Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Marimite is Prawn!!!


Ok, I lied.

(But this show probably has more naked people than the average H-OVA thanks to an accurate depiction of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement.)

This is a show about girls and… girls.

Don’t worry about any of them humping tables ala Nina though; they’re all nice and cute people who are involved in innocent and heartwarming relationships. Like the Dango Daikazoku.

Actually I bought the 1st season’s DVD on impulse only because of the seiyuu cast. Ya i know, dumb thing to do, potential waste of $$$. Luckily I liked the show, though the subs kind of sucked. Animation quality wasn’t high to begin with, so the Truly Asian "Original" DVD Quality couldn’t make it much worse.

Normally I’d be cursing the lack of hot yuri action/table humping when the setup is perfect for it, but I’m actually cool with it this time round. This isn’t OtoBoku or Moyashimon. The characters are great, and I like it the way it is.

I had written 3 paragraphs on why I like this show, but realized I was just beating about the bush. Truth is I’ve no idea why I like it. Do I need a reason?

Nah.

If I had to give one it’ll be I enjoyed hearing the girls saying “蟹名” over and over again.
That’s the surname of one of the girls, written with the kanji for “crab” (kani) and “name” (na).

Kanina.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

...who has the softest butt of all?

I was listening to this compilation of Itou Shizuka's sexual harassment comments on niconico. Apparently - according to Itou Shizuka anyway - Kugimiya Rie has the softest and most "bouncy" butt she has ever pinched. Ya, you heard that right, petite Kugimi has the most soft and bouncy bottom. It sounds so wrong... yet somehow adds to Kugimi's appeal. Kawaii...

Kawasumi Ayako, on the other hand, has a body that is so soft and fluffy it's almost as if she has no muscles at all. Itou and Koyama Kimiko were going "funyo funyo" the whole time while gushing over Ayako's huggableness. I wanna hug too. Btw, Ayako said on Kanokon Radio that she'll go live with Mamimami if she's still single at 40, which isn't that far off considering she just turned 32 last month.

Somewhat related (but totally out of point), i googled a few keywords the other day. Guess which site was at the top of the list for "ayako raping mamimami"?

What about "stalk tanaka rie"?


Coming up with search strings that bring up my own blog sure was fun. The weirdest things show up.

Now i can make a case in court on why Chihara Minori = Ou Xuan + 5kg. This screenshot will be cited as evidence. This move i learnt from Truly Asian legal experts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm Just Done Marathoning My Code Geass DVDs

Ok, i just finished watching the first season of Code Geass. Somehow i think they should have just ended the show right there instead of doing a second season. It just feels so "finished", i've no idea what Sunrise is going to do with another 25 episodes.

If i were writing the script, i'd have Lulu die from blood loss after getting shot in the balls by Suzaku. Suzaku would then get backstabbed by a bat shit loco Kallen who commits suicide by jumping off a cliff, but not before she strips butt naked. Nunally develops an embolus and dies. C.C is revealed to be a fox-spirit, then sails off into the sunset on her state-of-the-art submarine. Nina humps various pieces of furniture as the credits roll.

To be fair, i've not watched a single episode of the second season. They might be good. I just wished it had ended so i won't have to shell out another mini-fortune for the dvd. Even the bootleg copies cost quite a bit you know. Or i can just say wtf and fly to Japan to watch it on TV.

Oh well, it's been a good series anyway. I haven't been as excited about a Sunrise mecha series since the first few eps of GSD. I dropped Gundam O.o 10 epsiodes in, but i couldn't quite say why. Guess i just got bored. I think I now know what that show lacked compared to Gundam Seed and Code Geass.

Cute girls.

And Kallen/Mia fanservice.

What was Gotuuza-sama Thinking?

Click here.

This is an ad for Fuji Safari Park. The voiceover was by Goto Yuko, who’s Hikari in SA this season. It’s freaking hilarious, got to hear it to appreciate the awesomeness. I couldn’t make out one line, but it goes like this:

本当に本当に本当に本当に
ターイーガーだ
近すぎちゃて
どうしお
???サファリパーク

It’s really really really really
A TI – GE – R
It’s come too close
Oh what should I do?
(Cries the???) Safari Park

I’m guessing maybe the park’s new attraction is a tiger or something. I might be late to the party, but I’m so glad I got myself a nico nico account today. Oh ya, you’ll need to register to watch the video if you haven’t already.

Friday, April 25, 2008

中文写作

虽然日常生活中大概四五成的对话都以中文进行,不过似乎已经有五年以上没有运用中文写作了。这几年来就连打油诗也没写过一首,更说不上什么高谈阔论,中文程度可以说是到了“功力尽失”的地步。说来惭愧,甚至连听写都不如小学生的丑事也不能说没有。过于依赖Microsoft Word 了。想想这样下去毕竟不怎么光彩,还是偶尔动一动笔好,但虽说要“动笔”,不过实际上还是在用键盘输入…算了,就别拘泥于这种小细节吧。

意识流写作(stream of consciousness writing)是我从前非常喜欢的一种写作方式,原因是不用打草稿,有屁就放,有屎就拉,痛快得不得了。写完之后还能欣赏欣赏自己脑子里装的垃圾屎尿,不亦乐乎。可能是因为潜意识里的OS老早就被设定成了英文模式,以这种方式写出来的东西绝大多数都是英文,就算有中文也是些不堪入耳的粗话。其实英文的部分也难登大雅之堂,不过是题外话。想起来去年还用日文写了篇狗屁不通的小学生情杀剧,就是没写过中文的。

就在这里自我挑战吧 — 以意识流写作法写出一篇没有半个英文字母的文章。

开始了喔…

在很久很久以前,有个傻蛋名叫小虫,因为被眼镜娘萌到不行了,常常到眼镜店里闲晃。有一天他碰到了一个超级无敌天下第一无所不在无所不能的眼镜ツンデレ,名叫上帝。

上帝问他说:“你萌我吗?”

小虫道:“双马尾万岁!”

原来上帝是个双马尾ツンデレ眼镜娘。

太好了。

两人携手步入佛堂剃头出家。和尚爱尼古,尼姑爱和尚,情投意合,百子千孙,干出了他妈的一番大事业,可喜可贺。

完。

我看下次是不是打草稿比较好呢?

顺便一提,理惠姐姐最近好像很忙的样子,网页没怎么更新,可能是换了新的经济公司工作量提高了。该不会是モンハン打太凶,打傻了吧?

送上一张理惠姐姐啃面包的玉照,没记错应该是上《君吻》声优采访前照的。

Nice Boobs

Kurenai's OP sung by Kuribayashi Minami. Quite a nice song, goes well with Kurenai's cute and stylish OP animation. I like her earlier porn songs better though, the ones she sang for KGNE, Muvluv, etc. Which was probably the reason why i did not notice until a few days ago that she's actually a “有料之人”.


This photo was from her Overture album which contained most of the porn songs and is one of the most accessed folders on my PC. FYI, I go to that folder for the lyrics so i can sing along to my favourite porn songs; not to admire her apparent lack of boobs. She should shoot all the people responsible for that photo - from the stylist to the photographer to the dude holding the reflector. They absolutely managed to spirit away her awesome bust. I doubt Nijuu Mensou could have pulled off that heist, unless those are actually bulletproof silicon chest armour.


This is from the album Passage which has less porn songs and hence is less frequently accessed. Now this one does her justice. Cleavage (of covalent bonds) was my favourite topic in school.

Now that i'm done evaluating her assets, i shall attempt to address a question that has been bugging me for some time. If you haven't noticed already, what i've just done here (and with quite a few of my other posts) is essentially sexual harrasment which is a crime punishable by law in most places i know. I think it is harrassment because i don't believe anyone would like to hear such a discussion about his or her boobs. I said "his or her" because guys die from breast cancer too.

Ms. Kuribayashi definitely does not give a damn about what i have to say about her, nor will she ever know.

But does that make it right? Or acceptable?

Maybe yes.

Maybe no.

It doesn't matter until someone makes a fuss, because that's how things work here in this place where we live. Wasting too much of my short life thinking about such issues will just mean less time for enjoying anime. I'll probably get around to sorting it out when i actually get sued, but by then it'll be out of my hands because a Judge will be there to decide.

So is this a pointless exercise?

Does it take an absolute idiot to do the right thing when no one's looking?

p.s. Tanaka Rie's delightfully off-key singing in the Kimikiss Character Song album was fantastic. She was totally in character throughout.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2nd Looks – Mystery Show

Let’s play a game. Try guessing which show I’m talking about.

The Players
Boy is one of those angsty delinquent bad boy types and seems to have issues regarding his family. Girl is slightly clumsy but cute and lacks self esteem. She happens to have some sort of illness too. Girl wants to perform but she’s too timid. Boy convinces her to fight for her dreams. Along the way Boy encounters Delicious Meron-pan & Thigh Meat, but one can predict he is going to forsake that sumptuous buffet for the sick and vulnerable Girl. Probably not surprising if at the end Girl has Boy’s babies then dies a tragic death.

Am I talking about Clannad?

Hint: Delicious Meron-pan & Thigh Meat is bitchy and flirty. She’s turning out to be my favourite character though.

The Boobs
Boobs transitioning from zero to normal gravity. Boobs strapped in black leather. Boobs spilt out of tube tops. Boobs that are actually tuna buns. Surprisingly, this is not my favourite aspect of the show, but can’t say I don’t enjoy it. Just not the reason I’m tuning in.

Hint: No nipples except on the tuna bun, i.e. this is not a H-OVA or late night ATX broadcast.)

The Machines
Sleek and sexy. Hate the gay colours though. Why can’t everything be grey/khaki/green camo like in Gasaraki or Votoms?

Hint: Gundams have some of the gayest colour schemes in anime. I’m not saying it is mecha though, might be motorbikes or cellphones or something.

