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Final Fantasy 6 FANDUB!!!

My love affair with Final Fantasy games started 14 years ago, the first game that got me into it was Final Fantasy VI (known to me as Final Fantasy 3 then). I first borrowed the Japanese version of the game from a schoolmate, loved it, and then I received the English version from dad as my birthday gift, I was totally giddy with joy. Before the days of Playstation, where pirated games can be bought for 5 ringgit each, each game then was precious to me. I ended up only having around 10 games for my Super Nintendo because each game was so insanely expensive, and most of these 10 games I had were the classics: Mario Kart, Secret of Mana, Super Metroid, Twinbee, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 etc. Yet Final Fantasy 6 was special to me. I lived and breathed it. Its soundtrack (still the best, in my opinion) was constantly playing on my CD player. I named characters after people I know to immerse myself even more into the world. It's the only Final Fantasy game to date (yes, I've

Photos of Ginza, Yurakucho and Otemachi

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3 years ago, I participated in the Nanowrimo , and attempted to write a fantasy/sci-fi novel. I succeeded in hitting 50 000 words then, but never really finished the story. And once my childhood dreams of filmmaking became a reality, my focus turned elsewhere. Nonetheless, I've been a little more than bothered that I left the novel unfinished, and being a non-fan of loose ends, I decided to attempt the impossible and actually pick up where I left of in 2005. So I've actually been spending the last few days writing. I doubt the novel will ever get published (I said THAT novel will never get published, I didn't say that I would never try to get a novel published in the future), but I needed closure. But staying in my room all the time isn't exactly that healthy, so as usual, I needed a walk. When my friend Jason asked whether I wanted to go to Ginza with him (he had some business to attend to), I immediately said yes. I haven't been to Ginza since I came to Tokyo

The 31st Sumida River Fireworks Festival

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I just came back from the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. This is the biggest and most spectacular fireworks display in Tokyo. Happens annually, with nearly 900,000 spectators (it definitely felt like that when I went there just now). 20 000 rockets were fired from two bases along the Sumida River in a visual feast that lasted over an hour. Apparently, the display includes a competition between rival firework companies. I think it's definitely the most awesome fireworks display I've ever seen in my life, unfortunately, I have a crappy camera, so I cannot really do justice to what I saw, but I'll upload the video I shot there sometime soon.

[30th PIA Film Festival] SEISMIC GIRL & GOODBYE, GEORGE ADAMSKI

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[UPDATED: 26TH OF JULY, 2008] Jason Gray has posted about the PIA Film Festival 2008 Winners . I just came back from the PIA Film Fest in Shibuya again (read about my thoughts on SEMIGAO and TENGU LEAF , two films I saw at the fest on Saturday). I couldn't catch the rest of the films in competition, but managed to see SEISMIC GIRL by Tatenai Kenta and GOODBYE, GEORGE ADAMSKI by Kodama Kazuto, the two films from the NEW DIRECTIONS IN JAPANESE CINEMA project. They are films produced under the Agency for Cultural Affairs' 35mm short film production support projects. Basically, the project is to allow filmmakers (previous finalists of the film fest) to experience true 35mm filmmaking (all films in competition at the festival, being self-produced, are of course shot digitally).

Gone for 3 nights and the world had changed... Tony Leung and Carina Lau got married??

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I finally got back from Nasu after being gone for three nights. I can't believe that while I was hiking at Nasu, teaching (or rather, TRYING TO TEACH) 13-year-old Japanese kids English (pics and posts about that later), the whole world had changed. My mom greeted me on MSN immediately after she saw me online and gave me a video link (it's in Chinese).

