Archive for August, 2013

Back to normality

Quote of the day:
“The least of learning is done in the classrooms.”
– Thomas Merton

When you’ve lived almost two full decades like I have and went through many phases of school and its fair share of holidays; you actually find yourself to have wasted so much time to the point that you question your level of intelligence back in the older days. Now this time around, it’s 2.17 am in the morning, and I have 10 am classes the very same day. It’s been roughly a full month since my holidays started and I only found out about having classes “tomorrow” just a day or two ago. It was a good break from classes, very much needed and of course, the mental pressure one would have to deal with if he or she were me, was avoided. For a full month, enough said.

Now things have to go back to normal. I have to start my second year in mechanical engineering; I have to begin my third semester in university. I have to go back to the standard hours I had back when I was in secondary school; as it seems, most classes are scheduled much earlier; I like that. I have to take the initiative to slim down a little more; I have to eat less. I need to stop making mistakes, stop skipping classes. I have to make my time worthwhile since I don’t exactly have any income-generating abilities. It’s exactly as said, when you’ve lived almost two entire decades, you really have to be a little more useful; or in perspective, a little less useless; whether or not it’s to society or plainly speaking, to those around you who matter the most in your life.

Maybe this post would serve to be a reminder to set priorities straight, maybe turn a little better when it comes to time management, chase even your slightest dreams or do some of the things you really wanted to do; I don’t know. A quote once said, “Flipping a coin doesn’t decide anything for you; but from that little window of time, you know exactly what result you were hoping for.” So maybe in due time, I would settle all these things. I do have aims; I do have ambitions. Albeit so, I probably lack the wisdom or experience to have those targets executed and achieved.

In recent days, in light of the To LOVEる interest, I found myself producing even more sketches than I’d originally planned for. To date, I’ve spent an approximate 12 to 13 hours in total producing four sketches. A fifth one is currently in progress at the time of the post. With each sketch came increasing production times, as well as deeper detail. I’m definitely no expert at any form of art, let alone simple pencil sketching, but I have to at least admit to myself, those were some nifty pieces. The eyes and hands could use a little help here and there but otherwise, I don’t know; I fell in love with my own pieces. Relating to that, I’ve attempted a purchase of an illustration book online. The catch; it’s only available in Singapore; or at least it’s the nearest available location anyway; and it requires a credit card to purchase. Now I have the slightest idea whether or not the transaction is going to go through, or when it’s gonna arrive in the event it does go through. For now, I can only wait. I’ve seen one or two of the pages already and I might say; that is some ridiculously fantastic art work. Talk about a mechanical-engineer-to-be who loves visual arts.

Well I don’t really have anything else to put here since my last post is already recent enough as it is. But maybe this time, I’ll put in some of the sketches I’ve actually made to remind myself; just because I’m an engineer-to-be, doesn’t mean I can’t produce some fine quality art! The very first sketch in the series is the first image seen. 2.5 hours were spent to produce that one sketch. Every subsequent sketch took a little longer and has an increasing amount of detail. The fourth one took a rough 4 to 5 hours and is arguably the most detailed sketch I’ve made so far.






Quotes of the day:
“Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.”
– Edgar Watson Howe
“The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.”
– Henry S. Haskins
“I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”
– Mae West

I suppose when you pick up new interests, you more or less have the tendency to enjoy it and forget to write about it. That being said, it’s been a good three months since I’ve written anything here. There’s the usual mix of tension, lethargy, exam preparation, depression and way more negativity to go along with it, but after a quarter of a year, it’s time to write once more. Also, three quotes because they seem to relate to the current chain of events; and because I feel like it. Without further ado!

At the time of this post, it’s probably four weeks into my second semester break, that of which ends somewhere around the end of August. Up until two weeks ago, life has been rather bland. Of course, I was looking to the holidays because it meant no ridiculous waking hours, no practical sessions, no head jamming or whatever. Still, up until then, I had nothing much to do. There was the usual dose of Dota 2, my usual weekend drama, and maybe time to pursue some other interests; in which up to now, I’ve yet to do anything about them.. Well, I still have two weeks, time to make the most of it.