The Table Humping
Am I talking about Code Geass? Hint: They’re not humping the table per se, more like humping each other on the table.

The Songs
OP asks me who I wanna kissu. Catchy chorus. First ED is a bunch of gibberish that sounds like Eyemo. I prefer the faster insert song version which was beautiful. 2nd ED says goodbye. I loved it. Someone yells “MOTTEKE!!!” near the beginning of every episode and sometimes in the middle. I want this song on my playlist. Finally, someone sings a - gasp - MANDARIN song in this show.

Hint: It is not a Taiwanese drama that has borrowed anime music.

The Seiyuu
Izumi Konata, Takara Miyuki, Hiiragi Tsukasa, Suzumiya Haruhi, Kyon, Uraha, Aizawa Yuichi, Furukawa Sanae, Okazaki Tomoya, Sakagami Tomoyo, Mikihara Ren.

Hint: It is not by Kyoani.

Do I like This Show?
Hell yeah!!!

2nd Looks – Toshokan Sensou

Like I’ve said before, this show has a rather ridiculous premise. In order to clean up declining morals in society, the Japan passed a draconian law in 2019 empowering censors to crackdown on all undesirable material, with force if necessary. Armed raids on bookstores and libraries were commonplace. To fight this perceived violation of human rights and free speech, libraries all over the nation were organized into paramilitary “taskforces”. As you can see, this is a totally unbelievable story that is really hard to take seriously. Fortunately, I don’t think the scriptwriters of this show expect us to take it seriously either, unlike some others. *cough*CelestialBeing*cough*

Our heroine is Kasahara Iku. While still a student, she was caught up in a bookstore raid. Being the idealistic idiot that she is (the show expressly refers to her as such), she defied the media watchdogs and was in danger of being arrested when she and her book were rescued by a librarian. Inspired by the nameless librarian, whom she has come to worship as her “Prince Charming”, she becomes a librarian after graduation.

Iku is tall and athletic, but rather dense and loudmouthed. She appears to be quite boobless, but combat fatigues do nothing for anyone’s figure, so we can’t be too sure. I think Iku’s seiyuu, Inoue Marina, is really good at doing lovable loudmouthed idiots (Kana, Minami Ke).

Rookie trooper Iku clashes initially with her instructor Dojo (or chibi as she calls him behind his back. He is 5cm shorter than her at 165.). Their confrontations were a riot. Anyone who’s been in the army knows it takes a brave idiot to kick your sergeant in the ass. Turns out he’s just extra harsh on her because he’s got high expectations of her. And there’s even some cute pseudo romantic development with him berating her one minute then showing concern the next. He’s a male tsundere. Throw in Tezuka the perfectionist acrophobic rookie who declares at the end of ep2 that he wants to date Iku after having blasted her stupidity for the whole episode and we’ve got a nice setup for comedy.

The military setting made me think of FMP, but FMP was more extreme in that it had way more slapstick comedy, yet the action was more violent. So far, Library War has been kind of in between. Actually, I think I’m enjoying this so much because I’m reminded of my army days, especially when Iku went on outfield training. Instructors sneaking into your tent? Check. Digging shitholes? Check. This is probably the first anime I’ve seen that shows a girl shitting in the bushes.

The action wasn’t bad, the one battle that they had so far was pretty tactical. But probably due to the show’s campy mood it felt more like a game of paintball than a real gunfight. Not that I’m complaining though, remember SR’s survival game episode? And I hated TSR for being so dark compared to Fumoffu.

All in all a really promising show. It’s so good, I watch this raw because I can’t wait half a day for the subs.

2nd Looks - Kurenai

I’ve now watched 2 or 3 episodes of most of this season’s shows, and Kurenai has emerged as one of my favourites.

This show really sneaked up on me. Nothing significant seems to be happening throughout the first 3 episodes but they managed to be entertaining nonetheless. The closest comparison from last season would probably be Spice & Wolf, where character interaction was the main draw, not plot or action.

Needless to say, I found most of the characters entertaining. The main guy Kurenai basically looks like a nice guy who’s working as an underworld “fixer”, resolving problems for people who’ve run into trouble with the mafia/triads/yakuza. We haven’t been shown why he’s into this business or whether he’s really a nice guy, but he’s monstrously strong despite appearances. He is clueless when it comes to caring for the loli tsundere he’s suppose to protect - but he tries - and we all love the idiot who never says die.

Kurenai can be a cheeky little bastard though, like how he tries to have his cake and eat it when it comes to the 2 girls who are quite obviously interested in him. One is Ginko the slightly tsundere meganekko who has known him since kindergarten and is feeding him info as an underworld informant of sorts; the other is Yuno, an onee-san whose family runs the dojo he used to live and train in. It is hinted that Ginko got involved with the underworld in order to help Kurenai, while Yuno showers him with homemade bento and forces kawaii handphone straps on him. Both girls obviously can’t stand each other, but are too polite to do anything about it besides complaining to the lucky bastard behind each other’s backs. I like the way the romance angle of the show is handled – none of the excessive blushing, ridiculous confessions or over-the-top bitch fights that are a staple of harem anime.

The other star of the show is Murasaki, the adorably chubby 7 year old tsundere who Kurenai is guarding. She’s a really high-class ojou-sama who has escaped from her prestigious but oppressive family and is now bunking with Kurenai in his rundown apartment filled with lovable weirdoes. Due to her sheltered life, she’s ignorant of the lives of normal folk and basically treats everyone like a servant. She appears obnoxious at first, but her good nature shines through as she learns more about the world. Her haughty demeanor and childish curiosity combine to provide some of the show’s best comedic moments. I seriously lol’ed when she proclaimed to Yuno that she and Kurenai were “cohabiting”.

So far, every episode has thrown up questions hinting at some conspiracy or plot twist, such as “Why did Kurenai’s employer “rescue” Murasaki?”, “What’s the secret behind Kurenai’s nearly inhuman strength and bizarre right arm?” as well as “What is the connection between Murasaki’s and Yuno’s families”. Despite that, the story moves at a pace more typical of slice-of-life comedies than the action thriller those potential plot points might suggest it to be. I think I’d rather it remain so for the rest of the series.

Friday, April 18, 2008

偶像声优小林优, 迷你裙美腿大暴走! 超出营业时间!!

Found this one on Yahoo Japan's news thingy. How could i resist clicking on a headline like the one above? I know the translation sucks, this is why i'm not working for a newspaper. And i realise i have fallen into the same "trap" as many others attempting to translate from Japanese to Chinese.

Probably because 汉字/漢字 is common to both languages, some subtitlers-who-happen-to-be-fans tend to borrow phrases wholesale from Japanese instead of translating them into their proper equivalents in Chinese. An example from the headline above would be "暴走", which doesn't actually exist in the Chinese language although i noticed it has come into common usage among Chinese-speaking anime fans. The meaning (going berserk, out of hand) could be deduced from context and by putting together the individual meanings of both words in Chinese, but i probably would have failed if i had written "暴走" in my 'O' level Chinese essay.

"声优/声優" doesn't exist in Chinese either, although Chinese Wikipedia would make you think otherwise. When local Chinese newspapers talk about voice actors, they use the term "配音员", which literally means "someone who does voiceovers". I guess they are not really thought of as actors, probably because there is no tradition of high profile voice actors in Chinese television and no animation industry to foster such a tradition. (Fann Wong doesn't count even if she did voice something in Zodiac; the AVA should deploy her voice for culling crows.) Voice actors belong to the backstage crew over here, although their work was a staple on local TV dramas for many years before the stations switched from dubbing to live recording. I seem to have gone off point.

Another example off the top of my head would be "存在感". This is stuck in my mind because of Motteke Sailor Fuku, but that's not the point. My point is, although any Chinese-speaker would instinctively understand the meaning of "存在感", this phrase is very awkward in mandarin. Ok, maybe just awkward where i live, i haven't actually spoken to many people from ROC/PRC/SAR so i can't say for sure.

One instance of such lazy translation that i found really funny was "娘". It means "daughter/girl" in Japanese but "mother" in Chinese. So "猫耳娘" -nekomimi musume- totally cracks me up. At least no one has left “大丈夫” untranslated so far. I would have laughed my ass off otherwise.

Something like "萌" isn't as bad, since there is no real equivalent in Chinese. Even English speaking fans had to import "moe" into their vocabulary; plus i don't think that particular kanji originally meant what it means now among otaku. "萌" actually means "sprout". My theory is that the term came to be because "萌" girls made otaku "sprout" erections.

On a side note, it took me a while to figure out that the phrase "工口" seen on Chinese-language anime forums is not pronounced "gong1 kou3" but "Ero". Now that's a word to describe Ms. Kobayashi's quadriceps.

p.s. If you're interested in details of the news article, i have no idea. I only paid attention to the photo.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

エロ理恵?!

I'm going into hypovolumic shock from the nosebleed.

Look here.

*summons last bit of strength to hide pictures in secret Rie folder*

Go to this site if you want a hardcopy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Late Night TV + Anime in My Taiwan Drama

There are "Late Night" versions of Kamen no Meido Guy and Soul Eater floating around. I've seen the first Ep for both. Soul Eater's only had extra scenes in the next ep preview, meaning the real fanservice will be in ep2, if there's any at all. Meido Guy's had quite a few changes, basically we see more pantsu and nipples, upgrading it to NC-16 level.

I'll probably follow the uncensored version for Soul Eater. It's the same philosophy I adopted with Clannad 4:3 vs widescreen. No harm seeing more of a good thing.

Won't be doing the same for Meido Guy though. Not many releases for the raunchier version plus there's a delay of a week or so. Frankly, i don't think uncensoring the show adds much value since it's smutty enough to begin with. And if my monitor's going to be plastered with images of pantsu i'd rather be hearing Maimami and Ayako's voices than Koyama Rikiya's.