[30th PIA Film Festival] SEMIGAO and TENGU LEAF

I first heard about the PIA Film Festival (English site here ) from my friend Maiko (who is supposed to produce my next Japanese-language short film). It's an important film festival that launched many careers of young Japanese filmmakers, normally when winning an award at the Tokyo PFF, their films end up touring around the nation, and some, of course, get invited to important foreign film fests. There were some winners at the Berlin Film Festival too. Naomi Kawase was a Pia winner, I heard Kiyoshi Kurosawa was one too. Today was the opening of the 30th Pia Film Festival, so I decided to go there and check out two of the films in competition. It's only 1200 yen (300 yen cheaper than a normal film), and I get to watch 2 films, so it's a good deal. The festival is held in a cinema at Shibuya Crosstower, the place was filled with young people, probably university students too. Unsurprising, since the filmmakers are those around my age as well. The cinema was packed, and

Saturday Epic Anime Scene - Final Shootout in Cowboy Bebop (aka Chow Yun Fat was cool!)

It's getting harder to find an epic anime scene on Youtube. It doesn't help that every single search result I get is some rubbish AMV (anime music video) that ALWAYS use Linkin Park's songs. I was once fascinated by AMV years ago, some are bloody awesome, especially those that are capable of splicing characters from different animes into the same video. It was slightly before I started learning my own video editing, and I think in some ways, watching AMV could've been an influence.

Solitary late night walk to FamilyMart

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During my Perth days, I always liked the idea of taking a late night walk to, say, a convenience store nearby. Either to buy a drink, or some snacks (often a chocolate bar). But back then, I was usually going to the petrol station opposite Murdoch University. I remember going there almost every night whenever I had to sleep over at the editing rooms. I like walking at night when certain places and the route I take are only partially illuminated by the streetlights, or the lights of the school buildings. There's something magical about those once-familiar places at night. When walking alone, away from the editing rooms, I'm alone with my thoughts, I can take a breather, thinking over on what to do next, mentally reassessing previous scenes to see what I've done wrong, or I can just think nothing, and hear only the sound of my own footsteps, and the distant sound of cars passing by.

[VIDEOS] Trailers for CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY and FLEETING IMAGES

I normally don't cut trailers for short films. I think it's way too hard to do it, and I feel that I'm doing it at the risk of 1) giving away too much of the story or 2) making my films look worse than they really are. Normally, Hollywood trailers are 2 and a half minutes. 2 and a half minutes for a 90-100 minute long film is reasonable, but if a 10 minute short film has such a long trailer, I'm already showing a quarter of the film. That's as bad as doing a 25-minute long trailer. However, a certain film festival (name withheld so that I can save myself the embarrassment of not being selected) I've submitted both short films to have stated that trailers for submissions are optional. I felt a little conflicted, then I thought, 'why not?'. Might as well try it out. So I ended up editing a trailer for each of my film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY and my latest one, FLEETING IMAGES.

Live-action version of The Last Love Song on This Little Planet 最終兵器彼女 is rather lacking

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Shortly after first watching Shunji Iwai's Love Letter ten years ago, I developed a little teenage crush on Sakai Miki, who played the young Itsuki in the film. It's impossible not to, there was this innocent beauty in her, coupled by the gracefulness of the scenes she was in. Especially the one where she skates by herself in the midst of a pure white snowy plains... ... and then finding a frozen dragonfly, understanding her dad's passing, it was a very elegant scene. On the year I discovered SPEED by accident at Tokyo, I was actually looking for Sakai Miki's album, LIKE A BEST FRIEND (which I did). But since then, I never knew what happened to her. I thought she may have retired from acting, living the blissful life of a housewife. So I was surprised when I saw her in a supporting role at THE LAST LOVE SONG ON THIS LITTLE PLANET, which is more popularly known as SAIKANO, or also SHE, THE ULTIMATE WEAPON, which is based on a manga and anime.

Happily Ever After 自虐の詩 starring Hiroshi Abe and Miki Nakatani

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The literal translation of HAPPILY EVER AFTER's Japanese title, Jigyaku no uta 自虐の詩, is 'the poem of self-torture/ self-inflicted pain'. I watched it last night not knowing what to expect. I was initially interested in it solely because of the two leads, Hiroshi Abe and Miki Nakatani. When Kaiji Shakedown covered the film last August , it was almost dismissive of the film's visuals, pointing out its flat television look that makes it look like TV movie of the week compared to the eye candy that was Memories of Matsuko'.