In the recent days, I managed to stumble across a manga and anime series entitled To LOVEる (To Love Ru). The title is actually a wordplay on the word “love”, read in Japanese as “rabu”. Technically speaking, the title is supposed to be read as “to-rabu-ru” or in English, “trouble”. This pretty much implies a story revolving around love troubles. Originally launched as a manga, the series consisting of 162 chapters spread over 18 volumes started in 2006 and ended its final volume in 2009. Its anime counterpart consisting of 26 twenty-minute episodes aired throughout 2008. These episodes mostly covered the first half of the original manga series while a sequel titled もっとTo LOVEる (Motto To Love Ru, lit. “More Trouble”) consisting of another 12 episodes, covering the latter half of the manga, followed in late 2010. These episodes are divided into 3 sub-chapters each, presumably to cover a greater amount of content. After its original run, a continuation titled To LOVEる・ダークネス (To Love Ru Darkness) began serialization in March 2011 and is still ongoing at 34 chapters. The first 25 have been compiled into 6 volumes. Meanwhile, the anime counterpart started airing in October 2012 and ended at the end of December. The anime spanned 12 episodes and went back to the traditional format of having one primary chapter, each 24 minutes long. The 12th and final episode seems to be around the 19th chapter of the manga series. That being said, there could be another anime extension in the future.

The basic idea of this series revolves around a boy named Yuuki Rito who’s been unable to confess his love to his friend from middle school, Sairenji Haruna. One fine day, he attempts once again, only to be interrupted once again. The same night that day, a girl suddenly appears naked in his bathtub. This girl is known to be Lala Satalin Deviluke, first princess of the Devilukean throne, daughter of Gid Lucion Deviluke, who also happens to be the greatest force to be reckoned with in the galaxy. It turned out that she was running away from home because she didn’t want to be forcibly married. After Rito helps her escape from a predicament, Lala decides that she wants to marry Rito, at least in her mind anyway. The next day, after things cooled down, Rito musters his courage to confess to Haruna. He does successfully, to Lala, and not Haruna, by mistake. With that, an engagement was confirmed by Lala, and Rito’s troubles continue day after day. This serves as the plot for the first chapter of the manga as well as the first episode of the anime.

I’m not even sure how I came across this series in the first place, but I’m in love with everything it has to offer, everything from the manga to the anime. I started with the anime first and only discovered the fact that it started out as a manga a while later. If anything, I’m particularly impressed by how they seamlessly converted the manga into an animation; to the point that I get confused. I watched the anime and read the manga almost parallel to each other so I had the tendency to be confused as to which I’ve seen first; the same applies to the continuation series To LOVEる・ダークネス. Within a week or so, I managed to watch the entire first season in 3 days, the extended first season in another 3 days, and the continuation in 4 days. Parallel to those times, I finished all 162 chapters of the manga, each 20 pages or so, within a good 5 to 6 days. I’m now currently running through the To LOVEる・ダークネス manga at chapter 19/34.

Now as to why I actually bothered to write all that; well it’s been long since I touched any book or TV series. Despite not containing very family-friendly material, it’s actually good to understand the story. That being said, I’m also a sucker for love and romance stories. Aside from that, the recurring comedy elements are also great, but more focus should still be paid to the romance. Characters have also been greatly developed; it’s probably best to read it for oneself to understand the beauty in the series. Times like these, I really appreciate the fact that I spent two non-consecutive years picking up the Japanese language, even if it was on and off. Nothing feels better than to watch the show without subtitles and having a good 30% comprehension while you’re at it. There’s not really much else to say here unless they’re comments, and I’m not good with comments to begin with anyway so I guess that’s it; a bit of promotion this time around.

And now some extra information and statistics:
To LOVEる – 162/162 chapters complete (series ended)
To LOVEる・ダークネス – 19/34 chapters complete (series ongoing)
To LOVEる – 26/26 episodes complete
もっとTo LOVEる – 12/12 episodes complete
To LOVEる・ダークネス – 12/12 episodes complete

Yuuki Rito – Main character of the series; loves Sairenji Haruna; engaged to Lala Satalin Deviluke
Yuuki Mikan – Younger sister to Yuuki Rito
Lala Satalin Deviluke – First princess of Deviluke; main female protagonist of the series; genius inventor
Nana Astar Deviluke – Second princess of Deviluke; can communicate with animals; twin sister of Momo
Momo Belia Deviluke – Third princess of Deviluke; can communicate with plants; twin sister of Nana
Sairenji Haruna – Secondary female protagonist; loves Yuuki Rito; schoolmates with Rito since middle school

There’s really too many characters and details to list out for this little space I have here.. It’s still better to watch or read the series itself to get the most out of it. Ah, there’s so much more I want to write; but then this’ll have to do for now.