Btw, just watched a bit of The Switch on Crunchy. Ah, the nostalgia. This show is one of the Taiwanese dramas that i actually enjoyed. Zhang Ting's a riot. And guess what, the vids on Crunchy were recorded off TCS8, or whatever Channel 8 used to be called.

I didn't realise this at first, but some Crunchy users pointed out that the first ep featured a BGM stolen from Kenshin's soundtrack. Not surprising, Taiwan/Hongkong dramas are always doing this. For instance, I've lost count of the number of times i've heard Ashitaka's Theme from Mononoke Hime while watching some drama. Season 2 or 3 of My Date with a Vampire very blatantly ripped Liberi Fatali from FFVIII and i don't remember them giving credit to Uematsu Nobuo. This auntie aquaintance of mine once off-handedly commented that this wuxia show 飞龙在天 had great music; in my head i was thinking of course it has great music, the Shenmue guys put money and effort into creating original music for their game. Then there's the fiasco over some cockster plagiarizing my favourite Key OP. Best thing is, they can pull all this off and the average audience would be none the wiser (or just plain don't give a damn even if they knew).

I think all this points to a lack of respect for the anime and game culture in mainstream Chinese media. This is copyright infringement on a different level compared to fansubs. Fansubbing would be like me stealing pics of Rie Rie from her blog and posting them here for worshipping purposes. To be on par with shows that use plagiarised music, i'd have to steal pics of Rie Rie from her blog, boast that she's my girlfriend/mistress, maybe photoshop her face over some gravure idol's and charge $$$ for viewing my blog.

Having said that, i'm not really as pissed about this as i might have sounded. I was just in the mood for a rant, i.e. i was bored. As much as i feel that they shouldn't have done what they did, i'm actually quite excited whenever i recognise a familiar game or anime tune on TV. Anyway, all those examples that i have pointed out are rather dated since i haven't been watching Chinese drama for the past few years; maybe things have changed.

Damn, now i feel guilty about koping Rie's pics. Maybe i'll just hide them in my hidden RieRie Folder from now on. But the urge to share the joy of Rie worshipping is just so strong. Oh crap, from now on i'll just be nicer to those evangelists who annoy me to no end with their spiel about me going to hell. There's no need to remind me, i know i'm going to hell. I thoroughly enjoyed every single episode of Kyou no 5-2.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Impressions Part 6

Uchi no San Shimai
I gave up waiting for subs. A cute and entertaining slice of life comedy, only that’s it’s based on the real life antics of 3 little girls. Got me chuckling throughout. Expect zero plot development; this show is the definition of slice of life. 5 year old Fuu, the eldest, is played by Pikachu. Hopefully, someone will sub this. Please, anyone will do, even The Temple of Zedu. Even though I managed to get 80% of the dialogue I was actually stumped by the 3-year-old’s lines. Need to level up more.

V for Tanaka?






Looks like Tanaka Rie has mastered the art of forming V-signs with her left hand while snapping cellphone pictures with her right. I therefore conclude that there is a 33% chance of her being left-handed, a 33% chance of her being right handed, a 33% chance that she's ambidextrous and a 1% chance that she chomps on meron-pan in her spare time. Someone please go add the results of my research to the Trivia section of her wiki entry.
Obviously all photos are koped from her blog since i don't even own a functional cellphone. Btw, I spent last night going through all of Rie's blog posts since 2006. i'm turning into a cyberstalker.

Sakagami Suigintou

Wtf, watch this.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/media-324164/Clannad-MAD-Clannad-Maiden.html

Almost died laughing. Whoever did this is pro.

First Impressions Part 5

Kaiba
Dreamy art style atypical for anime. Reminds me of those “Ma Me Moo” animated shorts with the green polka-dotted cows that used to air on TV. Some sort of Sci-fi story is going on; though the art might cause some viewers to find it too kiddy or arty-farty. Definitely something that moe-addict Kagamisumi would not even touch with a ten foot pole. Probably no one’s going to sub it. Pity, cos it’s got an exciting cast consisting of Kuwashima Houko, Park Romi, Mamimami, etc.

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki
Not bad. Its brand of energetic comedy is at least on par with the 2 HnG clones, if not better. Probably going to have tonnes of character-driven gags, since there’s a large amount of quirky personalities the scriptwriters can play with.

Chiko Heiress of the Phantom Thief
Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? My comments probably got stolen by the Thief with 20 Faces because I don’t have much to say about this show. Hirano Aya’s Chiko hasn’t got time to develop her awesomeness in the first ep, but I’m guessing she’s got to carry the show eventually. Wolverine has a cameo. I’ll upgrade this show to best of Spring 2008 if Storm has a yuri encounter with Jean Gray in ep2.

When does Real Dive start btw? Hasn't the first ep aired already? Can't find a decent, erhem, TV channel that shows it. And there's only one miserable uncooked copy of Uchi no San Shimai in the Library of Tokyo.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Suigintou Rie

Random googling for "mamimami" uncovered Tanaka Rie's Suigintou cosplay pic. I've always wanted to see this after reading about it all the time. Rie looks as classy as ever, (Although stuck up would be another way to put it. =p) Are there pics of her doing the crazy Suigintou face on the net?

Rie looking drop dead gorgeous in her get-up for a Mabinogi event.

Words have failed me.

There is actually a disambiguation page for "Tanaka Rie" on Japanese Wiki. Seems there are 3 notable Tanaka Ries around: My beloved seiyuu, a pianist, and a sound technician. Weird that a sound technician would make it into wiki, but since her name's been appearing in the credits for a few anime series, leading to misinformation that the seiyuu has gone into backstage work, some clearing up was definitely in order. Someone should go tell ANN that they have wrongly credited Rie the seiyuu for sound production on Kimikiss and Nodame Cantabile.

Edit: Just submitted an error report to ANN, but wouldn't it be cool if Rie was actually involved in backstage work? Would show how talented she is, wouldn't it?

A Few Words About Zunderella And The Temple of Zedu

Zunderella and The Temple of Zedu is my third story, the sequel to Legend of Zunderella And Flu Blow.

i wrote this last year during the height of the Odex fiasco. i remember it was a sleepless week of endless writing and editing coming up with this 6,000 word long piece of shit, but it sure was fun. Reading it again after almost half a year, i realised it's lost much of it's bite now that it's all quiet on the Odex front. My prediction in the story's conclusion wasn't exactly spot-on, but not too far off the mark.

Our friendly local anime distributor isn't exactly sitting on it's ass though, as we now have same-week-as-Japan telecasts for D-Grayman and Neo Angelique. I don't particularly like either of these shows and i don't watch them, but at least it's a step in a positive direction.

I've been wanting to write a fourth story, even got the character profiles done up. Seems i've lost the drive to write though. Maybe when some issue gets me fired up enough to want to do some lampooning i'll complete that fourth story. For now, i'm giving Zunderella and gang a long leisurely break.

Zunderella And The Temple of Zedu

CHAPTER ONE

A lone cloaked figure rode into town.

Actually, she was squatting on the horse rather than sitting astride it like you would normally expect someone to do.

And, yes, as I have accidentally given away in the previous line, it’s a lady.

Who squats.

Yay.

Congratulations to those who have figured it out already.

The (now not so) mysterious person dismounted before the grandest building in the bustling town of Eropagnis.

“The Temple of Zedu.”, she whistled under her breath. “Posh place…”

Dusting off her cloak, she approached the colossal iron-barred gates and was promptly challenged by a burly guard.

“Halt! Who goes there?!”

“Maria von Hamburger.” came the reply, cool as ice.

The name must have meant something, for the man snapped to attention with a crisp salute.

“Apologies, My Lady. This way please.”

Maria “Zunderella” von Hamburger, Itinerant Adventurer and Defender of Justice (some would interpret this job description as “Homeless, Unemployed and Kaypoh”), Level 56, stepped through the gateway and disappeared behind the walls of the temple fortress.

CHAPTER TWO

“Ah, Lady Zunderella! (The “Lady” business is because she is currently the Step-Daughter, Step-Sister-in-Law, and Ex-Lover of the King of some kingdom far far away. That makes her officially a Step-Ex-Royal-Thing, which warrants a title of nobility. See: The Legend of Zunderella. ) We’ve been expecting you. Welcome to our humble temple.”

“Well, I hope you weren’t expecting me as long as my mother did.” deadpanned Zunderella as she eyed the man before her.

Cardinal Sing was a rotund, jolly-looking fellow. Decked out in the flamboyant regalia of a Priest of Zedu, he looked every bit the elderly NPC priest/hermit/sage/mentor whose sole purpose in life is to point the protagonist to her next quest.

“Hahaha! What a unique sense of humour you have. Ah! Have a seat. Oh, right! How can I forget? You are more comfortable squatting! Age must be catching up with me. Haha… Pardon my inhospitality… but I believe we must get down to business immediately. The matter at hand is rather urgent.”

“Suits me.”

“There has been… a spate of thefts from our temple recently.”

“Uh-huh…”

“Someone has been stealing…” Cardinal Sing lowered his voice to a conspiratory whisper. “The Water.”

“Someone has been stealing water? From you?”

“Yes.”

“I got dragged halfway across the continent to catch a water thief? Did I make a wrong turn somewhere and end up on Arrakis or something?

“No.”

“Am I on Candid Crystal Ball?”

“No.” replied the Cardinal, exhaling deeply. “I think you misunderstand, My Lady. The Water which I speak of is special water; holy water. It is Water from the Fountain of Airnemea, holiest of sites for followers of Great Zedu.”

“Wow. So?”

“It’s a panacea! It cures more ailments than the legendary King-to Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (京都念奄川貝枇杷膏) TM!”

“That’s it? Ok, I’ll take your word for it. But with a whole fountain of the stuff sitting somewhere what’s the big fuss with someone stealing a bottle or two. Zedu’s a charitable sort of deity, right?”

