I actually only read the rurouni kenshin manga after news of the live action movie came out in Japan. I’ve heard of the manga from friends before, but somehow never got around to reading it until now. I should have read it sooner! The manga’s really good. Plot-wise it was thrilling enough, and the main female lead Kaoru wasn’t a demure damsel in distress that needed saving from Kenshin every time. Which I really appreciate because I hate whiny female leads that always cause trouble for everyone around them. Ahem.
Back to the movie, there were minor changes to the plot, probably because I think the director didn’t want to include so many characters. Poor Aoshi got taken out ): But it followed the manga storyline pretty accurately. I think that the cast was really strong. Satou Takeru really did a super good job of playing Kenshin, both his cheerful ‘oro’ rurouni side and his merciless battousai side. And I think he has improved a lot since I last saw him in Mei-chan no Shitsuji. Some of the reviews I heard about Takei Emi was that she wasn’t very good, but I think that she did a good job! (I’m also slightly biased, so sue me.) The problem I think lies with the director which made Kaoru seem like a damsel in distress, being unable to protect her own dojo, instead of Emi’s acting. Other characters like jin’e was well acted out too! I didn’t really like the casting choice for Yahiko though /:
Oh Satou Takeru ♥ Other than his acting skills I think he looks quite a lot like what I’d expect a real life Kenshin to be. *cue fangirl squeal* Okay maybe I was in love with Kenshin and not Satou Takeru himself hahaha. But still. ♥♥♥ Or maybe it’s just that I think the poofy host kind of hair doesn’t suit him at all. It makes him look like a チャラ男. Clean cut or very slightly styled suits him the best heh.
But overall it was a great movie. I would totally watch it again. And again.
Everywhere you go, everyone you meet, everything you encounter, changes you somehow. Picking up Japanese, having Japanese friends, living in Japan for half a year has changed me. Once you learn so much about a certain culture, there’s this social obligation to conform to it. I guess here are some of the aspects that I feel that I’ve changed in.
1. I think and speak to myself in Japanese.
Someone once told me that for learning new languages, the turning point is when you start to think in that language and not think in your native language before translating and saying it out loud. And I think this is very true. Thinking in Japanese has helped me to get more practice too. And well, since I already talk to myself in English talking to myself in Japanese will only help to improve my pronounciation :3
2. I find myself thinking of whether I’ll cause unnecessary trouble to people.
Japanese people often act in a way so as not to “人に迷惑がかからない”, which means not to cause trouble to others. For example they don’t talk on the phones in trains to keep the peace and quiet, and they often answer with ambiguity so as to allow the other person to save face. Like saying that you’re sick or very busy when someone asks you out instead of rejecting them outright. So whenever I want to make a request to someone, I’ll always tell them that it’s okay if they’re too busy or they don’t want to do it, or that if I’m a nuisance they’re free to ignore me. Because I genuinely don’t want to cause trouble for them.
3. I have become more skeptical of people when they invite me to events or to join them.
In Japan, people have 本音(honne) and 建前(tatemae), which is your real feelings and your mask respectively. Tatemae is like inviting someone to visit you but they are only saying this because of a social obligation, and in reality they do not want you to pay them a visit at all. It’s very confusing in Japan because it’s really difficult to tell honne from tatemae, so most of the time you’re unsure if the person is really inviting you over or is just saying it for show. In Singapore this doesn’t really happen as much, but I’m still cautious.
4. I am guilty of 90% of the following. Except for チンチン欲しいな.
Went to watch the documentary movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi today! It’s been a while since I watched a Japanese movie in Singapore theatres, so was looking forward to it. I heard about the restaurant from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations around 2 years ago, and it’s one of my lifelong dreams to have a meal there. The price isn’t cheap though, from what i’ve heard it’s around 30,000 yen which is around 480 SGD? But Jiro is already 85 years old. D: I wonder how much longer he’s going to be in the kitchen. One thing I know for sure from watching the documentary is that until his body gives up on him, he will continue to make sushi, and continue to strive for perfection.
The kind of passion and self-discipline you see in Jiro is rarely seen these days. Most people give up too quickly; they don’t even bother to endure before complaining that’s it’s too difficult or it’s just not for them. Maybe it is just not for them, but if they don’t try they wouldn’t even know would they? We like to go by the safe route, the easy, high-paying job versus years of hard work slaving to constantly improve yourself. Jiro has been doing exactly that for close to 70 years, and he still thinks that he has not reached perfection because to him, he can’t possibly know what the level of perfection is. ほんまに偉いなー。 I wonder if I’d ever be able to find my craft like him.
On a somewhat completely unrelated note, they showed the trailer for Hotaru no Hikari the movie!!! Hotaru no Hikari is a Japanese drama that spanned 2 seasons, and it’s one of the funniest dramas I’ve ever watched. I’ve rewatched it once recently and it’s still as good. Can’t wait for the movie to come out~♥
We ended up eating Menya Musashi ramen after the movie! Well we were craving for Japanese food but the shop at Plaza Sing doesn’t really serve good Japanese sushi so we settled on ramen. Mhmmm it was a fufilling lunch. Ate exactly the same thing as I did the first time! Black char shuu ramen 黒チャーシューラーメン~! I’ve tried Ippudo and Marutama ramen but I still like Menya Musashi best! As of now that is. x)
It’s been a while. Lately I’ve been working a lot at the airport, アルバイトする. The pay’s decent for a part-time job, even though it can’t be compared to that of Japan’s, but it really saps my energy. 8 hours of standing and serving customers in heels is no joke. The only thrill I get from working is when I get to speak to Japanese customers in Japanese. While some are a little unfriendly, most of them are rather nice. Some even thought that I was Japanese, and a kind lady encouraged me on my Japanese language studies. I’m still striving to be fluent in Japanese one day. The only problem I face is my tendency to not use keigo (敬語) when speaking to customers, mostly because I’m not used to speaking in keigo. At least I’ve succeeded in eliminating tamego (タメ語) when speaking, because it’s so casual it might seem impolite to the Japanese customers. When I was working here last year I never noticed that there were so many Japanese customers. Now there would be at least a few each day. Time to work on my Japanese!
Speaking of which, I’ve also signed up for jlpt n3 level. Technically my classes have only taught me til n4 level, so I’ll need to do a lot of self-study in order to pass. It’s a good thing I’m going to be stopping my part-time job after this month. When I’m working I get so exhausted even on my off-days I rarely have the motivation as energy to drag myself to the library or Starbucks to study.
On a dance-related note, I have finally managed to master the first verse and chorus of Miss A’s Goodbye Baby ｖ（＾＿＾ｖ）♪ Will get around to videotaping it one day. Haven’t been dancing much because of work and because I don’t go to school much, of at all. Bah. I really want to learn exo-k’s history’s dance too. There’s so awesomely talented for a rookie group. *__*
I’ve also been trying to listen to more jpop songs as an attempt to learn more Japanese vocabulary. Latest songs on my playlist are from Hatsune Miku, AKB48, and m-flo~ Am going to slowly explore more artists as I go along. I lost most of my anime opening and ending songs when my hard disk drive crashed on me. Still miss the nostalgic feeling I get whenever I listen to a PoT or FMA song. You got game~ どんなスピードの中も時間は変わらないリズム刻んで〜♪ Gosh my fangirling days seem ages ago.
Going to end off with a photo of Marriott’s dessert bar at their international buffet dinner! Went there for my brother’s birthday dinner. The spread was decent, although the seafood not that fantastic. But I liked the roasted section where they had roast beef, pork and lamb, as well as their pastries. Other than that, i’ll give it a 6.5/10. I’ve had had better buffets then this one.