similar to girls can wear pants but boys don't wear skirts. (Multi-layered identity of girls.)

Male otakus look like otakus, while female otakus are good at camouflage, because they're used to using different identity at different situations.

Taboo leads to the growth of moe. (Yaoi --> homosexual, lolicon--> pedophilia.)

Parody:
  • you need to know the original
  • modern
  • the artist gives meaning to the artwork
  • maker oriented
Pastiche :
  • still funny without knowing the original (= empty parody)
  • postmodern
  • the viewer gives meaning to the artwork
  • consumer oriented
So... in nowadays society, the focus is on the iconized surface, the existence during this very minute. Any other background is not important. Just plain, dry and fun. This "lacking something" leads to the hunger for more...

Hmm... don't think I take good notes, and you can see why. Haha... that's it for now. That article is much longer, though. My brain shorted out trying to translate it into English.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Palm melon again #2

Actually, my camera battery died at a bad time yesterday, and this is actually the photo that I didn't get to take. It's very interesting to see the size of the melons degreasing towards the end of the vine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Palm melon again

Palm melon (?) on vine. Anyone knows what the real name is?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weird commercial

Blueberry Fanta. Looks like it's from Hong Kong...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Today's backyard harvest #5

Praying Palms Melon? I don't know the English name for it. You can't touch it directly and it looks evil, but the flesh is very nice and soft. BTW, this is a vegie, not fruit.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Today's backyard harvest #3

Yellow cherry tomato... Siamese twins!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Free meals

Kind of strange to be found in Kerrisdale, a wealthy-looking district...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Preloved...

... and what does math have to do with chess...?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Disney event at a thrift store

"Disney event" at a thrift store. The sign says "Saturday August 19" too! Let's hope it's 2006...

(Yup, I think it's this year...)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

Kind of a job...

Well, today marks the begining of another path of my life. I'll be helping out a doll house accessory artist / dealer. It's only minimun wage, but I can work at home.

The stuff at her place is amaaaaazing! Now I just need to stand firm and not get sucked into collecting those stuff, or I'd be in deeeeeep trouble.