“You couldn’t be more mistaken, My Lady. Infinite Zedu’s Compassion may be, He is also a god of Justice. Evil, be it murder or theft, will never be tolerated! Signs and portents abound, and I fear we have already incurred Zedu’s Wrath. In my dreams… I have been shown visions of Impending Doom!”

“Went to sleep on a full belly, eh? Haha… ha… Sorry… So what exactly did you see in those, uh, visions? Pumpkin Carriages? *Guffaws* Hahaha… Sorry…”

“The Fountain of Airnemea will cease to flow if we do nothing to stop these nefarious thieves!!!” hissed the priest indignantly.

“Well, there’s always Pei Pa Koa to fall back on isn’t there? *Guffaws*”

“With all due respect, My Lady, I do not think this is a laughing matter.”

Zunderella was going asthmatic. “Ha… ha… *cough* Erhem. ‘Kay, ‘kay, I get your point. I’ll look into this, alright? No need to get your feathers all ruffled.”

“You have my thanks.” replied the Cardinal, rather grudgingly, as Zunderella turned to leave.

“Hey,” called Zunderella over her shoulder. “Mind pointing the way to the hottest pub in town?

CHAPTER THREE

Zunderella was squatting on a bar stool at the infamous Nuh-Enclave, hottest pub in town.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed already, Zunderella is no longer the shy, awkward, lonely girl squatting in a corner at the Prince’s Ball. It has been years since our first meeting with wimpy Zunderella, and she has since matured into a confident, radiant, coquettish, ravishing beauty. It is a pity that she hasn’t quite outgrown the squatting.

Well, with her perched on that high stool, guys who are dead drunk would find it difficult to tell if she’s squatting unless they, like, lift her skirt, but then they’d be just dead.

So no surprise that she got hit on all night.

“Hey babe, can I buy you something?”

“Sure.”

You can now proceed to imagine Zunderella flirting with some random guy who’s out to get some ass. I won’t be narrating it.

Anyway, Zunderella gets the random guy drunk and into a good mood then tries to skewer some information (and more free drinks) out of him.

“Say… how about you show me around town? I love this town. Eropagnis. Don’t you just love the sound of that? There’s so much culture around you can feel the spores in the air! And I’ve always wanted to visit the Fountain of Airnemea. So much culture there. How exciting! Won’t you take me? *Wink*”

“That place’s got nothing.” the guy slurred. “Anyway it’s off limits. No go. Those old bas*hic*tards at the temple won’t let anyone near it.”

“Oh no! What shall I do? *Sob*…”I was so looking forward to having my very own bottle of Airnemea. *Boohoo*…

“Bah. That horse pee sells for $29.90 per bottle. Everywhere! And no one wants any. Ha! Tax this, donate that, all my money’s going to those old fu*hic*ckers anyway. I’ll buy you as many as you like!”

“Really?*Puppy Dog Eyes*”

“Of course. Never lied to a lady me whole life. Now, shall we adjourn to somewhere more… comfor*hic* table?”

“Whatever you say…”

They checked into a motel… and played Scra*hic*bble the whole night.

CHAPTER FOUR

The next morning.

“Argh… my head…” groaned Zunderella.

Our heroine is now squatting outside the neighbourhood drugstore, nursing a giant hangover.

“Hello! Anyone there?” *knock knock*

Creak.

The door opened.

“Good morning. Never expected a customer this early. How can I help you?”

The proprietor of the store is this nondescript middle-aged fellow like most other NPC shopkeepers.

“What have you got for a hangover?” asked Zunderella.

“Oh, I’m so sorry; we’re all out of hangover remedies. But if you manage to find and return my lost kitten, I might be able to dig up some left over stock hidden at the back of the drawer.”

“Screw it, I’ve no time for sidequests now.”

“In that case, how about some Airnemea Fountain Water?”

“Ah, the panacea. Why didn’t you say so earlier? Hand it over.”

“Uh, Miss, you’re not local, are you?”

“Hmm? Enlighten me.”

“Well… while it’s true that the Water treats most common ailments like sore throats, dry skin, hangovers, etc, there are, uh, side effects.”

“Ha! What’s new? All drugs can kill at the right dose.”

“Umm… The Water doesn’t kill… it makes you look, uh, grainy.”

“Grainy?

“If you apply it to the skin. Doctors use the word “Pixilated”. And prolonged use is a risk factor for this rare medical condition called “Skewed Aspect Ratio”. Means you get stretched; or squashed. But “Cropping” is by far the worst. Parts of you just disappear.”

“Uh-huh… And if I drink it?”

“Then you’ll speak funny for a while. But the hangover will go away instantly.”

“Do people actually use this stuff then?”

“To be honest… No.”







“I’ll try one.”

“Thank you, here you go. That’ll be $29.90 please.” *cha-ching*

Zunderella popped open the cheap-looking silver-trimmed bottle.

It looks… Like water.

It smells… Like water.

It tastes…

*glug* *glug* *glug*

…Like water.

“Nothing’s happening…” Zunderella muttered. “Wait… ooh… I feel my head clearing up already. Hey… this is good stu- ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!!

“Well, Miss, I did warn you, didn’t I?”

“THE YELLOW CAR IS THE RACE CAR OF THE BIG TREE!!!!”

Yes, I know this particularly brilliant piece of work has got nothing to do with them. But no one will get the joke if I link it to Poh Kim, right?

“Haha… The Water has allowed you to receive and translate signals from the godly plane. In any translation work, there are slightly different ways to say the same thing and, according to the Priests of Zedu who are producing this stuff, the Water’s formula has been enhanced to provide the most accurate translations possible. Oh, and they have gone the extra mile and included a curse-filter so as not to cause any discomfort to the various religious and racial groups in Eropagnis.”

“FU*HIC*CK THE CERTAIN PRICE OF GOODS!!!”

“See what I mean? Curse filter in action! Haha… Here’s some advice, Miss: It’s just a perception problem. Shut up for the next few hours and you’ll be fine.”

“FOR GREAT JUSTICE!!!”

CHAPTER FIVE

Being effectively mute isn’t all that bad, really.

At least it gave Zunderella time to think.

Holed up in the temple’s guest quarters, Zunderella was pushing her brains into overdrive.

“What the hell does the thief want with this shit anyway?” she mused. “Wouldn’t be able to give it away for free, much less make a profit.”

She’s speaking to herself in her head, so it’s all normal. By the way, the non-omniscient narrator in Legend of Zunderella got sacked. We’re not the same person.

She started scribbling on a memo.

Possible uses for Shit Water:

1) Demon summoning catalyst
2) Recreational drug use
3) Sabotaging opponents on Eropagnis Idol
4) Subtitling
5) Inspiration for stand-up comedy act
6) God Radio

“Argh!!!” growled Zunderella, pulling her hair out. “This is dumb. I’m going nowhere!”

She flipped the memo over, and wrote.

Reasons for screwing Temple / Fountain / Cardinal Sing:

1) Eliminate public health risk
2) Don’t like your face
3) Kena double-6ed
4) Religious/Political conflict
5) Luke, I am your father. (yeah right)
6) *Feud*

Wait a second.

She might be on to something.

“ME NAKED!!!”

CHAPTER SIX

“Do you have any enemies? Can you think of anyone who might want to undermine the temple? Is there anyone who stands to benefit if the Fountain dries up? Have you offended anyone?”

Zunderella’s voice has kind of recovered on the journey from her room to Cardinal Sing’s office. It’s a big temple.

“Well, I sincerely believe we have not offended anyone, My Lady. I mean, we humble followers of Great Zedu are merely faithfully discharging the Holy Duty which has been bestowed upon us.”

“Ok… What I’m trying to ask is whether you’ve humbly stepped on any toes while faithfully discharging your holy duties.”

“The Priests of Zedu are modest men working for the good of – “

“Come on…Help me help you.”

Cardinal Sing was silent for a moment.

“In recent years…”

“Yes…?” probed Zunderella, diligently scribbling it down.

“We had some, uh, differences in perception with the Pixies of Itherna Forest.”

“Pixies… Ither… na… Forest… Oh, please go on…”

“I was afraid to raise this before, you know, so as not to colour your judgment. I sincerely believe they are not the culprits, they are jolly good folks. But, uh, not to sound accusatory… but… they are the only people whom we’ve ever had any disagreements with.”

He forgot about The Great Crusade against the Xameulbians 600 years ago. And all the other wars fought in Zedu’s name before and after that. But it’s alright, since it’s not going to affect the plot.

“So what exactly did you perceive differently?”

“It’s… the Water. They had issues with the, uh, quality.”

“Oh, like, for instance, how it makes you speak funny? And like how the cheap bottle thing with silver trimming is ugly packaging?”

“Er…Something like that.”

“I see.”

“But My Lady, in any translation work, there are slightly different ways to say the same thing and we have enhanced the Water’s formula-“

“-To provide the most accurate translations possible. Yes, and I know you have gone the extra mile to include a curse-filter so as not to cause any discomfort to the various religious and racial groups in Eropagnis. I’ve heard the whole spiel.”

“Ah! I am glad to hear that. In that case, My Lady, you should be able to understand where we are coming from. The Pixies have been rather stubborn in this regard. They have not purchased a single bottle since the disagreement boiled over. Speaking of which, I’ve been rather worried for them, actually…”

“Why?”

“The Pixies are rather… dependent on the Water.”

“Dependent?”

“Rumours say they cannot live without it.”

“Right… Thank you for your time, Cardinal Sing. I’ll keep you informed of any progress.”

“My Lady?

“Yes?”

“Umm… You do find the silver trimming attractive, don’t you?”







“Ya, I do.” replied Zunderella. *Grins from ear to ear*

CHAPTER SEVEN

Itherna Forest, right outside the town gates of Eropagnis.

Zunderella was waddling along the forest trail.

