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Sci-Fi London Manga All-Nighter 2010 May 3, 2010

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
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Of course, it’s really an anime all-nighter. Manga all-nighter would technically be a a bunch of people staying up all night reading :P

Anyway, I attended the Manga Entertainment sponsored Anime All-Nighter at this year’s Sci-Fi London Festival on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

It was the usual fun and games: generally good spirit, still no WiFi or air conditioning in the screen, free ice cream/tea/coffee/terrible energy drinks. And an eclectic mix of movies.

(Thoughts after the jump)

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Yui – Again April 28, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Music.
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Just mentioned this in my Spring 2009 anime post, but I love it so much it deserves it’s own post. After a surprisingly short ‘break’ from the industry, Yui’s back. The song is the first OP theme for Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and is gorgeous! It’s the lyrics that speak to me most (included after the jump).

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タイヨウのうた (Song of the Sun) November 24, 2008

Posted by ayasawada in Film, Music.
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Poster

Poster

In keeping with my Yui-fest this month I finally got around to watching her feature film debut, Taiyo no Uta, which I picked up on DVD in Malaysia over the summer.

The story is about Kaoru, a teenage girl with the rare xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) disease. Since UV light would kill her (or at least accelerate her nervous system’s breakdown) she sleeps in the day and lives at night, writing songs and playing her guitar. In between sunset and sundown she watches a young boy she’s interested in from her hill-top home, wishing she could one day meet him.

Of course, she gets the chance and that’s when things change, for better and for worse. And yes she does sing live and record a CD and all the other cliches you would expect from this sort of movie, especially a Japanese one. But cliched as it is, it is really sweet and done in good form. There were few moments I found really cringe-worthily melodramatic, which is more than can be said for some Japanese movies I’ve seen, and overall I thought the story was portrayed really sensitively and well. It helps that it’s all reasonably slow moving and good natured with decent, if not really outstanding, performances from the cast.

What you really want to know is if Yui can act. IMHO, despite the potentially melodramatic plot, she doesn’t really have to stretch any acting muscles that hard in this and is her usual semi-reserved self (some would call it bland. Not me — I love Yui!). It’s sweet for the right moments and of course she really comes into her own in the singing parts. Look out for the Yokohama street live with Skyline, and you’re guaranteed to have Goodbye Days (the signature track) playing on repeat for days after seeing this.

Yui – My short stories November 20, 2008

Posted by ayasawada in Music.
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My Short Stories cover

My Short Stories cover

I got Yui’s new B-sides album through the post last weekend and have been listening to it to death ever since. According to the Listen The World blog, it’s hit the top of the charts and sold over 174,000 copies in the first week! O.o

If I’m honest, it’s not as strong an album overall as Can’t Buy My Love. But like I Loved Yesterday, I feel it’s got some really outstanding tracks that make up for the so-so ones. ‘HELP’ is absolutely outstanding, even if it is quite old now (this is a B-sides collection after all) and I’d forgotten how much I love ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Winter Hot Music’. ‘Why Me’, apparently the first song Yui wrote, is also very pretty.

I’d made sure to pre-order this so I got the limited edition first press, which came with a bonus DVD featuring videos and a 45minute live. It was totally worth it as the live is great, even though Yui pulls some strange faces when she is singing sometimes ^_^; She really puts all her strength into her singing. Best of all, the live is punctuated by several random inserts of Yui playing impromptu acoustic street gigs in random covered shopping streets around Japan. These are really fun to watch. I wish I could have been at one…

Also, if it doesn’t sound too strange, I really like the paper the CD booklet is printed on. Nice and glossy.

This is HELP.

Oh Baby Baby Oh Baby Baby
夢見てるのよ 小さな頃から
Baby Baby 憧れだけが強くなる
Oh Yeah! チャンスをください
I believe my god oh oh oh!
I believe myself oh oh oh!
Yeah! 神様 HELP!