Dreams Do Come True (If You Make Them)

March 23, 2021

Once again, I have gone more than a year without blogging. Are blogs even a thing anymore in this day and age of social media? Regardless, in my absence, I managed to make one of my dreams come true.

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Redefining and Recontextualizing Moe: A New Dimension to Sexualized Cuteness

October 27, 2015

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After getting approval from my supervisor and head of department, I present to you my honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

I decided upon the topic of moe for my research as it has been a very hot-button issue in anime fandom for quite some time. I hope my paper will give you a clearer understanding of the concept, why moe might be far more useful and essential to the otaku than you might have realized and why moe isn’t insidious and does not spell the death of anime. Also discussed are gender issues and virtual child pornography.

ABSTRACT

By adopting a cultural studies approach, this paper seeks to redefine and recontexualize moe. This paper argues that moe is used as a coping mechanism by the otaku to reclaim agency and remain connected in a more individualized society as opposed to a tool that legitimizes the subjugation of women in society and homogenizes anime. This is done through the possession of fictional characters via the creation of dôjinshi, attending events and going on pilgrimages to the real-life settings of their favorite manga and anime. In addition, because moe is an element of the kawaii art style, it is separate and distinct from the other elements of an anime, allowing creators to retain creative freedom while simultaneously catering to the otaku and appealing to a wider demographic. Instead of being exploited by producers, the kawaii art style facilitates the production of character merchandise that the otaku purchase and use to aid them in reclaiming agency and connecting with fictional characters and other otaku.

Continue to the full text after the jump. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to link to this post! (^o^)

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Going to Japan… Again?!

August 2, 2013

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I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m still in a dream.

A couple of months back, at the recommendation of my teacher, I took part in the annual Japanese Speech Contest that’s organized, supported and sponsored by some of the most distinguished and renowned companies and organizations.

After two months of hard work and instruction by my dedicated teachers, I am glad to say that I have managed to come away from the Grand Finals with the top prize in the tertiary category this past weekend. One of the prizes is a trip to Japan and home stay in Shizuoka which I will be going for at the end of the year. In addition to that, I shall be extending my stay for about a week.

Once again, I really do have to thank the wonderful teachers from the National University of Singapore’s Center of Language Studies for all their guidance and support. I would definitely have not been able to achieve this without their help. Personally though, it’s not the prize that makes me happy, but the fact that I was able to do my teachers and parents proud gives me the greatest satisfaction.

…and with that, I wonder where I should go this time round. One thing’s for sure. Considering the fact that my speech was essentially a thank you letter to anime for playing an integral part in my life, Akihabara will be undoubtedly be a priority on my itinerary.


Actar in Japan …Part 2! – Day 2: Stand By Ready, Set Up! (For Wallet Pain)

August 20, 2012

With my opinions on the movie already covered in the previous post, it is time to chronicle my experiences at the movie premiere itself! Get ready to relive an epic tale of tragedy and triumph!

…well, not really.

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Actar in Japan… Part 2! – Day 1: Tired Touchdown

July 13, 2012

Yup, as of writing this, it’s 9:45pm and I have arrived in Japan. Well, more accurately, I arrived more than 12 hours ago. Gonna keep this post short and sweet because I’m dead tired.

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Updates Since… The Last One.

July 10, 2012

Alright. It’s time to stop making excuses, blow the dust off this blog and get thing’s back up and running!

WARNING: This post has not gone through any editing or proofreading.

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Japanese Popular Culture and Soft Power

July 10, 2012

Another semester, another academic paper on one of my all time favorite topics, Japanese popular culture. This time, it deals with the relationship between Japanese popular culture and Soft Power, the ability for one country to control another country’s wants and values through non-traditional means.

By now, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that my interest of Anime and Japanese popular culture extends beyond the boundaries of a mere hobby. Right now, it’s also a big, big part of my academic life. As the old adage goes: “Do what you love, love what you do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.

Well, technically speaking, that’s complete bull because, believe me, writing this paper was not an easy task to accomplish. Hours of research, sleepless nights and sweat went into this paper and I’m ecstatic to say that all that effort was not in vain as I got quite a good grade for it.

As with all the other papers on my blog, the rest of this post will be sans pictures.