“Mr. Cardinal sure made my job an easy one.” mumbled Zunderella to herself. “Can’t live without the water? So finding them alive is evidence of theft, isn’t it? If you’re so sure go catch them yourself, bloody old fucker. Trying to manipulate me by insinuating this and that? Treat me like a kid? God damn spoiler, ya? Now there’s no more fun in this detective business. Tell you what… I’ll make this fun by proving their innocence… grrrh… &^%$...”

If you didn’t manage to catch that chunk of monologue, it’s just Zunderella ranting like a drunken blogger who’s been double-sixed. Anyway, she was so fuming mad that she hadn’t noticed a tiny figure was following her, flitting from tree to tree just a few feet behind.

“Erm… Excuse me?”

Zunderella spun around.

“WHAT!!! Oops… I mean, hello- Wait a sec… Who’s there?!”

“Over here…” said a tiny voice.

Zunderella’s eyes focused on a winged… thingy hovering in front of her.

“AH!” cried Zunderella in surprise. She jabbed a finger at the entity. “Tinkerbelle! From Peter Pan!”

“Oh no, no...” the pixie shook her head daintily. “Belle’s my cousin. I’m Twinkle. They all say we look alike though.” she added bashfully. “Um… are you Miss Zunderella?”

“Maria von Hamburger, Itinerant Adventurer and Defender of Justice, Level 56?”

The pixie nodded.

“That’s me.”

“Really?!” the Twinkle’s eyes twinkled with delight. “OHMYGODOHMYGOD CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH PLEASE?! I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN!!!”

Thus concludes the story of how Zunderella met her biggest fan.

THE END

Just kidding.

Twinkle, being the innocent (I don’t mean it as in “not guilty”; I meant all the other meanings like “inexperienced with the unpleasant aspects of life” and “sexually naïve”. Don’t read too much into one word.), impressionable, heroine-worshipping young pixie that she is, guilelessly invited Zunderella to the Pixie Village. It’s so useful to be famous sometimes.

“Everyone! Look who I brought?”

“Hey! It’s Zunderella!”

Everyone from Baby Winky to ancient Great-Great-Great-Gramps showed up to welcome our heroine. A grand picnic was held at the Big Tree Stump in her honour.

After many rounds of Pixie Beer and strip charades, Zunderella thought she had them in the right mood to answer some questions.

“Say…” began Zunderella innocuously, “Is there any of that water here? Water from that whatsitsname, ah Airnemea Foun-”

The merrymaking died away as an uncomfortable silence set in.

Oops.

The village chief, with his pants still around his ankles, spoke.

“Those Zedu buggers sent you, didn’t they? What’d they want this time?”

“No, no, no… I’m here to like… mediate. No one’s accusing you of stealing water or anything-”

“We stole nothing! And we want nothing from them! Good day to you. Twinkle! See our guest out!”

And Zunderella got thrown out.

CHAPTER EIGHT

“I’m so sorry things turned out this way. *sob*” Twinkle, barely holding back her tears, was sitting on Zunderella’s shoulder. “Everyone’s just so angry with the temple, they refuse to listen anymore.”

“Can you tell me what happened between the temple and you guys?”

“It all started a few years ago, when the temple stopped people from going to the Fountain. They said it’s because the magical fluctuations there have suddenly worsened and the raw water’s no longer safe.

Then they announced that they have found a way to purify the water and make it safe. We believed them and began to buy the water. But the purified water was awful! I mean, we could taste stale water from 5 summers ago. (Pixie taste buds have a temporal dimension to them.)

When we tried telling them they’re doing it all wrong, they wouldn’t listen. Perception problem, they said. Then one day, the elders had a big fall out with the priests and we stopped buying. Now, everyone’s too angry to even talk to each other.”

“Is it true that you cannot live without the water?”

“Yes… and no. We only need the water to recharge our magic for flying and stuff. But no self respecting pixie would even think of being grounded. Flight is a matter of pride for us Pixies. I’d rather die if I couldn’t fly. 飛べない翼は、意味があるんでしょうか?”

“I see. How have you been coping then?”

“We used to import from Aruwan and Arutuu (distant lands famed for high quality magical spring water), but they’re so expensive. No guarantees the shipment will get here in one piece too. But we’ve found a new source though.”

“New source?”

“The adults will all go on a trip to get the water.”

“Where to?”

“I’ve no idea actually. They wouldn’t take me- OHMYGOD. Water’s been stolen from the fountain, right? This is sooo bad. OHMYGODOHMYGOD.”

“Calm down… Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

“Miss Zunderella, you’ll save them if anything happens, right? Right?”

“We don’t know anything yet but I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of this. Worse comes to worst, I’ll intercede on their behalf, alright? No worries.”

“本当に本当に本当?”

“Count on me.”

CHAPTER NINE

“A stakeout is out of the question!” exclaimed Cardinal Sing. “It’s too dangerous!”

“Why? Worried I’ll drown or something?”

Zunderella was back in the temple, squatting in the middle of the cardinal’s office.

“No! The raw magic at the source is much too dangerous. I cannot let you put your life at risk, My Lady.”

“And you guys are risking your lives to bring us fresh Airnemea Fountain Water at $29.90 a bottle! I’d be a coward if I didn’t even try. Come on… you know how important reputation is to a hero. Cheaper shop prices, 100% completion perfect ending that kind of stuff.”

“We have higher Magic Resistance stats to protect ourselves.”

“But my Luck’s maxed out.”

“No matter what, I still maintain that the best course of action is to confront the Pixies with evidence and seize the water for investigation.”

“What evidence?! We’ve got nothing on them!”

“We lost water and they found some.”

“Are you saying this for real? That’s all circumstantial. It proves nothing.”

“We’ll find out once our alchemists examine the water. Why can’t you see the good sense in the straightforward approach?”

“Because it’s draconian and unethical? (Actually, it’s because Zunderella’s life is set on INSANELY HARD MODE, thus Fate has decreed that she’s not allowed to take any shortcuts. Players with less demanding moral standards are on EASY.) Fine. If you want to do it your way, count me out. And they’d better be guilty or you’ll be hearing from me.”

Cardinal Sing fell silent.

Maybe this argument is proving too much for his pre-generated NPC script?

He finally spoke after some time. Not long enough a period of time to bore anyone, but definitely long enough for the significance of Zunderella’s declaration to permeate the room and sink two inches into the woodwork.

“I now understand My Lady’s determination to see that justice is dispensed in an irreproachable manner.” He heaved a sigh of defeat. “But at least take my elite guards with you for protection.”

“What?! Who’s heard of a whole freaking battalion going on a stake out? You’ll scare the mosquitoes away even. No, I’ll go alone.”

“But-“

“No Buts. My way or the highway.”

“Sigh…Understood. But please do take extreme care not to touch the Fountain’s water. And I can only allow you 3 days. It is for your safety, I hope you understand.”

“Fine.”


CHAPTER TEN

Deep under the Temple of Zedu, was a giant cavern.

And in this cavern was the Fountain.

A washbasin like thingy atop a small pedestal with water sprouting out, the Fountain wasn’t quite as impressive as Zunderella had imagined.

And if you’re wondering how they managed to find out that someone has been stealing water from what is essentially a water cooler, I entreat you to exercise some suspension of disbelief. Relax… it’s just a story.

Zunderella has been squatting here for the past 2 days.

Time is running out for her to catch the thief in the act. But if I were her, I’d be more worried about getting killed by magical radiation.

“Wha… damn sleepy…” Zunderella yawned.

So is this Narrator.

You know, it’s now 4am in the morning and I’m still here telling this story.

It might have taken you less than 10 minutes to reach this point in the story but it has taken this Narrator four whole days to follow Zunderella’s every move from when she first arrived in town, to when she got to the temple, then to the pub, then to the motel, the pharmacy, then back to the temple again, then off we go to the forest, get kicked out, back to the temple, and then it’s two whole days squatting in this irradiated shit hole.

I wanna sleep.

Wake me up if something interesting happens.

Zzzz…

CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Psst… oi… Wake up.”

Wha…?

OH SHIT.

Something interesting is happening.

Zunderella was squatting stealthily behind a conveniently situated stalagmite (so sleepy I forgot to mention it was a limestone cavern. My bad.), peering out cautiously.

Hovering over the Fountain was a ball of light the size of a mangosteen.

Gradually, it grew larger… and larger…

Zunderella stared hard at the mysterious light.

Some sort of, doorway was forming.

With all the hinges and a proper knob.

Click.

It opened.

Out fell three people(?).

“Owie~ Hey! Sarge! Ma’am! What is this place…? Where’d Little Helmet go?”

“Shit! It’s all your fault! Bad girl!”

“Quiet! Now is not the time for that. Sergeant, find out where we are. Tama, radio HQ.”

“The hell is this place… some fucking big hole underground?”

“Thank you very much, Sergeant. That was extremely informative.”

“Oh no~ No one’s picking up…”

“Grrr… I’m so fucking pissed my throats all dry… lemme get a drink-”

“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, THIEVES!!!”

Zunderella leapt out from her hiding place, brandishing her trusty toothbrush.

The stunned trio reached simultaneously for the staves slung about their shoulders.

Then all hell broke lose.

Blazing flames and roaring thunder erupted from the tips of those strange metallic sticks, totally taking Zunderella by surprise.

Faced with the overwhelming firestorm, Zunderella’s instincts took over. Ducking and rolling with amazing agility, she weaved among the stony columns, evading her assailants’ first volley.

“Damn that squatting bitch! Where’d she go?!”

“1 o’clock! Fire!!”

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Zunderella sought cover behind a limestone pillar.

“Move!!”

“Yo!”
“’Kay~!”

Two of her foes peeled off to the flanks, weaving a deadly net of fire and brimstone which had Zunderella completely trapped.

“Shit!” cursed Zunderella. Pinned down, she was a squatting duck.

Times like these are when you’re glad you pumped your Luck stat.

“Oh dear~! Ah~! IA! IA!”

CHANCE!

Exploiting the fleeting gap, Zunderella exploded into a powerful sprint up the pillar’s vertical surface. Launching herself off at the top with a momentous leap, she executed a Perfect Backflip any Integrated Data Entity Humanoid Interface would be proud of, and aimed a swift lancing strike at her unlucky adversary.

The point of her toothbrush buried itself within her target’s head, right between the eyes.

Critical Hit!!!

“Owie~!! You big meanie~!”

Everyone, if you ever find yourself in a battle for life-and-death, please bear in mind that toothbrushes are non-lethal weapons. (The toothbrush appeared to have pierced the target because it’s one of those Oral-B things with flexible heads that give way on impact.)

“Get away from my pet, BITCH!!!”

Zunderella parried the crushing right hook with a deft flick of her toothbrush.

“HYAA!!”

This silver-haired attacker’s roundhouse barely missed her temple as she skillfully darted away.

“Take that~ You Meanie!”

This one isn’t really worth the effort to evade.

Zunderella dodged and blocked as the trio ganged up on her in a swirling melee.

BAM!

“Ooph!!”

An elbow caught Zunderella right across the mouth and knocked loose a few teeth. She returned the favour with an uppercut that rattled her opponent’s skull.

The moment blood was drawn, all pretence of chivalry and fair-fighting was scattered to the winds. Biting, scratching, headbutting, eye-gouging, fish-hooking, groin-kicking, and hair-yanking were the order of the day.

This stylo-milo battle had degenerated into an ugly brawl.

Zunderella clawed and bit like a woman possessed, giving as good as she got despite the numbers. Sadly, three-to-one odds are too much even for our heroine, and her adversaries eventually had her in a guillotine choke.

A knee straight to the ovaries completed the rout.

Zunderella slumped to the ground in defeat.

*Spit* “Finish the bitch!!”

“Aye, Ma’am! My pleasure…”

Is this the end of our heroine?

Will Zunderella finally meet her demise at the hands of the mysterious trio?

Has the author finally decided to give up and go catch some sleep?

“Hasta la vista, BITCH.”


THE END


CHAPTER TWELVE

Fooled ya again, didn’t I? Ok, back to where we left off.

“Hasta la vista, BITCH.”

Zunderella shut her eyes tight and prayed hard. To everygod and anygod, Zedu included. She’s a free-thinker. Contrary to popular belief, free-thinking is not the lack of belief. Rather, it is the freedom to believe.

Time froze over for Zunderella.

That moment between impending and certain death seemed like eternity.

One thousand… Two thousand…

Zunderella opened her eyes a tincy-wincy bit and peeped out.

Oh my gods, she gasped.

Her enemies stood frozen like statues.

Time had really sto-

“You mouth open big big there for what?”

Zunderella spun around to face the speaker.

Before her eyes was .

“God-Sis!”

“Hey, ah-girl. Long time no see!”

Fairy Pretty Jie Jie, a.k.a. Zunderella’s Fairy Godsister, makes her cameo appearance.

“Ah-girl ah, why you here? No one tell me you’ll be here one leh.”

“Huh? You mean you’re not here to save me from them?”

“No, I was told to come save these three from some rabid bitch … ah… haha… paiseh, paiseh…”

“Why are you helping them?!”

“They my Godsister also mah.”

“You’ve got that many?”

“Aburden? 老娘行走江湖多年,四海皆兄弟。” (Subtitles: “If no past? Old mother can walk in glue more year, Dead Sea Street brothers.”)

“But they’re thieves!”

“Thief? Your head lah. Those three don’t even know where they are. Si beh jia lat lor… can horlan to another dimension some more. Got teleported here by some xiao zha bo, apparently. Wah piang eh… Send them back already still got to gau tim that si gin nah. Xiao liao lah this time.”

“Huh… I see. Ok… Good luck, then.”

“Ok, I zao first. Bye bye.”

The fairy disappeared in a flash of light together with the three human(?) statues.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Saved by a miraculous plot contrivance known as the Deus ex Machina, Zunderella is now all alone in the cavernous cavern.

Of course, I’m there too, but as usual, that’s totally taken for granted. I should start a lobby for Narrator Appreciation Day.

*Pooi!*

Zunderella spat out a mouthful of blood, saliva, two incisors and half a canine.

“Floody fit…” (Bloody shit…)

Logically she should have spat that shit out before engaging in that chit-chat with the Fairy Godsister, but I guess she’s so surprised by the fortuitous turn of events that she forgot.

Or she’s too polite to spit in front of others.

Anyway, she cupped a handful of water to rinse her bloody mouth.

From the fountain.

OH SHIT!

*Pooi!* *Pooi!* *Pooi!* *Pooi!* *Pooi!*

Zunderella cursed her own stupidity.

What a way to die, accidentally gargling your mouth with lethal mystical water after surviving an epic battle with a trio of transdimensional Amazon warriors.

She didn’t bother praying this time.

Even with a Luck stat of 255, miracles don’t happen twice in a row. Unless you exploit the Uguu Loophole. Then you can not only heal fatal stab wounds and terminal illnesses, but also resurrect dead 狐狸精s and people pancaked by SUVs. All these, for the price of one Taiyaki, in 3 easy installments. Call now! While stocks last!

Resigned to her cruel fate… she waited.

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

And what came was every dentist’s nightmare.

GROW!

That’s the sound of teeth growing when played in fast forward. Really.

Zunderella is now the proud owner of two and a half pearly white teeth! Of course she’d have to get the rest bleached to match the sparkling new ones, but that’s later. A much more pressing issue is at hand.

“Erhem… Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three…

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku, Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju, Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan, Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan, Raja kita, selamat bertakhta…”

The most beautiful rendition of Negaraku ever heard in the Multiverse reverberated round the cavern.

She followed that up with a pitch perfect virtuoso performance of 恋のツンデレ伝説, which eventually made its way into the PCC English Dictionary (as the definition of “oxymoron”).

“WTF!! This raw stuff is great!! It’s nothing like that shit out there on the streets!!”

Questions were racing around in Zunderella’s mind faster than a soggy Kong Guan cracker at the Turf Club.

Mr. Sing is definitely not telling the entire truth here.

But let’s get out of here first.

Zunderella headed for the exit.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Zunderella was staring at a hole high up in the cavern’s roof.

She had climbed down from that hole on a rope ladder just about 3 days ago.

The thing is there’s no ladder in sight right now.

“Hey! Anybody there!”

Obviously, no one is going to be there.

As you have probably guessed, someone is trying to starve Zunderella to death in order to prevent his selective representation of the truth from being broadcast to the public.

Enter Deus ex Machina, Part Deux.

“Miss Zunderella!”

“Twinkle! What’re you doing here?!”

Zunderella sure has a talent for asking the obvious. By just looking, I could tell that Twinkle is here to supply her with rope with which to climb out and to inform her that Cardinal Sing’s Elite Temple Guards (read: gang of thugs) are on their way to attack the village.

“We have to hurry!” begged Twinkle.

“Right!” agreed Zunderella. “Let’s take a shortcut!”

Remember I said something about Zunderella’s life being on INSANELY HARD MODE and how Fate doesn’t allow her to take shortcuts? Well… Fate is Blind. 8th SAF Core Value, guys.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Zunderella and Twinkle managed to leapfrog the Temple Guys and arrive at the Pixie village before them. Please purchase the Official Strategy Guide if you wish to find out exactly how.

“Chief, you’ve got to come clean with me now.” said Zunderella to the unreceptive village chief. “I’ve got evidence of the Temple’s wrongdoing but I won’t be able to defend you if you don’t tell me where you’ve been getting the water from!”

“Shut up! Enough of your tricks! You’re one of their dogs!”

“No! It’s not like that! I saw it with my own eyes! Those evil priests tried to kill Miss Zunderella!” vouched Twinkle.

“Please work with me here, Chief.” pleaded Zunderella. “We can right this wrong if only you’ll tell me the truth!”

“No.”

“I WANT THE TRUTH, SIR!!!”

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!”

“One portrait of Snow White.”

“Clothes or without?”

“Socks and garters.”

“Deal.”

The anti-climatic revelation goes like this:

The pixies have not taken anything from the fountain. Those trips mentioned by Twinkle are to the mystical Blazing Torrent (BT) relic deep within the Forest of Itherna. The BT was used to conjure and replicate vials of holy water from another dimension.

And I think you can safely assume that the theft is all just a ruse to fuck the Pixies inside out and Zunderella was roped in to lend some respectability to the whole operation with her heroic reputation

There, mystery solved.

And good timing too, ‘cause here comes Cardinal Sing.



CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Imagine 10,000 Uruk-Hai drawn up for battle at the gates of Helmsdeep.

Now divide the awesomeness by a hundred.

Then add -99 to represent the influence of Cardinal Sing.

“Many have gone to Hell for using the mystical Blazing Torrent for their own selfish desires! What you’re doing is illegal, I mean Evil, in the eyes of the Gods. Whether any theft has occurred is of no concern to the Gods, and does not lessen the crime!

I don’t even have to explain myself to ignorant knaves like you lot! This is all firmly grounded in the rules of the universe as laid down by the Gods….Blah blah… quantum this… metaphysical that… blah blah blah…, there’s no room for dispute whatsoever!

Don’t believe you can:

1) Contact the Gods,

2) Ask the Shaman Association of Eropagnis for help,

3) Consult your own spiritual counsel (you will likely have to pay for professional spiritual advice).

An FAQ tablet has been erected at the temple gates if you’ve got any questions. Now, please allow my guards to escort you back to the temple to facilitate the negotiation of an appropriate settlement.

o.O”

“Screw your bloody balls, Sing!!!” cried the Pixies in unison.

“Repent or DIE!!!” the Cardinal screeched.

“Tell us about Games Bazaar!”