With that, I present to you the final draft of my work, untouched, for your reading pleasure. It can get rather technical at times, but I do hope you enjoy reading it. (^.^)

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Tessa Sends a Message to Victims of the Earthquake

March 21, 2011

Voice actress Nogami Yukina (Teletha Testarossa from Full Metal Panic!) has posted a video, sending a heartfelt message to the victims of the recent earthquake in character. I thought it was a exceedingly thoughtful gesture. The script was written by the writer of the FMP! Novels, Gato Shoji, and the picture drawn by the illustrator, Shikidouji.

See the video HERE.

I have translated what she has said to spread the message to non-Japanese speaking fans as well. (If I missed out anything or got anything wrong, don’t hesitate to point it out.)

Everyone, can you hear me?

This is the Captain of the Tuatha De Danaan, Teletha Testarossa.

To the victims of the recent disaster and to their families, as the representative of the ship, I offer my condolences.

The situation is tough, but I firmly believe that everyone can somehow overcome this crisis and recover the peaceful times once again.

That is because everyone… uwah!!!

I’m sorry! I dropped my mike and tripped when I tried to pick it up…

Er… I’m alright, I just hit my bottom…

At any rate, don’t give in to anxiety and don’t ever give up!

Everyone is rooting for you, of course, me included.

I’m praying for your good fortune.

That is all.

Transmission over.

I would love to subtitle the video and upload it to Youtube to spread the message, but I’m not sure if that would be appropriate.


Lucky Star Blu-Ray Box Set Pre-Orders Now UP!!!

January 8, 2011

LUCKY STAR IS GETTING A BLU-RAY BOX SET RELEASE!!! (^o^)

Release Date: 27th May 2011

24 episodes spread over 4 Discs

Bonus Disc 1 & 2 – Lucky Star in Budokan

Bonus Disc 3 – Special Features

– Non-Credit OP (lyrics included)
– Best Scenes
– OVA (Original na Visual to Animation)
– Lucky Star Channel at Shin Tokyo Circuit
– Lucky Racer Digest

1080i, 1080p, LPCM stereo (Japanese, English)
Subtitles (Japanese English)
Comes in an Artbox + 3 normal cases
Total run time: 1000 minutes

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UPDATE!!!
———

Pre-orders are now up at AmiAmi for 10% off the MSRP at only 33,830 yen!

…and where ever Japanese Blu-Rays and DVDs are sold.

———

Honestly, I think that this is a amazing, amazing release. Finally, one of my all time favorite series is getting a Blu-Ray release. I am usually hesitant when it comes to purchasing Blu-Ray releases of entire series due to the price. I’ve held off on buying the Blu-Ray releases of the Haruhi Series, Ga-Rei Series and Cardcaptor Sakura Series. However, I just cannot say no to this.

Besides holding great sentimental value for me, being one of the first series that actually made me ‘dedicate’ my life to Otaku Culture, the release itself looks really great.

First off, it’s Lucky Star in HD!!! The release also has ENGLISH SUBTITLES, okay special features and it even includes the Lucky Star in Budokan footage. I would have liked it if they had added more behind the scenes stuff (interviews and the like), but that’s just me.

I have seen many Ani-Song concerts including the Macross Frontier ones, Haruhi ones, K-On ones and of course the Lucky Star one. Out of all of them, I have to say that the Lucky Star concert was the best. It had the best staging, the best performances (yeah, the Haruhi one was really bad at times) and most importantly, the best feel. You could really tell that everyone was really into it, enjoying it and giving it their all. I was simply blown away by Shiraishi Minoru. Not only did he host the event and conduct the interview, he was still able to pull of an amazing performance. How that man was able to keep his voice going for so long I’ll never know.

In short, I myself really enjoyed watching the concert and definitely recommend every Lucky Star fan to watch it.

Oh, did I mention that the set comes with ENGLISH freaking SUBTITLES? Next up on my agenda, the Haruhi Blu-Ray set! (^o^)


Actar in Nakano Broadway and Mandarake

August 10, 2010

If you are an Otaku, other than Akihabara, chances are you’ve probably heard of Nakano Broadway, home of Mandarake. For those of you who don’t know, Mandarake has a whole series of shops with each one dealing with a different type of good. These shops have a ton of second hand stuff that one can usually find terrific treasures at amazing prices. Usually, the ‘opened/used before’ item will yield a lower price. Of course, there were other dealers there selling their wares.

The Singapore equivalent of Nakano Broadway would be China Square Central, just about 7459235326 times more awesome. Or was it 7459235327 times?

Mandarake’s International Shop: http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/

https://actar.wordpress.com/category/actars-life/actar-in-japan/