“BLASPHEMY!! KILL THOSE INFIDELS!!!”

The Temple guards, armed with butterfly nets and fly-swatters, fell upon the assembled Pixies with no mercy.

Zunderella was not intellectual enough to follow the cerebral arguments that were exchanged. In fact, she was plain uninterested.

All she saw was this:

Big Guys Tekan Small Guys.

= Bullies.

= Injustice.

= RAGE.

“OOOOEEOOEEOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

Unsheathing her toothbrush with a blood-curdling war cry, Zunderella leapt into the fray.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Since we’ve already seen an Epic Battle back when Zunderella fought the mysterious trio, we’ll fast forward through this one.

The gist of it is that the fierce fighting brought the Police, and everyone (meaning Cardinal Sing, his thugs, the Pixies and Zunderella) were hauled off to the lock-up for a cozy sleepover.

The dispute over the Water was eventually heard in a Court of Law where the Pixies were Double-Sixed for violating Mystical Property Rights. They were ordered to compensate The Temple of Zedu for losses from declining sales and legal fees incurred. Actually, total sales for the year were doubled when Zunderella bought that one bottle for her hangover, but the judged kind of overlooked that.

The court also decreed the Blazing Torrent relic be locked away in the Temple of Zedu under the priests’ care for The Public Good. Cardinal Sing was free to use it as he pleased for academic and enforcement purposes.

Right.

Totally fucked from head to toe, the Pixies packed their bags and sought a fresh beginning elsewhere. Some left for Aruwan, some for Arutuu; some settled in D’diel, some even braved the treacherous voyage to Iyarsea.

None stayed.

Having learnt a precious lesson, the Temple of Zedu stopped trying to sell contaminated water from the Holy Fountain of Airnemea. They now focused their energy on bringing violators of Mystical Property Rights to justice in the holy name of Great Zedu.

Our little friend Twinkle had a hard time deciding if she will become Zunderella’s new trusty sidekick. We were unable to obtain confirmation from her before press time. Guess we’ll have to get back to you in a future volume.

Zunderella, on the other hand, faced a charge of Sodomy for stabbing Cardinal Sing in the asshole with her toothbrush. She was acquitted when the judge ruled that Sing did not hold the Exclusive License to his anus.

With the whole saga at an end, Zunderella departs to seek new adventures.

After buying a new toothbrush, of course.


THE END (FOR REAL)

ENDING THEME - 恋のツンデレ伝説

Zun, Zun, Zun on the floor, Zunderella!
Zun, Zun, Zun on the floor, Zunderella!

Everyday I wash the floor, Scrubbing away at the moss
Showing you my underpants (Hey Look Here!)
Enemy of Anuses, Zunderella Bu-Ra-Shoo
I’ll stick it right up your ass!

Once upon a time, was a girl they called her Zunderella
Always getting into fights, to stab the arse of bullies
And then in the night, she’ll be squatting under that bright moonlight
Wishing tomorrow will be, full of buttock staa-bbing!

Come On! Let’s Stab!
Come On! Let’s Stab! Baby!
Wipe it with some toilet roll, and stab the next bad anus
Come On! Let’s Stab!
Come On! Let’s Stab! Baby!
Right up to the intestines!
Special PENETRATION!

(How long will it be, before I start wondering what’s the point to all this?)

Zun, Zun, Zun on the floor, Zunderella!
Zun, Zun, Zun on the floor, Zunderella!


NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW (Subtitles Courtesy of Temple of Zedu)

二人の小学生が、公園に遊んで。
Two elementary school students, playing to the park.

“ね、目を閉じて。”
Don't you think? ", closing the eye."

“え、何故?”
"To obtain, why?"

“いいから,早く!”
"From calling, quick!"

“嫌。”
"Hate."

“お願い。”
"Request."

“だめ。”
"Useless."

“アイス食べる?”
"The ice you eat?"

“欲しい!”
"We want!"

“じゃ目を閉じて。”
"Closing the eye."

“アイスと目は関係ないでしょう?”
"As for the ice and the eye there is no relationship, probably will be?"

“関係が有るよ!”
"There is a relationship,!"

“無い!”
"It is not!"

“有る!”
"It is!"

“無い!”
"It is not!"

“有る!”
"It is!"

“無い!”
"It is not!"

“君の事大好だから関係が有る!!”
Therefore "your power good there is a relationship!!”

“...嘘。”
". . . Lie."

“本当です!”
"It is with the book!"

“まじ?”
"ま じ?"

“絶対に嘘じゃありません。”
"There is no lie no matter what."

“ごめん。”
"Exemption."

“何で?”
"With something?"

“俺...好きの人もうあるだから。”
"We. . . Therefore the person of the favorite already it is."

“誰?!”
"Who?!”

“お前の姉さんだ。”
"It is your older sister."

“姉ちゃん?何故?”
"Older sister? Why?"

“彼女は、お前より美し女だ。胸の大きさは...”
"Is she beautifully the woman from you. As for size of chest. . . "

“もういい,わかった。あたしの胸は小さいだよね。”
"It was already, was understood. My chest is small, is, don't you think?."

“残念ですが...はい。”
"It is regrettable, but. . . It is."

“ね...私たちの出会い...奇跡かもね?”
Don't you think? ". . . Our encounters. . . Whether miracle don't you think??"

“そんなこと無い。ただの偶然だ、偶々。”
"There is no such a thing. Simply, it is accidental, accidentally."

“ただの偶然じゃない!!”
"Simply accidentally it is not!!"

“顔が少し怖いぞ...”
"We fear the face a little. . . "

“殺す。”
"You kill."

“誰?”
"Who?"

“お前。”
"You."

“正気か?!”
"Sanity?!”

“死んで!!”
"Dying!!”

“待て!!”
"Wait!!”

“何?文句がある?”
"What? There is a complaint?"

“当然よ!”
"Proper!"

“日本語解りません!”
"Japanese you do not understand!"

“誰か助けて!!!”
"Someone helping!!!”

つづく

AUTHOR’S NOTES

This story is best enjoyed on a computer for all the hyperlinking multimedia goodness.

The word “Mangosteen” is neither in MS Word’s dictionary, nor the BBC English Dictionary.

The reason why 3 elite commandos of the Earth Forces 31st Public Relations Battalion, Charlie Company, Platoon 1 can miss so badly is because Zunderella is a permanent Figure 12.

Never play leapfrog with a rhinoceros.

This is a work of fiction if you haven’t noticed already. All characters, organizations and events depicted are fake. 嘘です。Any resemblance to people living, either here or in the afterlife, is purely coincidental. 偶然だ。

See ya.

Regards,
ZeoiNagePotato

Milk Pudding R&D Journal - Batch 2

They taste rotten.

What's the point when you can buy everything at the supermarket?

First Impressions Part 4

Himitsu
Pseudo medical jargon mixed with tentacle rape of dead people’s brains. MRI my bloody ass. The premise offended me so much I could puke. That means it has succeeded as a morality tale about the dangers of compromising individual rights for the sake of the majority, which I really hope was what the creators had meant it to be. Starfish Fuuko as a forensic pathologist cracked me up though.

Blassreiter
Vroom vroom… Somehow managed to remind me of all that is rotten in competitive sports. And how much of a nuisance bikers are. Not a fan of the CG monster/mechas either. Itou Shizuka’s character had a perky ass though. I might tune in for ep2 if we get some fanservice.

That's it for all the shows i've got on hand. Macross Frontier continues to entertain in ep2, as does ItaKiss. Kurenai is enjoyable as Binbou Shimai Monogatari 2. Looking forward to more boobs and perky asses in the uncensored version of Soul Eater on Thursdays.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Impressions Part 3

Tower of Druaga
Potentially one of the better comedies of spring 2008. 1st ep was one long dream sequence though; hopefully the real story can stick to this formula and not get too serious. The streamed version has pretty lousy quality. It’s so bad i can’t even decipher the credits. But I’ll stick to watching it streamed to show a teeny bit of support for Gonzo’s online distribution initiative. This is one show I wouldn’t mind paying for, but Paypal’s troublesome. Maybe I’ll get the DVDs when they are released here (which I doubt will be anytime soon) or in Truly Asia.

Crystal Blaze
Naked glass ladies. Action was blah. I’ll give it a few more eps to see if the story picks up.

Library War
Freaking Fun! Best show so far! Just watch it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

First Impressions Part 2

Macross Frontier
Loving it. CG dogfights were great. Macross Zero did better in this department, but that was an OVA, not a fair comparison. I was just worrying if the new mecha had developed Strike Freedom-itis when all the bulky fat bits fell off to reveal the sleek machine underneath. Woohoo!

I was missing large chunks of Macross history btw the first season and this one, but I think it won’t affect my enjoyment of the series. The 50sec narration at the beginning more or less summarizes the story up to this point. Tanaka Rie has yet to appear, so it can only get better. I just hope this doesn’t degenerate into a plastic model informercial too soon.

Vampire Knight
The beginning scene in the snow with Horie Yui’s voiceover made me think of Uguu falling off a tree. My main complaint is too many pretty guys. With that kind of setup, the sole girl has got to be one hell of an awesome character to balance things out, like Shuurei in Saiunkoku. Horie’s Yuki might be able to pull it off, we’ll see. Nothing much happened in the first ep, I’ll give it a few more.

Monochrome Factor
Some comedy, mostly gay. Definitely won’t be watching this for the action, rather mediocre in that aspect. Shirogane is too pretty. I’m sure they just slapped a male seiyuu on a female character. And some gay kissing got censored with bright lights. I might consider watching this without audio so I can pretend Shirogane’s a gorgeous onee-san. That would instantly improve this show by 1000%.

Neo Angelique Abyss
This is showing on local TV btw, just 2 days after the Japanese broadcast. Takes over Monsters’ timeslot on Wednesday nights. Another reverse harem show, so most of what I said for Vampire Knight applies to this one too. The sole girl Angelique is voiced by Endo Aya, who played Miyuki in Raki Suta.

Yet to watch a few more shows from the past week and more shows are starting this week already. I need sleep.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

First Impressions

Kanokon
Kawasumi Ayako's fox girl raping Noto Mamiko's shota. I might watch it just for this although everything else more or less sucked.

Soul Eater
Great animation and i love the character designs. Feels like it's shaping up to be an action comedy, which is good. Yet to make me lol like FMP though. Kind of long at 50+ eps. Maka the protagonist sounds... i dunno, wooden? Voiced by some newcomer, i think. Haven't seen her around. Katou Emiri is unrecognisable as the catgirl.

Kamen no Meido Guy, AKA HnG Clone #1
HnG with 100x the fanservice minus random anime references. OP song by Kotoko (who sang for HnG). Even has a Maria clone in Fubuki, only way more violent. Katou Emiri is unrecognisable as some random schoolgirl. Maybe she's simply unrecognisable.

Zettai Karen Children, AKA HnG Clone #2
Almost everything about this reminds me of HnG. Here's a list: opening scene telling me to watch Tv in a bright room, same font for the OP lyrics, random anime references in akiba scene, same animation style as HnG, the loli who sounds like Hayate, the hamster who sounds like Nagi. A quick check at ANN shows that the studio behind this is, guess what, Synergy SP - the same one responsible for HnG.

xxxHolic 2nd Season
A direct continuation of the first season. Katou Emiri might pop up soon. She had unrecognisable cameos all over the first season. Yuko-san is still so sekushi.

ToLoveRu
Realised the title might be a pun on "trouble" (とらぶる). First ep peaked in the OP and it's downhill from there. Fanservice might save this show for me though. I did watch the whole of Rosario+Vampire after all.

Amatsuki
Gives me Bleach-ish vibes. Expecting shounen action. ANN lists 13 eps, so hopefully they won't be spending 50 eps breaking my favourite character out of jail while said favourite character sits around doing absolutely nothing. Paku Romi's (FMA's Edward) swordswoman is interesting, ominous name though (Kuchiha). Kitamura Eri (Tatiana) does some wacko voice as a one foot tall monster.

Itazura na Kiss
Not too bad, enjoyed it more than i expected to. Keep getting it mixed up with SA in my head. Main guy is voiced by the guy who played School Days' legendary 人渣.

SA
Not too bad, enjoyed it as much as i expected to. Keep getting it mixed up with Itazura na Kiss in my head.

Kurenai
Some nice action scenes at the beginning, but feels like it can morph into Binbou Shimai Monogatari anytime.

Allison & Lilia
Has Last Exile's weird 2 country geography and lot's of flying so kagamisumi was right about the Last Exile-ishness. Looks like it's going to be a wholesome family-friendly adventure story though. Shucks.

Nabari no Ou
Has some fluid and well choreograped fight scenes. Kugimi plays the very KL male lead. It's been some time since i last heard her use some voice other than the tsundere loli one. Ok, actually she played the poker faced girl in Rosario + Vampire but i was too distracted by other things g(b)oing on.

Wagaya no Oinarisama
Switch the fox with a wolf, take out lots of action, add in lots of dialogue, and you get Spicy Wolf. Yukana turns in the most un-Tessa like performance as the fox's female form.

I'm still sitting on a bunch of other shows. There's just so much inertia when starting on a new series. Nothing has made me lol yet, although Kanokon came close. Still, that doesn't really count, i only laughed because i was imagining mamimami getting raped by Ayako. =)

サーターアンダーギー


Sata Andagi…


Sata Andagi…

Sata Andagi!

I was surfing wikipedia's entries on food when i came across Sata Andagi which got me all excited about Azumanga again. It's now running on Tv, but i haven't been following it cos i've probably watched the whole thing 3 times already (while i was in Japan, of course *wink*). I'm looking forward to the Okinawa episode in a few weeks time though, partly because of Sata Andagi, but the main reason is i wanna see how they subbed the "penis (chinsuko)" pun.

Milk Pudding R&D Journal - Batch 1

I mentioned the last time that i learnt to make milk pudding in KL. Although that recipe was delicious like hell, i've decided to do some pudding R&D on my own, since the original recipe was fattening enough to make me dream of Kawasumi Ayako. I'm not saying she's fat, i'm saying i am. She did look rather chubby around the time F/SN anime came out though, but that's besides the point.

The objective of this little project is to produce delicious, not-so-fattening milk pudding, and possibly develop a few new flavours. I came up with the first batch of plain milk pudding this morning. Not too bad, but definitely has room for improvement. More on that later.

Without further ado, here's what went into Batch 1.

Ingredients:

Low-fat milk - 200ml
Low-fat evaporated milk - 200ml
Low-fat sweetened condensed milk - 3 teaspoons
Unflavoured gelatin - 2 teaspoons.

As you can see i went all out to cut down on the calories, using low fat versions wherever possible, although the regular full cream versions should do fine as well. Some of the more sinful ingredients were cut out from the original recipe (can't tell you what they are, commercial secret), and i've scaled down the quantities to more family friendly portions (should serve 4-5).

Preparation:

Mix the 3 "milks" in a pot. Heat the mixture up. Just when it's just about to boil (Use the Force, Luke; Feel, don't think.), turn flame off and add the gelatin in. Stir the mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let it cool, then pour out into moulds or whatever container. Refrigerate overnight.


This was what i ended up with this morning. Ok, i know the photo's badly out of focus and you can't really say it's not just a puddle of milk but trust me on this, yeah?

Serving Suggestions:

Can be eaten on it's own (like Gardenia bread) or served with a topping of fresh diced mangoes, which was what i had for breakfast today. I can imagine it would probably go well with canned peaches or chocolate sauce though i've yet to try them out.

Critique and Problems Encountered:

1) Firstly, the taste. On it's own, the pudding tastes slightly too rich. When eaten with mangoes, the fruit's sourness serves to offset the richness somewhat.

2) While stirring in the gelatin, i had a good time fishing out gummy bears from the mixture. It seems that throwing the gelatin in all at one go was a bad idea as it gelled together almost immediately forming "gummy bears".

3) I have a giant pudding which serves 4, but no one to share it with. =(

Possible Improvements and New Directions for Upcoming Batches:

1) To address the problem of richness, i think i'll reduce the proportion of evaporated milk in the mixture.

2) As for the gummy bears, maybe sprinkle the gelatin in bit by bit? Anyone with tips on how to properly dissolve gelatin?

3) Cut quantities by half and use a smaller pot.

4) With the basic milk pudding as a foundation, i can now consider adding flavours to the pudding. Possible candidates are cocoa and coffee, as well as fruits like mango and durian.

I'll start on the next batch after i finish eating this one. Should take me another 2 days or so. The next batch would either be a repeat experiment dealing with the issues raised, or i could try a cocoa milk pudding while working in some of the proposed solutions.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Hate Blogger

Why do all the paragraphs in some of my posts stick together?

Do i have to learn html or something?

Sigh...

肉じゃが

This was what i just had for lunch: nikujaga.
And guess what? i made it myself.
Didn't really stick to the recipe i found in the library because a few ingredients are unavailable or plain freaking expensive. So i'll call it 马铃薯焖肉 instead (kagamisumi, dun try to pronounce this in Japanese because it's Chinese).
Actually, i think i know now why nikujaga is so popular in Japan. Besides the fact that it tastes great, it's made from some of the cheapest veggies in the market. Carrots cost about $1.50 per kg. I'm sure you'll die from beta-carotene poisoning if you eat one entire kilogram of carrots. To put things in perspective, the leafy veggies like spinach cost more than $3 per kg, cucumbers $0.70 per kg (which is probably why the satay uncle and chiken rice auntie give you cucumbers). But everything is way cheaper than a Happy Meal™. Moral of this story is if you're a hikikomori surviving on 300 bucks a month, don't eat out.
Here's the recipe if anyone's interested. I can't remember the original source since i don't have the book with me now (maxed out my library loan limit with manga), so i can't credit the author. Sorry la. But i guess something like the recipe for a staple food has got to be public domain, right? =p
Ingredients:
Potato - whatever amount you feel like eating. I used 3 since i was cooking for 4 people.
Carrots - Ditto. I used 2.
Onions - Ditto. Used 2.
Meat - Ditto. 300+ g. I used pork but i guess anything will do as long as it's legal and does not offend too many animal rights activists.
Konjac - I was like " where the f*ck am i suppose to get this" and ended up replacing it with firm beancurd (豆干). Found out that wasn't such a good idea later, but for documentation's sake, i used 2 cubes.
Japanese stock - Wtf, i used plain water. Roughly 3 cups.
Flavouring:
Soy sauce - 2 tbsps, more if you are desperately hypotensive or intend to be on anti-hypertension drugs for the rest of your life.
Sugar - 1 tbsp. Nope, i dun think sugar causes diabetes.
Mirin - Replaced this with brandy, but i guess rice wine will do. Don't ask me why i have brandy in the kitchen cupboard.
Step 1: Peel everything that can be peeled.
Step 2: Chop potato and carrots into bite-size chunks. Cut each onion into 6 wedges. Slice meat into strips 3-4 cm wide. Slice beancurd, i dun think the size matters.
Step 3: Heat up your wok, add oil, heat up the oil, throw in the meat. Stir-fry till the meat just changes colour, toss in the potatoes, carrots, onions, beancurd. Stir fry for a bit more, like 15-20 seconds or so, pour in the stock (or water).
Step 4: Let it boil, then simmer till the potatos are beginning to go soft. Remove scum.
Step 5: Toss in the flavouring, stir.
Step 6: Eat.
I found that beancurd breaks into tiny bits which makes the gravy look dirty. Maybe next time i'll use radish instead.

ごちそうさま。